24 jagannath rao adukuri andhra pradesh, india The Village Eighty and Five Children in the Rain Screws Loose Children in the Afternoon
26 2 katherine mansfield Deñíz
3 edip efendí Sefername
4 BAŞ KABÎMÎZDA ON THE COVER Suvi Mahonen Photo: Elizabeth Bull
taner murat scythia minor Kókten sesler - Temúçin (VII)
6 vincent capone lantern journal Interview
9 tom sheehan massachusetts, usa The House No One Lived In
12 NAZAR LOOK Attitude and culture magazine of Dobrudja’s Crimean Tatars Tomrîğa Kîrîm Tatarlarîñ turuşmamuriyet meğmuwasî ISSN: 2069-4784 www.nazar-look.com firstname.lastname@example.org Constanta, Romania FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF BAŞ-NAŞIR Taner Murat EDITORS NAŞIRLER Emine Ómer Uyar Polat COMPUTER GRAPHICS SAYAR SÎZGAĞÎSÎ Elif Abdul Hakaan Kalila (Hakan Calila) CREATIVE CONSULTANTS ESER KEÑEŞÇÍSÍ Sariy Duran
Copyright reverts back to contributors upon publication. The full issue is available for viewing online from the Nazar - Look website. For submission guidelines and further information, please stop by www.nazar-look.com
stephanie valente new york, usa "Asteria Music" May I Ask Who Is Calling? "Love In The Time Of A Mortgage Crisis"
14 j. j. steinfeld prince edward island, canada Skilful Forgeries The Buoyancy of Consciousness Timekeeping - Anlar hesabî Refusing to Escape - Kaşuwga karşî kelmek You Have Found the Most Miraculous Silence Photo Albums Rescued from Fires
18 mewlana jalaluddin rumi Because I Cannot Sleep
19 tu fu Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River
20 valery petrovskiy chuvash republic, russia Mailman Ever Comes Back
22 hector lopez texas, usa #17 - the long walk shadows from seeds of hatred
alan dennis harris michigan, usa Pearls - Dúrdaneler Pre-Flight - Uşmazdan ewel Emancipated Innocence - Ğetíşken sábiylík
28 suvi mahonen queensland, australia Interview One Last Celebration
36 dan hedges quebec, canada Lobsters and Hipsters Judy Garland Part Two Five Questions for the Literary Control-Mongers
38 edmund spencer Travels in Circassia, Krim Tartary, &c. (II)
40 aziz amet (ametov) crimea (ukraine) Photoshop - Vineyards in Massandra, Crimea
CONTRIBUTORS MEMBALAR Jagannath Rao Adukuri Aziz Amet (Ametov) Elizabeth Bull Vincent Capone Jim Harrington Alan Dennis Harris Dan Hedges Lantern Journal Vlad Kidanov Hector Lopez Suvi Mahonen Valery Petrovskiy Tom Sheehan J. J. Steinfeld Rod C. Stryker Stephanie Valente Brenda Whiteway QHA
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(1888 - 1923)
Deñíz Mení Deñíz şakîrdî – Ğatîp otîra edím taşlarnîñ ústúnde we ayttîm: "Keldím." O mení aşalatîp tíşlerín akşayttî, Uzatîp yeşíl uzun kollarîn. "Ketsí!" dep gúdúrdedí. "Ayse ka-teğegímní ayt" dep ğalîndîm. "Eger sení taşlap ketsem, susmazsîñ, Kasabalarda atîmnî bakîrîp şakîrarsîñ We moñ şegíp ğalbarîrsîñ kîrlarda-tawlarda; Saga kelmek úşún herşiyímden bazgeştím, aytsî, ka-tiyím?" "Men atîñnî heşbírwakît şakîrmadîm", mîrîldadî Deñíz. "Seníñ vuğutuñda menden bírşiy kalmadî, Şo kíşkenekíy tuzlî kózyaşlarîñdan başka. Otîrgan kawerengí yastîk taşîñda sen mením súygúmden ne añlarsîñ ke… Yaklaş." (Taner Murat'nîñ terğúmesínde)
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Sefername (eserden parşa)
...Ğígít kolînda kamşî bar, míníğílíkke kaber bar. Ey, oglanlar, toplaşîñ, tezden bízge sefer bar! Alaşalar nallansîn, ok-ğaylarî maylansîn, Eger agaş bakîlîp, kawurmalar kaynalsîn. Al kîlîşnî askîdan, şek kayraknî yúzúne, Kîlîşîñ eger ak bolsa, kara túşmez kózíñe. Ekí tîrşaw, bír harkan asîñîz eger kaşîna, Kîzîl meşín nazarlîk tagîñîz atnîñ başîna. Seferlík atnî semírtme, dónen bolsa arîmaz, Semíz atîñ yol almaz, bargandan soñ yaramaz. Çekmeníñní tartîp kíy, kalpagîñnî basîp kíy, Ğolda yoktîr anayîñ, keregíñní bakîp ğîy. Keldí emír saraydan, şîktîk ğolga Mamaydan, Duwamnî aldîm anaydan, oklarîmnî babaydan. Tal terektír Mamaylar, ğaw yúrektír Mamaylar, Erdel aşîp sefer bar, helal etíñ agaylar! Egerlendí al torî, başî yîldîz kaşkadîr, Han kolînda ğígít kóp, Mamay begí başkadîr. Yetmíş çora yanînda, at oynatîp şîktîlar. Yetmíş ana yetmíş tas suw septíríp şîktîlar. Duwa etíp anayîm, şîdamadî, bayîldî, Yetmíş atnîñ tozanî, tuman bolîp ğayîldî... Toplaş boldî bízlerge Gazî Kermen şólínde,
Kîzîl ğawlîk, kara kamşî ğúmlemízníñ elínde. Tattan keldí odaman, Kefe túbí karaman, Barîn, Argîn, Kart Kîpçak ğúmlesínden koğaman. Kîrîm Geray tóremíz, yetíşíp keldí Kermende, Şîrîn, Barîn beylerí selam turdî Saymende. Dawul-zurna, toy-bayram, yedí kúnde toplaştîk, Yetmíş kurban şaldîrîp, ğaw yollarîn oylaştîk. Yedí bíñ oglan bír bolîp, atnî suwdan teptírdík, Yedí sáát bír tînîş Ak Ğîlgada geşírdík... Erdel şeherí ak şeher, koğamandîr Ğamísí, Bo şeherde katîştî bízge Bogdan tóresí. Bogdan bayar zor bayar, edíyesí kîrklama, Kîrk aygîr man, kîrk boga – ğúmlesí hep saylama. Han şadîrî karşîna kuruldî bayar şadîrî, Sîylawuna koydîlar sîylamağî batîrnî. Adil Geray Bogdan man keñeştíler tañgaşîk, Kopay lehlí panînîñ kopaylîgîn alganşîk. Kara kuşlar ílerí, ekí kolda Ak kuşlar, At nallanîr, kayrak oynar, agartîlîr kîlîşlar. Kaber aldîk, ğolîmîz batak, orman, ak tíken, Bo seferge saw ketíp, kímler saw kaytar eken?.. Bízler kîpçak oglîmîz, şamîrga batar şîgarmîz, Kúneş şîksa kurutur, suw tabîlsa şaykarmîz. Baş yazîsîn kóz kórer, ğígít her şiyge kóner, Ğan kurtulsa selamet, aguw ağğî hem óter.
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Kókten sesler - Temúçin (VII) Kesím 21 Bokşî Bay, Bogdan Doggan, Bok Kîzlar bír esnaga kadar taa kúlúşúp algan soñ, bírtaa ses bírleştíríp, dúrkí aytîp kaldîlar. O da awulnuñ íşíne kírdí. Awulnuñ ortasînda bír súrúw bala-balaşîk, kóbísín ústí yarî şîpalak, oynap tura edíler. Atlî awğunî kórgende oyînnî taşlap ğaşînağaşîna siyír ettíler. Şadîrlarnîñ kapîsîndan, ğîrtîlîp kalgan teşíklerden, hep şonday siyír etíp karap turgan, akîya ğíbergen koşakkoşak kózler de bar. Ózí barîp kíreğek şadîrnîñ íşínden şîgîp, bír apakay onî kóríp: - Kír! - dep kapî aldînda toktadî. - Koş boldîk! - dedí Bodonğar. - Ğúr, íşerge kír! - dedí apakay, şadîrnîñ kapîsîn kósteríp. - Kíriyím, bariy. - degenşík, şo apakay kaytîp íşerge sínewuydî. Şadîrnîñ íşínden karma-karîşîk sesler kele. Íşkenler, gálba. Baylî turgan bírkaş atnîñ katîna Bodonğar da barîp ózín atîn baylap taşladî. "Bo apakay delí mí, şo? Kír - dep, ózí kíríp ğok bola. Kartşagayîmnî ka-termen?" dep túşúnúp turganda, íşerden başka biyke şîktî. Ózín gúzellígí yetmiyğektiy, şáşí sarî, yeşíl kózlí, yúzí bem-biyaz. Şîrayîna karasa, şîrayî Bodonğarga heş yabanğî kelmegendiy boldî. Sañkem bír yakînlîk bar, bírewge uşatkan gibí boldî. - Ğúr! Şonday kírewuy, kartşagayîñ man! - dep bo apakay da íşíne karay beríp başka istikametke ketiyatîr. Bodonğar "Bek yakşî bír biyke. Koğasî yîkpallî eken, bek bakît bír insan bolmalî" túşúndí de: - Kayîrlî kúnler! - dep kírdí. Şadîrnîñ íşí yakşî, ğîllî, ot ğana. Yarîkólekede, akayî-apakayî tógerekliy otîrgan, íşe ekenler. Baya íşkenler nasîl kóríne. Sápír kírgenín abaylamay, bír-bírsín
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awuzuna karamay, alaysî bírden konîşîp tura. Niyse, bír yer kósterílíp, otîrdî. Bír kóşede kartşagayîna da yer taptî. Úynúñ ortasînda kona bar, onîñ ústúnde kîmîz man kadesí. Herkez ózín íşíne karay. Kelgen sápírden laf-katír soragan yok. Bírew aylanîp karamay. "Bonlarnîñ ádetlerí ne kadar kuğurlî eken! Kaydan kelgenímní, kaysî yakka ketkenímní soramaylar. Kím ekenímní soramaylar, bírem. Kîmîz ortada tura. Ózlerí kuyup, ózlerí íşeler, sápírge yok. Bo ne píşím ádetler eken? Kayday ádetler, bo?" dep ózí-ózí men tanîşîp kalgan edí, Bodonğar. Koğalarîna sarîlîp ğabîşkan, íşerde ekí biyke de bar. Tartîlmay, perdesíz, akayîapakayî ólşewsúz haleketlerín miydanga şîgarîp, oynaklaşîp tura edíler. "Aydî, íşkí başlarîna míníp, bírbírsínden utanmay, diyík! Amma añlaşîlganîna kóre bonlar sápírden de utanmay. Bo îrknîñ ne terbiyesí, ne utanuwî bar eken. Bo kuğurlî îrknîñ yaluwdan, utanuwdan kaberí yok eken" Herkez arasînda ánawdan-mínawdan, bolağaktan-bolmayğaktan sóz etíp turganda, Bodonğarnîñ dogrîsînda otîrgan bírsí: - Bokşî Bay, sorap karasî, sápírden! Neşín íşmiy eken? - dep ayttî, Bodonğarnîñ katîndakîsîna karap. - Ne bíliyím, Bogdan bogdan - boktan Doggan doggan - tuwgan? Íşmiydír, taa. Íşkísí kelse íşer, taa. - dedí, bo da. - Yok, yok. Kuyup íşsín, yoksam sîrasî atlar. - dedí, bírtaa, Bogdan Doggan dep aytîlgan akay. Bodonğar kadení totîrîp, kóteríp íştí. Taa ne desín? Atlarîn eşítmegen gibí boldî, añlamagan kíşí boldî. Ka-tsín? Bonday yersíz şakaga karşîlîk bereğek mí? "Bokşî Bay!? Bogdan Doggan!? Bonday da at bolatan mî? Bolmaz, bolmaz, bonlar látife yerín bílmiy ekenler. Sápírge
www.tanermurat.com onday látife yapkanşîk, kîmîzîn kuygaydîlar" dep taağúplendí mísápír, kadení yeríne salîp. Túş kóre mí, şo? Yoksam bonlar yerlí-yersíz şaka etíp ğúreler mí? Akîlî karîştî. Ondan soñra, onîñ kúnbatarînda yer algan, Bokşî Bay dep aytîlgan kíşí de íştí. Bír tînîştan, onîñ batarîndakîsî. Soñra, şonîñ batarîndakîsî da. Ána, Bodonğarnîñ akîlî ğettí, tógerekliy kete ekenler. Sîra man, bír başîndan alîp, ánaw başîna şîga ekenler. Kîskaayaklîlar da hep şo sîrada. Túşkende, onlarnîñ sîrasîn da tanîy ekenler. "Bolatan mî, bonday şiy? Kîmîz íşkende sîra tógerekliy ketsín? Heş eşítmegen edím. Sápír degendiy şiy sayîlmay, bír sîraga kíre. Mañlay kaysî bírsí ekení bellí bolmay, hep şo sîraga kírgen. Yaş bírem ayîrîp saymaylar. Akayî-apakayî,
ğaşî-kartî, sîrasî kalay rast kelse, şo sîrasî man kete. Bo neday ádet eken?" dep Bodonğarnîñ zaten karîşîp kalgan akîlî, taa bek karîştî. Katînda otîrgan, Bokşî Bay dep şakîrîlgan akay, oga aylanîp: - Kîmîzîmîznî begendíñ mí, ulá? Árúw mí? - dep soradî. Şay-típ soraganda, yúzún oga aylandîrîp soraganî úşún, oñ kulagîna tagîlgan sîrgasîn kórdí. - Begenmiytan mî? Begendím. - Ayse sîrañ kelgende awuzuñnî aşîp, karap turma, bízge. Kuy, íş, íşeğeklí bolsañ! Başkalarî sabîr et-almay. Bogdannîñ ka-típ sekíríp şîkkanîn kórmedíñ mí? - dep akîl úyrettí oga, kúle-kúle, Bokşî Bay, kúlúşí men kulagîndakî sîrgasîn kaltîratîp.
