BlacktopPassages A Literary Register of the Open Road
“Crossing the Bridge” / Christopher Woods
ISSUE ZERO Editors
Thomas John Nudi Christopher Cartright Ryan Cheng Zachary Lundgren
Blacktop Passages is published digitally and in print up to four times per year. Issue Zero © 2013 Blacktop Passages. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized outside the context of the publication itself without the proper written permission of Blacktop Passages. (ISSN: 2328-8396) For subscriptions, the PDF archive, submission information, or anything else, visit www.blacktoppassages.com, or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents 6 7
A Letter from the Editors Curator’s Note
Driving Lesson Rocking Horse Rider
Richard King Perkins II
Roads of Wyoming
Interview: Miriam Sagan
22 24 25
Iosepa Keflavik La Frontera
R. A. Allen
Donald’s Holy Head
First, Last Hit
Front & Back Covers: Oove Orozco Cover Title: Tyler Petz Spreads: Bettina Gilois This issue of Blacktop Passages would not have been possible without the generous support of the following individuals: Tim Ruswick Amanda Faye Arash Sahba Carl Mario Nudi Scott Wells
Daniel Dunn John Henry Fleming Joseph Dougherty Tim Anderson Brad Mullen Stephanie Peter Clark McCreary Patricia Ann Hall Jessica Roberts William Ward
A LETTER FROM
THE EDITORS Sometime in December—picture middle of the night—Thomas Nudi got the bright idea to start a literary journal. He went ahead and did it. A few weeks later, the rest of us signed on—probably because he asked us in the middle of the night and we were too tired to say ‘no.’ We should have known how much work it was going to take, but we pretended not to. Each of us, in different ways, for different reasons, is fascinated by the road. The flicker of white and yellow lines at higher speeds, forests that rise and fall as if they breathed, the tide of red and blue and orange lights receding and refracted in the various panes of glass: There is something so holy in travel; they’ve even given it a Saint. Having yet to found our own religion, we’ve given it a journal. Inside these few pages, you’ll find poems, images and fiction united by their obsession with the road. We’ve tried to tell a story with our content, weaving the texts and images, fleeting like roadside signage, into the kind of tale you can only invent many hours into a long, long drive. Where characters race to meet the sun before it wakes and rolls over the horizon. Where a sickle-blade of moon hangs above a poet, harvesting her dreams, her memories. Where an asphalt lane becomes the orbit of a forty-year-old satellite, circling the earth. Our featured poet, Miriam Sagan, has some ideas about writing that you’ll find in our interview. We thank Bettina Gilois for curating the art and photography, as well as for her time and effort conducting the interview with Mrs. Sagan, and we’d also like to thank R. A. Allen, Kathleen Babarsky, Ryan Bollenbach, Harry Goaz, Ed Higgins, Oove Orozco, Richard King Perkins II, Tyler Petz, William Jospeh Stribling and Christopher Woods for their wonderful contributions to Issue Zero. To everyone who sent us their writing and photography, or donated to help us get to print, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you all so much. So, please, get comfy. Stretch out in the backseat, roll up a jacket for a pillow, turn up the volume on a dead radio channel and let the white noise take you wherever it is you want to go. We’ll take care of the driving. Sincerely, The Editors of Blacktop Passages
CURATOR’S NOTE Nothing better than the open road. It is potential. It is promise. Destination is necessary but irrelevant. Inevitable but secondary. It’s the road that matters. Eating up the miles. Burning up the blacktop. The pulse of the middle divider stripes ticking off a rhythm in your eye, the exit sign slowly approaching, then suddenly passing by into the rearview mirror. Another road not taken. Another decision made. Coffee stop. Gas pump. That hot wind in Arizona and the dust in your eye. You feel the steady jerking of the pump hose as the gas is flowing, the dollars clicking on the gallon counter, and you look into the Mojave and wonder, “Who owns this land?” Curating this inaugural issue of Blacktop Passages has been a vicarious thrill. Sitting at my computer, pouring over images and words, everything relating to the open road, has taken all of the self-control I have to not close the laptop, get in the car and drive away. Laptop for blacktop. That’s an exchange I am always willing to make. The images in this issue capture the spirit of the road in the Southwest. Wide open skies. Endless sea-level landscape, the ancient oceans. Curios on the highway. Rocks for grass. Homemade dinosaurs. And a high desert plain like a launching pad to heaven. In our world today, the open road may be the last freedom, the last place of contemplation and relief from the endless churning of the information superhighway. But this is the real road: The Southwest open road. The one that jostles you with its seams of concrete. The one on which you point that wheel straight ahead, running with the sun. The one that lets you get away. I hope you enjoy this first edition of Blacktop Passages as much as I’ve enjoyed curating it and interviewing for it. All the contributions by the talented photographers and writers have been inspiring beyond measure. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have a car to drive.
