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Mirage literary & arts magazine 2017

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On this year’s cover is “Hunting Heron” by William C. Smith. It was created with a build up of acrylic paint using a pallet knife. “Bold color is what I’m after,” writes Mr. Smith. “It enlivens me to look at these vibrant paintings and hopefully it enlivens others too. I generally paint from a reference photo. In this case, it was a photo taken at sunset which brought out some interesting colors. This intensified and broadened my pallet.”

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LITERARY & ARTS MAGAZINE 2017 Cochise College Cochise & Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona Faculty Advisors Kristen Welch Jay Treiber Alex O’Meara Beth Colburn-Orozco Virginia Pfau Thompson Ken Sikora Designer Donna Brown Sierra Vista Campus Cochise College


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Cover Art Art: William C. Smith, “Hunting Heron” Design: Victoria Toves, Cochise College, Sierra Vista Campus May 2017: Associate of Arts, Journalism and Media Arts Submission Guidelines We now accept submissions on an ongoing basis. For information on the new submission guidelines for your original writing or artwork, please visit www.cochise.edu/mirage. A link to our new Facebook page is also available online. Questions should be sent to mirage@cochise.edu. When hard copies of the Mirage are available, announcements are posted on the website and on our Facebook page. Copies are available at many locations, including the Sierra Vista and Douglas campus libraries. The Mirage is also available in a digital version on our website. Acknowledgements The Mirage Committee would like to thank Junea Sanchez and her Graphic Design students. We would also like to thank Ron Hyde, Rick Whipple, Keith Ringey, and Adele Ross for assistance. Finally, we would like to thank Diane Nadeau for assistance with proofreading. Creative Writing Celebration Winners The Mirage publishes the entries of first-place winners from the previous year’s Cochise Creative Writing Celebration contests in poetry, fiction, and memoir. The winners of the 2016 competitions are:

Poetry – Cappy Love Hanson, “Desert Nights” Fiction – Gary Lawrence, “BJ” Memoir – Cappy Love Hanson, “Autumn 1934” iii


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Mirage Mission Statement The Mirage Literary & Arts Magazine has a three-part mission: 1. Mirage serves the Cochise and Santa Cruz counties by showcasing high-quality art and literature produced by community members and students. 2. Mirage serves Cochise College by establishing the college as the locus for a creative learning community. 3. Mirage serves Cochise College students by providing them an opportunity to earn college credit and to gain academic and professional experience through their participation in ENG 257, Literary Magazine Production. This course is offered each spring. Design Cochise College student Donna Brown chose Bell MT as the font for this year’s edition. She also designed the layout and arrangement for the magazine. Disclaimer Mirage and its staff are not responsible for the veracity, authenticity, or integrity of any work of literature or art, or for any claim made by a contributor appearing in the publication. Copyright Notice All rights herein are retained by the individual author or artist. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author or artist. Copyright law dictates that if a portion of a work is used, it must include the full acknowledgement of the title, author, and magazine. Printed in the United States of America. Š Cochise College 2017 iv


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Table of Contents Pasta el Pesto Pamela Lee 1 The Look Of It (Puerto Peñasco) Beth Henson 2 Dusk Lavendra Copen 3 Freshman Fall Cappy Love Hanson 4 The West Carmen Megeath 5 The Viet Nam Memorial Pamela Lee 6 Writer’s Block Gary Lawrence 7-10 Three Muses Jane Ferguson 11 Just Survive Jesse Arias 12 Raven-Nevermore Shyrl Miles 13 Hare Shryl Miles 13 Blue Magic Joyce Genske 14 Main Street David Day 15 Woman David Altamirano 16 Lady of the West Evelyn Kaplan 17 Le Jardin Rose Evelyn Kaplan 17 Bear Carissa Hernandez 18 San Pedro Lightning Robert Luce 19 Sea Green Jesse Arias 20 Mount Lemon Sculptures Kunhild Blacklock 21 Ramsey Canyon Carol Chandler 22 Bisbee Snowstorm Chuck Feil 23 Old Bisbee in Winter Ruby Odell 24 Japanese Cottage Walls Bob La Fleur 25 And Pleasant Dreams Pamela Lee 26 Go Back Twenty Years Beth Henson 27 Of Memory Carmen Megeath 28 A Magical Realism Ecology Poem Lavendra Copen 29-30 The Storm Downshifts Cappy Love Hanson 31 Dragoon Delirium Keith Allen Dennis 32-38

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Cactus Sea Beth Ann Krueger 39 Vocal and Harp Lynda Coole 40 Goose Neck Lynda Coole 40 Owl Man Ruby Odell 41 Tucson Twosome Dan Rollins 42 Bridge of Beauty Robin Redding 43 No Me Despiertes Georgia Papadakis 44 Meditation Gloria Fraze 45 Music on the Gulch Carol Chandler 46 Zen City Sunscape Cappy Love Hanson 47 Retro Tea Jesse Arias 48 Storyteller Joyce Genske 49 Tonight We Ride James Schrimpf 50 Desert Nights Cappy Love Hanson 51 BJ Gary Lawrence 52-53 Autumn 1934 Cappy Love Hanson 54-59 Dreaming of the Orion in the Huachuca Mountains Mahala Lewis 61 Hudson Truck Francisco Moreno 62 San Pedro River Francisco Moreno 62 Late Afternoon Sunlight Dan Rollins 63 Chipmunk Photo Shoot at Zion National Park Elizabeth Gibson 64 Reflection Ron Fritts 65 Sky Painting Beth Ann Krueger 66 Dead Horse Point Gloria Fraze 67 Hunting Heron William C. Smith 68 Azteca Mountains David Altamirano 69 Big Cactus Days Robin Redding 70 Biographies 71-77 Student Opportunity 78 Interview with Donna Brown 79 Interview with Cappy Love Hanson 80-82 vi


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Pasta al Pesto Pamela Lee Delving into shallow crockery dishes, we twine hot, white strands On silver tines, Pushing against the oval bowls of spoons. The gray-green paste clumps, Refusing to cling. The crushed pignoli and garlic cloves, With Parmesan and olive oil, Resist melding with The outdoor chlorophyllic green Of basil and of parsley. Remember tamping the tender seedlings In the cool spring earth? And pinching off twin-leaves to foster growth, Gathering the convoluted parsley curls, and pleasant Basketfuls of basil Redolent of Italy? Cruel blades of Cuisinart prevailed: In an instant they Reduced a garden to this dollop. Now, faces bathed in steam, We behold, we savor, we consume Genesis to revelation.

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The Look Of It (Puerto Peñasco) Beth Henson The taste of the sea, the smell of it, the salt better than sweet. A day when only the dead are worth reading, breaking the reverie of chirpy birds behind the pile of fake rocks around the abandoned cabaña. Abandoned, without a flag, without your wedding ring. Laughing as we exchanged all previous gold for scrap, including the one you took off with your watch when we were first lovers. A day when the dead weigh more than the living, whose promises — as mine to you — are light as air.

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Dusk Lavendra Copen Dusk, and the air unbusying itself of a summer day. Elms sigh and lift on a little dance of breeze, perhaps something American Indian, up moves instead of stamping. Hingey creaks leak from fibrous junctions, twig to branch to trunk, still pliant with monsoon rain. Leaves begin to turn, as if each one has photosynthesized itself a sun, now rolling to expose its pale and trembling belly to the little winter of the night.

