Current Issue

T W Y C K E N H A M    N O T E S

Summer 2017


Craig Finlay

Brooke Nicole Plummer

Krista Cox

Allan Peterson

Robert Beveridge

Stephanie L. Erdman

Nicole Mason

John Leonard




Take the burnt man collecting
cigarette ends along Michigan.
I find elegance in simple routine.

He found a mostly unsmoked
Camel. And put it in a Ziploc.
A collection, like logs jammed
against a bridge in a flood.




          Rumor has it that
there are peacocks in Osceola,
          but I was more blown away
by the forklift operator that ate Swedish
Fish off a toothpick like a kabob &
        mentioned his interest in Elton John’s music,
only before John was a homosexual.
          A bulb in someone’s Ford Ranger headlight
                                  blinds another wild dog.


You, I, and all, under twinkling pearls of the universe,
the minutes elapse, the inches towards caskets.

Too much etcetera is measured out for the children:
news anchors floundering in controversy,
diaristic outpourings and nude fury,

love’s swift concussion but still giving back a smile,
limb-expanding sequences until we have snapped
out of the concept forever,

but what always remains is the
familiar scent of pinewood and chlorine,
or inhaling thickened air
from dewdrops tipped on the grass.

It’s like a Robotrip without consequence
while frame-shots overlapping are overlooked…

Do you remember when fuck
became a favorite for the phonic sweetness?
The sweetness,
like lip-wetting stolen rum in structural vacancy,
while augmenting your own chronological “I am”.




He’s crass I think when he’s on his fifth
Jack and Coke and I pretend
to forget that 2 hours earlier I joked
that my life goal was to see all the porn
on the internet. Crass, blue
collar thrusting as he demonstrates how his baby
mama mama’ed his baby. It’s all a bit
Jerry Springer, no, Maury Povich and it’s too close
to home: the mechanisms of
manufacturing and the seeds
that took root too many
miles from where they were sown, the farmers
who left their crops
for futures, the plowing
I’ve had to do and I can’t be this Indiana
when I’m dying to be so
Washington    Oregon    le Cote d’Azur
I kiss him anyway expecting tired
ashes, but instead he’s tender and
salted and I imagine him
a wave come to uproot
me, wash me closer to the sea.




I never expect it   I have had some experience

so I wait   I hope   I marvel when called for

I float among mollusks remembering names

and their soft and complicated lives

Even when part of the sky was captured

by the attic in a long shaft and the shadow

of the bike was a ghost of the bike

I anticipated nothing

When a women almost covered with hieroglyphs

multicolored moons and traceries said the sun

achieves authenticity by counting grass stalks

and remembers every one like a table of contents

a page of acknowledgements a threatening index

it was not forewarning

anymore than windows crashed by cedars as I passed


The ceiling clicks dizzy with oars

moving storm air dark enough to write with

setting me off like a boat on a mantra

instead of the Gulf of Mexico

waves repeating the same sound   lisping

Now I am ready to pass by the gas bill

and attend to my important distance from the sun

weep in the willow   moon

with a membrane like a lizard eye

that brought flowers overnight to the pittosporum

the small dark cloud in my nail moving north

slowly like a cyclone stalled off the Grenadines

I think of the poem that cannot be a film

the slow and orderly incoming flies above the airport




Those damned witches stoke the fire
stir, stir, stir that cauldron. Phlegm
rises, never subsides. All you see
is the smoke that billows
from your mouth with each exhale.
You’ve told yourself “never again”
a hundred times or more, yet you
find yourself at random convenience
stores at 2:45AM, two packs
of Marlboro Reds and another
cheap lighter clutched in your hands,
a life raft as you bob, adrift,
in the cauldron’s viscid mixture
of compounds, beautiful brown leaves
around you. And always bubble, bubble,
toil and trouble. Light. Draw. Release. Exhale.




Born enamored
with the sea
and light

and all that
it reflects off of,
the surfaces

that were familiar
until the sunset, until
the broken glass

settled against our tongues
and the roofs of our mouths
prayer room silent.

