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December 1st, 2018 Issue

Welcome to PPM's 6th Issue. We have to say, we're quite proud of this one. Check out a bone-collecting brother in Emma Moore's story "Photographic Evidence", watch your step in Kyle Logan's poem "Yelps", and of course, day dream with thoughts of white barns in Rosalie Viper's "Behind Preston House". Kick back, get ready to read, and don't forget to order the iceberg salad. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Illumination

Artwork by Zachery Bowman

Watchful is the World
Poetry by Stacy Petty

 

A Connection

Artwork by David Weinholtz

Photographic Evidence
Flash Fiction by Emma Moore

October 
Poetry by Dorsía Smith Silva

A Toast to the Gods
Fiction by Maxwell Nobis

Yelps
Poetry by Kyle Logan

Emotional Portraits 
Artwork by Michelle Nguyen

The Good Mother
Fiction by Brooklyn Meadows

Even Savage Beasts Need TLC 

Artwork by David Weinholtz

Sunny 

Artwork by J.M. Wilder

Behind Preston House
Flash Fiction by Rosalie Viper

Explanation of Porch Candles
Poetry by K.G. Newman

"Illumination"
Artwork by Zachery Bowman

Watchful is the World

Wave goodbye to the moon

Currents veil the waters that be

Even the stars peek through the covers

The trees are amused with every dog they disarm

Sending little squirrels to do their bidding

The skies keep a notebook of events

But even the stars peek through the covers

It’s ours to take in with every breath of sunlit chatter

The embrace of wind

But the currents veil the waters that be

So wave goodbye to the moon

And greet the dawning of you

by Stacy Petty

 
 
Zachery Bowman

Zach's work has much to do with his love of life, humanity, and light. As he paints in oil, he aims to reflect the depth and radiance of each person, as well as the natural luminous environments that surround them. Each layer of oil paint catches light in its own way, and reveals the true beauty of each person to the viewer through the interaction of the passing layers with true jewel colors that lay deep within 

Stacy Petty

...is a survivor of suicide, abuse, and addiction. she is currently eighteen months clean. When she was a child, she learned to cope by writing. Writing is a deep passion that sets her very soul on fire. She's hoping to do the same for someone else with her writings and give a message that hope is alive even when we feel it may be dead.

"A Connection"
Artwork by David Weinholtz

Photographic Evidence

by Emma Moore

My brother loved bones. George collected pictures of skeletons from archaeological digs,

some cobbled together like a child’s art project, some whole and more recent. He’d curated

hundreds—cut from magazines, copied from library books, printed from the internet—and

carried them everywhere. He could tell you where the largest human skeleton was found

(Bulgaria) and the precise cause of death for the people of Pompeii (injuries from falling rocks,

not suffocation), and when the little girl went missing, all heads turned toward the strange boy

whose eyes never quite met yours, the freak with pockets full of dead people.

When the police arrived, George didn’t look surprised. I saw his feelings in places other than

his face, like his feet when he stood and let his pictures fall out of order; his hands, twisting

against the tightness of the cuffs; and, as they led him out, his shoulders, curled inward and away.

 

“Guilt isn’t always something you can prove,” our Sunday School teacher had said on

Channel 11 the morning they’d found the girl’s body. “Sometimes it’s something you just know.”
 

I told myself it was their ignorance, their hate that made me drop the pictures one by one into

the sink and flip the disposal switch; but still, it was only after his collection, that well-loved

proof of abnormality, dissolved— first a sodden clump, then mangled by the blades, then gone

like it was never there— that I could finally breathe.

David Wineholtz

David has exhibited and sold work throughout America, in private and juried shows. Additionally, he is frequently commissioned by patrons to create anything from abstract pieces, to portraits and landscapes.  

Emma Moore

Emmy Moore is a waitress, writer, and third year MFA student at Old Dominion University. Some of her other work can be found in Deep South Magazine and Flash Fiction Magazine.

