Archives For Issue 8 (June 2015)

Splinter buried in a palm.
Poison blood nudging
a heart-ward path.

Reversing and thrusting
its diesels in the shallows –

a paramecium swimming
beneath a slide, an ant
sniffing a sugar trail,
thread of syrup.

Until a shoal fixed her
sure as a pin driven
through the thorax
of a weevil, its exhaust

sluggish as legs suspended
above the white board,
curls of soot soiling
the forget-me-nots.

Why should we
know everything?

When the crew
trudged east toward
the beach? When

they slipped
their dead into
envelopes of earth?

When they bagged
a moose and ate
for three straight days,

when their radio
gave out?

When the survivors
blinked, relieved,
at the sight of the sea

snapping wave after wave
with its strong, blue hands?

Paul David Adkins
lives in New York and works as a counselor.

Underneath the afghan
the hardness of a day
is sloppy-swaddled in a fluid moment.

The body, which but recently
has seemed so stuck, so solid, takes on
the form of the container, namely nothing.

Tangles vanish. Inasmuch as we
are mostly water, that’s as it should be.
So I am as a river, still, in time.

A scientist with a glass, amidst the sprawl,
would see small cells of fire—atoms, quarks—
getting recharged like a hidden vault

of ideas, tactics, fortitude. Yes, I
am, underneath, a river of stoking flame,
immune for the nonce in a mail of holey hitches

from the broken promise, the forsaken appointment,
the onslaught of everything yesterdays have brought,
and will soon meet head on, as the solid soldier

erect again, whatever you and today
might bring. But I need the afghan now.
Just give me a minute.
This is James B. Nicola’s second appearance in Marathon. He has also had poems appear in the Southwest, Atlanta, and Lullwater Reviews. His first full-length collection, Manhattan Plaza, was recently released.

That the children drown
had been my fear,
so I built a boat out of a car,
backed it into the river, slid through
the driver’s side window,
water already neck high.

In prison I am treated for depression.
Pink clarity for a moment,
until waking evokes their names.

Watching the guard helps.
She comes and goes,
yet her clothes remain the same:
regulation belt, stiff hat, feathered bangs.
She flips through US magazine.
She is gazing at him there, I see.
He should be different, she thinks,
should have cared.

Worse deeds were, are.
Only he matters. He
and the black rhinoceros.

Victoria Korth
is a poet and practicing psychiatrist living in Western New York. She holds a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from SUNY Brockport. Her poetry, inspired by nature and the human psyche, has appeared in Spoon River Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Worcester Review, Barrow Street and elsewhere. Her chapbook Cord Color will be appearing in June, 2015 from Finishing Line Press.


At work I do stuff
on the computers that the old
executives don’t know how to do.
Being an executive sounds
like buying a green property
on the Monopoly board. Today

when I swipecarded the door
a stranger followed me in.
Happens often. A safety measure
that makes no one safe. While

fixing spaghetti that night, the newsface
said the same guy was held
for questioning–he wanted to blow up
our building. He wore a gray suede coat
and a jaunty blue cap. Disaster

walks right behind us. We even
open the door for it,
water the spider plants,
moments from ruin.


My grandfather laid
his Stetson on my parents’ bed,
died the next day.

A hat is like a lake in the dark.
How easy to fall out of a boat and drown.

I’ve stopped wearing them.

It’s bad luck to give one away.

I admit that a hat can think for me,
name all the vice-presidents in order
backwards, do geometry proofs
on a hook. My death will be

a flock of cloche hats, fedoras,
porkpies, fezes, balmorals,
and stovepipes—they will claim
my head. Then look for yours.

Kenneth Pobo
has a new book forthcoming from Blue Light Press called Bend Of Quiet. His work has appeared in: Mudfish, Nimrod, Indiana Review, Floating Bridge, and elsewhere.

Oaxaca December

The long soft needles
of the Mexican pines drowse
on drooping branches
and the yellowed leaves
of jacarandas sway listlessly
as a barely perceptible breeze
whispers indecipherable secrets.

