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A r tw or k : Car en M essi n g

Beyond Words Issue 12 March 2021


Bey on d W or d s ? I n ter n ati on al L i ter ar y M agazi n e I ssu e 12, M ar ch 20 21 Ed i t or : Gal Sl on i m Read er s: Yael Gottesm an , D an y M an gr ove, Est h er Per r y, M el i ssa W an gal l

Yael Go t t esm an i s a 29 y ear ol d cr eati ve w r i t i n g gr ad u at e w h o h as a sp eci al i n t er est i n p oet r y. Sh e h as p u bl i sh ed tw o book s.

D an y M an gr ov e i s a r ecen t M FA gr ad u at e of T h e N ew Sch ool f or p oet r y. T h ey h ave been p u bl i sh ed i n W el ter , Cath ex i s N or t h w est Pr ess, Sl i n gsh ot , an d Si n i st er W i sd om .

Est h er Per r y i s a col l ege stu d en t r esi d i n g i n V i r gi n i a. Sh e scoop s i ce cr eam y ear r ou n d i n a l ocal sh op p i n g cen ter . Sh e l i ves at h om e w h er e sh e d r aw s com i cs w i t h h er br ot h er , Ph i l i p .

M el i ssa W an gal l i s an I l l i n oi s r esi d en t , w i t h a l on g- h el d i n t er est i n cr eat i ve w or k s, esp eci al ly sh or t stor i es. Sh e h ol d s an En gl i sh d egr ee, an d h as been p r i n t ed i n v ar i ou s w or k s. Sh e h as on e ch i l d an d on e cat.

Cop y r i gh t © Bey on d W or d s Pu bl i sh i n g H ou se, B er l i n , Ger m an y Fi r st p r i n ti n g, M ar ch 20 21 I SBN 978- 3- 948977- 0 8- 5


O u t age D i ck A l t m an

an en d w i th ou t begi n n i n g h el p l ess i n br oad d ay l i gh t m i n d i n sol i d state u n cou p l ed Rep ai r say s I ?m n ot al on e i f n ot al on e w h at am I w h er e am I w e w i l l cal l y ou stay w h er e y ou ar e w e w i l l f i n d y ou stay p u t d o n ot r ev i se p osi ti on r ep eat d o n ot r ev i se w h o I am d on ?t ask f or l ast f ou r n u m ber s l ast f ou r son gs i n ter n et d ead d ead l i n e to r el oad f ou r h ou r s ago gl obe X ?d ver bal f aci l i ty X ?d testi n g testi n g tal k to m e to m e to m e w h at d ay i s th i s gi ve u s th i s d ay w h y d o y ou taketh h e w h o takes f r om m e I am n ot al on e r ep eat n ot al on e u n p l u g r eset voi ce say s w h ose voi ce w h o to tr u st stop at bl i n k i n g r ed l i gh t on of f on of f ji g- a- ji g- ji g bl i n k i n w i n k i n n od i f of f ?s on Rep ai r say s i f on ?s of f p r ess on e i f of f ?s n ot on p r ess tw o w h o to bel i eve p r ess th r ee p ar t of an ou tage I am n ot al on e r ep eat n ot al on e i f n ot al on e p r ess f ou r i f th i s i s an em er gen cy d i al 911 i f n o f ever or sh or tn ess of br eath p r ess f i ve to r ep eat p r ess si x f or n ear est f r ee f l u sh ot p r ess seven to u p gr ad e i n ter n et sp eed p r ess ei gh t Rep ai r n otes abn or m al ly h i gh cal l vol u m es f or sooth i n g m u si c w h i l e on h ol d p r ess n i n e w h at i s l i f e w i th ou t a r i ver of by tes p r ess ten i f y ou w an t to take p ar t i n a tw o- m i n u te su r vey stay on th e l i n e stay p u t stay cal m p ar t of an ou tage gr eater th an m y sel f seeth i n g m asses y ear n i n g to be f r ee of n o i n ter n et access to h ear th i s m essage agai n p r ess zer o f or f aster ser v i ce v i si t ou r w ebsi te d u e to an ou tage gr eater th an y ou r sel f ex p ect u n u su al d el ay s

A r t w or k : Car en M essi n g 1


Sel f - I so l at i o n Bi l l Gar t en

You bu r n ed m y m on ogr am m ed w h i te ox f or d cl ot h cot t on d ow n sh i r t s y ou t ook on e each m or n i n g y ou sl ep t i n th ey ar e w er e som e com f or t an d I secr et ly an gr i ly u se t h e p i n k l oof ah y ou l ef t beh i n d i n m y w h i te tom b- l i ke sh ow er t o scr u b m y ass an d d i r t y f eet n ot h i n g el se ju st r eal d i r ty p ar ts of m e i f y ou ever com e back y ou w i l l u se i t an d n ever k n ow abou t i t l i ke th e bl ack bu m bl e th at bor es i t s n est i n m y d eck ?s w ood p ost as a scu r r y i n g ch i p m u n k ey es m y n ew tom at o p l an t s, m y basi l , gr een p ep p er s, i t gl an ces at m e w on d er i n g w h er e m y cat i s su p p osed ly f ear or su r v i v al t h er e w er e qu i t e a l ot of p u r ch ases i n i t i al ly ? f ace m ask s, su r gi cal gl oves, m ed i cal f ace sh i el d s ? V i ck ?s Vap or Ru b, v i t am i n C & D , zi n c, tu r m er i c, el d er ber r y gu m m i es. I u se m y V i t am i x t w i ce d ai ly l i ke a p r escr i p t i on cy cl i n g i n d oor s on r ai n y d ay s an d ou tsi d e on su n n y d ay s w i t h m y bal acl av a r ead y t o be p u l l ed u p n ot to p r otect agai n st th e col d w h i l e sn ow sk i i n g, bu t agai n st p eop l e, w h o ven tu r e too cl ose i n stead of a m ask I w ear t h e bal acl av a, so I can p u l l i t d ow n becau se I can?t breathe w h en i t?s h u ggi n g m y n eck , m ou t h an d n ose so bet w een w h en I am n ot n ear som eon e sy m p tom ati c asy m p tom ati c I p u l l i t d ow n - w h o k n ow s h ow f ar i s f ar en ou gh si x f eet , bu t ei gh teen f eet i f th ey sn eeze or cou gh an d i f f ly i n g by on m y bi cy cl e i n t h e m et r o p ar k s i s f ast en ou gh , so n o d r op l ets can st i ck t o m y cl ot h es or f ace ? m y ey es, m ou t h , n ose al l en tr y p oi n ts f or th i s n o p assp or t r equ i r ed v i r u s. A f r u i t f ly st i l l f i n d s a w ay t o d r ow n i n m y Pi n ot n oi r on m y back d eck I r est, w at ch t h e h u m m i n gbi r d s, t h e B al t i m or e or i ol es, t h e r ed br easted gr osbeak s, r ed w i n g bl ack bi r d s, r ed h ead ed w ood p ecker s, car d i n al s w or k i n g t h e f eed er s h an gi n g f r om var i ou s br an ch es, w h i l e m y n ew gi r l f r i en d say s sh e i s goi n g t o go r i sk i t agai n ? d r i ve to th e stor e f or a ci l an t r o p l an t sh e h ad on h er w r i t t en l i st , bu t f or got w h i l e at th e cr ow d ed n u r ser y.

