LITERARY & ARTS M A G A Z I N E Cochise College Cochise & Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona Editors Cappy Love Hanson Julia Jones College Advisors Shirley Neese Jeff Sturges Jay Treiber Rick Whipple
Front and Back Cover Art Art: “Vida” by Marcela C. Lubian Design: Rick Whipple About Mirage
Mirage Literary and Arts Magazine is designed and produced by students of Cochise College and/or volunteers from the community, with help from faculty advisors. Those interested in participating in the production of Mirage should contact Cochise College at 520515-0500. Visit us at www.cochise.edu/mirage. Hard copies of Mirage can be obtained at both the Douglas and Sierra Vista campus libraries. Acknowledgements The Mirage staff would like to thank the following people for their help in producing the magazine: the staff of the Copper Queen Library, Bisbee; and Elizabeth Lopez, Diane Nadeau, Tracey Neese, George Self, and Curt Smith, proofreaders. Creative Writing Celebration Winners Mirage publishes the first-place winners of the previous year’s Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration competitions in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, if available. The Celebration takes place in late March/early April and is produced by Cochise College, the University of Arizona South, and the City of Sierra Vista. Visit the Creative Writing Celebration at www.cochise.edu/cwc. The following are the winners of the 2012 competitions: Poetry – Nadine Lockhart: “As It Was” Fiction – Candy Adams Terry: “More Than Just a Dream” Nonfiction – Beth Colburn-Orozco: “Natalie”
Mirage Mission Statement Mirage Literary and Arts Magazine has a three-part mission: 1. Mirage serves Cochise and Santa Cruz counties by showcasing high-quality art and literature produced by community members. 2. Mirage serves Cochise College by establishing the College as the locus of a creative learning community. 3. Mirage serves Cochise College students by providing them an opportunity to earn college credit and gain academic and professional experience through their participation in all aspects of the production of the literary and arts magazine. Font This year’s Mirage is printed in Minion, an Adobe original typeface designed by Robert Slimbach. Minion is inspired by classical, oldstyle typefaces of the late Renaissance, a period of elegant, beautiful, and highly readable type designs. Copyright Notice All rights herein are retained by the individual author or artist. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without written permission of the author or artist, except for limited scholarly or reference purposes, to include citation of date, page, and source with full acknowledgement of title, author, and edition. Printed in the United States of America. © Cochise College 2013
Mirage 2013 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Literature Individuality Overdose . . . . . . . .1 Xymyl Family Steakhouse . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Leslie Clark
Art Work Will Wait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Mary Fogleman Toujours L’Amour . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Katherine Baccaro Monsoon Landscape . . . . . . . . . .6 Kristie Sullivan The Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Stacy T. Smith Recycled Steel Dragon . . . . . . . . .8 Lindsay Janet Roberts Break of Dawn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Xo Terra Mr. Giraffehead Does Shakespeare . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Alan Potter The Edge of Glory . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Nischa Roman Arlene’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Lynda Coole Main Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 David Day Vida 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Marcela C. Lubian Decay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Jesse C. Waite Sumerian Maiden . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Katherine Baccaro The Peek-a-boo Goat . . . . . . . .17 Kristie Sullivan
Pink Heart Ornament . . . . . . .18 Lindsay Janet Roberts Ducks at Sunrise . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Natalie Melton Literature Crop Circles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Sergio Lalli Lover, Since You’ve Taken a Night Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Lavendra Copen Said . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Xymyl Raining Somewhere, Never Here . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Leslie Clark Art Under the Bridge . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Dawn Edmonds The Yellow Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Jack Miller Spin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Jesse C. Waite Midnight at the Oasis . . . . . . . .31 Xo Terra The Wasa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Paul Teza Saturday Night Stomp . . . . . . .33 Katherine Baccaro Red Hot Chips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Michelle Barber Sandhills at Sunrise . . . . . . . . . .35 R. J. Luce Rise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Nischa Roman
Flowers in Green Valley . . . . . .37 Elizabeth Gibson Historically We Wolves Have Been Misunderstood . .38 Alan Potter Forces United . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Archie William Sutton Butchart Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Jack Miller Daredevil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Nischa Roman Woodâ€“to Be or Not . . . . . . . . . .42 Michelle Barber Steer Skull . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 David Day Literature Love Advice from an Older Woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Lavendra Copen The Poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Xymyl Snapshots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Lavendra Copen Literature - Creative Writing Celebration Winners More Than Just a Dream . . . .50 Candy Adams Terry As It Was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Nadine Lockhart Natalie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Beth Colburn-Orozco
Biographical Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 Submission Guidelines
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Mirage 2013 INDIVIDUALITY OVERDOSE
Stan was like every other boy his age in that he wanted to be just like everybody else but still retain a vague sense of individuality. In all other ways he was totally different from other boys his age. And if you say that the other boys are also boys, then I'll remind you 1) you are talking to a story that has already been written, so you won't convince the story to change now, and 2) you are not allowing the story to unfold naturally like the petals of a flower, a soggy accordion, or the pages of a book. So back to the story . . . Stan was keen to be influenced by peer pressure but was hard pressed to find a peer who was forceful enough to influence him. He was the equivalent of an autistic savant who only understood his own need for social acceptance. His comprehension of his own isolation was so profound that people would come from miles around to see just how lonely he could be. One and all, they were impressed by Stan's stark portrayal of loneliness. Comments ranged from, “Looking at Stan is like you’re drowning in his own sorrow,” to “Staring at Stan was like being microwaved to death in a sensorydeprivation iron maiden.” As the years wore on, many other attractions were added near and around the Stan exhibit. A slacker exhibit which blurred the lines of slack by its use of coma patients rather than actual slackers was a particular hit. Examples of displays that never quite caught on were such flops as Dudes with Suds, Jocks with Zubaz, and Turd Flingers. The Turd Flingers debacle was a shock to the parents who arranged the showing. They assumed that since monkeys were so popular, humans with the same antics would be a boon. The reality was that most families weren’t willing to pay great fees to see the same things that happen on a daily basis in their own homes. A stark comprehension of a singular petrifying reality was still worth coughing up some serious bread. Anyone who knew anyone knew that they could never be as alone as Stan. Seeing him suffer in his chronic involuntary detachment remained a great comfort to many. The thousands of onlookers somehow intensified and focused his already obscene estrangement.
