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La Presa Issue 1 January 2017

Embajadoras Press Ontario, Canada

La Presa Copyright © 2017 by Embajadoras Press, Ontario, Canada All Rights Reserved No part of this journal may be used or reproduced without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner. ISSN: 2371-7009

Editor / Editora Lee Gould

Contributing Editors / Colaboradores de Redacción Paula Dunning Annie Smith Miriam de Uriarte

Technical Consultants

/ Consultores Técnicos

Jack Dunning Gregg Friedberg

Cover / Portada de la Revista Angélica Escárcega “Saltas brincas y no me atrapas” La Presa is a tri-annual literary magazine devoted to publishing poetry and prose in Spanish and /or English by writers from Canada, Mexico, and the United States. www.embajadoraspress.com Please direct correspondence to: leegould@embajadoraspress.com

Issue 1

January 2017



Julie Suarez Singleton • 1 Carilda Oliver Labra: two poems English translations by Peg Boyers The Blind Woman and Her Mirror • 2 La ciega y sus espejos • 3 Song • 4 El canto • 5 Gregg Friedberg: two poems Traducciones en español por Humberto Hernández Herrera Where’s the sugar • 6 ¿Dónde está la azucarera? • 7 In wiser times • 10 En épocas más sabias • 11 Norbert Hirschhorn The Young Docent at the Beirut Museum • 12 Her Obsidian Eyes • 13 Benjamín Valdivia Los besos • 14 El deseo • 15 Lee Gould Plants • 16 Rebekah Remington Shortcomings • 18 Clock • 19

Lirio Garduño Buono Manos de Ana • 20 El brazalete de Carlota • 21 L.S. Asekoff Slow Elegy for a Fast Hand • 22 Lynn Behrendt Rowing • 24 No Clothes • 26 Annie LaBarge Holy Holy Holy • 27 Sonja Greckol Mother Loss • 28 Carlos A. Barreiro Jáuregui Continuo y muy pleno romper de las olas • 32 Stuart Bartow Hearts • 34 Do Not Open After Dusk • 35 Paula Dunning Rogue Mailbox • 36 Carter Ratcliff Chez les Flamands • 38 A Painter • 39 Annie Smith The Widow Closes Up • 40 Giving Away Cookbooks • 42 James Autio Wavoka Hat • 44 Hare Foot • 45

Elizabeth Metzger The Rocking and the Horse • 46 For the Ninth Miscarried Sibling • 47 Anne Gorrick Rehearsing Loss • 48 Elena Ortiz Muñiz La paloma de la paz • 50 Por cada otoño • 51 George Quasha Getting out from under a life dragnet • 53

This Month’s Feature: The Arts Margo Mensing on American Architect Louis I. Khan Line after Line • 57 March 17 1974 • 58 Spending • 59 Carole Maso on Finnish Composer Jean Sibelius Into a Heartbreak So Blue • 60 Miriam de Uriarte: de la artista guanajuatense Angélica Escárcega La Isla de Cosas Perdidas: Influencias en la obra artística de la Maestra Angélica Escárcega • 69

Authors’ Biographies • 73

Welcome to La Presa – La Presa, and its parent, Embajadoras Press, began to take shape in the lush courtyard of Embajadoras Restaurant in Guanajuato City, where a small group of writers has been meeting weekly during the last several winters, sharing work, encouragement, and gradually the idea of something a bit bigger. The suggestion to support one another’s individual publishing goals through the establishment of a small press quickly grew to include my long-time personal goal—the publication of an international literary journal devoted to poetry and short prose. Our goal at La Presa—which means, in Spanish, both the fishing place and all that is caught there—is to present work by writers from Mexico, the United States, and Canada side by side, in the language of their choice, sharing the geography of the page as they share the geography of the continent. Instead of building walls, we are committed to building community. When I began to solicit material this past fall, I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of writers from all three countries. Within weeks, most of the poems and prose pieces you will find here had landed in my inbox. And what a variety of work it is! Voices from across the continent, revealing diversity and sameness, expressed in moods joyous and grief-stricken, passionate and ironic, sometimes short-tempered, sometimes silly, often pensive. Recently, when I returned to Mexico, I found myself searching for the airport exit. With my imperfect Spanish, I approached an airport official. “¿Dónde está el éxito? (Where is the success?) Laughingly he replied, “Aquí está.” (Here it is) Yes, aquí está –bienvenido. Lee Gould, Editor

Bienvenido a La Presa La Presa y su madre, Embajadoras Press, comenzaron a tomar forma en el exuberante patio del Restaurante Embajadoras en la ciudad de Guanajuato, donde un pequeño grupo de escritores se reúnen semanalmente durante los últimos inviernos, compartiendo trabajo, inspiración, y gradualmente la idea de algo un poco más grande: la sugerencia de apoyar los objetivos individuales de publicación a través del establecimiento de una pequeña prensa rápidamente creció para incluir mi objetivo personal de muchos años – la publicación de una revista literaria internacional dedicada a la poesía y la prosa corta. Nuestro objetivo en La Presa - que significa en español, tanto el lugar de pesca como todo lo que se captura allí - es presentar obras de escritores de México, Estados Unidos, y Canadá uno al lado del otro, en el idioma de su elección, compartiendo la geografía de la página ya que comparten la geografía del continente. En lugar de construir muros, estamos comprometidos a construir comunidad. Cuando empecé a solicitar material el otoño pasado, me abrumó el entusiasmo de los escritores de los tres países. En cuestión de semanas, la mayoría de los poemas y prosa que encontrarás aquí habían aterrizado en mi bandeja de entrada. ¡Y qué variedad de trabajo es! Voces de todo el continente, revelando diversidad y similitud, expresadas en estados de ánimo alegres y doloridos, apasionados e irónicos, a veces de mal genio, a veces tonto, a menudo pensativo. Recientemente, cuando regresé a México, me encontré buscando la salida del aeropuerto. Con mi imperfecto español, me acerqué a un funcionario del aeropuerto. "¿Dónde está el éxito?" Riendo, él respondió, "Aquí está." Sí, aquí está - bienvenido. Lee Gould, Editora

Singleton You must be the one when all who would have understood are gone and there are none to ask what color was her hair? What was the name of her village? Where was she on the day the Great War ended? You must be the one still standing, the one carried over into the next column, prime number, pillar, upright, the One who touches old things breathing the scent of dried roses when no roses are there, the one who finds the baby curl tied with silk in the bottom of a drawer or senses the impression of feet that trod the grasses down in passing and passing again—you the one who listens all night for the voices in the leaves, looks for faces in the patterns of the bathroom tile— what did she see? Birds, she said, and on the day she died, you saw in the figures angels rising— long silver trumpets in their hands uplifted, and you wanted to tell her. What is One but part of something else? Splinter, filament, shard? Ache everlasting. Part of everything but apart. —Julie Suarez


The Blind Woman and Her Mirror Because I refuse the Void because I adore the air of this world, I ignore the Silence even when it resounds in my hunted dove heart. Because I accept neither coups nor the embassies they bring (nor the deaths they cause), the poor being inside me must dine only on her demented snack , love lost. Sometimes, conversing with the Bore, I shout tear me away, old rag, from this ritual wine I drink in ceremonies with the No and the Faraway and I will only return firm as marble in my eternity because I am like that blind woman who can’t stop staring into her mirror. —Carilda Oliver Labra (Translation by Peg Boyers)


La ciega y sus espejos Como no quiero descubrir la nada, como me gusta el aire de esta escena, ignoro si enmudece o si resuena el corazón de tórtola cazada. Como no admito golpe ni embajada pues creo que la muerte nunca es buena, la pobre que alimento casi cena una tonta merienda, enamorada. A veces conversando con el plomo: arráncame—le digo—trapos viejos, y volveré del vino este que tomo en ceremonias con el no y el lejos; terca en mi eternidad, porque soy como la ciega que se mira en sus espejos. —Carilda Oliver Labra


Song Tear my clothes, take away madness Polish my lonely room with a whip . Bring me those hells, prepare my hard bed. I fear neither tyrants nor cancer nor the Wave. Leave me without sin, without sun, without libraries. Already orphaned from all, I won’t feel a thing, not even tedium. Hide that bread from me, nail shut my dry mouth; nothing you do to me can’t be undone. Even jail won’t matter; I have drunk delirium; Look: there in its dust, an iris is born. No death can spoil my morning. My heart is neither owned nor encumbered. You can never take away my sleep wings. And I will keep on singing whenever the hell I feel like it. —Carilda Oliver Labra (Translation by Peg Boyers)


El canto Rómpanme los vestidos, quítenme la locura, pulan con ese látigo mi sitio de estar sola, tráiganme los infiernos, pongan mi cama dura; no temo a los tiranos ni al cáncer ni a la ola. Déjenme sin pecado, sin sol, sin biblioteca; ya huérfana de todo no sentiré ni tedio. Escóndanme ese pan, claven mi boca seca: nada podrán hacerme que no tenga remedio. No importará la cárcel porque bebí delirio; hasta en el mismo polvo suele nacer el lirio; ninguna muerte sabe podrirme la mañana. Mi corazón no tiene gravámenes ni dueño. Nunca podrán quitarme el ala con que sueño. Y seguiré cantando cuando me dé la gana. —Carilda Oliver Labra


“Where’s the sugar?” When my friend asks me, I’m at a loss for words. “Gone,” I say—after much too long a pause. What I don’t say is: I’m not surprised. Been watching it for a while—ever since that first time it seemed to call attention to itself. I remember thinking: it’s grown bored there on the counter, recruited twice, thrice a day to serve. Grab. Shake. Pour. Replace. “Wants adventure!” I thought. Oh! I guess I’ve said it aloud. An odd expression transits my friend’s face. “You don’t say?” he says. Every day since it caught my eye. Invited my scrutiny. Figured something out, hasn’t it? I sensed. About its situation . . . a dawning sense of self. And one day just last week I thought: “It knows it’s sweet.” By the weekend it had begun speculating about the larger world, how it might fare out there. But beset by doubt, wanting courage. First sight of it this morning I knew: it had resolved to go. That that would be its last service to us. “C’mon,” says my friend. “Enough fooling around. My oatmeal’s just about ready.”


