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Aries

Journal of Art and Literature Spring 2013


Aries: A Journal of Art and Literature

SPRING 2013

FOUNDED IN 1969 BY SOUTHEASTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE VOLUME XXVII

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Managing/Poetry Editor Art Editor Royce Ray Poetry Prize Reader Creative Nonfiction Editor Fiction Editor

Allison Parker September Krueger Vivian Shipley Meghan Barnes Patricia Bjorklund

COVER ART BY Leika McLaurin SCCNC.EDU ARIES A PUBLICATION OF SOUTHEASTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRINTED BY Correction Enterprises Aries / Spring 2013 / Volume 27 Thank you to the SCC Art Club, Vivian Shipley, the SCC Foundation, the NC Writer’s Network, Fjords Review, Poets & Writers Magazine, Correction Enterprises, Dr. Kevin Bratton, Dr. Kathy Matlock and the Royce Ray family for their lifelong support and contribution to the literary arts in North Carolina. Aries: A Journal of Art and Literature is an annual publication produced by Southeastern Community College, Whiteville, NC.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Kayla Watts Untitled ...............................................................................................................................1 Royce Ray Poetry Prize Winner Kendall McKenzie Soft Core Birches .................................................................................................................5 Watermark ...........................................................................................................................6 Kathryn Ionata After the Fire ........................................................................................................................7 Bridal Shower ......................................................................................................................8 City Boy................................................................................................................................9 Jim Metzger Believing in Belief ................................................................................................................10 George Bishop Hearts...................................................................................................................................13 Kelly Grace Thomas Cross Country Complex .......................................................................................................14 LA Lullaby............................................................................................................................15 Cheryl Resetarits Ballad of Weaver’s Finch ....................................................................................................16 John Gosslee An African Pachyderm Triptych ..........................................................................................18 smiarowski From Soil, Vine and Wine ....................................................................................................19 Justin Summerville Today, Everything is Going to Change ................................................................................21 Caitlyn Harrelson The End ................................................................................................................................25 Rana Williams The Edge ..............................................................................................................................26 The People I See ..................................................................................................................27 Kenneth Malpass Conundrum ..........................................................................................................................28

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Whitney Soup CZ.........................................................................................................................................29 I see ......................................................................................................................................30 Jarvis Hammer Untitled ................................................................................................................................31 Amanda Gore The Pear...............................................................................................................................32 Lily .......................................................................................................................................33 Dove .....................................................................................................................................34 Leika McLaurin Untitled ................................................................................................................................35 Rose......................................................................................................................................36 Anna Lynch Self Portrait..........................................................................................................................37 Club Life ..............................................................................................................................38 Cow Skull .............................................................................................................................39 LC Atencio The Mermaid Under the Twelve Moons ...............................................................................40 Sharonda Chancy Survival ................................................................................................................................41 Sara M. DeGregoria Only Kissing .........................................................................................................................42 Buses ....................................................................................................................................43 Mallory Pickford Experiencing Nature ............................................................................................................45 Daren Dean Signs of Terror .....................................................................................................................46 Victoria Malpass Afflicted ................................................................................................................................48 Changming Yuan Natural Confrontations (5) ..................................................................................................49 Egg: A Brief History of China in English ............................................................................50

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Cory Gaskins A Typical Day ......................................................................................................................51 Da’Shaun Vereen The Great Pursuit ................................................................................................................52 Gail DiMaggio Last Leg................................................................................................................................53 Tony Goes Hunting Ghost Towns ........................................................................................54 No Hearts, No Flowers ........................................................................................................55 Phillip Arnold Dwelling ...............................................................................................................................56 Carl Kruger Untitled ................................................................................................................................59 Contributing Writer Biographies .........................................................................................60 About ...................................................................................................................................62 Royce Ray Poetry Award Announcement ............................................................................64 English Degree .....................................................................................................................65 Art Degree............................................................................................................................66 Richard F. Burkhardt Fine and Performing Arts Series .......................................................67 Submissions .........................................................................................................................68

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ROYCE RAY POETRY PRIZE WINNER Kendall McKenzie Soft Core Birches My boyfriend hid in his fort maintaining radio silence. I strummed on different frequencies and circled the woods around him, then made an army of woodland furries and gave them orders in song. Pressing into the dirt, I splintered out two legs like trees. They swelled right below the knees and silked thin like ribbons near my feet. The furries stitched me a bird’s nest dress and pine needle petticoat that I obsessively fluffed. But his windows were still dark. He doesn’t like you the way he should, the furries explained to me. “No, it’s just that my antlers are bigger than his.” The furries didn’t like it when he used my clavicles like bicycles handlebars. What’s he doing in there? the furries asked me. I chewed on venison and replied, “Working on merit badges. He always does the right thing.”

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ROYCE RAY POETRY PRIZE WINNER Kendall McKenzie Watermark The swamping ponds murked thick with indigo ink. Rain and hail pinged off my tin roof, every drop a detonation into several more booms. Down in the water, bullfrogs. The weeping willow, swam slowly in the wind like a tired child’s legs treading water. I sat on the scalloped edge of my quilt, the stitches stiff as metal, a girl with hair that is black when wet and eyes even darker with the lights off. My mother’s old shirt tripped into my knees as I toed to the window. I chewed the collar, felt for the window seat. Ice balls sounded plush on the grass, the weeds. I heard the great blue heron’s undercoat saturate. Tomorrow’s climbing trees dampened into corks. Pulling my knees under the shirt, I longed for the rain to do the same to me, to make me smell more like magnolias, less like field flowers. I wished the rain would soak the roof until it folded in on itself and then fill the house, lifting me up like a tree frog squinting silver pupils and trilling my pulse into the night. I was so tired of needing. I let the darkness of my showered hair drench my sleep shirt until I was fully submerged.

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Kathryn Ionata After the Fire After the fire, we found coins, edges barely charred. We found coins, not sliced black and white memories of children—now grown and bent to unearth, they garner only soot (they will wash their clothes more than once to be rid of the smoke). No, the only faces preserved are presidents’. We found coins, not a Stradivarius (left by Germans during the war) or even its wood splintered remains. Not passports stamped in Naples, 1953, (to have a job meant to sail where automobiles bunched close like sheep). We didn’t find tiny spoons, black before the fire, or airmail letters announcing births. We found coins, not a sewing kit, cushions bursting spikes. We found coins, not a vegetable garden, exploded tomato guts and timid basil, not art projects or velvet sofas or knick-knacks. There was only ash to excavate. We found a family nickeled and dimed, but not wooden forks, not a lace dress, but coins, only coins.

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Kathryn Ionata Bridal Shower One month prior the shower of gifts begins: red spoon rest, pink doormat little birds to shake salt and pepper on meals cooked in a crock pot. Gifts guaranteed break-resistant, timeless, 25-year warranty. Glasses. Cake knife. A Lazy Susan, casserole dishes and candles. Fourteen knives spearing wood, sheets for a bed already christened. Mostly there are towels: pink & blue & white, organic cotton, no harsh chemicals or feelings. Maximum durability. And she thinks of the white and brown paisley of 1972, planned to wrap around slim tan waists but put in a crawlspace where she inched out with dust on her face. Then pulled from boxes, ten years gone, used on different bodies, slippery babies, long legs and wet hair. Now her daughter dries her long hair with towels gifting a union never meant to be through a curtain of brown strands calls, Are you ready?

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Kathryn Ionata City Boy Sometimes I hate everything about this city, he said. Taxis’ll runya over to make a light. That garbage-river smell gets inside your nose real good. Those guys behind you on skinny streets want to make you nervous or worse, and you just want to be on the train home. But there is so much more for me and for you, who stayed behind in a fourth floor walkup—sticky floors, bongs & Doritos & poetry. With you I jangled tokens, watched the lights obscure the stars. We saw men on corners sell blouses, strangers light cigarettes tip to tip. We sat on old bedspreads in the park the rich keep pretty, watched old men with trumpets, dogs and babies & hipsters. We sipped forties from paper bags, because one day we would be forty, and Broad Street farther than a subway where you would jump between cars, holding my hand. I threw my tokens into that filthy river, full of newspapers, dead bodies broken needles & remnants of us, but this poem, it wouldn’t sink.

