Page 1


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 


i



ii
 



The Oklahoma Review Volume 17: Issue 2, Fall 2016

Published by: Cameron University Department of English and Foreign Languages 


iii



Staff
 Editor
in
Chief

BAYARD
GODSAVE
 Managing
Editor
MOLLY
KELSO
 Faculty
Editors
GEORGE
 McCORMICK,
DR.
JENNY
YANG
 CROPP,
DR.
JOHN
HODGSON
&
DR.
 JOHN
G.
MORRIS
Student
Editors
 JARROD
BROWN,
ABIGALE
 HOOPER
&
GARY
REDDIN
Web
 Design
ELIA
MEREL
&
HAILEY
 HARRIS

 Mission
Statement
 The
Oklahoma
Review
is
an
electronic
literary
 magazine
 published
 through
 the
 Department
 of
 English
 at
 Cameron
 University
 in
 Lawton,
 Oklahoma.
 The
 editorial
 board
 consists
 of
 English
 and
 Professional
 Writing
 undergraduates,
 as
 well
 as
 faculty
 advisors
 from
 the
 Departments
 of
 English
 and
 Foreign
 Languages
&
Journalism.
 The
 goal
 of
 our
 publication
 is
 to
 provide
 a
 forum
 for
 exceptional
 fiction,
 poetry,
 and
 creative
 nonfiction
 in
 a
 dynamic,
 appealing,
 and
 accessible
 environment.
 The
 magazine’s
 only
 agenda
 is
 to
 promote
 the
 pleasures
 and
 edification
 derived
 from
 high‐quality
 literature.
 The
Staff
 The
views
expressed
in
The
Oklahoma
Review
 do
 not
 necessarily
 correspond
 to
 those
 of
 Cameron
 University,
 and
 the
 university’s
 support
of
this
magazine
should
not
be
seen
as
 any
endorsement
of
any
philosophy
other
than
 faith
in
–
and
support
of
–
free
expression.
 The
 content
 of
 this
 publication
 may
 not
 be
 reproduced
 without
 the
 written
 consent
 of
 The
Oklahoma
Review
or
the
authors.
 
 
 


iv
 


Call
for
Submissions
 The
Oklahoma
Review
is
a
continuous,
online
 publication.
 We
 publish
 two
 issues
 each
 year:
 Spring
(May)
and
Fall
(December).
 The
Oklahoma
Review
only
accepts
 manuscripts
during
two
open
reading
periods.
 •Reading
dates
for
the
Fall
issue
will
 now
be
from
August
1
to
October
15
 •Reading
dates
for
the
Spring
issue
will
 be
January
1
to
March
15.
 Work
sent
outside
of
these
two
periods
will
be
 returned
unread.
 Guidelines:
 Submissions
 are
 welcome
 from
 any
 serious
 writer
 working
 in
 English.
 Email
 your
 submissions
 to
 okreview@cameron.edu.
 Writers
may
submit
the
following:
 •Prose
fiction
pieces
of
30
pages
or
less.
 •As
many
as
five
(5)
poems
of
any
 length.
 •Nonfiction
prose
pieces
of
30
pages
or
 less.
 •As
many
as
five
(5)
pieces
of
visual
 art—photography,
paintings,

prints,
etc.
 •All
files
should
be
sent
as
e‐mail
 attachments
in
either
.doc
or
.rtf
format
for
 text,
and
.jpeg
for
art
submissions.
We
will
 neither
consider
nor
return
submissions
sent
 in
hard
copy,
even
if
return
postage
is
 included.
 •When
sending
multiple
submissions
 (e.g.
five
poems),
please
include
all
the
work
in
 a
single
file
rather
than
five
separate
files.
 •Authors
should
also
provide
a
cover
 paragraph
with
a
short
biography
in
the
body
 of
their
e‐mail.
 •Simultaneous
submissions
are
 acceptable.
Please
indicate
in
your
cover
letter
 if
your
work
is
under
consideration
elsewhere.
 •Please
direct
all
submissions
and
 inquiries
to
okreview@cameron.edu.


Table of Contents Nonfiction 08 Ken Hada, “Wild Bill” 15 Louis Bourgeois, “Gogo and the Mr. Bojangles Man”

Poetry 10 Kerri Vinson Snell, “Lucy Pretty Eagle at Carlisle Boarding School” 11 Kerri Vinson Snell, “All Those Talks We Never Had” 13 Kerri Vinson Snell, “Chickasaw Elder Teaches Us Gardening Vocabulary in a Power-Point Presentation” 14 Kerri Vinson Snell, “Paige Bradley: Expansion” 19 Paul Austin, “The Window” 22 Paul Austin, “The Abuse of Language” 26 Paul Austin, “Monk” 28 Paul Austin, “Listening to Schubert” 33 Paul Austin, “Plopping Down Steep Hill” 35 Molly Fuller, “Cornfields for Miles” 36 Molly Fuller, “Sparrow Woman” 37 Molly Fuller, “Arrival’s Knifed Edge” 39 Saima Afreen, “Are You the One Who Sobbed in Shahid’s Arms?”

Fiction 41 Billy Howell, “Encroachment”

Reviews 56 Bayard Godsave, A Review of Daniel Borzutzky’s The Performance of Becoming Human 58 Gary Reddin, A Review of Danielle Vega’s Survive the Night 61 George McCormick, A Review of Nathalie Léger’s Suite for Barbara Loden

Contributors 







62 


Contributor’s Page 


5



6
 



Poetry

 


&Prose
 



7



Ken Hada Wild
Bill
 
 It's
8:42
pm.,
Sunday
night
and
I'm
bored.
I've
been
restless
all
weekend,
passing
time
with
non‐ descript
distractions
to
thinly
disguise
an
anger
underneath
it
all.

But
now,
as
I
sit
listening
to
 Nanci
Griffith
and
switch
between
Hearts
and
Solitaire
on
the
computer
for
the
umpteenth
time,
 you
cross
my
mind.
I
get
a
glimpse
of
you,
alone
in
your
little
white,
native
stone
house
up
on
a
 hill.
No
doubt
 by
 now
you
 are
 laying
in
bed
 on
this
cold
early
 spring
night
‐‐
a
night
that
can
 make
 you
 feel
 especially
 lonely
 because
 three
 days
 ago
 spring
 promised
 sunny
 70
 degree
 skies
 only
 to
 fall
 back
 to
 40
 degree
 blustery
 days.
 Like
 the
 daffodils
 that
 outline
 your
 front
 gate,
 we
 open
to
the
sun
only
to
be
squeezed
shut
again.
 
 I
see
you,
Wild
Bill,
struggling
from
your
elevated
hospital
chair
turning
for
one
last
look
 around
 your
 cluttered
 living
 room
 before
 you
 extinguish
 the
 light
 and
 head
 
 through
 the
 darkness
to
your
bedroom.

 On
 the
 wall,
 pictures
 of
 a
 daring,
 smiling
 young
 cowboy
 standing
 by
 his
 prized
 horse
 "Trigger"
 penetrate
 in
 silhouette
 through
 the
 dusty
 twilight.
 You
 grieved
 like
 a
 widow
 for
 Trigger,
but
then
a
glow
quickly
illuminated
your
face
whenever
you
spoke
of
him.
Lower,
by
the
 light
switch,
A
Farmers
Coop
calendar,
yellow
from
bygone
months
lingers
on
a
headless
finish
 nail.
Your
handwritten
notes
reconstruct
a
busy
month,
a
history
overlooked.
Beside
your
chair
a
 table
 supports
 your
 whole
 existence
 as
 it
 has
 now
 been
 reduced.
 Your
 giant,
 red‐letter
 edition
 King
 James
 Bible
 is
 opened
 to
 the
 passage
 you
 last
 read
 this
 afternoon.
 Its
 dog‐eared
 pages
 contain
 favorite
 underlined
 verses
 along
 with
 sanctified
 thoughts
 scribbled
 throughout,
 as
 if
 Moses
himself
would
be
envious
of
your
transcriptions.
To
the
side
a
pile
of
unopened
junk
mail
 marketed
 for
 senior
 citizens
 who
 evidently
 have
 nothing
 to
 do
 but
 sign
 their
 lives
 away.
 
 A
 wrinkled
pad
with
dozens
of
phone
numbers
is
close
by.
The
preacher
and
members
of
your
old
 congregation,
 a
 few
 neighbors,
 the
 rural
 fire
 department,
 the
 sheriff,
 the
 ambulance,
 your
 daughters,
the
electric
coop
and
rural
water.
 Alone,
trusting
an
unsteady
metal
walker,
you
push
your
way
through
the
dark
following
 a
familiar
path
between
cedar
door
jambs.
I
can
hear
you
now
talking
out
loud
to
Jesus
as
you
 approach
the
room
where
you
sleep.
You
turn
your
back,
and
with
faith,
fall
downward
into
your
 ancient
 bed.
 Wincing
 in
 pain,
 with
 cracking
 knees
 you
 struggle
 to
 settle
 in.
 Your
 disfigured
 fingers
pull
the
covers
over
you.
 I
wonder
if
you
get
lonely
Wild
Bill?
Your
boys
have
been
gone
for
many
years
now.
They
 are
locked
up
in
an
institution,
"for
their
own
good,"
it
was
said.
To
keep
them
safe
I
suppose.
 Still,
I
remember
them
happy,
free,
hard‐working,
in
love
with
life.
Together
you
milked
better
 than
a
hundred
goats
morning
and
night,
not
to
mention
tending
the
beef
cattle,
crops
and
the
 multitude
 of
 other
 duties
 that
 comes
 with
 managing
 400
 acres.
 Alone,
 you
 raised
 them.
 You
 made
them
responsible
for
their
chores.
You
didn't
pity
them
in
their
sickness.
You
taught
them
 to
believe.
You
let
them
play.
You
were
a
good
dad,
never
mind
what
the
social
workers
say.

 8
 



"Don't
get
bitter"
you
told
me
several
years
ago.
"Don't
let
the
devil
get
your
heart"
you
 said,
and
I
marveled
at
your
faith.
I
wonder,
Wild
Bill,
in
your
96
years,
did
you
ever
get
bitter?
 You've
been
mostly
alone
ever
since
I've
known
you.
Is
that
why
you
always
hugged
me
so
 tight
 whenever
 you
 saw
 me.
 
