ablaze addiction air alarm andiron aroma arson asbestos ash ashtray backdraft backfire bake ban band barbacue bellows billow blacken blaze blend bloom blow blowtorch bomb bonfire bong bouquet brand breathe brimstone bud bunsen-burner burn butt campfire cancer candle candlestick canister cannabis carbon carbon-monoxide carburetor carcinogen carton "catch fire" cauldron ceasefire chainsmoker chalice char charcoal chimney "chipper" choke cigar cigarette cigarillo cinder "coffin nail" coal combust conflagrate consume convection contain cook Corona cough crack craving cremate crematorium Cuban cure cutter dank dependence detector detonator diesel ditchweed dog-iron dopamine drill drag dragon draw dynamite ember emission engine enkindle emphysema escape evacuation exhale exhaust exit explosive extinguish fag fatwood feed fiery filtered fire firebug firecracker firedog firefighter fireplace fireproof firetrap firetruck firework five-alarm flame flammable flare flashover flickering forge freebase fuel "full flavor" fume fumigate furnace fuse ganja gasoline gasp grate grenade grill gun gust habit hash Havana haze HAZMAT headshop heat hearth hell hellfire hellhole hemp herb hickory hit holder holding holocaust hookah hose hot huffing humidor hydrant ignite incense incendiary incinerate inferno inflammable inhale iron joint kiln kindle kindling kings ladder lamp lantern lava Lent light lighter lightning locoweed log lox lung mantel marijuana match matchbook matchbox menthol nicotine oil-lamp opium oven pack parch parejo patch panatela paper "peace pipe" perfecto phlogiston pipe plume pot powder presidente puff pump punk "put out" pyre pyromania pyrotechnic quit reefer retardant ring roach roast roll "roll your own" screen scorch sear second-hand shade-grown signal singe sizzle skywriting slag slim smelt smolder smoke "smoke-filled rooms" "smokes" smokescreen "smoking a cloud" "smoking gun" smother smudge "social smoker" spark spiff spit spread stain steam stifle stogie stove strike subdue suffocate sulfur squib tabacco tallow "take a hit" taper tar tinder tinderbox toast tobacco toke torch torpedo "touch off" trigger unfiltered "ultra lights" urge vapor vat vent ventless ventilation volcano votive wax weed withdrawal wheeze wick wildfire wind wrapper yellowed yulelog Zippo 100s 420


Poetry (any form or style) and Micro or Flash Fictions wanted for an anthology on SMOKE. Not just the black clouds rising from the five-alarm fire next door, or the billowing plumes of smoke warning us of a forest fire, or the emissions from factory smoke stacks, apartment house incinerators, and crematoriums, smoke rings rise from cigarettes, smoke pours out of headshops, pipe shops & cigar stores--see that purple haze rising over the fields of poppies and marijuana we just planted--we've used it to communicate via smoke signals and skywriting, to cover our tracks and disappear with and without mirrors, combat the enemy on and off the battlefield, kill bugs, flavor food, cure illness, declare peace treaties, and fragrance our homes. Got the idea? Release it onto the page.

Guidelines: Submit up to three poems/micro fictions or two flash fictions at a time with a fascinating bio of 35 words or less, not just limited to publication credits, copy/pasted in the body of an e-mail (no attachments, please) to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & . We will also entertain up to six one-liners or 2 short stand up routines at time. Previously published work is OK as long as authors have retained the copyright, which will be returned to them after publication. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If your work is accepted elsewhere, and you still have obtained rights to republish, just let us know where and we'll be happy to acknowledge the other publication.

If you do not receive a response from us within a month of your submission considered it rejected and feel free to submit again. Due to the volume of submissions we cannot respond to each and every individual submission. Selection for the on-line edition are made on a ongoing basis as we receive your submissions. However, final selections for the print edition will made after the October 31st deadline. (In otherwords not everything that made the cut for the online edition will appear in print.) Please do not query. When in doubt, send the submission to roxy533 at yahoo dot com &

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vulnerability (iii & iv)


A thick haze settled over Donora in late October ’48 as the DHS Dragons took the field. Fans said the game was all but invisible in the smog, that the only way they knew these stout boys had scored a touchdown or recaptured a fumble, was to listen for cheering from the front rows. No one could explain the loss. Donora was famous for tough football players and hearty steel workers, but by the beginning of the next week, funeral homes had run dry of caskets.

Women hid in their homes and locked their children in bathrooms. Men still waited in line to punch in at the Zinc Works, despite the toxic cloud at its shores. The rational commented on headlines that read, “Atmospheric Freak of Nature.” The terrified clutched to their chest the papers that read, “Act of God.”

Local veterans frantically tore through cellars, attics, and closets, searching for old rucks and mildewed gasmasks. They panted and trembled, waiting for the sound of mortars; for the order to come across the trench (over the top, boys!); for blisters in the lungs.


In 1952, London accidentally coined the term smog. For two weeks in the first part of December, coal fires burned to keep cold air at bay, and the fumes took residence in the streets and eventually the homes and lives of locals. The price of a warm home was high for some. Days worth of Singin’ in the Rain and High Noon showings were cancelled because of lack of visibility in the theatres. Hopeless romantics wandered the streets, grief-stricken when they discovered that florists had run dry of flowers, that funerals had taken precedence.

It was a bloody inconvenience for those who held tickets to the much sought after production of The Mousetrap. The stage was invisible, the roads even more so. Londoners declined outside hospitals, undetected by nurses who couldn’t even see the ends of their own wards. The daily death toll rose as high as 900.

To everyone’s great relief, Queen Mary was unaffected

by Ed Casey

Ed Casey is a Masters student at UNT. He spent many years working in the private sector, being beaten into a cold, hard state of denial until he returned to school. He lives with his three unruly ferrets, a rabbit, and his fiancee (though they try hard not to live in sin). He is currently working on his first collection of poetry.

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