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Freshman Fall Cappy Love Hanson Sun sets blood orange, and a blood-orange full moon lurches up to replace it — dry-lightning moon, smoke-smeared moon, moon of wildfire harvesting the Coast Range with its flaming blade. Day and night, the sky’s the color we swirl in plastic glasses in our girls-only college dorm: orange juice snuck up from the dining commons, cherry liqueur bought by someone’s drinking-age boyfriend, secreted in a suitcase shoved in the back of a closet. Nine at night, the power out, flashlights dimmed to nimbuses or nothing, when flames rear over the ridge across the valley. In trance we sit and stare from balconies as swirls in the white Cool Deck tattoo our shaved calves, and stucco stipples our backs. Too hot to sleep, windows wide to any breath of breeze but letting in only a sift of soot. Trying not to knuckle teary eyes, we swig our tart-sweet concoction till our heads seem to lift, balloon-like, in the ashy air, and we imagine our building from inebriated heights — roof rouged burnt orange, palms and flax and bougainvillea inert in the roasting air. We can hear the blaze roar now, drunk on chaparral and wildflowers, driving deer and grasshoppers with its searing whips, shooting birds out of the oaks like bullets. With crackly howls, it bellows flames and sparks, and embers bigger than our fists. Firestorms spin the inferno into twisters as we swizzle our ruddy drink, hoist our glasses, toast higher education, and slide the liquid down our roughened throats — the anesthetizing blood of our new and frightening collegiate lives. 4


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The West Carmen Megeath

“The West was hell on horses and women.�

Then bear the peril of this land As if this place where golden grasses And the far view from the pass Meant limitlessness, A pure-driven blue Toward which that leap of faith is taken. And bear what cannot be borne, Mistress, Hard at the wheel, Your millions of rescues proffered, Your bones through a parched land where Sun and moon burn hours like matches, But the horizon is a future in four directions With promises of fair return. As if the West were that distance, that Self, that ineluctable geography where light and Pain and bird song mingle.

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The Viet Nam Memorial Pamela Lee As one of the millions who touch the wall each day, I had no particular name to seek but marveled at the subtle curve of wall conceived by Maya Lin with all those names. Then reaching up to feel the polished stone and finger someone’s name incised. I don’t remember whose. How simplicity makes the tragic more profound, more deeply felt. I recall the stark white walls of the synagogue in Prague inscribed with Holocaust names in black. How no one could speak then or now. It was springtime in Washington, and beyond the Mall there were cherry blossoms.

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Writer’s Block Gary Lawrence My wife hovers in my office doorway silent until I sense her, until I feel her standing there, taking up air and space. How long she’s been there, I have no idea. She leans just a bit against the oak door jamb, settled lightly against the milled white trim board, barely there, as if her tight slim body weighs nothing and might blow away any moment. Her feet are poised, not planted, ready for whatever comes next. Fight or flight. The next moments will be key. She clears her throat. Brushes a loose strand of brunette hair from her mouth. I finish my latest sentence, a good stopping point — in the middle of the action, a good place to start back fresh with momentum. I rest the heels of my hand on the edge of my desk. My computer screen is jammed full of black 12-point Times-Roman images on a fake white page, the cursor blinking, calling me already to return, to come back to them. And it’s barely been a second. I’m blocked, you see. I suffer. I suffer from writer’s block. Not the usual writer’s block that most writers suffer from from time to time — no, I’ve got writer’s block of the inverse kind. Instead of being stuck with nothing to say, I’m the opposite. I can’t stop writing, I can’t stop saying it all. Henry James is cheering from his grave – I’m aware of everything around me. Everything. Hyper-aware. So I write. And write. And write. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I try – I can’t stop writing. I write and I write and I write. It’s been weeks since I started — maybe months. I don’t remember the exact time or day or moment it started, or what caused it. The muse must have come over me. Did I ask for this? Wouldn’t you? How many times have you begged her to make an appearance? My muse, she came, alright. She came and she took over. Right now and for as far back as I can remember, I’ve been here, in my office, in my chair, hands posed or tapping my keyboard, writing. Non-stop. 7


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The crumpled fast-food wrappers and piles of cheap white papers on the desktop shiver slightly. The foil-backed wrappers on the floor from the used ink cartridges crinkle and twist in the slight breeze of my wife’s still presence — like a breath barely blown. The look on her face in the hallway light is hard. Perhaps it’s the shadows, the way the light originates in the hallway, behind her brown-haired head? Or maybe it’s the way the light shines in from the side? Or the way the light doesn’t shine, from the other side? Note to self: Capture that effect on the page. Like describing the Mona Lisa in ink. Check DaVinci’s theory of light. Get it right. Or maybe it’s more like energy. Energy transformation. Transformation of energy. Check Einstein’s papers. The poet in me yearns to savor the moment, to catch all the nuances of that look on her face. The shadows. The colors. The smell in the air that fuels the dread? Get the low-grade agony of her face just right. Expectant yet afraid. “What makes you think we don’t have anything in common anymore?” she asks. Huh? Time leaps. Synapses spark. Speaking of Einstein! Flash back to last night’s conversation. Rough. Harsh, even. Too abrupt. Transition needs work. The novelist in me kicks in readily, kicks the poet out. I process the question. I start to explain. I lean back in my black leather chair, the one from Office Depot with the extra sciatic support and padded arms. Put my slippered foot up on one of the open file drawers. I begin. Point by point I go. Use my fingers to tick my points off, the reasons we don’t have anything in common anymore. Since this all started. Since the writer’s block. Sound, logical plot progression. Steps, reasons almost anyone could follow. She interrupts after only three points, three fingers’ worth.

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“I figured you’d do this to me,” she says then. Her look hardens even more. Now I stand stupidly, mouth open, frozen, three-fingered hand and the other one hanging in front of me, frozen in mid-count. The tall heavily-inked piles of papers around me shake a bit more. Ready to collapse? To topple? “But the kids?” Einstein beckons. I search again. Oh, there — I get it. “But the kids?” follows “I figured you’d do this to me.” So. The dialogue continues. Wish I could see it on the page. Then I see it. She screeches some bird-sound, some predator-bird sound — high, full, unearthly. A hawk. A Peregrine falcon. Her face twists. Contorts. Her hands are white fists now, clenched. A bottom lip sneaks out: a pout of sorts, but then not. The added light when she lunges forward stings my blood-shot eyes and makes me squint. “You’d do this to your kids?” That’s good. The dialogue, I mean. Real. Poignant. Believable. The short story writer in me stirs. Be quick to conflict. Ratchet up the tension. Add another twist. It’s all about motivation. Two rats in a cage, one small piece of cheese. “But…I’m writing.” My hand nudges itself toward the keyboard. Must write. I fight the urge. Then can’t. Blocked. Stuck. First one key struck. Then another. My hands pounce. Her face relaxes. Sags, really. Word choice is so important. Just ask Twain. Lightning or lightning bug? “How come you’re the only one that gets to be happy around here?” she mumbles then. Flat. Breathy. Emotion so thick you can smell it. Cut it with a butter knife. How can I ever hope to capture that on the page? Must try. But that muse of mine sure is a bitch. My fingers chop at the keyboard. Words get captured. Strung. Sequenced. Sprawled. Spit. I see now how this is going to end. But still I can’t stop. I write, hands quivering, poised, flowing, dancing — fingers dancing in the heat of their flames. 9


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My wife sighs. Done for now, is she? Or spent? Ambiguity. Done or spent? Which is it? Shakespeare is ambiguous; you people are vague, my freshman comp teacher used to tell the class. I pause, wait for more signals, more input, wait to decide, wait for clarification — but that particular well is dry. I glimpse a tear on her cheek, too thin to roll all the way down and drop to the floor. Readers cry, characters don’t, my old mentor screams in my head. A slow thread, a slow path — a slow burn. My hands pound the keys, the gnarled rocky wall that used to stand so solid between my thoughts and the words a blur, a bump, a berm, a force no more . The light in my square little office dims suddenly. Air sucks out, then goes stale. The door swings and slams shut. The lock plunges home loudly. Like a cold brass deadbolt in winter. Like the cool gray cocking of a gun after a duel. Like a good ballpoint pen when it clicks — quickly, firmly, finally — in the absolute and unshakeable certainty of knowing what comes next.

