There is rhythm in the rain, as with the beating of the drums, and the beating of my heart. There is rhythm in the rain, as with the beating of the drums, -- Marlene Field and the Tickets beatingto ofthe myWorld heart. -- Marlene Field Tickets to the World
Volume 12: Spring 2012
The Salal Review
Cover art by Sara P. Robinson
Call for Submissions The Salal Review is an annual publication of Lower Columbia College. It involves student editors in the presentation of the best work available from the writers, poets, and artists of the Lower Columbia Region. To submit written work for consideration, send no more than five poems or two prose pieces, either by U.S. mail, with a stamped, self-addressed reply envelope, or by email attachment (MS Word or .RTF) during the month of October 2012. For artwork, submit up to five pieces, either on paper or by e-mail attachment, during the month of January 2013. We have limited space for color submissions, so black and white work is preferred. We cannot be responsible for one-of-a-kind originals, so please send clean copies. Digital images may be sent on CD or by email, but must be high-resolution .jpeg files (300 dpi minimum). Please include a brief biographical note describing your connection to the Lower Columbia Region. To answer further questions regarding submissions, to receive a copy of The Salal Review, or to arrange a sponsorship donation, call us at (360) 442-2630 or contact us by email at email@example.com. Mail submissions or donations to The Salal Review, Lower Columbia College, P.O. Box 3010, 1600 Maple Street, Longview, WA 98632.
Amanda Stoddard Cassie Thacker
Travis Andersen Caroline Hendrickson Christopher Mahon Robert Prager Steffanee Thacker
Susan Leaf Esther Troxel
Faculty Advisor Hiedi Bauer
Art Waiting For a Breeze
Natureâ€™s Bubble Diamonds
Mustang and Texan
Fall on the Lewis River
For Sarah Elizabeth
Heron in Flight
Dennis Blake.......................9 Ray Cooper.......................12
Daniel Cascaddan.............15 Ray Cooper.......................17 Scott McRae....................18
M.G. Rees.........................22 Gary Meyer......................24
Jenica Lemmons......................31 Nancy Bauer..........................36
Debby Neely...........................43 Dennis Blake..........................44 G. Dean Bolen Jr...................51 Tracy Larson.........................52
In Their Midst
I Spy with my Two Green Eyes
Goat on a Rope
Brian F. Harrison...............16
I Havenâ€™t the Foggiest
Tickets to the World Night Rose
Old Friends Affluenza
Laura Hayes.......................42 Jill Yates............................45
Hiedi Bauer Advice From The Advisor Sage. Guru. Mentor. Guide. Advisor. As an instructor of English, I am a vessel of word wisdom. “Show, don’t tell.” “Omit needless words.” “Depth over breadth.” “Avoid clichés and generalizations.” Naturally, then, I would have buckets of advice to impart to the editors and readers of The Salal Review. However, the insights I would like to share stem not from what I learned wrestling with William Blake, Charles Dickens, or T.S. Eliot in the graduate-school trenches; not from what I learned in my extensive personal history of reading-for-pleasure, a history that goes back to a purple unicorn bedspread, a bag of Cheetos (crunchy, not puffy please) and a paper sack of Nancy Drew mysteries. No, the advice that I have for this year’s issue derives from what I have learned in these past two years in my capacity as advisor for this magazine, from what a can be learned not as a reader, not as a writer, not as a teacher of the written word, but from being on the editorial side of the publication process. An editor understands that the most appealing aspects of a poem are the ones that draw her back into it. “Consummate” shows the ways in which rich, vivid imagery -sensuality- invites a reader to return to its verses. It embraces the senses: touch in the “cool breath,” texture and color in “lacy opaque shades of green,” sound with the “murmuring stream.” The last line of “Consummate,” “Intimate secrets/exposed/by the murmuring stream” makes an editor ruminate on the text in unexpected moments. In other words, these lines make an editor want to invest herself, and future readers of the magazine, in the work of uncovering this poem’s themes. However, a poem has to deliver on its promise. Once the reader returns, there must be something new to unearth. “Consummate” delivers: in the second and third passes, a reader will appreciate how the line breaks enhance this
poem’s message. “Exposed” stands alone, exposed. “Secrets” and “stream” emphasized at the end of their respective lines create an alliterative unity that help a reader to unpack its message. Editors know that the blade between sentiment and sentimentality cuts fine. If a writer is going to tackle a topic like first love, loss of a child, a broken heart, the sanctity of childhood, that writer risks sinking in a quagmire of sentimentality. In fact, when tackling themes like this, the piece has to work harder, to be greater at its craft, in order to overcome potential clichés. Of course boys and baseball fall into this category, yet “Bush League” brings in sentiment without sentimentality. This poem melds simile in lines like “pure white as I imagined my soul after Mass” with rich imagery—“scuffed ball” and “unstained by blood or grass”—to successfully exhibit the sanctity of childhood. This year’s editors agree that its craft has overcome sentimentality and clichés. Humor may well be the most difficult craft to execute, and editors love to be surprised into a laugh. “Math” startles the reader into a good guffaw. This poem’s title and use of line breaks to evoke both a thoughtful tone and a strong, angry message achieve a misleadingly serious effect. Its use of “still” on a single line makes the reader pause thoughtfully with the writer. Later, “Hell” also receives its own line emphasizing the rage that the narrator feels, all of which conspire to startle the reader into a snort when he reaches the conclusion to this poem. So yes, omit needless words, avoid clichés, go into depth. But it is when writers mesh sensuality with complexity, use simile to transform a cliché, or effect humor that they delight. I only imagine how my new appreciation for the craft will transform my experience when I return to the other side of the publication process- to my teaching; to my writing; and to my white down comforter, cup of tea, and environmentally friendly cloth bag stuffed with Camus and Woolf and Brontë.
