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The Salal Review

Volume 15 Spring 2015


The Salal Review Lower Columbia College Volume 15: Spring 2015

Maya’s Sunflower

Marie Wise


The editors of The Salal Review appreciate the support of the Lower Columbia College Foundation, whose generous contribution made this magazine possible.

We are grateful to all those who have helped create this year’s editon of The Salal Review. If not for the guidance of Debby Neely, we would have been helpless to navigate the murky waters of InDesign. Dianne Bartlett’s organizing abilities have been a gift. As head of Northwest Voices, Danielle Shulke’s contributions have provided us with featured writers over the years. Finally, a special thanks to Mike Stack for doing a superb job printing this magazine. It is through their gracious assistance that you, dear reader, are holding this magazine.


Senior Editors Tia Billedeaux Chuck Mitchell

Editors Matt Daems Julia Lewis Joy Spreadborough

Staff Jess Banavage Ata Berdiyev Zach Dilembo Stephanie Mounier

Advisor Hiedi Bauer


Table of Contents Mina Rachel Chanthavisay

8

Oregon Oregon Oregon Joseph Green

20

Mockingbird John Ciminello

9

Collateral Damage Raymond King (Earl Gray)

22

A Cup of Joe a Day Keeps the Aliens Away Madison Studer

11

Noxious Brew 23 Hari Myers

El Nino Yvette Raynham

12

Hanging Tear Drop Nancy Bauer

27

Beauty and Hope in Poverty Ronnie Barone

14

Sailing Under Moonlight Suzanne Norman

28

Burn My Amber Boots Ned Piper

15

Ode to a Purple Blanket Arthur Wheeldon

29

Good Guys Darrin Moir

16

Logic 30 David V. Hughey

Free a Broken Heart Nona Rowlins

19

Looking Within 33 Jordan Gaynor


Table of Contents 50

Just Two Savanna Ford

34

Battle Ground Lake Nona Rowlins

Sunflower Unborn Marie Wise

37

Cardinal 59 Debby Neely

Haiku Dawna Ebberts

38

The Wave 60 Suzanne Norman

Crane Ronnie Barone

39

What I Saw 61 Arthur Wheeldon

Old Time Hospitality Nancy Bauer

40

Heading Home 62 Debby Neely

The House with the Lime-Green 41 Curtains Arthur Wheeldon

From My Night Window Irene Martin

63 64

45

A Walk in the Park Carolyn Caines

Salmon Hatchery Anthony Krueger

48

Tibetan Drummer 65 Mai Ding

Pretty in Purple Lisa Hassett


Advice from the Editors

Most new or aspiring artists worry about finding a publisher who will take their

work. They will change their work to fit with the standards of well-known, mainstream outlets. Sometimes, I ask them why they do this. Almost invariably, the response goes something like this: “I need to revise my work so it’s good enough for submission,” or, “My editor told me I need to change something.” That’s all true. Drafting is an important part of the creative process, and editors do serve a valuable purpose. But some creators start drafting and end up with a piece they don’t recognize; they betray their own artistic vision in order to make a piece “acceptable” to their publishers. These nascent artists take something that is otherwise uniquely their own, sanitize it, homogenize it, and wrap it up in butcher paper in hopes that an editor will buy it. Well, screw that. Take risks. Don’t be afraid to show us something new, uncompromising, and honest. The goal in any creative endeavor is to share the artist’s vision. If you can polish your work while staying true to your vision, you will birth something worthwhile. Iteration is the process of making that vision clear, not of conforming to a more palatable vision. The venerable Jubal Harshaw from Stranger in a Strange Land said it best: “You have to give an editor something to change, or he gets frustrated. After he pees in it himself, he likes the flavor much better, so he buys it.” Jubal was talking about poetry, but the quote applies to all art. As an editor, I’m


here to encourage you to keep your art honest. Sure, they might find a technical error here and there, or they might be in tune with your own vision and have honestly good suggestions. But no matter how seriously you consider advice (and that goes for what you’re reading right now also) remember it is just advice, to be evaluated honestly, used where applicable, and when it isn’t set it aside. Now put these ramblings down and go practice your craft.

Matt Daems and the Salal team


8

Mina

Rachel Chanthavisay


Mockingbird When mockingbird sings the musician listens, a call to music, a call to prayer, high in the hickory 4 notes pierce the mist and on the far side of the park in a clump of oaks, the song is answered, an echo, an empty street, a solitary whistle in the moist air drifting from a second story window falling tired down into a basement bar where he plays until no one is left at the microphone to say good night to the morning. In a circle of light, the musician lifts his trumpet and blows 4 ascending quarter-notes, phrased with the harmony of improvised laughter and the darker rasp of something lost, climbing like a mockingbird into the upper branches to better hear the lover’s voice ringing in his ears with no one left to answer as his better half struggles to rise to say good morning to the moon. 9


and the twittering angels fade into the darkness, and the crowd disappears up the stairs,

Madison Studer (next)

After the weary half-tones sigh through the horn,

to hear the last song playing in the stars, when she rightly divided his heart with 4 tweets on a summer evening standing alone under the peach tree with a mockingbird and a promise to return but she never did come back, never offered to say good bye.

John Ciminello

10

A Cup of Joe a Day Keeps the Aliens Away

he remembers the night


9


El Nino Students in a class at the college read Love in the Time of Cholera and saw a video on Rufino Tamayo and Octavio Paz. Then there was II Postino. Pablo Neruda, Mario, and Beatrice. Small waves, big waves, and sad nets. The first poem surfaced the next day. A photography student was attacked in the darkroom, spilling chemicals in his haste to write it down. Next, the instructor felt dizzy and had to stay home. She spent the day reading on the sofa where she discovered that she had lived near Gabriele Mistral as a child and had to write a poem about death and hopscotch. A student driving to school the next day received a speeding ticket because he was chasing down a metaphor. Sixty in a fifty-five zone. He handed the officer a poem along with his driver’s license and it was well received. Soon, the entire class was infected. Students stopped reading newspapers or magazines for facts. They scanned the pages for images of spirals, candles, storms, and flesh. Six of them wrote poems about roses in the manner of Villa‌. They spliced and layered, they cut and glued. Then they put their poems up on the hallway walls from which the verses promptly disappeared because people needed them. They were given to friends and relatives. To complete strangers. A bank teller received one at eleven and was in love by noon. The students put more poems up on the walls and more were taken. Poems appeared in The Daily News, in laundromats and on bulletin boards at the YMCA, curling slightly from the steam of the heated pool. They were tucked into restaurant menus, stuck under the windshield wipers of police cars and shoved under closed office doors. They were translated into Spanish, Russian, Thai, and Vietnamese. Soon, everyone in town had received and read a dozen poems. 12


Spring came early that year. Blossoms held in spite of three nights of frost, and on the third sunny day, after forty-five days of gloom and rain, everyone stayed home from work because they had to read or write. There was no sound of traffic, no siren’s howl. Even the worst of criminals found a poem within that had to be expelled. Poems were spat out and belched up. Recited with rage and rapture. Scrawled on smudged bits of paper between tire rotations at Les Schwab. They were typed on keyboards and written with stubby pencils grasped by shaky hands. Those who could not write were compelled to sing or draw or dance. Fiddlers played in the park, and the music carried up the hills and over the flats to the mills at the river’s edge. All over town, people swayed to the music alone, in pairs, in squares, in lines. Then the lines connected. Vast flocks of Canada geese cried out over the lake in a sharp sudden wind. For just an instant, each person was linked to all the others and felt a jolt of joy so pure they were thrown, giddy and gasping, to the ground. They froze as they landed, like statues in the children’s game, and sheets of poetry drifted down on them like snow.