A r t w or k : Ch ad Rober t Col l of el l o

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U n d er cov er A si an W al t er Sk i n n er

W h en p eop l e ask , I tel l th em I am Kor ean an d h al f A f r i can A m er i can . H ow ever , w h en I ap p ly f or jobs, I ch eck t h e secon d box . B l ack an d n o ot h er . I am h om e, m y ar m ar ou n d m y m oth er . H er bl ack h ai r m ou ssed i n t o sh ou l d er l en gt h cu r l s. H er f l u sh r ed l i p sti ck gl eam s agai n st h er cr eam - col or ed sk i n . H er d ar k ey es w ear y f r om h er u su al tw elve- h ou r sh i f t at D ebor ah H ear t an d L u n g Cen t er ; I gr eet h er as sh e w al k s th r ou gh th e scr een d oor . ?O h - m ah oh - w oo- su h - soh - y o?ll ,? I bow. ?U h h , k u d eh ,? sh e r esp on d s. I gr ab h er bag an d h u g h er . I k i ss h er on h er f or eh ead . T h e f ai n t sti n gi n g sm el l of r u bbi n g al coh ol r i ses of f h er T w eet y bi r d scr u bs. I w al k h er to th e k i tch en w h er e m y gr an d m ot h er set s t h e t abl e. B l u e bow l s of st eam i n g w h i te r i ce, tw o f r i ed f i sh , th i n squ ar es of d r i ed seaw eed w e cal l k i m , an d d i f f er en t ty p es of k i m ch i . T u r n i p s, cabbage, an d m y f avor i t e, cu cu m ber s. I p ou r ever y on e a gl ass of w ater , an d l i ke m y m ot h er , w i t h m y ch op st i ck s, I p i ck ap ar t t h e f i sh . W h en I ?m h om e, I ?m Kor ean .

Seven y ear s ago, W h en I w as th i r t een , I al m ost p ee m y p an t s on a T u esd ay n i gh t. U p tow n B r ow n s M i l l s, acr oss f r om D ebor ah H ear t an d L u n g Cen t er , t h e h osp i tal m y m oth er w or k s at, I r u n i n to a l au n d r y m at . A Kor ean w om an w i t h sh or t h ai r , gl asses, an d a sm al l cotton bu tton u p d ecor at ed i n f l ow er s l ook s u p f r om beh i n d a d esk at th e sou n d of bel l s. I jog u p t o h er an d ask i f I can u se t h e r est r oom . ?N o p r obl em ,? sh e say s an d p oi n t s t o t h e back . ?I t ?s over t h er e on l ef t .? A f ter I f i n i sh , I h ear th e sou n d of bel l s. I ex i t an d l ook t o m y r i gh t . A h eav y - set bl ack w om an i n h er l ate th i r ti es i s stan d i n g i n t h e d oor w ay. L on g p u r p l e p r ess on n ai l s. Bl ack an d bl on d e br ai d s ti ed i n to a f oot of h an g t i m e. T h e Kor ean w om an l ook s at m e. Sh e th en ask s m e i f sh e?s m y m ot h er . I sh ake m y h ead n o. Con f u sed , I st ar e at h er . M y mother looks like you.

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A r tw or k : Ch i ck By r n e

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Reach i n g Joh n D r u d ge D eser t san d s Vast an d bar r en B l eak i n u n cer t ai n t y I ?ve sol d i er ed t h r ou gh T h e gr i t t y p l ai n s A n d d u n es of d i sh ar m on y I ?ve w al ked T h r ou gh scor ch i n g si n s A n d p at h s t h at l ead To n ow h er e A n d I ?ve l i st en ed t o T h e ech oes O f y ou r br oken h ear t Reach i n g t ow ar d Eter n i ty

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A r tw or k : K ath r i n e Cay s

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A r t w or k : Yvon n y Z h an g

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El em en t al Rosem ar y L azi er col l ected cu d , w e l i t t h e cl od con i f er s em bl azon ed , u n r avel l ed th em selves, t h en sh r i vel l ed w h i l e t h e l i gh t l ash ed l u r i d tr ai l s u n d er cl osed socket s p h osp h en e com et s i n t h e l i d d ed d ar k n ess w e op en ed agai n t o t h e even i n g cl ou d s cl ash ed t h ei r t on gu es an d d r i bbl ed sof t ly seep of sl ow sh ow er s p er su asi ve, y et th e gol d en bu r n d ef i an t of i n f i l t r at i on : w e al so en d u r ed , com m i tted t o t h e p y r e of i m p l i cat i on s f ar f r om d el i n eat i on s of ci ti es an d sh or el i n es, ti n r oof s an d t r ow el s, on ly a h azi n ess of f i r n eed l es d i sh evel l i n g as f er al back s, qu i l l ed an d bar bi n g, t h en cu r r en t- tam ed , m om en t ar i ly si l ken , ten si n g agai n tow ar d i m p u l se

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a p i ttan ce of p r ov i si on s si zzl ed i n th ei r ju i ces m i n gl ed w i th th e gu ttu r al gl aze of r ai n i n sp i te of ou r ef f or ts what causes flounderings? You r sti l ted f or m u l ati on as cr ags ch an ge ex p r essi on T he angle of faltering light flinting ridges? n ew d i m en si on s sh i f t p al p ably i m p ose th em selves bef or e an d bet w een cu l ti vati on th i s an ti qu e m ove ar r an gi n g br acken h u f f i n g f r i cti on to f r u i ti on af ter th e gr u n t an d h ack th e sp l i n ter ed sh u n t ed gi n g t ow ar d th e su n d er ed sp l i t of i t d ow n sp i n es of w ood th e d i r t of y ou r l eath er ed h an d s began to d r i p to a sh een , r em ai n i n g, an d al m ost i on i zed com p u l si on s d w i n d l i n g r etr eat as ti m el ap se of d eep er n i gh t en cr oach es ti d al , a su d d en d r en ch i n g h em or r h age of th e h eaven s el em en tal sn u f f age, y et th e bu r n sti l l sm ol d er s.

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A r tw or k : A n d r ea L ew i ck i 11


B r o k en St ar sh i p Cl ay H u n t

A b r o k en st ar sh i p d r i f t s i n t h e n o t h i n gn ess o f i t s ow n m i n d : b l ack n ess, a n ov a o f h o p e, l i f e. So m ew h er e o u t t h er e i n t h e w ei gh t l ess sp ace, m y co n t r o l l i f t s aw ay f r o m m e. T h e w i n d ow sh ow s h ai l i n g co m et s r ed w i t h n i t r o gen an d ox y gen so ar i n g t h r o u gh t h e sk y. I can ?t seem t o cat ch m y b r eat h . T h ey f l y w i t h p u r p o se, u n l i k e b ei n g t r ap p ed i n a co n v er sat i o n o n a b r o k en st ar sh i p , p l ead i n g t o go t o w ar p , i n st ead o f b ei n g st u ck h er e, i n a loop , l i k e I ?v e d o n e t h i s b ef o r e. I t f eel s f am i l i ar . A b r o k en st ar sh i p d r i f t s i n t h e n o t h i n gn ess o f i t s ow n m i n d : b l ack n ess, a n ov a o f h o p e, l i f e.

