Issue Five: Winter 2019

BP Issue 5 Cover

Issue five tested us unlike any other issue. Taylor and I both had many commitments beyond the magazine and we were quite frankly swamped from day one of the submission period until the final submission response was sent out. There was a moment back in November where I questioned whether a finish line was even in sight. I was feeling defeated and started to ask myself what I was doing this for; had it not been for Taylor’s resilience snapping me out of my “funk,” the issue might still be floundering to find its way to an end. But with Taylor’s determination to complete the issue and do it as well as the four prior, I found my groove and we gritted our teeth and got it done.

This issue was a wake-up call. Being an editor isn’t easy, and no one said it would be, so if Taylor and I want to maintain and grow Burnt Pine in the literary industry we have to hold on to what it was that inspired and motivated us when we first began nearly two years ago. Taylor held on to what drives her and because she did, we have another issue filled with stories and poems that we are extremely proud to represent.

One of the most rewarding parts of being an editor, for me, is reviewing that work once it has been edited and put into layout. I find such joy in seeing how it all comes together. The common trends and themes that arise from piece to piece, learning about our contributors’ backgrounds as we gather biographies, and simply taking a moment to turn off the “editor eyes” to read and enjoy the pieces we have selected. When I did that these past couple weeks, I reconnected with our tagline of “literature that burns like wildfire” and what it means to me. When pausing my hectic schedule to read the work from this issue it was like stepping into the center of a whirling wildfire. So much noise and distraction going on around me, but the poetry, stories, and personal essays bring me a sense of calm and perspective and pride in what we have curated and brought for you to read this winter.

So, thank you to our family, friends, readers, Twitter community, etc. for sticking with us and supporting us; we could not keep these flames burning without you.


Alexander Opgenorth
Cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Burnt Pine Magazine

Table of Contents


Coffee∗∗∗∗∗∗John Repp
David’s Conviction
∗∗∗∗∗∗Jerald Matters
Empire of Mud
∗∗∗∗∗∗James Roderick Burns
A Glove Triangle
∗∗∗∗∗∗FB Morse
i was born in nineteen seventy…whatever
∗∗∗∗∗∗Sybil Wilen
∗∗∗∗∗∗Paul Bowman
Old Man and the Boxer
∗∗∗∗∗∗Hanna Nielson
∗∗∗∗∗∗Allison Lamberth
Ruger 10/22
∗∗∗∗∗∗Kevin McMahon
Solitary Confinement
∗∗∗∗∗∗Vincent Oppedisano
Still August Nights
∗∗∗∗∗∗Katie James
Suburban Morning
∗∗∗∗∗∗Marianna Boncek


Bring Me Your Dead, Your Dying∗∗∗∗∗∗Shilo Niziolek
Counters and Booths
∗∗∗∗∗∗Susan Dashiell
Dog People
∗∗∗∗∗∗Emma Jane Van Dinter
The Gone Years∗∗∗∗∗∗Kate Liska
∗∗∗∗∗∗Kathryn H. Ross
Multiple Choice
∗∗∗∗∗∗Hannah Laudermilch
Pretending to Sleep
∗∗∗∗∗∗Lisa Reily
The Rock That Can’t Be Reached∗∗∗∗∗∗D.C. Gonk
The Sex Puzzle∗∗∗∗∗∗Kevin Freeman
What Lies Beneath—The Re-Education of a Young Environmentalist
∗∗∗∗∗∗Ruby McConnell


ache∗∗∗∗∗∗Katherine Anderson Howell
∗∗∗∗∗∗Renee Emerson
american threnody
∗∗∗∗∗∗Jungmin Bae
Ballet Class
∗∗∗∗∗∗Buffy Shutt
∗∗∗∗∗∗Laura Lucas
Hagley Park∗∗∗∗∗∗Samuel Harris
Her Negotiations Stand
∗∗∗∗∗∗James Grabill
I’ve Got a Guy on the Inside
∗∗∗∗∗∗Jake Bailey
I Was Told That High School Was the Final Frontier
∗∗∗∗∗∗Mary Cartwright
lemon mouth
∗∗∗∗∗∗Jadyn Lee
my body is a science experiment
∗∗∗∗∗∗K.S. Hufford
These Things
∗∗∗∗∗∗Alexis Draut
∗∗∗∗∗∗Robin Gow