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Issue 3.3

Fall 2023

Craig Foltz


Does the form of the poem offer its own kind of signaling? Will our belief in evocative language be enough to cover up our tracks in narrative consistency? Does the protagonist need to be something we can relate to? If the world is facing an apocalypse and the conditions of that apocalypse announce themselves more loudly every day, should our writing take on a more irreverent air? Will anyone read anything one hundred years from now?

An Exchange of Suggested Itineraries

There are no simple acts. Light absorption diminishes the capacity for signaling. You signal. I receive. Input: Certain chemicals. Response: Pain avoidance. The breadth of a lifetime is shaded with cheap inks the color of plucked grasses. I get the sense you no longer wish to be invisible. Is this

why you want to return home? A dwelling is more than a place to shelter

from rain. A deck houses a bbq. The porch, a collection of day-glo

boogie boards, strollers & broken car seats. A broom lists in the corner.

We call it The Spider Hut. The fascias form the outer edge & have a

groove in them to receive the soffit lining sheets. The reading list has

changed. You toss around the names of a few authors you’ve never

bothered to read. Bataille. Barthes. Ballard. There is a desire to

taxonomize these things, to place a structure & order over them. Each

object should have a corresponding target completion date. Then again,

the future is predicated on some of it actually happening. At least the

ocean is constant. We look out over the water. The sun illuminates

dimples on the surface. Each swell has its own unique topography.

Flasher rigs penetrate the inky darkness & bring with them the oily scent

of meat. This far down only luminescence can provide insights into

coding sequences. Something smallish snags in my periphery. The truth

is, it’s just the start of another distant migraine. Under white light,

metadata becomes strangely evocative. Good old boys pine for the days

of pale yellow frontiers. Oh, how the sun used to cast its light over our pickups! Oh, how this senseless parade of experts drone on & on! The gutters of the roof

are filled with acorns & seed money. Let me annotate the next thought

for you. You scribble notes in the margins outlining a film in which a

marine research facility becomes the site of a curiously charged sexual

encounter. The writing is decayed, illegible. One room here holds

transmission equipment. Another, HVAC gear. The lunch room sits

below the emergency exit.  One of us sits in the corner waiting for

someone give out advice too. Misplaced affection was never more

misplaced than now. There is a general query, some generic words on

the wall, but no response.

Craig's Book Recommendation 

The World as We Knew It—Dispatches From a Changing Climate 

edited by Amy Brady and Tajja Isen 

Craig Foltz is the author of three books of poetry | prose (via either Compound Press or Ugly Duckling Presse. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He currently lives and works in a remote outpost on the west coast of New Zealand. More info at:

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