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Perspectives WHERE ANIMALS AND INANIMATE OBJECTS HAVE THEIR SAY—AUG 2014

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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Perspectives WHERE ANIMALS AND INANIMATE OBJECTS HAVE THEIR SAY—AUG 2014

INSIDE Cactus 16 Swaying in the Wind | Oscar Taylor-Kent

Cat 6 Spynx | Wilma Seville

Cat 9 Feline Frenzy | Ania Payne

Cedar Femce 20 A Rail with a View | Patricia A. McGoldrick

Closet 15 Feed Me | Sara Etgen-Baker

Computer 5

Virtual Love | Joan McNerney

Dog 11 Absence | Taylor Graham

Ice Bridge 14 Melting State | Gary Beck

Kewpie Doll 12 Kewpie Ru-dud | Claire T. Feild

Photo 4 Fading Memories | Adam Randall

Prison Cell 14 Dismal Cages | Gary Beck

Record 13 Ko Ko Mo | Claire T. Feild

Shells 13 Shore Chorus | Claire T. Feild

Shoes 18 Bruno | S. M. Mills

Tree 5 Now I Can Dance | Joan McNerney Perspectives Magazine ISSN: 1920-4205 Frequency: Biannually Publisher | Designer: Monique Berry

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Contact Info http://1perspectives.webs.com monique.editor@gmail.com 1-905-549-3981

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

Special Notices Perspectives has one time rights. See website for subscription details. No photocopies allowed.


The Founder Has Her Say Perspectives Magazine lives again! For the retuning issue, I asked the contributors to reveal the source of their inspiration—what inspired them to write about the chosen object. I received some interesting answers which you will find in the dashed boxes. For those who don’t know, the idea for Perspectives started as an exercise dealing with writers block. The author suggested stepping ‘out of the box,’ choosing an object, and describing the world through its eyes. The finished story resulted in a burst of fresh perspective, hence the name of the magazine. To the contributors I say well done! Thank you for submitting your stories and poems, and gracing the resurrected issue of Perspectives with your talent. I hope you enjoy the stories and then pass the publication around. After you finish reading the magazine, why not try your hand at it? Details on how to submit your work can be found at the website (see the contact info). Until next time, think about how it would feel to live as an animal or inanimate object. And then write about it!

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

Cover, back page © Rose Hayes | DollarPhotoClub Opposite © jeancliclac | Photoxpress.com Page © terex | Photoxpress.com

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PHOTO

Fading Memories By Adam Randall

I

’ve been dead for two years now. Well, I guess that’s not true, I haven’t been dead for two years, but the girl in the picture has been. Tracie is dead. And what am I, other than her image? Her brother, Tyron, has had me with him ever since that day. I comfort him. He loved his sister; she was his best friend growing up and her death was a real blow to him. I’d sat unknowing in a photo album for a few years, sitting in complete darkness, but then one day Tyron opened it up, took me out and cried to himself, clutching me. He slid me into his pocket, right above his heart, and now he never leaves the house without putting me there. I’m just a frozen moment in time. I can’t produce Tracie’s warmth, or voice, or smell, or feel, I am just her image. But when Tyron looks at me, his mind does all the work. She is brought back to him then. He can look at me, close his eyes and, in his head, he’s back with his sister in the carefree days of his youth. I feel his heartbeat and his breathing patterns. As stress and anxiety build up, I can feel it and he’ll take me out. I allow Tracie to continue to help him. People never truly leave us at the end of their lives, they are perfectly preserved in our memories, but sometimes we need an item, a memento to stimulate those memories. That is me, that is my job, I am the key to his memories. I care for Tyron. I care for him just as Tracie cared for him, because in a way I am her, or at least an aspect of her.

But I’m afraid. I’m afraid that soon he will lose me too. He will lose his last physical link to his beloved sister. Because a few hours ago it started raining and Tyron is a few hours away from home. He wasn’t expecting this kind of weather in the middle of July and certainly wasn’t dressed for it. He was absolutely drenched. I don’t know if he’s realised that I’ve been getting so wet, too. I felt safe at first, inside his pocket, but then everything around me began to feel wet. It was just a little at first, but it’s slowly covered my whole body. I’m not sure I can hold myself together much longer. But he needs me. I was made on Tyron’s camera five years ago, three years before the tragedy. He’d come back home for the day and had lunch with Tracie, his only sibling and they’d had a beautiful reunion. It was Tyron’s twenty-fifth birthday, and he now remembers it as the best he’s ever had. That’s why he picked me of all the other pictures. He’ll always remember it as a time of happiness and joy, and even in the sadder days of the present, he still has me as a solid link to the past. It helps him to believe that, even in a small way, that day never ended. But it’s getting harder. I’m dying. This rain is torrential. The ink must be running and I am becoming pulp. I wish I could cry out to him, to tell him to get me somewhere dry, but I can’t. I’m sorry Tyron, but it is time to let go, you will have to step into the future without me, and without Tracie.

Adam Randall is a graduate of Bath Spa University's Creative Writing degree. He's had a few pieces published here and there and authors the webcomic Finger Puppet Show and his site, Trusty Water Blog. Visit everyauthorwhoeverlived.weebly. com/index.html or email at

AdamGRandall@gmail.com.

© Lyne | DollarPhotoClub

Inspiration for Fading Memories: “The story comes purely from my imagination, though it's linked to reality in the sense that I often like to keep items that are physical links to people I don't see too often.” Page 4

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


COMPUTER

Virtual Love By Joan McNerney A long slim poem full of hyperbole and alliteration drifted into the wrong e-mail box. There she met an erudite rich text format manual. They became attached. Her fleeting metaphors lifting his technical jargon. They were a word couple spinning through cyber space giddy with inappropriate syllables. © Gajus | DollarPhotoClub

Inspiration for Virtual Love: “When I first became familiar with computers, I was amused by the concept of cyberspace. Orbiting a different world than I was normally in just struck me as funny. I was simply moving my fingers but imagining myself as an astronaut. I realized my poems were traveling all over the world. Especially this poem which is a thin and striking one somehow becoming involved with a rich text format. This wealthy text book scientist type was bored and became enchanted with my poem. Well, that is my virtual romance and I enjoyed every minute of writing it.”

TREE

Now I Can Dance By Joan McNerney I stand...a cold sculpture against grey skies. Naked and defiant my limbs etched against weak light. Black engravings stretching over heaven.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses. Contact Joan at poetryjoan@statetel.com

Spring begins its tiny birth covering me with small buds. My leaves become longer each rainfall and greener each day. Birds come pecking berries filling me with their chorus. Now comes heat and my luxurious leaves grow in myriad shades of green. How many shades of green are there? As many as there are leaves. Shape shifting wearing red, orange, green, yellow now I can dance. Sashaying in the wind. Finally set free with autumn storms to fill the earth with magic carpets of my many colors. Frost will come soon.

