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2015

NORTH CAROLINA L I T E R A R Y RE V I E W

number 24

FINALIST, 2014 JAMES APPLEWHITE POETRY PRIZE BY BARBARA CONRAD

The L Word Before the word dared be spoken, the word that means more than making love or love how you make me laugh, the word

Before that, he brought her odd gifts. A six-ounce jar of Lingonberry jam, mellowed, it said on the label, under a midnight sun, sun that never wanders, making the berries promise to both nip and kiss the tongue. Two records – early reggae, some Texas ballads, their ripe lyrics about cowboys and fair lovers wandering among parched olive trees under luminescence of lavender-gray. Titillating. Tart. If that’s not love, she thought. And a card. Hand-made, about a lonely tree. Blue spruce. So blue, it made her think he must have known her gypsy-past, how in time if cornered,

COURTESY OF ASHEVILLE ART MUSEUM, BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLECTION; PURCHASED WITH FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE 2009 COLLECTORS’ CIRCLE

that catches in superstition’s net – an old lover’s cheatin’ heart, havoc of shadow and light.

she’d bite, the tree’s needles in cross section stiff and prickly. In sunlight, effervescent as diamonds.

Leaf Hands (cyanotype and collage, 78x71) by Susan Weil, 2007

SUSAN WEIL was born in New York City. She studied under Josef Albers at Black Mountain College along with artists such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg, to whom she was briefly married in the 1950s. She was a member of the New York School and an influential artist of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Her honors and awards include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Black Mountain College Museum, and is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Asheville Art Museum.

Profile for East Carolina University

North Carolina Literary Review  

The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) is published annually by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary & Historical Ass...

North Carolina Literary Review  

The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) is published annually by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary & Historical Ass...

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