Slipstream Issue 40    Slipstream Issue 40
         2020      $10.00      80 pages
        "Spirits" theme issue


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Featured in this Issue:

Poetry by: Kevin Ridgeway, Brian Fanelli, Jeff Bagato, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Donna M Davis, Lois Roma-Deeley, Alan Catlin, Clay Cantrell, Raymond Luczak, Richard Weaver, Lowell Jaeger, Nadia Choudhury, Michael Pearce, Ed Taylor, Charles Rammelkamp, Al Maginnes, Simon Perchik, Adam D. Weeks, Red Hawk, Wale Ayinla, Kathleen Hellen, David Chorlton, Ellery Beck, Anne Champion, Alice Pettway, John Marvin, Haley Winans, Mark Steudel, Michael Salcman, Brian Rihlmann, Serena Fusek, Frank J. Dunbar, Robert Cooperman, Ronda Pizsk Broatch, Alison Stone, Josh Anthony, Ben Terry, Kate Deimling, William Cullen, Richard K Olson, Ace Boggess, J.C. Mari, Marc Pietrzykowski, Kenneth Feltges, John Gosslee, Annie Stenzel, Ceridwen Hall, Lisa Caloro, David Lewitzky, Justin Karcher, William L. Ramsey, Nicole Mason, and Carl Mayfield.

Front & back cover and featured photography: Heather Baker


Sample Poems from Issue 40

Ghosts on the Grapevine  by Jeff Bagato
Rosemary's Baby  by Matt Zambito
Miami  by Alice Pettway
Climbing the South Slope  by Marc Pietrzykowski

Ghosts on the Grapevine
by Jeff Bagato

Clinging to a grain of sand in a hurricane
makes any challenge a relative clause;
a life raft inflates in reverse
when you wish too hard;
flames become alphabets
in the back of the eye
where Ouija taps the soul
for inspiration, that sweet
spot connecting man to the metaphysical mind—
ghosts dance here
around bonfires set to last all night,
scaring away darkness,
as they like to see themselves
against the surrounding scenery;
shades find shadows overrated
and a poor way to start a conversation;
they remember earthly cares
while they dance—
tax returns and grocery lists
quoted out in Ouija's moves;
passwords and weather chat
fill in the blanks—
the sky's so blue today,
all that sun and not a cloud
for miles—you just
feel glad to be alive—
even ghosts remember
the good life didn't come
from an envelope in the mail

© 2020 Jeff Bagato

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Rosemary's Baby
—after the film by the same name
by Matt Zambito

I gotta believe that every mother's afraid
their kid will eventually grow up
crooked, awful, and totally gross as world-renowned
pedophile and admitted rapist Roman Polanski
winning anything more than the Nobel Piece-of-Shit Prize
instead of an Oscar in 2003 for directing The Pianist
26 years after the admission
of drugging, of photographing, of forcing himself on
a 13-year-old girl, 31 years
his minor. What else is awful is that this movie is
perfectly horrifying. I gotta believe that
every mother's afraid their kid will grow up
without Satan as a father but with oodles of love,
potential, encouragement, and means to reach dreams,
and still get mercilessly assaulted. They don't underwrite
movies about that. I gotta believe that
there's a kind of poetic justice
that will prevail. It won't, but ya gotta believe,
or else this movie's just a vehicle
for Mia Farrow's burgeoning career and her collision
with Woody Allen and the loss of her
daughter. If you're not careful, you might
end up the inspiration for a horror movie.
If you are careful, the same.

© 2020 Matt Zambito

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by Alice Pettway

A cold snap, then iguanas as solid and pale
as unripe avocados falling from trees.

The neighborhood children hung them out
with blue clothespins until they were sunshine

fresh and writhing, trapped by the tails. A breeze
in oddly shaped linen, we thought, eyeing them

from a distance. An old sock, toys hoisted
out of a toddler's reach. Only when their scales

turned black and still did we see them for what they were—
something dead that could have been saved.

© 2020 Alice Pettway

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Climbing the South Slope
by Marc Pietrzykowski

Arriving late to the party, my friend and I
peck at the carcass, make jungle juice
from the dregs. The kids are upstairs
submerged in the glow of ten thousand screens.
Lovers huddle around the bonfire in the kitchen.
Funky drunks funky snore on funky couches,
someone's shoe sprouts a fern, the finches
trapped in the curtains settle into sleep.
My friend is my friend because we love
this time, when spirits expended
in a waste of shame hover near mirrors,
trying to push through, when the household gods
sit around and bitch about the quality
of their supplicants, and night terrors
grab coffee and a smoke before punching the clock.
The hour sings companionably, salty and strewn
with the corpses of pretense, broken umbrellas
on the deck of an ocean liner. We first met
here, my friend and I, and we return
whenever the pathless wood steers us
to the same clearing. Our hearts break anew
when we hear the sun sneaking through the trees
and the workaday world hard on its heels.

© 2020 Marc Pietrzykowski

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