Photo: Kathleen Babarsky
DRIVING LESSON Ed Higgins
Just take the mountain curves as tightly to the inside and as fast as surface conditions permit and the roadâ€™s edge or yellow center line allow my father was saying, concentrating on my desire to learn all the secrets of driving. What he meant to tell me, or so I imagine, was stay alert, that all roads take caution, pose on-coming lessons, deep curves impossible to anticipate at any age. The easy lesson wound down Woodside Road toward home that summer I was sixteen. The roads coming made you drive straighter, beyond anything you could think you wanted, away from wherever you intended to go. Even as you sometimes thrilled to their terrible ride.
ROCKING HORSE RIDER Ed Higgins
I remember when I was a rider of plastic ponies, always Roy Rogers ready on my spring-tethered steed. A western white knight, slamming black barts safely behind bars. Then riding down the trail on my eater of imaginary grass and grain. Now, the trail stands time-tethered, tied to the mirrorâ€™s sagging leer, marking all backward glance. While memory, bent like a question mark and hung with sagging flesh, moves through the mind, step on measured step, fleeing the same persistent thought. Timeâ€™s widespread rumor, never far away, comes galloping, chasing, reaching. While death is the dust-shadow we all ride from.
ROADS OF WYOMING Richard King Perkins II
In Cody I remember the woman with no teeth who was crying. We sat huddled together at the abandoned bus stop waiting to go nowhere at all. I wanted to give her a couple of cigarettes or maybe even the whole pack but then I wouldn’t have any, so I kept them, and I moved on. In Spokane I was living at the park with the other homeless people. Me and my friend were showing off to the college girls that passed by but I got tired of that so I climbed a cliff about thirty feet high and when I stood on top I could see the whole city and when I looked down I saw a kid about my age wearing black Converse shoes his body covered by a ripped orange tarp. His hands were on his stomach, cradling his severed head and I said, well, at least you can’t feel anything— but I wasn’t sure who I was talking to. I couldn’t speak for a couple of days after that and one night, by the fire, I noticed that I was wearing black Converse shoes, wrapped in an orange poncho and I knew that I would never talk again if I stayed there, so I got up, and I moved on.
Outside Spokane I gave a woman my last five dollars because she looked like the woman in Cody who I wanted to give cigarettes to. But even after she had the money, people still turned their heads from her in shame and I thought, what difference does this really make? Five dollars might last half-a-day and then she’ll still be the same anyway. I was totally broke now, and I wished I hadn’t given away all my money, so I made a note, and I moved on. In Denver I was sleeping at a friend’s place when I heard gunfire and jumped up and remembered oh yeah, this is Denver, and went back to sleep not too bothered by the drive-by-shooting. In the morning I heard that a little boy had been shot in the crossfire. I was sad in a way and wanted to do something to help. Three weeks later, I was still there, unable to think of any way to help, but I heard he had gotten better anyhow and I felt better, so I lit-up a found, half-cigarette, inhaled, and began moving on.
“Sedona” / William Joseph Stribling
AN INTERVIEW WITH
MIRIAM SAGAN Bettina Gilois
Photo Courtesy of Miriam Sagan
Bettina Gilois: Poetry and writing. Where did your journey begin?
