Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Issue 11, February 2021

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

Beyond Words Issue 11 February 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 11, Febr u ar y 20 21 Ed i t or : Gal Sl on i m Read er s: K r i sten B al es, M el od y H eal d , Jocely n U l ev i cu s, T u cker W u l f f

K r i st en B al es i s a m u si ci an r esi d i n g i n I n d i an ap ol i s, I n d i an a. A si d e f r om h er i n d ep en d en t coach i n g of an assor tm en t of key boar d , gu i t ar , an d p i an o st u d en t s, sh e sp en d s h er w eek s d i r ecti n g son gw r i ti n g w or k sh op s an d cr af t i n g set s f or h er w eeken d sh ow s i n th e M i d w est ci r cu i t. W h en sh e?s u n occu p i ed w i t h an i n st r u m en t , K r i st en i s d r eam i n g u p th e n ex t vol u m e of p oet r y at h er f i n ger t i p s; y ou can f ol l ow h er p oet r y jou r n ey @l i l ac_ atl as or br ow se th e col l ect i on of r ecen t m u si n gs at l i l acat l as.bl og. M el o d y H eal d h as been w r i ti n g si n ce sh e w as a k i d . Sh e h as h ad h er w r i t i n g p u bl i sh ed i n m agazi n es. H er goal i s to h ave on e of h er book s p u bl i sh ed . Jo cel y n U l ev i cu s i s an ar ti st an d w r i t er w i t h w or k f or t h com i n g or p u bl i sh ed i n m agazi n es su ch as th e Fr ee State Rev i ew, T h e Pet i gr u Rev i ew, B l u e M esa Rev i ew, an d H u m an a O bscu r a. W or k i n g f r om a f em al e sp ecu l at i ve p er sp ect i ve, t h em es of n at u r e an d th e u n seen ; an d ex i t an d en tr y ar e d om i n an t ly p r esen t i n h er w or k . Sh e r esi d es i n A m ster d am an d i s cu r r en tly w or k i n g on h er f i r st book of p oem s. To see h er ar t w or k an d h er cu te cat, Pi l ar , v i si t h er on I G @beau t y st i l l s. T u ck er W u l f f i s a w r i ter an d p oet f r om For t Col l i n s, Col or ad o. T u cker ear n ed h i s Bach el or 's d egr ee i n Cr eati ve W r i ti n g f r om A p p al ach i an St at e U n i ver si t y an d h as si n ce h ad p oetr y an d sh or t f i cti on p u bl i sh ed i n v ar i ou s l i t er ar y m agazi n es.

Cop y r i gh t Š 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, Febr u ar y 20 21 I SBN 978- 3- 948977- 0 6- 1


St ar gazi n g Car l Gr i f f i n I ?m f ol l ow i n g beh i n d th e cap e of n i gh t , d r ap ed beh i n d h i s bu m p er . M y d i p p ed h ead l i gh ts on , w e ar e a p ar ad e of m i d n i gh t k i n gs sp eed i n g i n to th e d ar k n ess to f i n d a p l ace w e can gaw k at th e st ar s f or th e m eteor sh ow er ton i gh t, th e ti n y d ots of l i gh t bu r n i n g ou t t h e m esosp h er e. Satel l i tes i n or bi t l i ke el ectr i c an gel s, gu ar d i n g th e ear th f r om r ad i o si l en ce, an d th e cr escen t m oon d i m s th e h ou se l i gh t s as th e star s take cen tr e stage. W e p u l l over on to a gr avel l ed sp ot an d al l p ol l u ti n g l i gh t l ook s to h ave v an i sh ed ; on h i s car 's h ood , w e l ay su p i n e si d e- by - si d e

A r t w or k : K i m Sh y u

an d l et th e h ou r s p ass.

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B l u r r ed an d B ey o n d Sal am i s Ay segu l Sen tu g

w h er e w an d er s y ou r m i n d betw een gu st an d sti l l n ess betw een azu r e an d ver m i l l i on h er e, n ow, h ear i n g th e h ear tbeat of a ston e as d i d h e, th e K i n g Py gm al i on or f ar aw ay as m esm er i c d r eam s of an i sl an d w h er e ti m e i s as sl ow as i n n er l i f e of a con e an d si l en t, as br eath of a f ly w h er e w an d er s y ou r m i n d betw een l i f e an d aby ss betw een sea an d m ou n tai n s bl u r r ed an d bey on d al l bor d er s i m agi n ed .

A r t w or k : A sl i h an A k soy

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I k n ow sh e's al m o st t h er e w h en Br ad l ey D av i d

p u p i l s d i l ate, en tr en ch ed i n bl ood sh ot r ed l ace en l ar ged ju st ever so en gor gi n g i n r est i ve p ool s. l i ke sh e w as at th at m om en t star i n g at som eth i n g tr u ly r em ar k abl e, r em i ss t h e w ay d i stan ce can ap p ear , at l east to oth er s, som eti m es.

h er ey el i d s qu i ver i m p ati en ce alw ay s bef or e l aten t, con v u l si ve tr an scen d en ce. af ter w ar d s, tu r tl en eck i n g I f eel cl oser to h er - solv i n g sl i p p er y r i d d l es of h er p sy ch e m akes m y br i ttl en ess, stoi c sen si ti v i ty, beau ti f u l r ep l aces sacch ar i n e. bu t soon th er e i s t om or r ow, to th i n k abou t, w i th th e vei n i t set t l es i n t o, i n si n u ati n g tu r gi d or d i n ar i es, i ts n eed l e p r i ck w h eth er w e ar e or w e ar e n ot. 3

A r tw or k : Cr y stal H ar tm an


A b u t t er f l y o f t h e p o et as a sel f - p o r t r ai t K at h er i n e Col l i n s O n ce m y f l i m sy ear r i n g w i r e stu n g t h e y i el d i n g p ad of m y th u m b an d i n th at scal p el f r ozen m om en t I saw w h y som eon e m i gh t , l i ke a jel ly f i sh , p er m i t a si l h ou ette bu t n ot a l i gh t t o p ass th r ou gh th ei r f l esh . I am m u ch t h e sam e: en m esh ed i n tw i l i gh t, cocoon ed , th ou gh st i l l h i gh f u n cti on i n g w i th gl oam i n g w i n gs, d ep en d i n g f or i d en ti ty on p er cep ti ve com m en ts an d em p i r i cal cl ose cam er aw or k . Bu t som eti m es I t h i n k m ay be I sh ou l d take ever y th i n g I ow n ou t i n to th e gar d en an d bu r n i t, sm oke m i r r or i n g

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A r tw or k : Patr i ci a B i n gh am

t h e r agged sp i r es of r ai n cl ou d s agai n st an el ect r op l at ed sk y.


T h e En d o f Passi o n L au r en Bu r st ei n You sw i p e r i gh t by ch an ce. You f al l i n l ove an d f ol d h i s l au n d r y. T h e l i n t col l ects l i ke ever y on e el se?s. You save a cr ed i t car d . H e t h an k s y ou . You al so car r y a tr ay to h i s si ck r oom . You m ad e y ou r gr an d m oth er ?s p l u m p i e an d ch am om i l e t ea. H e d oesn ?t th an k y ou th i s ti m e, bu t y ou ?r e p r ou d of y ou r ef f or t . You h ear p r om i ses h e d oesn ?t m ean to say al ou d . I t h u r ts w h en h e h u r ts. I t h u r ts w h en h e?s h ap p y. H e y el l s at y ou on e ti m e. I t ?s t h r ou gh tex ti n g, bu t seei n g th e w or d s d oes som eth i n g. You p r om i se y ou r sel f ou t. H e agr ees. Bu t agai n an d agai n . H e y el l s at h i s m oth er i n f r on t of y ou . H e y el l s at a d octor i n f r on t of y ou . You n ever y el l . You d en y y ou r l ove. You p r of ess y ou r l ove. You r en t a boat on th e H u d son . H e d oesn ?t k n ow h ow to sw i m , so y ou h ave t o be ex t r a cau t i ou s. You ?d n ever ti p h i m over . T h e th ou gh t n ever en ter s y ou r m i n d . W h at d o ar e th ou gh ts of sai l i n g eastw ar d . A cou p l e on a boat i n a d r eam . T h e r ow i n g w ou l d be d i f f i cu l t. T h e m oon w ou l d gl i sten l i ke th e sw eat on y ou r ar m s. You ?d h ave ach es l i ke th e ti m e y ou f el l of f t h e sw i n g set . You d i d n ?t k n ow h i m th en , bu t h e?s th er e. You ?r e f ly i n g an d y ou f al l an d y ou ?r e br u i sed an d h e sh ar es y ou r p ai n an d h e?s a ch i l d t oo. H e su ck s h i s th u m b. Ch i l d h ood stay s l i ke n otes f r om a l over . You ?ll w r i te a n ote to y ou r sel f i f y ou h ave t o. You w an t to cal l y ou r m oth er , bu t y ou ar e n ot a ch i l d . You h ave to l ook h ar d er , becau se w h en y ou d o, y ou r eal i ze h e l ef t y ou t h i s m or n i n g, an d y ou ?r e ly i n g i n bed p r eten d i n g h e?ll com e back l at er . 5