© M. Schuppich | DollarPhotoClub

Inspiration for Now I Can Dance:“I am originally from Brooklyn, New York but always felt profoundly about nature. Moving up to North Country has expanded this love. I live in a small apartment in a small town and am surrounded by trees. It is hard to explain the intimate feelings I have for these beautiful, intricate formations. They are majestic to me because they live in the earth calmly surviving the ravages of four seasons. To put it simply, they are an inspiration and I have tried to capture some of the nuances of trees.” Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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CAT

Spynx By Wilma Seville

M

y face and body is orange and white. I have green eyes. I’m ready for action. I walk as silently as a tiger as I advance on the human figure lying on the green sofa. One leap is all it takes. He stirs and grunts in his sleep. I’m the dominant one. He’s at my mercy lying there. I lean forward, my whiskers softly brush his nostrils. Hairy hands swat at me trying to make me go away. “Spynx get off me!” Matthew’s gruff voice growls. I ignore him. After all, I am the dominant one. I move down to his stomach, dip my head and butt him. That really upset him. That should make him get up and pay some attention to me! “Spynx, come over here.” Her gentle, sweet voice tempts me to come and cuddle with her. For her, I would do almost anything. She’s always kind to me. If I am to describe her to you, here’s how I would do it. Soft, gentle, not very tall, brown hair tied in a pony tail, and a round face with laughter lines around her mouth. Her blue eyes light up when she sees Matthew or I come into the room. She loves to read and listen to classical music. My other human, Matthew is tall. He must be at least six foot and he towers over Laura and I. I call him the “Gentle Giant”. He’s as round as he is tall, has black hair and brown eyes. Matthew is funny, when he falls asleep on the sofa, he snores. What a weird sound that is! When it comes to giving attention to me, Laura does this the best. I don’t have to butt her arm or rub against her leg to get her to notice me. In fact, sometimes she pats me so much that I fear that I will get a bald spot. I like both of my pets very much. For humans, they are the best! Can you believe that some humans think black cats are bad luck? Some even have the audacity to say that black cats ride with witches on brooms. Now I ask you, don’t you think that’s a silly idea? I’m one of the lucky cats. I have a roof over my head, food in my dish and water in my bowl, and I never need to scrounge in garbage pails to find my food. There is no little human in the picture yet. I do dread that if that ever happens. I don’t want to be replaced in their affection! I have seen them do some really strange things. In fact, last week before the “event,” I saw them kissing and snuggling together on the sofa. I tried to pretend that I was not watching but, of course, I was. They left the sitting room rather hurriedly, almost glued together. Humans are such strange creatures! I heard noises coming from their bedroom but I chose to ignore it. One last stretch and I’m ready to have a cat nap. I’m off to dreamland where I am king of the cats, everybody bowing to me. I am served the most delicious morsels as I sit on my throne amongst my adoring subjects. All females of course! This must be what cat heaven feels like! From far away, I hear a crackling sound. My sixth sense wakes me up. My orange ears strain to figure out what it © PublicDomainPictures | Pixabay.com

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Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


is. I look for the source of the noise and see a glow in the corner near the sofa. It’s getting bigger and bigger and the crackling is getting louder and louder. I must awake my pets. The door is closed. What shall I do? BANG, BANG, BANG as I plunge against the resisting door. Again and again, I lunge at the door. My meows and bangs should wake up the dead! Why won’t they hear me? I’m getting hot and the glow is getting bigger. “SPYNX, GO AWAY,” bellowed the gruff voice of Matthew. I keep on banging and yowling as I try to alert them to the danger of the growing glow. Why hadn’t that thing in the ceiling gone off, like it always does when Laura cooks? Heavy footsteps meet my ears, as Matthew flings open the door. I race back and forth, meowing for him to follow me into the sitting room. It seemed to take forever in his half awake state but he follows me. Both of us race into the bedroom. “Laura, Laura, wake up.” I don’t know what to think, she’s just lying there. She must not have heard my attempt to warn them. I lick her face, usually that wakes her up. “Please let me sleep,” Laura mutters in a slurred voice. Her chubby arm flings itself around my neck. Now I’m a prisoner. I need to wriggle out of there pronto! Wack! The sound echoes in the bedroom, as Matthew tries to rouse his wife from the effects of the sleeping pill. He drags her out of the apartment and into the carpeted hallway and pulls the fire alarm. I saw John, our neighbor, returning home from the late shift just as the automatic door closed, shutting me in. I was not quick enough, the heat is getting unbearable. I cannot escape. Just as the flames grew higher, catching the drapes, the sofa and anything in its way, the door burst open. I hear John’s voice. I cannot see him through the smoke. It’s suffocating me and I’m too weak to meow. “Spynx, where are you?” I drag myself towards the sound of his voice and collapse into his waiting arms. He carries me down the fire stairs out into the street as the firemen arrive. We made the local paper, morning edition. A picture of John and I are plastered over the front page telling its readers that we were both heroes. I am just grateful that my humans are okay and that John was there to save me too. —SPYNX

Inspiration for Spynx: “Here's the story behind it. I do cat sitting (for a fee) and a few years back I had a "client" called SPYNX. That is where the name came from. His humans were a young couple but of course, I did not use their real names in the story. At first the story had a sad ending, but then I changed it to a very happy conclusion. The story, other than the three main characters, is all from my imagination.”

One last stretch and I’m ready to have a cat nap. I’m off to dreamland where I am king of the cats, everybody bowing to me. I am served the most delicious morsels as I sit on my throne amongst my adoring subjects.

Wilma Seville, originally from Lachine, P.Q., currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Perspectives Magazine, Silver and Gold Magazine, The Ambition Newspaper, Tower Poetry anthologies, Verse Afire and Scarlet Thistle. Her poetry has been displayed at the Art Walk in Dundas, Ontario on numerous occasions and she has performed her poetry and short stories at various venues in Hamilton. She also has written and directed a play for the South Asian Women’s Liberal Group in Toronto, Ontario. Wilma is the proud mother of two grown-up children, one son-in-law, and a resident cat, Boots.

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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Š miwacst | DollarPhotoClub

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Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


