Issue #4 July 2015
Detail from Bear Helps Deer Move an Old Sofa by Tim Frisch

Peter Jay Shippy

The Orphan

My sisters learned my lines so well
our parents were able

to shoot around me.

I Hear You, Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci

When you were a kid, did you ever make a telephone with string and two paper cups?

They really work.

Something to do with vibrations and sound waves.

I constructed one in our attic. I used it to call my grandfather. He was living in the happy hunting grounds, which was weird, because he was a vegan. He advised me to avoid right field and to take a legit class in mycology.

He said goodbye with a raspberry.

The next day I called Vermont and Malcolm X answered. We were both surprised to find him there. He was staying outside Montpelier, waiting for the spring migration of the Monarchs. He had very strong opinions on apples.

Roxbury Russets, yes. Empires, no.

Yes, I’d like to come down, and sleep in my own bed, but my wife says that I’m not quite ready.

Can I call you?

Just remember, keep your string taut and never use Styrofoam cups.


When I can’t sleep I tuck my refrigerator
under my pillow

and let its low song lay me down.