A r tw or k : Ch el sea Br ow n


T h e M ai l b ox Ph y l l i s Rei l ly T h e y ear i s 1952. M y m oth er sp en d s h er d ay s st i t ch ed t o a ch ai r an d st ar es ou t t h e k i t ch en w i n d ow l ook i n g f or m y f ath er , w h o h as been on a d r u n k f or t w o w eek s. Sh e w or r i es h e w i l l com e h om e an d even th ou gh h e h as l ost t h e f r on t d oor key, w i l l f i gu r e a w ay t o br eak d ow n th e d oor an d steal w h at l i ttl e m on ey w e h ave. Ever y f ew m i n u t es, sh e op en s h er p ocketbook to cou n t an d r ecou n t th e coi n s i n h er ch an ge p u r se, as t h ou gh t h e act of cou n t an d r ecou n ti n g w i l l som eh ow i n cr ease t h e am ou n t . At n i gh t , sh e h i d es t h e p u r se u n d er m y p i l l ow. O u r ap ar tm en t i s on th e top f l oor an d h e w ou l d som et i m es com e f r om t h e r oof d ow n t h e f i r e escap e an d cl i m b th r ou gh th e l i v i n g r oom w i n d ow. So m y m ot h er h am m er s a p i ece of w ood over th e w i n d ow an d tel l s m e t o go t o sl eep . I l i e i n bed , cover s over m y h ead bu t I d on ?t sl eep . I can h ear m y m oth er as sh e goes t o t h e f r on t d oor . Even t h ou gh sh e h as l ocked t h e d oor , sh e tu r n s th e k n ob an d l ock s i t agai n . W e ar e on ?H om e Rel i ef .? A str an ge t er m si n ce I h aven ?t seen an y r el i ef i n ou r h ou se. T h e ?H om e Rel i ef ? sh ow s i tsel f i n a br ow n en vel op e w i t h a bl ack eagl e st am p . I t i s su p p osed t o ar r i ve on th e f i r st of th e m on th bu t t od ay i s t h e f i f t h , an d st i l l t h er e i s n o ch eck . So m y m ot h er si ts an d w ai ts, cou n ts th e coi n s, an d l ook s ou t t h e k i t ch en w i n d ow. I n th e m or n i n g sh e tel l s m e I d on ?t h ave t o go t o sch ool . ?M ay be th e ch eck w i l l com e.? I h ave m i ssed on e d ay al r ead y an d t od ay I ?m su p p osed t o t u r n i n t h e m on ey t h at I col l ected f or th e star v i n g ch i l d r en i n A f r i ca. W h en I sh ake t h e m i t e box , i t i s si l en t . T h e coi n s ar e gon e. I d on ?t k n ow i f m y f ath er took th em or t h ey ar e p ar t of t h e ch an ge t h at get s cou n t ed an d r ecou n ted by m y m oth er . So, w h en sh e t el l s m e t o st ay h om e I ?m r el i eved an d sp en d t h e m or n i n g w ai ti n g f or th e m ai l m an h op i n g t o beat m y f at h er t o t h e m ai l box bef or e h e st eal s t h e ch eck . I k n ow h e i s h i d i n g som ew h er e, ju st w ai t i n g. I r u n d ow n th e f ou r f l i gh ts of st ai r s an d ch eck t h e m ai l box . I d o t h i s m ost of t h e m or n i n g, u p an d d ow n th e m ar bl e stai r s. A r h y t h m p l ay ed ou t i n ch i l d h ood r i t u al . I f I sk i p t h e secon d step on each l an d i n g ever y t h i n g w i l l be f i n e. I f I ju m p f r om t h e t op st ep an d t ou ch th e w al l w i th m y l ef t h an d , I w i l l be saf e. O n t h e seven t h t r i p I see m ai l i n t h e n ei gh bor ?s box . W h en I p u t th e key i n ou r m ai l box , i t f al l s op en . At t h e bot t om ar e bu r n t w ood en m atch es th at m y f ath er , i n h i s d r u n ken st at e, h as u sed t o see i f t h e ch eck h as ar r i ved . O n t h e f l oor i s a r i p p ed br ow n en vel op e w i t h a h ead l ess bi r d . T h e m ai l box i s em p ty. I t r eek s of su l p h u r an d t h e ch eck i s gon e. I w al k u p th e f ou r f l i gh ts of stai r s ver y sl ow ly. Cou n t ei gh t an d t h en seven u n t i l I r each t h e t op f l oor , I star e at th e 5D on ou r d oor , u se t h e secr et r i n g, t w o l on g an d t h r ee sh or t t o l et m y m oth er k n ow i t i s m e. Sh e u n l ock s th e d oor an d w h en I en t er t h e ap ar t m en t , I t el l h er , ?T h e l ock w as br oken , i t r eek s of su l p h u r an d t h e ch eck i s gon e.? Sh e say s n oth i n g. Ju st goes back t o t h e k i t ch en , st ar es ou t t h e w i n d ow an d cou n t s an d r ecou n ts th e coi n s i n h er ch an ge p u r se. 6


A r tw or k : N i ch ol as Casci an o 7


T o get h er Fr an ci s Fer n an d es L ast n i gh t I sp otted Ven u s as I or bi ted

O r h ad y ou n ot or d er ed t h ose bu r ger s

t h e f i el d s of w i l d f l ow er s on m y

l ast y ear an d d eci d ed t o m er ge

seven - m i l e r u n . I t w as sh i m m er i n g u p

y ou r ket ch u p w i t h t h e m ay on n ai se

t h er e i n th e n or th w est sk y,

i n t o on e sm oot h t w i n - col ou r ed sw i r l

h over i n g d an ger ou sly cl ose to th e

an d , t ou ch i n g m y h an d , of f er ed m e

Pl ei ad es, an d i t r em i n d ed m e

t h e ch an ce t o d i p a sw eet p ot at o f r y

f or som e r eason of ou r f u tu r e

i n t o y ou r l u m i n ou s cr eat i on an d t ast e

cal am i ty w h en A n d r om ed a Gal ax y

som et h i n g ep i c an d br an d n ew.

i s ex p ected to col l i d e i n to ou r ver y

A n d t h en r ecal l h ow, em bol d en ed

ow n M i l k y W ay. Gr an ted , w e sti l l

d u r i n g a l u l l on t h e w ay h om e,

h ave f ou r an d a h al f bi l l i on y ear s

on t h e w ay t o ou r ow n l i t t l e gr av i t at i on al

of jazz an d con ten ti on bef or e th i s

zon e, I t r u ly d i d p l u ck on e of t h ose jew el s

si n gu l ar cosm i c even t sen d s u s

f r om t h e sk y an d cr oon sof t ly i n t o y ou r

sp i n n i n g i n to th e voi d , so obv i ou sly

ear : T hey say that falling in love is wonderful...

t h er e's n o r eason to p an i c, at l east n ot y et. I n stead l et u s con si d er h ow d i f f er en t l i f e w ou l d be h ad Joh n Col t r an e an d Joh n n y H ar tm an n ot com e togeth er f or th at br i ef i n st an ce i n '63 an d l ef t beh i n d t h ose si x h ear t- w r en ch i n g jew el s l i ke t h e si x br i gh test star s of Ly r a.

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A r tw or k : K i m Sh y u

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T h e B o t t o m l ess Pan d em i c N u m er th a Gei si n ger

D i d l eaves alw ay s d r oop an d w h i n e l i ke th i s? W e w an t ed to say, I ?ve been th e h oar f r ost col l ecti n g u n d er th e bar b of y ou r m i n d , or go ou t to th e p u b w i t h m e. T h e su bu r bs d r on ed , m ov i n g w est i n t o t h e ocean , m ov i n g, l i ke m ar s r over s, as a l i st l ess, l an gu i d p an d em i c p assed i n si p i d ly t h r ou gh a cou gh , or a cen tu r y of p r eju d i ce, i t w as en d l ess, u tter , m ar oon . Go ou t com e back i n , d i e i n sl eep i n f r on t of th e T V. W e w an t ed t o f eel som eth i n g agai n , to beh ol d t h e cr u x of an y t h i n g? gr ass, m ol asses, Au tu m n , m er l i n s, ai r p l an es. To m y st er y, to w on d er i f W ood y, th e n ei gh bor , w as bar becu i n g ch i m i ch u r r i ch u r r asco or h ear t br eak bu l gogi or skew er i n g vegetabl es v i a d ol or osa. Bu t t h er e w as n o m or e ach e or w i n t er , I d y l lw i l d or ecst asy, or con ten tm en t l i ke a ger m an p u p , a n ap p i n g p ear . Row s of r i ce, u n sal t ed , u n saf f r on ed , st eam ed to p u r ee, l i m p , vap i d calv ar i es, st ood betw een u s an d ever y th i n g sen t i en t . Go ou t i n to th e w or l d w i th m e. L et u s d i scover a l ost stal l i on , an ol d f or est , a cou n tr y, a f i sh er - k i n g.

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

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A r tw or k : Sh u qi Gao

12


Si gh D el an ey Sw eet ?T h en sh e u n l ocked th e r oom , an d w h en t h e d oor op en ed , a st r eam of bl ood f l ow ed tow ar d h er , an d sh e saw d ead w om en h an gi n g al on g t h e w al l s, som e on ly skel et on s.? - Bluebeard

I r em em ber ed m y m oth er ?s d eat h . N ot m an y p eop l e can r em em ber th at ear ly. T h e m om en t ai r tou ch ed th em . W om en can . T h ey r em em ber th e m om en t t h at som eth i n g w r ap p ed ar ou n d th em , en cased t h em , w an ted to ow n th em . T h e w om an ?s bod y w as cr eated to be r u n by an ot h er . Even d au gh ter s can n ot h el p th ei r m ot h er s. I , th e f ou r th ch i l d , w as su p p osed to be t h e f ou r th boy to r u n m y f ath er ?s i m m or t al i t y af ter m y br oth er s d i ed . I cam e ou t i n a w ave of bl ood . M y m oth er ?s bod y al r ead y d estr oy ed by th e m en th at cam e bef or e m e. I w as car r i ed ou t by h er bl ood . T h e n u r ses w i p ed m e cl ean , m y f ath er h over i n g over m e. T h e bl ood w as l i ke a ch r y sal i s. M y ey es w er e ti r ed f r om bl i n k i n g i t aw ay. T h e n u r se w i p ed m y ey es op en , stai n ed r ed . ?I t?s a gi r l .? Si gh .