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A r tw or k : Bel i n d a Su br am an

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A r t w or k : L ea Par i si u s

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O m a L av en d er D or ot h ea Röben M y O m a sm el l s cl ean an d of r ose h i p s an d th e p ast sh e sm el l s l i ke h er m oth er w ou l d h ave sm el l ed bu t n ot h er ow n O m a becau se h er ow n O m a w as n ot a n i ce w om an . M y O m a l i kes sm al l bi r d s bu t n ot th e d eer becau se th ey eat h er r oses an d sh e l oves h er r oses th ey ar e gl or i ou s l i ke h er m ay be sh e l oves h er r oses so m u ch becau se sh e?s a r ose as w el l h er sk i n l ay er s an d l ay er s of th i ck p etal s th at p r otect h er bu t sh e sh ed s th e p etal s an d gi ves th em to m e an d th e p etal s stay beau ti f u l ju st f or m e an d sh e d oesn ?t m i n d becau se sh e d oesn ?t car e abou t beau ty bu t sh e l i kes th at I d o so sh e gi ves m e h er s h er p etal s ap p ear as a w aggi n g f i n ger becau se I d i d n ?t cal l to tel l h er th at I ?ve ar r i ved h om e, saf ely, an d som eti m es th ey com e as k n i tted sock s an d sh aw l s so th at I can l ook p r op er becau se sh e l i kes th i n gs to be p r op er bu t sh e n ever car ed th at I ?m n ot an d sh e gi ves m e h er h u m bl e l eaves th at ar e br i ttl e l i ke th e bi scu i ts th at sh e bakes ou t of bu tter an d l i n es u p so n eatly i n betw een l ay er s of ver y r i ch ch ocol ate an d f atty oi ly m ass an d th en sh e w atch es th e m ass f or h ou r s an d th en sh e w atch es m e eat so I can becom e str on g l i ke h er w h en y ou r each th e cor e of h er l ay er s of p etal s th er e ar e r asp ber r i es th at sh e p i ck s f r om a gar d en i n h er h ear t an d sh e p u ts th e good on es i n to m y l i ttl e m ou th an d p r eten d s to tap m y f i n ger s w h en sh e sees th at I ?m tak i n g m or e th an I sh ou l d becau se sh e d oesn ?t l i ke gr eed an d th en sh e p u ts th e oth er s i n to a l ar ge bow l an d bakes a cake of velvet an d r asp ber r y h ear t seed s an d sh e sti r s th e cake an d w atch es i t f or h ou r s, agai n , becau se sh e l i kes w h en w or k i s bei n g d on e p r eci sely an d sh e l i kes to sti r th i n gs l i ke m y tem p er an d sh e l au gh s an d say s th at m y m oth er sh ou l d ?ve k n ow n better w i sh i n g f or a ch i l d th at?s l i ke h er sel f bu t I bel i eve th at I ?m l i ke m y O m a as w el l al th ou gh w e d on ?t sh ar e bl ood bu t w e sh ar e a sou l i n f or m of ti n y seed s an d oi ly cakes M y O m a d oesn ?t l i ke th e d eer becau se th ey eat h er r oses bu t som eti m es sh e p i ck s th e p ear s f r om h er ey es an d sh e cu ts th em i n to p i eces an d p u ts th em ou tsi d e i n a cl ay bow l th at h er ow n O m a m ad e, w h o w as n ot a n i ce w om an , an d sh e tel l s m e th at i t?s so th at th e d eer eat h er p ear s an d n ot h er r oses bu t I th i n k th at sh e ju st w an ts to m ake su r e th at th e d eer w on ?t star ve becau se sh e h ad to star ve w h en sh e w as a gi r l an d str an ge m en w ou l d h ave eaten th e r asp ber r i es f r om h er l i ttl e gar d en an d sh e w ou l d h ave cr i ed si l en t tear s.

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D an gl i n g, t r em b l i n g Fer gu s B r ow n e

Vau l ted betw een str an ge ar m s y ou r st ep s gai n p r op en si ty, w ei gh tl ess to th e cr ad l e, as i n i n f an cy bu t w i th er od ed bon e d en si t y. Each secon d i s sever ed af r esh f or y ou . O n e sl i p s i ts str i ct u r es a d r op sai l i n g ch i n - bou n d , bet w een i m br i cated m om en ts y ou sen se t i m e d r i p p i n g, th i s r oom i s w et y et y ou f eel n oth i n g sti ck i n g y ou r h an d s ar e u n attr i bu t ed th ey ?r e u n bel i evabl e, u n seen . Cl i n gf i l m f i n ger s r attl i n g d ow n sh el l p u p p et th i gh evoke l i ttl e r h y th m , bu t h or r or , i n si d e a bu r n i n g m i n d , al l l i n es f or got t en . Pan i c f ol d i n g, ever y i el d i n g, y ou si t back w i th cr acked p al m bl oom i n g. Cl ad i n ?h ap p y sock s?, can d l el i t bu t f l i cker i n g - y ou r su n ken ey es d i scer n th ei r ow n w r i n k l ed socket s a m u l ti l ay er ed h ead l an d of f l esh al l th at?s sti l l seen w i th cl ar i t y str u ctu r i n g a vast h or i zon ; sep u l ch r al bod y, en d l ess sp ace. M y Gr an d ad si ts i n th ei r ar m ch ai r h i s each i n stan t r en ew i n g sol es d an gl i n g above th e w ake tr em bl i n g over i n f i n i ty i n escap ably i n th i s m om en t .

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A r tw or k : D an i el Ken t Fol ey 17


M y Fr i en d Sar ah K i r a M or r i s T h e m or n i n g af ter Sar ah h ad h er stom ach

t h at t h e bi r t h d ay gi r l cal l ed m e a bi t ch an d

p u m p ed , th r ee sep ar ate d octor s asked m e

Sar ah f ou n d m e cr y i n g i n t h e bat h r oom .

w h at h ap p en ed an d I tol d each of th em a

W h at I d i d n ?t t el l t h e d oct or s w as t h at bei n g

d i f f er en t l i e. W h en th e tr au m a sp eci al i st

a gi r l i s com p l i cat ed an d t h at al l gi r l s

cor n er ed m e i n th e ER, I tol d h er t h at

secr et ly l ove each ot h er , bu t n ot i n t h at w ay.

Sar ah ?s boy f r i en d br oke u p w i th h er even

I t r i ed t o t el l t h e d oct or s abou t h ow l on g i t

t h ou gh Sar ah ?s a l esbi an an d h as been si n gl e

t ook t o get back t o t h e car w i t h h al f of

f or t h r ee y ear s. I n th e w ai ti n g r oom , I t ol d

Sar ah ?s w ei gh t sl u n g acr oss m y sh ou l d er s,

t h e gastr oen ter ol ogi st th at Sar ah f l u n ked

h er f eet d r aggi n g t r ack s i n t h e sn ow beh i n d

ou t of col l ege d esp i te th e f act th at th ey

u s.

f ou n d th e I D i n h er p u r se th at l i sts h er as an h on or s stu d en t at th e com m u n i ty col l ege. O n t h e w ay to th e p ar k i n g l ot, I tol d t h e p sy ch ol ogi st th at Sar ah ?s m om

h ad ju st

d i ed , w h en i n r eal i ty th at?s w h at h ap p en ed t o m e.

O n ce at t h e h osp i t al , I w ai t ed i n m y p ajam as f or t h e n u r ses t o br i n g m e a ch an ge of cl ot h es, w on d er i n g w h o h ad h u n g m i st l et oe on al l t h e d oor w ay s as t h e sn ow m el t ed of f m y r ai n boot s i n t o a p er son al p u d d l e. I cou l d n ?t t el l t h e d oct or s h ow i t f el t t o w at ch

W h at I d i d n 't tel l an y on e w as h ow Sar ah

m y ch i l d h ood f r i en d f i l l u p m y car w i t h h er

cal l ed m e l ast n i gh t an d sai d i t w as sn ow i n g

gr i ef an d h ow, f or a f ew t er r i bl e secon d s, I

w h er e sh e w as so I d r ove tow ar d s th e stor m .

w i sh ed t h at w e h ad n ever m et .

