Dawn of the Bread:
Biting the Hand That Kneads, A Rye Deal

Violence, baguettes, violence:
a cycle.
Baking and battering
bread, kneading and heating.

abuse of
bread, needed for eating;

A fuse
within the flour, an ember,
results in the
monster of yeast.

In your final hour, remember
rising aloof, to make
money for years.
It was life, it was everything.

Rising, a loaf of hate.
It grows now, breathes too.
It's alive, everything
you've cooked.

The dough now leaves you
baked and battered.
You're cooked.
Violence baguettes violence.

by Alberto Sveum

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Alberto Sveum studies English and Philosophy with a minor in Creative Writing at the University of Northern Iowa. He has won awards of excellence for his short fiction and poetry from the UNI Department of Languages and Literatures. He is currently polishing his writing sample for MFA applications.


E.E. Cummings at Jurassic World

She being brand New
and consequently hungry for meat,
hid amongst the leaves
with Her tree frog lineage,

(having deceitfully marked the
wall to lead Her food inside,
to make sure it was nice
and fresh)

they pulled the lever and entered the door
as She stood watching,
so slowly,
as she moved

they moved
in sep-
as She edged
until She
could smell the mar-
row in the bones,
Her heart beating faster
as she came upon the first
of Her feast
and its heart
at the sensation
of Her teeth
as they clamped

snapping into its tiny body,
warm liquid gushing,
meat stuck between Her teeth
and with two bites
and a quick swallow
She finished the first
and moved on to
the second;
the first, just a snack
to wet Her insatiable
laid out
across the
in front

by Angela Spires

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Angela Spires is a writer, teacher, and mother in Reno, NV. Her fiction, flash fiction, and poetry have appeared in multiple journals. She likes to experiment with different writing styles and work in multiple genres. She loves to match elements of past and present that wouldn't normally fit together and see where it takes her.



Queued to renew driver's license,
I spy some forms that plead donate
your organs, don't take them with you.
I consider how the mortician
will make chopped steak of them or burn
to dust to decorate some garden plot,
or scatter and make some mountain
or lake a couple pounds bigger.
I decide to get a leg up on immortality,
go green, join the recycle revolution,
implement piecemeal reincarnation.
I remember the old adage Charity begins
at home
, so hereby make a plan
and will—donate some parts
to folks I know.

My right foreleg to Pegleg Pruitt
who donated his to a jungle in Viet Nam.
Two toes go to cousin Tom who blasted
his off with a shotgun propped on his foot.
My right hand I hand to classmate Karl
who shot his off to escape the draft.
Uncle Nehi gets a nod—both knees,
he wore his out begging Aunt Nancy
for forgiveness. My intestines ship
to neighbor Nabob who I heard Dad say
one time lacked the guts to stand up
to his bossy wife. My heart I hope shall
enliven Aunt Hilda who some folks
claimed never had one. My chin I will
to Uncle Charlie whose own so weak
atop a long neck, he looked like
a terrapin without the stripes.
My teeth shall be titled to cousin Tim
and tell his daughter Tina she won't
have to see her dad gum it anymore.
My bountiful nose I offer to neighbor
Norville who insulted mine so he can
know how it feels to walk a mile
with another man's schnooze.

My eyes please send to Grandpa George,
who often said he didn't "see into it"
about Social Security rules.
My bad ear I bequeath to Brother
Barney who would love a bona fide
excuse to listen to his gabby
Gertrude only half the time.
And finally, I bestow my brain,
wrinkled and lightly used,
to my buddy Billy Bob
whose teacher once declared
he didn't have one.

by Wesley Sims

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Wesley Sims has published one chapbook of poetry, When Night Comes (Finishing Line Press, 2013). His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, G.W. Review, South Carolina Review, Praxis Magazine, Liquid Imagination, The Avocet, and others. He lives in Oak Ridge.


The Aisle Not Taken

Two aisles diverged in a grocery store,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one shopper, long I stood
And looked down Aisle 1 as far as I could
To cookies, chocolates, candies and more;

Then took the other, as just as good,
And perhaps the better for my health
With low-calorie foods on the shelf
And no sugar laden goodies anywhere,
So I'll look better in underwear,

And yet both aisles that morning lay
In front of me and my cart.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Knowing I would be tempted back
To all those sweet things, stack after stack.

I shall be telling this with a (heavy) sigh
Somewhere pounds and pounds hence:
Two aisles diverged in a store, and I—
I *once* took the one better for my thigh,
Not that it ultimately made any difference.

by Karen Poppy

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Karen Poppy is an attorney licensed in California and Texas. She lives in the Bay Area, California, with her family and is an avid equestrian. She also just completed her first marathon event: writing a novel. Follow her online at karenpoppy.wordpress.com and facebook.com/kgpoppy


To Her Boy, Distressed

Had we but money enough, and time,
Our slothfulness would be no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To take the garbage out today.
You by the TV would reside
Remote in hand: I curled inside
The marital bed with a book.
At disarray we would not look.
And we should if we please, refuse
To clean, until I have no weight left to lose.
A hundred dollars we would spend
To find a means to a tidy end.
Others would deal with our squalor
I would still be a woman of valor.
Never would our hands touch dirt
Only our pocketbooks would hurt
As we hired help for that and this
In a constant state of bliss.
I know this to be your ideal state,
Sleeping long and sleeping late.

But at my back I always hear
My mother's voice hurrying near.
And yonder all before us sits
Knowledge of her impending visit.
Driven with unrelenting passion
To a perfect home (after a fashion)
Neither hide nor hair is out of place,
No heartbeats at breathless place
Her palace is free of disorder & dust.
Another glaring omission: lust.
Her house's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.

Let's begin the task at hand,
Respond to the implicit demand
Present a home with sparkling surface
A cold and antiseptic place.
Romance is hard to sustain
While scrubbing to remove a stain,
But toil away we must.
My mother's eagle eye for rust
Will see under the varnish
To anything we did not finish.

Why must we conform to her ways?
Because I always do what my mother says.

by Elisheva Pomrenze

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Elisheva Pomrenze has a BA and MA in English literature and watches a lot of TV. Her master's thesis covered both literary women who worked and literary women who didn't and killed themselves.