M y br ot h er s an d f at h er m ost ly l ef t m e al on e. T h ey gave m e f ood an d d ol l s an d a bed . I on ce w en t t o m ar ket w i t h m y f at h er an d saw a l i t t l e gi r l si t t i n g beh i n d a car t sh i ver i n g. Com p l et ely n aked , t r y i n g t o w r ap h er sel f i n t h e scr ap s l ef t f r om t h e t ow n sf ol k . H er h ai r , f ace, an d f eet w er e cover ed i n soot . H er ey es bobbi n g op en an d cl osed . I t ook a sw eet f r om m y p ocket an d set i t besi d e h er . Sh e gr abbed m y ar m . ?K i l l m e.? I sh ook m y h ead . ?Pl ease.? A t ear f l ed f r om h er ey e cr eat i n g a cl ean l i n e i n t h e soot . H er sk i n w as so sm oot h . H er ey es, d ar k br ow n , al m ost bl ack , w er e absor bed by h er p u p i l s. ?Pl ease.? Sh e squ eezed m y h an d t i gh t er .

I tu r n ed m y h ead , m y m oth er d r i p p i n g bl ood , th e bed soaked . Sh e w as sw eat i n g, sh ak i n g, p an ti n g. ?K i l l h er !? Sh e scr eam ed . M y f ath er w al ked ou t of th e r oom . M y m oth er d i ed . T h e n u r ses took h er ou tsi d e an d d u g a h ol e, ju st bi g en ou gh f or h er to cu r l u p i n . T h ey tu r n ed h er on h er si d e, k n ees t o ch est, ar m s ti gh t. I l ooked l i ke th at ju st m om en ts ago. Sh e r ol l ed i n to th e gr ave. T h e n u r ses d i d n ?t tou ch h er . Sh e w an t ed t o go.

13

I n od d ed m y h ead . I t ook h er by t h e h an d an d l ed h er t o m y h ou se. Sh e d u g h er ow n h ol e. I asked h er i f sh e w an t ed t o eat t h e sw eet bef or e sh e got in. Sh e sh ook h er h ead . Sh e got on t h e gr ou n d cu r l ed u p i n a bal l an d r ol l ed i n t o t h e h ol e. Cl u t ch i n g t h e sw eet . I f i l l ed i n t h e h ol e. T h er e w er e l i t t l e m ou n d s ever y w h er e. Ver y l i t t l e gr ass w as l ef t .


I d i d n ?t go to th e back y ar d m u ch . I t f el t d ar k . Each ti m e I step p ed ou t I f el t t h e ear t h sw i r l i n g. I cou l d get su cked u p i n i t . Som e of th e m ou n d s w er e bi g, bu t som e w er e ver y sm al l . I h ad to d i g u p each an d ever y on e. I f ou n d th e bon es of a l i ttl e gi r l , h er d r ess sti l l en casi n g th em . T h e sti tch i n g on t h e d r ess w as com i n g u n d on e. Sh e h ad been th er e f or a w h i l e. T h er e w as a w om an w h o w as sti l l sh al l ow ly br eat h i n g. W h en I u n cover ed h er sh e d i d n ?t op en h er ey es. I qu i ck ly f i l l ed th e h ol e back up. ?W h er e d i d y ou go?? I t u r n ed an d saw m y f ath er at th e gate of ou r y ar d . ?I ?m sor r y Fath er , I r an i n to th i s gi r l .? ?You sh ou l d n ?t be sp eak i n g to th ose st r eet ch i l d r en at th e m ar ket. T h ey ?ll take y ou f or al l y ou ?r e w or th ,? h e sai d , ?N ow com e i n si d e, w e h ave to cl ean u p f or d i n n er .? I l ooked ar ou n d th e y ar d . ?Fat h er , h ow d i d th ey al l get h er e?? ?W h at d o y ou m ean ?? ?T h e w om en , h ow d i d al l of th e w om en get h er e?? H e l ooked ar ou n d th e y ar d . ?W h at w om en ?? ?A l l of th e w om en th at ar e bu r i ed h er e.? ?T h er e ar e n o w om en bu r i ed i n th e y ar d . T h i s i s th e p l ace w h er e y ou an d y ou r br ot h er s com e an d p l ay, an d w h er e on e d ay y ou r ch i l d r en w i l l com e an d p l ay.? ?I t ?s ju st th at, th er e i sn ?t an y gr ass, an d i t ?s qu i t e bu m p y. T h er e d oesn ?t seem to be an y t h i n g l i v i n g ou t h er e.? M y f ath er w al ked over th e m ou n d s, h i s f eet d i ggi n g i n to each of th e gr aves, each w om an scr eam i n g, ar m s an d l egs p op p i n g

ou t of t h e d i r t . H e t u r n ed ar ou n d w i t h a bou qu et of f l ow er s i n h i s h an d . ?I f t h er e?s n ot h i n g l i v i n g i n t h e y ar d , h ow cou l d t h ese f l ow er s su r v i ve?? H e h an d ed m e t h e f l ow er s. T h ey t u r n ed bl ack an d w i l t ed . T h e m oon r ose as h i gh as i t w ou l d go. I sat at t h e w i n d ow l ook i n g ou t at t h e y ar d . I h ear d t h e w om en scr eam i n g. I t w as so l ou d . I w i sh I k n ew w h at t i m e i t w as. T h e on ly t i m e I k n ew w as w h en m y f at h er cal l ed m e. I h ad n o f r i en d s. I d i d n ?t go t o sch ool . I w ai t ed , sl ow ly, f or a st r an ge m an t o t ake m e aw ay. M y f at h er sai d I w ou l d be r i ch u n t i l t h e d ay I d i ed . T h e gr ou n d w as begi n n i n g t o sw el l . Each m ou n d l i ke a gey ser , bl ood over f l ow i n g. T h er e w as so m u ch of i t t h e m oon t u r n ed r ed . I op en ed t h e d oor t o t h e y ar d , an d bl ood gu sh ed i n t o t h e h ou se, sw ep t u p t h e ch ai r s an d t abl es, a w ave h i t t i n g t h e ch an d el i er , i t cr ash ed t o t h e gr ou n d . T h e t i d e qu i ck ly r eced ed . I w al ked ou t t o t h e y ar d . T h e bl ood sw i r l ed i n t h e m i d d l e, w r ap p i n g u p ever y m ou n d an d w om an , su ck i n g t h em u p i n t o t h e ear t h . T h e scr eam i n g st op p ed . T h e y ar d w as f l at , gr ass w as begi n n i n g t o gr ow agai n over w h er e t h e bon es on ce w er e. I t gr ew qu i ck ly, t h e bl ood goi n g d r y. I t w as al m ost gon e. I sat on t h e gr ou n d , m y n i gh t gow n n ow com p l et ely r ed . I br ou gh t m y k n ees u p t o m y ch est an d r ol l ed i n t o t h e vor t ex . I t w as d ar k f or ju st a secon d . W h en I op en ed m y ey es t h er e w as a n u r se w i p i n g bl ood f r om m y ol d ey es. ?I t ?s a gi r l .? A f at h er si gh ed . I w at ch ed a m ot h er d i e agai n .

14


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

15


Em b ed Regi n a Caggi an o

I l ove th e w ay y ou r each f or m e i n sl eep . Saf e h an d s f or m ed f r om t h e d ar k w i th ou t f ear or star tl ed con tact. H ow ep h em er al i t al l i s, h ow sof t ly sacr ed i s th e tou ch bel on gi n g on ly to th e n i gh t h ou r i n w h i ch i t ex i st s, br i ef ly, w h en i t p u l l s m e f r om a d r eam . H ow p er f ect i s i t t o k n ow t h at w h en I w ake I w on ?t r em em ber , w h eth er y ou sm ooth ed a st r ay h ai r or set t l ed y ou r h an d t r an si en t i n th e si d e cr ook of m y si l h ou ette, gat h er ed m e l i ke f abr i c i n y ou r ar m s or sk i m m ed th e d i vots of m y r i bcage, al l of i t l ost bu t t h e l i n ger t h at com es ar ou n d w h en th e bl an kets sh i f t of f , an d I car r y m y sel f ou t i n t o t h e m or n i n g.

A r t w or k : M ar l an a Ad el e Vassar

16


T h e Sai n t s D an y M an gr ove Sh e sat i n th e p ar k , h er back t o t h e t r ee, th e tr ee?s back t o t h e jazz, an d t h e ban d m ak i n g th e jazz m u si c sou n d s l i ke l i f e, l i ke th ese n otes, l i ke t h er e i s h ar d ly an y on e. T h i s i s w h at i t m u st be l i ke t o r eal ly h ol d h an d s. I ad d , th e w om an f eel s u n d er h er , gr ow i n g, th e m ou n t ai n of p assi n g secon d s an d m ar ch i n g i s t h e l i n e of on e an t , on e an t , on e an t, l i ke ti m e t h at w as n ever an y on e el se's.