CAT

Feline Frenzy By Ania Payne

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woman runs outside, her bare ass hanging out of her too-short bathrobe. I’m eating tuna out of a can in her carport when she throws the side door open and charges at me with bare feet and open arms. Her hair sticks up in every direction and there’s a grey stripe down the center of her otherwise brown hair. She looks feral and reeks of fish, perhaps she has rabies. I run. “Here, kitty! Come here, kitty!” she keeps cooing, her bathrobe flopping open as she tries to catch up with me. Her gut flaps as she runs, up and down, up and down as she races across the yard. Her body is a giant mass of flailing limbs, the outlines of her arms multiplying as she runs, giving her an octagonal shape. The closer she gets, the clearer her figure becomes, and she has almost caught up to me, but I dash underneath a nearby shed, squeezing my slender body into the cold dirt so that I can hide from this predator. She shoves another can of tuna underneath the shed, calling, “C’mon, kitty kitty,” and I cower into a cobwebbed corner. In the neighborhood, people refer to this woman as the crazy cat lady. “Four cats and two dogs is too many,” they say. “Someone should call animal control on her, because it’s not legal to have that many animals living under one roof,” they say. “Here, kitty!” she says one more time, thrusting her can of tuna closer, the enticing smell filling my nostrils, but I resist the temptation, baring my teeth and hissing until she leaves. She has been trying to capture me for months now, but I am faster than her slow, human body. I don’t need her easy canned tuna, but I am still hungry. After I am sure that she has left, I crouch into the grass, waiting to kill. I can smell the trail of urine left by a squirrel on the pine tree and the fornicating cats in the bushes next door, but images remain nebulous and unclear. Mobile, moving objects are caught in my sight, but a sitting bird or ant is unclear. Only when the chipmunk scurries past my face do I notice it. I crouch behind a tuft of overgrown grass and watch the chipmunk waddle into a patch of flowers. I observe the fat, juicy creature carefully, learning its habits, its paths, and the way that it thinks. Only when I am able to predict its next movements correctly do I begin to advance. Slowly, quietly, I edge toward the rodent. It chews on a dandelion, unaware. The adrenaline surges through my veins. I stalk the aloof chipmunk, ever so carefully, ever so slowly, hiding in the shadows. I am close enough to smell its breath and the remnants of its feces still left on its fur. I pounce, landing on the chipmunk with my entire body. My claws dig into its sides and I feel its pulse race. It stares at me with pleading, terrified eyes, asking for mercy. I sink my teeth into its neck and my mouth fills with blood. The chipmunk lets out a piercing squeal as I dig my claws further into its plump stomach. I can see the life starting to leave its eyes, so I ease up. This isn’t over yet.

I toss the chipmunk into the air once, letting it fall to the ground with a harsh thud. I push it over with my paw, knocking it back and forth, disorienting it. I toss it into the air again, this time catching it in my mouth. It lets out a squeak and gasps for air loudly, its pulse becoming more faint beneath my jaws. “Stop! Stop!” The woman runs into the yard, her bare breasts flopping out of her robe with each step. She grabs the garden hose and turns it on, spraying me with water. I drop the chipmunk and run into the bushes as the woman continues to chase after me, yelling, “Bad cat!” The chipmunk drags its beaten body into a neighbor’s yard, leaving a trail of blood behind. I sulk underneath the bush, the water weighing my body down. I am still hungry. She puts an open tuna can in front of the bush, and because she has interfered with my hunt, I am forced to eat from the can. The next morning, I return to her carport to eat before any of the other strays get to the canned food. The sun has not yet risen, and the woman has not yet emerged from her home so I take my time indulging in the wet food. As I’m eating, Greg straggles over from across the street. He’s a mean tomcat. Greg approaches my bowl and I hiss, curving my back to show him that this is my turf, this is my food, and I do not want him here. He keeps approaching me anyways, because he is bigger than I am and he is stronger and he knows that he can get what he wants from me. Greg puts his head near the can and I swipe, my claws digging into his nose, red blood emerging from his broken skin. He yowls and swipes back at me. Greg puffs his chest out and flexes his muscles, walking me into a corner. I scream again as Greg swipes at my face. But I am too loud and have woken the woman inside. She opens the door in her untied bathrobe and yells, shooing Greg away with a broom. Greg runs off, but I am still in the corner and when the woman reaches down to pick me up, I swipe again, at her face, her arms, and her bare breasts that have become exposed through her robe. Her enormous breasts swing at my face like pendulums, rocking in and out of focus. I bite towards them but I miss her flesh and bite only the air. She is tough, she is the crazy cat woman of the neighborhood, and a few scratches do not deter her. She wraps me up, quickly throws the door open, and carries my protesting body inside. Two monstrous dogs cling to her side, smelling me and nipping at my tail as she carries me through the house. She is running with me in her arms and I am scratching and biting as she runs but she is moving so fast that everything is a blur and I can’t make sense of where I am. She throws open the door to a room and drops me on the floor. As I land, a cloud of hair and dust and dirt envelop me and I cannot see anything through the dust storm. The woman slams the door shut and I am trapped in the room, alone. (Continued on page 10)

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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Vacation he woman was successful, and she domesticated me just like the four other cats in the house. I was able to escape her clutches and run outside a couple of times, but nights underneath the shed are cold in the winter and the woman has been feeding me every day, fattening me, and making me forget my previously keen hunting skills. The last time that I escaped I was outside for three nights, but I started to miss the warmth of the inside, the laps to sit on, and the ever-full bowl of food, so I yowled by the front door until the woman came outside, and only ran away half as fast, so that she could catch me with ease. Now that I have been indoors for a few months, I have learned to enjoy the feeling of getting petted, the warm couch blanket, and the warm milk before bed. When she pets me, I lick the fur that she’s touched, wanting her taste to linger in my mouth. I knead her stomach, claws un-flexed, just like I used to do with my own mother, kneading until I pressed the milk from her breasts. I know that I cannot make milk come from the woman’s breasts because she is not a cat, but the motions are comforting and pleasant. I worry that I’ve become dependent upon the woman, relying on her for sustenance and care, but this life is so much simpler than the life outdoors. Sometimes, the woman goes away for weeks at a time, leaving me alone in the house with no company but the other cats. I miss her when she is gone, and I curse myself for this, remembering the days when I used to hiss at her and glare at her housecats who perched in windowsills all day, with no lives of their own. She never tells us where she goes or when she’ll be back. Perhaps she is in heat. Or maybe she’s hunting. When she’s gone, a neighbor comes into the house to give us food, a neighbor who used to spray water at me when I was a stray, a neighbor who used to tell me to “scat” and “get out of the trash.” I hide when this neighbor comes, but watch as she carelessly pours food into our bowls and idiotically dumps new litter into our boxes without scooping out our stale crap first. While the woman is gone, I pee all over her house, in her shoes, on any mail that the next door neighbor brings in, on her bed, in her closet. I clean myself furiously and hairball on top of her computer keyboard. I crap on top of her couch. I tear my claws through her antique furniture, feeling victorious when the stuffing pours out and onto the floor. When she returns, she will know that I am upset with her and maybe she will reconsider leaving me behind.

T

Happy Holidays very year, the woman brings a pine tree into the house, which she decorates and admires for a month. The pine tree looms over me, leering constantly, with its sharp watchful eye that sits at the top of its pointy frame. Its eye is always watching me, always laughing, always blinking, always mocking.

