Beyond Words Magazine, Issue 15, June 2021

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A r tw or k : Ser ge L ecom te


Bey on d W or d s ? I n t er n ati on al L i ter ar y M agazi n e I ssu e 15, Ju n e 20 21 Ed i tor : Gal Sl on i m Read er s: Sop h i a B an n i ster , Ji l l S. Cl i n gan , M ar th a Fl ow er , Si m on H en d er son , O l i v i a Joh n son

So p h i a B an n i st er i s a r ecen t gr ad u ate of B ar n ar d Col l ege of Col u m bi a U n i ver si t y i n N ew Yor k Ci ty, w h er e sh e stu d i ed w r i ti n g an d th e h i stor y of sci en ce. I n ad d i t i on t o assi sti n g a gr ad u ate cou r se on th e p oetr y of bi oeth i cs at Case W est er n U n i ver si ty, sh e w or k s at th e H u d son Val l ey W r i ter s Cen ter i n Sl eep y H ol l ow, N ew Yor k . Ji l l S. C l i n gan h as d r eam ed of bei n g a w r i ter ever si n ce sh e becam e obsessed w i t h L ou i sa M ay A l cott i n 4th gr ad e, an d w h en sh e i s n ot f eel i n g l i ke a tot al i m p ost er , sh e l i kes to p r eten d to be on e n ow. Ji l l i s a h i gh sch ool EL A teach er t o st u d en ts i n Br azi l , an d sh e l i ves w i th h er h u sban d , tw o k i d d os, an d a m y r i ad of d ogs, cats, ch i cken s, an d d u ck on f i ve acr es i n a sm al l tow n t h at i s, od d ly en ou gh , n am ed Pecu l i ar . M ar t h a Fl ow er i s a U K based book bl ogger , p u bl i sh ed p oet an d asp i r i n g f ear l ess cr eat i ve. Sh e can be f ou n d on m u l ti p l e p l atf or m s u n d er M ar th aB ook D r agon , ch atti n g abou t book s w i th an y on e w h o'l l l i sten . Si m o n H en d er so n i s an er stw h i l e jou r n al i st w r i ti n g f i cti on i n B el f ast. O l i v i a Jo h n so n i s a jou r n al i st based i n M on tr éal , Q u ébec. Sh e en joy s w r i ti n g h u m an i n t er est stor i es, sp eci f i cal ly on top i cs su ch as i d en ti ty.

Cop y r i gh t © B ey on d W or d s Pu bl i sh i n g H ou se, Ber l i n , Ger m an y Fi r st p r i n t i n g, Ju n e 20 21 I SBN 978- 3- 948977- 13- 9


T h e r i p p l es of a T u esd ay su n set, Pu sh ed or an ge beam s th r ou gh w i sp s of cl ou d , A n d l on g v ap ou r tr ai l s f r om aer op l an es, D r ew w h i te l i n es u p on th e even i n g sk y. I saw th e l ast of th e m el an ch oly gl ow, A s i t ar ced gen tly i n to th e stati on , T h r ou gh th e gr an d p i l l ar ed en tr an ce, Col l i d i n g sh ar p ly w i th th e ar ti f i ci al l i gh t. A cool br eeze br u sh ed p ast m y ch eek s, A s sh ad ow s i n str eet cor n er s p u l l ed i n th e d ar k n ess. T h e u n i n ter r u p ted m oti on of w ear y tr avel l er s, B oar d ed th e tr ai n s f or h om e an d h ear th . T h e em ber s i n th e sk y began to f ad e, A s t h e h or i zon sl i p p ed gen tly ou t of si gh t, I w atch ed th e ci ty f al l aw ay beh i n d m e, M y jou r n ey h om e car r i ed i n to th e n i gh t

1


Gi f t s U n q u i et D i ck A l tm an I k n ow w el l y ou r h an d s th at see y ou su bd u e can v as an d p ai n t an d ston e

H ow

ben d to y ou r w i l l m etal

H ow y ou r gi f ts sh ow n even as a ch i l d

i s th e n am e w h i sp er ed Gal l er y ch ar m er

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l u m i n ou s on bod y an d w al l

cow er i n g i n v i si bly i n cr ow d

h i d i n g i n m i n d ?s cor n er d esi r e

ey es th at d r aw

Fi gu r e

w h o l on gs to escap e i n ven ti n g

To d r ow n i n som eon e el se?s stor y

an d n ot com e u p f or ex p ectati on ?s ai r f l i n gi n g y ou agai n st en d l ess w ave

i n a sea of book s

cr eati v i ty ?s gu sts cou n tl ess sh or e

Can?t work live for itself? y ou ask

m ost at p eace n ot

th i n k i n g of n ex t m on th ?s sh ow

n ex t L on d on

I w al k ou t of m y st u d i o i n to y ou r s an d m y st er y con f et t i th e f l oor m ap of u n qu i et br i l l i an ce

n ex t Sy d n ey

H i stor y an d w ar

r om an ce

Grant l i es op en on y ou r l ap

I r each ou t an d cl ose th e p ages

You r h an d s t ake m i n e

Fr esh sketch es f i d get on th e w al l

af r ai d t o be l ef t al on e

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to en ch an t

I tu r n ou t t h e l i gh t s

2

Eager


A r tw or k : Yar d en Tsf on i 3


D r ivi n g H om e K ate Fen n i m or e L ook , th e m oon i s u n d r essi n g h er sel f , bat h i n g i n t h e n i gh t sk y, sk i n p ocked , bu t u n tou ch ed an d m i l k y l i ke m y sk i n w h en I w as a baby m y m oth er t ook a p ai r of sci ssor s to m y ey el ash es. Sh e?ll d escr i be th i s p ar t sof tly, l i ke t h e m oon ?s w h i sp er i n g l i gh t, to m ake i t t en d er . Sh e t r i m m ed th em of f becau se sh e h ad h op ed th ey w ou l d gr ow back l on ger . Sh e w as t r y i n g t o m ake m e beau ti f u l or w an t ed by som eon e. Sh e th ou gh t w an ti n g m ean s y ou m atter . I f d ead d eer l ef t on t h e si d e of th e r oad , ey es w i d e an d st ar i n g, ey el ash es t h at cou l d d u st th e star s, I ?ll be jeal ou s. Sh e al r ead y h as a h al o of m u sh r oom s cr op p i n g u p ar ou n d h er p u r p l e coat, coax i n g h er back i n t o th e gr ou n d . I h ave n ever f el t w an t i n g l i ke t h at ? a w an t th at l ook s l i ke h u n ger , l i ke n ecessi ty. 4

A r tw or k : M ar k Ri ch ar d s


W e w i l l co m p o st y o u A r i an a M ar ch i gi an o an d Sash a Tor ch i n sk y w r ap m e i n cl oth & say y ou r good by es t o gr ow i s to d ecay w h en i r i n se th e m ol d f r om ou r or gan i cs bi n i f eel at t ach ed to w h at?s d evel op ed n ew l i f e?s am azi n g t h e gr ou n d k n ow s m y tou ch & w ei gh t of both f eet t h er e i s a saf ety to col d m u d r i ch r ot u n d er f oot d r aggi n g m y sw ol l en ego l ook w h at i ?ve d on e i ?m say i n g l ook t o t h e bi r d car cass i n th e p ar k i n g l ot h ol l ow ed by m y tou ch

5


M ar i l y n T i f f i n i e A lvar ez i . W h en m y p i ece abou t m y gr an d f ath er got p u bl i sh ed , th e f i r st th i n g m y N an a asked m e w as ?w h er e?s m i n e?? I d i d n ?t k n ow h ow to ex p l ai n th at gr an d f at h er s ar e easi er to w r i te abou t, al l su r ly an d d i stan t. Gr an d m ot h er s - N an as- ar e h ar d er . v. I can ?t r em em ber w h en I stop p ed bei n g sm al l en ou gh to squ eeze i n to th e cou ch an d l ay by h er si d e. v i i . W h en I w as l i t t l e I u sed to tr ack N an a?s sei zu r es i n a p u r p l e star cover ed n ot ebook . L i ke I w as Sh er l ock H ol m es an d m y br oth er w as W atson . L i ke w e w er e tr y i n g to cr ack ?T h e Case of th e M y ster i ou s I l l n ess?. x i . W h en I w as seven teen sh e stay ed u p al l n i gh t w i th m e becau se I h ad a stom ach ach e. I t ol d h er sh e cou l d l eave bu t sh e w ou l d n ?t. Sh e d i d n ?t w an t m e t o be al on e. x i i . A f ter m y ex- boy f r i en d l ef t m e, N an a cu t h i s f ace ou t of th e Ch r i stm as car d on h er f r i d ge. Sh e sai d i t w as too n i ce a p h oto of m e to take d ow n . x . I can r em em ber th e d ay I w al ked th r ou gh th e f r on t d oor an d r eal i zed I w as a f u l l h ead tal l er th an h er . x i i i . Sh e m ad e m y f avor i te f ood ever y si n gl e ti m e I cam e h om e f r om col l ege, even i f i t w as a l ast m i n u te v i si t. v i . T h er e ar en ?t w or d s to d escr i be th e su gar y sw eetn ess th at p er m eates ever y m em or y I h ave of m y N an a f r om m y ch i l d h ood . i x . M y N an a l i ves at th e f or ef r on t of m y m i n d , m em or i es sti ck i n g to th e gr ou n d l i ke gl ow i n th e d ar k star s on m y ch i l d h ood cei l i n g. x v. M y w h i t e boy f r i en d ?s n ever qu i te k n ow h ow to h an d l e Gu y an ese cook i n g or N an a?s u se of sp i ces, so sh e h ook s th em i n w i th baked good s f i r st . v i i i . T h e sad d est p ar t of ever y bi r th d ay or h ol i d ay w ou l d be th e m om en t w h en N an a w ou l d l eave an d I ?d w ave good by e f r om th e w i n d ow as I w at ch ed th e tai l l i gh ts f ad e. x v i . A n d I sat d ow n t o w r i te th i s th r ee ti m es bu t cr i ed th r ou gh th e f i r st tw o attem p t s so w e?ll see h ow th i s on e goes. x i v. I i n t er v i ew ed h er on ce f or a p r oject an d sat t h er e en gr ossed as sh e tal ked abu t h er sch ool i n g i n Gu y an a. T h ose r ecor d i n gs ar e tu cked aw ay, saved i n t r i p l i cate so I n ever l ose th em . i i . I am n ot good at w r i ti n g abou t p osi ti ve m em or i es an d m ay be th at?s w h y th i s h as t aken m e so l on g. . 6


