Red Booth Review • Volume 6: Issue 2. June 2011.

Nyla Alisia
And When the... • Joey Dean Hale
Dust on Floors • Shelby Stephenson
Afflatus • Thomas Piekarski
Grief • Sandra Florence
Survival Guide Gift... • Kaitlyn Stone
Sirens in Santa Cruz • Kirby Wright
Landscape #37 • George McKim
Pond View • Stan Galloway
Two Poems • Sandra Ketcham

Two Photos • Charles Taylor
Two Photos • Nyla Alisia

And When the House Burned... • Joey Dean Hale

John Lennon and the Statue of Liberty
and Blues for Allah
And Old Style beer
and all the other
Posters on the walls
Snapped alive in rectangular flame
Before he might glimpse them
one last time
And the Nigrescent smoke
Dropped from the ceiling
like music and
Balloons for the millionth costumer
as the fire trucks rutted
The tender lawn
And volunteers watered down
his good old days
Scrapbooks in the back
of the foundered closet
An entire Stephen King collection
And when the roof caved
the sun fell
Laughing in hysterics
from behind clouds
Who just for spite
Refused to rain.


Joey Dean Hale is a writer and musician in the St. Louis area. Since receiving his MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale he has published several poems and stories. His most current story and song can both be found online in the August issue of Octave Magazine.

Dust on Floors • Shelby Stephenson

Steel-guitars and fiddles, accordions, mouth-harps, juice-harps,
Organs, harmonicas, mouth-organs, mandolins, banjoes, zithers, rhythms-tambourines,
Bells on ankles and feet-pianos, drums−singers-crooners, teardrops in their voices,
Pain in their hearts, yodelers, rappers, talkers, twisters, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers:
Little Jimmy Dickens, Wade Ray, Ray Price, Hank, Webb Pierce, Red Foley,
Earl Scruggs, Bill Bolick, Mahalia, B. B., Ray−
Marty Robbins’s teardrops, Leon Payne’s “Lost Highway,”
Hank’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Give My Love to Rose”-Johnny Cash,
Reba, Dolly, Porter, Sonny, Johnny and Jack, Zimmerman, Dylan, Tom T., Patsy,
Little Richard, Aretha, Thomas A. Dorsey-“Precious Lord, Take My Hand,”
“Peace in the Valley”-Elvis-

Jerry Lee, Faron, Ferlin, Gimbel,
Isaacs, Jerry Byrd, Emmons, McCauliffe,
Jimmy Day, Noel Boggs, Josh Graves.
Waylon, Willie−and you−the Rose of my heart−

Foot-pats! Whiskey and chicken-wire−dust on floors−smell the popcorn, dogs, pop,
Beer, the stench of unspeakable toilets, Briarhopper Club-the American Legion,
The Moose Lodge.

The chittlins of my childhood come from what’s in them.
O smell of smells!

Cracklins crackle in a washpot.
You can smell them in Detroit or San Francisco.

I smell the cow’s bag, too, warm and liquid-doused,
My brother bunching her tits and sniffling the warm,
White foam steaming streams into the bucket clasped between his legs.
Fat-back sizzles in the pan.
The fishmeal smells up the feed-room.

The strings vibrate in my throat; words touch strains of death.
I do not feel the casket.

I touch my eyes for the Stephenson oval.
I smooth my clothes and walk away with Not Knowing.


Shelby Stephenson's Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, Allen Grossman, judge.

Afflatus • Thomas Piekarski

There were orbs swirling in the sunset,
New moon fresh risen through the din.
Traffic on the town’s state highway
Choked with cars stopped and stalled.
Starved for a lark from any source,
I crawled through an invisible hoop,
Greeted by Will Rogers on the other side,
His lariat twirling lightning quick.
Then crawled through the next hoop,
Saw Napoleon squatted on a spittoon
Studying maps of Waterloo.
He nodded—another hoop appeared,
So I crawled through it as well.
There was Gertrude Stein sitting,
Reading surrealist poetry out loud.
She flipped a page and another hoop
Arrived from the orange horizon.
My crawl through this one painful
As I’d grown by leaps and bounds.


Thomas Piekarski's work has appeared in Nimrod, Agni, New York Quarterly, Paris Review, Southern Review, Ploughshares, and others. His first book was published in 2010 by Nimbus Press.

Grief • Sandra Florence

Your mother in a pink dress will marry for the third time.
She searches for her mascara in the deep seat of a chair
and finds a little boy dripping egg on the upholstery.
Your brother slips on marbles, tiny planets on the floor.
In the dark
all you see is the red tip of the cigarette burning
and know at the other end
is your father.
And now your mother in the green lawn chair
waves through the dark
to a friend,
you and your brother
ride bikes
through heavy summer air.
You are standing at the edge of it.
Everything you have ever had and lost.
Why must we always lose our
warm cloth mothers,
our up-standing fathers,
must our sun-baked childhoods
turn dry and wear out?
Can’t we keep our special
pocket knife
our glowing
front-tooth-missing smiles,
our bangs chopped off, uneven
scabs on both knees,
mosquito bites?
Why must even these graces
be swept away?