17

A r tw or k : El i zabeth Ri cketson


T h e A n t Gr av e St el l a Fau l k n er W h en I w as ei gh t, m y h ou se h ad an an t i n f estati on . N o on e k n ow s w h y th er e w er e so m an y, w h er e th ey cam e f r om . T h ey cou l d h ave com e f r om u n d er th e n ot f u l ly seal ed w i n d ow s, f r om th at m y ster i ou s h ol e i n t h e f l oor w h er e I l ost h al f of m y bar bi e sh oes, f r om th e cr ack u n d er th e back d oor w h er e i cy w i n d bl ow s th r ou gh f r om N ovem ber u n ti l Febr u ar y. T h e an ts cam e i n al l at on ce, l i ke a ti n y ar m y d escen d i n g u p on u s. M y gr an d m oth er , f r om h er p l ace besi d e th e f i r ep l ace sai d , ar ou n d t h e ci gar ette i n h er m ou th , th at i t w as God sen d i n g u s a w ar n i n g. M y m oth er ju st si gh ed an d p i cked u p th e p h on e to cal l p est con t r ol . I d i d n ?t tel l an y on e th at a w eek ago I h ad f ou n d h ol es i n th e p i l l ow case m y can d y w as h i d d en i n , u n d er n eath m y bed . T h e m an cam e on a Fr i d ay, w i th h i s bi g m u d d y boots th at m ad e m y m ot h er ?s ey ebr ow s d r aw togeth er an d my gr an d m oth er l au gh th at h ol l ow l au gh sh e m akes w i th th e f ew teeth sh e h ad l ef t. H e t ook on e l ook ar ou n d th e k i tch en an d p r on ou n ced i t th e w or st i n f estati on h e h ad ever seen . H e tal ked to m y m oth er i n qu i et w h i sp er s ar ou n d a col d cu p of cof f ee i n t h e k i t ch en at th e tabl e n o on e u ses. O n ce h e l ef t an d m y m oth er cl ean ed u p h i s f oot p r i n ts, sh e an n ou n ced to m e an d m y gr an d m oth er th at w e w ou l d h ave to l eave t h e h ou se f or a n i gh t w h i l e th e h ou se w as f u m i gated . M y gr an d m oth er ju st ch u ck l ed , p u t ou t h er ci gar ette an d an n ou n ced t h at t h at w ou l d be th e en d of h er stay. Sh e l ef t t h at even i n g, w i th h er br i gh t sh i n y r ed su i t case, aw ay to th at tow n som ew h er e i n t h e m i d d l e of th e cou n tr y w h er e n o on e h ad ever seen an escal ator an d th e f ash i on h asn ?t ch an ged i n th e p ast 20 y ear s.

T h e h otel w as n i ce an d cl ean , l i ke l i v i n g i n a

D ove com m er ci al . Ever y t h i n g w as ei t h er u p h ol st er ed i n w h i t e or m ad e ou t of gl ass. T h e com f or t er on m y bed w as so sof t t h at w h en I l ai d on i t , i t t ook m e a f ew secon d s t o r each t h e m at t r ess. I t w as d ef i n i t ely a p l ace t o n ot w ear y ou r sh oes, m or e t h an m y h ou se h ad ever been . I cal l ed m y f at h er t h at n i gh t , m ou t h p r essed t o t h e p h on e so I d i d n ?t w ake u p t h e p eop l e n ex t t o m e. I t ol d h i m abou t t h e an t s, abou t t h e f u m i gat i on . I t ol d h i m I d i d n 't k n ow w h at t h at m ean t , excep t t h at i t m ean t I h ad t o l eave. H e sai d , i n a st ead y, even t on ed w ay, t h at t h ey w er e k i l l i n g t h e an t s. T h en h e asked t o t al k t o m y m ot h er an d I p assed t h e p h on e t o h er , m i n d goi n g n u m b. T h at n i gh t , as m y m ot h er w as br u sh i n g h er t eet h , I ar gu ed w i t h al l t h e m or al s of n ot k i l l i n g t h e an t s. I t ol d h er t h ey h ad f am i l i es, I t ol d h er i t w as cr u el , i n h u m an e (a n ew w or d I l ear n ed r ecen t ly ). Sh e sp i t i n t h e si n k bef or e an sw er i n g. ?T h ey ?r e n ot h u m an .?

W h en I got back t o m y h ou se, a Su n d ay af t er n oon , I w en t st r ai gh t t o m y back y ar d an d p r oceed ed t o m ake 2 m i l l i on t i n y gr avest on es, t h at ?s h ow m an y an t s m y m ot h er sai d t h er e w er e. At si x I h ad bu i l t u p m om en t u m . At 22 I l ost i t . I r em em ber si gh i n g, an d t h en l ook i n g ar ou n d an d say i n g, each gr avest on e can be f or 10 an t s. At 46 i t h ad got t en d ar k an d m y m ot h er cal l ed m e i n si d e. I d i d n ?t m i n d . I n t h e m or n i n g, I l ooked ou t t h e w i n d ow an d d eci d ed 46 w as en ou gh , I h ad t o go t o sch ool an y w ay s. D i d I r eal ly h ave t i m e t o m ou r n 2 m i l l i on bei n gs I h ad n ever even t al ked t o? A n d so t h e 46 an t gr avest on es st ay ed t h er e, y ear af t er y ear . A bu sh even t u al ly gr ew i n f r on t of t h em an d I d i d n ?t m i n d . I d i d n ?t l i ke l ook i n g at t h em an y w ay s. 18


19

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


B u s t o San t u r d e d e Ri o j a M ar gar et Pr ou se T h e bu s w as d ar k , d am p , stu f f ed w i t h

ol d w om an ?s el bow br u sh agai n st m i n e. I t

p eop l e n ot even

n oti ci n g on e an oth er .

w as qu i t e p eacef u l , com f or t i n g, som et h i n g

Som e p assen ger s p r eten d ed to r ead , som e

h u m an , som et h i n g t h at br ou gh t m e back t o

m u r m u r ed

my

tr i v i al

th i n gs,

th er e

w er e

ow n

m ot h er ?s

t ou ch .

O u t si d e

it

i n t er val s of l i gh t sn or es an d h u sh ed cy n i cal

r em ai n ed d aw n an d t h e r ai n l et u p a l i t t l e.

gi ggl es f i l l i n g th e w et ai r . A p al e el d er ly

T h e bu s f ol l ow ed a cu r ve u p w ar d an d as w e

w om an attem p ted to sl eep n ex t to m e. Sh e

cl i m bed f r om t h e bot t om of t h e r av i n e a

sat by th e ai sl e w i th h er m ou th sl i gh t ly

st r et ch

op en . Sh e w or e a w ool cr i m son sw eater t h at

cl ou d s con ceal ed t h e sk y u p ah ead . T h e bu s

seem ed

u n tr u stw or t h y,

f ol l ow ed t h e d r y bl eak sep i a l an d scap e of

u n br oken - i n , i t w as ti gh t en ou gh to r eveal

br u sh , t h er e w as a d r i ed bu r n u n d er an

h er f l acci d br easts an d i t sm el l ed l i ke a

occasi on al y u cca, at t i m es a cl u st er of f i r s

m i x t u r e of r ai n , eggs, an d ci gar ettes. H er

ap p ear ed .

h ai r w as w h i te, d eh y d r ated , m atted , bu t i t

u n h i n d er ed sou n d of t h e en gi n e, of t h e

p r obably

I

w h eel s on t h e w et bu m p y r oad . T h e h ead s

i m agi n ed h er h ai r 30 y ear s ago, h azel ,

of t h e p assen ger s t h at sat i n f r on t of m e

sh i n y,

of

sl i gh t ly bobbl ed an d bou n ced l i ke t h ose

gr i t t y

t i n y bl ack n u m ber ed bal l s y ou see on t h e

Ji m en ez

l ot t er y. I w at ch ed t h r ou gh t h e r ef l ect i on i n

u n com f or tabl e,

w as

ten d er ,

vol u m e

an d

f or cef u l

h an d

d el i cately

n ot

alw ay s

v i br an t, th e of

p assi n g

th i s.

h eal th y,

str on g Ju an

l i ke

f ull

r u gged

Ram on

I

l i st en ed

gr ey

to

n i m bost r at u s

th e

con st an t

t h e w i n d ow t h e l i gh t f r om a cel l p h on e

i n t en ti on s of w r i ti n g a p oem . Cr ow 's f eet ,

f l i cker as t h e t h u m bs of a y ou n g gi r l t ex t ed

r esem bl i n g a h ai k u , stu m bl ed al on g h er

a f r i en d , m ay be h er m ot h er , p ossi bly a

ch eek s

scar l et

boy f r i en d , a gi r l f r i en d , m ay be t h e cor p se of

r osebu sh es con n ected w i th cor n er s of h er

Ju an Ram on Ji m en ez. I p i ct u r ed t h e d r i ver ,

d ow n w ar d sl op i n g m ou th . D i d Ju an Ram on

t h ou gh I f or got h i s f ace, as Ji m en ez, say i n g

Ji m en ez w an d er over th ese r osebu sh es t o

cr azy t h i n gs t o h i m sel f i n Sp an i sh . O u r r i d e

en cou n ter h er l i p s? W as sh e r em em ber i n g a

gr ew bu m p i er . W e p assed a bl u e si gn w i t h

t i m e w h en th ey n ever br oke ey e con tact as

w h i t e l et t er s t h at r ead Sor i a. Som eon e

t h ey m ad e l ove stan d i n g u p i n h i s k i tch en ?

p u l l ed t h e st op r equ est ch or d an d a l i t t l e

H er l on g bon ey skel etal f i n ger s r ested on

d i n g sou n d ed . T h e bu s cam e t o a sl ow st op

h er soot bl ou se, an d sh e h el d an em er al d

bu t gave a su d d en h al t by t h e cu r b. T h e ol d

r osar y

f i sh - ey e

w om an ?s h ead bobbed f or w ar d , jer ked back ,

p h ot ogr ap h . W as sh e p r ay i n g to h i m ? T h e

an d sh e w oke. Sh e ad ju st ed h er bot t om ,

vei n s on th e back of h er h an d p r otr u d ed

t w i st ed h er r osar y ar ou n d h er i n d ex f i n ger ,

an d p u l sated as i f a sl u g sl ep t w i th i n . I

an d t u gged on h er sw eat er t r y i n g t o st r et ch

r est ed m y h ead on th e ti n ted w i n d ow an d

i t t o com f or t . Sh e gl an ced ar ou n d an d w e

l ooked ou t. I n ter m i tten tly I cou l d f eel t h e

exch an ged sm i l es.