“¿Dónde está la azucarera?” Cuando me pregunta mi pareja, se me van las palabras. “Se fue,” digo—después de una gran pausa. Lo que callo es: No estoy sorprendido. He estado viéndola hace tiempo—desde la primera vez que atrajo mi atención. Recuerdo haber pensado: se aburrió en la alacena, utilizada dos o tres veces al día: sujetar, agitar, servir . . . y regresar. “¡Quiere una aventura!” pensé—sonreí por esto. ¡Oh, lo dije en voz alta! Una extraña expresión fugaz en la cara de mi pareja. “Tú no lo dijiste ¿verdad?” dice. Desde entonces—dos o tres veces por día—ha atrapado mi atención. ¡Invitándome a examinarla! “¿Ha descubierto algo, no?” me dije. Acerca de su situación . . . un sentido naciendo de sí misma. Un día de la semana pasada pensé: “Se sabe dulce.” Al fin de semana, ella había empezado a especular acerca del mundo exterior: de cómo sería su suerte afuera. Pero llena de dudas, faltándole coraje. A primera vista esta mañana reconocí: había decidido irse. Esta sería la última vez que nos serviría. “Basta,’’ dice mi pareja. “Deja de bromear. Mi avena está casi lista.”


Though he supposes nothing’s simpler— that I should confess to some childish prank, fetch it out of hiding—I can’t comply. In my mind’s eye I see it: on a table cordially set. In hands . . . handsome. —Gregg Friedberg


Aunque él supone que no hay cosa más fácil— que confesar una broma infantil, sacarla de su escondite—no puedo concedérselo. En mi mente la veo: elegantemente puesta sobre una mesa. Acariciada por manos reales. —Traducción: Humberto Hernández Herrera


In wiser times before snobs distinguished fine art from craft, if you reserved nice lodging, sure transport, in your love’s good company took a seaside holiday, and finding it all you hoped—still more: pleasure, romance, wave upon wave, such that you radiate ineffable joy— in truth, nothing lacking but words to express it, preserve it like marmalade for select tea back home— you’d hire a poet. He’d know how to midwive your pregnant heart, palpate its fluttering chambers, time its contractions, measure its dilation . . . then he’d deliver: with rhythm, rhyme, stanza, refrain— all the tricks, and tools, of his venerable trade—apt figures of speech and felicitous phrases, mixed metaphors . . . transform your raw, clumsy witness: your love standing tall on the dazzling sand, handsome proof against the sea breeze, gleaming with that lambency it’s the sea’s alone to bestow—that tableau he’d bespeak (so to speak) as the very picture of poignancy! Fragile virility confronting eternity, infinity. Ta petite force majeure en face de la Force Majeure! Verily, your heart would break! He’d transcribe calligraphically, entitle smartly— one last flourish to seal his and your blessed complicity. You’d pay him gladly, and with all respect, he’d pocket the pennies, his tablet and pen, bid you farewell, off to his next client: joy like yours, or sorrow possibly, awaiting words. —Gregg Friedberg 10

En épocas más sabias antes de que los nobles dividieran el arte de la artesanía, si hubieras reservado un hospedaje agradable, transporte seguro, tomado unas vacaciones a la orilla del mar en la buena compañía de tu amor, y encontrando todo lo que esperabas—aun más: placer, romance, ola tras ola, tanto que radiabas inexpresable felicidad— la verdad, nada faltaba excepto palabras para expresarlo, para conservarlo como mermelada de merienda selecta al regreso a casa—contratarías a un poeta. Él sabría cosechar tu corazón, sentir sus latidos, medir las contracciones, la dilatación . . . luego él entregaría: con ritmo, rima, párrafo, estribillo— todas las técnicas y herramientas de su venerable profesión— frases felices, formas retóricas, metáforas mezcladas, transformaría tu crudo y burdo testimonio: tu amor de pie erguido en la arena destellante, firme contra la brisa del mar, brillando con ese juego de luces que sólo el mar confiere—ese cuadro vivo, él lo describiría como la verdadera imagen de gran conmoción. Frágil virilidad confrontando lo eterno, el infinito . . . ¡Tu pequeña fuerza mayor frente a frente a la Gran Fuerza Mayor! ¡Verdaderamente tu corazón se quebraría! Él transcribiría caligráficamente, titularía con delicadeza— al final sellaría para celebrar su y tu complicidad bendecida. Pagarías con gusto, y con todo respeto, guardaría los centavos, su pluma, su libreta y se despediría . . . iría a su siguiente cliente: felicidad como la tuya, o posiblemente tristeza, esperando palabras. —Traducción: Humberto Hernández Herrera 11

The Young Docent at the Beirut Museum and I notice her dancing hands with henna tattoos as she enlightens us to civilizations beneath our feet, and how archaeologists unearth human remains, and I notice her midnight-black eyes rimmed with kohl, how they too adorned themselves with beauty marks, and I notice in her slim eagerness that we understand our origins, her mouth forming a perfect bow, and how paleo-hunters brought down their quarry. —Norbert Hirschhorn


Her Obsidian Eyes drilled into mine, some insistence, some compulsion. Perhaps her loss had stirred a longing I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, satisfy. Not even for consolation. Who holds your gaze they say will sleep with you. And so I looked away – part cowardice, part devotion. —Norbert Hirschhorn


Los besos Te detengo, retengo y tengo en beso y beso. El tiempo que no se mueva más. El aire quede fijo. La tierra inmóvil. Sólo este fuego tibio y frutal que continúe. La persistencia de sentir evoluciones de la lengua, sabores de un océano que no existe. El beso no es tuyo o mío sino nuestro: de nadie. La libertad tiene su casa en nuestros labios. Y la tiene el dulzor, la luz callada y el tiempo que se da como si el mundo fuera a terminarse ahora. —Benjamín Valdivia


El deseo Salido de la sombra o venido del corazón más loco de una piedra o clavado a mitad de las dos alas de un ángel o brotado inadvertido en los reflejos del cuarzo reciente, el deseo destraba las compuertas y alza entre aquel arenal y estos misterios la púrpura, los soles estallantes y un arrecife singular en cada cuerpo. Yo te deseo a puños en la hora ferocísima de la emoción más quieta, esa en que estoy detenido en ti y soy casi tú misma, soy la frontera de tu cuerpo y así quiero quedar vestido de tu ser y declarar una fiesta perpetua y estelar hasta lo último, sin que los párpados guiñen ni un instante, vista entonces y siempre como aquí. Tú, la más deseada en labor de cumplimiento, vienes a ver la sombra a mitad de estas paredes. Vertido a llamaradas como el cielo salamandroso es el deseo, la atracción lunática para hundirse en el abismo bien sabido y dejarse caer sin esperar otra cosa que nada mientras el suave descenso nos consume hasta hacernos arder. —Benjamín Valdivia


Plants Touch Me Not If it isn’t perfect, it’s nothing by it I mean he or she although sometimes when, sometimes where. A silencer comes with my weapon, and when I unholster, line up my shot, fire – I disappear just like that, the lovely orange in the little Christmas house – only I’m still there, but with something up my sleeve which is Goodbye.

Sporangium I clothe you in an airy sheath, adhere to your glossy surfaces, shade you, cozy you under the hot sun. At last, you think you’re getting the hang of it, the give and take of life, but make no mistake, when you look about, the you you see in stretchy unfolding, the curves you didn’t know you had: flexible, reaching – you in all your agency is me, and I’m hungry.


Ivy The crevices you try to hide I admire, nestle into, blossom. How sturdy you are, how I flutter in your shadow. Is my attention flattering? My leafy attractions? In moonlight you gleam; I darken, wither, but each day, as you hold me, I grow. My roots thicken in you. I become your extremities, the fingers, the dancing feet or more accurately your glittering fringes. In time, I’ll spread myself over you: your masonry, your ledges and openings, even as you crumble, I’ll hold you. —Lee Gould


Shortcomings The rhododendron doesn’t feel like living but it does dusty leaves shriveling in the northwest corner of the yard. Sunblare is my subject again, and self adjusting to self. Late August, record heat, the things I meant to do. The heart is a partially-known city. Runner at dawn sticks with familiar streets, familiar hedge-rows. Feeling heavy in the body, she sometimes lets herself walk. The point is to keep going. The mind is a maze, little alcoves, smelling of witchhazel: here a memory of luminous fjords, here all dark confusion. The point is to pass through. I envy my neighbor’s garden: pale blue columbine, black-eyed Susans, trumpet vine. Or the tomatoes once again reinventing the gustatory life. I envy the soul of the pink dogwood and my neighbor who has time to reread Melville. Wild, wild sea! That you exist and I must leave you. An inland dream of cool, music from that French horn I never learned to play rising for the umpteenth time. —Rebekah Remington


Clock Master of the mantel and rainy Sunday afternoons. Paresis of both hands. Presiding over factory floor or forced party conversation. Silent waiting-room presence. Like a corrections officer in a wax museum suddenly alive, insane now, swinging a club. Birthday confetti rains from the ceiling. Am I fifty? I have the same confused heart of my girlhood. You have to fold these clothes and make a bird out of red paper. You have 15 minutes. You have to solve for x, prove your love. You have a pencil, scratch paper, a body. Five minutes. Look up— A kite, a bird, spermatozoa. Across the dark horizon a man moves as though he’s stealing a baby. Such colors! But there are dishes. Floor covered in crumbs. Dust everywhere. —Rebekah Remington