E

I get scolded when I try to unwrap the boxes that sit around the tree and I get scolded when I try to climb the tree. It is a tree, and when I lived outside, I would always climb trees, and I do not know what is different about this tree and Page 10

why I can’t climb it like the any other tree. The woman says that this is a “Christmas” tree and that she brought it inside because it is the “Christmas” season, a season for joy and celebration. She tells me that she will get me presents and special treats because this is a season to be happy. A few days after the Christmas tree is brought in, the woman turns on a “Christmas” movie. I settle on her lap to nap. As I’m in the middle of dozing, I wake to the sound of a cat screeching, and because the woman’s new television is so bright and has such high definition, I can faintly make out the image on the screen–a cat beneath a Christmas tree. The cat on screen starts to tear apart the presents while the humans aren’t watching, then crawls behind the Christmas tree. Then, suddenly, the poor cat bites the Christmas lights and we see him fry on the spot, leaving a dead cat-shaped imprint in the rug. To my greatest horror, the woman begins to laugh hysterically at this scene. Her stomach, which I had been napping on, heaves up and down so violently that I start to feel nauseous and leap from her stomach onto the floor. From below the couch, I see the woman open her mouth wide to bellow at the television. The woman is all tonsils and nostrils and tongue and heaving belly. This woman, who has captured and domesticated five of the neighborhood strays and feeds us and pets us daily, is delighted by the misery of this television cat. She says that I’m neurotic and calls me crazy, but I know who is really neurotic and crazy.

Ania Payne is currently an MFA student at Northern Michigan University. She has four cats and two dogs that have taught her a lot about animal behavior. She has previously been published in The Rusty Nail, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Imitation Fruit, and Gravel.

Inspiration for Feline Frenzy: “The neurotic cat in my story is based on a real cat that I have at home, Maggie. There are quite a few similarities between the cat in the story and Maggie, but the story cat was anthropomorphized a bit. This piece was part of a final project for a class that I took last semester, "Models, Copies, and Simulacra" -- I wanted to explore how felines see the world and examine everyday scenarios in a way that a cat might view them, as opposed to how a human would view these scenarios.”

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


DOG

Absence By Taylor Graham So you insist on calling me, who this morning through the window watched a struggle of crows. Heavy wingbeats, black palpitations above the oaks. Savvy birds, they know when it’s too cold for flawless flight. Still they fly. A bird’s auspicious in this weather. I cozied on my cedar-bed by the fire. I did not steal a peppermint in your absence, but only moved two of your running shoes from bedroom to hall – one shoe after three hours, the second after three more – to remind you how long, and I need a good walk. Yes, I had a date with sunrise, if only through the window – yellow ball I love to chase, even when it makes a slow heave southerly, barely clearing the opposite ridge – then blinding! You’d say it intuits how I – four-leg sub-lunar beast doing my daily circuit of the house without howling – how I need its distant warmth, its bright in these seasons of your absence. © kirvinic | DollarPhotoClub

Inspiration for Absence: “I spend so much time with my dogs, training, searching, exploring, and just learning from them; so I write a lot of poems and try to get my mind inside theirs as much as I can. They teach us so much! And they’re a wealth of poetic material. You might say my dog is my muse. I don’t usually write from the dog’s perspective, exactly. But this poem started out as an exercise. Actually, two prompts that came on the same day, so I used both*: 1) Write a poem from a pet’s point of view when you come home having spent most of the day away, and 2) Use these words in a poem: palpitations, auspicious, intuit, flawless, date, lunar, savvy, peppermint When I learned of Perspectives, I made some minor changes to the poem. In any case, whenever I write about my dogs, it’s for the fun of it, as well as trying to see the world from their viewpoint. * (Prompt 1) From Gillian Wegener’s New Year’s Poetry Challenge (2013-14); (Prompt 2) From Carole Dwinell’s Word-Bowl (December 2013)

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-andrescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, 2012) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her latest book is What the Wind Says (Lummox Press, 2013), poems about living and working with her canine search partners over the past 40 years. Contact Taylor at piper@att.net.

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KEWPIE DOLL

Kewpie Ru-dud By Claire Feild Having stayed in the Mississippi Delta sun beyond a reasonable expectation for a Kewpie doll, you’ve shed your pink skin to the dominant color caramel. We wash your doll panties (we have one pair for each day of the week that we hang on Mama’s clothesline) so that the children in the neighborhood will think you are cute. Your glassine eyes, not aware of this color change, we let you assume you are the same hue you were in the 1950s. Why should we agitate your illusions, for you are not supposed to learn or grow. But the times don’t change, Ru-dud, and although we try to mime the variations in your color to you, we expect you to vacant-stare, reality’s surfs clandestine to you, or so we think in our innocence about the nature of your reality: a kindness felt, but unknown to the world.

© Greg Blomberg | DollarPhotoClub

Inspiration for Kewpie Ru-dud: “I just wanted her to be in print! Ru-dud is the name of my most favorite Kewpie doll created by the artist, Rose O' Neill. When I got my Kewpie doll for Christmas, I called her Rose O'. I became tired of such a long name and then named her Roe O'. Next I called her Ru-O'. Since my daddy and I played with Ru-O' so much, he once said that she was "worthless"—just playing with me. I replied, "What is a word that means "worthless''? He replied, "In World War II, we called a bomb that did not go off a 'dud.''' I screamed in delight as I said, "I will call her Ru-dud." That name has stuck for at least 62 years! I wrote this poem before I submitted it to "Perspectives." Thus, I applied Ru-dud to what you wanted in your journal.” Page 12

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


SHELLS

Shore Chorus By Claire Feild I see the shells strewn across the sand, listening to drunk beach bums, coalesce, quietly humming the ocean’s songs, a sleek decorum the price shells pay for staying there, for creating songs that will one day be heard by large audiences.

© Neelrad | DollarPhotoClub

Inspiration for Shore Chorus: “I was in the mood to write a beach story, so it was not written for Perspectives. I applied the poem to what you were looking for in the guidelines."

RECORD

Claire T. Feild has been an English instructor for 44 years. She has had 282 poems accepted for print publication in 100 journals and anthologies such as The Tulane Review; Chinaberries and Crows: An Anthology; Palimpsest: A Creative Journal of the Humanities; Zymbol Magazine; Folio; Welter; The Path: A Literary Magazine; Pinyon Review; Dewpoint Literary Magazine; Birmingham Arts Journal; Windmills; Kudzu; Words Dance; Coup d’Etat; Dual Coast Magazine; San Pedro River Review; The Rampallian; and The Carolina Quarterly. Her first poetry book is Mississippi Delta Women in Prism. Her second collection of poetry is titled Southern Aunts: The 1950s. Indigo Blues, a micro-book, was published by the Origami Poetry Project. Her fourth book is a creative non-fiction book titled A Delta Vigil: Yazoo City, Mississippi, the 1950s. The book has just been published by Woodson Knowles Publishing Company (July 2014).

Ko Ko Mo By Claire Feild I think she’s five years old, just like me, and has on a plaid-blue-andgreen dress, just like me. Her voice is clear as Mama’s cellophane wrapping paper, Ko-Ko-Mo’s singing on the record using the voice utensils God gave her, my having to knock the needle over the yellow record she lives inside to relieve her pain, her voice getting stuck on a high note. I hate to see you go, Ko Ko Mo, but Mama just bought me a new record player with the black records.

© Andrey Semenov | DollarPhotoClub

Inspiration for Ko Ko Mo: “When I was about five or six years old—when we had the yellow records for our record players—I danced around my bedroom to the song "Ko Ko Mo." I also learned its lyrics too. I applied this poem to what you were looking for in Perspectives.”

