“Night Logic (with Pain” by Corey Mesler

I have the final migraine,

the one they give you
right before the blackout.
At 2 a.m. it spiked
like a fizgig behind my eyes.
I was blinded, even
to dream. Instead I took the
opportunity to fret
about everything, my daughter,
my son, my text, and the
way they want you to pay and
pay in this provisional world.
And this morning the final
migraine speaks to me the
way Jesus spoke to the doubters,
as if I were a child, as if I
had learned nothing,
nothing except pain and how it
quiets you, until you slink
away into the bushes to mate.
I mate there with the devil’s tail.
I wait there for the silvery ending.


Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published four novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002), We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (2010), and Following Richard Brautigan (2010), 2 full length poetry collections, Some Identity Problems (2008), and Before the Great Troubling (2011), and 3 books of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009), Notes toward the Story and Other Stories (2011), and I’ll Give You Something to Cry About (2011). He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He also claims to have written “Coronet Blue.” With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. Two of his poems were published in STR #5. He can be found at www.coreymesler.com.

Issue #9, November-December 2011

Table of Contents, Issue #9

Editor’s Note

Fiction

“The Helter Skelter War” by Leland Pitts-Gonzalez

“Blow, Satchmo, Blow Part I: The E Train” by Melissa Bobe

“Put it Right” by Murray Dunlap

“Edge” by Sheila Lamb

Plays

“Certain Unexplainable Events” by Cody Daigle

Poetry

Three Poems by Karla Linn Merrifield

“New Shoes: Outside a Refugee Camp in Somalia” by Len Kuntz

“Desegregation Days” by Tyler Malone

“Night Logic (with Pain)” by Corey Mesler

“Ouroboros” by Christopher Oie Keller

Multimedia

Wire Art by Molly Hand

Issue #5, April 2011

Table of Contents, Issue #5

Editor’s Note

Poetry

“Songbirds” by Steve Meador

“Following My Wife’s Kayak” by Steve Meador

“Plight of the Bumble Bee” by Steve Meador

“Set the Dark” by Ben Nardolilli

“Things That Should Remain On Facebook” by Ben Nardolilli

“The Skin is Holy” by Ben Nardolilli

“Path” by Corey Mesler

“Another Morning in Cerecloth” by Corey Mesler

“Exposure” by Chris Simon

Prose Poetry

“Chickenchasers” by Thomas N. Dennis

Miscellany

Steel Toe Review Presents: A Howling Tribute to Allen Ginsberg

Two Poems by Corey Mesler

Path

for Chloe

This is the fairy tale,
the one with
the path, the one with
the darkness.
Take my hand. You
are still wee to me.
Tell me again how you
will grow and love
and prosper. That’s the
way I listen. I
listen with my pen. I
listen like starlight,
till the fairy tale
opens its bloody rose.


Another Morning in Cerecloth

It’s only eight a.m.
and I’ve already been up
for days.
The sun is a weak tea.
My head is
attached with prayer goo.
I have a whole day
in front of me,
laid out like parasite’s silk.
I must be alive, I say to
the mirror.
It seems I have things to do.
It seems I woke
many days ago with things to do.


Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published four novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002), We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (2010) and Following Richard Brautigan (2010), a full length poetry collection, Some Identity Problems (2008), and a book of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009). He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He also claims to have written, “Your Auntie Grizelda.” With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at www.coreymesler.com.