Manos de Ana Para Ana Cervantes Dos palomas musicales con ojos de águila. Recorren un paraje de nieve y bosques negros, siembran sonidos a su paso. Tienen en las alas el recuerdo de lugares sombríos, de azules tempestades, de un hombre hermoso y rubio, de mariposas migradoras llenando el aire de misterios. Migrantes ellas mismas, conocen la piel de las montañas, acarician el lomo de ciudades y peñascos, de un perro negro de lengua azul, de ventanales abiertos como ojos... Ligeras, rápidas a veces; a veces lentas, ebrias de percusión o amables en el sueño son dos palomas musicales en el corazón ardiente de ese pozo... —Lirio Garduño-Buono


El brazalete de Carlota Es tan fino que bien pudiera ser para una niña: una muñeca delicada no cabe duda, de princesa. Oro, plata: un medallón de esmalte azul; imposible distinguir la figura del centro, podría ser una flor o un escudo nobiliario rodeado por diamantes diminutos. Atravesó este siglo y medio no sabemos por obra de qué extraordinarios vericuetos. Se nota su inminente naufragio por los ennegrecidos bordes del metal y el casi borrado índigo. Imagino en la distancia, la luz turquesa de Chapultepec la terraza del castillo y el murmullo de su falda, el follaje suelto, los sillones. En lo íntimo del boudoir escoge un brazalete, el que contemplo ahora: los diamantes bajaron su luz como los reflectores de un escenario a punto de apagarse, y sin embargo vibran todavía, en destellos caprichosos, como al alma persistente de la princesa en ruinas. Adiós mamá Carlota, adiós mi tierno amor... —Lirio Garduño-Buono


Slow Elegy for a Fast Hand Let me shuffle the deck for you. E Pluribus Unum. Here’s a skulk of foxes, a faith of merchants, a pity of prisoners, a murder of crows. A leap of leopards, a drunkenship of cobblers. Now the blushful boys bellowing at bullfinches, ersting the bees. Me, I’m caught red-handed doling out doves to a cast of hawks. Once your true name’s taken from you, nothing makes sense. Everything’s at a remove. You try to stay focused on the task at hand, ride the pale horse toward the five-pointed star. Over time the ghastly wounds declare themselves. In the vast & troubled sea proci becomes porci, from a silk purse to a sow’s ear. & yet & yet as “want” is to “wont” so we are consoled by our errors, a purloined letter heals the world. These days everybody’s under revision. There are no originals. Only a copy of a copy of a copy. Gazing into empty space we find nullity, “a lovely nothing.” An unbuttoned glove lies on a bedside table. Lavender ghost of a hand that once used to slide down inside your trousers & … Caught in that delirium, you’re a pebble in her palm. What follows begins with admonitions: “Don’t piss on a turtle.” “Never buy the same horse twice.” Then drifts into ambiguous assertions: “A man on fire swims through ice.” “The Greeks are hidden behind their columns.” & vaguer sequelae: “cold & lonely,” “past tense,” “the distant drama of delusional daffodils,” “Pierrot bitch-slapped by the moon.” Abandoned at the absent center of my unlived life I stared into – a rat hole, a bird’s nest, a red fox disappearing into a culvert. Then I saw the Great Speckled Bird that is the paranoid’s Bible spread its wings & suddenly everything was connected to everything, everything made sense again. Like a scene from a movie I saw a milkmaid standing at a fountain. A young man knelt before her, covered in soot & ashes. The milkmaid dipped her handkerchief into the water & gently wiping first one then the other bathed his blinded eyes. She is preparing him to see, I thought, she is preparing him to see. But see what? A granite ledge? A kedge in quicksand? Lovely nullities? An extended hand’s five-pointed star? I stared down at my fingers. They lay before me – pale, gloveless, unloved – a dole of doves. “Here is consequentialism,” I said. “Not a false smile or a pretty simile. Here is consequentialism with teeth.” 22

At the end of the avenue, a hooded man faced me. “Justice for all big things,” he proclaimed. “Mercy for the rest.” Towering above him the great machine’s oiled blade, suspended by a hair, glistened in the moonlight. Around us the servants of the future, the “tricoteuses of dialectic,” sat furiously knitting, reknitting the unraveled net of reason as the crowd roared & one by one the heads fell like winter cabbages into the basket. —L. S. Asekoff


Rowing You Are Here a modern, interactive concept of commerce here you are original exhibit think-geek science litmus test of the vast universe expanding exponentially in the wrong direction here you are harpie a hill-sung body with overhead camera tracking large areas of public space you, submissive, are here rupturing the surface of the every day wound on this customizable oily journey with 3d team of snow sled dogs and abolished boundaries you are on a self-designed journey based on last month’s web clip you roll and tumble fountain-brained in the cloistered conference room at the airport Sheraton hotel you are here inside separate booths slender, brave, well, mobile you walk the perfect line and it’s summer You Are Here not a link to here, but here in film 24

with blue tongue where UFOs abound we found you here rowing your way across. —Lynn Behrendt


No Clothes No clothes allowed that’s what they say no clothes no waiting the economist has no clothes the generals have no clothes the university has no clothes the architect has no clothes no clothes on Ragged Island Putin is Batman without any clothes Hans Christian Anderson officially has no clothes the market knows the dollar has no clothes no naps no clothes no clothes for the party no shame no clothes no clothes or sleep no curtains no clothes the ambassador has no clothes no clothes cartoons and comics the Euro has no clothes the analyst has no clothes no clothes in Pennsylvania the metabolic syndrome wears no clothes and no clothes gets you free clothes so this animal has no clothes no clothes in America no clothes anywhere the belle has no clothes at the rental marketplace ball the fed has no clothes Natalie Portman: no clothes no clothes ‘til December the MFA has no clothes big tobacco laptop revolution no clothes, the peace process has no clothes, no clothes beyond this point —Lynn Behrendt


Holy Holy Holy Unveiled, my curls exposed, I hide in the confessional. Cloistered in the dusty booth, I stand on Father Kiffen’s seat and peek through heavy cloth. The procession passes. A lacey alb shimmers beneath the bishop’s violet cape. Altar boys ring bells, swing pungent smoke. Gold stitches decorate the long stole swishing over shiny shoes. Later, my face pious, I baptize kittens and Frankie the turtle. With singsong ceremony, humming holy, plaintive, latiny chants, friend Salvatore and I glide down weed lined walks. Burning pine needle incense, our coffee cans smoking, bike chains rattling, we warble in dark priestly coats: “Oreos, Dominoes, Nabiscos.” —Annie LaBarge


Mother Loss

flung front skidding knowing certainly not where not when black ice ahead

poorly wired into the world but the salt spoon is at hand and so is the masking tape and giving birth opened a bracket into my syntax dappling every day with that moment in the mirror that travels farther than it appears

bodies at rest do not move toward each other unless the strength of their attraction surpasses inertia their velocity determines the traj...ejectory unless probability shakes the scaffold

symmetry absented left gaping a fish gasping for wordlift rigor gone trolling toward gleaning afraid of showing up not knowing real is real in one moment that is but one of a succession of moments she would go into [ ] go quietly I don't have many days here in silence we begin

there's a long way to go down on ischemic bowel or in my card file distracting all the way back to when the storms came and lights went out and the dark kept coming I learnt a boundary in the Psych Abstracts covering all the relevant research and the broadest reviews of the literature job well done now I drop into the warren of illness and mother death and other grief


at 9:09 pm she was 99 years old and 159 days a site makes the calculation we held her blue hands warm-blanketed her cold feet her breath faltered and went quiet still rage long gone fierceness expired and her heart stopped I was her issue and I am her issue and I issued a daughter who has her high forehead memory lights her way No! memory lights our way no re_search no boundary just bonds re_m_ember mo_u_rning

we weep precisely we cared for each other lament being no more entrusted to chisel each other greater and other than us in another turn obliged to harbour us we know we knew we remember

felt body lived body the trunk is where the emptying recurs

like tree rings mine and hers entwined layers of sensation here infancy swaddled against her tight arm toddlerdom straining for the horizon over her muscular shoulder childhood helping her dress where the sensation passed from soft to hardthe basque corset shaped those 50's womenwhile I was just a hard skinny girl

jagged space surrounded rounded us away I was not an easy teenager she was not an easy mother our tenors discordant we grew distant not in spite of ourselves but because of ourselves emptiness has shape and volumethe optical illusion embodied profile : vasefelt body lived body


looking on that face I signed the papers attesting that body that body from which I was issue lay there right there in that birch box placing the rose unceremonious I gave it to her she had been a gardener metaphor escapes me watching the box into the vault there is no gaping maw just the roar the flame the clanging door the body engulfed the movie images displaced allegory escapes me the sadness is

no sobbing in the family room but stories and laughter and a high soprano and loving: :loved folded into the fold and unfolded again when the carriage of the end ends and it does and it does and it is an end with shards to carry from that end

at the front of the line we share her life in ours take relief in due diligence the vitals parents siblings birth work travel in my body there is a blank no colour I found it once held it the shape of my mother her mother of our unknowing

empty now surrounded by my own escape bodied and dis after the fact how after it is fabric rent straining its tears meanders shorn arrive on the ledge white lilies white lilies now her not there then there not here lying beyond past the meridian

the mobius strip is a long strip with a twist joined end to end on which a line drawn lengthwise from the seam will meet at the join but on the other side and which if continued will meet at the starting point 30

cutting the strip along that centre line yields a long strip with two full twists and cutting that strip yields two strips wound round each other with two twists cutting a strip with three half twists divided ties in a trefoil knot unravelling to eight half-twists and an overhand knot of molecular loss allegory returns —Sonja Greckol


