Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Holly Cian


Spite, a sad kind, the way I am leaning—

a dark line—your brittle bones

passing in the world beside me—

it tells all—the Lord atop my shoulders—

how once inside you‘ll move with me

into the after for all to see,

once alive you‘ll never need

the twig and branch you give to me;

a cold love, inside the hills

to be bones and nothing more—

all you are is skin to me,

and bones and nothing more—

When a bluer sky is slid beneath

the crack at our bedroom door

I stretch and moan and move for you—

I am bones and nothing more.


At night, of late, I watch molding take

the edge away and men fingering their belts.

Flailing, they dig into their waistbands,

later, they will watch their babies

and pretend to sleep.

soap and hot water

have scarred my hands

but still I can be your beautiful

wife dressed in gray leggings

muscle and vein

have twisted my ankles

so picture me

something like a bee

inside a small room,

and frightened.

Close Reading

neighborhood morning what a bleak day across the

grid. holy roller quiet streets with distant thunder

and birds that talk amongst themselves. this is our

day of debt. strawberries for breakfast so sweet

may have mistaken them for small red clouds,

and the nights are so-dark reminders of being

buried alive. Come, revitalize

the summertime might coo, physically sick

as it were—nausea all across the bedsheets;

wondering if there is something

inside of me, and hiding it.

I feel dizzy and awkward at standing, all

my knees and feet in separate places

missing passports. the days are losing weight

and diameter; the artist walks in the room,

across the room, disappears outside the room

and the artist now has no palms or poems to tango.

Last week

was dense like a heavy cut of fish. we

closed early, live music in the background

and worms eating by the roots of plants.

Need Money? they ask, those deep deep

hands shucking oysters downtown.

prescription pain pill users wanted—that’s

what makes us all so happy, all kinds of separate

pieces local cheap and heavy. Landlord

and crusader moving state to state licking

tremors off many a-thigh in his day-to-day,

hands crept to the small of a back. Tastes like

prison meals, he says, like something got

on credit. there, there, hush now.

View from a Cold Window in North Carolina

It is so cold

that when cold boys look out

over the fields

and talk about bicycles

their voices are small

as hollow tin cans

and they forget

they have had no supper,

they forget the moon that

has left them,

that their father is gone,

and lumps of hills

like those found in bodies

can hide their red faces.

There is a fiddler with a spindle

beard sitting in the window,

there he sits on blistered wood,

with dirt for fingers—

he can see the stars

even when the farm is low

and green

and the asphalt road

snakes around

the tiny town

as if the whole blue world were made

Inside of it.

Looking Glass Rock

Six shades of blue,

a glimpse of sharp peaks

and I am so far behind,

so far behind that

I could still flush red

like a birthday cake

and you would fall

off Looking Glass

and I would be a gasping shape

like a burlap sap empty

for whoever will keep me.

Surely when your life passes

into so many things,

I will then be so alone

as I never have been,

and my voice will be

a cracked cup,

a chamber door,

and so I think

I will just slide right off,

I will just leap right off

and never look again

I am so afraid of the cliff

at Looking Glass.

Holly Cian The poems here are among the first I’ve written since moving to North Carolina several months ago. As I worked on these poems, my focus was on detail, rhythm, and movement. Reading over these poems once more, I notice a sense of disconnect throughout—the speaker often seems to be separate from the happenings of the world, and the speaker’s voice moves at a more thoughtful pace, as if it exists in a dream.

Dotted Line