Summer Quarterly – Revolution (August 2014 / 14.16)

Summer Quarterly – Revolution (August 2014 / 14.10)

Steve Golden is a Singapore-based photographer specializing in portraiture and landscape. Traveling extensively throughout Asia, he is committed to capturing images of traditions that are fast changing. Steve’s latest work can be seen at his Singapore gallery Organug Studio or at his website. Of this photo, Steve says: “Graffiti artists have used an old gate as a canvas. Over the canvas is a red directive, also spray painted, that says ‘destroy’ — an instruction to a demolition team.”


Nic Sebastian

the promise

the woman and the wolf
circle each other in the firelight

flames glance blue-silver off her knife
bright white off snarling wolf teeth

the man stands to one side
with the child in his arms, watching

he hears the midnight wind
slice purple among the pines

sees the shadows on her muscled thigh
as she circles with the wolf

they are hard sinewed fighters
tonight one of them will die

the man stands to one side
with the child in his arms, watching

Nic Sebastian blogs at Very Like A Whale. She makes video poems in her spare time at Whalesound and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse, a website which showcases ‘great contemporary poems for creative remix.’ Nic’s work has appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Anti-, MiPOesias, Glass, Meadowland Review, Avatar Review, and elsewhere.


Laurie Stone

Teen Tour

The summer of 1962, I traveled on a teen tour across the United States. A girl named Margaret had a boyfriend who said, “People are either aware or unaware.” He was in college. We were 15. She didn’t eat in public. She wore a striped jersey and slim black pants. I had already been touched by the psychoanalyst who treated my mother, my sister, and me. He had taken me into his bed two times. As the tour advanced from East to West, the mountains grew taller and I grew fatter. It was the summer Marilyn Monroe died. Her smudged portrait looked out from newspapers travelers held up to their faces. Margaret picked a girl to sit with who had red hair and the same slender figure as hers. Before Marilyn Monroe died, she had been a joke, but now she was a mystery. Margaret’s boyfriend said there was no God. I said, “I am unaware.” I didn’t think being touched counted. Margaret smiled. I gave up God. It was like pulling off a Band-aid. A few years later Margaret joined the Weather Underground and the freckled girl married a billionaire. After the analyst touched me, I could not tell if I wanted to be touched by everyone but him.

Laurie Stone leads flash fiction workshops in New York City and Hudson, New York. She is the author of three books of fiction and nonfiction and is working on The Love of Strangers, a collage of flash and short fiction, and My Life as an Animal, a Memoir in Stories


Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois


Guatemalans see
a rabbit in the moon
who represents fertility

Fertility above
and below

Americans see a man in the moon
who represents authority
spiritual subjugation
and War
America’s true religion

Time passes, cycles repeat
with only the most superficial changes

Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois was born in the Bronx and now splits his time between Denver and a one-hundred-and-twenty-year-old, one room schoolhouse in Riverton Township, Michigan. His short fiction and poems have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” (The Examined Life), and for his poem “Birds” (The Blue Hour). He is the author of the novel Two-Headed Dog.


Ken Poyner


We live in a time of great division.  It is difficult to know where we fit in, what door opens to make for us a room. I know my place only in its details, not in the broader sense of where, cosmically, we all collect. I have always felt that we have been brought here for some speckled reason.

The world outside is not normally this ordered. We are kept in a routine for some higher purpose:  the routine comforts us, gives us a backdrop for evolving the self-definition of our collective self-worth, for establishing our group identity, for each of us individually meriting our elastic souls.

I do not resent that the people of the house take our daily eggs. Unfertilized as they are, they would be no good to us. And these same people bring the feed we scratch for, clean the manure pit, and are generous with their straw. There are no foxes, no weasels, and only one hole in the hen house roof.  We could do a lot worse.

You could have been hired racing fowl. Or biddies working the waitress line at a topless bar. Or working perhaps the wrestling trade – with you being fitted in red jumpsuits, and capes that lay on your backs like silly rainless ponchos. We could have been taught to climb the ropes and leap with mindless artistry on each other. Or to run full speed, with a sawhorse-stiff wing held out to catch a companion, staged as an opponent, under her beak:  to flip her feet up, the more feathers in the air the better: the more the audience would cluck in bloodlust, demanding the final pin.

There is so much that could have been done with us: cue card holders on game shows; towel managers at a resort spa; truck drivers to the stars. Imagine the rot of that work in your dewclaws; conjure the tedium across the joints of your now fecklessly folded wings. Not long, and you would be slight of feathers, thin in the balls of your thighs, toothless, and beak weary. You would flop onto your barren nests each night with hardly a “brrock” — and there would be no laying.

No. This is our place. There is space in the yard, a hen house, protection; and as a rooster I make few demands. Happiness is a place you put yourself snuggly into, not a condition that hunts you down.

Gather your gizzard stones, make a scratch here or there, and look to the woman who will, in an age of mechanization, still meet us with feed pooled in an apron, shaking clouds of subsistence over us. Consider your fecundity — your production — not as the cost of your happiness, but as the praise of it. Settle yourself in creative clutter in a roost made especially for you, and give your best for the best you are getting.

Think not of Sunday dinner, and the outcome delivered of laying not quite so well. Think instead of having been given your opportunity today.

Ken Poyner often serves as unlikely eye-candy at his wife’s powerlifting meets.  His latest collection of brief fictions, Constant Animals, can be located through links on his website,, at, and at impressionable bookstores. He has had recent work in Asimov’s, Poet Lore, and Cream City Review, and also spattered about the web (just ask any search engine).



Valentina Cano

Housewife’s Fantasy

She dreams of drowning
and wakes with a swallowed smile.
The day will be a tangle of sheets and towels,
people and pots to stir,
but the drowning will linger.
She’ll think of the air reeled out
of her body like a fishing line,
and her vision peeled down to a seed.
She’ll feel the rhythmic coolness at her heels
and have to keep from grinning.

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Cartier Street Press, The Adroit Journal, Danse Macabre, Super Poetry Highway, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus, and White Masquerade Anthology. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, is forthcoming in 2014. She blogs here.


About bluefifthreview

Blue Fifth Review, edited by Sam Rasnake, Michelle Elvy, and Bill Yarrow, is an online journal of poetry, flash, and art.
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