th at

l ooked

p op p ed

l i ke

l i ke

w i th

i m m en se

th e

th at

th r ou gh ,

of

tw o

a

20


21

A r tw or k : Z aam A r i f


T h e T r ee i n A i sl e 4 M i ch ael O akes

A r t w or k : J.E. M ath i son

22


T h e tr ee i n d r y good s ? f at tr u n ked d aw d l er of A i sl e 4 ? stan d s i m m ovabl e as m em or y, l ocked betw een sh elved m y st er i es of a by gon e age. W h at h ear tw ood k n ow l ed ge l u r k s, sap sl ow, t h r ou gh secr et cap i l l ar i es? W h at str an ge u n d er stan d i n g r u st l es over t i m e t u m bl ed can s? A i sl e 4 D r y Good s, Ri ce, B ean s, skew er ed betw een th e w ood en gi r d er tw i ster s an d l eaf y su n ch aser s, op en i n g ti n r oof s l i ke sl ow, ef f i ci en t m ach i n es. Sh el l br each ed , h u sk br oken , th e gr een i n v i tati on sen t u n sp oken , on d ead l eaf f l i er s th at sk i tter ou t th ei r bar gai n cal l . Soon tu ber s l i f t r ai n cr acked t i l es, f eel ou t d eal s, d ar k an d u n seen , w h i l e v i n es cl i m b, en tw i n e m ossy d i sp l ay s, w eav i n g p atter n s th r ou gh boxes of m ac n ?ch eese. Squ i r r el s m ake tal k am on g br an ch an d beam , as th r u sh es ? sh y top sh el f squ at t er s ? br i n g or d er to tw i g an d y el l ow ed bi t s of p oly et h y l en e. A l l goes sti l l as th e d oor w al ker com es, h ai r y an d h u n ch ed , cl oth ed i n r agged scr ap an d m i sh - m ash ed p el t . H e p l aces a h an d u p on th e t r ee, i ts bar k a h ar d secr et, an d l ook s abou t con f u sed , as i f i n d i stan t m em or y. A i sl e 4 D r y Good s, Ri ce, B ean s, w h i te scr atch es on gr een . H e star es an d scow l s, th en , as i f r em em ber i n g, op en s h i s m ou t h an d h ow l s. 23


Eat i n g W at er m el o n Tan e K i m

1. W h en I i n ser t m y sp oon i n to th e f l esh y t op of t h e m el on , i t sou n d s as i f I ?m k i l l i n g i t . T h e h i gh p i tch ed sh r i l l s of cr ack l i n g r em i n d m e of a d u l l saw cu t t i n g st y r of oam , d oi n g i ts best to f or m a cl ean cu t , bu t f ai l i n g n on et h el ess. I d o n ot k n ow i f w ater m el on s f eel p ai n ; i f th ey d o, h ow ever , m y sp oon p l u n gi n g i n t o t h e r i gi d sp on gi n ess of i ts r ed i n ter i or i s l i kely t an t am ou n t t o a t or t u r e t h at can n ot be ex p r essed becau se of th e f r u i t?s i n n ate m u ten ess. 2. A s I l i f t m y sp oon , n ow h ol d i n g a si zeabl e ch u n k of w at er m el on w i t h i n i t s r am p ed w al l s w h i l e l eav i n g a cr ater i n th e on ce u n d am aged m el on cap , I n ot i ce a gl oom y p u d d l e of ju i ce w h i ch r em ai n s i n t h e ci r cu l ar d en t l i ke a w ou n d t h at i n si st s i t ?s n ot bl eed i n g w h en th e bar ely v i si bl e d r op l et of bl ood em er gi n g f r om i t s cen t er ju st m om en ts bef or e i s u n d en i ably l ar ger n ow. 3. I n m y m ou th , th e r ed n ess i s ju i cy, sw eet an d r obu st ly cr u n ch y at f i r st , em i t t i n g an i cy p assi on w h i ch tap er s of f w i th ever y abu si n g bi t e, as i f t h e f r u i t sl ow ly r eal i zes t h at i t w i l l n ot ever am ou n t to som eth i n g of m or e i m p or t an ce t h an si m p l e am u sem en t t o m y tastebu d s. 4. I f I keep ch ew i n g af ter al l th e ju i ces h ave been w r u n g ou t an d t h e m or sel s of l i f e en er gy on ce vested i n th e f l esh h ave been st r i p p ed by m y jaw s, on ly a bl an d , p assi on l ess m u sh r em ai n s, w h i ch l eaves m e w on d er i n g i f t h i s w as i t s t r u e f or m al l al on g. M ay be i t w as ju st p r eten d i n g t o be st r on g. 5. I h ol l ow ou t al l r em ai n i n g cr ev i ces of ed i bl e f l esh u n t i l al l t h at i s l ef t i n m y p ar asi t i c h an d s ar e f u l ly ex p l oi ted sh ad es of d u l l p i n k si t t i n g on a h ol l ow h al f - sp h er e of st r i p ed gr een an d w h i te. I h ave sati ated m y ap p et i t e an d en d l ess t h i r st , bu t h u r t t h e m el on en d l essly i n d oi n g so. W h o k n ow s, I m ay h ave u n k n ow i n gly k i l l ed t h e u n com p l ai n i n g, si l en t f r u i t w h o l i ved i n th e u n r ew ar d i n g sh ad ow s on ly t o sat i sf y m e, t oo m eek an d of l ow i m p or tan ce to ex p r ess i ts d i str ess. 6. Eati n g w ater m el on r em i n d s m e of t h e t w o t y p es of p eop l e t h at ex i st i n t h i s r i gged w or l d .

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25

A r tw or k : Ser ge L ecom te


D u st t o D u st A bi gai l Si m s

O n ce, i n th e h eel of a san d al , sm al l an d p ai n f u l , I w as gr ou n d ou t step by st ep , car r i ed m i l es an d m i l es acr oss sl i p p i n g con cr et e. I saw d eath , a w om an . Br ow n h ai r , br ow n ey es, br ow n sm i l e, gol d en sl i p p i n g th r ou gh h er f i n ger s sh e w ai ts by th e bu s stop , tw en ty - th r ee, w est ai r p or t an d Fon d r en . I n h er l i p s, r esp i te, i n h er h i p s, salvati on . U n d er th e aw n i n g, th e h eat bakes u s al l sl ow ly, sw eat, d r i p p i n g, th e gr eat equ al i zer , w e ar e al l w ai ti n g f or som eth i n g, som eon e, st u ck i n th e asp h al t, u n d er th e su n . Sh e w ai ts f or m e. I n o l on ger f eel begotten . I am m ad e. M ad e, w i th cl u m sy h an d s, th e h al ti n g i m i t at i on of a w om an w i t h ou t h an d s, w i th ou t a h ead , w h ol e on ly i n m i si n f or m ati on Scu l p ted ? l i ke p eel i n g gu m of f a si d ew al k . A ban d on ed m i d - str oke l i ke al l ar t, con str u cted i n p er p etu i ty. So i t w as w r i tten d u st to d u st.

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A r tw or k : K ath er i n e Bl oom

27


Pr ay er Cr i sti n a D eSou za I m agi n ar y Fi r ef l i es p l ay w i t h col o r s i n th e col d n ess of l at e O ct ober . Red s, y el l ow s an d bl u es f l o a t I n g i n t h e ai r , d an ci n g i n zi g zag, w h i l e m y ey es w A H n d er . I n th e si l en t sk y, m agen t a cl ou d s Rem n an ts of a su n set I m I ssed , s l ooo w l y p ass on e by on e tow ar d s th e i n f i n i t e. Star s sm i l e at ever y t h i n g an d n O t h i n g, an d I w h ose f ai th w as lO st i n t h e sam e h O r i zO n , p r ay to a GO D I d on ?t EV EN k n ow, t h an k i n g f or th e sO U N d of th e col o r s I h ear so d i s t i n c t l y ! A n d th e n i gh t r i p en s m y h O p e i n t h e u n i ver se while I r esu r r ect gO l d w i t h t h e d aw n y et to be bO r n , i n sen ses I u n d o w i th em p ty h an d s an d h O l lO w ssssssi gh s.

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

29


M et h o d s o f Fr eezi n g So u r d o u gh M aggi e T h ar p H e f ou n d i t at th e ver y back of th e f r eezer ,

p ai n t ed r ed , p u l l i n g ap ar t a f l u f f y cu be of

r i gh t beh i n d th e f r ozen p i zza h e i n ten d ed

br ead an d say i n g look, look at that l i ke

t o m ake f or d i n n er . A h ar d , bei ge r ou n d ,

som eon e w i t n essi n g a m i r acl e. H e w as gl ad

d ou bl e- bagged an d tap ed , p r ep ar ed f or a

w h en t h e m i cr ow ave st op p ed . H e d i d n ?t

l on g, f r i gi d sl eep . H e p u l l ed i t ou t, n ot

w an t t o t h i n k abou t t h ose t h i n gs an y m or e.

m i n d i n g th e col d th at i n stan tly n u m bed h i s f i n ger ti p s, set i t on th e cou n ter top , an d st ar ed at i t.

T h e br ead r i p p ed easi ly ap ar t , an d t h e st eam p ou r i n g ou t of i t bu r n ed h i s f i n ger s. H e at e i t an y w ay, w i t h ou t w ai t i n g, a l ar ge

H e cou l d n ?t h el p th i n k i n g th at i t w as an

m ou t h f u l . T h e sp r i n gi n ess of i t , t h e w ay i t

or p h an . T h e l ast of i ts k i n d . T h e star ter t h at

bou n ced back t o l i f e af t er m on t h s i n t h e

sp aw n ed i t ex p i r ed th e ver y sam e d ay t h ey

f r eezer , cau gh t h i m of f gu ar d . H e l ean ed

t ook h er

agai n st

aw ay i n

th e am bu l an ce. T h e

t h e r ef r i ger at or , sl i d

d ow n

th e

w eat h er w as h ot an d d r y th en , an d t h e

st ai n l ess st eel , an d f ou n d a seat on t h e w ood

bu bbl i n g, f r oth y m ass r ose qu i ck ly an d

f l oor .

f l at t en ed agai n by th e ti m e h e r etu r n ed f r om th e h osp i tal . H e i gn or ed i t an d t h e ot h er d i sh es f or as l on g as h e cou l d .

