a publication of Rowan Universityâ€™s Master of Arts in Writing
Cover art: “Day Drinking” by Seth King
EDITOR IN CHIEF Katie Budris
The staff of Glassworks magazine would like to thank Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Program, Rowan University’s Writing Arts Department, and The Glassworks Advisory Board: Ron Block, Martin Itzkowitz, Lisa Jahn-Clough, Andrew Kopp, Jeffrey Maxson
MANAGING EDITOR Andrew Davison
Cover Design & Layout: Katie Budris Glassworks is available both digitally and in print. See our website for details: RowanGlassworks.org
ASSOCIATE EDITORS Nicolina Givin Sarah Knapp Amanda Rennie
Glassworks accepts literary poetry, fiction, nonfiction, craft essays, art, photography, short video/film & audio. See submission guidelines: RowanGlassworks.org
POETRY EDITORS Rachel Carly Myriah Stubee Alexis Zimmerman
Glassworks is a publication of Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program Correspondence can be sent to: Glassworks c/o Katie Budris Rowan University 260 Victoria Glassboro, NJ 08028 E-mail: GlassworksMagazine@rowan.edu Copyright © 2017 Glassworks Glassworks maintains First North American Serial Rights for publication in our journal and First Electronic Rights for reproduction of works in Glassworks and/or Glassworks-affiliated materials. All other rights remain with the artist.
SENIOR EDITORS Keri Mikulski Steve Royek Chris Tirri
FICTION EDITORS Eric Avedissian Jordan Moslowski Emily Strauser NONFICTION EDITOR Jacqueline Session Ausby MEDIA EDITORS John Gross Christina Thomas Rachel Saltzman COPY EDITORS Editing the Literary Journal Fall 2017 students
glassworks Fall 2017
MASTER OF ARTS IN WRITING GRADUATE PROGRAM ROWAN UNIVERSITY
Issue 15 | Table of Contents Art Seth King, Day Drinking | cover Start to Hesitate | 54 Than They | 29
Marissa Menefee, Froth | 8
Seasoning | 41 Tangled Sea | 51 Thomas Terceira, Metamorphosis No. 8 (detail) | 25
Metamorephosis No. 9 (detail) | 12
Fiction Rod Zink, The March of the Leaf-Cutters | 13 Peter Newall, Sleepwalkers | 30
Nonfiction Rachel Carly, Sarah Knapp, Myriah Stubee, & Alexis
Zimmerman, Paradoxes of Identity: An Interview
R. Enszer | 43
Poetry Sarah Bruenning, The Second Hand | 28 Charlotte Covey, Post-Elegy | 50 Peter Grandbois, The Color of Hands | 53 A Prayer to Fall Like Dust in Search of a Home | 52 Cordelia M. Hanemann, Still Life | 42 Betsy Housten, Burying the Mouse | 10
If Considerable Bleeding Occurs | 11
Susanna Lang, Bridgetender | 9
Katharyn Howd Machan, Autism, 1954 | 27
The Wired Mother | 26
Michael Mingo, Torpor | 3
William Orem, Jack Oâ€™Lanterns in a Row | 40 Lynn Pattison, At Last | 5 August | 4
John Timothy Robinson, The Farmhouse; December to March | 55
Maxine Susman, Courtyard CafĂ‰ | 6
Doe, South Jersey Farm | 7
The History of Glassworks
The tradition of glassworking and the history of Rowan University are deeply intertwined. South Jersey was a natural location for glass production—the sandy soil provided the perfect medium, while plentiful oak trees fueled the fires. Glassboro, home of Rowan University, was founded as “Glass Works in the Woods” in 1779. The primacy of artistry, a deep pride in individual craftsmanship, and the willingness to explore and test conventional boundaries to create exciting new work is part of the continuing spirit inspiring Glassworks magazine.
The hummingbird, his heart tapping like sixteenth notes through every second, will starve if he sleeps. The nectar lapped at dusk won’t even last the night—he burns through all his fuel in a sweet rush. Instead, he waits for dawn: almost frozen and hanging upside-down, feathers puffed out, wings stiff as pine. Survival makes a ghost of those who live hard, of those who die to rest. When the sun lights the honeysuckle, and the songs of morning birds begin, it all begins again: he’ll break the spell of stasis, search for nectar, spend it.
Sister is ornery, whining around the kitchen in her dragonfly dress. All of us out of sorts. The heat won’t stop, and the rain won’t come, and the only thing worse than trying to sleep in this heat-humming bitch of a no-breath night is working to understand Ma giving up in the black water. Eyes locked on the yellow sky. She’d had too much of us, our whooping cough and trench mouth; growing out of trousers she just managed to make. And work: the roof that won’t stay mended, garden that won’t grow, and Pa, gone off somewhere, or us wishing he had... A pounding rain might clear things out. But August just don’t quit.
A woodchuck waddles from the thicket to lunch on young shoots. The marsh rings with cries of peepersâ€”Easter creatures, with crosses on their tiny backs. I want to wind the trunks of saplings in blue ribbon, hang flags over the door. Soon weâ€™ll clean feeders and brew syrup for the hummingbirds waiting for bee balm and bleeding heart. A clutch of turkeys cuts across the path, males fanning full displays. Under a mat of leaves tulips nudge up, appraise the light. I tie prayer scrolls in the sweet gum, cut woody vines from trees. Soon, a haze of green in the treetops and soil softening. Time for wind chimes of hollow bones, bottles that whistle. Soon Mayapples unfurling, Lilies of the Valley rising. Oven birds.
Courtyard CafÉ Maxine Susman
After “Eye of the Beholder” by Seward Johnson Grounds for Sculpture, Lawrenceville, NJ
He leans too far towards her, the wine bucket at his elbow, while she holds herself a bit aloof, before her a basket of bread, half a roll, probably expecting a better feast than this. The couple at the table next to mine— where have I seen them before? Renoir? Let me place myself in their tableau as woman enjoying the shade, voyeur, the one live customer among figures more or less lifelike, I might in my sun hat attempt to catch the muscled waiter’s eye for a warm-up of my coffee, but his head is turned in their direction, he’s seen it all before, unequal orderings and servings of love, the leaning towards, the tilting away.
Doe, South Jersey Farm Maxine Susman
She’s back. The grass not as she left it. She crosses our fresh-hayed field, noses the spot where she hid her fawn to wait as she’d taught, curled and still, not to give itself away. So close I see the rhythm of her ribs. She’s small, perhaps this is her first. Ears spread, white tail raised, she stares back a long time, questioning, then buries her head in the cut grass and follows her fawn’s scent mixed with diesel scent across the field, walking in the tractor treads. Does she hope to save or simply find it? Reaching the far edge near the rock pile, softly paws and nuzzles the tall weeds where my husband dropped the mangled body. She must smell his human smell, stained with labor and remorse. From that far, she stares at me.
Bridgetender Susanna Lang
You need a light hand, a capacity for sitting still. You need to hear more than was intended, catch the words unspoken by lovers who assume your house too small to be inhabited. Listen closely for the soft whistles of a duckling lost beneath the struts. You need an eye for what will happen next, a boat too tall for clearance or a man too near the edge. You must wave back at the fisherman who waves each time he goes through, especially the last time when he has only ten minutes before his heart gives out and his boat goes drifting with the current. You look on tenderly, invisible keeper of the keys: you can open a way or you can stop all those who would cross over. Alert to the changing light, to the quiet voice of the water at the cityâ€™s heart, most of the time you do nothing. You wait.
Burying the Mouse Betsy Housten
There were no injuries we could see, its head and tail and fur intact. No blood. No guts. Its body was curled and still on the kitchen floor, looking almost peaceful, so small you nearly stepped on it. Maybe the cat killed it with her mind, I joked. Maybe itâ€™s playing dead. You nudged its spine with your foot, then knelt and said lâ€™chaim, softly, with reverence. I loved you so much then, without knowing what it meant: the words, or the thing that was happening. I looked down at the December sunlight setting fire to your dark curls, the flannel of your borrowed pajamas reflected in the window, then went to the cabinet for coffee, and paper towels. Your eyes were warm as you stood. To life, you explained.
If Considerable Bleeding Occurs Betsy Housten
Press gauze on the wound, firmly, for twenty minutes. Remember the periodontist warned you this might happen when she grafted the replacement tissue for your thin receded gums from your own palate. Grip the lip of the sink, tongue the metallic tang that indicates you are bleeding profusely from the roof of your mouth. Refrain from calling out: no one is home, and you do not want to dislodge the gauze. Once your saliva runs clear, discard the sopping red wad and stumble to the couch. Let your heart rate slow in the dark. When you hear a key in the door—your girlfriend arriving with applesauce and soup—tell her what happened, even though she will drop her bags and panic, dismiss the post-operative instructions and insist you call 911 because she had a friend who died after surgery like this. Look into her eyes, wild with fear, for two to three minutes. Squeeze your palms down the taut coils of her arms until her ragged breath comes smooth. You will not need the hospital but you must forgive her, because the way she loves you is not up to you, and she is not your father. She isn’t.