 You
 always
 greeted
 me
 with
 a
 rambunctious
 "let
 me
 hug
 your
 neck"!
I
would
boyishly
try
to
squirm
away
from
your
embrace,
but
you
always
managed
to
hug
 my
 neck.
 I
 remember
 the
 power
 in
 your
 Pop‐eyed
 forearms
 and
 biceps.
 I
 miss
 your
 tender
 strength.
 You
let
me
hunt
squirrels
in
your
woods,
chasing
through
rocky
hills
on
sunny
mornings,
 eventually
 winding
 up
 at
 the
 spring
 where
 I
 drunk
 myself
 silly
 on
 pure
 water.
 Your
 chainsaw
 buzzing
 up
 on
 the
 ridge
 reminded
 me
 that
 you
 were
 hard
 at
 work
 on
 the
 coming
 winter's
 woodpile.
You
knew
I
would
be
back
at
the
house
in
time
for
lunch.
I
remember
your
kitchen.
 You
just
piled
the
dishes
higher
and
higher
on
the
overloaded
counter.
I
liked
that.
You
managed
 the
 essentials:
 a
 belly
 full
 of
 wild
 Ozark
 honey
 on
 freshly
 rolled
 biscuits
 before
 milking
 time.
 Does
anyone
make
biscuits
for
you
now,
Wild
Bill?
 I
never
got
around
to
asking
you
about
your
name.
As
a
boy,
your
name
was
something
I
 said
in
mythical
reverence.
To
investigate
it
was
unthinkable;
it
would
be
like
investigating
Jesus.
 But
now
I
wish
I
knew
why
you
were
called
Wild
Bill.
I
guess
it
might
be
because
you
talk
loud
‐‐
 always
have.
People
who
live
alone
do,
I
notice.
Maybe
your
name
comes
from
your
cowboy
days
 when
you
and
Trigger
pranced
through
every
no‐count
town
in
Oklahoma
and
Arkansas.
Maybe
 they
called
you
Wild
Bill
because
you
lived
for
a
good
coon
hunt.
You
loved
to
"make
em
squall"
 didn't
you
old
man?
Next
to
your
religion,
coon
hunting
was
your
passion.
I
remember
once
you
 and
the
boys
raised
63
Bluetick
pups.
Even
after
they
took
your
boys,
you
still
coon
hunted.
No
 lonesome
hound
ever
had
better
companionship
than
the
shrill
of
your
invigorated
tenor
voice:
 "Whooo
Blue!
Ho
now
girl.
After
em
Blue.
Whooooeee!"
I
wish
I
could
take
you
out
one
more
 time
Bill
to
listen
to
some
soulful
dogs
running
hard
while
fiery
diamond
stars
hover
over
us.
 It
is
nearly
Monday
morning
now,
and
I'm
not
so
bored
any
more.
How
can
I
be?
I
see
you
 in
your
iron
bed
lying
on
your
back,
with
a
justified
chin
pointing
heavenward,
blessing
others,
 but
maybe,
with
the
smallest
tear
in
the
corner
of
your
eye,
looking
forward
to
seeing
your
boys
 again.


9



Kerri Vinson Snell Lucy
Pretty
Eagle
at
Carlisle
Boarding
School
 
 Each
morning
the
same
sparrow
falls
into
my
mother’s
hands.
 I
see
it
as
I
open
my
eyes—sun
shasta
on
the
rutted
rocks
 of
a
red
canyon—plight
of
the
light
splitting.
 
 I
am
learning
to
write
here
and
not
to
speak,
except

 when
spoken
to,
when
my
words
are
curtsies.
And
what
to
say?
 I
am
learning
the
false
response
to
everything,
to
let
my
visions
 burrow
like
a
prairie
dog.
He
digs
until
the
wet
of
his
nose
 is
as
dry
as
a
memory.
 
 Each
evening
I
gather,
with
rake
or
with
my
own
fingers,

 the
leaves
which
pile
against
the
barn.
 If
I
were
gathering
 her
skirts
in
bunches,
I
would
only
use
my
hands.
I
would
 follow
after
her
silently
and
find
the
toe‐prints
 in
the
red
mud
where
her
whispers
prospered
into
the
down
 of
wings.

 
 The
leaves
offer
their
impressions—flesh‐like
openings
 where
water
and
dirt
are
a
sticky‐tack
and
the
spine
 of
each
maple
leaf
etches
dead
words
into
silence.
When
I
scatter,
 the
words
scatter,
the
meanings
scatter—the
world
 is
not
the
same
as
she
once
was
and
if
I
owned
a
spiked
 beak
I
would
croon
and
bellow
and
beckon
the
stories—Irish‐German
 and
Choctaw
and
Cherokee—I
would
yell
into
the
yellow
 of
trumpet
flowers
 
 and
if
someone
said
witch‐child,
heathen,
Indian
he
would
no
longer
 be
able
to
see
me
or
hear
me
and
my
touch
would
slice
the
air—
 the
hills
would
make
the
sound
of
boots—
 
 but
I
must
get
home
to
sit
with
her—the
sun
nearly
on
its
way—
 her
eyes
opening
and
her
palms
beginning
to
reach.


10
 



All
Those
Talks
We
Never
Had
 
 our
rooms
are
delicate
 
 crooked
boards
(morphemes)
 
 incurving
planks
 
 we
walk
with
the
talk
 
 stripped
from
us
 
 like
a
fricative
varnish
 
 the
tongue
can
wallow
 
 but
the
ear
will
immerse
 
 in
its
rejection
of
spirants
 
 you
say
best:
gave
your;

 
 best:
for
the;
best:
is
yet
to
 
 the
wind
whistles
through
that
 
 
 as
lisp
of
a
Manatee
scrolling
 
 blue
waters—immaculate
black
showing
 
 for
poet‐children,
for
last‐day
lovers
 
 one
hundred
yards
from
the
shore
 
 of
the
sound.
Monopolizing
in
winter
 
 the
lower
Suwannee,
dark
bodies
joining

 
 


11



their
tongues—
Shhh,
you
tell
me—
 
 the
less
said
 
 the
more
we
see.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


12
 



Chickasaw
Elder
Teaches
Us
Gardening
Vocabulary
 In
a
Power‐Point
Presentation
 
 She
tells
us:
We
must
thrust
from
this
ground
 like
the
buried
bulb.
 
 Slide
one:

See
how
the
sower
 with
the
blade
stacks
these
fine‐skinned
daffodils
 as
a
cairn,
her
mind
an
alembic
 of
memory,
how
even
the
last
drop
of
water
on
the
forehead
 will
trace
the
nose
to
reach
the
tongue
 
 She
looks
back
for
nothing.
She
is

 the
suggestive
silhouette,
an
amalgam
of
unwashed
gold
 and
nameless
fire
in
the
shape
of
dirt’s
pillar
 after
the
digging.
Her
western‐yoked
shirt
hangs
 on
the
hooks
of
her
shoulder
blades.

 
 Slide
two:
Through
fingers
the
dust
disperses
 Like
ashes
over
smoky
water.

Each
year
for
sixty
years
 she
plants
seeds
and
waits
for
faces
 to
emerge
 
 and
with
each
sun
flower
she
reckons
with
what
has
been
lost.
 
 Slide
three:
Full
bodies
dancing
on
a
sandstone
ridge
 planing
across
a
wide
canyon,
dancing
for
crops,
for
nourishment,
 for
fertility,
for
a
huge,
black
pot
of
pashofi
to
be
passed
 around
like
a
new
baby,
 
 and
in
my
crock‐potted
classroom
as
I
chew
the
warm
pork
 in
my
mouth
and
the
grit
of
the
hominy,
I
know
that
all
the
words
 for
my
prayers
stay
buried
 like
the
dead,
and
when
we
cry
out
for
them
 they
hear
us,
our
words,
in
their
waiting
places
 with
their
clay‐pressed
wings.
 


13



Paige
Bradley:
Expansion
 
 say
it
won’t
hurt





 it
will
hurt
 say
we
are
bare










our
feet
scraping
stone
 say
I
meander
on
miracle
heels
 say
my
body
will
remain







whole








 no
 
 say
the
ground
is
feathered
with
wings
 of
birds








birds
that
don’t
shit
 say
friends
don’t
let
friends
 they
do
 
 say
wine
and
crust
of
bread
sustain
me
 say
manna
chunks
the
sky
 say
the
arms
around
me
are
my
blood
 say
good
stranger











clear
water
 clear
water
 
 say
this
light
which
covers
my
heart
 is
my
heart














is
my
light
 say
as
I
harden
that
I
will
not
break
 you
will
break
 
 say
sounds
washing
over
me
are
not
lost
sounds
 say
my
language
will
mount
as
on
a
marvelous
horse
 say
my
thighs
will
pump
again
 say
faster
than
daughters
again
 say






when
your
eyes
are
broken
 all
that
you
can
see











say
broken
 broken
 


14
 



Louis Bourgeois Gogo
and
the
Mr.
Bojangles
Man
 
 The
 house,
 now
 a
 church,
 had
 concrete
 walls
 and
 enormous
 archways
 and
 halls
 dividing
 the
 rooms.
The
place
was
always
dimly
lighted.
There
were
cockroaches
all
over
the
floor
and
on
the
 walls,
that’s
what
I
remember
for
sure
because
that’s
what
frightened
me
the
most
at
first.
My
 next
memory
is
of
my
Acadian
step‐grandfather
sipping
from
his
cheap
beer
and
cheaper
gin
in
 the
large
den,
only
lit
by
the
grey
light
of
the
black
and
white
Philco
television.
Apparently,
my
 parents
 had
 dropped
 me
 off
 for
 the
 night.
 My
 step‐grandfather
 didn’t
 speak
 much,
 he
 always
 wore
his
army
fatigues
from
his
time
in
both
Korea
and
Vietnam,
Korea
because
he
was
young
 and
 could
 fire
 a
 rifle,
 Vietnam
 because
 he
 was
 from
 Marksville,
 Louisiana
 and
 could
 speak
 French
well
enough
to
communicate
with
deserters
of
the
Viet
Cong.
Korea
left
him
all
but
deaf
 and
Vietnam
all
but
speechless.
This
is
the
night
of
my
first
memory.
 
 It
 wasn’t
 fear
 I
 remember
 most
 at
 the
 root
 of
 my
 first
 memories,
 it
 was
 sadness,
 childhood
 sadness.
I
sat
alone
on
the
concrete
floor
in
the
adjoining
hallway
where
the
back
door
was
and
 played
with
the
roaches
and
an
old
rubber
ball
half
gone,
bitten
in
two
by
some
dog
I
suppose,
 the
 faint
 voices
 of
 the
 television
 behind
 me.
 There
 was
 just
 enough
 light
 to
 illuminate
 the
 darkness.
 My
 step‐grandfather’s
 beer
 and
 gin
 filled
 the
 air,
 deepening
 my
 already
 deep
 melancholy.
Every
now
and
then
in
a
kind
of
depressed
but
controlled
drunkenness,
he
would
 call
 out
 to
 me
 “Où
 à
 tu,
 Lucas?”
 and
 I
 would
 answer
 “On
 the
 floor,
 Papa.”
 I
 was
 around
 three
 years
old.
I
could
understand
 simple
commands
in
French
but
was
not
able
to
speak
it.
It
was
 1973,
a
year
I
remember
only
from
certain
angles
in
the
shadows.
 