MS (cont’d): I had kind of a flip-out of meaninglessness and existential void. And then, very oddly, in the middle of all Miriam Sagan: Like many people this meaningless chaos, I went to Yaddo who write, it started young for me. A and then to MacDowell. I was 23 years crossroads came for me when I had to old. An ignoramus. I was at MacDowell decide if I was going to keep doing it and for four months. And then I just flipped. commit to it. Before that it was kind of Left the East Coast for California and it natural and unexamined. When I was 20, was the start of a real life. I decided to pursue it. BG: You moved from the East Coast to BG: Was there a drive to write for you? California to the Southwest. Did you find Was it inevitable? Or was it a decision? that your geographic transitions influenced your writing? MS: It was like an infatuating but potentially bad boyfriend. An incredible MS: Hugely. I was raised in New Jersey. compulsion, but I hadn’t totally lost my It’s actually a very haunting, fascinating wit. I was saying to myself, “You could go place. But it was like a prison to me. for this and it will be more exciting and Right across the river is Manhattan and perhaps a little bit more dangerous than everything that that anybody could ever anything else you could do.” want. But you can’t jump there. BG: Did you study writing? MS: I studied with Robert Fitzgerald who was a great classicist at Harvard. The translator of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He represented that whole world of classical thought. This was the early seventies. The women on campus where a bit shocking to someone on the verge of retirement. But he kept his cool. BG: After college what was the path you took? MS: It was somewhat torturous. I went to graduate school for a year, which was a good thing. Stayed in graduate school to get a PhD, which was a bad thing. I couldn’t get a job. I didn’t know what I was doing and I was in my mid-twenties. My heart was broken. I went to pieces actually.
I couldn’t have been more of a Manifest Destiny person if I had been a 19th century President. I was saying, “Go West. It’s good. It will save you.” And it turns out I was right. BG: There’s something about that open space that goes far beyond geography. Many great men came from farms where there was nothing but open sky. There’s something about being in openness and nature that is very affecting. MS: That’s very nicely put. BG: If writing is a road what kind of road are you on? Is it a winding mountain incline? A wooded path? A freeway? MS: What is the road? It’s really been many different kinds of roads. If I have to summarize, it’s been a road into the remote. I am very easily scared.
16 Interview MS (cont’d):A little dirt road in a little subdivision is enough to make me think I’m in the vast wilderness. But it’s been a road that has been away from civilization. I spent several weeks out in Wendover, Utah in the barracks at the edge of the Salt Flats at the Center for Land Use Interpretation. And probably that was the most psychologically remote place I had ever been. It was very, very compelling. I tend to think I’m further away from things than I really am. Two hours out of Salt Lake and I think I’m at the edge of the earth.
BG: Very well put. The landscape of emotions. They all are travels of sorts.
Those are these very intense states that poetry thrives on. You can’t live a life where you’re always confronting very intense states. Physical remoteness works in a very similar way.
MS: That’s great.
MS: I think they are. Particularly if you like that way of approaching it. BG: How would you describe your relationship to writing? Are you two lovers? Friends? Siblings?
MS: I used to think it was a classic S&M relationship. Writing was the dominatrix. And I was the slave. This muse does not care about me at all personally. Am I hungry; am I tired? Do I want to write? BG: Are you familiar with O.E. Rolvaag’s Do I not want to write? Do I need to “Giants In The Earth”? I lived on a ranch make a living? It felt like a harsh mistress myself. It was seven miles to the mailso to speak. box and an hour to the grocery store. It is a little bit like being on the Moon. It’s Then I would say I outgrew this need to daunting and liberating at the same time. for highly romantic relationships. Settled down by the time I was thirty or so. I’d MS: It makes me feel like I’m on the say it’s very passionate. edge of what I can do. I often feel, and I don’t know if other BG: Is that something that inspires you? people experience this, I feel like I’m going to be with the writing. Certain things MS: I’m very into it. There have been I want to wear. Certain things I want to times when I absolutely needed it. Times eat. when it’s been more optional. Remoteness and intense emotional states. You It’s like a date. Certain things I want to know. You had kids. When you have a read. Being with the writing the way you small baby you don’t need to be somewant to be with a spouse. I want to keep where really remote, because you already the writing entertained. I want to look are somewhere really remote. You’re off good. It’s very personal. your map. You’re into the free-fall. Being grief-stricken is like that. Being in love is BG: It is like a relationship. Sometimes like that. you’re not speaking to each other.
BG: You travel and write about traveling. Sometimes you write while traveling? Does the open road inspire you?
MS: That’s interesting. I’ve had two very intense kinds of traveling over the last 20 years. The really “on the road” traveling has been with my husband, Rich. This is his art form. When you’re on a road trip with him, it’s like being in somebody else’s movie. Or play.
MS (cont’d): This is my significant spot. This is my destination. I end up back here.
BG: Sometimes it’s just the necessary evil at the end. Sometimes it more about the process than the ending.
It’s like getting on an airplane and realizing, “Oh, I’m in Pittsburgh with a toothbrush.” It’s like not really knowing where you’re going.