x i x . N an a w as t h e f i r st p er son to teach m e to bake cu p cakes, a l esson I u sed of t en d u r i n g str essf u l w eek s of col l ege. x v i i i . Ever y on e alw ay s tel l s m e I l ook l i ke m y d ad , bu t m y boy f r i en d th i n k s I l ook l i ke m y N an a. i i i . I u sed t o beg h er f or l i ttl e p i eces of d ou gh of f h er r oti r ol l . Sh e?d l et m e h ave t h em an d I ?d com e back th e n ex t d ay to f i n d m y l i ttl e scu l p tu r es h ar d en ed an d i n t act, p l aced car ef u l ly u n d er a n ap k i n on th e d i n i n g tabl e. i v. N an a an d Gr an d p a saved a cop y of ever y aw ar d or cer ti f i cate I r ecei ved f r om p r esch ool al l th e w ay to m y sen i or y ear of h i gh sch ool . x v i i . Som et i m es I go over ju st to si t an d gossi p w i th h er . x x . I ?m n ot su r e w h at I w ou l d h ave been l i ke h ad I n ot sp en t so m u ch of m y ch i l d h ood t u cked u n d er h er w i n g i n th e saf ety of h er bar n r ed h ou se.

A r tw or k : D on n y N i e 7


B r eat h i n g i n t h e D ar k n ess w i n d f l ow er I t?s N ovem ber 3, 1957. T h e Sov i et

I t?s Ju ly 20 , 1969. T h e m en l an d

L au n ch of t h e Sp u tn i k 2. O n

on th e m oon . M y f ath er say s

boar d i s L ai k a, t h e f i r st an i m al to

w h en h e d i es h e w an ts h i s bod y

or bi t ear t h . A Si ber i an

r el eased i n sp ace. I t i s h ot an d w e

r escu ed

f r om

th e

H u sk y

str eets

of

ar e

stan d i n g

on

th e

gr ay

M oscow. T h ey assu m e as a str ay

f l agston e p ati o br eath i n g i n th e

sh e h as l ear n ed t o en d u r e h ar sh

d ar k n ess an d th e cu r ved l i gh t. I

con d i ti on s. A f t er t w o d ay s an d

am r em i n d ed of a m oon l ess cl ear

f i f teen or bi t s ar ou n d ear th , h er

n i gh t 18 y ear s ago, h e i s r each i n g

l i f e su p p or t sy st em gi ves ou t. Sh e

u p h ol d i n g th e star s w i th on e

con ti n u es t o ci r cl e t h e ear th f or

h an d an d m e w i th th e oth er .

f i ve m on t h s, u n t i l t h e sp ace sh i p bu r n s u p l i ke a m et eor an d h er I t?s M ay 1980 . M y f ath er i s d ead

sp i r i t i s set f r ee.

f or 11 y ear s. H e sen d s m e a y el l ow l ab I r escu e f r om th e str eets of I t?s Ju n e 1959. M y f ath er br i n gs

A m h er st, M assach u setts. Sh e i s

h om e a 70 p ou n d br i n d l ed boxer

m i n e to keep .

w i th f l op p y ear s. H e i s p ow er f u l an d p l ay f u l an d t oo str on g f or u s to w al k . W e d on ?t h ave h i m l on g

I t?s Au gu st 20 19. M y tw o bor d er

en ou gh t o m i ss h i m .

col l i es ar e h ow l i n g at th e w ax i n g cr escen t m oon . I l ook u p i n to th e f ad i n g bl ack bl an ket of d aw n , an d

I t?s Sep t em ber 1959. M y f ath er

see br i l l i an t Si r i u s, th e d og star . I

br i n gs h om e a m i xed m u tt w i th

catch a gl i m p se of m y f ath er ?s

l on g h ai r . M y m oth er

d oesn ?t

w i sh r i d i n g on h er back ju st as

w an t al l t h at h ai r i n t h e h ou se. N o

th e f i r st h u e of a d r ow sy r osy

m or e d ogs ar e br ou gh t h om e

su n r i se p ai n ts th e sk y.

th at y ear or an y ot h er y ear m y f ath er i s al i ve. 8


A r tw or k : Gabr i el M cL eod 9


T h e W ov en B al l er i n a L ogan Cox I w atch t h e bal l et f r om th e bal con y t h at t h ey ?ve cl osed of f becau se i t ?s u n saf e.

Som eti m es I w atch y ou tu r n p ages. You d on ?t n oti ce I ?m l ook i n g at y ou .

Fi f teen r ow s back an d n i n e seats f r om th e f ar r i gh t , y ou can v i ew th e d an cer s w i t h ou t seei n g th e cr ow d bel ow. T h ey m ove bef or e y ou i n th e d ar k . I f y ou w er e to si t h er e w i t h m e, w e w ou l d n ot be p ar ti ci p an t s or obser ver s, w e w ou l d be ou t l aw s.

I ?m a h y p ocr i te. I beg f or th e d ar k n ess an d th en com p l ai n I can ?t see. I br eak r u l es ju st to i sol ate m y sel f an d th en f eel l on ely.

You ar e n ot h er e, becau se I d i d n ot i n v i t e y ou . O t h er p eop l e d on ?t l i ke i t w h en y ou d r i n k f r om a f l ask an d u n bu tton th e top of y ou r col l ar ed sh i r t at th ese k i n d s of even t s. I si t h er e w i t h a n ot ebook an d I th i n k abou t y ou on Satu r d ay n i gh ts. You si t t h er e i n y ou r h ou se an d cr och et or r ead f r om p ap er book s l i ke i t ?s st i l l th e n i n eti es. W e ar e t h e on ly on es w h o sti l l p r ef er th e r egu l ar book s. I w r i te d ow n al l t h e w ay s I can th i n k of t o t el l y ou p r op er ly th at I l ove y ou m or e t h an I can bear . You d on ?t gi ve m e a si n gl e th ou gh t excep t f or w h en y ou r em em ber t h e i r r i t ati n g th i n gs abou t m e an d t h e st u p i d th i n gs I ?ve sai d . T h e sh or t est d an cer w i th th e r aven bl ack h ai r i s th e m ost sk i l l ed . H er bod y l i f t s str ai gh t u p as i f p u l l ed by st r i n g. H er toes an d f eet f or m st r ai gh t i r on beam s, y et t h ey d o n ot d estr oy th e ai r of d el i cat e sof tn ess th at su r r ou n d s h er p er f or m an ce.

I l ove w atch i n g y ou cr och et, bu t I d r eam of cu tti n g al l th e str i n gs th at y ou u se to h ol d y ou r sel f u p . I d on ?t w an t to see th e p er son y ou w an t m e to see. I w an t to see y ou f al l l i m p to th e f l oor an d tel l m e al l th e th i n gs th at y ou ti ed an d w ove aw ay. T h e bal l er i n a w i th th e r aven bl ack h ai r su d d en ly br eak s h er toe an d h i ts th e stage. I f eel ev i l f or w i sh i n g th e d an cer w as y ou . I w an t to be th e on e to p i ck y ou u p agai n . I w an t to be th e str i n gs th at r ai se y ou . You ar e n ot th e d an cer on th e stage, n ei t h er ar e y ou th e l on esom e m an i n th e bal con y d r i n k i n g f r om h i s f l ask an d br eak i n g th e r u l es. You ?r e th e gi r l i n y ou r h ou se n ot th i n k i n g abou t m e. N ot r ead i n g m y stor i es. N ot r ecei v i n g m y l etter s. N ot car i n g f or m e. I n h on esty, I d on ?t k n ow w h o y ou ar e. I am n ot a p ar ti ci p an t i n y ou r l i f e. I d on ?t k n ow w h o y ou r eal ly ar e, an d I ?m cer tai n y ou ?ll n ever sh ow m e. You ar e n ot th e v i l l ai n . H ow ever , i t si m p ly m u st be y ou r f au l t.

10


A r tw or k : L i l ac Ker en

11


V i scer al T i m e T r av el A l ex a Br ock am p H oggatt

W h en I sm el l ced ar I ?m i n th e l ot by th e f r eew ay, agai n Cl u bh ou ses f or sal e

I k n ow al l abou t v i scer al ti m e tr avel .

W h en I w al k by y ou r ol d h ou se, I see: Me M i d n i gh t T h e key u n d er th e r ock , an d I l et m y sel f i n si d e D ow n th e stai r s T h e m attr ess u n d er th e tr ee ? Ch r i st m as.

I see sw i n gs ? ?W e ar e r eal ly ju st an i m al s? D u st t o d u st And I Can ?t Sp eak T h e r est of th e n i gh t T h e basem en t of an i n v i n ci bl e su m m er .

T h e back seat of th at ol d car i n th e m or n i n g A n d w e can ?t go back Becau se th e cof f ee?s gon e d r y A n d an y w ay, I ?ve f l ood ed th e en gi n e.

12


I t ast e ci tr i c aci d ? v i tam i n C I f eel t h e w or l d bl u r At t h e p ar k by th e gu l ch Becau se w e?r e sp i n n i n g Ru n n i n g th r ou gh th e sp r i n k l er s, d r op l ets sp ar k l i n g of f f l u or escen t l i gh t s i n t h e n i gh t .

I sai d I w ou l d m eet y ou h er e Ten y ear s too l ate Gh ost s, n ow, u n d er th ese f l u or escen t l i gh ts Som et i m es I f eel l i ke I ?m sti l l sp i n n i n g. I can see u s at th e ed ge of th e gu l ch Br an ch es r each i n g to p u l l u s i n I t h ap p en s over an d over agai n I d on ?t th i n k i t ever en d ed A n d i sn ?t i t ju st th e p r etti est th i n g, al l th e sh ar p ed ges of t h i s n i gh t ?