 Finally,
 he
 fell
 asleep.
 The
 television
 went
 off
 the
 air,
 as
 television
 channels
 did
 in
 those
 days
 before
cable
and
satellite
dishes.
My
parents
would
not
be
coming
to
get
me
on
thisnight.
I
was
 still
 on
 the
 floor,
 unattended,
 forgotten,
 in
 the
 cold
 concrete
 house
 on
 the
 outskirts
 of
 Slidell,
 Louisiana.

It
was
then
that
Gogo
came
to
me.
How
to
describe
him?
Clownish,
at
least
the
hair
 of
a
clown,
but
it
was
silver,
not
orange
or
red.
He
was
puppet‐like,
spindly
and
mechanistic
in
 his
 haunting
 movements,
 standing
 about
 eight
 inches
 tall,
 and
 speaking
 incessantly
 without
 forming
any
true
words—his
mouth
just
moved
and
only
the
air
of
words
escaped
from
his
thick
 red
 lips.
 At
 moments,
 I
 thought
 he
 was
 trying
 to
 speak
 to
 me
 in
 French,
 and
 at
 other
 times,
 I
 thought
he
was
trying
to
speak
to
me
in
Spanish,
the
language
of
my
maternal
grandmother,
but
 only
English
thoughts
came
to
me.
Most
of
the
short
time
of
Gogo’s
existence
I
spent
showing
 him
the
cockroaches
and
he
showed
me
the
inside
of
himself
which
was
a
mirror
with
emerald
 trim.
I
saw
myself
over
and
over
again
in
Gogo’s
magnificent
mirror,
a
brown‐headed
boy
with
 heavy
 but
 fine
 hair
 and
 a
 perfect
 Gaelic
 nose.
 Gogo
 would
 point
 and
 I
 would
 offer
 him
 a
 cockroach
as
thanks
for
showing
me
his
mirror,
the
inside
of
himself,
but
he
didn’t
seem
to
like
 the
 roaches
 and
 he
 would
 point
 to
 my
 mouth
 and
 I
 would
 eat
 them,
 as
 many
 as
 I
 could
 find,
 until
finally
I
got
sick
and
threw
up
all
over
myself.
It
startled
me
and
I
began
to
fear
Gogo,
to
 


15



the
point
of
real
tears.
Eventually,
I
quit
crying
long
enough
to
somehow
gather
the
courage
to
 pick
Gogo
up
by
his
silver
hair
and
flush
his
wicked
body
down
the
toilet.
I
have
yet
to
hear
from
 him
since.

 
 The
 next
 day
 they
 came
 for
 me
 but
 it
 was
 late
 in
 the
 evening.
 My
 step‐grandfather
 had
 gone
 fishing
that
morning
and
brought
back
a
string
of
fish,
mostly
gar,
shoe
pique
and
carp.
Around
 noon,
we
had
fish
and
rice
for
lunch,
with
water
and
coffee
to
drink.
He
took
up
the
dishes
from
 the
Formica‐topped,
steel‐legged
table.
I
remember
the
methodical
clanking
of
the
dishes
as
he
 washed
them.
 
 He
went
to
his
chair
and
smoked
his
pipe
for
awhile.
He
drank
a
beer
and
fell
asleep
with
the
 sound
 off
 on
 the
 television.
 I
 stared
 out
 the
 kitchen
 window
 for
 awhile
 watching
 an
 old
 lady
 from
 across
 the
 street
 feed
 her
 cats.
 She
 had
 dozens
 of
 them,
 different
 colors
 and
 shapes.
 She
 seemed
to
me
to
be
very
far
away,
as
far
away
as
my
arms
and
legs,
as
far
away
as
the
sky.
I
have
 always
been
intoxicated
by
distances.
 
 I
slipped
out
the
back
door
without
waking
him.
The
yard
was
large
and
was
not
fenced
in.
Rozo
 cane
 grew
 along
 the
 fetid
 ditch
 that
 ran
 along
 the
 front
 yard.
 The
 cat
 lady
 waved
 to
 me.
 In
 response,
I
threw
my
half‐ball
in
her
direction,
it
lopped
into
the
ditch.
I
went
for
the
ball
and
 the
cat
lady
told
me
to
stay
out
of
the
ditch.
I
stuck
my
hands
into
the
viscous
black
water
to
 find
my
ball,
water
bugs
and
crayfish
swam
about.
I
felt
ancient,
as
if
I
had
never
been
born.
My
 step‐grandfather
was
standing
at
the
front
door.
I
saw
him
before
he
spoke,
then
he
said,
“Lucas,
 rentrez
maintenet.”
I
went
to
him
without
saying
anything.
He
picked
me
up
with
his
short
but
 strong
arms
and
sat
me
in
his
huge
white
zinc
tub.
A
roach
began
floating
in
circles
in
the
yellow
 brackish
water,
and
I
picked
it
up
and
tried
to
put
it
in
my
mouth
when
he
slapped
me
lightly
on
 my
 face
 and
 said,
 “No
 Lucas,
 c’est
 caca.
 C’est
 caca!”
 For
 whatever
 reasons,
 those
 were
 the
 last
 French
words
he
ever
spoke
to
me.
 
 My
mother
and
father
came
for
me
and
I
climbed
into
the
back
seat
of
the
white
beat
up
Falcon.
 The
inside
had
that
old
car
smell,
like
the
inside
of
an
old
person’s
Oldsmobile
or
Fairlaine.
But
 my
 parents
 were
 not
 old;
 they
 were
 young,
 good
 looking,
 hostile,
 slightly
 backward,
 and
 very
 tense.
 Normal
 attributes
 of
 the
 upper
 working
 class
 of
 Southeast,
 Louisiana.
 My
 father
 was
 recently
discharged
from
the
Navy
fleet
at
Long
Beach,
one
of
many
fleets
in
the
Navy
that
didn’t
 see
action
in
Vietnam.
My
mother
was
the
first
and
only
high
school
graduate
of
her
family.
That
 day,
 I
 remember
 her
 long
 autumn
 hair
 and
 red
 pantsuit,
 and
 his
 thick
 mustache
 and
 wide
 violent
eyes.
 
 We
 went
 down
 the
 long
 and
 dusty
 semi‐rural
 road.
 Lines
 of
 pine
 trees
 mostly
 thin
 and
 short
 rolled
rhythmically,
the
sky
was
a
dark
blue
fading
into
ochre,
crimson,
and
purple.
I
have
never
 forgotten
 that
 sky.
 It
 was
 the
 first
 time
 I
 was
 mesmerized
 by
 it.
 I
 remember
 feeling
 as
 if
 I
 had
 16
 



become
 the
 sky
 or
 that
 the
 sky
 had
 become
 a
 part
 of
 me.
 There
 was
 sadness
 and
 glee,
 as
 if
 I
 could
walk
on
air
but
in
tears.
It
was
then
I
became
aware
of
the
sound
of
nothingness
and
time.
 The
song
“Mr.
Bojangles”
was
playing
on
our
push‐button
AM
radio:
 
 
 
 I
knew
a
man
Bojangles
 
 
 
 And
he
danced
for
you
 
 
 
 In
worn
out
shoes
 
 
 
 
 Mister
Bojangles
 
 
 
 Mister
Bojangles
 
 
 
 Come
back
and
dance
again
 
 The
song
blended
with
the
colors
of
the
evening.

The
evening
and
the
song
and
the
moldy
smell
 of
the
car
made
me
dizzy.
I
had
the
strange
sense
that
I
might
disappear
at
any
moment,
but
it
 didn’t
frighten
me.
It
was
as
if
my
body
was
being
purged
of
all
details,
only
the
real
poetic
stuff
 of
existence
remained.
 
 My
 father
 turned
 down
 the
 radio
 and
 slowly
 came
 to
 a
 stop
 in
 front
 of
 the
 mailbox
 of
 a
 large
 one‐story
brick
house.
“Mr.
James
died
of
a
heart
attack
today,”
he
said
to
my
mother.
From
the
 back
seat,
I
could
see
Mr.
James’
wife
pulling
flowers
at
the
edge
of
the
yard.
Like
the
cat
lady,
 she
appeared
to
me
to
be
very
far
away,
as
far
away
as
I
could
see
before
she
disappeared
into
the
 evening
air.
I
imagined
how
the
flowers
would
taste.
I
imagined
my
mouth
full
of
purple
petals,
 as
I
still
do
when
I
see
such
flowers.
 
 It
must
be
that
I
had
seen
Mr.
James
before
or
imagined
I
had
seen
him,
mowing
his
lawn
in
a
 pin‐striped
 suit,
 a
 spindly
 man
 pushing
 his
 mower
 to
 and
 fro,
 his
 short
 overweight
 wife
 androgynous,
taciturn,
and
silent,
edging
the
sidewalk
and
fertilizing
the
front
yard’s
shrubs
and
 flowers.
The
two
of
them,
very
quiet
and
nondescript,
without
want
or
ambition
of
great
things,
 working
together
and
speaking
indirectly
under
the
ambiguous
sky
of
Slidell,
Louisiana–he
dead
 ten
 years
 before
 her,
 she
 living
 well
 off
 the
 insurance
 money
 with
 no
 hope
 of
 finding
 a
 replacement
 and
 existing
 in
 the
 shadow
 of
 his
 obscure
 memory.
 Perhaps
 I
 had
 only
 imagined
 him;
he
very
much
resembled
Gogo,
the
apparition
I
had
destroyed
the
night
before.
The
poet‐ child
takes
in
and
digests
phantoms,
and
produces
phantoms
all
his
life.
 
 We
arrived
at
home
near
sunset.
I
climbed
out
of
the
car
and
could
hear
a
dog
barking
from
a
 long
way
off.
I
remember
seeing
the
quick
movements
of
bats
speckling
the
sky,
although
at
that
 age
I
did
not
know
they
were
called
bats.
An
uncle
of
mine
was
sitting
on
the
front
steps
of
our
 two
story
bungalow,
a
triangular
looking
home
made
of
cheap
cinder
wood.
He
was
drinking
a
 Dixie
 beer
 and
 smoking
 a
 cigarette.
 He
 looked
 and
 talked
 like
 Johnny
 Cash,
 but
 he
 was
 a
 foot
 taller
and
skinnier.
I
had
never
seen
him
before
and
still
don’t
know
why
he
was
waiting
for
us
 on
the
front
steps.
My
father
took
a
beer
from
my
uncle’s
Styrofoam
cooler
and
they
talked
for
 


17



awhile
 in
 the
 waning
 evening
 light.
 I
 remember
 my
 uncle
 telling
 how
 one
 evening
 a
 snake
 crawled
 under
 the
 door
 of
 his
 house
 while
 he
 and
 his
 wife
 were
 watching
 television.
 I
 also
 remember
him
saying
how
he
wished
he
was
back
in
the
war
overseas.
 
 The
 Slidell
 sky
 was
 shrinking
 quickly
 on
 this
 day
 in
 1973.
 I
 envisioned
 dragons
 eating
 up
 that
 sky.
 
