The Centrifugal Eye - November 2010
An online poetry journal of literary force to experience — poetry, essays, interviews, book reviews, and illustrations of an exhilarating nature. This issue celebrates TCE’s 5th anniversary, and features a calendar-style “walk” through the seasons and their respective months — includes poems, essays, and individual mini-interviews with the majority of our showcased poets. Also featured, seasonal photography of a glorious nature. This largest-ever issue of TCE wraps with an index of the authors who contributed over the past 5 years to make TCE what it was ... and is.
The Centrifugal Eye Poetry Journal November 2010 Volume 5 Issue 4 12 Months A Calendar-Style Walk through the Seasons TCE's 5th-Anniversary Issue The Centrifugal Eye Staff Editor-in-Chief; Art Director: Eve Anthony Hanninen Contacts Editor; Ed. Assistant: Karla Linn Merrifield Art Editor; Ed. Assistant: K. R. Copeland Ed. Assistants & Proofreaders: Jennifer H. Bowles, Ismail Ishaq, Sherry O'Keefe Art Assistants: Sharon Auberle, Dallas J. Bryant Quarterly Review Columnist: Karla Linn Merrifield Staff Reviewers: Dallas J. Bryant, Simon Lloyd Dunbar, Ocalive Olaopa Mwenda Staff Readers' Circle: Anonymous Reviewers Cover Art: Front cover image, "Seasons," by Gram Davies, 2010. Rear cover image, Ashen, also by Davies, 2010. Gram Davies is a poet and amateur photographer, who lives in Southwest England. His poetry and reviews have appeared in The Centrifugal Eye on several occasions over the years, and he also had work appear in Tilt, and John Vick`s The Adroitly Placed Word recorded project. Gram enjoys collaborative work, writing reviews, workshopping, and forum participation, as he feels poetry should always be a live and interactive experience in preference to something purely academic. To see more of Gram`s photography, please visit his online portfolio. (http://gramlin.smugmug.com/) Copyright 2010 The Centrifugal Eye -- Collected Works -- All Rights Reserved. Contents TCE's 5th-Anniversary Tribute 4 6 "Centuries of June," Editorial -- Eve Anthony Hanninen Seasonal: Essays, Poems, Mini-Interviews Winter Summer 9 Essay: Kenneth Pobo December 54 June Essay: Janice D. Soderling Jeanine Stevens Margaret Walther Phil Gruis Robert Sell Philip Quinlan William Aarnes Michelle Barker Janice D. Soderling Michaela A. Gabriel 12 14 15 17 19 20 23 24 25 Phil Gruis Zo� Gabriel S. Thomas Summers Kenneth Pobo Janice D. Soderling Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt Lynn Hoffman Margaret Walther Hugh Fox 57 59 61 63 65 66 70 71 73 January July February August 3 Spring Autumn 28 31 33 34 38 41 43 Essay: Michelle Barker March Michaela A. Gabriel Zo� Gabriel Nicholas Messenger Catherine McGuire Michelle Barker Martin Elster Ann Taylor Ron Yazinski Josh Pearce 75 77 78 80 83 84 85 87 89 90 Essay: Paul Fisher September Dawn Schout Paul Fisher Philip Timpane Paul Fisher Lynn Hoffman Philip Quinlan Susi Gregg Fowler Janice D. Soderling Leilani Price April October May 47 48 50 November Reviews: Karla Linn Merrifield on Harry Calhoun Sherry O'Keefe on Karen J. Weyant Advents & Events 100 Contributors & Credits 2005-2010 93-97 98-99 101-105 11/2005-11/2010 The Centrifugal Eye's 5th-Anniversary Issue 12 Months of the Poetic Year A Calendar-Style Walkthrough Dear Readers, I`m glad you could join us, as staff and I celebrate the 5 th anniversary of The Centrifugal Eye with a tribute to the calendar year. Mosey through each season and its corresponding 3 months, represented by a gathering of fine poets, essayists, reviewers, photographers, and illustrators. And while these particular, contemporary writers and artists showcased in our celebratory issue are classic examples of TCE`s usual, outstanding fare, they are still only a fraction of the fresh, lyric, and practiced voices that have graced TCE`s pages over the past 5 years. Today, I want to thank all of the writers -- poets, essayists, reviewers -- and artists of varied styles who have appeared in TCE since November 2005. In commemoration of those fruitful years of creative works, it`s my plan to compile and produce a 5-year-anniversary anthology in 2011, with a target date of summer publication. All works (including some art to be reproduced in black & white) that appeared in TCE during 2005 � 2010 will be considered for the anthology. Also in tribute to TCE`s contributing writers, the staff has produced an index of all authors and their works published in our pages, from the 2005 premiere to present. You can find the index on pages 101�105, at the end of this issue. And a last announcement, loyal readers-- beginning with the April 2011 issue, TCE will be published and available on a triannual schedule -- April, August, and December -- rather than quarterly, as it was. This altered schedule is meant to make room for special publishing projects to come, both for TCE`s contributors, and for her editor-in-chief, alike. Happy Anniversary, TCE! Eve Anthony Hanninen 5 The Ongoing Advent of Seasons by E. A. Hanninen, 2010 Editorial Eve Anthony Hanninen by "Centuries of June" It was crime and mystery novelist Agatha Christie who said, "The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes." For writers, some physical activities are rife with moments to exploit in this manner; the body performs almost automatically, while the mind is left free to roam. And according to a lot of poets, the best time to write a poem is when you`re out walking. These poets seem to be in league when it comes to the practice of being outdoors-- and writing, whether actually, or in their heads, as they sit or stroll. They insist there`s no better way to observe the details of the 4 seasons and their impact on both nature and ourselves. In fact, you`ll notice a sub-theme in our pages about walking and hiking; many of our poets are adamant about their needs for locomotion and its connections to creativity. Poets, as well as artists and photographers, have been caught up in observation of the natural outdoors for much of recorded history, be it Rossetti, Coleridge, Shelley, Frost, Whitman, Wordsworth, or Dickinson. In fact, it was Ms. Dickinson who noted astutely our fascination with the seasonal in her line: Inside a moment, centuries of June. In this November 2010 issue of The Centrifugal Eye, staff and contributors alike have sought to bring readers similar centuries of observation for each month of a calendar year. A worldly year, for places both affect and are affected by the seasons in different ways. You`ll discover this in poems and prose set in international locales, such as Brazil, New Zealand, Austria, and Sweden. You`ll find the poems and essays either occur during, or encapsulate the spirit of, each season . . . or hold up for brief illumination a moment of seasonal minutiae -- the details of poetic reflection. Come walk with us through the year, from winter to autumn, as we embrace both the natural and metaphysical seasons of human existence. Come mark the 5th anniversary and 21 issues of TCE, born during 5 such previous years. Yes, come walk, as we observe and celebrate TCE`s continued efforts to represent outstanding poetry, essays, reviews, and art in a seasonal world. Eve Anthony Hanninen Eve Anthony Hanninen -- an American poet in Canada -- writes, illustrates, and edits from beneath the dripping fronds shading a North Coast, B.C. town. Her poems have appeared in Switched-on Gutenberg, Magnolia: A Florida Journal of Literary and Fine Arts, Sea Stories, Long Story Short (interview, May `09), east to west: bicoastal verse, Sein und Werden (print and online), Moondance, and other fine poetry journals, as well as in the anthologies, Crazed by the Sun and Trim: The Mannequin Envy Anthology. She edits and publishes The Centrifugal Eye poetry journal. Contact Eve (firstname.lastname@example.org) RGB Ivy by Gram Davies, 2010 WINTER Gate, Hartshorne Woods and Navesink River by Laury A. Egan, 2010 Essay: Barren Winter Kenneth Pobo By Kenneth Pobo We live on Barren Road. When my partner Stan and I discuss winter, he says, It's barren. Everything's dead. I remind him of the winter jasmine about to yellow up, even if snow hugs the stems. Dead! he says. It's hard to disagree. Where dahlias lavendered late August, angry snow militias raid the silence. I, too, dislike it, Marianne Moore said of poetry -- and on those days when I can't get the car out due to a freak but not altogether unexpected snowfall, I'd say I dislike winter. Those days pass. Winter is dream time. I think about how exhausted I feel on a Monday after school and meetings. Then I remember how the garden whispers, Please, enough is enough -- let me rest. Winter provides the pillow and bed. Winter, an architect preparing plans for the new building. No need for glass and bricks -- a stem and a blossom are sturdy and easy on the eye. Yet we get grouchy. Car-blackened snow and a low temperature snug in the ugliness. But what about when snow whitens everywhere you look, the world cleansed and almost perfect? Maybe the perfect eventually must fall, but those moments, white upon white, are a moon's white footstep on a dark sky. January is 31 days of yearning. A few years ago Stan and I wore shorts on January 1st. We walked in the arboretum -- a June moment in a January jail. It was like we were schnockered -- stupidly believing that spring would be three months early. Not so stupid; one hellebore jumped the gun and bloomed. A week later winter didn't just knock -- it kicked the door in. The hellebore clutched its pink and waited for better times. If I could lose one month, I'd choose January, mostly for its seeming endlessness. A January day can feel like two days of almost any other month. February, usually with twenty-eight days, feels like a shorter trip -- except on our ice-storm days or when a sudden snowfall whirls in. Finally, it's March, when winter starts checking with its travel agent for someplace else to hang out. Much of March can be nasty, but crocuses pop open on sunny mornings. One crocus can banish three months. I could do without Christmas. And New Year's Eve. Though we celebrate both holidays, we celebrate harder when both go. Christmas is supposed to bring peace. It brings reruns and games. New Year's Eve is a time of new beginnings. We sweep the losses into the dust bin and look away. If we can. Winter may be the season I'd like most to kick in the pants, but it is also a teacher, a hard one, and I keep signing up for classes. A character flaw: I'm impatient. I'm the guy at the grocery store who snarls to himself when the customer in front of him has trouble with the electronic paying device. 9 In the post office, I'm the shaken can of diet cola waiting to have my lid popped so I can spew my anger at the customer who left his wallet in the car. I never say a word. I boil. Winter says, impatience doesn't help. Get used to it. Snow falls. Bitter winds pound against the windows. What of it? All the snarling and shaken-cola-canning won't change any of it. No matter the season, I'm easy prey for distraction. Any house with three cats and a bay window stuffed with cranky orchids and give-me-more-room puff begonias can keep me from my writing zone. In winter the kitchen feels closer. I'm too lazy to bake bread and wouldn't do it without help anyway, but there's hot tea or chocolate or a lemon square in need of a mouth. I pour myself a thermos of excuses. Reading gives a needed push when my creativity goes still. How sweet to find a book-- maybe a roomy one by Mann, or I can have a secret date with Emily Dickinson to rekindle our old flame. Emily writes about a robin coming down the walk. That catapults me from the overcast winter wearies to when the robins will be back. I study frost on the window. Something starts to stir. Sit. Down. Write A poem. After I exhaust a few distractions, a cold, long day often sets me down at my desk in my den. I put a quilt over my shoulders and flip the computer switch on -- I know that I may as well write my silly head off. Emily had her bird; I've got snowpeople leaning against our maple, icicle queens ruling a kingdom of gutters. Sonnets sled down my screen. Flash fictions dish up piping soup, then sprawl on the couch. After I draft and print out the poem, it's alive. Each stanza wants to go play in the snow. In childhood, a bad snow was an invitation to go out. The neighbor kids and I built snow forts. We'd crawl inside them and talk, free from adults, cold but happy. Over forty years ago. I miss it, but I didn't write poems then; I built them with friends in our back yards. Now I use words. It's OK, at least I'm playing -- even when the work gets hard and I start pacing because the poem teeters near collapse. Spring, it's waiting. Let the poem fall. New sprouts will green up from it soon. Winter holds on until its grip weakens -- a flower replaces it. A poem that needed cold soil to be born. Red Wheelbarrow, Longstreet Farm by Laury A. Egan, 2010 December Sugar by Gram Davies, 2010 Spire I slog upslope to a lordly silver spire poised on a fire-blackened foot, its finger to the sky-- defiant, resolute, accusing. Tempests tore brittle arms away until, needle-thin, it's oblivious to wind, a gaunt benefactor of beetles, manic woodpeckers, bright lichen and the odd aesthete. Bears raked claws across a trunk tormented by corkscrew cracks. Now orange surveyor's tape scrawls its doom-- Phil Gruis Phil Gruis A new house goes here. Soon comes the bulldozer, smashing trees, scraping duff, dragging a driveway behind. * Through summer and fall I trespass often, tucking plaintive notes into the spire's wounds. Save me, says the first. Later, Take my little brother instead! Then, Actually, I'm alive! * Late December now . . . the spire still soars regal and obstinate above crusty snow and felled firs-- the scent of their broken boughs like a wail on the mountain wind. I find scratched on the snag a reply to my notes: your trespass KEEP OUT. For one last winter the spire is lord of the forest-- while out on the flats, in belching mills and clanking factories, another cedar chalet assembles itself. Tableau in Winter Gray Sorrow is faceless in her cowl. Skeletal hands click on the wheel as she drives him up a winter canyon to the gate of a forgotten road that crumbles as it climbs toward Richmond Ridge. Her case is made. He's convinced. Neither speaks as he steps from the car -- gun and bible in hand -- and walks past the gate. Snow-traced aspens etch the iron sky. Tombstone stumps rot among silver bones. Mountains turn their backs as covens of whispering firs beckon him into forest painted in black and white and the whole sad palette of grays. Spring lingers half a world away. When it comes again, drawing back the shroud of snow, the ridge will awaken in color -- eager yellow glacier lilies, purple larkspur, red crazyweed and a bright blue jacket. 13 Phil Gruis is the author of two chapbooks: Outside the House of Normal and Bullets and Lies (Finishing Line Press). His poems have appeared in Slipstream, Spillway, The Minnesota Review, Iconoclast, and other journals in the US, UK and Canada. He also appeared in Aesthetica Creative Works Annual 2010. He lives with a brace of Newfoundlands on a lake in remote British Columbia, and in the North Idaho panhandle. Contact Phil (email@example.com) December The soul slithers close to the cooling ground, the low sky a mold to cup and shape this heavy dough, my body I am ineffectual and enduring as those prehistoric goddesses with their menacing stone vulvas This is the season of Stepmother Death, pale and kind as snowfall, the midwinter holiday a feverish, hysterical prayer, a bass line of want I should like to burrow into something warm, a body or a warren, but no home is proof against the elements, and we build what shelters we can out of fingers and twigs Zo� Gabriel Zo� Gabriel Mini-Interview: Z. Gabriel Zo� Gabriel's poems have appeared in over two dozen publications, most recently in Goblin Fruit, Tales of the Unanticipated, Oysters & Chocolate and Jerseyworks. Zo� dyes her hair, but is naturally tall. When not writing poems, she works on her PhD. Zo� is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. Contact Zo� (firstname.lastname@example.org) TCE: What's the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? The easiest? Zo� Gabriel: The easiest is the abundance of strong imagery that comes flooding in; the hardest is that almost all of these images are clich�s deeply ingrained in us by the poetry everyone read in school, iconic scenes in art and movies, and advertising. The trick, then, is to sift through all these images until you find those that are unique, strong, colorful, and convey just what the poet wanted to say (as opposed to my firstgrade teacher, or someone, trying to sell me a car in which to speed through lovely scenery). TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody "place," specific to your home geography? ZG: Most of the seasonal poems I've written over the years are about fall, winter, and very early spring, possibly because I come from a part of Europe that used to have four sharply distinguishable seasons until about ten years ago (since then, global warming's really kicked in, reducing our four seasons to two, with a fall and spring so quick you almost miss them). The part of the U.S. I live in now is similar, and because I've never lived very close to the sea, I tend to identify summer with seaside holidays: too hot and too alien to what I perceive as my regular experience. To me, the word seasons first conveys the images of snow, rain, cold, wind, winter sunshine, the smell of mulch, etc. There's a short story by the late, great British writer, Angela Carter, called "The Erl-King," which describes just the sort of thing I mean: a forest on the cusp between fall and winter, cold and enveloping, yet not exactly welcoming. Not accidentally, the central, fairytale motif of a dangerous elf king is taken from Northern-European folklore, the country of which is all forests, glades, and rivers, an inhabited, yet oddly lonely land, where one is more likely to meet a wolf or bandit than any benevolent creature. Private Levi McCormick Writes His Wife: Christmas 1864 A poem of the Civil War, based on an actual letter S. Thomas Summers S. Thomas Summers I bin down with squirts. My back end's raw as a sun bernt scalp and cold air snaps at me when I drop my trousers. I borrow'd some clothes. Had to wash mine, bein' so smelly. Ther hangin' on a tree limb near the fire -- stil they be frozen, stiff as a ten day corpse. Seen me plenty of them. Anyway, send on a box. I need a scent of home. Tell the boys Mery Christmas. I'll be lookin' for that Christ star whilse I wate. 15 Winterberry by D. J. Bryant, 2010 S. Thomas Summers is a teacher of writing and literature at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, NJ. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Death Settled Well (Shadows Ink Publications, 2006) and Rather, It Should Shine (Pudding House Publications, 2007). His poems have appeared in several literary journals and reviews: The Atlantic, English Journal, MiPOesias, The 2River View, The Pedestal Magazine, Loch Raven Review, and others. Currently, Summers is completing a volume of American Civil War poetry, Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the Civil War. Website (http://thelintinmypocket.wordpress.com/) January Holmdel Park Lake by Laury A. Egan, 2010 Winter Fig We burlap it in winter, can't keep out crowbars of wind. Deer plotch by, chomp and bound away. Some days get so cold, we know it shivers, roots in a clay soil bowl. Fruit. A promise that maybe can't be kept. Kenneth Pobo Kenneth Pobo Tuesday, January 12, 2010 Far away the Earth breaks while you water plants in the bay window, curse plastic wrapping in the front yard; Sandy Posey's Your Conception of Love happying up the stereo, Stan's papers scattered as usual all over the sofa-- this could be any day, it is any day, it is also a day when 200,000 people feel the ground tremble, houses fall, streets buckle. You think about dinner, start the bread machine. The house will smell good. Not like blood. Decaying flesh. 17 Kenneth Pobo won the 2009 chapbook contest from Main Street Rag; it published his Trina and the Sky in December '09. His new chapbook, Tea on Burning Glass, is forthcoming from Tandava Poetry Press. His work has appeared in Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and Prose, Mudfish, Indiana Review, The Fiddlehead, and elsewhere. Kenneth teaches creative writing and English at Widener University in Pennsylvania. TCE: Photographers often take photos at the "edge of change." For instance, dark/light, forest/ meadow, water/stone. When you consider the edges of seasons, and the contrasts from one to the next, what contrast excites you most? Ken Pobo: The change from winter to spring excites me most. It isn't like a play where the curtain falls and a new act begins. It's more subtle, less certain, a day-to-day struggle. Winter has some virtues. Some days I like the cold. When snow first falls, I love the whiteness. But winter feels like a guest at a party who doesn't see you putting out the lights and yawning. I feel this acutely, because gardening is so important to me. After months of minimal blossoms except for plants in our bay window, such as the calamondin orange and the Meyer lemon, and an amazing phalaenopsis orchid that went 9 months in constant bloom, I'm more than ready for spring to come. We have a farmer's market a couple miles down the road. The day they get their first plants is a reason to celebrate. Pansies, welcome, welcome! Note to crocuses: don't skimp on your deep purple. The sky, too, affects me. Here in southeastern Pennsylvania, many winter days are gray and tiring. Spring brings more light. Blue starts chipping into gray. Every day I go out, checking for green or some sign of growth -- changes in the garden routinely appear in my poems. My desk overlooks Barren Road, so the edges of spring/winter are apparent each day, from leaves dashing away from the maple, to the sudden yellow hope in March when our winter jasmine flowers above the remaining snow. TCE: Does your muse visit more frequently during any particular season? KP: My muse (or muses, why have just one?) does have a favorite season -- summer. That's because school is done and I am home more. My writing rhythms aren't interrupted as often. This creates opportunity for the muse. I prefer a good chunk of time to write, and I can more easily carve out parts of the day. Summer has so many thrilling things in bloom, so when I visit with the garden, poems often come. If I'm writing and get stuck, I usually go outside. It clears my head. I do feel a little spoiled by summer (despite my loathing of hot weather and bugs); it's great to wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee -- the silence before the day begins gets the writing off to a good start. In other seasons, I'm often too busy for the same kind of contemplation. I need to work on that, poke more airholes into my schedule. TCE: Are the ideas for your poems snowflakes -- no 2 alike? Or are they kaleidoscopic patterns: crystals of thought shifting in varying degrees to reflect the illusion of difference? KP: Yes, I see them all as snowflakes, none the same, though readers may disagree. Some patterns are similar. Ideas sometimes come to me like flakes falling. I can get ideas any time, but the best time is when my butt's in the chair and I start writing -- ideas come, in the act. Also, if I'm working on a longer poetry project -- a related-series of poems -- the more I write, the more I see what I need to do. I can't fully think it through in advance. Of course, snowflakes often melt. Their perfection has a tiny shelf-life. And many of my drafts end up melting away. Or are delete-keyed. Mini-Interview: Pobo TCE: January is marked by several rituals around the world. The French give gifts on New Year's Day. Roman Christians celebrate Epiphany, the 12 Day of Christmas, with joyous rituals. Across the U.S., citizens honor Martin Luther King, Jr., the slain civil-rights visionary, with parades, speeches, and services of remembrance. What are your January writing-rituals? KP: January's a great relief from December: Christmas and New Year's Eve are over. We usually take the tree down (yes, we still get a real one) in very early January. I like the tree, but after the holidays I'm more than ready to move on; we don't celebrate any religious holidays. January's when I take 2 of our 3 cats (Bailey & Belle) to the vet for their annual check-ups. They don't enjoy this and neither do I. School starts again in mid-January, so the second half of the month is busy with work. The first half offers the pleasures of home -- time to write, to play with the cats, time with Stan. It's usually too cold out to do much outdoors, so the house becomes even more a world of its own. My writing rituals aren't that different in January or any other month. Sit. Observe. Read. Think. Do it. th TCE: January gives us a fresh start, often manifested in the making of resolutions. Have you ever made a New Year's resolution involving your writing? KP: Never. I don't make resolutions at all and don't intend to start. Resolutions can get bound up with guilt. I'd rather keep writing and revising and hope that something good comes of it. January starts getting some really rockin' grapefruits. Oh happy, happy day. I don't resolve to eat them. A dreary gray sky, wind slapping the window glass -- and a tart grapefruit reminding me that winter has some really fabutastic pleasures. Midnight Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling Attuned to the groans and sudden snaps of this cold timbered house flank to flank my skin against your sleep while quietly outside crystal flakes continue to fall killing the children's snow angels Janice D. Soderling is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. Her work is scheduled at Studio Journal, Turtle Quarterly, New Walk, Tilt-a-Whirl, Literary Mama, Literary Bohemian, Coe Review, Orbis, and Mezzo Cammin. She lives in Sweden. Contact Janice (email@example.com) 19 TCE: Are the ideas for your poems snowflakes -- no 2 alike? Or are they kaleidoscopic patterns: crystals of thought shifting in varying degrees to reflect the illusion of difference? Janice D. Soderling: I like that description: crystals of thought shifting in varying degrees to reflect the illusion of difference. Sounds so much better than saying I'm a one-trick pony! I often feel I'm stuck in a rut despite actively striving for variation in form and style in both poetry and prose. I try to learn from my betters. The poem, Disjointed Soliloquy on a Gray Day, is patterned on a form used by Louise Bogan for her poem, The Crossed Apple, though the content bears no resemblance to Bogan's poem. I am awed by certain contemporary writers/poets, though I don't want to mimic them -- I just want to write as convincingly as they do. My fiction gurus include Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Doris Lessing, Fay Weldon, Angela Carter. My poetry idols include the incomparable Rhina P. Espaillat, Anne Stevenson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Stevie Smith, Elaine Feinstein, Paula Meehan, Rita Ann Higgins. I suppose I should also mention some male poets whom I admire. OK, Don Paterson, Michael Donaghy, John Hartley Williams, Gerald Stern. If you chopped them all up (god forbid), and put them in a kaleidoscope and rotated the end 180 degrees, that's the way I'd like to write. TCE: January gives us a fresh start, often manifested in the making of resolutions. Have you ever made a New Year's resolution involving your writing? What was it? Did you maintain your resolve? JDS: I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do tally up the year's writing/publication results and assure myself that this year I will put together some kind of collection. Sigh. I'm working on it. Read more of Janice's interview answers in the Summer (pg 72) and Autumn (pg 89) sections. TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody the sense of place specific to your home geography? Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt: The seasons in Quebec's Eastern Townships are all about light: the proximity of the sun, the presence or absence of it, the quality of light. My poetry is part of my way of mapping the seasons of my inner geography, the light within, coming to a place of knowing, finding the accents and the rhythms of my world. It's about looking for the light in things; a decidedly un-American declaration of dependence. TCE: Think for a moment about the archetypal poet and his/her relationship to the seasons. Get concrete with your philosophical consideration: Which poet from among all you've read has taught you the most about the nature of the relationship between the seasons and the poet? TBA: Here's how French-Canadian poet Gilles Vigneault put it: mon pays, c'est l'hiver. My country is winter. Whether life is imitating art, or art is imitating life, Winter is a main character in Canadian writing. The Canadian landscape, particularly in winter, is neither benign nor indifferent, but a monster, adversarial and threatening, like Earle Birney's mountain crag in David. Poems and short stories written by Canadians of other ethnic origins, and about the immigrant experience through the lens of isolation, fear, and selfdefinition, typically share the same setting: the archetypal Canadian winter. It's not just about enduring six months of snow and getting used to shorter days and compromised light; it's about keeping the faith. It's about survival. In Canada, it doesn't depend on the Solstice or the calendar. That great hulking bear, Winter, decides when to saunter in and stake his claim. TCE: What is it about winter that makes the season more conducive to writing for you? Darker hours? More mugs of tea? Stillness? Typing with snowshoes on your feet? Mini-Interview: Bellehumeur-Allatt TBA: Winter makes us vulnerable. We have to bundle up, cover up, wrap ourselves to keep warm and keep the cold out. This preoccupation with creating warmth can lead to a kind of garrison mentality. The thinking goes something like this: I need to fortify myself, because beyond this place there be dragons. And so, I write poems that celebrate the quality of light in winter. It's a question of redemption. Also, three of my babies were born in winter. My aunt's twin sister died in the flap of the wood stove, because she was so tiny, and it was so cold in the cabin. My father froze the tips of his ears on the February night his father died. Winter has a great deal to say. TCE: January is marked by several rituals around the world. The French give gifts on New Year's Day. Roman Christians celebrate Epiphany, the 12 Day of Christmas, with joyous rituals. Across the United States, citizens honor Martin Luther King, Jr., the slain civil-rights visionary, with parades, speeches, and services of remembrance. What are your January writing rituals? th TBA: For the last seven years, our family has spent the holidays in Jamaica. New Year's Day finds me in an Adirondack chair on my small porch overlooking the Caribbean Ocean. I journal extensively about my life, mapping it out with titles and subtitles, categories and columns, lists, lists, lists. Every now and then I glance back at what I wrote the year before, but mostly it is about looking ahead, making myself new. Reinventing myself. A few times, I've written the new year in, scribbling madly, one eye on the clock, the way some people drink themselves silly. It's not just about the words on the page. It's about the act of writing, the posture of possibility. Path in Snow, Sandy Hook, NJ by Laury A. Egan, 2010 Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt 21 Cross Country Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt skiing in the woods we find an imprint of grouse wings on snow each feather traced fear in the way it brushed the bank and lifted to the pine branch fox print on the side of the trail Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt lives in Quebec's Eastern Townships with her husband and four children. She's been a professor of English literature at Champlain Regional College since 1999, and recently started teaching classes on embodied prayer. Her poetry and fiction have been published in Crux, Room, and in the anthologies, Taproot II, III, IV, and Writing in the Cegeps. Tanya is at work on a novel for young adults. Contact Tanya (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cold Take-Off by Stephanie Curtis, 2010 February Cold Shoulder by Gram Davies, 2010 february-- carpenter's woods this perfect winter day is like a marble egg rounded white impenetrable dense and cold in our numbing hands Lynn Hoffman Lynn Hoffman every point is its highest, every direction is down friction is against its law. the snake of time is asleep inside and the calendar is a soft warm buttery lie this day has no colors but for the streak of sky and the loom of Philadelphia lights downhill. today brown-gray and white is all, is all. Lynn Hoffman has been a merchant seaman, teacher, chef and cab driver. So far he's published two novels, The Bachelor's Cat and bang BANG. He's also written The New Short Course in Wine and The Short Course in Beer. A few years ago, he started writing poetry, which has appeared in Angelic Dynamo, Melusine, Waterways, Abramelin, Referential Magazine, Broad Street Review, Sephyrus Press and valenTRange. His main literary influences are Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, Billy Collins, Groucho Marx, and Ogden Nash. 23 TCE: Winter is a glorious season for hibernation; does the hibernation process play into creating your poetry? Is it important for you and/or a poem to hibernate? Is your muse active in winter, like deer, who do not hibernate, or like otters, who mostly only nap and go out to play in the snow for lively exercise? Lynn Hoffman: If you have a dog, you don't get to hibernate. You're not a deer or a bear or an otter, you're the letter carrier. Every day you're out there. No excuses. Read more of Lynn's interview answers in the Autumn section (pg 84). Ode To My Pubic Hair island of moss words a lover could riffle through bee-sotted V praying to be pressed silk-slipped bush deftly wired for meridian ride delta of seaweed onetime crazed with semen honey O, pubic hair Margaret Walther Margaret Walther at sixty-five I look down winter grass Winter Hardy by Stephanie Curtis, 2010 Margaret Walther is a retired librarian from the Denver metro area and a past president of Columbine Poets, an organization to promote poetry in Colorado. She's been a guest editor for Buffalo Bones, and has poems published or forthcoming in many journals, including Connecticut Review, anderbo.com, Quarterly West, Naugatuck River Review, Fugue, Anemone Sidecar, Chickenpinata, and Nimrod. She won the Many Mountains Moving 2009 Poetry Contest. Two of her poems, published online in 2010 in the journal, In Posse Review, were selected by Web del Sol for its eSCENE 44 � best of the LITERARY JOURNALS. Contact Margaret (email@example.com) Loving, Hugh Fox Hugh Fox Santa Catarina Island, Brazilian summer, at Lourdes' home on the beach, fifty steps and you're in the water, a few degrees below body temperature so you become the sea and the sea becomes you. What about the sharks and . . . ? / E os tubar�os . . . ? I used to ask thirty years ago when I first married Lourdes' sister, Bernadette, after watching the boats down the coast bring in their spear-nosed, scalpel-toothed catch, N�o tem . . . / There aren't any . . . Why not, and then dinner on the hill overlooking the sea, Lourdes supposedly dying of pancreatic cancer, but they keep operating, bio-chemicalling her and at sixty-four she still looks twenty-four. Wind, here comes the wind, here come the storms, but her concrete-block house is built for it, open all the windows, let it come in-- brother Paulo takes me over to his house and for the first time in thirty years I swim-suit it into his perfect pool, lying back on a floatbed, the trees in just the right place to block the afternoon sun, seventy-eight, but slowly becoming ten again, in Miami for our family summers, not a Fox at all, but a Koi fish, measuring time in centuries, not in days, months, mini-years. 25 Hugh Fox is 77, retired after almost 50 years of teaching college English. He's had 105 books published, his latest, The Collected Poetry of Hugh Fox (540 pages, World Audience), and La Paix/Peace (a chapbook from Higganum Hill Press). Hugh is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. TCE : What's the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? The easiest? Hugh Fox: Never seems hard, to me, because every day I drive out into the country and merge with the landscape. I become snow, and growing or harvested corn, deer, cranes, wild turkeys, trees, leaves, mothers out walking with kids in baby carriages on the highways . . . and the craziest part is that I move back into the 19th Century when I pass the oldest farms, farmhouses . . . the old (dead) voices talk to me, and I see the moms and grandmoms, dads and granddads . . . all the kids . . . no electricity, no paved roads, no cars, just carriages and horses . . . TIME TRAVEL! TCE : The cycle of seasons can trigger memories for some poets -- does this affect what you write? Mini-Interview: Fox Mini-Interview: Walther HF: My years in the tropics, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, even up in the Andes . . . I am married to a Brazilian, and every year in the middle of winter we go down to Brazil (the island of Santa Catarina in South Brazil, just above Argentina) and spend a month with my wife's 10-brothers-and-sisters family. And the whole tone in Brazil is different . . . it's all THE NOW, EXPANDING OUT INTO PRESENT PLEASURE, NOTHING NEGATIVE . . . surrounded by the sea, by seabirds, fish, tropical fruits, and a philosophy of NOWISM that you can't shake off. I was married to a Peruvian half a century earlier, and spent time in Peru a lot . . . again, the same sense of turning your back on the preoccupations of the gringo-Americans, and swimming in a sense of religious belief: a philosophy of totally-positive, sensual, sexual, food-centered existentialism. TCE : What is it about winter that makes the season conducive to writing for you? Darker hours? More mugs of tea? Stillness? Typing with snowshoes on your feet? HF: What particularly stimulates me about winter is the sense of ancient (or even contemporary) isolation that occurred/occurs out in farm-country and forest-country. Always a little town in the distance, an old Methodist, Lutheran, even Catholic church . . . but mainly the sense of survival in the old days, and the endless interacting of the people themselves, without electric lights, TVs, even radios, just them and their bibles and snowballing and snowman building . . . the corn, the squash, everything saved from autumn, the importance of interacting, love, hate . . . mainly SURVIVAL! Imagining my own family not only in the U.S., but back in Ireland, the Czech countryside . . . peasants loving-hating their peasantry. And always a sense of new birth and death, death, death . . . the Divine, out there around them. TCE: What's the hardest/easiest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? Margaret Walther: I never start out to write a poem with a seasonal slant. I usually start with a word/phrase or situation/object I want to explore. The poem takes its own route from there -- I can't force it to go a certain direction. If a season comes in, it's because it's innate or integral to the poem. TCE: Photographers often take photos at the "edge of change." For instance, dark/light, forest/meadow, water/stone. When you consider the edges of seasons and the contrasts from one to the next, what seasonal contrast excites you the most? How does this show up in your poetry? MW: The seasonal contrasts that excite me most are the ones for winter, i.e., fall to winter and winter to spring. When my poetry becomes winterized, it becomes stark and austere. Some of the poems about my father's Alzheimer's and my mother's stroke dementia were set in winter. The coming of spring involves renewal, nothing surprising about that-- Stripped to the grim root / of long, mute winter / I arose to watch the trees / put on their slips of tender green. (Poem published in Buffalo Bones.) TCE: Winter is a glorious season for hibernation. Does the hibernation process play into creating your poetry? When is it most important for you and/or a poem to hibernate? MW: I revise, revise, revise. Very seldom do I have anything gush out that is a complete and/or completelysatisfying poem on the first draft. Now that I'm retired, I'm revising poems that I wrote years ago and didn't have the time to return to. Also, one could consider sleep to be a type of hibernation. Oftentimes, when I go to sleep, I'll wake up, sometimes in the middle of the night, with a solution or more parts to the poem. TCE: What's a talk about February without mention of Valentine's Day? Are you a cynic or romantic? MW: My parents were opposites -- my mother, a sentimental romantic, my father, an agnostic cynic. I tend to veer wildly between the two poles. This ambiguity colors my poetry. SPRING Spring-loaded by Gram Davies, 2010 Michelle Barker The Season of Yes By Michelle Barker Essay: In Rilke's Letters to A Young Poet, the author urges his friend to ponder an essential question: "This above all -- ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write?" When I first read this, I found myself hoping that the young poet was not pondering his answer in the middle of November, for it seemed to me that if his night was a fog of dismal rain his answer might well be "no." Do the seasons wield such power over us? Perhaps. Perhaps I was lucky to have read Rilke's letters during the spring. Outside my window, the branches had layered one new color upon the next as if they'd agreed upon it beforehand in the boudoir. A breeze carried the scent of fresh rain and blooming flowers. The man who walks his two dogs every morning passed by my window, the dogs pulling at their leashes, single-minded in their desire to smell the grass. And I asked myself, must I write? They say if you can talk yourself out of it, then do so as soon as possible to spare yourself the heartache. So I tried. Writing is communication, of course. It is an act of generosity, a desire to share an insight, viewpoint, impression, or tell a good story. But Rilke's book led me to wonder: what if my words could not make a single flower grow in another person's life? Would I still write? I asked this question in springtime, after the thaw had arrived and tulips were thumbing their noses at a season of frost and bare branches. I asked it on a morning when you could look at your winter coat and say, "Not today, thanks." That was unfair. It tipped the scales towards an unquestionable yes. In all things, spring is the season of yes. Every promise made during winter presses through the softening earth as though confirming that the bargain will be honored. After unremitting grey skies or endless vistas of snow, the new colors come as a shock. Spring is not embarrassed by itself. It makes pronouncements. It is the April trickster who arrives at your door wearing a jester's hat with bells on the tips and mud on his boots and a goofy smile on his face. He proposes a day off, a walk in the wind. He suggests you pay attention to the ground at your feet. If the winter has been hard, on a warm spring day you can hear the earth awakening, the ground humming and purring as if a hibernating soul is stirring at last. One's overwhelming response to such bounty must be a grand, arms-wide thank you. Of course I must write. Because there are fireflies, and gold-shelled beetles, because of the tumbleweeds that roll down my street on a windy afternoon, families of them, the smaller ones struggling to keep up. I write because of the way green colors the world in spring like a giant paint can tipped upon trees from the top down. I write because of the way the thaw breaks up a frozen river into ice floes that pile up on the shores like giant building blocks. Because one day at the river there is frozen silence, but the next day might bring a trickle, and then at once there is flow, great gushes of water stretching its muscles after a deep sleep. I write because of the way horses sense the change in season. They know when winter has turned. You can tell by the way they stand so still in the sunlight, absorbing its warmth. And dogs, seeking that patch of light on the porch and then spending the entire afternoon reveling in it. And birds, eager to bring forth the songs they've kept hidden all winter. And newborn calves, marveling over this place they find themselves in, this world they can't get enough of with their wide uncertain eyes. You can see them trying to piece it together, this miracle of grass, and then that one of blue sky. But I have to be honest: it wouldn't matter the season in which I posed such a question. I write. If I'd asked myself in winter, I might have contemplated the barebranched tree, and like Brother Lawrence, been converted by the mere promise of spring. If in fall, the colors would have brought me to my knees in gratitude. And in summer, tending my vegetables, if I did not feel the urge to describe the way the sun gets into that dark red skin of a fresh tomato, the way you can dream yourself straight to Italy just by bringing it to your nose -- then no, I would not be a writer. My neighbor walks his dogs every morning at the same time, no matter the season or the weather or whatever else happens to call to him. And me -- I write. How can I do otherwise? How, then, can I keep from throwing myself at the world's feet and saying "thank you?" If your answer to Rilke's question is an enthusiastic affirmation, then go outside, now, every day, to remind yourself that you are surrounded by miracles. Every season has its riches; each awaits only the artist who will bring these riches to life and then share them with the world. 29 "Out of the Blue" by Gram Davies, 2010 March Proper Prim by Gram Davies, 2010 Michaela A. Gabriel 026 iron (fe) southeast of mars, two minutes past winter Michaela A. Gabriel mars awakes: a season changes. springtime. dust devils weigh anchor, spiral skyward to dizzy a pair of meteorites whose spears nudge the halo of a green planet. two marbles slip from a lesser god's pocket: one black core shrouded in the strawberry red of terror, the other fuzzy like a child's fear of the dark. a bird sings of egyptian blue. its wings resemble wrought-iron fins, the horns of a sumerian bull. a many-fingered star fills a forgotten space: this is no time for war. a hammer cools on the anvil where gods forge discord and strife. the sower's heavy footfall reverberates between worlds; seeds rain from his shield, settle in cool earth. 31 Michaela A. Gabriel lives in Vienna, Austria, where she works as an English teacher for adults and a translator. She has been published in English, German, Italian, and Polish, both online and in print, and is the author of two and a half chapbooks: apples for adam, the secret meanings of greek letters, small confessions and pebbles of regrets (with Alex Stolis). Although afflicted by writer's block for a while now, she has not entirely given up hope that she will one day finish her full length manuscript, elemental. This is Michaela's second appearance in The Centrifugal Eye. Contact Michaela (firstname.lastname@example.org) TCE: When asked to write a poem with a seasonal slant, what's the first "sense" (hearing, smelling, etc.) that occurs to you? Michaela A. Gabriel: I'm very much a visual type, so poems -- no matter what they are about -- frequently begin with an image-- either something I actually see, or in my mind. In poems with a seasonal slant, these initial images have included: "a sickle-shaped branch," "flowers too bright for untimely graves," "a sundial in the rain," "the night has such cold fingers," "a shower of blossoms," "wild melon by the roadside," "as spring slinks in," "baked fields," "bushes in the grip of hoarfrost." Sounds can also trigger poems, for example, "frozen spittle cracks beneath my boots," "brooms whispering," "staccato of hail," the sounds of birds, cicadas, or other animals, leaves or branches in the wind, etc. TCE: We've received a record number of submissions to our calendar-themed issue, and that's made us curious: Why is it that our seasonal slant evoked such a torrent of responses? Why do the seasons captivate the poetic imagination? Stir poets so? MAG: It might be the fact that we associate so many things with the seasons. Not only do they affect or even dictate how we spend our free time (especially in geographical zones where we have four seasons), the food we eat, the clothes we wear, where life takes place (in/outdoors), the festivals we celebrate, they often affect our mood and emotions. Seasons can reflect what's going on inside us, and the cycle of spring, summer, autumn, and winter mirrors the circle of life in general. Poems about the seasons or inspired by seasons can go so far beyond mere description. Seasons or aspects relating to them can be used as metaphors, and all senses can be involved quite easily. TCE: How often do you write about new growth, such as sprouts in spring, or a budding relationship? Or do you find you more often write about the opposite concepts: end-of-life cycles or death? Do these subjects often interrelate or cohabit in the same poems or pieces of your writing? Mini-Interview: M. A. Gabriel MAG: I cannot actually say how often I write about these issues, but they do come up in my poetry. I think it depends on what's going on in my life, whether I'm writing a lot about personal issues at the time, whether I'm going through a crisis, am stuck in some dead-end street, or have come out at the other end of a long, dark tunnel. I remember in times when I was very much in love and giddy with those emotions, there was a lot of vocabulary in my poems that you might associate with spring, with the concept of something new being planted, also perhaps nurturing and tending to something that has not fully grown yet. On the other hand, at the end of a relationship or when I was in the midst of a really tough time of panic attacks and depression, there were a lot of words or images connected with dying, death, bleakness, little light, endings. Since the concepts you mention -- new growth and death -- are opposites, they sometimes occur in the same poem, yes. TCE: March is thought of as the earliest month when, in many northern planting zones, scratching in the dirt to plant seeds is first possible. What month do you think of as the best in which to plant seeds, and which do you find yourself most often planting the seeds of ideas for poems? Are they the same month? MAG: I do have bursts of creativity, but as far as I can see they are unrelated to seasons. While I find April best for planting seeds, I can't say that this is also the month when I am most creative or have more ideas for poems than in other months. I must say I find this rather difficult to answer, as I've been blocked for a large part of the past three years. Before that, I tried to write daily (and I actually succeeded over long periods), and I cannot say that I found this much easier in certain months, or that if I did, it also depended on factors such as how busy I was, or whether I was working on a series of poems, what was going on in my life, etc. As this is specifically about the seeds for poems, and seeds don't always result in finished poems, I'd have to have a very close look at my poetry files in order to find out if there are significant differences between seasons or months. Spontaneously, I'd say that autumn might be my most creative time, or the time when I have a lot of ideas for new projects and/or poems, but perhaps my perception is influenced and distorted by my love of that season. Zo� Gabriel The Muse in March for Wislawa Szymborska Zo� Gabriel A drizzly day, slow and sodden, cantankerous as an old woman. March hares and March weather wax inconstant. Rain's end, on the cutting edge of night: a birdcall, self-consciously alone in this twilight without sundown. The view of still-naked trees is lovelorn, almost pestilential. But still: that call, defiant and shy. When cannons and thunder cease, someone always sings. 