 
 

October

by Dorsía Smith Silva

 

For years, we awaken at the first sliver of lean light

to make the journey to Skyline Drive.

We settle into the small gray car like the neatest stitches

on my overcoat. I see the I-495 sign, take the fastest lane,

whipping by billboard after billboard like a restless wind propelling forward,

until we reach Route 211 towards the mouth of Shenandoah National Park:

the archway of Skyline Drive.

Do you remember the first time that you came here?

You were just a child then and could barely tell the difference between orange and red.

Now, when you see the trees swollen with leaves, you will know

the kind of palette that spells beauty: pure pumpkin, shimmering copper,

rich magenta, citron gold, deep crimson.

You will see the architecture guided by the eyes’ hands and

conjure up the unspoken language of this good earth.

Dorsía Smith Silva

Dorsía is a Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras and her poems have been published in Aji Magazine, Gravel, Apple Valley Review, Bright Sleep Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The B’K, WINK, Poetry Quarterly, POUI: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing, Adanna, Rigorous, Shot Glass Journal, Tonguas, among others. She is a graduate from the University of Virginia and her poem "October" is about her deep appreciation of Skyline Drive. 

A Toast to the Gods

by Maxwell Nobis

 

          The three boys sprung through the snow from tree to tree in their overbearing

snow gear. A whopping 10 inches of snow fell the night before, which forced all the

schools in the area to close, so the boys decided to head down to the creek. On a mission

deep in the woods, Sid wouldn’t let Joey or Shane stop for a moment’s rest until they

found “the Spot.” They trudged high above the creek’s banks as quick as they could,

which were hilly and densely packed with snow. This could have been the last snow day

of the year, Sid said, and they couldn’t waste one second of it.

          “I gotta pee.” Joey wiped his nose and covered his glove with snot. “Do you even

know where it’s at?”

          Sid didn’t break stride. “We’ve been there like five times, bub. I know the way like

the back of my hand.” He lifted the back of his hand in the air to let Joey and Shane see

it. He almost lost his balance and fell down the hill. Joey let out a laugh and Shane

hocked a loogie toward the creek.

          “My feet are startin’ to sweat,” complained Shane. “You better know the way.”

Sid had travelled up and down the banks of the creek since he was seven. Now twelve,

Sid felt nobility in leading his friends to their sacred Spot; knowing he was in charge

made him feel resourceful. Knowing the ways of the land is a man’s trade, he thought, as he stroked his proverbial beard. He had brooding confidence in the land around him.

          Shane, the biggest one of the three who was from a devout Christian family,

wanted to stop.

          “C’mon Sid, where is it?” he panted.

          “You can rest when you get there, ya big lug. I’ll fix a whole buffet for you when

we get there.” Shane didn’t like Sid’s jokes but never said anything to him about them.

          Joey ran with his head down to hide his face, even though no one could see it. He

had gotten his first pimple on his nose just the night before, which made him even more

shy than usual. His father had admonished him about poking it and picking at it before he

left for the creek. It was the size of the tip of a needle but felt like a walnut stuck to his

nose.

          In the midst of thinking about it, Joey ran into the back of Sid and Shane, smashing into them. They all fell to the ground with snow going up their jackets. Frantically trying to wipe it away, Sid was the first to get up. He pointed a few meters away.

          “There it is!” He didn’t help Shane or Joey back up and bolted. Joey got up

slowly and followed Sid as Shane took his time to get over there.

          The Spot was the largest clearing on either side of the creek. It could have fit ten

people wide, and it was clear most of the way down with only a few tree trunks lying

sporadically throughout the hill. The boys had gone sledding down it once or twice last

winter. But Shane broke his ankle there last time so they hadn’t been there since.

          “Welcome to the hills of Auspicious, boys!” Sid declared and plopped into the

snow.

          “Don’t you mean Aesepus?” Joey said. Shane laughed to himself.

          “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Sid threw snow at Joey and lied down on his back.

