Issue 1.4

March 2023

In This Issue:
Street Fighters
J. A. Marcus

Devon Brock
Winter Funerary with Prayer
Winter Funerary with Prayer It took a backhoe to dig below the frostline, into the clay above the bedrock, for us to gather on the green welt cleared of snow, for us, in our hemps and wools to lay a body down, to return what was never ours to own— Our father— As to the godless, faith briefly. As to the faithful, black doubt.
J. A. Marcus
Street Fighters
Street Fighters *For K.K.* The six-button Street Fighter case we used to mash at the town pizza spot, the crimson seating, and its graying boss-- retired, evicted, razed. Before all shut down, and before the final bout where Ken and Ryu’s flame froze within 16-bit unscrolling vistas of maritime moon- lit docks and paper lamps, we trained to store their brilliant searing blue and red dragon attacks as our reflex. In August’s air we broke for college without looking back, leaving those rivals to a repertoire that now I yearn to save from fading into black. What of our teenage glory days? What hell it was to be a nobody, no luck with bad girls, fast cars, rock bands, or baseball-- never any quarter but plenty dime, always a step short on the hero’s trail, lacking dad’s praise, cursed with idle time; no kingdom’s quest awaited us as men but the loss of dancing within a game.
Mark J. Mitchell
Entry Rondo à la Hotel Krupa
Entry Rondo à la Hotel Krupa No drums allowed, a sign reads. The street door opens on white and scuffed black tiles. A floor piano and guest get lost in ghost tunes left in Hotel Krupa. Voices might croon old Crosby songs. No one calls out for more. The entrance clicks closed. You’ve lived here before. You’ll be back. Gold-toned boxes waiting for mail behind broken locks. Check out time’s noon. No drums allowed. Hotel Krupa keeps time—two fours to the bar. Six or nine beats. Rhythm’s lore runs wild in this foyer, covering wounds old players wear. It should get torn down soon but won’t fall. Not many rules, but one more sign: No drums.

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