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Jim Metzger Believing in Belief “Have you always been an atheist?” a friend asked recently. I’m not fond of identifying as an atheist because of the misconceptions that so often come with the label, and I’d much rather define myself by what I do believe than by what I don’t. But he had pressed me, and I felt I should come clean. “Oh, no way,” I said. “Religious first. And for a long time, too.” On this final point, though, I may have lied. I was raised in a devout evangelical Protestant home. For my siblings and me, this meant that we attended church every Sunday, memorized Bible verses for stickers and plastic trinkets, and believed that God was watching every move we made. If you did what you were told, we were taught, God would bless you and life would go along quite nicely; if you didn’t, well, that’s just not something you wanted to think about. Life did go along rather nicely for a while. But this had nothing at all to do with God’s kindness or care. My father was exceptionally bright and hard-working, and he was very lucky to have landed a position teaching medicine at East Carolina University, which kept us free from financial worries. Perhaps more important, we kids were healthy and managed to avoid serious accident or illness. Under such fortunate circumstances, maintaining belief in a benevolent deity concerned with your personal welfare is rather easy. When in junior high school, I joined a United Methodist youth group, attended regularly, and even volunteered for summer mission trips to unreasonably hot places like Jackson, Mississippi and the rural inland regions of Florida’s panhandle, where we scraped muck from shelter floors during the day and shot hoops at night. I remained involved primarily because of the good friendships I developed as well as the faint hope that at least one of the group’s most attractive girls might look my direction. The religious aspects of our gatherings were of comparatively little importance, but they did serve to reinforce the Christian narrative I had learned at home. The more God and sin and redemption were spoken of, the more real these concepts became. I don’t want to give the impression that I was a standout model of piety: I wasn’t. In fact, I shied away from leadership roles, and I never advocated openly for Christianity or sought to convert anyone. But at the time, life was pretty good, so I had no reason to question the story we were sold, and certainly had no reason to leave. My first real doubts arose during high school. I often tried to pray on my own, but I never could quite shake the suspicion that prayer was a one-way street, that I was the one doing all the work. Resolution on an issue of great importance – whether, for instance, to top off my senior class schedule with typing or shop or home economics – would arrive only after a long period of “prayer,” during which I would hash out the pros and cons and weigh them relative to my desires and goals. I was forced to do this because no answer to my queries arrived immediately, and generally I was on a tight schedule. At first, I credited solutions to divine inspiration. But after a while, it dawned on me that I might leave off the address to God, run through all the possible outcomes as usual, and still arrive at a satisfactory result. So I did. And as far as I could tell, there really wasn’t any difference between “God’s guidance” and ordinary ratiocination. I experienced a similar absence of God during communion. I remember being told that we if we ingested the elements (in my context, grape juice and a loaf from Food Lion) in a solemn, reverent frame of mind, we could expect to feel God’s presence. For years, I mustered up all the gravitas I possibly could, but no God or risen Savior ever visited me. If I felt anything at all, it was fatigue from the extraordinary amount of preparation I put in, as well as disappointment.

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While at UNC-Chapel Hill, I tried to maintain contact with a Christian community the best I could. During my first semester, for instance, I attended several meetings sponsored by parachurch groups like Campus Crusade for Christ and Young Life. Students and leaders alike were welcoming, but I always wished to be somewhere – anywhere – else. Lyrics projected on a screen and sung to the strum of a guitar were cheesy and insultingly repetitive, and the prayer requests seemed petty. I wasn’t an avid reader of the newspapers in college, but I was at least aware of famine, disease, and genocide around the globe. I once found myself wondering: Were we really going to ask God to help Becky and Tom focus on their chemistry midterms tomorrow when millions were dying of malaria, malnutrition, and war? Shouldn’t those other problems really be addressed first? And, if God did choose to help them on their midterms before curing malaria, is this sort of God we should even be speaking to? One day after class, a friend from Governor’s School invited me to church. Had I known that he was going to take me to the first storefront congregation we spotted while cruising the outskirts of Chapel Hill in his Gremlin, I wouldn’t have gone. The sign out front read, “Travling Evanglist Brad Cummins/Today Only/11 am.” (Had some prankish teenager taken all the e’s?) Before the service even started, he pulled me into a room at the back of the sanctuary, dropped to his knees, and began praying out loud. Within just a few minutes, tears were streaming down his cheeks as he prostrated himself maniacally before a bare cinderblock wall. He was imploring God to forgive him for some thought or act that he never quite managed to disclose. (At twenty, I naturally assumed it must have had something to do with sex.) Eventually, he curled up in the fetal position and rocked and moaned. I stood in the corner, horrified, wishing that I could turn and run and never look back. The whole ordeal lasted about fifteen minutes, after which he rose, wiped tears and dirt from his face, and suggested we go to McDonald’s for sausage biscuits. “Not staying for the service?” I asked. “No need. I feel much better now.” During my senior year, a religion professor suggested that I check out Princeton Theological Seminary (his alma mater) to see if it might be a fitting place to continue my exploration of early Christianity. Just months away from receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies and still without a single skill to offer the world, I thought this might be a pretty good idea. In the acceptance letter I received later that spring, the Dean said Princeton would waive tuition. I had no other plans, so I signed on the line and dropped my letter of intent in the mail. While at Princeton, I would earn a Master of Divinity but never receive that jolt of conviction for which I hoped. Good reasons for why one might subscribe to the basic contours of the Christian narrative were offered, but no matter how many of these I encountered, God still seemed largely absent as he had in high school, willed into existence during private prayer or communal worship, but MIA once we quit talking about him. In class, we were introduced to a variety of conflicting portraits of God from theologians across the ages and across the globe. This inspired a key insight during my final year: God always took on characteristics these theologians found most appealing and relevant to their own situations. Put differently, they created the God they desired. When their conceptions of God did converge, they seemed to do so only because these writers shared similar social and historical locations, similar interests and concerns, not because they had finally discerned “the truth.” I don’t know how any seminary student who had read even a few assigned pages a week could escape the conclusion that theology was an exercise of the human imagination, and had nothing whatsoever to do with reliable knowledge about the creator of the universe. Yet, I failed to take this insight to heart, and soon moved right on into two parishes – which I had no business doing. But ministry is what I had been trained to do, and I continued to believe that the conviction that eluded me would eventually turn up. It had to. After graduation, I was assigned to two small United Methodist churches in rural eastern North Carolina. I had no aspirations of bringing in new members. My goal was simple: help these congregations stay afloat and not lose too many along the way.

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“Why do you type your sermons, Preacher?” an elderly car salesman of the domestic brands asked me one day after the service. “Oh, um, I guess because that’s what we we’re taught to do,” I said. “But you got it all wrong, Preacher. You don’t do the talking, see. You just get out of the way and let the Spirit do the talking. I’d get rid of them notes if I was you.” I wonder if he knew that I wrote out all of my pastoral prayers, too, and read them word for word. I tried my best to keep this fact hidden from the congregation, but surely at least a few members of the choir could have seen that I had my eyes open the whole time. On visitations to shut-ins and hospitalized parishioners, I always felt as if I had to conclude the conversation with a prayer. This caused enormous anxiety. I never knew exactly what to say. I wanted to ask, Why would my prayer be any more efficacious than yours? After all, only you know what you really need. Surely, you can state your request far better than I. Furthermore, praying for anything truly meaningful, such as physical healing or the means to pay for mounting medical bills, still seemed utterly futile to me. God may hear us – I was certainly willing to grant that – but I’d yet come across any empirical evidence that he actually responded to our prayers. So, typically I’d ask for “God’s presence to be with X” and leave it at that. One would think the creator of the universe could offer us some unmistakable sign of his presence in the world. Would that really be so hard for the creator of the universe? Why keep everyone guessing? Why force us to manufacture the evidence? And why punish people for failing to believe in the absence of evidence? The formal beginning of atheism for me came at the age of thirty-four, when an autoimmune disease sidelined me from life. For two and a half years, as my intelligently designed immune system stupidly ravaged my body, I remained in constant pain. I received not a moment’s peace. Furthermore, battling back inflammation made me tired all the time, and my mobility became severely restricted. Nearly all of life came to a halt: I gave up all of the activities I once enjoyed, and many of the relationships that meant so much to me dissolved. However, with few social engagements or hobbies, I also had time to think, and these thoughts led quickly and inevitably to pulling the plug on the Christian God. I was finally forced to see that the universe isn’t designed with our welfare in mind, and that if there’s a god at all, he’s not the omnibenevolent Sovereign Christians profess allegiance to. An honest look at all the cruelty, waste, and needless pain built into the very fabric of this place will not reveal a benevolent deity. No, if there is a god at all, he’s either incompetent, malevolent, indifferent, or utterly powerless, certainly not the sort of being I would wish to relate to. Given the insane amount of suffering that’s been found among his creatures over the last several hundred million years, it would only seem proper to curse and indict this god, then to move resolutely forward without him. Of course, a simpler and far more attractive hypothesis is that there’s no creator at all, and that needless suffering is best explained by the blind, purposeless forces of evolution. I hope to run into my friend again soon so I can amend my answer, make things right. Because I do have a conscience. “Have you always been an atheist?” he would ask. “No, but I’m not convinced I ever really believed, either,” I’d say.

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George Bishop Hearts “There’s a dark spot on her heart” --the doctors They have to go in. Nothing’s clear enough from the outside, it’s not the usual dark of the heart. They can guess but they don’t or they do in silence, talk about it later with a wife, a girlfriend or both, someone skilled in the art of identification, whose nod is enough for the kind of solace they seek. What’s our own without a name isn’t easy to remove, and far away in a heart that doesn’t need to beat for nourishment she seems to wonder whether to go or stay—she bathes in the ebb and flow of a self-centeredness that’s saved her for so long. She knows guilt’s found its way out of her desires, but suspects it’s begun to find a way back. So we speak to her from something without muscle or duty, letting personal remedies fail, the anesthesia of our daily lives dilute in her pillow of half-sleep. Tonight we’ll think of other light passing through us, how it forms shadows that look everywhere for something warm and clock-like. We’ll pray no one finds what we’ve hidden one day, names it. We’ll wonder what her dark spot will be tomorrow. Taking something from what’s hard and set in its ways can be tricky. I wanted to tell her if something goes wrong (right) she’ll be surprised who was saved, even more surprised by what they were saved from— but I didn’t. It’s too close to the heart. Someone needs to go in with the steadiness of a stranger, someone who’s been in the dark before and emerged without one bloody reason to return, not a single shadow in sight.