          The boys had just started reading the Iliad in Ms. Laverly’s class, which was their

favorite story to read. It was the first story they ever liked to read. They loved all the

stories of warriors and Gods fighting, the wine, and the beautiful women. All three boys

agreed that Athena would be the ultimate wife, warrior, and winner to marry. But it was

Ms. Laverly, their English teacher, who the boys would crush on any and every chance

they got. They wouldn’t dare miss a day of school if it meant missing a day of reading or

Ms. Laverly.

          Shane was still panting as he sat down in the snow. “I bet the gods would feel this

bad after running all this way.”

          Sid gave him a scowl. “Shut up, Shane,” and threw a snowball at his chest. “Enjoy

some of the fruits of our quest!” He had a palm full of snow, lapping at it like a dog.

          The three boys lied on their backs and watched the snow fall from the sky.

Casually eating snow around them, the winter’s silence fell over the Spot and they

retreated to their own thoughts. Sid closed his eyes for a few moments. He had his first

practice the next day, something he wasn’t really looking forward to. Sid seemed to

always be training for the baseball season with his father, even if he didn’t want to. Joey

and Shane didn’t make the team, which dashed their hopes of the three of them ever

playing together again. They had to try out for other teams, which they made, but they

still weren’t all together. Sure, they were heartbroken over it for the first week or so, but

after a while they all got used to it.

          Sid had a love-hate relationship with baseball because he liked hanging out with

his friends just as much as he liked playing ball. But now that his friends weren’t playing

on the same team as him, he always had to face the decision of going to practice or

hanging out with Shane and Joey. Whenever they weren’t playing ball, though, they’d

hang out or get on Xbox Live together. Sid tried to get his mind off of practice and

opened his eyes again to watch the snowfall.

          Joey was thinking about Isabella, the girl who sat beside him in their English

class. They met in class one day after she had asked something about the homework. In a

stroke of luck that made him seem like he knew more than he led on, he accidentally

called her Bell. She smiled at him and asked for his name; he told her Joey. They shook

hands and ever since they were somewhat friends, although they never hung out outside

of class.

          She had a sheet of freckles that covered her face. He wanted to kiss all of them.

He was thinking about what each kiss would feel like. Probably like posies, he thought to

himself. The line “Something of a sweet delight” popped into his head; he didn’t know

where it came from but he would write it down when he got home. Maybe he’d write a

poem for her.

          Shane could feel his belly hanging over his waistline as he lay there and looked at

the trees. He didn’t like to be the size he was but he didn’t know what to do about it.

Sure, he could “go running” but it’s not like that was easy. And he looked like an injured

penguin when he ran. And he still despised vegetables. He and his mother would argue all the time about his eating habits, usually during dinnertime. “It’s such a shame,” his mother would always say, “because you really are a handsome boy.”

          The snow continued to fall and no one had said anything for quite some time.

Shane, who was eager to get away from the thought of his disapproving mother looked

over at Joey and Sid to see what they were doing. Sid was just looking up at the trees and

Joey, for some reason, had his eyes closed with a lazy, amorous smile on his face. Shane

started to laugh out loud and hit Joey in the shoulder

          “What the hell are you thinking about Pepe Le Pew?”

Sid looked over at Joey too, both of the boys laughing at Joey, who blushed and

gave a stark “nothin’.”

          “Ohhh, were you thinkin’ about Eees-Ah-Bell-Ah,” Sid taunted the pronunciation

of her name.

          “Shut up, man,” Joey slapped Sid on the shoulder. Shane snickered and made

kissy noises.

         “Is there a god of snow?” Sid asked.

          Joey gave a pause, the red in his face fading back to its normal complexion. “I

don’t think so. At least, Ms. Laverly has never said anything.”

          All three of the boys had completely forgotten about Ms. Laverly. She was a tall

brunette with a heavy French accent and always wore red lipstick. All three of the boys

were enamored by her way with words, especially since they started reading the

Iliad. They always passed notes in class talking about how they felt like she was sent from the

heavens as a beautiful angel. Sid felt like she had romantic feelings about him the most,

although Joey and Shane would beg to differ.