H e at e bu t al so i n h al ed t h e f u l l t an gi n ess of t h e y east , t h i n k i n g h ow sm el l h as a sou n d t o i t ? an d a col or . Fi ve m on t h s an d t w o w eek s

W h en th e p u n gen t od or of v i n egar becam e

ago w h en t h i s br ead w as m ad e, t h er e w er e

so st r on g i t assau l ted h i m ever y ti m e h e

d ai ly w al k s p ast t h e d eser t ed U n i on St at i on .

en t er ed th e k i tch en an d a v i si bl e l ay er of

Ju st t h e t w o of t h em , sp eak i n g i n sof t voi ces

cl ear l i qu i d f l oated at th e top of th e m ason

an d h ear i n g ever y w or d . T h er e w er e t oo

jar , h e th r ew i t i n th e tr ash . T h e sm el l st i l l

m an y t akeou t or d er s an d m or e t h an on e

l i n ger ed , h e cou l d sw ear , f or w eek s. A n d t o

n oi se com p l ai n t f r om t h e l ow er ap ar tm en t .

t h i n k , sh e?d kep t i t al i ve f or th r ee y ear s.

T h er e w er e si l en t m om en t s w h en su d d en ly

H e p u l l ed th e br ead f r om i ts w r ap p i n gs an d set t h e en ti r e th i n g i n

th e m i cr ow ave,

gu essi n g at h ow l on g i t w ou l d take t o d ef r ost. W h i l e h e w ai ted , h e tr aced a l i n e on

th e

cou n ter

th r ou gh

th e

sw eat y

h e d i d n ?t t h i n k h e k n ew h er , or ju st k n ew h er

t oo

w el l .

T h er e

w er e

h al t i n g

con ver sat i on s t h r ou gh scr een s, sl am m ed d oor s op en ed an h ou r l at er . T h er e w as h er f ace, l ost i n t h ou gh t , an d ju st as qu i ck ly f ou n d agai n i n a w i d e, gl ow i n g sm i l e. T h er e

con d en sati on f r om th e f r ozen l oaf .

w as t h e sw eat y cu r l t h at sp r u n g u p agai n st H e t h ou gh t abou t h er h an d s an d f l ou r si f t i n g

th r ou gh

th e

ai r

an d

cover i n g

ever y th i n g. H e th ou gh t abou t th e bu bbl es i n r i sen d ou gh , p i n p r i ck sm al l to l ar ge an d

t h e back of h er n eck w h en t h e k i t ch en h i t 85 f r om t h e su m m er an d t h e st eam y oven . H e sm ear ed t ear s acr oss h i s f ace w i t h on e h an d an d sm el l ed br ead agai n .

l oose. H e th ou gh t abou t h er f i n ger n ai l s,

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I t w as too l ate to m ake a r eal d i n n er w h en

cobw eb. M or sel an d d r op at a ti m e, h e

h e f ou n d i t i n h i s l i m bs to get u p agai n .

m easu r ed f i r st t h e f l ou r . 113 gr am s. T h en

T h e p i zza r etu r n ed to i ts p l ace i n t h e

t h e w at er . 113 gr am s. St i r r ed i t t h or ou gh ly.

f r eezer . T h e br ead stay ed on th e cou n t er .

Cover ed i t w i t h a sm al l san d w i ch bag. T h e

H e f el l asl eep qu i ck ly bu t w oke m or e easi ly

en t i r e p r ocess t ook h i m l ess t h an t h r ee

t h an u su al to th e p assi n g si r en s.

m i n u t es, so h e d r essed , gr abbed h i s coat ,

T h e n ex t d ay w as Satu r d ay. H e w oke 10 m i n u tes bef or e h i s al ar m , w en t str ai gh t t o t h e k i tch en , p assed by th e cof f ee m aker . H e f ou n d th e i n str u cti on s easi ly. Pu l l ed t h e scal e, a jar , a sp oon , f l ou r , f r om cu p boar d s an d

sh elves, r em ov i n g d u st, r i p p i n g a

gl oves, an d h at , an d st ep p ed ou t on t o t h e l an d i n g at 6:47 a.m . I t w asn ?t as col d as t h e p r ev i ou s d ay, an d h e t h ou gh t h e m i gh t m ake i t t o U n i on St at i on or even acr oss t h e Pl at t e t o L oH i . By t h at t i m e, h e h op ed , t h e st ar t er m i gh t be r ead y t o u se.

A r tw or k : L i zzy K i r by

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C o - C r eat i o n B r u ce M agn otti Som e su ggest i t p ossi bl e To co- cr eate r eal i t y I f I w er e to qu est i on T h e f i r st on e m i gh t be: W h at or w h o d o y ou co- cr eat e w i t h ? Bu t I am n ot A sk i n g qu est i on s T h ou gh y ou ar e A l r ead y co- cr eat i n g y ou r r eal i t y T h e m eth od m ay be h i d d en T h e m ech an i sm i m m at er i al Bu t r eal i ty i s qu i t e r eal W h er ever y ou go ? t h er e y ou ar e

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A r tw or k : El ai n e Bu tl er 33


Ro o t ed A m an d a L eal T h e tu b i s a l i ly p etal th at l i ck s m e u p , t h e cer am i c cool ben eath m y sp i n e - geom etr i c ti l es of th e w al l sw i r l cl ock w i se, p i n ch ed l i ke a sh eet. T h e sh r oom s ar e a f i st i n m y bel ly, as t h ou gh th ey r ooted , a ti n y ter r ar i u m . I op en m y m ou th an d th ey sn ake u p m y esop h agu s l i ke cr aw l i n g v i n es, th e bl u e i v y on m y w r i st s as m y h an d l ay s i n y ou r s, y ou ci r cl e th e m oon s of m y f i n ger n ai l s, ask m e abou t th e p ath op h y si ol ogy of l eu kem i a, ju st t o keep m e f ocu sed , m y w h i sp er s l i ke ti n y n otes on p ar ch m en t , sl i p p i n g l i ke t u r n i n g p ages. I f l oat on m y back d ow n a can al of sp on gy bon e m ar r ow, an d ex p l ai n th e m etap h y si cs of w h y y ou ar e m y cen t er , m y t al l tr ee, p er ch ed by th e tu b w i th tw o bi g f ox ey es, y ou r br ow com i n g u p l i ke a st eep l e. You h ave n ever seen som eon e take of f th ei r m i n d l i ke a h at, an d p u t i t to th e si d e. I can n ot l ook i n t h e m i r r or becau se m y f ace m el ts l i ke r u bber , bu t I st r oke y ou r jaw bon e l i ke a w or r y ston e, a ci r cl e I p ace w h i l e th e w al l s tw i r l l i ke a top .

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A r tw or k : Sh u qi Gao

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10 0 0 i r r egu l ar p i eces Br i an St ol l I n ti m e y ou w i l l f i n d th at m i ssi n g sock beh i n d t h e d r y er cover ed i n d u st or t h at l ost p h oto of som eon e on ce f or got t en n ow r em em ber ed w i t h a qu i ck br eat h ou t t h e n ose or t h at ol d toy y ou on ce car r i ed ever y w h er e bu r i ed u n d er ju n k i n a w i l t i n g w at er st ai n ed box . T h e p i ece th at f i ts p er f ectly or as p er f ect as p er f ect i s t o y ou . O n ly to on e d ay f i n d th e p u zzl e br oken by t h e d og r u n n i n g t o f ast ar ou n d t h e cof f ee t abl e or a r en egad e p i l l ow bel i ev i n g i tsel f i n v i n ci bl e on ly t o be st r u ck back d ow n t o ear t h . N ow h av i n g to star t al l over begi n n i n g agai n w i th th e ed ges an d w or k i n g i n w ar d t o th e m essy, i r r egu l ar p i eces t h e on es th at y ou w an t to jam togeth er w i t h sh eer f or ce t h e on es w or th f i gu r i n g ou t. U n t i l , af ter l ook i n g u n d er th e cou ch an d d ow n betw een th e cu sh i on s w h er e th e cr u m bs h i d e, f i n al ly f i n d i n g th e l ast p i ece n ow scr atch ed an d w or n r esem bl i n g a d r op of p ai n t of f th e br u sh an d on t o t h e p age. A r ol l i n g cou n tr y si d e takes sh ap e w h er e a br ook m ean d er i n g d ow n a gr assy k n ol l t o a h u m bl e cottage w atch es th e setti n g su n t u r n t h e w at er t o sh i m m er i n g gol d . You r ey es tr aci n g th e cu r ve an d ed ge of each p i ece cr eat i n g t h e w h ol e w at ch i n g th e su n set an d th e br ook babbl e w i t h t h e l i t t l e cot t age on t h at gr assy k n ol l si p p i n g cof f ee as th e steam f ogs y ou r gl asses an d t h e d og tw i tch es i n i ts sl eep n ex t to y ou f i n al ly con ten t w i th i t al l .

A r t w or k : A n d r ea H of f

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H u n t ed D av i d Sh ad d ock Ter r or i n th e ti t m ou se, t h e n eck h ai r of t h e zebr a i n th e f at jack r abbi t p u r su ed by a coy ot e. T h e p er egr i n e cat ch es t h e m or n i n g d ove a p od of or cas str i p l i v i n g f l esh f r om t h e h u m p back on e gr ay w ol f p l ay s l am e w h i l e t h e ot h er s l u r k . Stam p ed e, r ear , sn ar l , l eap , f r eeze p l ay d ead , ju m p back , br each , l u n ge, veer sw er ve, cl i m b, d i g, h i d e, scr am bl e, cam ou f l age. O u r n er ve en d s t oo, gi n n ed u p f or at t ack bu t n ot f r om i n v i si bl e k i l l er s on ch i l d h an d s sp ew ed f r om th e t h r oat s of ch u r ch ch oi r s p u m p ed ou t of casi n o cool i n g sy st em s. Cl i m ax p r ed ator s, at t h e t op of ou r gam e w e?r e h u d d l ed i n ou r book sh elved st u d i es af r ai d to br eath e l est t h ey f i n d u s.