Sandra Florence received her Masters in Creative Writing/Poetry from San Francisco State University. She moved to Tucson, Arizona where she has been teaching and writing for over 30 years.
She taught at the University of Arizona for eighteen years, and a number of venues throughout the community working with refugees, the homeless, adolescent-parents, women in recovery, youth at risk. She has particular interests in writing and healing, community literacy, and writing as a tool for public dialogue. She currently teaches writing and literature at Pima Community College, Desert Vista Campus.

Survival Guide Gift Box Bottle Crack • Kaitlyn Stone

Wear that quiet confidence you look so good in
the one that tugs at the corners of your mild mouth
crinkles shallow crevices besides your eyes
and really knows how to fill
out a pair of pants.

Remember to shatter the supple neck of the bottle
without cutting your hands (scars are only sexy
when there's a great story behind them)
and decipher best you can:

Take down this poem and take it with you
feel it pulse in your pocket like arousal
like a bass beat, like my heart
300 miles from home.


Kate Stone is a University of Rhode Island alum with a BA in Writing & Rhetoric and English Language & Literature. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as Editor-in-Chief of the University’s literary publication, as a peer writing tutor in the Academic Enhancement Center, and was awarded the Gertrude Stein Award for excellence in writing English, and the University Award from the Rhetoric department. Her poetry and essays have been featured in Chronogram, Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure and The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers.

Sirens in Santa Cruz • Kirby Wright

Girls, blonde and delicious,
Drift like new season
From veranda
Over to the bar.

This foursome makes music
With micros waving
And stilettos
Tap-tapping the tiles.

The bartender
Arms them with margaritas.
Their mouths
Are filled with pearls.

Men play the background shy,
Not knowing how to converse
With sudden goddesses.
The girls whisper and giggle

About a George Clooney look-alike
Alone at the end of the bar.
Tongues pass through scarlet lips
To lick the salt from glasses.


Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Wright has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Browning Society Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. BEFORE THE CITY, his first book of poetry, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards.

Photos • Charles Taylor

Bastrop Bridge Moon

Campus Stairs


 Charles Taylor has a new book of poetry coming out called At the Heart from Ink Brush Press. He teaches creative writing at Texas A&M and has published photography in literary magazines since the 1970's.

Landscape #37 • George McKim

each one
a sad architect
in their blind

twigs i once built

engulfed in
blue alcohol and other

with attached

among the ruthless


George McKim's poetry has been published, or is forthcoming in REM Magazine, Symmetry Pebbles, The Dirty Napkin, Blaze Vox, Poets and Artists Magazine, Viral Cat, Tupelo Press Sappho Poetry Project, pigeon bike, Leaf Garden Press, Clockwise Cat, 7 x 20 Journal, Eunoia, escarp, Eviscerator Heaven, Carcinogenic Poetry, Rust and Moth Journal and others. George is the editor of the poetry journal - Psychic Meatloaf -  He is also a visual artist and his artwork has been exhibited in group shows in galleries and museums and recently been accepted for publication in Drunken Boat, Muzzle Magazine, Monarch Review, Otoliths, Portland Review Online, Viral Cat and Breadcrumb Scabs Poetry Journal.

Photos • Nyla Alisia


Nyla Alisia is a published and award winning photographer. Nyla teaches Expanding Creative Vision photography workshops.

Pond View • Stan Galloway

A second-story window
mirrored in the pond
ripples unsteadily
above the roof-vee
where a mallard’s stationed
resolutely facing north,
inverted weather-vane.

My daughter’s face is just a dish
inside that insubstantial window frame.

She can’t see me here,
nor does she know
from where I sit
the world’s turned upside down
for one of us.

I start the car. Turn south.

The water ripples.


Stan Galloway teaches writing and literature at Bridgewater College in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His poetry has appeared online at vox poetica, Loch Raven Review, Indigo Rising Magazine, Eunoia Review, Contemporary World Literature, Connotation Press, Caper Literary Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, The Atrium, Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts and Letters, and Apollo’s Lyre. In print, his poems have shown up in WestWard Quarterly, Midnight Zoo, Carapace, the Burroughs Bulletin, and the anthologies Love Be Write and Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Second Century. His book of literary criticism, The Teenage Tarzan, came out in 2010.

Two Poems • Sandra Ketcham

Falling off Hinges

A telescope hangs lonely
a fraudulent window,
painted on &
framed by bare walls.

Across the room,
shattered glass mirrors
a paned reflection of
books. They
lend punctuation
to my subtropical thoughts,
add oxygen to this cell.

In my mind
the skies flash orange &
a promise of rain blows
in through the window.

In my mind
you walk
through walls.


Florida Rain

Yesterday was a grey day
full of stacked boxes and
unopened mail
Yesterday was a sticky day
of sugar-coated sky, frothy swollen oceans,
waxy lawns
Yesterday went
dripping through our fingers
like an unused conscience
before we had a chance
to claim it
Yesterday was a grey, melty day
sticky with purple jelly
and lacking punctuation


Sandra Ketcham currently lives in Orlando where she works as a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her poetry is recently published or forthcoming in Bicycle Review, Rusty Truck, Calliope Nerve, Psychic Meatloaf, Counterexample Poetics, and many others.