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Three Muses Jane Ferguson Sculpture

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Just Survive Jesse Arias Photograph

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Raven-Nevermore Shryl Miles Watercolor

Hare Shryl Miles Watercolor

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Blue Magic Joyce Genske Photograph

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Main Street David Day Photograph

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Woman David Altamirano Oil on Canvas

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Lady of the West Evelyn Kaplan Pique Assisette

Le Jardin Rose Evelyn Kaplan Pique Assisette

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Bear Carissa Hernandez Ceramic Sculpture

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San Pedro Lightning Robert Luce Photograph

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Sea Green Jesse Arias Photograph

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Mount Lemon Sculptures Kunhild Blacklock Acrylic on Canvas

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Ramsey Canyon Carol Chandler Plein Air Sketch

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Bisbee Snowstorm Chuck Feil Photograph

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Old Bisbee in the Winter Ruby Odell Like burning embers in a snowy embrace old buildings of wood and brick nestled in the hills of OK street creaking in the cold warm us Humanity — beautiful in spite of itself Who doesn’t love the grace of the random? the haphazard on a hillside? And the work of the seasons their glorious shifts green of spring and gold of summer Rain and snow — the drapery of grey and white on what has been made by man now in the tenderness of a century past? All things change It is only for us to embrace this with all our brilliant sensory emanations and our blood-soaked hearts In the silence of creation in the great silence of mystery This sky of dark clouds now The hills mantled in white leafless trees in mounds of crystal pompoms small tufts of hibernating grasses some birds remain

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Japanese Cottage Walls Bob La Fleur Today there’s no need to imagine I’m snowed in, alone against a wind pounding walls, as if they were walls of paper, with a readiness to tear. Desolation of winter storm is part of me now (a secret sinister part of me, unlike mother love and duty) a part of me knowing I am inseparable from the wind. There were times, better times for lightness of being, when the poet Basho traveled with what he could carry, with trust in the wind, to be taken where the wind blows. My bones chatter, like the rice paper of Japanese cottage walls, chatter and go where the wind (with no wish to confine me) weighs the pounding, the tensile strength of this garment of being.

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And Pleasant Dreams Pamela Lee Jane contends rocks are alive. She reminds us of the many ways we know they move and mutate — ways we discount with our instant data and impatient misperceptions. Rocks live in slow-motion cycles, cycles of birth, accretion, and decay so slow time-lapse photography once an eon might record the alluvial silt laid down, strata tilted, then upthrust, or earthquake overturned, the grinding glacial creep of Ice Age boulders to end erratic sentinels in dried-up lakes, river stones tumbled and polished in their progress toward the sea, volcanoes forging lava, pumice, beads of glass, ice — or lichens — wedging cracks in slabs, whose crumbling surfaces become some windblown bits of dust, destined to come to rest in another river bed. With any luck, there’ll be a Jane there to see them properly covered and wish them all Good-night.

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Go Back Twenty Years Beth Henson Go back twenty years. After dinner in the kitchen: the worn linoleum, the apple pie. Trying to get you down to your shop for a moment alone. A desk, a typewriter, behind the window one hundred acres of canyonland. The smell of your shoulder. The moonlight gone.

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Of Memory Carmen Megeath The dead go on They do not linger They put on clothes Of Christmas lights And welcome the New Year Of memory. . . Ashes to the winds, oh Remembering how they equaled the task Encompassing that bright escape As the crystal sky Sundered

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A Magical Realism Ecology Poem Lavendra Copen Let’s imagine the bullet misses this time, shatters rock instead of rib. Let’s imagine the pronghorn leaps away, lives to love another day, and pronks in celebration when his youngsters sprout their horn buds. And let’s imagine the coyote doesn’t eat the poisoned hawk who ate the poisoned mouse who ate the poisoned grain. Just this once there’s some divine intervention — a hail storm, maybe, lightning — and she stays in her den, curling like a crescent moon around her hungry pups. Let’s say, just this once, the duck doesn’t swallow the lead shot for his gullet, to grind up corn and snails, but picks a granite pebble tumbled for ions to just the right size. And a pine branch weakened by the wind falls across the steel-jawed trap and springs it just before the fox pair flow like amber tributaries down to the river to drink. Let’s pretend that water still leaps to sun-shot freedom over beaver dams; that air explodes when a falcon stoops on a pigeon, when an eagle hits a snow goose, and all its feathers go incandescent. Let’s pretend it’s all still there, the sweetness, the antique violence. human destiny, waiting to be manifested.

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Say we pin that photograph of Earth From Space up on our walls. Sure, it’s risky. Get far enough away, and otters gliding like sable sunlight down a snow bank disappear. Valleys shrink to rumpled creases. Even mountains are only a string of snowy pearls, and all those bands of old-growth forest look like so much human destiny, waiting to be manifested. But in hope, let’s imagine someone takes a zoo-born baby condor, holds her up to the sky she was born to: an offering. Says her name three times to stars: a manifesto. Say we finally look down deep inside the kestrel’s eye, past amber and earth brown and into black, where the spirits of the planet and oblivion lie, stretched out side by side, hand in talon.

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The Storm Downshifts Cappy Love Hanson the storm downshifts roars up the side road of some rogue weather pattern huffs diesel-smoke-black clouds thunders its horn flashes its lightning headlights lead-foots it like a trucker two hours behind schedule scrapes its bash plates cutting the corner gusts right past the weigh station throws its torn-up manifests out the window in a hail of hail rolling cars trucks and buses into the ditch and laughing all the way to the state line

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Dragoon Delirium Keith Allen Dennis Ever wipe your ass with a hot rock? I did once. Once. It must have been 140 degrees. Tried in vain to get all the sand off by hand. I had no spit left to help me. I squat in the middle of a hot dirt road on the West side of the Dragoon Mountains in Southeast Arizona, with a shimmering view of Tombstone, many miles away. My friend, Roadkill Bill, who got me into this mess, had graciously walked down around the bend. The sky was a blank canvas of stark blue against a 7,000-foot-high pile of wind-worn, orange megaliths. The merciless sun was all the heavens could hold. It was the middle of a bone-dry May — no shade, no sign of the monsoon clouds still to come, and hot as holy hell. Roadkill Bill is a filmmaker, engineer, drummer, and an allaround mad scientist. You can find some of his work online, awful movies like the Bisbee Cannibal Club, Bisbee Cuisine, and the one from which he got his name, A Roadkill Cautionary Tale. The cast of the latter were roadkill Muppets which Bill scraped off the pavement himself and stuck in a freezer until he had a full cast of rabbits, squirrels, and a coyote. No living animals were harmed in the making of this disturbing piece of asphalt camp. In addition to delightfully bad filmmaking, Roadkill Bill also makes what one might call animatronic sculpture. Like Daisy, forged from a found and mostly complete cow skeleton, which dispensed cheap wine through remote-controlled, five-liter Franzia “udders.” Or Guero, a remote-controlled skeleton that pedals a bicycle up and down the street on special occasions like Day of the Dead. He’s a weird cat. Bill drove an olive drab green Jeep CJ-4 from the mid-80s. “Bite Me” spelled out in chicken bones wired to the front grill. We had already taken a jeep run or three up into the Mule Mountains above Bisbee. “But we really gotta go up in the Dragoons, up to China Peak,” he said. “It’ll be fun,” he said. 32