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Lantern, a quarterly literary and art journal published on the equinoxes and solstices, is fresh off its second issue. The nascent journal offers a fare of the musical, academic, philosophical and visual arts in its explorations beyond the lantern’s glow. The extended purview of its offerings is not the only quality that sets Lantern apart from other zines. According to the editors, Vincent Capone, Troy Payne, Matt Teismann, and Charlie Vega they have a novel approach to their publication. An excerpt from the inaugural issue’s Letter from the Editors informs this approach: We began with a belief that a small but committed group of writers, professionals, and artists could create a publishing space that allowed for the expression of ideas through various media—poetry, fiction, essays, images, and music—and that appealed to the reader by lending equal credence to their intellect and their intuition. A literary magazine, yet free of traditional form. An academic journal, yet free from stifling paradigms that relegate such journals to the role of “gatekeeper” and protector against dissent perspectives. Lantern traces its roots to an ongoing, informal discussion of ideas amongst the founders of the journal and their respective circle of friends and colleagues. The idea of translating these discussions, and the gestalt underlying them, into a literary journal didn’t immediately occur to the group. But their ongoing collaboration began to yield improved works of art and thought that began to call out for wider expression. As inspiration, they drew on the eighteenth-century thinker, Benjamin Furly—an English Quaker merchant who routinely gathered with Enlightenment-era luminaries such as John Locke, Voltaire, and William Penn—from which grew a short-lived but influential journal (a relatively new format at the time): The Lantern. Furly’s group is thought to have been involved in the composition of one of the most notorious clandestine manuscripts of the early Enlightenment, Traité des Trois Imposteurs (Treatise of the Three Impostors), which, among other things, challenged the prophets as "frauds"—an obviously dangerous
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deviation from accepted academic pursuits of the time. In short, a religious heresy. The story intrigued—not because of any anti-religious vitriol—but because a group of thinkers approached the world of ideas as explorers of a landscape still in shadow from the Dark Ages, and bravely so. They had no guide or template. They simply created. From this flame Lantern was lit. Aided heavily by tech and design-savvy collaborators, the journal developed its own expressive style in which the published pieces blend visual and textual elements into each of what Lantern dubs “ARTicles.” This is not, however, what the creators of the journal consider their strongest asset in the publication. Collaboration and intent is at its heart. Determined to distance themselves from the typical editor-contributor relationship, the journal takes a two-pronged approach. By centering each issue on a theme and actively collaborating with contributors in the production and presentation of their work, Lantern hopes to not only produce a compelling publication, but to perpetuate and nurture the ongoing intellectual and creative dialogue opened with each new relationship forged. In many ways, Lantern is a cultural heresy in the spirit of its Enlightenment namesake. Yet Lantern embraces an endarkenment as well, informed by its roots. Lantern means to offer “not merely critical comment, but a positive inspiration . . . which does not blindly hack away at social or cultural institutions but suggests our involvement in more effective and more engaged institutions—our communities.” Intentional expressive collaboration. That is Lantern’s source, and while they admit that “creating anything new, particularly a project of creative collaboration, is an act of pathological hope,” they have shown they are on a path toward that aim. More at lanternjournal.com.
Interview TM: Vincent, describe yourself in five adjectives. Vincent Capone: thankful, impatient.
TM: What is your background? Tell me more about yourself. Vincent Capone: We like to keep our personal identities out of the journal as much as possible, and let Lantern stand on its own merit. This is not for any obfuscatory purpose, but rather to enhance the ideal of collaboration with our contributors. This is why we do not have the traditional “mast-head” that many literary and art publications have. That said, apart from our individual bona fides, we are professionally and otherwise, “collectively eclectic”. I think this is one of the things that attracted not only me, but the other founders and editors of Lantern – It was a chance for us to work on something we were passionate about, not as an extension of career, but as way to incorporate reading, writing, thought, design, and ideas into a collaborative project. TM: What is your mission at Lantern Journal? Vincent Capone: Simply put, our mission with Lantern is to create a publishing space that allows for the expression of ideas through various media and to provide readers an opportunity to explore such works. Obviously, that is broad statement, but a true one. We wanted to create something with intent, something that was positive, and something that would stand out in the landscape of the “literary magazine”. TM: Are you a rough editor? Vincent Capone: I suppose that would depend on the piece and the dynamic with the writer or artist being edited. However, the idea of any of our editors being “rough” is not what Lantern is about. Obviously, there is a degree of “quality control” that must be maintained, but past that, once we accept a contribution, our focus is having a dialogue and a true collaboration with the writer or artist. That is one of the things we like to think sets us apart. Ideally, we don’t want contributors with the expectation that they will submit their work, we edit it, and that’s the end of the story. We want to talk about it with the contributor, the ideas and ideals behind the piece, what design elements might work in the presentation of their work, etc. If there is a “roughness”
of or editors, it is internal, not external. We hold ourselves to a high standard, and everything we produce as a staff, such as design pieces, letters from the editors, call for submissions, we communicate about, debate, edit and re-edit. TM: What is your day like as an editor? What are some of the day-to-day issues that you have to handle that may not be obvious to the writers? Vincent Capone: The day often depends on what portion of the process we are currently in, such as accepting submissions, producing the issue, etc. As far as the less obvious issues that must be handled? I think it is important, regardless of the submission, that we communicate directly and personally with every contributor, even if that communication is a rejection. It is important to us to read and consider each submission completely; we feel we owe that, at the very least, to a writer or artist who has taken the time and energy to submit their work to the journal. TM: Poetry or prose? Vincent Capone: Personally, I am a prose guy. Other editors on our staff, if made to choose, would pick poetry, I am sure. That being said, quality is quality, and I would take a great poem, an audacious visual piece, over mediocre prose any day. TM: Tell me more about the staff at Lantern Journal. Vincent Capone: Our staff is eclectic in some respects. Professionally, we are made up from diverse fields such as law, medicine, architecture and design. However, I think we share an essential quality, that we desire to create this thing we call Lantern with intent and we have a common vision of what quality looks like. We work well as a team, and, speaking for myself, working with them has not only made me a better editor and writer, but a better thinker, I am honored to work with them. The core of our staff is made up of myself, Troy Payne, Charles Vega and Matt Teismann, with ample design and technical help from Matt Vega, Gregory Jacobson, and M. Dane Zahorsky. TM: What makes your journal different from others on the market? Vincent Capone: Great question, and a fair one too. We are different in a few respects. Primarily, as I have already mentioned, collaboration is our hallmark. We want to have a dialogue with the creators of the pieces we publish. That’s why we do this, to talk about ideas, to experience art. Also, the design concept of each piece we publish is important. In fact, we like to call a finished piece an “ARTicle”, because regardless of the
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http://www.lanternjournal.com format of the original submission, such as a short story, we will develop, in partnership with the artist, design pieces that compliment the work and add dynamic to the way they are presented in our publication. Lastly, we are different in the formats we accept. Not only do we look for great essays, short fiction and poetry, but we also accept and encourage musical submissions, academic papers, visual art, etc. If it's good, we want it, and we will find a way to present it. TM: Do you have a theme for each issue? Vincent Capone: Yes. We publish Lantern quarterly, on the equinoxes and solstices of each year. For each issue, we set a theme. For example, the latest issue had the theme of “circle”. We are interested in thought and expression and connection, and we don’t much care what forms those things come in. We value people’s work for its strength of character and for its contribution to something better. We want people to view the theme as they wish—creatively or destructively, literally or figuratively—and want them to feel free to wander off from its center point. We decided to create a theme, which we announce with the “call for submissions” for each issue, because we want people to create something with intent, whether that be a new work in which they contemplate and explore the theme or a repurposing of an older work they already created. TM: Are you looking for any particular articles? Vincent Capone: If it is good, we want it. TM: What kind of articles do you not need? Vincent Capone: I can’t typify potential submissions in this way; I guess I would refer people to the previous question and have them extrapolate. TM: Do you accept articles with lots of politically wrong sentences? Vincent Capone: We are not a political publication, but to answer your question - if it is quality work, absolutely. In my opinion, the concept of “political correctness” is purposeful narrowing of acceptable opinions held by a small group that imposes those opinions in a peculiarly insidious fashion. The idea of holding someone accountable to notions of political correctness is an attempt to reinforce its claim by ruling any disagreement from it as outside the bounds of acceptable discourse. This is the antithesis of what Lantern is about. Obviously, we wouldn’t publish something that was attempting to be offensive for no other purpose then being offensive, as this is just as contrary to our mission, but each submission is
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considered on its merits, conceptions of “P.C.”.
