Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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Rage Road
by John James Alexander

Rage ought not to be purchased on credit.

He waited at a green light because the rear half of the car in front still sat in the intersection, the last in a chain of cars backed up from the next light. If he crept forward to link up he would be right in the middle, blocking, so he waited. The light turned amber just as the chain's slow dismemberment reached the car in front of him. He wanted to gun the gas, to sneak under what would probably be a half-second of red light, had lifted his foot to do it, when a horn-blast startled him into hitting the brake. His car lurched forward and back.


Behind him, filling the whole rearview mirror, a big white vehicle sat on his back bumper. He saw a woman's head just clearing the steering wheel and the angry, flipping gestures of her hands. Sunglasses blotted out half her face.

He felt it. Oh yes, he felt it. And he saw it, too, cinematically, which is how he saw everything. He saw himself reach into the glove box and withdraw a pistol, a big automatic. Then perspective shifted to the woman's point of view high up in the darkened cab of her truck, over the steering wheel and through the windscreen (without a spot of dirt). From the driver's side window of the car in front of her a strong arm emerged, unhurried, and in the hand of the arm a big black automatic pistol, heavy looking—obsidian death.

He heard the woman gasp. The driver's door opened and a leg appeared, baggy gray pants, black boot. "O my god," he heard the woman say. "O my god." Once more he saw her hands gesture but this time they flapped like fish in the bottom of a boat. Then perspective shifted again to some point between the vehicles, somewhat low to the ground. The low angle made him look taller as he rose to his full height beside his car. His shirt was black and tight across the chest. He didn't have the pistol in his hand anymore; he'd left that on the seat.

"EXCUSE ME?" he shouted. "EXCUSE ME?"

She didn't say anything in the second or two he gave her to answer.


Of course she didn't say but he had made his point. He looked over his shoulder at the traffic light not because he was afraid of holding up the chain but as a gesture of contempt. It had already turned green. Good. He took a moment—since the moment was his—to appraise the woman, and at this point perspective shifted to just behind his head. The parts of her face not blotted out by the sunglasses were tanned and attractive; the lips especially attracted his eyes. She possessed long, sickle-shaped fingernails. He saw himself take his time getting back into his car and driving away.

The light turned green. As he drove, he glared into the rearview, so intent at times that he had to brake hard for unexpectedly slowing cars in front of him. He saw the white vehicle turn down a side street. It seemed to him that its turn was too sharp and too fast, a little reckless considering the neighborhood and maybe kids around. He pulled into a small, unremarkable strip of stores.

"Now that you got us here without getting killed, let me see the numbers," she said from the passenger seat.

He handed her a scrap of paper, on it five rows of numbers, six numbers to a row.

"Make sure you check the tickets," she said. "If they're not right, you tell them. Not like last time. I'm going to count the change so don't get any ideas."

He opened the door.

"And if they don't have jalapeno chips, get cheddar, and if they don't have cheddar get sour cream and onion."

His sandals flap-flapped as he entered the Hudsonview Deli. It did indeed have a view of the river but at this time of year, with the trees in leafy fullness, it could be viewed only as a small greenish-brown slice of flat water, flashing silver. It might have been a pond.

Maybe because he was the only customer, and had been seen coming, explained why the clerk already stood beside the register waiting to serve him, saying with more feeling than most clerks, "CAN I HELP YOU?"

It startled him, the shocking friendliness, compelling him to hand over the scrap of paper right away, something he had not intended to do. The clerk punched buttons in the lottery register with amazing agility. Just as he'd been told, he checked the tickets against the rows of numbers. God help him, he found a mistake.

"I thought that was a seven," the clerk said. "Oh, I see, it has a tail. . .Sorry, but it's a done deal. Just think, though, what if that's the winner?"

He didn't think it. He thought about what he was going to say back in the car, almost forgetting the chips. But they, too, failed him. He searched the rack, rifling behind bags, finding nothing she wanted. Then he felt it again—oh yes, he felt it. He saw himself annihilate the chips, all of them. He saw himself punch them, stomp on them, tip over the rack, stomping and jumping and stomping. He saw it, the carnage.

The clerk had disappeared. He waited at the counter, cleared his throat with purpose.

"Excuse me," he said to a doorway open to a dark back hall. "Excuse me. . .excuse me. . .excuse me. . ."

John James Alexander lives in New York state. His fiction can or will soon be found around the net, including in Unlikely 2.0, most recently in Gadfly.

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