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He picked me up at my house in Old Bisbee and we headed out, blasting the Butthole Surfers on Bill’s iPod. We drove down through Banning Canyon out of the magic Mule Pass tunnel that separates Bisbee from the rest of the universe. Then onto the town of Tombstone, past the men and women in period garb, six shooters and chaps, and Victorian dresses. The town is a set-piece of living history, a monument to the Old West served to order out of hot iron. Actors relive the famous gunfight at the OK Corral every weekend, and all day in saloons televisions play the 1993 movie that made Tombstone famous. Past Tombstone on Highway 80, we turned east on Middlemarch Road towards the Dragoons, just shy of the Border Patrol checkpoint that stops all northbound travelers. Middlemarch is a good forty feet wide, all dirt and wash crossings and cattle guards. When we got close enough, we headed north towards the radiant orange granite face of the Dragoons and started a gradual climb. The Dragoon Mountains are home to the Cochise Stronghold, a labyrinthine fortress of cyclopean granite boulders. In these mountains the Apache leader Cochise lived, made war, made peace and eventually died of old age — under an expansive house arrest. China Camp was an abandoned mine from the 1880s on the south side of this small range, and China Peak, at just over 7,000 feet, got its name from the camp. That was our aim. “I haven’t been up here in years!” Roadkill yelled over the music. “Never been at all!” I shot back. The road ascended and ascended some more. We stopped at a spot where huge vertical stacks of boulders shot up on either side, with a pass between just narrow enough for the road. Flanking the path were enormous piles and pillars of smooth igneous rock. We passed through a narrow passage, just wide enough to run my hand along the sandpaper stones guarding the pass. They looked like giants from ages past, petrified in place, proud faces blasted away by eons of relentless wind. The tight passage opened up to a grassy meadow surrounded on all sides by cliffs. Fire rings from old campsites were scattered here and there. 33


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The road ascended and ascended some more, turning into increasingly tight switchbacks on the approach to China Peak. Scrubby pin oaks and pinion pines no more than eight feet clung desperately to the mountainside, above and below the cliff formed by a one-lane jeep trail. On a tight switchback high up towards China Peak, Roadkill’s Jeep spun out on loose rock. He backed the Jeep down and tried again twice with no luck. The road was too steep. “I really need some new tires,” he said. I stuck my head out and looked at the passenger side rear tire. It was bald as a bureaucrat. No tread. Bill decided to give up on going any higher and tried a reverse, twopoint turn to get us facing downhill again. We were going to just go back to the meadow. But the Jeep, and the loose dirt and rock underneath, had other plans. We got stuck with the Jeep facing the edge of the road and the cliff beyond it. The front driver’s side tire was maybe 18 inches from the edge, and the rear tires were in a rut that deepened when he gunned the engine. We got loose boards and junk out of the back of the Jeep, gathered sticks and rocks and stuck them under the tire. He took out an old army surplus folding shovel and we dug out soil to pack into the rut for traction. We worked at this for a good half hour, but with each push, the Jeep got closer to the edge of the cliff. By the time we gave up, the Jeep was blocking the road entirely, and that tire was right there, right on the edge, ready to take the whole thing down the mountain if you kicked it hard enough. We sat pondering the odds that the small pinion pines and oak trees might break its fall before it got out of hand. We figured it would probably fall some fifteen feet before these stunted clingers broke its fall — if it didn’t roll right over everything. But neither one of us wanted that, least of all Roadkill. He loves his Jeep, loves taking crazy roads out in God knows where, and now his baby was literally pointing right at a cliff with one wheel cartoonishly close to just hanging out in the air over a cliff.

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We didn’t want to leave the Jeep. But the sun already had us about medium rare. We had to get out of there. Bill reached in his toolbox and brought out a bright yellow nylon tow-cable with black metal hooks on either end. He tied one end to the rear bumper and tied the other end to the only thing within reach: a stunted oak growing out of the roadside, the trunk not five inches thick. It was more placebo than a guarantee. If the Jeep went over this twig was going with it. And…we walked. The road descended and descended some more. I looked up at the sun and let out a long, high screech, in imitation of old westerns where a quick shot at a screeching sun set the scene for men stumbling sun-drunk through pitiless deserts. It would do no good to leave the road for the trees, for the trees were glorified shrubs that would spare us no shade. The stubby pinion needles were no help, and the largest oak leaves were maybe the size of a thumb – too small, as it happened, to serve as toilet paper in case of emergency. Hence the hot rock. I mustered what little spit I could and tried to get the sand off, but sure enough I didn’t get it all. And so there I was, in a compromising position in the middle of a dirt road watching Tombstone, some twenty miles away. The orange boulders up and down the mountain were starting to look, and feel, like great burning coals. “This is ridiculous,” I said aloud to the little patch of civilization in the distance, quaking through layers of high desert heat. The road descended and descended some more. Later, I would retrace our steps with a map and estimate our hike back to Middlemarch Road at around thirteen miles. We were out of water, had no sunscreen, just sunglasses and short sleeves, Roadkill’s .45, and a pack of smokes. Making it back to Middlemarch boosted our spirits. But not by much. We were probably one third the way to Tombstone. There was nothing to do but to keep on walking, so we did. A few minutes into this second act a Border Patrol truck approached from the East, as the backroads of this region are fairly crawling with them. A smuggler looking to dodge the Highway 80 checkpoint 35


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by heading east on Middlemarch would have to contend with these roving patrols. We’d hoped to see one, and we didn’t have to wait long. We laughed and stuck out our thumbs. The green-clad Federale in the passenger seat rolled down his window and looked at us through rainbow-tinted sunglasses. “You gentlemen alright?” Roadkill did the talking. “My Jeep got stuck up by China Camp. We had to hike down out of the mountains. Can you give us a ride to the Circle K in Tombstone? We don’t have a phone and we need to find a ride back to Bisbee.” The officer took on that bureaucratic “it is what it is” wince and shook his head. “Unfortunately, sir, we’re not allowed to give rides. But we can give you some water, though.” “OK!” I broke my silence at the offer of water. He produced two 12 ounce plastic bottles and two red apples. I emptied mine in one long pull and got to work on the apple, stem and all, leaving naught but seeds. “Sorry we can’t be more help. Good luck, guys.” He went back towards his truck, and, just then, I stumbled and fell back, landing right on my sand-blasted ass. I think I must have had sunstroke. They had already noticed I was talking funny, but when I hit the ground I won them over. The officer got on his radio as he walked back towards his truck. A moment later he approached us again. His partner got out of the driver’s seat. “Alright, we got the go ahead to give you guys a ride. We can drop you off at the Circle K. Do you have any weapons?” “I have a pistol on me,” Roadkill said. “We are going to ask that you let us hold it in the cab while you two ride in the back. We’ll give it back when we’re done.” Roadkill Bill handed it over and the officer stashed it. They gave us each another bottle of water and opened the back of their “paddy wagon.” The backs of most BP trucks have a compartment that from the outside looks a bit like a dog catcher’s truck.

