*Aw/Al*Issue03*Mar.2011* In This Issueâ€Ś Editorâ€™s Note Cover Artist
March Music Words
Breakfast in Fur Joan McNerney, Taylor Steinberg, Thomas Perkins Frank Boyer, Becca Wild, Rebecca Anne Renner Chris Milea, Changming Yuan, Andrew Higgins
Mala Hoffman, Thomas Michael Duncan, Scarlet Colsen Franklin Demuth, Valentina Cano, Timothy Brennan
Art Frank Kosempa, Jordan Okon, Kaitlin Van Pelt, Erin Dinan Erin Domagal, Jenna Chalmers, Lindsey Buckley, Madeline Breed
Happy March, dear reader. We hate to get swept up (pardon the pun) with all the changes in the area—snow, rain, floods, sunshine and a few tastes of warm breezes, but we have some changes going on around here, too. The most exciting addition to the Awosting Alchemy family is our music section, featuring Breakfast in Fur as our very first artist of the month. We’re ironing out the details, but the essential part is that you’ll get some great sounds with every new issue. We’re happy to introduce you to BIF if you’ve never had the pleasure of each other’s company before, and hope to offer some sneaky new tidbits if you have already signed each other’s dance cards—namely that they’ve just signed with Analog Edition Records and are about to put out a brand new EP! Another change to the magazine for this, our third issue, is an affirmation of our motto, “Inspired by the Hudson Valley and beyond.” We have been flattered and intrigued to begin receiving submissions from around the country and the globe, including South America and Europe. We have chosen to highlight a few of those writers hailing more from the ‘beyond’, and we hope you’ll welcome them to the Valley. One of the earliest goals for this publication was that it become a true outlet for those it inspired, and I am happy we are including other spontaneous and creative minds from outside our flooding boundaries. It seems not only the Wallkill, Rondout and other area waters are blurring their lines, but we are as well, happily. Thanks for returning for a new edition of Awosting Alchemy. Happy Spring… XO, *L
Cover Artist: Emmanuel Goldstein Emmanuel Goldstein grew up in a small town in upstate New York and attended The University at Albany. He received his BFA in 2009. He moved to Rosendale, New York in 2010 to join a wonderful artistic community and has since been working on his artwork with plans to attend graduate school in the Fall. Goldstein’s work is an expulsion of thoughts and ideas pertaining to human interaction, mediated surroundings, street art, and adolescence that combine elements of abstraction, and narrative. His drawings are created in a variety of different ways, and with various immediate materials. Repetition and line are the main focus within his drawings. These two elements, combined with a memory search of childhood occurrences, are what drive him to create.
March Music: Breakfast in Fur We are so happy to share our newest feature, monthly music, beginning with the astonishingly fun and talented New Paltz band Breakfast in Fur.
The Breakfast in Fur family includes Dan Wolfe, Kaitlin Van Pelt, Michael Hollis, Matt Ross, Dan Morgenstern, James O’Keeffe, and John Wittson. They were recently signed to Analog Edition Records, a vinyl label out of Portland, OR. Their EP with one extra only-to-be-released-on-vinyl song “ghost story” is right now being pressed in an edition of five hundred 10″ vinyl records. It is available for pre-order right now, with a release date in early May. It doesn’t get much cooler than that–or does it? Beyond just hearing them through your delightful speakers at home and preordering their infectiously resonant EP, you can go see BIF out at many area hotspots, including Market Market of Rosendale, Oasis of New Paltz and Vassar College. Catch them next at Market Market on Friday March 18th with Elephant 6 cohorts Folklore from Philly, and local band Channel. In between all their recording and contract signing, Awosting Alchemy was lucky enough to snag a virtual interview with Dan and Kaitlin. What follows is excerpted from that interview. For the full interview, check our blog.
AwAl: Upcoming plans for the band? Tours? Collaborations? BIF: Well, we have an EP coming out this Spring of covers and collaborations with other local friends and musicians, called “Flyaway Garden.” Also, this Spring we’ll be releasing the first EP on vinyl, and this will include one unreleased new track. Finally, this June we’re planning our first East Coast/Midwest tour! Lots of exciting stuff.
AwAl: The name ‘Breakfast in Fur’ conjures up amazingly decadent and rebellious images. Care to share the meaning behind the name?
AwAl: What’s the question you’d like to answer that we did not ask?
BIF: We’re inspired a lot by surrealist artwork and we took this name from the title of a surrealist sculpture by Meret Oppenheim.
