Keep Coming Back, It Works

Mr. McTeague has a coffee with his girlfriend in his kitchen every Sunday morning. Rodney watches from his car, through the kitchen window, as Mr. McTeague reads the Sunday paper, blurting out scraps of news to his girlfriend.
            Rodney comes to Mr. McTeague’s residence every Sunday, even though he lives on the opposite side of town. Rodney and Mr. McTeague have a routine, and they seldom deviate.
            Mr. McTeague’s girlfriend sips from her coffee mug—hers is teal, bought from some coffee shop, the fancy kind painted by some budding artist. At times, she seems genuinely surprised by current events. Other times, it’s rather obvious she feigns interest. Mr. McTeague sips from a plain white coffee mug, stopping at the third page of the Sunday paper. Continue reading


You said more than you meant to on the edge of Salt Lake City,
where the one-eyed woman panhandled outside our room
and shell casings littered the Salt Flats. You let a lizard run
circles through your fingers. I had never seen someone pick up
the desert. I had never heard distant gunfire. Continue reading

An Interview with Holly Day

Holly Day is one of our most prolific contributors, submitting work that continually makes us think harder, laugh, and forget to breathe, all at the same time. In the past year, Holly has been especially busy, abundant with verse, and we found ourselves in love with five new pieces from her beautiful voice: “Knee-High in the Weeds,” “Because I Know,” “With My Daughter,” “Now,” and “A House for Tiny Spirits”–all available exclusively through Blacktop Passages. Because we cherish her original and fresh perspective, we’re thrilled to feature the following interview with Holly about her life and work. Enjoy!

Continue reading


My boots slip on the ice and I struggle to stay standing
and think, “This? Is this how I die? On a sidewalk
some idiot neighbor forgot to shovel, taking the dog out for a walk?”
Continue reading

With My Daughter

Crows and starlings scatter at the shotgun crack of the ice
shifting and splintering into blue-gray shards.
There is water running in the falls again, a thin trickle
moving beneath the snow
just enough to break through thoughts of winter. Continue reading