One day a particularly depressive dental school dropout decided to walk through the displays because he had a few minutes to spare before killing himself. When he got to the Stan exhibit, he was shocked by what he saw. A single hand movement. Was that a wave? Again, there was another almost undetectable movement of a hand. ExPreDent waved back and saw what appeared to be a smile. Although ExPreDent had never visited the Stan exhibit before, he had heard about it and seen Stan on all the magazine covers. He knew this was Stan, but he was acting so different, and even though the communication was minimal, Stan was expressing himself more than ever before. Having been there to see all of this made ExPreDent change his mind. He climbed down the steep concrete wall, using a piece of a sturdy vine to lower himself to Stan's level. He said to Stan, “Why of all people did you pick me to communicate with?” Stan replied, “Because I knew no one would believe you.” Stan and ExPre sat up all night talking and laughing about uninteresting thoughts they had had throughout their lives but never felt like sharing with anyone else. At least that’s what appears to have happened. Both Stan and ExPre were found dead the next morning, lying in a pool of their own sarcasm. Shards of crystalized thoughts were found as far as thirty meters from the corpses, and the fragments seemed to make up complex hyperbolic, allegoric palindromes written in some hybridized variant of Pig Latin, Esperanto, and calculus. Without Stan the exhibits seemed pointless because there was no longer a clear benchmark for isolation and sadness. The loneliest person in the world could be just about anybody.
Mirage 2013 FAMILY STEAKHOUSE
The barn-like structure squats in the center of a desert town. Plastic wood paneling, wagon-wheel lights, paint-by-number art. A man with wisps of hair strolls in, arm weighted by a tremendous bag plastered with portraits of Mickey Mouse. He sets its gaudiness down in the center of a white-clothed, empty table. The square bar has quilted sides, padded rim. Self-defense. This here’s a drinking town. A ring-laden woman sighs as she sips her chartreuse margarita. Been a long time coming, she mutters. An infant’s squeals reverberate in the cavernous room. Behind the cash counter, a busboy in baggy jeans gesticulates, holding to his ear a phone over which a sign proclaims, Business calls only. Two waitresses rest butts against the bar. One says, Went to Wal-Mart without kids today. It was great—spent an hour in the candle section, just sniffing. The other smiles and bobs her head, eyes scanning the room for the slightest customer signal. An ancient woman, as drooped and fragile as the potted vines, creeps to a corner table. She orders filet mignon and fries. Longevity earns the right to scorn cholesterolcounting. The red light in the exit sign pulsates like a strobe.
Mirage 2013 WORK WILL WAIT photograph
Mirage 2013 TOUJOURS L’AMOUR acrylic
Mirage 2013 MONSOON LANDSCAPE photograph
Mirage 2013 THE PATH photograph
Stacy T. Smith
Mirage 2013 RECYCLED STEEL DRAGON recycled steel
Lindsay Janet Roberts
Mirage 2013 BREAK OF DAWN oil
Mirage 2013 MR. GIRAFFEHEAD DOES SHAKESPEARE ceramic
Mirage 2013 THE EDGE OF GLORY acrylic
Mirage 2013 ARLENEâ€™S photograph
Mirage 2013 MAIN STREET photograph
Mirage 2013 VIDA 1 acrylic
Marcela C. Lubian
Mirage 2013 DECAY photograph
Jesse C. Waite
Mirage 2013 SUMERIAN MAIDEN acrylic
Mirage 2013 THE PEEK-A-BOO GOAT photograph
Mirage 2013 PINK HEART ORNAMENT metalwork
Lindsay Janet Roberts
Mirage 2013 DUCKS AT SUNRISE photograph
Mirage 2013 CROP CIRCLES
Allow me this night, moonlit and still, to draw golden rings on the wheat fields of Wiltshire. Your lovely ley lines, submerged in the soil like veins on your breasts, brought me here to English soil on this blessed spot where I've located a nice quiet place smelling of dung. Mark the location: a boundary of stone in disrepair that encloses a sward of rectangular patches, corn-rowed and sown with care. Let us bend shoots there. Have no misgivings, Gaia my dear, mathematics is with us. Our love is drawn along geometric lines described by Euclid. Do not tarry. I know the rules. Give me your kernels
so I may formulate the Pi and the Phi, the golden means needed to etch exquisite designs on your bosom. Let us bend shoots there. 21
Chorus of Fieldhands sings: We must go down to the crops again, to the lonely crops in the field, for the call of the crops won’t let us be be they wheat, corn, barley or rye. I can depict a rhombus alone or in a series. I can polygon and trapezoid or triangulate your asymptote equilaterally, so I assure you . . . but a torus is tricky. Over cereal, over grain Over shoots, o’er the stalks I go. There’s no end to the shapes, angles, and curves I can relate.
I can depict intertwined serpents in double-helix embrace that happen to look like the twisted chromosomes of home-sapient Dee-En-Aye. Over cereal, over grain, Over shoots, oâ€™er the stalks I go. If you like diagrams a wee more exotic, I can depict a lotus blossom with flaming petals emblazoned in the heart of a mandala maze, where grow tall stalks of maize with red, gold, and blue kerns on the cob. Chorus of Fieldhands sings: We must check out the crops tonight, the lonely crops in the field, for the call of the crops wonâ€™t let us be, be they wheat, corn, barley, or rye. Let Professor Hawkins try to explain how it is done. Dear Dr. Hawkins,
what does it mean? What's behind it? Who's responsible? Professor Hawkins, answer this only: Who is the artist?
Could it possibly be a wanderlust wolf gang of incorrigible quarks? A quantum tattoo of traumatized ions? Are these the bosons of Professor Higgs? Or merely bovine muons belching in dark space? Gluon soap bubbles escaping the hub tub? We canâ€™t rule out the musical possibility that this phenomenon is harmonic in nature. Are crop circles a holograph plotted by quasar musicians in pointy blue beards, playing gamma-ray tunes on ultraviolet saxophones and infrared clarinets from the far reaches, the very outer bleachers of Albert Hall?
Intelligent jots or meaningless rot? Gaiaâ€™s been laid, she's been lovingly bent, she needs her rest, she knows the answer, she knows what love is. I merely discharge, but I wouldnâ€™t rouse her. She's sound asleep, she needs to dream on sheaves of wheat in the braw fields of Wiltshire.
Mirage 2013 LOVER, SINCE YOU’VE TAKEN A NIGHT JOB
Lover, since you’ve taken a night job, my body drifts like a life raft on a sea as flat as sheets. Becalmed beneath a blazing moon, I dream bananas, mango juice running from the corners of my mouth, enough to waste. You are my tropical paradise, the island on the morning’s horizon my eyes continue scanning for beneath my starry lids. 25
Mirage 2013 SAID
You stare back at me in my own special way of making you feel like I feel the way you do when you look at me in my way. You are never far from me and my way of staying close to you and me, when I follow what you’re saying to me just like me. Your every word is mine, like when I’m telling you what I just said and you repeat what I had in mind when I reminded you of when you said what I just said. I’m never far from you, and you never shy of saying exactly what I told you to say or what I already said. When I hear your lyrical voice, I have an image of something better, the words you recited almost perfectly that I already said. And now that you have captured my essence in my own sweet voice, feel free to venture on and tell the world everything I ever wanted to express but was afraid I had already said.
