Issue #6, 2003

Price: $6.00

stringtown6

Table of Contents

Roger Moody, The Woods
Anna Mockler, Burning Salt
Joseph Powell, Broken Shells
Sibyl James, They're All the Same to Me
James Bertolino, When Attitude Gathers
Jean Esteve, Bonnet
James Bertolino, Having Stone
B. Z. Niditch, The Occupation
Jeffrey Gerhardstein, Poem with 19 R's
Michael Kroetch, The Accident
James Bertolino and Anita K. Boyle, One Day
Joseph Powell, Desire
Anne Splane Phillips, It Was Sitting Outside In the Cold That Did It
Greg Bachar, The Tide In Me
Sibyl James, On My Blue Table
Jennifer Gann, Teetering (excerpt)
Tricia Yost, Eternity
Anita K. Boyle, Under Scrutiny
Kathleen Alcala, Tiny Town
Sibyl James, That Old Schedule of Trains
Bette Lynch Husted, Heartwood
Chris Blakeley, A Relative Relationship

Karin Temple, Destination Prague
Nils Coleman, The Night Singer
Chris Blakeley, While you were out
Rebecca Clark, Specter
Karin Temple, Cinderella
Lou Masson, Sleeping Beauty
Anita K. Boyle, Listen. The Birds Speak
Steve Potter, Bernie and Glenda
Michael Kroetch, four images
Anita K. Boyle and James Bertolino, On Edge
E. Hank Buchmann, Of Colder Waters
Jeffrey Gerhardstein, Nature
Ann Spiers, Mt. Rainier/ Approach IV
Anne Splane Phillips, In a Year William Stafford Will Have Been Dead and Ten Years
E. Hank Buchmann, Laughter Unraveling
Jeffrey Gerhardstein, Junk Shop, Oregon Coast
E. G. Burrows, Exposed by Thaw
Joseph Powell, One Night in Dublin
Robert Vivian, Candle Walk
James Dott, Where Water Begins

Excerpt

Jennifer Gann

Teetering

You are wearing what your father calls a “hippie shirt.” It's patchwork and billows down around your thighs. Underneath, you imagine your belly ballooned out into pregnant proportions. Which, come to think of it, is a possibility—you haven't seen your period all month and your last sexual encounter was anything but protected. On the other hand, what with your father possibly losing his job and all and your mother forcing you to quit what you love to do, you have been a little stressed out lately. Your period has never been regular, so you hold off on purchasing a pregnancy test at Bartell's for $13.99.

You're not worried enough to stop smoking weed, anyway. The hippie shirt is plastered on your thighs, because you've placed yourself in the direct path of the fan. This is necessary to do when you're smoking at work, so the fan can blow all of the marijuana smoke up into the vent, to locations unheard of. You picture the smoke, green and alive, slithering up into the ventilation system and away from the dingy employee bathroom. Being short, you have to stand on the toilet to reach up anywhere near the ceiling. Making sure to exhale into the fan, you lean a little too far off to the right and come close to slipping.

At this moment, you reflect on the apparent absurdity of the situation. You have fled from a barbecue with fellow overachievers to meet your friends outside your place of employment. You have chosen smoking marijuana in the bathroom of a sub shop over barbecue and volleyball and limbo. The paradoxes of your life are perplexing. You are a community volunteer, but break laws daily. You have plans to visit colleges and buy a bong. Your friends range from never-done-its to dealers. One friend tries to convince you to do mushrooms, and another wants you to run a day camp with her.

There are too many lines, too many classifications, too many false identities existing in your little life. Standing on the edge of the toilet, bong in hand and dreams in your head, you're teetering on the edge of falling in or soaring up through the vents, to locations unheard of.

… (continued in magazine issue)