There were ululations
over the desert
that settled into

the wombs of cactus blossoms,
the small oases in the vast unforgiven.
Her name was something

like a stream that I
can’t remember and she
yelled back at our echoes:

“Do not fill us yet, we are still alive.”
We waited for the acerb air
to mummify us

somewhat and I remember
hearing about caves, the crystal
dormant in them

and dry, the water seeping
toward the chambers
for 10,000 years.




You’re sitting on a porch in Cleveland
your legs dangling off the side—it’s like the second story or something
and it’s fall so there are probably leaves but the chill is an
undercurrent; it’s not in your bones yet.

You’re sitting there with your dangling legs,
legs that have only been thrown over your shoulders
once or twice, pressed down from the backs of your knees.
Because you’re young, right?

It’s the youth that matters here.

At some point, what’s-her-name, Mary (?)
(who is earthy and older and the type to wear sneakers and a poncho
with lanky-dark hair)

breaks the silent flutter of the leaves
to tell a long and confusing story.
The burden of it to remain with you for years after.

The exact words lost.

After you dangle your legs in Cleveland,
you move to other cities, other states;
the backs of your knees feel the press
of different fingers.

It happens often enough that your
heart bleeds for these various fingers. It bleeds and dries,
bleeds and dries.




Pale yellow light, orange peels
muddled like concrete,

a clean glass. You never found me.


Pieces of the windowsill were flecked
with black soil and rotting on the ground.

I fed myself stale almonds,


stripped of my quiet multitudes.

And now that you mention it,
even the floorboards were candles.


The forest falls skyward, smokes two packs
a day and rubs oak-lung on his father’s
shaving mirror. Coldly Capricious

The clouds are neon, junked through the nighttime
with the passing of rain…
steel rail omens

You are flushed and imagined,
a bottle on the mantelpiece. A shipwreck. Tonight,

I’ll blot a circle of lipstick off my shirt and cringe at the physicality.


The sun goes out and under.
The stains fly overhead.
I am fighting everything to un-feel you.




CRAIG FINLAY lives in South Bend, Indiana, where he spends most of his time being a librarian. His poems have appeared, or are upcoming​,​ in The Beloit Poetry Journal, After the Pause, The Blue Mountain Review and Five: 2 One, among others.

BROOKE NICOLE PLUMMER made it onto the Dean’s List in the summer of 2017, with each assignment and major project attached to her “student profile avatar”, which is a picture of Psyduck chugging alcohol. Her work has appeared in Wordplay Anthology, (b)OINK zine, Ursus Americanus Press, and various academic journals. She is one of the current editors of Retirement Plan, a literary journal based out of the Midwest.​​

KRISTA COX is a paralegal, an associate poetry editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection and Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Program Director of Lit Literary Collective, a nonprofit serving her local literary community. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia Journal, The Humanist, and elsewhere. Her web home is

ALLAN PETERSON’s recent books are: “Other Than They Seem”, winner of the Snowbound Chapbook Prize from Tupelo Press; “Precarious”, 42 Miles Press, a finalist for The Lascaux Prize; “Fragile Acts”, McSweeney’s Poetry Series, a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle and Oregon Book Awards. A visual artist as well as a poet, he lives in Ashland, Oregon and Gulf Beeze, Florida​.​​​​​

ROBERT BEVERIDGE makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Survision, Loud Zoo, and Ghostlight, among others.

STEPHANIE L. ERDMAN lives in Southwest Michigan and holds a Master’s in English from Indiana University South Bend. She works as a vacuum cleaner technician and adjust professor of English Composition and Rhetoric. She spends her nights eyeing the Indiana border with suspicion. Her work has also appeared in Eclectica Magazine, Analecta, and The Belltower, and her full-length manuscript; ​”Pyrrhonic”​ has been picked up by Dos Madres Press and will be appearing in print soon​. ​

NICOLE MASON graduated with her MA in Literature from Northern Michigan University. Currently, she teaches Composition and Creative Writing at Indiana University of South Bend. When she was a little girl, she would ride her bike though Twyckenham Hills and feel like she was flying. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Midwestern Gothic, SOFTBLOW, and Cease, Cows.

JOHN LEONARD is a writer of fiction, poetry, and essays. He received a BA in English from Indiana University South Bend where he minored in Creative writing and is currently studying to receive his Masters. His previous works have appeared in Analecta, Tributaries, and The Jawline Review.



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