 I
 looked
into
the
horizon.
I
stared
at
it
harder
than
I
had
ever
stared
at
anything
before
or
since;
staring
 into
the
horizon
until
it
almost
drowned
me.


18
 



Paul Austin The
Window



 The
mother
draws
the
green
shade
down
 to
match
precise
the
eight
inch
 open
space
from
sill
to
window
 trying
to
ease
the
summer
heat,

 yet
see
but
remain
unseen
 from
the
second
floor
apartment
 that
she
has
made
into
a
home
 on
Boston's
Berkeley
Street.
 
 She
sits
in
a
plain
hard
back
chair
 she
borrowed
from
the
kitchen,
 her
face
in
its
hard
set
habit,


 a
half
full
pack
of
Chesterfields
 and
a
brim
full
amber
ashtray

 are
set
with
purpose
on
the
sill
 so
not
one
ash
will
fall

 to
soil
the
pride
of
a
clean
house.
 
 She
has
kept
up
this
attempt
 to
take
a
break
despite
the
fact
 the
view
remains
always
the
same
 old
red
brick
Berkeley
St.
buildings
 where
the
hotel
of
the
pimps
and
whores

 and

St.
Vincent's
second
hand
store
 remind
her
why
she
keeps
to
herself
 and
feels
old
at
thirty‐eight
 
 She
holds
the
smoke
deep
in
her
lungs,




 as
a
nourishment
of
some
kind.
 A
stab
of
pain
in
her
chest
 startles
up
from
deep
memory
 her
happy
go
lucky
Harry,
 dead
in
his
sleep
eight
years
ago,

 as
Buddy
Clark’s
blue
baritone
 croons
a
radio
ode
to
love.
 
 
 


19



The
smoke
in
a
half
sighed
release

 escapes
into
the
street
air
 wafting
like
a
summoned
ghost
 unsure
of
why
it
was
called
 only
to
fade
into
the
sun
 the
way
she
herself
wants
to
fade
 from
an
outside
world
she
fears
 but
still
must
make
her
way
 

 out
where
rich
Beacon
Hill
ladies
 look
down
their
noses
as
you
scrub
 their
floors,
out
where
welfare
workers
 treat
you
like
garbage,
where
tough
kids

 rough
you
up
and
then
steal
your
purse,
 politicians
are
on
the
take,
 where
the
corner
store
Jew

 cuts
off

your
credit,
the
Coloreds

 slit
your
throat,
and
those
fairy
boys
 do
their
filthy
business.
 
 She
sits
fixed
in
her
hard
back
chair
 
 and
knows
this
resentment
is
wrong,
 feels
the
return
of
an
old
shame
 and
Jesus,
Mary
and
Joseph



 wishes
she’d
stop
feeling
this
way.
 She
looks
to
her
left
on
impulse
 though
it’s
not
possible
to
see
 Our
Lady
of
Victories
church.
 
 A
desire
to
confess,
to
feel

 the
grace
of
sacrament,
 shudders
through
her
like
a
ghost
 of
someone
she
can’t
remember
 causing
her
to
look
back
toward

 St.
Vincent's
second
hand
and
see
 Mrs.
Silverman
go
inside
 holding
her
pocketbook
close.

 
 Her
lips
form
a
silent
prayer
 a
thought
she
once
had
as
a
girl

 20
 



back
at
home
in
Nova
Scotia,
 this
is
me
here,
that
is
them
there
 
 The
boy
enters
the
room.
 The
mother
does
not
turn
her
head.
 
 The
boy’s
eyes
are
on
his
mother

 looking
out
the
window,
 unaware
this
is
the
first
time
 he’s
ever
felt
her
so
present.
 
 If
the
word
'beautiful
had
come

 to
mind,
he
would
have
said
her
name.
 
 
 
 
 


21



The
Abuse
of
Language
 




Doubt
is
not
pleasant,
but
certainty
is
absurd
–
Voltaire
 


 slap,
slap,
slap…
 
 Wittgenstein
would
hit
his
forehead,
 hoping
to
knock
loose
the
right
word

 leaping
from
neuron
to
neuron,
 within
a
whirligig
of
thoughts.
 
 what
…
what
...
what
is
it!?...
 
 He
sought
the
right
word,
 the
exact
word
among
others,
 to
satisfy
a
ravenous
desire
 to
find
sense
in
nonsense.
 
 His
life’s
work
had
become
a
quest
 to
decontaminate
language,
 rid
its
vocabulary
of
rough
estimates
 with
their
parenthetical
uncertainties.
 
 How
dearly
he
wanted

 to
prime
mind
and
body

 for
supple
constructions
 that
brought
clarity
to
reason
.
 
 Despite
a
misanthropic
disposition
 
 and
occasional
delusions
of
grandeur,
 he
sought
a
virtuous
language
 that
would
eliminate
double
talk,
 
 originate
word‐gatherings

 to
free
the
past
from
dogma,
 save
the
future
from
false
prophets
 and
their
inevitable
tyrannies.
 
 He
played
the
game
of
language,
 in
the
music
hall
of
his
mind,
 22
 



slip‐sliding
on
false
starts,
 prat‐falling
over
bad
choices,
 
 spinning
verbal
cartwheels

 hoping
to
revealed
hidden
truths
 in
what,
for
him,
was
the
natural

 state
of
the
nonsensical.
 
 2.
 Obsessed
to
free
his
mind,

 unchain
his
heart

 from
obfuscating
phrases

 and
unconscious
falsehoods,
 
 he
more
and
more
fell
into

 the
habit
of
slapping
his
forehead,
 convinced
he
could,
in
time,
 batter
out
enough

words
 
 to
recapture
that
infant
thrill
 when
word
and
thing

 first
came
together

 and
gave
birth
to
knowledge.

 
 But
every
time
he
tried
 to
reason
his
way
 to
the
heart
of
the
matter,
 the
very
words
he
chose
 

 stimulated
unconscious
feelings
 that
craved
language
of
their
own,
 making
a
disruptive
muddle

 of
the
original
formulation.
 
 The
confusions
of
thinking,
 rethinking
and
thinking
again
 made
him
increasingly
impetuous
 in
his
outward
behavior.
 
 One
day
he’d
take
a
satyr’s
glee
 


23



at
coming
close
to
success,
 the
next
he
would
belabor
 a
fury
at
just
missing
it.
 
 He
took
a
paradoxical
pleasure
 that
his
personal
confusions

 were
echoes
of
the
puzzles

 presented
by
language
itself
 
 and
realized
he
had,
himself,

 become
a
laboratory

wherein
 those
around
him
could
study

 the
human
complexity
of

asking
 
 a
thing
is…
what?...
 I
am…
what?...
 a
fact
is,…
what?..
 a
perception
is…
what?...
 I
am
…
?...

 …
slap…
slap…
 ……..slap…
 What!?
 
 He
died
still
seeking
a
grammar
 that
brought
about
a
“harmony

 of
thought
and
reality,”
that
would
 make
possible
a
truthful
life
 
 3.
 Yet
still
today
there
are
tyrants
 who
use
their
power
to
divorce
 thought
yet
further
from
reality
 by
perfecting
their
cynical
use
 
 of
language
as
shell
game,
 words
sold
as
snake
oil,

 conning
the
poor
of
heart

 to
damn
the
proud
of
heart,
 

 as
moral
anesthesia,

 24
 



for
the
righteous
to
declare

 the
blameless
guilty,
 the
selfish
to
fear
the
selfless,
 
 locking
free
thought
away
 from
the
reality
of

their
world
 with
obfuscation
and
euphemisms
 like…
collateral
damage…
 
 It
is…
what?...
 this...

euphemism…

 this…slap,
slap…
 …
collateral
damage!?
 
 It
is
the
language
of
finance,
 defoliating
nature,
 poisoning
its
water,

 spawning
mass
starvation,
 
 collateral
damage
is…
slap!...
what?...
 
 It
is
the
language
of
technology
 harvesting
rotted
flesh,

 disfigured
faces,
missing
limbs,
 blinded
eyes,
mutilated
genitals,
 
 ravaged
wombs,
radiated
sperm
 and
shattered
minds
gone
mad.
 to
make
the
unlucky
wounded
 beg
to
join
the
fortunate
dead.
 
 Collateral
damage

 is
language
as
blasphemy
 plausible
deniability
 as
cover
up
of
conscience,
 
 the
body’s
soundboard
 as
bamboozlement,
a
ruse
 to
allow
heads
of
state
 to
date‐rape
history.
 


25



Monk
 
 There
he
is,
 flesh
and
presence,

 hovering

 over
and
round

 the
story
of
midnight
jazz….

 




































 



































a
note

 



































hangs
in
the
air,
 
 
 
 
 



































its
tone

 eliciting
a
wonder

 











for
what’s
to
come…..
 






















































 



































himself

 



































in
wonder,
wandering,

 



































captivated,

 



































bewitched
by
a
kaleidoscope

 



































of
undertones
and
overtones,

 



































calling
him
into
a
zen
world


 



































of
echoing
resonances,

 



































where
he
might
stay
too
long,
 as
he
seeks
a
sound
that
is
most
 



































true
to
his
own
witness,

 and
risk
a
one‐way,
no
return
 



































ticket
to
irrevocable

 residence
inside
his
head,




























 




































 



































in
what
may
be
no
more
than

 eleven,
maybe
twelve
seconds,
 



































a
motive
for
an
unheard
song
 



































makes
its
way
to
his
fingers,
 



































and
prompts
his
own,
uncommon

 touch
to
summon
up
a
C‐chord
 pregnant
with
a
phrase
that
will
riff

 



































a
new
tune

 
 
 26
 



for
a
narrative
 



































first
hummed
in
secret
below
decks
 in
the
dark
bowels
of
a
ship

 as
it
sailed
the
Middle
Passage
 



































to
the
American
slave
fields
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 where
tyranny
inspired
new
riffs,
 changes
for
those
who
would
come
next

 inspiring
them
to
blow
their

own

 riffs
on
the
original
tune,
 to
troubador
the
continent,

 
 
 
 booking
this
late
night,
low‐lit
bar
 



































on
Manhattan’s
Lower
East
Side,
 jamming
out
a
rival
anthem
 to
right
the
nation’s
wrong,
 where
Monk

 will
play
another
change
 



































for
the
public
ear
to
hear
 



































what’s
needed
to
keep
moving.
 
 
 


27



Listening
to
Schubert
 
 1
 Listening
to
Schubert
 on
a
mid‐morning
mail
run
 this
last
calendar
day
of
summer,
 anticipating
how
the
noonday
whistle
 will
cue
the
leaves,
glistening
green,



 to
bleed
the
first,
warm
tints
of
fall,
 three
turkey
vultures

 feed
on
fresh
road
kill.
 
 Can
they
hear,
I
wonder,
 the
String
Quartet
in
D
minor?
 