A r tw or k : Ci r o D i Fl or e 13


Pr o f u m o d i D o n n a D av íd L av i e M y m ot h er t h e m ezu zah w as str ai gh t f or w ar d ly obser v an t, d ad th e key p ad l ock w as th e l ogi cal m y sti c. A t y ke, I m ost w an ted to be a bagel h ol e. T h ey n am ed m e Ri n g, bu t I began t o cal l m y sel f Ri n go to seem l ess son i c, m or e v i su al . I w as p r ou d of bei n g op ti cal , al l el ectr on i c ey e, an d m or e th an an y th i n g I w an t ed t o d i sap p ear , to d i sassoci at e m y sel f f r om my d oor bel l sh el l , t o ex i st i n ten sely, sol ely th r ou gh t h e seen . O u r f am i ly gu ar d ed a v ast f l at i n an an ti qu e of an ap ar tm en t bu i l d i n g. T h e d oor f r am e w as a th r ee- m et er - t al l I t al i an ate af f ai r . T h e back w ar d l ook , th ey say, tr an sf or m s i t s object, bu t I on ly ever saw t h ose bef or e th e d oor ; w h o k n ow s w h o th ey w er e bey on d t h at sw ep t - back tr aver ti n e p or tal . At th e t h r esh ol d i s w h er e th e ch ar acter s of t h e ap ar tm en t's i n n er l i f e w ou l d ap p ear . M ost d ay s i t w as a m an w i th th e m i en of a n i gh t f l oor w ash er at th e T hird Rei ch M i n i str y of Pr op agan d a, w h o t u r n ed ou t to be an op er a si n ger . T h an k f u l ly, h i s f eatu r es w er e u su al ly i n d i sti n ct. H i s sp eak i n g voi ce, too, w as n o f ête ch am p êt r e, bu t h e w ou l d h u m an d r e- h u m sn i p p ets of ar i as w h i l e w ai t i n g f or t h e d oor to be op en ed , an d so I t ook h i m to be a M ozar t m an ? al i ve to th e i m p er f ect i on s of t h i s w or l d an d abl e to see ar t in th em . A r r i v i n g alw ay s i n th e l ate even i n g, alw ay s t w o h ou r s af ter h i m , w as an am p l e br u n ette, h i s

i n am or ata. Vei l ed , sh aw l ed , d r ow n i n g n ow i n jasm i n e n ow l i l ac n ow r ose, sh e w as m y i n tr od u cti on to ar om ati c tr aged y. By bagel h ol e, by th e w ay, I m ean th at w h i ch ex i sts en ti r ely th r ou gh con tex t. To an ey e a h ol e i s em p ty, to a n ose i t i s th e essen ti al w i th ou t th e actu al ? th e ver y bagel w i th ou t th e m er e bagel . A h ol ogr am . I u n d er stood th i s m or e an d m or e each ti m e I saw h er ? y ou can f ool an ey e, bu t n ot th e n ose. T h e ey e sees an d tr i es to r em em ber ; th e n ose sm el l s an d y ou 'r e i n th e stew, boi l i n g. T h r ou gh m oth er 's k n ow l ed ge I took in th e h ead - sp i n n i n g ar om a of i n cen se sm oke sw i r l i n g th r ou gh th e Fi r st Tem p l e, en vel op i n g th e p i l gr i m s? p r ay er s, tak i n g u p th ei r tear s. I w ou l d th i n k of h er , th en on ly of h er , an d f i n al ly I asked m y sel f W h at i f , th r ou gh th at u n br oken con n ecti on , al l th ose gen er ati on s, I cou l d becom e a k i n d of ar om ascop e? T h at even i n g th e l over of op er a sh ow ed u p w i th a f ace so sw ol l en by tear s I cou l d m ake ou t th e m or p h ed sh ap e even th r ou gh th e vei l . Ran sack i n g h er p u r se, f r an ti c, sh e p r essed som eth i n g by acci d en t an d a m an ?s voi ce, a voi ce m ai l , p r on ou n ced bu si n essl i ke: ?I ?ll n eed to k n ow abou t y ou r bl ood ? y ou r en er gy ; an d th en abou t y ou r br ow ? y ou r ou tl ook on l i f e. I ?ll n eed to u n d er stan d y ou r voi ce, i ts sou n d . You r ey es, th e w ay y ou m ove, an d h ow y ou sm el l w i th ou t p er f u m e w i l l tel l m e al l th e r est.?

14


I sh ou l d h ave k n ow n . H er r M ei st er si n ger w as a p er f ect W agn er i an ? p ed estal i zi n g an i d eal an d f or ci n g th e w or l d to con f or m . L at er I w ou l d ask m y sel f W as i t th e n on - m en ti on of h er exqu i si te ar om a by th e n i gh t f l oor w ash er ? W as i t h i s f or get t i n g t o r evel i n i t? T h e st i l t ed d ecl ar ati on of f eel i n g i n th e sh ap e of a r ecor d i n g, an d n ot even a su n g on e? T h e br ai n r egi st er s a sm el l f aster th an a p an g, bu t i n th i s i n stan ce p ai n h ad r ed ol en ce beat. I t seem ed a t h i n g d on e u tter ly i n t h e m om en t. Sh e tor e of f th e vei l , st ep p ed back , an d l ean ed h er f ace i n t o m i n e? an d on ly m i n e, as t h e ap ar tm en t w as em p t y. ?I w an t y ou to k n ow, B r u n o, t h at t od ay I am n ot w ear i n g p er f u m e. I w an t y ou to see? ? Sh e w as t h e m ost beau ti f u l w om an I h ad seen or w i l l ever see. H er p u p i l s d i l ated , sh e asked h u sk i ly ?I s som eon e

th er e? I s an y on e w atch i n g m e?!? A l l I cou l d d o w as star e. Sh e l ooked l ost i n th e f ace. A f ew secon d s p assed . T r em bl i n g, sh e u n w ou n d h er sh aw l an d p u l l ed at th e top of th e op er a gow n . ?H er e, B r u n o. L ook at th i s! Take a good l ook !? ? I f el t l i ke I h ad f l oated aw ay on th e gl ow of a th ou san d su n sets. T h e ar om a em an ati n g f r om h er ch est w as, I w ou l d l ear n , p u r e p er f u m e of h y aci n th ? m ad e of th e th r ee p r i m ar y scen ts an d en ti r ely i r r esi sti bl e. Sh e r aved on , th e p oor th i n g, keen i n g; h er voi ce r i si n g, th i n n i n g. W h o k n ow s w h at sh e saw i n h i m . I l ost th e sou n d an d , soon af ter , th e i m age, f or good . W h en th e p ow er r etu r n ed , h ou r s or d ay s l ater , al l I cou l d take i n w as th e tr ace, al l th e m or e bl i n d i n g f or bei n g so d el i cat e n ow, of h er scen t.

A r tw or k : Beck y Si sco 15


LULL M att Jasp er A son u n w i n d s f u r n ace- ch eeked ? f i st s r u bbi n g sl eep i n to ey es am i d st w ai l i n g agai n st th e w ai l i n g agai n st t h e w ai l i n g w el l s th at f i l l l i ke an u p t u r n ed u m br el l a, a th r oat op en ed w i d er th an i ts voi ce can sp i l l . L i t t l e m i r r or w e p ou r ou r selves i n to? em p t i ed sh oe f ast asl eep cr y i n g l aces. You r cl ot h es ar e str ew n w h er e y ou t u m bl ed ou t of th em to n est i n si sten t t h at t h e f l oor by th e r ad i ator w as t h e on ly p l ace y ou cou l d be. I m u st l i f t y ou to th e d ar ker r oom ? set y ou d ow n as gen tly as I u sed to set h al f - w al n u t sh el l s i n to a sl ow str eam . T h ey w ou l d becom e boats i f I w as as car ef u l as I am n ow to l et y ou sl eep ? y ou r voy age as w i n d i n g an d u n cer tai n as an y sh el l th at cou l d bob al on g or r u n agr ou n d on a bed . A l m ost cap si zed by f ever ?s tw i tch or t h e w aken i n g of p u cker ed l i p s n u r si n g on som e h u ge i n v i si bl e br east? I bequ eat h y ou m y aw e f or p oten ti al p ow er ly i n g d or m an t. W h et h er l an d sl i d e, ey e of stor m , t i n y vol can o or tecton i c p l ate? f r om t h e t ea of r ecover y I r ai se m y cu p to y ou qu i te sh aken . 16


A r tw or k : M ar k Ri ch ar d s 17


A r tw or k : Ser ge L ecom te

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A u gu r i es Jack son Sm i th i n sk y t h e sad an d p al e bl u e of an ol d l ad y ?s ey es, a f l ock of f at p i geon s, f ly cou n t er cl ock w i se i n th e L ake M i ch i gan br eeze, th en l an d m om en tar i ly on th e d ead - v i n e- cover ed h al f - m oon tr el l i s sh ad i n g 4 bl ack p ar k ben ch es. th ey t ake of f agai n , f ly i n g i n th e op p osi te d i r ecti on , ap p ear i n g n o l ess r esolved . *** p eck i n g at br ead cr u m bs, an ol d l ad y h as scatter ed ar ou n d th e bi g gr een tr ash bi n ou t si d e th e en tr an ce to th e boar d ed - u p p ar k , a bl ack sp eck l ed Eu r op ean st ar l i n g ey es m e cau ti ou sly. *** l ay i n g br oken on gr ey con cr ete, a sp eck l ed bl u e r obi n ?s egg i s bei n g d evou r ed by an ar m y of h u n gr y bl ack an ts. i ts y ol k i s th e d eep - sati sf y i n g gol d en col or of sp oi l ed m u star d . *** a seagu l l ?s gr ey cr y ech oes of f th e r ed br i ck h i gh r i se sou th of l an e beach , as i t l an d s ou t si d e th e sy n agogu e to th e n or th an d p eck s at n oth i n g, m y st er i ou sly. cr y i n g a l i ttl e, ei th er th e seagu l l i s l on ely or I am . *** I n ever see h aw k s or bu zzar d s i n th e ci ty. bu t m y p oetr y p r of essor i n ter r u p t ed h i m sel f on ce, i n th e m i d d l e of a l ectu r e, to say th at h e h ad ju st seen a h er on f ly p ast th e 4th stor y w i n d ow of th e D ePau l A r t?s an d L et t er ?s H al l , w h er e h e w as teach i n g an d I w as l ear n i n g. I on ly ju st cau gh t a gl i m p se as i t d i sap p ear ed beh i n d a r ed br i ck bu i l d i n g. i t w as su n set an d I w asn ?t com p l et ely su r e th at Pr of essor A r en d t d i d n ?t h ave a tear i n h i s ey e. on ce, n ot l on g af ter m y tr an sp l an t, I w as w al k i n g m y d og on a m i sty gr ey m or n i n g w h en I saw a sn ow - w h i te h er on stan d i n g p er f ectly sti l l i n th e sh al l ow s of a stor m d r ai n r eten ti on p on d . i t su d d en ly str u ck at a l ar ge gr ey - gr een t oad , cau gh t i t, an d f l ew of f . *** I d on ?t k n ow w h at an y of th i s i s su p p osed to m ean .