33 Read more about Zo� in the Winter section (pg 14). "Surrender" by Gram Davies, 2010 TCE: Photographers often take photos at the "edge of change." For instance, dark/light, forest/ meadow, water/stone. When you consider the edges of seasons and the contrasts from one season to the next, what seasonal contrast excites you the most? Nicholas Messenger: It seems to me that the emotional and poetic force of the seasons lies altogether in memory and expectation. Seasons unify cultures in their demands, satisfactions, comforts and discomforts, all wrapped up in the shared experiences of our surroundings, which we look forward to, dread, and remember. In our concepts of the seasons, we are completely at one with our culture, class, and the world all at once. To be sure, technological societies detach us from raw nature by various acts of subtraction: we smudge darkness with lamplight, breed the sharpness out of apples and the chewiness out of chicken, smooth the weather out of our dwellings, and so on and on . . . but we go on listening for the distant ring of seasons that brought us together in almost religious fervor. Artificially, we re-invoke their experiences, with our blossom parties, whitebait festivals, flower banks in our city gardens and such; but poetry, as an artefact, does its own work, amplifying the tiny signals that come to us, that trigger the memories and expectations themselves. Literary celebrations like "sumer is icumen in" and "Season of mists and mellow fruitfullness" are of another, older world, themselves parts of that remembered weather, but the living poet places his ear to the railway line for the jingle of that distant train, sniffing the air. . . . The poem wakes up at the tremors, whispers, scents and shivers . . . One of the most stimulating hints of change has always been the feel on my skin of a particular wind, suggesting the end of the indolence and delectations of summer -- as a younger man, always connected with the urge to be going somewhere. I've just dug out of my memory an old song I wrote nearly fifty years ago, more boy than man, "That Moving Wind:" "The cresses spread out / so the water glints among them. / Tinkle and ruffle. / Fleet rings and silver dimples / linger on the pool. / Soft winnow of the walking wind / among grey aspens; / soughing among thistles. / Listen to it fossicking / again that Travelling Wind." Here are some "instamatic" poems I've used over the years to snatch fleeting moments; naturally, many are born out of the whiff of a season: (33.) The hooters call me to the window. / As I lean out on the iron railing / to survey the port, and wonder which one of those lights is hailing / which, in their slow transits of the darkness, unexpectedly my elbow / stings with cold. That's autumn, all but one or two degrees withholding. (38.) They are excellent thermometers. / Their tiny bodies hover at the ambient temperature of air. / By butterflies the May, and flying ants discarding their wings everywhere / the rainy season; by the dragonflies the August on their fluctuating altimeters, / and by the October midges swirling, we can read the weather. (520.) Midnight and the wind's awake. / It shoves the boughs awry, and lets a streetlight peep / into our bedroom, which the leaves of summer normally keep / private; the way up out of the sea that looked opaque / an octopus, at first in flickers, luminously assumes a shape. TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody "place," specific to your home geography? NM: New Zealand is not just on the wrong side of your seasons -- the tails to your heads in North America -- it is a thoroughly temperate (though tempestuous) country. Its violent geography is matched by a stoic vegetation: dark evergreen rainforest covers our native mountains far into the south; their tops are often snow-clad, but as brilliant, almost lacerating sunshine quickly follows the storms, the snow melts through the canopy all the way up to the tree line (falling onto the ferny floors to create weirdly luminous submarine forests, but these known only to more venturous mountaineers). In keeping with this world of soft-voiced birds and crepuscular moths, our forest blooms are mostly almost colorless, tantalizingly-scented. The small outbursts of white clematis send us into raptures by saying "spring" in a voice only locals hear. Consequently, Mini-Interview: Messenger outside of our towns overrun with introduced-deciduous plants, the sense of spring, and even more delicately that of autumn, only come with experience, commitment and attention. They offer us a rather private, almost selfish, tribal satisfaction. Even at its fiercest, all we ever really have for a native spring is its signals, shy delights that sparkle in consciousness, like those glimpses you get of a precious wild thing (in our case that would be to see the timid nocturnal kiwi in his haunts at midnight -- our birds too, you see, are in cahoots with the poetry of the land!). Thus the landscape here, as it appears in the seasonal poem, is peculiarly poetic in the very way I have been trying to explain in my previous answer. To give you a whiff of how that might be, here are excerpts from a couple of pieces; the first, "The Scented Orchid," to show how closely we have to pay attention to our spring: "The first day we were coming home along the path / I smelled the honey, and stopped there in its sphere of influence . . . we searched among the branches / overhead, and on the wash-out for the cause, but couldn't find it. / It was just the early summer making its presence / felt in its typical bashful manner . . . // Going back another day we noticed in the same place, / less of a honey smell perhaps, but more of the perfume / of the orchid. And we had another poke round in the lace / of the fern. A whiff of breeze came by . . . / there was a pool of air here, like an eddy in a room, / which kept it in suspension, in the same way sunshine gathered bees." The poem goes on to describe bees found on the trail, and "just where we had smelled the scent, we found / another, bumbling through the maidenhair. / . . . // I watched him wander as it were by accident / into a hole, but from the time he took to reappear / I realised it had to be his hive. And it was suddenly evident / why we could smell the / orchid nectar. For these stalwart bees / had found them out somewhere along the clear / gold creek, and concentrated the delight of this discovery." And one more, "Preparations," to show you what a full-blooded spring poem might sound like! "Douglas, we have begun preparations for you. / We have installed the spring sou-wester / where it carries the repairing sound of breakers through / the fern-groves, and the sun-shafts slanted with it / as if they were hanging like silk dusters / down out of the canopy. The perching lilies / on the cantilevered rimus gently dip in it with / their green paddles, carried in a flock among them. / We have tethered fantails where they'll dillydally / from the low boughs in the golden openings of the path. / Behind us, we have hung the gulls, and rung them / in the air above the dunes and tangled brine-blanched / timber that we piled to give the sea's wrath / something definite to gnaw on. We unrolled a stream, / a tad untidily so here and there it branches / into hollows in the paddocks and the wading weeds / grow vain from looking in it. We have left its gleams / to secretive deliberations here in the foundations / of the forest. Through the tall bays of the trees ahead, / we have provided one hill with a headdress / of cloud feathers, but beyond it we have pitched the mountains' steep white tents for you, in readiness." TCE: March is thought of as the earliest month when, in many northern planting zones, scratching in the dirt to plant seeds is first possible. What month do you think of as the best in which to plant seeds, and which month do you find yourself most often planting the seeds of ideas for poems? How often do you write about new growth, such as sprouts in spring, or a budding relationship? Or do you find you more often write about the opposite concepts: end-of-life cycles or death? NM: March is, of course, the end of our summer. But as I have said, our winters are never so severe that we suffer that longing to escape them even in our Septembers. But I have now lived in several countries where we did, and coming to those winters first, as young antipodeans, we are puzzled to find spring evoked so early, in the darkest months; we tend to put it down to the creep in the traditional lunar calendar as superstition hangs back under the eaves of dark ages, afraid to come on into the present; we find ourselves easily duped by those false springs of February, and poignantly stirred to find the plum blossom buried in snow one morning. But it seems obvious after awhile, when we realize that spring is a memory and an expectation -- that if you think you'll ever actually live in one, you are dooming yourself to disappointment. But that is because we are adolescent in our distant colonies, and suffer their resentments and exaggerated notions of entitlement; and all our experiences are second-hand in the sense that we had them mapped out for us by literature and only tasted their reality after we had met their ideals. We find it easier to believe the sharpness of your autumns than the dodgy promises of your springs. So you see, your March really is our September! 35 Nicholas Messenger What's Wrong with Strawberries? Nicholas Messenger What's wrong with strawberries, she says. What's wrong with strawberries?! I'm sick and tired of summertime and strawberries; with sunny days that never want to go to bed; with strawberries and cream; with cheese and cider; picnics at the riverside with silver bowls of strawberries; pavlovas strewn with strawberries; with wasps on bread and strawberry jam; champagne and strawberries at the tennis games; Decembers answering elsewhere to the name of June; with strawberry birthmarks proving you're the heir of millions, strawberry blondes, and Strawberry as a name for ponies. Until strawberry time comes back around we'll speak no more of them. Let's hear it for the humble plum: an acid fruit, at heart a stone. It talks to me, its dark, dwarfed grandsires found still hanging onto their misgivings in the wintry woods, where tiny, pallid, tasteless strawberries shone in summer depths, as if the plants were sweating blood. Born in 1945, Nicholas Messenger had his first poems published in New Zealand, as a schoolboy. He completed a degree at Auckland University, traveled extensively, and lived at various times in France, England, and Japan. He's worked at many jobs, including seaman, security guard, demolition worker and laboratory technician, and for a long time made his living as a teacher, of science, art, and languages, in high schools in New Zealand; and of English in Japan. He won the Glover Poetry award in the 1970s. He's had work published in many online magazines; he's also written plays for children, fairy tales, short stories and novels. Selected poems in volumes, from his "Mole's Garden" collection -- short, "Instamatic" poems-- and some of his fairy tales, are available through Academy Books. The book-length poem, "Er the Weaver," and volumes of his plays are available through the author, and four novels for young people are in preparation under his Konuoi Imprint, expected out this winter. Nicholas is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. Academy Books (http://www.academybooks.co.nz/results/author/Nicholas_Messenger/) April Cherry Bride by Gram Davies, 2010 Catherine McGuire Cherry Bride Catherine McGuire Overnight in a thrumming rain the last cherry blossoms fell away. The tree stands with clear green leaves, like a young bride perhaps stepping out of her wedding dress, taking up work in the yard, amid the spilled confetti, the first exuberance exhausted; long mild mornings rambling like curious kin through another jade season; trees all around filling in, everyone stretching for a share of sun, every palm cupped, playful. Pink lace gone, now sleek, eager, the cherry bends and nods in a light breeze, modestly blending back into the woodland, nothing special to recommend it before the fruiting begins. "Fruiting Limb" by E. A. Hanninen, 2010 Spring Unfurled The restlessness of trees and their green ivy creepers shivering like scarves on giraffes give this month its uneasy feel. Time streams; a swelling, wild flow that tumbles my tasks til they're heaped into corners, and I'm beached on the couch, my edges gone soft, my resolve sunk, swept by an undertow of green longing, relentless, scattering my plans with the last of the dead leaves. Unseen sprites keen and veer -- any loose cloth or string becomes a mad streamer or kite as April takes flight in a whirl of birdsong and breeze. All through the vistas of the forest, tight red buds have split and new leaves like celadon flags venture out on bobbly stems, junior pennants cheering the mad rush. 39 Catherine McGuire has been widely published-- more than 160 poems over the past two decades, including pacificREVIEW, The Lyric, The New Verse News, The Smoking Poet, Poetry In Motion, Folio, and Main Street Rag. She has published a chapbook, Joy Into Stillness: Seasons of Lake Quinault, and lives in Sweet Home, Oregon, with her garden and chickens. Contact Catherine (email@example.com) TCE: When asked to write a poem with a seasonal slant, what's the first "sense" (hearing, smelling, etc.) that occurs to you? Catherine McGuire: I'm a visual person -- it's the quality of light (the winter skyblue is not the summer skyblue) and the change in vegetation that first strikes me. Often, I'm writing poems by staring at some scene (either while driving, or through a window or across the yard). The shapes of the landscape that change as the seasons change are compelling to me, and of course, the amazing colors of fields and trees. But the other senses follow quickly. The smell of fall or spring is distinctive, and I have consistently smelled the "preview" to fall breeze in around here in August for about a week: the air smells different, a sure sign of change. The feel of the wind is different in winter versus summer (or even spring). Hearing birds begin again in spring is enough to lift the heart! Hearing geese fly south in fall is like a dirge. I try to bring in all the senses when I write poems, but some come immediately; others I have to search for. TCE: What's the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? The easiest? CM: The hardest is not to fall into clich�. Because seasons have been the source of poetry for so long, it's hard to find fresh words and images, sometimes. But rewarding when it works! The easiest is just to respond to the inspiration -- I find that a lot of my poems are seasonal, especially now that I live in a rural area and am surrounded by Nature. And the cycles of the seasons have always been amazing to me -- the differences within the similarity. The most miraculous things unfold as the seasons shift, and because they are fleeting, you have to make time to look at or encounter them. They're not "canned" like videos, waiting your whim. But maybe because of that, they're so compelling I try to spend as much time as I can in nature, watching this endless and endlessly-new panorama. TCE: How often do you write about new growth, such as sprouts in spring, or a budding relationship? Or do you find you more often write about the opposite concepts: end-of-life cycles or death? Do these subjects often interrelate or cohabit in the same poems or pieces of your writing? Mini-Interview: McGuire CM: Life and death are often joined in my poems, because it seems apparent that often something dies in order for something to be born. That's a frequent theme for me! In fact, I might say this is the essential question of my life: what is it that re-sprouts, that begins, again, and what is it that dies? The cycle of life/death is something I believe we as a culture have lost contact with, to our own diminishment. One reason I love Wendell Berry's poems is because he's so close to the cycle, and never trivializes it. The life/death cycle may very well be the "cure" for our linear, isolated culture, which is killing itself because it refuses to recognize or deal with death. TCE: Chaucer opened his The Canterbury Tales in April: "Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote / The droghte of March hath perced to the roote . . . " Much later, T.S. Eliot called April "the cruelest month." Now, in TCE, you've joined their ranks as April poets. What is it about April that so inspires poets? CM: I believe it's the miracle of rebirth, as well as the sudden reversals that seem cruelest when they hit defenseless new growth, or small beings (animals, bugs). Anyone who takes the time to watch this process, as poets do, can't help but be amazed at both the strength of budding and randomness of destruction. And in cold climates, especially, by April we are so ready to have warmth and sun! By April, it can be a little hard to believe we'll soon be able to sit outside all day, barely dressed. We cheer for spring to push aside winter. We're also aware that damage done in this month can last all year (i.e., frozen buds mean no apples) . . . it's a season of "propagating gods," in a way. My poems are a way of honoring this process with my witness, to show that such wonder, and terror, are not ignored. Michelle Barker Spring Thaw Lake Massawippi, Qu�bec The last floes of ice come to rest near the lakeshore thinned into clear flat bodies skin translucent approaching spirit though the rest of the air is warmed by a killing spring sun I can feel the floes' icy sighs on my face hear their tinkling and cracking -- like elves with bells a force greater than they are is pushing them to the entrance of the river already they see their brothers coasting downstream helpless naturally they panic it's a stampede to the shore ice bodies rising one upon the other trying to save themselves by drowning their neighbors sometimes a shape arises in the lake like a mitt of frost-- the hand of a drowning man. Michelle Barker Michelle Barker's poetry has appeared in Room of One's Own, Descant, Cahoots Magazine, Cicada, The Mitre, carte blanche, The Antigonish Review, Vallum, Autumn Sky Poetry, Taproot IV, and Tesseracts 14, with work forthcoming in Room, and a UK magazine called The Scrumbler. In 2008, she was nominated for inclusion in the Best New Poets Anthology. Next year, Leaf Press will publish a chapbook of her Queen Charlotte Island poems called, Old Growth, Clear Cut. She has published creative non-fiction in Event, which won a gold National Magazine Award (2002), and in Grain. She has also published non-fiction in The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, Cruising World Magazine, and Reader's Digest (Canada). Her short fiction has been published in Words Literary Journal, and in Taproot II, and she recently won honors at the Surrey International Writers' Festival Storytelling Competition. Learn more about Michelle and her work on her website. This is Michelle's second appearance in The Centrifugal Eye. Website (http://michellebarker.ca/) "Madonna Orchid" by Sharon Auberle, 2010 41 TCE: What's the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? Easiest? Michelle Barker: To me, the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant is avoiding clich�s and saying something fresh and new about a subject that begs for poetry (and receives it in abundance). The bare branch, the budding rose, the harvest moon . . . it's all been done. The challenge is to really see these things anew, through your eyes -- to make the season your own. The easiest part of writing such poems is that the natural world clamors for your attention. And attention is the cornerstone of poetry. All you have to do is step outside and everywhere you look there are poems. TCE: We've received a record number of submissions to our calendar-themed issue, and that's made us curious: Why is it that our seasonal slant evoked such a torrent of responses? Why do the seasons captivate the poetic imagination? Stir poets so? MB: Of course, the colors and changes of every season will inspire any writer to pick up her pen. But I believe the seasons captivate the poetic imagination for another reason as well: because they are a reflection of our own lives. We, too, have seasons, and by observing the seasons around us we can more easily come to terms with our own winters and summers, the endings and rebirths in our lives. Seasons are symbolic. They are great teachers. They remind us of the virtue of patience, and that everything passes. Every ending is also a beginning, and there's no sense in fighting what is. TCE: Most of us encountered e.e. cummings' "mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful" brand of spring as school children. As an adult, how has your poetry evolved, in comparison to cumming's image of an ebullient spring? MB: I'm not sure mine has. Spring for me is still a goofy puppy completely enthralled by every bit of life he encounters. Everything is a mystery worth exploring, and every day the suggestion of a walk is as exciting as it was the day before. "Mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful" may be childlike, but these terms contain an enthusiasm that is worth cultivating. A child's view of the world might be simple -- but if the poet can suggest complexity without losing that sense of wonder, then he might capture the secret of happiness. TCE: Chaucer opened his The Canterbury Tales in April: "Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote / The droghte of March hath perced to the roote . . . " Much later T.S. Eliot called April "the cruelest month." Now, in TCE, you've joined their ranks as April poets. What is it about April that so inspires poets? MB: April is a season of great change. I lived out East for many years where winters meant that the world was white for months on end. When the first colors of April emerged, it was always such a shocking reminder of what I'd been missing. Thaw was truly thaw. In April, everything stretches and stirs and cracks and comes alive. April is the season of rebirth, the new start, the welcome warmth after so much cold. I think rebirth is an idea that inspires everyone: the promise, the hope, the revival. Energy is everywhere. Mini-Interview: Barker Read more of Michelle's interview answers in the Summer section (pg 70). Martin Elster Spring Peepers Martin Elster Spring peepers trill and whistle in between The avenue (where drivers rush toward shops), Construction site, the woods, the putting green. No one stops to listen to these drops Of sentience small as buttercups and shrill As piccolos. They hide amid the stalks That rise up from a liquid eye as still As a spyglass pointed at the equinox, Unblinking for eternity. The first Of April. The environs dance and ring With notes from frogs who, though they're unrehearsed, Belt out a song precisely tuned to spring. These lusty soon-to-be inamoratos, Iconic crooning harbingers, will soon Be silent. You who ride inside your autos, Roll down the windows! Do not wait till June! 43 Martin Elster, author of There's a Dog in the Heavens! is also a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poetry has most recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Chimaera, The Flea, 14 by 14, Lucid Rhythms, Soundzine, THEMA, Verse Wisconsin, Umbrella, and Yankee Dog. Martin was co-winner of The Oldie's 2010 Annual Bouts-Rim�s Contest and won 2nd place in the SFPA 2010 "New Poets Contest." Contact Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) "Peeper" by E. A. Hanninen, 2010 TCE: When asked to write a poem with a seasonal slant, what is the first "sense" (hearing, smelling, etc.) that occurs to you? Give Examples. Martin Elster: When writing a seasonal