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There is a nice, air-conditioned stainless steel compartment in the back with a bench above each wheel well. It felt great in there. We sucked our second water bottles down as the men closed the door. There were no windows, just vents, but it was obvious we were moving pretty fast over this loose dirt road. The truck rattled as we passed over the tight washboard pattern left by last year’s rains. I bounced off the seat and hit my head on the ceiling a couple times before taking cover on the floor. Roadkill talked about getting a tow truck with a winch to rescue his Jeep, while I marveled at the fact that we had managed to hitchhike our way into a ride in the back of a Border Patrol truck. We joked about being the only Americans to ever sit on those seats. Twenty minutes later the door opened and the villainous sun again smiled on us, drowning the steel compartment and slamming our eyes shut. Across the road we could see the white painted stones in the shape of a “T” on Tombstone’s low-slung “T Hill.” We spilled out into the Circle K parking lot, in the gunfighter capitol of the USA. A cowboy in a ten-gallon hat, six gun on his hip, opened the door for a couple of bikers as we staggered to the payphone. Roadkill made a call and an hour later a friend arrived in a beat up white Ford Probe. We stuffed ourselves in and soon we were back in Bisbee. She dropped us off at the Grand Saloon on Main Street, where we got ourselves a round of Agwa, a neon green Bolivian coca leaf liqueur shaken with ice and lime — Roadkill’s beverage of choice in those days. We deliriously told all takers our adventure, and the agua and the Agwa kept coming. Mostly we just stared off into space. The next day, an anxious Roadkill Bill made his way back to his Jeep, and to his great relief, it was still there. Still hanging by its placebo-thread stretched taut over the road, tied to a mangled oak sapling too close to the road for its own good. He hitched a ride on the late, great David Rogers’ tow truck. They set it right, and Bill drove it back to town. Me, I had a raccoon-sunburn from wearing sunglasses on a 13mile hike, eye to eye with the sun. Face and arms blistered and 37


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peeled. A week of dandruff from a blistered scalp. Lips flaked like bark from a dead oak. Long past medium rare, I felt more like beef jerky for the next few days. And for its trouble, Roadkill Bill’s “Bite Me” Jeep got a new set of tires that very week. And all was well.

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Cactus Sea Beth Ann Krueger Photograph

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Vocal and Harp Lynda Coole Photograph

Goose Neck Lynda Coole Photograph

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Owl Man Ruby Odell Collage

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Tucson Twosome Dan Rollins Digitally Enhanced Photographic Art

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Bridge of Beauty Robin Redding Photograph

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No Me Despiertes Georgia Papadakis Acrylic

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Meditation Gloria Fraze Photograph

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Music on the Gulch Carol Chandler Painting

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Zen City Sunscape Cappy Love Hanson Multi-Media Collage

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Retro Tea Jesse Arias Ceramics

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Storyteller Joyce Genske

Photograph with Posterizing Texture

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Tonight We Ride James Schrimpf Eight Image Multiple Exposure Photograph

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Desert Nights Cappy Love Hanson

2016 Creative Writing Celebration: Poetry, 1st Place Dark drives its wedge deep between day and day, creaks night open like a wrought-iron hinge. Moon rounds the mountains late behind cloud-scribble, finds stars already scuffling for position, swaggering around Polaris. Those first years, sitting out in plastic chairs amid the grass and creosote landed — as any two people with graves awaiting them — we felt starshine light on our cheeks like tiny celestial kisses. The sky’s slow spin polished our rough-edged days smooth. But sit out here for enough decades, and stars begin to sting like nettles. Now the galaxy’s a gritty wheel that sandpapers flesh and bones and hearts back to their primal components: stardust to stardust.

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BJ Gary Lawrence

2016 Creative Writing Celebration: Short Story, 1st Place So I’ve been sleeping on the couch, pissing and washing up down at the Clark station on Auburn the last few days ‘cause the john’s in her part of the apartment. She’s been holed up there ever since I dropped the dog off in the country last Tuesday. Three days now. Hell, the way she yelled and swore that night when she saw how the dog’d torn up her new shoes, I thought, That’s it. Enough. I can do something about this. I’m fixing this problem, at least. That’s what I get for thinking, my old man would’ve said. It’s not like it was the worst thing in the world, dropping a dog off in the country. It’s not like nobody ever did that before. Some farmer’ll take care of him, surely. Probably some fat old farm wife in a red-and-white checkerboard apron with a plastic redand-white checkered table cloth over an old chrome-and-formica kitchen table will feed him table scraps and make him fat. Till he chews up her shoes. I could’ve taken BJ out somewhere and done worse. A lot worse. But I didn’t. So when I get home late that night after dropping him off, even though I have to get up early for work, what’s she say when I walk in? Thanks for doing that for me? Thanks for solving that problem for us? Shit no. Instead she says: Where’s the dog? Took me ten seconds. “Whatd’ya mean, where’s the dog?” I stood straighter, said matter-of-fact like: I took care of it. Then she looks at me like I strangled a goddamn chicken in front of her. Stomps off to the bedroom. Slams the door. The one between me and the bathroom. Finally she yells, “Don’t you come back here without my dog!” I worked that first day, drove by the spot I’d dumped him after I finished work — but it gets dark early here in December so I couldn’t see anything. Worked late pouring concrete, couldn’t get back the second day. Told my boss I had to go to the dentist today, the third day — just so’s I could look for the dumb dog in the 52


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daylight. I don’t have much hope I’ll find him. I mean, If you were a dog, would you stay out here? I mean, shit man, you got dropped off out here on this road. I’m on my fifth cigarette now — my last. It’s already dark. Temperature’s dropping below zero. Wind chill is rough. Typical Northern Illinois winter night. Should I call him again? I open the door to rub that last butt out on the gravel. The dome light comes on. Shines bright in the dark. Makes me think of the porch light by the apartment. Think about coming home empty-handed again. Twice so far. Now a third time? That tinny, naggy voice in my head says it again: She thinks more of some damn dog than she does you. Then I hear a rustle. Snow crunching. Behind me. BJ? I turn. I can’t see out because of the dome light, so I pull the door shut, squint... There. There he is. Big tawny mix, long white belly, tongue hanging out, tail going in circles like a frigging copter like he does, ass squirming and his whole body shaking whenever he sees you. I fling the door open and jump out of the car, take a couple steps out. He jumps through the exhaust cloud at me, rolls me over, stands on my chest and licks my face, barks right in my ear so hard it rings. Twice. “Go for a ride?” I squeak out. I can’t breathe; he’s on my chest. Just like that, one bound, he’s in the car, front feet on the center console, ready to go. I get up. Brush the snow and dirt off my stiff jeans. Can’t stop smiling. I’ll be damned. I climb in, step on the clutch, shift the car into first. Sit with my foot on the clutch a whole minute, feel the engine rumble under my insulated boot, listen to the Camino idling, smell the thick tangled fur at my shoulder. Then I gun it and drive back toward town to get BJ a steak for dinner at the Jewel with the last of my gas money for the week. After that, I’m not sure where the hell we’re going.

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Autumn 1934 Cappy Love Hanson

2016 Creative Writing Celebration: Memoir, 1st Place I’m still sitting behind the wheel of my fifteen-year-old Plymouth Barracuda fastback when the sodium lights come on in the parking lot, turning the blue hood a shade my family refers to as sickety green. My therapist has long since come out of the tinted-glass-windowed building — itself now turned a Halloween hue of blackish yellow by the lights — has gotten in his late-model Volvo, and left. In fact, most of the cars that filled the lot when I came out at five o’clock are gone. As I stare out the windshield mottled with salt from the nearby southern California beaches, a janitorial service company van pulls into one of the reserved front-row spaces. It’s gotten that late. This is what happens when I’ve had one of those sessions that ends with Dr. John saying, “It’ll be interesting to see how you handle this.” The way I’m handling it right now is by not trusting myself to negotiate the boulevard, the onramp, the freeway, the offramp, another boulevard, a grid of smaller streets, and finally the parking lot at my large, anonymous apartment complex. Because oblivion — by accidentally-on-purpose changing lanes without looking, running a red light, or turning in front of an eighteen wheeler — is a little too tempting. Oblivion, if I examine it closely enough, doesn’t mean physical destruction so much as it means an end to feeling the despair and hopelessness that sometimes result from my sessions. Dr. John and I have had the talk about the permanent solution to the temporary problem, and I’ve promised not to go there. And promised not to break my promise. I don’t numb out with drugs, booze doesn’t agree with me, and the chocolate and sugar that used to produce euphoria now knock me out of balance and into depression. An imperfect but useful form of oblivion — the one I’m choosing to indulge in tonight — consists of imagining how I might not have come to be at all, ergo would not exist, therefore would not have to feel. 54