I t t ook m e n ear ly an h ou r of stu m bl i n g t h r ou gh th e f r eezi n g d ar k of th e qu ar r y t o f i n d h er h u d d l ed on a p i cn i c tabl e d r i n k i n g Ben ad r y l th r ou gh a str aw. Scatter ed ar ou n d h er w er e em p ty bottl es of Ad v i l , m el aton i n , an d

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Pr ozac. I cou l d n 't tel l th e d octor s th at I sat w i t h h er i n th e col d , tr y i n g to f i l l th e qu ar r y w i t h m y voi ce i n stead of th e sn ow. I tol d h er abou t m y cl asses at th e state u n i ver si ty an d h ow m y m om ?s can cer tu r n ed ter m i n al an d h ow I br oke u p w i th D y l an becau se h e sai d En gl i sh w asn ?t a r eal m ajor . I cou l d n 't tel l th e d octor s h ow Sar ah an d I

I n st ead of t el l i n g t h e t r u t h , I sn u ck i n t o t o Sar ah ?s r oom

an d cr aw l ed i n t o t h e bed

beh i n d h er , car ef u l n ot t o get t an gl ed i n t h e ju m bl e of t u bes an d w i r es. W h i l e Sar ah sl ep t ,

I

t ol d

h er

ever y t h i n g

I

cou l d

r em em ber abou t bei n g a k i d . I t ol d h er abou t h ow i t f el t t o r each t h r ou gh t h e op en ai r f or t h e n ex t m on key bar an d h ow, f or t h ose f ew h ear t beat s, i t f el t l i ke y ou w er e h ol d i n g t h e sk y. I h el d Sar ah ?s h an d i n a p oor i m i t at i on of t h at f i r st n i gh t at t h e r ol l er r i n k w h en w e san g al on g t o Bar r y M an i l ow an d t r i ed t o r et u r n t o t h at m agi cal age w h en t h e w or l d ask s n ot h i n g of y ou .

m et at a bi r th d ay p ar ty at a r ol l er r i n k , an d

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A r tw or k : T h er ese L i von n e 19


B oy Sk et ch i n g M i l agr os V i l ap l an a

A ch i l d d r aw s a m ou n tai n r an ge t h at r i ses beh i n d h i s h ou se, l i ke a bi l l boar d on st i l t s h i s m oth er tow er s over h i s sh eet of p ap er Both p r ep ar e f or a ver d i ct to d esi st or con t i n u e. I n m y n ei gh bor h ood , m ou n tai n s h ave a f l ai r abou t t h em l i ke cap es r esti n g on l ad i es?sh ou l d er s. You ?ve seen th at i l l u si on , h aven ?t y ou ? T h e ol d u gly l ad y w i th a p r om i n en t ch i n w ear i n g a scar f becom es a y ou n g beau ty w i th a p r et t y n eck l ace an d f eat h er . Su p er i m p osed , on e tu r n s aw ay as t h e ot h er sn i cker s. W h at i s i t w e see th e m om en t w e p er cei ve? Sh al l w e cel ebr ate th em es as l of ty as n at u r e an d i n n ocen ce an d i n ter stel l ar od y ssey s or sh al l w e si m p ly cal l th em God al l m i gh t y ? M ou n tai n s r an ge l ay s l i ke over l ap p ed k n ees of l ad i es l ou n gi n g i n bed I f th e m oth er p r ai ses, sh e w i l l cr ow n th e boy ?s ou tl i n es on p ap er . I f sh e w al k s aw ay tal l er m ou n tai n s w i l l w al l of f th e su n - soaked v i ew th at l an gu i sh es beh i n d .

A r t w or k : L aw r en ce B r i d ges 20


21


B l ack A r ch es M o t h A gata Pal m er

A l l y ou ?ll gl i m p se w i l l be th e cassock of m y w i n gs: p r i estess of d ar k n ess, keep er of sh ad ow s. I t?s h ow I ser ve m y p u r p ose. I am th e br i n ger of l oss. I d i d n ?t ask f or i t bu t th er e goes an oth er . You ar en ?t th e on ly on e p l ead i n g W hy me? H aven ?t y ou n oti ced h ow u r gen tly I l on g to f ol l ow th e l i gh t, u n ti l d eath , ju st l i ke y ou .

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A r tw or k : Tan i a L . Betan cou r t 23


W e A l l M u st L ear n T o N o t B e So A n gr y K ati e El l en Bow er s M y h u sban d t el l s m e of th e D al ai L am a. H e seem s t o be sear ch i n g f or som e i n n er p eace th at h e f ear s h e l ack s. H e seek s i t i n Easter n r el i gi on an d th e l au gh t er of f ou r r ou n d ch i l d r en w h o ar en ?t ou r ow n . H e seek s i t i n th e gr ow t h of veget abl es an d bat h i n g of f a d ay of gar d en i n g. H e seek s i t i n tel l i n g m e st or i es of h i m as a ch i l d , r each i n g f or h i s m oth er ?s h an d , u n d er th e d oor , as sh e bat h es. H e seek s i t i n h i s m ot h er ?s Su n d ay br eak f ast . M y h u sban d h e seek s i t i n tel l i n g m e st or i es abou t th e D al ai L am a an d h ow w e al l m u st l ear n t o n ot be so an gr y. 24


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A r tw or k : Cassan d r a Rock w ood Gh an em


Gr an d m o t h er 's Ri n g Ch er y l Som er s Au bi n A s I si t i n th e w ai ti n g r oom , I r u n m y t h u m b over th e ston e i n th e r i n g I w ear on m y r i gh t h an d . I w on d er abou t th e w om an w h o w or e th i s r i n g bef or e m e ? i f sh e ever r u bbed th e ston e f or l u ck or ou t of h abi t. I ?ve al r ead y ch an ged i n to a gow n an d st ay ed i n th e sm al l d r essi n g cu bi cl e. I n ever l i ke t o go ou t an d joi n th e oth er w om en si t t i n g ar ou n d i n a ci r cl e, r ead i n g m agazi n es or ju st si tti n g qu i etly. T h e st at i st i c ?on e ou t of ei gh t w om en w i l l get br east can cer ? alw ay s m akes m e f eel su p er sti ti ou s, an d th ey ar e al l w ai ti n g f or t h e sam e test I w i l l take tod ay. A n attr acti ve br u n ette w om an n am ed M el i ssa cal l s m y n am e, an d I f ol l ow h er i n t o a r oom w i th a l ar ge m ach i n e. Sh e h as m e st an d cl ose to i t an d d r op th e gow n f r om m y r i gh t sh ou l d er . Sh e af f i xes a sm al l d ot on th e ar ea at th e top of m y br east . T h i s i s th e l u m p I f eel , th i s i s th e ar ea i n qu est i on . M el i ssa l i f ts m y r i gh t br east an d p l aces i t on a col d Pl ex i gl as p l ate. U si n g a f oot p et al sh e l ow er s th e u p p er p l ate an d p u l l s on m y br east at th e sam e ti m e, f l atten i n g i t. Sh e r em oves h er h an d an d p u sh es th e p et al t w o m or e ti m es. Sh e tel l s m e to h ol d m y br eat h , bu t I am al r ead y d oi n g th at as tear s st ar t to f al l . I ?m alw ay s scar ed an d t h i s r eal ly h u r ts. I cl ose m y ey es. M el i ssa an d I r ep eat th i s i n ti m ate act agai n an d agai n an d agai n . M y br easts f eel br u i sed an d sor e. I r et u r n to th e d r essi n g r oom an d see su n l i gh t p r essi n g agai n st a d ar ken i n g sh ad e i n a d i f f er en t cu bi cl e. I cu r l u p on t h e ben ch an d r ai se th e sh ad e. M y bod y w ar m s i n t h e l ate af ter n oon su n . M y sk i n , m y sou l bei n g p u l l ed tow ar d i t. I tu r n th e r i n g on m y f i n ger , w atch i n g th e r ef l ecti on on th e