poem, I often think of sound. For example: "Imitating rust-covered swings, two voices / echo off great hickory, oak, and boulders. / Maybe they're observing us as we listen, / lucky to hear them." ("Talcott Mountain," 5-8, Soundzine.) In my poem, "To An Eastern Box Turtle," both sound and touch are involved. "Last month, by chance, while stepping through the lawn / my foot fell on a boulder-- / your shield. But now you're gone. . . . // My guess: as you were about to lay your eggs / into the shallow hole / you dug with sturdy legs, / you shuddered from a puzzling thunder roll, // . . . felt your shell being crushed, / . . . The soughing wind was hushed." (1-11, Soundzine.) In summer poems, I've incorporated the music of cicadas which "sing of summer, soon to disappear" ("A Summer Songster"); the hum of flying insects: "The music's bite / and lyric passion build each bar, with singing / strings, winds, and brass -- while buzzing bugs seek meat." ("The Percussionist's Plight"); or a dog barking at an opossum: "The shrill wrath of your terrier's tones, / aimed at some beast on the lawn, / paused on its journey to dawn, / bruises night's delicate bones." ("Beyond the Light.") In late summer/early autumn, I've included the songs of crickets, and the din of leaf blowers. "Loud katydids sing constantly / As motorcycles, trucks, and cars / Roar from the highway, every tree / A bandstand for their jamboree / Beneath the planets and the stars." ("A World Away," 1-5.) In winter poems, there are Canada geese squawking, boots crunching across packed snow (or paws running silently over ice), frozen ponds thawing, or plow trucks vibrating the land like an earthquake. A sonnet about an Airbus wiping out a flock of Canada geese in winter includes the sound of the geese taking off and the noise of the jet's engines. "Touch" occurs to me when I'm writing about the biting winter wind, a drizzling spring rain, the sun's warmth, or the heat of the blacktop during the dog-days: "Behind the rear wall of the pizza store, / The dog rests on the parking lot as hot / As a cookie sheet removed from an iron oven." ("Urban Dog," 1-3.) Kinesthesia also enters when I'm writing about walking the dog in the winter and noticing how mightily he pulls on the leash; how his owner struggles to keep his balance as his boots slip and skid. "Big shoe and agile paw / crunch, skid, and slide in line with gravity, // which every time will draw / creatures that think they're free / and tall towards the ground, which when it's spread // with chaff the sky released, / makes each and every tread / feel like the bottom of your boots are greased." ("A Winter Walk With a Rat Terrier," 5-12.) "Smell" sometimes enters my work when I write about spring thaw, when the air has a strong scent of geosmin ("earth smell"), or the smell of my dog's fur after being soaked by the rain, when she's had an encounter with one of those cat-sized, black-and-white-striped mammals of the weasel family, or has rolled on a dead frog (which are mostly summer activities). Here's the middle stanza of a rondeau about Eastern skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), a plant with a greenish-purple flower that can melt its way through frozen ground: "My spathe will reek like a long-dead doe, / Attracting bees and flesh-flies. Oh, / I'll warm their wings and frozen feet / Before the thaw!" ("The First Flowers of Spring," 6-9.) Another poem in which smell is prominent is "Love Bugs." Their spring flight occurs during late April and May, and in summer during late August and September. "Tripping on truck exhaust, they swarm, // convinced it's flora which decays. / They catch the fumes, sweet as the spice / of rot, home in on motorways // and, as they're turned to mush, think, "Nice! -- / manure, grass clippings -- paradise!" (9-14.) TCE: We've received a record number of submissions to our calendar-themed issue, and that's made us curious: Why do the seasons captivate the poetic imagination? Stir poets so? ME: For me, the seasons serve as a kind of muse. I observe the local flora and fauna, the weather, the colors and scents around me and how these affect the life and geological features of the region I live in. All this is great nourishment for my imagination. The seasons are surely connected with, and even influence, our emotional states, as well as the stages of life (spring=birth/rebirth; summer=youth; autumn=old age; winter=death/dormancy). All life -- plants, arthropods, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals -- is affected by and lives in harmony with the seasons. I write about plants and animals, so seasons play an integral role in my work. For example, the integration of climate and local imagery: "Early saxifrage, with its sticky leaves, trap / insects which have tickled the mountain's derma. / Roots crack rock as if they were drilling dentin." ("Talcott Mountain," 25-27, Soundzine.) Mini-Interview: Elster Once in awhile, I use the imagery of more distant regions. From "Across the Stone," about spring in the Peak District of central and northern England: "Below her slopes the scree, / And farther still, beneath this hill, / Dove Valley's fertile sea, // Where cattle graze and feel the rays / And limestone underneath, / While stoneflies swirl, green ferns uncurl, / And hare bound through the heath. // . . . Where ashwood, pine, bright celandine, / The wagtail, and the lark // All know she's here . . ." (14-25, The Chimaera.) Since I like astronomy, I've often included stars and constellations in my seasonal poems, incorporating some of these and others: In the Northern night sky there is Bootes, the herdsman, in late Spring and early Summer; Cygnus in summer; Pegasus in autumn; and Orion and Canis Major in Winter. I've used autumn or winter as a backdrop for poems about the end of a relationship. Here are a few lines from a poem entitled "Warmth," whose setting is anything but warm, but a hope for it lives in the man trekking through the December snow away from a ridge, behind which the sun is about to set. "[The sun] brings a bit of heat, / unlike a winsome girl who seemed as sweet / as berries of a holly. // Though shelter for wild birds in a snowstorm, / the conifer of her, / whose leaves at first seduced him with their stir, / he found was far from warm." ("Warmth," 6-12, Lucid Rhythms.) By poem's end, as the red sun flees behind the mountains, the man gladly forgets the radiance of his erstwhile lover, with the knowledge that the days are growing longer and warmer. TCE: Many people relate to spring as the "kite-flying season." If your poems were kites, what shapes would most have? Diamond, box, square, fish? Long or short tails? What colors? ME: Since many of my poems touch on Nature and animals, they might be in the shape of a swallow, a goldfish, a butterfly, a dragonfly, or a hawk. Some would have long tails (because they are tales), and others would be tailless (because they are lyrics). The spring and autumn kites would be multicolored, whereas the winter ones would be plain. Spring and summer would have whistle kites (since these seasons abound in bird and insect sounds). Whether my kites turn out to be deltoids or eagles, the question that most excites me is, will they soar? Some do, some don't. But either way, it's always good practice! A poem I've written for this interview: "His Poems Were Kites." "His poems were kites that reached such heights, / Nary a soul could see them. / Their shapes were eagles, swallows, seagulls, / Dragonflies. I'll free them, // He thought, let go their strings! "Hello," / They said to every bird / That flew nearby. (They sure weren't shy.) / Pretty soon the word // About those soaring poems were pouring / From mouth to ear worldwide. / Binoculars weren't aimed at stars / But verses that could glide -- // Until last spring, when every string / Attached to every poem / Was snatched like a note from a sparrow's throat, / And all the kites came home. // Now everyone, in April sun, / Could closely scrutinize / Those gaudy toys full of the noise / Of words that reached the skies. // What did they say about the jay, / The red-tailed hawk, the swift? / Not much. "The breeze was bracing. Please," / They cried, "give us a lift!" // The kite-poems screamed, yet the people seemed / As clueless as the flowers / Were of the bees, or as the trees / Were of the vernal showers. // But soon he played again and made / More magic kites; but these / He made less showy (for when it's snowy). / Though fearing they would freeze, // He let them blow out toward the snow / That overspreads K2 / Or Everest. If they're suppressed? / He'll just begin anew." TCE: T.S. Eliot called April "the cruelest month." Recast the month with your own superlative: April is the _____________ month. Why did you choose that adjective? ME: April is the rascally-est month, a rainy but fun month to write about, because she's a "Tempestuous and wayward child; / One day she's chill, the next she's mild. / But we're not fooled by her tomfoolery; / Nude branches soon will sprout their jewellery. / And suddenly, like hocus-pocus, / Everywhere you look: a crocus!" I'm far more in tune with Chaucer's ebullient view of April than with Eliot's pessimistic parody. But being from England, Chaucer likely didn't know about those tiny, well-camouflaged amphibians, the harbingers of spring known variously as tinkletoes, pinkletinks, and more commonly, spring peepers. Every March I eagerly anticipate their vernal refrain, for as soon as I hear their sleigh-bell-like chorus rousing the woods and wetlands, I know winter is over. They're an inspiration to me. There was no way I could not write a poem about these robins of the amphibian world. 45 May "Chamomile" by Gram Davies, 2010 Ann Taylor Today at Walden Ann Taylor He wouldn't have missed this furor just outside his cabin door-- seven jays squawking, diving over and over at the redtail's head. The hawk, unhappy on a low limb, withdrawing deeper into puffed feathers. He might have invented epic victory of blues over reds, or a town meeting, forcing conclusions about his taxes. or maybe a grander design in the swoops and risings, in the seven, something cosmic in the hawk's distress. Or he may have simply noted-- May 5, jays attack redtail today, preferring to sit on his stone step, as the Indian Pipe nudged slowly through pine needles to the surface, concerto in the background. 47 Ann Taylor is a professor of English at Salem State University in Salem, MA, where she teaches writing courses, plus English Literature, Arthurian Literature, The Art of the Essay, and Poetry Analysis. She has written two books on college composition, academic and freelance essays, and a collection of personal essays, Watching Birds: Reflections on the Wing (Ragged Mountain/McGraw Hill). She's had poems published or accepted recently in such journals as Arion, Aurorean, Ellipsis, The Dalhousie Review, Appalachia, Del Sol Review, Snowy Egret, and Classical and Modern Literature. She lives in Woburn, MA, with her husband, Francis Blessington. Contact Ann (email@example.com) TCE: What's the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? The easiest? Ann Taylor: Hardest-- avoiding clich� (rebirth in spring, death in winter, for example). Easiest-- the constant availability for experience, lived through year after year. The challenge is in what to "make" of the seasons in a poem. TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody the sense of place specific to your home geography? AT: My seasonal poems are usually rooted in the four seasons of Massachusetts. I live overlooking a pond that changes daily before my eyes. TCE: Spring: It means rebirth and renewal. How has the renewing essence of spring manifested itself in your poetry over the years? AT: I find spring complex in my own poems and in literature of others, from Chaucer's cheery April opening of his "Canterbury Tales" to Eliot's "April is the cruelest month" of the "Wasteland." Last spring, we had heavy rains, floods. The rain was necessary, but too much was a disaster for many. I wrote a poem about the transformation of the landscape, the loss of familiarity, even of benevolent places, in the flooding. TCE: With two days in May set aside for memories (in the U.S.), the month of May is busy with remembering others. How big of a role do memories play in your poetry? AT: Memories are extremely important in my poetry because I so often focus on the flow of time through our lives -- personal memories, echoes of earlier writers, transformations of life through art, passed on for centuries -- Homer's scything, Sir Gawain's killing cold, Emily Dickinson's first robin. Many of my poems are personal memories of people, events, animals, etc., who continue to live through me and, I hope, through my writing about them. Mini-Interview: Yazinski Mini-Interview: Taylor TCE: When asked to write a poem with a seasonal slant, what is the first "sense" (hearing, smelling, etc.) that occurs to you? Ron Yazinski: Seeing is the first sense that is awakened when I think of each season. There is so little pure light where I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where the gloom of winter passes into the pall of summer, that I treasure the few moments of bright sun and sharp shadow that I do get. These random breaks in the clouds are as unpredictably rare as are the inspirations for new poems. TCE: The cycle of seasons can trigger memories for some poets -- how much does this affect what you write? RY: As I age, the most innocuous detail sets off memories of my youth. I'm still trying to come to grips with the meanings of toy trains around Christmas trees and baseballs hit during summer holidays of forty years ago. It's as if those trains are still running toward their stations, or those baseballs are still catchable. I guess I'm creating the fiction of my personality by giving it a narrative cohesion. TCE: Spring: It means rebirth and renewal. How has spring's renewing essence manifested in you? RY: I love spring and the warmer weather it grudgingly brings. Of course, I enjoy the flights and songs of birds, the sightings of black bear and fox that such weather also brings. But, more importantly, the reason I enjoy spring is the work that comes with it. There is a satisfaction in moving rocks and working the soil that connects me to the land and my ancestors. This is honest exercise, not like working out at a gym, with its counted grunts and sterile repetitions. Landscaping produces a change that I can see and take pride in. It brings an exhaustion that is good for my soul. TCE: With two days in May set aside for memories (in the U.S.), the month of May is busy with remembering others. How big of a role do memories play in your poetry? RY: I like that phrase, "memories play in your poetry." That's exactly what they do. Often I start with a memory that's just a scene, such as my father's words, or a lover's face, or a child's cry. But then I "play" with it, until it turns into something that bears little resemblance to the original, but presents the meaning of the moment, with greater clarity. Memories have to be amended and embellished if something honest is to be produced, otherwise, they merely bring exaggerated feelings that do the poetry little good. Ron Yazinski Three-Chord Progression Ron Yazinski Eye-deep in the greening grass, A robin busily translates sunlight into song. Along the flagstones, A spaniel puppy leaves its dew-damp prints, Then turns and sniffs them as they disappear. On my knee, my still guitar; I can't remember the chords to a song That took me weeks and a sadness to write. 49 Ron Yazinski is a retired English teacher who lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife Jeanne. His poems have or will soon appear in Mulberry Poets & Writers Association, Strong Verse, The Bijou Poetry Review, Edison Literary Review, Lunarosity, The Penwood Review, Jones Av., Chantarelle's Notebook, amphibi.us, Nefarious Ballerina, The Talon, Amarillo Bay, The Write Room, Pulsar Poetry Magazine, Sunken Lines, Blast Furnace, The Houston Literary Review, Menagerie, H.O.D., Forge Literary Journal, Indigo Rising Magazine, and Crash. He is also the author of the chapbook, Houses: An American Zodiac, which was published by The Poetry Library, and a book of poems, South of Scranton. Ron is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye. Contact Ron (firstname.lastname@example.org) Josh Pearce after rain Josh Pearce gathers into puddles of slowsilver-- mirrored-sky & the ground is full of holes, when fabricated reality is threadbare & looses tentacle tree roots & earthworms on our looking-glass dim ension we are strings of genes knotted into buttons fast ening together timing & chance cobwebs are the spidering cracks where glossybodied beetles flew fast into the end of the universe & fractured the glass that separates time from untime we unbutton and the world comes apart "Silk Storm" by Gram Davies, 2010 cathedral bells stacked in towers in a nodding ladder of snapdragons (in furious pinks and yellows) rung by (rung by rung) the workers (sexless) in their hex cells afraid of hell. between the rosetta & pupa pulpit, a labyrinth in silk; parishioners walk calmly to its center (at each turn release a worry kept shook in their heads like a locust in cupped palms) where they're rid of thought and the minister who spun it bleeds their tithe. among grubs & drones handfolded mantises sit, lean, look like praying, waiting for some unwary to engage them. 51 Josh Pearce has poetry appearing in Blood Lotus, Unquiet Desperation, Transfer Magazine, and Anemone Sidecar. He also has short fiction in Aoife's Kiss and Kaleidotrope. Contact Josh (email@example.com) "Well Hung" by Gram Davies, 2010 TCE: When asked to write a poem with a seasonal slant, what's the first "sense" (hearing, smelling, etc.) that occurs to you? Josh Pearce: Sight is probably the sense hit the hardest when the seasons change. Overcast days make me sleep longer because they don't ever look like morning, but then once winter finally burns off and turns into spring, the color contrast on the edges of fir trees and snapdragons reminds me of visuals from drugs. TCE: What's the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? The easiest? JP: The hardest part of writing a seasonal poem is not falling into making it a clich�d poem that equates the season with obvious emotions (spring equals love, winter equals depression, etc.), instead of coming up with something new. Fortunately, seasons give a writer a lot of imagery right at the forefront, which can be hammered into shape to work with nearly any subject. TCE: How often do you write about new growth, such as sprouts in spring, or a budding relationship? Or do you find you more often write about the opposite concepts: end-of-life cycles or death? Do these subjects often interrelate or cohabit in the same poems? JP: I think the theme that all my poems boil down to is, "Humankind is insignificant and worthless, but I really want to have sex with you." I feel that every poem (and much of English literature overall) ever written is either about sex, death, or both. Poems about love are really about sex or death, falling into either category about fifty percent of the time. Poems about spring, budding, and sprouts are all about reproduction and the sex organs of plants. Given the brevity and brutality of human existence, I find it unsurprising that we are obsessed with our imminent deaths and the things we do to distract ourselves from that knowledge. TCE: With two days in May set aside for memories (in the U.S.), the month of May is busy with remembering others. How big of a role do memories play in your poetry? JP: I have a terrible memory, and even the vivid memories I do have make for boring poems, so I tend to take my writing inspiration from pure fantasy, dreams that I often confuse for actual memories, or material within my immediate surroundings. Poems lend themselves well to this kind of mental state because they're short and very often vague. Mini-Interview: Pearce SUMMER Barrier by Keith Moul, 2010 Essay: Janice D. Soderling A Voyage of Discovery By Janice D. Soderling Early one August morning, the owner of a rural hostel--where I was the lone guest--drove me to a remote trailhead of the 1400-kilometer Ostgota Trail. This lowland walking network, Swedens most extensive, is in my home province. One entry point, in fact, is only a ten-minute walk from my front door, but the network sprawls across a varied landscape along forest paths and logging roads, through rolling or flat farmland and past abandoned crofter cottages of which only stone foundations and stunted apple trees remain. It winds across bare bedrock scored by glaciers, past stone-age burial mounds, limestone caves, rock carvings, runestones, and the crumbling ruins of medieval monasteries. I have set myself a goal to walk it all, bit by bit, for as Marcel Proust put it: The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. It was a splendiferous morning, brimful of warbling songbirds, the rat-atat-tat of a far-away woodpecker, sunlight filtering softly down through the trees and glittering on the lake. One of those God's in his heaven, all's right with the world mornings. For me, hiking is like writing--its a solitary enterprise and you never know whats around the bend. I was equipped with a map, compass, other trail gear, and a general plan, but was prepared to improvise as I entered unknown terrain. The Ostgota Trail, like all official wilderness trails in Sweden, is maintained by local volunteers. Most sections are well-marked, sometimes by painted orange rings around tree trunks, sometimes by orange dots on the rockface. Or, as where I was standing, by thin orange posts driven into the ground at regular intervals. To my right, the trail continued along the country road; in front of me, it led downhill to the shoreline. Something big was moving in the water. My binoculars revealed a bull moose swimming, shortcutting perhaps from the shore opposite. It clambered out of the lake and disappeared among the trees. A grey heron speared a fish and flew away silently, its neck tucked into a big S. I set out on the days adventure. After about an hours walk, I detoured to climb a fault scarp that once was a prehistoric fort. At its summit, I had a 360-degree view. Dried mud had preserved the distinctive four-toed pawmarks of a Lynx lynx (Eurasian). Nearby scat and a hairball with furry remains indicated that this might be her preserve. Later, stepping out of the forest into a pastoral landscape, I saw a red farmhouse and outbuildings; in adjacent fields men were mowing hay. A sweet fragrance hung in the air. I climbed stiles, crossed pastures with grazing cattle, carefully opened and shut livestock gates. Here the trail was an iron-age drover road, then it spilled onto a shady country lane. A few kilometers further on, it veered back into the forest, then out again onto a dirt logging track that ran alongside a reed-edged mere, where two great crested grebes swam and dived. According to my map, this was Little Beaver Water. Visible trail markers were few and far between, some had fallen, some were faded, some were concealed by the underbrush left by an ugly clear-cutting. My map indicated that Big Beaver Lake was close by, but the trail had disappeared. I tied my red neckerchief in a tall sapling to keep my bearings, then I searched until I found a fallen marker, cutting a path from one to another until I arrived at a fen. Id forfeited around 45 minutes. Retrieving my neckerchief, I took a bead on an oak on the opposite side of the marsh and crossed my fingers that I would locate the trail there. Luck was with me. I reached solid ground, soon spotted a faded orange marking and went confidently on my way again. In all my years of walking, that was the first time I lost the trail, really lost it. Had I not found it, I would have backtracked to the red farmhouse. The trails are not heavily trafficked. Only twice have I encountered a fellow hiker. It would be easy to get lost by straying off-trail, and the forest, incidentally, is home to immense wild pigs and an occasional migrating wolf. The rest of the hike was uneventful. I saw a few roe deer, lots of moose droppings, fox scat on a stump. Nothing exciting. I made it back to the hostel just before nightfall. Another successful voyage. 55 "Pastoral Landscape Walking Tour - Gate" by Janice D. Soderling, 2010 June "Fine Lines" by Gram Davies, 2010 Jeanine Stevens Bungalow Variations on a Theme by Baudelaire Jeanine Stevens How can I forget our small grey bungalow where in summer we sat late, gazed from the porch at the rusted garden sculptures; star man and dancer with bird-on-toe, flaunted their lust at the edge of the dry streambed? Mornings, the late stars, a wash of chandeliers still bright on window panes, seemed a smattering of tiny planets retreating into a yellow sky as we pulled back the heavy maroon draperies splashed with white cabbage roses, and then roused to coffee, toast, and the chatter of jays. Two jams open at the same time, one berry, and one peach. 