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This tactic drags me back to the autumn of 1934, where I imagine that what did happen, didn’t. The man who will be my father — a dozen years before my birth makes him a parent —stands on the broad, red-brick porch of the house his father can afford on his AT&T salary. His Boston-bred mother is inside, cleaning the post-Victorian to white-gloved perfection, as if this act of gratitude will allow them to keep their home, Great Depression or no. The specter of a third of the workforce jobless—of former bank presidents picking grapefruit in California’s Coachella Valley — haunts even the most fortunately employed and their dependents. A tall man, my potential father, sapling-slender, fair skinned, wavy brown hair clipped short and brushed back from the beginnings of a receding hairline. Tan slacks, white shirt, blue Cal Berkeley sweater-vest with gold trim. Cherubic cheeks flushed with the autumn breeze. His mother’s friends, even now, can’t resist tweaking them between their fleshy thumbs and forefingers when they come for tea and bridge. At the moment, his head is bent over the mail he has collected on his way in from a Saturday afternoon Cal football game: utility bill, bank statement, the wonderful missives people write by hand and post with penny stamps. Because he is searching for a university letter about changing his major from paleontology to math, he doesn’t look up through that brief window in time, through the side of the covered, white-columned porch, down the narrow driveway and slender field of chance to where a group is walking home from the same football game. One is an acquaintance from his calculus class, another the woman who will — or in this scenario, will not — become my mother. When I tell this story with their names, instead of who they will become to me a dozen years later, the myth of their not meeting takes on a wholly different slant. They are more real somehow, more themselves, unseared by the burning glass of the future. Ardath, 55


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freshly graduated from business school, working as a secretary for a screen door manufacturer. One day, she will take dictation from Henry J. Kaiser, distill the salient information from the steel magnate’s brilliant if disorganized ramblings, and compose coherent, businesslike correspondence. David, three-quarters of the way to his bachelor’s degree, has spent the last summer excavating petrified dinosaur bones in the neatly layered and conveniently eroded uplifts of northern New Mexico, near Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch. Confined to a tent during monsoon rains, he ruminated on his future and concluded that to make a living at paleontology, he must either dig, and spend months away from his current and hoped-for future families, or teach, for which tutoring has taught him that he has neither talent nor patience. This is three years before he applies for the bookkeeping job at Steel Tank and Pipe in San Francisco that will launch his corporate finance career and provide him with a job-related deferment during World War II, ST&P being a war material manufacturer. My fantasy scrolls on like an old black-and-white movie. I smile at the idea of watching it at a drive-in theater, especially since most of those cultural icons from my childhood and early adulthood have been torn down for condo complexes and shopping malls. I picture how, at the pivotal instant, a car turns off of Piedmont, pulls up on Garber. A 1930 De Soto CK, let’s say — tan, considered sportier than black. (“It’s de-lightful, it’s de-lovely, it’s De Soto,” their radio jingle insists.) The driver honks for the young people’s attention. He leans across the pregnant woman in the passenger seat and rolls down the window. Heated air exhales over the pedestrians as he asks if they could tell him how to get to the drugstore on Tunnel Avenue. Ardath knows. It isn’t far from a house she lived in as a child, before her father died from complications of tonsillitis — an infection for which no antibiotics yet existed — and she, her 56


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siblings, and her mother had to move in with her grandmother and maiden aunt to reduce expenses. She steps up to the idling roadster in her matching navy blue sweater and fitted knit skirt, the back pleated at the bottom in the style of the day. Her black hair flows in waves to her waist, pinned back from an exotic face reflecting a mixture of German, African, and American Indian. With the dance of hands that typifies her manner of speaking, she describes the route to the drugstore so clearly that the driver takes it with him like a living map. This is what she’s doing at the moment David hears the idling De Soto but can’t see it for the neighbors’ six-foot hedge. Shrugging, he carries the mail inside and closes the oak door carefully, so as not to rattle the beveled-glass windows on either side. Ardath and her friends walk on past the house. The young men critique the football game in knowing voices borrowed from their fathers. The young women drop back a few paces, critiquing the young men and their prospects with sighs and knowing glances acquired from their mothers. I run this story through different versions like a film with alternative cuts and outcomes. In one, I pause David on the covered porch just long enough for him to glance up, call out to his calculus classmate, invite them all up the steps. While his mother serves a plate of cheese and crackers, and hot tea in cut glass mugs, they pro-and-con the news of the year — Hitler’s election as Führer (he’ll bring order, he’ll bring war), Gloria Vanderbilt’s custody trial (her wealthy mother loves her, she’s an unfit bimbo), Bruno Hauptmann’s arrest in the Lindberg baby kidnapping (he did it, he didn’t). Ardath settles into the white wicker rocker, trying to appear more at ease than she feels with a man one social and economic step up. She crosses her shapely, stockinged legs at the

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ankles and smiles her dark-eyed, red-lipsticked smile. She has learned to play to her strengths, and it has the desired effect. By the time she leaves, David has invited her to Sunday dinner with him and his parents, and she has accepted. Here, I’m not the author of what will be my own creation, but the reteller of my mother’s tale, so often related that itseems I’ve known it since before I was born. It’s as if I were present that afternoon in the latent ovum, vibrated by the electricity of their glances, their laughter, my father’s crinkle-eyed smile, the touch of his hand at her elbow as he steered her down the steps. In another version, I flit invisibly, as angels and their evil counterparts are said to do, hover next to David on the broad porch and whisper in his ear: The university letter is hiding there, between The Star Grocery’s advertising flier — free delivery — and a picture postcard from his father’s brother — waves crashing against boulders in Maine, near the family’s ancestral home, built in the seventeen hundreds. David will find the letter, I wheedle, if only he will step inside, where the lamps are coming on beneath the hands of those who made him. It is I who conjure clouds in the De Soto driver’s mind, concoct the wrong turn into the unfamiliar neighborhood, whisper that it’s his idea to stop the young people and ask for directions. Here, I’m the sinner/saint who saves the innocents from themselves, from each other, at the price of my own existence. Why make such a sacrifice but from compassion gained in retrospect, from decades as their daughter? Therapy has taught me to mistrust my surface motives and to dig deeper, into selfpity, revenge, grief. No doubt the aggregate of my motives is as conjoined as our blood types, as convoluted as our chromosomes. Ardath and David, strung on opposite ends of the driveway, beaded together by a mutual friend, the will of genes,

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the tantalizing hope and innate optimism of hormones. What future, inconceivable on this expectant autumn evening in 1934, could I possibly impress on them? Could I convince them that David will beat her in a drunken rage when his boss lays into him about expenses (too high) and revenues (too low), figures that David is responsible only for recording in the proper columns? Could Ardath imagine that she will follow him down a prescription-drug and bourbon-bottle-littered path behind the civilized veneer of one landscaped suburban house after another? That David will do things to his daughter — terrifying, scarring things that will send her into therapy and sometimes make it unsafe for her to drive? That Ardath will feel inkling twitches in the belly that nurtured and birthed her child, will bathe in guilt, and will offer no protection? If I could tell them — there, in the autumn of 1934 — would I? Now firmly ensconced in middle age, sitting behind the wheel of a car whose odometer has passed two hundred thousand miles, I want whatever life they gave me. I dally briefly with the inescapable science-fiction conundrum: If they heed my warnings, then I will never exist to come back and manipulate them. They will marry, and I will sit here — fifty years after their first encounter — playing at this cerebral diversion. Besides, their antique urges would only have driven them into the arms of others like each other. Each would have sparked the life of someone not too different from their actual, eventual daughter — someone who would ramble through these or similar speculations. And who, as a second janitorial service company van pulls into the parking lot, feels at last that she can trust herself enough to pump the gas pedal, turn the key and, when the Barracuda comes to internal-combustion life, guide it out of the parking lot and begin the drive home.