Mirage 2013 RAINING SOMEWHERE, NEVER HERE
The sky at a distance is a patchwork quilt of ghost greys and whites. Over us, a solid stripe of blue. As we watch, broad veils of rain drape hills and valley, arc mountains on either side, circle us warily. Wind races through long grasses like a herd of sleek animals. Insistent bass of thunder vibrates the windows of our house. The dog cowers in corners. We watch intently, as if the magnets of our eyes could pull the rain our way. But darkness taunts from a distance, delivering its wetness to other parched lips of land. Raining somewhere, never here.
Mirage 2013 UNDER THE BRIDGE photograph
Mirage 2013 THE YELLOW FIELD oil
Mirage 2013 SPIN photograph
Jesse C. Waite
Mirage 2013 MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS acrylic
Mirage 2013 THE WASA photograph
Mirage 2013 SATURDAY NIGHT STOMP acrylic
Mirage 2013 RED HOT CHIPS gourd
Mirage 2013 SANDHILLS AT SUNRISE photograph
R. J. Luce
Mirage 2013 RISE acrylic
Mirage 2013 FLOWERS IN GREEN VALLEY photograph
Mirage 2013 HISTORICALLY WE WOLVES HAVE BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD ceramic
Mirage 2013 FORCES UNITED water color, acrylic, enamel
Archie William Sutton
Mirage 2013 BUTCHART GARDENS oil
Mirage 2013 DAREDEVIL acrylic
Mirage 2013 WOODâ€”TO BE OR NOT gourd
Mirage 2013 STEER SKULL photograph
Mirage 2013 LOVE ADVICE FROM AN OLDER WOMAN
The fireâ€™s the most important part, she counseled, fire and the patience of roots. Spend your morning setting logs and kindling just so, your afternoon fanning them to flames. Burn the whole day down to coals you can cook with all night long. 44
Mirage 2013 THE POEM
There once was a poem that was fined for rhyming too much. Had the papers covered the incident, the poem could have certainly benefited from the negative publicity. But everyone knew that nobody would read a newspaper that carried such a story for fear that the poem would be mentioned by name, or worse, quoted. The other poems were saturated with readership opportunitiesâ€”sitting at the bottoms of newsstands, under newspapers at coffee bars, near parakeets, and even in the minds of people who thought they loved poetry. The little poem wept incessantly while pondering its tiresome redundancy, yet it was this same redundancy that made the feelings of the little poem ring false. Short of becoming a limerick and longing to be a childrenâ€™s fable, the sad little poem took its own life by stapling itself to a firecracker. In the true spirit of art, life sprang from death, and inspiration from pain. Love no longer rhymed with above, dove or even shove. In fact, love was entirely missing, which made the whole pile of disfigured prose seem somehow new and true.
Mirage 2013 SNAPSHOTS
House Fire Manifest destiny at last: fulfillment for the bored boards and beams that always pictured themselves wild with flames.
Picnic at the Pond The quick, tan duck jumps over the lazy, white goose to nab the crumbâ€”the wonder of Wonder Bread.
Santa Fe Existence lived like a New-Age poem that tries to use all the right words, from past life to paradigm, at least once.
CREATIVE WRITING CELEBRATION WINNERS
Presented in this special section are the winning entries of the Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration, 2012, in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Mirage 2013 MORE THAN JUST A DREAM
Candy Adams Terry
First Place, Fiction Competition Cochise Community Creating Writing Celebration, 2012 Please, oh please, let her be there, Judith begged silently as she peeked through the stage door for the eighth time that evening. Her eyes strained to search the dark aisle at the side of the audience in the Valley Community Center but without any luck. She hardly dared to keep hoping, but she couldn’t stop. Please let the creek go down! Please let Mama get through with my costume and toe shoes! Twelve-year-old Judith was well acquainted with floods. Every spring, when snow in the mountains melted, dangerous muddy waters churned over the grassy flats by the creek, often cutting slightly new channels for the water’s flow in future days and confusing Judith, who understood that the border of her family’s property was the middle of the stream. Dead limbs and other debris picked up by the rushing water would swirl around the cottonwood trees and the land sloping up toward the ditch which separated the creek front from the dry rocky hills above. Her family’s rabbit hutches and their chicken coop above the ditch were never threatened by a flood, and Judith’s home was even farther above the flood zone than they were. This flood came at an unexpected time of year, though, and it began suddenly while Judith was at school. Maybe it was a flash flood, something Judith had never seen but had been trained to expect and fear so she and her brother would stay out of the creek when skies were dark and threatening anywhere between their home and the distant mountains upstream. Maybe flash floods came and then went as quickly as they had come. Judith didn’t know, but she did know that Mama was waiting by the crossing with her costume and her beloved toe shoes. Mama’s dear friend, Lucy, had told her so when she picked her up from school. Mama knew better than to try to ford a flooding river, but she was ready to cross the creek in the family’s dark blue Volkswagen Beetle the minute the muddy waters subsided and allowed the cement of the crossing to appear again.
The beautiful music played on. Judith fingered the heavy velvet wing curtain as she watched the little kids in soft ballet slippers run out of the wings onto the stage to perform. She remembered being a little kid six years before. Pride had filled her heart on her first day of class as she had imitated her teacher’s demonstration of first position, second position, third, fourth, and fifth on the bare wooden floor of this very same big rock building. Her dance in the recital that first year might have almost represented the dream that would soon follow—the dream of entering the world of professional ballet. One small Sugar Plum Fairy among many, dressed in a pastel green leotard and tutu adorned with tiny pink rosebuds matching the pink ribbon rosebuds tucked into her brown curls, she tiptoed cautiously into the world of the Queen of the Fairies. People really could become professional ballerinas! Judith knew for sure! Mama was always taking Judith and her brother to concerts at the Valley Community Center, but one time it was to a ballet there instead. Judith sat entranced as the dancers—grown women and men—actually danced for their living. It was their job! Instantly, those ballerinas became her role models as she and Mama met them backstage after the performance. The ladies, elegant with their hair pulled back in a bun as if to not attract any attention away from their graceful movements, smiled and thanked Judith and Mama for coming to their performance. With memories of ballerinas floating as if on air, Judith dreamed and practiced long and hard. For years she pretended to dance the dance of the Queen of the Fairies, gladly performing for anyone who would watch, fervently hoping each time that her audience of one would not realize that she was making up the steps as she went. She had to make them up because that dance had been choreographed by her teacher for students at a higher level of skill; she had not yet even learned the steps included. Gradually, though, she became more skilled and more poised through tireless practice in the flattest space afforded by the hill on which her small home stood. Often she could be seen behind that little trailer house
dancing to one song or another from the Nutcracker Suite coaxed out of the 33⅓ RPM record by the spine of a prickly pear cactus, expertly inserted into the arm of the portable record player powered through a long extension cord. Judith never thought of practicing outside in her pink satin toe shoes, though! They surely never touched the dirt! In spite of the small floor space inside her home, her toe shoes were merely worn inside to practice ballet positions en pointe and to take numerous tiny steps on her toes. With each step, her extra-short toes cried out in pain in spite of the lamb’s wool Judith wrapped around them in a never-ending search for the wrapping method that would decrease the pain. What a small price it was to pay, though, for the dream. Yes, the dream—her dream. Judith fought back tears in the dim light filtering from the stage into the wings as she ran her finger down the list of performances on the program. Her finger stopped as she came to her name. She had missed her place, and the recital had gone on without a hitch, as if she hadn’t been on the program at all. Judith hung her head. At least Mrs. Oliver said she’ll let me dance later if Mama can just get here with my costume. She forced herself to look back at the program and continue tracing down the list with her finger. Two more dances. Just two more after this one. Maybe . . . just . . .maybe? Judith looked at her dance teacher near the back of the wings. She remembered her excitement when Mrs. Oliver had chosen her for this solo—this solo! Only the best dancers got to dance solos! “Me? You want me to dance a solo? Oh, yes! Oh, yes, I’d love to!” She longed to be a professional ballerina someday, but right then, a solo seemed like almost the same thing. The solo dance became her dream coming true. Actually, if this dance could, by some miracle, be performed yet this night, it would be Judith’s third performance of the dance, the grand finale in front of the whole valley. The first performance had really just been a dress rehearsal attended by families of the dance students. The second had been a little spot in the regular school