TM: Do you accept
not h e
Vincent Capone: Yes, if it is repurposed, or at least revisited to show some connection to the issue, and we have the expressed, written permission of all parties involved, we’ll consider anything. TM: Do debutants have a tough time breaking in at Lantern Journal? Vincent Capone: Not at all. The contributor’s resume, or lack thereof, is not a factor in our selection process whatsoever. TM: Where do you see Lantern Journal in five years? Vincent Capone: Still improving, foremost. TM: How should writers contact you? Vincent Capone: The most efficient, is by email at email@example.com. We genuinely appreciate the opportunity to talk to writers and artists, and encourage everyone to not hesitate in contacting us. TM: What is your final advice to writers? Vincent Capone: For writers, and all artists, in relation to Lantern, my advice is go for it. We want to hear from you, we want to enhance dialogue; we want you to join us in creating this journal of ours. We are not after perfection; we want honesty, intent, and craftsmanship. We hope to hear from you.
i V l, bo
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tom sheehan Photo: Jim Harrington
The House No One Lived In They considered themselves midnight adventurers, coming off the hill they so lovingly called Henshit Mountain, to cross the pond in the dead of winter with sleds to “borrow” lumber from Artie Donolan who had ”borrowed” it from Breakheart Reservation, a state park. The park, at its deepest end, bordered on land that the Donolans had worked for years, including timber they ripped out of the state park as long as a few eyes stayed closed. To the boys from Henshit Mountain, the Donolan rape was not unknown, not to these teenagers, who were only enacting their own form of justice, borrowing enough lumber to build themselves a clubhouse at the thickly-treed section of the mountain. With various spurts of energy, even in summer when they floated rafts of lumber across the same pond from the same lumberyard, rooms were added to the clubhouse. The building rose majestically, they all agreed, they who had to a man become proficient carpenters and finish men. Over a number of years, as they grew toward a global war surfacing on both oceans, meetings were held, elections concluded, designs and improvements of all genres initiated, trysts enamored, hope burst continually from that domicile in which no one lived, not as a home site. When the town, through the office of the chief of police, demanded taxes be paid on the property, thus quickly abandoned by the clubmen to the town, to the weather, to the times. They relocated their activities to another phantom house they’d build on land without a road, deeper in the tall pines, stray
apple trees feeding off the ground since the Civil War days, and tyrant oaks that held their territory. The membership included Frank Parkinson, Eddie Oljay, Bud Petitteau, Homer Barnard, Allie Devine, Clete Weavering, Asa Parnell, Poker Symonds, Nial O’Hara, Chuck Grabowski, and others, by adoption or temporary association, whose names will only resurface as the story progresses. Some girls, of course, toward that quick run at war building in Europe, had honorary admission at all hours of day or night after a code of secrecy had been imposed. Not one of those girls, from what I have heard over the long years, ever broke that code. Even as the members pillaged materials in small doses from ready sources on Route One, begged and borrowed in addition to the stealing, the noises on the far side of two oceans began to sift into their meetings. “Hey, guys,” Poker Symonds said one night as the moon sifted down through the trees, “I just heard today Buzz Marchowski joined the Canadian Air Force and is already in Moncton or Shediac or St. Something somewhere. Eddie Smiledge down The Rathole told me. Says Buzz’s all pissed off about the Germans screwing up Poland where his grandparents are living on the family farm.” Symonds, his name changed from hard–topronounce beginnings like Sczy and whatever, kept shaking his head as if he wondered why his name had been hidden behind soft edges. As it turned out, he was the first to leave the clubhouse one night, never to come back. Under the moon that night and light of kerosene lamps, others knew what was cooking in him; his eyes told the deep unrest so recently kicked free. Each knew his turn was coming, that he was bound elsewhere on the globe’s face. If it touched Saugus in any manner at all, all swore an oath they’d be in the first line of recruits. Germany was making too much noise, stepping on too many toes, bustling and bragging of their great inroads on small nations guarded by token armies, and Japan, like a lecher, was stretching its imperial hands across the rich skin and into too many orifices of the tasty Orient. In a matter of a week the balled fist of war came at them; one classmate, flying for the RCAF, was shot down over the English
Nazar Look 9
Channel; another enlistee, a neighbor of Parkinson’s, was missing from an RAF flight over France; an uncle of Clete Weavering was stomped to death on the China coast as he tried to sneak out to sea to board a submarine after secret service on the mainland, and Oljay’s distant cousin was shot in front of a firing squad at the edge of a ghetto in Poland. War, in its demand for enlistment, called them, young and exuberant in their outlook and it was in the next week they gathered in the clubhouse, the house nobody lived in, and made their plans to help save the world. Frank Parkinson said, “We don’t go as a group. We don’t get in one line to any branch of the service, and end up in one squad or one flight or one patrol, go down with one bang. We each go our own way. If we come back, or those who do come back, we’ll meet here. No Trafalgar Square for us or even under the clock at The Ritz. We will celebrate here someday. We ought to go down to see the Chief and tell him our plans. He might understand. If not, we’ll tell him not to tell us.” “Why can’t we go as a group, the whole club of us?” Oljay said, seeing the whole group as a squad of its own, firepower from the start, Robin Hoods or Lone Rangers waging battle. Parkie said, “No matter if we walked in and got consecutive numbers, they’d split us up. They do things like that so we don’t clique it up. Makes sense to me, so we should each go our way. I’m going in the army. When I heard about Big Red in Burma, it said I’d join the army.” In a day’s time, it was all decided, for each of them, and all services were involved. The war to end all wars bruised them all, each one, each in different ways, some with dread permanence. Clete Weavering was blown off the deck of a Navy supply vessel in the Pacific, never to be seen again. A year later an envelope ended up at the Legion Hall, from Clete, simply addressed to The Boys of Henshit Mountain, Saugus, Massachusetts. The Post Office, having no proper or known address, delivered it to the Legion Post, #210, to hold for any survivors of the war who might have been The Boys of Henshit Mountain. As it was, one old WW I vet said he knew of them and would deliver it to the first one who came home. The Legion held the letter for almost two years.
10 Nazar Look
Then it was delivered to Bud Petitteau one evening at the Meadowglen Club as Bud had come home from two years in the far Pacific and hospital time, one hand gone from a nasty grenade. The old Legionnaire had heard Bud was home, spending time at The Meadowglen with some guys who had come home, and made a trip to deliver the letter, which was simple enough in its message: “Miss you guys like hell, but some good guys here. I just wanted to see if this gets through to the clubhouse or to any of you. We have heard stories about miraculous deliveries of real short addresses. If I don’t get to see you on the mountain, I am sure that we will catch up to each other sometime, someplace. Your clubhouse pal, Clete PS: Say hi to Mildred Derning for me. I got her last letter about a year ago and never did answer it for one reason or another. She’s a real cute kid I’ve thought about a few times. (A note here: It was not revealed until 1950 that Mildred Derning had an eight-year old son she had named John Cletus Derning. She never married as far as I know and died in 1981. John Cletus Derning took down his physicians shingle in 2002. I don’t know if he ever knew anything about his father, but I hope he did. If this tells him, it’s about all I can do.) Homer Barnard didn’t come home from the 2th Infantry Division in the Pacific, and the 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division in Korea, until 1954 and after he had served in a POW camp in North Korea for two years. One of his letters, addressed to The Clubhouse on Henshit Mt, Saugus, Mass., was hung up in a dead letter box and a postal center under construction until it fell from between the cracks of time in 1963. It was delivered back to Homer by a personal friend, an employee of the USPS and an army comrade from basic days, who had intercepted it finally en route to Saugus and recognized the sender’s name. He drove from New York one day in the fall to deliver it and spent a week in Saugus. He even visited the original clubhouse, which by then had been jacked up and a cellar placed under it, three rooms added, and a porch wrapped half way and more around the house from where a huge section of Rumney Marsh was visible as well as a great chunk of the Atlantic Ocean on a good day. The two men sat on the porch a good part of one afternoon with the owner, in Italy with the 10th Mountain Division with a few other Saugus boys, and
the beer was free. They even went to see the Patriots play the Kansas City Chiefs at Fenway Park, which ended up in a tie game. Parkie, who admittedly only wrote one letter to the guys, which has not yet surfaced, but about whom much has been written by me, ended up on the hot sands of the Sahara and could have been dead a few times. Of him it has been said, him being The Municipal Subterranean in a poem: He comes up, goggled, out of a manhole in the middle of a street in my peaceful town, sun the sole brazier, like an old Saharan veteran, Rommel-pointing his tank across the four-year stretch of sand, shell holes filling up quick as death. I think of Frank Parkinson, Tanker, Tiger of Tobruk, now in his grass roots, the acetylene smile on his oil-dirty face, the goggles still high on his high forehead, his forever knowing Egypt’s two dark eyes. Frank told me his story one evening as we drank beer by old Lily Pond. It came around as “Parkie, Tanker, Tiger of Tobruk,” and many people have read it elsewhere. Asa Parnell, it has been said, wrote dozens of letters to the guys but sent his via Harry Clemson at The Pythian Alleys (The Rathole Poolroom its other half), who held them until one of the guys picked them up in 1945, after the big boom went down. Parnell had 25 missions as a waist gunner of a B-17 over Europe, went to school on the GI Bill, ended up with his PhD, taught at two Maine colleges for more than 30 years before he drowned in a kayak ride on the Allagash River when he was over 70 years old. He only came to Saugus at the Founders Day festivities, out front of the Town Hall in September of the year when, at times, 10-15 thousand people might pass through the center of town during the celebration, the accompanying mini-marathon race, and the high school football game every other year. One year I heard that he found two other guys and they sat for four hours on the steps of the library hashing over the old days, and then he went north again, for his last ride a few years later. Every so often, as if I’m being summoned by a voice, a face, the edge of a shared incident, I leave the vets section of the cemetery and visit Henshit Mountain, trying to find any remnant of a clubhouse, cellar in place, second floor added, perhaps a porch and a garage, a garden for summer attendance. Once an old fishing buddy, who had lived on the mountain for many years, pointed out two or three
places that had strange beginnings. “There are no shortcuts in those places. They were built well by guys who knew their business. They had OJT before there was OJT. Go down alongside old Lily Pond and more than half the houses down there were summer camps before the big war, and when the boys came back home and were looking for cheap quarters, they bought a camp erected on cement blocks and after a while jacked it up, put in a stone or poured foundation, got central heating, raised a family, added rooms, sold it, bought or built a new place, all part of the economy. Some of the original camps are now so sprawling over the landscape you’d have to get a prewar aerial map to find the beginning forms of them. Parkie carried on for 20 some torturous years before he hugged the earth for the last time, but not on Henshit Mountain, home away from home for a long time in his short life. Every Memorial Day I re-flag his grave along with a host of people, and have done so for more than 25 years. All of them are gone now, some here, some elsewhere. Four of the membership share the same plot with Parkie. None of them ever climbed to the back end of Henshit Mountain after the war. The house that no one lived in really had passed on in their growth, even its nostalgia, for they had rushed onto the real estate of the whole globe. Now and then, usually close to Memorial Day and again at Veterans Day, I drive up the hill, for that’s what it really is, a rise of about 500 feet above sea level, on a series of paved roads. From the road I can see two houses, now lived in for more than half a century, where no one lived when they were built. I can visualize the membership crossing the pond in winter on sleds loaded with purloined lumber and supplies, or on rafts tied together in the dead of summer nights. I know where they kept their beer in underground coolers, where it stayed cool and was hidden from the temptation of potential thieves. I know some of the girls, still here with us, grandmothers time and again, and great-grandmothers, who swore to the secrecy code and will carry it away with them. It’s on a rare occasion when I come face to face with one of those ladies in the aisle of a mall store, or at the library with a chosen book, or in the cemetery on a special day, and get a wink acknowledging the deep and mostly hidden years. We understand the past, the pact, the passions. We understand what loyalty means, and where things have gone in this short passage.
