CONCRETE PUNCH BY CHRISTOPHER DAVID ROSALES 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 09
After they jacked your car you had to walk home. You had to take the path along the riverbed. The concrete path. The razorthin river. And already in your head the story was changing.
You hadn’t been cruisin where you shouldn’t have been cruisin. You’d been one block east, next to gramma’s house. You hadn’t had the windows down and the music bumpin, leaning against the door like a badass when they bumrushed you. And you hadn’t begged them neither. You’d got out the car real slow, gripped the keys so that they stuck out right beneath your knuckles. Your fist was like a gauntlet. You’d put up a good fight, but there was more of them.
Yeah. That sounded pretty good.
But from where you’d laid cheek against gritty asphalt, you really had seen their Chuck Taylor’s scramble round the car, and you’d actually seen their shoes raise up behind the doors when they got in, as if they were ascending. Just like they’d been lifted, not by a classic ‘67 engine, but by divine rods and cylinders and even intervention. Lifted away, away from this city. Taken, to cruise like lords through the sky, to look down at the concrete riverbed. Where you’ve been kneeling, bloodyknuckled and defiant, changing your story one concrete punch at a time.
is a 22-year-old Hong Kong writer whose poems and stories are mainly inspired by the little things in life. He tries to look at the bright side and make the little things overlooked fresh to the eyes of others. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong with majors in English Studies and Comparative Literature. His writing has been published in Asian Cha and Yuan Yang: a Journal of Hong Kong and International Writing. He blogs some of his writing at lovefortheinconsiderable.
is a first year MA student at Texas Tech University studying Literature, Social Justice, and Environment. After graduating, Olivia plans on a career in publishing and editing. She has a BA in English from Texas A&M University College Station with an emphasis in Poetry, and has published a poem in allthingsgirl.net.
CHRISTOPHER DAVID ROSALES
was raised in Southern California, and spent most of his time as a rap and blues musician, playing in Long Beach and Los Angeles. He studies and teaches at CU-Boulder. His work has won CU’s Thompson Awards for Best Fiction and Best Memoir, and has been published in Chiron Review, Eureka Literary Magazine, and on Abadesa.net. He runs a blog at word-is-bone.
is a junior at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT, studying English and Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry. She has worked as an editorial intern for Drunken Boat, Online Magazine of the Arts, The Connecticut Review, and WW Norton & Company in New York City.
DUNCAN MACCARTHY WHITMIRE
lives in southern New Hampshire where he works in a program for kids with developmental disabilities. His stories have been published in Flashquake, 322 Review, and Dispatch Litareview.
has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank. His poetry has been published in Ascent, Adirondack Review, Florida Review, Pikeville Review, South Carolina Review, Poem, and others. And he has published three books of poetry with BrickHouse: Buffalo Nickel, The Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives.
was born and raised on the West Coast, attended University of Washington as an earnest undergraduate, and holds an MFA in poetry from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (Whidbey Writer’s Workshop). Her work is published in Poet Lore, Rattle, Alehouse, Chiron Review, Literary Mama, Spillway, the anthology Her Mark 2010, and Nimrod International Journal as a semi-finalist in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She is Managing Poetry Editor of Los Angeles Review.
has a Masters Degree in English and Creative Writing, and a degree in Education, which led him briefly into teaching. “After the hordes of barbarian gradeschoolers routed me and burned down Rome I opened Inklings Bookshop in the heart of Windsor, Ontario,” he says. So when not writing stories he is usually selling them. His stories have been published in Windsor Review and Vision. He lives outside the city with his wife and children, revising a novel under the direction of a literary agent.
lives in San Francisco with his wife and son, teaches writing at The College of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay Area, and publishes Alehouse, an all-poetry literary journal, alehousepress.com. He has an MFA in Poetry from New England College.
teaches writing online for UNC Chapel Hill, and won their Excellence in Teaching Award for 2009. He has taught writing in homeless shelters, women’s shelters, prisons, literacy classes, and community sites. He has published two novels,Time Sharing and Faith in What? His work has been published in Shenandoah, Sou’wester, 2Rivers View, Many Mountains Moving, Artful Dodge, NC Literary Review, and Goose Pond Review.
is an editor at Leaf Garden Press. Her first chapbook, Heaven is a Giant Pawn shop, is published by Erbacce Press. Her work is published in online zines such as Word Riot, The Commonline Project, Cherry Bleeds, and Gloom Cupboard. She lives in Texas.
lives in New York City and works as Director of Administration at the conservatory, Manhattan School of Music. Originally a professional photographer, her photographs have been exhibited in art galleries in New York City and Europe. Her poems have been published in the 2009 RHINO literary journal and Ibbetson Street Press. She was awarded semi-finalist in the 2009 “Discovery”/Boston Review poetry contest. firstname.lastname@example.org
writes for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and literary journals, including The Fairfield Review, Hotmetalpress, Miranda Literary Magazine, TheNovelette.com, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Trillium, The Circle, and the Italian-American literary journal Pyramid. Her fiction has been published in an anthology for Fairfield University. She won Poetic Voices of America’s editor’s choice award. She is working on a new novel. adeleannesi.com
is a physician, brain scientist, and essayist on the visual arts. He served as chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and president of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. Presently Special Lecturer at the Osher Institute of Towson University, he lectures on art and the brain. His poems have been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Hopkins Review, New Letters, Ontario Review, Harvard Review, Raritan, Notre Dame Review, and New York Quarterly. His work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in Euphoria, a documentary on the brain and creativity (2008). He has published four chapbooks including Stones In Our Pockets (Parallel Press). His collection of poems The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises Press) was nominated for The Poets’ Prize in 2009 and was a Finalist for The Towson University Prize in Literature. salcman.com
has a BA in English and co-teaches creative nonfiction classes online at Writers.com. Her essays have been published in Flashquake, Tiny Lights, Foliate Oak, Hip Mama, Toasted Cheese, and New York Family Magazine.
has worked as a reporter, editor, copywriter, and ghostwriter. His short stories have appeared in the Beloit Fiction Journal, Hobart, Pindeldyboz, Switchback, Word Riot, and the Blue Mesa Review. His first story collection, Precarious, is due out in February from Luminis Books. He writes a blog, Thoughts with Nowhere Else to Go.
has two books of poems to his credit, Spilling the Moon and The Fire Diaries. His work is published in ZYZZYVA and Green Mountains Review. He teaches writing and English for Eastern Oregon University.
KATHLEEN S ALLEN
wrote and self-published a book of poems at the age of eight. She has been writing ever since. She has an MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and children’s literature, and a doctorate in nursing. She has published a young adult novel, Witch Hunter, and a collection of short stories, Please to See the King: Stories from the Ballads of England. She is working on another young adult novel.
lives in San Francisco. He writes frequently about environmental issues and historical topics. His work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly, The Nation, Rattle, The Sun, Salzburg Poetry Review, European Judaism and Queen’s Quarterly. He has also appeared in a number of anthologies, including A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky (San Diego, CA, 1985) and Names in a Jar (Portland, OR 2007).
CARLTON LLOYD SMITH
is the founder and Executive Editor of Troubadour 21 (troubadour21.com) a web magazine publishing the works of writers and artists. He is also the creator and organizer of the Southeast Michigan Poetry Meetup Group and the host of the Poetry Open Mic at AJ’s Music Cafe in Ferndale, Michigan.