program at Judith’s small rural school, which always welcomed additional presentations from its sparse student population. These had been exciting, but they really only led up to the big recital. Judith stood ready, except for her costume and her shoes, thanks to Lucy, whom Mama had dashed back home to call when she couldn’t get across the creek to pick Judith up from school. Lucy had seemed to have everything planned out. First, a little rest after school. Then a little supper. Next, a rose-scented bubble bath suitable for a young lady about to dance the most important dance, so far, in her life. Finally, make-up! Before taking Judith to town, Lucy had brightened Judith’s face for the stage with lipstick and a little rouge, strictly forbidden substances at age twelve, except during stage presentations. If Lucy had been worried about a single thing, her worry hadn’t shown. That was before the recital started, though! Anxiously, Judith headed for the stage door one more time. She hesitated for a moment, trying to gather courage to face the disappointment she feared. She took one foot after the other out of Lucy’s slippers to adjust the lamb’s wool borrowed from a classmate. Please, oh please! She cracked the door and peered through the opening into the dark auditorium. A sliver of light from the Center’s lobby pierced the darkness this time, though, as the door at the far end of the aisle opened—or closed. She’s here! She’s here! I can dance! I can dance! Judith wanted to run to meet her mother, but she knew that she shouldn’t disturb the audience. Instead, she ran to her dance instructor in the wings. “Mama’s here with my costume!” “I’m so glad, Judith! You’ll have enough time to change, dear, but do hurry!” Mrs. Oliver walked briskly toward the lady who was in charge of playing music for the program. Judith ran back to the stage door. “Mama, Mama, thank you, Mama! I was so afraid—” “Here, Honey! Let’s go!” Mother and daughter hurried to the small changing room beyond the wings of the stage as music for the last dance listed on the program began.
Visions of Sugar Plum Fairies didn’t dance in Judith’s head. She danced—in her head and in her heart. But no, the dance couldn’t be real—not until she was really on the stage! She crossed the pink satin ribbons of her last toe shoe, tied them in a bow high on her right ankle, and then scurried back to the wings of the stage to await the first strains of her song that would follow the last dance listed on the program. Judith caught her breath and closed her eyes, soaking in the imminent reality of her dream as she waited. Then, as her music began, she stepped out onto the stage. The music transformed the stage into a magical storyland where nothing existed for Judith but the dance. Implicit in the dance was the story it told. It was one of longing, searching, and finding—but then losing and finding again. Judith danced the story with all of her heart, unaware that it had become her story. The audience appeared to her, blurred by stage lights and tears of joy, only when the music ended. After the recital, it was Judith’s turn to be greeted backstage. “Beautiful!” “The best you’ve ever danced!” “Will you sign my program, please?” It seemed that everyone loved the dance, but none so much as Judith, who had danced the full expression of her love for ballet in that one dance on that one evening. The dream was complete. Judith didn’t know that at the time, of course. She didn’t even realize it when she broke her leg the next week at school as she jumped off the merry-go-round to take her turn to push. By the time her cast was removed, however, Judith was caught up in dreams of junior high school in town, a very big step for a girl from a small country school. The dream of a career in professional ballet had morphed into a dream of one solo performance, which could then settle into its place in the fabric of Judith’s life. No longer just a dream, it finally became a resilient fiber, weaving dreams, effort, family, friends, love, and expression together in Judith’s innermost being.
Mirage 2013 AS IT WAS
First Place, Poetry Competition Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration, 2012
It begins a simple grammar— the naming of colors is socioeconomic, more words: money honey apple yellow=rich, just red/less net, poor. It’s logical to conclude, after careful comparison, at least two of three same-age, same-gender cousins are superior to you: Hair color, piano playing, boy, and later, man-catching— which is the endpoint of everything really, don’t be anxious about it . . . Who moves West? Into complex sunsets—deep muted fuchsia, some other colors. When you see your aunt the summer before last, she asks, Are those teeth yours?
Two years and a mouthful of implants later, she’s dead. That’s how it would read in a novel, like a math problem, congestive heart failure. The newspaper accounts for graves robbed of bones buried with microbes. ————— She left the East. A younger version of an Aries mother, abrupt, professional—three blue leather suitcases packed fat, and a few hundred dollars. That’s not her train. It’s a little home on the track for four days and several cities. She sips strong coffee in New Orleans, sunrise over the water. So she is here, then there, A finger on the globe, spinning toward the darkest future (she suspects), toward herself in a material cover she wears tight around her boundaries.
Her complement— outside herself, self-conscious she speaks to quiet that mind she questions, a satin-gloved hand, mouth on fire as a vision— black ringlets and lips— turns to love. 57
————— It wasn’t something I would bring this early, but the dream last night, invariably sexual, about a man with wings and a few miracles attributed to him—he told me he knew me better than I knew myself. The room: blank adobe walls in a lighter beige, and the two queens . . . I’m trying to leave things out—counting, and counting lots of numbers even dice, safe like teeth in the mouth, evolved from an evil star pressed in sequins. Another man knocks on the motel door. The winged one lets him in without hesitation. I could be more specific. His sheets were always sent out, clean and cold. Even on the surface this is true. —————
Her aunt didn’t die, not yet. It was the faux death, so semiprecious the way her cousin’s concern fills the fridge with Fresca, boiled beef and dietetic chocolates. ————— A postcard of Chagall’s La Guerre: holds your place in the book, a war of color, flames orange and oxen milky-blue, dark figures wail and grab the blood-foot of the crucified man. In Sanskrit, it means “desire for more cows” and just the other day, you may have been thinking about the ox. ————— I think about oxen, how I desire one of my own. The A, where the whole alphabet began on the yoke of an animal, lungs full of mercy, dust for sleep. —————
Some are too stubborn to heal. The ceiling light. I stare at it between glances of blade, the clock. When will this be over? It is all mortal—sun and oleander leaves in layers through blinds half-open. You can’t always tell where the pain begins, he explains, using his hands—maybe a wing gets in the way—pulls the congestion from the heart. ————— Years set the scaffold as an on/off switch. She knows a little, but less the world than an infinity inside her head. She chooses: Things she obsesses and those she glazes over . . . . She’s convinced that yellow devil came through the hell gate in her backyard OR she isn’t. She let go of free will, finds rainbows a source of frustration— an order of refracted light: red on top, or red on the bottom? Guesses, destined to question I wonder how long my aunt will live, how long any of them will? The sisters like the Pleiades. Seven. Lucky seven.
