• “You Are a Poem” by Jennifer Preston Chushcoff

    Every agony and ecstasy Every pulsing, beating, breathing Moment You are a poem. Your body beloved Is Hallowed. Sometimes broken or bent, But always remember this, Always Holy, Always Healing. You are becoming. You are a poem. Made of earth, of comets And collisions A violent beauty at birth. Your cries, your voice, A sacred song. Each unseen defeat, Each anguished faltering, You gather and rise up— A Battle Hymn Written on your skin. You are a poem. Jennifer Preston Chushcoff is a word nerd with a Halloween heart. She was born and raised in Southern California and continued her trek north after attending UC Berkeley. Jenn has been frolicking…

  • “Funeral” by Troy Kehm-Goins

    An erasure of Chapter 69 of Moby-Dick The bodyflashes Slowlyinsatiate rapacious floats further and furtherfloats murderousfor hours and hours pleasant joyousdeath floats infinitemocking mourning life needed itthis desecrated bodynevertheless floating straightaway the corpsewith trembling fingersleaping over a vacuum There’s your lawthere’s your orthodoxy!Thus the great terror death a worldyou my friend?There ghosts them. Troy Kehm-Goins is a Puyallup poet and artist who has been published in WRIST, Post Defiance, Read Write Poem, and Les Sar’zine. His work is a mixture of the everyday and the mythological, drawing upon diverse influences and inspirations. He has also self-published four poetry chapbooks, the most recent of which is Black Psalms. He resides online at…

  • “Visitation” by Bill Fay

    It hid in butterfly wings silkworm mouths and the spinnerets of Black Widows, in the preening feathers of birds on screen savers, in baby carriages with ribbons and bows, in bridal gowns between the folds. Shook the ragdoll, boney fingered. Bewitched neighbors to strangers and strangers to enmity. Clung to dorms, doorman, dowagers unheard, flew on shuttle cocks like showy singing birds, on the edge of tear-ducts, home to harried eyes, in the Black Forest and North Sea sunrise. Rode grocery carts and prescription warnings, kissed children in their kindergarten mornings, tripped kitchen corner window pane alarms, charged the drawers of rolltop desks with charms. Rattled naked nations with tendrilled…

  • “Hepatology” by James Stuart

    Sometimes, when the boy thinks of his father, the back corners of his mouth begin to tingle, and saliva fills the space around his tongue. It is a sensation unlike simple hunger and without the Pavlovian charm of say, a sudden craving for a sliver of Junior’s Famous Cheesecake. Instead, it is akin to the shiver that runs the length of the spine and reminds a person of their ultimate place in the grave. A feeling more of dark mystery than tangible satisfaction. The timing and intensity of these episodes vary and predicting them is an imperfect science. For instance, the mere mention of his father’s name is not enough…

  • “Cascades” by Joanne Rixon and Sasha Penn

    Everything in this story is true. Present day, near M St and S 38th, Tacoma, WA, two miles from the mouth of the Puyallup River             Red and blue lights flashed in the rear-view and Mari winced. “Babe,” she said, complaining uselessly.            T. J. sighed and slowed, pulled onto the shoulder. There was no reason for the cop to pull them over, and they both knew it. He was a careful driver, especially with Lula in the car, and the car was in good shape. Too good, maybe: T. J. liked to show off, and while his Chrysler 300 was a few years old, even in the drizzling rain the…

  • “Bad Air and Bitter Herbs” by Jonny Eberle

    Every afternoon, I go for a walk. I like the ritual of pulling on battered running shoes caked with mud, zipping up my fleece jacket, turning the key in the brass lock. I try not to think of the invisible fog of contaminated air hanging over the city, sickening hundreds. The world is a chaotic, formless void, except for those twenty minutes once a day when I step out for my walk around the neighborhood. Today, there is a doctor outside the house next door. My neighborhood Facebook group has been buzzing with news of the doctors hired by the city to contain the plague. It isn’t the fact that…

  • “Little Winters” by Adam Blodgett

    I’m alone in the house, which is a blessing of sorts. I’m sick and it’s hard to be sick with kids. To put them in front of a screen to watch god knows what on YouTube so that I can snatch a bit of rest and be ready to go tomorrow, or as ready to go as I can be before the onslaught of dressing, feeding and moving a stubborn and unruly army, none of whom can tie their own boots. But this loneliness is hard in its own way too. The alone-ness is hard. I think of Demeter and wonder how she spent the days when her daughter was…

  • “The Seance” by Jack Cameron

    I can’t remember what was on those cups. Some sort of floral pattern maybe. I ended up using ones with chrysanthemums. I got them from the thrift store on Pearl Street. It took some doing, but I found that wine too. The one with the frogs on it. “I can’t remember which cup is mine.” I say out loud as if you’re here, like we were years ago. I pretend to hear your response from back then. “It doesn’t matter. We’ll be swapping more than spit before the night’s over.” And you grabbed a cup and swigged the wine like it was lager. It took me years of smelling incense,…

  • “Tripoli” by Chas Wilson

    Rocky had just worked a double shift and was having trouble keeping his eyes open.  He had been to the laundromat before his first shift started, so he had been going for over 18 hours.  He was beat!  Ten more minutes of driving and he would be home.  He cheered himself up with the thoughts of all that tomato-season overtime.  The cannery would pay him for twenty-two hours even though he had only worked sixteen.  He was saving every penny that he could.  He had big plans for his future and wasn’t going to squander this opportunity to make his fortune.  Nothing was going to derail him from making a…

  • The Writer’s Workshop Series

    Creative Colloquy and Tacoma Public Library Present Tacoma Reads & Tacoma Writes Saturday, January 23, 7 p.m. FREE. Registration is Required and Space is Limited. We are so excited to announce the first workshop gathering of 2021, a special collaboration with Tacoma Public Library centering around this year’s Tacoma Reads selection Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo. Special guest, Sarah A. Chavez will facilitate a book chat, immediately followed by a writer’s workshop challenging the group to explore themes of cultural (be)longing & negotiation of cultural expectations & self-actualization found in the book, in their own writing. Participants are encouraged to submit their finished pieces inspired by this workshop for…