The Main Street Rag, Summer 2015


What’s Inside (Table of Contents)

Interview Double Feature:

Gail Peck interviews Bill Blackley
Beth Cagle interviews Leslie McIlroy


Philip S. Goldberg, Valerie Lute, Erin Popelka


Leslie Anne Mcilroy, Eric Bodwell, Ace Boggess, Michael Carrino, Joan Colby, Douglas K. Currier, Darren C. Demaree, Kenneth DiMaggio, Camillo DiMaria, Richard Dinges, Jr, Witney Dupree, Glenn Freeman, John Guzlowski, David Garyan, William Jackson Blackley, Christopher Hatfield, Lauren Henley, Mike James, Gary Lundy, Peter Ludwin, David T. Manning, Michael M. Marks, Elodia Martinez, Reid Mitchell, John Palen, Kayla Sargeson, Newton Smith, Alana Sherrill, Dana Stamps, II, Clarence Wolfshohl, Lisa Zimmerman, Martha Zweig

Books Reviewed

Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America by Damien Ober, The Opposite House by Claudia Emerson, Vanilla Milk by Chanel Brenner, strange theater by John Amen, What We Would Call Them by Harry Moore, We Mammals In Hospitable Times by Jynne Dilling Martin, The Literary Review: An International Journal of Contemporary Writing Vol. 57 No. 4.


Jen McConnell, Eric Weil, Leanna Stead, Richard Allen Taylor, James Miller Robinson, Lisa Zerkle, Karen Elias.


Michael Cole, Scott Douglass

Cover price: $8

Ship Date: July 15, 2015

Leslie Ann Mcilroy
Pittsburgh, PA


This is how the heart breaks.
Never fast. Always rust. Tears
and a metal-like sorrow, eyes
drawn back to before, more, a
heavy, yawning yoke.

This is how the heart breaks.
A shattering, a moment
or no moment at all, an
un- m/ended erosion, a
beggar moving in, his
stone pillow.

This is how the heart breaks.
Wren grounded, hand empty,
wound open like
a window stuck, the wind
barely in and out, the

This is how the heart breaks.
On Sundays mostly, cracked
vase, big bed, the sun
like god’s head turning away,
his shadow, his narrow

Douglas K. Currier
Burlington, VT


They sit in
union halls,
playing cards,
or in the bar
always just
across the
street, nursing
a slow


They wait for
a ship, the same
way work gloves
wait to be put on,
the way rubber
boots wait, the
way a
coat waits—sleeves
the door.

Ace Boggess
Charleston, WV


(question asked by Jennifer Merrifield)

The football game on the console wore zebra
stripes & fuzz. No one had heard of CNN, its
habit of making us feel ancient, worn,
in constant distress about events outside our lives.
My aunt baked lovely cakes, shaped like Darth
Vader or the logo for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I opened my presents: a cassette tape for a band I didn’t
know, new clothes, a videogame showing duelists
hitting each other with bricks from twenty paces.
It’s a party I’d attend, pastry-eyed & innocent again.

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