Hari Myers Consummate Soft whispers in the limbs above me, cool breath across my skin, loosely veiled in lacy, opaque shades of green. How could I resist? One moment caressed by her embrace; intimate secrets exposed by the murmuring stream.
Dennis Blake Waiting For a Breeze
Janice Haupt In Their Midst My picnic table is sun-blessed. I am bathed in the power of genetics, the duties of love, and four girls who find magic in cookies and tea. Fingers of clematis vines dance on the table while the sisters find their way back in time. Where was I during this childhood they remember so well, where they played out how they wanted to live? Do these girls know me, again in their midst, as they test the blend of themselves? I breathe in their laughter, their sighs, their voices that sound as one. These woodland creatures, ocean babies, gentle thieves of flesh and time, today unknowing give me the gift of each other.
I think they werenâ€™t of my body, but were four magical seeds drifted long ago through my upstairs window like dandelion fluffs. They flourished through the years under the eaves, then descended the stairway. each in her turn, to surprise me with womanhood. Now they say it has been too long, too far apart. It will always be too long. But at this moment, in the lingering fragrance of tea and cookies, my hunger is fulfilled.
Ray Cooper Ocean Breeze
Danielle Shulke I Spy with my Two Green Eyes Wheels: I spy bicycle wheels, and tri-truck wheels, and cart carriages, and auto-rickshaws, and cars and buses and wheelchairs. Water: I spy water from fountains on the street, water covering the streets two inches deep, water dissolving the dirt in the dorms, and water in the laundry buckets full of clothing (well-worn). Faces: I spy faces of volunteers from England, Spain, France, Japan, South Africa, Lebanon, and Canada. I spy faces on the street: a beggar-mother asleep on the sidewalk with the faces of her week-old twin sons cooing next to her; sisters’ faces modestly framed by blue stripes on the borders of their saris; children with eyes that don’t track me but bodies that cling to me; adults with bodies that cannot track me but eyes that cling to me; I spy the face of a baby with a hole in his heart, and the holes on the face of a leperwoman, decomposing. I spy faces of women sitting next to me on the bus, and men lined up by the thousands in white, ready to prostrate themselves on the streets toward Mecca. Hands: I spy hands that reach out to me pleading to “auntie” for spare rupees, I spy hands on a leper reaching out to his grandchild—no fingers or thumbs. I spy the hands of nuns and their Indian helpers sweeping and mopping the floors; I spy hands of volunteers wringing clean water out of hospital dresses; and I spy the hands of an orphan grabbing onto my shirt’s sleeve.
Flesh: I spy the smooth, silky skin of the kiddos at the orphanage, and the bald head of a tuberculosis patient lying on her bed. I spy paper-thin skin stretched across the gaunt bones of a young beauty, ghostly gliding through the dormitory, and the grossly swollen ankle around a cavernous, green, marbled ulcer. I spy a naked body attempting to rinse herself in the shower; I spy exposed hip bones from a sleeping patient. I spy twig-like arms and legs, and feet twisted and bent by gang mutilation or nature. I spy blistered flesh on the work-weary hands of fellow volunteers. I spy signs on the walls and buses, mini colored lights hanging across back alleys. I spy countless men in perfectly white kurtas blocking whole streets to pray, and beautiful women festively adorned in glitzy, glittery shrouds of fabric—breaking their conventions with loose hair to celebrate the end of Ramadan. I spy dogs sleeping in the road, shanty shelters built on sidewalks, food being fried over open fires, and men using their hands to eat rice and lentils and spices hot from the pot. I spy elevator grates that have to be put in place; I spy Nature’s Valley granola bars on grocery shelves. I spy tiny ants and huge bats. I spy color on the streets shimmered back in the streetlamp reflections. I spy old men who rely on their muscles to pull their fellow humanity and earn a living, and young men who don’t yet realize they’ve seen their future in the eyes of their fellow slum dwellers. I spy mercy and compassion, and ridicule and shame. I spy dignity and its lack, and love spilling over into the gutters. I spy beauty and pain and ugliness and hope. I spy Kolkata.
