An independent literary press featuring poetry and short fiction at the confluence of Charles Simic and Ray Bradbury. We publish books and a periodic digital magazine, Hidden Peak Review.


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“Beauty is related not to loveliness but to a state in which reality plays a part.”



On Writing

Set out to gather words like field flowers, vine ripe vocabulary hung low from crooked branches, and all too often, I’ve failed the harvest. Can’t compose from stocked shelves, would rather see those redwoods at the edge of flame, bright … Continue reading On Writing

Sudden Illumination

Clinging to a garden wall, I warn axes going up across the field to go dark, to burn far less. They have control of everything and really only answer to themselves. In a crazy manner, I crash into a crab … Continue reading Sudden Illumination

Looking Ahead

I don’t have great expectations for the distant future. My woman keeps telling me that fifty years from now there won’t be an “us.” Just the usual engineering feats of tiny underground critters. So I’m making no plans for the … Continue reading Looking Ahead

Under Porch Light

Brother, we have grown apart. No more jumping on the beds. Then when your wife spoke of her troubles I saw your hands move, moths without flame, exactly as our father’s did while mother complained how it was too late … Continue reading Under Porch Light

Jigsaw Puzzles

The jigsaw puzzle had just been completed, all one thousand pieces of it, a few of the sections the paint worn thin from multiple uses and now in full display after many days, and many hands working to fit all … Continue reading Jigsaw Puzzles


Like rain-worn newspapers whose ink has leaked out, so does my soul as the words “you have relapsed” leave the lips of a finely-ironed coated man. The plans of hotel bookings, interviews and catacomb crawls crumble like last spring’s browning … Continue reading Frail


“I DON’T KNOW what happened, Ms. Garcia,” a student might say, holding up a vocabulary test marked in Amanda’s signature green pen. “It was like I’d never even seen the words before.” Amanda understands—words are tools; they can hurt you. … Continue reading Patchwork


Fatherhood seeds the reign of vulnerability: Steel-toe boots demand calloused but open palms, and the never-inning ending birthed a gritty bullpen. They’ve tweaked the mound but it’s always been like this. Fortunately, when clouds look like liger cubs, a maple … Continue reading Alliance


He and his wife treated us to baseball, Good seats on the first base line. We cheered home runs with them, Shared popcorn, joked, talked family. Time passed, and there were gaps. Until I saw them just now in the … Continue reading Years


Into the dark and wide Des Moines I pour you, ashes fogging shallows. A moccasin in the rushes close by, Dark glisten, still as stone. Birdsong blesses the air, Bridge a silent acolyte. You rode ponies not far from here, … Continue reading Home

365 Days Sober

Unless you’re counting those few days in January — and also that time in June. I want to hold out my hand to everyone who needs it. I know some good people who spent so much time in the dark, … Continue reading 365 Days Sober

The Clearing

“WHAT’S THAT?” Emily turned Kaleb’s way and knocked a pillow to the floor. She said it again. “Hmm?” Kaleb said, half asleep. “That noise,” Emily said. She placed her hand on Kaleb’s chest. “Do you hear that?” Kaleb took a … Continue reading The Clearing


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