w al l as t h e l i gh t p l ay s of f i t . I am w ai t i n g f or t h em t o t el l m e I can go h om e. ?M r s. Au bi n ,? an ot h er w om an cal l s, an d I f ol l ow h er t o t h e son ogr am r oom . I l ay on t h e t abl e w h i l e sh e t r i es t o p osi t i on m e. Sh e p u t s a l ar ge w ed ge u n d er m y r i gh t si d e an d ch eck s f or t h e d ot M el i ssa p u t on bef or e. Sh e i n st r u ct s m e t o p u t m y r i gh t ar m above m y h ead , an d t h en l eaves t h e r oom . I t i s col d an d m ost ly d ar k i n t h i s r oom . I u se m y f i n ger s on m y r i gh t h an d t o m ove t h e r i n g ar ou n d an d ar ou n d m y f i n ger . M y ar m st ar t s t o go n u m b as t i m e p asses, an d I st ar t t o f eel n au seou s, w on d er i n g i f a l am b kebab w as t h e r i gh t t h i n g f or m e t o eat f or l u n ch h ou r s ago. Fi n al ly I si t u p , t r y t o br eat h e. I n . O u t . I n . O u t . A w om an com es i n bu t d oesn ?t t el l m e h er n am e or ask m e m i n e. I n st ead sh e say s, ?You f el t som et h i n g?? ?Yes,? I t el l h er , ?I f el t som et h i n g h er e.? Sh e p u t s col d gel on m y br east an d r u n s a w an d over i t . Sh e p r esses h ar d n ear w h er e t h e d ot i s on m y br east . Sh e p au ses an d t h e m ach i n e cl i ck s. A n ot h er p au se, an oth er cl i ck , t h en a w h i r l . ?A r e y ou a r ad i ol ogi st ?? I ask . Sh e an sw er s y es an d t el l s m e t h at sh e sp en t an ex t r a y ear ju st on br east s al on e. M or e cl i ck s, p au ses, an d w h i r l s. I f i gh t t h e t ear s an d p an i c r i si n g i n m y t h r oat . I w on d er i f I r eal ly am goi n g t o be si ck . I w on d er i f t h i s t i m e i t i s can cer . I t w i st t h e r i n g ar ou n d m y f i n ger . Fi n al ly, sh e t el l s m e i t i s ju st a cy st . ?You ar e ok ay t o go."

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Sh e w i p es th e gel of f m y br east r em ov i n g t h e d ot w i th th e tow el . Sh e l eaves th e r oom f i r st, an d th en I si t u p an d w i p e of f som e m or e gel . I t i s sti l l col d an d sti ck y an d I f eel d i zzy. I m i staken ly take th e gow n of f , t h i n k i n g f or a m om en t I am i n a d oct or ?s of f i ce, an d on ly w h en I l ook f or m y cl ot h es d o I r eal i ze th ey ar e back i n th e w ai t i n g ar ea.

I w as aw ar e ever y m om en t over t h ese l ast h ou r s of t h e r i n g on m y f i n ger . A r i n g I h ave n ot w or n i n y ear s an d y ear s, a r i n g I d i scover ed ju st t h i s m or n i n g as I w as l ook i n g i n m y jew el r y box f or a p i n t o w ear on m y p u r p l e sw eat er . T h i s am et h y st r i n g m at ch ed t h e sw eat er an d I h ad qu i ck ly w i p ed t h e t ar n i sh of f an d p u t i t on m y f i n ger .

A s I p ass th e f r on t d esk on m y w ay ou t , I see a y ou n g w om an w i th l on g bl on d h ai r at l east 10 - 15 y ear s y ou n ger th an m e. Sh e?s l ean i n g over th e d esk ask i n g f or th e n am es of su r geon s, an d on e of th e tw o l ad i es t h er e h an d s h er a bi g w h i te book . Sh e t akes a p i ece of p ap er to w r i te d ow n som e n am es. Sh e d oesn ?t l ook scar ed , r eal ly, m or e sh ocked an d d eter m i n ed . I w an t t o say som eth i n g to h er , bu t sh e?s con cen tr ati n g on th e n am es an d n u m ber s, so I l eave m y w or d s u n sp oken .

A st r on g w om an h ad w or n t h i s r i n g bef or e. A w om an w i t h a h i st or y of l oss an d p er sever an ce an d i n cr ed i bl e st r en gt h . M y gr an d m ot h er w as w i t h m e ever y st ep of t h e w ay t od ay, ever y st ep , ever y f ear , ever y p ai n . I m ou t h a si l en t t h an k y ou t o t h e h eaven s, an d h ead h om e.

27

A r t w or k : W i l ly Con l ey

O u tsi d e, th e su n i s n ow beh i n d th e cl ou d s, bu t I f eel th e col d agai n st m y f ace, r eal ly f eel i t. I h ear th e tr af f i c on a n ear by st r eet , a f ar of f si r en .


A r t w or k : K at h r i n e Cay s 28


Fo ssi l M acken zi e Por ter f i el d I got stu ck i n t h e au t u m n am ber , h al f w ay th r ou gh a m et am or p h osi s, m y w i n gs ju st a gossam er i d ea, h ar d en ed i n t h e sl ow sap of y ou r voi ce as i t sai d , ?n o on e w i l l ever l ove y ou as m u ch as I d o.? A n d th e O ct ober ai r d r i ed m e ou t , sm ooth ed m e over , ch i l l ed th e y ou n g p u p a of m y aw aken i n g w i th i n th e r esi n t r ap of y ou r af f ect i on . Yet th e tr an sf or m at i on l u l l ed i n m e ach es w i th a h u n ger f or t h e w or l d I t ast ed .

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A D an d el i o n ; A C h i l d A i Ji an g A seed ,

gu ar d ed

by m oth er ly soi l , d r aw i n g on th e

life

th at

su r r ou n d s

i t. I t bu i l d s

d eep r oot s

w h er e

i t gr ow s.

M ost ti m es,

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w i th th ose m u ch l i ke i tsel f . As

i t f l ow er s, i t en joy s

th e w ar m th of th e su n , an d

h i d es

i n th e cool l i gh t of th e m oon . U n ti l

i t m at u r es.

I t w i l l p ass f or w ar d w h at i t m u st, an d l eave beh i n d th e r oot s i t h as bu i l t i ts l i f e u p on . A n d

begi n s an ew,

som eti m es cl ose. som eti m es

f ar aw ay.

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A r tw or k : V i ctor i a V

31


T h e Gr eat C o n v er sat i o n H ay l ey St od d ar d ?Ever y on e i n th e w or l d i s h av i n g on e gr eat con ver sat i on ,? h e sai d . I t?s tr u e th at tal k i n g i s a p l easu r e, w h et h er seek i n g cl ar i t y (sel d om f ou n d i n th e en d ), or m or e si m p ly en joy i n g th e gi d d y p r acti ce of tu r n i n g t h ou gh t i n t o sou n d . T h u s a f ew d r op s of ou r sw ol l en sou l s ar e gi ven a d r ai n h ol e, n ot bi g en ou gh to sp i l l ever y th i n g (f or w h at w ou l d w e h ave l ef t ?) bu t sm al l en ou gh to l et th e r est of th e w or l d k n ow th at w e too m ai n tai n a d am w i th an ocean or t w o beh i n d i t . Bu t I con f ess, th i s i s n ot w h at I th ou gh t of f i r st w h en I w as h i t by h i s l of ty sen ten ce. I n th at m om en t I i m agi n ed a su n set , an d on e m i l l i on cr i cket s r u bbi n g th ei r l egs w i th so m an y qu est i on s th at f i l l ed th e br ead th of th e r osy sk y u n ti l col d r ai n f el l an d cool ed each l i t t l e h ead sen d i n g th em i n to th e stu n n ed si l en ce th at r ai n alw ay s br i n gs.

