“In the Garden” by Matt Layne

Editor’s note: “In the Garden” was nominated for the 2010/11 Best of the Net Awards.

Surely that apple in the sun,
warming and ripening,
so ripe, so sweet,
sugars crystallizing,
flesh barely able to contain itself
surely that fruit above all fruits
longed for the picking.
Longed for the smooth shadow
of that first hand to fall across it.

See it shudder,
almost imperceptibly
as fingertips first graze its flesh
and then, joy! wrap firmly round its body.
The pure pleasure,
the squeeze,
the pull and
Oh! the pluck!

Surely that fruit above all fruit, cried to be eaten,
that singular orb deserved to be more than worm castings.

Surely that apple wept
juicy tears of joy
down her chin|
as she raised it
to her perfect mouth,

And when it felt those lips,
that first kiss,
her teeth,
the tooth,
the crunch,
the juice,
the tongue.

“Oh! To be tasted,
to know and be known,”
the apple must have whispered.
“The blessing.
The calamity.”

Matt Layne is a librarian by day, poet by night. He has been keeping the mean streets of Birmingham safe with his ability to twist the most menacing of phrases into beautiful butterflies of verse.

Issue #1, November 2010

Table of Contents – Issue #1

Editors’ Note


“Catching Frogs” by M. David Hornbuckle

“At the Fish Tanks” by Louis E. Bourgeois

“Amalo” by Sarah Fisch

“Interview with a Starving Man” by Juan Carlos Reyes


“In the Garden” by Matt Layne

“Mixing Socrates and Descartes” by James Valvis

“A Likely Story” by James Valvis

“They Are Just” by James  Valvis

“Red Paint Hill” by Chris Hayes

“Variation on a Theme by Larry Levis” by Chris Hayes

“Return” by Chris Hayes

Prose Poetry

“Grey Lights” by Zachary C. Bush


“Of Harbingers, Of Malcontents: An Opera” By Michael Tesney


“To Be or Not To Be” by LaDonna Smith


“Botanical Gardens 1, 2, and 3” by George Mostoller

“Thank You” by Frog