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Cochise College Creative Writing Celebration The celebration brings published writers in different genres to present hands on workshops to aspiring writers from the community. Celebration participants are also invited to enter a writing contest in three categories: poetry, short story (fiction), and memoir (nonfiction) In addition to cash prizes, first-place winners of the writing contest have their work published in Mirage, Cochise College’s literary and arts magazine. For more information visit: www.cochise.edu/cwc/

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Dreaming of Orion in the Huachuca Mountains Mahala Lewis Watercolor

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Hudson Truck Francisco Moreno Photograph

San Pedro River Francisco Moreno Photograph

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Late Afternoon Sunlight Dan Rollins Photograph

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Chipmunk Photo Shoot at Zion National Park Elizabeth Gibson Photograph

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Reflection Ron Fritts Mixed Media

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Sky Painting Beth Ann Krueger Photograph

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Dead Horse Point Gloria Fraze Photograph

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Hunting Heron William C. Smith Painting

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Azteca Mountains David Altmirano Oil on Canvas

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Big Cactus Days Robin Redding Ceramic Tile

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Biographies Beth Ann Krueger lives in Bisbee with an orange Betta fish that can’t swim. Acorn woodpeckers and Curve-billed thrashers provide acoustic entertainment in their yard while Anna’s hummingbirds and several types of bees and butterflies visit the numerous Salvia plants. Beth Henson moved to Bisbee in 1983. She recently earned a PhD in Latin American History from the University of Arizona and is working on a book tentatively entitled: From Smeltertown to New World Border: Douglas, Arizona since 1983. Bill Smith lives in Cochise and enjoys the quiet and beautiful rural life of Cochise County with his dog Bailey. Bob La Fleur is a retired college instructor, a writer, and woodsman. His writing has appeared in a number of publications. He has for a decade lived off grid in a cabin in the Minnesota north woods. At present he divides his time between that cabin and a hundred-year-old miner’s shack in Bisbee. Cappy Love Hanson likes to imagine she was delivered by an eagle instead of a stork and was watched over in the nursery by a snowy owl. She insists that sticking her fingers in an electric socket as a child, when her parents told her not to, does not make her a Taurus. The most-asked question in the off-grid home she shares with her husband and menagerie is, “What’s that running across the roof ?” Carol Chandler has enjoyed seasonal stays in Bisbee over the past ten years. As a new resident of Old Bisbee she now plans to become more engaged in artwork. Carol is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a degree in philosophy. Carrissa Hernandez writes, “We all need a touch of whimsy.”

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Charles (Chuck) Feil has made a career in photography. For the past six years he has been facilitating his “Tao of Photograph” workshops ranging from four-to-ten day workshops in a variety of locations such as Oregon, Arizona, Thailand, Mexico, and Ecuador. Who could have imagined that those newcomers would put down such deep roots? Carmen Megeath was one of those pioneers who arrived on the shores of Bisbee in the early 1970s, swept in on the tide of providence, adventure, and good fortune. She is a poet and a classically trained musician. Dan Rollins continues to push the envelope with his original and transformative works of digital fine-art photography. Having had no formal education in photography or computer technology, he can exact from his camera, and desktop, the vision that he sees with his Mind’s Eye! Each of his digital pieces had its beginning as a photograph taken by Dan himself, and was “transformed” by internal camera filters, and then sometimes additionally with PC software. David Altamirano was born in Douglas and works as an Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist at PSA Art Awakenings. He is dedicated to bringing art and cultural empowerment to the people of Douglas and the surrounding area. David truly believes that “art reflects and bonds humanity.” He takes great pride in his community and is inspired by the land, its people, and the rich environment that contribute to such a complex and diverse trans-border culture.

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David Day has lived in and photographed Bisbee for over twenty years. He is continuously amused and often astounded by the ever changing and quirky nature of the town. Dave loves to share his photographs on Instagram and has shown his work in several galleries in Bisbee. Elizabeth Gibson enjoys taking landscape photos when she travels. Her passion for photography began in 2004. Evelyn Kaplan is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her passion for collecting treasures of the past combined with a love of beautiful china, tile and porcelain inspired her towards the mosaic art form of Pique Assisette. Evelyn utilizes her sense of design, her eye for color, and her passion for old treasures to create pieces of exquisite beauty and design. Evelyn’s art has found homes worldwide and can be found in galleries throughout the country. Francisco J. Moreno earned an Associate of Arts degree from Cochise College. He then went on to earn a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of Arizona. In addition to photography, he uses other media, such as painting, sculpture, and mixed media. He is also a member of the Douglas Art Association and has lived in Douglas over twenty years. When he’s not writing or reading or teaching a creative writing seminar somewhere, Gary Lawrence spends his time grading papers and teaching composition and creative writing classes for Cochise College and Glendale (AZ) Community College. He’s published short stories in Short Story America, Four Chambers, the Rockford Review, Canyon Voices and Mirage. Gary, wife Linda, and Rocky the Yorkie Poo have enjoyed Sierra Vista for two years now.

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Georgia Papadakis is an artist with an education in both fine arts and graphic design — two very different perspectives — and a love for simplified imagery, visual texture, and crisply delineated organic forms. Her mind is ever on technique; like a mossy texture made with a sponge or the gentle rubbing of gold leaf with a burnisher. Art for her is kinesthetic, and she enjoys art forms that accentuate the process. Gloria Fraze grew up in the San Francisco Bay area surrounded by nature, ocean, and hills. She has always loved art and photography, but it wasn’t until retiring to Arizona in 2005 that she had the opportunity to discover Arizona with its incredible desert geology. Her photography reflects her love of both areas. She works hard to capture every image as a reflection of what her mind sees at the moment the shutter opens and closes. Jane Ferguson is a fifth generation ceramic artist in her family. She now lives “off the grid” in the Mule Mountains of Cochise County and teaches ceramics in her studio as well as at Cochise College. She defines herself as an abstract figurative sculptor. Her principal concern is to capture the energetic quality of the human figure. Her forms emphasize the sensual curves of the human figure and the message is energy and movement. James Schrimpf is a Nogales photographer who has been published in Arizona Highways Magazine and was the cover photographer for Discover Southern Arizona and Mirage magazines. His photographs were featured during the Chicago Artist’s Month. Jesse Arias was raised right here in Arizona. He also does photography, writing, video games, and the occasional warfare against an establishment that has imposed injustice upon humanity. Neat fact. Orange tulips are his favorite flower!

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Joyce Genske originally hales from Wisconsin and has had a lifelong interest in photography. She is constantly trying to learn new techniques and improve her skills. Nearly any subject is fair game for the curious eye of her cameras. No position is too ridiculous to get into if it means getting a good photo including lying flat on the floor, climbing a tree, or duck-walking after a particularly interesting insect. Keith Allen Dennis is a songwriter, poet, and is a history and writing student in Western New Mexico University’s Interdisciplinary Studies graduate program. His published works so far include two albums, Year of the Cup (2009) and Mystic Blues (2015). Bisbee, Arizona, has been his home for nine years. Kunhild O. Blacklock was born in Germany and earned a fine arts degree from St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa. She is a Riverway Artist (placed public art pieces along the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area). She enjoys painting with oils and acrylics, using mixed media for mosaic pieces. She has had many group and solo exhibits in Iowa, Illinois, and Berlin, Germany. She is a member of the Huachuca Art Association and a resident of Sierra Vista, Arizona, since 2011. Lavendra Copen cultivates the wisdom that comes from growing organic produce, reading and writing poetry, and raising two granddaughters. She finds the Cochise County soil and weather are good for all these crops. Lynda Coole is still astounded by the shapes ordinary things become when she momentarily forgets what those things are.

