Brine Waves



The Vine

By Kate Savage


An old man looked to his left and saw the mountains; looked to his right and saw the raw, new city; and sliced down his shovel blade into the dust.

He pissed into the hole, and threw in some ox dung. And then he placed inside it the stick he’d brought all this way. Just a dry stick in a hole, the dirt tamped back in.

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The Unhaunting of Greta Johson

By Easton Smith

My grandmother Greta Johnson used to sneak spiders into the house. She lived with her parents in the back quarters of a rust colored Victorian mansion. Renters in the dreggy bits of former luxury. The kind of old home that rose from the roots of its trees, pulled itself together in a knot of tension fixed between its decay and its sturdiness, wrestling with its own being. Like it was breathing. And against this breathe her father stacked heavy, modern furniture and her mother scrubbed with chemical solvents. The spiders never lasted long. But Greta would snatch new spiders from the garden or the alleyways, and hold them however she could. Crawling up the arm, in a jar, in a closed fist. Greta would bring them inside quickly, because after all she didn’t like the thought of so many delicate legs tapping at her skin like piano keys, crawling up the moist crevice of her her lips, ears, or armpit. She would run to her room and then shake wildly like a conjuring, flicking the tiny beast to some corner or another.

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Short Stories About a Long Bike Ride

Photo by Parker Feierbach

By Brooke Larsen


7273 B.R.

I am five and my dad runs behind me as I rapidly pedal a hot pink bike that’s too big for me. We loop the Grant Village Campground in Yellowstone National Park. Towering lodgepole pines surround us and the bitter cold Yellowstone Lake glitters through campfire smoke as the sun sets. Normally my training wheels stabilize me, but today we take them off.

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A Catalog of Gross Animals

By Kate Savage. Compiled on a summertime road trip with Mutt, with thanks to Wikipedia for filling in the gaps.


  1. Tapinoma sessile

Before we leave we buy a home. We mumble the news, we feel some shame. Inherited wealth; stolen land. But still: I harvest garlic, and I am happy.

Our tenants are Lauren, Easton, and one million sugar ants.

If you Google ‘sugar ant,’ this is what the internet algorithms will give you:

How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants in the House | Terminix

Best Ways to Get Rid of Sugar Ants – GETRIDOFTHiNGS.COM

Get Rid of Sugar Ants in 3 Steps

Three pages of this, and probably more. Human curiosity about this ant has one focus: Getting Rid.

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Seven Layers of the Tavaputs Plateau

By Easton Smith


I began research on the Tavaputs Plateau quite by accident. While driving from Denver to Las Vegas for a conference on conifers or crustaceans (or something, I can’t seem to remember much of my life before this occasion), I found myself on a long stretch of desert highway with a full bladder. I pulled off the next exit I could find and relieved myself into the sand. It was there that I saw a lone elk not three hundred feet in front of me, barely shrouded by a juniper tree. The elk stared at me with impossibly large eyes. I am a scientist, and I say these eyes were too large. But what truly grasped me, so much so that I peed on my shoe without noticing, were the antlers. They sprawled like the arms of an angel oak tree and shined black. A thick, living black. The tar slipped from the antlers in a slow, sensual drip. I followed the elk into the cliffs, and there I began what would become my life’s work: tracking the tar through the veins of this body, the Tavaputs Plateau.

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Tar Sands and Sweet Water

By Kate Savage

From the Edges

By Brooke Larsen, photos by Parker Feierbach 

As Kailey and I organize gear on our bikes, we hear our friends start singing “Paradise” by John Prine. We drop our gear and run through the string of aspen lining our campsite to the small huddle of tar sands resisters harmonizing “Daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County down by the Green River where Paradise lay.” Smiles fill our friends faces as they see us run to join. We sing this song often, sometimes changing the lyrics from Muhlenberg County to Uintah County, making our own ode to the Green River that flows through our home region, the Colorado Plateau.


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By: Kate Savage

“Our little boat bobbed and wobbled, and I was appalled by the sheer liquidity of the water beneath us. If I stepped over the side, where would my foot rest? Water is almost nothing, after all. It is conspicuously different from air only in its tendency to flood and founder and drown, and even that difference may be relative rather than absolute.”

-Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

Patty shouts “Let’s do our face lifts!” Standing shoulder deep in the pool we lift our chins to the rafters, lips wide in a grimace. “EAY, EEE, AYE, OWE, YOU.” Patty calls this water aerobics class “Shadeep,” because it’s both shallow and deep. A class for old women, and for me.

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Click here to view the .pdf of this poem!

Quijote – Kenan Ince

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