Metamorphosis No. 9 (detail) Thomas Terceira
The March of the Leaf-Cutters Rod Zink
As always, when Thursday came over in her bathrobe with the brandy, 3-A did not open the door straight away. He muted the TV and listened to her knock and rattle the doorknob like he did sometimes with the phone ringing, vibrating across the coffee table, and did not rise from the couch until he remembered it was almost midnight and a Tuesday. It was Tuesday and not yet a Wednesday, which was the day Thursday’s children would come knock, hang on his doorknob, and swing from it like the tiny bleachedblond monkeys they were. It was not a Wednesday, so 3-A propped himself up on the couch and wiped his face with his hands, jerked his fingers through his hair. Then, arching his shoulders, stretching them back, he got up, opened the door to find Thursday standing there in her bathrobe, the silk one with the oriental swirls, a tall snifter of brandy and a cigarette in one hand, the other hand formed in a fist with the thumb stretched to one side, about ready to knock again. In the hallway, Thursday stamped her slippered toes into the carpet. 3-A looked at her as the smoke came out her nose, her nostrils flaring as if in protest against the pink smears of blush streaked across her cheeks.
“Did anyone ever tell you, you could well get ants in here if you don’t clean this place up soon?” she asked. She shoved by him into the kitchen. She cleared a spot for her brandy on the table by pushing aside a stack of envelopes and ad fliers, all addressed to 1694 Treetop Drive, Apt. 3-A. As she pressed against the mountain of torn, jagged edges, the whole shuddering mass trembled. “Honestly!” stated Thursday with a toss of the head, stooping to clear away the chair. “I sometimes wonder how it is that you are still among the living surrounded by such filth, such clutter.” “And such stench,” she added once seated. She waved the smoke from before her, pointing toward a stack of dishes which completely obscured what was once the smooth contours of a sink. “And after all that I went through to come over and clean it for you that time, me and the cute little nursery in 2-A, and she in those white stockings you go on and on about every night.” Thursday yelled now from the kitchen to where he was in the living-room, hunched over a clearing on the blurred glass top of the end table, breaking up the stalks under the lamp, then separating out the seeds with the lid of
the papers. 3-A had forgotten she was there and her voice startled him, but he continued folding in the one end, rolled the paper tightly around the leaves, rolled everything out from the middle—but not too tightly—and then ran his tongue around the edge. “I seem to remember it was you who screwed the whole thing up!’’ he yelled back after a while. As he dug about his pocket, pushed the lighter up along the seam with his thumb, the laughing began. A high-pitched snorting, really. Just like a damn hyena, he thought. They at first ran in circles waiting for the thundering hooves to slow. With their gold, glowing eyes they would then follow after the big cats, sometimes leopards or cheetahs, but more often lions, the hyenas making their way through the night across the grassy plains to fight and scavenge for the leftovers. And then 3-A thought of the lion and the lioness. He could see their silhouettes like a pair of monuments rising into a sky of burnt orange— one’s mouth stretched open in a roar, the other shifting weight from one paw to the next. In the kitchen, Thursday stumbled onto the eviction notice. She recognized the apartment’s official stationary and pulled the envelope out of the stack, her fingers in the process of sliding the letter out when a phone began ringing. From the living room, where he
was carefully checking to make sure the plastic bag resealed properly, 3-A knew it was his phone from the classic ring tone, but chose to ignore it. Instead, he gathered the seeds with the lid, skillfully pushed them into two distinct rows, and then folding the lid into a “v,” guided the seeds to the edge of the glass top, and over, into the open mouth of his seed jar which awaited below, one line at a time. “Why don’t you just turn the damn thing off ?” Thursday called, the pitch of her voice changing, pulled in and out between the old telephone rings that 3-A had installed. 3-A ignored her, and eventually, the phone stopped ringing. He finished placing his stash and papers neatly away in another air-tight container, and slid it under the couch. When the ringing started again, the tones sliced painfully near, louder, sharp like a cat’s spiked tongue dragging against his thoughts until the figure of Thursday emerged into the living room. Her hideously beautiful arched jaw which was stretched wide open, at first, began to close, and 3-A remembered all the times he knew Thursday was on the other end, ringing ceaselessly—Thursday ringing and ringing, and he, without energy to find his phone, beneath a pillow, drawing the lumped padding to his ears. 3-A burrowed into the terrain of trash, digging through the crumpled
“I love you too,” he said finally, winking and forming a kiss, putting his lips together and touching them to his fingers, making a blowgun with the curled fingers of his hand, and shooting the kiss through a misshapen tunnel toward Thursday. Thursday, once struck, tumbled, falling backwards. As she fell, her legs swung freely above her, stretching up and out of the bathrobe with its swirls. She was giggling, the teeth flashing a bit more slowly it seemed to him, the teeth almost blinding now, and then the dark opening between the teeth dropping a bit more deeply about the tongue as it rose. 3-A dropped the phone and was sneaking toward her on all fours until he heard the distant thunder. He froze, crouched down mid-stride, head tilted toward the sky. 3-A put a finger to his lips. “They’re moving again,” he whispered, pointing above him. Thursday moved into the kitchen for another touch of the brandy she had set down on the counter. “You’re something else,” she giggled when she returned, extending the joint back to 3-A. 3-A remained frozen, listening to the footsteps above. “Say,” she said, her eyebrows jutting up into a small shrug
Rod Zink | The March of the Leaf-Cutters
and hastily discarded fast food bags, stopping to examine the pig-tailed girl smiling from one of them. It was just like Thursday to bring up the ants, he thought. First it would be the ants and then the lions not far behind. 3-A creased the bag until the pig-tailed girl stood upright against the wall to serve as a scarecrow of sorts. He pushed aside plastic knives and forks, spoons and strewn magazines, paper airplanes made from phone book pages, until, at last, he located some paper trembling slightly, and after a little tracking, found the tell-tale twitches, and closed for the kill. “Yes,” said 3-A, as he lifted the cell phone from under a Big Gulp on its side. He wiped some white sauce off the phone’s lower right corner with his shirt, turned the screen to face him, pressed it gently in place beside his ear, settled it tentatively in a position where he could keep it balanced against his shoulder. 3-A nodded, the joint hanging loosely from the corner of his lips now. The smell of butane escaped into the room as he lit it, then a thicker smell, followed by a low sticky fog. He drew it in more deeply, yes, and then holding the smoke in, handing the joint to Thursday between nods. “It’s looking up,” and “It won’t be long now before I have them all by the balls,” and “No, there’s no one else here, no one special. But it’s only a matter of time.”
before taking another hit. “You didn’t happen to hear anything strange the other night coming from my place?” But 3-A remained motionless, head tilted toward the distant rumble. Wildebeests, he figured, or elephants, perhaps. He could see the dust rising about the thick trampling feet, snouts curling up above the din, each shrill like a trumpet, one by one fueling the fervor with new calls to charge.
holding out for this, her latest, the Bubble-bath man. This one had treated her to champagne and strawberries, had invited her to live among the jagged peaks of the Rockies, had been flying into their small airport on a regular basis, risking life and limb to see her in one of those propeller jobs. He recalled then that it really had been quite some time since he had heard her knocking at the door, had watched the doorknob jiggle
“The transporters handled each one in stride, the odd pieces moving in single file, the jagged edges bobbing
steady toward the open window, the irregular shapes jutting up and down across the window track, the leafcutters filing in and out without ever really looking at one
“Hey,” said Thursday in a deeper voice, her nails digging into his shoulder, her nails all in unison, working almost like the teeth of a hyena or a leopard, maybe even a lion. “Seriously, remember how you told me to try out a negligee and heels under that long trench coat of mine?” 3-A began to remember a little about the whole affair then, how Thursday had waited for months, had gone without through it all,
before slapping back and forth. It had been a long while since he had to choose between finding his cell to turn it off, or suffering through the endless ringing. “Now that you mention it,” he replied, rising from the rugged landscape of trash, “I haven’t heard a damn thing from you in days.” 3-A opened a window to draw out the smoke. He listened to a couple arguing as they made their way down the sidewalk outside. He listened to
can of beer. “I can imagine quite a bit, you know,” he said. 3-A first spotted the ants as he rounded the corner into the living room with Thursday close behind. As they filed in, the leaf-cutters, miniature invaders, were scavenging through the place, making their way into the apartment over the metal tracks of the window sill and down the wall to where 3-A and Thursday were. Once a place was marked with a forage scent, the leafcutters never stopped, he knew, never slowing, the leaf-cutters not the least bit concerned about 3-A and Thursday, marching right past the pig-tailed girl. “Well,” said Thursday, stumbling closer toward him, her voice in a hoarse whisper. “You were right about it all.” The ants had already begun harvesting; the soldier scouts must have somehow passed by 3-A undetected. The soldier guards were in place overlooking the worker foragers, who were busily searching, finding and tagging food; next, the cutters went to work chewing, slicing, clipping apart giant sections of paper, fabric, plastic, and wood with their powerful mandibles; and then, the transporters hauling all of it away. The leaf-cutters formed into columns, the roughly hewn pieces swaying above their backs were a hundred
Rod Zink | The March of the Leaf-Cutters
a freight train in the distance growing closer, and nearer, the high cheerful horn from an imported car. 3-A looked to the overcast sky and could make out nothing except the dull flicker of a distant street lamp, unable to remain lit, or turned off, under the fast moving clouds. He could feel the lions out there somewhere. “Nothing,” he said, making his way into the kitchen once more with the joint back between his fingers and Thursday behind him. “Well,” said Thursday, lifting her brandy from the cluttered kitchen table in front of where 3-A had sat down in the chair that she had cleared away. “Remember your little bit of ‘love’ advice?” Thursday slashed down with clenched fingers and nails to place the quotation marks around “love” as she said it— “It landed me in one of the biggest holes I’ve had to crawl out of in quite a while.” At the kitchen table, 3-A noticed the letter from the office sticking out from the stack, much lower than where he remembered placing it. In one swift motion, he slapped it back in. “You just wouldn’t believe what kind of week it was,” Thursday continued, pretending not to notice. “You really couldn’t possibly imagine.” “Why not?” he asked her, rising from the chair, opening the refrigerator door, pulling out a half
times their size, but the transporters handled each one in stride, the odd pieces moving in single file, the jagged edges bobbing steady toward the open window, the irregular shapes jutting up and down across the window track, the leaf-cutters filing in and out without ever really looking at one another. “I’ve never seen a man so worked up as he was after I showed him,” said Thursday. “When I opened up and flashed him in the airport, I could hardly keep him off me in the car.” The lions were moving again, too—closer. 3-A could see them clearly beyond the ants jutting up and down with their cargo over the window sill, off in the distance, across from the buildings protruding into the skyline, the lion and lioness visible in the distance despite the miles and miles of electric poles and the telephone lines stretching out toward the trees as if to strangle them. The two larger-than-life cats distinct above even the tallest of buildings—the human world, playthings beneath their massive paws. The pair dwarfing all to be found about them, everything below the shadows which swung lazily under their curled tails, the lions maybe bigger than even the sun— “I had to remind him a girl needs time to get in the mood,” Thursday said, one half of her mouth stretched open, the loose skin about her left eye wrinkling into a wink.