Nazar Look 11
new york, usa
"Asteria Music" Titan of nocturnal oracles and falling stars. The flesh crashed down by the seacliff Voices cried: Oh, you'll drown. Baby, you'll drown. Cards, empty match books, movie tickets. There was something you bought for me & I never used it. The rubies were stuck in the ocean. Somewhere, a few words buried themselves in dirt Turned me into a bird-girl: gilded wings & spent calls Your wrists flipped over & the water was too high, without any of the yelling. I never asked; you never wanted anything. I received smiles, a hand on the shoulder, a kiss on the cheek, fingers rubbing across my lower back. Seaweed charms & eyes haunting across a room all before I waited by the car. Your lips coaxed my mouth to open Before the radio silence. I left fruit and seeds in the kitchen & I waited for the earth to grow. I looked for water but time meant nothing. Your arrow went astray. How are you? I miss you. Words cautioned after the wind. I would have liked to be the lost figment, a final ghost.
Stephanie Valente lives in New York. She is the patron saint of diamond-cut laughter. Her work has appeared in Nano Fiction, Bust Magazine, and Uphook Press. She can be found here: http://kitschy.tumblr.com
12 Nazar Look
I was whispers. I was memory. The mystique of touch. A seaweed wrapped at the ankle. A spirit well slept in your ribs & just the right image That could you take out when you wanted to. You pulled me back, away from arrows & dredged up by the sea; a smear of cologne A diamond in the heart of the matter. That's grand. All is well. I stood: an empty vessel of organs full of waiting
new york, usa
http://kitschy.tumblr.com birds. I did nothing & waited for you to move everything. Eyes on the back of my neck, the gaze full of liquor & halted time through fantasy. There & there, my saliva made its way Into your mouth. Hard. Forceful. I didn't stop until your hands pulled Under my shirt. The music played, thick & pulpy. Take off your clothes. Your hands pull down my jeans. You handed me over, a dizzy collection of stars Reduced to wordless panting. It could happen again. Memories trapped in an urn Still under the wreck with swimming lovers. I smiled, you smiled. Where did the arrows go? The feathers were all but dust.
May I Ask Who Is Calling? However you do it, the scenario will play out the same. Stall dialing the number. Remember that he told you that you are beautiful. Bite your lip for four rings until it clicks. Of course, a set of teeth will speak at the other end. It will be fine. There will be laughter. You will make up for gaps in the conversation. Sigh just enough to let the man know you are flirting. Bat your eyelashes as if he can hear them. Relax. You were only three years old when he graduated high school. You are a woman now. You know how to spread your legs without begging for it. It is a complicated dialogue; among stretched heart valves which will one day congeal. How was school? Fine, fine. Et tu? Work is work. But I thought of you. Oh? Oh, yes. Your breath lingers over the receiver. Think about inching your teeth
closer and remind yourself of how his mouth felt on your back. Don't laugh too much. He will think you're inexperienced. Let your bottom lip drawl out the vowels. Slow and purposeful, as if your tongue keeps licking at the same letter. He will stumble over his words and you will smile. You will only speak on the phone twice, but somehow this fleshy affair will linger on and off for three years. His nectar-voice speaks, all drippy from the booze in his throat. You think it's cute. A cosine shift goes right in between the spaces of your ribs. Are you listening? You talk of splitting lungs and yes, he much liked that photo of you in the black skirt with the slit up the side. Do you want to be a bad girl? Yes, I'm interested. See you at eleven. The magic number, of palindromes and swinging legs. You will pant and bite lips and skin. He will give you a glass of water, a kiss on the forehead, and lick your lips before the sun is up. Strong shoulders suited for a needling telephone and the call just ends.
"Love In The Time Of A Mortgage Crisis" Hello. Baby, you look good today. The way you wear that leather jacket. Picking up the newspaper. Reading messages on your cell phone. Folding up paper straws. The way you don't make your bed in the morning. Running fingers right above my collar bone. Scowling when I smoke cigarettes but lighting them anyway. Sucking in the air through your teeth. Opening a beer bottle. Burying your face in my neck when we have sex. Asking me when the check came. Pulling down my pantyhose. Eating peeled oranges but never bananas. You will wear your shoes down until the rubber flakes off.
Nazar Look 13
j. j. steinfeld
Photo: Brenda Whiteway
prince edward island, canada
Canadian poet, fiction writer, and playwright J. J. Steinfeldâ€™s short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over forty of his oneact plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in North America. He has published fourteen books, including Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press, 1999), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press, 2000), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press. 2003), An Affection for Precipices (Poetry, Serengeti Press, 2006), Word Burials (Novel and Stories, Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink, 2009), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2009), and A Glass Shard and Memory (Stories, Recliner Books, 2010).
14 Nazar Look
j. j. steinfeld
prince edward island, canada “Skilful Forgeries,” from An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press, 2006) by J. J. Steinfeld, copyright © 2006 by J. J. Steinfeld. Used by permission of the author.
Skilful Forgeries after a while you cease to care if the signature is genuine or a skilful forgery artistic defiance or messy transcendence if a nervous saintly derelict needs to play fast and loose with eternity who are you to contradict or display petulance there are other concerns a must-see foreign film at an art house a ballgame at a nearby ballpark between two disillusioned teams disgruntled gods bedevilled by miscues subterranean stirrings, an attempt at communication or repudiation then a long overdue report on the sanctity and deceit of flying creatures so much to do quick before the world ends or the commencement of something new out of despair or exhaustion you sign your own name and it doesn't look real or convincing a slipshod forgery the lips of mannequins offer more stunning revelations a plot twist a surprise ending then you fall asleep watching yesterday's news horrifying as creation and the tears you are about to shed
“The Buoyancy of Consciousness," from An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press, 2006) by J. J. Steinfeld, copyright © 2006 by J. J. Steinfeld. Used by permission of the author.
The Buoyancy of Consciousness the difference between belief and disbelief when you're sinking sinking into the colourless (or is it colourful) water deeper than imagination is more inconsequential than the difference between intimacy and distance in the throes of madness or excessive sanity you continue to sink only slower the buoyancy of consciousness abounding in recollections of flight and soaring and charting trajectories and then the difference between ascent and descent fades you are happy happy because you are thinking this not fully vanquished by the colourless or colourful water whatever the case may be in anticipation of, at worst, ramshackle purgatory, at best, a form of salvation deeper than even the idea of deep water
Nazar Look 15
j. j. steinfeld
prince edward island, canada “Timekeeping,” from An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press, 2006) by J. J. Steinfeld, copyright © 2006 by J. J. Steinfeld. Used by permission of the author.
“Refusing to Escape,” from An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press, 2006) by J. J. Steinfeld, copyright © 2006 by J. J. Steinfeld. Used by permission of the author.
Refusing to Escape
the exact time the precise destination time is running out oceans of time raindrops of time you measure instants old age the lives of long-gone species with equal precision still you lose perspective swim to the centre of the ocean during a record-setting rainstorm attempt to differentiate today from yesterday ***
Anlar hesabî dogrî sáát bellí bolgan barîlağak yer zaman geşe zaman deriyalarî zaman tamlalarî anlarnî hesaplap turasîñ ótken şaklarnî kópten ğok bolgan ğínísleríñ ómírín bírdiy etíp gene de manzaranî kaybetesíñ dalayîñ orta betíne ğaldap ağelelí boranda ayîrmaga karap tínewún men búgúnní (translated by Taner Murat)
awkward and graceful and mastering silence the trick is in being two or three places at once not a magician, not a thief in the night not even the thoughts of another more imaginative than any of your selves the secret to this versatility of spirit and humility of this falling and running and utter stillness is in the complexity of madness and simplicity of doing tasks one after the other recollections and mirrors on all sides embracing captivity for all its worth and refusing to escape ***
Kaşuwga karşî kelmek kuğurlî we látif suskunluk hesap bírden ekí ya da úş yerde bola-almak ne tílsímğí, ne keşe kîrsîzî ne başkasîñ túşúnğelerí hepíñízden taa tasawurğî bolsa da bo tîn we alşayuw sebatsîzlîgîñ sîrî bo túşe-tura mutlak suskunluguñ sîrî delílígíñ múrekkeplígíndedír bír de sadelík men wazifení yeríne ketírmektedír artlî-artîndan her yakta tezkireler men aynalar tutsaklîknî şewúrmege elínden kelgenlerín etíp we kaşuwga karşî kelíp (translated by Taner Murat)
16 Nazar Look
j. j. steinfeld
prince edward island, canada “You Have Found the Most Miraculous Silence,” from An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press, 2006) by J. J. Steinfeld, copyright © 2006 by J. J. Steinfeld. Used by permission of the author.
“Photo Albums Rescued from Fires,” from An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press, 2006) by J. J. Steinfeld, copyright © 2006 by J. J. Steinfeld. Used by permission of the author.
