Harp & Altar

Andrea Baker was the recipient of the 2004 Slope Editions Book Prize for her first book, like wind loves a window. She is also the author of the chapbooks gilda (Poetry Society of America, 2004) and gather (Moneyshot Editions, 2006). Raised in Florida, she now resides in Brooklyn, NY, where her apartment is small and entropy upsets her.  She maintains a Lyricism Blog at andreabaker.blogspot.com.


Jessica Baran has a BA in visual art from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry writing from Washington University in St. Louis, where she currently resides.


James Gallagher’s collaged images have been shown in galleries across the world and have been spotted in Arkitip, in J&L Books and Die Gestallen publications, and on fancy linen tea towels. He was born and raised in the Midwest, but has now lived most of his life in New York. His work can be seen at www.gallagherstudio.net.


Elise Harris has written for the New York Times Book Review and the Nation.


Stefania Heim is co-founder and co-editor of Circumference: Poetry in Translation. Her poems have appeared in various publications, including The Paris Review, The Literary Review, and La Petite Zine. Her review of Elizabeth Willis’s Meteoric Flowers was published recently in Boston Review.


Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Kane is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Pittsburgh. His work is forthcoming in McSweeney's, and his translations of Tomaž Šalamun’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Harvard Review, Chicago Review, Crazyhorse, and Denver Quarterly.


Eugene Lim lives in Brooklyn and works as a librarian in a high school. “Product Placement” is an excerpt from a novel in progress called Loop. His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Boog City, sonaweb, and elimae.  He  became fiction editor of Harp & Altar after the publication of the first issue.


Jill Magi is a 2006–07 writer-in-residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program. She is the author of Threads, a hybrid work of prose, poetry, and collage forthcoming in fall 2006 from Futurepoem Books, and Cadastral Map, a chapbook published in 2005 by Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. Prose, poetry, and visual works have appeared in HOW2, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket, CutBank Poetry, The New Review of Literature, Aufgabe, Chain, and Pierogi Press, and are forthcoming in The Tiny and Second Avenue Poetry. She runs Sona Books and teaches literature and writing at The City College and The Eugene Lang College of the New School.


Michael Newton is currently at the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, pursuing a master’s degree in visual art. He likes art a lot.


Cameron Paterson lives in rural North Carolina.  He is currently a graduate student in classical philology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


Lily Saint is a lapsed poet. While she awaits the return of her muse, she is working toward a dissertation at the CUNY Graduate Center.


Tomaž Šalamun lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and is the author of more than thirty collections of poetry. The most recent English translation of his work is Blackboards (Saturnalia Books, 2004).


Joanna Sondheim’s work has appeared in canwehaveourballback, sonaweb, LitVert, Boog City, Bird Dog, and Fishdrum, among others. Her chapbook, The Fit, was published by Sona Books in 2004.


Paul Winner has entered his final year of divinity school in New York.


Michael Zeiss lives in Woodside, Queens. This is his first published story.

from The Threshing Floor
Thomas Kane


When to ask their forebear:

Were thieves present

only to lick at your wounds?


Will they rummage

our pockets, wear our killing

dresses? Because


you, Romulus, would eat

your brother’s eyes

for a ruby and for a crow,


will we?—Sleeping,

the collar is undone and kept

far from the mouth.


It is Easter, 1967.


are the ways we keep from teething.


Sometimes, it is to imagine

each swan,

perfectly curved. Sometimes


we scold

the shadow for bidding

against the hand. 



The windfall brings

your progeny, brings

the frayed rope left behind


by a stevedore, chewed through

by his part wolf.

What we keep to our pockets


is, itself, a story. At dinner,

it is thumbed,

away from the eyes. On the train,


it is set first in Alaska, set

again in Baltimore. It is what we hate

most in ourselves.


I will never be much good

to the gold miners. I will never

save a part wolf. I can,


but should never, own a knife.

The train’s bathroom leaks

our stories to the track. The bridge-


water glows and, somewhere,

a beekeeper glows also, knowing,

to the day,


when his flock will die. He leaves them

a lantern

as apology.




The pretty girl cleans in her sluice.

The cripple wears

his Halloween mask. How else


might we be undone by this book?

East of Eden

is Winterhaven, Florida, a boxcar


full of tinsel. Who would

bathe in tinsel over orient dew

but the cripple and the pretty girl?


Where else but here? Until

suddenly, the stonemason delivers on

his angel. The gymnast


does not retard her legs.

The piccolo!

The virgin calf!


We are okay learning everything

again. The baroque! The art

of carving its haunches!


We play children’s games

on the beach,

in the cavity on the beach.