3-A took another swallow of beer. He backed up against where the hallway closet separated the living room from the apartment door. He knew from the ants that the lions would soon be making their trek to town. They would start working silently between the farmhouses, crouching low amid the fenced fields which circled just outside the city limits. Next, they would cross the interstate. Then, the lions would move into the narrow streets, the shadowed alleys of the city, stepping to avoid the wet potholes, ditches, and puddles— their heads turning to scan the hunting grounds, their night eyes glowing even fiercer than the hyenas. “Oh my,” she continued. “How wonderful it all was going.” Thursday lifted her finger from the glass, tilted her head back, and positioned the finger above her waiting lips, the brandy running weakly to the tip of the nail, falling at first in an almost steady stream, and then Thursday pulled the last of the brandy from her finger by placing it between her waiting lips, as she did during most of her visits to 3-A. “Wonderful!” she said, drawing her finger out. “It was the strawberry treatment all over and more. My Bubble bath man looking as if he might lose himself the whole time, as if he might well just explode at any moment.” 3-A envisioned Thursday’s robe slipping from her shoulders to the floor. He moved toward her, but
then darkening flesh. He envisioned a desperate struggle, the dull throbbing and finally, a fading pulse. “I have to say that the situation was quite embarrassing when the paramedics finally got there,” said Thursday, shaking her head as if sadly at first. “Luckily,” she continued, looking in better spirits, “I managed to get Bubble up and out of the bedroom ahead of time, so at least he was on the living room floor. I had even been able to get his shirt and slacks back on—so heavy for a little man, let me tell you, and he was almost no help. The real miracle, though, was that I found time to slip into a nice casual pantsuit, myself; I was just buttoning it up as I heard the sirens. Talk about close calls.” 3-A placed the nail of his index finger between his teeth, the incisors closing gently at first, clamped down, ripped away a broad section along the top by tearing from the edge. “When the ambulance stopped out front, Bubbly was breathing really, really funny—sort of shallow, even more ‘gaspy’ than before, and in a cold sweat the whole time. He didn’t say nothing—just stared at the ceiling as if no one else was in the room, even when I poked him, so I unlocked the door and
Rod Zink | The March of the Leaf-Cutters
Thursday backed away from him into the kitchen, her right arm stretched out behind her, her hand and fingers in search of the counter. 3-A stopped, deflated by the familiar “no admittance” signs from Thursday. In retreat toward the closet door, 3-A staggered, falling back into the doorknob, which thrust up into his side. 3-A dropped to his knees. “So, we finally make it to the bedroom,” Thursday added, maneuvering to regain her balance, finally propping herself against the counter. Somehow still in the grasp of her left hand, the brandy tossed up, over the sides of the glass, and down her fingers. “And, it looks like, well, you know—” Thursday raised the glass to her lips, licking the brandy off the sides of the glass, from between her fingers. Thursday started to giggle once again, but stopped herself, rubbed the silk sleeve across her face as if wiping away all expression. “All of a sudden,” she said, almost soberly this time, “Mr. Bubble pulls himself up from the bed and starts grabbing his chest. There I am, all warmed up and ready, and this happens to me. Well! All I could think about while we waited for the ambulance was, jeez, what if this guy punches his ticket right here in my apartment? I mean, how would that look?” 3-A watched the teeth moving, a wet yellow against the pale,
waited for the paramedics, my whole weekend shot to hell.” 3-A could see the slanted ears stretched tightly back, the teeth moving up and down, the tendons in the neck shifting. He heard a low gurgle from the throat “The strangest thing,” she continued, beginning to giggle sporadically again. “The funniest thing happened after the paramedics actually made their way into the apartment.” Thursday began to snort every so often as she spoke, once so severely that a snot bubble formed and popped under the right nostril. She had pulled a Kleenex from her robe’s front pocket, wiped her eyes, and then blew her nose, dabbing carefully around the tip, scrubbing under the right nostril four times. With some effort, 3-A lifted himself back up against the closet door. “Well,” she said, regaining some composure after another good blow, folding the Kleenex and moving toward where a trash can had once been placed against the wall. “There I was, my Bubble bath man out of commission in the living room, and this Scandinavian god-of-aparamedic walks on in through the door. Gorgeous man. Gorgeous, especially in his emergency gear and my Bubblio looking even more pathetic because he started having another attack, or, maybe difficulty breathing, or some other problem that made the buzzers go crazy right after they got there. All I know is I
couldn’t keep my eyes off that Scandinavian as he tore off Bubbly’s shirt as if it were nothing. I didn’t even care about all the trouble it had been to get that shirt back on. Watching him go into action right in front of me, all I wanted was to fall into that firm chest and those massive arms.” 3-A felt his lungs collapsing— deflated, punctured by a row of sharpened teeth. The jaws had clamped down, forced their way through the rib cage, the teeth had ripped him open, and were now jerking back and forth. Unable to find the trash can, Thursday searched through the kitchen. Holding the Kleenex far out in front of her with her left arm, she swung open the lower cabinet doors one by one with the right, slamming each shut with increasing force as she went. Looking about the kitchen one final time, Thursday turned her head away, and with straightened lip and clenched jaw, she pushed the balled-up tissue into her pocket. 3-A followed a CD jut up upon the window sill and disappear into the dark. He watched the ants making their way up and over Thursday’s slippered toes, the leaf-cutters carrying out a light bulb and harvested pieces of the kitchen table between her legs and beneath the swirls of her robe as she spoke. “You know,” Thursday continued, her voice brighter, a sly smile spreading across her features. “About
watched the ants
making their way up and over Thursday’s slippered toes,
carrying out a light bulb and harvested pieces of the kitchen table between her legs and beneath the swirls of her robe as she
The lions, too, were closer, the leaf-cutters a sure sign. The big cats already stepping over traffic, their shadows stretching across the freeways, darkening the stream of countless cars and tractor-trailers, many turning on their headlamps, but not ever thinking about why. Some followed each other blindly along the super-highways looping in and out of the city, while others jockeyed for position, always in a hurry to get wherever they
were headed. “So there my once-Bubbly was, all shriveled and shrinking—powerless,” Thursday said, her voice fallen and rising. “It was as if he were a mangled piece of bacon frying, twisting and jerking into nothing as the paramedic stooped down and administered that shock thing they do—pumped up and down with his massive arms, those big strong hands.” 3-A heard a tree crack, and then what sounded like cornstalks pressed down in a nearby field. He raised a finger in the air. His eyes darted from side to side. He wondered whether the lion and lioness could have made it there so quickly. “Anyway,” Thursday said. “All I remember is how fine and chiseled that paramedic looked, the powerful way he moved, and how my bubble-bath man seemed so different than before.” Thursday lowered her voice, and in a low trembling tone said, “broken.” After a stiff swallow of brandy, she raised her finger, and took a longer one. 3-A pointed toward the ceiling... . After a while, he drew the finger down until it quivered, not quite erect before his curled lips. “That’s when it came to me,” said Thursday, who, lost in her own thoughts, chose
Rod Zink | The March of the Leaf-Cutters
six-four, with the blonde wavy hair and those ice-blue eyes—the type that can look right through a woman and make her melt to her knees: you know, with the broad shoulders, six pack, and muscular thighs— ”
to ignore him. “That very moment, I knew somehow it was all over between us—the end of the trail—Rocky Mountains, or no. Bubble-baths be damned,” she announced with resolve, her voice rising in triumph. “I somehow knew, then, that it could never be quite the same.” 3-A was down on all fours again, scrambling into the living-room. “What the hell?” Thursday said. Unable to look past 3-A sniffing the air, turning his head again to listen, Thursday began with the giggling. Her laughter grew louder, echoing off the walls as 3-A started to burrow into the mounds of trash. When he turned over a Styrofoam take-out box and pushed aside a crushed paper bag, a spider whose abdomen was about the size of a quarter, stretched its spindled legs out from the body and scurried across the floor. 3-A jumped up and with his shoed-foot, kicked at the plastic wrappers, the plastic cups and their lids, most with the straws still through them. The long-legged spider disappeared and resurfaced now and then as it sped through the trash, its dotted back moving like a scorpion, but without the tail. With his mouth stretched open and the color drained from face, 3-A stumbled in reverse, Thursday laughed all the harder. But when 3-A backed himself into one of the living-room corners and curled up on the floor, tucking his chin