————— Years, she thinks. Years. They will live many more Years—shouts to her head offset earlier thoughts which might make them die. It’s her religion, to bind up and repeat One wish—to end this burden, replace it with a husband. ————— My aunt works harsh brush to the beast, bent knees to the floor, hands big like a man’s plunge into soapy water, weight shifts with a rhythm. She moves forward, pulls the bucket toward her, scrubs the kitchen greases away from the surface searching square by square. Her dress lifeless against shoulders, tangled jet hair, her own coloring mistaken for Asian, her eyes, too— almonds on a vase.
Missing a dampened tile, she cleans. Is it even known to her? Yes, says the aunt, Yes. Everything from desire. ————— 61
I want them back, the magazines, the years, something that feels like an integrity to the body. I want them . . . to be young, naming them: Mary-Anna-Helen, sour cherries dropping from the trees like a child’s ideas or wrong thoughts of the world, sounding out “ju-bi-lee,” the buffer of fathers, grandfathers: Z is for zero, nothing left.
Mirage 2013 NATALIE
First Place, Nonfiction Competition Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration, 2012 My father-in-law is making toast for himself and spreads it with peanut butter while it’s still hot. The smell of peanut butter melting into the toast is what wakes me. From my in-laws’ small guest room, I watch their morning ritual from bed. W.H. pours Natalie a cup of coffee (she drinks it black). He holds out his hand. “You need to take your pills.” She crinkles her nose, takes the pills from him, and sets them on the counter next to the sink when he turns away. I know by mid-morning they will exchange unpleasant words until my mother-in-law agrees to take her pills. Natalie wraps both hands around the coffee cup as though she’s standing out in the yard where the temperature is still in the forties. In the house, where I lie still, it’s at least seventy-five degrees. I want to toss the blankets back but do not want to disturb the scene before me. While Natalie stands quietly in her bathrobe, as though taking in new surroundings, W.H. takes a bite of his toast then reaches into the cabinet next to the refrigerator for a small crystal bowl. He fills the bowl with cottage cheese and fruit cocktail he took from the refrigerator before I woke up. Natalie seems to wake from her trance-like state, and both murmur apologies as they navigate the kitchen while W.H. searches for a spoon for Natalie’s breakfast. He hands her the crystal bowl, and notices the pills sitting on the counter. He scoops them up and again she takes them from him. “Sweetie, you have to take these.” Natalie purses her lips. W.H. turns to grab a napkin for her, and she again sets the pills on the counter. This time she slides them next to a plant near the sink. W.H. sets the bowl of cottage cheese and fruit on the kitchen table. A signal that breakfast is ready, Natalie sits down. W.H. picks up his toast with the napkin and walks into the living room. I hear the quiet banter of the morning news team on the TV and know he’s sitting in his overstuffed chair. They met long after each left their first marriages and have been together just over thirty years. Their morning routine seems a
testament to years of compatibility. I continue to watch my mother-in-law as she sits alone, slowly eating her breakfast. I want to escape the covers that are now causing me to sweat, but the scene is so peaceful I don’t want to be the cause of disruption. She doesn’t know I am watching her, and even if she did, she wouldn’t know my name. Natalie has Alzheimer’s. I came into her life years after family and friends knew something was wrong with her inner world. She sits so serene, so quiet. Once I get up, my day with Natalie will begin, and I check myself, wondering if I’m ready for it. I have had a good night’s sleep. My plans for the day include cleaning both the kitchen and bathroom at the log house Natalie bought several years back, which my husband Ron and I are in the process of fixing up. It sits on 160 acres adjacent to W.H.’s ranch. We’re all adjusting to the move. Ron and I still work in Sierra Vista, Arizona, so we only have weekends to spend in Animas, New Mexico. It’s a three-hour drive, or an hour in Ron’s Cessna 172. The plane doesn’t hold much, so we usually drive out Friday nights with a truck full of dogs and a trailer loaded with all the things our empty house requires. We thought the move would cut down on the stress of coming out and staying with W.H. and Natalie. Over the past year, Natalie has become anxious with all that was once familiar, and that includes us. It can often be stressful having people in her house, especially me. Ron is her son and often fills in the gaps when I have questions. Recently, he told me she once loved to entertain. I believe this is why she doesn’t like me fussing in her kitchen, making her beds, or setting her table. I immediately think of tasks I can have Natalie do alongside me or I won’t get a thing done all day; this will cause me frustration, something I can’t risk while I am with her. She will feel it deep inside her in that often neglected place most of us ignore, maybe because we are always too busy moving forward. Natalie’s thoughts no longer move forward. They seem more like random, convoluted misfires that either slow her down or speed her up without warning.
