Cabildo Quarterly. Issue #2. Fall 2012. Belchertown MA; Orono ME. Dementia Of A Higher Order. (from) The Summer Flood Came Home by Stefania Irene Marthakis Through the window, towels press upon the ledge, water has started to collect. Flood lies on the floor. Flood watches the painting above the couch, floral covered in plastic. Flood watches the painting until the painting becomes the whole wall. A room, far wall, all of it; a mountain scene painted. This is the first or second room you enter depending on the door entered, front door or side door, left of house. If you play with the light, you can see it. The house on the wall is peach, thick paint with a large balcony. At every moment it is possible that someone will look out the window and call to someone or walk onto the balcony. The balcony exists for guests that would arrive one evening; Mr. Skirtu is red, unshakable. Mr. Skirtu’s sleeve pinned to his chest. I’m having a hard time. The memories are serious; the memories wear hats. Mrs. Skirtu slips a small snifter into Mrs. Skirtu’s purse, looks the other way and says I want to see Poland when there is snow on the ground. Stefania Irene Marthakis’a poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, New American Writing, Bombay Gin,The Recluse and Lungfull!.
Beginnings By Adam Crowley It’s 2005. Times are good. Even the Chinese are getting fat. But I have a problem – we have a problem – and Rhonda is determined to resolve it before we reach the end of the Antigonish breakwater in St. Stephen’s, New Brunswick. “It's just not a chance you’re likely to get again,” she explains. “Hipsters are – well, it’s a hit and miss market for us. And they’re fickle, too. Even when you think you’ve got them dead in your sights, they can up and disappear.” “I didn’t even know we were looking for hipsters.” “We weren’t,” she says. “It’s just that, well – Hey, Dave, could you maybe help us out here a little?” She bends down to tighten the Skull Candy laces on her Doc Martens. And she’s acting like she's hating this, the breakwater, the province – and most of all being out here with me and her wunderkind partner from Righting, Gagnon, and Cyr. “Yeah, um, Adam” – he lowers his phone – “It’s a timing issue – okay? If you go down there now, Alabama, Mississippi, maybe Kentucky, for three or four weeks, we can get you and The Hinterlectuals fifty, maybe even more, book signings and readings. It’s a career maker. And last time I checked, you didn’t have a career, Buck-o” The tough guy's back on the phone now, lowering himself and his expensive pants onto a sea-weed encrusted boulder mid-way down the reach. Rhonda adds, exasperated: “There’s like probably thirty-thousand dollars in this for you, okay? Maybe even a movie or cartoon or comic book.” “Thirty-five, easy,” Dave adds, hardly looking up from his knees. “And a cartoon series on Adult Swim with royalties, I think.” “That sounds great.” “So what’s the problem, then?” “I didn’t write it.” “You what?” “I didn’t write it.” “Of course you wrote it.” “Okay, yeah I wrote it. No – wait. I didn’t.” “Goddammit!” she says, takes me by the tie, and leads me into towards the ocean. Shoving me onto the last stone before the drop, Rhonda places two hands on my shoulders, looks me dead in the eyes, and, as rehearsed, says,
“Are we doing business here or not? Thirty-five thousand dollars. Cartoons, maybe even a comic book series! TV! You on the map, me on the map! Us on the map, Adam. I know you wrote it. I watched you write it, for God’s sake!” The tears she needs show up. I let a moment pass as I have been instructed to while she leans up and into my ear and, very softly, says, “Now tell Dave in your big boy voice that you’ll sign the deal, but only if you work with me exclusively.” “I’m only doing this with Rhonda, Dave!” I yell as loud as I can, while she whispers, “Tell him to go back and wait in the car until we’re done. And don't look like you're thinking!” “Go get in the car, your car!” I scream. “I’m dealing with her on this one. Her only, Dave!” He looks up, hurt, and he should be, as he's just lost about five thousand dollars. As the big man wanders away is his sea-stained pants, I pity him for the first time since Rhonda revealed her plans to me. “Is he going?” she asks. “Yup.” And we wait until the door of the Escort slams shut before we continue. Her hands go from my shoulders to the buttons of my sports coat. “Thank you so much for doing this,” she says, drops her forehead into me. “I’ll make partner for taking the lead on this deal. But -- now don’t forget to scowl, so he can see it in your face.” I do. As much as a I can, anyway. “And try to jerk away but don’t really,” she says. And I do. “He thinks you’re crying,” I tell her. “No – he’s the one that’s crying,” she says. “He thinks he’s been cut out of the commission totally now. He hates me right now, despite the show.” “But when we go back and you tell him I’ve agreed to work for a 6/4 commission split between you both?” “He’ll be grateful to me and to you.” “And this is important, why?” I ask. “It just is,” she says, and is hugging me now. “Keep scowling. Oh, say, ‘No, no, nooo!’ kind of loudly. Maybe swear some more.” I do. “Now twist a bit like you are trying to get away – now stop.” So I stop. She lets go and flips open her own phone, calls Dave, gives him the news, and then hangs up and looks me up and down. We're struggling again, but this time she’s holding my hands firmly behind my back, and I’m holding her’s. “Now tell me this isn’t the most romantic moment of your life so far.” And I can’t. Adam Crowley says, “There’s more where that came from.” He can be reached at crowleyadammikah @gmail.com. Poetry by Patricia France Cobwebs hang in the binding of my notebook. Beer in my hand, journal notes addressed to me Dear diary…brown liquid stain my papered thoughts, like little diamonds scattered over a bar floor.