Continuo y muy pleno romper de las olas Blanca mano de espuma de la estremecida ola que es extiende tumultuosa desbordándose muy plenamente a cada instante hasta despedazar sus alargados dedos níveos al romper contra los riscos estallando en miles de gotas deslumbradas que se elevan . . . y de inmediato el torrente baja de las rocas en mínimos afluentes múltiples dispersando el todavía parpadeante y rumoroso eco de su reciente consumación, como si uno alcanza un momento culminante de su vida y su destino y muy alta, nítida y variadamente lleno de fuerza y de forma incesantemente desbordante no puede dejar de tocar los accidentados arrecifes de la vida y en otro todavía más alto y muy vivo clamoreo rompe y se deshace muy vibrante y sonoramente esparciéndose con creciente plenitud en innumerables fragmentos destellantes . . . que no dejen de fluir brillante y titilantemente consumados ya por cada surco de un muy propio destino . . . , mientras allá arriba el sol de mediodía se enseñorea de todo el espacio iluminándolo por completo y de forma tan intensa que a cada instante sigue desbordando sus propios muy destellantes límites como una esponja gigantesca muy clara y viva que irradia múltiple y cambiantemente un cintilar de muy níveos y maravillados segundos reflejando nítidamente el caprichoso agitarse y latir de las cálidas aguas, en ese momento muy blancas de tan brillantes y entonces ya otra ola se acerca a romper férvidamente su muy blanca cresta palpitante otra vez en las rocosas escarpaduras murmurando el alucinado fragor de su muy exaltado culminar esparciéndose en miles de mínimos y muy latientes pedazos níveos y muy frescamente evanescentes para rehacerse y resurgir 32

a cada cambiante momento como elevando su intensidad para culminar de nuevo en alto, muy alto clamor restallante . . . , mientras a un lado el bullente y expectante azul es como un testigo casi secreto y mudo de ese espumante y muy cálido volver a crearse enteramente vibrante elevando su muy vívido y fresco y múltiple llamado a la vida. —Carlos A. Barreiro Jáuregui


Hearts Shelley drowned, body three days at sea, brine and bloat. His friends built a pyre but the heart, sea-soaked, wouldn’t burn. Fished from the ashes and given to Mary, what became of the keepsake, desk-bound, paper-weight, garden stone? Thomas Hardy’s heart, saved to be buried with his first wife, Emma, left upon the kitchen counter in a box, was pilfered by the family cat, dragged into a woodlot, and devoured. A heart-shaped stone will mark the garden border where the back yards feral cat roams this world of havoc, its twists, its stealth, its concealed magic. —Stuart Bartow


Do Not Open After Dusk said the sign at the steel back door of the coffee shop. I’d been on that side street at dusk and thought nothing magical there except maybe a bit more strange than other side streets. Of course the sign was about fear danger crime, but still, doors are always portals to another place. I like to open doors to see the dusk, to go out into it into the space and time of betweens as others went through those doors, William Blake, who in seeing the sun rise and set saw a golden chorus singing. Only the fiction, Dr. Who can pass and return. Edna Millay tried, though one last time she spun the stairs, that first step, sometimes we spill. And I, too, have dreamt of one day opening that door to meet something on the other side, to answer that call like Oisin who returned through the only door back which is always the wrong door because time is also a place that lasts only as memory, and his week or month in twilight was three hundred years. Yet I, too, can’t resist that door, just a peek, and have whimsied into the strange last light, that first step, after which the door behind doesn’t lock but disappears. —Stuart Bartow


Rogue Mailbox

Home is where the heart is. That’s what it used to say on a neighbour’s mailbox, ornate blue letters surrounded by a pink heart, stencilled on the flap that opens and closes for the now-rare letter, bills, and flyers addressed to “homeowner”. When her marriage broke up, the mailbox moved on, along with the home and the heart. I believe the basic sentiment is true, though it’s not my style to wear my heart on my sleeve—or on my mailbox, for that matter. My own mailbox is painted dark blue with only my last name and 163 painted freehand in black, that being the number the township assigned when rural route numbers gave way to street addresses a few decades ago. Much of our mail still comes to R.R. #2, which is not a problem because everyone knows our name. It was August 1972 when we moved in; nobody knew our name. The mailbox was already there, the previous owners’ names worn to an illegible smudge. I stopped at the local post office, a tiny one-room building, to make sure our mail would be delivered to the right house. The postmaster, a large middle-aged man who obviously hadn’t shaved that morning, turned away from his newspaper and looked up when I opened the door. He appeared to be chewing a cigarette. “You’re at the White farm?” he said, repeating what I’d just told him, through barely opened lips. “Yeah. I guess it’s the Dunning farm, now.” He grunted. “You’ll need to get your name on the mailbox so’s the Findlays know who you are.” “Who are the Findlays?” I asked. He stared at me as though I were speaking Chinese. Apparently, this was a stupid question. “They deliver the mail.” He took another hungry puff on his cigarette. “They’ll need to know who y’are,” he repeated, just in case I hadn’t got it the first time, and turned back to his newspaper. We painted the mailbox blue with our name in black, and it’s been there ever since. It’s the old-fashioned kind that spins on the post, parallel to the road when it’s empty, perpendicular when there’s mail either coming or going. It also has a red flag that used to move up and down, but over the 36

years its range of movement has diminished to the point where it barely pokes its head above the top of the box. Two years ago, Canada Post hired someone to drive the rural routes and determine whether mailboxes met the new standards. It seems ours didn’t. We were told that henceforth, mail would be removed or inserted into mailboxes with some sort of mechanical device, presumably emerging from the driver’s window, so mailboxes would have to be 1) stable on their posts, 2) fixed in a perpendicular position, and 3) equipped with a red indicator (presumably functioning). Ours failed on all three points. So I went mailbox shopping. Sadly. For just under $200, I could have a molded plastic, indestructible, snug, rust-proof and dent-proof mailbox on a matching plastic post. Boxes of these Tupperware-like mailboxes were stacked one upon another in the local hardware store that caters to rural dwellers. Alongside them, for those who’d like to make a more personal statement, were a few mailboxes decorated with cows and other bucolic images, and one, just one, plain one in a dark blue. Mine! At least we could stay blue. Without taking it out of its cardboard box, I bought it and brought it home. It didn’t stay out of its box long; it was a graceless, sharply-angled container with a flimsy plastic flag. I returned it to its place beside its green plastic and bovine-enhanced relatives. Our old mailbox is still in place, the post now lashed to a solid metal stake and the flag rising feebly to a somewhat vertical position. Our local mail lady (who replaced the Findlays many years ago) confides that she likes the old mailboxes that swivel, so we didn’t fix it in a perpendicular position as ordered. So far, we’ve had no further complaints from Canada Post, and the mail—such as it is—continues to arrive. Without the aid of a mechanical device. —Paula Dunning


Chez les Flamands Of course their stuffed animals speak Flemish. What d you expect? Once upon a time, many Flemish painters were great. Their finickiness was their terribilitå. The girl is thinking, I hate the accordion. But I love this music. But is it truly the music that I love? The fog flows down the river, keeping to the banks but not assiduously, never assiduously, and when it reaches the sea, the fog thinks back and remembers Flemish quais and Flemish hawsers, splintered timbers, waterlogged timbers, all of them Flemish, the fog remembers all that but not its place of origin so far from Flanders, so deftly has Flanders entangled the fog and made of it and the Flemish light a Flemish alloy. Those surfaces of zinc! That gin-like stuff they drink in Flanders! The cat seeks the mouse. The mouse avoids the cat. They call it the Flemish Game, but only because they reside in Flanders. —Carter Ratcliff


A Painter Old brick, new mortar, lovely day in September—how, under the circumstances, can the vine elude the clutches of its competence, which is blind, like justice? And you who have received a favorable verdict, will you be the one to explain to justice that forms in art are not, after all, the forms of its inner life? In other words, the apocalypse miscarried and yet its image is anything but jagged. The audience knows only to want it to be jagged. A painter must acquiesce, as gracelessly as he dares, so his picture has a chance to go astray, and represent not only the knack of making pictures but him to himself, at last, as gracefully as blindness seeing at last the justice of the seasons, the warmth of how it all turned out, unhappily, yes, because art is not life, and it remains to be seen how true to life was our picture of the difference between art and life after all these years of seeing in his art whatever we were living through. He saw it too but never as helplessly, though he was just as surprised as we were to find that it was he who learned from the shoulder to make gestures others make with the wrist. Yet the wrist is not forgotten, and so his sublime is now and then intimate. Even then, it is architectural and has the presence of flesh. Time is frozen by its image, then time sails on, as does the vestibule. As does art itself. —Carter Ratcliff 39

The widow closes up after the party
the soon to be widow
closed up the house by herself thinking of all the parties that they had closed up after. It was a strange feeling
after having so many people sharing her space to find herself alone in the room, the air still ringing with laughter and forks
the house still aroused in baronial, long table mode.

there’s a certain excitement in being so close to the spot where death will close in.

