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Karma at the Charlie Hotel: Fiction by Louella Lester
Acceptable Margin of Inventory Loss: Fiction by Charlie Kondek
The Racing Rocks: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Preacher Woman of Reverie, Oklahoma: Fiction by Ann Marie Potter
Justice Served: Fiction by Glen Bush
A Broken String of Love Beads: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Revenge and Redemption: Fiction by Walt Trizna
Thirst: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Solar Punks: Fiction by James Blakey
Rito Was a High Number: Fiction by Fred Andersen
The Parcel: Fiction by Robb White
Red Wine and Cyanide: Fiction by Adrian Fahy
The Crowd: Fiction by Jack Garrett
The Offal Truth: Fiction by Scott MacLeod
Madam Maree Sees Your Future: Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Wereworm: Flash Fiction by Daniel G Snethen
Promises: Flash fiction by Richard Brown
No Need to Cry: Flash Fiction by Zvi A. Sesling
The Classy Woman: Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
oh how i wish: Poem by Rob Plath
Bird in Flight, Nullarbor Plain, 1967: Poem by John Doyle
Pools: Poem by Bernice Holtzman
I Exist Inside an Invisible Poem Everlasting & Overflowing: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Let me drop the last chapter: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Excursion: The Cruise Ship Chronicles: Poem by Jake Sheff
We'll Always Have Two Things to Hold: Poem by Chandu Govind
why nothing else matters: Poem by John Sweet
the pale grey light of forgotten afternoons: Poem by John Sweet
Orchestra Class: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
The Old Lady Shows Her Mettle: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
Eggs Over Easy: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Pretty Face: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Another Saturday Night: Poem by Richard LeDue
My Death Knells: Poem by Richard LeDue
Poems as Cheap as Christmas Lights: Poem by Richard LeDue
Dead Work: Poem by John Grey
How He Died: Poem by John Grey
The Man in Their Midst: Poem by John Grey
First at Pimlico: Poem by Craig Kirchner
4 AM: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Leap Year: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Elizabeth Zelvin: Orchestra Class

Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg 2024



Elizabeth Zelvin




rich and dark and gleaming

they seem to surround me

each tier's apex a velvet throat

hidden in the depths, the rows of jaws

yawn wide as if about to snap

on this twelve-year-old girl

on the stage of Carnegie Hall


my classmates from Queens and I

know that we're too young to be here

the others are all older, high school kids

who have "precticed, precticed, precticed"

to get here, as the old joke says

my fingers tremble as I rosin my bow

tune my A string one last time

grip my cello with my knees

as if it were a horse that might bolt

and get away from me before the conductor

raises his baton so we can leave the starting gate


bound together by puberty and music

we are thirty boys and girls, told at eleven

we are talented and smart  

told to choose an instrument

told we'll be together till thirteen

IQ 130 and up, junior high two years, not three

the Special Progress orchestra class of 1957


Nina chooses oboe, voice of the duck in Peter and the Wolf

constantly moistening a reed between her lips

and wiping clammy fingers on a handkerchief

so they won't slip on the keys


Naomi chooses violin, her dad knew Einstein

played string quartets with him at Princeton

a serious girl, she wears rimless glasses

reads even more than the rest of us


Pete, the orchestra teacher's son, plays French horn

sits in the back row of the classroom

one hand resting on its baroque curves

the other hidden in the golden bell

with secrets in its throaty voice

we will understand when we are older  


we all adore his dad

the teacher with the booming laugh

the jokes that make us blush

the patience with our skritches, squeaks, and growls

the way he sends thirty twelve-year olds to play

with older kids on the stage at Carnegie Hall

saying, I don't care that you're not ready

I want you to have the experience





Elizabeth Zelvin is the author of two books of poetry, I Am the Daughter (1981) and Gifts and Secrets (1999), and recipient of a CAPS award from the New York State Council on the Arts. During the Second Wave of the women's movement, her work was widely published in such journals as 13th Moon, Heresies, and the anthology Sarah's Daughters Sing. Recent poems have appeared in Yellow Mama as well as in anthologies of work about COVID and in support of Ukraine. Liz also writes short and long form fiction, including the Bruce Kohler Mysteries and the Mendoza Family Saga.


Elizabeth Zelvin, multiple Derringer & Agatha awards nominee  

The Bruce Kohler Mysteries

The Mendoza Family Saga


KJ Hannah Greenberg is eclectic. She’s played oboe, participated in martial arts, learned basket weaving, and studied Middle Eastern dancing. What’s more, she’s a certified herbalist, and an AP College Board-authorized teacher of calculus.

Her creative efforts have been nominated once for The Best of the Net in poetry, once for The Best of the Net in art, three times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for poetry, once for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for fiction, once for the Million Writers Award for fiction, and once for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. To boot, Hannah’s had more than forty-five books published and has served as an editor for several literary journals.

Channie’s latest book is Eternal not Ephemeral, Eternal not Ephemeral: Greenberg, KJ Hannah: 9798852494016: Amazon.com: Books, a collection of fifty tales, including "Absinthe for Aliens," "Isabelle," "Transitory Unease," and "Special Teeth," which were originally published in Yellow Mama or Black Petals. 

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024