Patricia France is a poet and painter studying creative writing at Stonecoast writing program at the University of Southern Maine.Originally from Oakland, California, she is currently working on poems inspired by magical realism.
Eve Babitz By Quincy Rhoads In this photo Marcel Duchamp plays chess with a nude woman in an art gallery. A mobile hangs from the ceiling; a mediocre still life is in the back of the room. Duchamp has a smug look on his face. I think he is winning. The woman looks away, perhaps at the mobile or maybe simply away from Duchamp. Her hair is blacker than Duchamp’s suit. Her breasts are paler than his queen. One time I fell in love with a photograph. A girl was in a frame at an estate sale, locked forever in the 1970’s. Her hair, like Duchamp’s opponent, was deeply black. The rest of the photo was washed out in a way that has now become vogue with hipsters and their camera phones with its oranges and yellows and browns. I wanted nothing more to buy the photo, but, like Duchamp, I exercised restraint, punched the play clock, let her make her move, sacrificed my pawn. Quincy Rhoads lives in Tennessee with his wife, Emily. His work has previously appeared in THE2NDHAND, Weekly Litareview, and Zone 3.
Springtime by Ben Stein Springtime is when Dave comes by at ten today to put in the screens. Always remember to not open any windows that don’t have their screens. If you want to take the blue blanket out of the trunk so you can sleep with it tonight because it is the springtime blanket, you can do that. And if you want to wave it out and hang it on the curtain rod by the sunny window, you can do that too. But do not open the window yet. You can duck under the blanket and sit between it and the window, and it will be like being in a warm blue room by the window, or like wearing a warm blue cape around your back. Maybe it will make you think about all the springtime happening on the outside side of the glass. You can think about all the warmness happening, and let some of it come through the glass onto your knee, and then onto your leg and you can lay squinched up on the floor in your blue warm sun cave because that is what cats sometimes do, and cats are sometimes good things to be like, especially in the springtime. If Dave comes by at ten today to put in the screens and you are on the floor being like a cat, you can just tell him about it. I mean, you can just say Hey Dave, a cat by the window is a good thing to be. He will probably understand. You can tell Dave understands when his stomach lifts up and his belt buckle shines in the sun. Dave’s Virginia Is For Lovers belt buckle is the big one and it is big enough to show out from under his stomach where it hangs over, but only part way, so most of the time all you can see is For Lovers. And but it shows and shines even more when Dave laughs at things because all the laughing makes his stomach lift up and show the whole buckle with all the words and so that is how you know he understands about being a cat by the window or about whatever you were saying. When he is done laughing and everything is back to For Lovers, and he says Well you didn’t open your windows without the screens again, did you? you can tell him No and have it be Heaven’s Truth, because you remembered last year, when you baked some raisin muffins and the oven made the room so hot you opened the window before Dave came by to put in the screens and Tree Cat, who lives in the tree outside the window, came inside, which is the opposite of where he is supposed to be, and you could tell because he didn’t know what to do about all the muffins and he kept rubbing his face on them and then he rubbed his face on my face and then he bit my
face and also scratched it and so I shouted something like Oh Tree Cat that was my face you bit what kind of outside friend are you who comes inside? And with all the racket Dave knew something was going on and came upstairs and got Tree Cat back outside the window and took good care of me. So if you remembered all that and Dave says All right, I’m glad you remembered and you can read his whole belt buckle, then you know you did a good remembering and not opening the windows job. Also, when a person comes by to put in the screens, it is a good time to have a conversation with him. You could tell him something like, Hey Dave, thanks for all the screens. And asking questions is good to do for conversations too, so maybe Hey Dave, are those special not hot boots for wearing in the springtime and even in the summer like I remember you did last summer when you saved me from Tree Cat and I thought your feet would be so hot? Dave’s boots do not look like not hot boots. They look like very hot boots. You could ask him if he wants to have a visit or a sitdown when he’s done. You could ask him if he wants a can of FAYGO DR. FAYGO or maybe a FAYGO REDPOP. You could tell him to take off his very hot boots and have a sit-down. Also remember that it is okay for just maybe one of those