What a joke she thinks death is closing in on all of us all the time.

death though had staked an immediate claim here in her home

and, as she held up her martini

she saw how determined she was that


life should go on

in the face of this

oh so personal

process of dying. —Annie Smith


Giving Away Cookbooks For Scotty March, 2012 When you have cooked together with someone using the same cookbooks over and over it seems possible love might remain in the topography of tomato bits, the dampness of oil, a fleck of rosemary caught near the binding. Open one cookbook. You might find in your mind, counters: wooden marble granite concrete a rose in a marmalade jar green tea mornings, china town teapots revisitable realities soaked in loss steeped in sensual memory, old kitchens, longings belongings and tastings. How can you possibly choose which to let go? You have already lost so much, all that tightly wound energy, the excitement that was him before that terrible December and then wasn’t. Now this, this sorting and you do it. Out of 90 cookbooks you part with 60. two thirds of your lives cooking together. You choose to keep: Bruce Adel’s pork book, Indian, Asian, Diane Kennedy’s 42

latest and last, Mediterranean, Spanish, Portuguese. You choose not to keep: books about pate with pictures, Joy of Cooking, anything French Done you sit silent sensing your fingernails growing. You feel them in fact, brazen things, growing as though nothing at all had happened here.. —Annie Smith


Wovoka Hat* Call it medicine in the mother’s tongue. Feathers and herbs. Surround a stone. Letting go to straddle the two worlds. And these exquisitely worked quills. Dye made of flower heads in bug crush. Culled of my private harvest. Muddled about under Wovoka hats. The ghosted silhouettes. The evoking shapes. Center tough and danced at for life. Have we hummed through an eagle bone. Tied our torsos to the posted sun. Despite these human fears we love such. With strength out for ours is a sun in bloom. —James Autio

*Wovoka Hat – Wovoka – wood-cutter – refers to Jack Wilson (1856-1932), Northern Paiute religious leader, creator of the Ghost Dance.


Hare Foot* Waabooz a moving been under let. Were she to hover and waggle such silken tail tuft. I used to speak of bunnies. The empty space between forest edge and moor. Domain for the rabid hare foot. Stomp and offer a pungent waft of apaakozigan for the sky spirit. Waabooz with her piping mouth put. Waabooz her tongue. Heart. Paw and ear. Twitching nose from her silken fog. Ever built to run scuttle. Chiseled rump. Panic eyed. Waabooz had she uneven sling out. Had a rabbit pelt stretched over bone. Tense to her skim. Fiber pawed and lip stick holder of the young girl holstered. Waabooz set. —James Autio

*Waabooz – Eastern hare apaakozigan – tobacco mixture


The Rocking and the Horse Where did she go, deep in the living room touched longer in thought than in life? There are wheels on my horse and she must be confused whether to roll or rock to escape her toyhood. If you find her, tell her not to stay in one place to be found as they tell children who get lost. A toy is like a thought— It begs to be ridden to life but can’t beg. I am too big for her, dependent on her stillness because it cannot break me or rest, or mother as my thoughts do. There is abuse in thinking. We use it to achieve temporary sanctity for lives we wouldn't otherwise commit to. For all the sunsets I miss in the hall I crack a past whip, memorizing a spell of both my selves— the one I tried to be born from becoming what I’ve become. —Elizabeth Metzger


For the Ninth Miscarried Sibling You swam in our brother’s leftover armor in circles but couldn’t manage to keep popped the eyewhite collar of existing. What is one-dimensional except the yes we both began in someone else’s mind. By the end you rebelled so hard against the alive, lilac-faced without a face, less ordinary. Ether-long, I softened in the walls in wait, listening with my mouth against the outer light when you whispered, not born, in the ear of my ear anything you love you will infect —Elizabeth Metzger


Rehearsing Loss To sing without moving your lips I really don't get why people would do it for free on their own It makes us decide who we are State v. $4,000 and One 2011 Mercedes All her people are bending around empty spaces foregrounded in elegiac strain Her life with Jesus in Judea. Their travels in Languedoc light. destroy. peace. despair. crime. passion. forgiveness. failure. success. addiction. chance. possibility. childhood. inequality. cycle. chaos. faith. joy. example. May I suggest a cup of tea? Think of the most romantic novels u have read Most of the heroines he writes about in his book, How to Be a Heroine are written by women This is my first week back from a holiday during which time I barely looked at an internet let alone wrote on one I didn't play any games either I saw Jesus Now How do I write about it? I see people talk about “niche” writing 29. Venus and the Martian. 31. Dear Other. 35. Rivalry. 36. Archival. 37. Singular. 38. Chameleon. 39. Cloudspin. 41. Eurydice's Refrain. Motion pictures of her last days were projected on the mist We usually need to “wake up” from a state of being numbed by loss loss of information due to time without rehearsal, called decay If books wear out from excessive use or get lost, they need to be replaced If poets wear out from excessive use or get lost, they need to be replaced Zooming in and zooming out. Transience, loss, lines as traces The opposition's helplessness drowned without warning By falling into its dry slow beat you find your noise-induced diagnosis rehearsaled in tight fitting workout gear Rehearsing a problem in your mind before it happens helps you to arm the spaces 48

The cardiovascular system loses its navigation system altogether weight, pallor, sighs, tears, abstraction, desire for solitude, an extreme neglect of appearance Summer sea ice in the Arctic the resulting exposures I even began to see the positive side of these nightmares Just the right feeling of solitude & confusion With loss due to machine cutting each leaf or page of text practices a form of time, these time practicing instruments If you are given a drill sheet with your formations on it or music do not lose it She experienced a temporary threshold shift Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss in 2011. 10.03 Rehearsal: Sample Canister in Cleanroom. 12.21 Rehearsal: Infrared Views of Landing and Retrieval File under: “butterfly,” “Dreams of the Lost Butterflies,” “imaginal cells” Make a controlled crash-landing We love to see steamy snaps of excessive absence It is very important to have a good disaster (Twice charmed. Twice charmed) The Person I was Yesterday is Dead, Today I am just my Avatar a recent connectionist model with a sense of fullness in the ears and muffled We can't even allow ourselves to lean on the difference between dress-rehearsing tragedy and real tragedy These fissures (lost and found) These four experiments were carried out in which the probability of free recall of words as a function of serial position within lists was examined If they worry a poet will get hurt, they will lose interest in this drama —Anne Gorrick


La paloma de la paz La paloma de la paz abrió las alas blancas Sus negros ojos reflejaban la oscura sombra de brutales realidades una lágrima furtiva surcó su rostro amargo y triste evocó aquellos bosques siempre verdes que ya no existen más Las miradas infantiles llenas de esperanza que otrora la miraban con fe ahora son el reflejo del cansancio por una vida que no se ha empezado a vivir. La paloma de la paz batió sus alas níveas a lo lejos las metrallas reían a carcajadas Sus plumas inmaculadas se tiñeron del rojo de la sangre sangre humana, sangre amiga, inocente, víctima y amordazada Infamia, destrucción, avaricia y muerte La paloma ya no sabe lo que es vivir en paz busca en todas partes esas manos estrechadas las sonrisas francas y amistosas que han sido secuestradas Entre miembros mutilados y corazones paralizados la mujer embarazada tiene hambre, siente miedo, está a punto de parir Un chiquillo come hierba, ésa misma que ha crecido entre los dedos de cadáveres guerreros que en vida cambiaron hogar por fusil Los obreros niños, los obreros adultos, los obreros viejos trabajan noche y día, día y noche por un par de monedas que de poco servirán ¡Cuánta pobreza carga la pobre paloma! ¡Cuántas tristezas debe llevar a cuestas! La paloma se ha caído sin levantar el vuelo apenas en la tierra árida y necia se han ahogado sus gemidos dirigentes y políticos, desde sus estrados, predican un cambio que jamás llegará prometen futuros que no pueden ser hablan de un mundo que no existe ya Entre dinamita y pólvora explotan las alegrías crujen los huesos de las utopías truena el futuro en medio de un estallido violento y ensordecedor Los buitres perchan sobre árboles muertos esperando la ansiada carroña Afrodita llora por su mascota adorada La paloma ya no puede simbolizar nada el olivo de su pico se ha secado y se ha caído la inundación regresó ¡pero no es agua de lluvia lo que anega todo! son lágrimas de sangre y sal que la humanidad ha derramado ¡Está lloviendo! Dios llora también La paloma ha fallecido… A lo lejos, agazapado entre las sombras, un hombre detona la bomba ¿Hasta cuándo? ¿Hasta cuándo volverá la paz —Elena Ortiz Muñiz 50

Por cada otoño

En otoño las hojas de los árboles caen sin sentido en la tierra. Después de haber contemplado el mundo desde altas ramas en las que podían disfrutar el viento, el paisaje, la lluvia, el canto de los pájaros…ahora su destino parece reducirse a ser solamente parte del barro y la basura que mancha los jardines, los fríos pisos de cemento, las banquetas de adoquin de las grandes ciudades. Su centro cruje a medida que el tiempo pasa, es notable y sonoro el estremecimiento de su sino. Un tiempo fueron verdes, jóvenes, limpias y perfectas. Ahora se tornan ocres, amarillas, más ligeras que nunca, más rendidas que siempre. Las más débiles al abandonarse al dolor se pulverizan y pierden, vuelven al origen, a la tierra de la que surgieron un día y quién sabe a dónde vaya a dar su espíritu. Pero las otras, las de fuerza indomable y carácter férreo, se prenden del viento cuando acierta a soplar, se levantan, se sostienen fuerte y entonces, en medio del vuelo descubren que son libres al fin, que pueden moverse, viajar, volar y vivir aventuras nuevas. Lo que pensaban que era el final resulta ser un principio, una nueva meta, una aventura distinta. Sí, distinta es la palabra, porque la vida no arrebata nada, ayuda a existir de manera diferente. No importa cuán lastimadas se encuentren ni lo agotadas que puedan sentirse después de tanto llorar, porque un desafío siempre trae esperanza, es una invitación a combatir la vida de frente, con el espíritu trémulo tal vez, pero la mano firme empuñando la espada de la justicia y portando el escudo del esfuerzo sin fin. Por supuesto, ellas morirán también, crujirán un día como las otras y caerán hechas ceniza para integrarse a su origen, pero no será igual, porque ese espíritu desafiante y entero es el que inspirará nuevas vidas que surgirán de la tierra y se integrará a las raíces de almas nuevas que creciendo están. 51

Al final del día, por cada Otoño que llega una Primavera está por venir. Así que al caer de tu rama, al desprenderte del lugar que un día tuviste, al perder tu estabilidad y dejar simplemente de ser…espera pacientemente a que el viento sople, agárrate fuerte de él, aduéñate de la vida, vuelve a sentirte feliz porque ese Otoño no es más que un pasaje a otro destino que seguramente será mejor y pondrá en lugar seguro a tu corazón.

