Issue 14 – Autumn 2023

Issue 14:

The Literary Issue

Poetry, as far as we can tell from the history books, has never been a mainstream art form. That’s a shame. As soon as we opened submissions for poetry, we were reminded of how thought­ful and powerful the form can be. So many of the poems we read were entertaining and definitely publishable.

Poetry is like flash fiction in that it has no time or space to waste on background or unnecessary detail—you are either grounded in it or you are not—and often it takes this characteristic to an extreme, offering only a mood or a momentary glimpse, without the burden of having to complete a story. That spontaneity gives poetry it its own type of impact. It also has the added attraction of form, which can enhance its message through a visual appeal to rhythm and cadence.

The shame is that the public rarely has a chance to appreciate what poetry can do. It’s not taught very often in most schools, not even at the college or university level unless you’re one of those odd ducks with an English major. You won’t find it in most newspapers or magazines, and even many of the more cerebral mainstream periodicals print maybe one or two at most. Too bad more people don’t have the opportunity to read poetry once in a while. It might make them stop and think.
The Orca staff is proud of its first poetry selections, and we hope you’ll like them as well.

– Joe, Zac, Renee, and the Orca staff

Table of Contents (click the links for stories and excerpts)

About the Cover Artist
Brother’s Keeper, Susan Eve Haar
Mourning (White), Wren Donovan
standing barefoot on the bible, Mandy Shunnarah
Asceticism, with Melons and Prosciutto, William Hawkins
The Hug, Elisa Faison
Max Sang the Blues, Nathan Nicolau
Hospital Parking Lot, Callie Crouch
I Got Fired, Dany Mangrove
pwi, Brysen Boyd
NV, Brysen Boyd
Gone Climbing, Carolynn Mireault
Carp Fishing in America, Mark Thomas
Bass Fishing in America II, Mark Thomas
Tanka Diary, C. Mikal Oness
Box Scores, Evan Morgan Williams
Farmer Miao’s Interview, R.S. Powers
Secret Rooms, Emily Zasada
The Future, Mildred Barya
Myles Standish, I Am Dying, Alida Dean

Please consider purchasing a copy of the full issue. A pdf is a mere $4, and is available in our bookstore. A print copy is $11.99 on Amazon.

Editor’s Note: We have not Americanized spellings and grammar native to other English-speaking countries, but have left them in their original form in order to fully convey the voices of our authors.