Pacifica Issue 9 Cover Art Preview

Issue 01

Issue 09


Ahsan Butt

Majid Uncle

Gen del Raye

A Shark is an Animal That Blushes When You Touch Its Face

Paula Delgado-Kling

A Kidnapping

Rachel Linn



Jake Bauer

A Wedding

Bill Carty

Experiments with Solids, Mutual Fish

Caylin Capra-Thomas


Mackenzie Cole

No Longer

Sarah B. Puschmann

Dear Maraschino Cherry

Maya Jewell Zeller

Black Plastic Night, Self-Portrait With Nudity and False Awakening

2017 Poetry Contest Winners

Alex Bleecker

Today is a 5.

Trinity Tibe



Jean Wolff

Cover Art

Ryan Diaz

White caps spilt to sea


E. Briskin

If the sun moved, curved aspects would resolve thingness differently. To be the shadow itself would be simpler.

   Lying there lying there there in the ocean
   salt-thinking wave sifting paper squaring sand.

The soprano, forgotten, sang white strips of quartz.

   I expanded like ice.

The rock dropped each time and each time the rock dropped the rock rhymed with the sound of rock dropping.

   Or contracted like fucking.

Busted tin in loose dirt smells of cut-crumbled stone, of the lie beneath each re-built city.

   I contracted like

If the truth is a tempest, let the weathervane squeal.

   What is fucking?

She graphed you.

   Fucking steel.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A stone, a stone the most obvious one

   It began when beginning was unavoidable and continued until ending
   first started.

Arm back at that branch sink the branch sink the branch sink that floaty floaty johnny-come-jellyfucker.

   In the storm you will let a round boy like a rock be pulled shouting
   from the cave of your belly.

Such seaweed-streaked lanterns, such mica-frail feet.

   Fate is the thing we say to say the happened thing happened.

If the sun moved, if the water—


The Great Bear


Jeanine Walker

The bear with his wings.
Its wings. I swear it is an it.
I swear it has wings. This bear
takes off from the ground
next to the creek
where I see it not only preparing
to hibernate but also crouching,
drinking, lapping up its water
from the creek like a dog or a cat,
the water is flowing down and it’s crisp
and cold and I
am a lone hunter
with a rifle to my shoulder

and the wings stop and the wings stop
and the wings stop
the bear sees me it is a he now
the bears sees me and I see him
we see each other, this bear and I
his wings that were fluttering
stop moving
my wings that were fluttering
stop moving

the entire forest is still
I can see the drops of dew on the blue leaves
the sunlight breaks through the leaves
and it’s like white knives shooting down

Continue Reading . . .


The Photographer


Joseph JP Johnson

In the final hours of Michael Smith’s life, family rotated into the hospital room. Most had little to say and spent, on average, three minutes each wishing the man well and promising his full recovery. There was the inheritance to think of. Should Michael survive—as he always survived—it was important to be seen. There might be, like after the heart attack or the shooting in Lebanon or the car wreck in Mali, a revised will. When Michael did not recover, each relative commented how ironic his death was: that in a life lived so dangerously, a bacteria-laced tuna fish sandwich fell the man.

Michael’s granddaughter, Samantha, refused irony as an acceptable explanation of death. She, like her grandfather, was an artist—not a photographer, but a sculptor (a student sculptor). She was also Michael’s favorite living relative.

In her last visit with the-then-conscious Michael, Samantha entered the white-walled room alone. She had only known her grandfather as a virile man, but there he was, unshaven and emaciated. He lay impotent on a hospital bed opposite a cheap print of Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte. In her final ten minutes with the photographer, Samantha opened the curtains.

“Real light,” said Michael.

“For a little longer.”

“What do you see?”

Samantha pulled a chair close and watched her grandfather’s face. He stared at the ceiling.

“Strength,” she said.

Michael let out a grunt. “Lies.”

“I see the sharp line of a great jaw.”

“The fluorescents are killing me.”

Samantha stood, walked to the door, and flipped the light switch. Shadows, black and precise, appeared on the man’s face. In the areas of the room unclaimed by shadow, color glowed. Everything with yellow in it—the cushion on the chair or the hand soap bottle on the sink—radiated. Samantha’s green coat was vivid as grass after rain.

“The magic hour,” said Michael.

“We’re lucky, Papa.”

“Hurry,” he said. His jaw twitched. Michael’s breathing was interrupted and irregular. He seemed to be steadying it, tightening his neck as if holding back a yawn.

Samantha studied her grandfather’s face. She spoke like a TV coroner: “The cheek has an indent that’s not usually there, like the muscles below it have shrunk away. The lines from the cheek to the eyes are curved and deep, but not as pronounced as they once were, almost as if they were flattened by an iron.”

“Good,” said Michael.

“The color in your eyes is bleached, like they’d been left on a windowsill over summer, and the white has yellowed like old plastic.”

“The nose,” Michael said. He closed his eyes.

“It’s sharp along the ridge. Cartilage and thin skin. But it’s swollen at the nostrils, like you’re a smoker. A drinker. It’s turned down, like the tip wants to point to something.”

“To what?”

“To your chin, I think. Your chin hasn’t changed. It still has its bump like a small ball, an armature, under a tight sheet.”

“Good,” he said.

“Tell me about Andy Warhol, again,” she said.

“Tomorrow,” he said, and then coughed, and a gelatinous mass of moss-colored mucus hung on the hollow beneath his bottom lip.

Continue Reading . . .