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FALL 2018


FALL 2018

Editors: Komal Mathew and Jenny Sadre-Orafai Josephine Quarterly (ISSN 2334-5888) is an online literary journal accepting only unpublished poetry and art. This online journal was founded in 2012 by poets Komal Mathew and Jenny Sadre-Orafai in Atlanta. Published quarterly online, the editors are interested in work from both established and new voices. Cover Image: “The Double� by Yaron Lapid

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FALL 2018

About the Journal

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Helen on how her daughter reacted | Kristen Brida after she returned from Troy

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Onward | Callista Buchen

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A Tired Women on a Dirty Coast | James Grinwis Examines the Self with Pale Hands, A Tiny Scar on Each of Her Fingers

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O God, O Galaxy: An Origin Story | Lucas Pingel

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Trances of the Atlantic | Liam Powell

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About Trees | Kate Lindroos

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Night Life | Kate Lindroos

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A Work of Art | Lindsey Warren

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Contributors

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FALL 2018 Helen on how her daughter reacted after she returned from Troy Kristen Brida She saw me & asked if she could call me mom, mommy or Helen. She asked if she could hug me & before I could answer she wrapped her arms around me & I felt more terrarium than mother. My daughter turned my hands over saw the hinge of skin & asked me if I was related to Jesus & all I could do was shrug. My daughter’s mouth was emptier than I remembered, but my husband told me this was normal w/ girls her age. Except, my daughter cupped out her hands & her teeth gathered there like communion/petals after summer—I jump back & forth between similes. My daughter would sit on the porch swing I would look out the window, see her pour. At night, she’d gather her teeth on the nightstand the white of them permeated the black. I snuck in to inspect the teeth for blood but they were so white I could not directly look at them, so I went downstairs to retreat in the black. The next morning my daughter’s mouth was full again. I saw her step out for the bus & in the sunlight I could see through her skin like contact paper or smoke. I saw her body bloodless mostly colorless liver ribs stomach full of toast & eggs. I could see everything but her heart, which was covered by a blue spider instead.

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FALL 2018 Onward Callista Buchen Woman, turn your feet around. Be asleep in your body. When you walk, act as if your arms are open windows, like your body is all mortar and brick. Woman, turn inward. Stretch into the crack. When hands reach for your body, you cry out. They say, smile, woman. This time, you use all your teeth and snap. The dirt flies. You are so hungry.

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FALL 2018 A Tired Women on a Dirty Coast Examines the Self with Pale Hands, A Tiny Scar on Each of Her Fingers James Grinwis This has little to do with the substance of a romp through the wilderness of the other, the caves like lengths of bundling wire, all kinds of yellow-green trees poking from the rocks, fire ants pivoting in the wing lines of bats, seeking dominion over the niches and obscure regions that someone somewhere holds against one, and one holds against distant lights. A whale is flopping around a giant tidepool. A judge is considering a complaint against the zoning commission. Plus a stooped lighthouse hermit with a seal-skin rag rubbing out a smudge or maybe plugging and unplugging a surge protector, lovingly. What is it that creeps through, hauling an armoire of dirt, the need to disappear a constant ocean-going wave. To feel at consistent loss. To put oneself where one won’t survive. To ache as if beached.

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FALL 2018 O God, O Galaxy: An Origin Story Lucas Pingel A gift from an unidentified drifter fell to my feet, gave me power. My footsteps collected light, tagged the ground until I could walk these parts unknown to me no more. I remember a call from home, I remember the radio signal of my mother’s heartbeat, the way it cocooned me. Did I break it apart, or could we fix it with a guitar string and some glue? Dear Universe, pieces of you run away from home and die every second. How do you keep it together? Someone should make you an ashtray. Once, I looked away from the road for a second. When I focused, the continents had divorced and I was floating alone in an ocean. It doesn’t matter how old I was. You hung a sun for company, you sent flowers and crashed airplanes to pass the time. It felt familiar. It felt like I was pregnant with a brave new galaxy and my feet just got real wet.

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FALL 2018

Trances of the Atlantic

Liam Powell

The green vocals of the sea inch closer. At night their stillness continues audibly and only Andromeda can be seen. The East extends indefinitely. What we thought contained multitudes we found to be instead one thing: not East. In the way our experience of history is: not now. We enter its greenness and are pushed back changed together with the stars and the oldest life, we turn slowly and lend ourselves back to earth with our stories in a cold comprehensible only as fourth degree burn. All that we touch now is artifact. Such that the floodlit field on the horizon is precious to me, and whatever happens from here is reenactment 8


FALL 2018 and here, we are so near the stars my one leg becomes two, my one hand three – our bodies in the cold behave as light and if there is a color to the dark it is green green as the sea that brought us here.