Daniel Cascaddan Mustang and Texan
Brian F. Harrison Bush League When I was a boy, glory was taking a turn at the plate, swinging the thin fungo bat, keeping my eye glued to the scuffed ball we had to use, the one with stitches unraveling with every popup and grounder. For my tenth birthday Dad got me a new leather baseball, unstained by blood or grass, pure white as I imagined my soul after Mass. My first and favorite ballfield was the vacant lot next door, carved out of wildly uneven terrain, a holy place even with cheat grass and burrs up to our knees. Ground rules were simpleâ€” thistle patches lay out of bounds, and nine innings ended when the ball disappeared against the twilight, or too many of us were called home for bedtime.
Ray Cooper Marina
Scott McRae Summer Zinnias
Marlene Field Tickets to the World Just outside my door is a world I never tire of touring. The first step encounters a red banana slug, causing a detour from the original path. The detour reveals the first bloom of springâ€”a single white snowdrop surrounded by fresh new green. Look. Notice that thousands more are ready to burst into bloom. I make a mental note to move the snowdrops to another spot after they bloom. I want the blooms to overflow from the flowerbeds like sea foam on a stormy day. On a day when the sun shines, everything in the garden is on parade, everything spectacular, exciting and energized. Every blade of grass is bright. Every flower trumpets its beauty as loud and glorious as a marching band. I want to move mountains on those days. Well, maybe just that pile of compost. It will feel like I moved a mountain tomorrow. Someday I will learn to pace myself. When fog rolls in and blankets the landscape with obscuring mists, the garden is like a museum showcasing each element separately, allowing contemplation and individual study, forcing one to move slowly from one exhibit to another. Tree trunks in a row masked by the mist become the pillars of the Parthenon. The garden path transforms into the trimmed maze of a castle garden in medieval Europe. That flowerbed over there, the one simmering with orange and red blooms, is the extravagant offering left within an East Indian temple. The bamboo in the corner becomes the mountains of China, and if we are very still and very quiet, we may see a giant panda in the wild.
Rain intensifies every color: deepens and drenches, saturates the emotion, reflective and dark, slow and moving. Contemplate a single drop of rain at the end of a pine needle. On the surface, just dark and light. Look closer and the dark becomes the whole tree and the light reflects the whole garden and on the surface of the light and shadow I can see myself in contemplation. The spell is broken as that raindrop falls. But Iâ€™m comforted when another takes its place. The pattern repeats. There is rhythm in the rain, as with the beating of the drums, and the beating of my heart. Native American powwow, the circle beginning, middle and end, always the same, always change. Birth, life, death, not one more important than raindrops round. The pattern repeats. Over and over again, the pattern repeats: rain, as the beating of drums and the beating of my heart. Dance, dancing, dance. With a single ray of sun, rain is transformed into pure magic. Magic takes me to Ireland on the rainbow against the brooding clouds and turns every raindrop into the most precious jewel. The rainbow casts its magical light onto every growing thing, creating colors that cannot be duplicated. Grass is greener, and clouds are darker, and the jewels of rain lie on the ground, and I am wealthier than any king while the rainbow casts its magic light. Frost has its own power, the power to turn even a long-dead weed into a work of art. My garden becomes an ice palace and the trees wear tiaras of icy jewels in their twiggy hair. The colored stones of summer have turned to iced diamonds. Shivering with cold, I am happy to see the door to the hostel in the Swiss Alps just beyond the fog. Itâ€™s my own front door, and once inside the journey continues while seated in a comfortable chair.
Such simple books, full of large, color pictures and small print. Each catalog is a ticket to wherever youâ€™d like to go and a passport back in time. Dried beans are a staple in almost every ethnic cuisine, time unremembered. Squash from seeds saved through the family generations since before the Civil War. Carrots from Switzerland and onions from Egypt; potatoes from Peru and melons from Israel; Russian sunflowers and Australian kiwi fruit; American blueberries and pineapple, they are all there between the pages of seed catalogs. History lessons learned while traveling the world of seeds include that the scarlet runner bean, with its bright red flowers and deep purple and black mottled seeds, was a Native American favorite. The rouge vif dâ€™Etampes is the original Cinderella pumpkin that the fairy godmother turned into a coach. Queen Annâ€™s pocket is a melon with such fragrance that Victorian women carried them in their pockets. Hollyhock flowers, native to Turkey and Asia, were introduced into Britain in 1573. The plant, used as medicine, got its name from the Saxon words for salve. Peas bred in France and eggplant from Thailand, radishes from China, Dutch flower bulbs and Persian melons. I may never tour Europe or sail the seven seas, but the world is there any time I want to travel. Seed packets are my tickets to the world, and I hold history in my hands as I plant these seeds.