If I am frustrated, Natalie is frustrated, which can cause the routine of a regular day to turn on its heels, leaving slammed doors and angry walks into the desert in its wake. Because we are only at the ranch on weekends, I don’t have the extra time it takes to chase her down and redirect her. As I continue to watch her eat, I have an overwhelming desire to go to her and wrap my arms around her, but I remain still. Having Natalie up at the house has its challenges. Each time we walk through the front doors, I remind her it is her place. “This is your house, Natalie. Would you like to help me clean the bedroom?” She usually eyes me suspiciously, as the place is still a mess. She walks around picking things up off the counters and floors, using only her thumb and forefinger like someone might pick up a soiled dish cloth. She then hands them to me one by one. “You . . . this house . . . ” Then she rolls her eyes, as though I don’t have the sense God gave me to sweep a floor or clean a window. It’s times like these I gather her in my arms and hold her small frame tight next to mine. This is my way of controlling any unkindness I might harbor towards her unintentional judgment. Lately, Natalie’s shoulder has been giving her trouble, but last Saturday, she seemed fine as we washed windows. I gave her plenty of paper towels and a bottle of glass cleaner. We worked together in the bedroom, where her windows turned out much better than mine. It was a good day until she wanted to use the stepstool I was on to clean the corners. “Natalie, why don’t you finish the window you’re on? We’re almost done. I know your shoulder must be bothering you.” Before I could get over to her window, she swung her arms up into the air bringing them down hard, and then began swinging them in large circles. “Does it look like something is wrong with my . . . with this . . . ?” She stopped circling her arms and pointed at her shoulder. She is oftentimes at a loss for words. It had been a long day. I knew in that instant I had demanded too much of her, and she was tired. Like a young child, Natalie
needed a nap, and I had ignored the signs. As soon as she started waving her arms, I remembered that, an hour before, she had asked to go home. I told her we would leave in a little bit. Even though I was startled by her anger, I knew it was my fault. I quietly walked from the room. “Come on, sweetheart, let’s go home.” Immediately, she followed me to the living room, where we both put on our jackets and hats. Before we walked outside into the cold, she took my hand. “I’m sorry,” she said. The words broke my heart. Sometimes the veil of incoherence lifts long enough, and she seems embarrassed for her actions. “It’s okay. I love you, Natalie.” She had tears in her eyes. “Thank you.” I have learned over time that her gentle thank you is her way of expressing appreciation and, I hope, her love for me. After all, I am a stranger in her world. I do not occupy a past memory that might find its way to the surface, and this must confuse her. She once referred to me as The Woman Who Works Hard. I smiled when Ron told me. It is better than The Woman Who Keeps a Dirty House. Arms linked, we walked back to her house. I sang a children’s song while she hummed along. Mornings are most difficult for her. She usually wakes, comes out into the living room, looks around as though the house reminds her of someplace she’s been before, and then goes back to bed. Sometimes for an hour, but lately she may stay in bed until noon. It’s just after eight o’clock now. She sits with an air of elegance at the kitchen table. She has beautiful posture. When I am with her, I am reminded to stand up straight. She was a teacher for years, then an elementary school principal. I often wonder if there is a generation of grown-ups out there who have notably better posture than the rest of their family members simply because they had Natalie for a teacher. Always aware of her gestures, she is a dignified woman. When we are in a restaurant, no one would imagine she can no longer read a menu or order for herself.
She looks as though she is waiting for the Queen of England to join her. Back straight, spoon held just so, napkin in her lap. Her dark, thick, wavy hair is cut short. Too short right now. She may not know my name, but she remembers that I am the one who took her to the salon two weeks ago. Yesterday, when we arrived, I told her I liked her hair. She grabbed a mass of it in her hands, scrunched her nose, and pointed at me without a hint of humor. I’ve heard from just about everyone that Natalie always wore her hair long, nearly to her waist. I have only seen pictures. This reminds me that today, before we go up to our house, she needs to take a shower. W.H. and Natalie have two battlegrounds. One is in the kitchen in the morning, where the two may spend hours negotiating her pills. The other is the shower. Natalie’s independence is all but gone, and she knows it. She still has control over her bodily functions, and bathing fits into this category. “Gal’ dang. I can’t get Natalie into the shower anymore. I told her I’m not taking her to town until she takes a shower,” W.H. has said on several occasions. Getting Natalie to bathe involves being sneaky on my part. I cannot tell her she needs to take a bath, as she finds even the suggestion an insult and will avoid getting into the shower at all costs. Instead, I tell her we are going to a party. Ron doesn’t like that I lie to his mother, so we began having parties up at the log home in the evenings. After I get her into the shower, I gather her clothing and stick it into the washing machine. Because she is nervous when I work in her house, I get as much done as I can when she’s not watching me. I found out recently she has been wearing things and then putting them away dirty. Each week, I quickly rummage through the closet and take out anything that looks soiled and add it to the laundry before I start the washing machine. She’s no longer sure what to do while standing under a stream of warm water, so I lather up a shower puff. She often hums while I wash her. She loves to be touched. After she rinses off, I wash her hair and am happy I had it cut short. It tangles easily, and I don’t
want to hurt her while I brush it. Before she gets dressed, I rub lotion all over her. Even though she is an extremely modest woman, the human touch is always too much for her to resist. She rolls over on her belly then onto her back. I often marvel at how soft her skin is. Her body is free of the scars and, therefore the trauma, associated with each one that so many women endure during their lifetime. No cesarean scar, though she bore children: two sons. No hysterectomy or mastectomy scars. I am reminded that whatever suffering Natalie has experienced, it is locked inside her in places I cannot see. She wiggles her toes while I massage her feet with lotion. I help her with her bra, panties, and socks. She chooses something special from her closet, fit for a party. Usually it is a bright colored sweatshirt to wear with a pair of jeans. Once she is dressed, I dry her hair while she dabs herself with perfume she has on the bathroom counter. She often studies her reflection in the mirror. “Old . . . so old. I don’t see me,” she says. She pulls the skin on the tops of her hand or near her wrist. “Look! Old. When so old? Me . . . I’m old.” When she lets go, I smooth her skin back into place as I might a wrinkled sheet. I thank God for vanity each time she confronts her aging. Natalie may not like what she sees in the mirror, but for now, she still recognizes herself. She still primps for our parties until the feminine being who is very much a part of her is satiated. When we are finished, she looks radiant. This is when we go looking for W.H. and Ron, whom we usually find in the barn or up at the log home. “Doesn’t your mom look great?” I ask them. Natalie smiles sheepishly. “We’re going to go get ready for the party,” I say. At our house, Natalie and I prepare dinner. After a wonderful meal, there is dancing. Natalie still keeps perfect time and knows all the right moves. Her beautiful posture would lead any onlooker to think she had years of professional training. We always have a good