BIF: Where can we find out more about Breakfast in Fur? Well we’re on Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Twitter, Lastfm, and best of all, we just made a website: http://breakfastinfur.tumblr.com/
9 Ways of Viewing the Brooklyn Bridge 1 from far away as if a child drew 2 bright triangles in the sky 2 empty newspaper truck rattling over violet bridge 3 rain sweeps through giant silver spider web 4 obscured by N train its metal doors reflect freight boats and painted containers 5 tipping from side to side listening to loose tracks 6 passengers huddled in tight circles woolen gloves around steel pole 7 1 square of sunset in the sticky window 8 orange ball bounces beside bridge...slides into blue water white waves 9 black sky black sea yellow moon climbs over buildings 3 foghorns
*Note* McNerneyâ€™s poem is the winner of our March submission contest. As the winner, she will receive an original, one-of-a-kind painting.
Gazing at the Firmament Floating on my back; driftwood wading the current.
Haiku for Eunice (Felter) Boyer March 28, 1918-February 26, 2008 My Mom Black cows on new snow. In their eyelashes flakes melt. They, too, feel time pass. -Frank Boyer
If You're Awake, You're Not Dreaming
Oh, The slow and cautious Winter ride When the world is more White Than green or brown.
After the Party â€“ A Tanka High bright moon tumbled in the tossing tree branches: an icy howling, and I, drunk again, alone, drink deep the wind, the darkness... -Frank Boyer
- Thomas Perkins
Image: Frank Kosempa
River Ice Tree Reflection
Shoulder Span My lover, his ex-girlfriend and I have a Tai Chi class that we attend every week, and only the three of us show up. There is not even a teacher, and we just practice, practice, and do what comes most easily and naturally to us and do not stop. We do not speak, and look at the trees. Actually, we have this class every morning and every day and we all wear white, the brightest whites we have. Like laundry sheets from the hot water our mothers made. Stiffened, bleached with the kind of bleach that comes from the bottle with a green leaf on it, which is almost like the green leaves on these trees that we are looking at right now, as we melt and flow into the golden sunset overlooking us all, and creating our shadows that are in the exact same correct posture as we are. Do Tai Chi poses have names? I ask my lover. Many names, he says, or else, some do and some don’t. He could say either one of these things. What’s that pose you showed me that you’re supposed to do just when you’re first starting out? The one that I couldn’t do? But he can’t picture it. So I try to remind him again. Remember the one that opens your shoulder span, and you go in two directions at once?
We went back to his house and he had moved every single piece of furniture he owned into the middle of the floor. This was in the days that people had houses. If you were a person, you had a house, with no exceptions. So this house was really him, and not the grasping for home. It was not a house that could be lost at any minute, or one that he had to build from limited materials, and therefore lacked floors, or faucets. Also at this time we could each be anywhere entirely voluntarily. When we arrived, we arrived, and left when we left. And in this time, all of our relationships did not have a subtext of, oh you are such a good kisser and we talk well and I need a place to live, so I will visit you / live with you / oh how lovely, how lovely you are. I would walk with bare feet down a sidewalk like my own hallway, and make it to my own house, too, with Delphiniums and windowsills, with a real blue front door, and small swimming pools in the backyard, one for hot days and one for cool.
He says the pose is called Commencement, which is funny because that’s what they call it when you graduate college and you are leaving, but the word means beginning.
Of course I was equally allowed as anyone else to make stuffed portabella mushrooms and invite absolutely anyone over, a lover, or a past professor for tea and wine and then dismiss them without that absolute feeling of deflation about where to go or where to live next. I never felt deflated leaving anyone in those days.
And all at once, the three of us do just this one thing in synchronicity, at the top of a mountain together, step, peel, roll back, span, lead with the eyes, commence.
And so we climbed over his furniture and into the center of the house, the furniture placed there not out of necessity, and not because the walls were poison. It was his way of
expressing himself. It meant that he had woken up and raked it all in only because he had felt the exact emotion of raking it all in, and his high school flute made it right to the top of the pile. It was his way of speaking to me. And so I opened it and began to play. And we listened to the sound there together for one moment, our four feet shooting down into that one spot between the nightstand, the folding chair, and beside the desk he’s had since he was three, and we had about four feet by three feet to stand in, and I wondered also how much time we had to stand there, and did he allot that too, this morning during his furniture project in the blue light of dawn, and what birds were singing, and what we were supposed to bear to each other now.