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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ICE BRIDGE

Melting State By Gary Beck I am an ice bridge 25 miles long and once held the Wilkins ice shelf in place in the Antarctic. One day my support suddenly shattered which will probably cause a wider breakup of the ice shelf, about the size of Connecticut, certain to create a hazard to shipping, another benefit of global warming... "Wilkins Ice Bridge Collapse (1)" by Jeff Schmaltz - http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php? id=37806&src=iotdrss. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wilkins_Ice_Bridge_Collapse_(1).jpg#mediaviewer/ File:Wilkins_Ice_Bridge_Collapse_(1).jpg

PRKSON CELL

Dismal Cages By Gary Beck Behind my walls of confinement prisoners rot in storage, dwindle away, or harden, eke out brute existence in cages of despair. The rejects, throwaways, habitual offenders, cannot adjust socially to traditional pursuits, home, job, family, opting for illicit life, suffering incarceration without hope of resurrection, condemned by circumstances beyond their control resolved by law enforcement intolerant of violence by criminal deviants from the public norm. © Rook76 | Photoxpress.com

Inspiration for Melting State and Dismal Cages: “The poems are from my collection, 'Perceptions', which I wrote a while ago and which will be published by Winter Goose Publishing in 2015. The poems come from my response to issues of our times and other concerns. Some of them relate to current or future problems, and I often wish they came more from my imagination then disturbing reality.”

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. Published chapbooks include: 'Remembrance', Origami Condom Press; 'The Conquest of Somalia', Cervena Barva Press; 'The Dance of Hate', Calliope Nerve Media; 'Material Questions', Silkworms Ink; 'Dispossessed', Medulla Press, 'Mutilated Girls', Heavy Hands Ink and ‘Escape to Cyberspace’, Writing Knights Press. His poetry collection 'Days of Destruction' was published by Skive Press; 'Expectations', Rogue Scholars Press; 'Dawn in Cities', Winter Goose Publishing; ‘Assault on Nature’, Winter Goose Publishing. ‘Songs of a Clerk’ and ‘Civilized Ways’ will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His novel 'Extreme Change' was published by Cogwheel Press; 'Acts of Defiance' was published by Artema Press. His collection of short stories, ‘A Glimpse of Youth’ was published by Sweatshoppe Publications. He currently lives in New York City. Page 14

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


CLOSET

Feed Me By Sara Etgen-Baker “Mon cheri, feed me. Feed me, and I’ll tell you you’re pretty. “More, more, there’s never enough! While she was dressing, I told Mlle Amélie about the sale at Mimi’s Closet—the chic new boutique located down the street. “Hurry, Mademoiselle! You’d really look awesome in those skinny jeans; you could always top ‘em off with that soft chiffon top. Ah, superbe!” Just yesterday, I saw Mademoiselle glance at the Mimi’s ad in the newspaper. Mlle Amélie shook her head and said, “I can’t afford any more new clothes right now.” Seriously? Hasn’t she heard of layaway? Mimi’s offers a layaway plan. It’s an absolutely amazing service and a great way to get the clothes she wants right now. “I’m hungry, Mademoiselle. Let’s eat in tonight and order online. It’ll be just you and me, mon cheri!” Like she heard me. Putting together outfits is so much fun. Darling, you look simply ravishing in that tailored suit. It’d look perfect with that Chantilly lace blouse. Mlle Amélie primped in front of her mirror when suddenly her dress swayed back and forth. “Oh, what’s that you asked? A belt? Sure you could sooo wear a belt with that. What about that cute item you saw at the Fashion Barn?” “No, mon ami,” she drawled with her French accent. “That is too expensive.” “Expensive? No! Everything’s affordable. Remember, Mademoiselle’s got that shiny new Visa card with a $2,000 limit.” I’m bored, really bored. And, can you believe it? Humans call this 12x14 room a closet—just who are they kidding! I’m suffocating in here! I want to get out and have a little fun. Surely we could meet her friends at the outlet mall and shop all day. Yes, I am full but I can always eat more! Speaking of eating…I see Mademoiselle has put on a little weight. This morning I heard her talking about a diet. What? A diet? Silly woman! All she needs is just a few new loose-fitting tops. She should check out the sale at Macys. Yikes! Now she’s filled her hubby’s side. He doesn’t look happy with us. Well, we have seven days to get me organized. Unbelievable! Her sweetly-scented, seductive dress claimed that Mlle Amélie is overwhelmed because she can’t ever find what she’s looking for in here. “Overwhelmed? Balderdash! Has she no guts? No glory? Hasn’t Mademoiselle heard of the closet solutions at the Container Store?” Mademoiselle! You heard me! These closet rod organizers are just perfect. And those huggable hangers are to die for! Ah, what a relief. I can breathe again. “Oh, don’t wear that dress! You look frumpy in it.” Mlle Amélie cocked her head and looked at another outfit. “Nope. Not that one either. That style is sooo yesterday. I

have a solution—just put it on a hanger back here in the back. See. That’s easy enough.” Mademoiselle wants to go out tonight. “What about that crepe outfit, mon ami?” she asked. “What’s that you said, mon cheri? You love it? Yes, I understand. And I remember how excited and giddy you were when you first wore it. But, it’s just too snug now.” With that, the French princess threw herself down on her bed. “I am offended! You really hurt my feelings.” “I know this is gonna sound harsh, but it’s just an old dress, right? Keep the memories, not the clothes. “But how, monsieur?” “How? Surely you’ve heard of the resale shop in town. The woman who owns that shop will give you cash for your gently-used and slightly out-of-style clothes.” Well, that didn’t last long. Now I’m hungry again. Feed me. “Great choice, Mademoiselle! I love that little number; it kisses the tips of your shoulders. Oooh, la, la. Plus the metallic embellishments tell me that you’re unique, and I’ll be the talk of town for sure!” Shoes? Don’t forget shoes. I loved ‘em all: 60s pumps, go -go boots, and platforms from the 70s. And those 80s (Continued on page 16)

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Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

Page 15


CACTUS (Continued from page 15)

sneakers were totally rad. Remember? Mademoiselle was stunning in those stilettos. Can you believe what those ungrateful dresses said to me this morning? They had the nerve to tell me that I was obsessive. Who me? Obsessive? Absolutely not! I just need variety in my life. “Hey, look out the window, Mademoiselle! Your neighbor’s having a garage sale. I’ve seen her; she’s got terrific taste. I bet Mademoiselle can pick up some items real cheap. Qui, darling! I think you could totally refashion that maxi-skirt into a dress. ‘How creative, babe’!” Ahem! Ahem! I’m choking. It’s stuffy in here. Too many clothes? Me compulsive? Addictive? Surely you jest. Clothes are just the way I define myself. “Mlle Amélie, why did you suddenly stop feeding me? You’ve gotta know that I’m hungry. You know you need me, mon cheri. No. I don’t think you have issues. Don’t you want to go the mall? Open the door. It’ll be like old times. We’ll both feel better. Promise!” OMG! No! Mademoiselle has turned off the light. Now she’s ignoring me. I fear something’s come between us. What is it? Mlle Amélie knows I can’t stand the silent treatment! Tell her, please, not to leave me alone in the darkness. “Where are you, Mlle Amélie ? Help me! I’m scared and all alone in here. Help! Where are you? Tell me you’re not ending our relationship. Please! Please! Mademoiselle, open the door! Where are you? I’ll stop