          “Did you see that skirt she had on last week? What a doll.” Shane said.

          “Boy, I thought I was gonna fall out of my seat,” Sid said. “She’s so hot.”

          “A goddess in our class every day,” Joey said quietly.

          The boys sat in silence for a few moments, thinking about the teacher they wanted so much.

           Sid broke the silence, “I say we give a snow toast.” He scooped up some snow into his hand and raised it to the sky.

          “To the goddesses we hold dear!” he said valiantly.

          Shane chimed in, “To the men who wish death upon us!” Joey and Sid both

looked at Shane with a confused look on their faces. They just went with it and didn’t say

anything.

          Joey thought for a few seconds of what to say that would top both of their toasts.

          “And to the gods who could never be us!” he blurted out.

          Shane and Sid looked at Joey and nodded their heads.

          All three of them raised their hands full of snow and licked them clean.

Maxwell Nobis

Is a writer from Massillon, OH, but currently based in Madison, WI. He graduated from Kent State University in Spring 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, where he completed his first short story collection, Oakwood. In his spare time, he collects records and watches Cleveland sports.

Yelps

by Kyle Logan

The Steps are high.

You keep falling and falling.

Will you make it ?

Then you hear a voice...

It’s your dog.

 
Kyle Logan

Kyle L. Logan is currently a junior at Xavier University of Louisiana majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. In addition to running track and field for Xavier, Kyle is currently an active member in the Biology Club, Biomedical Honors Corps, and the Minority Association of Premedical Students. He is from Hampton, Virginia. 

Emotional Portraits
Artwork by Michelle Nguyen

The Good Mother

scroll

by Brooklyn Meadows

 
 

          I wanted my Fortunate Doll more than I wanted any other Christmas present. Mom was

pulling the old rust wagon into my grandparent’s driveway where I would meet Aunt Annie and

Uncle Don; travelers who loved to bring back their treasures for all the family to behold.

Earrings for Grandmamma, an exotic bull skin rug from Africa for Uncle Tim, usually a race car

for my brother, and always an antique doll from the Fortunate Doll set which only created and

distributed five original dolls for each series. I was the proud owner of two of these originals.

          As we unloaded the car, each of us carrying neatly wrapped presents and hot casserole

dishes, I ran ahead so I could peek at the presents under the tree. I felt the usual Christmas spirit

thickening the air as I mingled through a sea of adults while managing to escape mom’s eyes

firmly piercing through the back of my head like hot irons because, like a good mom, she knew

my intentions for entering into a large open area we called “the den.”

          “You should be fortunate for what you are given,” mom would always scold as I skipped

over the mounds of food in settling for a piece of cornbread or hot chocolate on my way to the

den. Three, velvet couches lined the walls of the room where my cousins sat anxiously.

Although, Mr. and Mrs. Clause figurines could be found in all areas of the house, only the den

had the life-size version sitting cattycorner of the simple, yet over-decorated live tree; usually

the creation of my cousins belaboring the tree with colorful tinsel and strong-scented pine

cones. Although its smell filled the den with tradition and memories, it also caused the tree to

droop at its edges.

          Finally, the adults wobbled their way into the den. Grandpa holding his stomach in one

hand and a toothpick in the other after having fully appreciated Grandmama’s cooking. Mom

grabbed me by the shoulders and positioned me at her side while she and Grandpa talked.

          “You have done such a good job with her. You outta be proud,” Grandpa would boast,

“She’s shooting up like a weed.”

          Mom smiled and pressed the pleating of her dress as if ironing out the wrinkles. She had

chosen a green festive dress that wrapped around her like a robe. Present opening had passed in

the order that it always had: children, teens, parents, grandparents. After all was opened, Uncle

Don entered the room with a box full of treasures. I immediately saw my doll as they were

passing out all the relics to various family members while explaining the details of their

adventures. I never bothered to listen to the stories of what countries my dolls where from, how

they were made, or what voyage took place in order for Aunt Annie to bring one home for me,

but I knew they were high-value dolls that no other girl my age had, let alone a girl like me.