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A r tw or k : K ar u Sh ao

33


Ev er y d ay L i f e X t i an I can 't h el p bu t th i n k , an ot h er d ay i s a m u l ti tu d e an d m y ap p eal s f or a good on e, m u l t i p l i es m y si m p l i ci ty A s i t stan d s I ex p l ai n p er f or m an ces i n gr an d h al l s, t h e h an gi n g f r u i t r i ses, t h e cu r tai n s col l ap se Som e con f etti sp r ead s, ou t l i n i n g ch al k f ai r i es, sw at h es of d r eam s f l oat p ast, a k al ei d oscop i c i n f i l tr ati on . Tod ay, n o en d i n si gh t, ben eath a can op y of ai r m y cl oth es r ef l ect, A n evan escen t con ti n u i ty.

A r t w or k : St evem T u ti n o

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A Pl ace f o r Yo u Tex t an d ar tw or k : Jessam y n W ol f f I n th e h om e good s secti on of T J M ax x I w aste ti m e l ook i n g at f ake su ccu l en t s, ben d i n g th ei r sti ck y bu t p r et t y l eaves i n al l d i r ecti on s. Acr oss th e ai sl e, r ow s of d ecor ati ve gl ass jar s l i n e t h e sh elves. A l ar ge on e stan d s ou t, f l ow er s p ai n t ed at i ts bottom sh i n e p i n k i n t h e f l u or escen t l i gh t. A s I h ol d i t, k i d s an d t h ei r m om s p u sh r ed car ts ar ou n d m e, em p l oy ees h u r r y by w i th l oop s f u l l of sh r i l l key s. I d eter m i n e th at, y es, al l I h ave l ef t of y ou w i l l f i t i n th i s gl ass jar ? p i ctu r es of y ou at th e p i an o, th e p l asti c Pokém on w on i n a bet, y ou r ch ar coal d r aw i n gs i f I f ol d th em . T h e w om an w or k i n g t h e cou n t er com p l i m en ts m y ch oi ce as sh e w r ap s i t i n p al e, cr i n k l i n g p ap er ? this?d be great for a candle, it really catches the light. O u tsi d e, th e su n ?s been sm ear ed w i t h si lver cl ou d s. I w al k h om e u n d er n eat h i ts h aze, cr y i n g so h ar d I th i n k m y ey es w i l l bu r st an d f al l l i ke r ai n at m y f eet .

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W i n t r y B l u es Jer r y T . Joh n son - - af ter M ay a A n gel ou Au tu m n L eaves. Fal l en . Sti l l . D r y. Br ow n . Si l en t. Stoi c as th ey aw ai t th e w i n d ? or w or se, t h e l eaf bl ow er s. Soon th ey m el d i n to Ear th , cover ed by f r i en d ly sn ow f l akes w h i ch p ar agl i d e f r om p eacef u l sk i es gen tly l an d i n g, sp r ead i n g i n to bl an kets. Au tu m n p eacef u l ly sl eep s. O n ly f or a m om en t. H er bl an ket soon d i stu r bed by i ce, sen t f r om an gr y bl i zzar d s. W e w eep d u r i n g h ar sh w i n ter s. I n cor n er s w e cr i n ge on f r i gi d d ay s. W e h an g d ar k cu r tai n s d r ap i n g aw ay th e si gh t of f r ozen l i m bs. W e d r eam of m on ster s W e aw ake at m i d n i gh t d ou sed i n sw eat. O u r satu r ati on m ol d s. I n to I ci cl es. W e Sh i ver . W e l ook at ou r cl ock s. A l ar m ed , w e sear ch f or cal en d ar s. Fi n d i n g on e w e scr ol l to Sp r i n g. W e L on g. W e H op e. W e W ai t. W e A n ti ci p ate. Bu t th e T i m e i s N ow. W e Ri se!

A r t w or k : Ser ge L ecom te 36


37


T h e A p o cal y p se cam e an d i t w as y o u A n d i M y l es

You d estr oy ed th e an th i l l ? sp r ead th ei r com p ost w or l d al l over th e y ar d . Si st er s scatter ed u n i m agi n ably f ar , by f ar n ot th ei r gr eatest w oe. A n d w e ch u ck l ed a l i ttl e at th ei r f u ti l e f r an t i c attem p ts to save th ei r y ou n g? w an d er i n g ai m l essly w i t h r i ce- l i ke eggs cr ad l ed i n th ei r ar m s.

You w ar n ed m e n ot to step on t h e p atch es so d ar k agai n st t h e gl ow i n g, tw i l i gh t gr ass f or m y sake? n ot th ei r s. You d i d n ot w an t m e to f eel t h ei r teem i n g d esp er ati on on m y bar e f eet , as t h ey sp en t w h at w as l ef t of th ei r l i ves sear ch i n g f or th ei r n u r ser i es.

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39

A r tw or k : O ctav i o Pajar o


T i es T h at B i n d Ri ch ar d St i m ac A set of r ai l s ci r cl ed m y boy h ood h om e. I ?d l i e i n bed at n i gh t an d d r eam to w al k T h e r i gh t of w ay w i th ou t p u r p ose, ju st r oam , Past sh op p i n g m al l , steel m i l l , an d l oad i n g d ock . T h e m al l cl osed y ear s ago. T h e m i l l gr ew col d . Sm okestack s stan d l i ke ston e keep s f r om Got h i c t al es. T h e r ai l s n o l on ger si n g. A s w as f or etol d , T h e w or l d ch an ged . Sh i f ti n g m ar ket. D r op p i n g sal es. Col l ap si n g p en si on s. I th ou gh t th e r ai l s l ed To i n f i n i te p oi n ts I w ou l d on e d ay r each , A w or l d w i th ou t en d , ter m i n al , or gr ave. I ?d com e h om e on ly to l am en t m y d ead . I st i l l m ar k th e ti es th at bi n d . I cou n t each To each , a p ast, th at I cou l d n ever save.

A r tw or k : K ar u Sh ao

40


Holes The following four works are the winners of our holes-themed 250-word creative writing challenge!

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A r tw or k : Pau l a Cam ach o


Rat Gl or i a N i xon - Joh n

I am i n th e bar n tossi n g h ay w h en h e p ai n ts a qu i ck gr ay l i n e acr oss m y p at h th en bottom u p an d d ow n i n to th e th r oat of a h ol e. I sh ou l d h ave been r ep u l sed y ou say ? D i sease af ter al l , an d th e ti n y sh i n i n g ey es h ai r l ess tr ai l i n g w h i p of tai l too m u ch t h e t ex t u r e of t on gu e. M ost f i n d h i m r ep u gn an t y et h e st i r s a st r an ge w on d er i n m e an d so, I d o n ot back aw ay, stay qu i et ly w ai t i n g, l on g en ou gh to see h i m l i f t f i r st t h e t i n y t h i m bl ed n ose th en th e car ef u l ly ch i sel ed h ead u p i n t o t h e v i gi l an t l i gh t . Tom or r ow som eon e el se w i l l com e w i t h sh ovel , p oi son , a bu cket of w ater to d r ow n h i m a r ock to bl ock h i s escap e. A n d so, I tel l h i m ? go w i th god , god of n i m bl e f eet of w h i sker ed sn i f f i n g sn ou t , god w i th th e sm al l est al l - seei n g ey e w h o l ook s d ow n i n t o h ol es.

A r t w or k : A n d r ea L ew i ck i 42


43


T h e T at t er ed Sw eat er M ar gu er i te M cCl ai n Sh e alw ay s w ear s th e tatter ed sw eat er .

H er sw eater i s u n becom i n g. H ol es, on ce sm al l , n ow too bi g to h ol d i n w ar m t h .

