Sea by Donald Welch

Issue 12


Body-worn and undesired
the limits are in you

travel outside your provider’s coverage area
GPS might not work
Maps and other navigation data change overtime
Therefore, you should always Always obey signs

never rely solely on strength
be vulnerable
be mobile
poses a fire
be free


Source : Samsung S5 mini Health & Safety and Warranty Guide

Method: My method was to read the text in full and make pencil marks around phrases, words, or sentences that caught my attention. Then I went back through with pen and underlined sections that seemed to link together in some fashion. Finally, I typed up the final draft, making some cuts along the way as I saw fit.

Donald Welch teaches creative writing at the Rebecca School for Autism. He has found poetry in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and Issue 4 of Unlost Journal. Visit for more on Donald and his work.

Pain, No Gain by D.R. James

Issue 12

Inflexibility restricts
range of motion &
energy transfer. Always
warm up; always
lengthen. If tight,
stop to stretch, rest,
rehydrate, reduce
the possibility of injury.
Wrong way or wrong
time tightens rather
than relaxes. The old
“bounce, bounce, bounces”
risk small tears &
are not recommended.

The stretch reflex responds
to voluntary movement:
the spindles initiating
their counter contraction;
the Golgi organ,
given twenty seconds,
relaxing the muscle
and its counter muscle
in response. Thus stretch
only to a slight pull, slight
discomfort, hold-

relax. Fool
the reflex, activate
the organ. Stretching
will differ per individual.
Stretching is not competitive.
Stretching should never involve pain.

Source: Patti and Warren Finke, Team Oregon

Method: I wrote “Pain, No Gain” after browsing for websites about stretching and ran across an article that emphasized avoiding pain while doing so, which struck me as so opposite of what we had always done as athletes back in my adolescent days.  As I read, I couldn’t help but make the metaphorical leap to stretching oneself interiorly, which even today seems especially valued only when pain is involved, to the extent of claiming the old saw that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” As culturally oppositional as I am, I found Team Oregon’s language about physical stretching irresistible and indirectly applied it to emotional/spiritual stretching.  Almost all of the poem’s words come from the article.

D. R. James’s collections include If god were gentle, Since Everything Is All I’ve Got, Why War and Split-Level, and poems and prose appear in various print and online journals and anthologies. James lives in Saugatuck, Michigan, and has taught writing, literature, and peace-making at Hope College for 33 years.

Final Summer by PJ Wren


Method: For “Final Summer” I added  the text I found on the back of the photograph. The photos’ indistinct subject struck me, why would anyone photograph such a scene? Turn it over and it becomes more clear. Sometimes we can’t recognize value until something is lost.

PJ Wren is a scientist and writer from Kensington, Maryland. Her poems have appeared in The Lake, After the Pause, and Plum Tree Tavern.

Trying to Name What Doesn’t Change by Steve Bellin-Oka

Issue 12

Not having to pedal
permits you to concentrate. Taking
tea with Hitler, club soda

with white rum from Puerto Rico.
Centuries of song

in her garage, Anita Bryant
uncorked a misogynist genie,
forty-eight snappy sayings in Russian.

The most horrifying complication
is infection. Brought a Thermos

to avoid communal
drinking. Other children
she knew—

contagion theory. Blood
root. A restaurant with a seasonal

vegetarian menu. One effeminate person
makes others effeminate—
halfway houses to return them

to normal. Never the right size.
We simplify at our peril. The answer:
a minibus, a refusal to make

too grand or final a claim.


Source: Articles and advertisements from September 1977 Ms.

Method: In the advanced poetry workshop I teach, we devote one class meeting to found poems and erasure poems. I participate in the exercise I give the students, from which this poem emerged. A variety of book or magazine-length source texts are chosen at random and numbered, and each of us picks a number without any indication of what the source texts are. We are then required to create a found poem out of snippets (phrases, but not whole sentences) from the corresponding source text without any alterations or additions. Order, lineation, stanza structure, capitalization, and punctuation are all open.

Steve Bellin-Oka’s chapbook, Dead Letter Office at North Atlantic Station, was recently published by Seven Kitchens Press. Recent work appears in Worcester Review and Unbroken, among other journals. He has received poetry fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He lives in Portales, NM.


Please Remind Me: What is the Mission? by S. Clay Sparkman

Issue 12

You are drifting, drifting …. How much frustration can one bear before it becomes a nightmare? You may now begin just another in a long series of seemingly endless frustration dreams:

I watch a Star Trek rerun with Ricardo Montalban as Khan. I sink into the show, and find myself standing by the narrator, in a sunny room.

Apparently, I’m one of the autistic guests to be interviewed. I try to toss all this junk out of my mind as I leave the booth. Forget politics!

What am I doing here? Defining just who in Hell I am. Point at a lamp post and say, “I don’t want that.” At a bus, and add “Or that!” A businessman passes. “Or THAT!”

Immediately a gigantic wheel appears in front of me; it seems to be rotating at a colossal speed and on the great spokes I thought I could make

out nebulous shapes. As we fled through a circus tent, we met a Lykan [a werewolf or human/wolf mix]. I found his brown skin and long brown hair

quite handsome. His caravan wheels into town and floods the place. He’s getting big! Insisting on privacy, his own people take over all the staff positions.

Experimental surgery might cure me. I was feeling helpless about something and it has been haunting me since… muttering, at the back of my brain.

“Some have gender; some have hands.” At every place, I was searching for dead people. I don’t know who I was looking for exactly. But definitely dead.

My mother’s around, may have arranged the party but won’t be in it to interfere. She is me in another existence, the one to end in madness.

Source and Method: THE WORLD DREAM BANK An online database of 2300 dream texts and images, sorted by topic. Here, I utilized excerpts from each of eleven different dreams. This poem was sourced entirely from the “Frustration” dream section.

I find that most of my own dreams lately have a strong thread of frustration running through them. They almost always begin with me trying to do something, and then evolve into a series of events that move me further and further from the original objective.

S. Clay Sparkman was born in Portland, Oregon. A book of his poetry was published as A Place Between Two Voices (by Tabor Hill Press). He has had poetry, humorous articles, short stories, and essays published in Praxis, Moonglasses, Occulum, The Higgs Weldon, Down in the Dirt Beautiful Losers, Parenthesis, Zeroflash,, and 1859, Oregon’s Magazine, among others. He married into Chile, and considers Chile to be his second home—maybe his third. He currently lives in Nicaragua, with his wife Veronica, his 12-year old son Javier, his dog Lola, and his cats Torcha and Other-Cat

Coffee Table Poem: Cake by Kathy Douglas


Source: Cut outs from issues of The New York Times Magazine, and New Yorker Magazine.

Kathy Douglas is writing and photographing a coffee table book of coffee table poems.  She has two poems featured in the current issue of Right Hand Pointing, sympathetic magic, Issue 118.  Kathy’s work can be found in Unlost Journal, Calyx, Drunken Boat, The Cafe Review, Noctua, Right Hand Pointing, After The Pause, shufpoetry, and Poetry WTF?! She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College.