57 Jeanine Stevens poems have been published in Poet Lore, South Dakota Review, Camas, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and River Poets Journal, among others. She has received various first-place awards. Her fifth chapbook, Caught in Clouds, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She has graduate degrees in anthropology and education. Raised in Indiana, she now lives in Northern California. TCE: When asked to write a poem with a seasonal slant, what's the first "sense" (hearing, smelling, etc.) that occurs to you? Jeanine Stevens: For me, this depends on the season. A summer poem would definitely be touch, the soft air on my skin. I especially enjoy the early mornings, the warm breeze, and being the first one to the lake, and the sweet fragrance that comes off the water. In autumn, the visual is prominent, the buttery-yellow Quaking aspens in Hope Valley, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Theres also a sweetness to the air in autumn, a walk through the drying cornstalks in Southern Indiana, the first Irish stew on the stove, and the first oak logs on the fire. TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody "place," specific to your home geography? JS: Im fortunate to enjoy a strong sense of place for two different locations, and to have lived near two different watersheds. One is the Wabash, White, and Ohio Rivers. On a warm October, I wrote a poem standing on a bluff over the Ohio River, called "Shawnee Point." Another summer poem, "Reaching the Gulf," is about my experience of almost drowning and being pulled out at the last minute "by a man in a three-piece suit." The creeks that flow into the Sacramento and American Rivers in Northern California are also a sense of place for me. My poem, "Sheep May Safely Graze," explores the sudden appearance of a dead deer along the parkway: "I think we did this somehow, but no, only the course of nature, liver flukes as theyve always been." TCE: Summertime has many joys, one of which may be taking to the outdoors to write. Have you ever played the al fresco poet? JS: Im always surprised with ideas that come from writing in places away from home and my desk. On a quiet day at the end of summer, I sat in a park near the American River, just to wait and see what "words" might come. I looked down at the worn picnic table and the many names etched in the splintered wood. "Carved scars gather summers dust, hex signs, the name Miriam, a cat, and Belarus!" Also, two palm trees stood above a burned-out house. The poem, "A Sense of Order." In a caf�, I was intrigued by a woman alone, having an extravagant lunch. I related this to the many paintings Ive seen of women eating alone. The event turned out to be one of my favorite poems, "Women in Caf�s." "A woman with tired eyes, resembles a young Jean Moreau, drinks a second glass of Pinot." TCE: June features Father's Day, weddings, graduations. Among your body of works, have you written any occasional poems to mark these annual, secular days? JS: The song, "Summertime," was a special prompt in June, 1981, when I was attending the Oxford/Berkeley Program in England. I was working on a paper relating to "Wooden Henges" (rather than stone henges). The song came drifting through my 6 th-floor dorm window. It brought me back to reality. Summer Program became my first published poem. TCE: The Summer Solstice, the year's longest day, occurs in June. That day comes and goes mostly unobserved today. Yet Summer Solstice was once one of the most important pagan holidays. Is there a pagan remnant in your spirit you've expressed in a Solstice poem? JS: With three other women, Ive read Celtic-themed poems in various locations, including the Celtic Festival in Grass Valley, California. Im very much taken with the many Celtic drawings and etchings of the swan. "Under Swan's Wing" is a poem I wrote about my interpretation of a prehistoric burial site in Northumberland. "This swan much more than cartilage and bone." Mini-Interview: Stevens My poem, "Cassiopeia at Summer Solstice," was written while exploring a California Indian encampment. Just off the path was a pictograph, a large W carved in granite. At summer solstice, if you walk here at night and look overhead, you can see another W, Cassiopeia, a mirror image high in the universe. If you shine a flashlight at the pictograph, it becomes "alive, wavering worn edges softer than quilted stars . . . in soft light, in old time." (Reminds me of Celtic designs, the weaving of spirit and nature.) 59 "Rehman, the Swan Comet" by E. A. Hanninen, 2010 TCE: If your next summer vacation incorporated a writers'/poets' retreat, and it could be anywhere in the world, where would it be hosted, and what's the first thing you think you'd be influenced to write about from that locale, once you returned home? Margaret Walther: If I went on a summers writing retreat, it would be to somewhere completely different from Colorado, such as to the Greek Islands or a coral reef/rainforest, that type of thing. Hopefully, Id be able to incorporate the topography/plants/animals from that area into my poems when I got home. TCE: June features Father's Day, weddings, graduations. Among your body of works, have you written any occasional poems to mark these annual, secular days? Or have you found greeting cards and/or presents sufficed? MW: Ive never had much success writing occasional poems. Presents, etc., whether adequate or not, must suffice. (I very much enjoy finding something unique that somebody else will cherish. The best presents, like the best poems, involve surprises.) Margaret's interview began in the Winter section (pg 26). Margaret Walther We Once Dwelled Margaret Walther in the green clef-- mist beaded the lines of possibility the dotted stems, the major intervals of yes oh, we could be anything yesterday abundant whole notes have now become the sixteenth notes of maybe and someday and never-- yet today blue and violet lobelia notate the wooden patio, the beginning of June bees in and out, playing rubato petals cascade from the basket, individual motifs, fragments spangling summers counterpoint the cadence, deceptive as yesterdays largesse but look, just look-- the brio of their trailing lines, the audacity of their descent Read more about Margaret in the Winter section (pg 24). "Cobalt" by E. A. Hanninen, 2010 Phil Gruis Plea of the Naked Poet Phil Gruis Theres a naked guy on our beach, slouching in a deck chair, books scattered on the gravel, clipboard on a knee. Seems harmless. Older guy. Graybeard. Shades and a ball cap. Ok, its me. I scribble about loons and their ocarinas . . . chop on the lake like chattering teeth . . . last weeks swimming bear . . . exuberant, chugging clouds . . . the sun a hot dime. The mischievous wind that stirs the trees and bullies the lake riffles my hair and revels with me in this outrageous freedom. Isn't this the best, I ask the dog, and get no argument. Now I wait with pores wide open for epiphanies to leap like silvery trout . . . for graceful stanzas to gush like the tumbling waters of Spring. Come, Erato, come lovely Mousa, stand by me and take up the tale. And, lo, down the beach, a woman drops her lyre and walks my way. Read more about Phil in the Winter section (pgs 12-13). 61 July "Web" by Gram Davies, 2010 Robert Sell The Separation of Us Robert Sell hiding little sister's doll watching my puppy run away blaming brother for Dad's shoe on the roof resting by our bikes laid down imagining hats and hands and lips in cloudscapes kissing Mary Jo Carruthers behind the garage on the first day of school forgetting lines at our school play telling your cousin it wasn't poison ivy bubbles farting in church to make Jimmy laugh after shooting a robin with a BB gun earning two Ds in Mrs. Brown's Latin class quitting the varsity basketball team together drinking tequila and wine and beer one Friday night smashing father's new Oldsmobile with Mom watching me watch Sally Sawyer sunbathing next door losing my class ring skinny-dipping at the lake believing Fredrick Nietzsche thinking Bob Dylan was an original poet using his LPs for Frisbees selling the Harley that took me to LA and back marching streets in '68 and not knowing why throwing that brick through the Chancellor's window cursing the bum in the jail-cell next to mine saying see you soon, Tommy as you boarded the bus to Fort Hood skipping your funeral when you came home watching the remaining war on a muted color TV knowing opinions will kill more cooking my brain with pills to forget hearing a round chuck into the chamber fighting a choice of not hearing a click or hearing a newborn's cry begging duty changing diapers -- help me today naming them tonight, tomorrow, Tuesday morning when I am here and you are there accepting . . . 63 Robert Sell lives in Illinois with his wife and three children. Hes a self-taught, "weekend poet" who writes from a Midwestern "blue-collar" perspective; a utility employee most of his life, but culturally enlightened while living in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, in the immediate aftermath of Perestroika. Robert says he tries "to write in language that is simple, blunt, cutting," and he considers "the label ,,earthy writer to be complimentary." Contact Robert (firstname.lastname@example.org) TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody the sense of place specific to your home geography? Robert Sell: Living in the Midwest equates to experiencing four distinct seasons, but there's plenty of guessing as to when a season officially begins or ends. The local adage: If you don't like the Illinois weather, hang around for a day, it will change. Learning to adapt quickly is key. The rapid weather changes often spark a memory, a mood, or a phrase. If I combine a rainy July evening, a glass of Chardonnay, and music from my iPod (like Van Morrison), it produces something good. TCE: Think for a moment about the archetypal poet and his/her relationship to the seasons. Get concrete with your philosophical consideration: Which poet from among all you've read has taught you the most about the nature of the relationship between the seasons and the poet. Cite a poem title or two, or a line or two from his/her archetypal, seasonal poem(s). RS: To single out one poet's work that most influenced me would naturally necessitate ignoring the many whove utilized the seasonal to offer a glimpse into their lives on a very personal and sometimes vulnerable level. The best narrowing still leaves me with three poets. I would cite "Spring and All" (William Carlos Williams), "Land Love" (Douglas Dunn), and "After the Storm" (B.H. Fairchild). Each time I revisit one of these, not only do I see the poets use of seasonal relationship, but I also witness the baring of the poet's soul. Does that sound trite? If you read them, youll know what I mean. TCE: Summertime has many joys, one of which may be taking to the outdoors to write. Have you ever played "the al fresco poet?" How does writing in a park or sidewalk caf�, for example, affect your writing? RS: I'm not the poet who writes in outdoor settings. Generally my writing might best be described as a "piecing of puzzles." Summertime is "getting-out time" for me. I'll see an unusual scene, or someone engaged in some silliness, or just some name like Rural King, Bucksnort Tradin' Post, or Cornbelt Co-Op, and I'll jot a phrase or a couple words to help me recall that moment. I'll return home from a weekend of travel with scraps of paper notes stuffed in my pockets. If I'm feeling inspired, it might be enough to start three or four new "puzzles." TCE: What's your environment like in July? Write a couplet using 4 or 5 words that first came to mind when thinking about this question. RS: My July home environment usually means hot, hot, hot. So, a pleasant way of adapting with family is making homemade ice cream. Crank salt with ice; sugar, egg, cream and milk. Taste July, closed eyes, say ahh, vanilla silk. Mini-Interview: Sell "Sundae Glow" by E.A. Hanninen, 2010 Philip Quinlan At One Philip Quinlan Think hard enough, the heady air will move; dream well enough and populate the scene. Decide it was, as always, afternoon, that nothing moved along the colonnade, then let the fountain make the sound it made, the lilies give the heavy scent they gave. Have others add the detail, frame by frame: the belvedere, sundial, and sunken pool; since memory will play you for a fool, have them paint in the sky and hang a cloud to make it real, the way you never could. Two reveries are never quite the same. Arise and cross the terra-cotta quad; the day is reconstructed as you go. The scholars in the corner start to say their lines as you draw near. On days like these you catch a hint of Plato on the breeze, and wonder if the world is made of God. On reaching the Venetian stairs again, already youre aware there wont be time . . . a golden rule says: here you may not climb. The golden ratio is everywhere; a voice says: squares are never really square, and nothing that you did was ever done. It seems you never picture anything thats not already hidden in plain view; you see the other seers passing by, who came here by the same way that you came, who willed you into their imagined scene, and need you for the vision that you bring. At one, as one, you hear the sundial ring and know at once what that one ring must mean: its time to put this day away again, and let the fabricated world unweave-- just as the other dreamers turn to go-- and, knowing no more than you ever know, leave by the same way that you always leave. Philip Quinlan has two print publications, True North, and Leaves and Limnings, and an ebook, A Game of Graces, all made in collaboration with artist Annie Ovenden. His work has been accepted by and/or published in The Flea, The Chimaera, Lucid Rhythms, lilt, Numinous Magazine, Soundzine, Avatar Review, and Shot Glass Journal. He lives in London. His interests are musical, natural, spiritual, and mathematical. Website (http://www.theverbfori.net/ contains an embedded music file) 65 William Aarnes Ode to the Gale's Wild Blueberries Childwold, New York William Aarnes even the two aloft in their cherrypickers but particularly the flagman hearing Let 'em come! repeated on his walky-talky -- all of them seemingly heedless of this field of plenty. And it is a joy to have my pan brimming and to eat handful after full handful, waiting for the crew to move down the road, and feeling -- such a feeling not at all preposterous for someone on holiday -- like a bear of a man. If you Blueberries-- here between the steeplebush and this half-buried boulder-- could read and talk, youd be telling me (and Id be agreeing) that the best poem about blueberries and people was written by Frost and that its preposterous of me to think of competing. And I have to admit that -- such is my memory -- I cant even quote his line about that family resembling birds. But here I crouch among you because youre bearing more fruit than Ive beheld in my twenty-some years of crossing Highway 3 to check what pickings the Gale property offers and because Im the kind of guy who puts his joy into words (though Id agree that beheld is kind of preposterous for seen). Were crouched out of sight but not out of earshot of the workmen stringing power lines down the utility poles recently planted along the highway, some of the crew probably bored with their summer-long jobs, "Blueberries" by E.A. Hanninen, 2010 Ode to Summer Clemson, South Carolina Summer, allow me to borrow a thought from Roland Barthes so that by dropping his name I can hint at the fullness of my bookish life while saying to you, season of heat, humidity and holiday, that youve returned to me for the sixty-third time, my vacation duties requiring only (1) learning to adjust to the seven medications I need to take since having a stent inserted (the blue bruising now fading from my groin), (2) taking the dogs and my heart on hour-long morning walks, (3) watering the newly planted trees that have replaced the ones we lost in last Falls tornado, (4) putting up three dozen jars of blueberry jam, (5) defending my tomatoes from the splotches of blossom-end rot and (6), because (as Barthes says) Im a poet on a holiday, writing whatever poems occur to me. Summer, youre the season for my drives north of town to Happy Berry where I pick my six or seven pounds while listening to conversations like the one this morning in which two women (a generation younger than I) discuss having parents who live nearby, parents who in one case think their daughter always looks haggard and in the other brood about their daughters wearing t-shirts instead of blouses, the womens conversation turning to how neither of them, bored with boating on the reservoir, cares much for either July or August, except for the few mornings cool enough to anticipate Fall. Summer, most mornings when Im picking berries, some of the people are talking in Spanish and not knowing Spanish (though Im relaxing with a kind of poem Im borrowing from Neruda), I cant listen in as I did that one morning a couple years ago when a young mans account of the brutal coursework at his seminary strayed into a confession of his worry that he preferred praying to ministering to the dying. 67 Summer, any church that has hired that young man should take comfort that he has such worries, though I wouldnt want him ministering to me. Nor, Summer, do I want you ministering to me. Like those women, I look forward to Autumn. You might well ask, Summer, why, then, I dont write this ode to Autumn? Well, one thing I can say is that Keats (though he lived through so few seasons) has already written the consummate ode to Autumn-- a poem that endures despite students these days not learning how to listen to the music in that poem nor caring much for the odes elegiac rendering of a rich harvest. And, whats more, Summer, theres my need to acknowledge that you taught me one of the things people need to know about living that day (I was ten and not yet much of a reader) when I was in a squirt-gun fight and was running from while firing back at two pursuers when I turned to run with bruising force into a newly-planted tree. The thing is, Summer, that even holiday fun can lead to a persons feeling so stunned that he staggers to his knees. "Crow" by SharonAuberle, 2010 William Aarnes teaches at Furman University. His poems have appeared in FIELD, Iodine Poetry Journal, Conclave Journal, and Autumn Sky Poetry. August "Late Summer" by Keith Moul, 2010 Michelle Barker Late August Michelle Barker Chilly morning shortening daylight -- but you realize youre still standing on the endless country road of July with the nectar-fattened bees hanging lazy in the wildflowers the air smelling dry and yellow and summer ambling by like a horse on its way to nowhere -- days without punctuation or signage feeding the illusion time is not passing merely drawing and subsiding like the tide. TCE: "Summertime and the livin' is easy." You probably know the song and its evocative images of this "easy" season, complete with kids out of school, taking vacations, firework displays . . . In your writing practice, is summer more distraction than inspiration? Michelle Barker: "Summertime, and the kids are home from school." That means I write early in the morning, or not at all. This year, I vowed to write a poem a day, as a birthday present to myself. And the one time I faltered was during the summer. I learned stability and routine are essential to my output, and while vacations mean new stimulation, theres something about the instability of being on the road that sends my writing on a nosedive. Having said that, I believe its important for writers to "fill the well," i.e., to step out of their routines and discover new images, have new experiences. For me, this doesnt translate into immediate artistic benefit, but I know it all gets stored away in the basement and things will find their way upstairs, eventually. TCE: Deep in the brown of summer hails the August moon, fat and golden; sunflowers nod, and haze rises across dirt and paved roads alike. There are other associations for the word "august," including "peridot," "gladiolas," "hosta," Latin "Augustus," the Chinese "August Moon" Festival, and synonyms, "venerable," "revered," and "majestic" -- there's even the adjective, meaning "inspiring awe or admiration." Can you name an "august influence" on your writing, be it person, place or thing? MB: Probably spirituality has been the most august influence on my writing -- the notion that everything is sacred and significant and has something to teach me. What this has done is to make me pay attention . . . to everything. There is meaning in detail, and in the arrangement of events in a life. When I try to see inspiration in everything, my writing grows richer. Not to say this is easy. But for me, its been an essential practice. Read more about Michelle in the Spring section (pg 41; interview start, pg 42; essay, pgs 28-29). Janice D. Soderling Disjointed Soliloquy on a Gray Day Janice D. Soderling Oh, this weary August day of rain and chill, so out of joint with sure-fire prospects of a calm and still blue counterpoint of sky to lake. I want plums burning golden on each green branch, and yellow pears -- the hungry heart beholden -- bright avalanche of gold. Bold trumpet vines, aster, pink foxglove, sunflowers tall as half a house, fiery phlox, and from above, no rain at all. 71 Read more about Janice in the Winter (pg 19) and Autumn (pg 89) sections. "Mild" by Gram Davies, 2010 TCE: When asked to write a poem with a seasonal slant, what is the first "sense" (hearing, smelling, etc.) that occurs to you? Janice D. Soderling: Though tea and a petite madeleine spurred Marcel Proust into writing thousands of pages, neither sensory input nor sensory description is my starting point. My impetus is always a word, or several words, that give rise to associations. Or a rhythm wells up from heaven-knows-where. This is true for both poetry and prose, and for texts that are "gifts" -- in that they arrive pretty well complete -- as well as texts that I set out consciously to write (saying perhaps to myself that Id like to try such-and-such a form). Of the senses, I think sight is most important. An example is the short poem, "Not Only in Autumn," which is included in this issue of TCE. I was waiting at a bus stop where leaves were being tumbled along by a brisk fall wind. This vividly translated to the content of an article Id just read about refugee families fleeing from theaters of war. TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody the sense of place specific to your home geography? JDS: Because I live in Sweden, I probably have a disproportionate number of dark, moody poems written during our short, sunless fall and winter seasons. Probably, I also have a disproportionate number of poems that mention rain, snow, sleet and ice, such as "Midnight," which, now that I think about it, was triggered by sound, not sight, and by the words "snow angel" that popped up in a newspaper article and took control of my mind. My house is built of wood and does a lot of snap, crackle, and pop when the outside temperature fluctuates. Ive got a few free ghost poems from its grunts and groans as well! Mini-Interview: Soderling TCE: Summertime has so many joys, one of which may be taking to the outdoors to write. Have you ever played the al fresco poet? How does writing in a park or sidewalk caf�, for example, affect your writing? JDS: I constantly jot down notes of what I see or think, but wouldnt sit composing in a public space. To write well, I need my tools: dictionary, thesaurus and, if writing formal verse, a rhyming dictionary. I sometimes start out in longhand, but I cant keep up with myself when the going gets hot. Decades of commercial writing has caused me to compose everything on the computer, including poetry. In the olden days, I wrote everything on a manual, then an electric, typewriter. Besides which, my handwriting is atrocious and I cant read my brilliant thoughts after an hour or so. TCE: Deep in the brown of summer hails the August moon, fat and golden; sunflowers nod, and haze rises across dirt and paved roads alike. But there are other associations for the word "august," including "peridot," "gladiolas," "hosta," Latin "Augustus," the Chinese "August Moon" Festival, and the synonyms, "venerable," "revered," and "majestic" -- there's even the adjective, meaning "inspiring awe or admiration." Can you name an "august influence" on your writing, be it a person, place or thing? JDS: Most certainly I revere the august English of Shakespeare and the KJV Bible. I am secular to my very bones, but as a child I had to memorize great chunks of Bible verses: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. If that isnt poetry, I dont know what is. Michaela A. Gabriel august Michaela A. Gabriel cruel month sucking up sad creeks, never stitching up the wounds of riverbeds strings snap under your temper, dice roll and roll like thunder across a painful sky snakes bookmark south: fangs draw blood from the setting sun august: the shock of cactus fingers tearing the blue apart 73 TCE: If your next summer vacation incorporated a writers'/poets' retreat, and it could be anywhere in the world, where would it be hosted, and what's the first thing you think you'd be influenced to write about from that locale, once you returned home? Michaela A. Gabriel: Tough question, but I guess Alaska, because I have never been there and have always wanted to go. If not Alaska, either Lapland or Scotland. If Alaska, then I suppose that I'd write about or be influenced by nature, particularly the grand scale of everything, as well as the long summer nights, the sun that either doesn't set or only briefly dips below the horizon. TCE: Even in