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Kelly Grace Thomas Cross Country Complex I came on breadcrumb narcissism. Bloated with the potential of suburban fame, pushed out the door by the regrets who could no longer could afford the rent of wondering. I was starving for something and heard Los Angeles had the biggest all-you-could eat. All were welcome, until they can no longer button their egos. Under chaffing dish warm-light sat the counters of criticism. Second helpings of rejection are extra. Please don't take more denial than you can swallow. When you are finished, leave your broken gospels in the deserted daydream hotel and we will send the maid in to clean them up. They Zagat reviewed my visions, assigned star ratings like stereotypes. Odds laughed at me like schoolyard bullies. Stood me up at the alter where I promised to love myself. Speak now, or forever hold your dream. Only the strong should swim in these Malibu currents Because I know never to take Hope Blvd. after rush hour. It is stand-still judgment where salaries drive the commute and you are labeled by the freeway that takes your battered body home. What part of my pride would I put on clearance to know I’ve met someone else’s definition of success? The dragons at Chinese Theater wait for another tourist to fall in the moat of pop-culture. Sinking like a first grade memory, believing in the tooth fairy and her pillow promises. The handprints of my beginnings are laid in these paparazzi poems, they promised to call but never did. I didn’t know we would spend every night trying to find a home. I didn’t know we would become so lost in this hall of mirrors I came on breadcrumb narcissism looking for unattainable acceptance. Approval from a God who was built on the lips of No. I need to remind myself to never forget the uncensored version of my past, my personality before it was photo shopped. Because someone out there, before this commute of canned compliments and asshole acquaintances someone out there loved that person before they got lost in the stares of a million burnt out bulbs.

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Kelly Grace Thomas LA Lullaby Tonight the cockroaches giggle at this barefoot walk for peace. Across the shards of overweight similes, a city that compares its orphans to stars. And somewhere the pigeons assemble with pregnant complaints of how the homeless have taken their drive-thru ordered dreams. Scavengering for a chance of catching some change in the night air. Above it all the palm trees survey hands in pocket, slur on lips, apathy in their fronds. Even on a cloudy night, we all fight for our slice of injustice.

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Cheryl Resetarits Ballad of the Weaver’s Finch From the start it wasn’t only her. No, sometimes it was your hands plaiting tufts, untying crimped muscles, words: “Alright, hang on, hang on.” Then off to worst my pain, her roiling spin, your riddled take on our oddly clotted life after the master weaver – who first bound and brought us all along – was crushing flawed by steering shuttle into that looming pier: killing him and wrinkling me. And so recast I wait warped and knurled from days spent alone with her intricate skeins her secrets and my discrete ways these long brail days awaiting your return. Your habit is coming straightway – Ignoring shadows down the hall, their inkblot petitions – instead your hand on my head, fever check, your knees tapping against my bed: “Mug of tea, then, milky sweet?” You leave, I listen, come untacked in spite of pain’s crewel work at last a homespun thread as man of house returns, which might explain my need (quite byzantine) to vex, to crux, to check the king, to ret the past and our hueful, spinning needs. My invalid’s room, then and now, withered air, buckled sheets, towering window, which scans the sea, its writhed peaks and raveling leagues and leagues and leagues. And so I dream to drift from you, from them, from knowledge of love’s curdled silk. To check the king I cherish, to unlink the links, pull past the seams: “They fell,” I say, “her want, his need, for we would not see past our own spins, until our little knot was spilled – though we alone understood how scant, how flit, the silky nests she laid, when her real talent was contra flight which is why the weaver and I were fighting the night he tore the weft.”

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And with my say I crash and burn, rick flames dance cross my brow. I sob and you withdraw to make our tea. In your withdrawal what do you know? All, as it was or less or more? Are we black and white with trim-cut lines or motley-blur shades of everything? In your withdrawal what did you feel toward him and her and me? Well-crafted lives, long intertwined, so fleetingly undone. And while we fret over tea cup rims, she unravels clews to our woven home, catches wind, and flies.

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John Gosslee An African Pachyderm Triptych Elephantagious tent flap trident obelisk legged ark war tank demolition squad ancestral graveyard Rhinoceronik armor plated pyramid nose discharged cannonball bent penny whistle fog eyed boulder whiff and joust steam engine Hippopotarro chain mail submarine bottom heavy granite eight butterfly clip trap jaw tire pile sun spot

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smiarowski From Soil, Vine and Wine Quaff the lusty focus of California dreams as they always tongue flower into a bouquet of rich night Come age, befriend the precocious grape and she will ferment delicately into the body of an insouciant hostess Perfect Pinot velvet mouth Honey difficult sweet My Favorite Acid delicate to the tongue Bubbly to me hun Barnyard honeysuckle cue bee~ hive Cabernet Kobe the Table set to create Great truths and mishaps vibrantly skimming eclectic lines of proof While underneath, foot playful foot Allow purple zenith vision oversight Willamette and Russian River backhand accidental bulb breaking laughter without worry as time has a sitter tonight and we dine on soft rolls of sea tales lengthening the storyteller’s already elaborated arm with further freedoms upon tall promises from a seasoned mouth to all ears that focus on duck con fit for the brain. crisp lettuce wraps, julienne carrots, curses from the fishmonger Bottles for the chef Rose’ visions dripping acute lamb shank blue Chateaubriand languishing uproarious without conceit as perfect Pinot velvet mouths speak din in round. Chocolate silk pie on the lip of a kiss

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Whip cream on the nose. some say I love you with heart, some with beets wrapped in foil brought to a broil and another cork uncoiled. Jerusalem artichokes simmered, celery, carrot, crème, sherry Let the ladies’ hair sweep gently and Fall fluffy Sapphic pillow fight high Feathers landing in glasses, on lashes batted alight with life in wine, the men tilting mashes. Pan seared pork medallions appear Plate, knife and fork adhere comfort and ease as two points in concert to talk about . The foot tap tap rub rub Slibberish stocking gibberish glib Of the sub table dance tawny finale with a shot of port at sunrise as the girls’ gypsy shawls are window dressings of pink champagne celebrating from soil, vine, and wine.

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Justin Somerville Today, Everything is Going to Change I wake up on the floor of a McDonald’s bathroom stall. Small puddles of blood and bile arranged on the checkerboard floor like some obscure splatter painting. It’s an awful scent, one that you would like to attribute to poor restroom upkeep, but lying to oneself is too tedious in this state. Yes, most would scream in horror, or at least hastily try to make sense of the situation. Not me. Not today. Elation does not begin to describe my state. I have two balloons, a needle, and another wonderful day to chase my white rabbit. Today, everything is going to change. After a quick fix to get the ball rolling, I find the energy to pick up my bones and take a bird bath at the nearby sink. A child and his father slink by; they are baffled by my unusual behavior. I’ve almost come to enjoy the confused expressions of strangers. That’s about the only connection I have with society, lets me know I’m not yet invisible. Stumbling out onto the sunny metro streets, I prepare for flames to consume by body, leaving nothing but ashes to drift along the gutters. There’s been a vicious heat wave along the upper east coast for about 3 weeks or so. Hot weather is the worst for a junkie. I wear long sleeve shirts and pants to hide the track marks and my thin pale body, as though it is not obvious to the general passerby. I’ve been a junkie for about six years now. I think. Troubling, trying to remember that far back… I’ll call it seven just to be safe. I grew up in Woodbridge, Virginia; a fairly populated suburb about 30 miles or so south of D.C., or about two hours north of Richmond. There was nothing dramatically different between my childhood and the next kid’s. My father skipped out long before I even began forming solid memories, but half of my schoolmate’s parents were divorced or at least acted as such. Drugs and alcohol were never all that enticing during high school, nor were they prevalent amongst peers or family. It’s kind of hard to say why everything went to shit. But today, everything is going to change. My days usually begin in the same manner. I hit that yellow brick road up to the Doc in Northwest to get my daily methadone. No, no, not for me. If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll scour the park and sell them to the local college kids. I can usually get a dollar on the milligram that way, but it’s almost easier to cut my losses and sell them to my dealer for fifty cents per mg. Plus, I can cop at the same time and kill two birds with one stone: Junkie economics. So heading up S. Capitol I have a colossal urge for something sweet; something cold. I can’t help but think that God has forgotten to turn the tanning bed off. Lizards would look for shade in this heat. I shuffle by a few store fronts, peering through windows in hopes of finding a poorly attended shop or busy market. Walking in inconspicuously while wearing a black hoody, black sweat pants and sunglasses is nearly impossible under the current weather conditions. The busier the employees are the better. I’ve got thirteen dollars, but well… that’s not ice cream money. Entering into the quick mart I can’t help but think of those Coors Light commercials. It was as if someone cracked a can and sent that silver train rushing right through the candy aisle, immediately causing a blizzard and a herd of beautiful women to dance in slow motion. Commercials. The blasting cool air caused goose bumps to ripple across my body. Suddenly, confusion began to creep into all areas of my mind. It was as if my understanding of everything,

