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The Fog-Fiction by Kevin Eade
Claire's Close Call-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Fools for Love-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Texas Redux-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Bridge Game-Fiction by DV Bennett
Transitory Unease-Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
Howie's Cell-Fiction by Chris McCartney
The Hit Woman's Hand Book-Fiction by J. Brooke
Stones Girl-Fiction by Don Stoll
One Day in the Suburbs-Fiction by Mitchel Montagna
The Bloody Whorehouse Detective Agency-Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Happenstance-Fiction by Michael Stewart
You Were Supposed to Be-Flash Fiction by Bill Baber
The Last Time I Almost Used-Flash Fiction by Jennifer Carr
Swimmer-Flash Fiction by Mark Cotton
Wordsmith-Poem by Meg Baird
Hey, Aunt Libby-Poem by Alex Salinas
Three Colors-Poem by Melissa Dobson
The Ladderites-Poem by David Spicer
My Kind-Poem by Brian Rihlmann
Night Colors-Poem by Luis Berriozabal
Doc's Death-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Gopher-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
A Hot Summer Night After Wine-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Conception-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Married Life-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Sea World-Poem by Robert Halleck
Early Morning at a Friend's House in 1972-Poem by Robert Halleck
Pelican Bay-Poem by Robert Halleck
Right Through the Heart-Poem by David Boski
Sky Burials-Poem by David Boski
Third Time's a Charm-Poem by David Boski
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel © 2019



by David Spicer



The public ignored them, but they persevered,

their ladders capturing fancies of aspiring ladderites:


The Laddament, viewed as an ornament,

existed for art’s sake and nothing more.


The Laddie allowed children to employ

toy workers who fixed the roofs of dollhouses.


The Lider, wide as it was long,

leaned against a structure’s width.


The Laddessional depicted stark images

of loss, sadness, and love on its rails.


The Laddonnet, with fourteen rungs,

challenged builders with possibilities.


The Laddatina, thirty-nine rungs, possessed

six different colors in various sequences.


The Laddallest breached the highest

tower to reach the Ladder Muse.


In schools, workshops were the rage.

Gifted teachers taught brilliant students


to apply craft, stylize, and photograph

their work for countless Internet journals.


Those with nagging egos strived for accolades

from gurus who awarded monetary prizes.


Clever ones networked with fellow ladderites

whose backs, humped from climbing ladders,


they scratched. Acolytes, journeymen, and masters

labored lifetimes, built them for the tallest tower,


where Emily, their muse, golden hair braided

into a ladder flowing out the window they tried


to enter, admonished from an endowed chair,

Go before I knock off the tops of your heads!


I wonder if you’ll ever build anything worthy

of me if you don’t shed ambition and greed!


Yet ladderites without protégés or mentors

continued to build and store them in garages,


survived while they labored as farriers, waiters,

clerks. They built unique artifacts in shops


behind their houses, and listened to echoes

of Emily’s voice singing ideas to them.




David Spicer has published poems in Santa Clara Review, Synaeresis, Chiron Review, Remington Review, unbroken, Third Wednesday, Yellow Mama, The Bookends Review, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. Nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart once, he is author of one full-length poetry collection, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke's Press) and six chapbooks, the latest of which is Tribe of Two (Seven CirclePress), released in September 2019. He lives in Memphis.

Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2019