Things God Lied to You About and You Believed Until Reading The New Yorker for the First Time Zookeepers say they always feed lions enough not to rely on tearing the haunches from gazelles midway between the water habitat and children screaming at parents screaming not to watch.
There’s a debt of license here, a debt of understanding that God made gazelles clairvoyant and unavoidable, swift but not swift enough in leg as thought, when action gets them somewhere apart from replaying the scene
of their death across the mind’s concave spaces. Try cleaving your death from between diatoms of air: is light a particle or a wave? does it really make a difference shining? In this floating city, the travelers unnamed it Teotihuacan, stripped all gold from walls and noses, left it with the bird that led them there. Step forward they come to the crossroads of the feathered serpent and decide to fry instead of deify. There will be no border patrol, no barbed-wire habitats, barbed-wire salesmen, or barbedwire, period. Barbe keeps its original meaning as a beard, and gazelles are none the wiser to the fissuring of singularities than they are to the name of the lion who bit them. The children don’t want to know the intricacies. Content is content believing everything you read: Zookeepers say they always feed lions. -Rebecca Anne Renner
Image: Jordan Okon
Why I Didn’t Keep the Dog When a being is falling through time, It is quite ambitious to say they could hold something. I myself am a cut wilting flower wrapped in an olive vine bending my edges in the wind. I can only be loved like a surf board traveling once into the shore, A one way elevator, The second half of last nights dream of a sky plummeting angel clutching at a necklace, After the drum has hit the bell, Just once. Doggy, you are just once and I would bet 50 bucks that I could catch a football gently tossed into my hands from two feet away, But I would never bet your life that I could, pup. Nothing’s easy enough for you to stand on, And I wish I had enough to apologize, You were kind dog, you’re a 10 year firework of white emerging like a daffodil And fizzling, chased into the sky. I need to breathe deep and feel like the dusk dog, I need to be wide as an expanse of blue evening covering the thorn bushes And up the mountain, I need all of the hills to pass off the sounds of the cannons with me, I’m sorry I’m falling through space and time. I compared you to the Trojan Women given the howl when you left your home. I am not giving you away because you are just a dog. I am not giving you away because we can find a home.
I guess it could be put by saying I don’t have a back yard. I lease areas for brief periods of time then continue to plummet. In a sense I am a heavy drinker that rolls over on bar tables under chandeliers And stumbles looking for rusty jewelry under the pier in the sand. I am not an Owner, by myself. I wouldn’t know how. I just go.
Image: Kaitlin Van Pelt
Humans vs. Birds All doors are man-made Even those in hell and heaven Behind every door Is either a home Or a prison cell More often both Than neither The only living space without a door Is a nest or the sky Both for birds Neither for man -Changming Yuan
My Way of Praying They come to me slowly in the dusk, these prayers, that really read like monologues of me on the mountain top when the bush bursts into flame and the pathway lights, forever, me on my way. Unfortunately, that’s how I pray. But in the end, I’m still fumbling in the flashing black, and finding remnants of meals and lovers, cast into corners, done in the dark. Meanwhile, on a lawn lit by the evening sun, children play, shooting themselves with orange foam darts, giggling, for all the world, like sarcastic cupids. Lord, lead us please to such serenity. That’s all we need. -Andrew Higgins
Images: Erin Dinan
Birdscake Three Sisters
Unleashing the Monster
“You left your dog at home?” I asked him as I picked up just-warm coffee swirling in a ceramic mug. He stared past my glasses. “My dog died, at Christmas.” I blink then duck before he can see it, the blood-red of my exposed self blatantly straddling my eye. Like a patch or an oil slick gushing crude liquid, it sprang to the surface through will alone, forcing fearful glances, for who wants to really see what lies beneath the surface.
Seething in our bed I go over it again in my mind. What you said What I said What did I say? I decide to bridge the stairway gap, descend to your dungeon. Then a line catches my attention. An hour passes. You’re probably asleep anyway.
Image: Jenna Chalmers
This is where arguments go after two decades, buried between the teeth and the heart.