          “The elegant Madame Eglantine” written across a pristine box that would be “worth a lot

of money someday if I would only take proper care of it,” mom would always insist. I made the

mistake of opening my first doll which “destroyed her value,” but this time was not like the rest.

Her curls were perfect, golden ringlets that lay like soft rose petals across her lace embroidered

dress. I quietly admired the detail to the pearls skillfully sewn into the lace, the layers of silk that

bunched up her skirt at the top in order for the blue, silky gown to flow like a river down to her

glass slippers. I could not wait to align her on my shelf along with my other less valuable dolls

where of course she would shine brightest of all.

           The next time my eyes left the world of Madame Eglantine to meet the reality of my

surroundings, I was safely in my booster seat carefully snuggling the rather large box holding

Madame Eglantine. At the time, I was five and car rides were always magical adventures as my

parents would entertain my many curious questions as well as uncontrollable urge to convince

the family to partake in singing karaoke tracks, but this car ride was different. The loud laughter

still ringing in my ears from the family was replaced with a solemn stillness. Although the trunk

was full of presents, it felt as though Christmas was already over. The thick air of Holiday Spirit

that engulfed me at Grandmama’s house had now dissipated into an atmosphere of anxiety. For a

moment, I thought it was just the uneasy feeling you get from waking up in a different spot than

where you fell asleep, but as reality creeped its way around the corner of our bend, I saw our

house on the hillside approaching us.

          Mom tapped on my passenger window, “Wake up, honey, we’re home.” Like a good

mom, she unbuckled me and with great difficulty lifted my pile of deadweight onto her petite

shoulders while passing me off to my dad. I was big like he was. Even at 6’4”, there was nothing

lanky about him. He was bulky and muscular, and carried himself like a boulder; rounded and

masculine. I snuggled in close to his chest to seize the moment. With my parent’s line of work, it

wasn’t often that I got personal time with him. Even while snuggled into my dad’s chest, I felt

the temperature drop. I couldn’t tell if it was colder outside or in. I opened my eyes to peer over

my dad’s shoulder as he walked to my bedroom. I squeezed them shut then opened them again

widely as I tried to imagine Mr. and Mrs. Clause figurines dancing through the house wearing

too much tinsel instead of the black shadows hiding in the corners. My black hair slung across

my face as my body gently heaved from my dad’s shoulder to the bed. “Don’t forget Madame

Eglantine,” I whispered, as Mom sat the box on the stool beside my bed.

          With morning, Dad was gone. Mom was making breakfast in her house robe which, to

me, made her look like one short, red blob. Like a tele tubby, which I preferred to picture her

as on several occasions. Red robe usually meant Mom was sick or having a stressful morning. She

wore her robes much like warning signs. She had a color, or tele tubby for each mood.

Although she was slamming the dishes and mumbling things under her breath, I perched myself

up at the kitchen table, and I imagined a red tele tubby smiling as it delivered my scrambled

eggs, bacon, and toast. I squeezed my eyes shut and when I opened them Mom was scratching

her arms, pacing the floors, wringing her hands, and looking for her antidote. Sometimes I helped

her look for the antidote, much like a game. Mom loved to play games. In fact, she could change

her entire demeanor in seconds to fit whatever role was in need. She was a good mom, but I

didn’t like this role. I preferred to stay away from her when she got like this because she

reminded me of a threatened, wounded animal being backed into a corner.

          Suddenly, she wrapped her arms around me and pulled me close to her somewhat shaking

torso. I felt my heart jump to my chest as I held my breath, anticipating her next move. She said,

“I’m sorry honey, it’s so cold in here. Let’s go out for a drive. Would you like that? We could

take all your dolls too. It can be like a game.”