time at our parties. I believe she is content sitting alone at the kitchen table. Her mannerisms often speak for the words she no longer possesses. Her hands are on the table and not in her lap twisting her napkin. I see her eyes are set somewhere distant, not darting around as though she’s afraid someone might jump out of a closet. Watching her sit so calmly, I put our day in order. Natalie and I will go for a walk this morning. Afterwards, I will help her take a shower. This will take the whole morning. Up at our house, I have two loads of laundry that need folding and another in the dryer. She likes to fold clothes. It will take her quite a while. Enough time so that I can get started in the bathroom. A while back, I picked up some books loaded with photographs: animals, puppies, and children. Things she’s always been drawn to. I also bought colored beads, felt, scissors, stickers, and other arts and crafts supplies. After setting up a project, I learned she doesn’t like to do those kinds of things, and she told me so. “I didn’t like this stuff before, and I don’t like it now.” Her declaration was so clear I felt I saw Natalie for the first time. I gathered everything up and put it back in the closet, knowing one day someone with children would drop by and they would have something to do. Ron is working on some equipment today. It’s going to be warm, so this afternoon Natalie can go out with a bucket and pick up things on the ground. We have enough nails, screws, glass, wire, and whatever else to keep her busy for hours. She can’t walk by something and leave it in the dirt. She wrestles with this part of herself. It is a recent compulsion she is not yet comfortable with. She will pick up a small, rusted piece of wire and hold it out to me. “I don’t know why I do this. The glass . . . things here . . .” She waves her hand over the ground. “I can’t leave it. I don’t know why.” Yet when I am not with her, I watch her pick up things in the yard, and she appears content. She is even eager to share with us the
things she has collected. With our day mapped out, my mind begins to wander. As I look at her cheeks, the color of her eyes, the shape of her lips, all those things my husband inherited from his mother, I wonder what he was like as a little boy. Natalie can’t tell me, and sadness fills me. I have no anecdotes of him. Natalie holds the secrets of my husband’s childhood deep inside herself in a place no longer available to us. Did he cry when he fell off his bike or when he scraped his knee? Was he in constant motion as a child, yet patient, always curious, needing facts to make sense of the world? I wish she could tell me. My husband has an amazing singing voice, a deep tenor. He’s shy about it. I have heard Natalie hum along to Patsy Cline and Frank Sinatra. She sounds beautiful. Did Ron inherit his perfect pitch from his mother? Perhaps he learned it from her while she sang him songs when he was young. And what about Natalie? Who was she when she was still able to recognize a friend or cook for herself? What were her dreams? Her secrets? I realize the progression of the disease slowly took her dreams into the darkness. Even though there is no one to curse for what continues to happen to Natalie, I sometimes wish I could point a finger. Dreams are meant to die with a person, not disappear. My Aunt Claire, a farmer’s wife in Wisconsin and ninety-six years old at the time, told me her dream had always been to go out West. “I’ve always wanted to see a rattlesnake. Maybe meet a cowboy.” As soon as she said it, she became whole to me. Not just my aunt, but a vibrant, passionate woman who still carried with her the quiet dreams of her youth. As I lie there, I realize I want desperately for someone to know my dreams. I want to go to Ireland, rent a house on the west shore near the place where my family originated centuries ago, and write without interruption. I want to see the puffins off the coast of Maine and ride an Andalusian through the mountains in Spain. I want to tell a heartwarming story in Gaelic or Greek, maybe French or Italian. It doesn’t matter, really; I just want to be understood and seen. Most of all seen. Not as a wife or daughter, caretaker or
teacher, but as a woman, a feminine creature. I stir as my thoughts roam far from the bedroom then notice Natalie is twisting her napkin. It’s time to get up. As I pull on my jeans, Natalie appears in the doorway. “Good morning, sweetheart. I watched you eat breakfast,” I say. She crinkles her nose. It is her signature gesture and makes me smile. I walk over and hug her. “I love you, Natalie.” She holds me tight. “Thank you.” 70
Mirage 2013 BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Katherine Baccaro, a frequent contributor to Mirage, has been a Sierra Vista resident since the Gulf War, when she was evacuated from Turkey to Sierra Vista. She is the author of three books, Precipice, Catscratch Fever, and Discombobulated. Writing and painting have been her interests since her retirement from the Department of Defense schools abroad.
Michelle Barber has a passion for working with natural materials that began when she took woodworking classes in junior high school. While working on her BA at College of Saint Mary, she had several articles on scroll sawing published. She now specializes in wood and gourd art. Leslie Clark has worked as English faculty at Cochise College for several years. She retired in May 2013, after forty-one years of teaching English. Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published, and her poetry chapbook, Cardiac Alert, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2009. Leslie is editor/publisher of an online poetry journal, Voices on the Wind. Beth Colburn-Orozco is currently pursuing her MFA in fiction at Southern New Hampshire University, where this year her short story, â€œStolen Grief,â€? was published in the university literary journal Amoskeag. She teaches Creative Writing at Cochise College and English at the University of Arizona. She also enjoys teaching writing workshops in both fiction and nonfiction. Lynda Coole, born in Chicago and a 1971 graduate of Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, was a significantly creative participant in the Marshall Field Christmas Windows on State Street for almost ten years. Now, newly relocated to the Bisbee area, she has grand plans for all the fabric she has accumulated through the years, but is enjoying the immediate satisfaction of the world of digital photography.
Lavendra Copen is an Arizona native who attended college in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She taught school in the Four Corners area before moving briefly to New York, then settling in the Huachuca Mountain foothills, where she is raising her granddaughters Chella and Celine. She makes a living selling organic produce and freelancing as a medical and legal transcriptionist. Her favorite color is that special mauve before sunrise. Dave Day has been taking pictures since he got a Kodak Instamatic when he was thirteen years old. He loves to live in and photograph the Southwest. Today he works with digital images taken with different cameras from DSLRs to an iPhone. Dave loves to share his work on Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr, and has displayed his work in many galleries and shows. Dawn Edmonds lives with her family in Hereford, Arizona. She is a first-year student at Cochise College, pursuing a business degree. She developed a love for taking photographs in her teenage years and has never lost the passion. Her photographs have been published in the Sierra Vista Herald, as well as in the Cochise College newspaper, Kaleidoscope. Mary Fogleman currently works as an administrative assistant in the Cochise College library. She has lived in Cochise County for thirty years since moving from the Midwest. Creativity has long been a part of her lifeâ€”mostly expressed with needle, fabric, recipes, photographs, and more recently, oil and watercolor paintings. This year Mary traveled overseas and looks forward to more opportunities to travel. Elizabeth Gibson was a self-employed mobile dog groomer for many years. She needed a creative outlet after retiring and happened upon photography while living in Virginia and hiking near her home. The rest, as they say, is history.
Sergio Lalli began studying English as a second language when he was a mere soccer child, after his parents brought him to America from Italy without even asking him if he liked baseball. He went on to become a newspaper reporter and the published author of a few books. He now mostly rides a bicycle up and down the red hills of Bisbee.
Nadine Lockhart received her MA and MFA from Arizona State University; she is currently in their PhD program. Her most recent artistic passions are theater and artists’ books. Performing in six plays since 2008, she received a Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival nomination for her lead in Albee’s American Dream. She also won Juror’s Choice in the 2012 ABBA exhibit for her Twin Towers Palm Leaf Book. Nadine lives with Badger the cat. R. J. (Bob) Luce was a wildlife biologist in Wyoming before retiring to Arizona. He lives near the San Pedro River and photographs it in all seasons. He has traveled extensively for bird-watching and photography. He has authored technical wildlife publications and magazine articles; provided photos for books, outdoor magazines, and field guides; and written two outdoor mystery books and a photo-essay book: River of Life, Four Seasons along Arizona’s Rio San Pedro. Marcela C. Lubian was born in 1974. She is a self-taught artist who delights in the independence and flexibility of her eclectic education. A resident of southeastern Arizona for the last nine years, Marcela does work ranging from the pragmatic to the whimsical. Natalie Melton, an Army brat born in Germany, has always enjoyed meeting new people and experiencing new things. She has six wonderful children and a husband she adores. As an Army wife, she has the opportunity to see many things most people only dream about. As an avid photographer, she tries to capture those splendid sights in order to share them with others.