Abandoned & Damaged
Mythomaniac And if I was lying, I didn’t know it. For all human conditions there are extremes. Some people with memory loss have three-second short-term memories. People who are extremely afraid of heights have been known to suffer heart attacks when looking out second story windows. I am a liar—an extreme pathological liar. When Alice asked me if he said anything about her before he died, I said yes. I told her he said, “Tell Alice I love her.” And it became the truth. At least to me. And since I’m the only one who heard his last words, it became the truth for everyone. When I lie, I don’t realize it. I know I’m going to lie—and I try to stop myself—but once I lie, it becomes the truth. If I held up a red rose and said, “This flower is blue,” I would see a blue flower. I am wearing green sneakers today, but I might not be. My name is Ryan Schofeild but it could be Frank, or John. I live in New Hampshire, but I might reside in Taiwan. And with a tire iron sticking out of his chest, pinned to the ground, he told me “Tell Alice I love her.” Some people who know about my condition wonder if I never lie at all. How would I know? I know because it’s been proved. When I was a senior in high school, I told my dad I was a virgin. I was more surprised than he was when my
ex-girlfriend sent me a bill for an abortion. It took me a while to realize what happened, but that’s the type of thing that could bring me to remember a lie. There’s another way for me to remember. Sometimes an exact word or phrase can reveal a lie. That is the worst way to remember. When the valedictorian gave his speech at my high school graduation ceremony, he said, “We are all very lucky to be here.” That was when I realized my mom was dead. A friend had given her eulogy saying, “It may not be obvious, but we are all very lucky to be here. We are all very lucky to have known such an amazing woman.” The combination of the similar phrase and a speech being given shocked my mind into facing reality. It was as if my mother died that very moment. Mortified, I cried as I was handed my diploma. Alice and I spend a lot of time together now. We weren’t too close before, but we feel like we share a kind of bond now. We hold hands all the time and often find ourselves hugging. It’s not like we’ve started a relationship; we’re just closer. Some nights we sit in silence, in the dark, and just feel each other’s presences. Other nights, Alice can’t stand the silence and just has to talk to hear the noise. Tonight is of the latter kind. Alice is telling me about all of the things he promised her, about their future together, about the presents he gave her and how he surprised her with flowers. She pauses and I can
tell she is thinking about his last words. “I would never want you to lie to me,” she says, “because of what it does to you. I could never live in a world where I don’t know what is real and what I imagined.” She knows about my condition. “I know you didn’t want to see him die. I know you didn’t want to bear the burden of his final words.” Suddenly I am with him again, back on the side of the road. The accident has already taken place and the tire iron is covered in his blood. My Jeep is tipped over behind me. I can’t see it but I know it’s there. Something Alice said has made me remember. But everything is the same. I’ve never flashed back to something I hadn’t lied about. Image: Erin Dinan
“Tell Alice I love her,” he says. But something is different. He’s not pinned to the ground. And there’s no gaping wound in his chest. The tire iron is in his hand and the cut is on his shoulder. He’s standing, backing away now. He turns and runs until he’s out of sight. “What’s wrong?” Alice asks me and I come to. “I remember that night,” I tell her. “He really did say, ‘Tell Alice I love her.‟” Alice smiles and rests her head on my shoulder.
-Thomas Michael Duncan Image: Erin Domagal
Exploration of Place
Checked Out You want to know what makes me sad? That dying Christmas Cactus over there. That probably amuses you - I can tell by the way you just turned away that it does. You know, once I had sixty-seven plants, all healthy, I loved them, I loved to take care of them. Yeah, be a wise ass, go ahead, but you asked me -
you're the one that said: "I think you've checked out," while I was thinking it was something more like becoming catatonic. But then I laugh, a hysterical laugh. I'm thinking how much this feels like a Carver short story, I laugh some more, Christ, I was living Carver stories before he was born that's a lie but at least before he was published. -Scarlet Colsen
Image: Lindsey Buckley
Untitled I have known silence luscious and austere, all coarse and rarefied louder than a drum louder than any hustle and bustle I could ever devise. In the fractional pause between ringing gadgetry and digital embrace, some quiet thought pervades some kind, unfettered thing softens the void. I learned to listen in north Ontario, early spring. In that sharp, naked season of light not so much as a bird chirping nor wave lapping stirs the cool, dry air. and Sometimes I can still hear that raw Canadian landscape creeping across my threshold bearing treasures and trinkets Longing and Release.
