fiction, poetry & more

Honorable Mention


by Jendi Reiter

that lake waits anytime
for me to slip
under its threaded green hush
i don’t need summer or parking
to arrive
where my hurtling family
is already one less

depression is easy to get to
even on holidays
the standards are lower than church
or kindergarten
you can run with scissors there
but you probably won’t bother

it’s my tight light box
where i turn back the sun
to a pale hum

i don’t need fattening pills
or fermented dizzy bottles
i can spin it on my own
straw into lead
because a lead house
never blows down or burns

side effects of depression may include
eating more or less
than people in magazines
sleeping more or less
by yourself
sudden loss of interest
in what your mother thinks

it’s my soft dust pillow
under the boxspring where grandma money
refuses the bankers’ conjurations
of brown fields into winking green numbers
racing round the globe
like a tornado-spun house

it’s my black screen
i won’t trade

there may be a cost-saving generic
alternative to depression
ask your doctor about marriage
smiling often and wearing a good suit
may cause people to leave you alone
did you know that your natural skin tone
adds a layer of protection at no extra charge
(some restrictions may apply)

depression is not recommended
for unattractive women


Jendi Reiter is the author of the poetry collections A Talent for Sadness (Turning Point Books, 2003), Swallow (Amsterdam Press, 2009), and Barbie at 50 (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). Awards include a 2010 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists’ Grant for Poetry, the 2011 James Knudsen Editor’s Prize in Fiction from Bayou Magazine, the 2011 OSA Enizagam Award for Fiction, the 2010 Anderbo Poetry Prize, and second prize in the 2010 Iowa Review Awards for Fiction. She is the editor of, an online resource site for creative writers.

March 2012