M.G. Rees Yucca
Lorraine Merrin Night Rose Like a night rose she bathes in moonlight, sets her clock by the stars, uses the skyâ€™s purple quilt for warmth, as the sea etches the sand, promising love. Like a morning glory she turns her face to sunlight and red-bellied birds. The green-treed mountain calls her at noon, in a rush of wind and whispers, and swears fidelity. The desert, lying low, refuses to know her, refuses any love at all. It does, indeed, have a reputation to keep, and is content with scorpions, thorns and all that heat.
Gary Meyer Heron in Flight
Mandy Bozart Old Friends We pass each other by Not without effort to avoid the meeting But towns are small And Wal-Mart is one-stop shopping The air is loaded with things unsaid Eyes meet And heads clumsily nod In a gesture of acknowledgement We go on But a part of each stays Perhaps it always existed Dormant in the back of our minds Little voices named Memory That speak and talk more openly Than the prideful present can “Didn’t I know you once?” Hers asks quietly Knowing the answer already But feeling the question should be asked For old time’s sake
“Yes, in fact,” says Memory of mine “I taught you how to bake a cake And the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’ We slept outside under the stars And woke up frozen and dew-coated In the front yard of your house, but never mine And we talked about how life would be one day When ‘so-and-so’ was fat And ‘Mr. Blank’ said we were co-valedictorians While the hot celebrity guy knelt down on one knee Offering us a ring and security for life” Smiling, it says back to Memory Me “Now I remember! We were eight when we met And in autumn we’d trip through The pumpkin patch To the old swing below It was your birthday So you got the first ride We passed years together Knowing all there was to know About each other’s heads And every boy That stole the other’s heart And that I once got stuck in a trampoline’s springs”
My memory interjects “And one shoelace in the escalator, too We laughed later Too humiliating at the time Though everyone saw I told you they hadn’t Best friends… …Until she came” “Yes, she came,” her Memory replies, “She and I were in more classes together” My Memory sighs “Her family didn’t mind her staying over a lot But mine always did I had responsibilities Where is she now?” “I don’t know We haven’t spoken in years” “Neither have we” “Funny, isn’t it? How many promises did we break to each other?”
“Enough to never have reason to make more” The voices stop for awhile Lost in the awkwardness that real selves felt But each turns back and smiles once more Finally, my memory says: “Just so you know This was not the future I had mapped I never meant to no longer be your friend Somehow time makes us change And for better or worse, I’m different now But know, I’ll never forget the ‘then’ And I’ll never forget how you told me You’d beat that guy up when he broke my heart And cleaned my cuts And let me cry on your shoulder And pretended I didn’t clog the toilet And blamed your sister for it instead I promise And it’s one I intend to keep”
The voices say goodbye With handshakes so hearty They almost suffice for the hugs That could have been Had circumstances been different Leaving the spot Near the toy aisle And the bodywash They flit out to the parking lot Or the check stands And back into the heads of their respective owners Who go on about their business In a routine and mechanical sort of way Wondering how long it had been And what all had been left unsaid When a knowing look passed Between strangers, once sisters In a product-filled memory lane Of an unassuming mass merchandiser
Ruby Murray Cottage
Jenica Lemmons Family Barn
Hari Myers Affluenza He choked, he coughed. He crumpled to the carpet. He gasped for breath. His color left. He headed for the tar pit. He left behind a legacy. He left an oak credenza. He left as much as he could leave. He died of affluenza. An illness he contracted young, It drove him to obsessions: Appearances that must be kept, Accumulate possessions. It manifested in his health, Infected all his senses, Contaminated every thought, And brought on gross pretenses.
Delusions of a grander life, Oblivious consumption, Compulsively obsessive acts Of frivolous presumption. Increasing pressures on his brain, And chronic palpitations, Interfering with his sleep, Restricting circulation. It wasn’t stroke, or heart attack. It wasn’t influenza. It wasn’t cancer snuffed his life. He died of affluenza.
MaryEllen Stone Obsessively Compulsive On this, our third date, I greet you at the door and allow ample time for the ritual I know must transpire. You force your eyes to focus on my face. I watch you wrestle, see you lose the fight. Your gaze strays to where my body emerges through openings in my clothes. One … you silently start at my neck, working down. Two arm holes bring the total to three. Your eyelids flutter faintly. Do you agonize over the possibility of a camisole snugging my skin beneath my blouse? Unable to continue without knowing, you ask. My reply releases you to resume routine. On you go, until you skid to a stop at my sandals. That they’re toeless doesn’t trip the dilemma. It’s the strap that snags your sum.
The loop at my ankle equals one hole, but my bare heel bracketing a connecting strip of leather confounds the cipher, catapulting you into a conundrum. While I wait patiently for your return from this affliction, one, two wild hairs rise like cobras from your left eyebrow. Your earlobe sprouts three, four. I rule out unruly hairs on your head, for that would be senseless and drive me mad; therefore, I disqualify whiskers in the quantification. Number five juts out from your cheek mole. I must bring order to this disorder and start over. One, two, three, four â€Ś.
