Apeiron Review Issue 4

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Apeiron Review is a Pennsylvania based literary magazine currently only published online. We publish poetry, prose, and photography from all over the world. This issue features the work of Yi Shun Lai, Henry F. Tonn, Jackie Anne Morrill, and Suzanne Highland among others.


  • Editors: Meredith Davis and Lisa Andrews

    Art Editor and Advisor: Chris Butler

    Production Editor: Lisa Andrews

    Cover Art: Chris Butler

    Apeiron Review is published every January, May, and August.

    Unsolicited submissions are welcome. Manuscripts must be pasted into the body of an email and sent to apeironreview@gmail.com. For submission guidelines, schedules, news, and archived issues, please visit our website at apeironreview.comApeiron Review. All rights revert to the author upon publication.

  • Table of Contents


    Barnacle Larry Thomas 8

    The Tiber Domenic Scopa 12

    Black Snakes of Kentucky Yvette Schnoeker-Shorb 13

    Some Day Deborah Purdy 15

    The Canal Wiley Reading 16

    Canvas Trolling Skies Charles F. Thielman 23

    Birl Suzanne Highland 28

    Redemption Molly Gleeson 29

    Heart Sutra Translation Melodee Jarvis 33

    Brothers Andrew Gretes 46

    Glut Jackie Anne Morrill 50

    Etymologies of Patricide: Assault Jackie Anne Morrill 51

    Three Ghazals Ali Eteraz 54

    Taste Nels Hanson 55

    Tell Me What It Makes You Think About Rich Boucher 56

  • Cypripedium Acaule (Pink Lady Slipper) Kelly DuMar 57

    Fifty Autumns Kelly DuMar 58

    Fiddlehead Kelly DuMar 59

    A Romance Tim Suermondt 60

    List of Lives Uncrossed Suzanne Highland 62

    I Remember The Day Anthony J Langford 63

    Conference No Show Dan Sklar 74

    Mugged Andrew Gretes 83

    Accept What is Happening Rich Boucher 85

    1971 Richard Fox 86

    Rockwells America Louis Gallo 87

    Suffering Darkness at Sea Richard King Perkins II 96

    Vanessa Atalanta Joan Colby 97

  • Fiction

    Mamas Bread Aida Ibisevic 17

    Ilka and Ivan Phyllis Green 24

    The One You Love Gabriel Valjan 35

    Bleat Robyn Ritchie 47

    My Dad is a Bird Eric Lutz 52

    Course of Treatment James Seals 54

    Standards of AmericanMeasurement Robert Wexelblatt 76


    Lexicon For a Travelogue, 2001 Yi Shun Lai 9

    Redemption Molly Gleeson 29

    My History of Racism Henry F. Tonn 88

  • Photography

    More to See Leah Givens 14

    Oak in Fog Emily Strauss 34

    Just Before Flight Laura Story Johnson 53

    Vigilantia Joel Blumenau 61

    Out of Tracks Fabio Sassi 84

    Contributors 98

  • 7 Welcome to Issue 4 of Apeiron Review. Weve officially cleared the dread-ed one year mark and were not only going strong, but gaining strength. Were certainly still new kids to the world of publishing, but we love what we do and love creating a place for writers to showcase their work.

    Apeiron is a Greek term with a lot of vagueness surrounding it. The con-cept was created by the pre-Socratic philosopher Anaximander. The gist, as we understand it, is that the apeiron is the beginning of beginnings. It is the cha-os from which everything in the universe has been created. In some books its defined as the unlimited, infinite and indefinite. We arent philosophers, but when we write we try to reach that place of beginnings. The primordial pool of emotion builds inside us into a rawness that has the potentional to spiral into life and into our writing. Or at least, thats the plan. Theres some talk of endings and destruction, but lets pretend otherwise. For us, we see the apeiron as the beginning of an idea that builds into art. Somewhere a philosopher is reading this and shaking their head. Its ok. This is art.

    Whats with the iron? Somewhere around Issue 2 it was pointed out to us that Apeiron is Ape-Iron. You know what that means. Theres an ape waiting to be drawn in a future issue. Since the apeiron is such a vague indefinite blob, we might as well use an ape and an iron. Again, philosophers, this is art.

    Were very proud of this issue and every issue that weve produced. The amount of support that weve received has been overwhelming. We will an-nounce our Pushcart Nominees in the upcoming months and will start looking for other ways to help promote our authors. Happy reading!

    EDITORIAL From lisa andrews and meredith davis

  • 8Of the sea this eyelesscreature, of lineagefoundering for millionsof years in utter

    darkness, blessedwith a single stalk,a boneless, oneand only finger,

    so sensitive to touchthat in mere contactwobbles like the moltenalloy of a soldering iron,

    fusing it for lifeto the hull of a boatholy as the skinof a goddess.