many mild climes, August tends to be warm enough for a trip to the beach for swimming or sunbathing. Which poet did you last read on a beach? If not poetry, what do you prefer to read while sunning? MAG: I am not much of a beach person at all, and definitely not a fan of summer heat, so I am not one for sunbathing and I'd much rather go north or to the mountains than the seaside in the summer. I do, however, enjoy a swim in the Danube or one of our beautiful Austrian lakes, and I'm sure I have read poetry on the banks of the river or by a lake. The last poet might have been Carolyn Guinzio, whose collection, "Quarry," I reread in the summer, so it is likely that I dipped into it while dipping my feet in the cool waters of the Danube. And I read whatever I am reading at the time, when (if!) sunning, though I might choose "lighter" books during the hottest weeks of the year. This year my summer reading included Jane Austen, as well as Terry Pratchett and Nick Hornby, but I'd read these authors anywhere, anytime. Read more about Michaela in the Spring section (pg 31; interview start, pg 32). AUTUMN "Autumn Fog at Hamlin Beach" by Karla Linn Merrifield, 2010 The Contradictory Tilt Paul Fisher By Paul Fisher Essay: Autumn is the season of contradictions. The first thing that springs to my mind (a contradiction already, with "springs") is that fall is both a beginning and an end, and we who time travel through its transformational period are frontline witnesses to simultaneous growing and shrinking pains. Think about it. As the last full season of the year draws to a close, and much of nature systematically shuts down, a new school year begins, an exciting time, and for many, the first adventure away from parents and home. On the higher foothills around our home near the northern tip of Lake Whatcom, the first snows fall. And as nights lengthen and grey skies loom, we experience a short-lived burst of radiant leaves. But when they die and drop, the canopy thins as if to relieve our claustrophobia, and newly-bared branches allow the sun's colder and more angled light to reach dark corners, unlit since the previous spring. Starlight, too, may be seen more readily and longer, and seems to shine all the more brightly in crisper air. Perhaps, of particular interest to writers, fall also embodies the contraries of composition and decomposition (terms I prefer over "creation" and "destruction") because -- as modern science has reaffirmed -- nothing is either created or destroyed, but merely changes form. As nature rearranges her patterns, and prepares for winter, we are scribbling, typing, deleting, rearranging words which, like all transitory elements, may disappear, shape-shift and burn, only to be born anew in altered states. A line ripped out of a poem, or a sentence struck from a story, may be filed away only to reappear another season in a new piece of writing. And so it is with the grass clippings and leaves composted to rise through capillaries of roses and jonquils in coming years. What might be a metaphor for the bronzed and fallen leaves in light of new revelations? Could we think of them as merely April's ashes arrayed in autumn's battle gear? Of course, we owe our seasons, and even our ice ages, to Earth's planetary tilt and wobble. With a little more or a little less tilt and wobble, the planet might be totally uninhabitable for us humans. While we in the northern hemisphere are approaching winter, folks in the southern are closing in on summer, a fact I am acutely aware of because, as I write this, my wife and I are preparing for visitors from Australia. Our anthropologist son, novelist daughter-in-law, and almost-five-year-old, soccer-playing grandson will be disembarking here in the northwest corner of Washington State from a flight begun in Sydney. On their brief visit to the Pacific Northwest, they will have to adjust to reversed timeframes of day and night. Their warm late spring will suddenly shape-shift into chilly late autumn, and if that weren't enough, they will find themselves forced, once again, to drive on the righthand side of the road! It's not only death and taxes that most likely will be our companions for the foreseeable future, it's seasons as well. I, for one, am grateful for the latter, and won't fight it. Autumn happens. That's just the way the world tilts! 75 September "Focus Pocus" by Gram Davies, 2010 Silent Conversation On the cover of a book, petals curl into each other like a bud, as mesmerizing as the soft yellow center. I keep daisies long after they die. In the bookstore painting, famous writers assemble in a caf�. They carry no utensils, but scribble on the walls with scrambling voices, ambient smiles, emptying every drop of liquid that has settled in their cups, as if it holds creative power. Dickinson sits in the back by herself, chair pushed away from the table, shoulders hunched, her cup not as shallow as it looks. I want to talk with her, like to think we could form a fast friendship, that I could call her Em. I tip my paper cup to swallow chunks of chocolate, dislodging them from the seam, then scribble, tuck a pen behind my ear, and fasten the lid on my empty cup. Now I keep long-stemmed dandelions on my desk. If I do not have a pen, I will write with weeds. Dawn Schout Dawn Schout 77 Dawn Schout won first place in the 2008 Lucidity Poetry Journal Contest, and her work has appeared in down in the dirt, flashquake, Fogged Clarity, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Gloom Cupboard, Halfway Down the Stairs, Poetry Quarterly, Tipton Poetry Journal, and other publications. She lives near Lake Michigan. Contact Dawn (email@example.com) TCE: What's the hardest thing about writing a poem with a seasonal slant? The easiest? Paul Fisher: For me the hardest thing is to make it fresh. The easiest is to think of images and/or metaphors; there are just too many of them! TCE: Does your muse visit you more frequently during any particular season? PF: My short answer is: Probably not. I usually write out-of-season. In summer I think of winter, and in spring my thoughts turn to fall. I would say, quoting Wordsworth, that much of my poetry "takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." Another way to put this might be to say that it usually takes a long time for whatever triggers my poems to work its way into my conscious mind. Mini-Interview: Fisher TCE: As you might suspect, many TCE readers are your fellow poets. And, considering that this issue will launch in the heart of autumn, your autumnal poetry might inspire our poet-readers to try their hand at their own fall creations. Given that, what advice would you offer them to avoid the season's clich�s (e.g., whirling leaves, reaping the harvest)? PF: Try not to deliberately force your poem into being. Let it guide you. Allow the words to lead you. Remember Roethke's line, "I learn by going where I have to go." If you stumble upon clich�s, either make them fresh or stand them on their head by writing the opposite. TCE: What is a fall question without asking about trees: if your poetry voice were a tree, what tree would it be? PF: This is a tough question! My answer might vary according to when I'm asked. It would definitely be an evergreen, either cedar, fir, redwood or sequoia, depending on what mood I'm in. TCE: September is typically back-to-school month in North America. It's also the month of Labor Day and the Autumnal Equinox. Other than the poem(s) included in this issue, how have your poems addressed any or all of these three rituals of time's passage? PF: Many of my poems flirt with time's passage or time travel in some fashion, either overtly, metaphorically, or in the subtext. I've thought about this, usually after the fact, but can't explain why, other than to say it's part of the human condition. "Autumn Barn" by Karla Linn Merrifield, 2010 The Velocity of Autumn In spite of red leaves, tart apples, sharp cheddar cheese, fall's loaded, illegal, exceeding maximum tonnage. Careening through orchards and cities, one white-knuckled driver bears down, blasting through straw-men, showering sparks, triggering fire. Gears grind, transmission screams Ice! to no avail. The cargo of curses shifts, air-brakes rupture and fail. Overblown, laden with ill, autumn tilts, wails, veers though unbanked hairpin turns, then -- end over clattering end -- tumbles down escarpments sopped in storms, shrapnel from its shattered chassis splintering shingles, severing limbs, littering summer bazaars. Skyward wheels unwind in the long unbroken night. Timid stars like snow appear as one remaining headlight glows. We've missed our chance to run. Entranced, we stand and stare, rooted and riveted like any startled deer. Paul Fisher Paul Fisher 79 The "Velocity of Autumn" was first published in Fisher's collection, Rumors of Shore (2010). Paul Fisher was born and grew up in Seattle, earned an MA in Art & Education from Washington University in St. Louis, an MFA from the poetry program at New England College, and has studied writing in a variety of settings, including the University of Washington, Centrum, and the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The recipient of an Individual Artist's Fellowship in Poetry from the Oregon Arts Commission, he recently moved from the east coast back to his roots in the Northwest, and lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife, Linda, a healthcare executive. His poem, "Dream Water," won the Spring 2010 Dirty Napkin Magazine's cover prize, and his first full-length book of poems, Rumors of Shore, the winner of the 2009 Blue Light Book Award, was published in May (2010). Website (http://www.paulfisherpoet.com/) white flag it takes a few of these morning tea diplomacies to settle up with the fallen leaves raise your hands to the gunmetal sky that appears so suddenly cutting as it does through the trees to reach you with its barreled touch run its shivers up the spine the familiar flutter under which you know you will eventually surrender again without a fight Philip Timpane Philip Timpane "Homecoming" by Gram Davies, 2010 A Touch of Frost To be blunt about it I lost all interest in the scented basil its darkened face the wrinkles that seemed so profound before your early touch It's the zinnia's turn now to flirt for my attention until an even colder shoulder turns my way leaving me as always in the night burned again Cozying up to the embers of the blushing euonymus pining for a spark before giving that up too to the ashen light getting down to the clacking bones of why we love so much This life 81 Philip Timpane lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, U.S., where he works as a building contractor and designs and builds new poems. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Atlanta Review, Vallum, upstreet, Canary, and Quay. He was winner of the Atlanta Review's 2007 International Publication Award. October "October Cake" by Gram Davies, 2010 Cusp Waiting for October's smile to disappear, we stock the porch with half a cord of easy pine and hard-earned cherry wood. While evening hums, we search rough-barked sky for fire, ask the last wide V of geese to veer off course, to spend the thin blue light of winter wilding in our dreams. By morning pent-up rains fall, clearing cluttered acres for November's bone-white owl. We say goodbye to copper moons, borrowed hours, gnarled suns, turn to face the dark we fear now inching night across bare floor, despite logs split and sleeping, a brace of wolf-dogs knotted by the door. Paul Fisher Paul Fisher 83 TCE: What 5 words register on your clich� meter when writing about October? What 1 word would you love to see show up in an October poem? Paul Fisher: I'm not sure that any single word can be a clich� on its own. To me, clich�s are tired and overused combinations of words. I think any word can take on new life in a fresh context. Read more about Paul in this Autumn section (pg 79; interview start, pg 78; essay, pg 75). the grasshopper in october Lynn Hoffman Lynn Hoffman he hears the tremble of the ants below as he wakes, mulled in cold that lasted past the night they're down there hoarding life to last beyond the snow and he sees crystals in the thin autumnal light TCE: Think for a moment about the archetypal poet and his/her relationship to the seasons. Get concrete with your philosophical consideration: Is there a poem that represents for you the relationship between the seasons and the poet? Lynn Hoffman: I live across the street from 9,000 acres of woods and I walk a dog 2 or 3 times a day. I couldn't avoid the seasons if I wanted to. Think about that: every day. No distractions. Almost an hour. The woods. My attachment to the seasons is concrete. Indeed, what else would I think about? Here's my poem on the point, "August -- False Fall:" "August and the forest floor is flecked with flaming red / and deathly brown and orange beech and tan. / The pioneer leaves of spring have given up, / retired, declared their contributions and escaped / the trees which were the only world they knew. / We walk along Bill's Trail while buckeyes, sulfurs and swallowtails / proclaim the business of summer still in progress. / We dodge the acorn bombs and swat the gnats / and stop to piss a shower that announces / False Spring. TCE: We've received a record number of submissions to our calendar-themed issue, and that's made us Mini-Interview: Hoffman curious: Why is it our seasonal slant evoked such a torrent of responses? Why do seasons captivate the poetic imagination? Stir poets so? LH: If poets write a lot about the seasons, maybe it's because it's the most direct way to connect the reader to a "here and now." TCE: As you might suspect, many TCE readers are your fellow poets. Considering that this issue will launch in autumn, your autumnal poetry might inspire our poet-readers to try their hand at their own fall creations. Given that, what advice would you offer them to avoid the season's clich�s (e.g., whirling leaves, reaping the harvest). And when you set out to write an autumn poem, what first comes to mind? LH: Don't avoid the season's clich�s -- they are the season. If you see something in a detail that you love, by all means write it, but the whole world is changing color right before your eyes. How can you ignore that? And since I'm handing out advice, don't "set out to write an autumn poem," just write a poem. TCE: What's your all-time favorite autumn poem? LH: Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." TCE: What elements of October make it easier (or harder) for you to connect with your muse? LH: Hard cider. TCE: What 1 word would you love to see show up in an October poem? LH: "Crepuscular." Read more about Lynn in the Winter section (pg 23). "Two-Faced" by Gram Davies, 2010 Eclipse in October Last thing, a lemon light, oblique; the magic shadows' misdirection. An illuminated passage that describes the way things are, their disconnection. Philip Quinlan 85 Philip Quinlan In lunar monochrome, the blood is black. In my dark artery, a lancet. I'll see the birds be ill at ease in air; I'll darken everything -- a moon in transit. Read more about Philip Q. in the Summer section (pg 65). November "Ghosts of Spiders" by Gram Davies, 2010 Letting Go The last alder leaf curls against the bite of frost, struggles with wind, with falling snow. Hang on, I whisper, cheered by the triumph of tenacity, reading hope into the victory of a small thing, clinging. My daughter, all laughing spring and golden summer, snaps it off with one bright flick of tiny fingers. Look, Momma. A leaf! Susi Gregg Fowler Susi Gregg Fowler 87 Susi Gregg Fowler lives and writes in Juneau, Alaska, and has had work published in national and regional magazines, including The Binnacle, The Christian Science Monitor, Friends Journal, and Tidal Echoes. She is also the author of several children's books. "Last Leaf" by D. J. Bryant, 2010 TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody place, specific to your home geography? Susi Gregg Fowler: Growing up and living in Southeast Alaska, where the very act of getting dressed for school or work requires checking the weather, means that I live with an awareness of the natural environment. That environment, the weather, the seasons, are just part of my everyday experience; and since my writing usually begins with experience or observation rather than with a concept, I suppose it makes sense that how or what I write is often specific to this place, the flora and fauna, the landforms, the climate. However, while the passage of time, the shifts in seasons -- what's budding or blooming or dying -- may initiate a piece, the direction that piece takes often extends beyond geography or the moment, but hopefully maintains, in some way, the relationship. TCE: Does your muse visit you more frequently during any particular season? SGF: Autumn is probably the season during which my muse most often visits. It is such a season of contrasts -- at least where I live -- and there is something compelling about that for me. And then, I do have an autumn birthday, so maybe I'm predisposed to think of it as a re-birthing season. TCE: As you might suspect, many TCE readers are your fellow poets. Considering that this issue will Mini-Interview: Fowler launch in the heart of autumn, your autumnal poetry might inspire our poet-readers to try their hand at their own fall creations. Given that, what advice would you offer them to avoid the season's clich�s (e.g., whirling leaves, reaping the harvest). SGF: To the extent that I succeed in avoiding clich�s, I'd say that paying attention and trying to capture whatever in the moment excites or intrigues -- being specific, particular, honest -- is at least a help. I find myself more satisfied by poems that originate in concrete observations and then move to the global or the conceptual. Noticing the emotional tone attached to the sight or smell or sound -- whether excitement, sorrow, alarm, or any of the other possibilities -- and unearthing what that personal connection is, can be a way to move from observation to something beyond the moment, if that's a poet's intention. Of course, there are times that precise, almost scientific, observation and representation in a poem satisfies. It's all in how it's done and in what we like, isn't it? TCE: November is often known as the harbinger of windstorms, of frost. In literature, it usually signals both the end of autumn and the nearing of winter. In your part of the world, what does November bring? SGF: In my hometown, November can mean lashing rains and winds that rip the last leaves off trees and shingles off roofs, the snap of first frosts, waking up to a hush that tells you -- before you even look out the window -- that snow has come. It can mean Taku winds that threaten to lift children off their feet, temperatures so low that outdoor ice-hockey practice starts early and burials are put off until spring. It can mean sudden snows that prompt long lines of cars waiting for snow tires to be put on and spouses fussing over whose fault it is that this wasn't taken care of weeks before. But it can also mean temperatures warm enough that the last, late bulbs can still be planted, that it's not too late to cover up the garden beds with seaweed, and that there's still a chance to put away the outdoor toys before they're covered with snow. You just never know. November in Southeast Alaska is unpredictable, but usually includes a little bit of everything -- the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, sometimes separated by only a day or even just hours. "Yellow Leaves" by Sharon Auberle, 2010 Not Only in Autumn Janice D. Soderling Janice D. Soderling A gust of cold wind catches fallen leaves and hurries them along the concrete way. Like fleeing migrants, they swerve and stumble. Brown, yellow, pale -- such fragile, tumbling leaves. Some stop, caught in a still place as if they had given up. Mostly the littlest ones. This is happening even as you read. Millions hurried on, like leaves in the wind. "Faceless Fog" by E. A. Hanninen, 2010 89 TCE: What's your all-time favorite autumn poem? Why? Janice D. Soderling: Oh, no question about it, that would be "Spring and Fall" by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), which begins: Margaret, are you grieving / Over Goldengrove unleaving? Why? For the sheer beauty of it. Wanwood leafmeal lie. Roll that around on your tongue and savor it. I've known this poem by heart since I was very young and quote it to myself each year when fall rolls around. But a close second, and for sentimental reasons, would be James Whitcomb Riley's (1849-1916), "When the Frost is on the Punkin." It's a regional poem, which few under the age of 100 are familiar with. Without fail, I find myself reciting it every year when the first frost comes. TCE: November is often known as the harbinger of windstorms, of frost. In literature, it usually signals both the end of autumn and the nearing of winter. In your part of the world, what does November bring? Do these elements hold true, or is this month full of new growth and promise? JDS: In my part of the world, November brings windstorms, frost, snow, short days and long nights. It also brings my birthday, which for me makes it a month of new growth and promise. Time to hunker down and write and wait for spring. Read more about Janice in the Winter (pg 19) and Summer (pg 71) sections; interview (pg 72); essay (pgs 54-55). "Urchin" by Gram Davies, 2010 TCE: Photographers often take photos at the "edge of change." For instance, dark/light, forest/meadow, water/stone. When you consider the edges of seasons and the contrasts from one season to the next, what seasonal contrast excites you the most? How does this show up in your poetry? L. M. Price: One thing that is of continual interest to me is the contradiction of late fall/early winter -- warm colors in changing leaves and ripening crops contrasting with cold weather, cold grey clouds, cold water. In "Life Support," there's a lot of cold imagery that contrasts with the terrible, conflicting passion in the watcher's mind. TCE: The seasons are a function of geography, e.g., temperate latitudes experience four seasons, the tropics only two. How do your seasonal poems embody place, specific to your home geography? Mini-Interview: Price LMP: I like the emotions that are often associated with various seasons -- spring with rebirth, hope and joy, etc. But I also like to turn those expectations back on themselves, to thwart the expectation. I would say that seasons specific to where I live find their way into my poetry mostly in a very general sense. I live where there are four very distinct seasons, and I like to use all four. TCE: When you set out to write an autumn poem, what first comes to mind? Temperature? Light? Pace of life? Harvest? Beginnings? Endings? Christmas ads in the newspaper? What symbols of autumn sneak into your poetry when you are looking the other way? LMP: Color. If I didn't watch myself, I could spew lines and lines of babble about orange pumpkins and yellowred leaves and the translucent yellow-green that cattails turn just before they die. Pale-gold corn stubble, firecolored willow stems. And color always ends up making me hungry, so the pumpkins turn into pies and soups and muffins. TCE: November is often known as the harbinger of windstorms, of frost. In literature, it usually signals LMP: November where I grew up was usually cold, wet, and grey. The leaves got rained off the trees before they had a chance to do more than start to turn, and I have vivid memories of sodden layers of rotting, dullyellow, black-spotted leaves stuck to the sidewalks. It's still the definition of dismal in my mind. both the end of autumn and the nearing of winter. In your part of the world, what does November bring? Life Support There's an outlet by the bed. Sometimes you sit and watch it and pray for storms -- hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods. For a minute, you imagine: great forgiving winds tearing down power poles, or snow sifting beneath the door, cool and quiet, as drifts pile higher, blocking off the roads and shutting in the grey, eternal light. Water swirls in the gutters, creeps through basement windows and eases up the stairs. A shower of sparks; the sizzle drowns. The pump is silent, the ocean's dry -- this future where, in mercy, the weather chooses for you. L. M. Price L. M. Price 91 "Leaf on Snow" by D. J. Bryant, 2010 L. M. Price lives and works in Montana and Wyoming, and currently is residing in western Montana. She has been writing poetry since the age of 8. Some of her more recent work can be seen in The Raintown Review and 14 by 14. Reviews: Karla Linn Merrifield Sherry O'Keefe Symbols by E. A. Hanninen, 2010 Book Review Column Merrifield's Tao of Reading Poetry Karla Linn Merrifield I knew Bukowski like you knew a rare leaf: Forty poems in three acts by Harry Calhoun Trace Publications Paper / 61 Pages / $14 US and The Black Dog and the Road by Harry Calhoun Diminuendo Press Paper / 76 Pages / $12 US "Poetry by real poets" 93 Harry, my man! What a hoot to be welcomed into your world. And so graciously. It`s not every day a critic receives such a warm, comfy welcome. As your southern autumn settles in, I feel appropriately dressed for the occasion in my World`s Softest� socks and flannel penguin jammies. Cozy is good. Yep, by all means, pour yourself a brandy. Sure, Dylan tunes would be primo. The human