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Mahala Lewis lives in Sierra Vista, Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Fine Art, and specializes in oil and watercolor medium. A native of North Carolina and graduate of Duke University, Pamela Lee has lived abroad in Turkey, Italy, Iran, and Argentina, in the then Territory of Hawaii, and in seven different states. She has traveled extensively, climbed mountains, led ski tours, flown airplanes, run marathons, and taught high school English. She is presently writing her autobiography, REFLECTIONS, The First Eighty-six Years. R.J. (Bob) Luce was a wildlife biologist in Wyoming before retiring to Arizona. He lives near the San Pedro River and photographs the river in all seasons. He has traveled in Mexico, Latin America, East Africa, Brazil, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for bird-watching and photography. He has authored technical wildlife publications and magazine articles about wildlife, and provided photos for books, outdoor magazines, and wildlife field guides. He has also written two outdoor mystery books and a photo essay book, River of Life, Four Seasons along Arizona’s Rio San Pedro. Robin Redding has been a ceramics student at Cochise College since 2009. Initially focused exclusively on mastering wheel throwing, she is now accomplished in hand building and surface design as well. When she isn’t focused on pottery, she also indulges herself with photography and making jewelry. She has a BBA in Marketing and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. She and her husband live in Hereford, Arizona, with their fabulous dog, Lexy.

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Ron Fritts has led a life motivated by the creative impulse. He was always making things, drawing, and having to produce art. What you see now is the culmination of these disciplines in his effort to capture the enormous beauty of the Southwest and to share his vision. Ruby Odell has lived in Old Bisbee for the past seven years — her true home! She has found her true nature in the many ways that art is expressed — here where the High Desert meets the Soul. Shryl Miles graduated with Highest Honors from California State University, Fullerton, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design. She also studied for two years with renowned California artist and teacher Hal Reed, founder of The Art League of Los Angeles. Her preferred media is watercolor. She is very active with the San Pedro River Arts Council and has served on its board of directors since its inception.

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Would you like to help with next year’s issue? Students have the opportunity to participate in all phases of producing the Mirage. This includes: • Forming a plan for the original design of the current year’s magazine; • Learning about copyright law and how it applies to written and visual submissions; • Learning to analyze art submissions (with an emphasis on photography) and literary submissions and producing a written analysis for each; • Practicing graphic design through programs such as InDesign and Photoshop for the production of a call for submissions flyer, the magazine, and for publicity materials for the magazine and for the class; • Learning about the printing process and budgets; • Communicating with writers and artists about revisions requested by the committee and about acceptance or rejection of their submissions; • Participating in meetings with the committee; • Entering and updating information in the magazine through the drafting process—this includes helping to decide on how accepted art and written work are arranged in the magazine; • Participating in the editing process, beginning with the committee meeting that begins the process and ending with the final, edited draft that gets sent to the printer; • Working to schedule the Fall reception for Mirage contributors and to create an invitation for it; • Working to generate new ideas for increasing student and community participation in the magazine. For more information, contact Dr. Welch. welchk@cochise.edu 78


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Interview with Donna Brown This spring Aulora Cluff, who is majoring in Early Childhood Care and Education on the Sierra Vista campus, interviewed Donna Brown, who is also a student on the Sierra Vista campus, about her experiences in designing the Mirage. Aulora Cluff: Can you tell me what ENG 257 is about? What are some of the things you learn while producing the magazine? Donna Brown: It is a mixture of a lot of things. It is being able to combine art and writing and to create with them together. I have never worked with anything that required design until this class. It would be good to have some experience, but this is the class to help you learn and gain knowledge and experience. Cluff: What kinds of assignments do you have in here? Brown: There are only two real assignments. One is to analyze a photograph and the second is to analyze a piece of writing. Other than that, the class is mostly working on the Mirage. Cluff: What’s been your favorite part of the project so far? Brown: It has been less of a class and more of an internship. Producing the magazine is less of an assignment and more of wanting to make a high quality magazine. Cluff: How do you think this class will benefit you in the future? Brown: It’s very beneficial to see the project manifest itself and to see the success of my work. It is not just a small project. The magazine is a large project, and you get to create it.

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Interview with Cappy Love Hanson This spring, Astrid Salinas, who is majoring in Journalism and Media Arts on the Santa Cruz campus, interviewed Cappy Love Hanson. For nine years Cappy was part of the Cochise College’s Literary & Arts Magazine, Mirage, and is co-founder of the Cochise Writers’ Group, and a member of the High Desert Writers’ Association. She is the self-published author of the memoir Love Life, with Parrots, in which she talks about her personal experiences with her parrots and her search for a partner, among other personal memories. Astrid Salinas: When did you realize you wanted to write a memoir? Cappy Love Hanson: That happened in 2006. I had four parrots. Peaches, the one who had been with me for 17 years, passed away. He had some kind of disease, most likely cancer. After he died, I wanted to write a book to honor him. So that’s where it started, and it went on to my writing about the context of my life. In the beginning, I wanted to write pure anecdotes about the birds, but then I realized that they had saved my sanity and life so many times. I found the love of my life during the process of writing the memoir. So this book is also encouragement for people in their senior years; you are never too old to write or to find love. I was 57 when Dennis and I got together. Suggestions about my writing came often from my writers’ groups, Cochise Writers’ Group and the High Desert Writers’ Association. Salinas: What was the process of writing this memoir? Hanson: Here’s what I did: I sat down and wrote down a rough draft that included everything that I could think of, related to the birds. Just everything! I didn’t edit it at first. Then I went through the manuscript, made it much more readable and sent it to my

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writers’ group, and they gave me their critique. I got wonderful critiques from both groups. So then I went once again through the manuscript, with all the feedback I’d been given, and it looked much clearer, and I was seeing where the book would go because at the beginning I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Once again, I received critiques on the book. I did my final draft and self-published with CreateSpace and Amazon; I put it out as an e-book. Salinas: Do you have any favorite writers? Hanson: I’m a big fan of people who write memoirs that include their experience with animals. There was a book I read called Arnie the Darling Starling by Margarete Sigl Corbo and Diane Marie Barras. Susan Richard, who had horses and dogs, wrote about her childhood, but also about how her relationships with her animals affected her ability finally to have a human love in her life. There was also Joy Adamson, with her wild feline books. I am 70 years old now, but when I was 20, I was reading Joy Adamson, and it had a long-term effect on me. That’s really where I got interested in books about animals. Salinas: What would you recommend to writers who want to write a memoir? Hanson: The first thing I would do is make a list. What are your passions and interests in life? It could be birdwatching, chemistry, science fiction, anything. It helps you see where your passions are. The next thing I would do is to take any one of those and start freewriting. Do it by hand, write for 10 or 20 minutes at a time. Just see what comes up; the thing about memoirs is that the more you write the more you will remember and the more you will want to write about. Another thing that is difficult for anyone writing a memoir is fearing that someone you are related to or whom you have a relation with will get angry or will be hurt. My advice about that is to write 81


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a draft that no one sees. Write the things that may hurt some feelings, write what may anger some people, and put it away so you can think about it for a while. Usually, after a few edits, people don’t get as upset as we anticipated. You can’t go wrong with writing memories or family stories; they are a personal resource. If anyone wants to write a memoir, he or she should at least try. Salinas: How did your passion for parrots start? Hanson: I was living in Southern California, working at a computer chip manufacturing company. A guy came in with his parrot, and I looked at this little bird and how affectionate he was with the guy. I was just divorced from a previous partner, so I realized that I needed that kind of affection. That’s when I thought of having a parrot of my own. I have always loved birds; I was a birdwatcher before that experience and have loved birds since I was a very young girl. But when this guy brought his parrot to work, I was in love with parrots since then. They’re smart and have such complex personalities; they are wonderful!

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Profile for Mirage

Mirage 2017  

Mirage 2017  

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