 The
approaching
four‐cylinder,

 114
horespower
Chevy
Corsica

 causes
no
alarm,
 nevertheless
they
‐
 sullenly,
it
seems
to
me
‐
 lift
their
talons,
as
if
from
sticky
glue,
 from
off
the
tar
road
 and
fly
to
tall
grass
camouflage.
 
 I
proceed
toward
town,

 ears
re‐tuned
to
the
surging
allegro,
 and
pass
unnoticed
by
the
birds,
 who
stare
with
yellow
pupils
 from
within
the
bleached
grass
 at
the
feast
of
carcass
on
the
road
across.
 
 Not
much
at
the
post
office:
 a
late
bill
reminder,
the
county
paper.
 
 Driving
home,
the
strings
 
andante
con
moto
now,
 the
buzzards
are
back,
 dining
on
dead
squirrel.
 28
 



I
stop
early,
to
not
send

 them
away
so
soon
this
time;
 slowly
roll
closer,
frame
them
 in
the
shatter‐proof
windshield.
 
 They're
not
(as
thought
 from
more
distant
sightings)
 dark‐cloaked,
ugly
angels
of
death,
 but
have
the
handsome,
certain

 look
of
stern‐eyed
fathers
 pressed
onto
Roman
coins.
 
 I
watch
them,
alive
with
detail
 in
the
sun‐cleaned
air,
 tear
away
at
the
squirrel,
ripping
 pink
flesh
from
its
gray
hide.
 
 Achromatic
images
 crowd
the
screen
of
my
inner
eye;
 cutting
in,
fading
out,
dissolving,
emerging,
 overlapping,
tracking,
piling
on
‐
 a
swirl
of
continuous
brain‐maps,
 neuronic
firings
that
never
began

 but
always
are.
 
 Skulls,
elbows,
toes,

 rings,
teeth,
tattered
cloth
stars,
 speckled
mounds
of
brick
and
metal
rubble,
 bloated
organs,
cracked
plastic
icons,
 intestines,
feces,
and
unstrung
rosary
beads
 float
down
rivers
of
vomit
and
blood.
 
 The
sorrowing
bow
of
the
cello
echoes

 the
unheard
screams
of
abandoned
cats
 and
corpses
litter
rotted
orchards
 under
a
sky
smoked
black
by
burning
flesh,
 
 Awed
by
a
sunless
force,
 parallel‐opposite,
negative‐reversed
 


29



to
the
same
primitive
need

 which
bloodies
the
buzzards’
beaks,
 my
mind's
eye
composes

 groupings
of
the
dead
and
maimed,
 6
million,
2
million,
1
million
‐
 on
buses,
ferry
boats,
 in
empty
fields,
crumbling
churches,
 army
barracks,
rice
paddies,
outbacks,

 airports,
nursery
schools
‐

 the
many,
the
few,
the
alone,
 the
chosen,
the
accidental,



 the
faceless,
nameless,
casualties
 of
a
black
and
gray
Apocalypse
 bereft
of
moral
feeling
.
 The
violins
double
time
the
cello,
 urging
return
to
the
actual
 where
the
vultures
 eat
the
dead.
 
 The
birds
hold
fast
one
last
 parenthetical
glance
at
me,

 look
me
in
the
eye

 like
annoyed
parents,
 lift
themselves
straight
up
 to
the
branches
above,
 giving
me
leave
to
go.
 
 In
rear‐view
reflection

 three
red
heads,
 perched
and
impassive,
 watch
me
off
 then
turn
their
unblinking
eyes
 to
the
shredded
corpse
below
 and
drop
down
to
get
what's
left.
 
 I
continue
toward
home,

 listening
to
Schubert
‐
 music's
renewal
as
necessary
to
me
 as
squirrel
meat
to
the
birds.
 
 30
 



2
 Paused
in
the
driveway,

 motor
running,
radio
on,
 I
lean,
slumped
to
the
passenger
side,
 ears
uncrowded
by
the
steering
wheel.
 to
listen
the
Schubert
through,
 
 In
the
abruption
between
movements,

 a
screen
door
flaps,
someone

 stumblerushes
from
a
house,

 a
woman
stops,
frozen
with
terror
 then
quickly,
warily,
circles
round
 to
the
driver's
side,
 mouthing
something
unheard
 over
the
up‐tempo
phrasing
of
the
fourth
movement.
 
 I
roll
down
the
window.

 
 "My
god,"
my
wife
says,
words
 rushing
with
emergency
into
the
car,
 "I
thought
you'd
had
a
heart
attack!"
 
 (Looking
out
the
window
from
 the
other
world
within
our
house,
 she'd
mistaken
my
hunched,

 slumped
listening.)
 
 A
glimpse
of
my
death
in
her
eyes
 gives
me
to
know

 it's
already
happened
 in
the
time
within
time
of
the
music.
 
 Blushed
with
relief
we
have
 history
yet
to
live
together,
 she
leaves
me
listening

 as
the
furious
presto
of
the
finale
 gallops
wayward
to
nowhere,
 
 assuring
me
when
death
comes
again,
 in
space
without
time,
 


31



I
will
regret
the
accident
of
my
birth
 no
more
than
the
squirrel
could
regret
his.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


32
 



Plopping
Down
Steep
Hill
 
 A
young
girl,
ten
or
thereabouts,
 plopping
pell‐mell
down
Steep
Hill,
 her
brown
pony
tail
flopping,

 arms
and
legs
this
way
and
that

 as
if
swimming
for
balance,
 reins
herself
in
from
full
gallop
 in
front
of
a
bright
black
door,

 numbered
bright
white
eleven

 and
set
in
a
dull
red
brick
wall
‐
 her
entrance
to
courtyard
and
home.
 
 A
short
pause
for
breath,
 a
slender
white
arm
raised

 a
flat,
happy
hand
bangs
loudly
 to
announce
she’s
here,
 a
simultaneous
gust
of
wind,
 as
if
caused
by
her
whirlwind
self
 hammering
the
door,
 blows
her
skirt
over
her
waist
 baring
a
view
of
her
white
child’s
panties,
 and
calling
up
a
ghost‐image,

 
 of
white‐blonde
Monroe
standing
 over
an
air‐conditioning
exhaust
grate

 on
a
white
hot
Manhattan
street,
 a
blast
of
heated
air
having
 billowed
her
bright
white
skirt
 up
and
out
like
a
summer
sail,
 showing
her
full
grown
white
legs
 costumed
in
white
satin
panties,
 her
fire
red
mouth
a
slight
smile
of
wonder,
 her
child‐innocent
blue
eyes
looking

 into
the
camera.
 
 The
wind,
quick
to
extinguish
itself,
 lets
fall
the
girl’s
skirt,

 a
brief
click
opens
the
door,
 


33



the
fleet
portrait
of
young
girl

 and
conjured
woman
is
gone
 as
the
girl
passes
through
 the
closing
door

 with
its
bright
white
eleven.
 
 


34
 



Molly Fuller Cornfields
for
Miles
 
 These
fancy
shackles
keep
me
rooted.

I
dig
up
the
amaranth
seeds,
let
each
one
remind
me
how
 growing
flowers
sound.

I
ask
my
sons
to
bring
me
rings,
my
daughters
to
circle
me
with
tears.
 My
grandchildren
to
collect
the
pocket
watches
hidden
behind
the
walls
and
bury
them
beneath
 the
 house.
 
 I
 wait
 for
 the
 girls
 to
 grow
 taller,
 to
 remind
 me
 how
 each
 inch
 decreases
 their
 chances.

They
press
dolls
against
their
chests
and
practice
being
women.


When
the
boys
pull
 rabbits
 from
 their
 nests,
 I
 hold
 my
 tongue.
 
 I
 live
 in
 silence.
 
 I
 offer
 up
 pails
 of
 fresh
 milk
 to
 illuminate
the
night.
 
 
 
 
 


35



Sparrow
Woman
 
 In
his
hands,
raindrops
and
a
passport.

His
knees
and
neck
a
raft
of
scars.

His
back
is
smooth
as
 water.

A
nest‐thin
woman
balances
against
gravity,
against
the
pull
of
earthquakes,
and
grasps
 at
his
hands.
Networks
collapse
in
the
shadows,
right
and
left
hands
tangle,
a
spotlight
clearly
 outlines
 them
 as
 they
 run
 down
 muddy
 hills
 from
 the
 top
 of
 a
 broken
 collection
 of
 burning
 buildings.
He
feels
and
does
not
think
this
decision
to
move,
to
run,
to
let
go
of
her
hand.

Later,
 branches
become
alcoves,
signposts
of
sadness,
graves.

Limbs
have
been
gathered,
small
parts
 hung
to
swing
like
fruits
from
trees.
Winged
and
crawling
insects
convoy
smaller
bits
into
the
 forest
and
bees
come
around,
nosing
at
the
plum
stains
on
the
sticky
grass.

Now,
safely
in
this
 place,
 here,
 he
 no
 longer
 knows
 how
 to
 manage
 his
 hands,
 how
 to
 eat
 the
 pulp
 of
 fruit.
 He
 watches
as
wrens
peck
at
small
seedlings
where
his
feet
are
planted
on
a
still
and
turning
earth.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


36
 



Arrival’s
Knifed
Edge
 
 1.
 
 There
is
a
history
of
opening
petals,
how
to
find
the
inside
of
an
artichoke.

A
woman
is
not
skin,
 or
sinew
or
fat.

A
woman
is
the
knotting
of
string
between
each
pearl.

The
body
is
the
first
 phase
of
things
you
should
know:

the
treble
of
scars,
barrenness,
the
way
salt
tastes
on
your
 lover’s
lips.
 
 2.
 
 Now
there
are
two.

The
first
is
a
key
cutter,
a
tape
dictionary,
charcoal
drawings
of
spices,
 shadow
maps,
images
of
trading
stories.

The
second
is
post
card
news,
no
hands
and
all
 gleaming
toothpaste
smiles,
columns
filled
with
squirming
black
squiggles
and
this
marginal
sea.
 
 3.
 
 fish
swim
past
the
birds

 
 the
walls
bend

 intersecting
surfaces

 textures
are
messages
to
fingers
 each
writer

 keys
machines

 filled
with
black
holes
 

 folds
pages
of
spices

 keeps
sea
salt
 invisible
collision
of
quarks
 
 glossaries
as
if

 
 the
wave
of
the
universe
in
this
paper
envelope
could

 
 
 4.
 
 You
are
withdrawal
 tides
run
around,
aground

 colliding
space.
 
 


37



I
tell
you
now,
I
will
tell
you
how
I
am






come
in
 
 there
is
sea
salt
everywhere
 
 and
skies
reflect
arrival’s
knifed
edge.


