Emphatically, no killers are we. Poets never kill. Oh, my poor Charlotte, do not hate me in your eternal heaven among an eternal alchemy of asphalt and rubber and metal and stone-but thank God, not water, not water! Nonetheless it was a very close shave, speaking quite objectively. And now comes the point of my perfect-crime parable. We sat down on our towels in the thirsty sun, Alex Carlson’s words stirring carnal desires. “Whispering Winds,” she whispered in my ear as she looked around, loosened her bra, and turned over on her stomach to give her back a chance to be feasted upon.

– Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, pg. 82
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Out of the Black Forest
Poetry by F.J. Bergmann
Paintings by Kelli Hoppmann

That which lurks in shadow is rarely lifted into light. But between the covers of F.J. Bergmann’s Out of the Black Forest, that which lurks finds illumination via imagination and verse. Grim tales are these: of tooth and talon, coil and claw, of beasts in slumber in forests of fancy, and children lost to language and lore. Dear reader, you haven’t breadcrumbs enough to espy your walk out of this wood once entered. But fret not, for you’ll find upon crossing the threshold of Bergmann’s brambly labyrinth, it is here among thorn and petal you’ll wish to remain.

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