Even the neighborhood dogs
move slowly, no longer curious
or tempted to bark
as a truck lumbers slowly uphill
and shadows cover the sidewalk
of a world too tired
to offer more
than a gentle dimming
of what it is like to feel.

When I Was Thirteen

“Are you and Ted being good?”
Mom’s face floated
on the hospital pillow.

I nodded as lies puffed my cheeks;
Her smile formed wings
I could hide behind.

She loved my tricks.


Robert Joe Stout has published work recently in Pinyon, Blue Lyra, Prick of the Spindle, Chamber 4 and America.

Don’t be a stone bride, not in this town
Where scandals eat sunshine, and dark orphans
Stockpile shame for prescriptions filled by the mists.
Let the flowers gossip in yellow and blue.
Let the clouds have their own migraines.
Let someone else elope with the dwarf’s cook.
Your job is to marry the lake and treat
The unexplained comet as a guest.
You’re still stuck with a lifetime of gravity,
And your heart is no more a stone than your toes.

–Will Nixon with Mary Kathryn Jablonski

Will Nixon 
has published two poetry collections, “My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse” and “Love in the City of Grudges,” as well as chapbooks.

For My Mother

How the air itself carries the seed of the bread
Gold-mad, men in denim pulled it from the wind
while they sifted the silt from the river

Down-coast the ships docked,
piled with rice and sailors. Dressed
in white they descended the gangplanks

The sun was a bitter pill
I tore my knees on the asphalt
when my father came back to land and died

My mother forgot my name.
I met a man who was mostly naked.
I cooked him a pot of won ton soup

I went to Mexico but he
turned back at the border, his hands
full of peacocks

After your brother was born we
went north. His mother was the one
she gave him the wild turkey.

When he spent all our money and the neighbors
shot the chickens
I pulled bread out of the air to feed you


Frances Donovan’s work has appeared in Lyrical Somerville, PIF Magazine, The Writer, Chronogram, Perimeter, Gender Focus, Oddball Magazine, and The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry. She curated the Poetry@Prose reading series and has appeared as a featured reader at numerous venues in the Northeast. She’s stood naked at the edge of the Pacific Ocean and droven a bulldozer in a Gay Pride parade. You can find her climbing hills in Roslindale and online at

(photograph by Brassai)

The world disappears into fog:
The crosshatched cobblestones,
The railing chains leading down to
Trees planted in their growth circles,
Gas lights. Because leaves
Are off the trees. Because
It’s five flights down. Because the Germans
Have not invaded, maybe
Because the shadows fall this way
In November.
Because I might love you, were I alive then,
And we’re looking out the window
From bed, wondering if we should get up
At all today. “Look,” you say,
“How the trees mirror each other.”
Branches sputter in the wind,
A few leaves rustle across the pavers.
I get up, splash some water on my face.
At the table downstairs, I reach
For your hand as the coffee arrives.
If we order modestly, if I lay off
The absinthe, if Henri takes another
Picture to cover our tab this week.


The author of several poetry collections, John Minczeski’s latest is “A Letter to Serafin,” (University of Akron Press, 2009). His poems have appeared in Agni, American Poetry Journal, Quarterly West, Mid-American Review and elsewhere. He lives in St. Paul Minnesota where he finds occasional work in area schools and colleges.

Water is the only bridge not created by man
and his aluminum scoffings of nature.
You want to ride its waves
but the see-sawing causes you
sea sickness and you can’t touch
the other side or any side,
just the watered layer that floats
to the surface edge.

Sitting amongst the endless Pacific,
you’re just a fragment of black or white
or brown or yellow or red mixed
into the blue or green of the waters
invisible from afar to the naked eye.


Meg Cameron is a born and bred Californian living in the vortex landscape of New York City. When she’s not binging on The West Wing or Parks & Rec, she’s getting lost in the streets of New York, trying new cuisines, or reading literary theory (sometimes simultaneously). Her paper on madness and Kill Bill was published through Interdisciplinary Press.

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