You Have Found the Most Miraculous Silence
Photo Albums Rescued from Fires
You have found the most miraculous silence a silence without shape or colour or the memory of silence distorting its invention a silence so full of godlike silence that you are about to burst with words describing what would dissolve with description.
The sky is a laughing lie as is the moon on cold sad nights the sun is a half-truth with a long unforgiving memory and a disdain for passion and adroitness
Is this silence madness? You hear your thoughts as if they are the thoughts of another a philosopher or magician of theology who has contemplated silence for a lifetime of wakefulness and a further lifetime of dreams this silence without a single curse of being or a bullet’s abject voice or even the thunderous rage of the encased or bleeding after this silence that is your fear a fear with its own dimensions and boisterousness you open your mouth to greet this silence with love and prayerful song and you can hear only a divine voice more silent than silence.
not elaborate lies not defiance of science or scrapbooks and photo albums rescued from fires started by arsonists without appreciation of lies or the desire for desirousness I am as immortal as the next person a dying one says years of struggle and precise cosmologies I am as beautiful as the oldest tree or youngest flower a botany of desperation and ludicrousness the dying one’s lover prays like an oracle forced to speak all love ends or is misshapen or is transformed we invent stories and when stories are not enough myths and when myths are inadequate or woeful we sit in the dark and softly sing a song about the sky and moon and sun as if we understood everything and could be in love forever.
Nazar Look 17
mewlana jalaluddin rumi
(1207 - 1273)
Because I Cannot Sleep Because I cannot sleep I make music at night. I am troubled by the one whose face has the color of spring flowers. I have neither sleep nor patience, neither a good reputation nor disgrace. A thousand robes of wisdom are gone. All my good manners have moved a thousand miles away. The heart and the mind are left angry with each other. The stars and the moon are envious of each other. Because of this alienation the physical universe is getting tighter and tighter. The moon says, 'How long will I remain suspended without a sun?' Without Love's jewel inside of me, let the bazaar of my existence be destroyed stone by stone. O Love, You who have been called by a thousand names, You who know how to pour the wine into the chalice of the body, You who give culture to a thousand cultures, You who are faceless but have a thousand faces, O Love, You who shape the faces of Turks, Europeans, and Zanzibaris, give me a glass from Your bottle, or a handful of being from Your Branch. Remove the cork once more. Then we'll see a thousand chiefs prostrate themselves, and a circle of ecstatic troubadours will play. Then the addict will be freed of craving. and will be resurrected, and stand in awe till Judgement Day.
18 Nazar Look
(712 - 770)
Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable, And nowhere to complain - I've gone half crazy. I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine Gone ten days drinking. I find only an empty bed. A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside, I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring. Poems, wine - even this profusely driven, I endure. Arrangements for this old, white - haired man can wait. A deep river, two or three houses in bamboo quiet, And such goings on: red blossoms glaring with white! Among spring's vociferous glories, I too have my place: With a lovely wine, bidding life's affairs bon voyage. Looking east to Shao, its smoke filled with blossoms, I admire that stately Po - hua wineshop even more. To empty golden wine cups, calling such beautiful Dancing girls to embroidered mats - who could bear it? East of the river, before Abbot Huang's grave, Spring is a frail splendor among gentle breezes. In this crush of peach blossoms opening ownerless, Shall I treasure light reds, or treasure them dark? At Madame Huang's house, blossoms fill the paths: Thousands, tens of thousands haul the branches down. And butterflies linger playfully - an unbroken Dance floating to songs orioles sing at their ease. I don't so love blossoms I want to die. I'm afraid, Once they are gone, of old age still more impetuous. And they scatter gladly, by the branchful. Let's talk Things over, little buds - open delicately, sparingly.
Nazar Look 19
chuvash republic, russia
Photo: Vlad Kidanov
Valery Petrovskiy is from the Chuvash Republic, Russia. Chuvash by nation, he writes in Russian and is published in English. His prose regularly appears in American, Australian and Canadian journals. He is Writer-in-Residence at Marco Polo while residing in Russia. Valery was first to interview to Gloom Cupboard as an East European author. He is included into American Poets and Writers database. Valery lives in a distant village near the Volga River, Russia.
20 Nazar Look
chuvash republic, russia
Mailman Ever Comes Back I had just put on a khaki uniform and soon got used to it, but when one had a furlough to the town he was to get on a full military dress and it made one feel uneasy. They let a private to go out on some occasion, when he was posted a package, for example, or a postal money order. However, there would be a rare package posted, as for money order I got it from time to time. I had my regular fee for the correspondence to a military newspaper. And there was no delay with mail; it was delivered by a particular mailman: sometimes he dropped in twice a day when the mail was exceeding. All of a sudden, it all started with strange letters. Some day I got one from an unknown girl, and then there was the second and the following one. These were very peculiar letters; they were not right for me. Sure, the name on the cover was right mine, but the inside was quite unfamiliar to me. It ran about some unknown folks and their day by day life far away from my Army place. It was all about a faraway town somewhere in Siberia where was no war there. And her mailing was almost daily, with a regular handwriting and lengthy texts. Best of all I liked her handwriting, I could appraise nothing but the script; it was steady and painstaking. She inserted her neatly lettering into small squares of an exercise page as thoroughly as one could imagine. Altogether it was rather strange to inscribe her heart affairs into square boxes on a math notebook page. I regret I failed to keep her lovely mailing: it was all but love, simply her love story. I suppose, it was her first love experience then, for she was full of emotions there, and in the army humdrum I was plunging in its flow. Whenever I was back to the barracks, I was expected to have a letter of hers. They kept some books for soldiers to read at the travelling library, but there was something different in her letters, somewhat drawing and moving at the same time. In books there was nothing of the kind there. And here it was like watching an opposite window at night, just across the street, where some unknown people lived. But they had been living there for so long a time that one felt uneasy, when the light was off in the evening. The girl’s letters made me feel ties with her college friends and their jolly crowd, even
with a pal, she was in love with. And her people turned out to be close to me at some moment, though I was in the Army and had no ties with their civil life. Then she clearly understood, I think, that I would never meet her or get to know any mates she wrote about. I was a peculiar spectator of a silent film with her as a heroine, so to say. When a pile of her letters amassed, they were done away with, after all. My sergeant revealed them in my bedside table and ordered to do away with them. You’d better do not know what way I did it, just an army affair. And I kept them in my mind as if it was a kind of illusion, something seen in a dream. And I went on scribbling items to my Army rag, and they were as insipid as my field kitchen then, and I happened to be a military reporter. My correspondence from the combat unit they would publish regularly. From time to time I got some money from the editorial staff and had to ride for them to the near town. For that I had to change my clothes, and the crisped uniform put restraint on me more than my clumsy writing style did even. I would rather put down a full stop here. The movie ended, I was practically sure. Then they ordered me to join the field work there, some farm-handing, we had to store up vegetables for the regimentary mess, and I came across a new recruit there. We got acquainted in some way, with no particular reason at all, but he was just from the town in Siberia, the letters had poured forth from. It seemed, he came up and said that to me then; and how he managed to find me out, I wonder, and what he had to convey me then, why me, I don’t know. I didn’t enjoy free rein for long in the country fields. Still I remember the private would cover me with his greatcoat there under canvas, when hoarfrost lay down on one’s eyebrows in the early morning. Soon they urgently took me back to my combat unit and I never saw him again, a lively guy he was indeed, dark-haired as if a southerner. And still I am curious how he dug me up then, and what I had to do with all the passionate letters I got from his town, maybe to write a novel, if only I wouldn’t be killed. …Now, it was strangely enough that he found me in fifteen years. He called me up yesterday. He was not sure, so he asked if I had been there in Chechnya at Hassam-Yurt. Well, I had an occasion there and got a concussion then…
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Photo: Rod C. Stryker
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www.poetswb.org Hector Lopez is an alumnus of St.Leo University Florida. He is the Director of Poets without Borders and Open City 360 Poets and Writers. Mr. Lopez is very active in the literary arts community of San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Lopez' work has appeared in several university journals such as the Binnacle, University of Maine at Macias.
#17 - the long walk along the frontier the sun beats me sweat drips from my brow onto my burnt face sliding down the length of my body to quench the thirst of the desert ground dusk descends upon me and I hear the coyote cry my name in the night air that i breathe quietly to not awaken la migra that haunts my every thought but cannot extinguish my imagination or drain my fortitude and the noise of my walk is poverty it drags behind me whispering the names of those who cannot come and the names of those who have come before me and with me, i bring my labor because my pride is in my work and my work is my life it is all i have it is all I can offer my new country
shadows from seeds of hatred future chaos will seem an aberration yet real as your breath, the pulse of your heart, and those you love this war, this condition, this greed, breeds seeds of hatred from generations of exploitation and evolve, like the root tentacles of the oak tree reaching up from hell to strangle an enemy… new bombs for new towers to dust brick and melt metal and glass, to asphyxiate… the pain will be unconstrained and everyone will be subject to its repugnant smell. the revulsion, of melted flesh, burnt hair, of loss breathe, and the implosion of organs is the beginning imagine, children left represented by shadows… Nagasaki, Hiroshima I cry for your loss
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jagannath rao adukuri
andhra pradesh, india
http://adukurispoetry.blogdrive.com Jagannath Rao Adukuri is retired banker living in Hyderabad, India. His chief interests are poetry and photography. His web presence is mostly in poetry found in the website referred to above and in some photography sites. He runs a personal blog on poetry appreciation at http://soundarya.wordpress.com and a few of his e-books on Kindle are http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ROBHJ0 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007VJ7HYU http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0085SCPAW
The Village The village sat in fields looking toward the sea. A ribbon of road passed its hill that had a hole That looked as if it might spew smoke and fire. But it was a knowledge hole, by monks of men With a few orange fires that smoked to the skies In deep-throat chants, in flowing orange robes That tempted away wealth in refuge of the Wise. But they are now broken stones, their fires dust. The village sat on the sands of the river in summer. Its boats pretended to sail in the wind on dry bed The river refusing to touch their bottoms in love. The river bed had black charcoal spots on its brown Where men burned , in logs and ashes,orange once. The monsoon brought floating carcasses of cattle String cots of men in far off villages ,felled trees. The village floated water pitchers of shining metal On the swirling waters that smelled the mountains. They drank its waters filtered with the indup seed And ate rice and onions, buttermilk on mustaches. In the winter bears came down from the mountains Looking for lush sugar cane that waved in the breeze. The village slept on the fields ready with their sticks And shouts that rent the night air, echoing in the hills. The nights were so dark that the bears turned bushes.
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jagannath rao adukuri
andhra pradesh, india
Eighty and Five
Eighty and five springs in leaf-ends later She still finds her life a song , a number Not numeric, but mere music and matter. She can hear crickets' music in lumber
Her screws loose and rusted she stands alone , Jabbing fingers at men in the air in a cloud Of cement like ghosts in scaffold, wind-blown Bearing wet cement up without be'ng loud.
