Welcome to Issue No. 11 of Prime Number: 

A Journal of Distinctive Poetry & Prose

Letter from the Editors (or jump to the Table of Contents)

Dear Readers,

We are delighted to present Issue No. 11 of Prime Number Magazine,  marking the beginning of our second year of publication. Prime Number fans will realize that this is our fifth issue (2, 3, 5, 7, 11), and we are in the process of selecting work from the first four issues for our inaugural print annual edition, due out later this year. (Believe me, you'll hear about it when it's ready!)

In any event, we're starting Year Two off with a bang. We've got short stories by Kevin McIlvoy, Corey Mesler, and Kim Church, among many others. Our poetry features Karen Donovan, Jon Tribble, Laura Lee Washburn, and Lawrence Wray. We're also loaded with non-fiction this time out, including essays by Michael Milburn, Sheila Black, Beverly Jackson, and more!.

We're also delighted to share with you a craft essay by the memoirist and teacher Michael Steinberg, as well as reviews of new books by Michael Parker and Carol Fisher Saller (a contributor to Issue 2). And, for the first time, we have a short drama. This one is by playwright Robert Moulthrop.

Did you see our cover photo? The lovely picture is by writer and photographer Cath Barton.

As we've said before, it has become increasingly difficult to turn down the wonderful work we are offered. If we have had to decline your work, please try us again! Now that we have five issues for you to look at, you should be getting a better sense of what we like.

A number of readers have asked how they might comment on the work they read in the magazine. We’ll look into adding that feature in the future. In the meantime if you are moved to comment I would encourage you to send us an email ( and we’ll pass your thoughts along to the contributors. Similarly, if you are a publisher and would like to send us ARCs for us to consider for reviews, please contact us at the above email address. We’re especially interested in reviewing new, recent, or overlooked books from small presses.

Finally, we’ve begun reading submissions for Issue 13, scheduled to launch in October. We’d love to include your work, so please submit! We need short stories, flash fiction and non-fiction, poetry, reviews, interviews, short drama, and cover art. To learn more, visit our submissions page.

One more thing: Prime Number Magazine is published by Press 53, a terrific small press helping to keep literature alive. Please support indpendent presses and bookstores.

The Editors


Table of Contents, Prime Number Magazine

Issue 11, July-September 2011



Karen Donovan

Taking a Night Kayak Through Bullocks Cove

This Noon

Jon Tribble

Midnight Rainbows From Devil's Kitchen

Young Wife, Bathing

Blue Crabs

Laura Lee Washburn

Ode to the Unwritten Odes

What's What


Lawrence Wray

The Disappearance of Outside

Schubert's Berceuse



Jim Miller


Arthur Powers


Marion de Booy Wentzien

After Roy

Gregory J. Wolos


Kevin McIlvoy


Corey Mesler

The Day the Change Came for James

Maura O'Brien

Corpse Pose

Kevin C. Jones


Kim Church

Cafeteria Lady



Robert Moulthrop

Back up to Fall River 




Annette Gendler

Waiting in the Dark

Erin McReynolds

We Hit People

Michael Milburn

My Memoir

Sheila Black

Waiting to be Dangerous: Confessionalism and Disability

Beverly A. Jackson

The Wing Shed

Jeffery Hess

Nobody's Father



Michael Steinberg

The Person to Whom Things Happened: Finding the Inner Story in Personal Narratives



Martha F. Brenner

Review of The Watery Part of the World, by Michael Parker

Kristen-Paige Madonia

Review of Eddie's War, by Carol Fisher Saller



Cath Barton



Prime Number Decimals

Prime Decimals 11.2

Prime Decimals 11.3

Prime Decimals 11.5

Prime Decimals 11.7