Salon #5


Robert McKay: Editor’s Note

Alison PrineTaking Stock           

Karin GottshallLullaby

H. Douglas HallHunt

Alison Moncrief BromageWanting

Donavon DavidsonSwimming the Witch

They Will be Known by Their Names


Geoffrey GaddisLiving on Air

Malisa GarliebThey are not all benevolent

Linda BamberDesires R Us

Maurice KennyA Bridge

Daniel ChadwickBee Colonies of Yorktown

ANALYSIS: Jonathan LeavittPrintemps Arabe/Printemps d’érable                 

Caitlin M. Downey – Easter Night at the Laundromat                                        

Olivia LawranceRules of War

WORKING WRITERS: Estefania Puerta                                                        

Janice Miller PotterAn evening in June

Rebecca Macijeski Signs of Spring                                                                                

Jenny L. RossiOcean of Unsaid                                                                         

Nicholas SpenglerMan on Stage

Theodora ZiolkowskiVerona

After the Wolf


FICTION: Anthony ParshallAdvertisements in the Sky           

REVIEW: Local Poetry ReleasesBen Aleshire                                         

CONTRIBUTORS’ NOTES                                                                                               

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES                                                                                

Editor’s Note: Robert McKay


“Spring coming at me like a fist.”

-Alison Prine

In the spring of 2012, we weren’t sure what was coming at us. We’d been printing this rag for two and a half years, years we’d spent on the beat, like sad, wary cops trailing a drunk through the endless, circular stacks of the public library, knowing full well the drunk’s got the secret of their demise. We’d been stalking that picaresque character through those hinterlands of print, those hinterlands of the dream called Burlington, Vermont, knowing full well that if we ever caught up with him we’d be out of a job.

That’s our job as poets: to stalk our prey/predator in circles like wary cops, depressed cops, like cops who can’t ever make an arrest. The subaltern Muse of Dionysos stumbles, but the Apollonian columns of the Fletcher Free Library stumble with him, shadowing his every step, stumbling until, after centuries of this pursuit, they look less like columns than like a forest.

Meanwhile in our role as literary magazine editors, we’re more like dispatchers than like cops; we can’t see the action, we only hear the ghostly, brittle voices over the transom. If it’s good we hear thrashing, struggle. But we have to grit our teeth and decide what to investigate and what to let slip by.

Literary magazines are like a very common species of deep-sea fish. Twice a year we swim up to the surface to spawn, where we’re likely to encounter propeller blades, sharks, suicides with second thoughts, shoals of trash floating, and the merciless admonitions of the sun. The sun over open ocean, mind you, thousands of miles from land. That’s what it’s like to be a literary magazine; thank god for us we aren’t one; we’re poets and editors. And all you have to do is read.

But look out! A splinter of the sun might suddenly glint from these pages up at you, a splinter of sun up into your face. At that moment, you will know you are nothing but a terrified cop, and you will hear the drunk whisper, very close:

Robert McKay is not to be trusted. Here’s why:
The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished Robert to the Fifth Level of Hell!
Here is how he matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repending Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful) High
Level 3 (Gluttonous) Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Very High
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) High
Level 7 (Violent) High
Level 8 – The Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) Moderate
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) High

Take the Dante’s Inferno Test. I got this from one of the high school students to whom I’m currently teaching the Commedia! – RM

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