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L im bo Van essa W atter s O u r p l acem en t m ay f eel of f , bobbi n g l i ke a f i sh er m an ?s bu oy, br oken f r om i ts st r i n g. W i l d an i m al s m ove i n to th e ci t y, r et u r n i n g th e con cr ete back i n to ju n gl e. B l u e sk i es, on ce agai n , cr ow n I n d i a. Bu t w e gai n cl ar i ty at t oo h i gh a p r i ce. ?I t i s so su r r eal ,? w e say, as w e com p ar e th ese d ay s t o t h e m el ti n g cl ock s of D al í, over a h i d d en n etw or k , on a d ev i ce t h at ser ves as ou r l ast l i n e. O n e i n v i si bi l i t y agai n st an oth er . M ol ecu l ar ti tan s i n an u p r oar , as w e of f l esh , bl ood , an d bon e bi d e ou r t i m e i n a w ai ti n g r oom .

A r tw or k : O w en Br ow n 20


T h e L ad y b u g A n n a M u n r oe A l ad y bu g, i n h er sh i n y r ou n d sh el l , l an d s on m y k n u ck l e as I t ake a br eak f r om th e gar d en i n g. Sh e ex p l or es th e n ew ter r ai n , cr aw l s u p w ar d s an d r ests on m y p oi n t er f i n ger , p r obi n g th e f l esh . Sh e st ep s over th e f i n e br ow n h ai r s t h at gr ow th er e, th e sam e t h i ck n ess as h er d el i cate, w an d er i n g l egs. I si t back on m y cr ossed an k l es an d sti f l e a si gh as I br i n g m y h an d cl oser to m y f ace, f or f ear of bl ow i n g h er aw ay. Sh e i s sp ot l ess, l i gh t l i ke an u n r i p e st r aw ber r y, th e ed ges of h er w i n gs so p al e th ey ?r e n ear ly y el l ow. Sh e stay s sti l l n ow ; I w on d er i f sh e?s ti r ed . A s I w atch h er , h er an ten n ae occasi on al ly p ok i n g ar ou n d i n cu r i osi ty, I t ake a m om en t to obser ve th e r est of m y h an d as i f th r ou gh a cl ose- u p cam er a l en s, th e br i gh t gr een of t h e w eed s, gr ass, an d sh r u bber y I ?ve been w or k i n g on f ad i n g i n t o a bl u r i n th e back gr ou n d . ?W h at ar e y ou d oi n g?? H i s h eav y voi ce r egi st er s d i stan tly i n m y ear s, h i s f eet cr u n ch i n g over th e w i n t er - r av aged ear th of ou r f r on t y ar d , m ak i n g th ei r w ay t ow ar d s m e i n br u squ e, u n su btl e st ep s. I d on ?t r esp on d u n ti l m y h u sban d i s r i gh t n ex t to m e. H e sm el l s of cool ed sw eat.

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?L ook ,? I say, l i f ti n g m y h an d u p w ar d s on ly sl i gh tly so h e can see, bu t n ot so m u ch as to star tl e h er , sen d h er f ly i n g of f . ?A f r i en d .? ?Pu t h er back on th e p l an t,? h e say s, ?Sh e?ll d o m or e good th er e.? ?I d i d n ?t take h er f r om th e p l an t,? I an sw er , m y voi ce sm al l , ?Sh e f ou n d m e.? *** T h e secon d egg I cr ack d oesn ?t col l i d e w i th th e r i m of th e bow l th e w ay i t sh ou l d . Sti ck y y oke p ou r s over th e ed ge of i t on to th e su r f ace of th e cou n ter ; th e eggsh el l ? r ath er th an br eak i n g n eatly i n tw o? caves i n w ar d s i n p i eces. I sw ear u n d er m y br eath , l ook i n g at th e m ess of ti n y br ow n sh ap es sw i m m i n g th e th i ck y el l ow su bstan ce. I d eci d e to scr ap th e p r oject. ?W h at h ap p en ed to y ou r d i n n er ?? H e ask s as I w an d er i n to th e l i v i n g r oom , i n qu i r i n g abou t th e qu i ch e I ?d d eci d ed to m ake, h al f - am u sed . ?I ch an ged m y m i n d ,? I r esp on d , cr ou ch i n g d ow n i n f r on t of th e w i n e r ack to sel ect a bottl e.


?O f cou r se, y ou d i d ,? h e say s. Teasi n g, I t h i n k . I ch oose to i gn or e h i m as I r et r i eve a gl ass an d p ou r t h e w i n e al l th e w ay to th e top .

By th e en d of th e f i r st d ay, w e?d f i l l ed h er r oom w i th col or f u l sh ap es, eager to f i n i sh assem bl i n g th em th e n ex t d ay, to cr eate som eth i n g beau ti f u l .

***

***

I n th e at t i c, I si t w i th m y l egs tu cked ben eat h m e, qu i ck ly l osi n g f eel i n g i n my f eet, d r i n k i n g i n l on g si p s. M y h ead i s al r ead y sw i m m i n g. I ?ve f ou n d a stack of ch i l d r en ?s book s, al l by th e sam e au t h or , an d am r ead i n g th em al ou d .

Ey es cl osed , I l i sten to th e h u m of th e d i al ton e f r om ou r l an d l i n e w h i l e I h ol d th e p h on e i n th e cr ook of m y n eck an d p eel an or an ge.

A sp ot of d eep r ed bl oom s on th e p age bef or e m e, w h er e l ay er ed sh ad es of gr een f or m th e p atter n of a l eaf cover ed i n ti n y, i l l u str at ed ap h i d s. I n th e w h i te sp ace, w h er e t h e w or d s ar e, th e w i n e st ai n n ow si t s, m ar r i n g on e of h er f avor i t e book s, r i gh t n ex t to th e w or d s ?good m or n i n g.? W h en sh e w as i n f i r st gr ad e, sh e w as assi gn ed a p r oject on th e au th or . W e sat f or h ou r s goi n g th r ou gh his book s, u si n g con str u ct i on p ap er to r ecr eate h er f avor i t e ch ar acter s f r om th em ? a cat er p i l l ar , br ow n bear , sp i d er , w h al e, p ol ar bear , an d th e l ad y bu g. I r em em ber th e sm el l of th e gl u e, d i zzy i n g, an d th e p ap er , com f or t i n g, an d th e sm el l of h er , cl ean an d p ow d er y sof t. I th i n k of t h e t i n y p ap er cu t sh e?d gotten on t h e t i p of h er f i n ger , th at I ?d k i ssed an d w r ap p ed i n a N i ckel od eon B an d - A i d .

?H on ey, u se y ou r cel l p h on e l i ke ever y on e el se,? m y h u sban d say s as h e p asses m e, w an d er i n g i n to th e k i tch en . H i s f i n ger s br u sh m y sh ou l d er bl ad e as h e w al k s by. I ?m sen t to voi cem ai l as I ex p ected . I t ?s a Satu r d ay, an d m y son i s i n col l ege. H e h as better th i n gs to d o. I p u t th e p h on e d ow n an d p op a sl i ce of th e f r u i t i n to my m ou th , an u n sati sf actor y even i n g sn ack , p ai r ed h or r i bly w i th th e w i n e I ?ve d r u n k . M y son h ad been on ly tw o w h en sh e w as i n f i r st gr ad e, w as si tti n g com p l acen tly i n h i s p l ay p en w h i l e sh e an d I cu t an d gl u ed th e con str u cti on p ap er . At on e p oi n t, sh e?d gotten u p an d w an d er ed over to r ead h i m a p age f r om th e book an d h e?d star ed u p at h er , h i s ey es w i d e w i th joy.

22


H e?d st ar t ed to cr y on th e af ter n oon t h e p h on e r an g an d I d i d n ?t an sw er , f ocu sed i n stead on tr y i n g t o cu t a f ew m or e p i eces of con st r u ct i on p ap er sh ap es bef or e I h ad t o p i ck h er u p f r om sch ool . O n ly on ce t h e cr y i n g tu r n ed sh r i l l d i d I bot h er t o get u p . ?T u r n on t h e n ew s,? m y h u sban d sai d , f r an t i c, ?i t ?s h er sch ool .? I w asn ?t br eath i n g, w asn ?t r esp on d i n g, st i l l cl u tch i n g a br i gh t r ed w i n g as h e w en t on ? th e m an w as st i l l i n si d e t h e sch ool , i t w as an act i ve scen e, t h at?s w h y w e h ad n ?t h ear d an y t h i n g y et. L at er , w h en i t w as al l over , I l i t a m at ch , d i sp osi n g of al l of th e w or k w e?d d on e, w at ch i n g th em sh r i vel i n t h e f l am es? t h e cater p i l l ar , th e

br ow n bear , th e sp i d er , th e p ol ar bear , an d th e l ad y bu g. *** I n th e p al e d aw n of th e n ex t m or n i n g, I w ake u p an d can n ot get back to sl eep . I d eci d e to m ake som e cof f ee an d a f ew eggs, cr ack i n g th em cl ean ly th i s ti m e. I take m y br eak f ast ou t to th e p or ch . T h er e?s a ch i l l i n th e ai r , i t?s a cr i sp an d gl i tter i n g sp r i n g m or n i n g, p r om i si n g to be a su n n y d ay. A good d ay f or gar d en i n g. I eat, si p m y cof f ee, h ear h er voi ce as sh e r ead s? th e book op en ed on th e f i r st l i n e of ?good m or n i n g!? W h en I ?m d on e, I ?m sti l l an d qu i et, th i n k i n g of m y l ad y bu g.