Sara Etgen-Baker retired three years ago and began fulfilling her life-long dream of writing memoirs, short stories, and personal narratives. Her manuscript “Intangible Ingredients,” received Honorable Mention in the 2013 Euple Riney Memorial Award. Sara’s manuscripts have won several contests and have been published in anthologies and in Story Circle Network’s True Words Anthology, Looking Back Magazine, Guideposts Magazine, Halcyon Magazine, Magazine and at womensmemoirs.com. You may visit Sara at her blog: http:// saraetgenbaker.blogspot.com Page 16

Inspiration for Feed Me: After I retired, I wrote a piece entitled "Skeletons in My Closet." I was having difficulty eliminating clothes from my clothes that I simply no longer needed once I retired. When I worked full-time, I was a bit of a clothes horse. So my closet (and life) were cluttered with useless clothes. I remembered all the phrases I'd say to myself to justify buying more clothes. Yes, quite honestly I was compulsive addictive when it came to clothes. (Hate to admit that.) So, when I read about Perspectives, I just used my imagination and created the original piece.

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Swaying in the Wind By Oscar Taylor-Kent

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ever really done much with my life. Never really cared to try. Guess you could say I'm just the type content to lounge in the sun all day and just sway in the wind. And I'm not the only one. Out here that's like our mantra. 'Welcome to Lake Pleasant Park', and underneath: 'monarchiam in ventum' or whatever it is. I can't attest to being well educated, but this girl used to hang around me a lot, she'd read her Latin text books, do her school homework, that sort of thing. You pick up a thing or two around that. Because, yeah, me and the rest around here don't like to do much. We're just not too sociable by nature. It's not like we hate people, though. Lake Pleasant is pretty rural, but sunny and titularly pleasant enough that a fair amount of people like to come around. Maybe they hang out, read their books in the sun or look at the stars in the night, or maybe they just walk on by and we watch them silently and let them be on their way. So naturally when this jackass shows up nobody really thinks much of it at first. He arrives on the scene in a beat up pick-up truck with an ageing, scratchy bright red paint job that almost literally screams “hillbilly”, but whatever. It's what's on the inside that counts, right? We're all just water underneath. The beer and the shotgun are what really tick the boxes on the jackass box. When he swings his legs out of the door he slides the final beer out of a six pack and swigs it, holding his shotgun as he does. When he's finished he throws the parched husk onto the ground, stamps on it, grabs another six pack, carries it round to the back of the truck, and grabs a folded chair. For a while it seems like maybe he's just going to slam down a few beers sitting in the sun. Foolishly everyone begins to rationalise the presence of the shotgun, to throw it away. Not that we really could have done anything otherwise. The shooting begins as the sun sets.

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


It's a shock, but it's nothing terrible at first. The man just seems to be shooting his shotgun into the sky. Perhaps aiming at imaginary birds. As the sky gets darker, however, so does his intent. Eventually he turns the gun on one of my friends, the closest to him, and pulls the trigger. This shot, more than those preceding it, echoes a thousand times more intently through the surroundings. Then it's followed by the sickly sound of a cactus slumping to the ground: a soft cracking as it loses its grip on the rest of its body followed by a soft snap; then a heavy dull thud as its pins stick into the ground, no bouncing; then the water begins to leak out, like the bubbling of a small creek. Systematically he moves onto the next. His beginner's luck has worn off, replaced by alcohol, and it takes him a few shots to fell the next, and the one after that. I see his path of destruction will lead him to me. And then beyond me. I am forced to wait while the slaughtering takes place. He reaches me, and levels his shotgun, a mean grin on his face. I see my fate in those two black barrels. He shoots and misses. It's then that I realise what I must do. He reloads and aims again. I watch him intently, standing him down. He has a tell, an easy one. A twitch above his right eye, just before he pulls the trigger. As he does, I sway away from the direction he's pointing. Another miss. He reloads hastily, and only takes a few seconds to aim this time. Again, I sway away. This happens another few times, and the man curses. He swears as he reloads the shotgun.

Oscar Taylor-Kent is a writer, humourist, occasional blogger, and a Creative Writing graduate from Bath Spa University, England. He’s briefly worked at a newspaper, a literary agency, and in the online dating scene, but his heart lies in fiction. Not one to be pigeon-holed he writes about mugs, humorous satire, and kaiju. He likes to read things like Eoin Colfer, Raymond Chandler, and unnecessarily in-depth Doctor Who fan essays. He is often found at www.oscartk.co.uk, his home away from home.

Then he pauses. He smirks, chuckles, and looks at me. He takes a few steps closer to me. Right next to me, he is below me, being significantly smaller. If the sun was still out, he would be well within my shadow. But it isn't, and we are all in the dark. He puts the cold barrel of the gun against my mottled, hard, green skin, between my pins. He pulls the trigger. There is a dull, wet explosion, and the man yells, shielding his eyes from the chunks of my meat. Blinded like this, he does not see me begin to fall, falling forward. I am lunging forward instead of slumping backward. I will not simply collapse and die. As he feels my weight he lets out another scream. It echoes, but not as much as the explosions from his gun. It is a much weaker noise altogether. So I lie here, pinning him to the ground. He is silent and unmoving, and I know my spines have tasted his blood. They are wet and gooey. I can't move. I can't feel myself sway. For the first time in my life I feel heavy and solid. A trickle is the only thing that tickles my senses. A trickle of water, steadily flowing out of me. We are all water underneath. As the water of life leaves me, and pours into the dry earth, I slowly begin to lose myself. As I fade away I can see the remains of my lost friends, but I can also see those that remaining standing proud around me. I saved them. And now they can keep on swaying.

Inspiration for Swaying in the Wind: “I originally wrote the first, very rough draft of 'Swaying in the Wind' as part of an ongoing weekly writing competition on a writing subforum. That particular week's prompt was to write something inspired by an entry on Wikipedia's 'List of Unusual Deaths' ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ List_of_unusual_deaths ). I actually wrote two pieces for the competition, one based on the Athenian lawmaker Draco's death circa 620BC, who was allegedly smothered to death by cloaks thrown in appreciation; and the other based on the 1982 death of David Grundman who was crushed by the limb of a cactus while cactus plugging with a friend. However, besides the vague method of death, the actual event hasn't got too much in common with my short story, which is often the brilliance of inspiration. While death by cactus is somewhat unusual, it seemed like it wouldn't be too much of an interesting story. Writing from the perspective of a cactus jumped out at me as being a more interesting way of exploring the situation, and allowed for a lot more conflict. As it showed so much promise, 'Swaying in the Wind' was the only of the two short stories I continued to work on once the initial prompt was over, eventually forging it into what it is today.”