    Larry Thomas


  • 9DPP: Democratic Progressive Party. A political party in Taiwan. Advocates full separation from China. Usage: The DPPs platform includes official recognition of the Taiwanese language, and movement towards independence from China.Dialect: A language derived from a root language. Usage: Taiwanese is just a dialect of Chinese.Ex-patriot: A person born and raised in one country, now living in another. Usage: My parents are ex-patriots, but they go home to Taiwan to vote for in-dependence from China every year.Country love: Adoration of ones country of origin. Sometimes excessive. Us-age:Is it really fair to vote in a country you dont live in any more?That is country love, my misguided daughter.Vacation: Time spent in recuperation or rest. Usage: Everyones so tense over the election that being here can hardly be called a vacation.Election: The democratic, usually emotionally charged selection of any candi-date. Usage: Watching the DPP candidate get shot during a routine campaign parade gave my dad a stroke.Hospital: Location at which one can acquire medical services for emergencies. Usage: Were taking your dad to the hospital in Tainan for some observation.Patient: Quality of personage involving quiet rumination and perseverance. Typically leaves little room for argument. Usage: Be patient, your father will be seen by someone soon.Kuo Ming Tang: Party advocating re-unification of Taiwan with China. Usage: The KMT believes that Taiwan return to its rightful place in the Chinese re-public.

    Yi Shun Lai

    Lexicon for a Travelogue: 2001

  • 10

    Secondary definition: Someone believing in such a mission. Usage: Aiya! That ankle looks bad. Did the KMT do that to you? Theyll do anything to get us to speak Chinese, wont they?Dad! Dont say that to her! What if she voted for the KMT?Patient: Personage in need of the care of a medical professional. Not to be confused with any quality of personage. Usage: I didnt come here to be asked about my personal political beliefs! I came here to be a patient!Police: Official presence meant to establish order in society. Not to be con-fused with a peacekeeping body. Usage: Bring the police over. I want this man thrown out.Hes a patient here, just like you. You dont need the police.Malcommunication: Communication with the express purpose of pissing someone off. Usage: Officer, this whole thing is a malcommunication. Lady, if youre going to talk to me, you have to do it in Taiwanese. I cant understand Chinese. Taiwanese. Im Taiwanese. What? No, theyre not the same language.Education: Time in school. Usage: You cant speak Chinese? What kind of education is that?Insult: Deliberate verbal assault. Usage: Dont insult me by pretending you dont speak Chinese. Everyone in Taiwan speaks Chinese.Mother Tongue: The language of ones home country. Taiwanese is my mother tongue.Mother Country: Country of ones origin. Usage: China is the mother coun-try of Taiwan.Antagonism: Deliberate contradiction. Usage: No, its not.Voice: Implement by which to express any emotion or opinion. Usage: You ate Taiwanese rice for breakfast, youll eat Taiwanese rice for lunch, youre standing

  • 11

    on Taiwanese soil, and you want to tell me in Chinese what my mother tongue is?Vote: Implement by which to express opinion, or emotion. Usage: In years to come, vote for independence. Vote the DPP. I would, if I could.

  • 12

    He did what was needed.That may have made a difference. II. 2013 My brother greeted me at the doorwaycrying over the cedar box he cradled.I wanted to tell him that it was just adogs ashes in that cedar box, but I couldnt. I think I know what my brother is thinkingthree weeks later. His plump hand clutchesan orange while his other peels the rind.He expects a thump in the living room, nails that click across the floor.Moist jowls that nuzzle the crease behind his knee.I wish I had pet the dog more. I feel guilty for notweeping with my brother. I hope he can forgive me. Romulus, after an argument with Remus, kills his brother.

    When the twins, Romulus and Remus, were born, Amu-lius threw them into the Tiber River and exposed them to die I. 1997 A moth quivered in the light fixture above.In its shadows, the G.I. Joe doll, his plasticM-16 aimed at my mother. When she enteredthe bathroom she slammed the half-opened door, speaking to someone on the phone aboutdaddys accident. The ambulance he drovecollided with a Pontiac, had run a red light.The seat belt melted to its buckle. To escape, he sliced it. His bewilderment was like mine,which cemented my crossed legs to the tub.Mother turned the brass knob.Water flowed, peppered with grit residue. That year my parents separated, I visited myfather on the weekends. After therapy, I wouldlay my head on his chest, an afternoon footballgame muted on the television. Wrapped in blankets, his snore lulled me to sleep.I forgive him for the abandonment.