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both big and small, was slowly melting away. Edging towards a counter top I feel a tightening sensation inside my entire body, followed by the feeling of pins and needles in my face and arms; and then numbness, and darkness. Consciousness slowly funnels back into me. Everything sounds as if it were routed through an oscillating filter of some kind. Like the intro to some awful techno song. A droning beeping sound bounces around the room like a ping pong ball. Small ticks and scraping sounds shuffle to a distinct rhythm. This certainly isn’t the afterlife I’d heard about over the years. And then there was light. It took only a single scent to bring clarity to my dizzying reality. The unmistakable wretched stench only found in only one place: A hospital. There are multi-monitored machines, IV’s, tubes spider webbed all around me, electrodes stuck to my temples and heart. What the hell is going on? How did I get here? This cannot be real. I immediately begin to panic. The room begins spinning and vomiting ensues. I try to tear away the mass of foreign objects connected to the various parts of my body but something is very wrong. As I go to stand I notice I have no control over my right leg or my right arm. I stumble into that giant music making machine and we both fall as ungracefully as you can possibly imagine onto the cold floor. Three nurses sprint in, fully wide-eyed and frantic as though being chased by a hungry lion. They lift and subdue me on the gurney. I suppose they were trying to calm me down, but each nurse was rambling something different, and all trying to speak over the other. Kind of like what you’d imagine the floor of New York Stock Exchange is like. Then, BOOM, in one swift action they flip me onto my stomach; I feel a small pinch on my left buttock, and then a slow fade. Donald… Donald can you… “Donald can you hear me? My name is Doctor Pinneti. You are in the ICU… Georgetown University Hospital. You are safe here, Donald. Can you acknowledge that you hear me?” A nod is all I can muster. Whatever those nurses shot into my ass cheek was no joke. “Okay, very good. The medication my staff administered to you has not quite worn off just yet, so I am… you the short version. Hopefully this will allow you to analyze… situation, and explain to you why you are here. And when you feel ready, you can call me… finer details. Sound good to you? You still with me?” “Mmhmm.” “Great. Donald, you suffered a stroke and a mild heart attack about 16 hours ago. My staff… close observation and I can honestly say that you have recovered, and are not… further episodes. So, with that being said I will leave you until you… to return. And if you need anything, juice, soda, or something to eat, just hit that little red button on your left bed rail and one of the nurses will assist you...” Everything had changed. This cannot be happening. I’m only 33 for Christ’s sake. It couldn’t have been dope. I know heads that have been banging for 15+ years. Both of my parents are still in good health. The doctor must be wrong. After all, he is human and prone to mistakes. But my symptoms do indicate something is very wrong. Please God, let me wake from this nightmare. Please.

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The medication wears off and the doctor is already in the room eying my chart at the foot of the bed. “So this is pretty serious, huh Doc?” “I’m afraid so Mr. Campbell. Thankfully there was an off duty EMT in the store you collapsed in that recognized your symptoms and called 9-1-1.” Doctors always assume we’d rather live. “So what now?” I ask. “What happens now, Mr. Campbell, is you cease all use of opiates or we’ll be meeting again very, very soon. I do not intend to lecture you, Donald, but you have a very important decision to make if you intend to stay with us much longer. If you quit abusing narcotics, and commit to regular physical therapy sessions, chances are you can still live a happy and fulfilling life. But the choice is yours to make, and yours alone.” This is not the change I had in mind. “What about the fact that I have no health insurance?” “I’ve left you some information and forms on the tray by your bed. Read it. You may qualify for several state-funded programs that will allow you to get the help you need. It will not be entirely free, but I’ve also included some companies that offer medical loans with low interest rates.” “Thanks Doc.” “One more thing, Mr. Campbell. Start taking your Dolophine. You are aware that we keep records of every pharmacy visit, right? Our computers indicate that you have been picking up your pills for the past four days, yet, there is not a single microgram of methadone hydrochloride in the toxicology report. So it is obvious to me that you have been selling it, just to turn around and purchase heroin. We are supposed to report these incidences to the local authorities but I’m inclined to let you slide since I feel you have suffered quite a bit already. Just promise you will read the information I gave you, and you will get the help you need.” “I will. Thank you Doctor.” “The nurse will be in within the hour to give you your discharge papers. I’d advise you to start making those dreaded phone calls now, and arrange for transportation. This isn’t something you really have a choice to hide from. You are going to need family to help you do many things you once did on your own. So don’t wait until the last minute. Once you leave this floor, you’re stuck with pay phones. Goodbye, Donald. Do not come back to see me.” “Hah. Take it easy, Doc. Thanks for all your help.” So that’s it. The party is over. The curtains descend like a giant scarlet waterfall. It is the end of an era. I manage to arrange to have my step-brother pick me up in the lobby. I can’t stand the asshole, but I don’t have many options. The nurse brings me a large paper bag with all of my possessions and I sign about six forms to be released. While struggling to get dressed I’m hit by the most unbelievable turn of events. My precious balloon is still snug in the womb that is the 5 th pocket. You know that little guy inside of your front right pocket. Everything that I had on me was lying loose in the bag, indicating that someone had emptied my pockets in hopes of finding treasure. But they didn’t find my dope. What are the odds? This must be a sign. One last hit. A chance to say goodbye to a good friend. I finish getting dressed and ride into the bathroom to do one last bump.

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I find a stall and empty the balloon on top of the giant steel toilet paper dispenser. Rolling a dollar bill into a straw I’m still in shock that this is it. The last time I will feel the warm embrace of her swimming through my veins; pumping uncut, pure happiness into the pleasure centers within my brain. It’s time to move on and live a normal life (well as normal as you can after a stroke and MI). I prod the chunks with the end of the rolled bill trying to get it the powder as fine as possible, and form the best line I can with my finger nail. Maybe I’ll get a dog to keep me company. I’ve always wanted a German Shepard. I lick what little powder has attached itself to the end of my finger. I’m going to miss that taste. And here we go, the final launch into space. In one quick sniff, I kill the line. My head jolts back and I wait for the drip. I wonder if my family will be able to embrace me once again. I certainly miss them and look forward to reestablishing those battered relationships. After about a minute or so I begin to feel the effects slowly kicking in. It sure would have been nice if they left my needle in my pocket too. Ahh. It is like a warming force is pulsing through my entire body, as a subtle numbness slowly caresses my head and slowly works its way down to my feet. There is no better feeling in the world. After another twenty minutes I begin to nod in and out, falling asleep for no more than 3 seconds at a time waking to a swift jerk of the neck. I start to ponder what my first family gathering will be like in over eight years. My nieces and nephews must be so big by now. I don’t even know if grandma is still alive. It’s going to be great sitting around the table laughing with Mom and Dad and the whole crew. We’ll have to throw a big Memorial Day cookout like we used to have back in the day, with Dad standing over the grill flipping burgers and Mom standing over his shoulder complaining that he’s over cooking them; the kids maniacally storming about the yard with squirt guns and water balloons in hand. It is going to be the best. And I am finally going to kick this awful habit. I will. In the end, nothing had a chance to change. As it turns out I suffered a fatal overdose in the bathroom stall. Nobody even knew I was in there for over two more hours. There was no chance of revival even in one of the most renowned hospitals. I managed to suffer a stroke, a heart attack and a fatal drug overdose in less than 24 hours. Not many get to arrive at the pearly gates with that scout’s badge. The shot the nurses gave me was a potent cocktail of chlorpromazine and alprazolam: A.k.a. Thorazine and Xanax. And though not overly intoxicated, the two drugs were still very much so in my system. My years and years of drug use provided me with a belief that the haze I was actually in was normal. Well this was not true at all. So I mixed a healthy dose of opiates with the benzodiazepines in my system creating a lethal combination that caused my central nervous system and respiratory system to slowly shut down. My death was quick, painless, and I had no clue it was even happening. Just like dying of old age, only at a young age. That’s it. No balloons, no white doves. The only lasting effect I offered the world was another statistic. I was just another lost soul, led by the demon heroin. In truth I really only have one regret. No one will ever know that I intended to change, that I intended to kick the drug use and lifestyle and live a good clean life.

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Caitlyn Harrelson The End Naturally, in the “nip-kiss” the kisser is not to open his mouth like the way a vampire would take down his next victim. Paul’s mouth had filled with sand, the whore, the horror. The prettiest performances are pursued in silence, and he is intent on revenge. I could not love except where Death was mingling with Beauty’s breath. The weight of the atmosphere envelopes Earth. We shall awake. Some unto life everlasting, and others unto reproach.

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Rana Williams The Edge I sat for the longest time in the holler where dark shadows race towards the sky. Midnight has me again with the title of "disillusioned", I somehow surpass this and make my way to a sane state of swollen bleeding, felt to close the wound beat up by the non-thinkers in a world now better without you looking me straight in the eye. I climb higher this time in the daytime so to find I am sane, more than I have ever been before, while I think more about it, more about us, with the distant winds blowing towards the edge.

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Rana Williams The People I see I crossed the hallway and to the right I went up the stairs where I found the others Across from me was Sally, next to her was Maria and Eva, they were all happy to see me when I gave them the news I would be joining them for this trip, they were all smiles, so I grabbed Sally's hand and she grabbed mine, Maria and Eva led the way as we slipped outside the gate where we should not go, but did on a trip no one knows about, but will be taking for awhile, I then learned that Eva had a cold and Maria was frightened by snakes, and that Sally was once bitten by a dog so we have our problems I told them while I handed Eva my handkerchief and told Maria and Sally not to be afraid, I was here and soon we would be meeting the others

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Kenneth Malpass Conundrum There wasn’t time for anything fancy: Graham jumped up and punched the soldier “right between the eyes.� Neglected, I will be doubly ambitious the world will hear of the son you have thought unworthy of your notice. The evanescent flash of heat has seared pedestrians into unidentifiable, charred, forms. And there was. An old one, sure, and one with sloppy paint, bald tires, and orange rust chewing at the rocker panels, but still and all, a Cadillac in the attic. More commonly and with more reason, Other theologians think that Hell is situated within the Earth itself, and what we call the beginning is often the end. The end is where we start from. To make an end is to make a beginning.