between his knees at first, Thursday’s laughing slowed. The smile dropped from her face, her cheeks relaxed— now an occasional giggle, then only every once in a while, until she stood awkwardly in the center of the room, alone. “C’mon, knock it off,” Thursday said. “It’s not funny anymore.” His spine realigned in an arc across the floor, 3-A’s whole body sustained a quiver, his head jerked back erratically, his chest rising rapidly before falling, his fingers curled, hands clenched as if grabbing onto something. His eyes remained open, but shifted wildly beyond view, under his eyelids, the irises searching frantically where they had rolled up into the eye sockets. “Great,” said Thursday. “Everybody is breaking down on me.” Thursday dipped her fingers in her brandy, and bending down toward where 3-A convulsed on the floor, she let the red liquor run to the tips of her fingernails, hoping the cool liquid would snap him out of it. But eyeing the little left in her glass as the first drops fell across his face, Thursday quickly lifted her fingers back to her own mouth as she rose from him, and headed back into the kitchen for a beer to use, instead. When 3-A started coming out of it, he lifted himself enough to sit upright, then carefully eased himself back against the wall. He rubbed his left temple, and had begun on the right when Thursday returned
and within seconds, the knocking again, four more raps. 3-A remained without motion as Thursday advanced toward the door, her fingers beneath the latch... turning the lock... rotating the doorknob... Thursday pulled the door open and stood to face 3-B. 3-B, in the doorway, stepped back. 3-B, his face reddened, said nothing. His muscular chest heaved up in quick bursts, up and down under the tightly-fit shirt he wore. “Oh, you mustn’t blame him,” 3-A heard Thursday say. “I asked him to cheer me up, and boy did he ever!”; “No, it was me you heard laughing and not some little slut of his”; “Mine are fine, they are doing just great, and how about your own?” And then, “why, yes, I could do with more cheering.” Thursday returned to the kitchen for the last swirl of brandy at the bottom of the snifter she strategically left on the table before answering the door. She tucked the cigarette pack and lighter snugly in her silk pocket. She winked at 3-A as she passed back by the living-room on her way out, the very tips of her left fingers forming a tiny wave, and then pointing to the snifter, mouthing to him that she would be back for it. 3-A listened
Rod Zink | The March of the Leaf-Cutters
from the kitchen. “Oh, good. You look better,” she said, handing a cold can down to where he sat. “Have another beer with me before I have to go.” 3-A nodded, sliding the wet can across his forehead before opening it up. “There you go,” said Thursday. “That’s much better.” Breathing easier, Thursday began to laugh again, slow at first, a giggle, and gradually, more often, louder, until, they heard the door slam above them, the heavy footsteps of 3-B stomping across the ceiling, and down the apartment stairs. 3-A looked at Thursday, their eyes meeting for just a moment as they both listened, remained perfectly still as the footsteps continued down past the apartment’s main landing with the outside doors—the footsteps steady—the steps creaking beneath a considerable weight, the footsteps down one floor to where every door was marked with an A. They remained frozen in place, 3-A positioned against the living-room wall and Thursday standing nearby with her brandy, each staring at the other and listening until the footsteps fell silent on the hallway carpet— their breathing the only sound to break the long tense wait. A short sharp rap invaded the room, and the whole apartment exploded out before snapping back into a vibrating hovering...
to Thursday and 3-B making their way back up the stairs. He heard the door closing. 3-A followed the column of ants steadily weaving in and out of view through the piles of trash; the leaf-cutters making their way deeper into the forest of pizza and cereal boxes, beer cans and soda bottles; the scouts easily climbing up, and over takeout and delivery containers of all shapes and sizes; the leafcutters chewing in from the edges of the Styrofoam lids, cutting out sections of wax paper and aluminum foil, chunks of cardboard plastic, some already carrying out the oddly shapes, the jagged pieces on their backs, others pressing deeper into the apartment. Transporters, he figured, as he watched a piece of the toaster which had been harvested, and then another of the alarm clock march by. And 3-A heard Thursday, could not shut the sound of her out. 3-A could hear them both. The two of them were above him, now, their tails curling and the pair rolling about playfully, batting at one another with the pads of their massive paws. 3-A imagined the dust rising between 3-B’s kitchen and living room—3-B’s bedroom. 3-A even heard Thursday snorting. He could see the ratcheting jaw widening, the flash of teeth, and the tongue extending forward. He knew it must be Thursday laughing above him somewhere. It must be her, he figured, he knew, but she sounded different
from the other side of the ceiling. It was odd, how muffled she sounded, funny through the ceiling, and her laughing so unfamiliar now. 3-A thought of looking for the broom and hoisting it up, pounding the wooden handle to where the sound of it might reach them.
Metamorphosis No. 8 (detail) Thomas Terceira
The Wired Mother Katharyn Howd Machan
She was better off dead, he thought. No more pain like a birth each morning, her bed an island that had banished sleep. Flesh gone, eyes turned to stars, breath the wind in the willows. Her bones are at peace, he told himself, turning that graceful ivory, morning sun coming like a kiss on her skull through the rainbow of thin cotton curtains sheâ€™d stitched from his first fatherâ€™s shirts after that good murder when he was just ten.
Katharyn Howd Machan
He’s the fairy tale boy, the mute, the giant, the troll that growls beneath the bridge, the snake that swallows maidens. All his life he’s feared his tongue’s on fire, his fingers tumbling every brick he’s tried to pile up high. Wolf! the trembling peasants scream, pitchforks toward his eyes. His beard is blue, his feet are hooves: much better when he dies.
The Second Hand Sarah Bruenning
“What’s your name again, dear?” I’m thinking about time and how eyes familiar to me no longer recognize my face. “This is Sarah, Grandma. Remember now?” I’m thinking about time and how the sun can sometimes rise in the west and “This is Sarah, Grandma. Remember now?” She says she remembers, but still the sun can sometimes rise in the west and the second hand stops whenever she gets tired. She says she remembers, and it’s a script we all follow now. The second hand stops whenever she gets tired. Eyes familiar to me no longer recognize my face. It’s a script we all follow now. “What’s your name again, dear?”
Than They Seth King
Sleepwalkers Peter Newall
Warsaw, 10 October 1959. I was sitting in a small dimly lit bar off Nowy Świat Street. Actually, that makes it sound more glamorous than it was. I was sitting in a drab run down corner bar on the ground floor of a concrete apartment building, a few blocks, but an irretrievably distant few blocks, from the lights and traffic and people on the main boulevard. It was a bar you’d only go to because you could walk there from your flat, and walk back again afterwards, no matter what condition you were in. There weren’t any cars in the street outside; nobody who had a car would be bothered to come to this street, and nobody who lived here could afford one. Somebody had parked a scooter next to the door, though. I remember seeing the rain falling on its vinyl seat under the streetlight. I was fairly drunk. Not too drunk to be sitting by myself in a bar, but too drunk to do much else. The radio was playing jazz, someone I liked, maybe Namysłowski. I was thinking about Wanda. From time to time I was also thinking that I really should take off my jacket, which was wet from the rain, but then I’d forget about that and think about Wanda again. Then she was there in the bar. I didn’t see her come in, but I
realized the pale object hovering near the door, shaped like a big seashell, was her blonde hairdo. As I watched it, trying to focus, she walked over to me. I had been thinking about Wanda and about seeing her all night, but now I didn’t stand up when she stood next to my table. I didn’t decide to be rude, I just knew there was no point in welcoming her, because it wasn’t going to work out whatever I did. So I sat there and looked up at her. She had on a white sleeveless dress, and she was carrying a plastic raincoat over one arm and trailing a scarf from her hand. Her hair was always beautifully untroubled; I suppose hairspray kept it in place under the scarf. Now I was staring at this exquisitely shaped blonde coiffure, hypnotized by it. “Jerzy, come home with me,” she said. I drew in a deep breath. “Look, I can’t. I’m claustrophobic. I can’t bear being inside. I’ll just make things worse if I come to your place. Why don’t you sit with me and have a drink?” She frowned. “I don’t want to drink. I want you to come with me.” I shook my head. I didn’t know what else I could say to her, so I lit another cigarette and sat staring down at the table, ignoring her, to make her go away. It worked.
