Red Booth Review • Volume 7: Issue 2. March 2012.

Joseph Briggs
Insomniac • Len Kuntz
Ellipsis • Howie Good
Drive Safely • Howie Good
The Hopeless • Amanda Lewis
Welcome to Montana • Nels Hanson
The Relic • Robert W. King
Everything is Used • Corey Mesler
Minimally at Best • Mercedes Lawry
Weather Updated on the 8s • Ben Nardolilli
Coffee So Far • Stella Vinitchi Radulescu

Untitled 23 • Jeff Foster
Twins • Joseph Briggs

Insomniac • Len Kuntz

The lady looks a lot like my sister.
I roll down the window for her approach
while we both breathe.
That night,
winds claw the glass
like jarred yellow jackets.
On television they’re selling mouthwash.
On the moon
no one’s really watching.


Len Kuntz has published his work in Pank, Boston Literary Magazine, Lower Eastside Review and elsewhere.

Ellipsis • Howie Good

An old young man in a stained T-shirt

and with a bruise under one eye
lunges out of the convenience store
where I have stopped for milk.
A dog sniffs the rear end of another dog.
Mister, got sixty cents?
Once there was a great painter
without money for paint and brushes.
I reach into my pocket. Hey! a seagull cries.
Hey! though I am miles from any sea.


Howie Good is a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz.

The Hopeless • Amanda Lewis

I've never hoped.
I've either known or not known.
My head lifts away from my stash of
lucid ramblings, the ones I saved for a night like this,
when you require something real
spiked into your ear
to fall asleep.

I remove the pile you keep in your mind,
the random flock from which you feed:
fear today.
boredom tomorrow.
and we can save this worry for dessert,
sweetly soaked in guilt,
a spoonful of "I don't want to."
a dribble of "I can't do this for one more pointless minute."
I remember when you feasted, and
why I would sometimes find it difficult
to let my dreams take over
while lying next to you past midnight.


It's all the same.

You want magic in every syllable,
anticipation in every word.
You don't want to guess.

I close my eyes, and beg you to dream,
and we find it: the never-ending ascension
the slow climb that started with a leap,
and the shouts, "You have to get on! There are no other trains."
So I boarded, bound for a destination
that I still can't pinpoint.

We sit hand-in-hand as you
sometimes gaze,
sometimes stir,
but always return.
I can't help but play the familiar loop in my head,
"What goes up must come down."

I close my eyes,
and pretend not to hope
that we will float
that we will linger
that gravity has mercy on us,
and we can remain here,
among the stars and the happy void of the uncertain,
the warmth found in space we can share,
and time we can hold.


Amanda Jane Lewis is a freelance writer living in Orlando, FL. 
You can connect with her on Twitter at @AmandaJPrem.

Drive Safely • Howie Good

I wait
in the slow line
of vehicles
for my turn.

The wailing
of sirens
fades down
the highway.

It’s difficult
to grasp
if you’re not

but dying
is the last kindness
any of us
will ever do.

Maybe others
can overhear
what I’m thinking,
maybe not.

I have just
enough body
to keep
a soul in.


Howie Good is a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz.

Untitled 23 • Jeff Foster


Doing art/photography since 2000, self taught. Influenced by Bosch, Saudek, Darger. On display in galleries in Missouri and Kansas. Runs a custodial business. More art can be seen at

Weather Updated on the 8s • Ben Nardolilli

The hurricane is coming, or else
It is already here,
I am not sure when hurricanes
Introduce themselves,
Which I assume they must do,
Since we have given them names.


Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, One Ghana One Voice, Caper Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Grey Sparrow Journal, Pear Noir, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, and Yes Poetry.

Twins • Joseph Briggs


Joseph Briggs lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and daughter.

Coffee So Far • Stella Vinitchi Radulescu

Coffee so far a hand rolling time
like a thick Russian

fingers move along a wooden table but

in another version stillness was the word
of the month

do angels smell like tears?


Stella Vinitchi Radulescu is the author of Insomnia in Flowers (2008) and  All Seeds & Blues (2011), Her poems have appeared in Laurel Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Seneca Review, Pleiades, Louisville
Review, Spoon River Poetry Review,  and others.

Welcome to Montana • Nels Hanson

Snow-streaked scarps north and east
hold the valley under the Big Sky,
yellow plain cut blue by curving

river like a trail. The basin filled
with morning light and gilded ice
on the far peaks makes a portrait,

“Western Vista,” doorway back
to Eden. The land was once a lake,
V’s of duck and Canadian geese

planing down in mile-long lines,
vanished sentences across a virgin
sky. Buffalo-hide teepees painted red

and orange, suns and moons, cluster
where again spires rise, cooking fires
and smoking racks. Gaze just right

you’ll see them move, gesturing
in deerskin, tall eagle feathers, before
white eyes burn them and they disappear.


Nels Hanson's fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Texas Review, Black Warrior Review, Southeast Review, Montreal Review, and other journals. Poems have appeared in Big Moon, Language and Culture, Angelfire, Symmetry Pebbles.

The Relic • Robert W. King

Today someone has come unbuttoned, I see
by my foot on the sidewalk, a small face,
eyes and a two-hole mouth set into stone.

When I pick it six feet up into the air
I discover its design, white ripples
with brown streaks, a crescent of black.

Now I have two problems, one to imagine
what elaboration this button matched
which I can’t. The second problem—what now?—

has three answers: put it down where it was,
or toss it secretly off, perhaps under
that bush where it might never be found,

or, and because I’ve thought this long about it,
this is what I do: pocket it myself,
promising never to let it fall away again.

It’s not what I have lost in my life
but today I take it gladly as if
something, finally, has been returned.


Robert King’s first book, Old Man Laughing (Ghost Road Press), was a finalist for the 2008 Colorado Book Award in Poetry and he recently won the Grayson Books Chapbook Competition with Rodin & Co. He lives in Greeley, Colorado.

Everything is Used • Corey Mesler

Everything is second-
hand. The teakettle, the
Kesey novel, the towels
with their frayed edges.
What we say to the dog.
The air around us, the
way we bend to it.
The house, the car, the
key to the door
we have not yet found.
Everything is used. Every-
thing is second-hand.
The rug we lay down for
invited guests. The
stereo, the lab equipment.
Our final words, the ones
saved for being saved, the
supplication to our used God.


Corey Mesler is the author of We Are Billion-Year-Old CarbonFollowing Richard Brautigan, and several other books. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis
TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores.

Minimally at Best • Mercedes Lawry

Fiction, short and shorter.
From phrase to word, now
idiot letters on the fly.
Pure thought struck through
with mathematics, glib
but practical. Rumor
was in exile with servants.
It was far from punishment
as things at home fell to dust.


Mercedes Lawry has published her work in Poetry, Rhino, Puerto del Sol, Folio, New Madrid, Seattle Review, and Nimrod. Her chapbook “There are Crows in My Blood” was published by Pudding House in 2007 and her chapbook, “Happy Darkness” was released by Finishing Line Press this past summer.