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A r tw or k : Ton y M u r r ay


Winners & Losers

A r tw or k : H ol ly Sp r u ck

The following three pieces are the winners of our W inners and Losers 250-word creative writing challenge! 38


Jab ar i Bet h Sh el bu r n e T h ey th i n k th ey k n ow m e, got i t al l f i gu r ed ou t . I ?m a th u g, a p u n k , a gan gban ger , an an i m al th at sh ou l d be p u t d ow n .

m ean s ?f ear l ess? i n Sw ah i l i . M y gr an d m ot h er w an t ed h er f i r st gr an d son t o h ave a p ow er f u l n am e, bu t I bet sh e r egr et s t h at n ow.

I ?m af r ai d m y m om i s star ti n g to th i n k l i ke t h em too. Sh e tol d m e on th e p h on e th at m y gr an d m oth er r ef u ses to say m y n am e. Sh e cal l s m e ?th at boy.?

T h e l ad y t h at gave m e m y or an ge ju m p su i t asked m e abou t m y n am e. ?Jabar i , t h at y ou r n am e?? ?Yes, m a?am .?

A n ot h er i n m ate h as a cel l p h on e an d sh ow ed m e a Facebook th r ead abou t m y case.

?Sou n d s k i n d a t r i bal t o m e.? Sh e sm i l ed , h er ey es t w o bl u e gl aci er s.

?L ook at th ose h ood r ats p r ou d of bei n g t h u gs,? som eon e w r ote ben eath a p i ctu r e of m e an d m y f r i en d s.

I f ol l ow ed t h e m an ah ead of m e i n t o a sm al l , w i n d ow l ess r oom t o ch an ge. T h er e w as n o m i r r or , bu t I cou l d t el l t h e ju m p su i t w as t oo bi g, h an gi n g of f m e l i ke I w as zi p p ed u p i n a p ar ach u t e. I f el t l i ke a cl ow n w ear i n g an or an ge cost u m e. I d i d n ?t w an t t o be seen w ear i n g t h at u n i f or m i n t h i s n ast y - ass p l ace. I d i d n ?t w an t t o be seen h er e or an y w h er e. At t h at m om en t , I d i d n ?t w an t t o be.

?Po st er ch i l d r en f o r t h e d eat h p en al t y. L i gh t ?em u p .? ?I h o p e t h ey r o t i n p r i so n .? ?A t r ee an d a co u p l e o f r o p es w o u l d so l v e t h i s.? I sh ou l d n ?t be scar ed becau se m y n am e

A r tw or k : M oses Z i bor

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al w ay s w i l l b e Sar ah Br i cau l t I am jeal ou s of y ou r l au gh ,

I am f r u st r at ed by m y st u p i d ,

joy f u l , u n r estr ai n ed , car ef r ee,

st ar k i n abi l i t y

h ow y ou alw ay s seem to w i n ,

t o see p ast t h i s d am n

t o beat m e easi ly.

i m agi n ed r i v al r y.

I am jeal ou s of y ou r f r i en d s,

I am f i er cely p r ou d of y ou

y ou r su btl e soci al gr ace.

an d I t r y t o l et i t sh ow,

I am jeal ou s of y ou r h an d s, y ou r h ai r ,

t h er e?s ju st su ch bet r ay al h er e

y ou r qu i r k y, u n i qu e f ace.

t h at y ou w i l l n ever k n ow.

I am jeal ou s of y ou r geek y w ay s,

I w on d er i f y ou r ecogn i ze,

t h e n er d y gr ou p y ou ?ve m ad e,

I w on d er i f y ou see,

h ow y ou sh ow th e w or l d y ou r sel f .

t h e h u r t y ou ?ve d on e by bei n g y ou ,

T h e w ay y ou ?r e n ot af r ai d .

t h e p ai n t h at y ou ?ve cau sed m e.

I am jeal ou s of y ou r i n tel l ect

I h op e t h at f r i en d sh i p d oes p r ove

(an d h er e I th ou gh t I ?d w on ),

st r on ger i n t h e en d

bu t y ou r sof t i n tel l i gen ce

becau se y ou h ave been , an d alw ay s w i l l be,

h as m i n e qu i te ou td on e.

t h e sou r ce of m y gr eat est jeal ou sy.

I am jeal ou s of th e w ay y ou d on ?t th i n k th at i t?s a r ace. You n ever seem to see m e h er e alw ay s i n l ast p l ace. Bu t m ost of al l I ?m jeal ou s of ou r si m i l ar i ty ? t h e sen se th at I cou l d be y ou i n m y op ti m al i ty. W h at?s th e p oi n t i n tr y i n g w h en som eon e?s al r ead y th er e? al r ead y p ast th e f i n i sh l i n e, w on , w i th ou t a car e?

40


A r tw or k : M i ch el l e Sp i zi r i

41


M i d n i gh t - O ct o b er 3, 20 20 L i sa M ol i n a M oon bew i tch ed M ar s w i n k s ju st above O f f cen ter . N ot to be over sh ad ow ed , I ts ti n y n avel or an ge sp ar k l e d ot A n n ou n ces i tsel f . N ex t to th e l ar ge gl ow i n g or b, A gai n st al l l ogi c O r p r i n ci p l es of f ocu s I t over takes Su p er ced es T h e r el en tl ess f or ce of r ef l ected l i gh t U n ti l i t i s al l I can see. M ar s w i n s.

A r t w or k : K i m Sh y u

42


WRITERS Carl Griffin is a marine electrical engineer and emerging poet from the U.K. He has been previously published in samfiftyfour and is currently working on his first chapbook. Salamis Aysegul Sentug is a poet, writer and lecturer in Creative Writing living in Cyprus. This piece is dedicated to all borders and barriers of Cyprus, both imagined and real. Bradley David is a Sri Lankan poet, essayist and writer. He examines the intersections of class and race, and all the scrambled eggs it makes. He also makes a divine omelet. Katherine Collins is a poet from Bristol. She works at the University of Oxford and her writing has appeared, or will appear, in The Rialto, Shearsman, Finished Creatures, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Anthropocene. Her debut pamphlet, For the Apocalypse Team, was recently shortlisted in The Rialto's pamphlet competition. Lauren Burstein is a high school English teacher from New Jersey who makes sense of the chaos through poetry. Her work has been featured in online and print publications, including American Writers Review 2020, Cathexis Northwest Press, La Piccioletta Barca, Bluing the Blade, and New Jersey Bards, and is forthcoming in Aurora. Her ultimate goal is to speak truthfully and promote acceptance and resilience, while acknowledging the pain and longing. At age 75, Phyllis Reilly returned to writing and has been published in a variety of literary magazines including Brevity, Flash Fiction Magazine, Pif Magazine, Citron and others. Phyllis Reilly lives in Croton on Hudson, New York and has published her collection of stories. She says, “In spite of this insane world, life is good." Francis Fernandes studied in Montréal and has a degree in Mathematics. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Zodiac Review, What Rough Beast, Third Wednesday, Poetry Potion, Montréal Writes, Underwood, Bywords, Enclave. He lives in Frankfurt, Germany, where he writes and teaches. Numertha Geisinger is currently studying for an MA in English at Queen Mary University of London and completed her BA in English literature at Wheaton College, IL in 2016. She was awarded the Lowell Grabill Brett Foster Prize for Poetry. Her work has been published in Channel Magazine, Breadwinner Magazine, and elsewhere. She has lived in Chandigarh, Chicago, San Diego, and London. Delaney Sweet has an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. You can see her work in Prometheus Dreaming and Sad Girls Club. She lives in Manhattan. Regina Caggiano lives and works in the New England region of the US. Her work has been published in Crash Test Magazine, 805 Lit + Art Journal, and several campus publications from her undergraduate years. Dany Mangrove is by way of a lot of places and hasn't found a place to land yet. They are grateful to read and be read, something is so secret and sweet about this letter writing we call poetry. Stella Faulkner is a young writer who was born in London and now lives Tennessee with her two dogs. She enjoys exploring the interesting thoughts of everyday people. Margaret Prouse is an MFA student. She currently lives in Southern California. Michael Oakes recently moved to Tampa, Florida where he enjoys watching his son grow like a weed in the hot sun. They read together, and watching his imagination take hold has inspired Michael to write more. Tane Kim is a budding creative writer who lives in the suburbs of New York. Through the scribbles he writes on the pages of his notebook, Tane hopes to provide a powerful, relatable reading experience to those going through times of hardship. His work is forthcoming in the Boston Literary Magazine as well as the Scottish Hybriddreich. Since space pirate, traveling swordsman, and dragon-tamer-for-hire are no longer reliable paths to job security, Abigail Sims has settled for wordsmith. After graduating from college in 2017, she tried on an array of professional hats that included writing for stage and screen, restaurant management, and, briefly, horseback riding. Today, she lives and works in Austin, Texas, where she splits her time between marketing wizardry and spinning stories of the wild, wicked, and wyrd.


