Fall 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 3


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

Scott Owens


Storm Front

The waiting is always the worst,
taking on a palpable presence,
solidarity of dread,
mind diseased with anticipation.
Sky and land blend into one
shroud of darkness. Horizon
becomes a black hole,
single point of gravity,
shared awareness that it will come.
And when it comes
it arrives everywhere at once,
fugitive light lasting mere
seconds, sky bent backwards
over stiff peaks of mountains,
breaking open like God’s hands
unable to contain the flood of creation.


How To Learn from Recent Mistakes

Start from the end.
Peel back each moment,
each article of uncomfortable
clothing concealing what still
smolders. Don’t watch
the hair unwrap itself,
each limb undressed again,
curve of back reappearing.
Watch instead your own
eyes revert from shame
to concern to disappointment
to confusion. Go back slowly
through the rising from the bed,
the mumbled Never mind,
and there you’ll see it, or rather
you’ll see that you saw it
the moment after you finished,
your eyes betraying awareness
of what you hadn’t intended
to notice and hadn’t noticed
before, fold of flesh,
unsightly scar, inevitable
insignificant imperfection.



Your nakedness in bed of late
is making things substantially
harder, keeping me awake,
making me want to roll over again
and again, snuggle in, forget sleep.
Even my dreams are restless, full of things
that bring me back to pleasant reality.
And I’ve reached that age
where responsibilities define my days
and sometimes needs must outweigh my wants.
But then, the sense of you beside me
raises thoughts of possibility,
opportunities not to be lost
or thrown away at this or any age.


In Garish Light

Picture yourself here,
a place we all wind up
a couple of times a day.
It feels a bit tawdry,
red room, green room,
pink room, blue,
each a unique personality.
In this one, you’d wear heels,
lift your skirt but not
sit down. You’d check your lipstick,
adjust your bra and use
a towel to open the door.
Amid stainless and chrome,
perfectly polished porcelain,
the power suit feels best,
a place you’d only stay
a moment afraid of leaving
a smudge in uniform perfection.
You’re tempted to turn out the light,
embrace this urban cave
of no windows, absolute
darkness, cool but questionable
floor, not the sort
of place you’d lie down in
but maybe sit curled in a corner,
clutching your knees, crying
without reason, bathrooms the one place
we’ve learned it’s safe to let go.


© Scott Owens


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Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

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