BG: I find that writing is like embarking on a trip, when you’re about to embark on another project, and there is a destination in mind. If I have to write a It’s been super inspiring. It’s also been screenplay I literally have the page count stressful. It’s very hard to write when in mind. These are all mile markers. I you’re with somebody else 24 hours a know I have to get to 120 miles. When day. A person who is not a writer. Who I’m at 30 miles I know how much further doesn’t want to stop. But he expanded I have to go, and that road feels endless my range physically. To the point that I sometimes. Sometimes you feel like know the Southwest and West really well. you’re coasting. How would you describe your process of writing? Is that a road for He was this magic guide who appeared you? in my life and started taking me to any place that I said I had this mild interest MS: It’s a contract. I’m teaching full in going to. And he would make it haptime. In a way that drained off a lot of my pen. He’s said he’s a servant to the muse. organizational propulsive energy. What I have been finding recently is that what BG: That’s really great that you have a I’m working on is not apparent for quite wizard on the road. There’s an internal some time. For instance I didn’t know I road trip. And there’s one that you share. was working on a book until I had finished it. I didn’t realize it was connected. MS: I traveled with a photographer, Te- I just thought of myself as having these resa Neptune, and we called them “Road obsessions. Writing blind. Daily life is trips to the Moon.” I liked having somepreoccupying me. body else to collaborate with. I have recently been working on a longish BG: What is your relationship to destipiece of fiction, but I didn’t realize it’s nation? Is it inevitable? Necessary? The something I had written with some of dreaded thing? the same characters and some of the same names. That was just stashed. The MS: You have to have it. But it might be subconscious patterns seem to be ruling an illusion. the day.
MS: I ended up writing this long poem about the women’s room at the Albuquerque airport and some of the artwork that’s hanging there.
BG: What are your important influences for your writing?
MS: I’m hugely influenced by the Beats. Phil Whalen, who was associated with Ginsburg and the Gallery Six readings. He was an amazing person who connected me emotionally to that lineage. The whole idea of being on the road. Not deriving from Europe. It’s really American.
MS(cont’d): I didn’t know what people’s behavior meant. I was on a tremendous learning curve.
Then one day I pulled up to my funky little house and had this moment that I thought, has all my work and struggling and traveling come down to this funky I’m a woman. I’m also very influenced little house? And I think that it was in by the Confessional School. By Plath. that moment that I realized that this By Sexton. Maybe influenced is not the decrepit neighbor is made beautiful by right word. I’m not trying to be like them. your love for it. Feeling the weight of their influence. I’ll always be an outsider. That’s not a And then world poetry. Greek anthology. bad thing. It’s probably necessary for a Neruda. Spanish Poets. Latin American writer. poets. Chinese. Japanese. That whole international, very lyric poetry. Where BG: I get deep into people but I need people feel free to speak in a certain way that distance at the same time. You can’t you sometimes don’t see in American judge and you can’t get too involved. poetry. Tremendously direct and lucid. Beautiful surface. That’s my fave. BG: Writing is vision. Is your writing an inner vision? Is it influenced from the BG: The writer and the writing are ofoutside? Where does it come from? ten two different things. Is there a writer you’d like to meet? Dead or alive? Or MS: It would be great to know the real is the writer best kept away? How does answer. I experience it as coming from personality relate to writing? the outside. I know it must be coming from the inside on some level, because MS: I would like to meet Sappho. Who that’s how the mind is structured, but I wouldn’t? The great-grandmother of all always experience it as external. I heard women poets. She had a school on the is- a Zen teacher once say, “Anybody who land of Lesbos. I always think, she had a has an enlightenment experience, the job. It’s kind of reassuring. Then it would trigger comes from outside.” The Budhave to be William Carlos Williams. dha became enlightened when he saw They’re all dead. I haven’t got anybody the Morning Star rise. I thought that’s living. Patty Smith. Would that work for just like poetry. You have to have some living? quality of availability. Maybe it really is relational. I don’t experience it as coming BG: Yes. Would you say the landscape of from deep within me. I always feel like New Mexico influences your writing? something has caught my interest. Something is singing outside. MS: At first I was obsessed with it. I didn’t know what I was looking at. That’s such a great question. It would be great to ask about fifty people the same question.
BG: Maybe it’s an alchemy of both. The outer cue and the inner response that translates into vision.
BG: If you could get in your car and drive anywhere you want, where would you go?