Image: Lindsey Buckley
A Bluff I suppose the expression on my face told it all. My smile stretched like a wet balloon, my cheekbones scraped against the flesh that guards them. I felt as if my throat was floating in blood, swimming with cells of every color. A rainbow of veins like kite strings on a windless day. I held myself taut, a statue of resin on which you ran your feet,
on which you scraped the slickness of your own body. My legs felt sliced every day that you were around. So I told you to go fishing, so I could stop checking myself for signs of pollution, levels raised above normal. Just go for a few days. I promised my skin would be sewed on again, stitches tight and intimate, a needle-point of forgiveness. -Valentina Cano
Image: Madeline Breed
At The Party At the party men crowd around my wife. They mutter utterly foolish words, competing for her attention. They bring her drinks and hors dâ€™oeuvres tell her stories ask her to dance. She laughs like a school girl, and smokes their cigarettes. Her lipstick shines
brightly in the soft light, against her blond hair, pale eyes, while deep in the shadows my blue eyes grow narrow and dark. I hold my jealous rage like a thin glass bowl, balanced and tottering, slightly too large for my arms.
Image: Jordan Okon
AN ARMED MAN LURKS IN AMBUSH 1. Ladies wave their handkerchiefs in greeting, men lift their hats. The passing flock of crows spreads a bewilderment of shadows. Police disguised as woodcutters and Lithuanian tailors watch from behind lampposts. Each day brings less daylight, but also lessons in how to hull seeds. I look up at colossal windows arched like tombstones. All along and without claiming it, I’ve had a seat on the wagon that carries my coffin. 2. Oh, to be old and stoop-shouldered and walking through streets that aren’t there, pastel birds from discount pet stores rioting like exasperated horns and rattles and a statue of the dictator ducking into a doorway in a shapeless cape of melting snow. 3. I borrowed my broken yellow teeth from diseased longings. Icky, the child said. Even thieves had lost faith in the face value of paper money. Despite the film of dust on everything, winter retained some of the glitter of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. An old lady leaning a ladder against the side of her house was the only one in the village to escape. What next? Contact me with suggestions.
Howie Good is the author of the fulllength poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011). Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, 63 channels, Spectrum, and three Bright Spring Press Anthologies. Four of her
books have been published by fine literary presses. She has performed at the National Arts Club, Borders Bookstore, McNay Art Institute and other distinguished venues. A recent reading was sponsored by the American Academy of Poetry. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky, A.P.D., Albany, New York. Taylor Steinberg is currently a sophomore, studying English, at SUNY New Paltz.
Image: Erin Domagal
Erin Domagal studied at Binghamton University, University of Tasmania, and received her BFA from SUNY New Paltz. She finds her inspiration in the woods and streams, old broken down buildings, and sometimes in her attic. Erinâ€™s recent paintings are about the relationship between the earth and the sky, and the patterns in the landscape. The images included this month are from an emerging body of work titled "Exploration of Place." Her work is currently being shown at the Bywater
Bistro in Rosendale; the show runs through the end of March. Thomas Perkins was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1969. It was, however, the New Jersey suburb where he was raised that inspired him to join the Peace Corps in search of someâ€Ś flavor. After four years of increasing fluency in Thailand, he fell in love and started the family. He has been a globe trotting educator ever since. Over the years he has been
motivated to keep his poems as one might a photo album of personal observation and insight. Now however, as a single father settling comfortably with his son in Cantine’s Island Cohousing Community in Saugerties, Thomas hopes for something his poetry has been sadly lacking: a community with which to share it and by which it may grow. Frank Boyer started writing with the goofy idea of “becoming a writer” when he was 20 years old. This idea gave some sort of focus to his ongoing mania, as he bounced here and there, scattering himself across the landscape, so he kept it, and has been writing eversince, one way or another. Landing in New York City in the late 1970’s to pursue an interest in dance and performance, he hung around there for 15 years that spanned the 1980’s. He participated in the performance art scene of the Lower East Side, collaborating with the normal bunch of lunatics, performing at PS122, LaMama, and other funky-chic venues. Occasionally he ventured uptown of 14th Street, usually to go to the Met or catch a poetry reading, or to work at one of the legion of ludicrous jobs he scammed his way into in order to support his art habit. In the late 1980’s, when he was an artist in residence at Tompkins Square Library, he began to build installations using found objects and “talismans” from his past. He still occasionally creates large-scale works with performance and installation elements. He has recently published a chapbook, Jumping Out of My Skin, and is working on a second one, as well as a fulllength manuscript that draws upon Greek and Egyptian mythology to examine the processes of grief. For the