things and not the rest. So if Dave has a REDPOP but not a sit-down, it is okay. And if he doesn’t want to take his boots off, that’s okay too. It’s no skin off my teeth if he doesn’t want to take his very hot boots off and have his feet cool off now that I can open the windows and if instead he just finishes his REDPOP and says Well, gotta get the rest of these screens put in. I’ll see you around. I’ll just say Okay Dave thanks for all the screens and everything. Always remember to say thanks for everything. And maybe if he’s happy about all the screens he just put in, you’ll see his whole belt buckle one more time before he leaves and his boots go up the stairs so loud you can hear them. So since Dave got all the screens put in, I guess now you can open the windows. First the one in the kitchen, because it opens sideways like a book and you can latch it to the wall with the little hook and that is kind of fun to do. And then the one over here by where you hung the blue blanket. Now what comes in won’t be Tree Cat but will be the breeze. The breeze will puff out the blue blanket like it is a sail for your room and your room is a ship sailing somewhere where everything is the perfect blanket to sleep with in the springtime, which is what the blue blanket is. Ben Stein lives and writes in Amherst, MA. Jimmy and Tony by Sam McPheeters Jimmy and Tony were upset to put it mildly that actress Monica Bellucci elected to not show her “pussy” in The Matrix Reloaded The next day they were back in the theater with picket signs what are you guys fucking crazy asked the theater manager. Sam McPheeters’ debut novel “The Loom Of Ruin” is available now on Mugger Books.
The Hunting Lodge by Jacob Kempfert On an especially cold Thursday afternoon, we traveled, based upon a recommendation from a recent acquaintance, a local (for the most part, although he spent many of his summers some distance away, possibly in another hemisphere entirely), to the south. There was a hunting lodge of some repute nestled in the southern woods, and we thought, even though none of us had brought along any of our hunting rifles, that we might make a long weekend of it. (Perhaps the lodge has hunting rifles available for sale or rent, we thought at the time.) We took the train and disembarked at the appropriate station at sunset. There were no cars available at the station, and that particular hamlet did not have bus service, so we began walking. In our estimation, the lodge was near enough. We walked until none of us could recall the last time we had seen an electric light, either alongside the road or among the distant mountains that had loomed gray and hazy on the far horizons while the sun was still up. We thought perhaps the train station had electric lights, but we arrived while the evening was bright enough to not require their use, so we couldn’t be certain. Some of us recalled seeing lightbulbs along the eaves of the station roof; others denied adamantly that any such things existed at all. We bickered for some time about this, hours perhaps, because we had no lights to direct us, and we were a considerable distance from the station, and an unknown distance from the lodge, and since we did not know if it would be better for us to turn back and find the station or forge ahead to the undiscovered lodge, we were content, for perhaps a number of hours, to remain in the total darkness of the forest path, and, even though the forest was silent, still we shouted, because none of us could see where those we argued with stood. We were interrupted by an old man with a lantern and a long convoy of bicycles. The old man appeared to be clever, for he managed to pull all of the riderless bicycles along at once, by means of an ingenious use of a single length of sturdy rope. When he met us he smiled, and his glistening teeth reflected the orange of his lantern, and his moist squinting eyes appeared green, due, we supposed, to the lantern light mixing with the purple shadows under his thick bushy brow. After a brief struggle to comprehend his localized dialect, we agreed to purchase the bicycles from the old man, as they would help us get to our destination (whether it would be the station or the lodge, we had yet to dispute) far quicker than if we continued on foot. We agreed on a price that we knew was to our disadvantage. No matter: we needed the bicycles and had no other options. The old man concluded the sale with a phrase we interpreted as an idiomatic curse. This interpretation we attributed to our own ignorance of the local dialect, rather than any malice on the part of the old man. All that remained, then, was to determine our destination that evening: would we take the long familiar road to the station and await a morning train? or would we hazard the unknowable distance of the forest trail to the hunting lodge? One of us mentioned that no matter our destination, the bicycles were perhaps a bad idea, as none of us could see, as they say in the common parlance, our hands waving before our eyes. When we turned to the old man to negotiate a return of his bicycles and our money, he had already walked away, and was far enough down the path and into the dark woods to be out of sight and earshot. We were not cumbered with the bicycles for long. Around another turn in the trail we entered a black open expanse, where long ago trees had been hewed away, and knee-high prairie grasses had just once again began to grow. We could then see against the dark blue sky (it was overcast and neither stars