MS: Reno to Great Basin. And then maybe back through Mono Lake. To go near the Loneliest Highway, which is Route 50. It’s still pretty lonely. Someplace really big, mountainous, dry, and has no destination, and has hot springs, and archaeology, and some rock art, some weird funky towns. A trip that is just passage through.
BG: Poetry. What’s your favorite form of poetry? In your own writing and what you appreciate. MS: I like very short forms. I love traditional haiku. I like the short-work poem. I like that sexiness. That seductive quality, where the work says, ‘come with me,’ and it doesn’t take up the whole page. BG: Short-form poetry and haiku it’s like food. Poetry is so delicate; it’s like the highest form of culinary experience. Words have flavors. The less, the more important every flavor is.
BG: Since you’re in New Mexico I have to ask: Red or Green chile? MS: It’s totally so green. What about you? BG: It’s Christmas. I just need the dialectic of the red and the green together.
BG: Writing novelistically vs. prose? How do you feel about writing other than MS: I have to say, it ruined me. It was poetry? suddenly like a drug. I ate it and that was it. I just wanted to eat it for the rest of MS: I like going back and forth. There’s my life and was unhappy if I couldn’t. It’s a lot more heavy lifting in writing other the great thing about New Mexico, every than poetry. Poets will go on about how place has chile. It’s not American food. hard it is, but it’s not that time consumIt’s going to be something that’s got chile ing. Prose has more elbow grease in on it. it. Lets you experiment and work. And slightly less inspiration-dependent. A BG: It’s like nowhere else in America. B+ essay is worth writing. But a pretty good poem, I would have to throw out. BG: Final question. Is there a final destiPoetry is much more that you have to hit nation or is it the open road? the high note. I feel that effort is more appreciated by prose, but poetry is a little MS: I’m trying to find out the answer to bit more inspiration-dependent for me. that question. That is the question of the moment. BG: There’s a lot more rolling up your sleeves. MS: It helps you get through the day. BG: Exactly. The page count. The miles.
Miriam Sagan I exit south and try to drive the remote road off 80 to Iosepa not that there is much there mostly a story of Hawaiians, converted who came, Mormons, to Utah segregated from Salt Lake an incongruous marker of a Polynesian king or warrior in a helmet and a lone mountain that oddly looks like him a limestone slab carved with palm trees, sea turtles, and sharks and a welcome sign Aloha Iosepa tropical blue against the Utah sky and mountains (outrigger canoe dark in the oncoming wave)
how did they manage building a fish tank farming leprosy, a graveyard and a return to an island where Latter Day Saints have built a temple this is the kind of thing I really like people somewhere they ought not to be and consequences but Iâ€™ve been alone for a week and need to recover from vastness turn back and head for a hotel-T.V., room service, a bed-at the Salt Lake City airport.
Miriam Sagan The satellite dish In Iceland Tracks sputnik And my childhood Hiding under the desk From Russian bombs Tracks dream Tracks the inner fire Of planets and the coldness Of asteroids The abandoned army base With its bulbous tower striped white and red Domes, geodesic structures, Its tanks with haunting moonshell staircases Seagulls perched on streetlamps Barracks now full of students Jets taking skyward And everywhere the smell of the sea... Tracks departure Tracks my dead grandparents Spooning borscht Tracks how Russian The Russian Jews still are As packed and dressed I must return and sit for a moment In the apartment by the lake So I’ll return To Iceland Tracks muffled oars Mist New found land Earth’s satellite The moon I haven’t seen emerge Even once In a month of these white nights...
LA FRONTERA Miriam Sagan
curvature of the earth visible both day and night a scoliosis sunrise over the time zone a sudden division: the bad news I hear of the turn youâ€™ve taken border between the living and the dead between Wendover, Utah and West Wendover, Nevada
Photo: Kathleen Babarsky
Ryan Bollenbach I Sunlight digs into a patch of clover. You inventory their leaves like books as if they contain the essence of all the people who have impacted your life— A keychain dins. You fear what happens when your mother drives her car. You picture the scene: honeycomb of steel; rosary, blood, glass and chalk on black asphalt; all silent except the distant passing of trains; all dark except the glow of bruise-blue lights—. You hear her engine rev. Orange engulfs the clovers. You wave as your mother drives off. The petals glow, on the verge of flame. II Through your windshield the stoplight looks like two red moons seen from inside a turbid river. Its eyes have watched for ten minutes, unblinking, besieging you in the cab of your truck. You sit quiet, frozen, resigned to stillness, night—shunning anticipation of freedom. The driver opposite you is angry, writhes in the streetlight’s gaze, rage paints his face. Soon he tires, falls into stillness like a dragonfly swallowed by a rising tide of sap. You imagine an alternate life where he runs the light, frees himself from amber. A semi-truck collision. You dial the ambulance, gagging from fumes of burnt rubber and blood. You wonder which of the four of you is most alive.