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FALL 2018

About Trees

Kate Lindroos

For some reason I try to describe the movement of wind and the existence of things like trees and wind, lions and thunderstorms, but will not work to describe the same of the bathtub I tell you it is something to be in the bathtub as a woman it is like floating with all the women who have ever bathed in all the different places they bathed in with similar feelings of warmth and similar feelings of water it is how leaves must feel at the end of themselves in the middle of a fast thunderstorm.

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FALL 2018 Night Life Kate Lindroos The creature that knows darkness as something not dark and therefore knows light as something an eye is meant to close itself to knows light’s fading as something beginning and the subsequent re-arrival as signaling temporary end is always outside at this moment doing one part of either and everything written has as silent audience or subject this life aside it, though even that which attempts to examine it directly cannot do so completely as it is half shadow even when there be no sun.

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FALL 2018 A Work of Art

Lindsey Warren

I wanted to return my mother’s cake tin but she disappeared. Long before she died she disappeared. A body under some snow was what I was thinking: thoughts through a doom that had one breath free. The snow didn’t know for sure but I stretched out on it anyway, and a fear left the dark outline of my figure so I could be clear with the sky. Night came to knowing my mother had never baked a cake by its light or lightlessness, that that was just something I had wished for so I could feel lit from the inside. Forgive me. In my ears the earth turned and I sensed the stars wobble for shining in the room winter made. A room for those who thought that there was nothing they couldn’t know but still doubted, a room where I found myself in the middle of a story I couldn’t leave. The cake tin was cold to the touch, the waffle moon, perfect and giving, knew where all the birds were sleeping. No one knew where I was sleeping, I was alone and cold, the sketch of my shadow on the snow a fanatic purple, the weight of death a weightlessness I couldn’t bear.

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FALL 2018

Kristen Brida's poems have appeared in The Journal, Fairy Tale Review, New Delta Review, Barrelhouse, Whiskey Island, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Hobart, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from George Mason University. She is currently the Marketing Editor in Charge of Promotions for Gazing Grain Press. Kristen works in publishing in Philadelphia, and tweets @kristenbrida. Callista Buchen is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press) and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals, and she is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award and DIAGRAM's essay contest. James Grinwis is the author of The City From Nome (TNPR Press) and Exhibit of Forking Paths (Coffee House / National Poetry Series), both appearing in 2011. Recent journals where his poems have appeared include Hotel Amerika, Poetry Northwest, and Willow Springs. Kate Lindroos lives in western Massachusetts. Her chapbook, The Costume of a Hunter, is out now from Factory Hollow Press. Recent poems appear in jubilat, Sixth Finch, Barrow Street, Permafrost, Cover, Big Big Wednesday, Sugar House Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Gramma Poetry, and Vinyl. Lucas Pingel is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Yes, I Am Sure This Was a Beautiful Place (Strange Cage, 2013). His poetry and reviews have appeared most recently in Notre Dame Review, Chariton Review, Heavy Feather Review, and Lake Effect. He is an assistant professor at St. Catherine University in the Twin Cities, where he lives with his wife, Autumn, and son, Charlie. Liam Powell is a writer living in Brooklyn. A semi-finalist for the 2017 Boston Review Discovery prize, his work has been featured or is forthcoming in Fields, Maggy, the Indianapolis Review, Gasher, Hellscape, and elsewhere. He is former poetry editor of Columbia: A Journal. Lindsey Warren is a recent graduate of Cornell University’s MFA program. She is currently at Cornell not as a student, but as a freshman writing instructor and a creative writing teacher. She has been published in The Fox Chase Review, Broadkill Review, Icarus Down, Secret Lovers Press, Lame Kid Zine, Rubbertop Review, Marathon Review, GASHER Journal and Hobart, and am forthcoming in Dark Wood and Figure 1. Lindsey has had an excerpt of my long poem “Incantation” on display as an exhibit at the Biggs Museum in Dover, Delaware. She is the recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship and have been a finalist for the Delaware Literary Connection Prize and the Joy Harjo Prize.

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Profile for Komal Mathew

Josephine Quarterly | Fall 2018  

Josephine Quarterly | Fall 2018  

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