Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Fall 2013    fiction    all issues


Chris Joyner
Wrestlemania III
& other poems

Carey Russell
Visiting Hours
& other poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Cabinet of Wonders
& other poems

Jonathan Travelstead
Prayer of the K-12
& other poems

Jennifer Lowers Warren
Our Daughter's Skin
& other poems

Jeff Burt
The Mapmaker's Legend
& other poems

Patricia Percival
Giving in to What If
& other poems

Toni Hanner
& other poems

Christopher Dulaney
& other poems

Suzanne Burns
Window Shopping
& other poems

Katherine Smith
Mountain Lion
& other poems

Peter Kent
Surliness in the Green Mountains
& other poems

William Doreski
Gathering Sea Lavender
& other poems

Huso Liszt
Fresco, The Forlorn Virgin...
& other poems

Clifford Hill
How natural you are
& other poems

R. G. Evans
& other poems

David Kann
Dead Reckoning
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Music of As Is
& other poems

Tori Jane Quante
Creatio ex Materia
& other poems

G. L. Morrison
Baba Yaga
& other poems

Joe Freeman
In a Wood
& other poems

George Longenecker
Bear Lake
& other poems

Benjamin Dombroski
South of Paris
& other poems

Ryan Kerr
& other poems

Josh Flaccavento
Glen Canyon Dam
& other poems
& other poems

Christine Stroud
& other poems

Abraham Moore
Inadvertent Landscape
& other poems

Chris Haug
Cow with Parasol
& other poems

Mariah Blankenship
Fiberglass Madonna
& other poems

Emily Hyland
The Hit
& other poems

Sam Pittman
Growth Memory
& other poems

Alex Linden
The Blues of In-Between
& other poems

Bobby Lynn Taylor
& other poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Alia Neaton
Cosmogony I
& other poems

Elisa Albo
Each Day More
& other poems

Noah B. Salamon
& other poems

Chris Haug

Brueghel’s Bouquet

Deep hues of brown hold explosions

of scarlet, pink, and eerie blue with force

enough to keep them eternally blooming,

their leaves green now for four hundred years;

meanwhile, four envious pale-white tulips struggle

to fully open, trying to remember the strange

taste of air back when they were just small

dark buds fracturing the frost-covered loam.

Behold, his Enemies
Low at his Feet

There are men here and there to whom the whole of life is like an after-dinner hour with a cigar: easy, pleasant, empty, perhaps enlivened by some fable of strife . . .

—Joseph Conrad

Defender of junior executives and over-forty

gym-rats, you range wide over our jungled

streets, patrolling our every storefront ensuring

that both bears and bulls stay safely in their dens.

Slayer of the numbskulled, you’ve mastered splitting

the hairs of every hairline, no matter how humble,

for while one hand keepeth both the fire and flood

at bay, the other gooseth the discontented housewife

even as her dough-brained husband boils

in a hot-tub of aged bourbon, benevolently

sacrificing himself to the primitives who would have

inevitably run off with both their fortunes

had you not been here to save them.

Cow with Parasol

Being ogled is nothing new

when you’re a flower-loving cow

with a furry blue face and tiny red wings,

but hiding isn’t the reason

for the parasol (in case you’re

wondering, I just like it is all).

When they passed on the path

high above me, the sun, higher still,

was mostly blocked, and for a moment

I felt safe—which was puzzling

since I was sure they were looking

and probably making silent notes

about my extravagances.

Then, unavoidably, the sun moved,

and I knew I’d soon see

them, and not just their silhouettes

but everything from their ill-fitting shoes

right down to their tar-

stained moustaches—

and so, I’m left with no

other choice: move on

and dream of finding a cave so dark

you’d never know if the colorless

moss was smiling back or snarling.


Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing . . .

Walking up an empty downtown street,

I’m holding a snow-white 20-ounce

paper cup emblazoned with a fair-trade, organic

hunter-green siren who sings herself

into a short-skirted, six-foot-tall barista

with sad, smoky eyes who overflows

her corporate-issued button-up  

and weeps as she gently chokes

the stringy neck of a grease-stained landfill

attendant. Loosening her grip, she smiles,

and whispers, “Maybe everything is double-edged . . .”

Descending from the cup (or maybe,

it’s my mind, or the ocean; who can know?),

she’s now the petite, raven-haired woman

standing beside me wearing acutely illogical pumps

which are silver tipped and rival the skyline.

They stab the shadows of her legs

as she struts confidently away from me

before pausing on the corner as the last shaft

of sunlight disappears behind fiscal temples.

A tiny music seems to swell as she tilts

her head heavenward to gather

up all of the whispers of the City of Man,

conjuring them into a thin film

which winds itself around her

until she’s iridescent—all fiery-black

lipstick wrapped in feathers,

balanced on a single limb—

some sort of strange crane,

a totem of pain and beauty

perched on a lily pad

of garbage-stained concrete.

A Kiss on her Birthday

She can make out

what is probably a fence

from the corner

of her one opened eye.

But with only one eye open,

she cannot be sure;

two might better grasp

what floats almost invisible

under the white window shade.

It’s just like in Chagall’s painting:

see, his happiness

doesn’t need to be deduced.

With his eyes closed

and head twisting backward

he’s left continuity behind;

gravity’s hold holds him not.

He’s of the sublime—a gentle kite

longing to be stuck in her tree.

In her hand the flowers

he bought her,

on the table a cake,

knife and money-purse.

She can feel them all,

all straining for another dimension,

but depth is illusive.

And that one eye,

open and empty,

keeps staring out at who knows what—

not him, that’s sure.

Maybe this bothers him,

but with his eyes closed,

will he ever know?

Perhaps; outside, that fence—

it persists


of the cake and kisses

and the floating husband.

Chris Haug teaches writing and literature somewhere in Middle America. His work has appeared in Scissors and Spackle and Punchnel’s. He holds degrees from Central College and the University of Northern Iowa and is currently enrolled in Pacific University’s MFA program.

Dotted Line