Frog-lets croaking in night's rain-puddle. In autumn years perhaps you imagine Her steeped in mixed aural sounds, in muddle A vague spectacle of death in a life's din.
Men pass the cement pans up to top crews On bamboo stairs going up to sky dizzily Building dreams all the way up with no screws That,in rust and loose ,have come off easily.
In such music one hears yellow leaves crunch As if they are the dress one wears for lunch.
Up there in head there is no need for screws The skull plates will stay inter-locked in blank Like a football's seams or temple stone's rows Or lazing crocodile's jaws on river bank.
Children in the Rain We wanted clearly laid out paths Between thin strands of July rain. Our faces were drowned in hoods As the rain fell softly on our heads. Its sounds came as from the ocean. Our puny judgments took a beating In such a steady patter on our ears Where they seem to be beating us Like angry fathers, back from office. As we walked we made tiny circles In rain water, under our umbrellas That saved us from an angry sky. The houses were a blur in white. Our paths ended in green of trees. Rain-mud spattered on black coats Surprised by blurs of passing cars, Their wipers saying no to the rain. We had left our school in the street. Our home of angry smoking fathers And soft grannies in loving egg-heads Seemed to vanish in the fuzzy rain. A scruffy dog shook its body of rain.
Since her screws are loose she's never in blues Without screws she only has topmost views.
Children in the Afternoon We played seven stones game, piled one on another Toppling them with ball that would fly into bushes. The lazy afternoon heat beat on our sleeping trees. The birds had gone on to their own afternoon sleep. We entered the scrunching leaves sending the lizard Scurrying to the hole of its wall, its triangular head Popping out a while to hear our tiny feet in the leaves. Up on the mound we deeply looked into a dark hole To look for the slithering sound of the resident snake We would then run down fast, afraid of its unheard hiss And fall to the ground with coins of kneecaps bleeding. We then climbed the guava tree to its highest branch. We caught the squirrel eating the fruit of our ripeness. In the evening we played badminton with the marigold Smelling yellow petal shreds as they spread in the sky.
Back at home, we bath our wet bodies In eucalyptus steam, as its vapors rise Quickly to drown the rain in its smell.
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alan dennis harris
Alan Dennis Harris is a gerontologist who focuses on the creative writing of older individuals-including himself. His poetry and short stories have been published in multiple languages and have found their way to three continents.
She wears her pearl necklace to breakfast her fingers caressing each gem like it was Aladdin's lamp and as each wish is granted she travels through time from pearl to pearl secretly opening doors to the past not for reminiscence sake not to simply recall nor remember but to return to re-live the moments that made a difference moments that ensure her humanity moments that shall stand out forever like pearls strung along the thread of her life-story
O dúrdane kerdanlîgîn saba yemegíne tagîp parmaklarî man her taşnî okşalar tîpkî Aláttin'níñ lámbasîn okşalaganday soñra túşlerí yeríne kelgende zamanîñ íşín kîdîrar dúrdaneden-dúrdanege geşíp geşmíşíñ sîrlî kapîlarîn aşîp zihiniyet kalîntîsî katírí úşún tuwul adiy eslerí úşún tuwul akîlîna akelmek úşún tuwul lákin artîna kaytmak úşún ayîrî anlarnî bírtaa yaşamak úşún insanlîgîn sawlagan şo anlarnî ebediy kalağak şo anlarnî tîpkî dúrdaneler gibí sîralanîp-sîralanîp onîñ ómír ğíbíne (translated by Taner Murat)
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alan dennis harris
She gave herself a hug not out of self-appreciation though such affection was long overdue Rather; her embrace was investigative kicking the tires without the luxury of a test drive as she gauged the strength of her own wings before taking flight above the towers of tradition and across the plains of prejudice
O kuşakladlî ózín óz-ózíne húrmet kóstermek úşún tuwul lákin bo muhabbetke kópten borjlî bolganî úşún. O kuşaklaşuw taa bek bír teğrúbe edí debdebelí denemege niyetí bolmagan tegerşkníñ lástigíne bír tepme ádet kúleleríñ we zarar kîrlarîñ ústúnden uşumazdan ewel. (translated by Taner Murat)
Emancipated Innocence As Spring came to an end I locked away my inner child at the bequest of anticipatory adulthood and embraced the heat of Summer with my so-called maturity far too busy to enjoy the warmth of the sun It took Autumn’s fleeting beauty to help me understand that our most precious seasons are all too brief Thankfully the coming winter frees the child within me and together we try on old mittens in hopes that heavy snow is on its way
Ğetíşken sábiylík Baár soñîna kelgeníne kírtlep íşímdekí balanî aldda kóríngen kemallîgîñ mirasîna sózde kemal yaşîm man kuşakladîm Ğazîñ álewlerín kúneşíñ sîğaklîgîndan zewuk almaga wakît kaldîrmadan. Kúznúñ geşúwğí gúzellígí kereklí boldî añlamama yardîm etmek úşún ke bízím eñ kîymetlí mewsímlerímíz kayet kîskadîr, hepísí. Şúkúr, keliyatîrgan kîş íşímdekí balanî azatlar we ekewmíz de kolşak kíyermíz awur karlarnîñ ğolda bolganî umutî man. (translated by Taner Murat)
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Suvi Mahonen's fiction has appeared in numerous publications internationally including in Australia, the UK, Canada, Chile, Germany and Colombia, and has also been translated into Persian and Albanian. One of her short stories was selected to appear in 'The Best Australian Stories 2010', and she is currently working on a longer manuscript. An avid writer, she lives with her husband Luke Waldrip in the tropical Whitsundays in Australia.
Photo: Elizabeth Bull
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Interview TM: Suvi, your name sounds Finnish to me. Tell me about your origins. Suvi Mahonen: Yes, you’re right, Suvi is a Finnish name, meaning summer. I was born in Australia in late May, which of course is our autumn over here, but I guess for my parents, being newly immigrated from Finland, May still represented that time of year when the Finns celebrate the beginning of summer. Hence my name! My parents obviously had their own reasons for moving, but as a child, growing up in Australia, it wasn’t always easy to have a strong sense of extended family with all my grandparents and uncles and aunts living so far away. But I did get a chance to visit them with my mother when I was twelve years old, which was a good opportunity to see those cousins face-to-face who I was already writing to. TM: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Suvi Mahonen: I think most of us go through phases of wanting to be different things when we grow up. I was often happiest when I was lost in a book, so writing always held a lot of appeal for me. I also enjoyed horse-riding and thought it would be very exciting to compete as a professional show jumper. I think Jilly Cooper’s book ‘Riders’ had something to do with that fantasy! TM: Tell me something about you that your bio does not include. Suvi Mahonen: Ocean swimming has taken over as my latest addiction. It’s fantastic living so close to a beach in the Whitsundays. TM: Why are you writing? Suvi Mahonen: I love stories and the way they can inspire and move you, or take you away to a new place you’ve never been to before, or teach you something about life or different cultures
that you’ve never experienced for yourself. Stories can bring people together in a unique way, I believe, as we come to understand and share in each other’s joys and struggles, and triumphs and heartaches. Lately my husband has come on board with the writing, too, which is great because it gives us a challenging project to work on as a couple. We recently published a collaborative short story called ‘Little Red Light’ in ‘Medulla Times’, an online journal edited by Jennifer Bowles. It was really exciting to see our names up there side by side after we’d spent all that time working on the story together. TM: When did you first consider yourself a writer? Suvi Mahonen: We’re all ‘writers’ in some sense of the word I think because we all record information by writing things down, whether it be facts for work or recording our thoughts and feelings in journals or on blogs. I guess the first time I felt like a ‘writer’ in any professional sense of the word was when I received my first cheque in the mail for a freelance article I’d written for an arts and culture publication in Canada. I think I’ve still got that cheque somewhere in my files! TM: When did you find out that you were a writing addict? Suvi Mahonen: I think ‘writing addict’ is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek term that I use for my webpage. The truth is that writing is hard work and there are days that you definitely have to force yourself to do it. TM: What is your writing genre? Suvi Mahonen: I write in several different styles. Writing articles for newspapers is very different to writing fiction, and they each have their own unique challenges. TM: Do you use different writing styles for your articles? Suvi Mahonen: I think the writing style in an article can sometimes be dictated by what or who you’re writing about, and what information
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http://www.redbubble.com/people/suvimahonen you wish to impart to your audience. This is different to writing fiction, I believe, because in fiction you’re more concerned with what feelings and emotions you want to evoke in your readers. TM: What is your workday like? Suvi Mahonen: Every day is different, and writing is one of those things you just have to fit in around the demands of ‘real’ life. TM: What is the best compliment you have ever received regarding your writing? Suvi Mahonen: I wrote a short story called ‘I Told You!’ some years back, which was loosely based on some of my husband’s experiences as a small boy growing up in New Zealand. A UK website called ‘East of the Web’ chose to post the story on their site, and it seemed to hit a note with a diverse range of young readers from as far afield as Australia, the Middle East, Germany and North America. One boy from Australia wanted to turn it into a short film for his high school project, and another boy from Morocco listed a line from the story on his personal website as one of his favourite quotes. I was just happy that there was a group of young people out there from a variety of cultures who all seemed to have gained something out of the story, and could relate to it in some way. TM: Are you an optimistic person? Suvi Mahonen: I think it’s natural that some days you feel more positive than other days. But life offers us so many opportunities I think and it’s up to us to try and make the most of them. TM: Do you think it is important for writers to be socially active? Suvi Mahonen: Yes, I definitely think you have to balance writing with community. Writing by definition can be a very isolating pursuit so it’s very important to get out there and experience ‘real life’ away from the laptop or your pen and notebook. Journalism offers a good mix of writing and socialization because you’re meeting and interviewing people all the time for your
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articles. TM: How do you see the future for the Aboriginal Australians? Suvi Mahonen: I would hope that they could move forward as a people with as much autonomy as possible and that our governments could support them in their endeavors to shape their own economic and cultural development into the future. I think as a country we still have a long way to go before the rights of Indigenous Australians are fully realized. TM: What are your next projects? Suvi Mahonen: I think like most people who pursue writing, I’ve got longer projects that I’m always working on. Quite a few of the short stories I send out are often excerpts of longer manuscripts-in-progress. It’s also only recently that my husband and I relocated to the tropical Whitsundays in Australia’s north, and I’m meeting a lot of new and interesting locals who would be great to interview at some stage and write articles on. TM: Where can the readers find you? Suvi Mahonen: I usually post newly published work on my website, which is a page on RedBubble. The link is here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/suvimahonen RedBubble is a great site for artists and writers wanting to share their work and be part of a larger online community of like-minded people. TM: Anything additional you want to share with us? Suvi Mahonen: I think that just about covers it!
w a S
i! v u
S l, o b
One Last Celebration I’m brushing my teeth when I hear the crunch of tyre on gravel. Kyle looks startled when he opens the door. "Hi honey," he says. He tries to kiss my cheek. I lean away. "You’re late." "Sorry. Got stuck in an operation." He locks the door and bends to take off his shoes. "How’s bub?" "Why didn’t you ring?" "Sorry." He puts his shoes in the shoe chest. "I didn’t get a chance." He starts heading towards the living room. "Something smells nice," he says. "What did you have for dinner?" I throw the toothbrush at him. It misses and hits the stairs. "You want to know what I had?" I yell. Fine flecks of toothpaste foam fly from my mouth. "One little square of cheese. That’s all." "What are you brushing your teeth for then?" I let out a scream of frustration. I go over to pick up my toothbrush. "Hon, what’s the matter?" He holds out his hand to help me up. I ignore it. I point the toothbrush at him. "You can make your own dinner. I’m never going to waste time on you again." I storm back to the bathroom. "Honey." He’s right behind me. I slam the door in his face. I’m all sweaty now. I undress, turn on the shower and get in. I close my eyes and breathe out as the water hits my cheeks. By the time I’ve gotten out and into fresh PJs I feel calmer.