Yvette Raynham

13


14

Beauty and Hope in Poverty

Ronnie Barone


Burn My Amber Boots Burn my amber boots and I’ll kick with a barefoot Banish my morning toast and I’ll live on grass and rat bones Remove the world and I’ll find someotherwhere to walk Dry up my stream and I’ll whet my lips in dust Take music from me and I’ll listen to the wind But should you tamper with my mysteries I shall shave my head of hair

Ned Piper

15


Good Guys The children all gather at the edge of the trailer park, red and blue lights dancing across their gaping smiles and shining eyes. They are gathered around to watch their hero, the policeman, catch the bad guy. The bad guy in the green Toyota Corolla. The officer is slow and deliberate in his movements. He strides to the front passenger window like a camera’s rolling, and even though they’re just kids, he can’t help but feel a puff of pride under their watchful eyes; he inhales a breath of Clint Eastwood. Where’s my cigar, he thinks, and finds himself squinting under the hanging overcast sky with his sunglasses on. They’re just kids and some of them are getting so excited they can’t help but jump in place and clap their hands. It’s a cop. A real cop. The older kids are excited too, but something tells them to keep calm, to watch quietly, breathlessly. They are irritated by their younger, freer siblings, bouncing around making pow-bang noises with their fingers, running their own sirens through their lips while they chase the imaginary villain through the streets 16

of Pleasant View Park. It’s a routine stop in every sense of the word. A plain sedan with a headlight out. A middle-aged man with a wrinkled dress shirt and a tie that looks like it was stolen from a JC Penney’s in 1993. He’s pale in the face and shakes when he hands his license over. The cop notices this, as well as the sweat forming on the man’s receding hairline. It reminds him of a cold glass of beer, sweating from the fill line on a summer day, and he feels a little intoxicated with his power. By now, the older kids are fully irritated with the loud stick-em-ups of the younger kids. Selfconsciousness digs in as the officer pulls his head back from the green car’s window, papers and driver’s license in hand, turning to walk back to his car, turning in their direction. Shut up, they say, here he comes. Each grabs his corresponding little brother’s or sister’s arm, clamping down on their wrists and shushing them as the officer pulls closer with a gunslinger’s amble. His badge glows even with the dark clouds blocking the sunlight. They can’t tell if he looks at them or not before climbing into his car to run the numbers, but they swear he nodded as he passed.


Now, even the big kids’ feet are shuffling in the sand and gravel and cigarette butts at the edge of the sidewalk. All their hearts pound as the officer takes a sip of his coffee and lets the computer do its work. After everything comes back clear, and the man in the green Corolla’s record is as plain as everything else about him, the officer steps out of his car. He’s standing up and looking right at the children holding their breath, their faces turning red and blue in the flashing lights. There’s something mesmerizing about the whole thing. These kids with their superhero t-shirts and flashing shoes, lighting up whenever their feet meet the dirty ground. He’s hypnotized by their intensity, and for a moment, he doesn’t see poor kids, just kids. And all of their stigmas seem to have fallen away to mingle with the McMuffin wrappers littered at their feet. It feels like there’s something important he should say as they stand there holding their breath, eyes going from his badge to his gun and back again. But all he can muster in voice that’s more breathless than he anticipated is a “Hi there.” And a crooked smile.

Yet it’s enough. Enough to make the whole scene unfreeze to send an ambush of questions raining down on him, leaving him defenseless, flak jacket and all, and letting out a great disarming laugh. “Alright, alright,” he says, “just stop and wait right here. I gotta finish my job.” “You gonna ‘rest him?” One boy asks the cop. “No, not this time,” he laughs. But the boy doesn’t laugh. His daddy’s in jail, and something about this realization makes him uneasy, like when it’s really dark in his bedroom and the street light isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. It’s so dark he’s not sure which direction is which or what stuff is really stuff and what stuff is really monsters. He feels this bellyache now as the officer reaches into the patrol car, the butt of his black gun jutting out of its holster, as the Corolla pulls into traffic ever so carefully. He feels this bellyache as the officer turns toward them with a hand full of stickers. A handful of shining stars. The big kids know how he feels. They’re old 17


enough to recognize the opposites in the shiny badge and flashing lights against the rusting sides of their cars and homes. But they’re all still young enough to reach out with the rest of the kids and take a star from the crouching policeman. The stickers are smooth against their fingers and still curl a little from being fresh off the roll. The younger kids have those stickers off the paper as soon as it touches their hands. They have them off the paper and pressed tightly against their hearts, clean white rectangles fluttering quietly to the ground. The older kids hesitate and slip the stickers into their pockets with throwing rocks and tarnished pennies. Some of them will put the stars on their shirts or coats later. They’ll wear them until they get transferred too many times and slip quietly into puddles or under the gravel at the playground. All of them will become lost or ripped or disappear in the Laundromat on the next wash day. But the memory will stick.

18

The officer stands up, his knees popping and misfiring as he does, but the kids don’t seem to notice. He’s a giant again. A giant taking off his sunglasses and giving them a wink and telling them all to stay out of trouble. And what can they do but nod. Of course they will stay out of trouble. They’re the good guys. And the good guys always win.

Darrin Moir


Free a Broken Heart

Nona Rowlins


Oregon Oregon Oregon suppose you were going there and you could even see it waiting in the rain across the river and all you had to do was cross that bridge all you had to do was stay in the right lane you might say Ory-gone Ory-gone Ory-gone just to get the taste of it in your mouth just to get the feel of green but I’m telling you that’s not how it’s pronounced and anyway there’s plenty of mud and somebody’s left their car sitting where it wouldn’t start and blackberry vines have grown all over it blackberries gripping the steering wheel so it can’t swerve back onto the road blackberries announcing another shut-down and every night in the nearest little town you can hear the sound of pennies falling out of their jars plinking like tears onto dinner plates or else what you hear is the sound of tears themselves or else what you hear in every house is the television turned up loud and the furniture around it breaking down or it’s just the sound of a bulldozer scraping another place flat that wasn’t flat before and the crows on the power lines surveying their nice new piece of real estate 20


or somebody blowing up a chemistry lab in the back of a panel truck or chainsaws complaining while they widen the horizon or else that’s someone drilling into the teeth of a mineral vein a dirt blister oozing money or it’s somebody practicing tractor sabotage pouring molasses into diesel tanks and what you hear is machinery seizing what you hear is industrial sculpture rusting what you hear is the rattle of lawyers faxing jargon the tiny sound of my brainworm curling crawling up the wall inside my skull my sepulchre my buried past where I took so many things I can’t begin to name them I never was very good with names anyway even yours but I’m trying to finesse it let me show you the door let me show you the living– room window the way light catches pimples of rain each little drip an intricate bottle pouring out a floodplain town a steam plume ripening from the last paper mill the river shining gray as wet pavement a matching sky behind it the stick-soldier trees marching up a distant hill your destination wet as sorrow the wind mouthing vowels around it saying Oregon Oregon Oregon

Joseph Green


Noxious Brew Collateral Damage (previous)

I A tale is told, and rumored true, in the days of myth and magic, That once they brewed a noxious brew whose vapors could be tragic. Abundant harvest gave them task, preserve it was their purpose. They sealed it all inside a cask, in hopes to save their surplus. In metal pot, with metal top, a giant vat of copper, They humbly placed their surplus crop, thence sealed, no vent, no stopper.