5. My ears are filled with salt and I am bombed with wanting. Textures and messages are demanding that the postcards are actually advertisements and I taped them to the door for you, physical ransom notes, columns of numbers, traded stories, also images I traced and cut from a remembered melody. There are fragile portraits, dried flowers, glossaries and blueprints for inventions inside my torso. Bury me at sea and the ink’s type will become fragments of carbon and shadows. 6. A woman’s skin is a sign of the beginning of violence. See the sky reflected in the pool—the arrival, the edge, the increase or the withdrawal of the tides around that half- moon with dark stars and black holes and quarks as currents. The wave of the universe is invisible, and the particle is expanding and colliding with sea foam and the ocean’s mouth kisses behind my knees and all of my anatomical contours. Starfish on the beach want more than just to withstand waves. Come in.

38
 



Saima Afreen Are
You
the
One
Who
Sobbed
in
Shahid’s
Arms?
 
 My
forehead
permanently
shone
 For
kissing
five
times
the
floor‐stone
 
 I
was
born
a
prophecy.
 An
ultimatum
of
sins
 In
contours
of
an
apple
 And
Eve.
 
 Naked
leaves
were
her
sanatorium
 Mine,
too.
 
 With
each
sunset,
my
slavery
renews
 Slavery
to
dark
fruits,
owl
hoots
 silver
nights,
candle
days
 adding
layers
to
my
shadow.
 A
silhouette
that
was
thrown
from
Eden
 To
Lanka,
to
Jeddah
 
 still
wandering
in
its
skin
 in
towns,
rivers,
wilds,
wells
 howling,
shrieking,
wailing
 to
hold
two
feet
of
earth
 that
slips
and
promises
 to
wring
her
ribcage
on
resurrection
 for
not
covering
her
bust
 that
was
full
of
wild
blooms;
 
 the
mirror
shows
her
depths
of
mud
 dug
two
yards
deep
 it
couldn’t
show
her
those
eyes
 that
dropped
diamonds
 on
mornings
stretched
with
starch
 with
breeze
eating
her
fingers
 that
rose
with
minarets.
 
 
 


39



Prayers
break
into
beads
 Stuck
between
star‐lights
 That
measure
depth
of
her
last
tear.
 
 Her
body
was
a
clay‐lamp
 She
lit
it
up,
wanted
to
burn
 “The
Fire
is
from
Hell,
your
body
is
not
yours,”
 Scriptures
opened
another
book
in
her
iris.
 They
didn’t
tell
her
about
war‐brothels,
 Maps
pulsating
with
bombs,
 The
terror
of
black
and
white
 
 Yet
there
is
a
promise
of
peace
in
afterlife
 The
eternal
joys.
Grape
the
size
of
a
carafe.
 The
pearl
palaces
too
clean,
too
pure
 For
her
grubby
chipped
nails,
fingers.
 She
stains
her
body
with
light,
 
 tears
her
skin,
the
holy
text
falls
 like
lorem
ipsum
 between
columns.
 
 She
pastes
herself
in
spaces
between
beheaded
crowns
and
mumbles:
 
 “dear
prophet
 after
you
no
one
will
come
 then
who
sobs
at
my
arms?”
 
 
 
 Glossary:
 Shahid
–
US
Kashmiri
poet
Agha
Shahid
Ali


40
 



Billy Howell Encroachment

 
 After
 a
 three‐day
 search,
 the
 boy’s
 body
 turns
 up
 racked
 and
 swollen
 near
 the
 east
 end
 of
 the
 Kiamichis,
a
pock
of
flesh
torn
loose
from
the
arm,
three
vertebrae
crushed
to
pebble,
the
back
 of
the
neck
gaping
like
an
open
mouth.
It
lies
on
a
low
slope,
suspended
against
gravity
by
the
 thin
trunk
of
a
hardwood.


 Even
before
they
reach
the
body,
Roy
Macabee
says,
“It’s
Sawyer’s
boy,
all
right.”
 Roy
turns
the
face
upward
with
the
toe
of
his
boot.
The
rest
of
the
search
party
crowds
in
 behind
 him.
 Three
 times
 they’ve
 set
 out
 at
 first
 light
 to
 find
 D.
 J.
 Sawyer.
 They’ve
 covered
 ungauged
distance
on
aching
grades
of
hill,
and
Roy
knows
that
every
man
among
them
is
ready
 to
be
done
with
this
affair.
 “Hell,
Roy,”
someone
says,
“don’t
mess
him
up
any
worse
than
he
is.”
 Roy
kneels
and
studies
the
boy’s
misconfigured
face.
Only
recognized
him
by
the
clothes,
 an
orange‐button
down
and
jeans
with
knees
worn
white.
He’s
seen
the
boy
breaking
horses
on
 Sawyer’s
land,
has
seen
him
trekking
up
and
down
the
walking
path
at
the
side
of
the
road
that
 runs
 the
 valley
 between
 their
 homes.
 Has
 only
 seen
 him
 at
 a
 distance,
 because
 of
 the
 boy’s
 father—protective
of
his
son
and
the
horses
he
boards.
Cloistering.
Roy
never
saw
the
boy
this
 close
in
life.


 Roy
steps
back.
From
a
distance,
the
body
in
its
ochre
puffcoat
looks
like
a
record‐setting
 pumpkin.
 A
 shuffle
 of
 leaves,
 hollow
 snap
 of
 a
 branch,
 and
 the
 men
 turn
 away
 from
 the
 body,
 raising
the
rifles
they’ve
been
carrying
through
the
daylight
hours
for
three
days.

They
stand
in
a
 clutch
in
a
clearing
below
the
hiking
path.
The
past
few
weeks
have
taught
them
a
certain
kind
 of
fear.
 “It’s
 season
 for
 black
 bears,”
 someone
 says.
 “Could
 be
 one
 of
 them
 got
 the
 boy.
 
 Maybe
 hungry.”
 No
one
moves.
The
still
pines,
the
dry
grass.
Hot,
brown
August
surrounds
them.
 Their
silence
is
an
agreement:
this
boy
was
killed
in
one
stroke,
like
the
two
victims
last
 month.
Catamount.
Cougar.
Mountain
Lion.
 Roy
 stoops
 carefully
 against
 the
 trunk
 and
 fishes
 the
 boy’s
 shirt
 up
 with
 a
 twig.
 The
 stomach
rolls
out
green
and
soft
over
the
dry
brown
grass.
“The
lion’s
not
coming
back,”
he
says.
 “He’s
done
with
this
body
or
he
would
have
fed
for
a
few
days,
pulled
it
under
some
bushes
and
 come
back
a
time
or
two.
This
kid’s
got
a
week
of
bloating
on
him.”
 The
men
mill
about,
itching
to
put
ground
under
their
heels.
There’s
no
sadness
in
them,
 no
emotion
playing
on
their
faces.
They
look
like
quartz
miners
at
the
end
of
a
shift
back
when
 Roy
lived
on
the
Arkansas
side
of
the
border.
Those
men
would
roll
out
of
the
caverns
like
sheets
 of
paper,
clothed
in
the
powder
of
the
dry
rock,
skin
blanched
by
time
out
of
the
sun,
huddled,
 stooped
and
active.
But
their
eyes
showed
that
they
only
stayed
upright
by
a
miracle
of
will.


 


41



The
 men
 who
 make
 up
 his
 search
 party
 aren’t
 cut
 out
 for
 the
 long
 tours
 of
 countryside
 they’ve
 been
 carrying
 out
 since
 D.J.
 disappeared.
 They
 trade
 more
 in
 leisure.
 
 One
 is
 a
 Bigfoot
 guide,
another
teaches
hang
gliding.
These
are
men
unused
to
death.
Roy
leads
them
because
he
 is
the
oldest
and
because,
as
a
volunteer
fireman
in
a
town
too
small
for
police,
he
has
the
most
 official
 title
 among
 them.
 He’s
 old
 enough
 to
 have
 seen
 men
 die
 in
 worse
 ways,
 in
 thicker
 jungles,
in
hotter
weather
causing
faster
decay.
 These
men
have
had
a
week
to
prepare
themselves
for
this
sight,
and
now
they’re
relieved
 by
it.
The
anticipation
drains.
They’ve
found
what
they
expected
to
find.


 “Someone
 had
 better
 let
 David
 know,”
 Roy
 says.
 “Somebody
 better
 give
 thanks
 that
 it
 wasn’t
Sawyer’s
team
that
found
him.
God
knows
what
that
sight
of
his
own
flesh
would
do
to
a
 man.”
 
 *
 *
 *
 Roy
takes
the
footpath
from
his
house
to
Sawyer’s.

Giving
his
condolences
is
only
proper.
 If
he
had
a
son
to
lose,
he
would
expect
it,
even
if
not
from
the
most
welcome
sources.
 Before
Roy’s
father
died,
ages
ago
now,
he
asked
Roy
not
to
pray
for
his
soul,
his
salvation.
 He
knew
he
was
dying,
knew
the
cancer
would
finish
its
work
in
a
matter
of
weeks.
One
of
the
 last
times
he
was
fully
awake,
undrugged,
Roy
asked
him
why
he
shouldn’t
pray.


 His
 father
 said,
 “My
 neighbor
 Tom
 Travis
 was
 a
 good
 man,
 good
 to
 his
 church
 and
 his
 community
right
to
the
end.
Selfless
and
personable
in
a
way
that
made
him
money,
bought
him
 land.
More
land
than
me,
anyway.”
 He
took
Roy’s
hand.
 “Son,”
he
said,
“I’m
not
setting
foot
in
Heaven
if
I
have
to
share
it
with
that
pious
old
fart.”
 This
is
roughly
the
same
sentiment
Roy
has
felt
for
David
Sawyer
all
the
years
they
have
 been
neighbors.
 Roy
shares
two
things
with
Sawyer:
a
creek
valley
and
a
fence.

The
fence
runs
alongside
 the
creek—on
Roy’s
side
of
the
creek—and
down
the
length
of
their
land.

For
all
the
money
he
 makes
boarding
horses,
Sawyer
built
the
fence
himself.

Felled
and
planked
a
handful
of
pines,
 dug
postholes,
and
puzzled
it
all
together
with
a
satchel
full
of
nails
while
trudging
ankle‐deep
 down
 the
 flow
 in
 the
 creek
 bed.
 The
 result,
 a
 warped
 and
 knotted
 yellow
 skeleton,
 traces
 the
 boundary
of
Roy’s
land.
 Sawyer
corrals
his
horses
on
the
other
side
of
the
farm.
The
fence
stands
useless,
serves
 only
to
keep
Roy
out
of
the
creek.
A
marker
of
property
lines
and
nothing
more.
That
gets
to
Roy
 at
times.
The
needlessness
of
it.


 Of
 course,
 Roy
 knows
 what
 drove
 Sawyer
 to
 build
 the
 fence.
 He
 built
 it
 because
 of
 the
 third
thing
they
once
shared:
Sawyer’s
wife.
 Sawyer
began
to
suspect
Ellen’s
hospitality
after
she
delivered
her
third
welcome‐to‐the‐ neighborhood
 pie
 to
 Roy’s
 front
 stoop.
 People
 talked.
 By
 way
 of
 defense,
 she
 said
 she
 had
 to
 show
off
her
specialties—apple,
pineapple,
and
cherry.
Sawyer
kept
a
close
eye
on
her
after
that,
 knew
that
she
just
needed
an
excuse
to
leave
him.
That
excuse
was
a
credit
card,
his
card
that
 42
 



she
ran
up
buying
furniture.
He
didn’t
want
her
to
work,
wanted
to
provide
for
her.
Apart
from
 reading,
decorating
was
all
she
had.


