Issue Eleven – November 2023

Issue Eleven – November 2023

Letter from the Founding Editor

Although it’s not officially winter yet, this past week has been chilly and damp. The Thanksgiving holiday came and went, families gathered and departed, Black Friday purchases surpassed predictions, and a Beaver Moon rose bright as a gold coin in the early-dark sky. I spent the last week pondering the words of 38 writers and settling into the images and emotions of 41 pieces of writing which are found below. I felt sobered, even awed, by what I read and I pondered the meaning beneath the words.

It’s that time of year, isn’t it, when we wrap our coats around us and listen to a different season. What comes to you as winter comes to us? As leaves fall and green fades to brown, what bones of the landscape can you see now that you don’t see in heavy-laden summer? Sometimes I look at writing that way. Can I see the bones of the work beneath the words? Can I find the real meaning under the language that covers it?

I think I can in the pieces of writing that make up Issue Eleven. If I sit with a single poem or prose piece long enough, I get a sense of its voice. I’m rewarded with a deeper, more profound understanding of the way in which the piece speaks and the message it’s trying to employ.

It works the same way with art. The artistic talents of our Featured Artist, Helen Vlasic, aren’t truly captured with a glance. If you sit with the colors, the shapes of the faces, the expression within the eyes of the portraits, something rises out of the composition that’s strikingly important. You can almost hear the voices – the pain and the joy – that come with and within the art.

Roseann, Rhonda, Elizabeth, and I offer Rockvale Review Issue Eleven to you, with its rich conversations and layered images woven with more than surface-level meaning. We urge you to spend a little time, go a little deeper, listen a little harder, and see what rises up.

Thank you, Writers, for sharing your words with us. We are grateful for you.


Founding Editor, Rockvale Review


I Feel the Tide of Earth – by Mary Birnbaum

Touring the Town – by Claudia Buckholts

Crazy – by Sam Culotta

Invocation – by David Dixon

Leave No Trace – by G. Gazelka

Cooper Moon, Orange Moon, and Black Sky (3 Haikus) – by Kathie Giorgio

First Loss – by Kirk Glaser

The Man with a Mouthful of Words – by Ginger Graziano

Space – by Ken Haas

Kitchen Window – by Wendell Hawken

Early Shift and Understory (2 Poems) – by Julie Hensley

Speaking Suave to Unknown Women – by Jonathan Lawrence

Blue Worry – by Jennifer LeBlanc

The Third Dimension – by K.Lipschutz

Not Once Mention the Moon – by Mark MacAllister

A Sugar Cereal Sestina – by Maddie Malone

Chess Problems – by DS Maolalai

Washed Away – by Richard Matta

The Uncle – by Matthew McFarlane

Tail Wind – by Freesia McKee

The Benediction and Vessels (2 Poems) by John Miller

Farmer’s Almanac of Prayer – by Daniel Edward Moore

Medea Revisits the Memory – by Patricia Nelson

One Fine Saturday – by Douglas Nordfors

A Zen Erasure – by Bobby Parrott

On a Beach Below the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1974 – by Jane Shlensky

North Oregon Coast and On the Ridge (2 Poems) – by Kelly Sievers

Jellyfish Reflection – by Hayley Simon

Visits to My Mother’s Room – by Alice G. Waldert

Intimacy – by Margot Wizansky

Blush Pink Roses – by Alexandra Wright

Short Fiction

The Unreasonable Zebra – by John Foley

OSK – by Mick Leigh

Somewhere Upstairs – by Presley Acuna

Creative Nonfiction

Waves – by Rita Malenczyk

It Has Been Submitted – by Sarah Normandie

Taken In on a 5150 at Almost Fifty – by Colleen Wells

Featured Artist – Helen Vlasic

Click HERE to read about the artist and view the art.