raincoat. I couldn’t remember taking it off when I got home. Maybe I’d left it behind in the bar. I prised open my eyes and saw the coat hanging on the back of the door, hanging crookedly, but there. One less thing to worry about. An hour or so later I woke up again, and this time I got up and made coffee on the gas ring. It was too late to turn up at work now, so I got dressed and went out to get some fresh air. Yesterday’s rain had gone, the sun was out, and the day was warm for autumn, so I decided to go to the park, to Łazienki Królewskie. A tram came along straight away. By the time I got to the park the sun had gone in again. It was a weekday, so there weren’t many people about: a few old fellows playing chess on the benches, and a couple of women pushing prams. I avoided the Chopin statue and walked past the clipped hedges and lawns on to the far end of the park, where the trees grew more or less naturally and there were just muddy footpaths, not gravel walks. The park was quiet under the grey sky. Big brown piles of fallen leaves stood around where they had been raked up. The piles seemed to be moving, quivering and rustling somehow. I looked at them more closely. Ravens were burrowing
Peter Newall | Sleepwalkers
When I next looked up, I saw her all white shape going out the door. I had waited all day for her to find me and ask me to come back. I’d imagined the conversation over and over again. Somehow it hadn’t come off as I’d imagined it. Anyway, she’d gone, which meant I could have another drink. ~ I woke up in my single-room flat alone and badly hung over. I went out into the hallway, fumbled with the telephone and eventually managed to call Wanda’s number. She wasn’t home. No doubt she’d already left for work. She was a typist in the Department of Culture. Her jazz singing was something she did a couple of times a month, when some musicians and a place to play could be arranged. It didn’t pay anything, but it was important to her. She told me once she only really felt alive when she was on stage singing. Of course, she spent far more of her waking hours typing than singing; maybe that’s why she seemed only half there a lot of the time. I was meant to be at work too, at my desk at the Ministry, but the idea of shaving and putting on a shirt and tie and going out and getting the tram—forget it, I decided, and fell back onto the bed. It didn’t matter whether I went in or not. They were never going to promote me and they were never going to fire me, so it really didn’t matter. Then I wondered about my
under the heaped-up leaves, chasing worms, I suppose. Every mound I passed was shaking from inside. Black shiny birds’ heads popped out of the leaves and dived back in again; it was strange to see birds apparently going underground. There were ravens in the bare trees above, too, swooping from branch to branch and calling out to each other dryly. They always sound like they are speaking out of the side of their mouths, ravens. For a while I stood staring at a mossy stone urn standing on a pedestal, tucked away in the far corner of the park. I knew it was meant to tell me something about life, about my life, but I couldn’t grasp it, except perhaps that the urn had obviously been placed here before I was born and would probably still be here after I’d gone; it was a lot more permanent than I was. I strolled around smoking and trying to think about Wanda, trying to understand what she really wanted and what I really felt about her, and to decide what to do about her. After an hour I had understood nothing, decided nothing. I left the park and took the tram back to the center, then walked toward home. People were still at work, and the streets were quiet, but the autumn afternoon was already well advanced and the low grey sky was beginning to darken. A cold wind had got up; it snapped at the hem of my overcoat. A few brown leaves whipped past
me as I walked. I hadn’t eaten all day, I realized. I went into a cafeteria on Sawicka Street and ordered soup and potatoes. My cooking wasn’t up to much, and anyway I didn’t feel like going home too early; in the evening my neighbors watched television, and the old man was deaf so it was always up loud, coming through the wall as a dull booming.
“I knew it was meant to
tell me something about life, about my life, but I couldn’t grasp it, except perhaps that the urn had obviously
here before I was born and would probably still be here after I’d gone; it was a lot more permanent
than I was.
I didn’t see Wanda again until the next weekend. She very pointedly didn’t call me for the rest of the week, and it was only on Saturday evening, after I’d rung her and apologized and asked to see her, that we met. This time I wasn’t drunk.
but decided against it at the last moment, because now she started unraveling some inane story about her work, all the time looking down at the table and tapping her cigarette unnecessarily on the edge of the ashtray. I got bored with this pretty quickly and interrupted to ask her about her music, whether she had any concerts lined up. She shook her blonde hairdo slightly, no, but she brightened up a bit and sat forward in her chair again. “Marcin told me Andrzej is going to make a film here, a film about musicians, with a jazz soundtrack. He says Krysztof will be doing the music, and he says I might have a chance to sing the title song.” “That’s great, absolutely great. Why didn’t you tell me straight away?” “Oh, well, it’s a chance that’s all, not definite. I hardly know Andrzej and I don’t believe everything Marcin says.” She was right about that, Marcin was a cunning little bastard, clever, but like most short men always on the make where women were concerned. That’s probably why she hesitated to talk about it, I thought, because she didn’t want to invest too much belief in one of Marcin’s stories, or to have
Peter Newall | Sleepwalkers
The autumn had turned cold, and she was wearing a black rollneck sweater under her overcoat when she got off the tram. I still remember seeing her standing on the pavement, her blonde coiffure freshly done, the glowing white spheres of the streetlights, fuzzy in the evening mist, receding in a long row behind her head along Jerozolimskie Avenue. We went to a bar up near the Europejski Hotel, a much more civilized bar than my local. I hung our coats on the rack inside the door and found a table in one corner. We sat facing each other without speaking, close, both with our elbows on the table. She really was very beautiful. A wide white forehead, pale blue eyes under marked brows, a straight nose and lips that always reminded me of a rose. Shapely long-fingered hands. That big cast of blonde hair. Only the small lines beside her eyes showed she wasn’t twenty. After looking at me for a minute or so she sat back, sighed, and fished in her bag for her cigarettes. I offered her one of mine but she shook her head. Eventually she got a cigarette started, puffing in that awkward way women have, and began to talk. She must have intended to ask me some questions she knew I didn’t want to answer, like “Why do you act that way?” or “Tell me honestly, do you love me or not?” or “Will we ever get married?”
to have too much to do with Marcin at all. Even so, she looked happy when she’d finished telling me, her face almost flushed. I knew that if she did get the chance to sing the title song for a film with a proper director like Andrzej, it would be a very big thing for her, it would define her life. I said some encouraging things about her talent and how it was a good time for young artists, and what I said wasn’t all hypocrisy, it was pretty much true. And I really wanted her to have that success, even though I sensed she would likely move out of my orbit if she did. We had a happy evening together after that. We sat on in the bar for a while but didn’t drink much, and then we went to her place and we were happy there too, and I stayed the night. And on Sunday morning we went for a walk together along the river bank, and Wanda made me lunch, borscht with sour cream; I realized she must have prepared it in advance, expecting me to be there with her. We spent the afternoon in her bed, one of our best times together, actually. I suspected that this kind of weekend was leading up to her asking once again when we would get married, but she didn’t ask, and I let it go; I just enjoyed the time we spent together. During the next week I went to work every day and I didn’t see Wanda until Friday night. By eight I was waiting for her outside the
Hybrydy club. I saw her at a distance, walking towards me from the tram stop. I was happy to see her, and I took her hand as we walked inside. Jan Wróblewski was going to play, and the place was already packed. I got a couple of beers from the bar and carried them through the crowd to the tiny table that Wanda, Zofia Komeda, my schoolmate Marius, and a couple of other guys from the jazz scene were crammed around. By the time I sat down we were just about sitting in each other’s laps. The place was noisy, and it was hard to have anything more than a shouted conversation. I did notice that Wanda didn’t say much unless I asked her something directly, but I put that down to the noise in the club. After a while Jan came on with a quartet, Krysztof on piano. They started with Round About Midnight but then played a lot of new things, including some pieces sounding almost like études, delicate but sharp and edgy, really very good. The club got even more crowded after the band began playing, people were standing round the walls and sitting on the floor between the tables. We all admired Jan, he’d been to America, actually played at the Newport Festival, and every tune got huge applause, people shouting and drumming their feet on the floor until I thought the place would fall in on us. As always, Zofia sat stock-still and stared at
“No, Jerzy. You might be happy, but I wonder all the time where this is going, whether you’re serious, whether next week I’ll find you drunk and ignoring me again. We just go on weekend to weekend and nothing is any different. I’m not sure I want to continue like this.” So our happy time together a week ago has brought us here after all; she wants me to marry her. Even with Jan and Krysztof ’s beautiful music in my head, I wasn’t ready to agree to that. We had five minutes of pointless argument; she wasn’t changing her mind and whatever I said only made it worse. When the number 2A tram pulled up, she got in, and I stood and watched it out of sight before crossing Marszałkowska and walking home. I didn’t call her on Saturday. Or Sunday. I wanted to, but I knew that if I called her I had to say something about my intentions toward her. Whether I would marry her or not, basically. I couldn’t ignore what she’d told me, pretend it hadn’t been said. So I didn’t call her. And that, I knew, was giving her its own message. But the next weekend, when we still hadn’t spoken, I got irritated. We were lovers, not children. When we were together we were happy. It was absurd that we shouldn’t see each other.
Peter Newall | Sleepwalkers
Krysztof the whole time; she was obsessively in love with him, especially when he was playing. The music was great, so good that a couple of hours went past without us noticing it. After the last set the applause was so loud and wild they had to come back and do encore after encore; we wouldn’t let them leave the stage. Afterwards I got our coats from the garderobe and walked with Wanda to the tram stop on Marszałkowska. The sky was black, no stars at all; I could see the glow of the big four-branched streetlights further on at Plac Konstytucji. Two guys on a motor scooter went by; one whistled at Wanda. We waited for the tram to rattle into view. She stood staring down the street for a minute or two and then looked up at me. “Thanks, Jerzy. I’ll be all right, don’t wait.” I felt like I’d been punched. “Actually, I thought we were going home together,” I said, “to your place.” It was true, I hadn’t just thought it, I’d been certain that’s what we were doing, I was already thinking about the feel of her smooth white skin, the warmth of her room. She stared down at her feet, and swiveled one shoe on its heel. “No, I’ll go home myself,” she said, without looking at me. “Wanda, we were so happy last weekend, we can be like that again now. Don’t make me beg you, it spoils it.”
So I called her. She sounded cool. I asked her to meet me for a drink at the bar near the Europejski, and she came. She had a bright silk scarf in a geometric pattern knotted round her neck, an ostentatiously young style I’d never seen on her before. I didn’t like it. It distracted me. She realized within a few minutes I wasn’t going to ask her to marry me; I could see it in her face, which gradually cooled as we spoke. Instead I asked her about the film score; was she going to do the song for Krysztof ? She frowned, and stubbed out her cigarette. “Another girl got to do it, she knew Marcin and Andrzej. I never really believed it, anyway.” I was sorry I’d asked, because that news spoiled the mood of the evening, gave it a sense of failure. I said something meant to be encouraging, but she turned her head away and waved dismissively. It was difficult to be cheerful after that. We had a couple of drinks and went back to her flat. We went to bed, but it was clear her heart wasn’t in it, she was distant. I knew she was waiting for me to say something, and every minute I didn’t the atmosphere got worse. In the end we were lying side by side without speaking; I couldn’t sleep, my head was aching, and I worked myself into a state of indignation and self-pity and left about dawn. I was thinking so much about myself that it didn’t occur to me Wanda
would be offended by my leaving, but as I was buttoning my shirt, she spoke to me from the darkness. “You’re going now, in the middle of the night?” I grunted. “You make me feel like a whore,” she said. She pulled the blankets over her head and I heard her begin to sob. I left anyway. I walked along the icy, gritty pavement past the Palace in the grey half-light, walking angrily, my teeth clenched, thinking that this stupid concept of marriage had ruined us, messed up our lives, and for nothing. I didn’t blame Wanda; I blamed whoever had put this idea about marriage into her head in the first place. It was absurd. We were young, our friends were young, we lived day to day. It was impossible to take ourselves so seriously as to get married. And there was the music and all of us that loved it and followed it around. Why would Wanda and I become domestic, have the inevitable child, withdraw from the one bit of brightness we had in our lives? After that evening we didn’t go out together any more. I only saw her at concerts. It was awkward; there was no pleasure in talking to her. We had gone overnight from being lovers to being confused, unhappy people behaving childishly. Now that I was not seeing Wanda, I had nothing really to do; I went to work, more or less. I came home. I had a drink. I walked round the streets of Warsaw. I went to bed.
hypnotic, strong and beautiful, so beautiful that at the end we hesitated to applaud, but then we did, like mad; he just sat there, head bowed, looking down at the keyboard. I went up to him afterward and asked him what the piece was called. “Somnambulicy,” he said, “Sleepwalkers.” He looked at me for a moment and added, “Aren’t we all sleepwalking here?” I thought about my own life, what I’d done and what I was going to do, and I couldn’t argue with him. We were all absolutely sleepwalking. Things just happened in our lives, there was nothing we could do about them. We were powerless. I don’t mean in a political sense, most of us didn’t care about that, but just in our daily lives. Days followed nights followed days. We
Peter Newall | Sleepwalkers
There was nothing else. Nothing else apart from the music, that is. The music was the one good thing about the weeks and months after Wanda and I broke up. It was a special time just then. Almost every weekend somebody good played at the Hybrydy or somewhere, and the music was wonderful, better than anything we heard coming from America, let alone from Czechoslovakia or East Germany. Krysztof had Tomasz Stańko playing with him, Adam Makowicz had a swinging piano trio; there were good musicians everywhere. Some nights, when the music really sparkled and sang, you’d find yourself embracing a stranger next to you in a bar because the music was so great. Those nights were everything, they were the counterpoint to the grey pointless days. We weren’t allowed a church, but the crowded, smoky jazz clubs were a kind of church for us.
“He looked at me for a moment and added, “Aren’t
we all sleepwalking here?” I thought about my own life, what I’d done and what I was going to do, and I couldn’t
argue with him.
One evening I sat in a cellar bar with fifty people listening in hushed silence to Andrzej Kurylewicz playing a long solo piano piece. It was
argued amongst ourselves about how things ought to be done, but nothing happened, nobody got any smarter, nothing got better or
resolved or decided, we kept on repeating the same lines, and the days just kept on rolling on, one after another. I had absolutely no idea how to make it any different. Wanda rang me about three months later. It was nearly summer, and probably because the trees were in full green leaf, the streets seemed wider and the city felt less restricting and harsh than when we’d broken up. She told me she’d got a gig at the Hybrydy, singing with her own band, the next Saturday night. Over the phone her voice sounded different, deeper and more confident. I supposed it was from singing more. She invited me to come to the gig and I congratulated her and said yes, I would certainly come. I realized from her tone it was important to her that I be at her first serious concert. I’d assumed she had taken up with someone else after me, but I wondered, from the warmth in her voice, if this call was an offer of peace, if it meant we would be able to start again. I thought about what that would be like, how it would be to have Wanda with me again; perhaps I should marry her, or at least promise to marry her. I didn’t get to Wanda’s concert. I dropped in for a quick drink at my local bar early on Saturday evening, and by eight I was too drunk to go anywhere. I told myself it didn’t matter, Wanda had only invited me to show off, there was no chance of getting together with her again,
because I wasn’t going to marry her. I can’t remember much of that night now, the usual stupid boring night with stupid drunken people, me most of all. At some point a fat girl, a fat farmer’s daughter, was sitting on my lap. I don’t know why I allowed that, but I did. When I woke up the next day, I felt so bad I would have gone to confession if I could have. After that Wanda didn’t ring me again. The center of Warsaw is a small place, and I saw her in the clubs and coffee shops where people in the jazz scene hung out. I couldn’t tell if she was on her own or not. I wasn’t going to ask. Every time I saw her, every time I thought about her, I knew that what had happened between us was stupid. But I didn’t do anything about it. One Saturday night, in a moment of clarity, I punched a hole in the fiberboard wall of the Panic coffee shop, because I realized I was willfully throwing away the chance of being happy, and it was unbearable. That was only one moment, though. The rest of the time it all felt as remote as if I were sleepwalking. In June Andrzej’s film came out. It was good and bad. It was meant to be about us, our generation, but the dialogue was artificial, not how we really talked. On the other hand it caught the atmosphere of Warsaw beautifully, all in black and white. And Krysztof ’s music was wonderful, especially the theme song, the
expression. Marcin pretended to be looking the other way. Just as well; if he’d turned to me with his usual smug face I would have bashed him. As it was, I stood back and let them leave without saying anything. Then I walked home. There wasn’t anything else I could do.
Peter Newall | Sleepwalkers
song Wanda didn’t get to sing. Quite a few people I knew were extras in it, and of course Marcin fiddled himself a small speaking part. Although the film irritated me, I went to see it half a dozen times. Each time I was looking for a scene that wasn’t actually in the movie, a scene showing my story with Wanda, even if it was in the background. If I could see us through Andrzej’s eyes, objectively, I might be able to understand what had happened, to know what to do. The last time I watched it that came true. I was sitting as usual near the back of the theatre. Not long after the opening credits, through the clouds of cigarette smoke, I saw Wanda’s blonde seashell hairdo. At first I thought it was in the film after all, then I realized that she was sitting up the front. There were people on either side of her, but the theatre was full, and I couldn’t tell if she was there alone or not. I watched the back of her hairdo throughout the film. Everything on the screen was a blurry backdrop; I knew all the lines by heart anyway. She sat unmoving through all of it. At the end, I hurried out of my row, bumping past people’s knees, and pushed through the crowd going down the stairs. I caught up with Wanda in the lobby. I actually had my mouth open to speak to her when I saw Marcin beside her. They were holding hands. Wanda stared at me without any
Jack O’Lanterns in a Row William Orem
How glumly sit these cut-out faces, brooding over hay arrangements bought at someone’s garden store. Four golems, cold as a mouthful of earth. Four words of no consolation. Ominous quartet. Their breath— were each red gourd to exhale, even once—
would be the rain not fallen, dirt road inaccessible, the phone line down.
Rook, rook, claw, claw. Four evangelists sat on a fence telling the news of closet doors sliding liquidly open, of sharp quick willow fingers, ceiling shadows candle smoke alarm wires cut, the tool that reaches past the glass and pops the window latch.
Cordelia M. Hanemann
The banana, black in the dish, has failed; the peach perishes from rust; the apple shrivels; the goose hangs broken-necked over the edge of the table, dripping blood onto the carpet. In an album filled with silverfish, the couple pose for their first family portrait. He sits erect, a grimace for a smile in his father’s large black leather grandfather chair, Hands folded carefully across his crotch: a priggish contumely. She stands primly behind, tentative hand on his shoulder. She’s pregnant to the seventh month. His child rises in her throat, testament to earnest intimacy, twenty years of anticipated silence disclosed in her muted mouth. Now, though the child, his father’s son, no longer speaks to her, and the black chair’s been sold, she still owns this study in still life.
Paradoxes of Identity: An Interview with Julie R. Enszer Rachel Carly, Sarah Knapp, Myriah Stubee, & Alexis Zimmerman Now more than ever, identities are being called into question, trivialized, and often dismissed. People are searching for validation and acceptance from society, peers, and even themselves. This affirmation often comes in the form of words. Addressing these concerns in her poetry, Julie R. Enszer explores the “relationship between how we label ourselves and how others label us… [and explores] that dynamic tension.” Enszer provides a voice for identities that are often marginalized by representing communities such as women, LGBTQ, and Jews. Tapping into social movements, mythology, and the complexity of identity, Enszer works to discover truth. Glassworks magazine (GM): Many of your poems seem to be about identity, both in how we see ourselves and how others label us. Do you think that the majority of your poems work to question identity or to reaffirm and embrace it? Julie R. Enszer (JRE): I am interested in the paradoxes of identity. For me, identity is something that has valence when people create meaning for it and imbue meaning into it, but simultaneously identity limits and constricts people. I am interested in that dynamic tension. What is the relationship between how we label ourselves and how others label us? How do we make identities visible and apprehensible to others, even, perhaps especially, when they are outside of our identity group? What made “lesbian-feminist” deeply and profoundly meaningful for a period of time during the 1970s and 1980s and how did “queer” eclipse its meaning in subsequent decades? These questions animate much of my scholarly work and my poetry. While it is in the paradoxes and conflicts that I find identity most interesting, most productive to me intellectually and artistically, I also make no bones about being invested in identity work politically. I want to promote lesbianism, feminism, and Jewish values in my poetry, in my activism, and in my movements through the world. I am interested in work that brings people to affirm and embrace identity as well as productively questioning and challenging it.