Cristina DeSouza is a poet and physician born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who lives and writes in Phoenix, AZ. She earned an MFA in creative writing/poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016 and has had multiple poems published by several literary magazines and journals both in the US and in Brazil. Her first book of poems 'The Grammar of Senses' in English came out in November 2019 by Main Street Rag. Her email address for contact is colo2309@gmail.com. Maggie Tharp is a Tennessee-based writer. For the majority of her professional career, she has held writing-heavy positions, ranging from small-town journalist to content manager. In her spare time, she writes poetry and fiction that explore the darkness, lightness, and complexity of the human experience. Bruce Magnotti is an author and poet living in the Pacific Northwest where he also writes and produces performance events. He creates and purveys traditional magical jewelry and tribal clothing through his web enterprise Urban Noire. In Co-Creation, Bruce explores the notions of reality, identity and collaboration in a minimal style meant to express the deceptive nature of simplicity. As such, each word can take on multiple meanings. As 2020 commences and we encounter a new decade, this author believes the relationship between the material and immaterial will become more significant than ever. Amanda Leal is a 27 year old poet from Lake Worth, FL. Brian Stoll is a recent Towson University graduate who has a very useful English degree. He is 26 years old with a passion for writing, and grateful to be able to use it as an outlet. David Shaddock's most recent books are "The Book of Splendor: New and Selected Poems on Spiritual Themes," and "Poetry and Psychoanalysis." His play "In a Company of Seekers" was performed at the 2013 Spoleto Festival. He is a psychotherapist with a practice in Berkeley. Beth Shelburne is a journalist and writer based in Birmingham, Alabama. Her recent work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Bitter Southerner and The Daily Beast. She has done extensive investigative reporting on Alabama’s prison system and was named a 2018 Writing for Justice Fellow with Pen America. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and a BA in Mass Communication and Journalism from Auburn University. Beth currently serves as investigative reporter for the Campaign for Smart Justice with ACLU of Alabama. For 20 years, Beth worked as a television news reporter. Her current creative practice is focused on narrative journalism, literary fiction, nonfiction and reported opinion essays, with an emphasis on the stories of marginalized communities. Sarah Bricault holds a PhD in neurobiology and currently works as a postdoc in that field. She loves to write poetry that explores the mind and how it processes information and emotion. Lisa Molina holds a BFA from The University Of Texas, and her poetry can be found in numerous literary journals. She was Associate Publisher of Austin Family Magazine and now works with children with special needs. She lives with her family in Austin, Texas.


VISUAL ARTISTS Cover art: Magic Peacock by Victoria V., 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. Kim Shyu, Never Stop Exploring; The Sunleaf; Cactus Cowgirl. Kimberly is a Digital Product Leader with B-2-B and B-2-C Product Management experience. She uses the world around her to inspire art and writing in her free time. She is an aspiring creative author and plans to publish children's books, young adult fiction and a memoir. See more at www.kimshyu.com Aslihan Aksoy is an artist and financial analyst living in Cyprus. Crystal Hartman, See for all (watercolor). Crystal is a multimedia artist and sculptural jeweler focused on ethical creativity, harmonious living, and sharing stories of our time. Raised in the high-desert southwest, exhibiting work nationally and abroad, she currently maintains a studio in Urbana Illinois where sharing a deep connection and respect for nature is at the center of her daily practice. Patricia Bingham, Buzz. Pat is a self-taught artist. She is a native Chicagoan who moved to Idaho on a whim where she works in many media; photography, collage, and painting. Her images may seem straightforward, but on closer observation one will find metaphor and symbolism, visual puns and sometimes text. Chelsea Brown, Future. Chelsea is an artist and poet based in Seattle, Washington. Her most recent artwork and poetry are inspired by her struggle with chronic illness and the feeling of being out of control of her body, herself, and her connection to others. She often depicts the female body in her work, and themes of vulnerability, fear, and empowerment. Nicholas Casciano, Old Old Staircase. An artist for over 50 years, Nicholas has produced works in all forms of media from graphite through 3D animation. As the founder of an in-house multimedia for a Fortune 500 company, he helped create and produce over 300 shows of various works. Settling on graphite as a medium of choice, in the last year he has been chosen as part of the Las Lagunas gallery in Laguna Beach CA on-line exhibit for artists over 50, and the soon to be published latest edition of the Gulf Stream online magazine published by FIU in Miami. Chad Robert Collofello, Attraction. Chad is a contemporary artist and instructor who works multiple mediums when necessary to adapt to an ongoing dialogue with the work. Shuqi Gao, Interdependence; Heartwhispers. Shuqi is an artist from Brooklyn, New York. She graduated and received an MFA Publishing Fellowship for AMP: Always Electric at Hofstra University. Her poetry has appeared in Plume and AMP: Always Electric. Her art focuses on psychology, spirituality and current issues. Paula DeStefanis, Spring Flurry (Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20"). Paula works by doing a series of paintings with the same concept running through each piece. This allows her to explore approaches in her work. She uses repetition and layering to symbolize time, duration and change. As the artist making the work, the unpredictability and potential sense of discovery is very exciting and one of the main reasons why she does what she does. Marlana Adele Vassar, Ribbons. Marlana is a visual artist living and working in Pittsburgh, PA. She primarily focuses on symbolism and surrealism in her art, and features sumptuous figures in lush environments. She loves to create images with rich visual stories that celebrate a balance between style and substance. Elizabeth Ricketson, Magical Trail. A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. In the 1990s, she studied figure drawing at the Rhode Island School of Design spending years dedicated to understanding human form, movement and anatomy. Octavio Pajaro, Celestial Storm. 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.


Zaam Arif, Study of a Couple. Zaam is an American-Pakistani contemporary artist residing and working in Houston, Texas. Zaam is currently pursuing his BFA in Design but has been an apprentice of his father, AQ Arif - an award-winning artist, for several years. Zaam explores existentialist experiences of the layman, the experiences that we tend to hide. He confronts it with a penetrating interpretation of human nature, transforming it into a visceral reality. His work is a manifestation of his understanding of the contemporary human condition along with insights garnered from his study of classical literature and psychology. He is adamant in exploring the harsher truths and inner conflicts that plague us all, in this day and age, using visual contrast in all his pieces, whether through color, lack thereof or the medium itself, to express it. J.E. Mathison, Forest for the Trees. J.E. is an ex-finance lawyer and now writes and paints full time in France. Her aesthetic tends towards the abstract and the colourful. She works with acrylics and uses art to enhance her creativity and increase her access to flow for her writing endeavours. Serge Lecomte, Reflection. 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. Katherine Bloom, 3heads. Making art is to Katherine a vital essential. She works on bringing ideas and imagery to life, and her process includes education and communication, i.e., exploration and sharing, particularly with a target of creating something meaningful and memorable. She strives to create a source of inspiration and to impact perception. Cassandra Rockwood Ghanem, California Stars. 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. Lizzy Kirby, Liminal. Lizzy sees color and texture as a way of telling her story and understanding her place as a body in the universe. Her cat Gertrude and she are based in Portland, OR, where she paints, writes and performs as a musician. Elaine Butler, City Inversion. Elaine is a Dublin-based photographer who also loves short stories. Visit her at www.ElaineButlerPhotography.com Andrea Hoff, Loose Change. Andrea is a Canadian artist, graphic novelist, and writer. She lives and works next to the Salish Sea on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam Nations. With her bright palette and a fierce heart, she has traveled the world, finding stories and friendships in the most unexpected places. You can find her words and pictures in places like The Tyee, Broken Pencil, Room Magazine, Display Canadian Design, The Oxford Writers' Network, and Netflix. Visit her at www.andreahoff.com Tony Murray, What the Lion Sees. Tony is a self-taught artists. His media include Sculpture, Scratchboard, Photography, Sculptography and Videography. Tony’s work begins with a title, he then goes about creating that idea or concept into a visual form. In this case, he thought it odd that the Zebra should look like a referee on the open plains, but after some thought he realized there must be a purpose. Using the medium of scratchboard he created, in his mind, what he believes the Lion actually sees. Holly Spruck. Class of 2018 #ArtPopCLT. Palette knife enthusiast. Former elementary art teacher. Kindergarten should start with Monet… just say’. Lived in Europe for nearly a decade. Loses track of reality in museums. Moses Zibor, Concealed. Moses is a Nigerian living in Kazakhstan. He loves painting and expressing freedom. He has been an active artist since childhood. Michelle Spiziri, Everyone is Being Watched (8x8” on canvas). Michelle Spiziri is a Baltimore, Maryland area based artist. She is a painter who uses a mix of different wet and dry mediums. Michelle creates art work that excites, evokes, and challenges the viewer. Many times she is struck by an impromptu phrase, word, or memory that sparks an idea for a new painting. Time in the studio is dedicated to contemplation, researching, and pushing the limits of visual expression.



Contents 0 1 Star gazi n g Car l Gr i f f i n 0 2 Bl u r r ed an d Bey on d Sal am i s Ay segu l Sen t u g 0 3 I k n ow sh e's al m ost th er e w h en B r ad l ey D av i d 0 4 A bu tter f ly of th e p oet as a sel f - p or tr ai t K at h er i n e Col l i n s 0 5 T h e En d of Passi on L au r en Bu r stei n 0 6 T h e M ai l box Ph y l l i s Rei l ly 0 8 Togeth er Fr an ci s Fer n an d es 10 T h e Bottom l ess Pan d em i c N u m er th a Gei si n ger 13 Si gh D el an ey Sw eet 16 Em bed Regi n a Caggi an o 17 T h e Sai n ts D an y M an gr ove 18 T h e A n t Gr ave Stel l a Fau l k n er 20 Bu s to San tu r d e d e Ri oja M ar gar et Pr ou se 22 T h e T r ee i n A i sl e 4 M i ch ael O akes 24 Eati n g W ater m el on Tan e K i m 26 D u st to D u st A bi gai l Si m s 28 Pr ay er Cr i sti n a D eSou za 30 M eth od s of Fr eezi n g Sou r d ou gh M aggi e T h ar p 32 Co- Cr eati on B r u ce M agn otti 34 Rooted A m an d a L eal 36 10 0 0 i r r egu l ar p i eces B r i an Stol l 37 H u n ted D av i d Sh ad d ock

Beyond Words I nternational Literary M agazine

I SBN 978- 3- 948977- 0 6- 1

38 W i n n er s & L oser s Ch al l en ge i n cl u d i n g B et h Sh el bu r n e, Sar ah B r i cau l t an d L i sa M ol i n a