In our Apostrophes section, (614) Magazine attempts to highlight some of the incredible literary talent that lives, works, and writes in Columbus. If you are an interested writer, please direct your submissions (1,000 words max for prose, 300 words max for poetry,) along with a brief bio, to david@614columbus.com

 Gonzo Villanelle

By Katherine Polak

It’s no wonder Bunky brought his gun—
they were carrying drugs, after all.
but of course, there was the problem of Solomon.

The mushrooms remade the room in sun,
though they’d just woke at night’s fall,
and it was no wonder Bunky brought a gun.

The shot maybe shocked them, outdone
by the pop of light and the demand to recall
what the problem may be now with Solomon.

They drove to the ER, Solomon lunged
out of the car, half blind with the pain of his foot, stalled,
telling Bunky he better hide his gun.

In the bright grey room, the doctors were stunned
to find a hole in the shoe, no blood, a foot unmauled,
so the question was now what to do with Solomon.

He of course slipped out, wandered up the highway trying to outrun
nobody chasing him. Bunky drove around, wondering how far he could have crawled.
Kept thinking of the shot from his gun,
and that they had convinced themselves there was some problem with Solomon.

Kate Polak is a visiting assistant professor of English at Wittenberg University. Her work has appeared in Wild Violets and elsewhere, and for many years, she was a regular contributor to Larry’s Poetry Forum. She misses Larry’s like she thinks she would miss a kidney – it wasn’t necessary, but it sure made things better.

 Hide and Seek

By Jason Tostevin

She was sick and stayed home from kindergarten the day we played that game of hide and seek.

Three years ago. At the park, to get out of the house that felt filled with stale, stuffy, recycled air. We went over my wife’s protestations that Percy needed to rest. Wads of her tissues crammed in my pockets.

First she counted. One, two, three – peeking. Laughing.

I remember her laughter, like bells, when I hid behind a too-skinny lightpole and she saw my belly and my shoes.

—I founded you! she shrieked, as a man I barely noticed looked on from a station wagon nearby.

—My turn to hide, she said.

So I closed my eyes. And I counted.

That was the last thing she said to me, I have a great hiding place. It was. I never found her.

The deafening, crashing, hurricane roar of panic in this: I can’t find her.

It happened between blinks. In the dead silence between heartbeats. Like a bolt of lightning instantly splits the sky into this side, that side. Before, after. Here, gone.

Before: I am looking for her.

After: I cant find her. Oh Godjesusnononononono, oh Godwhyohwhywhodidthis?

I looked all that day, all that week, all that year. For her. For all the things that had gone lost with her. My wife. Our home. Sleep. Laughter. The sweetness of her little arms around my neck.

Each morning I pictured very intently her hiding spot now. The basement or box. The shallow hole in a wooded backyard. All of them dark, dark. I made myself imagine it. Penance at first. Then for the pain, to feel something.

Eventually it was the only way I could call up her face, remember what she looked like.

On that side, then. On this side, now. Today.

She would be eight today. And I am still looking.

I stand by the swings at the playground. Mothers and nannies shoo little ones away from me.

Until they see what’s in my hand. Then they scream and run.

Alone, I look at all the hiding places. Think of all that’s still hidden from us. That which may yet live in darkness, inside of a blink. The one place I haven’t looked, haven’t dared follow.

The world where she might find me again, and I might find her.
I raise my arm. I close my eyes. And begin to count.

Jason Tostevin is a writer and filmmaker in New Albany. He has written and directed championship short films, television and radio commercials, a broadcast series and more — and writes marketing and brand campaigns to pay the bills. Follow his filmmaking at https://www.facebook.com/handsoffproductions.


By Jim Hayes

Mismatched pots and pans
Proclaiming martyrdom
Burnt crumbs declare hermitage.
Bent utensils
Hoisted against the dire season,
declare revolt.
I cook what I have.
Let them eat what I have cooked.

I have Cheffed it well as I can.
Given the hobbles of a
Sudden cupboard and
A sullen repertoire.

Everyday. I get my due.
But, sometimes I want to begrudge what’s mine.
Four fortunes told by four different gypsies,
All of them the same.
The menu will be different tomorrow.
The dictator has sent an ammo box
Of fresh eggs.
And a bundle of yellow t-shirts.
The milk, however, has gone bad.

Jim is a long-ago transplant from Chicago, where he studied Fine Art at the University of Illinois, and now resides in Grandview. During the day he wields his mighty construction skills, managing, building, and fixing for a local developer. After managing, building, and fixing a couple of sons, he’s reverting back to his creative hijinks.

(Untitled Prayer)
By Ryan Haye

When I die, I pray not
for my soul to be kept;
rather, I ask that my
everlastingness be
left to rise, and run
with the ruckus of a locust
call for sex: free to assume
the many positions of
enlightenment, be
it in the form of rogue
or sage. Matter means little here.

Ryan graduated with a B.A. in English from OSU in 2000. Since then he has maintained his love for writing, and poetry mostly as a freelance writer for (614) Magazine, and by reading the works of Jim Harrison. Ryan has two kids, a wife that is way too attractive for him, and is co-owner of the Tree Bar (887 Chambers Rd.)