Sh e can n ot p i n p oi n t w h o p u l l ed t h e f i r st t h r ead . Sh e r em em ber s som e str an d s, cu t t i n g t h em , p u l l i n g t h em , w at ch i n g t h em f al l . Sh e r em em ber s h ow a th ou gh t or w or d cou l d u n w i n d t h em . Sh e r em em ber s h ow oth er s cou l d m ake t i n y h ol es becom e cr eat i on s.

H er tatter ed sw eater i s n ow al l sh e k n ow s. N o on e k n ow s i f i t keep s h er com f or t abl e. N o on e ask s h er . T h e sw eater l ook s d i stor ted .

Sh e l ook s i n th e m i r r or . Sh e f i n d s ar eas w h er e th e f abr i c i s st i l l p er f ect ly w oven , bu t sh e con ti n u es to p u l l at i t. H er beau ty i s f ad i n g. A n d h er l ove i s l ost w i th i n th e m i ssi n g f abr i c.

Sh e h ear s h er babi es cr y i n g agai n . Sh e f eel s th em l ook i n g f or h er , bu t th ey stay as d r eam s, al so l ost w i t h i n t h e m i ssi n g f abr i c. T h ey i m agi n e h er , sh e i s l ay er ed w i t h su n sh i n e. Sh e w i sh es sh e h ad k n ow n h ow to p r even t t h e h ol es i n h er sw eat er .

Sh e w i l l alw ay s w ear th e tatter ed sw eat er .

A r t w or k : Van L an i gh 44


45


H o l es D i án a Bósa

46


A r tw or k : El ai n e Bu tl er

47


WRITERS Dick Altman writes in the high, thin, magical air of Santa Fe, NM, where, at 7,000 feet, reality and imagination often blur. He is published in the Santa Fe Literary Review and many others. He is a poetry winner of the Santa Fe New Mexican’s annual literary competition. His first collection of poems, Voices in the Heart of Stones, is being considered for publication. Bill Garten’s book, “Asphalt Heart”, was published by The Main Street Rag in 2018, and its chapbook version was a finalist in The Comstock Review’s 2017 Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Contest. Bill is the winner of the 2017 Broken Ribbon Poetry Contest, is a Finalist in the 2018 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards for Poetry; the 44th New Millennium 2017 Awards; and the Writer’s@Work 2018 Contest for a group of poems from “Asphalt Heart”. He graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing in 2018 from Ashland University. Walter Skinner currently lives in Browns Mills, New Jersey. If he is not writing, thinking of writing, rehearsing his writing, or performing his writing, he is playing fetch with his American Pit Terrier, Rosie, or playing Fallout. John Drudge is a social worker working in the field of disability management. He holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology. He is the author of two books of poetry: “March” and “The Seasons of Us” (both published in 2019). His work has appeared widely in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies internationally. John is also a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and lives in Caledon Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children. Rosemary Lazier resides in Ontario, Canada, where she immerses herself in coffee, amphibian transformations, and shoreline life on the Ottawa River. She is a High School teacher of Special Education, and holds an MA in English Literature from Carleton University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in North, In Words, and Eris & Eros journals. Clay Hunt is a poet from Modesto, California, living in Oakland. He has works published in "Penumbra," "Pif Magazine," and others. He loves his chunky tabby, Migi. Dorothea Röben was born by the Northern Shore of Germany and moved to South London to study linguistics, write and be with her great love. Fergus Browne is a Liberal Arts student at the University of Bristol. Kira Morris is a senior at the University of Colorado Denver where she serves as an associate editor for Copper Nickel. For a decade, Milagros Vilaplana wrote poetry in her native Spanish. She holds certificates in Latin American Contemporary Literature (ITAM University), Creative Writing (Wesleyan) & Poetry (SD Writer's Ink), and currently pursuing an MFA at San Diego State University. Agata Palmer is a UK-based bilingual poet from Poland, a trained linguist, NLP coach and Hypnotherapist, to mention a few of her various professional careers. She finds inspiration for her poems in the nitty gritty of life, and loves dancing with words and her dog. Katie Ellen Bowers was raised in Charleston, SC, but is now sowing seeds with her husband and daughter in the small, rural town of Heath Springs, SC. Cheryl Somers Aubin’s work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and online journals. She has an MA/Writing from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story. Cheryl teaches memoir writing and is featured speaker at book festivals and writing conferences. Mackenzie Porterfield is a poetry and fiction writer from Eastern Pennsylvania. Ai Jiang is a Chinese-Canadian writer who graduated with a BA in English Literature from The University of Toronto and a current student at the Humber School for Writers. Her work has appeared in Maudlin House and is forthcoming in Button Eye Review and Star 82 Review. Hayley Stoddard lives in Colorado, and is currently pursuing a degree in Communication. Before returning to school, she worked as a medical caregiver to disabled children and to the elderly. She began writing at a young age, and has been inspired by such writers as Billy Collins, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Anne Lamott, Mary Oliver, and Leonard Cohen.


Xtian (Christian Gutierrez) is an author who writes in several different mediums. He has published poetry in small publications. He currently resides in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Jessamyn Wolff is a poet and visual artist from Michigan, currently based in Boston. Wolff received her MFA in Poetry at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Hanging Loose Press, Conception Arts Show, High Shelf Press, and Prometheus Dreaming. Jerry T. Johnson is a Poet and Spoken Word Artist whose poetry has appeared in a variety of literary publications worldwide. Jerry also features at many Spoken Word and Poetry venues in the New York City and Southern Connecticut areas. Jerry lives with his wife Raye in Danbury, Connecticut. Andi Myles is a science writer by day but nourishes her creative writing ambitions at red lights, on walks, and in pediatrician waiting rooms. She has published a lyric essay in Alligator Juniper and received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Richard Stimac is influenced by 20th century poets who used traditional forms to explore contemporary life. He is also influenced by the local St. Louis landscape of water and stone, dominating metaphors in his poetry for movement and rest and the relationship of time to both. He lives in Maplewood, Missouri, with his cat, Mr. Leo, short for Leonidas, king of the Spartans at Thermopylae. Richard has published poetry in Sou’wester and Michigan Quarterly Review and a scholarly article on Willa Cather in The Midwest Quarterly. Gloria Nixon-John is the author of The Killing Jar, the story of one of the youngest Americans to have served on death row. Her Memoir, Learning from Lady Chatterley was published in 2015. She has published academic articles, essays, and poems in both small and mainstream publications. Marguerite McClain is a writer, former Peace Corps volunteer and social worker. She is an active athlete, marathoner and cardiac surgical physician assistant. She enjoys taking care of patients with kindness and compassion and applying what she's learned through training and life experience. Diána Bósa (born 1983) writes poems, short stories and plays. One of her plays has been performed in the RS9 theatre in 2012, Budapest, and her poem appeared in Cosmic Orgasm’s first print Issue, HURT in 2019. She publishes her poems on poetrysoup.com, hellopoetry.com, and her Instagram account.