I find him at the table eating a bowl of instant noodles. "I’m sorry I didn’t call," he says with his mouth full. "Well don’t do it again," I say, pulling out a chair and sitting down. He chews and swallows. "What’s with the fancy plates and candle?" "I had this crazy idea that we could have a nice sit-down dinner together," I say. "You know, one last celebration where it’s just the two of us." "I’m really sorry," he says, staring into his bowl. "It’s not your fault," I say, rubbing under my ribcage where it’s burning. "I guess you can’t help it if you’re stuck in an operation." He tips his bowl back and drinks the juice. "Is she okay?" I ask. "Who?" "The patient you were stuck with," I say. "What was it, a cancer operation?" "Something like that," he says. He gets up and goes to the sink. "Do you want anything else?" I ask. "No thanks." He glances at the clock. "I’m going to have a shower and then go to bed." I stay sitting while he washes his dishes. My hands are itchy. I feel queasy. My head is starting to throb. "Was it ovarian cancer?" I ask. "Sorry?" "The case you were stuck with. Was it ovarian cancer?" He reaches for the tea towel. "Actually it was a couple of Caesareans," he says, his back turned to me. I’m confused. And headachy. And tired. And nauseous. And over it. "What were you doing on labour ward?" I ask. "I thought you were still doing your gynaecology oncology rotation." "I am," he says. His face looks flushed.
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"One of the consultants asked me to assist her though." "That’s not fair," I say. "Why wasn’t someone else rostered on to help her?" He opens the fridge and takes out a bottle of water. He takes a long swig. I’m standing glaring at him when he closes the door. "Were they private patients?" "Why?" "Why?" I’m yelling again. "You know why! You promised you wouldn’t do any more private assisting." "Settle down Bunny." I jab him in the chest. "Don’t you “settle down” me! I spent hours in the kitchen making a nice dinner and you let it go to waste." "Look, I’m sorry. I wish you’d told me." "So it’s my fault is it?" I yell. "It’s my fault you’d rather spend time at work than with your family." "I never said that," he pleads. "Anyway, I didn’t look for private assisting okay? She just rung up and asked me." I stamp my foot. "Then why didn’t you say no?" "Look, I’m sorry." He’s sounding impatient now. "I’m going to have my shower." He’s halfway up the stairs when he turns back. "Why do you think I said yes?" he says. "There’s a little thing called money you know. You use it to buy things like food and electricity and clothes and stuff. If you earned some for once you’d know what it is." He keeps heading up. By the time I scream out "Arsehole’ he’s disappeared. I’m sweaty again. My body feels like it’s been stuffed in a barrel and thrown over a cliff. I need to lie down. Upstairs in our bedroom I curl up on top of the doona. I feel so miserable I can’t lie still. I get up and go down the hallway to the nursery. As I walk past the bathroom door I kick it. I sit in the recliner couch. I shut my eyes
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and count my breathing. A whirring ball of sharp panic is growing in my chest. I scratch and scratch my palms until I force myself to stop. I open my eyes and focus on the stuffed toys. I look at Paddington, I look at his wellington boots, his red hat, the note pinned to his coat. "Please look after this bear. Thank you." Please look after … Please … Please … It’s not working. I look at the jumperoo instead. That doesn’t help either and now I feel like crying. I give my bump a jiggle and wait. I am crying when Kyle comes in, dressed in his tartan boxers and Bonds T-shirt. He comes over and sits on the recliner’s arm rest and runs his fingers through my hair. "Why do I keep doing it?" he says. I wipe my nose on my sleeve. "Doing what?" "Being a cranky arsehole." Despite myself I smile. I reach and take his hand. He squeezes my fingers. We don’t say anything for a while. I look at the empty picture frame waiting for our photo. I start sniffling again. "Hon." Kyle kneels down in front of me. "What is it?" "I’m scared," I say. He rests his hand on my bump. "Try not to be," he says softly. "I won’t let anything happen to the two of you." "You promise?" "I promise." He leans forward. He kisses the bump. He rests his head against me. "Only a couple of days to go," he says. I smile. I stroke his hair. I run my fingers over where it’s thinning. We stay like this for ages. Eventually he looks up. "Bub’s having a snooze," he says. I frown. "I know," I say. "I’ve hardly felt any movement all afternoon."
http://www.redbubble.com/people/suvimahonen *** The lights in the room are dim. Outside the night sky is black. The midwife’s half turned away from me. Her shoulder-length brown hair casts a shadow across her face. I lie still holding my breath. As we all stare at the CTG I’m desperate for a sound other than the distortion and the static. Suddenly there’s something else. "There!" I sit up and point at the machine. "There!" "Please lie back down." The midwife puts pressure on my shoulder. "Let me check your pulse." She fumbles for my wrist. Her name’s Nikki. She’s young, mid-twenties. She shakes her head. "No, that’s your heartbeat." Her eyes are wide. She looks scared and out of her depth. The CTG squeals as she squirts more gel on the probe. She tries listening above my bellybutton this time. It still sounds the same—hisses and pops, like white noise from a TV. My throat feels tight. I’m almost at the point of screaming. I look up at Kyle. He’s dressed in the crumpled work clothes that he fished out of the laundry hamper before our quick drive down to Mount Surrey. His forehead’s furrowed. "Let me have a go," he says. He reaches for the probe. Nikki snatches it away and clutches it to her chest. "I’m not allowed to," she says. He folds his arms and glares at her. I close my eyes and try counting my breaths. I feel Nikki pressing in with the probe, waiting, angling, waiting, moving on to another spot. Nothing matters except hearing that heartbeat. My own is deafening, the blood surging through my ears. "Oh for fuck’s sake!" Kyle shouts. My eyes fly open. He storms over to the window and slaps his palm against the glass. Nikki stands up. "Look," she says, her hands trembling. "I understand you’re worried but you need to calm down." "And you need to know what you’re doing!" Kyle yells. "If you can’t work the fucking machine then go get someone who can."
Nikki looks like she’s about to cry. She turns and hurries out of the room. "Why can’t we hear the heartbeat?" I say. My voice breaks. Kyle comes over, turns the CTG machine off then back on, turns the volume up and replugs the probe’s lead. He’s pressing it firmly into my belly when Nikki comes back. She’s got another midwife with her. "My name’s Helen. I’m the midwife in charge," the other midwife says in a firm voice. She’s much older. Around sixty. Medium height, solid build, short curly grey hair. Kyle ignores her. She taps him on the shoulder. "What do you think you’re doing?" she says. He looks up briefly, lips thin. She reaches for the probe. He pushes her hand away. "Don’t," he says. "I know what I’m doing." "I’m not debating that," she says. "But you know you’re not allowed to treat family." "Ssh!" He holds his finger to his lips. He keeps searching. Helen reaches over and switches the machine off. Kyle turns, face livid. "I’ll call security," Nikki says, poised near the door. "Don’t be stupid," Helen snaps. She turns back to Kyle and speaks gently. "You need to pull yourself together," she says. "You’re upsetting your wife." He looks at me, eyes wild, he looks at her, he looks back at me. "Where’s Dr Auburn?" "He’s coming," Helen says. She touches his shoulder. "Now come on, take a seat. I’ll have a listen but you need to try and stay calm." Kyle nods. Eyes on the ground. I’m so scared I feel like retching. "Now first things first sweety," Helen says. "Sit up for a sec." As I lean forward she plumps the pillows behind me and asks Nikki to go check on room seven. When it’s just the three of us she switches on the machine. The screen flickers then glows a
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http://www.redbubble.com/people/suvimahonen faint blue. She squirts gel on the probe. She looks up and tries to smile. "Now let’s see what we can hear." *** "I need some water," I murmur. I’m slumped over the beanbag. Kyle’s rubbing my neck. "Here hon." He brings the straw to my lips. I can feel another contraction coming. A tight excruciating cramp. It starts in my belly and spreads all over. I close my eyes and rock back and forth on my knees. I bury my face in the beanbag and groan. I take in a deep breath and push. "That’s the way," Helen says behind me. My arms are shaking. I gasp and push again. The contraction is starting to ease. I pant, open my eyes. Focus on Kyle’s jeans. A heavier hand rests on my back. Dr Auburn’s bent down face comes into view. "That last push was very good Sara," he says. "We’re starting to see some hair." I nod. I’m out of breath. Dr Auburn steps away. Kyle strokes my cheek. "I’m really proud of you honey." I reach up and squeeze his hand. He squeezes back gently, avoiding the needle in the back of mine. I let go when I feel another contraction building. I bite the beanbag. It tastes like vinyl and soap. "That’s it." Helen’s voice. "Let your body tell you what to do." I bear down. I strain so hard I see red. It’s burning. It’s stinging. I take a shuddering breath. The urge is still there. I push again. More pain. After it’s gone I lie there sobbing. Kyle wipes my forehead. "It’s okay hon," he says. "You’re almost there." "Do you want to try another position sweety?" Helen asks. I shake my head. All of a sudden nausea
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hits me. I lean forward and vomit. "I’m sorry." I start crying again. Drool runs from my nose. "Don’t be silly," she says. "I’ll just get you to sit up." Kyle helps me to turn around so I’m sitting upright on the birthmat. He supports my back while I hang my head between my knees. I hear Helen wiping up behind me. Another contraction is coming. I start to panic. "Don’t waste your energy," Dr Auburn says. "Push!" My body takes over. Pain and pressure roll forward. My teeth clenched. Eyes shut. Chin on my chest. Every muscle fibre straining. There’s so much pressure now. I feel myself give way. Helen’s kneeling between my legs. She looks up at me. "That’s it sweety," she says. "The head’s nearly out." *** Later that morning there’s a soft knock on the door. I’m sitting in the armchair. Kyle’s on a chair facing me. Benny’s in the cot between us. We’ve been like this for the past hour. Not talking. Just looking. Not really knowing what to say. Kyle goes and opens the door. It’s Dr Auburn. He’s in a fresh white shirt and clean pants. "How are you feeling?" he asks. I don’t say anything. "I’m sorry." He stands there, fingers fidgeting, like he’s not sure what to say next. "I need to ask you two a difficult question," he finally says. "Is it about an autopsy?" Kyle says. "Yes." Kyle’s hand tightens on my shoulder. I sit here. Nothing seems real. "Have you examined him?" Kyle asks.