Raymond King (Earl Gray)

A bulging vat caused them to use a technique they called “greaping.� To tap the rim and thus diffuse the pressure inside steeping. A blast of vapors stung their nose. Aware their crops had ripened, They urgently sought out a hose, the noxious gas needs siphoned.


“Not in my yard,� arose the cry from folks and no one blamed them. For ten square miles, not one clear eye. The vapors had inflamed them. The pot was swelling past control. Its weary seams were seeping. A desperate call to find a soul with the strength to do the greaping. Among them, who could do this chore? No person even dared To stand within ten miles and four, for fear the gas be aired. A sickness spread both far and wide. The rim began to bubble. The townsfolk hastened to decide, each choice meant certain trouble. A bulging vat with leaking rim, both threatening to burst, Or, gas that threatened life and limb, which peril was the worst?

24


II A shadow fell across the town, crept silent, door to door, A figure dressed in hooded gown, a visage to abhor. Most thought it was a deathly ghost, an omen of their doom. More than their brew, they feared this most, quadrupling their gloom. The ghastly shadow drifted through, down dark and empty alleys. It left a stench like from their brew, and sickened people’s bellies. The townsfolk fled their homes in fright, left everything behind them. They’d rather face the darkest night, than odors that could blind men. The figure soon approached the vat, its copper sides were flexing, And climbed atop with gestures that, at best, were most perplexing.

25


Nancy Bauer (next)

The vat erupted, gases flamed, through chaos growing deeper. A maniacal voice proclaimed, “Behold, the feared rim greaper!” III It took a year to heal the land, their ravaged homes to suture. To raise each brick and board by hand, to humbly build the future. They never more would brew a crop. They swore this to their keeper. And do what e’re they must to stop

Hari Myers

26

Hanging Tear Drop

the wrath of the rim greaper.


Sailing Under Moonlight

Suzanne Norman 28


Ode to a Purple Blanket Nothing is where it should be. You, purple blanket, lie as though home is the floor— instead of the naked bed you’ve left. You lie, shiny bottom side up trying to be satin, but managing only cotton. Yet you warm my feet, deceitful of the weather outside; remind me this family is whole. You could have been a ship’s sail, like a dream sliding across seas. Yet there you lie covering my son, as though the floor is your home. His legs will grow faster than you, you will be smaller than ever. What will you do then, purple blanket? I think I will keep you and let your little-boy smell remind me.

Arthur Wheeldon 29


Logic The tumblers in the lock become incongruent with the key. The key must twist counterclockwise two rotations to reset the tumblers. A wise man told June it was illogical to make a key that primes its lock any time the tumblers fall in or out of place. (June, of course, doubted his wisdom.) She thought quickly about mourning for rose petals when they fall, but who does that? She eases herself into a chair. e e cummings is motionless, his lips are cold, but still speaks with ultimate authority

30


“the one who murders rose petals can also rewind clocks and reset tumblers in an illogical lock with an illogical key” June wants to waltz in a rose colored gown, but she feels she’ll expose too much of her inner soul when the crime of the century takes place. She locks the straps of her evening gown in place with the illogical lock. She hides the key in her Enormous purse. (She is very persistent) Will she find the old man in time to free herself from prison? e e cummings gave no other clues

31


The tumblers do need to be reset though she dances divinely at the gala where the only light is candlelight. The wise man also told June it was illogical to waltz in a room lit only by candles. Where does one find the space to place one’s feet and twirl? e e cummings grieves for the wise man who borrowed the waxen wings from icarus to fly from the scene, stage left June now the wise man lives by logic, but the illogical key and the illogical lock will survive as tumblers do back flips, turn and reset

David V. Hughey 32


Looking Within

Jordan Gaynor


Just Two The first thing he took away were my fingernails. I want to put emphasis on first, Because, really, I’m only worried about the first and the second things; It might be my own misconception, But, I feel As if no one really remembers the third thing – It kind of has the same ring as third place, and, Really, I have no desire to describe the portions of my body that came in third place. And so, The rest came later, like the rhyme and rhythm of blood pumping at languorous speeds (By the way, I remember the feeling of veins – And if there was ever a claim that veins have no discernable feeling to them, I can assure you, By no medical means and simply experience, They do. They absolutely do). I wonder, sometimes, About the flesh of his face – (but don’t mistake that; I never found him handsome) I knew it was never his. He took his pile of victims, Scraped away what he deemed unnecessary – Superfluous things, he said And he took them by their fingers with a pencil sharpener. 34


From that he drew from a shallow bucket Straps of skin sewn together like a pipe dream of beauty And he tied the mask to his face. His eyes were glued into the sockets with all the worldly colors of rain sprinkled inside (Beautiful eyes, such a shame). I found that where there should be cartilage under his guise, He instead simply used their fingernails. Bony, dense things, he said. Well, I agree with him there; they worked just fine. But there was a price of growing no humanity of his own: His face had no hair, Like a blue birth infancy. The second thing he took away were my eyelashes. Would that matter, in the most extreme case? I would have said no, save for He kept me underneath the bare sky There was no roof to hold back the rain And any dew my lashes should have caught fell Directly into my eyes And my eyes, shamefully, were not the dreamcatcher of blue his were. I will admit, grudgingly, He gave me time to catch some drops before he plucked them all away. He wanted to give me that much, at least; I’m not all bad, my lovely little thing, he said. I know he enjoyed the taste of tears – He was a snacker, that man, And he loved saltiness. Misty things, he told me, 35


So I wonder about his teeth, If they were real or if they were porcelain like the rest of his bones, Capped with metal and glazed with saliva. But, I have to say, he knew how to use those teeth His tongue knew what they wanted to feel And he would run the slick baby pink Over the rotted yellow But he would tell me that mine tasted so much better. I know I meant to leave it alone, but, His carcasses are never left with teeth. I suppose there’s a third place after all.

Savanna Ford 36

Marie Wise (next)

There’s something, though, He kept a vain secret. That at night he would saunter in – Sneaking past my bedside with an air of cocky discomfort – And he would rummage through the waste bin like a rat, Pulling fibers out of the trash that I couldn’t see in the dark. I could only catch a glimpse of something white, By comparison of night time. (Not quite white at all.)

Sunflower Unborn

And they normally taste that way, but not yours. I would have liked some clarification, Because French fry water was his absolute favorite, But he just shook his head and threw my eyelashes away, A waste bin of forgettable little hairs That wouldn’t ever think to grow back on my face.