Nancy Bauer Natureâ€™s Bubble Diamonds
Linda Zandi Reels
Fred Hudgin New York Every morning I join the waves of commuters crashing on the steps of the escalators As we rush from the warrens of the PATH trains to desks which anxiously await us, Ready to spend yet another day climbing the walls of the concrete canyons to make money for someone else. The sky I glimpse though the temples of Wall Street is full of clouds pregnant with rain, Trying once again to wash the filth from the gutters into the filth from Albany. Street people offer their paper cups like a chalice as I pass in which I place my penance for being part of the working class. Construction workers lean on their shovels when the sewers grow tiresome or their beer bellies empty, Parading their lust like peacocks for every woman to ignore.
A car alarm screams in ten flavors about a theft that never happened to people who donâ€™t care, Echoing off the walls of the alley where itâ€™s double parked and the taxis use the sidewalk as a passing lane. Working in New York is going to the zoo everyday and seeing someone just like me looking back through the bars. Thank God, for the locks and zoo keepers.
Joseph Green Goat on a Rope Someone’s meat or milk dispenser with a clanky bell around its neck, tethered in the shade behind a makeshift fence of bedsprings and chicken wire—even this goat could have its revelations, moments when it knows how tenuous its existence is: water trough, kitchen scraps, grain, straw bedding, ramshackle pen and fraying rope—all that in the knife’s edge or the barbecue smoke— but what’s the use of knowing? I walk past, thinking
I must be someone elseâ€™s goat, heading to town, sweating through my shirt, happy to be right where I am for now and not yet where Iâ€™m going.
Laura Hayes Math The probability that the sun will drop, Letâ€™s say, Is somewhere between the likelihood of Pigs learning to fly and Hell Freezing over. Still, I must offer that the sun dropping Or pigs flying Or hell freezing Is all more likely than You ever breathing your apology For telling a joke that wasnâ€™t yours.
Debby Neely Turtle Clan
Dennis Blake Fall on the Lewis River
Jill Yates I Haven’t the Foggiest Max and Ed married one week before spring in March 1948. They eloped in the living room of the preacher’s parish in a secret ceremony witnessed by their good friends Earl and Doris. A photograph that sat on their dresser thereafter captured the moment. Max was lovely in a simple, dark green tailored dress; her thick brown hair fell on Ed’s wide shoulders as he leaned into her, his arms encircling her slim waist. He wore a brown suit and crisp white shirt accented by a full head of wavy brown hair. Their young faces beamed with bright eyes and hopeful smiles. I never knew why my parents eloped. But I do know some things about Max. For one, she loved music. Like all former teenagers shocked to find themselves in middle-aged bodies, Max held on to the fondness for the music of her youth. A dark wood stereo cabinet stretched across a wall in our living room; waist high, its top popped open like a car hood revealing a stackable turntable thick with records. At the end of an album you’d wait, impatient to hear the click and drop of the next, then a moment of silence as the needle found the vinyl, followed by a few seconds of scratchy static and, voilá, toe-tapping brassy big band music or the sentimental melodies of the Mills Brothers quartet would fill the room. With a Mona Lisa-like grin, Max always hummed along to their song, “You’re Nobody ‘Till Somebody Loves You.” Later music included the lively trumpeting of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Band, made famous in the ‘70s as the theme music for the Dating Game television show. And though just a kid, even I was smitten by the oh so cool crooning of the Rat Pack’s most reserved member. To this day, I can still hear Dean Martin smoothly singing, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.” “Clear as a bell,” Max would say.
Ed snapped his fingers, tapped his feet, swayed a bit and sang along, even though he admitted he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Max giggled like a schoolgirl. Despite the off-key delivery you would have thought Deano himself was serenading her. But the shift to rock ‘n’ roll and its raging popularity took Max by surprise. The music industry’s new beat and the next generation’s idolization of those who carried it was an unexplainable mystery to her— especially the mad fascination with the Beatles. One evening in the ‘60s, Max and I sat together watching television on the living room couch, or as we called it, the davenport. It was a burnt orange Early American style behemoth with a pleated skirt and a stiff button back made from rough fabric that felt like a burlap sack. Its oversized wood-winged corners complemented the matching spinning wheel lamps. It looked like a giant pumpkin sitting atop wall-to-wall avocado green shag carpet so deep it could swallow my lunch money—and did. It was easily big enough for six, but I pressed close to Max. I wasn’t quite ten and enjoyed being near her. She had the answers to my world and I took everything she said as the gospel truth. Until then I had always agreed with her. That night I saw the Beatles for the first time. I watched with wideeyed wonder as the shaggy-haired strangers were mobbed by a mass of hysterical girls on the television screen. My attention locked on the scene. The fans’ screams heightened as they swarmed forward. The Fab Four, smiling and waving, remained just out of reach, overwhelmed by the frenzy and outpouring of raw emotion. I was riveted. Max was not impressed. She shook her head and muttered, “I haven’t the foggiest idea.” I wanted to know more. With all the certainty a mother can muster, she said, “I haven’t the foggiest idea what all the fuss is about.” I nodded in agreement and replied, “I know.”
