Rule of Thumb

(for Frank Williams)

A little brown pot that could fit in the palm of a woman’s hand. Too small a container for tea, for safety pins, for buttons lost for missing coins or even for a cactus. It holds it’s own small void.

a glaze
of memories
deep with time

Diana Webb

Rule of Thumb

(N. t.)

what are you doing?
people pay good money to learn to do that
do what?
do nothing
like a pebble in the stream
ah like that
yes like that
yes you
um, you drown?
the pebble
let’s take it from the top again, the nothing
at the feet of the stone Buddha
ah ok. nothing?
nothing. let the stone become nothing
the pebble?
the Buddha

from under

the blue cup
the root cause

for January rain

Samar Ghose

(N. t.)

descent (a versified haibun)

pickled light flickers on the doormat
my grandmother soured in dust

no one comes to see her leg
lost to infomercials

a web of blue roots animates
her hand with figures she draws in waves

the window opens to barking far off
are you there? she asks

her voice a rigor of words filling her eyes
the dog leaps off a hollow log

my womb, careful she giggles as I flip her like a pillow
the treacle dusk liquefies on the saucer a dying shore

I dip my finger in the sugar wand wafting in and out
here taste spit from the bottomed-out sea

she puckers her lips then gulps
the hiss of foam drowning

a briny whisper stuck in my ear
rising and sliding on bone tremors
grandmother’s cumbered universe now mine

Alegria Imperial

descent (a versified haibun)


An accordion player with a pumpkin belly
sings songs of beer. With songs of beer
and lederhosen shorts, he shakes like jelly,
the accordion player and his belly.
Festivity fashioned by a Machiavelli—
The sizzling bratwursts prompt many cheers
while the accordion player with the belly
sing songs of beer, songs of beer . . .

day after
riddled with hangover
the town mortician

Anna Cates