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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SHOES

© Pavel Losevsky | DollarPhotoClub

Bruno BY S. M. Mills Inspired by The Caretaker (1960) by Harold Pinter

I

t didn’t seem to matter how straight I sat, or how clean I was, people always seemed to pass by me without so much as a second glance. I suppose I was unlike the others, garish and gaudy, so unlike my twin. ‘How strange,’ a customer said one day as they passed by our pedestal, ‘that someone would pair something so flashy with something so plain.’ The longer my sister and I were forced to sit behind that window, the greater the torment became from those around us. Look at Bruno, posing on his pedestal, they would hear from behind, he always has to be the centre of attention. Named after Father, another would mock. You know, it’s Magli that I feel sorry for. Imagine being thrown together with Bruno. Ignore them Bruno, Magli would whisper, they’re just jealous because they’re at the back of the store. If only I had her patience.

O

n that fateful day, we’d only seen The Manager in our home. She was quaint, hunched over, wore thickrimmed glasses and ankle length dresses. Ignorant to the taunts and teases tossed across the room each day. ‘Business is so slow, Marg,’ The Manager complained on the phone, ‘And do you think I’ve been able to shift that new stock? Not for the life of me, nobody wants shoes that don’t match.’ The Manager talked this way until a murmur of Page 18

excitement spread amongst the shoes as Billy’s light-hearted jingle filled the store. The manager slammed the phone onto the receiver and shuffled across the floor. I had seen the man before; he would sometimes stand at the window and peer down at my sister and me before going on his way down the street. He was tall and frightfully handsome, if The Manager’s bashful behaviour was anything to go by. His stride both gracious and confident. Do you think his coat is real cashmere? the shoes muttered. And what about those boots? Won’t find a pair like that amongst any of us. The man exchanged a few words with The Manager, who clapped her hands together. She bowed her head, acting most unlike her usual self, and directed the man to the window display with an extended arm. He’s like the prince from that book, Magli murmered. What book? I asked, I hadn’t seen Magli so excited before. But she didn’t answer. The man was above us, staring down at us with an interest that felt invasive. He seemed to be paying particular attention to me, rather than delicate Magli. I felt self-conscious, insecure, almost. The man seemed satisfied, and offered The Manager a curt nod. The store was in uproar. Is this a joke? One shoe exclaimed. Why on Earth would anyone want Bruno? He’s so unsightly! For the first time in four months, the entirety of my existence, I didn’t care for what the others had to say. I didn’t

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


care that my vamp was white and studded, nor that my toecap and quarter were a rich tangerine. I no longer felt that I was a burden to my sister, the pretty white shoe that I had grown up with. I realised then that I would never have to feel responsible for her imprisonment in a glass case again. We were wrapped and carefully bagged before we said our unheard goodbyes to The Manager. I heard Billy’s muffled chime on our way out.

T

he Prince, it seemed, had not been a prince at all. He was something called a ‘magician’ and he wore upon his shoulders a cape so brilliantly orange that I found my own body positively dull in comparison. He was a mystical man who could pull an array of strange objects from Henry, who did not seem to mind at all! In fact the top hat seemed quite proud to serve such a purpose. I think everything is going to be alright now, Mags. I wrinkled my eyelets at Magli. Yes, I think it will be. Isn’t it wonderful to be out in the open? Finally, we can loosen our laces and relax. My leather swelled with pride, I would have merrily danced across that stage until my soles were worn if it were to keep Magli’s joy alive. Would have done anything to make up for the sentence we had served in that place.

I

wanted to cry. I wanted to be the foot that wore the shoe, wanted The Magician to be that very shoe. Then I could show him how it felt to be worn once and tossed aside. Used, dirty, worthless. I could feel the rain penetrating my leather. We were cold, wet and homeless, perhaps for the rest of our days. The betrayal was almost too much to bear and the scars to come would be inevitable. The rain would let up and our bodies would dry out. Brittleness would kick in. Eventually, we’d crack. What use would we be to anyone then? What use would I be to Magli? I’m sorry Magli, if only I weren’t so curiously designed! Why must I be so different from you? The others, they sat in pairs – they matched! Row upon row of identical twins. Magli did not reply. A sudden and frantic rummaging drew me from my daze. A strange man loomed over me. I wondered if it were The Magician, hoped that it wasn’t. Though we were dirty and discarded, we still had our dignity. Or at least, I knew I still had mine. But the eyes that gazed down at us did not belong to a wealthy man, I thought. They were blackened and bloodshot, as though rubbed by coal. It seemed that The Magician had indeed not returned for us. I looked on as Magli’s laces went limp. It’s okay, I whispered across the trash, I’m still here. I’ll always be here. I looked up. The man was not like others I had seen, and I couldn’t quite put my heel cap on it. His shabby overcoat was not made of cashmere, nor did it fit him. Same story with his trousers, too big, not a belt in sight. I braced myself as he

reached down, only for him to pick up a small, rusting knife resting between my sister and me. ‘Small knife, wouldn’t cut a loaf. Don’t know where it’s been, do I?’ The Beggar’s attention flickered to Magli. Even beggars can be choosers. The Beggar lifted her from the waste and held her up for inspection. He dropped her onto the floor in front of him, the slap of PU on concrete had my insole churning. Then The Beggar seemed to notice me. Really notice me. I was pulled gingerly from the bin. I forgot about my sister, just for a moment, as the soil was wiped from my toe and the gum picked from my aglet. ‘Good shoe, this.’ The Beggar muttered. ‘Not a bad shape of shoe at all. You can’t beat leather for wear.’ I wanted to weep. Not in anguish, as before, but in joy. The man had seen that I was more than just a garish pattern on a sole. I was Bruno. A good shape of shoe. Sharing my sister’s fate, I was dropped to the floor and brought back to reality. As I felt The Beggar’s left foot slip into me, and watched his right slip into Magli, I heard a quiet reassurance at my side. Everything is going to be alright now, Bruno. I promise.

S. M. Mills is a writer and avid tea drinker with a penchant for gore. She is studying Creative Writing and Publishing at Bath Spa University, England. Currently a fan of crime, thriller and dystopian fiction, she can often be found tucked away with a graphic and quite frankly gruesome novel. You can contact her via email at sophiemariemills@gmail.com.

Inspiration for Bruno: I was inspired to write this piece when I studied The Caretaker by Harold Pinter during my A-level exams around one year ago. It wasn't so much the play itself that inspired me, but the passion and enthusiasm that my English tutor expressed for it at the time. This English tutor, Meirion, offered endless encouragement in daring you to see things from a different perspective, daring you to try things you'd never tried before. It seemed only fitting that the first piece I dared to write be taken from a piece that he so enjoyed reading. Because this short story was really the very first I'd ever written. You see, it was only two years ago that I decided I wanted to study Creative Writing at university, originally I had spent my life planning to pursue a medical career and study Biomedical Science. It's also the first piece I've submitted anywhere. The character Bruno in this story somewhat reminds me of that inspirational tutor, I suppose -- an incredible resource. A little quirky, and not to everyone's taste, but someone who holds an invaluable worth to those who know how to make the most of him.