          We rushed off to the bedroom like airplanes. She said our mission was to gather all our

finest for a carriage ride through the city where we shall triumphantly collect the antidote. Like a

good mother, she layered me with so many wools that my arms floated out beside me and I

imagined that if she just put some tinsel on me I could the Christmas tree missing from our living

room. Mom chose the black robe because she said that our mission needed a ninja. I watched her

short legs turn into long acrobatic scissors slicing through the air on the way to the car, but no

matter how hard I tried, I could not imagine myself as anything other than a rolly polly. With

vigor, Mom strapped me into my booster seat while fastening my dolls in beside me. As the car

doors shut, Mom began to transform into a beautiful princess who graciously shared her

crumpets and hot tea with me and my dolls as we were on our carriage ride to see the lovely

queen.

          We pulled up to a modest castle when Mom stopped the car.

          “We need to make a sacrifice honey,” Mom said in a less dramatic voice than what she

had been impersonating for much of the car ride.

          “Anything for the cause!” I cried, raising one of my dolls into the air.

          “Your dolls are gonna stay here in this castle. Okay?” Mom said.

          Before I could answer, she frantically got out of the car, opened the backseat car door and

started gathering the boxes containing my prize possessions.

          I grabbed Madame Eglantine crying, “Please, no Mom! Please, not Madame Eglantine.”

          I squinted my eyes closed and opened them to the box being torn from my hands.

          “Dry it up! They are just dolls,” Mom chastised as her scabby, desperate hands grabbed

the remaining boxes, and I watched Madame Eglantine get captured by this slimy creature who I

could not believe was my mom.

          I grabbed Madame Eglantine again and the beast knocked me against the window as it

screeched, “You don’t deserve these dolls you spoiled brat.”

          I sat motionless as the creature disappeared behind the towering doors leaving a thick

trail of sludge in its path.

          Shortly after, Mom returned to the car calmly. Her shaking hands had settled and a look

of peace was on her face. She even had changed into a yellow sundress that reminded me of

Madame Eglantine’s curls. Mom never acknowledged me or noticed that the dolls were missing

and some creature had taken them from me. I sat slumped over like the tree with too many

pinecones and cried uncontrollably. My shoulders convulsed and my face was red from the

straining of my tears. Mom glanced back with a compassionate smile as she turned up the radio.

          “Christmas carols outta make you feel better,” Mom said as she started cheerfully singing

along. “I really hate to see a pretty girl look so sad.” She winked at me in the review mirror.

          Although I was heartbroken, mom looked to be feeling better. No matter how bad things

got, I always loved to be the reason for a smile on Mom’s face. She was beautiful when she

smiled, and seeing her smile reflect back at me always gave me a sense of security, even if

momentary. Before I realized it, my tears were drying, I was humming along to Christmas carols

and counting how many houses were decorated with Christmas lights. I wondered about the

people that lived in the houses and if any of those little girls ever got to own a Madame Eglantine

doll. I doubted that they had because it was a very rare gift, and I knew I was special for receiving

it. I wondered what made me special now.

          We pulled into the driveway. Mom put the car in park.

          “You know why we had to leave the dolls, don’t you?” Mom asked.

          I shrugged my shoulders, confused by what she meant by "leave".

          “We need the money for bills, and besides, you can’t always have everything you want.

There will be more dolls,” she said reassuringly.

          I interrupted, “What about that creature that stole Madame Eglantine?”

         “You should be fortunate,” she continued ignoring me completely while staring straight

forward as if rehearsing to herself, “We had to sacrifice the dolls in order to get the antidote.

Don’t you understand? The antidote makes Mommy feel better. I’m sorry about your dolls, but

now it’s time for you to be strong.”

          “Now, wanna go get some hot cocoa and wait for Dad to get home?”

          I smiled and tried to be strong like Mom said. As we walked to the door, I felt conflicting

emotions, and I could not imagine any scenario other than the one in front of me.

          Was it my fault that creature took Madame Eglantine? I should have saved her. I don’t

want to go on anymore missions with Mom. I had to sacrifice her for the antidote. I had to. No

antidote means Mom stays sick. If Mom was a good mom then why would she let them take

Madame Eglantine? I don’t want to find an antidote. There. I said it.

