Fall 2012: Poetry
the night is plum smoke is cooler than the rest of the country where fires are eating up wilderness burning in the heat and humidity of minnesota middays greedily licking whole patches of colorado but here chimney smoke on the first days of summer damp cedar plumes pepper the air like the first days of october and i am wrapped in a blanket on the porch under the silver fir trees with a silver-plated dessert spoon listening to the widower next door washing his dishes. it's almost ten o'clock and i'm licking the spoon's upturned lip dipping it into a cup of raw sugar then placing it at the back of my mouth back where the tongue doesn't taste anything sweet letting it rest there in the darkness without audience like burnt cane molasses. they say 95 in new york 107 in kansas and everywhere but here people are desperate for ice cubes waiting it out windows on lockdown stripping down to their sunburns. early fireworks light up patches of moonless horizon making a lattice of bottle rockets and roman candles in between rum vanilla mouthfuls and the twang of mid-century tarnish. i am thinking of forgotten desserts the deceased last courses my neighbor might have devoured before time left him alone with a pile of dishes overgrown roses the silent woodshed. i'm waiting out the last licks of sunlight passing my spoon between index finger and thumb remembering how he tortured himself last summer in the apex of afternoons riding the mower in a steady lattice. how i watched him in the sun’s unforgiveness light up a cigarette and smoke it slowly in the grass alley between house and woodshed his whole torso rising like wood smoke his downturned gaze fixed on sun burnt patches. everywhere but here people are tossing feverish in the sultry while i’m listening to the discernible clink of silverware against porcelain rolling my spoon around a dry mouth remembering homemade ice cream its vanilla bean mystery on the fourth of july like alchemy the magic of sugar salt, ice, churned until it was something we could carve our spoons into until it was dark enough to light up the block of ranches and split-levels with our sparklers we spelled out names like prism confetti like handfuls of flung sugar while our mothers drank cane sugar cokes with dark rum out of the bottles and sucked on marlboros camels winston lights their tips glowing like the dregs of abandoned campfires. one year some drunk father lit up our suburbs with a wayward rocket and we just stood there with extinguished sparklers quietly watching the flaming arborvitae lick the ten o'clock sky our ice cream dripping sugary punctuation on the ash-peppered sidewalk. in our burnt orange corduroy cutoffs we played with pilfered matches daring each other to place palms or fingers over the flame’s open limnus until the party died down and our mothers nervous in high-waisted levi's began to shift in their lawn chairs. the wind is picking up as my neighbor coaxes a fire and i'm still outside in wool socks thinking of the sorrow of cherries flambé baked alaska pineapple upside down cake like sunspots of some aged sweetness i stir my well of sugar and remember ice cream trucks rocket pops all of the typical signs of summer as my neighbor slips a clean spoon into his coffee i measure the steps to a dark bed both of us waiting out the night like stray dogs under the cool shadow of parked cars.
Fourteen poets fill this section with mothers, daughters, sons; with dreams, promises, hauntings; with joy, pain and what lies in between.
I am a world creator ... . I am a voice finder. (S. H. Aeschliman, “On Voice”) Meet five prose writers who will guide you into unique worlds and invite you to hear their creative voices.
Three photographers and two painters make the pages of this journal sparkle with color, light, variety.
We are proud to introduce five emerging writers whose work shows a depth of talent and creativity that will delight you.
Here are the 27 authors and artists whose work make our first online issue so extraordinary.
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
To the Friend Who Talked Me Down by Amy Schutzer
Memorial Day on South Greeley Avenue by Penelope Scambly Schott
Lost Rubies by Deborah Brink Wöhrmann
Everything between your palms by Jaime R. Wood
315C by Kristen Roedell
In 4th Grade, Sally Teaches Me the Bases by Betsy Fogelman Tighe
Swan Song by Jaime R. Wood
We by Carrie Padian
The Supplicant by Emily Pittman Newberry
Jailhouse Call by Kelly Running
spoon by Brandi Katherine Herrera
my in mind ungrammared kiss by Melanie Green
Beyond Reach by Leah Stensen
You must give up your dead by Kristin Roedell
Tree Ghosts by Tricia Knoll
Personal Interview by Penelope Scambly Schott
Fairy Tale I Haven't Read Yet by Donna Prinzmetal
One Small Thing Right by Nicole Rosevear
How Mom Played Sad by Sally K. Lehman
Running with Dragons by Trista Cornelius
High Priest by Robin Schauffler
On Voice by S.H. Aeschliman
Lush iii by Tina Tran
The Commuter by Denise Hrouda
Which Witch by Denise Hrouda
The Center of Two by Jolyn Fry
A Knot Unties by Jolyn Fry
weight bags by Calli Storrs
No Parking by Frances Bringloe
Falling in Love by Chaquita McClendon
Go On Then, Gunslinger by Allison Stein
Fishing Float by Sage Freeburg