Welcome to Issue No. 5 of Prime Number: 

A Journal of Distinctive Poetry & Prose


Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers,

Right on time, here’s Issue No. 5 of Prime Number. We have even more stories, essays, and poems than we did in the first two issues, and we’re excited about that. The quality of submissions we have received has been excellent, and it’s becoming 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 three issues for you to look at, you should be getting a better sense of what we like.

In this issue, we have a terrific mix of stories. Be sure to check out the work of Dennis Ginoza, Margaret Pritchard Houston, C. Angelo Caci, John Flynn, Virginia Pye, and Christopher X. Shade. We’ve also got a trio of short essays by Maris Venia and thoughtful reflections by Jim Krosschell and Faye Rapoport DesPres. And we turn something of a spotlight on Curtis Smith: Jessica Handler reviews his latest book, and Rusty Barnes provides an interview.

Then there’s an amazing selection of poetry by Rachel Hadas, James Cihlar, Robert Hill Long, Kim Roberts, Laura Madeline Wiseman, and Theodore Worozbyt.

Our “cover” for this issue is provided by Janice Phelps Williams, a talented book designer and illustrator.

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.

Finally, we’ve begun reading submissions for Issue 7, scheduled to launch in April. We’d love to include your work, so please submit! 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.

-The Editors

Table of Contents, Prime Number Magazine

Issue 5, January-March 2011



Rachel Hadas

The Beauty of Change

The Quick and the Dead

Still Life

Storing the Season

James Cihlar

Nora Prentiss

Vickie Falls

Robert Hill Long

Retired Logger

Seventieth Autumn

Kim Roberts


Long Division

Solve for X

Laura Madeline Wiseman

Against the Horizon

What Martians Want

Historical Study

Theodore Worozbyt

Garum and Lark's Tongues

Your Body

White Truffles



John Flynn

The Basking Shark

Virginia Pye

Easter Morning

Dennis Ginoza

Euler's Identify

Margaret Pritchard Houston

Imaginary Men

Christopher X. Shade

A View of the Mosque

C. Angelo Caci

Fit to Survive



Faye Rapoport DesPres

Into the Vacuum

Jim Krosschell

White and Black

Maris Venia




Interview with Curtis Smith, author of Witness and The Species Crown

Jessica Handler Review of Witness, by Curtis Smith



Janice Phelps Williams

No. 5


Prime Number Decimals

Prime Decimals 5.2

Prime Decimals 5.3

Prime Decimals 5.5

Prime Decimals 5.7