A r tw or k : Su r en N er si sy an 23


A r tw or k : Br u ce M agn otti

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T h e H al l o f En d l ess M i r r o r s Ch l oe L ee I n t h e h al l of en d l ess m i r r or s I see an an gel w al k al on e A n d t h ou gh h er m ou th cu r ves l i ke sh e?s sm i l i n g H er f r agi l e w i n gs ar e ch ai n ed by ston es I n t h e h al l of en d l ess m i r r or s I s a ch i l d n o on e h as k n ow n H er p or cel ai n f i n ger s h ol d a d i ar y A m an ?s f or gotten th at h e ow n s I n t h e h al l of en d l ess m i r r or s Rat t l e t h e skel eton s w i th ou t bon es T h ei r h ol l ow sockets gr ay an d op en W h er e ey es on ce l i ved so l on g ago I n t h e h al l of en d l ess m i r r or s Rem ai n s a h au n ted br oken th r on e A qu een ?s gol d en sh or t l i ved p ow er Sh e d i d n ?t r eal i ze w as on l oan I n t h e h al l of en d l ess m i r r or s L u r k al l t h e selves y ou ?ve tr i ed to h i d e Car ef u l n ow, d on ?t l et th em tou ch y ou O r y ou m i gh t joi n th em al l i n si d e

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K i n g o f W an d s J.T . W h i teh ead 1. O n e si ster i s a sp y i n th e h ou se of h ate. O n e si ster i s a th i ef of h er M oth er ?s tr u st. O n e si ster i s an oth er & an oth er & so. & so on & so on I m u st.

Pr obl em s & ch al l en ges, th ese th i n gs ar e gr eat. I d o n ot m ean th ey over w h el m , l i ke som eth i n g h eav y. L i ke d ebt.

I m ean th ey ar e w on d er f u l th i n gs.

K i t t en s f or bi r th d ay s on m y w i f e?s n oti on . A cl ass w ar r i or i n a th i r d - w or l d n ati on . A gal l on of m i l k on th e w ay h om e. M y p r e- occu p ati on . M y occu p ati on . A n I n d i an tak i n g sal t at th e si d e of th e O cean . Sl eep to a som n am bu l i st. W ar to a p aci f i st. A d r u n k Sage em br aci n g h i s r ef l ecti on . M y beer s ton i gh t. M y w or d s ton i gh t. M y p oetr y at i ts best.

2. M y l i f e bear s i n ter est.

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A r tw or k : N i jol e Rasm u ssen

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D i d y ou th i n k th at th e tr ee i n l osi n g i ts l eaves To th e D al i l a w i n d s of au tu m n , H as al so l ost i ts str en gth ? D o y ou bel i eve th at f or ty y ear s O f stan d i n g agai n st th e gal e H as l essen ed i ts r esolve? I s th e sp r i n g bear l ess f i er ce For i ts si l en t w i n ter r esp i te? I n th e n i gh ts of th e l on g k n i ves, A n d th e d ay s of w olves, W h er e th e sh ad ow s cal l f or l i on s, T h er e i s n o p l ace f or l am bs.

A r tw or k : Em i ly K n ow l es

28


T o t em W i l l i am Gr een e I t ?s a t i n y l i t t l e h ol e

see. N ot good f or th e f ar m or th e

t h at al m ost f i l l s i tsel f i n

f am i ly, th e n an n y s or th e k i d s.

w h en a y ou n g goat

N o, y ou d on ?t d i g a h ol e

i s sh ot i n t h e h ead

an d bu r y th em . You

W i sd om say s i t i s f or th ei r

p r acti ce y ou r f i el d d r essi n g

ow n good , t h ese h ol ed

ch op s an d f r eeze th e m eat

bi l ly s. T h ey go al l aggr essi ve,

f or a stew or som eth i n g good .

M eat f or t h e h ol e i n y ou r f ace

Goats?p u p i l s ar e n ot r ou n d h ol es

an d t h e h ol e i n y ou r stom ach

l i ke ou r s. L i ke d r ai n s. I m p act

t h en t h e h ol e i n th e toi l et or

cr ater s. L i ke w h er e th e sl u g w en t

a h ol e d u g ou t i n th e w ood s.

th r ou gh . T h ey ar e th ese sor t of r ectan gu l ar sl ots. Fl at bl ack . I n v i ti n g. T h e sh ap e of ou r op en gr aves.

A r tw or k : Bar bar a T l u sh 29


Su n B ear Cel este Pep i ton e- N ah as I n Bor n eo w h er e t h e h ar d w ood s ar e sti l l cu t f or l u m ber th ey d r i ve p i ck u p s on th e back r oad s, sw eep w i th a sp otl i gh t an d d azzl e t h e an i m al l on g en ou gh to bl ast i t th r ou gh w i th sou n d I w an ted t o see y ou Su n Bear . I n th e d eep est f or est bl ock , 30 ,0 0 0 acr es of sp ace, an d even th en , y ou h u r tl ed f u r th er i n . Som et i m es t h e m ot h er i s sh ot, an d th e cu b becom es a p et. T h at's h ow t h ey f ou n d y ou , i n th e ch i ar oscu r o, m oth er l ess, a ch ai n ar ou n d y ou r n eck . L i gh t d azzl es. D i d I al r ead y say ? L i gh t d azzl es. A l l f i n e sen ten ces h ave been sp oken . I 'm ti r ed of m y ow n d r eam s, w h i ch i n volve sk i p p i n g ston es, or stay i n g u p al l n i gh t w at ch i n g y ou sk i p ston es, th en l ook i n g f or th e m etap h or th at's d r i ven m e t o t h e ou tsk i r ts, r u m bl i n g l ow u p on som e r oad . I 've been asked t o si t on m y k n ees an d l i f t u p a cor n er ... an d I 've ear n ed m y keep . Pr osti tu ti on i s f i n e bu t i t d oesn 't am ou n t to an y th i n g. T h er e's attr i ti on ? an d th en th er e's gr eed . I 'm af r ai d of f or getti n g th e tam bou r d eer , t h e cl ou d ed l eop ar d , th e ci vet cat. A subadult pauses from its digging efforts at the base of a jungle tree. I ts eyes are marbles within marbles, nails all done up, dark and fancy, bark like pencil shavings all across the black buzzed head. I 'm on m y h an d s sw i p i n g aw ay th e l eech es. A y ou n g bear l ead s m e f u r t h er d ow n th e tr ai l . W h o ar e y ou ? scar ce an d obl i v i ou s? A d i f f i cu l t st u d y at d u sk , I f ol l ow y ou r m eth od i cal ex p ed i ti on f or sn ai l s, t er m i t es, eggs, an d h el p y ou f l i p th at r otten l og. A captive will become totally engrossed in a honey jar. Fondness for sweet liquid is what prompted the name: "honey jar." I w an t t o st u m bl e r i ch an d qu i ck . I f u n gai n ly w h i l e w al k i n g, bl am e m y en er get i c sk i m m i n g, si ck l e- sh ap ed cl aw s, or th at bou n d ar y betw een y ou an d m e. I 'm "ex tr em ely p l ay f u l an d ap p eal i n g, n ot too l ar ge. I sl eep on a p l at f or m bed ." I stay u p al l n i gh t eati n g th e h ear t of cocon u t, su ck i n g t h e t r eet op bu d . I h ear d y ou 've been tr avel i n g i n a p ai r . Can I ask? w h i ch on e of u s i s l east af f ected ? I h u m th e sam e tu n e i n m y ol d , l oose sk i n ; You tu r n ar ou n d , h u n gr y, an d r each f or w h atever f r u i t i s l ef t. 30


A r tw or k : A l l i son Paol i

31


T h ey l i n e h er r o u t e Gi l l i e Robi c l ean i n g agai n st sh op w i n d ow s sm ok i n g i n p or ch es an d d oor w ay s f l i p p i n g coi n s an d f ol l ow i n g h er p assage w i th car toon ey es f r ee- f al l i n g i n to step besi d e h er gi ggl i n g ban al i n v i tati on s i n t o h er r i gh t ear l ef t sh ou l d er st om ach t i gh t an d ch u r n i n g sh e cl i ck- cl i ck s h i gh - step p i n g l ow accel er ati on k n ow i n g h ast e w i l l goad th e h u n ter s d ow n t h e on e- tr ack r oad w h er e t h ey com e togeth er t o t r i p h er i n to r ou gh gr ass ol d beer can s bottl es l acy r ags br oken sh oes r u n n i n g as f ast as bl ood

32


A r tw or k : K r i sten San ch ez 33


Pal l i at i v e L i sa A l l etson Cl osi n g t h e cu r tai n ar ou n d m y si ster ?s bed i n a w ar d som ew h er e n or th of Exeter I f al l back i n ti m e to a h ai l stor m i n A f r i ca. A baby d ove betw een th e bon y r oots of ou r bl u e gu m tr ee. M y si st er p r essed h er ear to th e ch i ck 's ch est? h er l on g h ai r h i d i n g th em l i ke a w i l l ow. Get D ad and a shoebox. Cl osi n g t h e cu r tai n ar ou n d m y si ster ?s bed i n a w ar d som ew h er e n or th of Exeter I h ear m y m oth er sp eak of eu l ogi es. M y f at h er w on ?t r em em ber m y si st er ?s f i n al br eath or t h e p r ay er h e sai d bu t h e w i l l r em em ber t h e br oken bi r d i n an A f r i can h ai l stor m an d w h y m y si ster d eci d ed t o becom e a d octor th at d ay H e w i l l r em em ber k i l l i n g th e bi r d w i t h a p el l et gu n h ow t h e ot h er bi r d s f el l si l en t .