 That
is
how
she
told
the
story.
She
called
him
a
miser
and
a
scrooge,
obsessed
with
his
 horses,
the
money
they
made
him.
She
drifted
into
sleep
whispering
these
complaints
into
Roy’s
 ear.
She
spent
three
nights
in
Roy’s
bed
complaining
about
David
and
another
three
dreaming
of
 California.
She’d
been
reading
The
 Grapes
 of
 Wrath
and
that
story
twisted
around
in
her
head
 and
turned
the
west
coast
into
a
promised
land,
dust
bowl
or
not.
 Roy
hadn’t
had
a
woman
since
he
started
planning
his
salvage
yard.
He
figured
he
didn’t
 have
 the
 time.
 Of
 course,
 he
 welcomed
 Ellen,
 thought
 he
 was
 saving
 her
 from
 something,
 something
the
husband
and
son
put
on
a
woman
like
her.
She
stayed
at
his
house
six
nights.
On
 the
seventh
morning
she
pulled
out
onto
the
valley
road
and
drove
away
from
the
sunrise.


 David
started
the
fence
when
Ellen
moved
in
with
Roy,
finished
it
when
she
left
town.
No
 way
to
tell
if
he
built
it
to
hold
her
close
by
if
she
returned
or
to
keep
her
from
ever
getting
back
 in.
 Roy
recalls
all
this
as
he
trods
down
the
valley
along
the
walking
path.
He
didn’t
call
when
 they
 first
 found
 the
 boy,
 and
 he’s
 had
 to
 talk
 himself
 into
 making
 the
 walk
 up
 to
 the
 house.
 Figures
he
has
to
get
this
talk
out
of
the
way
sometime.
 Everyone
 has
 worried
 about
 Sawyer
 this
 week.
 Roy
 more
 than
 others.
 He
 has
 seen
 him
 wandering
 his
 field
 at
 night
 with
 a
 flashlight,
 has
 heard
 him
 ranting
 at
 the
 line
 of
 trees
 at
 the
 edge
of
his
property.
Maybe
no
more
than
the
ordinary
delusions
of
grief.
But
Roy
worries
now
 because
leading
a
search
party
didn’t
help
him
bury
the
guilt.
The
heavy
result
of
thinking
about
 Sawyer
living
alone
now
that
his
boy
is
gone.
 Footprints
in
the
dried
mud
remind
him
of
the
boy.
Ellen
must
have
wanted
out
badly.

 She
didn’t
even
leave
a
contact,
might
never
find
out
that
her
boy
is
dead.
Roy
sees
that
he
was
 just
an
excuse
for
her
to
get
away.
This
thought
is
enough
to
give
him
a
share
in
Sawyer’s
loss,
 enough
 to
 make
 it
 personal,
 since
 they
 are
 both
 alone,
 both
 missing
 the
 same
 person,
 who
 Sawyer
needs
now
more
than
ever.

 Beyond
that,
it’s
just
a
hell
of
a
thing
to
outlive
your
child.
 He
doesn’t
expect
David
Sawyer
to
answer
when
he
knocks.
Doesn’t
expect
David,
weak
 and
confused,
to
take
his
hand.
He
doesn’t
expect
David
to
ask
him
in,
offer
him
coffee.
To
look
 at
him
without
anger
or
memory.
It
makes
sense,
though,
after
the
first
few
minutes.
All
grudges
 are
paid
by
the
son’s
death.
 “I
want
to
offer
my
sympathy,
if
that
means
anything,”
Roy
says.
 “More
 than
 it
 should,”
 Sawyer
 says.
 He
 asks
 Roy
 to
 follow
 him
 out
 while
 he
 rakes
 the
 horse
runs
and
puts
out
feed.
They
walk
through
the
living
room
and
kitchen.

Hardwood
floors.
 Cabinets
 of
 carved
 wood
 animals.
 The
 sort
 of
 thing
 people
 mean
 when
 they
 say
 “rustic.”
 A
 naugahyde
 recliner
 and
 overstuffed
 couches,
 polished
 dining
 table.
 Must
 be
 some
 of
 the
 furniture
Ellen
bought.
 “It’s
 not
 just
 for
 D.J.
 My
 sympathy,
 I
 mean,”
 Roy
 says.
 “I
 feel
 for
 you
 being
 alone,
 and
 I
 figure
it’s
at
least
part
my
fault.”
 


43



Sawyer
says,
“I
estimate
being
alone
feels
a
lot
different
for
me
than
it
does
for
you.”
 In
 the
 barn
 he
 uncurls
 the
 baling
 wire
 from
 a
 stack
 of
 hay,
 pulls
 loose
 a
 two
 pats
 and
 throws
 them
 over
 the
 first
 stall.
 He
 has
 Roy
 scoop
 meal
 out
 of
 a
 bucket
 and
 pour
 it
 into
 the
 grated
troughs
that
run
the
inside
wall
of
each
stall.
 “I
 trust
 your
 sympathy,
 Roy,”
 Sawyer
 says.
 “Other
 people
 are
 nice
 to
 me,
 sorry
 that
 D.J.
 picked
the
wrong
day
to
go
hiking
out.
Fair
enough.
They’ve
always
given
me
some
care.
But
that
 doesn’t
help
me
bury
the
boy.”
He
stops
and
looks
at
Roy.
His
sun‐browned
face
is
calm,
even
 friendly.
“I
need
the
cougar
that
did
this.”
 His
voice
echoes
over
the
sound
of
the
first
horses
nosing
at
the
pellets
in
their
troughs.
 Florescent
bulbs
hum
with
light
as
the
sun
fades
out
on
the
runs.
 “I
can
trust
your
sympathy,
Roy,”
Sawyer
says,
“because
you
don’t
owe
me
nothing.
You’re
 the
closest
to
an
enemy
as
I’ve
made
in
this
life.”
 “I’ve
got
a
few
to
spare,
I’m
sure,”
Roy
says.
He
finishes
with
the
feed
and
drops
the
scoop
 and
bucket
at
the
side
of
barn
door.
 Sawyer
says,
“I
want
you
to
do
the
tracking
for
me,
to
hunt
down
the
beast
that
killed
my
 boy.”
 Roy
thinks
of
all
he
owes
Sawyer,
all
the
wrong
he’s
done
him.
The
cougar
could
settle
his
 conscience.
About
that
one
thing
he
is
certain.
 They
close
themselves
into
the
first
run
with
a
Morgan,
busy
eating.
Sawyer
skims
around
 the
muscled
haunches
and
forks
at
a
dark
spot
in
the
wood
chips
on
the
floor.
 “I’m
just
a
businessman,”
Sawyer
says.
“But
I
know
you’ve
got
some
hunting
behind
you.
 I’ve
heard
that
you
were
part
of
the
trackers
that
went
out
after
the
cougar
that
attacked
your
 mining
camp
over
in
Arkansas.”
 “That
was
a
long
time
ago.”
 “At
night
I
think
I
see
the
lion
out
there
at
the
edge
of
the
trees.
Nobody
pulls
me
away
 from
the
window,”
Sawyer
says.
Roy
drags
a
waste
bucket
out
into
the
open
air
of
the
run,
the
 long
fenced
ground
stretching
toward
sunset.
“And
I
know
that
if
he
ain’t
dead,
he’ll
come
after
 me
next.”
 Roy
tells
him
that
he’s
losing
his
senses,
that
he’ll
be
able
to
let
those
worries
go
after
D.J.
 is
laid
to
rest.


 “Oklahoma
Wildlife
is
sending
in
a
boy
out
of
Tulsa,”
Sawyer
says.
“Name
of
Bellis.
Lance
 Bellis.”
 “Heard
of
him,”
Roy
says.
“He
does
conservation
work.
Came
down
here
a
couple
of
years
 back
over
some
endangered
species.
That
sort
of
thing.
I
never
met
him,
but
I
read
an
article
he
 wrote
about
it.”
 “Exactly
 what
 I
 mean,”
 Sawyer
 says.
 “I
 want
 that
 cougar
 dead,
 and
 that
 ain’t
 going
 to
 happen
if
Bellis
catches
him.
I
want
you
to
beat
Bellis
to
him.”
 Sawyer
shovels
another
forkful
of
dung
into
the
bucket.
 “I’ll
do
what
I
can
for
you,”
Roy
says.
 
 44
 



*
 *
 *
 Reverend
Evan
Lee
presides
over
the
funeral,
provides
the
mourning
everyone
expects:
a
 wasted
 life,
 the
 death
 of
 one
 so
 young,
 unfulfilled
 promise.
 Roy
 has
 seen
 him
 in
 action
 on
 Sunday
mornings
and
Wednesday
nights,
when
the
preacher
indulges
in
talk
of
the
fires
of
Hell.
 Lee’s
face
goes
bright
when
he
talks,
a
face
to
match
his
orange
fire
hair.
Roy
is
surprised
by
how
 emotional
Lee
is
over
losing
a
boy
he
barely
knew,
probably
never
spoke
to.
The
passion
of
lines
 he
probably
learned
by
rote
long
ago.

 His
listeners
cry
out
of
their
own
private
longings,
wanting
to
bring
back
a
kid
they
have
 all
 felt
 sorry
 for
 since
 his
 mother
 left.
 They
 also
 cry
 to
 show
 Reverend
 Lee
 some
 acceptance.
 Politeness
knowing
he’s
doing
his
best.
They
chatter
quietly:
Lord
bless
him.
How
hard
it
must
 be
to
give
a
eulogy
for
a
member
of
your
congregation
only
two
months
after
moving
into
town.
 Comes
from
Shepherd,
Texas.
A
preacher
so
young,
he
must
be
extra
spiritual.
 Sawyer
 might
 have
 given
 the
 eulogy
 himself
 if
 he
 weren’t
 so
 broken
 up.
 Heaving
 with
 unpracticed
 tears,
 alone
 on
 the
 front
 pew
 save
 for
 two
 church
 deacons
 who
 felt
 sorry
 for
 him.
 Roy
sees
why
he
doesn’t
trust
their
sympathy.
It’s
too
close
to
pity.
 Toward
 the
 end,
 Lee
 pours
 on
 the
 brimstone.
 The
 fires
 of
 hell
 that
 await
 those
 caught
 unsuspecting,
unprepared.
The
soul
of
this
good
Christian
boy
would
be
in
danger
if
he
hadn’t
 attended
the
church
whose
teachings
even
now
keep
him
safe
from
the
grip
of
the
Devil.
 “For
the
Devil
lies
like
a
lion
in
secret
places,”
Lee
says.
“He
lies
in
wait
to
catch
the
poor
 and
draws
them
down
into
his
net.”
 There
 is
 no
 reason
 to
 file
 past
 the
 closed
 casket,
 but
 many
 people
 do.
 They
 touch
 the
 thick
polish,
drag
fingers
across
the
floral
arrangements,
and
file
out
with
an
uncomfortable
nod
 to
the
grieving
father,
too
far
gone
to
speak.
 When
Roy
leaves,
he
passes
a
cluster
of
women
wearing
dresses
black
as
ravens.
In
their
 whispers,
Roy
hears
fear.
 