condition, right?! Let`s have some fun, Harry! I won`t keep you too long. Promise. Please do let Alex stay. I`ll not say anything not meant for doggie ears. Besides, Alex is the dog of The Black Dog and the Road, one of two books of yours I`ll be discussing this evening. He belongs in our circle. So, let`s take the plunge, buddy. Allow me to unfold the tao of poetry according to Harry Calhoun, a poet for all seasons of life! "He was more than human // but even in fear is truth." I`ll start with I knew Bukowski, since it`s the earlier of the two. In fact, my focus is more on Bukowski, but I`ll weave in Black Dog enough to whet readers` appetites. I want to acknowledge the mixed feelings you had about my reviewing this book. You said in an email to me last spring that the publisher pretty much selected the whole book, and at times I have problems with the selections. I didn`t see a problem with his selections, Harry. If anything, I objected to Rodger Jacobs` smug Preface. He bemoans, It`s not easy to find a narrative thread in a collection of poems. Oh, woe is me, my ass. Bah! I found narrative threads, no problemo, including a couple Jacobs didn`t hint at. For example, there`s your Bukowski thing. One of the hidden benefits of reading I knew Bukowski is that the book drives readers to explore some of Bukowski`s works. It did me -- poor, ignorant me. I`d missed out on Bukowski. These things happen. As I`ve noted before in a TCE review, there`re just too many poets, and not enough time. But I ended up making time for Bukowski so I could better understand his influence on your writing (what a responsible reviewer should do but may not have the time for). I`m glad I did. I found a sale copy of his posthumous The Continual Condition and ate it up, agreeing with blurber Joyce Carol Oates that Charles Bukowski is the Walt Whitman of Los Angeles. I`m not going to dwell on this at length, but I saw the connections. You approach his raw, tough poetry at times. Your tiring of fear and most everything else in Answering, the small heroic falls not far from Bukowski`s poem, the agnostic, in which he says, the whole world has gone / sick on cue. Bukowski is not only an influence; he`s the preoccupation of 4 poems in the book. You introduce us to him in the title poem: I knew Bukowski like you knew a rare leaf that blew into your front doorway and somehow stuck there And in Deus ex machina, you relate to your iconic poet and your shared fate of rejection -- poems, stories, and self -- coming to the realization we [poets] all have the same baggage to carry. Don`t we, though? Yeah, dude, old Bukowski stuck to you like a wet autumn leaf to your shoe, and Black Dog picks up nicely on Bukowski with 2 more poems, including Henry Charles Bukowski" where we learn: For tonight after tonight it was finished and only when drunk and sleep overtook you did it stop. You didnt like it when it stopped and neither do I. No poet likes it when the muse flies away; I feel your pain, Harry. The implication of all this is that your readers should know Bukowski, too. It`s valuable for all of us poetry fans to pause and find the backstory of a book. I`m grateful I had the luxury to do that with I knew Bukowski. And a luxury it was. "the dysfunctional tradition" There`s also your shadow thing, which your editor managed to pick up on. The idea of shadow brought to mind something Robert Bly says of Wallace Stevens` poetry in his fourth essay in A Little Book on the Human Shadow: He brings the shadow into his art, but makes no change in the way he lives. Old Bob Bly can`t say that, thankfully, of you, Harry, my man. You meet the shadow head on in both books. You face the dysfunctional tradition in one of your many confessional poems, this one titled What gives me stomach problems. As a fellow abused child, I found your strength to confront the issue moving -- and affirming. I feel stronger for words like these: wondering why like a child abuser I learned from being abused wondering why I was never taught the difference between righteous indignation and senseless anger The shadow still hovers in The Black Dog. And you`re still facing it with fullfrontal honesty, as in One thing. My father . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................... was the bigoted milktoast who let my mother die. Called the ambulance when it was too late. I hated her but at least I could say goodbye to my father. No such option with my mom. Despite your concerns about the editor`s heavy hand in I knew Bukowski, the books were a well-matched pair for this close reader. I know I`m babbling here, but I need to point out to our readers that Bukowski foreshadows The Black Dog in two additional ways. Not surprisingly, a dozen poems acquaint us with Alex, your Superdog black Lab. Then The Black Dog puts man`s best friend center stage. Thus, in the Bukowski poem Animal nature, Alex leaps off the page to comfort you: the dog is worth the effort at least he might someday listen which my mother dead or alive would never do 95 By the time you`re deep into the pages of Black Dog, Alex has taught you -- and taught us readers -- a way to approach life. In A lesson from Alex the Labrador, my fave Alex poem, it`s clear: be like my big beloved dog sigh great sighs of sadness laugh and jump with the ocean surf between your teeth What is delightfully surprising is that 2 metapoetical poems -- poems about poetry -- in I knew Bukowski give way to 16 poetically self-aware poems in Black Dog. As the poet with blood on his hands (Blood, the doors, the stone), you look frankly at the life of a poet. It ain`t always pretty, as in Scribbled on the back of another poem about insomnia: I shouldnt use it as fodder for my poetry canon but it hurts to see and experience my fathers death and its almost here and so am I, halfheartedly writing it out. But there`s a lighter side to our poetic passion, too. I adored After sampling poetry magazines from an online listing. You made me laugh out loud as I nodded in complete agreement that there are just too-too many poets out there who are selfcentered without an ounce of introspection. All the many poets who read TCE should groove big-time on your metapoems! "the world accepts my poems sometimes" Poets and non-poets alike, I believe, will likewise dig your style! One of the comforting things about your poems, Harry, is that you have a uniquely consistent, stylistic quirk. With a glance at the page I can tell it`s a Calhoun poem. You slam the door of most poems with a one-line stanza. Wham! the poem ends. Thus, sit and wait for death" clinches Pictures of Bukowski. And One thing, which I cited earlier, winds up like this: This is life, this is poetry, one thing after another that we keep figuring out until the screen goes dark Of course, one of the problems with this, good buddy, is that it may occur to the reader that your characteristic ending could become too predictable. Shake it up more than once in a while, Harry. Play more with your endings. Play! There`s a lot more I could say about your style, but this short November afternoon is quickly fading. You have a lot of fun with your titles, a couple of the more frolicsome ones I`ve already referenced. And those gaping stanza breaks where you use three lines between stanzas instead of two -- what a powerful way to slow the reader down. When we need to take a big gulp, you give us the blank space to do it. I guess the greatest praise I can give you by way of stylistics, friend Harry, is to admit I ended up writing a Calhoun poem. The last word in it is one of your singleline-stanza zappers, uncapitalized, � la Calhoun: always. I saw for myself: Your chosen form so often works. What a powerful way to ring a reader`s chimes! "the epiphany of waking" You ask, courageously, I think, if one book is better than the other? No. Dog people may prefer Black Dog for its content. What`s there not to love about Alex? But both books are equally pleasurable reading. Besides, Black Dog was published only a year after I knew Bukowski; the later book makes no great leap, but provides a subtle evolution in your self-examination as you cope with your remaining parent`s death. The transition from B to BD is seamless. No jar. No jolt. Just more delicious Calhoun goodies. Both books deliver. Nate Pritts, publisher of H_NGM_N BKS, observes in his introduction to the press`s 2010 re-issue of William Heyen`s book, Lord Dragonfly: I yearn to have my knowledge of what it means to be human enriched by the words on the page -- either through their meanings or through the way they mean. Your poems accomplish that, Harry, if only because in both books you befriend the reader. Yours is an intimate voice that openly tells us not only what it is to be Harry Calhoun, but, more importantly, what it is to be human through the seasons of our lives. Cheers, pal. Karla Linn Merrifield Karla Linn Merrifield 97 2009 Everglades National Park Artist-in-Residence Karla Linn Merrifield has had poetry appear in dozens of publications, as well as in many anthologies. She has five books to her credit, including Godwit: Poems of Canada, which received the 2009 Andrew Eiseman Writers Award for Poetry. Forthcoming from Finishing Line Press is her chapbook, The Urn, and from Salmon Press, her full-length collection Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North. She was founding poetry editor of Sea Stories and is now book reviewer and assistant editor for The Centrifugal Eye, and moderator of the poetry forum, Smothered Air. She teaches at Writers & Books, Rochester, NY. You can read more about her and sample her poems and photographs on her blog. Contact Karla (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sea Stories (http://seastories.org/) Smothered Air (http://smotheredair.yuku.com/) Blog (http://karlalinn.blogspot.com) Column Editor's Note: What's your story behind a poetry book that you've read and desire others to read? What path led you to that book? Tell me. Just complete our online Reader Survey. From your stories I'll select the books and I'll review them for all our readers in future issues of The Centrifugal Eye. Give me something new to rave about! (http://home.earthlink.net/~tinyviolet/thecentrifugaleyepoetryjournal/id366.html) From Her Mother's August, Through October Mud: Karen J. Weyant's Stealing Dust A Review by Sherry O'Keefe Stealing Dust By Karen J. Weyant Finishing Line Press http://www.finishinglinepress.com Chapbook / 24 pages / $12 Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Karen J. Weyant shares in Stealing Dust the story of everyday life in a mill town steeped in history and a neighborly sense of humanity. We readily identify with her words because some elements of life are so universal they are embedded deep in our skin, like the dust from the mills showcased in her title poem, "Stealing Dust." Weyant speaks of this embedded dust with what I suspect is an unblinking honesty. and dust that melts through our shirts, our white tank tops, our bras, coloring the tips of our nipples, black. Just as our issue explores the calendar's cycle and the spin of life on Earth, so do the poems in Weyant's book. These poems speak for the wrong side of town, the side of town that lives hand-to-mouth with the ups and downs of every season. Some seasons are measured by weather, some are measured by trauma. All seasons repeat themselves year after year, dream beyond dreams, tragedy begetting both joy and pain. In "The Girl Who Carved Jesus Into Her Forearm," we learn of a classmate who spelled her troubles out on her forearm. Weyant`s empathy must not have flinched when she wrote these words of factual-yet-poetic description of the carving: the J distorted / as if she had trouble with the blade. Her fine point-of-view, akin to that found in a well-made documentary, offers a steady acceptance of life's trauma, all the while sharing with us a perspective of the world from the eyes of a young classmate: I wondered if it worked -- bleeding in order to get God's attention. It would be easy to tip into the season of sentimentality with the stories of millworkers broken from too many years of grime and hand-me-downs, but Weyant maintains a steady emotional balance. After we encounter the girl who carves her arm, we learn every season offers a way out, reminding us of the many simple joys in the daily cycle of our lives. In "The Oldest Woman on 3rd Shift," readers meet Jo, a woman with bent legs and arthritic hands. Despite this, She can still / move barrels of scrap without any help. / And she still flirts with Mike, / the head machinist. Younger girls in the factory plot their course out of town, certain that the repetitive season of canning in the autumn, and spitting watermelon seeds in the summer, will not always be the pattern to shape their remaining years. In "Makeup at Midnight," a new girl at the factory still spends her breaks putting on red lipstick, while more seasoned girls consider whether or not to tell her the guys here won't notice. Weyant allows the poem to wander through the machine aisles so we can meet Angie, Dawn and Tami -- all the while, Weyant hides her skill at slyly introducing us to the narrator: I wipe their remarks on the seams of my jeans, knowing the powder sparkling on my cheeks isn't real makeup, but dust left from all the night shifts before. A purpose for each season, a reason for each of our lives -- Weyant's grounded voice steadies us as we work our way from cold, early mornings where the fog left its breath / on all the parked cars, to the moment when the narrator learns what side of town we were from. This matter-of-fact attitude is uplifting, and through Weyant's reflections we come to find humor and playfulness as we accept whatever the seasons of life hand us. In Canning Season, we peek from the hallway into her mother's August kitchen of steam where gray tangles of hair sneak / from my mother's loose ponytail, her hands / a web of blue veins, and I knew my real parents / were royalty. When August gets too hot, we know the September harvest will bring cooler temperatures. When the frantic pace of autumn harvest wears us down, we know winter's hibernation will restore us. Just as winter becomes too much to bear, spring will arrive. Weyant deftly reminds us in her ending poem, 3rd Shift Sunrise -- demonstrating a steady understanding of how the world spins while another shift prepares to head to work -- that life is not all sunshine and bubbles. "It's not gold, the color of a sunrise in romance paperbacks, where lovers, intertwined watch the sun emerge from the night before. 99 Instead, Weyant convinces us, life is pale, almost white, with its: edges blurred as if melted from furnaces that never stopped running. Weyant's poems are populated with characters who share hand-me-down clothing, and hand-me-down roles and positions, in a blue-collar town. A quiet strength weaves its way through her poetry, revealing a grounded voice rooted in the power of humanity and nature's cycles. There were times when I hoped Weyant would reveal more of the poet who grew up and left such a town. What became of the dust from the mill town when she moved on? Perhaps there will be a sequel, another volume of poetry. Another book written, another page turned. Another calendar pinned above the kitchen sink. Sherry O`Keefe, a descendent of Montana pioneers and graduate of MSU-B, is the author of Making Good Use of August (Finishing Line Press). Her most current work has appeared or is forthcoming in Switched-on Gutenberg, THEMA, Terrain.org, PANK, Avatar Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Two Review, Babel Fruit, High Desert Journal and Main Street Rag. Currently working on a full collection, Loss of Ignition, she is the poetry editor for Soundzine and is an editorial assistant for The Centrifugal Eye. Sherry`s Website (http://www.toomuchaugustnotenoughsnow.blogspot.com) Submissions, Archives & Press Releases Advents & Events Advents & Events Submissions If you are a poet, essayist or artist, and feel that your work is a match for us, please visit The Centrifugal Eye's submission guidelines on our website. (http://centrifugaleye.com/) Archives Back and Special Issues are still being stored at our TCE Archives sites for an indefinite period. Please be sure to visit the sites for 5-years worth of great reading. Centrifuge: Special Project Archives (http://home.earthlink.net/~centrifuge/) The Centrifugal Eye Archives (http://home.earthlink.net/~centrifugaleye/index.html) Press Releases The Centrifugal Eye is pleased to recognize the latest publishing achievements of several of our contributing poets. Make a note on your wish list for: Retreating Aggressively into the Dark, a new chapbook by Harry Calhoun, is now available from Big Table Publishing Company Chapbook Series. To read excerpts, visit The Chapbook Store (http://www.thechapbookstore.com/). To purchase a copy, go to Big Table Publishing, titles (http://www.bigtablepublishing.com/chaptitles.html). Laury A. Egan`s new book, Beneath the Lion's Paw, will be released by FootHills Publishing on January 15, 2011. To order, write the poet at email@example.com. Keith Moul`s new chapbook of verse paragraphs, The Grammar of Mind, is now available from Blue & Yellow Dog Press (http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=753240), Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-grammar-of-mind/13004071), and Better Homes Through Poems (http://stores.lulu.com/betterpoemhomes). Esther Greenleaf M�rer`s full-length collection, Unglobed Fruit, is forthcoming in Winter 2011 and will be available from Lulu. New from Penelope Allen is Zodiac Zoo, a collection of villanelles, from Trafford Publishing (http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000433971). 101 The Centrifugal Eye Authors -- A Half-Decade of Poems, Interviews, Reviews and Essays* *While we tried to be comprehensive, this list may contain inaccuracies or omissions. Aarnes, William (Nov. `10): Ode to the Gale`s Wild Blueberries, Ode to Summer Acuff, Gale (May `06): Livestock Albert, C. (Nov.`09): Million Dollar Views, Aloha Street; (May`10): Today Her Name is Annie; (Aug.`10): Her Shirt, His Shirt Allen, Penelope (Nov. `06): Dogwood Drive; (Nov. `07): C-eh-N-eh-D-eh (collaboration) Allman, Jr., James E. (May `10): Anatomy of a Sock Turned Inside Out Alonso, Raciel (Feb. `06): I Dream of Venus Altshul Helfgott, Esther (Aug. `06): Leash Law: They Said, I Said, She Said, No Pits; Writing and the Alzheimer`s Caregiver (essay) Ames, Daniel (Nov. `08): Alter Anderson, Paula D. (May `10): Sounds Ansky, Iliya (Feb. `10): Sarajevo, 11 a.m. Anthony Hanninen, Eve (May `06): Incomprehensible Triangles (essay); (Aug. `06): An Ideal City -- the not-so still-life in Camille Norton`s Corruption (review); (Feb. `07): Looking for Henry in Michael: A review of Michael K. Gause`s I Want to Look Like Henry Bataille (review); (Nov. `07): Liquid from the Pickle Jar, Spirit of Haida Gwaii, Edvard Visits In Memoriam; (May `08): In the Here and Now of Spoken Word Poetry: David Francis` Poems (review) Ballard, Jon (Nov. `06): Northern Town Twilight, Spillage, Coming to Know, Keeping Company; In the Grey House: Writing Toward the Metaphorical Past (essay) Bargar, Cynthia (Aug. `07): U as in Undertaker Barker, Bambi (Aug. 08): Flight of Fantasy Barker, Michelle (May `10): Working Forest, Skedans, Old Soul Tree; (Nov. `10): Spring Thaw, Late August; The Season of Yes (essay) Barnes, David-Matthew (Nov. `08): Caution Beck, Gary (Nov. `08): Past Sighting; (Feb. `09): Crumbling Road Belfiglio, Gabriella M. (May `07): Our Sisters Bell, Bridget (Nov. `09): Barmaid, Ahia" Bellehumeur-Allatt, Tanya (Nov. `10): Cross Country Benedict, Kate Bernadette (Aug. `08): The Intruder," "Continuous Play, Opening Night Berg, Carol (Aug. `10): Carol Bien, Annie (Feb. `07): Secrets below Mirror Lake Birkett Morris, Ellen (Aug. `07): Adagio in Wood; (Feb. `08): Pom, Authenticity Bittner, Russell (Feb. `06): Co�tus, Oh heart weighed down by so many wings (essay); (Nov. `06): A Body May With Wit Rebel, August, September; (Nov. `09): So, This Is How Old Forests Feel Blasko, Danielle (Nov. `09): Breaking Down the Blues (review); (Aug. `10): Anthology Craftwork: Piece-Meal Quilting for Editors (review) Bosacker, Gerald (Feb. `08): "Bug Dinners, Don`t Serve Me Grits; (May `08): My Father`s Car, Miracle Paleontology" Botsford Saitoh, Alan (Feb. `09): A Mamaist Compass Bourret, Len (Nov. `06): Rhapsody: A Songwriter's Rhythm" (essay); (Feb. `07): Savoring the Green Corn Dance (essay); (Aug. `07): Correct, Different, Same, or Similar? (essay); (Feb. `08): "Nickelodeons, Salvation Street; (Aug. `08): Sun God Surrenders; (May `09): What is it about understanding that you do -- or don't? (essay) Bowles, Jennifer Hollie (Feb. `10): We are who we are creating who we are, Commitment Bridgeman, Randolph (Aug. `06): Wichita, Some Assembly Required Britt, Alan (Aug. `10): Ode to the Hudson Brooks, Dianne (Nov. `05): "Tummy Trouble" Bruhmuller, Marjorie (Feb. `10): Crow, The Blues Bryan, John (Feb. `06): Flavor 4 � 2 Bryant, Dallas J. (Nov. `05): Lifting, Never Out of Place (essay); (Nov. `06): Brevity Magnified: A Review of Joy Harold Helsing`s Faceted Eye" (review); (Feb. `08): Bread at Every Meal: Leland Jamieson`s 21st Century Bread (review); (Nov. `08) Mercurial Fig: Michaela Sefler`s Healing Tree, a collection of mystical poems (review); (Aug. `09): Vaulting the Gate (essay) Buckner, Pandem (Nov. `05): Ukemi Burch, Michael R. (Aug. `06): Of Civilization and Disenchantment, Nashville and Andromeda, Resignation and Resolution Byrne, John (May `09): `You Don`t Negotiate with Gravity`*, Spring Cleaning; (Nov. `09): Scandal, They`re Thieves Calhoun, Harry (Feb. `10): Not Hannibal, Longhand Calhoun, Jeffrey (Nov. `05): "The Makings of a World Champion Speller;" (Feb `06): Electrocuting a Philosopher; (Feb. `07): Escaping Winter, Anywhere But Home, Vapors; (May `08): Notes from the Apollo Space Flight Calvetti Michaels, Denise (May `06): When I Begin to Sew, Cara Nonna, I Write; (Feb. `07): Daughter, English Teacher in South Korea, Saturday Morning, Along Redmond Ridge Drive, Nine Days Before Dad Dies, New Years Day, 2006, From the Shores of Lake Washington Campbell, John L. (May `08): Dying to Celebrate; (Aug. `08): Measuring Up (essay); (Feb. `09): I Want to Be Campbell, Kate (Aug. `07): i don` like my dad, Safe from Suffering Carrington, Patrick (Feb. `06): Upstairs at O`Reilly`s, Voyeur; (Aug. `08): One of the Crowd, Resisting the Pull Carter, Jared (May `06): Snake Plant, Grandmother, Eating the Bones, Crocks; Last Journey (essay) Carty, Jessie (Aug. `10): Oh Telemarketer Castlegrant, Donna E. (Nov. `05): Occupied Jabalya Chaffin, C. E. (Aug. `08): Radiated, The Dust of Guanajato; (Feb. `09): Signal, How They Marveled; (May `10): Leaf Sermon, The Junk Drawer, Dumpster Chambers, Cheryl (Nov. `06): Toe Picker, The Cocktail Waitress, I Had a Dream About Paris Hilton Last Night Chandler, Catherine (Nov. `07): Of Diminished Things; (Aug. `09): Beach Dogs, Quills, Mission, Lost and Found, Tomboy; An Uninvited Guest or How Puff, the Magic Dragon Almost Ended My Poetic Career (essay) Chorlton, David (Feb. `09): Letter to John Clare Christensen, Bryce (May `09): John von Neumann, Alamogordo Ciraolo, Laura A. (Feb. `08): On the Day of the Dead; (May `08): Last Will and Testament; (Feb. `09): About Bees; (May `10): The strategy of seeds Clark, Antonia (Feb. `09): Ephemera; (May `09): String Theory With Cat, Coming of Age in the Physical World Clark, John Thomas (Nov. `07): Ottawa, Your Goose Is Cooked; (Feb. `08): Singing for my Supper; (May `08): Life and Death on Planet Earth, Black Lights; (Nov. `08): A Do-Over, No Bed of Roses; (Feb. `09): At a Loss for Words Coleman, Mira (Aug. `08): Leaving a Space Copeland, K. R. (Nov. `05): "The earth is a decapitated head and somewhere its body dwells, "Why Flutes and Mirrors Can't Fix Your House;" (May `07): Dear Sylvia, Dinner with Ms. Brooks; (Feb. `09): From Moonrise to Dewfall, The Aftermath of Magic, Sentinel Infidelity, When the Written Word Conjures Concupiscence, More (or Less) than Breakfast Poetry: Permanent Ink or Impertinent Art Form? (essay); (Aug. `10): Sew On and Sew On and So On Cowtan, Cheryl R. (Nov. `05): Nothing Left But Tradition, The Hierarchy of Reincarnation, Either Way, the Poetic Sway (essay); (Nov. `07): ON Commuting Views Crew, Louie (Nov. `05): Calling all epic seers, Missionary Zeal Crittenden, Chris (Feb. `10): A Midsummer Night's Glee, The Gods Explain A Failed Universe; (May `10): Spruce Rising, Final Hug, Last Ride; The Fluid Looking-Glass (essay) Cunningham, Mark (May `08): Green Flash, Orion; (Aug. `09): Ellsworth Kelly, Pisces Daley, Tom (Aug. `10): To Mima`s Vase del Dardano Turann, Santiago (May `08): The Pigeon`s Tale; (Aug. `09): Eros Awakening Davies, Gram (Feb. `06): A Reading From the Book of Change � Duration and The Well; (May `06): Into the Ticking Heart - an excursion into Jared Carter`s Cross this Bridge at a Walk" (review); (Aug. `06): Darkness and White Chocolate � venturing through Simon Armitage`s Cloudcuckooland (review); (Feb. `07): Custom, To Bury Your Darkling Face, Transparent Meaning; (Nov. `08): Sky Lanterns; (Feb. `09): A Feather on the Breath of God: A Review of Gary Metras` Poem (in chapbook form), Francis dAssisi (essay) Davis, Donna M. (Nov. `09): The Biddy Bus Davis, Nicelle (Aug. `09): Chick Fights and Heartbreaks Davis, Paul R. (Aug. `09): Ascension de Boer, Geordie (Aug. `10): A-knit-omy, In Medias Res Into Ars Poetica" Demaree, Darren C. (Aug. `09): Black & White Picture #112" Demaree, Robert (May `09 ): At the Science Center Dima, Radu (Aug. `07): ramshackle song; (May `08): ex nihilo Dixon, Mary Marie (May `10): The Lady`s Mantle, The Vagabond Heart Doreski, William (Nov. `07): Howling with the Wolf Pack; (Feb. `09): A Hideous Verb, Writing on the Wall, Two Ideas About a Garden Dorris, Bill (Aug. `07): Ironworkers, Windmills; Heroes & Mud (essay); (Nov. `09): The Price of Coal, Tegulcigalpa Dorris-Jefferson, Shavahn (Nov. `09): This is Jezebel Dunbar, Simon Lloyd (Nov. `05): Sins of the anti-Father; (Aug. `06): You Won`t Believe What Simon Says (review); (Aug. `07): How is a Man`s Life Measured? A review of Patricia Wellingham-Jones` End-Cycle: poems about caregiving (review); (Feb. `08): Single Diner`s Menu: Jon Ballard`s Lonesome (review) Eccles, Lenard W. (Nov. `08): Sea o` Glasse Egan, Laury A. (Aug. `08): On Waking; (Feb. `09): Dusk, December, Nature, in Three Bites Elster, Martin (Nov. `10): Spring Peepers Engle, Margarita (Aug. `06): Rural Sculptors, Tropical Hunger, The Origins of Agriculture, Noon Owl; (May `07): The Prayers of Wild Roses, Alphabets; (Nov. `07): Maple Leaf Haiku:, The Underground City, The Airports of Canada Estabrook, Michael (May `06): Arguably the Best American Poet Ever, Cowls and Straw; (May `07): Allen Ginsberg, Joel Barlow; (Aug. `07): Bread, Milk, and Eggs, Great Silken Net Estes, Trace (Nov. `05): On the Cusp of December, Dust Cloud, Burning Oxygen, Sticking it to the Monkey, The Hollow Empty Fein, Richard (May `06): Masculine Lies, Reflections on a Madison Avenue Bus, Matriphagy, Fecund Field Seduction; (Feb. `08): Poor, Lonely Ms. Muse; (May `08): Death`s True Image Finaldi Gurus, Lauren (Feb. `06): Miscarriage, Or I'll stay home Fisher, Paul (May `08): Incantation and Sense: Isabella Gardner`s When a Warlock Dies (essay); Ghost, The Petrified Wife, Sasquatch Speaks, Tyger Burning; (Feb. `09): Shapeshifter, Snowflakes; (Aug. `09): The Sun Again, Middle Age; (Nov. `10): The Velocity of Autumn, Cusp; The Contradictory Tilt (essay) Fisk, Brent (May `07): Dickey`s Deliverance (essay); (Aug. `07): To Good Homes, Runaway; (May `08): Four Hour Visit, Eight Hour Drive (essay); (Feb. `09): Broken Shell Fortino, Carol (Feb. `06): Hot Winds Blown Dry Fowler, Susi Gregg (Nov`10): Letting Go Fox, Hugh (May `07): Happy Birthday, Walking Around; (May `08): La Vie Boheme Seder; (Feb. `09): All; One (essay); (Nov. `10): Loving, Frakes, Clint (Aug. `08): Paradise Confession; (Nov. `08): Kaliyuga I; (May `09): Kaliyuga II Gabriel, Michaela A. (Aug. `06): Central Cemetery, Vienna; (Nov. `10): 026: iron (fe), august Gabriel, Zo� (Aug. `06): Hibernation; (Aug. `07): An Ideal Husband; (May `09): Stephen Hawking in My Kitchen; (Nov. `10): The Muse in March, December Gaffney, Larry (May `08): Voyeurs from Beyond the Grave, Stop the Wheel Gallagher, Liz (Nov.