—Elena Ortiz Muñiz





the arts




Line after Line The spider extrudes her first silk strand It sways catches the leaf’s curling edge She spins another floats it to a twig perhaps a window ledge From this trapeze she works her circle round moving ever closer to the center Perfection not her goal What she needs is easy entry Joints to hang from stable runways in and out Her prey enters heedlessly collects in knots hangs in tidy bundles Dead or alive The woman watching can’t tell The spider moves in snatches skitters to the side dines Next morning the web half-collapsed The spider begins again she depends each day on her prey not knowing openings are closings


March 17 1974 Light How many times has he pulled Light and her sister Silence Out of his hat Stood them on end He knows light’s measure its shifting slant A column A staircase The window seat on the landing Working equations careful gestures the inglenook on winter solstice He has a pocketful of change no bills whatever he did not have he owed He missed his connection he has to take the train The light is going he is arriving at Pennsylvania Station He is not so far gone that the irony escapes him signage irregular bludgeoning corridors whatever light there is florescent


Spending Morning addresses her letter sends it to Evening This is to advise you Light coming on coming on fast by the time you read this This light will be spent Evening replies I have been told spent light is matter What matters is the light not the spending Morning writes back Do you want the light Evening answers Yes of course I want the light and the silence I need that



Into a Heartbreak So Blue Into a heartbreak so blue so smooth so silent ice, snow on snow the composer. In the interval of the falling fifths. They float. They're floating. All that passes before him now—within, without. Where to go from here. Vertigo another vodka I am wrestling with God. Once on a century's cusp. Writing in a fast waning tradition, a struggle of heroic proportions once--it certainly felt that way. I wonder whether this name "symphony� has done more harm than good to my symphony...One needs to broaden the concept. Isolation. The melodic strands. Terser now, starker. That young man once on a century's cusp. Luxuriating in a late Romanticism. Unabashed. Smiling, remembering, he lifts a glass. Farewell to youth. A place so far they float--so remote. The government of Finland... He turns away this time--who knew? not even he--for good. A famous man, his portrait painted, his head on the national money. Who, now he wonders counts the dead? The end of Romanticism. For good this time. A suspension so pure, so distilled, so silent, so blue. Abeyance. In any case, I do not think of a symphony only as music in this or that number of bars, but rather as a spiritual creed, a phase of one's inner life. Once the music: the retreat of winter, the onset of spring, sixteen swans in flight. His Fifth: A swan-hymn beyond compare.


The light is limpid and once the music was exactly that--exactly that-pale, obsolescent--A wresting with the vanishing. The luminosity of the Sixth. This is the story of a man who fell silent. Mother. So much, so little else to do. At once so troubled and so untroubled. The isolated melodic strands. Concisions. Distillations. Encapsulations. He's done for now. He contemplates by fire his beloved Finnish forest. The colossal indifference of nature. It's unremitting hostility. His Finland. And the wind. Twelve swans settled down on the lake, and then circled the house before flying away. White nights, the intensity, the stillness of the northern summer, that pallor, that delicacy--the near absence of color, melancholic--all that passes and will pass. And walked away from the world. once we


wanted only to live That chorus of dead daughters. And walked away from the world. A black rose dropping from his hand. can you hear us father at all? The pendulum-like motion of the double basses swinging back between F sharp and E over which the solitary cello utters its desolate A minor tune. The 4 note motive...How it permeates at all levels, so 61

completely, so seamlessly, so unobtrusively. The Fourth. It was, wasn't it, where you were going once? And they roam--north of the future--seeking salvation. Who speaks? A kind of perfection, most sublime, a famous man, your portrait painted, the silence casts a white light, a black light, white light-in the bleak extremes of what is left for you anymore--fjords, the forests--pale birds from his window break at his brow and sound. Right side, left side, right side, wrong side and spin away for good he thinks for good this time. Is that you Jenny Lind? Swedish swan? Composing the elusive Eighth Symphony still in his head. In extrahuman loneliness. They float. Who's there? Valse triste: Yet not a renunciation so much as a gradual letting go. He hears what can be heard--strands of melody----incidental music, a tone poem perhaps--and then--nothing anymore. From those windy,


That human shaped snow. I am wrestling with God. I'd like to give my Fifth Symphony another, more human form. Something closer to earth, something more alive. The problem is that during the course of the work I have changed. He strains to hear the world's icy charms--and as he turns to go--the quality of the shadow...The Eighth is there, and then it is gone, and then it is there again. This is the story of a man. He lifts another glass and writes. And erases--such sad labor--and writes again, and then only erases. Snow on snow. Even the forest falls silent. Finland. Recalling now his early high heroics. Remembering at 80, at 85, at 90 years of age that boy. That rare sense of rapture. Uncle Pehrs come back. That too late Romanticism, those oversized Nordic heroes, spooky chords, Wagner, a kind of spectacle no doubt-- over now. Fire, ice, nymphs, mist--all the old goblins here again tonight. Grandeur, turbulence, histrionics all. 62

Alcohol to calm my nerves and state of mind. How dreadful old age is for a composer. Things don't go quickly as they used to, and self-criticism grows to impossible proportions... Embers in the kitchen. A pyre made one night--the Eighth is burning. An animal's eyes glow in the distance. What runs wild and far off in him? Ploughing into that annihilated place he reaches for a drink. War. World on fire. Half notes, a burnished string section arrives, but just as quickly disappears. Spectral (mist rising from the snow) like the day itself. In this suspended place. In between one certainty and another he falls. Yet doubtless once a head long rush. The sheets of sound. A shimmering backdrop from which more definite ideas did germinate take shape, dissolve. A gorgeous thing--he feels his pulse begin to quicken. That static blur. As the tones pile up into an amorphous mass and time bends and pulled apart the pulse begins to unsettle the music-- halting even as it goes forward. A vertigo, yes, oh yes, oh yes--ideas pass in waves, and change shape with each cycle. Circular, no longer linear world...a spiritual creed, a phase of one's inner life....an inner confession at a given stage. Once. He smiles now a little. The silent national hero. "Once I did hear your melody through the forest and was charmed," a voice whispers. And then grows in tone. "Once I did in limpid light." Who speaks? He takes another drink. Am worried about the political situation... And the mournful late conversations with himself begin. The glassy octaves of the solo violin. How are things at home? Here I am living in my music. Am engrossed in my work--but anxiety about everything gets me down. The symphony is making great strides and I must get it finished while I am in full spiritual vigor. It's strange; this work's conception. When the Eighth it still seemed possible--he heard it in the woods-63

"We're falling and floating," a voice says. And on the near horizon: World war. My soul is sick. The deaths of friends, isolation. An oscillating pattern of whole tone intervals in the cellos, basses and bassoons, starting loud and precipitately fading toward silence. My soul is sick. And it looks like it is going to last a long time. How did I end up here? For many reasons. The direction of my composing has led me up a blind alley...I didn't make it round the cape. The land you loved. A national hero and look and now: Your beloved Finland, a German ally. Sick is my soul.

I am not guilty. Fragments from the diary:

the tragedy begins. And in German: the great disaster. He ploughs toward sleep--gouges in the snow--oblivion. A breathing from underneath the floorboards--the war dead--the millions over--he'd like to share a drink, some food, a crust of bread with them. A stillness--he does not move but allows other things to move in him. A flock of birds fly north. The middle of a thaw. Regret, sorrow grave misgivings. Because this is the story of a man. Twelve swans settle on the lake. "Make that thirteen," a voice cackles. "You old sad sack." The Madame steps out of a swan boat, Sophie and the hatbox in tow, having somewhere along the way gotten a very, very clever idea. He notices straight


off her coloratura--her runs and trills. Fast and high. And who are you? Who speaks? "Once I did hear your melody and was charmed all right. And then I got a very bright, oh a very bright idea indeed. Ingenious might I add. Listen: Not into the ravishing, melodic outpourings, not into the endlessly surging and sighing violas and cellos, not into the high heroic nationalistics, not even into the somber passions do they move--the rushing strings, the heavy bass figures falling and the shrill trilling of woodwinds.

Not into the

interval of the falling fifths it's too risky or into that beautiful elegiac phrase repeated twice. Not even into the Fourth -- that most unforgiving, most desolate--no not there. They climb instead inside that suspension--into the silence, uncertainty--where time elongates and holds. A place they might disappear into, in the abeyance, in the hovering, in the absence, on the verge of saying something new again--the baby--and then not. Into his retreat so huge, irrevocable, complete. His thirty year silence--1937-57--a great hiding place, n'est-ce pas? In that place of vast, uncertain-Into a heartbreak so blue so silent ice snow on snow they ask for refuge. In the stopped time. A baby inside a hatbox. This is the romance of a man who fell silent. I am not guilty. "Hear us," Madame pleads. He looks up detecting something nearly imperceptible on the sound horizon. In that stopped place. Masses of slow glacial sound, but inside the slow, an inner motion. Who's there? Who calls? Dissonant, doleful. Densely concentrated. Into his reticence, his quiet, his reservation, Madame convinces Sophie to deposit the hatbox. "Hear our pleas," she begs, and she slips the hatbox into the obscurity, into the guardian of his silence. "Don't go anywhere," she whispers, "we'll be back. I promise." Finland a German ally no less. They'll never think to look for it here, the Madame whispers. 65