VISUAL ARTISTS Cover art: "Okay - You Hang Up First" by Caren Messing. Caren is a writer, vocalist, actor, digital artist and mobile filmmaker. She loves photography. Her training in improvisation in theater, writing and music catalyzes her openness to exploration and quirky visual propensities in film. She is a native New Yorker. Another work by Caren – Strung Out, features in the current issue of Beyond Words. Chad Robert Collofello, helio. Chad Robert is a contemporary artist and instructor who works multiple mediums when necessary to adapt to an ongoing dialogue with the work. Inspired by his environment and the lives of his children, Chad Robert creates emotive, sometimes surreal images that can bring forth a message of concern for our future while keeping a sophisticated visual impact. The work is led by an inquiry of interrelationships and interconnectivity composed with a balance of high contrasting light and beautifully complimented colors. Chick Byrne, Converse. Chick is a gay artist from Boston, Massachusetts with a BFA from Denison University. His work is an amalgamation of figurative representation, expression of the energy-body and a surreal sense of self. The imagery embraces a transformative and ascendant view of latent human potential. Kathrine Cays, Into the Sun; Through the Hurts Suffered. Kathrine is an artist-poet and founder of Teleios Studios in New Hill, North Carolina, where she writes and creates interdisciplinary artwork. Kathrine leads workshops that intersect creative writing and visual arts, focusing on understanding and healing the human spirit. She is a candidate for a master’s degree in art therapy and creative development at Pratt Institute in New York. Yvonny Zhang, Mind. Yvonny is a Chinese-Canadian. She has worked as a high school art teacher for 6 years in China, and continues teaching kids in Canada. She likes eating sweet food, reading her daughter’s novels and feeding her cats. Andrea Lewicki, Not the Center of the Universe; Pardon My Preach Pit. Andrea is an award-winning abstract artist. Largely self-taught and insulated from traditional art for most of her life, her studio practice involves more tools found in a hardware store than artist brushes. Lewicki uses art to explore her relationship to structure, and releasing attachment is a fundamental part of her process. Belinda Subraman, Portal. Belinda is a mixed media artist as well as a poet and publisher of GAS: Poetry, Art & Music video show Her art has been featured in Unlikely Stories, Eclectica, North of Oxford, Raw Art Review, El Paso News and Red Fez. She sells prints of her work in her Etsy shop called Mystical House. Lea Parisius, Oma Lavender (27x41cm), oil on cardboard. Lea is a 24-year-old artist of abstract painting from Münster, Germany. Instagram: #pisiusrus. Daniel Kent Foley, Squishy Mechanisms. Daniel Kent is a visual artist and writer based in Central Ohio. His work suggests narratives through abstraction; defying traditions and forcing glitches to inspire critical thinking. He is a proud member of the Navajo tribe. Therese Livonne, Hopelessness. Therese was born and is currently based in Sweden. Her work explores the human condition where she confronts personal experiences of mental health, trauma and memories. She often combines different mediums such as painting, drawing and fiber. Lawrence Bridges, Nature’s Unfinished Work. Lawrence is best known for work in the film and literary world. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. As a filmmaker, he created a series of literary documentaries for the NEA’s “Big Read” initiative, which include profiles of Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick. Tania L. Betancourt, Scapegoat (2018). Tania shares her artwork in an effort to communicate her truth; in the hopes of providing comfort to others in understanding that many go through similar emotions. Cassandra Rockwood Ghanem, Bee Holder. Cassandra is a California Bay Area-based educator, editor, author, and illustrator. Her award-winning poems and creative nonfiction have been published in The New Delta Review, Rip Rap, Hawaii Review, The Lifted Brow, For Women Who Roar, The Write Launch, and elsewhere. She recently illustrated a picture book about the 17th century Edo Period poet, Matsuo Basho, that will be published in 2021 by Stone Bridge Press.


Willy Conley, Tangier Sound Sea Glass. Willy, a former biomedical photographer, has photos featured in the books Listening Through the Bone, The Deaf Heart, No Walls of Stone, and Deaf World. Other publications include: American Photographer, Arkansas Review, Baltimore Sun, Carolina Quarterly, Big Muddy, Folio, and 34th Parallel. Conley is a professor of Theatre Arts at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Victoria V, The Mighty. Born in Ukraine in 1982. As of 2020 living in Vienna, Austria. Working with original textured paintings using expressive techniques and different media (acrylics, ink, oil, makers, etc.). Engaging concepts of psychology, hypnosis, trance, mythology, subconsciousness, symbols, colors influence. Karu Shao, Desire Service Station; Memory. Karu is a contemporary artist with diverse cultural background. Born in China, lives in Japan, studied in Switzerland, Canada, and USA. She loves culture and traditions. She is enthusiastic about contemporary human life changes and she uses her extraordinary color and composition senses to express them out. Steven Tutino, Untitled. Steven was born in Montréal, Canada, and is a writer, poet and painter. He is currently a graduate student at Concordia University in the process of completing an M.A. in Theological Studies, as well as a vocational certificate in Esthetics. His artwork has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Montréal Writes, Spadina Literary Review, The Montréal

Gazette, From Whispers to Roars, The Indianapolis Review, Apricity Magazine, Ariel's Dream, Beyond Words, Unlimited Literature and The Raw Art Review. Apart from his art practice, Steven enjoys reading and writing, going for long meditative walks and giving his 110% in the gym. Serge Lecomte, Fall. Serge is a poet, playwright, novelist and painter living in Bellingham, WA after 40 years of living in Alaska. Octavio Pajaro, Self Doubt. Octavio is a heart surgeon by day and also by night. He is a father and a husband 24/7. He likes to take photos, compose music and write about stuff he dares to dream up. Our thoughts and our feelings are often like vapor, physically unbounded, ungraspable yet real. To capture the intangible, he is a writer, composer and photographer. Paula Camacho, Entrégate. Paula is a Colombian-born multi-disciplinary artist currently residing in Orlando, Florida. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in the Fall of 2019 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and a Minor in Digital Design. Paula takes a deep interest in exploring the relationship between Earth and psyche via her art practice. Van Lanigh, Dreamer. Inspired by great masters as Vrubel and Monet, Van Lanigh creates figurative and landscape pieces. Her unique style is a reaction to abstractionism in an attempt to capture surrealistic yet casual reality. This is especially underlined by new forms and materials used in Van Lanigh’s artworks aimed to achieve the viewer’s resonance between visual effect and message of the painting. Elaine Butler, Let Your Light Shine. Elaine is a Dublin, Ireland based photographer who also loves short stories. Limited edition prints are available at www.ElaineButlerPhotography.com


Contents 0 1 O u tage D i ck A l tm an 0 2 Sel f - I sol ati on B i l l Gar ten 0 4 U n d er cover A si an W al ter Sk i n n er 0 6 Reach i n g Joh n D r u d ge 0 9 El em en tal Rosem ar y L azi er 12 Br oken Star sh i p Cl ay H u n t 15 O m a L aven d er D or oth ea Röben 16 D an gl i n g, tr em bl i n g Fer gu s B r ow n e 18 M y Fr i en d Sar ah K i r a M or r i s 20 Boy Sketch i n g M i l agr os V i l ap l an a 22 Bl ack A r ch es M oth A gata Pal m er 24 W e A l l M u st L ear n To N ot B e So A n gr y K at i e El l en B ow er s 26 Gr an d m oth er 's Ri n g Ch er y l Som er s Au bi n 29 Fossi l M acken zi e Por ter f i el d 30 A D an d el i on ; A Ch i l d A i Ji an g 32 T h e Gr eat Con ver sati on H ay l ey St od d ar d 34 Ever y d ay L i f e X ti an 35 A Pl ace f or You Jessam y n W ol f f 36 W i n tr y Bl u es Jer r y T . Joh n son 38 T h e A p ocaly p se cam e an d i t w as y ou A n d i M y l es 40 T i es T h at B i n d Ri ch ar d Sti m ac

Beyond Words I nternational Literary M agazine

I SBN 978- 3- 948977- 0 8- 5

41 H ol es Ch al l en ge i n cl u d i n g Gl or i a N i xon - Joh n , M ar gu er i t e M cCl ai n an d D i án a B ósa

Profile for Beyond Words Literary Magazine

Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Issue 12, March 2021  

Beyond Words is an international literary magazine published monthly. We feature poems, short stories and visual art on beautiful full-color...

Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Issue 12, March 2021  

Beyond Words is an international literary magazine published monthly. We feature poems, short stories and visual art on beautiful full-color...

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