nor moon were visible) the distinct cutting line of the black treetops, and against the treetops we discerned a purple, hulking shadow, the edges and angles of which were so straight and sharp that it could only be a structure made by man. We decided that this, then, was the hunting lodge we sought. We locked the bicycles together (for the old man had been kind enough to give us locks for each of the bicycles, for only a modest additional fee) and left them in the front yard. Upon entering the structure – the front door, while locked, had been left ajar – we were disappointed to discover, after many tedious fumblings, there were no light switches. However, we perceived from a hall off the main room an occasional flare of white light that burned for a sudden instant, like lightning, then faded. These flares provided a dim illumination of the main room, and we knew for a certainty that we had arrived at the hunting lodge when, with each gray flash, the twisting shadows of antlers scattered high upon the upper rafters like a complicated network of engorged spiders’ legs. With more trepidation than curiosity, we investigated. As we entered the hall we could see the source of these bursts emanating from a room at the far left end. Through a series of vague gestures, which none of us could see or understand between the darkness and the sudden sporadic blazes, we elected one of us to enter the room first. Our representative stumbled into the room and for a long moment we heard nothing. When we awoke in the morning we found our bicycles had been stolen. Jacob Kempfert is a scoundrel and a liar. His full-length play, "The Accusing Parlor," is available from Breaking Fourth Plays & Press at www.breakingfourth.com. He and his wife currently teach in Gangneung, South Korea.
Red Birds by Amanda Johnston coffee stains on the counter pantries bloated with garbage this is no way to welcome your mother when her spirit comes to this rotten belly of a house overflowing with cat piss and decay to find her daughter digging a grave thirty years too soon the cardinals come to haunt her ramshackle table a green egg moldy bread the birds smell her hunger peck small holes in the screen but she does not turn on the oven or grow wings she sits with a cigarette in one hand an axe in the other Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian poet, Amanda Johnston has performed internationally for various causes and events. Honors include multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International. www.amandajohnston.com
Cabildo Quarterly, issue #2. Press run of 1000 copies, 25th October 2012. Michael T. Fournier, majordomo, and introducing Lisa Panepinto, poetry editor.Todd Dills, intellectual property manager. Published four times a year, but you knew that. Correspondence and books/records/etc. for review on our webpage can be mailed to CQHQ, PO Box 784 Belchertown MA 01007. For additional copies, please conceal a few bucks well to the same address (or, for a whole stack of these things, suitable for framing, distrubution, or lining your rabbit’s cage, five bux). We’re looking for submissions, which are best sent via the email: short story submissions of no more than 3000 words to firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or 3 poems to Lisa at email@example.com. Simultaneous submissions are okay -- we know how it is out there -- just let us know if/when your stuff gets accepted elsewhere. Hit Cabildoquartetly.tumblr.com for more work from these and other authors, as well as reviews, interviews, and all sorts of general hoo-ha. Thanks to all the contributors, and thanks, also, to everyone who came or helped out on the summer 2012 tour for “Hidden Wheel,” Mike’s debut novel: Jessup, Thee Mike Faloon, Shelly and Turnip, Aaron and Book Thug Nation, Mike DeCapite, Tobias Carroll, Eric Truchan and his basement, Black Wine, Rachel Perry-Bergen and Rob Bergen, Megan and Dexter Murphy, Sammy Ponzar, Amy Brady, Atomic Books, Maggie Sabo, Momi and Ramsay Antonio-Barnes, Tyler Babbie and Kate Kenderish, Chop Suey Books, The Regulator Bookshop, Adra Raine and Dave Harold, Heather and Andy Malenke, Lori Timm, Maggie @ Wonder Root, Miriam Leibowitz and the aforementioned Mr. Dills. If I forgot to mention you, write your name here: ___________. Biggest thaks to Rebecca, for being an amazing tourmate and an incredible wife (with the ability to withstand three weeks in the car with me, no less!). Listen to Dead Trend!