Haiku Pumpkins swim In a sea of mud and leaves Yet anchored by vines

Dawna Ebberts

38


Crane

Ronnie Barone

39


Old TIme Hospitality

Nancy Bauer 40


The House with the Lime-Green Curtains

I Every last person on 11th Avenue was

frightened of Mr. Wardley, yet nobody had ever seen him. Kelsey Rainer thought she had seen his lime-green curtains part, once. She was looking for Peanut Butter, her cat, and Mr. Wardley’s house, crouched on the corner of 11th Avenue and Mill Street, was the only place she could think to look. She made it to the back edge of the lawn where the cement walkway started before the flutter of lime green attacked the edge of her vision. It took her thirty seconds to sprint the two blocks back to her house. She never found Peanut Butter. Jo-Jo McCormick’s cousin, Carter, heard the lock of his front door click one winter when he came to visit Jo-Jo from Cle Elum. The scar on his left knee never stopped telling the story of his frantic escape, when he tripped at the edge of the sidewalk, ripping denim and skin. But Jackson Keller had the most unsettling story in the whole town. His mother’s best-friend’s grandmother had seen Mr. Wardley’s living-room light switch on fifty-eight years ago during the summer they had the drought. Of course, the old man’s

lime-green curtains had been tightly closed and it was in the middle of a hot afternoon, but her eyes were much better back then and she knows what she saw. A few months later, she was arrested for attempting to smuggle cans of cat food from the grocery store and was never heard from again. So the day that the first package arrived at Mr. Wardley’s doorstep was met with trepidation on a block-wide scale. The still-hot September air sat smugly on the tops of houses and laughed at the lack of breeze. The year had turned and now rested on the precipice between summer and autumn, when leaves and children reluctantly let go of the bliss that is the former and trudge into the drudgery that is the latter. Silence suffocated the street like cobwebs. 11th Avenue was in a stasis that only late summer in the Pacific Northwest could manage. A boxy UPS truck turned the corner from Mill Street and made it almost to Chestnut Street before the driver realized he was well past the package drop point. Its squealing brakes sounded like the call of an elk and the sleepy avenue was jolted awake. 41


From the front window of her long red house, Ms. Adams – twice widowed and 72 years young! – watched the truck conduct a drawn out turn-around and head back down the block toward Mill Street. Of course, Ms. Adams was above petty things like gossip, and her mind raced ohmygod!? Who’s it for? Who’s it for? WHO’S IT FOR?! The brake lights flashed, and the truck screeched to a stop in front of the house on the corner, the one with the lime-green curtains, and she forgot to breathe. She watched as, one by one, the residents of 11th Avenue oozed slowly from their houses like pus from an ill-treated scab. From the house on the corner of 11th and Chestnut came Mr. LaFever, with his black, horn-rimmed glasses and messy blonde hair. His wife, the quiet one whose name nobody could seem to remember, peered timidly out from behind her husband’s back. Mr. Adams (of no relation to Ms. Adams across the street) appeared from behind his giant yellow Ford Bronco, hairy arms bulging out of his blue tank top. He had been working beneath his truck when the commotion started and held a large oil-spattered wrench as though it were a weapon. Even the old

42

lady from the trailer park on the other side of Chestnut wandered to the intersection to squint painfully down the length of the block. The driver hopped from the truck and landed with practiced ease, eyes glued to the digital scanner that held all the knowledge a UPS driver could possibly need. He opened the back door and bent inside, his brown uniform shorts crawling alarmingly high up his legs. The box he pulled from the den of packages was long, about the length of a forearm, and relatively thin. He scanned it with his digital device, made sure the information was correct, and squared himself up to the house with the lime-green curtains. And hesitated. Ms. Adams was certain the shadows from the dying Japanese maples in Mr. Wardley’s yard (eyesores if she’d ever seen one) were darker than the shadows on the rest of the street. She would later share with Mrs. Harlowe, from across the river in Longview, that those shadows were leaning toward the delivery boy, who, by the way, had a gorgeous ass; and she would bubble with childish emphasis on the curse word – which would be followed by a bout of adolescent


giggling – but for now, her breath was held. Grace Ireland, from across the street, watched with agonizing helplessness as the lime-green curtains twitched. Mrs. LaFever, not watching the delivery boy at all, found herself suddenly unable to flip the egg she was frying. Every lung on 11th Avenue was filled with breath that was unwilling to be expelled just yet. Then the driver found the correct button on his scanner, the one that confirmed a successful delivery, stepped onto the walkway and broke the imagined barrier that separated Mr. Wardley’s house from the rest of the block. The avenue and its occupants let out a collective sigh. The package was unceremoniously dumped on the doorstep and the driver left, unharmed. Mr. Wardley had not shown his face. A small crowd, imagining themselves unseen, gathered across the street from his house. Why they thought it was so important to see Mr. Wardley get his package, nobody knew. But it was. It just was. But Mr. Wardley did not come out, and before anyone realized how foolish they must have looked an hour had passed and the people of 11th Avenue went back home.

*********** “What do you think it is?” asked Kelsey Rainer the next day in school. It was recess, and she sat beneath the slides, holding hands with Jo-Jo McCormick. “It’s a gun,” he answered without hesitation and sniffed, nose in the air. They had been “going out” for almost a month. Kelsey wasn’t the prettiest girl in school, but Jo-Jo was the only guy in his class with a girlfriend, so he didn’t mind. “Jason stayed over last night an’ we snuck down to the old man’s house. He said –” “Jason Williams? Are you friends?” Kelly’s face, thankfully hidden by the shadows of the slide, had turned slightly red. She thought Jason was cute. Cuter than Jo-Jo. Jo-Jo was okay looking, except for the freckles. But Jo-Jo was popular and his friends were really cute, so she didn’t mind. “He’s a frickin’ dork! Anyway, so he snuck up to look at the package last night. He was so scared he wouldn’t even touch it! But he said his dad got a package like that once an’ it was a hunting rifle. An’ his dad was in the Army, so he knows what he’s talkin’ about.”

43


*********** Three days after the first delivery, another package arrived. The first one had yet to be retrieved, or even approached. And if the first package caused a commotion, the second one caused an uproar. Ms. Adams phoned Mrs. Harlowe and ranted about common decency like a puritanical preacher. She, for one, could not believe the nerve of this so-called Mr. Wardley. And how dare he leave a tired old lady like herself on pins and needles like this? Mrs. Harlowe agreed wholeheartedly. By the end of the conversation, Ms. Adams was so upset that 44

Lisa Hassett (next)

she had to fix herself a cup of decaf and watch Murder, She Wrote for an hour before calming down enough to finish her game of solitaire. The second package differed from the first one. It was a cube and large enough to house a large snow globe. The same delivery boy with the same short, brown shorts (that covered the same gorgeous ass, Ms. Adams noted) dropped the package neatly beside the first one, knocked one efficient knock, and jogged back to his truck, nose buried in his scanner. Once again, a crowd of curious neighbors crowded across the street on Grace Ireland’s lawn and waited for Mr. Wardley to retrieve his packages. He never did. *********** “I checked out the first goddam package; why wouldn’t I check out this goddam package?!” Jo-Jo’s face was tomato red with turnip freckles. “How the hell do I know if you really checked it out?” Jason Williams asked. “Well I called you right after I did it, didn’ I? You callin’ me a goddam liar?” Jo-Jo clenched his right hand into a fist. Even though he was secretly scared of the bigger

