Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2017    fiction    all issues


Cover Marija Zaric

Kathryn Merwin
For Aaron, Disenchanted
& other poems

William Stevens
Celestial Bodies
& other poems

Kendra Poole
Take-Off, or The Philosophy of Leaving
& other poems

AJ Powell
Mama Atlas
& other poems

Matt Farrell
Waves in the dark
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
Eating a Horsemeat Sandwich at Astana Airport 
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
& other poems

Joshua Levy
Venezuela Evening
& other poems

Ryan Lawrence
Vegan Teen Daughter vs. Worthless Dad
& other poems

George Longenecker
Yard Sale
& other poems

Susanna Kittredge
My Heart
& other poems

Morgan Gilson
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Annihilation of Bees
& other poems

Taylor Bell
Browsing Tinder in an Aldi
& other poems

David Anderson
Continental Rift
& other poems

Charles McGregor
The Boys That Don’t Know
& other poems

Cameron Scott
Ashes to Smashes, Dust to Rust
& other poems

Kenneth Homer
Inferno Redux
& other poems

Alice Ashe
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Marriage's Weekly Schedule
& other poems

Kim Alfred
Soul Eclipse
& other poems

David Anderson

The Fall of ’16

The season takes a turn for the darker days

autumn gots to offer. Preacher man says; “It’s

due to upcoming elections and all the whoring

and thieving of morals that are part and parcel.”

Me thinks politicians running their gums

don’ cause the sun to seek a hidey-hole.

It gotta be related to peoples livin’ large

an’ all a sudden going under dead broke.

I’m noticing peculiar weather conditions—

roiling purple clouds ride fearsome squalls

causing trees to loose their leaves—lending

an All Hallow’s Eve feel to the landscape.

Bog fires flare ’neath the peat marsh.

Acrid fumes mix wiff tule fog; streaking

clapboard siding like vinegar hot-ironed

onto the rump of go-to-meeting trousers.

Weevils, skinned darker than the innards

of a buried coffin, lay ruin to fiber crops.

Withered sumac, dried kudzu, and wasted

nightshade somersault into tumbleweed.

That preacher keeps rattling on; “Repent!

The end is near!” He’s been a pitching this

drivel ever since I fool ’nough to wander

wiffin range of his baptismal font.

The day after election results git tallied, all

hell busts loose. Nightriders mount up; me, I

hightail it, leaving forty acres gone fallow and

the guv’mint mule turned out to his own kind.

Cat O’ Nine Tales


I let go the yardarm, fell hard from my perch.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ’til I cried.


I stood a midnight vigil mourning shipmates lost at sea.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ‘til I cried.


I harbored rumrunners fleeing a guarded coast.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ‘til I cried.


I gambled ship’s money—then lied to the purser.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ‘til I cried.


I challenged the first-mate to a dual and persevered.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ‘til I cried.


I jumped ship in a foreign port.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ’til I cried.


I consorted with trollops on the Barbary Coast.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ’til I cried.


I lay down in lust, awoke diseased.

Cap’n Jack stood me before the mast and flogged me ‘til I cried.


I surrendered to death in a bilge-water lagoon.

Cap’n Jack stood Mother before the mast and joined her when she cried.

Continental Rift


stood agitated,

facing a great divide,

the grandeur of the

Rockies marred

by our rising voices.


circled ominously,

love stumbled and lost.


cried out at a

clap of thunder,

sought cover

when lightning



spilling rivulets,

we scrabbled for purchase

when ground gave way.

His tears flowed east,

mine tracked west.

Waning desire

Each of our whispers is a love letter,

even those beginning: Kiss me,

because we always did,

again, and again . . ,

and again,



the novelty

grew thin and

life got in the way—

feedings, diapers, and colic.

Shh we whisper, don’t wake the kids.

Special Needs

My blackened eye

and broken jaw will heal,

my stutter, probably not.

Mom’s soon-to-be-ex is looking

at ten to twenty, with the

possibility of parole.

His lawyer put me on trial. Me,

the teenage punching bag,

the one in the way of:

his fist,

his drinking,

his uncontrolled fury.

When school resumes,

counselors label me

special needs.

Rest assured,

my intellect is intact,

even though I’m about to be

deposited like an empty vessel in

a maze of compartmentalized slots,

suggestive of an old-time soda crate;

brimming with rheumy-eyed children,

fragile as gossamer threads of DNA,

unaware of individual plights.

My classmates are

a giggle of special Eds

and extra-special Wendys.

Officials label our lot

a case of empties,

not eligible

for a decent return

from the district’s

limited resources.

David Anderson resides in rural Nevada. He has served as Managing Editor of EDGE Literary Journal, published by Tahoe Writers Works. His poems and short stories have appeared in anthologies and all manner of print media.

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