Word Fountain

The Literary Magazine of the Osterhout Free Library


Word Fountain Editors

Word Fountain is the literary magazine of the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Est. 2009

Jonathan Greenhause, Spring•Summer 2017

There Aren’t Any Ducks in the Duck Pond,
Jonathan Greenhause

but that’s OK   because there’s no God either,
so the lack of ducks

in a pond named after them
shouldn’t be cause for concern,   this absent divinity

allowing us to believe in other things,   like science
or perhaps ourselves;

& if we try hard enough,
we can put the ducks   back into the duck pond,

put the water back into water,   remove
the contaminants, Continue reading “Jonathan Greenhause, Spring•Summer 2017”


Joe Baumann, Spring•Summer 2017

Joe Baumann

They set you down in an old dentist’s chair, yellow stuffing clumping around the strips of duct tape that catch on the holes in your jeans. Then they apply blue jelly, cold and clammy, to your temples, massaging it against your skin with two fingers each.  Your hair has already been buzzed short so the gloppy mess won’t muss into anything. It is, apparently, impossible to wash out. While they fiddle with their instruments—just out of your periphery, but you can hear something whirring that fills your mouth with a metallic taste, saliva bunching behind your wisdom teeth—a woman with blond hair, wearing a lab coat so tight you’re shocked she can breathe, explains the process, as if you care about glucocorticoid scaling and amygdala blanching.  She produces a multi-colored clay model brain and points at different lobes, tapping what looks like a dyed-blue earpiece, the kind that hooks around the top and buries itself in the ear canal, identifying it as the hippocampus. The machinery, she tells you, will mostly mine through there, Continue reading “Joe Baumann, Spring•Summer 2017”

Jonathan Owen May, Spring•Summer 2017

Party City
Jonathan Owen May

Balloon flesh gleams through hot July windows,
winks in the light at all the passing goers-by.
The stoned employees slurp helium with shrill
glee, anxious for their next cigarette break. James
wants to wait for Stewart so they can make out.
Napkins and plates and table weights festooned
with the hero of a thousand and one faces, blue
and red for boys, funky pinks and mint for little
girls. No one rattles the maracas in the costume
aisle. The two night managers drink sweet tea
and Crown from a cooler in the back. Piñatas
hang from the ceiling as if martyred—they will
bleed for you if you show them enough love. Continue reading “Jonathan Owen May, Spring•Summer 2017”

Carolyn Martin, Spring•Summer 2017

To the Police Officer Who Let Me Off the Hook
Carolyn Martin

You were right: eleven miles over sixty-five.
Can’t argue with a radar gun. Fair and clean,
you net my Honda Fit out of all those speeders
slashing through the Sunset Highway’s curves.

I can tell you now I almost cited Kepler’s Law
of Equal Areas: planets move faster when
they’re nearer to the sun. I could have teased
I was mimicking this natural principle.

I could have spouted lines written while I drive—
Ten geese hitchhiked along a puddled road.
I honk, therefore I am. You honk and you’re a jerk.—
but I figured fast you wouldn’t be amused. Continue reading “Carolyn Martin, Spring•Summer 2017”

Erin L. Delaney, Spring•Summer 2017

Coming Back to Bukowski
Erin L. Delaney

Dispirited, I flip through piles of books
looking for something new,
something to bring on some fire.
Instead I stare down Bukowski.

We’ve been introduced before.
I open Dog from Hell’s pages,
readjust the glue,
recover the nonstick binding.

He provokes me,
pours me a glass
of words,
and this drink ignites
my pen to paper—
a drunken admission
a bare-handed back alley boxing match
until I lie on the page bruised and beaten.
And when my glass is empty, Continue reading “Erin L. Delaney, Spring•Summer 2017”

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