`06): Meet Me at a Confluence Point, A Washing Machine Repair-Man Speaks on Poetry Garni, Ricky (Feb. `06): My World of the Barking Dog, It`s Only a Milk, 3 Horrible Things I am Afraid of: Good, Howie (Aug. `07): Job Interview Tips; (Feb. `08): Love During Wartime, The Audition, Snapdragon, Clawhammer; (Aug. `09): Unexplained Lights Goodman, John C. (Nov. `07): Newfoundland Graham, Taylor (Nov. `06): Dump, Fossils, Home for the Holidays; (Aug. `08): Etude in Black and Moonlight, How to Survive His Stay in Hospital, Roadkill, Autumn`s Eve, In the Shadow of Denali; Poetry and the Rummage Sale (essay) Greenleaf M�rer, Esther (Feb. `10): To a Table, Decluttering, A poem, anyhow, Indoor sports, Anthem du jour, Antiphon; Donnybrook of the Blot and Sequitur: How I Made Friends with Poetry (essay); (Aug. `10): The Fixer, Baking sheet Grellas, Carol Lynn (Aug. `09): Meet Me in the Countryside, Inconsolable Grey, John (May `06): Miss Virginia 1935; (May `07): At 15, I Reach This Great Understanding; (May `08): Look on the Bleak Side, The Secrets of Fire; (May `09): Mr. And Mrs. Eats; (Feb. `10): Your Document Failed to Print Gruis, Phil (Nov. `10): Spire, Tableau in Winter Gray, Pleas of the Naked Poet Gurney, Kenneth P. (Nov. `06): In Its Autumn Tint of Gold, Editing; (May `07): Lisa begins with today; (Aug. `07): Three Months After; (Nov. `07): Wait for the Port Angeles Ferry; (Feb. `08): Pen Stroke Hospital Ice Cream Rush, Communal Solitude, Shower; (Aug. `09): Fluid Shape of an Empty Womb; (Feb. `10): Amy`s Hair Looks Like So Much Grass Harold Helsing, Joy (Nov. `06): Tetons , Cow's Day Out; (May `07): Happily Ever After; (Aug. `07): Thrift, Hobby; (Nov. `07): Inukshuk; (Feb. `08): the elephants next door, Saki Song Harris, Barry (Aug. `06): His Urban Beach, Sixteen Omars, What Tressie Taught, Midnight Farmer Hatfield, Brad (Aug. `08): Ju�rez Night Hechtman Ayers, Lana (Feb. `06): Gardening is Design in the 4th Dimension; (Feb. `07): Red Riding Hood Dreams of Another Winter: the beaten path, that goes..., the road less traveled, where..., off-road, no path at all, except... (Nov. `08): Red Riding Hood Paints While the Wolf Sleeps Hegnauer, Patricia (Feb. `06): Disturbance Caused by a Visitor Higgins, Anne (Nov. `05): The Scar; (May `07): One Word Singing; (May `08): Rules for Action in the Garden Higgins, Ed (Aug. `06): Night Grazing, Solstice, (May `07): For Allen Ginsberg; (Feb. `09): Desk Drawer Labyrinth, Higley, Sarah (May `09): Descartes` Automaton Hodson, Jnana (Nov. `05): "Clearing the Air," "Some Good Shovels" Hoffman, Alicia (Feb. `08): This Earth is Not a Novel 103 Hoffman, Lynn (Nov. `10): february-- carpenter`s woods, the grasshopper in october Holmes, Tom (May `08): The Storm, A Creation Story; (May `09): Chromolinguistics, Three Voices of Creation Houle, Melanie (May `08): The Aviator`s Rendezvous, Invocations, Requiem for a Murderer Howell, Bryon D. (May `07): The Literary Fugitive, And I Think it's Going to Be a Long, Long Time, Tribute to Sir Elton John" Howell-Sinnard, Billy Joe (May `06): The State Won't Pay for Alapa`i Hanapi, Crazy White Man Parked At The End Of A Dirt Road, Dust, Crickets And Bees Huffstickler, Albert (Feb. `06): The Search, Saturday Morning, Caf� Du Jour, D�j� Vu; (May `06): Mortal Wounds Huffstickler Tribute (Feb. `06): Punctuation -- Joseph Farley; Dedications by Linda Aschbrenner, John Berbrich, Robert Bixby, Michael Estabrook, Beth (Huffstickler) Fraser, Doug Holder, Christopher M., Louis McKee, Todd Moore, Charles P. Ries, Joseph Shields Iuppa, M.J. (Aug. `07): Hypnotic-- , Awakened, hours before dawn, rain; (Feb. `08): Winter`s Conceit, Among the Missing, Evidence; (Aug. `08): Full Moon, Touch-and-Go; (Aug. `09): What She`s Waiting For, I tell you, it`s real:, Portrait of Lighthouse with Irises; (May `10): Past Due Ives, Rich (Feb. `10): Psychotherapy, Gentleman Farmer, Praise the One Thing Weakened by Complexity Jaimot, Zyskander A. (Nov. `07): Does It Matter to the Zamboni? (Year 2000); (Feb. `08): Pampered Plumage, Feast Day Jamieson, Leland (Feb. `07): Winter Whimsies; (May `07): We`re Bondsmen All; (Aug. `07): Coffee Break?, Scotsman`s Prophecy; (Aug. `08): The Squeezer Jansen, Bill (May `10): You Won`t Be There;" (Aug. `10): Music for Periscope and Orchestra Jean, Ted (Aug. `10): Deep Weed Theory Jewett, Bruce (Nov. `05): "Upon Taking Maryanne to Lunch and a Flower Shop on a July Day," "On the Telephone during a Storm" Johnson, Michael Lee (May `07): I Work My Mind Like Planet Earth Kiahsobyk, Jeremy (Nov. `06:): Blood and Stones; (Feb. `10): Mother Goose was a Mayhem Moose Keith, Kim (Aug. `10): A Key to Locks Kieth, Kathy (Nov. `06): Skyways: A Review (review) Kline, LeAnne (Feb. `08): The Drum Circle Klingensmith, Chet (May `09): The Dwindle Days Knight, Mandi (Feb. `10): Dis-leck-see-ya: What I See is Not What You Get (essay) Kovacic, Kristin (Nov.`09): Ms. Um Makes an Announcement Lader, Bruce (May `10): How to Bring a Marriage Good Luck, In a Previous Life Lagier, Jennifer (Aug. `06): Rehab Commencement, Low Tide I-Ching, Sleeping with the Cat, Swept Off My Feet by Monta�a de Oro, Beach Cipher; Nature as Muse (essay); (Aug. `07): Patriotism, Malignancy Landrum, David W. (Feb. `08): Snowcream Larke, Maude (Aug. `10): Technocracy Lee, Jason (Nov. `05): Fire Lines Lefkowitz, Larry (Aug. `08): well into middle age, Backsliding Legat, Robert (May `06): Alice Lehmann, Gary (May `07): Where`s My Stuff?; (May `08): Turner`s Venice, Faulkner gives a reading; (Feb. `09): Mickey Mantle Tagged Out at Second; (May `09): How to Levitate a Frog, Just so amazed were we, Discovering Rightness, Loving Missives From the King Dome, A Conductor admonishes discordant notes; Amy Lowell`s Imagism (essay); Sudoku in Words: Puzzling Out the Poetry of Bin Ramke (review essay); (Aug. `10): Slave to Circumstance, Garfield on Ice Levin, Carol (Aug. `08): The Omnipresent Heat of August Lighthouse, Richard (Aug. `08): when irrelevant seems germane; (Feb. `10): at the edge of self, southern comfort Lisowski, Joseph (Feb. `08): What are Friends for?, Fast Food, Excavatin` for a Mine from the cycle, Stashu Kapinski Dreams of Glory Little, Shelley (Nov. `07): Home and Native Land, Sea Mourning; (Feb. `08): Remains of a Life Lockie, Ellaraine (Feb. `06): Suckers (review); (May `06): Sunday Ceremony, Family Reunion, Absolution From Lyn Lifshin; (Nov. `06): Mother May I in Santa Cruz, California, Censured at Starbucks, Scavenger, To Erato; (Feb. `07): The Life Cycle of Paradise Lost: Creation, Hallucination, Damnation; (May `07): A Week With Hugh Fox (essay); (Aug. `07): Icon Cowboy, Godot Goes to Montana, From Women All Over the World; (Feb. `08): Asks for Oysters, Goose Bumps; (May `08): Hell Hole, Irony in Italy; (Feb. `09): A Writer`s Secret Weapon (essay); (May `10): Twelve Steps from the Art Studio (essay); (Aug. `10) The Long Flight of Fancy Longworth, Fred (May `09): Breaking the Rules Losse, Helen (Nov. `05): Union Pacific #5117, Wintertime Prayer; (May `06): Borrowed Memories: A Eulogy; Suggestions for Poets (essay); (Nov. `06): Where the Reverie Is Apt To Lead; (May `08): Needed In Train, Song, and Light; (Aug. `09): Revisiting the Child in The Fractured World by Scott Owens (review) Lowenstein, Terry (Nov. `05): Craving Pumpkins, Words Made to be Eaten; (Feb. `06): Unearthing Treasures in My Backyard (review); (May `06): remembering, Mannequin Envy, parity speaks; Two chapbook reviews -- apples for adam and In Praise of Old Photographs (reviews) (Aug. `06): Twice Removed by William Greenway (review), Voices in My Head; (Nov. `06): Three Chapbook Reviews (review) Luntz, David (Aug. `06): Sunday Morning Thoughts, Dividing Lines, The Achaean Returns; (Nov. `06): Last Writes; (Feb. `07): Dream Meditation; (Aug. `07): Mon Triste Oncle; (Nov. `08): I Liked Driving; (May `09): Thoughts on St. Anselm, Train Shopping MacLean, J. R. (Nov.`07): C-eh-N-eh-D-eh (collaboration) MacLean, Luke (Aug. `08): Linoleum Maclean, Robin (May `06): The Attire of Superficiality Mahoney, Donal (Feb. `09): Death a Bear Majors, Michelle L. (Nov. `05): Loss, Friday Fairy Tales Makuz, Carin (Feb. `06): Literary Nude (essay) Malby, Scott (Nov. `05): Pasternak's imaginary funeral Mallino, Rachel (Nov. `05): The Star that Leads Him Home Marbach, Donna M. (Feb. `08): Forbidden Fruit, Insatiable, The Hunger, How the Family Coped until the Canaries Ripened, 1958 Time Machine; Poetry and the Art of Eating Life (essay) Marc�l, F. D. (aka Frank) (Aug. `06): Escapism and Something More; (May 07): Thoughts from the Corner of the Old Apartment, Charles; (Feb. `08): New Year's with a Family Man Marks, Michael M. (Aug. `10): Eggshell Beetles Martin, Eric (Feb. `08): The King of Thul� � A Ballad --Translated from Goethe McDonough, Kaye (May `06): Pictures from Bohemia (essay) McGuire, Catherine (Nov. `10): Cherry Bride, Spring Unfurled McLean, David (May `08): non-conscious trees, the corpse that watches, the ritual McPherson, Karen (Feb. `09): Three Photos -- Four Generations, Echo Chamber Meador, Steve (Nov.`08): Jungians Merrifield, Karla Linn (Feb. `07): I Dream of Darwin; Anointing the Pretty (Blue) Feet: A Vagabond Poet in the Galapagos (essay); (Nov. `07): Beware of Bait-Stealing Raven; (guest editorial); Three Pieces of Cod (I, II & III), Defining Bedrock, Butedale Rite, Apr�s Butedale, Butterclam Communion, Backcountry Road; (May `08): Nativity, Switched Over to Cosmic Energy, Apalachicola (FL): Camper`s Revenge Ends in Suicide; (Aug. `08): Seeking the Hollow of Night` (review); (Nov. `08): Of Coffee Pots and the Ineffable (review); (Feb. `09): Ariadne`s Departure; (T)he moment that hides in the breath" (review); (May `09): Surviving ,,the pull of cheap evenings" (review); (Aug `09): Farewell with Lines from the Chinese Masters, River of Memory; within this cage` (review); (Nov. `09) ;" Leaving Fingerprints, Rebel to a Tee; lost souls in the gutter" (review); (Feb. `10): This isnt about prayer as such"(review); (May `10): Dixie Crucifix, My Body is a Nest; When the moon bites its lip"(review); (Aug. `10): The Offering, Wash Day, Raven Woman`s Artifact, 1862; to save my life by saving yours, (review); (Nov. `10): "Poetry by real poets"(review) Messenger, Nicholas (Feb. `08): Tungle, Piano Malady; (May `08): The Age of Rivers; (Feb. `09): The Solar-Powered Plane Falls; (Aug. `09): Parliament of Birds, On Such a Night . . . , Poem for Pomme dEpi, a Pig; (Nov. `09): Skull, A Ghost; (Nov. `10): What`s Wrong with Strawberries? Milbury-Steen, John (May `07): At Checkout, To Marvel, Ambush; (Feb. `08): Thanksgiving Dinner; (May `08): His Ironic Invention, Easter Saturday; (Feb. `09): Animal Soap; (May `09): Seize Remaining Days, Teaching Science in Africa; (Nov. `09): Being Licked into Shape, Disciplined; (Feb. `10): Gloves, Inside and Outside Miller, John D. (Feb. `08): Bringing Home the Breadwinner Mo, Suchoon (Feb. `06): dear Cupid, Enormous Kiss; (Nov. `06): Come To Aspen Moore, George (Nov. `09): The Crow in Some Mythologies, The Pig Farmers, The Center of the Earth, An Old Map of the Body; The Poet`s Image on a Ride (essay) Mortenson, Erik K. (Nov. `08): Sleeping with the Seer; (Feb. `09): Illumination in the Shipwrecked Night: C. E. Chaffin`s Unexpected Light: Selected Poems and Love Poems 1998-2008 (review); (May `09): Cleaning Out the Attics of the Mind: Barbara Hamby`s All-Night Lingo Tango (review); (Aug. `09): Guess Who`s Coming to Christmas Dinner? Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translation (review) Mulrooney, Christopher (Nov. `05): "the blarney in the castle," "the goldfish bowl" Needle, Burgess Stanley (Aug. `09): Somehow Not Safe at All Nelson, J. D. (Feb `06): never as cold as the life in your eyes, recession Nezafati, Peter (Feb. `08): Romantic Reptiles Nights, P.J. (Aug. `06): Miss Brunswick Diner, the real author of the bible sheds light on hollywood; (Feb. `09): for the sweetest lass on the return of her dogs (no thanks to her husband), para pablo, paradelle; (May `09): Senbazuru, towards a unified theory O'Connell, Thomas (Nov. `05): "Chasing Imaginary Pigeons" O'Keefe, Sherry (Nov. `10): From Her Mother's August, Through October Mud: A Review of Karen J. Weyant's Stealing Dust (review) Olaopa Mwenda, Ocalive (Aug. `06): His and Hers Flowers (essay); (Nov. `06): A Fix For the Spaces Between (review); (Aug. `07) Wide Bones: Bearing the Weight in Patrick Carrington`s Rise, Fall and Acceptance (review); (Aug. `08): Absence of Light: Quirks of Dark: A review of Mathias B. Freese`s Down to a Sunless Sea (review) Oliver, Maurice (May `07): Orchids for Her Hothouse Opperman, Michael (Feb. `09): World's Best List Overmire, Laurence (Aug. `08): Saturday Night, Brooklyn Nights Owens, Scott (Aug. `09): Reunion, Burden, Coalescence; (Feb. `10): The Merits of Not Multi-Tasking; (Aug. `10): Unnecessary Things, How to Get Here from There Oyeleye, Damilola (May `07): Divination Pearce, Josh (Nov. `10): after rain, cathedral bells Plath, Rob (Nov. `08): the murky surface; (Aug. `10): daydreaming of transfusions Pobo, Kenneth (Nov. `05): Night Garden, Red Planet Green, Hades Apologizing to Persephone, I Wonder If, All This; Doing It (essay); Twining the Wild Braid, A Review (review); (May `06): Knoxville Drag Show, I`m a Drag; (Feb. `09): Box-Making Boy, Praise for Some Things that Pass Away; (Nov. `10): Winter Fig, Tuesday, January 12, 2010; Barren Winter (essay) Price, L. M. (Nov `10): Life Support Quinlan, Philip (Nov. `10): At One, Eclipse in October Rather, Jr., M. (Nov. `09): She Explains Herself to the Trees Rayman Rivera, Nanette (Aug. `06): High Tide Reninger, Tom (May `08): inside her, the hothouse love, no transfusions possible Renstrom, Vincent (May `09): A Cat`s Life; (Aug. 09): If You Bring Passion, Faults Will Be Overlooked, A Doggone Portrait; (May `10): Humming Afternoon Delight Rice, Oliver (Aug. `09): Look for It in Brahms, She Says, Elizabeth`s Eyes Richards, Derek (Nov. `09): feathers for jane Richardson, Erik (Nov. `08): The Coffee Shop Saint, Chessmen at the Close of Day, Woods Words Worlds, Postmodern Change of Seasons; Reflections on Woods Words Worlds (essay); (Feb. `09): The Magazine Me; (Aug. `09): Knights and Ladies of the Not-So-Round Table: A Narrated Play without Dialogue; (Feb. `10): The Abandoned Asylum, Permuted Merton; (Aug. `10): Custom Poem; Taoism, Craftsmanship, and Writing (essay) Ries, Charles P. (Nov. `05): Marlboro Man on Michigan Avenue; Le Mot Juste (review); (Feb. `06): The Silence Between Worlds (review), Chasing Saturday Night (review), New American Underground Poetry Vol. 1: The Barbarians of San Francisco -- Poets from Hell (review) Riley, Drew (May `10): Snowy Robes Give Way To His Right Hand Riley, John (Aug. `09): To A Friend Who Broke His Neck at Davis Water Gage, Summer, 1967 Roberts, Phillip M. (Aug. `08): Goodman's Soliloquy Robinson, Margaret A. (Nov. `05): There's a Lot Going on in the Garden, July 4, 1947, Young and Old, A Cat's Last Cradle; Winter as Mountain Climber" (essay); (Feb. `06): Jubilation, 2 36 75, Two Cards in a White Carton with Red Paper Hearts, Subaru, Corvette, ATM, Foil Hearts; (Nov. `06): Two Beds with Dogs , Green Ambush; (Feb. `09): For a Time, Thanks for Your Thanks Robison, Cassandra (Feb. `07): Uncaged of Pain: A Review of Lynn Strongin`s chapbook Dovey & Me" (review); (May `09): Hybrid Rounds, Nathaniel S. (Aug. `07): Rope House*, Opera Chronique (Vehicle for Street Talk, Old Saw and General Despondency); (Feb. `10): Fluke, AM Radio in A Minor Roy, Sankar (Nov. `06): Life's Lesson, Endurance, The Judgment Day Ruel, Steven (May `08): as-troll-ogy Safir, Natalie (Aug. `08): Mary`s Dream Sagan, Miriam (Aug. `06): Manifest Schiffman, Richard (Nov. `09): The Dance of Leaving; (Feb. `10): A Lesson in Etymology, Loony Tunes, Bloody Buddy;" (May `10): Recycling, Been There, Done That, Corn Plant, Aftermath; Learning from the Starfish: The Poetry of Spiritual Renewal (essay) Schout, Dawn (Nov. `10): Silent Conversation Schubmehl, Wanda (May `07): Poem for Mark Doty, Early Morning Poet, Below the Summit, No One Was Ever Gentle With This Book, Seasons; Don't Give Me Apples: A Response to Mark Doty's Source, Black Boat Floating: A Response to Mary Oliver`s The Oak Tree at the Entrance to Blackwater Pond (reviews); (Aug. `07): Four Lane Road Edward Hopper, 1956;" (Nov. `07): Mirage of the Heart; (Feb. `09): Egg Schwartz, G. David (May `08): October, 1993 Scott, Marissa A. (Feb. `06): Dawn Pathways seidensticker, l. a. (May `09): Submission Follows; (Aug. `09): Looking out from High Places, Lighted Torches that Flatter the Ladies, I Go into Business, Boomerang; (Feb. `10): Starlings, Lately Winter: Bodega Bay Sell, Robert (Nov. `10): The Separation of Us Seraphimidou, Anna (Nov. `05): A Cat`s Last Cradle Settingsgaard, Adam (Aug. `09): Photospheric Fortunes Shapiro, Lynne (Feb. `10): Sharpen Your Eyes 105 Sherwood, Carolee (May `10): I am lost, The romantic fantasizes about being inseparable from her lover..., Revision; (Aug. `10): My God! The Tailor... Siegel, Scot (Nov. 09): When You Bring My Meds Snell, Cheryl (Nov. `05): Threshold, How to Survive a Storm, Blue-Eyed Pony Soderling, Janice D. (May `08): Memento Mori, Pantoum for the Final Stretch; (Feb. `09): Runner-Up in the Waiting Room; (Aug. `09): Going for a Ride; (Feb. `10): Continental Breakfast, At the Used Car Cemetery (or Was It in the Women`s Ward?); (Nov. `10): Midnight, Disjointed Soliloquy on a Gray Day, Not Only in Autumn; A Voyage of Discovery (essay) Solonche, J. R. (Aug. `07): Memorial Service for Curt, Ghazal-Sonnet on Glass; (May `08): Spring Spinello, Serena (Nov. `07): A Blubbering Blazon Sprague, David (Aug. `10): New York Like New York Stanley, Farren (May. `09): Animus Stern, Marvin (Aug. `09): Man or Quail? (essay) Stevens, Jeanine (Nov. `10): Bungalow Stevens, Paul Christian (May `07): Rimbaud`s Evening Prayer; (May `09): How, Declensions Stewart, Eamonn (Nov. `05): Insurgent Tourist, My First Brumaire in Belfast; (Feb `06): Bluebagopolis, The Cows Muddied My Personal Helicon, Feasts of Hunger; (Aug. `06): To the Poet on the Subject of Flowers; (Nov. 06): Divis On Fire Stolis, Alex (May `06): The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup, Nowhere Again; (May `08): i`ve thrown away everything i`ve ever written Strongin, Lynn (May `06): Colt Revolver Factory: American Prostheses I, American Prostheses II, Colt Revolver Factory; (Feb. `07): Where I`d Be This Time Next Year; (Nov.`07): Drypoint Canadian Winter, Summer has been a century long; Holding onto My Childhood (essay); (Feb. `08): Brutalia, Gloria, Darkover; (Aug. `08) We See the Face, She Has Not Come Undone; Excerpts of a Dreamlike Memoir in Shafts of Light -- Festina Lente (essay); (Aug. `09): We Meet Pippi in the Playing Field at Dusk Summers, S. Thomas (Aug. `06): A Midsummer Day`s Dream, Anchor`s Bend; (Feb. `08): Sedition; (Nov. `10): Private Levi McCormick Writes His Wife: Christmas 1864 Taylor, Ann (Nov. `10): Today at Walden Taylor, Jeffrey (Aug. `07): On Birds and Men Taylor, Rob (Nov. `07): a Vancouverite throws Toronto a bone, flying to Vancouver Terpstra, John (Nov. `07): Morning at Fort Wellington Thompson, Heath (Feb. `06): Fist Thunell, Carrieann (Feb. `06): Great Grandma`s Rituals, Uncle Rodger`s Pennywhistle Medicine; (May `06): The Barista`s Untrainable Bloodhound; (Feb. `07): The glacial chill of winter shall descend; (May `07): Tribute to Klyd Watkins, Do Not Go Gentle To That Dental Drill Timpane, Philip (Nov. `10): white flag, A Touch of Frost Toupin, James (Aug. `08): Investigation: Dream Trame, Davide (May `06): Earth`s Womb; (May `09): Viburnum, Curious Childhood VanBuren, Jennifer (May `06): Intramural Hostess Vargo, Sam (Feb. `08): Bad Love Is Eaten Like Hot Dogs, Mass Vishwanathan, Ajay (Aug. `09): Mom Doesn't Like Dad's Dad; (Nov. `09): Wedding Bells for Little Feet Wallace Jones, Patricia (May `10): Our Lady Under Pressure Walther, Margaret (Nov. `10): We Once Dwelled, Ode to My Pubic Hair Watkins, Klyd (Feb `06): Ganier Ridge Trail -- 4/23/92, Lavetta Swift Bench -- 2/3/99; (May `06): Jack, Chapter Six: Jack Remembered Sweet Talkin Man;" (Aug. `06): Poncho Wattles, Lafayette (May `08): I Chipped My Faith on the Ceiling at Sistine Chapel Welch, Luke (May `06): Father's Hands, The Way It Was Wellingham-Jones, Patricia (May `06): Cowpoke with a Sore Butt; (Aug. `06): Limbo, Change; (Nov. `06): Creek Walk, Basket, Dream Foods, A Stranger Visits; The Art of the Off-Beat Sells (essay); (Aug. 07): Favorite Picture; (Feb. `08): Doorway Whitmore, Ken (May `07): Picasso at the Bateau Lavoir; (Aug. `07): A Fortunate Man, Father and Son; (Feb. `08): Strauss Waltz; (May `08): A Brief History of Western Philosophy; (Feb. `09): Rainbows Wilcox, Daniel E. (May `07): Lapping Ideas, I Love You Flannery O'Connor; (Nov. `07): A Canadian Fable of the North, My Canadian Memories, From Below the Line; (May `08): The Crucified Isle; (Nov. `08): The Nature of Fishhooks; (Feb. `10): Sayings So Unkind; (May `10): The Teeth of It Wilcox, Earl J. (May `06): Kinsey's First Interview, Poetry in Motion; (Aug. `06): Teaching an Old Bird New Tricks; Traveling with my Muse (essay); (Nov. `06): A Human Stain; (Feb. `07): Winter Solstice: Variations and Dreams; (Aug. `07): Mama`s Boy Shops for Hazel, Caveman Visits Doctor, Hitchhiking in a Minor Key, Garden Gerontology; The Work is Play For Mortal Stakes:`* Working, Playing, and Writing (essay); (Feb. `08): An ExtremeMakeover Breakfast; (Aug. `08): A Widow`s Funky Life; (Nov. `08): Some quoted clich�s about bicycle; (Nov. `09): Dear Wade Williams, Brandon (Aug. `10): Community Williams, Mukesh (Nov. `07): Canada and India Willitts, Jr., Martin (Aug. `08): Lincoln Sees Ghosts, Honor and Dishonor; (Nov. `08): Three Ages of the Woman and the Death; (Feb. `09): Sudden Chill; (Aug. `09): Roses and Tulips, Cure, The Maiden Locked inside a Glass Hill; (Nov.`09): Because I Was a Male Working with Pre-School Children in the `70s Winter, Bill (May `07): Confessions of Kim Addonizio's Love Slave Wong, Nicholas Y. B. (Aug. `10): Qipao, Homage to Wong Kar-wai`s The Hand Wylie, Matthew (Nov. `07): Pueblo Polyandrous Yarrow, Bill (May `09): Sermon of Lilacs Yazinski, Ron (Feb. `10): La Cuanna, The Guild Studio; (Aug. `10): Rock Garden, Artifice; (Nov. `10): Three-Chord Progression Yuan, Changming (Nov. `09): Pumpkins, Snow White Student Contributors, Nov. '09: Dull, David, I`m not the image Erkan, Ekin, Locating Individualism Marchl, William H., Off the Shepherd Monasterios, Agatha, Uno Montgomery, Jordan, I`m Jordan Swift, Makhala, Tripping off the Tightrope Winston, Samantha, A Noticed Kind of Invisible "Ashen" by Gram Davies, 2010