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A r tw or k : Ser ge L ecom te

35


O n W at ch i n g H er W al k Gr eg Sen d i w h o w al k s w i th a f l ow er i n h er f i n ger s, w h o tr aces on i ts stem a l ovel i n ess even a sch ool ch i l d t an t r u m i n g f or a sn ack to m u n ch

cou l d n ot f ai l to p au se i n w on d er at, i t al l a bew i t ch er y of col or , a gr een th i n g, a br ow n , h er n ai l s a m i d n i gh tam on g- bi r ch es of em oti on , l ove,

an d t h e an i m al of h er am bl i n g, a cat i n Au gu st , sh ed d i n g i n h er p ath each ad jecti ve t h at w ou l d d ef r au d th e good sh e bear s f r om p l ace to p l ace, f r om h om e to th e tr ove

of scan t y w or d s an d th i n gs y ou h ave as f eebl e r ecom p en se? th i s n ou n , th i s car w h er e w e m i gh t k i ss, th i s h op ed f or n u m ber of t i m es t on i gh t, th ese n i n e br u sh i n gs

of m y bear d agai n st h er back

A r tw or k : Fabi o Sassi 36


37


Gr o u n d i n g Sam ar a L an d au W e ar e bu i l d i n g m y m om a gar d en i n t h e back y ar d of th e h ou se th at i s m u ch t oo bi g f or u s f i ve. I t i s h ol d i n g gh osts of h u r t, scar ed ch i l d r en . "I ch ver steh e n i ch t" Gr an d m ot h er say s i n r esp on se to th e t h e t each er s w h o ask h er say "h ou se," bu t h er l i p s h ad n ot y et er ased th e eech, verr of t h e Ger m an th at i s r ooted i n h er bl ood . T h i s h ou se i s n ot ou r m oth er l an d . T h ese w or d s ar e n ot ou r m ot h er t on gu e M y sm al l f ootp r i n ts d i ssolve i n th e m u d . W e p l an t squ ash n ex t to on e an oth er , t h r ee of u s i n a n eat r ow. I t m akes m e w on d er i f th i s i s w h at p l an t s w ou l d cal l a si bl i n g: sm al l con n ector s, ti ed togeth er w i t h w at er an d d i r t an d v i br ati on . l i ke t h e w or d s "bu t" "an d " "so" "f or ." "aber " "u n d " "d am i t" "zu m " 38


I f w e p l an t th em cl ose to each oth er , m ay be w e'l l f i n d som eth i n g: A sen ten ce, a f am i ly tr ee. M y m oth er sow s w i th u s. Er asi n g or sear ch i n g, I 'm n ot su r e. I d i g.

A r tw or k : Bel i n d a Su br am an 39


40

an d i t m u st h ave alw ay s f el t t h i s w ay. op en w ou n d s t ow er i n g u p on each oth er , a t on gu e of n eed l es l i ck i n g at t h e gash es. w e m atch ed ach e w i t h d r agon - br eath ed l au gh t er , w et ey es an d gol d en teeth t h e h y m n of th e p ou r i n g y ol k of ad ol escen ce. th i s i s w h er e w e l ear n ed of ten d er n ess: sh ov i n g f i n ger s d eep i n to p each es an d l etti n g m oon l i gh t h ave i ts w ay w i t h i t, d eer - ey ed u n d er i ts sh i m m er , ju t ti n g ci gar et tes betw een gap p ed t eet h u n ti l th e ai r sti f l ed i t s f l am e / th er e: i d on ?t k n ow h ow t o m ove on . i sti l l cr y w h en i th i n k of sk i n n ed k n ees ou tsi d e th e ch u r ch h ou se an d gr asp at t h e u m bi l i cal cor d of n ostal gi a w i th oi l ed h an d s. w e l ear n ed i t good : scr ap e / p eel . i ed d y ch i l d h ood l i ke th e bi tter m ou th of an ex- boy f r i en d , tr y i n g to r ev i ve t h at f eel i n g of th e h u es of sp r i n g bl ossom i n g f r om u n d er n eath w ar m sk i n . i l ose m y sel f w h en i th i n k of cosm os- p ai n ted or gan s, tr y to sw al l ow th e ear th w h ol e? i t s bi t ter sw eet bu zz th r ou gh br oken gl ass. r em i n d m e of th ose w h i sp er s th at f l oated w i th th e w h i te h aze of d u st, agai n . t h e n i gh ts sp en t can op i ed by ci cad as, scr atch i n g at m osqu i to bi tes, th e scr ap e / p eel of i t al l , scr ap e an d p eel . th i n gs w i l l alw ay s be th i s w ay, i i m agi n e, l i ke p r ojecti n g r u bber ban d s acr oss th e em p ti n ess of th e r oom u n t i l w e m ake a h abi t of d oi n g i t u p on ou r selves. / i d on ?t k n ow h ow t o sh ed . i m ake r oom f or th e bl u en ess of th e w i n d to r esi d e i n m y bel ly an d can ?t l ay st i l l w h en th e h u sked p i t of m e d r ow n s i t sel f i n d ecay. i k n ow n oth i n g of i n f i n i t y. i k n ow n ot h i n g;

Sad e Col l i er

so n g o f ad o l escen ce an d t h e b r i gh t si d e o f t h i n gs


p eel . i

41

t h e ear t h w h ol e? at ed w i th th e w h i t e o bi t es, t h e scr ap e / p eel of bber ban d s

t

A r tw or k : Pau l a D eStef an i s


42

I m agi n i n g d ay l i gh t.

an d r ou n d . I n to a d ar k w h er e I am , I be. U n bot h er ed , u n seen . Ju st l i sten i n g. Pon d er i n g d aw n .

sou n d of ti m e. W aves u p on san d . M ed i t ati on u p on m i n d . Si l en ce an d sou n d . Ever m ov i n g r ou n d

I r an aw ay i n to th e n i gh t. Fl oati n g. D r i f ti n g. Fl eeti n g. D ow n a beach of bl ack . Aw ay w i th th e

f or w ar d I r u n . D ow n a beach th at l ead s m e back . To a f r am e I on ce l ef t beh i n d w i th m y n am e. A s

m y n am e as i t i s m er ely a r ef er en ce. I n th e d ar k I am n o on e an d y et I am on e. W i th th e w aves,

th at i s f or w ar d bou n d . Ever m ov i n g r ou n d an d r ou n d . A Su n h ol d s u s al l an d i s so f ar . Aw ay i s

A s tod ay n ever l asts an d t om or r ow n ever com es. A n d y et w e al l i m agi n e th e f u tu r e. T h at w or d

tom or r ow. T h ey ar e on e l oop ed t ogeth er i n an ever m ov i n g vessel th at i s too soon cal l ed th e p ast.

as i t set tl es i n t h e d aw n of d ay, u n k n ow i n g to al l t h at m ay. Tod ay i s en d l ess; bl en d i n g w i th

I i m agi n e d ay l i gh t . W h at i s i t to f eel t h e w ar m th of a Su n so cl ose an d so f ar . Aw ay i s m y f r am e,

N el l i e A l ex i s Ed w ar d s

d ay l i gh t


43


Go o d O l ' D ay s K i r an Kod i th al a T h ose w er e th e d ay s O f sh ak i n g h an d s A n d h u ggi n g str an ger s, D an ci n g f ear l essly i n t h e m osh p i ts L i v i n g on t h e ed ge an d cr ash i n g i n d or m s, Ch i l l i n g ou t i n th e caf és, an d com p l ai n i n g abou t i t al l , t h e h an d sh ake w as too w eak , sh e d i d n ot h u g m e ti gh t, t h e p i t n ot w el l l i t, t h e bed t oo sof t, an d t h e w ai t too l on g. I h an ker f or th ose h al cy on d ay s, w h er e I can , gr i p e an d l am en t, w i t h al l t h e f u r y, an d al l t h e p et t y p l easan tr i es, on ce m or e agai n . I y ear n f or th ose good ol ?d ay s w h er e I can t ake ever y br eath f or gr an t ed .

44


A r tw or k : Bon n i e M atth ew s Br ock

45


T h e Ri v er Tex t an d ar tw or k by W al ter W ei n sch en k Com e br ot h er , com e si ster , D ow n t o t h e r i ver ; T h r ou gh t h e r u sh es, W al k al on g t h e ban k s A n d br i n g t h e ot h er s: T h ose w h o can n ot see A n d t h ose w h o gasp f or br eath , T h ose w i t h h an d s th at tr em bl e, Cr u m bl e sk i n Vei n s t h at bl eed , W r i th i n g bon es, T h ose w h o ar e i n san e A n d al l w h ose sou l s ar e r av i sh ed ; Ton i gh t , I n th e d ep t h s of y ou r d y i n g. I w i l l m eet y ou t h er e.

W e w i l l w at ch t h e w ater , Ru sh i n g w h i t e, d r i ven by d esi r e, I n sear ch of a bl essed sea; H ol d m y h an d an d w al k w i th m e, A l i ve w i t h i n t h e cr i b O f n i gh t ?s cool ch am ber ; Stan d ben eat h t h e sp ectr al l i gh t A n d l i st en t o t h e an ci en t son g O f th e r ol l i n g m oon acr oss th e n i gh t.

46


47


Mirror, Mirror... A r tw or k : A l ex x M ay es

The following three works are the winners of our "Mirror, Mirror" 250-word creative writing challenge!

48


C o m p act Ger al d i n e Cl ar k son T h e m i r r or s of D evon ar e d ev i l i sh f l i p p i n g y ou stor m y - si d e u p , r en d er i n g y ou v am p , r am p i n g u p y ou r beau ty l evel s t i l l y ou bu r st, scor ch ed , ou t th e t op . M i d l an d s m i r r or s h ave a p ati n a, an easy - at- h om e cast w h i ch l asts an d ti n ts y ou r gl ass w i th r ose, k i n d l i n g k i n d n ess an d tr i ck i n g y ou t o d om esti c h u br i s. N or th er n m i r r or s h ou se f ey sh ad ow s, bou n ci n g f aces an d bod i es back at y ou , ti l l , l ef t to r i gh t, t h e m er cu r y cr i n ges w i th gh osts, an d y ou bl i ster .