In the event that you have reception problems due to interference, both the display unit and the wireless sensor have a selectable wireless ID man, On the other hand, is given the duty of being the protector of his wife, and, after they are born, his children. It seemed like somebody else, in memory, it had never happened. USDA Prime Tenderloin Roast 4 (2lb) roasts $309.95.

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Whitney Soup CZ It’s got just the right amount of flashiness. It appears reserved, but you know it gets crazy and exciting at the right time. It certainly keeps you company. It’s starting to show its true colors: flashy but tacky, composed but cocky as hell. You still want it. You lie to yourself though. You tell yourself you only want it for a little fun. Did you forget about your loneliness? You indulge in all things shiny and sparkly. Stop thinking the knock-offs are just as good as the real thing. Get out - you’re not in too deep yet. It can chase you even after you get out...I honestly didn’t know that... It caught you. Shit. Don’t even pretend like you didn’t slow down when it was chasing. It’s baffling how much you are obsessed with sparkle and shine. You know in the back of your mind that it’s probably not real, yet you’ve convinced yourself that you’re unsure, “it could be a diamond.” You can still get out again. You can always get out again. Of course you don’t want to. “It could be a diamond.” Fine, we’ll call it a diamond. It’s a diamond! You just don’t know what you want if you have to work so hard at hoping it’s a diamond. You even said you only wanted fun out of it. And now you’re hoping it’ll last until close to forever? It’s like a diamond and it makes you happy. Maybe it’s not your fault that you wish it to be a diamond. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke. It broke .

 Mohs Hardness Scale (1-10): cubic zirconia has a hardness of 8.5 while a diamond has a hardness of 10.

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Whitney Soup I See I've had a tummy ache all day. so I didn't go to work. luckily, I still have some of my medication left over from when I had pneumonia: ic prochlorperazine and ondansetron. one of them is for nausea. my h.d. (hospital doctor), who is young and handsome, prescribed me the first one (ic prochlorperazine) for the migraines I was experiencing during my pneumonia. but my p.c.p. (primary care physician), who is neither young nor handsome but has the sweetest staff of any doctor's office east of the Mississippi, did not agree that I should take ic prochlorperazine. so when the nausea first hit me this morning, I couldn't decide between the instructions of Grey'sAnatomy-like doctor or regular-like doctor. I Googled 'prochlorperzine' (without the 'ic') and I discovered that it is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and strong or inappropriate emotions. I got really excited and immediately took the ic prochlorperzine.* Then I noticed the 'ic' part and re-Googled. it turns out that ic prochlorperzine is just used to treat nausea and vomiting. so I've been in a bad mood all day ever since I found out that bit of internet information. (yes, I got momentarily excited about the possibility of getting schizophrenia.) (yes, I did believe and hope that I would somehow magically get schizophrenia from taking what I thought was medication to treat schizophrenia.) (yes, I know this is wrong [even though it feels so right].)

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Jarvis Hammer, Untitled. Pen and ink

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Amanda Gore, the Pear. Monotype, ink on paper

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Amanda Gore, Lily. Monotype, ink on paper

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Amanda Gore, Dove. Monotype, ink on paper

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Leika McLaurin, Untitled. Mixed-media

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Leika McLaurin, Rose. Pencil on paper

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Anna Lynch, Self-portrait. Oil on canvas

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Anna Lynch, Club Life. Ink and acrylic on paper

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Anna Lynch, Cow Skull. Charcoal on paper

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L.C. Atencio, The Mermaid Under the Twelve Moons. Pen on paper

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Sharonda Chancy Survival Give me the keys and we can call it quits! The key to survival is to simplify and forget. I could not leave, my feet were planted. That moment the release of fear and panic. When mental poise is needed most, the pressure filled pipes were about to explode. The guilt of judgment for a sin that I committed will leave his heart torn without forgiveness. Lord, how disgusting life can be! This tension is suffocating me! I couldn’t breathe! Who even thinks of breathing in the middle of an impassioned kiss? The taste of salty sweat from his lips. Love had enticed me. It was the tears that mesmerized me. Love can be such a cruel seducer. Holding him gently but firmly. Allaying his fears with kindness and reassuring of love that would be forever enduring. There is no shelter that can protect hearts from such neglect. Love can be a nuclear weapon. And possibly lead the heart to a mass deception.

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Sara M. DeGregoria Only Kissing That night on the stone bench in the garden, When I put my head on your shoulder After some pretext I’d invented To sit next to you, I’m not sure how it happened, But upon putting my head on your shoulder The air thickened and began beating all around us Like a giant, all-encompassing heartbeat That made our own quicken And inspired you to put your hand on my chin And bring your lips to mine. And your kiss was so soft, Unlike any other kiss I’ve ever experienced. The utter unexpectedness Of its delicate slowness And the night’s heat embracing us, Making the black iron fence And the vines dangling off white trellises And the flower patches And the coolness of the ornate stone bench Mix with the sublime sensuality of that kiss, And it felt, Completely and absolutely, The most right thing that could have happened At that moment, In that space, Between any two people. Then there were more kisses But my watch might as well have died Because the things we use to quantify and rate time and matter Had blurred with the intertwining of our tongues And the press of our hands, And I couldn’t believe We were only kissing

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Sara M. DeGregoria Buses Two girls wait outside the Tahana Merkazit in Jerusalem. Hot air shimmers around each bus As it passes. They chat about Avi and Eitan whom they’ll meet at the mall, their destination. Clad in mini-skirts, brown hair flowing down their backs, they watch for bus number four, And forget that sometimes buses end up with bits of flesh and hair splattering them, Unholy colors strewn on the crumpled metal and shattered windows, Lulling passengers to a premature sleep with the wail of an ambulance siren as their only lullaby. * A woman rocks her baby, whispering it a simple, “baby, baby, go to sleep,” lullaby, Her eyes gazing out the window of the bus. A bead of sweat drips from her headscarf, and she struggles with the dirty window Next to her. She worries that, today, she won’t be allowed past the checkpoint to her destination. Her eyes trace the graffiti on the wall that separates her from them. Her baby coughs, and, kissing his forehead, she hopes they’ll make it to their appointment at four. * The girls are still waiting for bus number four. They share a pair of headphones and nod their heads to the MP3 player’s electronic lullaby, While both take turns reaching into a bag of Bamba shared between them. One girl complains that the bus Never comes on time, and that they’ll be late to their destination. When the four bus arrives, their faces reflect, warped and dark, in its clean windows. * The woman’s hand is streaked with grime where she grasped the window, And she wipes it on the edge of her skirt and checks her watch. It’s five minutes to four. She rocks her whimpering baby, but can’t accept the futility of trying to reach her destination, The chorus of honking horns hardly a lullaby. The woman feels her life is wasted on sunflower seed strewn buses, Which always advertise destinations, but never seem to reach them. * The bag of Bamba now crumpled on the seat between them, One girl laughs at the other’s joke, and taps her purple fingernails on the bus window. The traffic outside is a sea of vehicles: the cars, plankton-like, swarming around the bus. Her breath catches in her lungs a second before Her senses register the bone-rumbling, volcano blast that croons to the bus a brutal lullaby. Bus number four will never reach its destination. * The woman straps the deadly thing to her chest, like a baby, picturing the four bus, her destination.

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Her tongue savors the red licorice sweetness of destroying them, On the other side of the wall. Darkness circles her eyes--death’s chant a poor lullaby. A diaper ad on T.V. shows a blue-eyed baby reaching for a butterfly outside a window, And the woman turns away. She bites the insides of her cheeks. Asthma took her son at only four Months: he was left gasping like a fish in an incubator. She confirms the time of the bus. * Pushing past window shoppers to reach her destination, the woman hears two Girls laughing--raucous teenage laughter--through an open bus window, And she pauses for a moment, her mind uncovering A memory, like a sea shell buried in sand, from a thousand years ago: laughing with her friends at the port in Jaffa. She hesitates, swaying on the sidewalk, questioning the lyrics to the lullaby she’s so carefully prepared for the bus.

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Mallory Pickford Experiencing Nature The old man was dreaming about the lions. He swallowed all the mountains and rocks The Keenness of anticipation is a splendid thing. He waited for someone to tell him who would be next. Nails humped and buckled on calluses. He was wild to stare at them. The wind blows through the autumn-dead leaves. The expanding and rising air naturally cools. The water vapor in the air condenses Forming clouds and the drops that fall as rain. The dew that lies on roses When the morn herself discloses. Experience how the aroma grows. The key to the treasure is the treasure.