Pretty in Purple

“What did you think it was,” asked Kelsey, with eyes like blue China plates. Jo-Jo’s eyes grew wide, then collapsed into slits. “We couldn’t both go up to the house, idiot! I hadda stay back and make sure nobody saw us! I wanted to be the one to look at the package, but Jason was too scared to stay back by himself.” That didn’t make any sense to Kelsey, but she didn’t mind because Jo-Jo’s friends were coming over now and Richie was with them, and he was almost as cute as Jason Williams.


boy, his father had taught him to never look weak. His father had also told him to always finish a thing once he started it. That was right before his father had left on Christmas Eve and never come back. “No way! Jo-Jo, I was just askin’!” Jason didn’t want to get Jo-Jo angry. He was bigger than the red-headed boy, but his father was always talking about “those clover-sniffin’ Irish scrappers,” and Jason did not want to get into a fight with one of those. Plus, Jason wanted nothing to do with the Wardley house and didn’t want to push the challenge any further. He put the decision in Jo-Jo’s court. “So, are we gonna check ‘em out tonight?” Jo-Jo’s pupils dilated and the tomato and turnip hue drained from his face. “Nah! Let’s jus’ play the new Modern Warfare. My Mom jus’ bought it for me.” Jason grumbled, “Aw! You’re bein’ a pussy, Jo-Jo!” Jason had no intention of approaching Mr. Wardley’s house, but the response was instinctual. Ever since his cousin Carter had heard Mr. Wardley’s lock click three years ago, there was nothing of which Jo-Jo was more frightened than that house with the 46

lime-green curtains. But Jason had invoked the ritual and Jo-Jo could not back down now. “Jus’ shut up! You’re not even gonna let me finish? I wanna play the game now, but we have to wait until my mom leaves for her business meeting tonight before we go down there!” “Your mom has a business meeting tonight? I thought she didn’t have a job.” “It’s with Ian Cussick’s dad.” That didn’t make any sense to Jason. His dad had business meetings all the time, and they were never at night. Maybe Jo-Jo’s mom was some sort of magician. Jason’s dad was always talking about her going out to “turn a trick ‘r two.” He knew Jo-Jo was a liar and he didn’t particularly care for his company, but Jason had kissed Kelsey Rainer last weekend and she just lived a couple blocks down, so he didn’t mind. That night, Jo-Jo’s mom said goodbye to the two boys on her way out to her business meeting. She was wearing a very short red skirt that made Jason feel uncomfortable in a very good way. She left with Ian Cussick’s dad in his huge, red Chevy.


The two boys continued playing their game for nearly an hour, both of them too scared to bring up the fact that they had made plans to go to Mr. Wardley’s house. “Fuckin’ Koreans!” Jo-Jo screamed after his avatar was killed for the sixth time within the first four minutes of the game. “That’s all those goddam Asians do is sit on their skinny asses and play video games!” “How d’ya know they’re Koreans?” asked Jason. Jo-Jo slowly turned his head toward Jason; his eyes were half-closed in what Jason guessed was his attempt at a sagacious look. “Because they are the only people that play this stupid game,” he said calmly. He turned back. “Fuck!” He had died again. His character, a smoothly pixelated version of a young John Wayne, sank to his knees. An ugly hole had opened in the center of his forehead, and blood spattered the wall behind which he had been hiding. Another hour passed. And another. Neither boy brought up their plans to visit the house with the lime-green curtains. They passed the night in a gracefully unspoken agreement to not articulate the fact that they were both, in fact, being pussies. Finally, after

their team had been annihilated thirty-two times in a row, they decided to go to bed. The next morning, Jo-Jo’s mom was still not home. Jason thought that was weird. Must have been one hell of a magic show.

II The year continued turning in its own inexorable way, and the late-summer heat faded rather quickly into an uncomfortable November chill. The UPS truck made five more deliveries. There was one more at the end of September, which was dropped by a different driver (it was a Saturday), a stocky blonde woman who failed to turn any heads. This package was small, the size of a ring box. She tried out some small talk she’d recently learned with the nice Mexican man who was mowing Mr. Wardley’s lawn, but decided that he must not speak any English, since a series of dull blinks was all she received in answer. Four more packages, no two the same, arrived in October. None of the items were collected. They sat like a heap of small coffins on the untended porch of the house with the lime green curtains. 47


Salmon Hatchery

Anthony Krueger 48


Ms. Adams tried to rally the block into the same frenzied curiosity that plagued her, but the mystery of Mr. Wardley’s mail was losing its shine. She began to pray before bed, something she had not done since the incident with the lonely nun in Catholic school when she was fourteen. (Jeeeesus! she wailed, sounding very un-catholic. Just let that Wardley fella show his face! One-time! That’s all I’m askin’! Let his wrinkled old ass – sorry – let him come on outta that house and get his damn packages!) Then, when Jesus did not answer those prayers after a month had passed, she stopped again. Jo-Jo’s mom continued to go to her business meetings; Jo-Jo knew they didn’t make much sense, but she had just bought him Skyrim, so he didn’t mind. Kelsey Rainer had broken up with him, and he had a hunch she was steppin’ out (a term he remembered his father had used on occasion) with Jason Williams. He started skipping school with increasing frequency, but his mother had yet to bring it up. Mr. Adams (of no relation to Ms. Adams) still hadn’t finished the work on his Bronco, but now he was dating a woman whose arms (creamy-dreamy white, he

explained) were nearly as bulky as his own. The old lady in the trailer park on the other side of Chestnut died. The report in The Longview Daily News said her body had been found three weeks “post mortem” by a man who claimed to be her nephew (but wasn’t). He could not be reached for the obituary, which was one of the stock ones the paper printed when no family or friends could be contacted. Mr. LaFever and his wife bought a new car. (One of those hoity-toity hybrids, Ms. Adams explained to Mrs. Harlowe.) The hubbub on 11th Avenue settled back to normal. In the ball park, anyway. But then Jo-Jo had to go and kill his cousin. *********** It was April, and school was closed for spring break. Carter came from Cle Elum with his family to visit Jo-Jo and his mom. The days were filled with X-box and some porn that Jo-Jo had hidden high up in his closet. Downstairs, his mother and Uncle Brian discussed what Jo-Jo guessed (correctly) were her business meetings. For some reason, Uncle Brian didn’t approve of her work life. 49


Battle Ground Lake

Nona Rowlins 50


But Jo-Jo only half heard the conversation. His cousin, Carter, was the coolest fuckin’ guy since Hugh Jackman played Wolverine. “So what’s up with that old Wardley place? What’s inside all them fuckin’ boxes?” Carter asked. He was only a year older than Jo-Jo, but he had already hit his growth spurt and was five inches taller. “Awww, nothin’. Me and this dork, Jason, already checked ‘em out. It’s just a bunch of fuckin’ junk.” Carter looked at him with a half grin that all the girls at his school must have melted over. “Yer a liar, Jo-Jo. I bet you ain’t checked ‘em out once!” That pissed him off. But Carter would just laugh if Jo-Jo let it show. So instead, he just got embarrassed (his face went well past red and into a color Crayola would probably name something like “Plum” or “Eggplant”), as though no matter how convincing the lie had been, Carter would have seen straight through it. “Well I wanted to. But my mom won’t let me.” “Awww, come on! Your mom? What are you, six years old? Get the Williams kid over here and we’ll go tonight.”