And who would think to look inside the great composer Jean Sibelius's silence? In that stopped time, that place of all endings and all beginnings, all death, and all life. Possibility. On the blank staves, the white page. In the smoke risen from the Eighth Symphony like Jesus. And she is gone, just like that, with the weeping one. He watches them divide into half notes. Bells. "Protect it from the Germans with your life." Their motion makes a somber sound. He shrugs his shoulders, reaches for a drink, there perhaps are stranger things. Not so much bewildered anymore shuffling to the liquor cabinet and then back, his threadbare footstool and the hatbox he promised to keep an eye on. That funny, crazy woman, mad aerialist, with a thousand schemes leaving the almost child in the hatbox in the great Sibelius's silence. And well why not he muses? Oh perhaps you've lost your mind for good this time. Worried about the war and all. In the lull, in the lullaby, without music he rocks her now. He is troubled, he reasons. If he could save one child. Slipped into your speechlessness. Finland--damned, by it's alliance. And the white sound where Madame has deposited something so precious. And he's happy to help to do something, even this. Sheltered in your silence a tiny girl. A tiny girl shall live. And where is death you wonder? You thought that's what the silence must have meant but no death comes, now this. I'll be back, the Madame had said. In the suspension. Another sort of fantasia altogether. You can't imagine how marvelous it is to wait for you, serenely as in the portrait. A famous man. A credit to the Finns. A hero in the grand proportions. The patriotic ends his music met. He feels in him betrayal. And at the door a knock now. Who's there? "It's the fellow with the national identity questionnaire," someone calls from far off. Are the Finns more forgiving/unforgiving than other people? 66

patient severe alcoholic gullible Grief can be alleviated the little fellow from the Agency is saying. Ah not very Finnish are you after all? he winks and sends him on his way. He hears his boyhood. Indistinguishable from the land. Uncle Pehrs, of course, is there. His first love (chestnut hair) makes a sound and the sun in summer--those white white nights. The forests you loved--in short pants and knee socks, collecting mushrooms. Jannes, Jannes. You could hear the chatter of the girls by the river. Their high lilting voices, their gossip, who they love--no one mentions you, you strain to hear. And then, should Helga get her hair cut? In loneliness already. "Do you think she should?" You do not know. And then the latest fashions, Paris... A nomad now without leaving the room. How many sounds did you once have for the wind? Before the persistent doubts, betrayals. You tell this to the child hidden, and to the boy you once were. The place in the end you loved it most. You haul the hatbox with you to it. The unending, sunless forest. Wood sprites in their gloom. The great expanse of white inside you. Yes, perhaps yes, she should cut her hair a little. It falls fom the scalp like music. The girl smiles. Wood sprites are singing. You step away and back--or so it seems. In what you assume is some alcoholic haze, neurasthenic break, you watch tiny figures high, high, tiny in a hot air balloon. And then they are gone. You clutch the hatbox they have left to your breast and rest there in the darkening afternoon. You're sure you hear a thousand, thousand starlings. Inside the interval, inside the silence in you that has lasted, that will last a 67

long, a very long time. A place you think as snow once more begins to fall where--and you are getting sleepier and sleepier now, anything is still possible: music, rescue.



La Isla de las Cosas Perdidas: Influencias en la obra artística de la Maestra Angélica Escárcega

“Las fábulas,” me dice Angélica Escárcega, “las fábulas que nos contaba mi padre cuando éramos niños.” Sonríe sintiendo de nuevo la emoción de esos cuentos. “Siempre se trataban de insectos: escarabajos, grillos, insectos de todo tipo.” 69

Angélica es una conocida artista gráfica que domina el lápiz con un talento único, deleitándonos con composiciones que frecuentemente incluyen insectos, entre otras muchas cosas de la naturaleza. “Plantas también me hablaban, como la igrilla, una planta con espinas que sonaba en la noche afuera de mi cuarto, tic, tic, tic.” Uno de los cuentos que inspira mucho sus gráficos es el cuento de “La Isla de las Cosas Perdidas”. Aunque las otras fábulas son tradicionales de México, los cuentos de la Isla de las Cosas Perdidas, sospecha Angélica, son una invención completamente original de su padre. En estas islas se encontraban seres fantásticos, animales diferentes los cuales estimulan su imaginación. Otra fuente de la cual ha compartido un profundo interés son las obras gráficas del maestro oaxaqueño Francisco Toledo. Él, como ella, tiene una fascinación por imágenes que empiezan con dibujo de insectos alados, antenas y seis patas, agregando partes grandes y chicas come se le ocurra. El maestro es el famoso artista fundador del taller “Gráfica de Oaxaca” en donde jóvenes, pueden iniciar una carrera estudiando con grandes y conocidos artistas. En una gran galería se exhiben y venden las obras de los estudiantes. Pero la obra de Angélica Escárcega no se limita a lo gráfico. También incluye cerámica talavera, emblemática del siglo dieciocho en las colonias españolas. El Museo Franz Mayer en la Capital, es uno de los recintos que tiene un acervo numeroso de piezas antiguas importadas, y también hechas aquí en México, que conservan los vidriados auténticos de aquel tiempo colonial. Es precisamente allí donde Angélica encontró la talavera que la motivó a retomar ese modo tan antiguo de trabajar el barro y vidriado de los artesanos españoles, incluyendo los marcos que muchas piezas antiguas lucían. Talla y madera, cerámica e imagines, de repente aparecieron en las exhibiciones de Angélica. “Es una importante labor,” dice la artista, “es difícil tallar madera, pero siento que la obra es más completa en un cuadro tallado precisamente para esa obra.” Me sonríe. “Y no olvides mencionar que las mujeres de generaciones anteriores que tuvieron un impacto en mi punto de vista, las cuales sentí que comprendía sus sueños y rendiciones, fueron: Remedios Varo – por sus colores, y Leonora Carrington por sus composiciones.” 70

Hoy Angélica Escárcega es instructora de artes plásticas en la Universidad de Guanajuato. ¿Se habrá imaginado que llegaría a tal puesto sentada con su padre y sus hermanos oyendo las fabulas de la Isla de Cosas Perdidas? Yo pienso que ha sido un viaje inesperado y fabuloso.



Authors’ Biographies / Biografias de los Autores L.S. ASEKOFF has published four books of poetry: Dreams of a Work (1994), North Star (1997), The Gate of Horn (2010) and the verse-novella Freedom Hill (2011). His poems have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Ninth Letter. He has received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry. In 2012 he was chosen as a Witter Bynner Fellow to the Library of Congress by Poet Laureate Phil Levine. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013. He recently completed two manuscripts: Eclipse, poems, and Black Ship, prose poems, from which “Slow Elegy” is taken. JAMES AUTIO is a poet and visual artist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work has appeared in many journals including Conduit, Sleet, Yellow Medicine Review, North American Review and the anthology: I was Indian. James is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. STUART BARTOW teaches writing and literature at SUNY (State University of New York) Adirondack, where he directs the college’s Writers Project. His non-fiction work, Teaching Trout to Talk: the Zen of Small Stream Fly Fishing, won the 2015 Adirondack Center for Writing Non-Fiction Award. His latest collection of poems, Einstein’s Lawn, is published by Dos Madres Press. He also chairs the Battenkill Conservancy, a grassroots environmental group. LYNN BEHRENDT is the author of several chapbooks including The Moon As Chance, Characters, Tinder, Luminous Flux, This is the Story of Things That Happened, from Lunar Chandelier Press, as is her latest collection A Picture of Everyone I love Passes Through Me (with John Bloomberg-Rissman). She coedits the Annandale Dream Gazette, an online chronicle of poets’ dreams, and co-curates Peep/Show Poetry, an online journal of contemporary innovative writing. She makes one-of-a-kind handmade books, as well as limited editions via her micropress, LINES chapbooks and Acquiescence. A full length collection, Petals, Emblems, is available. PEG BOYERS is Executive Editor of Salmagundi magazine and author of Hard Bread, Honey with Tobacco and To Forget Venice. She teaches writing workshops at Skidmore College, Columbia University and the New York Summer Writers Institute. 73

PAULA DUNNING is a retired freelance editor who lives in Echo Bay, Ontario and Guanajuato, Mexico. She writes memoir and essays, and is beginning to turn her hand to fiction. Her essays have been aired on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition and her fiction has been published in the Canadian Literary Journal, Agnes and True. Her memoir, Shifting Currents, recently published by Embajadoras Press, explores the personal and cultural conflicts of a young urban woman who went “back to the land” in the 1970s and 1980s. GREGG FRIEDBERG is the author of The Best Seat Not in the House (Main Street Rag, 2010, unabridged edition Embajadoras Press 2017), a sequence of poems concerning the relations between creator and creation, whether author and character, or God and man. And of Would You Be Made Whole? (Aldrich Press, 2015), a collection of “unruly” sonnets. Individual poems of his appear in High Chair and US1 Worksheets. He prefers writing poem sequences: loosely narrative, a matrix of themes considered from varying perspective, divides his time between Guanajuato, Mexico, and Upper Sandusky, Ohio. LIRIO GARDUÑO-BUONO ha publicado Un viaje (UG, 2001), El duende de las cosas repetidas, (La Rana, 2006) e Historias Naturales, con Nina Buono (2007, Casa Municipal de la Cultura de Gto.) ; Retratos pintados con agua (IQCA, Qro. 2011), Historias de Sueños y Señales, (La Rana 2013, álbum ilustrado para niños); Visiones (Gob. De Qro, marzo 2015). En 2009 Ganó el Premio Internacional de Poesía Nicolás Guillén, (Universidad de Q. Roo y la UEAC) con Memorias de la Ropa... En 2011, el Premio de Poesía León por el poemario "Animalia Mexicana" publicado por el Instituto Cultural de León..En 2013 publicó "Retratos pintados con Agua" con el Instituto Cultural de Querétaro y en 2015 "Visiones" con la editorial de gobierno del mismo estado. Es fundadora de Lectura “Perro Azul” en Sn. Isidro, Guanajuato, y es traductora. ANNE GORRICK is the author of: A’s Visuality (BlazeVOX Books, Buffalo, NY, 2015), I-Formation (Book 2) (Shearsman Books, Bristol, UK, 2012), IFormation (Book 1) (Shearsman, 2010), and Kyotologic (Shearsman, 2008). She co-edited (with poet Sam Truitt) In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill Press, Barrytown, NY, 2016). With artist Cynthia Winnick, she produced a limited edition artists’ book, “Swans on ice, she said,” with grants through the Women’s Studio Workshop and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She currently co-curates (with poet Melanie Klein) the reading series Process to Text, and curated the reading series, Cadmium Text (www.cadmiumtextseries.blogspot.com ) from 2006-2014. She co-curated (with poet Lynn Behrendt) the electronic journal Peep/Show. 74