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Daren Dean Signs of Terror The weatherman was plotting the course of the second hurricane of the season and it is likely to hit them directly in the next couple of days. It had been a season of strong storms charging hard into the Carolina coast. The baby will not stop crying so he clicks off the television. Her skin is mottled and her lips swollen like she is having an allergic reaction. He has never been around babies or children as an adult and as an only child he has never been responsible for siblings like his wife had, but she is at work. He thinks of calling his wife at the bar, but she would want to come home and they need her tip money since he lost his roofing job. He was holding the baby and jiggling her up and down so that she could spit up on the tea towel he had draped over his shoulder for that purpose when he saw a man wearing a hood and dressed in camouflage from head to toe, carrying a long rifle, and jogging purposely by the side of the house. “Shhh, baby girl,” he said. “Shhh.” He hunched over and strode from the living, through the dining room, so that he could look out the window over the kitchen sink. The man with the rifle jumped into the deep ditch and aimed his rifle at the picnic table or maybe his neighbor’s tool shed beyond the stretch of pine trees along the fenceline. He was almost invisible underneath the huge live oak dripping with Spanish moss. It was then he first noticed the police cars parked at either end of the short street. “What’s going on?” he said out loud. His own croaking voice startled him. Since 9/11 the sound of one of the low flying military planes patrolling the coastline as a precaution droned overhead. He wondered what they were searching for when they flew by. Signs of terror? It reminded him of the helicopter ride he and his wife had taken before the baby was born last summer and the pilot pointed out how close sharks were to several public beaches in the area. Was there a terrorist in the area or were the police doing something completely unrelated? The baby stopped crying. She must have sensed something different in his heartbeat or breathing. Before he had had this baby he had never been so afraid that he could remember. It was a different kind of fear now. He wondered if she might die any minute. His greatest fear was that the baby might die of SIDS in her crib when he was home alone with her and he would be blamed. Men were not nurturers. Everyone said that on talk shows. They hardly had any positive qualities at all. They were like male lions that might slaughter a rival’s cubs. His wife told him about a man that allowed his toddler to feed a slice of bread to the small alligator from the shore at Greenfield park just the day before, although there were signs condemning that sort of behavior. There were also the dictates of common sense to consider. He locked all the doors in case the fugitive the cops were after tried to break down his door. The police were outside yelling something unintelligible into a bullhorn. Their attention seemed to be focused on his neighbor’s yard or the little apartment complex just beyond that. The baby was startled by the squawking noise of their demands and began to wriggle around in her blanket. He gave her the bottle but she refused it at first. Her abnormally long fingers pushed the bottle away. She was a tall, thin baby with a bit of fine red hair on top of her head. Babies were supposed to be fat and pudgy, but his was not. He hustled her back into the living room. She was quiet again. Maybe she would nap for a while. Then he could nap too. He

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was tired. His wife had the volume on the baby monitor set so high at night it sounded like Darth Vader in the next room. He set the child down on the floor. He had learned the hard way not to lay her on the couch. He spread out a quilt with some couch cushions and lay huddled on the floor with her. Anything could happen. He imagined the police shooting at the people in the apartment complex. Who were they? Terrorists? Drug dealers. Probably. There was the crazy fiftyish guy who likely sold drugs too just down the street. Late model cars of teenagers were constantly pulling up to his house and then taking off five minutes later. Down the other end of the street was a Rastafarian father and son with long braids who appeared a bit menacing and were often out walking their dogs. The father had a bulldog and the son had a pit bull. Maybe the whole neighborhood was full of drug dealers or he was paranoid. The target might fire back at the police from the complex. A fire fight could ensue. A stray bullet might easily find its way through the walls and hit him or the baby. He could take the baby and leave, but the street was blocked off. The sniper was in the ditch not more than twenty feet from his truck. He was holding his breath. He threw the couch cushions on the hardwood floor at the base of the wall separating the small dining room and living rooms where they had crouched during the last hurricane. On the floor, the baby cradled in the crook of his arm, he could see a gecko sitting stock still in the sunlight under the filmy curtain covering the door out to the little screened-in porch. Under the living room window were the husks of dead bee bodies. Bees had taken up residence in the fireplace. The landlord had sent his own man, an older gentleman named Ned who reminded him of a school custodian, over to try to kill them. They had built huge roaring fires despite the early summer heat and humidity. A few days later he had returned from the Piggly Wiggly to happen upon the comic sight of Ned easing bug foggers down the chimney with a fishing pole. Nothing had worked. What if a bee stung the baby? His wife was even more frantic about her wellbeing than he was. He is holding his breath and listening for the sound of gunfire. The baby is looking up at him and smiling now that he is terrified. The familiar drone of a low-flying military plane cruising the coast provided a tense melody to the moment. A single shot came from outside. He jumped involuntarily at the report. The baby began to wail. He hugged her as close to his body as he could hoping he could protect her from the violence outside.

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Victoria Malpass Afflicted He was not just a gifted bumpkin, but a worldly and cultivated man. Combining the best of both worlds but perhaps being lost, one should get loster. They kiss because they are satisfying a hunger within, a hunger as natural as food, water and knowledge. The hunger for sex drives them to each other. Staring with avid interest, abnormal as if she were a pornographic picture. The phenomenon itself resembles a force of nature. Unfortunates that they are! I loved every flaw she hated. Strawberry shimmer on hot lips, silver buckle hanging off her hips. I sparkle when she smiles.

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Changming Yuan Natural Confrontations (5) 1/ Firefly Burst with courage You try to use Your little light Like a sharp scissor tip To rip off the curtain Of all summer darkness 2/ Dawn If each night rises Outside each day There lies a mighty mountain Where darkness runs wild You want to climb Along this trail of light And hunt for the rising darkness Even without an arrow 3/ Sprout From under A bulky boulder Sitting still, meditating Like a Buddha A tiny bamboo sprout Has just broken the earth Ready to shoot up

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Changming Yuan Egg: A Brief History of China in English A word (or person) with a Chinese origin living in the West is often called an ‘egg,’ which is whiteskinned, but yellow-hearted.

1/ Contemporary Mandarin China Led by dao A yin Running dog Wearing qipao Is fighting against a yang Paper tiger With wushu After getting brainwashed Through maotai Like a taikongnaut At a fengshui spot Dominated by qi 2/ Modern Semi-Colonial China Wearing cheongsam These poor coolies arrived here On sampans Always ready to kowtow To a tycoon Who lived in Shangri-La Eating dim sum Drinking oolong Playing mahjong Gambling in a casino every day Though reluctant to give cumshaw 3/ Ancient Imperial China They used to drink tea Wear silk Eat from china Think in terms of zen And practice Confucianism Only - or, is it true?

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Cory Gaskins A Typical Day I write this, sitting in the kitchen sink. We were in the desert when the drugs kicked in. It was a cold day, a bright day and the clocks were striking thirteen. The sky was the color of a television, One that was tuned to a dead channel. The sun was shining but it was nothing new Psychics can see the color of time you know If you ask, well it is blue. He says the glass is half empty She says the glass is half full But I say, are you going to drink that Well no one dies a virgin, cause life Screws us all. This is the saddest story I have ever heard

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Da’Shaun Vereen The Great Pursuit Creativity and madness on a wild ride. We simplify our thoughts, reducing them in the name of “clarity”. Even as we attempt, to acknowledge the cacophony of emotions. Tough thick walls and metallic items may interfere, the minute you release your lips, Lift them away from the tired lips of your lover. What a kick we get out of watching Betty Run and Hunt and Find and Flush and Chase! In the immediate aftermath, fire burns out of control, in a fire-lighted hell. Though the greatest sorrow, will be the thought of having lost God through our own fault. As it always goes, somebody’s got to win. And somebody’s got to lose. Be thankful, and dig in.

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Gail C DiMaggio Last Leg So he finally goes and dies on me and one year post-funeral, my vacuum bumps into the spare leg he must’ve tucked behind a suitcase. Just in case, he’d have said and Why waste it? I bury the thing in the trash and wake up at 3 picturing it out in the landfill, a stubby time capsule leaking memory – like the surgery that sent him home studded in staples ankle to groin and no one but me to lift him, sponge him, coax him, tell him “cheer-up-honey”. That always him made threaten to run me over with the walker. Or the whole six months when the incision didn’t heal and day after day the blood coming through and I’m rushing gauze around the stump because a maiming needs to be kept under wraps. Not him – he fights back, sneaks past me out the door, a streak of soggy red flashing light a light bar on a cruiser. He wears it like a battle wound, the badge of his accidental courage and people with two good legs – they don’t have the right to look away.

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Gail C DiMaggio Tony Goes Hunting Ghost Towns In the bleachers during the gun fight Kabuki, I ask Tony what he’s after. Not this, he says licking pistachio slime off his mustache. And day after Utah/Nevada/California day – all he finds is more Not this. He hates the generator communes, the gingham ticket ladies - though he has a soft spot for the graveyards: corrals for stone cherubs in a million desert miles of empty. But then outside the window of A Miner’s Shack, he leans into the Plexiglas barrier and I catch it in his face, the burn – the hunger. Like if he could sieve himself through extruded plastic and in, if he could inhale that post-temporal air, rest a hand on the flaking newspaper, the speckled plate, the Angelus on the wall. An Angel, For God’s Sake. French Peasants! He brushes dust off the frame, scans a headline – “Sunset Coming” – cooks up a batch of antique eggs, a pot of coffee dust and checks the view. Yep. The fools and their bottles of Evian are withering like Mylar balloons. The chair creaks under him. The eggs’ve got a nip to them, and the coffee’s hot and dark. Outside the people-shapes lose mass, color. One shriveling female repeats an almost familiar name. Tony savors each stage of the dissolution. Pale shadows. Trail of vapor. A shiver in the air and. Gone.