Jack Miller is retired from the packaging materials field. He received his BFA and MA degrees from the University of Arizona. He is a soft-edge painter and colorist influenced by the expressionists, impressionists, post-impressionists, and others of the modern-art movement. Jack lives with his wife, Valla, in Sierra Vista. Alan Potter studied ceramics at Trinity College of Vermont. His concentration is sculpture with a focus on animals. “I have always been drawn to the personification of animals. Not only is it good for an easy laugh, but it can be instantly provocative. If a viewer stops, observes, and in a few seconds creates a backstory for the piece, I’ve been successful.” His studio and home are in Palominas, Arizona. His work is represented nationally. Lindsay Janet Roberts has a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MEd from the University of Arizona. She has a huge passion for recycling goods, and most of her work is made from recycled materials. She had taught eighth-grade art in spring of 2012 and graphic design at the high school level 2012 to 2013. She currently teaches fine art at the high school level. In her spare time, she keeps several galleries stocked with her art. She lives, breathes, and teaches art. Nischa Roman has lived throughout the West, and has found that Cochise County is the most welcoming place for artists. Old Bisbee in particular appeals to her adventurous spirit. The exploration there of unusual styles and media inspires her creativity. Her acrylic abstract art expresses her fascination with color, line, and space. Found objects add dimension to her collages. She frequently can be seen looking down at the sidewalk for supplies.
Stacy T. Smith was introduced to photography by his father, who had turned a family bathroom into a dark room. Once, smelling the fumes and accidentally opening the door while his dad was processing negatives, Stacy was bitten by the photography bug. As he traveled the world in the U. S. Army, he saw faces and vistas that contributed to his love of this medium. “Listening with the eyes brings many conversations to light.” 75
Kristie Sullivan is a retired veteran, who served twenty-one years in the Army. In March 2012, she moved to Sierra Vista to enjoy the retirement life and to finally spend time with her family. She recently graduated with honors from the American Military University with a BS in sports and health. New to photography, she enjoys capturing the beauty of the surrounding area and of the people who live here. Archie William Sutton is drawn to doors and metal as art and is attracted to the allegory that doors are created to open to an inner place of pure substance. Enjoying the look and feel of copper in the raw, he applies an unruly patina and works with different mixedcolor applications. He adds liquid plastic, vinyl, and/or mixed media to the fashioned-hanging. He occasionally tries his hand at prose, painting, and poetry. Xo Terra has always had her hands in art stuff. After receiving her BA in art, she was a general contractor for fifteen years in California. While living in Hawaii, she sold all her tools and started painting with twenty-year-old paints and brushes. Her first painting won the largest juried show on the Big Island. She’s been painting ever since. She’s lived off the grid and in the country around Bisbee since 1994.
Candy Adams Terry is a retired elementary school teacher living with her husband of forty-three years in rural Cochise County, Arizona. They have two grown children and four grandchildren. When in the classroom, Candy especially loved to inspire children to write from their own experiences, a practice which sparked a love of reading and writing in her students. Today, Candy enjoys writing from her experiences and encouraging others to do the same. Paul Teza lives in Willcox, Arizona, after moving from New Hampshire about nineteen years ago. Developing an interest in photography, he became a student at Cochise College. As time went on, his main interests became nature, wildlife, and still photography, although he engages in the challenges of portrait shooting whenever the opportunity presents itself. â€œPhotography has opened my eyes to the beauty that rests within the desert.â€? Jesse C. Waite grew up right here in Cochise County. Despite being from a family where all the men joined the Army, he broke from the norm and got very much into visual arts. Although he started as a charcoal artist, photography became his passion after taking a black-and-white photography course at Cochise College. Since then, he has journeyed across Cochise County to snap photos of the beauty and despair the land has to offer. Xymyl is ____________ (please share your experience in the space provided).
Mirage 2013 SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
General Information Submissions are accepted from Cochise College students and residents of Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties in Arizona. All entries must be the original work of the person or persons submitting them. Each person may submit up to five pieces of writing and five works of art. 77
Writers and artists who wish to have their works considered for publication must submit their works for the year in which they are solicited. The Mirage staff will evaluate only works submitted specifically for the upcoming issue of the magazine. Mirage welcomes writers and artists to resubmit material that was not previously accepted for publication. However, they should also consider submitting fresh works that represent their most recent and accomplished artistic achievements. Works are selected for publication via an anonymous process: Each submission is judged without disclosure of the writer’s or artist’s name. The staff of Mirage reserves the right to revise language, correct grammar and punctuation, revise formatting, and abridge content of any literary work, including the biographies of writers and artists. In matters of mechanics and style, the Mirage staff defers to A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers. The staff also reserves the right to crop, resize, and modify works of visual art in any way deemed necessary to ready them for inclusion in the magazine. Submissions will not be returned.
Requirements for All Submissions: A single cover sheet must accompany submissions with the following information: • • • • • •
submitter’s name address phone number email or fax number a list of the titles of all works a brief autobiographical statement of seventy-five words or less, written in the third person
To preserve anonymity during the selection process, no name should appear on the entry itself. Please submit works in electronic form. Submissions may be attached to emails. Compact discs or flash drives may be sent via U. S. mail or hand delivered. Requirements for Prose: Prose must be submitted as Microsoft Word document files, using Times New Roman font, size 12. Prose must be double spaced. Unless unique formatting is integral to the piece, literary works should be aligned on the left margin and not printed in all upper-case letters. There is a 2,000-word limit for prose entries. Requirements for Poetry: Poetry must be submitted as Microsoft Word document files, using Times New Roman font, size 12. Single spacing is permissible for poetry. Unless unique formatting is integral to the piece, poems should be aligned on the left margin and not printed in all upper-case letters. There is a 2,000-word limit for poetry entries.
Requirements for Visual Art: Artwork and photographs must have titles or must be identified as “Untitled.” If necessary, artists should indicate correct orientation. When taking photographs of artwork for submission, pay attention to lighting and orientation in order to prevent shadowing, glare, skewing, or unintentional cropping. 79
Artwork and photographs must be sent as digital files. Compression: Please do not compress photos when emailing them. Compressed photos lose information that cannot be restored. It is not like zipping or stuffing files; photos cannot be “unzipped” or “unstuffed.” Many programs will automatically downsize photos for emailing and viewing on a computer screen, but there is usually an option for sending the photo without reducing its size. Please choose that option. Resolution: Printing on a press requires high resolution: What looks good on a computer screen or from a laser printer will not necessarily look good when printed on a press. An image copied from a webpage will not have the proper resolution. Files of artwork need to be at a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) and at 100% of its original size. Photos should be at least 6 x 9 inches. A minimum resolution of 2700 x 1800 pixels in JPEG format is best. Any attempt to resize or resample may cause problems because print resolution will depend on how the photo is ultimately sized for the magazine. The minimum size is important. If, for example, a photo is only 640 x 480 pixels, it is too small for the magazine. IMPORTANT: Unless digital photographs of art are submitted according to the guidelines above, the magazine cannot use them.
Where to send submissions: Email:
Cochise College ATTN: Mirage 4190 West Highway 80 Douglas, AZ 85607
Literary & arts magazine for Cochise & Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona.