a publication of Rowan Universityâ€™s Master of Arts in Writing
featuring cultural differences natureâ€™s promises the inevitability of inheritance
Cover art: “Blue Buckets Along the Nile” by Roger Camp
EDITOR IN CHIEF Katie Budris
The staff of Glassworks magazine would like to thank Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Program and Rowan University’s Writing Arts Department
MANAGING EDITOR Jade Jones
Cover Design & Layout: Katie Budris
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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 © 2020 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 Steve Royek Myriah Stubee ASSOCIATE EDITORS Elizabeth Mecca Kaytlyn Mroz Amanda Spadel Kassidy Tirelli FICTION EDITORS Taylor Blum Chris Comparri Megan Kiger Erin Theresa Walsh NONFICTION EDITORS Mick Bratton Connor Buckmaster Brianna McCray POETRY EDITORS Dina Folgia Elizabeth Dandrow Mosolovich
glassworks Spring 2020 Issue Twenty
MASTER OF ARTS IN WRITING PROGRAM ROWAN UNIVERSITY
Issue 20 | Table of Contents Poetry
David M. Alper, Opa’s Bosc Pears | 39
Visiting My Autistic Sister | 38 C.W. Bigelow, Blood Legacy | 17 Patrice Boyer Claeys, The Visit | 34
Jason B. Crawford, Untitled 2 (Namwick) | 16
Barbara Daniels, The Open Beak | 3
Cymelle Leah Edwards, White Chickens | 58 Lynn Hoggard, What Dreams May Come | 49
DS Maolalai, The Edge of Every City | 4
Anna Sandy-Elrod, While Out of My Country’s Reach | 45 Hilary Sideris, Linguistics | 36 Anne M. Terashima, Far from The Garden | 14 Orchid II | 15
Sandra Cimadori, The Day My TÍa MarÍa’s Face Fell Down | 33
Jeff Fleischer, Redundancy | 19
David S. Osgood, Resurrecting the Warbird | 46
Marlene Olin, Tremors | 41
Dani Putney, Asian Bones | 6
Susan Chock Salgy, Indelible | 50
Art Guilherme Bergamini, Photogram 01 | 40 Photogram 04 | 13 K. Johnson Bowles, Eyes Swollen Shut | 32
Safe Unsafe Deceptions | 48
Suicide Watch | 44
Roger Camp, Blue Buckets Along the Nile | cover Girl in Swimming Pool | 37 Lamp and Shutter Coptic Cairo | 5
John Chavers, Bark of the Artic No. 1 | 18
Bark of the Artic No. 3 | 57
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 Open Beak Barbara Daniels
A bird carver bends to the ugly body he twists in his hands, chips at feathers, a missing eye. He licks his split lip, nearly spiritual in his patience. A swathe of light tongues me at winter’s low angle. I smell burning, whisper of flame. Gibber of swallows, hiss of blue gas. Do I hear the dead? It’s just a lie I tell. Here’s a curlew, cinnamon brown, feet wired to driftwood. It almost opens its long beak and utters its mournful call.
The Edge of Every City DS Maolalai
cement stacks like sawdust on the edge of every city. pushing through a quarter-tank along the M50 outside of Dublin, and itâ€™s just like exiting Toronto, and just like exiting New York, or the outskirts of certain parts of London; a messy piled up plate with business parks, roadsigns and car dealerships, slip-ramps to towns with no history to speak of, water-tankers and the occasional petrol station. bridges overhead like the ribs of dead horses forgotten and rotting on a beach. smoke catching under smoke, and you could be going anywhere. your hand trails on the gear lever, looking to your sides. you find it; already itâ€™s in 5th.
Lamp and Shutter Coptic Cairo Roger Camp
Asian Bones Dani Putney
I know I’m at the Philippine mini mart when I smell fish. Growing up, I’d go with my mom to the counter-serve area of the market so that she could buy freshly cooked tilapia. I remember complaining to her about how stinky the food was. “How could you eat that? You can see the fish’s head!” She’d tell me fish was one of her favorite foods in Talisay City. “It isn’t the same in America,” she’d add. We always went to the same place—what we referred to as the “Filipino store”—to pick up fish and other goodies. Besides the fish, we’d emerge with nondescript plastic bags full of treats ranging from puto to pitsi-pitsî (with requisite coconut shavings on the side). These trips would usually happen after my family’s weekly grocery outing at the McClellan Air Force Base commissary. I didn’t understand my mom’s Filipina heritage as a kid. Being mixed race on the West Coast, I was simply a tan boy to neighbors. Nobody knew my mom immigrated from the Philippines. If anything, people assumed I was Mexican or Native American. Sometimes people would think I was Spanish. For a while, I didn’t know I was different either. Your family’s normal becomes not
normal when you go to school. I’d talk to classmates about some of the foods I’d eat at home. Pancit and rice was a typical dinner—how was I supposed to know other kids didn’t love sour noodles, too? How could I have guessed it wasn’t an American thing to eat rice with most dinners? To younger me, rice was life. Steam rising from my mom’s rice cooker was a nightly kitchen portrait, an image I can only appreciate fully as a twentysomething reflecting on their childhood. I recall a conversation I had, maybe in third or fourth grade, about how I thought pizza and ranch was a disgusting combination. A boy was dipping his pepperoni pizza in the heart-attack sauce and getting the stuff all over his face. I had to speak up about this culinary tragedy. “That’s gross,” I said. “But don’t you eat weird noodles?” he replied. “You’re one to judge.” I started to feel shame about my mom’s choices. In fact, I was flat-out embarrassed—did we have to go to the Filipino store again? It smelled bad, I couldn’t understand what people were saying, and I’d only eat some of the stuff she bought anyway. I felt awkward and out of place. My mom, though, was in her element at the mini mart. She spoke
believed him. I blamed her for never teaching me Tagalog, but only in the past few years did I learn the truth: “Your dad wanted you to be American,” she told me. He thought we’d stand out too much.
“As an adult finally reckoning with their identity, I can
Dani Putney | Asian Bones
a language I’d never heard at home, but it suited her. She smiled in a casual way I hadn’t seen around my dad and brother. If I could characterize her presence in one word, I’d say she was relaxed. It was like she was at peace.
see how white-washed my youth was. The Asian part
of me was something I’d learned to hide... As an adult finally reckoning with their identity, I can see how whitewashed my youth was. The Asian part of me was something I’d learned to hide because it wasn’t congruent with the identities of those around me. As clichéd as it sounds, I wanted to be like the white boys whose dads hosted barbecues and moms wore pretty sundresses when taking them to soccer practice. Why did this other half of me need to exist when it didn’t seem to exist among my peers at school? My childlike desire to fit in wasn’t the only thing to blame. My dad did an apocalyptic number on our family. He psychologically manipulated my brother and me to side with him against our mom: It was always her fault when something went awry because she was supposedly bipolar—a woman prone to “black moods” that made her a threat to the well-being of our family. And we
My brother and I witnessed an arguably unhealthy amount of family drama in our youth. I remember that during my parents’ fights, Dad would play dead on the floor as if he were experiencing a heart attack. Mom would yell in the background, calling him a “piece of shit” and other choice phrases. Here’s a re-creation: Dad: Silent, on the floor, breathing in a dramatically labored way. Mom: “How could you do this to me? Rot in hell!” But I worshipped my dad as a kid. He was the man with all the ideas: He had an IQ in the 150s, and my teachers and counselors throughout the years adored him. I could talk to him about literature, history, and science, three of my favorite subjects in school. As one of the “gifted
and talented” kids, I lapped up all his gesticulations of intellectualism. To me, a smart person was the best person. Anything he’d tell me, even if it was falsely accusing my mom of being bipolar, carried with it the weight of a scholar. I believed everything he said. He was the intelligent parent, after all, with a bachelor’s degree in education, a minor in psychology, and a high Stanford-Binet to boot. My mom came from a farming family in the Philippines, and although she had an associate’s degree in secretarial science, it didn’t mean anything—“education wasn’t as good over there,” according to my smart dad. Everything was apparently worse in the Philippines because it was a “third-world country.” I now know my dad barely used his education degree; I think he taught for less than three years. For most of my childhood, he was a security guard. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a career path unrelated to your education, but I can’t help but feel like my dad pulled that infuriating “I’m smart but won’t use it” move I’ve seen many of my peers, especially in high school, do as well. Ah, people like my dad love to let everyone know how smart they are but hesitate to do anything of import with their intelligence. Alas, my mom loved him despite the gaslighting only I seem to believe he inflicted. She also thinks it’s a tragedy for him to suddenly die from
a heart attack. I may be heartless, but I know eating greasy fast food every other day doesn’t bode well for your health. There was nothing sudden about his death. ~ I can’t ignore the gratitude my mom feels for being able to live in the US. She was my dad’s picture bride. He responded to an advertisement, and a few weeks later, my parents were married and living in California. My brother was born. Then I was. Dad bought a small house out in the Sacramento countryside.
intellectuallism. To me, a smart person was the
I try to imagine what the ad looked like. Was it featured in a catalog that listed several other women? Did my mom appear extra youthful in her picture? I’ve seen wedding photos, so I know she was a stunning young woman. However, the entire process of “acquiring” a bride via mail order feels—no pun intended— foreign to me. I’m not even sure where I’d look to find such a document.
capacity. The only conclusion I have is that his first wife saw through his bullshit and could no longer put on a mask of subservience. There’s no reason to wait around when you have weapons and a posse of angry kapatids. ~ Ever since Dad passed away, my mom has stopped making lumpia. If you’ve eaten any Pinoy food, it’s probably lumpia. And I know, random white person who’s trying to say they understand my heritage and relate to me, the crunchy spring rolls are to die for. When I was younger, I’d help my parents wrap lumpia. If we exhibited any sign of family bonding, it was during lumpia nights in the Putney household. My parents were smiling at the same time in the same physical space. Of course, this observation is an anachronism—as a kid, all I wanted was for the lumpia to be done already. I visit my mom once a week to check on her and help her out if she needs it. I also make sure to peruse the freezer to see if she’s made a dent into her stockpile of frozen lumpia wrappers. It’s always the same amount, tucked in the corner behind instant dinners and cartons of ice cream. “I thought you were going to make lumpia this week,” I say.
Dani Putney | Asian Bones
All I know for certain is this: Asian women were my dad’s American dream. I think my dad acquired a taste for Filipinas during his military years. He was stationed at Clark Air Force Base on Luzon island during the 1960s. He met his first wife around that time and had six children. Before he died, my dad told me his first wife wanted to kill him, so he had to return to the States to protect my half-brothers and half-sisters. He raised his first six children in Texas. Eventually, he married a white woman. His second marriage didn’t last. I think he said she got fat, but I firmly believe he divorced her because she was white. Once you develop an Asian fetish, you always have an Asian fetish. That’s why I’m here: good ol’ wife No. 3. The doting son I was, I didn’t question his story at the time, and I immediately assigned the label of “crazy” to his first wife. My poor half-brothers and half-sisters, I thought. They had to grow up in fear of wild Filipinas. Today, I’m less forgiving. I wonder what he must’ve done to his first wife, a woman whose name I don’t even know, to make her want to kill him. I may not have all the answers, but I’m smart enough to know straight white men are the best liars. There’s no way my dad was blameless, especially after I witnessed his faux fainting spells and heard his lies about my mom’s mental
Her go-to reply, with some variation here and there: “I was too tired.” I then shake my head and smile at her. Honestly, I get it. Working retail can be tiring, especially when customers inherently suck. I say this as a customer who sucks. But I fear that she feels displaced in her culture. No matter what I think of my bastard dad, she loved him. He was her lumpia buddy. I know she derived a lot of joy when she could share her favorite treats with him. I’ve simply gotten good at pretending my dead dad doesn’t haunt me and my identity. For instance, during a recent team-building activity at work, I surprised myself by admitting to colleagues how haunted I feel. Isn’t it fucked up that the man who tried to suppress my heritage is forever tied to my understanding of it? Perhaps it’s more fucked up that he’s forever tied to my mom’s understanding of her own background—she never asked to become emotionally attached to a man whose ghost inhibits her from enjoying food from her goddamn childhood. I wish Mom and I could séance with my dad so that he could tell her it was fine to make lumpia again. It’s funny because when he was alive, I wasn’t this close to my mom. I certainly didn’t feel so protective of her as to imagine supernatural situations to ensure her emotional stability. She was my dad’s parrot, replicating his
problematic BS about undocumented immigrants, supposed welfare abusers, and various racial groups. My dad’s faux libertarianism must’ve radiated from his skin like spores looking for a host; they happened to land on my mom. To be truthful, I disliked her. That’s why I think I care about her so much. Not only did my dad pit my brother and me against our “crazy” mom; he also sculpted her in his image. I’m no hero though— like most of my stewardship, it arises from a sense of guilt. Always making amends, this one. More important than my guilt, I think, is that Mom and I survived my dad. We’re still standing. Shared trauma brings people together. It’s almost like the bond among abuse survivors is a silver lining for all the fuckery. I’ll never tell my mom any of this. My framework of guilt and survival doesn’t represent her feelings of loss and grief. Any time I try to mention how terrible my dad could be, she’s quick to redirect the conversation toward his positive attributes: “He gave you so many opportunities when you were younger,” she tells me. “You can’t forget that.” “Yes,” I interject. “But—” “I don’t want to hear it.” To her, my dad was a man trying his best. ~ I intellectually understand why I tried to disavow my Filipinx her-
than suffer billions of microscopic cuts of an
I already don’t feel Asian enough because I’m mixed race, so it’s doubly troubling to carry my dead dad’s white supremacist spirit on my shoulders. Perhaps the easiest solution is to buy a container of my mom’s favorite, dinuguan—pork blood stew—and rub it around my face. I can make up for the years of Filipinx celebration I lost by absorbing the rich nutrients of pig organs. Maybe my identity is a fad. Queer? Check. Non-binary? Check.
Vegetarian? Another big, fat check. I’m all the things millennials and Gen Z have “made up.” I’ve even been accused of not being Asian, period—I’m half-European from my Dad’s side, so it’s unreasonable for me to claim a full identity when I’m only a Mudblood. Words like “liminality” help, as I feel there’s academic validity in existing as the mongrel I am, but that’s it—any affirmation I receive is from the academy. Out in the “real world”? People are annoyingly black and white. I want to bury myself in mud when somebody tries to use grammar as an excuse for not respecting my gender-neutral pronouns or when a Filipinx acquaintance glares at me once I reveal I don’t eat meat. I’d rather disappear than suffer billions of microscopic cuts of an invisibilized oppression. What gets me through most days is my mom. I think about everything she’s experienced— her husband’s death, for one, but also the deaths of most of her relatives in the Philippines. Yet her heart beats. It might be a little weak because of her family’s history of heart problems, but she’s alive. She lives a quiet life in an apartment in Reno with her dog, and she holds down a parttime job at the local Stein Mart. She seems happy.
Dani Putney | Asian Bones
itage as a kid—now I’m proudly in the process of reclaiming my Asian bones—but my body is still a mess. Why is it that I feel slightly queasy when catching a whiff of fish at the counter-serve area of Reno’s Manila Hongkong store? Why is it that my stomach turns when I see Filipinas in the nearby cafeteria devouring meals with their hands? I feel like my dad’s ghost controls me in these moments; he’s making my body react this way. I’m haunted the second I step into a Philippine mini mart. His phantasmagoric touch accompanies every roll of hopia I grab, every bag of pan de ube I place in my cart.
Sometimes I have the honor of accompanying her to Manila Hongkong. I visit this store by myself or with my partner (ironically, a white man), but I feel different when I go with her. It’s like every time I patiently wait for her to buy dinuguan, I’m making amends for every time I complained as a youth. It’s also an opportunity to fight off my dead dad’s spirit. Mom usually doesn’t buy fish nowadays, but when she does, I smile at the little head that pokes out from the Styrofoam container. Mabuhay, friend, I think.
Photogram 04 Guilherme Bergamini
Far from The Garden Anne M. Terashima
I jump rope by myself: a lone red arc over and over against the flat blue sky. Carefully I lay my rope in the grass, a perfect red line, and run off to cross the monkey bars. Returning, I find a garden snake mimics my rope as if conjured by my ceremony. A slim hum of latent power in grass warm and wet as breath. We share a dark-eyed silence. When will we shed these skins and slide away? Miraculous, what we do to fit in to this life.
Anne M. Terashima
My grandmother, bones grown frail, the soft, dry skin of her arms and hands sunspotted and wrinkled, blue veins raised. Iâ€™d wash her unblemished back as she soaked in a bath, brush the lavish tendrils of hair sprouting improbably thick from her scalp. On the day of her husbandâ€™s funeral, I dabbed lipstick on her lips: bright color abloom amid mourning.
Untitled 2 (Namwick) Jason B. Crawford
In response to the act of a nigga saying nigga to a nigga: Son, I am the stone carving you will always find cut in the middle of your throat / You can cough and hack and swallow trying to loosen me out but I have grappled every ounce of your esophagus; I will die here / Don’t bother giving me a funeral because I’ve been dead before / I know of ones made of the mouths you speak so violently / How dare you call me something you can’t hold, rough air stitched in unprocessed cotton / There’s not enough saffron and water to coat a baby ragged / And to give it new flesh would be a disservice to its mother, the fever tree, rooted, hoping to not find another of her children left a funny jaundice thing / But you use this history like a toy / You like to play with me around your tongue until you think it’s time to spit out / Yet I am the aftertaste, a smooth set of spikes digging into the palate / Tell me child, does your mother know ghosts see you as an offering to make white / To tear the flesh until it is only the meat left unseasoned / More and more I’m finding your voice to sound like a snow storm / That is to say I hear the white when you call my name / A murder of crows flocking from the windpipe when you speak me up / It will crawl itself into a noose and wait for someone to push on the other side, stay left hanging from a tree like a burning flag’s wet dream / Like a country built on the bones of a ship filled with fingers / Or a bone ship full of fingers not ready to build a country
Blood Legacy C.W. Bigelow
Minted in minutes of raging lust, I provided another obstacle in your maze of deception and abuse. Raised on guttural groans of pain and ecstasy in the next room I became bait for shared interlopers as we hopped cities. Degradation evolves into craving. I am a canvas of cauliflower ears and swollen blue eyes until your sudden death left a void, into which I leapt and began devouring unsuspecting prey with the same gluttonous desire in which I was conceived.
Bark of the Artic No. 1 John Chavers
Redundancy Jeff Fleischer
Regina Maplewood had pored over dozens of files, for more hours than she cared to count. She had questions about several, but the one that most befuddled her was that of Charles Finnegan and Hartwin, the only pair of employees housed in the same folder. Since her arrival from London, Ms. Maplewood had followed the same routine each morning. She would arrive before most of the staff, make a large instant coffee with the white powder meant to approximate cream, and take a brisk walk to the spartan records room at the far end of the building. There, out of the employees’ view, she spent the mornings becoming as familiar as she could with the whole operation. Budgets, personnel files, leases, expense reports— the endeavor made good use of her recent stint across the Channel in Grenoble. After her now-traditional lunch of a microwaved white pepper vegetable pie and a fizzy lemonade, Ms. Maplewood filled her afternoons meeting with Herald employees, one-on-one or in small groups. She wasted little time on idle chat, and nobody questioned how seriously she took her work. The Herald had long served this part of Northumberland as its primary local news outlet. While
residents still read the larger papers to follow the goings-on in Parliament or with the national team, most remained subscribers as a way to keep up with what the local schools had planned, how the council estates were faring, and which denizens had earned which recognition from which charitable concern. Few businesses in the area had a wall without at least one pinned Herald story touting their accomplishments. Nearly all the newspaper’s employees were Northumberland born and bred, and Ms. Maplewood found their number to contain no shortage of the kind of local eccentrics her parents often associated with the north. Whether among the staff, on the streets, or in the town pub she frequented between ending her day’s work and retiring to her tiny hotel room, people here seemed to carry a distrust of outsiders, and Ms. Maplewood surely felt one of those. After all, she had come from the home office in London with the unenviable mandate to research and declare redundancies. As it had throughout its current streak of acquiring regional publications, the capital-based conglomerate that employed Ms. Maplewood liked redundancy suggestions to be made by recent graduates with no ties, sentimental or otherwise,
that would stand in the way of reasoned, objective analysis. Thus did Regina Maplewood find herself on her first assignment, contemplating the value of everyone from the editors down to library archivists like Charles Finnegan. Her interest in Hartwin, therefore, made obvious sense. After all, who was more redundant than an imaginary friend? ~ Like many young boys and girls, Charles Finnegan spent much of his early life talking to a friend his parents could not see.
without food or other necessities. Because Charles had always behaved well, however, the Finnegans saw no need for nannies or other forms of authority. When they were gone during the day, the boy entertained himself, and his parents spent most of their hours away from work at home with Charles. The key phrase, of course, was “hours away from work.” With so few of them, Charles had ample time alone to let his imagination roam free, and at some point it did so in the form of a boy his own age named Hartwin.
“Charles doesn’t mind if I borrow him for a bit. It’s like
when I talk to my dogs. I know they’re not going to answer
me, but at least someone’s listening. What made Charles unusual was that, now a middle-aged man and a respected professional archivist with an intuitive knack for organization, he continued to do so. Nobody, not even Charles himself, could remember when he first met Hartwin. As an only child, Charles spent much of his time in his room, reading books and making up elaborate stories about what happened to the characters after the author ended their adventures. His working-class parents couldn’t be described as neglectful; they had the means to ensure he never went
“He’ll grow out of it,” Mrs. Finnegan always said. She was incorrect. While other children on the estate would convene an impromptu attempt at cricket in the alley or an elaborate game of tag in their front garden, Charles would kindly demur and prefer to spend time indoors with Hartwin. At family dinners, the empty chair at the fourseat kitchen table always needed to remain clear for the invisible boy. Mr. Finnegan often warned against “indulging the habit,” but Charles remained precocious enough to
Charles—and, by extension, Hartwin—had taken a work experience in the Herald’s research department, which led to a temporary placement, which led to their current roles as the library’s two assistant archivists. At least on paper. ~ “I don’t understand how this situation has been allowed to continue,” Ms. Maplewood said. She hadn’t phrased it as a question, but Elaine Boyer took the silence that followed the young woman’s inquiry as a sign to answer. “It’s a bit unusual, I’ll admit,” Elaine said. She chose her words carefully, knowing her job as head of research wasn’t automatically essential, and that this afternoon meeting could be about her as well as her assistants. “Their work is excellent. They run the library, the archives. Any reporter needs to find out the snowfall on Boxing Day in 1949, or what we wrote about in someone’s obituary from thirty years ago, they’ll get the answer lickety split. Those two know our region better than anyone; I don’t know where we’d be without Charles and Hartwin...” “May I point out that you know very well how you’d fare without Hartwin,” Ms. Maplewood said, crossing her legs and leaning forward. “Seeing as, best
Jeff Fleischer | Redundancy
carry on conversations with his parents in the supposed presence of Hartwin, and his social development seemed otherwise normal on all fronts. Sure, it could be unsettling when the boy laughed at a joke Hartwin told or cautioned his friend that something was too dangerous, but Charles would usually relay what was allegedly said to his parents. As far as they could tell, Hartwin’s humor was heavy on puns and alliteration, and his “dangerous” ideas mostly involved playing outdoors in inclement weather. He seemed harmless enough. If anything, Hartwin was a good influence. When the Finnegans listened at their son’s door, he was often telling his friend a story or even tutoring him. (Charles insisted that Hartwin struggled in literature and science, and that it was his responsibility to teach him so he didn’t fall behind.) Even at school, Charles always insisted that Hartwin sit next to him. In a classroom full of truants and aspiring taggers, teachers had more important battles, and allowed Charles to claim an empty chair for his unseen comrade. The boy’s behavior and grades stayed exemplary, and at some point Hartwin became such a normal part of his routine that it seemed too late to say anything. The same principle had generally applied in the nineteen years since
I can tell, there is no such person.” “You’re right. Of course. Sometimes even I forget that. I’m so used to Charles talking to him. To tell you the truth, every so often I catch myself explaining something to Hartwin.” “But…” “Oh, I know, but it’s a good exercise for working out an idea aloud. Charles doesn’t mind if I borrow him for a bit. It’s like when I talk to my dogs. I know they’re not going to answer me, but at least someone’s listening.” “No, nobody’s listening. That’s my point. And yet, Hartwin collects a regular salary. Please explain this to me.” When Elaine took a chance on Charles all those years ago, she had expected only a few months of a poorly paid student helper. If that helper had his quirks, so be it; she was simply doing a favor for her widowed neighbor, Mr. Finnegan. His health had prompted a premature retirement in Gibraltar, and he asked for help getting his unusual son a job of work. She had expected the young man to be shy, or at least on the awkward side, but Charles was friendly and polite. He did give her an odd look when she hesitated before shaking Hartwin’s hand (Mr. Finnegan had helpfully warned her in advance). Otherwise, he was an outgoing lad more than capable of talking football with the other young men in
the break room, and several women rather fancied him at first meeting. He didn’t seem the type who preferred talking to an imaginary person, but every employee of the Herald discovered that tendency within a few days of his arrival. The newsroom tended to be a hub of gossip anyway, a side effect of bringing together dozens of people who always knew more than they could comfortably put in print, and the non-newsroom portions of the business were well stocked with people excited by their proximity to such stories. The upshot was most anyone Charles met already knew about Hartwin and was good at disguising surprise when he would carry on what definitely seemed like one-way conversations. Plus, he benefited from the northern pride in decent manners. Everyone either treated Hartwin with respect, or did otherwise only behind his back. Hartwin had assured Charles he was fine with it either way. Elaine had been as amazed as anyone at how indispensable Charles Finnegan and, by extension Hartwin, had become. At an office where most everyone took pains to work their precise hours, Charles preferred to come in midday and stay until late in the evening, happily updating the archives with the contents of that day’s edition. It wasn’t long before he’d memorized the filing system. Within just a few years, he had become so well versed in the
“This is all a delusion in his head, and all of you
are enabling it. I can’t understand how you don’t
“Oh, that’s not a worry,” Elaine said, her round face beaming. “When I asked them to join the staff full time, I assumed we wouldn’t be able to pay Hartwin properly, but Charles wouldn’t stay without him. They talked it over, and agreed to split one salary in half between them. Charles takes it all on his account and gives Hartwin his share, seeing as they live together anyway.” “They didn’t talk over anything. You’re just paying Charles.”
“Of course. I was just trying to answer your question…” “This is all a delusion in his head, and all of you are enabling it. I can’t understand how you don’t see this.” “Maybe you should meet Hartwin and talk with him before you decide…” By this point, Ms. Maplewood’s slender fingers covered most of her face, and she looked at the floor when speaking. “There. Is. No. Hartwin. Only a crazy assistant researcher.” She looked up. “Let’s say we were to make Hartwin redundant and keep Finnegan at his half of the pay. Do you think he would accept that?” “Oh…I see,” Elaine said. They were getting to the point now. “I don’t know that Charles would be willing to work without him. They’ve been together so long.” “More likely, he doesn’t think he can get by on half wages. He’s probably correct, but we didn’t create this situation at home office. More likely, we’ll need to make both of them redundant, and you can replace them with a student on work experience. Someone who doesn’t see people who aren’t there. Maybe two, and they’ll both exist.” “I think you should speak to Charles and Hartwin before you
Jeff Fleischer | Redundancy
region’s back pages that he became the de facto repository of Northumberland history. Though, quite often, he would say he needed to consult with Hartwin when answering a query. “That’s all fascinating,” Ms. Maplewood said, after Elaine Boyer relayed the full story. Elaine’s detection of irony lagged the younger woman’s, and she didn’t realize she was expected to add more. “But why are we paying a salary to an imagined individual? And how does he even cash his cheques?”
make any decisions. At least give them the same chance you’ve been giving to the others.” Word had spread around the office that Ms. Maplewood had been scheduling brief interviews with anyone she considered a potential redundancy. It wasn’t entirely true—mostly she’d been trying to meet with leaders in every department, regardless of how secure their position seemed—but Ms. Maplewood was slightly curious as to what Charles Finnegan was like in person. “Fine, I will meet with him after my lunch break tomorrow.” “Them, dear. You should meet with both.” The younger woman started to reply, but Elaine cut her off. “I’ll tell them for you; Hartwin can be hard to track down this time of day, and he doesn’t always answer his telephone.” ~ Ms. Maplewood had just finished her daily pie and returned to her files in the records room when, through the glass rectangle in the door, she saw a man waiting on the other side. “Come in,” she called out when he tapped gently. The door moved just a crack, and Ms. Maplewood beckoned the visitor in with a casual wave. “Come right in and take a seat.” The man who opened the door still looked like the photo in his personnel file, but it had to be a good ten years since that image was taken.
Charles Finnegan still had sandy brown hair like that in his picture, but its uneven shade indicated he’d been dyeing it for some time, and it had started to form a widow’s peak. He had filled out some, with a football-sized paunch protruding under his shirt, and had a thin veneer of scruff over most of his face. Based on his photo and reputation, Ms. Maplewood had imagined him some kind of clean-cut overgrown teenager, but Charles could have passed for any average man at any pub she’d ever visited. It only took a second for his more distinctive quality to shine through, however, as before entering he held the door open for a few seconds, then presumably followed Hartwin into the room. She found the contrast more tragic than she’d anticipated. “Good afternoon, Charles,” she began, standing and leaning in for a handshake. “Please, take a seat.” “There’s only one chair,” he said. “Yes, I suppose there is.” “Can Hartwin sit and I’ll stand? He’s been having troubles with his knees lately.” Charles briefly looked offended, and directed his next comment to his side. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about; I told you to take your pills.” “Charles, I’d like to speak just with you. I apologize if that wasn’t clear. Can Hartwin wait outside until we’re finished?”
I wouldn’t know if something happened on our estate that day unless the Herald wrote about it the next morning. When I was up for a work experience, I wanted to come here above anywhere else, and he asked Elaine if she might have something for me.” “Are your father and Mrs. Boyer close?” “I wouldn’t say close, but they get on. They were at school together, and both stayed around the area. Where are you from?” “Me? All over, but I’m based in London…” “Up here, people sort of hang around. Mrs. Boyer did a lot better than my father, but they saw each other in town, as you do. Run into each other at the pub, in the shops, you don’t really lose touch. Anyway, she told him how I could apply. It wasn’t nepotism or anything; we had to interview just like any other candidates, but Mrs. Boyer said we stood out and that we earned our keep permanently. We’ve been here ever since.” “By we, you mean yourself and your friend Hartwin?” “We work best together. Buy one, get one, we like to say.” He laughed as he said it. “Normally they just had the one spot, but Mrs. Boyer said the boss would let her make an exception.” Speaking at a fast clip, Charles Finnegan proceeded to explain
Jeff Fleischer | Redundancy
“That’s okay with me, but you should ask him.” Ms. Maplewood nodded slowly and turned to her best approximation of Hartwin’s position. “If it’s alright with you, I’d like to speak with Mr. Finnegan alone for a bit. Thank you.” She knew it shouldn’t have surprised her to watch Charles put one arm around empty air, turn his back to her and lower his head to whisper to his friend—though she was a bit impressed by how the backslap he gave Hartwin seemed to stop as if actually impeded by an object. He held the door open long enough for a person to exit before taking the seat across from Ms. Maplewood. “Charles, did Elaine talk to you about why I’m here?” “She said the company that bought us a few months back was going to take a look at our operation,” he said, friendly enough in his manner. “Looking to see where the fat was on our end, and hoping to trim it a bit. I take it that’s where you come in.” “Precisely. I’m trying to talk to as many workers in as many departments as I can while I’m here, and that includes the research department. I’d like you to tell me about your role here—how you started working at the Herald, what you do here, in whatever order you like.” “How I started? Well, at school, I’d always been an avid reader,” he began. “My father used to joke that
the work he and Hartwin performed in nearly two decades with the research department. His account differed little from the tale told by his supervisor and his file, though he gave far more detail and tossed in a few clever anecdotes. Ms. Maplewood had expected him to be somewhat introverted, particularly without the crutch of his imaginary friend in the room, but found Charles perfectly personable and rather well-spoken. He seemed almost normal. “I’d also like to ask you what Hartwin brings to the table.” “Why don’t you just ask him?”
“He’s a right genius,” Charles said. “Anything he reads, he remembers. Hartwin’s got a photographic memory. More often than not, he can tell me if the article was on the right-hand side of the page, or above a particular photograph. I can ask him if he remembered reading about, say, a cannabis arrest from 1973, and he’ll point me to right volume to find all the articles. I taught him how I reorganized the whole system; the archives were a bit of a mess when we started here.” Charles went on like that for some time, conveying Hartwin’s importance to his work as roughly as
“Ms. Maplewood had expected him to be somewhat introverted, particularly without the crutch of his
imaginary friend in the room, but found Charles perfectly personable and rather well-spoken. He seemed almost
“We also like to get feedback on everyone from those who work with them most closely. Get a second opinion, you see.” “I don’t know that I can be objective; he’s my best mate, and we’ve lived together as long as I can remember.” “I understand. What would you say are his strengths, as they pertain to his role as a researcher and archivist?”
valuable as his own eyes or hands, and brushing away any query about whether Charles could just as soon perform those tasks himself. “If I’m being honest, if your sheet there says you have to choose between the two of us, I’d make me redundant and keep Hartwin.” “How would that work?” “What do you mean? The same way any of your redundancies work, I would guess. Please don’t
working full shifts, it would take years to transfer everything, even without all our other responsibilities.” “Why hasn’t that process started?” “The people here prefer the face-to-face approach,” Charles said. “They’d rather have someone like Hartwin find exactly what they need and someone like me explain it all then just type a bunch of words on a screen. On top of which, sometimes they don’t really know what they’re looking for until we find it.” Ms. Maplewood pondered his words, realizing she had much to consider as she stood and extended her hand. “Well, thank you for coming in, Charles.” He thanked her as well, and she began rearranging her files for the next meeting. When she looked up, she saw Charles Finnegan still waiting by the door. “Don’t you want to speak with Hartwin?” he asked. “I’m sorry?” “You said you were trying to speak with as many of the workers as possible, and he’s waiting right outside.” “Fine. I don’t see why not. Send him in.” ~ And so Ms. Maplewood found herself seated across from a man who didn’t exist.
Jeff Fleischer | Redundancy
misunderstand me; I’m happy here and want very much to stay. It’s just that Hartwin needs the position more than I do. I have other work I could try my hand at; I’ve always fancied taking a year or two off to write a book of local history. For Hartwin, though, this work is his life. He’d be lost without it.” “I see,” Ms. Maplewood replied, though this development struck her as spectacularly unforeseen. She thought her questions would have prompted Charles to defend his own position rather than that of his imperceptible companion. “I would hope you’d see your way to giving him a raise. As you probably know from your papers, we agreed to split a salary seeing as we live together and share expenses, but we can hardly get by on only half.” “That’s something to think about,” she said, though she didn’t plan to give the idea much thought. “I was also wondering, shouldn’t there be a way to make these archives searchable on their own?” “In the long term, of course, we could digitize all the material in the archives, and the system for locating it all, and let the journalists look up all the information themselves.” “I was a bit curious about that. Most of the larger newspapers have moved to that model.” “They must have more staff or more budget; that’s a massive undertaking,” he said. “Even with Hartwin, Mrs. Boyer, and myself
Charles had held the door open for his friend, and told him he’d be waiting just outside. It was for his benefit that Ms. Maplewood greeted Hartwin and suggested that he take a seat. Offering him a cup of tea was a joke for her own benefit. She sat in silence for a few moments, not sure what she was supposed to do with the empty chair, but still able to see Charles talking to coworkers on the other side of the door. “Well, Hartwin, what should we talk about, eh?” she began, doodling absentmindedly on her notepad. “I’ve heard quite a lot about you these last two days. I expected you might be a bit more whimsical, maybe a talking animal or mythological being, but no, it seems you’re just an imaginary thirty-something librarian. Bit disappointing, but hardly your fault.” Hours of talking to Elaine and Charles had nearly primed her to expect a response. Realizing that only frustrated her further. “So it seems your friend Charles is a perfectly fine employee. Diligent, personable, knowledgeable. The kind of person I’d be inclined to keep on if he didn’t spend half his time talking to a colleague who isn’t even there. And who, for some reason I’ve yet to determine, has convinced most of this office to play along with his delusion. Are they mad? Are they making sport of him
when his back is turned? Are they just humoring him out of pity? “What do you think? Hmm, interesting. No opinion, then.” Ms. Maplewood could see that the frustration of her visit to the north was finding its voice. For the first time since she arrived, she had an opportunity to vent without anyone there to judge her or question her performance. It hadn’t felt fair for the home office to make her first road assignment one that involved taking away people’s livelihoods; she’d taken a job in the accounting department because she was good with numbers, not because she wanted to view human beings in those terms. She hadn’t liked the way the Herald staff avoided her, viewing her as something between the grim reaper and a curious foreign object that found its way inside. The most frustrating part, however—the part that felt like the universe playing one more cruel joke on young Regina Maplewood—was that the person to whom she finally vocalized all this wasn’t real enough to pay attention. “So, Hartwin, what do you think? Should I recommend making you redundant? Or Charles? Maybe Mrs. Boyer? Or all three of you? Maybe the Herald doesn’t need a research department at all. Or maybe we bring in someone from home office who doesn’t see imaginary people. Are you even a person? Maybe
even hung up her coat. “I understand you have a job to do, but there’s no reason to treat him so disrespectfully.” “I don’t know what he told you,” the younger woman replied, “but I showed Charles nothing but respect in my interview. In fact, I was rather more impressed by him than I expected—” “Not Charles! Hartwin! The way you spoke to him.” “Excuse me?” “He told Charles all about it. A feral hedgehog indeed!” “I don’t know what Mr. Finnegan thought be heard—” “It doesn’t matter. See for yourself.” Before storming away in a huff, Elaine indicated the sheet of paper someone had slipped under the door of the records room. The letter was brief, but direct. I’ve tolerated enough ridicule in my day, but there is a line. Today, madam, you have more than crossed it, and I shall no longer provide my services to this concern. Charles is free to make up his own mind but, as for me, you can go right ahead and make me redundant. I suggest you do the same to yourself. Have an unpleasant day. Piss off. Hartwin. By the time the staff began to take lunch breaks, word of the letter had spread throughout the Herald office. Ms. Maplewood could tell as much from the
Jeff Fleischer | Redundancy
you’re a rabbit, or a stoat, or a feral hedgehog. Who’s to say? “I don’t even know anymore. Why don’t you tell me what to do if you’re so smart?” Enough time had passed that she felt justified in ending the charade. She went back to her stack of personnel files, determining which employees she would still need to interview before her merciful train back to London the next evening. The door opened a crack, and Charles Finnegan entered. “Why? What happened?” he asked quietly. She wasn’t sure what he meant, until she saw him wrap his left arm around just enough air to contain a full-grown man, then exit while whispering something to the area he had corralled. ~ On her last day at the Herald, Ms. Maplewood’s routine remained the same. She arrived early, prepared her passable coffee, and returned to the records room for a final perusal of files before preparing to make serious recommendations on the long trip back to the capital. Given the outsized amount of her time and patience the paper’s research team had exhausted, seeing Elaine Boyer already waiting outside the door hardly qualified as a shock—that came from the hardened expression on the woman’s otherwise-cherubic face. “Are you proud of yourself ?” she began, before Ms. Maplewood had
muffled snickers and dirty looks various workers gave her as she purchased her pie and lemonade from their respective vending machines. Whatever fear her presence had created in those she was reviewing clearly traded places with ridicule. Just going about her final rounds, she heard more than one variation on: The invisible man told her to piss off. Even as she dragged her bags to the front of the office and waited for a cab to the train station, she heard passersby laughing. The Herald office truly did have a penchant for gossip. She was not sorry to see it in her rearview. ~ Ms. Maplewood couldn’t wait to leave the north behind and go back to her comfortable flat near Piccadilly, where she just blended in with the thousands of other young professionals. She spent most of the train trip, and her first few days back at her desk, preparing an extensive report on potential redundancies in the Northumberland office. She cited the resignation of Hartwin, and of an often-drunk warehouse worker who expected to get the axe from her, as early signs of increased efficiency brought about by her efforts. To her surprise, the rest of her recommendations were passed over, the bosses thanking her for her efforts but deciding against more redundancies in the short term. As for Charles Finnegan, he did make up his own mind; he agreed
to stay on at his original salary and half of Hartwin’s, promising to remain just long enough to help Elaine Boyer with the huge undertaking of digitizing all the Herald’s records.
“Until the invisible friend he’d lived with nearly his
whole life became like any other mate from school or a cousin who lived abroad, someone remembered fondly but as a piece of the past. At times, Charles wondered if he had even
existed at all.
He had been right that it would be a years-long project, what with having to scan, tag, and file every article from the newspaper’s full history. The project lasted long enough that Elaine retired before it finished, she and her husband contenting themselves with their garden, evening soaps, and as much travel to seaside resorts as their pensions could comfortably handle. By that point, Charles figured he’d might as well keep on until the task was finished. He never learned that
Jeff Fleischer | Redundancy
Regina Maplewood’s redundancy recommendations hadn’t included him after all. He hadn’t talked to Hartwin since a few days after the resignation letter. Whether out of concern or simple curiosity, his colleagues had asked after him at first, but Charles told them that the two had a row over the sudden loss of income, and that Hartwin had left town. Some of the Herald staff, of course, were just going along with the story, though plenty of people were concerned for Charles and brought him casseroles. Charles Finnegan had enough pride to say he “barely missed” Hartwin and “didn’t think about him that often, to be honest.” It wasn’t exactly a truthful sentiment at first, but it became more true as time passed. Until the invisible friend he’d lived with nearly his whole life became like any other mate from school or a cousin who lived abroad, someone remembered fondly but as a piece of the past. At times, Charles wondered if he had even existed at all.
Eyes Swollen Shut K. Johnson Bowles
The Day My TÍa MarÍa’s Face Fell Down Sandra Cimadori
Tía María’s face fell down on a hot July day while she changed clothes in front of a window fan. Abuela called and I could hear her frantic voice over the phone as I stood close to Mami. We rushed to the subway. I was five so I imagined we were going to Tía María’s apartment to help pick up the pieces of her face and put them back in the right spots. I touched my nose, mouth, eyes. It would be funny to mix everything up. Mami cursed the heat, the subway, the city. The doctor used the word droop when talking about the right side of Tía María’s face. But in Spanish things don’t droop. They fall down. And that’s how it looked to me— eye, cheek, mouth all fallen down, down. “Can you not smile at me, Titi?” I asked. A tear ran down her paralyzed cheek. Abuela blamed it on the fan because cool air on a hot body is dangerous. She also believed night air was full of diseases and that people could make you sick with the evil eye. Mami wanted to know where that bastard Hector was. Hector was Tía María’s husband and a minister.
“He is down in the Bowery saving the souls of whores just like Jesus Christ did,” Tía María said. “He is a man of God,” Abuela said. “He will pray and María will get better.” The doctor looked at us in a way that made me think he did not like us much. It made me sad. “Have you experienced any recent head injuries?” he asked. “Like being pushed out of a moving car?” Mami said. “I slid when Hector made a sharp turn,” Tía María said. “Or being shoved down a flight of stairs?” Mami said. “She tripped. Always so clumsy,” Abuela said. “And how about being knocked to the floor?” Mami said. Then she raised her hand before anyone could speak. “Oh, yeah…sure. You fainted.” Abuela caressed her daughter’s ruined face. “It was the fault of the fan. Cool air on a hot body can be deadly. Hector is a man of God. He will pray and María will get better.” Mami cursed. The doctor left. And I prayed that my Tía María would someday smile at me again.
Patrice Boyer Claeys
We sat sunning ourselves in the window that frigid May. My needles clicked while you ripped stitches your hands got wrong the night before. We talked of recipes, daughters, the tearing down of the temple for hospital parking. I found myself playing up to you by being harsh with my familiars—that man and those children who white me out each day. My moxie a badge of belonging after all else failed? We ate like kings: a feast of meats and sauces, cakes I baked and served. You—the vessel never filled. Such a quiet thing growing up, you boasted between bites, I’d put you in a corner and forget you were there. I steadied you behind a cart as we trolled the market for bargains— a shirt with no sleeves, a purse with no clasp. You offered many gifts. I took only the silver band with fire opal edged in gold. It reminded me of fairies, a soft thought I could never share. I can’t believe you wanted a ring, you scoffed, as if I had asked you to call me by another name. In that evening’s play, one character killed four people. Each blanked at the knife thrusts. Did you just stab me? they’d ask as their heads lolled, eyes fluttering like pale moths. When you left, I carried the box of old toys to the terminal. Your unsure hands fumbled the ID. The wheelchair attendant’s,
Yes, dear, take your time, froze me with fear that smelled of cold stones. As I lifted your feet, you cried, Iâ€™m sorry! embarrassed. I touched your gray hair, startled by its softness, so fine, like down lining a nestâ€”only waiting, waiting.
Linguistics Hilary Sideris
Noam Chomsky argues only human languages combine limited phonemes to render infinite ideas. Our fellow mammals, dolphins, went back to the sea. That they comply when we say, Swim to the white Frisbee on your right, doesnâ€™t count. They can choose not to breathe & die.
Girl in Swimming Pool Roger Camp
Visiting My Autistic Sister David M. Alper
Like a stream, she resides between the shiver and the skin that grasps her shadow. This is where retention commences: the thread of what must be lifts from the braid of what was and hinges inside her now, her present. My sister sways, gone, or gone again and totters like a blade of grass swept by an odd April wind, no more tethered to the past than to the bed on which she sits. She runs her palm against the side of my head: a new shadow falls, a shiver stirs off the wall, and her wind quenches the flame of lifeâ€™s lantern with us dancing to see her new dawn.
Opa’s Bosc Pears David M. Alper
Not all of my picks have been options for a good grandson to take. These pits are in the form of my eye, viewing the knotty core of being. Don’t weep for what you can’t grasp. All fruit falls sometime: that’s what I reaped by watching you live like a pear tree. And when no one was tracking me, I trekked into the sweet reek and heap, steeping around shredded cinnamon-shaded pieces, smashed seeds, ripe enough to take your fallen fruit within me.
Photogram 01 Guilherme Bergamini
Tremors Marlene Olin
No matter where you look, the Tetons hover. There are no foothills, no eased inclines, no lazy-looking buttes. Instead the mountains launch like a rocket straight from the forest floor. It’s like God took a fist and punched the firmament. Then the ground shook and the earth split. This is our twenty-eighth summer in Jackson Hole. Since it’s the gateway to Yellowstone, there are shops and restaurants, hotels and tourists. Dogs bark and children scamper. You’d never know that a fault line runs from one side of the town to the other. Travel sixty miles and the whole world changes. Bubbling mud. Spewing geysers. Brooding calderas. But here, we walk and laugh without a care in the world. Who knows what secrets shift beneath the surface? What trouble lurks that goes unseen? Not a crack in the sidewalk is suspect. Our routine is simple. After a morning of hiking, we cruise the small downtown. This year our daughter is with us. Rachel’s thirty-nine and on the autism spectrum. The family animal lover, she is both awed and overwhelmed by nature’s splendor. For Rachel, the magic of Wyoming never grows old. The moose that trots along a street. The eagle perched atop a pole. Wow, she whispers. That is so awesome.
Gee, she says. That is so cool. We’re outside an art gallery when we see it. The windows are reflective, the sun blindingly bright. Sitting high on a rafter is a sparrow and her nest. And on the pavement below, a few feet from the gallery entrance, is an injured bird. My husband has disappeared. As usual, he is walking, talking, and playing with his cellphone. He was a few feet ahead of us and now he’s missing. Judging by past experience, it will take him a good fifteen minutes to realize we’re gone. Meanwhile Rachel is paralyzed. She’s staring at the bird with her fists by her side, her mouth open, her eyes teary. The bird needs help. Instead of flying, instead of rejoining its family, it flaps its wings. One leg seems to be working while the other isn’t. Instead of taking off, it just pivots, its body circling in a little bird dance. We glance up. Mama bird’s a nervous wreck, pacing the beam back and forth, darting in and out, heading towards her baby, then changing her mind and heading back. Five minutes pass and soon I’m paralyzed, too. We stand and watch. Over and over again, the fledging tries to fly, circling on that one bad foot, its little beak opening
and closing. It’s almost lunchtime. I’m hungry. Could the bird be hungry, too? “No,” says, Rachel. She inches toward the bird trying to inspect it. “That’s just its cry for help.” My husband is still nowhere in sight. For a second, the sky darkens and the earth tilts. I have no idea what to do. Then suddenly, a lady walks out of the art gallery. She’s wearing a full face of makeup, heels, the whole shebang. “Jesus,” she says. She looks at the bird and rolls her eyes. “Again? Really?” Bird crashing seems to happen on a regular basis. “I’ve got a garbage bag if you want it,” she says. “And a pair of yellow gloves.”
you let nature take its
Rachel glances first at the woman, then at me. She doesn’t seem to compute what the woman is implying. Instead she orbits the bird. First on one knee, then the other, she bends down to get a closer look. Then she stands up, moves a quarter turn to the right, and kneels down once more. Like a laser she has zeroed in. Life has no meaning but saving this bird. It’s become a dance of two.
Finally, the gallery woman shrugs her shoulders and leaves. I look around. Strangers are going about their business, toting their packages, licking their ice cream, lugging their kids. The world spins. So I do what everyone does in a crisis: I start dialing numbers on my phone. “Is this Dr. Patterson, the vet? There’s an injured bird on Center Street. Uh huh. Uh huh. I see.” “Is this Spring Creek Clinic? Do you do birds? BIRDS! Aviary medicine. BIRDS!” “Is this Teton Animal Hospital? You do birds? That’s great. That’s truly fantastic!” I’m so excited, I glance up toward mama bird and relay the good news. They do birds. Do you believe it? We’re in luck! But before I can get directions, the receptionist delivers a little speech. Yes, they do birds. Pet birds. But on no uncertain terms do they encourage people to bring wild birds to their office. Soon my fingers are searching for other numbers. “Is this Game and Fish?” When I tell the man our predicament, he is dumbfounded by our stupidity. “You realize, don’t you,” he says, “that the moment you touch that bird, it’s dead. The mother will never help it or accept it once it’s contaminated by human hands.” By now I’m pacing back and forth, too. “So what are you suggesting?” I say.
“Is happiness contagious? Can you catch it like a
cold? Because sometimes, no
we try, wonder turns to
off my tongue. My husband, God bless, is the bright and sunny one. He’s waving a new trail map in his hand. “I hear huckleberries are in season. Who wants to pick huckleberries? I love huckleberries. Huckleberry jam. Huckleberry muffins. Huckleberry pie…” Is happiness contagious? Can you catch it like a cold? Because sometimes, no matter how hard we try, wonder turns to worry. And sometimes, no matter how light our load, gladness feels a little bit like grief.
Marlene Olin | Tremors
“We’re suggesting that you leave the bird alone,” says Game and Fish. “We’re suggesting that you let nature take its course.”
At last Michael returns. In one quick glance, he takes it all in. The bird. His daughter. The nest. The phone. Without saying a word, he ushers his family back to the car. The drive doesn’t take long. The town is soon behind us and the valley opens. And there they are once more: The Tetons, topped in snow and bathed in light. They say that years ago the word “awe” meant terror or dread. And as we drive in our air-conditioned car with the radio on and the windows up, awe once again comes to mind. We see Canada geese flying in formation. Horses gambol in the grass. But no matter how hard I try to blur the image of that baby bird from my mind, I know my daughter. It will take Rachel hours to bounce back from this fiasco. Awe. Awesome. Awful. The words drip
Suicide Watch K. Johnson Bowles
While Out of My Countryâ€™s Reach Anna Sandy-Elrod
On Playa del Postiguet, the torn skin of a golden plum opens, spills its sticky juice onto my wrist, down my arm. I try to catch it with my tongue, blossoming sweet and warm from the sun. Sand sticks to my body, whole and delighted. And in my country, a family is at the grocery store, filling a cart with what keeps them alive, and then, suddenly ripped open as easily as the fruit in my palm. I am afraid to go home and love my husband, afraid to hold an American child, small and hopeful, and pretend, night after night, that we will all make it to tomorrow. I dig my toes farther in the hot beach, then my feet, up to my ankles, an anchoring, a burial, blistering.
Resurrecting the Warbird David S. Osgood
I was thirteen when the cancer took my father. Old enough to comprehend, young enough to shatter me. He spent hours in his workshop building model airplanes, wearing thick bifocals and sticking his tongue out as he pressed glue to plastic. I sat in the stool next to his and created Blackbirds, Hellcats, and Blackjack Bombers. We never talked; we concentrated. He pointed and patted and slowed things down with his hairy hands. I stopped building planes with him when I turned twelve; I think it bruised him. We talked more but connected less. I didn’t know he was sick. He built the last few planes by himself, alone with his disease.
I sat on the sleeper chair next to his hospital bed. Right before he died, he whispered, “I finished it.” He told me where to find it, in a wooden box under the hobby table. The World War II military warbird had taken two years to finish. The last time I worked on it was the last time I worked on anything. My wing wouldn’t stay on and I stormed off, never to sit next to my father again. Yet here I was, holding his hairy hand as his soul exited his body. I found the warbird and marveled at its intricacies, staring at it for hours. Good and bad memories collided and became jumbled until I couldn’t tell whether my time with him was mostly happy or mostly sad.
“Good and bad memories collided and became jumbled until I couldn’t tell whether my time with him was mostly
happy or sad.
I would pass by the workshop and roll my eyes. He never looked up from his work, but he knew I was there. Did he wait for me to open the workshop door, hoping to hear the familiar creak of its rusty hinges, getting a little bit sicker each time I didn’t turn the knob?
I told him I didn’t want to end up like him, just a big kid stuck in an old man’s body doing childish things. I wanted to wake him up and take it all back. Tell him it’s not stupid, it’s cool; it’s not childish, it’s timeless. I carried the warbird outside and waited for the wind to change.
David S. Osgood | Resurrecting the Warbird
Cyrus Bly and his cronies skateboarded down the street, flicking lit cigarettes at each other. I stayed still and hoped they wouldn’t notice me. Cyrus raised his arm and the whole crew stopped and jumped off their skateboards. “Hey, guys, look, it’s little dick Ritchie and his baby airplane!” Cyrus announced. I tucked the plane close to my chest like an unfit mother holding her child for the last time. Cyrus snatched the warbird and pushed me down. He crushed the plane over his knee and kicked the wreckage. They laughed, threw highfives, and skated off. I shuffled the broken pieces around on the lawn like a detective inventorying a dismembered body. I carried them to the workshop and placed them gently on the hobby table. With his bifocals on my head and my tongue out, I began.
Safe Unsafe Deceptions K. Johnson Bowles
What Dreams May Come Lynn Hoggard
He lies asleep, holding in his arms a big red satin heart like the one they took out of him to repair. His legs are sewn up now where the snaky veins were stolen, his stomach punctured for the daily feedings. Inside him, cells fiercely trade, fight, and build anew. He sleeps, but when he wakes, what dreams may come into this carefully mended heart that holds all that has been, all that is, all that yet may be?
Susan Chock Salgy
About 40,000 years ago, somebody entered the Pettakere Cave in the tropical forests of Sulawesi, and emerged with shimmering red hands. It might have been a woman, but for paleolithic Indonesians, the dainty palms and slender fingers might not have meant what they mean for us. Whoever they were, they left behind a perfectly stenciled image of their own two hands on the cold, warty wall of the cave. This was not someone reaching out to steady themselves. This was intentional—a voluntary fixing of self to stone. Someone stood right there and blew ground red ocher and water over their splayed fingers, to layer the fact of themselves into the cave scape.
to the odd jog in the pinkie or curving thumb. So far, experts don’t really know what they were up to when they did it. Whatever the intent, it made a superbly permanent record—a wondrous personal gesture that, like a poem, should not mean, but be. I am very sure I would have tried to leave my handprint too, in a world without writing. We all want to make a lasting mark on the world. ~ The best way to motivate a child like me was to mention the permanent record. As in, “This will be going in your permanent record, so do your very best.” It began with test taking at school, but my parents began to invoke it for anything
“As the only daughter of a Chinese man and a German-
Irish woman who disagreed on most things, I was heir to the one vision they actually shared: their children would
be the best—including me.
You can see remarkably similar hands in caves all over Europe and Asia, near the dancing deer and aurochs. Locals like to put their own hands into the images, looking for the one they fit exactly, down
measurable, that had no immediate consequence. It had an instantly sobering effect. I imagined a list of all my faults, failures, and triumphs, logged with exact precision. This was long before the database and
Library every Saturday, started piano lessons at age four, and practiced three hours a day for most of my childhood. When you imprint the permanent record on someone like me, you are asking for it. It never seemed to hurt me or help me in any material way, but it exerted a specific gravity, shaping my life with its sullen pull. Over time, I mistook it for a friend, the way I came to embrace my old foe, the metronome, for making Mozart possible. I took it to be a tamable beast—
the permanent record on someone like me,
you are asking for it.
powerful, implacable, but ultimately my creature. I grew accustomed to its bitter breath. Which is why I never hesitated as the beast drew me into the cloud. No tickling dread raised the hair on my neck. In fact, I actually helped it along, even knowing what I know. I have spent my professional career building web communities to soothe and inspire software users, writing helpful articles, conducting usability tests to make apps more and
Susan Chock Salgy | Indelible
the computer. It was just somewhere in a metal cabinet with my name on it, and nameless judges reviewed it without mercy. No one told me what it was for. It just hung there over my head, getting bigger by the day. The specter of it haunted my world. As the only daughter of a Chinese man and a German-Irish woman who disagreed on most things, I was heir to the one vision they actually shared: their children would be the best—including me. With a proper Chinese wife, Dad might have been inclined to cut some slack for the girl. Although he was born in Hawaii, he was Chinese enough to expect a lot more from boys. His father’s jiapu (ancestral record) spans ninety generations, and carefully details the names and heroic deeds of all the males, and notes with precision the details of their burial. His mother, whose given name was never written on any official document, teetered painfully through her short life on the three-inch feet her own mother had crushed to ensure she would marry well. She supervised her husband’s household in the Territory of Hawaii at the turn of the century, and she knew her place. Her heroic deeds in the jiapu are the names of her sons. But Dad chose an undiagnosed feminist from Iowa to be our mother, and she had no appetite for invisibility. I learned to read at age three, pulled a red wagon full of books home from the Redding City
more enticing, wearing down all the natural resistance. When technology was new, most people—now called digital immigrants—were deeply skeptical. Where is that cloud, who runs it, and how do they lock its nebulous doors? Who exactly will be able to see my photos, my location, my bank account, my preferences, my email? I helped people surrender their privacy for mind-blowing convenience, and drift into the hyper-connected world on the thin promise of the secure sockets layer. I am not proud of that. ~ For most of human history, there have been practical limitations that governed your capacity to leave something of yourself behind. Life was short, and time ran out before you could do much more than survive childhood and leave your DNA to march on. But when the sky was the limit, as sometimes happens, there were spectacular ways of saying, I was here. In 246 BC, for example, the 13-year-old First Emperor of Qin (say Chin) started work on his necropolis as soon as he took the throne with the boundless hubris of a man-child born under the mandate of heaven. He spent the rest of his tumultuous life preparing to go out in jaw-dropping style. He modeled his mausoleum on his capital, with both inner and outer cities. Not just little models, either—his subterranean rendition of the outer city
is 3.9 miles in circumference. He installed counterparts for all that he treasured most in life, including palaces for a hundred officials, simulated rivers made of mercury mechanized to flow like the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, and of course, all of those terracotta warriors. It was so famously over the top it was looted and viciously vandalized soon after the funeral by some who built it, or had been told about it. Eventually it passed out of the world’s memory with its makers, like the handprints in Pettakere. Then came the drought of 1974, when two farmers, desperately digging for a usable well, got extraordinarily lucky. They hit what turned out to be one of the Emperor’s vast army of more than 8000 terracotta warriors, who had been positioned to defend him against demonic hordes from the underworld, who were expected to demand vengeance for his lifetime of brutality. The one they hit stood on the front line at the farthest right corner of the whole army. He had been beaten and toppled by the embittered looters, and a big piece of his stoic face had come to rest exactly where these farmers decided to dig in the middle of their parched wheat. A foot to the right and the whole army might still be down there in the dark, biding their time. The farmers thought it was a demon, and hauled it to the shaman for exorcism. They may have
wonder. We rarely even stop to read what it finds for us. Our eyes scan the pages in predictable patterns, efficient as a hawk riding the rising thermals over a canyon, looking for rabbits. We are in a terrible hurry—so many possibilities, so little time. No more pulling the red wagon to the library once a week, and hoping for the best. Slow wifi puts us in a killing mood. But quick and easy, it turns out, has come at a catastrophic price. Like the artists who formed the terracotta warriors, we leave something of ourselves behind each time we handle the digital clay. When we open a web page, for example, we pick up cookies like little STDs, that remember us and what we did there. Our movements across the worldwide web leave permanent scratches—like jet trails that never dissipate. The data that flows every minute from your wrist, your car, your bed, your phone, indeed, everything you do with your apps—to which you cheerfully surrendered your rights by agreeing to the Terms and Conditions—can be used without your knowledge to both make life more convenient and do you great harm. Digital assistants on smart phones and watches, like Siri and Alexa, are always listening for their name, like palace ser-
Susan Chock Salgy | Indelible
been closer to the truth than anyone knew—the emperor’s real army was famously cruel as they laid waste to their neighboring kingdoms, and each statue was individually modeled on an actual live warrior. Instead of burying the actual soldiers, as emperors had done before, the innovative Qin got the idea to commission these life-sized effigies, to the great relief of the soldiers, one must suppose. As with my grandmother, his women were not as lucky as his men. All of the wives and concubines who had not produced a son were buried with him, to entertain him in the afterlife. Effigies would not suffice for this. Nothing, it appears, was too much to ask for the First Emperor of Qin. Sometimes in the fired clay inside the broken heads you can find the thumb prints of the artists who created them. For a permanent record connoisseur, the implications are breathtaking. Beneath these images of real men are the loops and whorls of their makers, baked inside. Perhaps we could scan their fingerprints into a database, to trace their genealogy. Indeed, the farmers may have been some of their direct descendants. Anything is possible when you think long and forever. ~ Up here in the withering heat of the digital day, no one waits. Anyone with a smart phone can pull down almost anything the world has learned in the time it takes to briefly
vants standing invisibly by the wall, and thus can hear everything said out loud in the rooms they are in. So far, the experts can’t say for sure what the vendors are up to with all of that. But we have already seen the consequences. The combined minutiae of your past, including even the idlest of misconstrued conversations, in the hands of the enemy, can ruin a career, limit the schools you can attend, the offices you can hold, the jobs you will be offered. Just ask Brett Kavanaugh. The nameless judges I dreaded as a child aren’t nameless at all: they are legion. And they have access to every bit and byte of the lives we lead. We have entrusted our data— the stuff that represents us in every material way in the modern world—to the companies who make our apps (and whose Terms and Conditions we sign). And to their sly insiders secretly rejiggering the world from within the source code. And all of their hackers. And every rogue employee who ever got
open source component woven into their product, to the HVAC team that works on their building after hours. And then we must trust that national security algorithms, ablaze with predictive analytics, will get it right, when it comes to us. Will never conclude that we ourselves cannot be trusted because of what we are reading on our Kindle, or what we Liked, or Googled, or ordered on Amazon Prime, or what our friends are saying, who we kissed in college, how we dressed for Halloween, or what we said about the news when Alexa was around. This burden of trust is lopsided in the extreme. We are expected to pony up boundless faith in the legal guardians of our privacy. But those selfsame guardians, for their part, have precious little faith in us, and will collect and save our personal information by the terabyte until they can bury us alive, like all those luckless concubines. This is why Edward Snowden lives in Moscow.
“We have come unmoored from our promised land,
where you could change your mind, make a fresh start, turn over a new leaf, learn your lesson. a pink slip. We likewise must trust their entire supply chain, from the developers in offices and basements around the world working on every
We have come unmoored from our promised land, where you could change your mind, make a fresh start, turn over a new leaf, learn
kings and queens of the ancient State of Chu, which was founded around 1030 BC. I know this because their names and deeds were beautifully written on bamboo slips, which were sewn together like big sushi mats, rolled up, and stored in special rooms in the palace. This was considered the greatest treasure of the ruling house—proof of the mandate of heaven resting on their bloodline. When the first Emperor of Qin conquered the kingdom of Chu (while his workers were laboring bitterly on his terracotta army), he decreed that all the royal ancestral Chu records should be burned. He was no fool. He knew the dangers of the permanent record. Happily, for my family, the keepers of the Chu records hurriedly buried them in unmarked locations, where they were safely lost for hundreds of years. These things can be very patient— waiting, waiting, down there in the dark. ~ If it’s any consolation, I’m in as deep as anyone by now. My Fitbit measures my swinging arm against each day’s journey. It hovers over my nightmares and joins my SleepNumber bed to chronicle my sleepless nights. My DNA analysis is mapped to my online family tree, and I get two or three hits a week from freshly
Susan Chock Salgy | Indelible
your lesson. We have drifted into a quicksilver sea where every angry tweet, impolitic email, casual joke, and vulgar Snapchat can be used to enforce a weirdly Puritanical accountability for literally everything we have ever said, laughed at, repeated, or wondered about, as if we just did it today, in court, under oath. This graceless, implacable judgement was never possible before. It violates a fundamental human expectation: that today’s edition of you and me can (and often will) be a little better than yesterday’s. It makes the rear-view mirror—where objects are closer than they appear— the only view that matters. Why do we live like this? It’s simple: because we want to. We have run happily headlong into the arms of the beautiful destroyer. The online world where this weaponsgrade memory is born is just too prodigiously convenient, sexy, and addictive to ever relinquish. We need it now and always, like crack. We have decided, if we ever thought about it, that the beast is tame enough to trust. But in truth, we are looking at the most lethal kind of permanent record in history. It is the real-life bogeyman that haunted my childhood, more real than my mother knew, more terrible than I imagined. It carries our own fingerprints, baked into its face. There’s really no one else to blame. ~ My Chinese forebears were the
minted Chinese, Irish, and German relatives exploring the mysteries encoded in their saliva. I tell myself, as I stare into the grainy darkness above my pillow, at least now I can follow the spoor of the beast, and see what it has been eating.
Bark of the Artic No. 3 John Chavers
White Chickens Cymelle Leah Edwards
Before us is a wilderness we’re prepared for, looks just as it did ten years ago Even the cabins facing into these woods look the same, in Kabetogama We’re the only change, the only mock and drag of nature’s relentless lure As mother and daughter portage our canoes toward the lake, She tells me the story again From her childhood, the one where she gets caught in the undertow, And tells it with such fear, believing the repetition will Somehow mitigate the water Bent around my ankles if I let it, On our way we pass pine, aspens crowd granite islands, A cabin unfolds into the brush, Its yard replete with picnic waste and chickens glowing In the dusk a small boy chases them I smile when he finally catches one Then, Twists its veiny neck And tethers the bleeding beak to a nearby stump He’s too weak to hold the flapping thing so it escapes, Shakily, and returns to the rest When we arrive at the water’s edge I promise to be careful—but know I’d rather be with the chickens.
Art Guilherme Bergamini is a Brazilian reporter, photographic and visual artist, with a degree in journalism. For more than two decades, he has developed projects with photography and the various narrative possibilities that art offers. The works of the artist dialogue between memory and social political criticism. He believes in photography as the aesthetic potential and transforming agent of society. Awarded in national and international competitions, Guilherme has participated in collective exhibitions in thirty countries. K. Johnson Bowles has exhibited in more than 80 solo and group exhibitions nationally. Feature articles, essays, and reviews of her work have appeared in forty publications around the country including SPOT (Houston Center for Photography), Sculpture, Fiberarts, and the Houston Post. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship and a Houston Center for Photography Fellowship. Recently, she served as an artist in residence at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. She received her M.F.A. in photography and painting from Ohio University and B.F.A. in painting from Boston University. Roger Camp is the author of three photography books including the award winning Butterflies in Flight (Thames & Hudson, 2002) and Heat (Charta, Milano, 2008). His work has appeared in numerous journals including The New England Review, New York Quarterly, and the Vassar Review. His work is represented by the Robin Rice Gallery, NYC. John Chavers enjoys working as an artist and photographer. His work has appeared in The Oakland Review, THAT Literary Review, Azahares Literary Magazine, Saw Palm, and The Healing Muse among others. Recent juried exhibitions include the Missoula Art Museum, Foundry Art Center, Amarillo Museum of Art, Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Gallery, Orr Street Studios, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and Purdue University Fountain Gallery, as well as a recent solo show at the Deiglan Gilfélagið Gallery in Akureyri, Iceland. In June 2020, he will be a guest artist with The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SIM) at Seljavegur in Reykjavík.
Sandra Cimadori was born in New York and grew up in South Florida in a multilingual home. She graduated from Florida State University. She teaches and writes, dividing her time between North Carolina and Florida. Visit her online at: www.sandracimadori.com Jeff Fleischer is a Chicago-based author, journalist and editor. His fiction has appeared in more than fifty publications including the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, Shenandoah, The Saturday Evening Post, and So It Goes by the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. He is also the author of nonfiction books including Votes of Confidence: A Young Person’s Guide to American Elections (Zest Books, 2016 and 2020), Rockin’ the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries (Zest Books, 2015), and The Latest Craze: A Short History of Mass Hysterias (Fall River Press, 2011).
Contributors | Issue 20
David S. Osgood is a short story writer. He resides in FuquayVarina, North Carolina, where rural and suburban collide among crepe myrtles. He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of Southern California. David has been recently published in O:AJ&L, Crack the Spine, Firewords, Peregrine Journal, Treehouse, Eastern Iowa Review, awaiting publication in the tiny journal, and won honorable mention awards from SAWG, New Millennium Writing and Sunshots. You can find him at: www.davidsosgood.com
Nonfiction Marlene Olin was born in Brooklyn, raised in Miami, and educated at the University of Michigan. Her short stories have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Catapult, The American Literary Review, and Arts and Letters. She is the recipient of both the 2015 Rick Demarinis Fiction Award and the 2018 So To Speak Fiction Prize. Her twitter handle is: @writestuffmiami Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, Asian American, and neurodivergent writer exploring the West. They’re often lost in the kaleidoscope of their intersectional identity. Their work most recently appears or
is forthcoming in The Chaffin Journal, Cold Mountain Review, Foothill, and Noble / Gas Qtrly, among others. Presently, they’re infiltrating a small conservative town full of cowboys in the middle of the Nevada desert. Susan Chock Salgy lives in Provo, Utah where she writes professionally about software technologies and owns a small business that provides digital strategy and user experience consulting to some of the world’s largest software providers. Her poetry appears in the anthology, 22 Young Mormon Writers, and elsewhere.
Poetry David M. Alper is a high school AP English teacher in New York City, residing in Manhattan. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Northridge Review, Apeiron Review, Tilde Lit, Obra/Artifact, and Glassworks. C.W. Bigelow lived in nine northern states, both east and west, before moving south to the Charlotte, North Carolina area. His short stories and poems have appeared in Fish Food Magazine, The Flexible Persona, Crack the Spine, Sick Lit Magazine, Midway Journal, Poydras Review, Cleaning Up Glitter, The Blue Mountain Review, among others, with pieces forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys, Blood & Bourbon, and The Courtship of Winds. Patrice Boyer Claeys graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Manchester, and completed a certificate in poetry from the Writer’s Studio of the University of Chicago. Her first collection, Lovely Daughter of the Shattering, was published by Kelsay Books in 2019. Forthcoming work: “Literary Mama,” “Pirene’s Fountain,” “Zone 3,”and “The Passed Note.” Her second collection, The Machinery of Grace, is due from Kelsay Books in 2020. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2019) and Best of the Net (2014, 2019). Find her at: www.patriceboyerclaeys.com Jason B. Crawford (he/they) is a black, non-binary male, bi-poly-queer writer born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Lansing, Michigan. In addition to being published in online literary magazines, such as Wellington Street Review, Barren Magazine, The Amistad, and Kissing Dynamite, he is also the Editor in Charge for The Knight’s Library Magazine. His chapbook collection Summertime Fine is a Short List selection for Nightingale & Gale.
Cymelle Leah Edwards is an M.F.A. candidate at Northern Arizona University. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Contra Viento, Essay Daily, Elm Leaves Journal, WKTLO, and elsewhere. She currently works as a freelance research assistant in the special collections department at Cline Library and helps turnout horses in her free time.
Contributors | Issue 20
Barbara Daniels’ Talk to the Lioness is forthcoming from Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Barbara’s poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. She received three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Lynn Hoggard’s poems have appeared in dozens of peer-reviewed journals across the United States. Her books include three translations, a memoir, Motherland: Stories and Poems from Louisiana (Lamar University Press, 2014), and a poetry collection, Bushwhacking Home (TCU Press, 2017). She is also a past president of the American Literary Translators Association. Her translation from the French of Marie d’Agoult’s Nelida was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters Soeurette Diehl Fraser award for best translation in 2003. Find her online at: www.lynnhoggard.com and www.facebook.com/lynnhoggardwriter DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019). Anna Sandy-Elrod is a PhD poet at Georgia State University, and Editor in Chief of New South Journal. She is also a founder of Birdcoat Quarterly and Ghost Peach Press. Her poetry and essays can be found or are forthcoming in the Green Mountains Review, Adirondack Review, Calyx, Fugue, Arkana, North American Review, Threepenny Review, and others. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three cats. Hilary Sideris has recently published poems in Alabama Literary Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Bellevue Literary Review, Gravel, The Lake, Main Street Rag, Rhino, Salamander, and Southern Poetry Review. She is the author of Most Likely to Die (Poets Wear Prada, 2014),
The Inclination to Make Waves (Big Wonderful, 2016), Un Amore Veloce (Kelsay, 2019), and The Silent B (Dos Madres, 2019). Sideris has a B.A. in English literature from Indiana University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writersâ€™ Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn. Anne M. Terashima lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She holds an M.A. in writing and publishing from DePaul University. Her work has appeared in Poetry East and Red Rock Stories: Three Generations of Writers Speak on Behalf of Utahâ€™s Public Lands.
Contributors Poetry David M. Alper C.W. Bigelow Patrice Boyer Claeys Jason B. Crawford Barbara Daniels Cymelle Leah Edwards Lynn Hoggard DS Maolalai Anna Sandy-Elrod Hilary Sideris Anne M. Terashima
Art Guilherme Bergamini K. Johnson Bowles Roger Camp John Chavers
Fiction Sandra Cimadori Jeff Fleischer David S. Osgood Nonfiction Marlene Olin Dani Putney Susan Chock Salgy
Issue 20: a publication of Rowan University's Master of Arts in Writing