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

49


A B r i ef H i st o r y M i gu el M ar ti n Per ez ?W h en h e p i er ced p r i sti n e Ay i ti san d w i th an ch or , Col u m bu s t h ou gh t i t an easy task to establ i sh r ap p or t w i th th e n ew - w or l d Taín os. H e w al ked to th em , sl ow ly, i n gar i sh r obe, st eel sw or d sh eath ed . N ot to be tr u sted , th ey u n ar m ed an d br ou gh t h i m to th ei r caci qu e. ?Bow i n g i n t h e p r esen ce of th e ch i ef , th e Sp an i ar d h ad n o l an gu age f or ad u l ati on ? bu t h e w as f l u en t i n w eal th an d p ossessi on . Gol d p en d an ts h u n g f r om th e n eck s of th e Taín o w om en , p ear l s f r om th ei r ear s. Col u m bu s of f er ed t h e caci qu e a tr ad e: ?All of your precious metals for vainilla y chocolate. T h e Taín os w er e n ot i n ter ested . ?All of your precious metals for semillas de naranja y granos de café. T h e Taín os w er e n ot i n ter ested . ?Col u m bu s p r om i sed m or e, w en t to h i s sh i p an d r et u r n ed w i t h i n tr i cate si lver esp ejos i n h an d . ?A l l of th ei r p r eci ou s m etal s f or ever y t h i n g of t h em selves, f or r ef l ecti on s cl ear er t h an t h e su r f ace of X ar agu a, f or l on g l ook s i n t o t h ei r ow n ear th en ey es, ar ch i p el agos of bi r t h m ar k s an d scar s. ?T h e Taín os accep t ed . A l l th ei r gol d , f or m i r r or s. ?Col u m bu s p r om i sed m or e, w en t to h i s sh i p an d r et u r n ed w i t h an ar m y, w aves of l an ces an d sw or d s, w i th sl au gh t er , w i t h f i r e an d p i l l agi n g, w i th ch ai n s, w i th abd u ct i on an d r ap e, w i th bl ood an d w i th bl ood .? 50


I cr i ed , really, M ami? ?A sí f u e,? m y m oth er sai d . T hat wasn?t in class, though. ?A sí f u e,? sai d m y gr an d m oth er , p eel i n g an or an ge on th e sof a, squ i n ti n g at th e n ew s.

A r tw or k : Gi or gi a Pavl i d ou 51


T h e C h ar i t y Sh o p Si obh an Tebbs T h e m i r r or sh ow s n i n e ston e of m eat an d bon e. L i m bs r i p e f or t h e r each i n g. Fabr i c saggi n g an d squ eezi n g. N o si n gl e si ze can cover th e i n cal cu l abl e ch aos of a bod y. A scr aw n y bel t , som e box y jean s, a sh i r t t h at p ack s m e ti gh t. H ai r n ot y et u n - k n otted f r om th e n i gh t. T h e m i r r or d oes n ot k n ow w h i ch si d es of m y gr i ef ar e al l ow ed . I t m er ely r ef l ect s m y sk i n : th i s sack f or m y su sp en d ed br east. Sh el f - sp ace f or scar s an d w r i n k l es. Sti l l , i n m e I am sof t. Peach y. I gi ve. You can bou n ce on m e. I sh ar e. I n th e u n p eop l ed p l ace I am p i n k , op en . Si l ken h op es egr ess f r om t h e f r i n ge of m y br eath . I am n ot f or ch ar i t y sh op m i r r or s or th e t h or n y ou t d oor s. Bu t u si n g, p er h ap s, th at ver y p r i ck i n g to p i er ce d eep er sti l l . W i p e m e a w i n d ow i n th e t r eacl e of h u m an n oi se an d I w i l l p ou r ou t m y gen tl est p ar ts. Yes, I st r u ggl e t o f eel m y ow n w ei gh t ? even on t h e h eav i est of d ay s.

52


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

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WRITERS Edward Littleton is from London, England. He works in retail, and enjoys spending time with his partner and family. He has been writing poetry since he was around fourteen years old. Dick Altman writes at 7,000 feet in Santa Fe, where reality and imagination often blur. His work appears here and abroad. He is a poetry winner of Santa Fe New Mexican’s annual literary competition. His first collection of poems, Voices in the Heart of Stones, is being considered for publication. Kate Fennimore is currently in the MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno pursuing her degree in poetry. She grew up in Oregon and often writes about that natural landscape. Ariana Marchigiano is a queer writer who has been using the internet as her diary since she was able to log on. Previously, her micro-poetry has been featured on Metatron Press, performed in rooms of friends and lovers, scribbled in birthday cards, and hidden. away in her Notes app. Sasha Torchinsky is a queer, non-binary, Jewish writer & artist. Their work has appeared in Filling Station, Storm Cellar, and is forthcoming in Contemporary Verse 2. They were long listed for the PRISM Magazine International Creative Non-Fiction Award. Tiffinie Alvarez is a recent college graduate and new English teacher. She writes in her limited free time and runs a small Etsy shop. She views personal writing as a creative outlet for her many, many emotions. windflower, her wife, border collie and mini aussie live on the Mendocino Coast in California. She cofounded the Feminist Arts Program at the University of Massachusetts Women’s Center where she published and edited Chomo Uri, a women’s multi-arts magazine and produced the first National Women’s Poetry Festival in 1976. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies. Logan Cox is a young writer currently living in the south of Spain. His work currently appears in the online journals Flash Fiction Magazine and Maudlin House. He can most often be found among his family, arguing the rules of in-home game show play. Alexa Brockamp Hoggatt is a writer from Tacoma, Washington who has been carrying notebooks up into trees to write since she could climb. She believes writing isn't about providing answers, but conveying what is between the world and her, and she aims to convey her own vast wonder at that. What she knows about writing is that it is best done in trees. Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, Davíd Lavie is a novelist, playwright, recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and participant in the Kenyon Review Fiction Workshop. Translations of poetry & prose, as well as essays, may be read at davidlavie.com. Matt Jasper has had poems in Grand Street, Fine Madness, Cafe Review, and other magazines. He has worked in institutions and group homes for thirty years and has many children. Jackson D Smith is a graduate of the Columbia College Chicago MFA Poetry program and lives in Chicago with his wonderfully supportive husband, Andrew, and their little rapscallion of a chihuahua, Alvie. He is a heart transplant recipient and a survivor of childhood trauma, both of which experiences have had a profound influence on his poetry and prose. He values kindness above all things. Vanessa Watters lives in the Northwest United States and is currently obtaining her MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Oregon University. She enjoys the outdoors, animals, and spending time with friends and family. Anna Munroe is a writer from New Jersey currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BA in English, creative writing, and women's studies from Providence College and worked for two years as an assistant editor in academic publishing. She is now an MFA candidate in fiction at The New School, where she writes about grief, mental illness, family, and relationships. Chloe Lee is a writer and actress from the Midwest. She loves to write fantasy and drama, and many of her pieces involve mythical and unusual elements. Her goal is to tell the stories of humans' journeys by shedding light on the darkness we often try to hide. J.T. Whitehead edited "So It Goes," the annual anthology of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, for five issues. He is also the author of "Table of the Elements," nominated for the National Book Award. Whitehead has had over 280 poems accepted for print by over 100 literary journals, in America and elsewhere. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his two sons, Daniel and Joseph. Francis Flavin draws upon his experience as an educator, hockey player, public interest lawyer and adventurer on four continents. His work has been published in Poetry Quarterly, Poets Choice, Inwood Indiana, Blueline, Pacific Review, Blue Collar Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Three Line Poetry, The Closed Eye Open and WestWard Quarterly. He has received recognition for humor and flash fiction in


the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, the social impact category of the Chicagoland Poetry Contest, the Partisan Press Working People’s Poetry Competition and the personal essay and rhymed poetry categories of the 2020 Writer’s Digest awards. William Greene just received his MFA from the College of Charleston. He holds a BFA in writing from the Pratt Institute and an MA in English from UC Davis. His poetry appears in Seneca Review and in the current edition of Plainsongs. Celeste Pepitone-Nahas is a musician and writer from Portland, Oregon. She teaches creative nonfiction at Washington University in St. Louis, and is writing a book about Prokofiev. You can find more of her writing and visual art at @readforfunmajor. Gillie Robic was born in India and lives in London. Her poems have appeared in the UK and the US. Her collections, Swimming Through Marble and Lightfalls, were published by Live Canon in 2016 and 2019. Lisa Alletson was born in South Africa and grew up in the UK and Canada, where she now lives. She weaves the geographic, cultural and historic features of these three lands through her narrative and imagist poetry. Her writing has been published in the Globe and Mail, Silver Birch Press, Osmosis Press, Bangalore Review, Beyond Words, Dreamers, Fevers of the Mind, Blank Spaces, and Dodging the Rain. Her poems have been featured by the League of Canadian Poets as Poem-of-the-Day. She writes daily on Twitter at @LotusTongue. Greg Sendi is a Chicago writer and former fiction editor at Chicago Review. In the past year, his poetry and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of literary magazines and online outlets, including Apricity, Black Coffee Review, The Briar Cliff Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Clarion, CONSEQUENCE, Flashes of Brilliance, The Masters Review, New American Legends, Plume, Pulp Literature, San Antonio Review, Sparks of Calliope, Sycamore Review and upstreet. Samara Landau is a senior at Skidmore College studying psychology and poetry. Her work is published in Cathexis Northwest Press and will be published in The Closed Eye Open. She is also a reader for the Beyond Words Magazine LGBTQ+ anthology and is creating a literary journal featuring college students. When she’s not writing, she’s watercoloring or rock climbing. She is now splitting her time between New Jersey and upstate New York. Sade Collier is a freshman studying Politics, Journalism, and Creative Writing at New York University. She has been published in the Huffington Post and is a staff writer for Affinity Magazine. Nellie Alexis Edwards is an emerging writer from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and is a graduate of Cape Breton University with a degree in English. She was previously published in the online journal, Café Dissensus as well as her translated works in the Slovenian based journal, Ludliteratura. Kiran Kodithala is an aspiring writer. Walter Weinschenk is an attorney, writer, musician and photographer. Until a few years ago, he wrote short stories exclusively but now divides his time equally between poetry and prose. Walter's writing has appeared in a number of literary publications including the Carolina Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Esthetic Apostle, The Gateway Review, Tempered Runes Press, Button Eye Review, an anthology entitled Falling Leaves published by Day Eight and forthcoming in The Courtship of Winds, Months to Years, Penumbra, Ponder Review, The Raw Art Review, The Dillydoun Review Daily, The Closed Eye Open and Iris Literary Journal. Recently, one of his photos was featured in Eris and Eros. Walter lives in a suburb just outside Washington, D. C. Geraldine Clarkson is a UK poet whose work has appeared in many journals, including Poetry Magazine, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, The Rialto and Magma. She has 4 chapbooks (most recently with Verve Poetry Press) and a full-length collection, Monica's Overcoat of Flesh, with Nine Arches Press. Miguel Martin Perez is a queer, Afro-Latino, Dominican-American poet who grew up in Harlem and the South Bronx. A recent MFA graduate from the University of California in Riverside, he currently resides in Los Angeles. His work has been published in Riddled with Arrows. Visit him on Instagram at @mperezpoetry Siobhan Tebbs is a queer poet based in Barcelona, originally from the North of England. Her work appears regularly in Barcelona-based publications 'Parentheses' and 'Libro rojo', and she can often be found whispering poetry to clients at the Poetry Brothel as her character Sebastian. More at http://siobhantebbs.wordpress.com.


