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Category Archive for 'Issue 17'

The submission period for the eighteenth issue of damselfly press has closed. Look for the issue on January 15th, 2012.

We are now accepting submissions for our nineteenth issue, due out in April, 2012. As always, thank you to all of our submitters.


Wintering is the theme for our eighteenth issue. That term may inspire work about an environmental element, but we are seeking fiction, nonfiction and poetry about a state of mind instead of the weather. Winter is a time of waiting. Tell us how that paused state feels for you. How has the interlude of wintering informed your life? Is it a time of joy, reflection or sadness? We are interested in your stories and truths.

The eighteenth issue of damselfly press will be available January 15th, 2012. If you’d like to submit, please visit our guidelines section and send us your submission by December 15th, 2011. Thank you to all of our submitters.



Listen to the Poem

Her face came together between August and October
like two photos that fit better together than they did apart.
That first trimester of her life
the bones, mirror images, two ivory cups,
curled toward each other and joined
in the center of the forehead, nose, cleft of the chin
seamlessly and whole.
Like a diptych skull
Like cupped hands hinging toward each other.

– A native of West Chester, PA, Anne Higgins teaches English at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland. She is a member of the Daughters of Charity. She has ninety poems published in magazines, as well as five books of poetry published.



It is listed as
“Exploding Tree

when maples

slow sap frozen
by winter.

The sound rings, a gunshot

inside the trunk.

– Theodosia Henney is a queer lady from a conservative state who likes to eat lemons raw. Her work is forthcoming in The Allegheny Review and The Vestal Review.


We Stay Most When We Stay Not at All

If Vesuvius were cloud-quake
this morning the sky is just one more
great catastrophe I want to save
like the little old lady who saves needles,
thinking pine-sharps can pin
the firmament in place–and you
too far to call to the balcony.

But wasn’t this our way,
you calling me to see the cerulean warbler,
I arriving late?

Pliny the Younger described the Pompeian sky
as a great umbrella pine
while across the bay his uncle
rowed out to meet the ashes.

It’s not enough to say
I want you here.

In the foreground,
wild cherry fall away
from blossom.

Somewhere in the middle distance
tree tops turn gold, the Midas dream.
Back inside my new room,
the shadow of branches
clot the blind.

Who wants to be the old woman
who won’t give up anything?
Her house smells of rot and mildew
and yet this morning I do not want to relinquish
one thready snarl floating from the mist.
Maybe I should have been a Hudson River painter.

Then I could place you,
a small figure in the distance,
with a top hat and a stick.

– Lois Marie Harrod won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook (Iowa State University) contest with her manuscript Cosmogony, and her 11th book, Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching, was published by Black Buzzard in March, 2011.  She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey.


So as not to write a love poem about heavy-beating hearts

I will instead ask you to imagine
pulling a white egg from your mouth
as the moon is drawn across the night
your teeth and tongue filled
with fear of crushing that thin china skin
quivering as the last of the egg brushes the lip
and the shell splits in a lightning crack
bursts open like broken glass
and inside that egg is an ocean
so you walk over those delicate shells
into that white new world and open
your mouth into the breaking waves
because you see it’s not about heavy-beating hearts
it’s not about the blushing dawn
it’s not about the earth shivering underfoot
it’s about peacefully and purposefully


Listen to the Poem

It is time to become
a robot. Leave blood
and fat behind. Take
away the heft of livers
and lungs. Coil up
the tendons, the ropes
of hair. Let the meat
fall heavy to the floor.
Empty that shell of
all soft things, fur,
foam, milk. Do not
look at the sky, look
only at the box. Now
smile. Smile. Smile.
Steel rods, filaments
will thread the new
body like a needle.
White surfaces, wires,
blades, silver chips.
Cool and clean. Hard.
Simple. Like that fairy
tale from childhood:
the Ice Queen. No tales.
No ice. No childhood.
Smile. Smile. Smile.

– Abby Adams is a grant writer at a leading civil liberties organization in New York City with a penchant for bullet points. Her poetry has appeared in Breadcrumb Scabs and Philly Flash Online and will soon be appearing in Podium.