Jo-Jo could think of nothing he wanted to do less than look like a pussy in front of Carter, but there was nothing he could do. He was scared. Bad. “B-but…I…yer the one who heard his lock click back then! Why do you…I’m not gonna…aww fuck!” There was another unspoken rule of boyhood that the tallest boy in the pack set the rules, and Carter was helpless up against laws as ancient as that one. So he called Jason. *********** It was dark in Ms. Adam’s living room (the “sitting room” she called it). The light bulb in her room lamp had burned out two days ago, but she had not been able to talk her body into getting off the davenport to change it. In fact, except to microwave three frozen dinners each day, she had not risen at all. Now her phone rang. She didn’t even look at it. After six rings, the call-box picked it up. “Is this…when do I start? Damn stupid thing. What are all these buttons for anyw –” BEEP!

51


Martha? It was Mrs. Harlowe from across the river. Martha, if you’re there, would you please pick up? Her voice was small, making her sound even older than seventy-four. Henry’s died. He’s dead. He just… he just…. Her voice shattered, and for the next ten seconds there was nothing but static sobbing coming through the call-box. I need you, Martha. Get used to it, bitch, Ms. Adams thought. I’ve done it twice, your wrinkled ass can pucker up and take it. On the call-box, Mrs. Harlowe (Miss Harlowe, now, Ms. Adams thought with a tired laugh that was definitely not girlish) continued to sob. Now Ms. Adams did get out of her chair. Her knees cracked like trees dying in a windstorm. She hobbled painfully over to the telephone, trying to shake the pins-and-needles out of her feet. She reached down and picked it up. And let it drop back down, hanging up on her long-time friend. “Go to hell, bitch.” *********** Night danced over 11th Avenue with the soft grace of a widow at a funeral. 52

Jo-Jo told his mother that he and Carter were walking down to the school with Jason Williams to play some midnight football. “That’s nice. I won’t be home tonight, I have a job interview.” She said this without looking at her son who was also not looking at her. In fact, Jo-Jo wasn’t looking at anything. The world had become a frosted window, and all he could see on the other side was a billowing wall of lime-green with the blood of his John Wayne avatar splattered against it. Carter and Jason were downstairs, waiting with secret anxiety. Earlier, Jo-Jo had mumbled something nobody understood and walked zombie-like up the stairs. He stood in his bedroom, not yet ready to face the other two boys. Maybe he never would be. Maybe he could just lie down in his bed and fall asleep, and when he woke up, Carter and Jason would be gone and he would go downstairs to have breakfast with his mom and dad. At that moment, Jo-Jo – the tough “clover-sniffing scrapper” from 11th Avenue, who wouldn’t take shit from nobody (except maybe Carter), who didn’t give a rat’s ass what his mother did during her business meetings – at that moment, he began to cry.


He wanted his father back. He wanted his mother to stay home with him, even if they didn’t talk to each other. Even if all they did was scream at each other. He had never forgotten the comfort of knowing that his parents were just down the hall in their bedroom and now he wanted it, more than anything else in the world. He didn’t want to go to the stupid Wardley house. He was beside his bed, reaching underneath the mattress, shoving aside Playboys and old homework assignments that he would never turn in. His right hand inched past a lighter he had found on the school playground. There were socks, too, the texture of sandpaper. Near the exact center, however, it closed timidly around the cold grip of a pistol. Jo-Jo had no idea what kind it was, only that it had belonged to his father and it was the one thing left behind that Jo-Jo had gotten to before his mother. The one thing that always surprised him was the immense weight of the gun. He tried to put it into his waistband like they did in the movies, but it wouldn’t stay balanced and threatened to drag his pants to his ankles. He shoved it into a sock, but it fell back out.

It was so damn heavy. When they killed people in the movies the gun always looked so light, like shooting that goddam Russian spy was the easiest thing in the world. But the first time Jo-Jo had picked up his dad’s pistol, its weight made him feel sick. Now he felt the same way. But there wasn’t a chance he was going up to Wardley’s door without it. It made him feel like his dad was beside him. He put on a Carhartt jacket he’d never worn; it was one his mother had given him for his last birthday. He only cared about the deep, concealed pocket on the inside lining of the coat. The gun fit it like shit in a sewer (another wise platitude from his father). He joined the other two boys at the bottom of the stairs. “Nice coat, ya fuckin’ hillbilly. How long you work at the mill for?” Carter asked when Jo-Jo finally came back downstairs. Jo-Jo laughed. At some point, the wild rolling of his eyes stopped long enough for him to see Jason Williams staring at the off-white carpet like it was lime green. “God damn you guys are gay. Let’s go.” His voice might have been softer than normal.

53


54

***********

***********

Ms. Adams was drunk. A gallon jug of cheap whiskey had been hiding beneath the sink. The house’s previous owner must have accidentally left it when they moved (she had lived there for forty-six years). She sang. Badly. And loudly. An original rendition that managed to combine Hey Jude and Don’t Fear the Reaper. When she moved to her front window the lyrics melted and transformed, the way a perfectly shaped candle melts into something grotesque and unidentifiable. First, her voice became throaty, then gravelly. Then the words transformed into an animal’s howl. There was no trace of intelligence left in the sound. Emotion had complete control, riding the waves of barbarian instinct that humans lost thousands of years ago. Now she was snarling and pacing faster than she had moved in years. Her hands waved in front of her face without any pattern, and she kept up her snarling as though holding a conversation with someone. Then, something with a clever mask exploded in her mind and pretended to be a good idea. She made a decision and put on her slippers.

Jo-Jo tried desperately to pretend he was in a video game as he, Carter, and Jason Williams crept up the street to Mr. Wardley’s house. He crouched and had to continually stop his hand from finding the gun hidden in his coat. Carter led, walking like he had done this every night of his life. Jason’s hands were stuffed in the pockets of his jeans and he shuffled after them, quieter than a graveyard on Christmas Eve. Somewhere on the block a door slammed shut and the distant noise made all three boys jump just as they reached the edge of Mr. Wardley’s lawn. “Jo-Jo, get up there and check out the boxes and grab one if you can,” said Carter. Jo-Jo was too scared to realize how scared he was. He stepped past the barrier of the lawn without hesitation and mechanically walked to the porch. In the dim light cast by the lights of other houses, the curtains looked black as dried blood. Now his fear surfaced, rising with the sweat that began running down his body. He began to shake, and each step was like walking on a stretched rope net.His mouth was filled with an unpleasant metallic taste, but it was too dry for him to spit.