LEE GOULD, editor of La Presa, is a poet, essayist and teacher: her poems and essays appear in Magma, Quarterly West, The Berkshire Review, Salmagundi, The Rusty Toque, and other journals and in various anthologies. Her chapbook Weeds, appeared in 2010. She teaches Contemporary Poetry at Bard College’s Institute for Lifetime Learning, taught writing at Goucher College, Towson, MD and guides writing workshops. SONJA GRECKOL resides in Toronto; she has published two books of poetry, Skein of Days, 2014 and Gravity Matters, 2009. Her poetics run to experimentation with form and history; her most recent preoccupation is with the Convivencia in Al Andalus. She taught college and university, studied order and disorder in jokes, did human rights and gender-based research and organizational diversity consulting. She edits poetry for Women and Environments International and was a founding member of the Influencysalon.ca Editorial Group. HUMBERTO HERNÁNDEZ HERRERA es de origen guanajuatense, padre de cuatro hijos, apasionado por la vida, actividades culturales y deportivas. Cursó sus estudios en la Universidad Tecnológica de León, combinándolos con participación en el Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Guanajuato. Se ha desarrollado profesionalmente dentro del Sector Educativo en el Estado. Colaborador desde hace cinco años con Gregg Friedberg presentando sus obras de inglés en español y en el desarrollo de su próximo libro en ambos idiomas. Actualmente continúa su preparación en el área de Acondicionamiento Físico y en Desarrollo Humano. NORBERT HIRSCHHORN is a public health physician commended by President Bill Clinton as an "American Health Hero." He has published four chapbooks: Renewal Soup, the Empress of Certain, Sailing with the Pleiades, and The Terrible Crystal as well as four full collections: A Cracked River, Mourning in the Presence of a Corpse, Monastery of the Moon, and To Sing Away the Darkest Days, poems Re-Imagined from Yiddish Folk Songs. His poems have appeared in numerous US/UK publications, several as prize-winning. CARLOS A. BARREIRO JÁUREGUI nació el 3 de Marzo de 1961, y reside en Guanajuato desde 1990. Estudio Letras Inglesas en la UNAM. Es maestro de español para extranjeros y también de Literatura Hispanoamericana en la Escuela Falcón. Ha publicado dos libros de poesía, Prisma de Imágenes, ganador del certamen de Poesía Efraín Huerta in 1992, y también Secuencias del Amar en 1997, además de poemas publicados en revistas de literatura. También es traductor.


ANNIE LABARGE is a poet, writer, teacher and artist whose work has appeared in holding on, letting go (edited by Abigail Thomas, 2013), Companions (2005), An Ear to the Ground: Presenting Writers from 2 Coasts (edited by Scott C. Davis, 1997), Laughing Earth LIt, Home Planet News (in press), and in multimedia enactments of her poems in Room for Cocoon Theatre and Hudson River Playback Theatre. She founded and curates Kingston’s Spoken Word, and curated Artists and Poets, an exhibition for the Columbia County Council on the Arts (Hudson, 2012). CARILDA OLIVER LABRA es una de los poetas más importantes de Cuba. Entre sus obras se destacan: Al sur de mi garganta, 1949; Versos de amor, 1963; La ceiba me dijo tú, 1979; Desaparece el polvo, 1983; Calzada de Tirry 81, 1987; Se me ha perdido un hombre, 1993 y Libreta de la recién casada, 1998. Los poemas incluidos aquí fueron publicados en Error de magia, 2000. Se pueden encontrar “El canto:” www.poemas-del-alma.com/carilda-oliver-labrael-canto.htm y “La ciega y sus espejos:” http://lasangrequefaltaba.blogspot.mx/2011/05/la-ciega-y-sus-espejos.html CAROLE MASO is the author of ten books including the novels The Art Lover, AVA, Defiance and Mother & Child; poems in prose, Aureole and Beauty is Convulsive; essays, Break Every Rule, and a memoir The Room Lit By Roses. She is Professor of Literary Arts at Brown University. MARGO MENSING’s poems have appeared in Chronogram, Tupelo Quarterly, First Literary Review—East and Thoughtsmith. Formerly she was professor of Studio art at Skidmore College and a Resident Artist in Fiber at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Since 2003, she has pursued an ongoing project, Dead At My Age. Each year on her birthday she begins anew focusing on a notable individual who died at her current age. In her 74th year, she focused on Louis I. Kahn; “Line After Line,” “Spending” and “March 17, 1974” are from a manuscript centered in Kahn’s architecture and life. ELIZABETH METZGER is the Poetry Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal. In 2013, she won the Narrative Poetry Contest and was listed as one of Narrative’s 30 Under 30. Her poetry has recently appeared in The New Yorker, Kenyon Review Online, The Iowa Review, Yale Review, Guernica, and Best New Poets 2015. Her essays and reviews appear in PN Review, the Southwest Review, and Boston Review. Her debut collection, The Spirit Papers, won the 2016 Juniper Prize and will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in January 2017. She has taught writing at Columbia University, where she received her MFA. 76

ELENA ORTIZ MUÑIZ, Licenciada en Ciencias de la Comunicación, es autora de los libros: a Librería del Centro, Luna Nueva, Ciudad Violín y Corazón en Clave de Sol. Ganadora del Premio Latinoamericano de Literatura 2016 “Humberto Ochoa Campos” otorgado por la Academia Latinoamericana de Literatura Moderna. Fundadora de la Escuela de Pequeños Escritores y de ALAS Centro Cultural para niños y jóvenes escritores. Coordinadora de la Escuela Latinoamericana de Pequeños Escritores. Vicepresidente de la Academia Latinoamericana de Literatura Moderna. GEORGE QUASHA, poet/artist/musician, explores an extra-medium principle in language, paint-drawing, sculpture, video, sound, and performance. Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), his video art includes art is: Speaking Portraits, recording over a thousand artists/poets/composers in eleven countries.. Visual work is presented in the books Axial Stones: An Art of Precarious Balance (foreword by Carter Ratcliff) and art is (Speaking Portraits) (2016). His twenty books include, in poetry, Glossodelia Attract (preverbs) (2015), The Daimon of the Moment (preverbs) (2015), Things Done for Themselves (preverbs) (2015), Verbal Paradise (preverbs) (2011), Ainu Dreams (1999, with Chie [Hasegawa] Hammons), and Somapoetics (1973); and, about art, An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings (2009, with Charles Stein; foreword by Lynne Cooke). Recipient of an NEA Fellowship (poetry), he is co-publisher with Susan Quasha at Station Hill of Barrytown. CARTER RATCLIFF is a poet and art critic. His books of poetry include Fever Coast, Give Me Tomorrow, and Arrivederci, Modernismo. His first novel, Tequila Mockingbird, was published in 2015. REBEKAH REMINGTON’s poetry has appeared in AGNI online, Blackbird, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Missouri Review, Ninth Letter, Rattle, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere. Her chapbook Asphalt (CityLit 2013) was selected by Marie Howe for the Clarinda Harriss Poetry Award. She is the recipient of a Rubys Artist Project Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, as well as three Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in poetry. ANNIE SMITH is a poet, chef and art teacher. Her poems have been published in Rattle and other journals. She has led writing groups, founded a monthly open reading group in Baja, operated a restaurant in New Haven Connecticut which expanded into a cooking school and catering business and, for 11 years, taught art to children and adults.


JULIE SUAREZ teaches writing and literature at Hartwick College. Her poems have appeared in Salmagundi, Phoebe, Women’s Voices of the 21st Century: Experiences that Shape Women, Tightrope, and a variety of small press publications. Bright Hill Press published her chapbook It Does Not in 2006. In her small but exuberant garden, she grows lilies taller than herself and finds the seeds of many of her poems. She lives in Oneonta, New York with her husband David Hayes. MIRIAM DE URIARTE, in her career as writer and museum educator, has published poetry, short stories, art reviews in museum catalogues and in the East Bay Express in the San Francisco Bay Area, California where she taught at UC Berkeley Extension for fifteen years. She founded the Berkeley Child Art Studio and worked as education director at the Mexican Museum; was director of the Stockton Children’s Museum, The Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, and Director of Education at Museo del Barrio, in Manhattan. In 2003, she participated at the Getty Leadership Institute. She is bilingual, of Mexican heritage. BENJAMÍN VALDIVIA es Miembro correspondiente de la Academia Mexicana de la Lengua y es profesor en la Universidad de Guanajuato. Su obra se encuentra en más de 50 libros publicados en los géneros de poesía, novela, cuento, teatro y ensayo, tanto académico como literario. También se han publicado múltiples traducciones que ha hecho desde el inglés, francés, portugués, italiano, alemán y latín para diversos medios mexicanos y extranjeros. Otras de sus prácticas artísticas son la música, la fotografía y el teatro. Más detalles en www.valdivia.mx


Profile for Embajadoras Press, La Presa

La Presa, Issue 1, January 2017  

LA PRESA, published three times a year by Embajadoras Press, is a literary journal of poetry and short fiction, articles, essays, and other...

La Presa, Issue 1, January 2017  

LA PRESA, published three times a year by Embajadoras Press, is a literary journal of poetry and short fiction, articles, essays, and other...