Pacifica Issue 5 Cover Art Preview

Issue 01

Issue 05


Harrison Candelaria Fletcher

Within The Walls

Lawrence Lenhart

Let the River Run, Working Girl

Maya Sonenberg

Dark Season


Sarah Barber

Especially when the scarf is beautiful

Vanessa Gabb


Sierra Golden

Taking Aim

Benjamin Goodney

Some Nights Can Last Four Years

Johnny Horton


Kim Kent

How To Kill A Dove As Taught To Me By a Man In This Bar

Radha Marcum

Fission: 1938 (Duet for Otto Frisch and Lisa Meitner

Dear Tel Aviv

Michael Metivier

Turning Tiger

Caitlin Scarano

After the Tour

Ed Skoog

To Keep Us All Crisp

Jeff Whitney



Leena Joshi

the center of the dream goes very quietly

Minh Nguyen


Cover Art

Leena Joshi
Minh Nguyen

Little Switzerland


Ian Walters

Now Jenny is chanting, not out loud, chanting in her head, chanting for the last half hour.

Rain’s all right, rain’s all right.

She follows the road up into the cloud and within minutes the dash is muddy and her Dijon-yellow blouse has turned to glue. Beneath her the Beast hacks and coughs, protesting the incline, and she flexes her feet against the wheel-wells to keep blood in them. Outside, warm bubbles of air drift past like clear lenses, and within them she glimpses the hypnotic curvature of mountains far below, their waves of vegetation rising like steam. Rain’s all right. She is deep in the Blue Ridge now, at the edge of the dream she has had each night since accepting Penland’s invitation.

The first night it came, she lay in her old bed following six nervous hours spent packing, struggling to fall asleep, at last licking her fingers and sliding her pajama bottoms down in an effort to slow her mind. As always she dreamt of Jeremy, his delicate collarbones and bony hips, his long hair smelling of the Arboretum. In the dream they are together again, traveling side by side in the Beast; he has agreed to come with her to Penland, and when they arrive she chases him through the grass to the top of Resident’s Hill over the main studios, capturing him between her legs.

Then a rain begins to fall, and without warning the dirt under Jeremy’s back starts to soften and liquefy, sucking his pale shoulders down into the earth. He screams, but Jenny sets her knees squarely on his ribs and slaps his hands away until at last she kneels naked and alone on a bare shield of mud. She feels the rain move off then, and looking around, confronts the dripping underbelly of a gargantuan ship’s bow which has suddenly appeared, bloated and ancient, sheltering her from the heavy rains that blanket the School and the surrounding valley. She huddles there each night, staring out at the wet sheets, perched beneath the hull or pacing its soggy lengths, watching her bare skin turn slowly blue until morning.

Continue Reading . . .


I was thinking about raising a kid, but I figured I’d better try a dog first in case I bungled it so I’d only spoil an animal instead of a human being. I didn’t want to read any books on the matter, because I didn’t want to plagiarize anybody and end up with Dr. Gordon or Dr. Spock or Dr. Doi’s kid instead of my own, so I decided to duplicate my own upbringing, because I turned out pretty good, or so I’ve been told. I’d be happy with a dog or a kid that was like me. I think anybody would.

I bought the puppy and held it close. I told him that he was my best friend and the best thing that ever happened to me. I showered him with love and affection. Then I accused him of undermining me and purposefully ruining my life. Some days I pampered him for no reason, and some days I abused him for no reason. Half the time I would wave a knife around and gnash my teeth and take his food away and lay down on the carpet, screaming and frothing at the mouth. Other times, I gave him the food he liked and alternated cuddles and distance, in the proper proportions. Every morning when he woke, he trembled with fear, wondering if today was going to be a day of kindness or a day of mania. He began to learn that there was no logic that governed my actions, and that every day is a fresh game of adaptation; he began to learn that the world is unpredictable but leans toward the monstrous, if it leans at all. At least, I hoped he began to learn that.

Continue Reading . . .


You Must Believe In Spring


Aaron Bennett

but count on eating at least
one bad clementine this week—
its peel a siren’s call like the glow
of buildings with unblinking eyes.

You must believe in spring
but you live vicariously
through your city’s football team.
Men whose hands won’t stop shaking—
men who gallop in the night.

You must believe in spring
but the crows won’t let you. They hang
heavy from the branches like rotten fruit.
Even if you do nothing, something will grow.