He blinked and was kneeling down beside one of the packages. His heart was an African chorus of drums; blood collected and pulsed hungrily in the extremities of his body. He chose a small package, a perfect cube slightly larger than the box his mother still kept her wedding ring in. Using his fingernails like an animal, he tore off the tape. Now he could hear the blood pulsing excitedly through his ears, threatening to spill out of his body. Once, when he was young, a VHS his father was watching warped on the TV screen. The music slowed down and everyone on screen seemed to be swimming underwater. That’s where I am now. Underwater. That’s why my fucking head hurts so bad and I can’t breathe. He opened the box. *********** Ms. Adams heard a scream, but was not startled. She was expecting it. The cleverly disguised thing in her mind smiled and told her this was supposed to happen. She stumbled. The primitive instincts that had control of her legs couldn’t completely mask the effects of the whiskey, but she found her

balance again and continued toward the house with the lime-green curtains. *********** Jo-Jo didn’t know that he was screaming; the roaring in his ears was too loud for him to hear it. Inside the package was a curled forefinger, cut neatly at the bottom knuckle. He dropped the box, and still acting on instinct, ripped the gun from his jacket pocket. “Hey pussy! What are you—” Jo-Jo spun, his eyes white, and the gun shot turned Carter’s sentence into a bubbly grunt. The impact of the bullet knocked him to the ground before the sound of the shot was finished echoing down the length of the street. After the sound died, Carter’s liquid groans were accompanied by the howling of a dog somewhere on Mill Street. And then, both stopped. “Whatthefuckman!” Jason’s hands were out of his pockets, in front of him, trying to fend off the reality of what he had just seen.

55


“What the fuck? What the fuck? Jesus Christ! What the fuck, Jo-Jo?!” he repeated the words over and over again. They sliced the now silent night like the gunshot had. Jo-Jo turned to Jason. The gun felt much lighter now. Like how it must have felt in the movies. His voice was calm. “Shit. We need to get him away from the street.” Jason continued repeating his words, unaware that Jo-Jo had spoken. “Jason! Shut up and help me get his body to the porch.” He punched the taller boy in the shoulder. Jason stopped babbling and stared at Carter’s body. “Jo-Jo, this is crazy! I’m gonna get someone.” “First we have to get him away from the road. If someone drives by right now, they might think we did this on purpose.” That made perfect sense to Jason. He helped drag the older boy’s body through Mr. Wardley’s lawn, noticing for the first time how neatly the grass was trimmed. The blood had stopped gushing from the bullet wound, but there was enough of it on Carter’s body to leave a stark crimson streak through the middle of the green lawn. It sank past the green carpet to the black earth below it, then beneath the soil to the mystery beneath 11th 56

Avenue. They pulled the body all the way up to the edge of the house and let it drop beneath the double-windows with the lime green curtains. “Alright Jo-Jo…I’m gonna go get someone. This—” Jo-Jo shot him. A small hole appeared just above the boy’s left eye, as neat around the edges as Mr. Wardley’s lawn. More blood than Jo-Jo thought a head could hold sprayed against the windows, mixed with other unidentifiable matter. To Jo-Jo, the spray of blood looked like the cardboard he and his father had placed beneath his old wagon when they spray painted it together. It was so even and perfect. He turned his back to the house, no longer afraid of a man who nobody had ever seen. He knew now that Carter was full of shit. He had never heard Mr. Wardley’s door knob. A stumbling silhouette appeared at the edge of the lawn. It stopped, recognition dawning in the way its edges stiffened. Ms. Adams was not too drunk to realize what she was seeing.


Jo-Jo thought the silhouette looked like his father. He was glad he wasn’t afraid of Mr. Wardley anymore. His father would be proud. That made him smile. Then he stuck the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger one last time. Jo-Jo’s blood joined Jason’s on the window, leaving only spots of the lime green curtains visible through the sheet of smeared red. The blood of the three boys found a home beneath the soil upon which Mr. Wardley’s house had been built. Ms. Adam’s heart stopped beating at the sound of the last gunshot. She didn’t bleed. A cat slipped from its perch in one of the Japanese Maples and sprinted across the lawn, hopping over the diagonal streak of blood. It stopped beside the porch and sniffed around for a moment before picking something up in its teeth. Something curled and fleshy. The cat didn’t have any tags, but its fur was the color of peanut butter.

III The year turned again, sharper than some years, not as sharply as others. There were local cops crawling around 11th Avenue for weeks after the shooting, but everyone outside of the street knew the story; they’d read about it a thousand times. Poor kid loses dad at a young age, plays too many video games, goes on a shooting spree. But people on the block knew what really happened. Mr. Wardley killed those three boys. They didn’t know why, but they knew nonetheless. Poor Ms. Adams must have figured out that old bastard’s plan. And then he killed her, too. The police confiscated the packages from the Wardley house after repeatedly trying to gain entrance. Many requests for search warrants were issued. Most were denied. Some were passed, but were mishandled by filing clerks, rendering them null. Two weeks later, a very official-sounding article was printed in The Daily News. The double homicide/suicide case had been closed, since there was no one to charge with any crime. The contents of the boxes was never mentioned, but Grace Ireland’s cousin worked for the Sheriff’s


Department. Soon, everyone on 11th Avenue knew. Junk. It was all junk. An old cassette player, packaged hard candy, blankets, etc. One of the packages, the smallest one (about the size of a ring box), was empty. When the police traced the sender’s information they came up with a phone number for a company in India that sold hi-speed internet landline telephone service. After several frustrating minutes spent trying to sift English from the telemarketer’s accent, they gave up. Jo-Jo’s mom moved. She left without returning any of the casserole dishes that were given to her by neighbors and friends. Ms. Harlowe moved into Ms. Adams’ house, no longer able to endure the emptiness of the home she had shared with Henry, and feeling comfortable in the home of such a dear, departed friend. Mr. LaFever’s wife got pregnant; she hoped that people would remember the baby’s name. Mr. Adams got a new girlfriend. She was a good deal younger than him, but Ms. Adams wasn’t around to raise a fuss, anyway. Grace Ireland got a dog; she named it Pepper. And a young newlywed couple moved into the house with the lime green curtains. The blood had been scrubbed from the siding 58

and the windows replaced. The grass had grown and been cut, but the soil beneath it remained the same. Following a few days of fitting couches through doors built just too small for them, the finishing touches were put up. The curtains were replaced with a much more conservative taupe print, the Japanese Maples were replaced with a split-cedar fence, and the couple pinned their name to the mailbox in a beautiful script that looked like love. Jonathan and Gloria Wardley. They left for their honeymoon the following Monday. On Tuesday, a UPS truck stopped in front of the house. When it drove away, there was an oblong package resting comfortably on the porch. Nobody seemed to notice.

Arthur Wheeldon


Cardinal

Debby Neely


The Wave

Suzanne Norman 60


What I Saw Along the way: a truck that’s a T-rex. a tree that’s just a tree, but it’s content to be. a hive full of bees that don’t make honey, but they would if built that way. a toy I lost when I was three. a white man who’s always out of reach. you. In the tree that loved the sound of the earth so much the top grew first sideways, then back into the ground. And at its peak is a tunnel we’ve waited to crawl through for 25 years. a unicorn carved from ice in a field we never played in. the end. But beyond that, a hill. Like a giant’s indrawn breath.

Arthur Wheeldon

61


From My Night Window

The egg-shaped moon wobbles Behind the dinosaur tree. Pulling salmon in their tidal migrations Back and forth, in cycles of cycles. From my night window I see Salmon stars, in their eternal migration Through the galaxy. And wonder, What do salmon do in the dark? Do they procreate, and die like Ancient stars, Leaving a black hole that pulls us Into that memory?