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Gail C DiMaggio No Hearts. No Flowers. We know the story all right. We just can’t seem to tug it over our heads and zip it up. Tony says Wanna get married? and I say, But I’ve already had you. The night he gives me the engagement ring, he forgets his wallet, has to leave me alone with my chop suey and a clear view of the dead man’s curve on Prospect. Typical. The pair of us with no gift for the wide-screen and orchestral. February 14th comes roseless to my door. On his birthdays - sea glass, driftwood, the plastic clown from the cereal box. Snow is sifting out of the dark when he gets back – breathless, wallet in hand, flakes scattered like pale confetti in his thinning hair. I give him a little wave, he sends back a loopy grin. The weary waiter, the distant, cursing cook? Scraps for the cutting room floor. It’s a cheap Chinese restaurant on a cold, slow Wednesday night, but we think we know happily ever after when we see it.

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Phillip Arnold Dwelling Now if it be so that this Cosmos is beautiful and its Constructor good, it is plain that he fixed his gaze on the eternal. –Timeous, Plato

I. I stare back into the brushfire’s alembic eye, watch as branches, vines and brambles braid into flames, their torqued radiance becoming afternoon’s after-trace, the residue of what will not burn away. II. Frost on the morning’s rough hewn and indeterminate edge. The deep engine, earth-mother, clamps her hands like a damp cold-press against my chest. The mornings hardly seem real. Shadows graft to light where trees appear through the fog-cladding of the ridge. In the morning's foreground a still life slowly emerges in the mixed media of a pick-up’s crowded tool bed. The heavy chink of metal cold-cocks the mind, the shrill acoustic of the saw blade plays out the morning’s first discordant tune, the first revelry to work. III. Beyond the space where a window will frame a maple tree, the green flames of leaves contain the short life of a descending sun.

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Shadow caster, gnomon to the sun, the studwalls brace against the low light, cast dark intervals across the flooring that drift toward the hour lines of evening. Beyond, in the margins where shape has given way to brown space, and time to green duration, the shadows touch. The moment shifts, eclipses the day. IV. Pillar-root, trembling pine. Limbed and leveled, the milled lumber arrives early. Moisture beads the sideboard planks severed rough, fibrous, unseasoned in the sunlight. The cutting can only be a week old, not time enough for the hewn wood to firm up in the mountain air. I work through and give a clean cut along each end, the teeth of my saw clotted with sawdust, damp and resin-glazed. The dark sky mingles with the bough, rustles the shadows that turn to storm clouds. Wood rings eddy around puddles, dilate the edges of the duck pond, ripple the brushy forked creek whose banks are carved by the spring floods. My miter blade spins and dips down. The rushed air is radial. V. Into July’s clear sky I project the shadow-line of the roof’s pitch, take my measurements to sixteenths, each number I call down an increment inching toward the Ideal.

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The cut board hoisted up to me casts its shadow over a guesswork of sawdust. I lay the board down on angle and bend my body to the mark. Here I will bed my nail into the pine’s deep clench, to root through and renew the vaulted plane. VI. I know the story. The one that ends with a nail. At night I am pried up by dreams of the pine's slow warp. Through my open hand a vine snakes the elevation for knowledge of the ripened: bud, sprig and bloom move back to the concentric ring, to marrow and pith, the damp organic. Against itself, from within, form corrupted flexes. I open my eyes to the light coming in. Morning is lodged within the warmth of my bed. In the circumference beyond, surfaces brace against surfaces. Across the residency of time I will measure my marks, confirm the geometries as they settle and dwell.

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Carl Kruger forget the name john frum the burned over district; bar food; malls; pat topicality; a uselessness in review; precision; codified ahistorics; the good book; truths in traction; 29 cent wings; new times in a vacuum; catching the blame after work; filing income taxes; preparing for fall; extra soft tension; lakeside cottage get a ways; the spare time to make a diagram; courage to retrieve; six inch heels; an abandoned child clutching a fully loaded, semi-automatic weapon; a much needed rest; good manners: pleasant company; stamps; peace of mind through hard, state mandated labor; oil changes at 4k miles; comforting sacks; a knock at the door; hyperlinks to the past; stale pasta; falling off buildings, head first; magic; self-addressed numbers; average crafts; empty shampoo vases; shifts in density; vassals of dexterity; wooden ashtrays; indoor Indian plumbing; avid boaters insurance; drawn rakes; love intelligence; sails; day care; donuts; wisdom teeth; white neighbors; instant credulity; a fixable rake; pale lovers: aghast; the one percent / 1% : deified cultist types; sorts of money-voids; sinew smoke, resolve; the gullibility of ancient peoples; a limp riot; weedy; the swamp at thirteen; positioned to lilt; a broom, the mental bin; saturation; night doctors; pious maniacs; folding fawns; beauty, in most worlds; singularity: a thing; language as a dot; was now; has how; splints: cardboard; the elements in play; terse; phonetic tangle; research reversed; wide walk.

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CONTRIBUTING WRITER BIOGRAPHIES: Phillip Arnold says his poem recounts his experiences building a house in Vilas, NC, which became a dwelling that continues to keep him rooted in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC. George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida. Sharonda Chancy is a student at Southeastern Community College who enjoys poetry. This is her first publication. Daren Dean’s fiction, poetry, and interviews have appeared in The Oklahoma Review, Midwestern Gothic, Ecotone online, Fiction Southeast, Image, The Chattahoochee Review, Story South, Poetry Southeast, Muscadine Lines, and others. His story "Bring Your Sorrow Over Here" was selected as Runner-up in Yemassee's William Richey Short Fiction contest by Judge George Singleton and appeared in the Spring 2012 issue. Another story, "Affliction," was a finalist in the Glimmer Train Short Fiction Contest for New Writers in 2012. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the UNCW. He is currently an English Instructor at LSU-Baton Rouge. Sara M. DeGregoria is currently surviving in New York City as an English teacher and worker of odd jobs. She has lived in several cities, including Seoul, South Korea; Alexandria, Egypt; Tel Aviv, Israel; Kanab, Utah; Madison, Wisconsin; and Boca Raton, Florida. So far she has had her work published in the journals Third Wednesday and Suddenly Lost in Words, and has work forthcoming in The Washington Pastime . Gail C. DiMaggio spent many years watching her husband survive and occasionally flourish as a jazz musician. At the same time, she worked at helping young writers discover their own voices. Her poems have been published recently in Calliope, Blue Collar Review, Common Ground Review, 14 x 14, and Mote’s Anthology of Writings about Music. Corey Gaskins is majoring in psychology at Southeastern Community College. His father is a painter and sculptor who helped to nurture his love of the arts. Gaskins is also a musician, playing various musical instruments since the age of 6. While he focuses on music lyrics, this is his first poem. John Gosslee founded Fjords Review in 2010. His first book 12: Sonnets for the Zodiac (Gival, 2011) was published in French, Spanish and English. He enjoys riding his motorcycle throughout the United States. Kathryn Ionata’s writing has appeared in Philadelphia Stories, Hawai’i Review, Wisconsin Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Tav, and other publications. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Temple University and has taught writing at Penn State University- Abington, The College of New Jersey, and Temple University.

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Carl Kruger, born in Cloquet, Minnesota, is an abstractist whose primary medium is sound art. His various published works include albums on independent record labels from around the world. His poems, whose archaic style echo his approach to his sound work , have been featured in previous editions of Aries. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. Kendall McKenzie lives in North Carolina and attends the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. When she’s not writing or selling watches, she hikes, has tea and plays violent video games. Her work has also been featured in BlazeVOX. Jim Metzger’s formal training is in religious studies, as he earned his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt. He is completing a degree in creative writing at ECU under the direction of Liza Wieland. Raised in Greenville, he recently returned after a few years teaching at Luther College in Decorah, IA. Cheryl Resetarits’ latest poetry appears in Solo Novo: 122 Days, Ellipsis, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Weber: The Contemporary West. Her essay on “Emerson in Paris,” will appear in Paris in American Literature: On Distance as a Literary Resource ed. Jeffrey Herlihy and Vamsi K. Koneru (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012) and her essay on Hawthorne, gender, and genre will appear in Literary Imagination this summer. smiarowski is Eric Smiarowski, and he has been around. Whitney Soup is educated and lives with her pet pot-bellied pig named George Clooney (because George Clooney had a pet pot-bellied pig named Max). Kelly Thomas has written a screenplay entitled Magic Little Pills, and it is currently in pre-production. She has finished writing a television pilot, Watts Academy, which examines the economic and social barriers of Los Angeles, built by gangs, violence, race, promiscuity, drug addiction and poverty. Her poetry blog, the Poetic Promise, showcases a poem a day, for the next 365 days. Her fiction has been published in the CityWorks Literary Journal and the Emerson Review. She is also a member of the National Writing Project and a poetry coach for Triumph Charter High School. Da’Shaun Vereen is seventeen years old and currently enrolled in the early college program on the Southeastern Community College campus. He lives in Tabor City, North Carolina, and his hobbies include reading novels and playing video games in his free time. Rana Williams is a poet living in Western North Carolina. She finds inspiration from the people she has met and imagined. The poems "The Edge" and "The People I See" are a representation of this. Rana graduated with a BA in History with minors in English and Professional & Technical Writing from Morehead State University in 2007. Her poem "Dust in the Shower" can be found in the Wild Goose Poetry Review Spring 2012 edition. Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman, grew up in rural China and published several monographs before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan teaches independently in Vancouver and has poetry appear in nearly 490 literary publications across 19 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, Poetry Kanto and SAND.