GM: You identify as a lesbian Jewish poet, but much of your work features common human and universal experiences. What would you say to someone who might dismiss your poetry because they are not your target audience? JRE: Audience is an important question to me because I believe a crucial part of identity work is the creation of audience for artists. During the 1970s and 1980s, feminists created their own audiences for work that was marginalized and dismissed in many cases by official tastemakers. The creation of a shared identity simultaneously produced a shared audience of lesbian and feminist artists. Though, of course, once
“We do not read, write, and experience poetry structurally
often communally. It is an individual experience and often highly personal,
the audience is created, once a community comes into being, it’s limitations and constraints are exposed and many artists seem to then want to break out of that particular space,
often while still honoring it and appreciating it. So, I see the question of identity and audience working together dynamically from a structural level. Of course, we do not read, write, and experience poetry structurally or even often communally. It is an individual experience and often highly personal, even intimate. GM: Who would you say is your target audience? JRE: When I am writing, I am thinking only of myself as an audience; how can I uncover some basic truths about what I am thinking and experiencing? When I am rewriting, I have an imagined audience of one: an esteemed poetry professor of mine. I rewrite to satisfy him and his greatest aspirations for what poetry is, then the poetry starts to move out into the world. My greatest hope is that it finds an audience in the communities that I love and that hold me up and also in communities outside of my own. GM: There has been much debate recently about the definition and parameters of the word “feminist.” In modern speech feminism can be thought to hold a negative connotation. Would you define or categorize your work as feminist? JRE: There has always been lots of debate about the definition and parameters of the word
JRE: That’s a great question. The imaginary of |women’s community was formative in my early years as a lesbian and feminist. What I mean by that is the creation of women’s communities was work that feminists and lesbians were all doing around me in the early years of my life—first at the Women’s Crisis Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center in metropolitan Detroit. Living in Michigan, the imagined community of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival was also an important part of my early years. While I revere community in many ways, I also know the painful and difficult parts of community; the ways that people are rejected, how lines are drawn that exclude. In poetry, I am always trying to work through these questions of community and understand what it means. I suppose broadly the theme is about reaching for, finding and failing at human connections.
GM: A sense of community among women seems to be a recurring theme in your earlier work and it was the main focus of your book Sisterhood. It also seems to have had a significant influence on Lilith’s Demons. What is it about this theme that causes you to continually revisit it?
GM: The theme of motherhood manifests in various earlier poems. How has this theme grown in complexity from your earlier poems?
An Interview with Julie R. Enszer
“feminist!” Not only in recent years, but throughout the 1960s and 1970s and at other historical moments where women have been agitating for more rights. The more expansively we can understand the various contestations of feminism, the more we can embrace the current debates with zeal. My greatest hope is that other people I admire will categorize my work as feminist, that it will be appraised as worthy of the label. I am a feminist, and so I see my work as feminist work, but the real determination of it comes, I think, from other people embracing it as feminist. Given debates about feminist and feminism and their meanings, my own definition of feminism and feminist are processes that think deeply and critically about how to improve the material conditions of women’s lives. In the most basic ways, I am interested in all things that make women’s lives better. I recognize that while that may be a simple measure, in reality it is quite complex.
JRE: This question is tough because of my own difficult relationship with my
mother, who is now of blessed memory. In earlier poems, I was comfortable using my mother as a flat character—as a homophobic foil in some instances. Honestly, in many ways, I really like and preferred that way of engaging with her in my poems. However, in the past years, our relationship leading up to her death changed; she became more human to me, more vulnerable. She was not a flat character with whom I could only be angry. So the complexity of motherhood—and daughterhood— came into my work in ways that I am still thinking and working through. GM: How does motherhood influence your most recent book, Lilith’s Demons, specifically? JRE: In Lilith’s Demons, I wanted to resist the idea of motherhood for Lilith and resist tropes of the demons as her children, though I know those exact ideas seeped into the book. It is difficult to talk about intergenerational relationships of women that are not organized by the societal scripts of mother/daughter relationships. One of the things I was trying to struggle with in Lilith’s Demons was how to do that. GM: Naming the things you create has very maternal connotations. Names have also been linked with control in mythology and within our own world; to know some-
thing’s name is to have power over it. There are certain mythologies that state that you can only summon and control a demon if you know its name. In Lilith’s Demons, the names seem to take on importance. How did the names contribute to the personality of each demon or angel? JRE: Names for the demons was a way that I could imagine each of the women speaking in the poems being human. Here is another paradox in the writing: names suggest humanness, even for demons. Of course, the idea of a demon is really about giving oneself over to the notion of being transgressive of human norms. Demons give voice and embodiment to a dark part of humanity, to things that are forbidden. So the very notion of a demon is linked to a human. Names, then, offered a way to humanize the demons and find connections between ourselves and the demons. Demons embody what we do not want to be and put our lives into relief. One of the secrets of Lilith’s Demons is that one hundred demons are named in the book because Lilith spawns one hundred demons each night at dusk. GM: In all the religious myths surrounding Lilith, she is portrayed as a demon, an outcast, something to be feared and reviled. Many modern day people (even active religious people) do not know the
best poems for
me are where the poet discovers something for herself and the reader discovers it simultaneously
along with the poet.
JRE: Yes, Lilith is the demon and outcast, but Jewish feminists have reclaimed her as a powerful autonomous woman. I have been reading the feminist magazine, Lilith, for many years and know Judith Plaskow’s midrash on Lilith from the 1970s. So in many ways, one of the greatest challenges I had in writing Lilith’s Demons was to not fall into writing and thinking about Lilith in ways that feminists had already. I wanted to write something new. GM: What drew you to the character of Lilith? JRE: The truth is, I do not feel that I chose Lilith as a subject for my work; she chose me. I started
writing the poems of the collection as odd persona poems, originally written during a terrible bout of summer insomnia. The poems evolved and it became clear that they had a link, but for a number of weeks, I did not know what the link was. I was just writing these short persona poems that seemed somehow twisted, even unruly. I kept at it though, each night imagining a new poem as I was awake in the early hours before sunrise. Then one day it became clear to me that the poems were lined through Lilith. Then, the idea of them being persona poems in the voices of Lilith’s Demons emerged and I was off on the collection. It came together quickly and decisively.
An Interview with Julie R. Enszer
story of Lilith, or, if they know of her, they don’t know her full story and why she is hated within religious teaching. What new perspective are you adding to her character?
GM: You write about a lot of explicit subject matter, as well as some seemingly personal emotions. Poetry, more than many other genre, really requires authors to share themselves on the page. Is this something you struggled with? JRE: The struggle for me is to sort out what the emotions are—what I really think and feel about the subject matter. Generally, in my early drafts I do not know what I think or feel about the subject; I am writing to discover my own internal land-
scape. I always honor that process. The best poems for me are where the poet discovers something for herself and the reader discovers it simultaneously along with the poet. Then the question is after the discovery: Do I want to share this with other people? Can it serve other people to know this discovery, this explication of the internal life? And, to your question, what other people are implicated in my discoveries? One of the most delightful things I heard a writer say recently was that her father said of her memoir, “I have different memories about what you write about; but your writing is yours—your stories, your memories. Mine can be different.” That is how I think of my writing. I want to tell my stories. I want to hold others, particularly beloved others, close and I want others to see them generously and lovingly in the poems, though I know sometimes I fail at that. Other people have different memories and stories. I am telling mine and trying to create space for others to tell theirs. GM: You seem concerned with representing the people you care about, but there also seems to be many different ways in which you represent yourself through your work, connecting to Jewish heritage, strong feminist themes, and also LGBTQ. How do these different aspects of your identity connect
with your work? Is there any one narrative voice that you feel is most authentically “you”? JRE: For me, one of the lovely things about having now a body of work—Lilith’s Demons is my third collection, my fourth collection Avowed is being published now by Sibling Rivalry Press—is that I can see the multiplicity of the voice and also recognize it is mine, though changing across the years and projects.
reading lives are
long, but our daily attention
Certainly, all of us have a quest to find an authentic voice, but that quest is one that is never resolved; we continue over a lifetime to write what we feel to be true and honest. I have just moved to Florida after a nine month sojourn in Michigan. I grew up in Michigan and the landscape there is deeply familiar. I know what it smells like there each month of the year. I know the landscape, the angles of the sun, where to find the moon and the stars. It was incredible to be back and realize how much growing up there shaped my sense of the natural world. In Florida, I recognize little. The
GM: Your poems continue to grow and evolve the more you write, which is any writer’s goal. Will there be more character studies as we’ve seen in Lilith’s Demons and do you see yourself writing more personal narrative poetry? Considering your ongoing themes of identity, what are your goals in continuing to challenge your readers?
new poems on my mind and finding their way onto the page. In general, I want people to read what they love, what delights them and what challenges them in productive and meaningful ways. I also want people to recognize that what might not speak to them one moment might speak to a future self. I always encourage readers and writers to not be dismissive in sweeping ways; our reading lives are long but our daily attention is limited. This is the paradox that we all live within most productively when we embrace openness and eschew dismissiveness.
An Interview with Julie R. Enszer
plants are all new. The insects are all different. The sun and moon seem to behave in different ways. I find myself struggling to write in a way that locates myself in this strange new geography. I am grateful for that struggle, for that re-engagement in examining who am I? How do I speak and write?
JRE: Ah! As I was wrapping up the poems of Lilith’s Demons, a dear writing buddy suggested to me that I should do poems about the creatures of Lilith’s garden. That intrigues me. The unicorns, of course, the butterflies, the bats. I can imagine many possibilities here. I have that idea percolating in the back of my mind. Right now, I am working to promote the new collection Avowed, which are personal poems that explore the contours of a long term, lesbian relationship. I just edited The Complete Works of Pat Parker and working with her poems has me engaged in writing poems that think about race and racism. I find myself always with
Post-Elegy Charlotte Covey
you named yourself woman. smeared black above your eyes, grew hair past your broad shoulders. i cut my own in protest, tried to balance you out. gave you the skirts i had hidden in my bottom drawer, painted nails on fingers that had once been inside. i gathered your suits and ties, buried them in the backyard, carried your faded picture in my pocket, took it out when i didn’t know how to look at you—these are thoughts i can’t say when your tears drip down my chest, when you sob me a world that doesn’t want you (now i know how to want you). i learned how to kiss a lipsticked mouth, how to find you in the photo i keep (a guilty secret, an unsaid apology, a weakness). i know how to lift a skirt and see it, how you hate it, how you hurt to look at it. i will kiss the tears. i will hem the skirts. i’ll still carry the photo, but i won’t look anymore.
Tangled Sea Marissa Menefee
A Prayer to Fall Like Dust in Search of a Home Peter Grandbois
Give the emptiness your hand. The spiderâ€™s shadow will not bite. Listen each day for the crow to call you further from your winged self. Scythe through evening with blades of coppered grass. Sip the dew soaked air from your cupped hands until you remember itâ€™s better to distance yourself from the world, better to settle like song unwilling in the night, better to cross a sea of absence, as if you could not carry a large boat, as if you could not become a planet, as if you could not recall why you need to wake, why you need things to mean anything at all.
The Color of Hands Peter Grandbois
The thing about trees is they learned long ago how little we want to know of leaves hidden within. We keep the room locked tight, so no one can ever guess what’s in the box, whether the cat is alive or dead. The way a dog barking at the woods will never reveal why, or the way an underground river denies the color of its hands. The morning sun burns through the fog, a black bird flies, waking us with its call. It’s a good thing we can’t hide our breath from the cold.
Start to Hesitate Seth King
The Farmhouse; December to March John Timothy Robinson
Forty-five to fifty is good weather, endurable. Anything below, just an hour out and you start to wish youâ€™d never left. The pump has to be thawed with boiled water. The kitchen sink drain freezes. In two months, everything gets boring. Rain seeps through to bare, water-stained beams. A downpour is worse. Buckets and pans catch the chimney leaks. The structure: metal roofing nailed to rough planks, un-insulated drywall. Grip of cold is what kills people, slight pressure in the chest at times, numbness fills an arm, goes away. Soreness, tendons stiffen, muscles cramp. Two days inside and I have to walk. Deep in absence, dull ranges of color form the dayâ€™s hours. Only wind and branches move. All tracks in snow lead nowhere. On stand in double, triple layers, what I kill might kill me too. Two days, no bath, wait for warmth. Body oil builds. Every scent pollutes the room. Ten degrees different between room, house and the outside. Temperature outside affects everything. Even in warm weather, the whole thing takes an hour; fifteen minutes for each bucket, forty-five to heat and fifteen to bathe. You see things from the corner of your eye; Indian ghost, shadow of a mouse. Heaters burn out too fast. Three weeks into January, four ribbons gone already. A bird was in the house today.
Art Seth King is a painter and poet living in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two sons. His work has most recently been published or is forthcoming in The Adirondack Review, The Furious Gazelles, Yellow Chair Review, The Writing Disorder, Sierra Nevada Review, 805 Lit + Art, The Cape Rock, and American Chordata. See more of his work at: www.sethking.nyc Marissa Menefee is a graduate from the American Academy of Art located in downtown Chicago. She has been in numerous group shows, exhibitions, and fairs in the city, surrounding suburbs, and neighboring states. Her portfolio has been featured on Art Hunters, Tussle Magazine and she has been published in numerous publications such as Studio Visit, Average Art, and Art Reveal magazines. Thomas Terceira has been a craftsman and a designer for more than thirty-five years. He has shown his jewelry and enamels nationally and internationally and has been a designer, sample maker, and model maker for jewelry manufacturers and retailers. He has been creating collage, decoupage, and mixed media art work for over ten years. His collage works have won numerous awards and have been frequently exhibited. View his online portfolio at: http://portfolios.risd.edu/thomasterceira
Fiction Peter Newall now lives in Sydney, Australia but has, over many years, traveled through Central and Eastern Europe pursuing the ghosts of the Hapsburg Empire, the Soviet Union, and his ancestors. He recently spent a year in Odessa, Ukraine, where he sang for a popular local blues band. His stories have been published in the USA, Britain, and Australia, and his story â€œThe Luft Menschâ€? was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize. Read his published work at: http://peterjustinnewall.blogspot.com.au Rod Zink is an Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at Penn State Harrisburg. Alongside Creative Writing, he teaches and conducts scholarship in Composition Studies, Technical Writing, New Literacies,
and Genre Theories. When he’s not writing, teaching, researching, or collecting typewriters, Rod enjoys exploring the convergence of art, earth, the human animal, and all things mechanical or dreamed through the metal sculptures he builds—thoughts that adorn the walls, tables, floors, and ceilings of his apartment.
Poetry Sarah Bruenning is a recent English graduate from the University of Missouri - Columbia. She currently lives and works in St. Louis. This is Sarah’s first publication. Charlotte Covey is from St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. She has poetry published or forthcoming in journals such as The Normal School, Salamander Review, CALYX Journal, the minnesota review, and Sonora Review, among others. In 2015, she was nominated for an AWP Intro Journal Award. She is co-editor-in-chief of Milk Journal and an assistant editor for Natural Bridge. Peter Grandbois is the author of eight previous books, the most recent of which is This House That (Brighthorse Books, 2017). His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in over ninety journals. His plays have been performed in St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, and New York. He is a senior editor at Boulevard magazine and teaches at Denison University in Ohio. Cordelia M. Hanemann is a former university professor with a PhD from Louisiana State University, and is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her work has appeared in such journals as Southwest Review, Main Street Rag, and Third Wednesday Magazine; anthologies The Well-Versed Reader and Heron Clan IV and upcoming Kakalak 2017, and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. She was the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and is currently the featured poet in The Alexandria Quarterly. She has written monologues for performance and short stories. A native of Southwest Louisiana, she is now working on a first novel about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.
Betsy Housten is a Jersey-born, Brooklyn-bred queer femme writer and massage therapist. Her work has been published in Little Red Tarot, Ellipsis, NILVX, We’ll Never Have Paris, Hoax Zine, and Soon Quarterly. She was also a finalist for the 2017 Samuel Mockbee Nonfiction Contest. Betsy lives in New Orleans, where she is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry. Susanna Lang’s most recent collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was released in June 2017 by Terrapin Books. Her last collection was Tracing the Lines (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2013). A two-time Hambidge fellow, she has published original poems and translations from the French in such journals as Little Star, New Letters, december, Blue Lyra Review, Prime Number Magazine, and Verse Daily. She teaches in the Chicago Public Schools. Katharyn Howd Machan, author of 32 published collections (most recently Wild Grapes: Poems of Fox) has had poems appear in numerous magazines, anthologies, and textbooks, including The Bedford Introduction to Literature and Sound and Sense. A resident of Ithaca since 1975, she was Tompkins County’s first poet laureate. A professor in Ithaca College’s Writing Department and former director of the Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops, she edited Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology (Split Oak Press, 2012). In 2017, FutureCycle Press will publish her chapbook, Dark Matters, and in 2018, the full-length Katharyn Howd Machan: Selected Poems. Michael Mingo received his MFA in poetry from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where he currently teaches creative writing. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spillway, Harpur Palate, Cherry Tree, and The Louisville Review, among others. William Orem’s first collection of stories, Zombi, You My Love, won the GLCA New Writers Award. His second collection, Across the River, won the Texas Review Novella Prize. His first novel, Killer of Crying Deer, won the Eric Hoffer Award. Poems and short stories of his have appeared in over 100 literary journals, including The Princeton Arts Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The New Formalist, and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry, fiction, and essay. His short plays have been performed around the country, and have thrice been nominated
for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Currently he is a Senior Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College. Visit his website at: http://williamorem.com Lynn Pattison’s work has appeared in The Notre Dame Review, Rhino, Harpur Palate, Smartish Pace, Rattle, Tinderbox, Slipstream, and Poetry East, among others, and been anthologized in several venues, most recently in Nasty Women Poets, An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, edited by Grace Bauer and Julie Kane (Lost Horse Press, University of Washington). A Michigan poet, she is the author of three collections: tesla’s daughter (March St. Press), Walking Back the Cat (Bright Hill Press), and Light That Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press). John Timothy Robinson is a traditional citizen and ten-year educator for Mason County Schools in Mason County, West Virginia who holds a Regent’s Degree. He has an interest in Critical Theory of poetry in Structuralism and American Formalism. John’s poetry has appeared in forty-five journals, electronic and print, most recently The Heartland Review, The Shallows, and Plainsongs. He has also published several literary critical essays. Maxine Susman lives in central New Jersey and writes about nature, art, and personal history. She has published six chapbooks, most recently Provincelands (2016), set on Cape Cod. Her poems appear in Fourth River, Poet Lore, Blueline, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review, Adanna, and elsewhere. She won third prize in the 2016 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest and honorable mention for the 2017 New Jersey Poets Prize. She teaches poetry writing and short stories through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Rutgers University.
Cordelia M. Hanemann
Julie R. Enszer
Katharyn Howd Machan
John Timothy Robinson
Issue 15: a publication of Rowan University's Master of Arts in Writing