Irene Martin

62


Heading Home

Debby Neely

63


A Walk in the Park Pines pirouette in the velvet grass, toes pointed down. Maple limbs lean over the path, arching in sky. Weeds grow from cracks in cement sidewalks, defining signs of age. Crows caw at dusk, diving for crumbs under picnic tables. Paint on pavement draws a line we must cross on our way home.

Carolyn Caines 64


Tibetan Drummer

Mai Ding

65


Contributing Artists Ronnie Barone has been drawing and painting since childhood, but has only recently started art classes at LCC. She crafts portraits of loved ones.

Nancy Bauer

has lived her life in Washington, where she has had many opportunites to capture the way she sees through the lens of her camera. Washington has many unique stories to share through photography, stories she wishes to leave as her legacy.

Carolyn Caines is a third-generation area resident and retired teacher, having

taught grades K-4 and high school English. She has published six books: a novel, a family history, and four books of poetry. More than a hundred fifty of her poems have appeared in various publications.

Rachel Chanthavisay has lived in eleven countries on three continents,

adventuring for most of her life. She has a passion for the beauty and history of her environment. She credits Ray Cooper and LCC for inspiring her to pursue a career in the arts.

John Ciminello wrote for publications like The Sun, Mentor and North Coast Squid. He also penned “Shrine Above the High Tide.” John lives in Naselle, Washington where he cares for goats, his garden, and his cat.

Mai Ding

is an anesthesiologist working at St John Medical Center. Photography and visual art are his passions outside his work. He is an active member of the local photography club. His photos have been featured in National Geographic ‘s World Architecture.” He states, “It is an honor to have my photos presented in The Salal Review.”


Dawna Ebberts enrolled in LCC. After the first quarter she became a biology and

English tutor. She is excited to start LCC Nursing Program in the spring of 2015.

Savanna Ford is an English major at LCC and plans to transfer to Portland State

University this upcoming fall. She is the Lecture & Entertainment Chair for ASLCC this year. Her plan in life is to be a writer, publisher, and teacher. She is the author of Defining Grim.

Jordan Gaynor Recently moved here from Memphis, and this will be her second

quarter attending LCC, where she has been taking drawing classes with Michael Kohlmeier

Joseph Green’s most recent poetry collection is What Water Does at a Time Like

This (MoonPath Press, 2015). In his twenty-fifth year at Lower Columbia College, he retired from teaching to concentrate on writing, playing music, and producing letterpress-printed poetry broadsides through The Peasandcues Press.

Lisa Hassett graduated from LCC last year and was a former editor of The Salal

Review. She is pursuing her career in photography and owns her own business.

David V. Hughey Is a former college professor and college dean.

His poetry has appeared most recently in Thema, but has also been a contributor to Feelings, Driftwood East, The Hollins Critic, and The Salal Review.

Raymond King (Earl Gray) has lived in the LCC region for most of his life. He

draws and paints in a variety of styles using different mediums.


Anthony Krueger has lived in the Lower Columbia area most of his life. He

enjoys spending time with his kids, hiking, and photography. He is always looking for something new and interesting to shoot.

Irene Martin has been living and writing in the Lower Columbia Region for over

forty years. She writes about fisheries and the history of the Columbia River. She also writes poems that have broader focus.

Darrin Moir grew up in Southwest Washington and now lives on the family farm

with his wife and three children. Sure, it’s mostly an agricultural tax write off, but he’s chased the cows back into the pasture enough times to feel confident in the title and enjoy the t-bone steak rewards.

Hari Myer

grew up west of Longview, and now lives on some secluded acreage near Kalama. He writes because the world and words irresistibly inspire him.

Debby Neely moved to Woodland in 1979. She learned the art and craft of

woodcuts from Carolyn Brookhart while taking art classes at LCC in the early 1980’s. She really likes the power of the black & white images in woodcuts. Even though, the images are strong, she finds a certain quietness about their overall compositions. She also enjoys the smell and feel of wood as she carves.

Suzanne Norman is a LCC alumni and graduated in 1998. She then went on

to WSU Vancouver to complete a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology degree and currently resides in Toledo, Washington.

Ned Piper graduated from LCC in 1960, finishing his college education at the

University of Washington with a degree in Drama. Since discovering a love of writing at age eighteen he penned over three-thousand poems, fifty short stories and five novels.


Yvette Raynham taught in the art department at LCC for almost twenty years,

retiring in 2007. She feels that all the arts are related and by experiencing diverse artistic expressions, one can begin to understand people. Raynham lives in Longview and Astoria with her husband, Michael; she still teaches art history part time in Portland and online for Skyline College in California.

Nona Rowlin came to Longview after

cancer surgery. She moved into Community House on Broadway and decided to go to LCC and get her second Associate’s degree. She graduated in 2014, and is now pursuing a Masters of art.

Madison Studer Moved to Longview from Bozeman, Montana to Longview in

August of 2014 to play volleyball for the Red Devils and to attend LCC. She plans to transfer to a four year school with intentions to study advertising management.

Arthur Wheeldon has lived in the Lower Columbia region his entire life. He’s always been a hostage writer. He has to write, otherwise, with no outlet, all those ideas become twisted and dark. Maybe that’s when he writes his best stories.

Marie Wise is an artist and PR person, and when she isn’t working on LCC’s

website, she’s at home painting with watercolors, oils or acrylics. She loves experimenting with new techniques, like Maya’s Sunflower, which was done by spattering acrylics, much like Jackson Pollock’s spatter paintings. It was done as a birthday gift for Maya Muller, LCC’s graphic designer, who loves art too.


Sponsors Cary Rhode Anyone interested in sponsoring The Salal Review can make a tax-deductible donation to: LCC Foundation: The Salal Review. All donations are honored in the following publication of The Salal Review

Acknowledgments The editors of The Salal Review are grateful for all of the help we receive. We are thankful for the likes of Debby Neely and Mike Stack. We also appreciate Klint Hull for supporting us year after year. Thank you to Dianne Bartlett, logistical guru. We thank Chris Skaugset from the Longview Public Library. We thank Dan Schabot and the Fighting Smelt Forensics Team. We are also appreciative of our gracious sponsors. Finally, we acknowledge all those artists who submitted their work to us.Thank you to everyone.


Call For Submissions The Salal Review is an annual publication of Lower Columbia College with the mission of involving 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 2013. For artwork, submit up to five pieces, either on paper or by e-mail attachment, during the month of January 2013. We will accept color submissions; however, 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 (SHQ or HQ). 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 salal@lcc.ctc.edu. Mail submissions or donations to The Salal Review, Lower Columbia College, P.O. Box 3010, 1600 Maple Street, Longview, WA 98632.


How the Ocean Was Emptied There was a man who walked to the Ocean with a cup. He smiled the whole time, his teeth like the keys of a piano. This man and that woman wondered about that smile. And when he reached the moving edge of the Ocean he dipped his cup and ran, laughing, up the beach. At the edge of a pit filled with dry sand he dumped the cup; he watched the water spill and the dry ground drink it up. On tip-toes, he snuck back to the waves and again dipped his cup. And thus, the Ocean was emptied.

Arthur Wheeldon

Profile for Lower Columbia College

2015 Salal Review  

Award winning literary and arts magazine of Lower Columbia College.

2015 Salal Review  

Award winning literary and arts magazine of Lower Columbia College.

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