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ABOUT: Creative Nonfiction Editor Meghan K. Barnes (left) holds an MFA in nonfiction from UNC-Wilmington, APW's second-ranked nonfiction program. Her work has been featured in six anthologies: ChristmasChristmas, Real, So Long, Writers Block, Yes I Can! & Thoreau’s Rooster, as well as various other publications, some of which include: Del Sol Literary Magazine, The Beat Magazine, Charlotte Viewpoint, and WB Magazine. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in both nonfiction and fiction, and was a winner of the Randal Flash Fiction Prize in 2008 & 2009. In 2009 she received a writing scholarship to study Sylvia Plath in London, England. Her memoir For the Love of God will be released in Spring 2013.

Fiction Editor & Director of the Clemmons/IBM Visiting Author Series Patricia Bjorklund (right) earned a BA and a MS from Southern Connecticut State University and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC-Wilmington, where she won the 2008 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Nonfiction. Chapters from her memoir-in-progress have been published in recent issues of The Missouri Review, Prime Number and Palooka. Her other publications include Connecticut Review, Post Road and Wilma! Wilmington’s Magazine for Women. She's a former managing editor of Folio Magazine, a former editorial assistant for Ecotone and she holds summer writing workshops in downtown Wilmington.

Art Editor September Krueger (left) is a fiber artist and printmaker who explores storytelling and mythology in her work. Originally from Harrisburg, PA, her early interest in fashion led her to the Textile Design program at Philadelphia University. She worked in a wearable art studio producing a line of women´s silkscreened clothing before moving to Wilmington in 2004. After completing her graduate studies in Textiles at ECU, she joined the faculty at Southeastern Community College as their art instructor. She has offered local workshops in batik and silk painting, and she teaches arts integration as an A+ fellow under the NC Arts Council.

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Managing & Poetry Editor Allison Parker (left) has recently published works in Scissors and Spackle, Cobalt, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, and the Medulla Review. Her plays Heathens and Girls, Girls, Girls were produced by BareBones Theater in Charlotte, NC and OffStage Theater in Charlottesville, VA, respectively. She has contributed nonfiction to the Wilmington Star News, the Pender Post, Encore and CitySearch. Her poetry has also appeared in the Oklahoma Review, ArtWord Quarterly, Poetry East, and Deck. She currently writes, performs and directs performance art shows with the 910 Noise arts collective. Print & audio of her poem “A Flipping Pinecone� are forthcoming in Fjords Review.

Royce Ray Poetry Prize Judge Vivian Shipley (right) is the author of five chapbooks and nine books of poetry, most recently, All of Your Messages Have Been Erased . She is a two-time recipient of the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. Two of her books, Gleanings: Old Poems, New Poems and When There Is No Shore, were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Editor of Connecticut Review, she is Connecticut State University Distinguished Professor at Southern Connecticut State University, where she was named Faculty Scholar in 2000, 2005 and 2008. She has a PhD from Vanderbilt University and is a member of the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame for Distinguished Alumni. Vivian Shipley lives in North Haven, Connecticut with her husband, Ed Harris.

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ROYCE RAY POETRY AWARD 2013 ~ JUDGE ~ Vivian Shipley WINNER Kendall McKenzie Prize of $100 ______________________________________ Columbus County poet Royce Ray published two collections of poetry, Gallberry Honey: Pure, Unrefined Poems (1992) and The Flip Side (2007). His poetry has appeared in Aries One, the Brunswick Free Press, the Federal Reporter, N.C. Poetry Society, Award Winning Poetry, Orphic Lute, and Thoughts For All Seasons. _________________ The award is open to all North Carolina Residents. Send 3 to 5 poems, with biography, to allison.parker@sccnc.edu. Entries accepted April 1-October 31. There is no fee. The Royce Ray Poetry Award is sponsored by generous donations from the Royce Ray Estate.

A.R. AMMONS POETRY CONTEST 2013 Call for Submissions: Monetary Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, with certificates for honorable mention. First place winner will be published in Aries: A Journal of Art and Literature. 1. Division V shall be for original poetry written by students enrolled in undergraduate college coursework. Eligible individuals will be those enrolled at the time of submission in an undergraduate course in a North Carolina college or technical school or those enrolled in out-of-state undergraduate institutions who are residents of Columbus County. Students simultaneously enrolled in college and high school coursework may choose the division in which they compete, but may compete in only one division. 2. Each entry must be accompanied by its own Official Entry Form or a copy. A student may enter up to five poems. (Contest Rules and the Entry Form may be downloaded at www.whiteville.com. Click on A.R. Ammons Contest Rules.) Sponsored by BB&T, Rueben Brown House Preservation Society, and The News Reporter.

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Purpose The mission/purpose of English studies at SCC is to promote literacy by training students to communicate effectively and to develop and apply critical and analytical skills through the study of literature, while focusing on the centrality of language in all human endeavors. The program prepares students by providing an understanding and foundation of various literacies needed for the bachelor's degree experience. Course Requirements Associate in Arts (A.A.) programs require 44 hours of general education core coursework as well as 21 hours of additional studies to prepare students to continue their education at a four-year institution and/or enter the workplace immediately upon graduation. Students should contact the four-year institution to which they intend to transfer for assistance in deciding which courses at Southeastern are most appropriate for their major. Students should also consult with their advisors to help plan a program of study to complete program course work and fulfill the minimum general education competency requirements that must be met prior to graduation. What can graduates expect to achieve with a Degree in English? The Pre-English program is designed for students who have chosen a career in English or related fields and who wish to transfer to a senior college or university to pursue a four-year degree with a major in English. Graduates of this program may decide to pursue careers as writers, editors, or other positions in the field of communications, while others use this set of skills to seek advanced degrees in law, public relations or other specializations. Many students in the English program are preparing for eventual employment as an English or Language Arts teacher in high school or middle school settings.

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Purpose The Pre-Art Education program is designed for students who have chosen a career in teaching and wish to transfer to a senior college or university to pursue a four-year degree with a major in art education. SCC also offers an Associate in Fine Arts degree in Art. This degree program is designed for students who have selected art as a life-long interest or career. Graduates will be able to transfer to art programs at four-year institutions or pursue careers in their area of specialization. The program provides students with the knowledge and training necessary to apply fundamental art theory and technique. The art program strives to provide an environment that enables students to discover their unique talents by encouraging self-motivation, self-discipline, creative flexibility, and lifelong learning. Course Requirements Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) programs require 44 hours of general education core coursework as well as 21 hours of additional studies to prepare students to continue their education at four-year institutions and/or enter the workplace immediately upon graduation. Students should contact the four-year institution to which they intend to transfer for assistance in deciding which courses at Southeastern are most appropriate for their major. Students should also consult with their advisors to help plan a program of study to complete program course work and fulfill the minimum general education competency requirements that must be met prior to graduation. What can graduates expect to achieve with an Associate in Arts Education or Fine Arts Degree? Most graduates from these programs choose to pursue advanced degrees at the University level. An Associate’s Degree in Art or Fine Art can prepare you to study a variety of disciplines, examples include; art history, art education, graphic design, interior design, and web development.

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Southeastern Community College's Fine and Performing Arts Series announced its first performances in the fall of 1966.

A wide variety of offerings includes theatre arts, music and dance performances. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling the SCC Foundation at (910) 6427141, ext. 260 or 320.

In 2002, the series was renamed the Richard F. Burkhardt Fine and Performing Arts Series in memory of Burkhardt for his leadership in the musical and cultural enrichment of the community.

Tickets will also be available at the door. The Richard F. Burkhardt Fine and Performing Arts Series is made possible through the generous support of the SCC Foundation.

The series, funded by the SCC Foundation, Inc., strives to increase cultural arts opportunities for area citizens at affordable ticket prices.

Founded in 1968, the Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that promotes and encourages support of Southeastern Community College.

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SUBMISSIONS Aries: A Journal of Art and Literature accepts submissions of art and literature May 1 to October 31 each year. Send work as an attachment, along with contact information and biography, to: Fiction:

Patricia Bjorklund at patricia.bjorklund@sccnc.edu

Nonfiction:

Meghan Barnes at meghan.barnes@sccnc.edu

Poetry:

Allison Parker at allison.parker@sccnc.edu

Art:

September Krueger at september.krueger@sccnc.edu

ARIES is a nonprofit print journal of art and literature published by Southeastern Community College. Since 1969, Aries has showcased finely crafted works from North Carolina artists and writers, as well as national and international authors. Our mission is to celebrate North Carolinian writers and artists, to encourage student craft in the fine arts, and to engage the public in the meaningful and rich heritage of art in Columbus County, NC. Accepted poetry submissions from North Carolina residents will automatically be considered for the Royce Ray Poetry Award. The winner will receive a $100 prize, an announcement in the journal, and reception upon publication. ISSUES The Aries: A Journal of Art and Literature spring 2013 issue is available for $10 per copy. All sales and proceeds contribute to the nonprofit publication of the journal. To order the current issue, please send a $10 check or money order to: Aries PO Box 151 Whiteville, NC 28472

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Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful. —AR Ammons

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Profile for Allison Parker, Editor

Aries: A Journal of Art and Literature  

Poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction and beautiful black and white art in our 2013 edition of the Aries journal. Plus, Pulizer Prize n...

Aries: A Journal of Art and Literature  

Poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction and beautiful black and white art in our 2013 edition of the Aries journal. Plus, Pulizer Prize n...

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