    Domenic Scopa

    The Tiber

  • 13

    I remember this while poking a deadagave stalk into the base of an old saguarotrunk full of bullet holesand attemptingto remove a beer can, label long faded.A nearby granite crevice comes alivewith the rear-fanged beast who, at last glance,had been tightly curled, asleep or resting.Rather than rattle at my intrusion, the tailremains still, but the body coils, head alert,forked tongue sensing for something amissnear its metamorphic rock shelter. I feelpressure, unsettled here in the desert,knowing there is so little protectionand high visibility for its slithering dwellers.Deep in the sediment of my afternoon soul,I long to stroll back amidst those large, darksnakes in the slant light of rolling forest.

    Here in Arizona, Ive been thinkingabout black rat snakes in Kentucky,the way they move, gliding so smoothly,heads raised, determined, like periscopesin an ocean of autumn leavesred maple,golden oak, pine needles fallen onto the path.Peaceful, their long, shiny bodies whisperswiftly by on either side of me. I missthat trail, the quietude of woodlandsfilled with broken sunlight and the softmotion of unanticipated company slidingthrough the ferns, slipping like scaly shadowsin the understory above shallow soils,layers of flora in the lower slopes hidinglimestone, sandstone, and shale. When I asked about those eight-footserpents, the park ranger handed mean outdated field guide to identify the gliders,telling me to keep it, as most people dontinquire about the reptileswell, onlyif they are suspected of being poisonous.But size inspires black snake persecutionanyway, he went on to say, addingthat their temperament tends to be shy,but the creatures could quickly bend to bitewhen battered with a walking stick.

    Yvette Schnoeker-ShorbBlack Snakes of Kentucky

  • 14

    Leah Givens

    More to See

  • 15

    The world.Before dawn. Something unripe will be lost.Will endvisibly. Stones or sounds.Or seeds straight from sand. And it has happened before. Many houses will be shining.Many doors will be dark as tar. Children will reach up to catch starswhich will fall out of the skysomeday. Stones will sink.Sounds will soar.Flowers will sour out of the light.

    Deborah Purdy

    Some Day

  • 16

    At four oclockthe waters warmand honey coloredat the canal.

    The snakes baskon the bleached husksof the water-swollen tires,and Queen Annes Lacegrows profuselyon the hard clay banks.

    At five oclockthe broken bodyof a small boywho fell, screaming,from the water towerfloats bya crow lands on his belly andthe water looks briefly like rust.

    Wiley Reading

    The Canal

  • 17

    (Sarajevo, the winter of 1993-1994)

    Regardless of how much flour we had, Mama always baked bread on the nights when Brat was returning from the shift in the trenches. She was easy to find - hips against the counter, swaying to a song in her head while she wiped her hands on the apron. On the counter, miniature salt and sugar boxes encircled her, and a hefty white pot in which the flour glistened under candlelight. When the flour was gone, she poured in mekinje, a chaff mix once used as food for cows.

    Book burning days ended with the previous winter. Most neighborhoods in the city had since installed gas. Ours came with a hastily improvised system. A thick, orange pipe burgeoned through the building like a firehouse pole, while narrow plumbing pipes, as if they were some kind of inverse IVs, attached to it on each floor, and spread the gas to our homes.

    Small gas explosions happened often around the neighborhood. Click boom! Click boom! The only one bouncing with happiness was the wood stove we called Little Monster. Since we capacitated it for gas it was lit almost always; its cheeks blossomed with orange.

    A little cosmos of hoses distributed the gas all over our home. They bordered the divide between the ceiling and the wall, and rollercoasterd down in sharp angles. Minute transfusion tubes ran under the remaining rugs like an organ-isms digestive tract. Needles on ends of the tubes lit up into modern torches. Tens of these illuminated the kitchen, and charred the walls into wavy textures. Our forgotten rooms were open wide; they stood with whatever furniture was still left. Just above the human reach was the dust from the shelling; it teased, tit-illated, and brought out the coughs. But no matter how much Mama scrubbed

    Aida Ibisevic

    Mamas Bread

  • 18

    it still remained, the invisible termite.By then Brat had been in the trenches for more than a year. Two years? Manly

    angles straightened adolescent pudginess from his cheeks. He grew. A mature growth spurt snuck up and threatened to go on, regardless of whether flesh could afford to come along. He was a giant bag of bones in camouflage and heavy boots strangled with mud. By some standards he was the warrior he want-ed to be before he joined the army. But that was another time. Another Brat.

    Seeing Mama make the bread was like re-watching a favorite movie. I knew the scenes so well I shadowed her from behind. First, she took off her rings, letting the bands race themselves on the counter. With, now ring-less fingers, she tickled the yeast and sugar until they curled together in bubbles. She added them to the flour, and chased it all down with warm water. If I closed my eyes, I heard gummy snow boots of a boy crossing a puddle of mud.

    I knew the twists her left hand took as she turned the pot like a steering wheel, around and around. Her right hand caressed, squeezed, pushed and punched,...


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