last two or so years he has been writing haiku and haiku-related poems every day. He teaches visual and performing arts-related subjects at SUNY-New Paltz and SUNY-Ulster. Frank Kosempa lives in New Paltz, NY with his True Love on a meandering North-flowing river that will oxbow in about two thousand years. I Ching comments: K'en Sun: Development, Gentle Progress. He writes, photographs, makes videos, and occasionally does other art stuff. There’s also the garden to love. Some of the videos are here: http://www.youtube.com/user/publicki ndness Becca Wild spins fire, makes hula hoops, and brews kombucha in High Falls. She received her BA in English and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz and her poetry and journalism has been published in Chronogram and various passionate, yet widely undiscovered publications. She continues to become more alive, and then writes about the ride. Rebecca Anne Renner is a poet and fiction writer, born and raised in the Sunshine State. A Sullivan Scholar at Stetson University, she is studying for her Bachelor's Degree in English with minors in Creative Writing, English, and Biology (of all things). Last year, she received the American Academy of Poets University Prize, and she the editor-in-chief of Barrier Islands Review. Her work has appeared in Pedestal Magazine and Flashquake among others. Jordan Okon is currently a student at SUNY New Paltz and is double majoring in photography and Women’s Studies. She is from Chicago and is temporarily living in the New Paltz area until she
graduates. Jordan would rather shoot in black and white film than digital; she resonates with exploring her identity through self-portraiture, but also enjoys street photography and the occasional landscape. Chris Milea is Co-President of the SUNY New Paltz slam team and was the 2010 New Paltz Grand Slam Champion, a team that finished 6th in the nation. He competed as a representative of New York City and The Intangible Slam at National Poetry Slam 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kaitlin Van Pelt, originally from Long Island, has her BFA in Painting and Drawing. She currently resides in New York's Hudson Valley working as an illustrator, multi-media artist, and musician. See more of her work at kaitlinmakesthings.blogspot.com Changming Yuan, author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009), is a three-time Pushcart nominee who grew up in a remote Chinese village and authored several books before moving to Canada. Currently Yuan works in Vancouver and has had poems appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, Cortland Review, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine and more than 300 other literary publications in 15 countries. Andrew Higgins teaches English at SUNY New Paltz and has lived in the local area for about 5 years now. His poetry has appeared in The Shawangunk Review, The Paterson Literary Review, The New York Quarterly, WaterWrites! and other places. Lately, when not reading poetry, he has been fashioning small insects from feathers and fur and will offer them to trout in the spring.
Erin Dinan was born in NYC, and attended the Fiorello LaGuardia School of Fine and Performing Arts. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking, in 2009 from the State University of New York at New Paltz. In 2010, her work was accepted into the SUNY Best of Show finals at the Empire State Museum in Albany, New York. Dinan is an active member of the Arts Society of Kingston, New York, where she currently resides. Mala Hoffman is a freelance writer and educator who lives in Gardiner, N.Y. with her husband Marc Moran and daughters Lucy and Sadie. Her work has appeared in the Village Voice, Chronogram, Let the Poets Speak! and The River Reporter, among others. Her chapbook, Half Moon Over Midnight, was published by Paper Kite Press in 2006.
Jenna Chalmers is currently an undergrad student at SUNY New Paltz, working towards a BFA in photography. She draws on personal experiences and emotions to fuel her work. Focusing on a simplistic aesthetic, she uses photography as a voice to connect with her peers and the world around her. Thomas Michael Duncan lives between central and western New York. In May he will graduate from SUNY Brockport with a B.A. in English and Health Science. His fiction has previously appeared in The Scrambler at thescrambler.com. You can find him on twitter at twitter.com/thomasmduncan Scarlet Colsen was born in Kellis Store, Mississippi, in 1939, but moved to Grosse Ile, Michigan when she was five. Shortly after high school, she was discovered by Oleg Casini and was