So I lied. I wasn’t a rebel, just a kid seeking approval from the one person who mattered most. But that night, as Max and I sat together on the great pumpkin couch, I realized we were different. I would not always agree with her or do what she said, and I’d have to figure some things out on my own. But I wasn’t about to confess to any of that, at least not for a long time. Unfortunately, I never really got the chance. Max was taken much too soon. But at that moment I didn’t want anything in my world to change, so I maintained the ruse that Max and I were exactly alike and the Beatles were rogue musicians. She turned the channel and I leaned in to her, wrapped my arms around her middle and smiled. Who can explain what moves the youth of a generation. The need to be different, the desire to be noticed and loved, to express oneself in a new way through music, fashion and art. My generation’s penchant for bellbottoms, tie-dye, tube tops and platform shoes puzzled the older generation. And to many of these folks, the styles and habits of the upand-coming generation was downright disgraceful. But, hey, I’ve never understood the attraction to grunge and punk rock, dreadlocks, Mohawks, assorted body piercings, bling-bling, and torn blue jeans. I haven’t the foggiest idea what inspires the passions of youth, but thank goodness for the promise each generation brings.
Rachel Chanthavisay Kiss Me Kissing. That age-old expression of affection. Mother to child, friend to friend, lover to lover…kissing is pretty awesome when handled wisely. Kissing even has health benefits. It can reduce stress, lower cholesterol, and release adrenaline into your body that burns calories and does wonders for the cardiovascular system. My name is Rachel and it has been two years and two months since I last kissed someone. The First Kiss: I was eight years old…loud and obnoxious. Mr. First Kiss was a sweetheart with big ears. The culmination of our relationship came on a school afternoon. I was standing outside, and he came up to me with a flower and a kiss on the cheek. I was over the moon for a full ten seconds until the other kids started to make fun of him for his act of romance. I chased each one of them down and delivered an eight-year-old’s version of the wrath of God. Mr. First Kiss grew up to be one good-looking stud muffin, much to my schoolmates’ chagrin and my absolute delight. The Closet Kiss: I was thirteen. Mr. Closet Kiss was my best friend. We would sit in my parents’ closet and talk about life. We spent hours in that cramped little closet, so it was only a matter of time before a kiss was attempted. He informed me that love means kissing, and proceeded to tickle me. My blazingly intelligent response was to tell him that if he didn’t stop tickling
me that I was going to kiss him. This threat was an utter failure, so I leaned forward and gave him the best kiss I could muster… Right on his teeth. Mr. Closet Kiss grew up to be one of the most gorgeous men on the planet. He’s gone now, and has left broken hearts behind him. The Best Kiss: Mr. Best Kiss was a boy from England that my parents set me up with. I was standing in the middle of the footbridge that crosses our beautiful local lake, under an umbrella, in the pouring rain, with bursts of sunset coming from the distance. He came to meet me and simply leaned down and kissed me full on the mouth…for several minutes. I was so overwhelmed that I dropped my umbrella. So yes, there I was with my arms around the neck of a handsome Englishman while he blew my doors off in the rain. It was a heady feeling…that kissing thing. Mr. Best Kiss is now home in England, married to a dear friend of mine, with two gorgeous little girls making his life wonderful. The Foreign Kiss: Mr. Foreign Kiss was a New Zealander and the boy that I was about to marry. He proposed at the bottom of a mountain in the middle of a waterfall and then informed me that we would be climbing the mountain…in our nice clothes…without supplies. When we made it to the top of the ridge it began to pour buckets of rain, as only the rainy season in New Zealand can do. Halfway through our descent we stopped, absolutely covered in mud and grass, and began to laugh. He leaned in and put his muddy hand on my muddy face and kissed my muddy lips. The buzz was intense (kissing buzz, not bug buzz). We slid, kissed, slid, kissed, slid…etc. all the way down that stupid mountain.
Mr. Foreign Kiss is now married in New Zealand and is working as an entomologist. This is very funny, so you may laugh. The Doomed Kiss: Mr. Doomed Kiss was my introduction to cheap kisses. Mr. Foreign Kiss had left me just before our wedding and I was reeling. So when Mr. Doomed Kiss pursued me with fervor, I leaned towards him. He kissed me many times. But his kisses were selfish rather than loving, and his intent was conquest rather than a future. If you are in the business of selling kisses for love…don’t bother. The Gross Kiss: As the avalanche goes… Came Mr. Gross Kiss. A very handsome, caring friend (sort of) who went to console me after Mr. Doomed Kiss left me for another woman. Mr. Gross Kiss and I lasted for all of two hours as I discovered two things. #1. I do not like wet, sloppy kisses. #2. Being consoled right after a break-up is a bad idea. The Last Kiss: We graduated together, road tripped together, and saw each other through almost all of our other relationships. He was my BFF. So it was inevitable that we would fall for each other. He first kissed me underneath the Christmas mistletoe, so I married him. Mr. Last Kiss left when I was three months pregnant. So now…years after my last kiss, I wonder if I will ever get to kiss again? That kissing thing, it’s pretty intense.