SOUâ€™MEMPHIS R. A. Allen pilgrimaging to Graceland you missed your off-ramp so this one will have to do you failed to notice sneaker fruit adangle in the wires above didnâ€™t see the board-ups the burnouts tagged and slashed with blue curlicues red ziggedy-zags they wanted you car they asked you nice they recycled you in a green garbage cart.
DONALD’S HOLY HEAD Harry Goaz Donald’s holy head, my graciousness butt-crack sandwich. Donald is a freak like me and always will be and that is why he hangs out on the edge of the junction at the end of the field during weekends. He’s the only one out there and he walks back and forth thinking about something that is consuming his life and everything he thinks he knows about it. The junction gives him this power of the serious mind. His petty little head is probably full of the dark things that mine is, but he don’t know how to be the master of his universe, to blend in and charm and awe like me. I don’t need the junction like Donald. Donald’s short life is written all over his long face.
FIRST, LAST HIT
CONTRIBUTORS R. A. Allen’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Quarterly, The Recusant (UK), Pear Noir, Word Riot, Gargoyle, JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, and elsewhere. He lives in Memphis. Kathleen Babarsky is 24 years old and the iPhone 4 is her camera of choice. While it is slightly dangerous and she doesn’t recommend it to anyone, she has recently been taking photos while driving, most of which are focused through the windshield of her Celica. “I don’t pause and think about a photo before I take it; I see something I deem beautiful and snap, a second later, it’s out of my sight.”
Oove Orozco is a New Mexican photographer and artist working in Southwest imagery. Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie, and a daughter, Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Fox Cry, Prairie Winds and The Red Cedar Review, with forthcoming work in The William and Mary Review, Bluestem and Two Thirds North. Tyler Petz is a web developer and graphic artist born in Sarasota, Florida where he currently resides. He is working towards his bachelor’s in Computer Science and does freelance web/ graphic design at TylerPetz.com.
Ryan Bollenbach lives, writes, and noodles on his guitar in Tampa, Florida. He is a fan of poetical mysticism and cinematic minimalism. His poetry can be read at Prick of the Spindle, Brevity Poetry Review, and the Rose Red Miriam Sagan is the author of twenty-five Review. His editorial work can be read at www. books, including the poetry collection Map sweetlit.com. of the Post (University of New Mexico Press). She founded and directs the creative writing Bettina Gilois is an award-winning screenprogram at Santa Fe Community College. Her writer and author who has been writing in blog is Miriam’s Well (miriamswell.wordpress. Hollywood for over twenty years. Her screen com). In 2010, she won the Santa Fe Mayor’s credits include the Disney/Bruckheimer proaward for Excellence in the Arts. duction Glory Road for which she was nominated for the Humanitas Prize. She lives in Los William Joseph Stribling began his underAngeles. graduate studies at NYU, where he received degrees in film & TV production and dramatic Harry Goaz is an American actor famous literature. He is currently pursuing a master’s for his role as Deputy Andy Brennan in David in screenwriting from Chapman University. Lynch’s Twin Peaks, as well as his work on the His NYU thesis, Beyond Belief, is currently critically acclaimed Eerie Indiana. He continrunning the festival circuit and is wrapping up ues to be a staple of independent films and is post-production on his first feature, Lies I Told prominent in the Los Angeles arts community. My Little Sister. Ed Higgins and his wife live on a small farm in Yamhill, OR, raising a menagerie of animals including two whippets, a manx barn cat (who doesn’t care for the whippets), two Bourbon Red turkeys (King Strut and Nefer-Turkey) and a pair of alpacas named Machu & Picchu. He teaches creative writing and lit at George Fox University where he is Writer in Residence.
Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Texas. His books include a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky, and a book of stage monologues for actors, Heart Speak. His photographs have appeared in a number of journals, with photo essays published in Glasgow Review, Deep South, Public Republic and Narrative Magazine.
The very first issue of Blacktop Passages, a literary journal of the open road. With work by R. A. Allen, Kathleen Babarsky, Ryan Bollenbach...