invited to New York where she worked as a high-fashion model for ten years and earned the dubious distinction of being the first and only “Marlboro Woman”. She also appeared in the “Mirror of Venus”, a Sexist piece of pseudo-poetry conceived by Federico Fellini and Wingate Paine. Since modeling is the epitome of oppressive objectification, Scarlet naturally embraced the ethics and politics of Radical Feminism. It was around this time that she began her first formal studies in sculpture. Shortly after, to explore the performance aspect of sculpture, she studied acting with Gordon Phillips and Filmmaking at Columbia University. Scarlet co-wrote, co-directed, and acted in two short films. While all creative activities feed on each other and nourish us, by the mid-1980’s, she began sculpting in earnest, and in 1995, moved to New Paltz, NY, to concentrate on art, poetry, and gardening. Her Woodswomen Series has been shown in DUMBO, in local galleries, and for the last ten years at the Unison Sculpture Garden. In 2009, a larger work was shown at the Kingston Sculptural Biennial. Also that year, Scarlet performed in “The Vagina Monologues” in Rosendale, NY. Her poetry has appeared in the Chronogram. Some of her Woodswomen work can be seen at https://sites.google.com/site/scarletart / Scarlet has the great good fortune to live on a river in paradise with the love of her life, and is just as lucky to have an incredible daughter and two amazing grandchildren. Born and raised in an artistic community, Lindsey Buckley was able to create a sense of comfort with her self as an artist. This is directly reflected in her photo books and videos, where she creates a space for the viewer of comfort, peace, and
adventure. She is currently in her senior year at the State University of New York at New Paltz, completing a Bachelors of Fine Art degree in Photography. After completing her thesis project in Photography, Buckley plans to continue her graduate studies in video art. Her undergraduate thesis show is on May 6, 2011. Franklin Demuth lives, works, studies, teaches yoga, and writes in Ulster County. He occasionally travels elsewhere, but invariably finds himself pining for the Hudson Valley. Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. She also babies a multitude of pets, including her seven feisty pet snakes. Her work has appeared in Exercise Bowler, Theory Train, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre among others. You can find her here: http://coldbloodedlives.blogspot.com Madeline Breed is from Syracuse, New York and is currently a student living in the Hudson Valley. Although much of her work deals with modern femininity and her own role in society, she also enjoys making intimate images of the mundane and beautiful clutter surrounding her. When Madeline isn't taking photographs she is probably planning a hypothetical trip, eating a burrito, or thinking about her dog, Miss. Timothy Brennan goes to parties, mainly in New York's Hudson Valley.
Acknowledgements There are so many individuals and businesses without whom Awosting Alchemy could not exist in this form.
Thank you to David Friedman & Barner Books of New Paltz who have supported the project from Day 01. Thank you to Morningstar Properties, Deegan-Sanglyn Realty, Elting Memorial Library, Verde & Cocoon of New Paltz, and PDQ Printing who all made our November opening event the place to be. Thank you, talented & diverse band of contributors, for doing your art & word thing so well here in the Valley. Aw/Al exists because you exist! And thank you again, dear reader, not only for beginning at page 01, but for reading through to the end. We hope you enjoyed your journey and will be back for the next issue in May 2011.
New for May: “May’d From Music” Runs 3/1 to 4/30 Whether it’s on in the background, jumpstarts an old memory or paints the mood you’re in, music fuels writing and vice versa. We want to honor that symbiosis in the May issue with the “May’d From Music” project. The Rules: >Create a short, a poem, or art influenced by a piece of music. DO NOT TITLE IT IDENTICALLY OR MENTION IT SPECIFICALLY. We want work that reeks of something, submerges itself in someone’s waters, but we want to hear it from your words, not your reference point. Then, in your accompanying bio please list your song and source/band/singer/etc. so we may have an “aha!” moment once we make it to the contributors’ pages. Something like this: Emily Dickinson’s “I’m nobody, who are you” was inspired by/born from/resurrected from the ashes of
“Creep” by Radiohead. (Please do not rip off E.Dick, but you knew that.) This is a work-in-progress project, so changes of wonderful proportions may occur between now and May. Go with it.
******* Submission Guidelines Thanks for choosing to send your work to Awosting Alchemy. We’re writers and artists too, dutifully sending our work out into the atmosphere with our fingers crossed. We truly appreciate what you do and your decision to include us in your efforts. Always check our website for updated submission guidelines & contests. Submit through Submishmash, our wonderfully easy and helpful submission manager. You may also feel free to contact us with any questions you have at AwostingAlchemy@hotmail.com. Our response time is fairly swift. Expect to hear back from us within about a month. Thanks again. We look forward to your submissions. Send us things you had to write or create because they were nowhere else in the world, sharp and new and not yet worn out by others. Strive for a new set of fingerprints. MUSIC FOR MAY! Read: AwostingAlchemy.com Submit:AwostingAlchemy.submishmash.com/Submit Contact: AwostingAlchemy@hotmail.com Facebook: artist.to/awostingalchemy/
Hudson Valley Words, Art & Music March 2011