VISUAL ARTISTS Cover art: Welcome to New York by Serge Lecomte. Serge is a poet, playwright, novelist and painter living in Bellingham, WA after 40 years of living in Alaska. He is also a polyglot who travels through various cultures. Serge has two additional works featured in this issue: Mutations and No Exit. Geraldine Clarkson, Home. Geraldine is a UK poet who enjoys exploring images, both visual and verbal. Yarden Tsfoni. Belly Full of Peaches. Yarden is an Israeli born archaeologist, botanist, and painter currently living in Boston. Her art explores human emotions and intangible thoughts, memories, and dreams and tries to capture them on the canvas vividly. Her interests - humans, architecture, shared human experiences, and the colors of this beautiful planet - are key values present in her work. Mark Richards, Thunder Moon; Nut. Mark’s recent work has developed to the edge of abstraction with an emphasis on color expression. These "Color Seasons" are forms derived from nature that ask viewers to explore visually different emotions and meanings that are not expressed in words. Art is forgiving. Miniature Malekpour, The Eternal. Miniature is a Ph.D. Scholar and Artist at the Australian National University. She is also a contributing writer for Diabolique Magazine. Donny Nie, Tuna Graph. Donny is an emerging painter based in Toronto and Chicago. She is a current MFA candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. . Gabriel McLeod, Night Swamp. Gabriel is a writer and artist that currently lives in Florida with his two daughters and two cats in a house filled with books and stories. He is working on a collection of short stories, poetry and photography. His work has been featured in Storyteller Magazine, The Elephant Journal, Wingless Dreamer and Beyond Words. Lilac Keren, The Dancer. Lilac is passionate about exploring the emotional depths that come with creating different layers in a piece, building these layers both physically and digitally. Her style mostly revolves around abstract and figurative abstract, with colors being a significant focus of variation and play. She was born in Israel and now lives in Scottsdale, AZ. She has been practicing art all of her life and studied art formally and informally. Ciro Di Fiore, Endless Sky. Ciro Di Fiore lives in Naples, Italy. He has the pseudonym of Daniel His creative journey began from “First Alternative Winter” of Rimini in Italy in 2007. Daniel is an emerging creator. He is also an emerging stylist: he has exhibited his stylistic paintings with his fashion samples. Since December 2015, he shows his artistic / stylistic works in museums, galleries and fairs in Italy and abroad (Europe, America, United Arab Emirates, Australia and China). Becky Sisco, Fleeting Flower. Picture-making became one of Becky’s passions and avocations nearly 50 years ago, when she started with black-and-white photography and print processing. Digital Photography and PhotoShop later opened new possibilities, such that she can explore color and composition and turn images from the real world into abstract art. She is retired and lives in Dubuque, Iowa, USA. Owen Brown, The Waiting Room, from the "Modern Plagues" series, 2020. Owen is a painter living and working in Minneapolis. He has exhibited broadly throughout the United States. Trained in the figurative tradition, his initial reputation as an abstract painter led to interest from museums and major collectors both in that country, and abroad. Seeking in part to chronicle the disasters of 2020, he has returned, at least for a time, to representational art. Suren Nersisyan, Ladybug and Daisy. Suren is an artist from the USA. He expresses his own artistic language through the harmonies and contrasts between objects. Inspired directly by nature he tries to develop compositions dynamically reflecting the energy and the beauty surrounding us. Bruce Magnotti, Crystalballs. Bruce has been a photographer for most of his life and has worked throughout the world including Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He has filmed in diverse places such as the Jerusalem Theater and the Hamburg State Opera House, the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington State. His photos have appeared on magazine covers and articles throughout the world. His art photos have been displayed in galleries from coast to coast including cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, as well as Boston, Washington D.C. and New York. Nijole Rasmussen, Vernal Equinox, acrylic on canvas, 36x36. Abstract artist Nijole Rasmussen lives in Denver, Colorado. Her art is her perception of reality with touch of realism. She expresses herself with color and form as it speaks to her. Emily Knowles, Monster. Emily is a painter and writer who tries to bring a little bit of light to the world. Currently, she spends most of her days in Maine but escapes to the west coast of Florida whenever possible.


Barbara Tlush, Sunshine Kid. 6x8 Oil on Birch Panel. Barbara’s oils and occasional mixed media paintings are both whimsical and classical. Implementing various unconventional tools to create with, enhances the textures that give life to her paintings. It is her goal for the viewer to have a story unfold before them, invoking joy, a positive feeling, or to bring forward a memory that was tucked away in the back of their mind. Allison Paoli, Bloom. Allison is a published poet and visual artist who resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work can be found internationally in galleries, online exhibits, and publications such as Tiny Seed Literary Journal and Beyond Words Literary Magazine. Kristen Sanchez, Grasp, 16"x29" Acrylic on Wood Panel. Born in Nebraska, based in South TX nearing the Mexican border, Kristen is a Fine Artist who challenges the complexity of identity within the human figure. Kristen has received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a concentration in Studio Art from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Fabio Sassi, Happiness. Fabio makes photos and acrylics using what is considered to have no worth by the mainstream. He really enjoys taking the everyday and ordinary and framing it in a different way. Fabio lives in Bologna, Italy and his work can be viewed at www.fabiosassi.foliohd.com. Belinda Subraman, Brambles. 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 Mystical House Etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MysticalHouse?ref=seller-platform-mcnav Paula DeStefanis, Spring Fling. Paula is an American painter known for her multilayered abstract paintings. Working alternately in acrylic and oil, she uses repetition and layering to symbolize time, duration, and change. Her process leads to in-depth exploration of a concept from multiple perspectives. Layering paint, sometimes with unconventional tools, often scratching away to find what lies beneath, the work celebrates both the physical and emotive qualities of each medium. Bonnie Matthews Brock, Alone at Dawn. Bonnie is a Florida-based photographer, as well as a school psychologist. Her images have been published in Ibbetson Street Press, The Somerville Times, Oddball Magazine, and Beyond Words Literary Magazine. Find her at Instagram @bonniematthewsbrock. Alexx Mayes, Faith Collapsing. Alexx is a fine art portrait photographer, who recently earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno with an emphasis in photography, cinema and art history. Alexx has specific interest in exhibiting the human psyche being altered by technological singularity using cinematic-style photography as a medium. Tania L. Betancourt, Klipot Hangout (2016). Tania is a Brooklyn, New York native. She uses writing, drawing, and painting as a means of healing. Tania shares her work in an effort to remind others that they too can heal. Giorgia Pavlidou, Cycladic. Giorgia is a former clinical psychotherapist, painter and writer living in Los Angeles. She also holds an MA in Anthropology and one in Urdu literature (Lucknow University, India), and received her MFA from MMU Manchester, UK. Both her visual and linguistic work has recently appeared in such places as Clockwise Cat, From the Ashes Womxn's Anthology, Revue de la poésie in Toto, Lotus-Eater, Zoetic Press, New Urge Editions, Witchcraft Mag, Puerto del Sol and Entropy. She is an editor of SULΦUR, an international and multilingual surrealist magazine. Besides Southern California, she has lived in India, Greece, Belgium and has roamed around South America for a year. Cassandra Rockwood Ghanem, Mask. 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.


Contents 0 1 Ed w ar d L i t t l et on Sau d ad e 0 2 D i ck A l t m an Gi f ts U n qu i et 0 4 K at e Fen n i m or e D r i v i n g H om e 0 5 A r i an a M ar ch i gi an o an d Sash a Tor ch i n sk y w e w i l l com p ost y ou 0 6 T i f f i n i e A lv ar ez M ar i ly n 0 8 w i n d f l ow er B r eath i n g i n th e D ar k n ess 10 L ogan Cox T h e W oven Bal l er i n a 12 A l ex a B r ock am p H oggatt V i scer al T i m e T r avel 14 D av íd L av i e Pr of u m o d i D on n a 16 M at t Jasp er L U L L 19 Jack son Sm i t h Au gu r i es 20 Van essa W at t er s L i m bo 21 A n n a M u n r oe T h e L ad y bu g 25 Ch l oe L ee T h e H al l of En d l ess M i r r or s 26 J.T . W h i t eh ead K i n g of W an d s 28 Fr an ci s Fl av i n I am n ot M ar ch 29 W i l l i am Gr een e Totem 30 Cel est e Pep i t on e- N ah as Su n Bear 32 Gi l l i e Robi c T h ey l i n e h er r ou te 34 L i sa A l l et son Pal l i ati ve 36 Gr eg Sen d i O n W atch i n g H er W al k 38 Sam ar a L an d au Gr ou n d i n g 40 Sad e Col l i er son g of ad ol escen ce an d th e br i gh t si d e of th i n gs 42 N el l i e A l ex i s Ed w ar d s D ay l i gh t 44 K i r an Kod i t h al a Good O l ' D ay s 46 W al t er W ei n sch en k T h e Ri ver 48 M i r r or , M i r r or Ch al l en ge i n cl u d i n g Ger al d i n e Cl ar k son , M i gu el M ar ti n Per ez an d Si obh an Tebbs

Beyond Words I nternational Literary M agazine I SBN 978- 3- 948977- 13- 9