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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CEDAR FENCE

A Rail with a View By Patricia A. McGoldrick Here comes that rain again, and look, there she is watching through the kitchen window. Me, I'm just stretching out in the same old spot. Don't get me wrong-I like this herb garden that I am protecting. Cinnamon basil and lemon thyme are all right. She needs them, cooks with them, and makes tea in the afternoon. But, I felt more useful, more important when I was on her Dad's farm. Yeah, her Dad, he was a great old guy in his patched denim overalls and his faded yellow straw hat. He used to make the rounds every spring just to keep my friends and me in line, to repair any injuries made by ice storms. Sure, I know what you are thinking that I am just an old cedar rail. I should be glad that she brought me with her to the city, but I was part of a team, there, back at the farm guarding those crops of wheat and corn. I had my place. The cattle had theirs. What did I care if that scraggly black dog rubbed past me while chasing a ground hog? Or those two brunette-haired girls scrambled over me to get to their caches of white trilliums at the back of the farm every spring? They knew that I was there, and I looked forward to their visits after the long cold winters.

Patricia A. McGoldrick is a Kitchener, Ontario Canada writer. Poems published in anthologies, including: Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People; Beyond the Dark Room, an international collection of transformative poetry, proceeds to Doctors Without Borders/MSF; Poetic Bloomings--the first year. Poetry and reviews have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, The WM Review Connection, and ChapterandVerse.ca. Recent titles include: Potato plus an acrostic fiction piece, Best in the Bruce! Patricia is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society and the League of Canadian Poets. WEB: Patricia A. McGoldrick--Author Site BLOG: PM27's blog TWITTER: @pamcgoldrick Page 20

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The older one, especially, she always noticed me with my moss green coat meshed against the charcoal grey. She picked me, specially, you know, for my colour, to protect her garden. Ten years ago, she transplanted me to the city. I thought that she had derailed me that she had... but, every time when it rains she looks out her kitchen window to see me, looking my best, with a fresh summer shower. And every time it rains, she reminds me of her Dad, the old days at the farm, where I had my place. Inspiration for A Rail with a View: I grew up in Dufferin County in rural southwestern Ontario. Pasture fields on my father's dairy farm were bordered with rail fences. Years later, when I moved into a small house in Kitchener, my husband and I repurposed some of the rails from my Father's farm to build a rail fence for our herb garden. The sight of that cedar rail fence gave a sense of "home" to the new house where we lived with our young family.

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014


Fun Facts about the Animals and Objects Represented in this issue CACTUS—1)

Cactus spines can be used for sutures, after they have been first sterilized on hot coal. 2) Keeping a potted cactus near your computer will help absorb the radiation that it emits.

CATS—1) A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because

KEWPIE

DOLL—The legend goes that while Rose was taking an afternoon nap, she dreamed that tiny cupids visited her, and were, in fact, bouncing around all over her blankets. She awoke and dashed to her drawing board and the illustrations that resulted were the very first Kewpies.

every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down. 2) Some cats have survived falls of over 65 feet (20 meters), due largely to their “righting reflex.” The eyes and balance organs in the inner ear tell it where it is in space so the cat can land on its feet. Even cats without a tail have this ability. 3) Polydactyl cats are also referred to as “Hemingway cats” because the author was so fond of them. There are 45 Hemingway cats living at the author’s former home in Key West, Florida.

PRISONS—1) Some prisons is Brazil offer their prisoners a

CEDAR—1) The oil, found in the reddish heartwood of the

RECORDS—For

CLOSETS—A

SHELLS—1) Mollusks can turn their shells different colors by

cedar, is a natural insect repellant. This oil is only found in the reddish heartwood of the trees. The Ancient Egyptians used oil extracted from cedar trees in the mummification process. The natural properties of the oil helped keep tombs insect free. 2) Cedar wood has been used since ancient times in construction and ship building. Legend has it that King Solomon's temple in Jerusalem was built with Cedar wood. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/cedar-tree-facts.html

handy organizing tips is to examine the clothes you love in a vacuum—that is, without the rest of your wardrobe surrounding them and clamoring for attention—you will see a pattern. Maybe you like striped shirts best. Or maybe you really only feel comfortable in black. Next time you are on the verge of a purchase, think back to this moment: how would the new piece you are considering fit in with your favorites?

COMPUTER

EMAIL—1) The @ symbol is referred to as

“at,” “little snail,” “sleeping cat,” “little monkey tail,” and “trunk a.” 2) Pope John Paul II was the first Pope to send email; his email address was john_paul_ii@vatican.va. He even sent an email apology to the peoples of Oceania.

DOGS—1)

The Newfoundland breed has a water resistant coat and webbed feet. This dog was bred to help haul nets for fishermen and rescuing people at risk of drowning. 2) ‘Frito Feet’ is the name of the phenomenon in which the bacteria on a dog’s paws cause them to smell like corn chips. Because a pup’s feet are in constant contact with the ground, they pick up tons of microorganisms in their paws. When dogs cool off by sweating through the pads of their feet, the combo of moisture and bacteria releaces a nutty, popcorn-like aroma. 3) Dogs drink water by using forming the back of their tongue into a mini cup.

chance to reduce their sentence by 4 days (up to 48 days/year) for every Book they read and write a report on. 2) American Psychologist Timothy Leary, upon his arrival at prison in 1971, was given a battery of psychological tests designed to aid in placing inmates in jobs that were best suited to them. Leary himself had designed a few of them and used that knowledge to get a gardening assignment, which he used to escape the prison shortly after. their 2012 Record Store Day album The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, TFL front man Wayne Coyne created 10 (just 10) blood-filled records. Each disc includes actual blood from some of the participants on the double-album: Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Ke$ha, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and Sean Lennonare a few of the notable musicians who donated their blood to this eccentric cause. Sales of the records went directly to two charities in Oklahoma.

eating a variety of colorful food. For example, red seaweed gives some sea animals a red shell. 2) Some animals have carrier shells. They attach other shells or shell pieces to their own shells with a kind of glue that they make. The extra shells add protection and camouflage, helping the animals hide from predators.

SHOES—Designer

Bruno Magli, son of a cobbler, founded the company along with his sister, Maria, who sewed the uppers, and brother, Marino, who was responsible for the soles. The firm grew quickly and, over the next six decades or so became a huge industrial concern in Italy, always remaining (until 2001) under family control. In 1947, the firm moved out of the family basement into its first factory, expanding into men's shoes during the same decade.

TREES—Certain

types of trees, like willows and poplars, warn each other when they’re under siege by insects. Since the late 1970s, researchers have found that trees infested with insects will produce an excess of chemicals in their leaves. These chemicals not only reduce the nutritional value of the leaves for the insects, but also warn neighboring trees. Following the warning, nearby trees will begin to produce the same chemicals, defending themselves from a similar attack.

Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

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Perspectives WHERE ANIMALS AND INANIMATE OBJECTS HAVE THEIR SAY—AUG 2014

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Perspectives Magazine | August 2014

Perspectives Magazine - August 2014  

Animals and inanimate objects describe their environments.