G. Dean Bolen Jr. For Sarah Elizabeth
Tracy Larson Reflections
Ronald Schauer Confessions George Golden leaned heavily on a crooked cherrywood cane as he hobbled through the sparse, darkened room toward a small kitchen table. He carried in his left hand a small notebook, a pencil, and a pencil sharpener, which he carefully placed on the table. Holding onto the arm of the chair, he painfully eased his body downward. George struggled to catch his breathing and felt his heart slowly quiet as it left the staccato rhythm of his movement. Death was seated in the nearby chair, steadily inching closer. He saw him as in a picture from a dusty book on the Apocalypse, one he could look on with some amusement. He felt not so much different as before but he had a sense of finality and he said, This is my last morning. He was surprised he had lived so long. His father had died many years before at the age of fifty-two, coming home from town with several too many beers and some confusion about how fast he was going when he drifted into the ridge of gravel at the edge of the road. To make certain, the old DeSoto threw him out and then rolled over him. Twice. Actually, at eighty-four, George had accumulated more years than any of the Golden men he had known. It was just those extra years had been so empty. He was looking at the paper and pencil in that unfocused and unconnected way that heâ€™d learned to look at most everything. Then, pulling the paper over in front of him, he picked up the pencil and with a lifetime habit, licked the tip of the lead. He began to write:
Bless me Father, for I have sinned. He laughed at this and quickly crossed it out. Licking the pencil again, he started over, this time writing to a woman dead forty-five years. Dear Karen, and then he crossed that out. My beloved Karen, I have more to explain than I possibly can remember or have time or words for. By writing this, you may read and understand why I was as I was. He stopped, feeling a vague otherness—a sense of being disconnected from his hand, his body, even his thoughts. He fought off the urge to tear up the paper and go back to bed. If I keep this up, I’ll still be sitting here tomorrow night, and at that moment, he knew what he had to write. He would write to clear his soul; to be able to die in peace. From there it all went quickly. Do you know that I still remember and often see your smile, how your eyes sparkle like the Aurora Borealis, and your voice speaks, soft and lilted. We were sixteen when we met, remember? I played the trumpet and wore a silly cap and a green uniform with gold roping. You, dressed in a white cowgirl outfit, marched beside me. We marched this way for several miles. In between playing, we talked about our schools and families. I lied to you about mine. Later I came to visit you and we talked and laughed and listened to music. And then, do you remember? You said, ‘Would you like to lie down with me?’ It still feels like an old black and white movie. I was in shock and I thought you were making fun of me, that you knew that for the past month you were all I thought about.
I made some garbled speech about it not being right, saving ourselves, all the while thinking what stupid time to be a Methodist. It was probably the only moral stand I ever took. It was probably the dumbest thing I ever did. We faded after that. Your innocence and my—what was it? Yes, fear—never came out from between us and we went on to other lives. I am sorry I ran away from you: that’s what it was. Were there an afterlife, even a heaven, I would want to spend it all with you. Eons upon eons would be a start. That was all he knew to write and he was surprised by how brief and singular it was. Reading from the top of the page, he traced every word with a trembling finger. George Golden’s eyes grew blurry, moist and red. Not that he was sad, he was touched and surprised, even overwhelmed by the simple honesty of his confession. He wouldn’t have thought he could do that. Coming to the last word, “start,” he repeated it slowly out loud with a cracked and hoarse voice and then he closed the notebook and carefully laid the pencil beside it, and the sharpener next to the pencil. He placed his left hand on top of the notebook, and his right hand over the left, and took a deep breath. A smile tugged gently at the corners of his mouth. His breathing quieted and his head slowly tilted forward as an eternal silence noiselessly draped itself across his shoulders.
Joseph Green Judgment Day What he saw when he saw his own face in the artificial glare of the restroom mirror was not the man he had in mind. Pardon me, he said to himself, and when the automatic water spilled out of its fixture, he washed his hands of the other manâ€”his knowing expression, his familiar gestureâ€”checking his fly before he stepped into the public sunlight.