          As we entered the house, the cold breeze pushed my hair back gently and I couldn’t stop

asking myself, “Am I a good daughter?”

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle is a color pencil portrait artist. She has been drawing for three years now. She went through a difficult time in her life where she turned to art for solace and peace. It's become therapeutic for her to draw every night. She went through so many emotions she felt she had a hard time expressing on the surface. Art gave her a way to expose those parts herself.

Brooklyn Meadows

Brooklyn is currently a graduate student working on her Masters in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. 

"Even Savage Beasts Need TLC"
Artwork by David Weinholtz

Sunny

by JM Wilder

We bred our lazy dogs to sleep

and lounge in sunlit corners and bark

at nothing walking by

Fleas crept around at night

since the dogs didn't bathe or lash

about in hose water

actually didn't like the outdoors

much at all

chose knit shawls to nap in

quilts with little tears

all over, beautiful once

now desperate and clawed

Little wolves

housed descendants of bloodied warriors

yelled for me

when I left the house

asked me to stay and believed

I'd never return

I still find you noble my fox

In your honor and grace

with your shedding tail and dry skin

red hair swept through the black

Still call you pretty bear

every day, when I feel the bond connected

Curled tight in a corner

shining in a beam

of light shot through the window

I won't wake you now

but I hope you're dreaming

of something good

 
 
David Weinholtz

David has exhibited and sold work throughout America, in private and juried shows. Additionally, he is frequently commissioned by patrons to create anything from abstract pieces, to portraits and landscapes.  

JM Wilder

JM Wilder is a poet and songwriter who lives with his wife and two dogs in Fullerton, California. In 2016 he self-published his first collection of poems entitled "Bullpen no. 1" and is now working on a new book of poetry and short stories about the early stages of rock n' roll. He currently plays and records music under the name Boom Years.

Behind Preston House

by Rosalie Viper

          The white barn stood before me, looking so peaceful as it sat by the edge of the wheat

fields. I don't know what they used it for now. What I do know is, we definitely aren't allowed

back there. It was a little rough around the edges, but regardless, it was breathtaking. I caught

myself standing outside around dusk, staring at it. It was as if it called to me.

          As I stared, my mind floated off and dreamt. A tap on my shoulder snapped me back. The

nurse casually grabbed my arm, and brought me back to my bed. I turned one last time to look at

the captivating white barn.

 
Rosalie Viper

Rosalie is originally from New Jersey, but has traveled quite a bit since halfway through high school. She has always found writing to be a release for her. She is a Chemist currently, but strives to become a writer. She lived in Virginia for her last years of high school. 

Explanation for Porch Candles

by KG Newman

Since the goal was to make it to death together,

I wanted our home to have an open concept —

conglomeration wallpaper filled with city skylines,

the Space Needle seamlessly beside the Eiffel Tower

and outside, fences built just to clarify the prairie

as grain sorted itself inside the tower and traffic

couldn’t be recollected. It was all necessary for birds

to remember their migration routes and for our couch

to not pull us too deep, hugs rusted shut and fingers

the tangled bones we wanted not a day too soon.

 
KG Newman

KG Newman is a sportswriter who covers the Colorado Rockies for The Denver Post. His first two collections of poems, While Dreaming of Diamonds in Wintertime and Selfish Never Get Their Own, are available on Amazon. The Arizona State University alum is on Twitter and more info can be found at kgnewman.com

It seems like every new issue of PPM has its ups and downs for us. We get such a wonderful job to publish writers, poets, artists, and more and more Virginians as well. We had a massive amount of submissions this time round, so thanks again to all of our readers and editors. Special thanks to Sean Putnam, our art editor, who is now contributing all the way from Texas. But once again, all of our hard work here, and the hard work of all our contributing artists and writers, has of course made this very much worth it. Thank you again, everyone. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

            Sincerely,

            The Editors of Penultimate Peanut Magazine