http://www.redbubble.com/people/suvimahonen "I did earlier," Dr Auburn says. "And …?" "There’s nothing obvious. Though it’s hard to tell when …" He stops and studies his thumbs. "When do we have to decide by?" Kyle says. Dr Auburn glances at Benny. "No rush," he says. "Tomorrow morning will be fine." I look out the window at the grey sky. "I don’t want to stay another night." My voice is hoarse. "You don’t have to," Dr Auburn says. He sounds apologetic. "But I’d prefer if you did." "Why?" "I’d like to see some improvement in your liver and renal function profile first." I close my eyes and lean my head back. "Plus it will give you a chance to see the social worker," I hear him say. "What for?" "To help you with the forms and funeral arrangements. And also to provide you with options for counselling." "I’m already seeing a psychologist," I say, my eyes still closed. "Okay." There’s a pause. His shoes squeak. "Is there anything you wanted to ask me?" I count my breaths. "Sara?" I shake my head. "Once again I’m terribly sorry for what’s happened." His voice rises. "I’ll see you later then." "Thanks," Kyle says. I feel him lean forward. I imagine them shaking hands. "Good bye Sara," Dr Auburn says. His footsteps head towards the door. "Why didn’t you induce me?" "Honey." Kyle squeezes my shoulder. I ignore him.
Dr Auburn stands still, face straight, with his hand on the doorknob. He comes back over and sits down on the edge of the bed. "I can understand your anger," he says. "I’m not angry," I say. "I just want to know why." "When I saw you in my rooms last Wednesday," he says cautiously, "there wasn’t really an indication." "What do you mean there wasn’t an indication?" I yell. Dr Auburn recoils. "What about being alive? He was still alive!" I drop my face in my hands and cry. And cry. Kyle strokes my hair but I barely notice. Eventually I slow down. I take a handful of tissues and blow my nose. "Now look." Dr Auburn leans forward and touches my knee. "I’ll come back and talk to you later this evening, okay?" I nod. He stands up again. "Now try and get some rest." After he leaves Kyle squats down in front of me. "How about I pop out for a couple of hours," he says. "Give you a chance to nap." I look at our son lying there. His little face peeking out between his red pom-pom cap and his blanket. "I want to hold him again," I say. "Honey." Kyle squeezes my hand. He looks into my eyes. "How about later. Have a rest first." "No," I say. "I can rest for the rest of my life. But I’ve only got Benny for today."
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quebec, canada www.humanimalz.com
Dan Hedges teaches English in the Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board of Quebec. He has also taught at Sedbergh School, and the Celtic International School. He has lived in international locales, including Spain and Mexico. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Monarch Review: Seattleâ€™s Literary and Arts Magazine, Ditch Poetry, The Maynard, The Camel Saloon, Wildflower Magazine, Rigormortus, Fortunates, Inertia, Crack the Spine, Short-Fast-and-Deadly, Coatlism Press, Whole Beast Rag, Marco Polo Arts Magazine, Kenning Journal, The Rusty Nail, Wilderness House Literary Journal, Retort Magazine, Certain Circuits, Touch Poetry, Poetic Diversity, Haggard and Halloo Publications, Jones Avenue Quarterly, Blink Ink, Greensilk Journal, Literary Chaos, Subtopian Magazine, The Euonia Review, Undertow Magazine, The View from Here, and Mad Swirl. Dan is the editor of a literary collective called Humanimalz.
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quebec, canada www.humanimalz.com
Lobsters and Hipsters Some male birds sing doggedly to claim territory. Lobsters monger power pinch by pinch. Literary control mongers select ‘works’ from pools of hipsters who compete by being cool, cooler, or coolest. At one point in the continuum, Macramé skills were the ‘twin of aces’, in the arena of competitive zeitgeist.
Judy Garland Part Two When I realized that you were born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which is on the Mississippi, your ability to ‘haunt’ increased by a factor of twenty-nine. In our thoughts about legends, the haunting ratio is mathematical, expressed and measured by various notches of beauty, including ‘hometown’ and connection to natural lore, such as proximity to sacred ‘literary’ rivers.
Five Questions for the Literary Control-Mongers What if bronzed wind turbines scatter spiritual thoughts over semantic payloads, but the intensity gauge malfunctions, so that lichens manifest as golden fluorescent crawlers? What if field-guide aesthetics weave into post-industrial nomenclature in the fourth dimension, and will Gutenberg be ‘there’ to meet us? What if the fourth dimension masquerades as the sixth sense, and dabbles in texts about pre-destiny? What if agrammatical prose-poetry angers the literary control-mongers? Will content be held in favour over traditional standards?
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edmund spencer Travels in Circassia, Krim Tartary, &c. (II) After being accustomed to the costume of our own tars, you will be amused to learn that of the Hungarian captain of our steamer. His diminutive figure, for he could not have been more than five feet in height, was attired in a hussar jacket, richly braided; and as if this was not sin enough against marine manners, his round rosy face was ornamented with a tremendous pair of mustachios fiercely curled, and large whiskers growing under his chin like a lady's boa; and these being of a fiery red, contributed to give a most grotesque expression to his countenance. The engineer, an intelligent young man, a native of Mayence, had resided several years in England. He surprised me with the information that wood was the fuel he usually burnt; for, notwithstanding plenty of coal is found in most of the comitats of Hungary, and even in the vicinity of the Danube, yet such is the want of enterprise in the people of this country, that Newcastle is found a cheaper market for supplying the steam-vessels on the Danube with coals, than Hungary itself, where labour and provisions may be obtained at the lowest possible cost. So long as we continued within the Duchy of Austria, the banks of the river remained low and swampy, without a single object to relieve the monotony of the landscape, except a distant prospect of the Kahlenberg and Hungarian hills. On passing the island of Lobau, our attention was directed for a moment to that dreary spot so connected with interesting historical recollections. It told of the conquests of Napoleon, of the humiliation of the Austrian empire. However, we were not doomed to linger long in this tiresome uninteresting part of the Danube, for moving rapidly onward, aided by the force of a strong current and an engine of forty-two horsepower, we soon approached the Hungarian frontier, when the banks began to assume a more picturesque character. Ruined castles, dilapidated fortifications, neat towns, and pretty villages, added to vine-clad hills, rich cornfields, and blooming gardens, formed a succession of pleasing pictures, which continued to cheer us without intermission to Presburg. We were first gratified with a hasty glance of Petronell, the Carnuntum of the Romans; which still exhibits the remains of the triumphal arch erected by Augustus to the honour of Tiberius, conqueror of Pannonia: we also obtained a glimpse of the famous
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fortified wall, which runs from hence to the great Hungarian lake, Neusiedlersee. This gigantic work is supposed to have been originally constructed by the Germans, as a defence against the devastation of the Huns, Tartars, and other Asiatic tribes; and though now a mere ruin, yet, at no more remote a period than a few centuries since, it rendered good service to Austria as a check against the invading Turks. Surely no mode of travelling is half so agreeable as a steam-boat on a lake or river; you are neither tormented with dust, nor the numerous dĂŠsagrĂŠmens of hotels, rapacious landlords, long bills, officious waiters, post horses not ready, and grumbling postilions; each sufficient of itself to exhaust the patience of a traveller. On the contrary, here our expenses may be regulated with exact precision, and as we glide rapidly forward, there is just sufficient time to admire the scenery as in a panorama, while the distance veils its imperfections. The humblest village, with its tiny church, appears the very abode of content and happiness; and should the landscape become monotonous, or the weather unfavourable, we are almost certain to find in the cabin good society, or at least some traits in the manners and character of the passengers, sufficient to prevent the approach of ennui. But, to descend from general observations to those suggested by the locality, the tour of the Danube should be made in spring, for then we are not tormented with stinging musquitoes, or a burning sun. Nature is also dressed in her brightest smiles, and, as she now appeared, I could not too much admire the delicately rich verdure of the pastures and meadows, nor the gardens and orchards, clothed in all their varied flowery tints, resembling so many bouquets; while the young corn, here waving in the wind, there bursting from its earthy prison in all the strength and vigour of renewed life, gave an additional charm to the beautiful landscape. One of the most interesting pictures presented to us was Deutsch-Altenburg, with its fine modern castle and pretty church, situated on the summit of a hill; and I much regretted that we passed so rapidly, as not to permit me taking a sketch of Haimburg, beautifully grouped round the base of a mountain, crowned by a picturesque ruin: and should any of our
edmund spencer clever painters journey to the Danube in search of a landscape to adorn one of our pretty annuals, I would by all means counsel Haimburg, with Theben (Dowina) on the opposite bank, should form the subject of his pencil, combining as they do all that can be called picturesque in the mouldering ruin, the disrupted fortification, and the most lovely river scenery. Theben, now so solitary and insignificant, was at one time a town of great importance, being mentioned in the history of the German wars so early as the seventh century; and, to judge from the extent and strength of the fortifications, the altitude of the hill, and commanding position, it must have been a most formidable military position. We remained about half an hour at Presburg, sufficiently long to allow me to take a sketch of the town, with the royal castle of the kings of Hungary proudly seated on the last peak of the lower chain of the Carpathians. However interesting and picturesque Presburg may appear from the steam-boat, it does not improve upon a more intimate acquaintance, particularly when we remember it was the capital of so extensive a kingdom as Hungary: the streets, besides being narrow, are badly built and ill paved, and with the exception of a few good inns, there is not the slightest appearance of improvement or commercial activity. The splendid castle is deserted and fast falling to decay, and many of the wealthy nobles, who resided
here when it was the capital, have removed to Vienna or Pest, leaving their spacious palaces without tenants, the numerous windows of which being broken, and covered with dust and cobwebs, contribute not a little to the desolation of the picture. The sittings of the Diet are still held here, and the brows of the Emperor of Austria here wreathed with the diadem of Hungary, a ceremony I had the pleasure of witnessing some years since. In conformity with the ancient institutions of the country, the newly-crowned monarch is obliged to ascend the Konigsberg (king's mountain) on horseback, armed with the sword of King Stephen, the saint and patron of Hungary, when he extends it towards the four quarters of the globe; at the same time swearing, by the holy saint, to protect his subjects from their foes on whatever side they may be assailed, and also to maintain intact their constitution, laws, and religion. Farewell! (to be continued)
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Photoshop - Vineyards in Massandra, Crimea
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Photo: Tamila KarakaĹ&#x;
Ozbek Han Mosque, Crimea (built in 1314) Photo by Aziz Amet (Ametov)