Calandra Frederick Music
Dennis Blake has lived in Southwest Washington most of his life and attended both Kelso High School and LCC before attending Central Washington University. His involvement in the LCC ski club led him to both a love for skiing and a fascination with the beauty of the outdoors. Ray Cooper is a professor of art at LCC. Daniel Cascaddan is a political science professor at LCC and Clark College and an avid amateur photographer. Scott McRae has lived in the Lower Columbia area his entire life. He still attends classes at LCC and teaches art to children and adults at the Broadway Gallery. He also teaches art through the Longview Parks Department. Currently, he plays French horn in the Southwest Washington Symphony. Mike Rees has a home in Skamokawa, Wahkiakum County, for the past twelve years, where he enjoys capturing the ever changing mood of the Columbia, and the remarkable community that lives in the area. Mike exhibits his images at the Tsuga Gallery in Cathlamet. Gary Meyer is an instructor at LCC. About his piece: “A blue heron always of the wild.” Ruby Murray is a resident of Puget Island, making herself at home in this pearl-gray world, developing affection for its subtle beauty. Jenica Lemmons and her family reside in Cowlitz County. Nancy Bauer was born and raised in Kelso. About her work, “My favorite subjects to photograph are raindrops, a subject that is always available in Washington!” Linda Zandi is a current student at LCC. Debby Neely moved to Woodland in 1979. She learned the craft of woodcuts from Carolyn Brookhart while taking art classes at LCC in the
G. Dean Bolen Jr. graduated from LCC in the spring of 2010 and was a former Salal editor. Tracy Larson is currently a student at LCC pursuing a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. She moved to Longview in 1996 and, aside from military service, has lived here ever since. Calandra Frederick is a local writer who recently graduated from OSU with a BA in English. She lives in Rainier where she works as a substitute teacher while pursuing what she really loves, writing. A native of Washington, Hari Myers was born in Longview and graduated from a Longview high school, where he received his pen name. He lives near Kalama, where he continues a healthy, active relationship with words. Danielle Shulke is a lifelong resident of the Lower Columbia Region, LCC alumnus, and instructor at LCC. About herself: “In the dark ages of the past, I worked as an editor on The Salal Review.” Marlene Field lives in Clatskanie, belongs to Word Fest and a Longview writer’s group, and attends as many writers’ workshops as she can. Lorraine Merrin’s poems have appeared in several journals, including The Salal Review, RATTLE, The Quercus Review, THEMA, and others. Her poetry collection, Holding Tight to Gravity’s Tail, was released in late November 2010. She’s working on a second collection and hope to have it in print by early 2013. Mandy Bozart is a 2009 graduate of Warner Pacific College with a degree in English and Secondary Education. She is a substitute teacher in the Clatskanie, Rainier, Knappa, and St. Helens school districts and has lived impassable in winter. MaryEllen Stone, upon retirement from LCC, was honored with Faculty Emeritus status for her thirty years of outstanding and dedicated service Run in the Path of Peace. Janice Haupt says, “I’m proud to be a part of the Salal - such a professional and beautiful booklet. What a great way for students to learn!”
Fred Hudgin lives in Ariel, Washington. He has been writing short stories Sulphur Springs, was published this year. Joseph Green has lived in Longview since January 1986, when he started teaching at LCC. He retired in June 2010 and now devotes his time mainly to writing, letterpress printing, working with the C.C.Stern Type Foundry, and playing music—guitar, mandolin, and concertina. Laura Hayes graduated from LCC with her Associate’s degree in 2008 and she majored in English Literature. While at LCC, she was able to take two classes from Joe Green, where she was introduced to writers like Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams. Jill Yates is the Special Programs Coordinator in the Transitional Studies department and a resident of Woodland for twenty years. She enjoys writing Coffee Lover’s Bible, and Tales of a Tea Leaf. Rachel Chanthavisay spent many years living overseas, but was born in Cowlitz County. Her family is from the area and she always gravitates back degree in Photojournalism. Brian F. Harrison speaks about his inspiration: “I am a local, mostly retired old man who enjoys travel and, unfortunately, food more than most their way into my writing. Sometimes it takes a while for me to recognize them.” Ronald Schauer says, “As a writer, I am undisciplined (well, that’s also a general comment about me) and work in spurts of energy and creativity, followed by a walk and a snack, a cigar if I have one.”
Sponsors Charolette Conklin Jim and Chris Mclaughlin Paul and Cathleen Miller Scott and Paige Miller Bubbie Smith Judith Springer
To be among the sponsors listed in the next issue, make a tax-deductable donation of $10, $25, $50, or more to: LCC Foundation: The Salal Review.
Acknowledgments The editors wish to thank the Associated Students of Lower Columbia College and the LCC Foundation for continuing to fund and support The Salal Review, the the Magazine Publication course that makes Salal possible, the LCC Publications and and their care and skill in printing the pages, The Peasandcues Press for making its hand
There is rhythm in the rain, as with the beating of the drums, and the beating of my heart. There is rhythm in the rain, as with the beating of the drums, -- Marlene Field and the Tickets beatingto ofthe myWorld heart. -- Marlene Field Tickets to the World
Volume 12: Spring 2012
Award winning literary and arts magazine of Lower Columbia College