 *
 *
 *
 The
 two
 dozen
 people
 who
 make
 up
 the
 town
 of
 Honobia
 meet
 at
 Carrie’s
 Café
 and
 Convenience
to
await
the
arrival
of
Lance
Bellis.
Carrie
herself
has
pulled
in
extra
folding
chairs
 and
cooked
a
buffet
of
Sasquatch
hash
for
the
event.
Bellis
has
insisted
that
he
meet
everyone
at
 once,
that
they
all
come
up
with
a
game
plan
together.
Those
were
his
words:
Game
Plan.
 “What
if
people
think
Bigfoot
is
behind
this?”
the
owner
of
the
rental
cabins
asks.
“Our
 tourism
will
bottom
out
by
October.
Nobody
will
come
for
the
festival.”
 “Even
worse,”
someone
says,
“what
if
Bigfoot
is
behind
this?”
 Carrie
assures
them
that
Bigfoot
wouldn’t
turn
on
the
people
who
raise
awareness
about
 him.
Tommy
Stage,
owner
of
the
local
gas
station,
lays
blame
with
the
townsfolk
themselves.
 “Look
what
our
sin
hath
wrought,”
he
says,
shaking
his
head.
“It
says
right
there
in
second
 Kings:
They
feared
not
the
Lord,
therefore
the
Lord
sent
lions
among
them.”
 A
protest
arises.
But
what
have
we
done?


45



Roy
 takes
 a
 coffee
 and
 a
 plate
 of
 hash.
 Since
 the
 end
 of
 August,
 he’s
 been
 hearing
 scripture
on
lions
from
every
corner
of
the
Bible
and
in
every
Honobia
mouth.
Listening
to
these
 locals
you’d
think
the
Book
was
hardly
more
than
a
nature
study.
 On
a
napkin
Roy
maps
out
as
much
of
the
Kiamichis
as
he
can
reconstruct
from
memory.
 The
 peninsula
 of
 mountains
 stretches
 east
 over
 the
 prairies.
 If
 he
 offers
 to
 lead
 Bellis,
 he
 can
 keep
the
upper
hand,
know
where
Bellis
has
been.
One
of
them
is
bound
to
find
the
lion.
If
they
 haven’t
waited
too
long.
If
it
hasn’t
moved
on.
 A
 handful
 of
 people
 stand
 up
 when
 a
 car
 pulls
 in.
 Bellis
 is
 here.
 Several
 others
 crowd
 around
the
door
as
it
opens.
Already
a
celebrity,
Bellis
shakes
hands
as
the
crowd
parts
to
lead
 him
 to
 a
 corner
 table
 between
 a
 rack
 of
 folded
 maps
 and
 a
 diamond‐shaped
 BIGFOOT
 CROSSING
sign.
Apart
from
their
reaction,
nothing
about
him
speaks
of
celebrity.
Still,
he
wears
 the
city
on
him
like
a
chasuble.
Dressed
in
black
collared
shirt
and
tie
of
similar
metallic
sheen,
 he
 stands
 as
 high
 as
 a
 water
 well
 spigot.
 He
 adjusts
 his
 squat
 rectangular
 glasses
 and
 calls
 for
 attention.
 The
room
murmurs
as
he
tells
everyone
that
he
understands
their
situation,
that
he
has
 studied
similar
circumstances.
He
says
a
little
education
will
put
them
at
ease.
He
has
prepared
a
 slideshow
but
suffered
some
technical
difficulties
with
his
equipment,
in
the
form
of
an
open
car
 window
 and
 unexpected
 rainfall.
 So
 he
 will
 resort
 to
 drawing
 out
 some
 bullet
 points
 on
 the
 reverse
side
of
a
chalkboard
menu,
if
no
one
minds.
 “The
 catamount
 is
 an
 obligate
 carnivore,”
 he
 says.
 “It
 only
 kills
 under
 the
 pressure
 of
 hunger.
 For
 an
 average
 adult,
 this
 translates
 to
 one
 kill
 every
 two
 weeks.
 Taking
 into
 consideration,
of
course,
the
fact
that
it
is
a
generalist
killer,
that
it
will
supplement
big
kills
with
 insects
and
rodents.”
 He
makes
notes
on
the
board,
but
it
would
seem
that
he’s
only
tracking
his
own
thoughts.
 His
letters
might
as
well
be
hieroglyphs.
 
 “You
 should
 also
 know
 that
 we
 may
 have
 nothing
 to
 worry
 about,”
 he
 says.
 “In
 all
 likelihood,
 the
 animal
 has
 moved
 on.
 
 Catamounts
 will
 often
 travel
 up
 to
 five
 hundred
 square
 miles
in
habitat
formation.”
 
 Whispers
in
the
crowd.
Impressed
by
the
language,
the
numbers.
 
 “Since
 the
 catamount
 is
 an
 ambush
 predator,
 observation
 and
 tracking
 are
 our
 safest
 course
of
action.
I
have
brought
along
a
number
of
technologies
designed
for
these
purposes
and
 luckily,”
he
says,
“they
remain
undamaged
by
act
of
God.”
 
 “Praise
Jesus,”
one
woman
calls
out.
 
 “Quiet
down,
Myrna,”
a
woman
near
her
says.
The
scene
risks
becoming
a
sermon.
 
 Bellis
 goes
 on
 to
 tell
 the
 townsfolk
 that
 they
 should
 guard
 themselves
 against
 panic.
 Paranoia
will
cause
them
more
harm
than
good.
“But
you
can
all
do
your
part.
Spray
your
trash
 with
 air
 freshener
 to
 cover
 its
 smell.
 No
 need
 inviting
 a
 wild
 and
 misunderstood
 animal
 into
 your
homes.
Remember:
Prevention
will
be
our
analgesic.”
A
final
stroke
of
the
chalk
against
the
 board.


 
 46
 



He
asks
for
questions,
but
no
one
thinks
of
anything,
or
else
dares
to
raise
concerns,
save
 for
a
kid
with
a
notepad
asking
him
to
clarify
one
of
the
lines
he’s
written.
“Obligate,”
he
repeats
 to
the
boy.
Then
spells
the
word.
 
 *
 *
 *
 Morning
 comes
 cold
 and
 clear
 by
 the
 end
 of
 September.
 Dew
 rises
 from
 the
 grass
 and
 sticks
to
your
skin.
The
pines
stand
crisp
as
a
photo
in
a
magazine.
 Roy
 has
 agreed
 to
 show
 Bellis
 the
 mountains,
 to
 lead
 him
 out
 as
 far
 as
 High
 Top.
 He
 wants
to
give
 Bellis
a
 definite
 route
 so
that
he
knows
where
Bellis
has
been,
 where
the
cougar
 isn’t.


 Roy
first
leads
Bellis
to
the
spot
where
they
found
D.J.’s
body.
The
overgrown
hiking
trail
 takes
them
straight
out.
A
wonder
they
didn’t
find
the
boy
sooner.
Only
they
thought
he
would
 be
closer
to
town
or
that
maybe
he’d
gone
west.
They
will
walk
back
to
town
from
here.


 They
crest
a
sandstone
bluff
and
catch
a
view
of
the
Kiamichi
River
trailing
off
to
the
far
 line
of
the
horizon.
Blue‐smoke
mountains
rest
ghostlike
in
the
distance.
 Today
will
be
slow
going.
Roy
can
already
tell.
Bellis
plods
behind
him
in
irregular
lines,
 veering
off
to
hang
cameras
the
size
of
half
dollars
and
bright
yellow
markers
on
trees.
He
says
 he
 will
 follow
 the
 markers
 back
 after
 he
 maps
 out
 the
 topography
 of
 this
 walk,
 only
 after
 he
 decides
where
to
set
up
traps.
 He
 has
 had
 two
 kinds
 of
 traps
 shipped
 out
 to
 him
 on
 a
 tractor‐trailer.
 Stacked
 in
 the
 trailer
like
carts
of
produce.
One
type
is
a
cage
of
wire
with
a
hook
inside
for
bait
and
a
spring‐ loaded
door.
Bellis
says
he
doesn’t
like
this
one,
that
it
endangers
the
animal
too
much.
The
cat’s
 paws
or
head
might
fall
under
the
spring‐loaded
door,
like
a
rat
in
a
trap.
 The
other
is
a
live
bait
trap.
It
consists
of
a
wooden
frame
with
thick
iron
bars
around
the
 sides.
The
cage
inside
is
split
into
two
spaces,
two
rooms.
 “It’s
 a
 lot
 better
 for
 the
 pest
 animal
 and
 for
 the
 bait,”
 Bellis
 says.
 “You
 see,
 the
 bait
 animal—I’m
 going
 to
 use
 goats
 for
 this
 one—the
 bait
 animal
 stays
 safe
 inside
 the
 inner
 cage
 while
the
outer
cage
catches
the
catamount.”
 They
 watch
 for
 signs
 of
 the
 cougar.
 If
 it
 is
 male,
 the
 cougar
 would
 have
 left
 territory
 markers:
 pyramids
 of
 leaves
 covered
 in
 urine.
 If
 female,
 scattered
 dung
 and
 scratched
 trees.
 Bellis
photographs
every
paw
print
they
see,
even
ones
that
are
clearly
not
those
of
the
cougar.
 Any
 information
 about
 the
 area
 will
 help
 him
 map
 out
 the
 ecosystem,
 he
 says.
 The
 cougar’s
 prints
will
be
hard
to
find.
The
ground
is
dry,
hard.
Leaves
gone
yellow
or
pink
litter
the
ground.
 
 “If
we
catch
it,”
Bellis
says,
“we
will
carry
out
a
health
check,
put
on
a
GPS
collar,
and
turn
 it
over
to
a
reserve.”
 They
cut
through
a
pocket
of
scrub
brush
and
trail
along
an
escarpment
overhanging
the
 hiking
trail.
Honobia’s
main
street
is
a
line
of
colored
boxes
below.
 “Have
you
ever
killed
an
animal?”
Roy
asks.
 “Only
 once,”
 Bellis
 says.
 “I
 was
 in
 the
 Peace
 Corps
 in
 northern
 Indonesia.
 A
 couple
 of
 locals
were
killed
by
a
tiger,
and
a
team
of
us
went
out
to
find
it.
All
we
had
were
rifles
that
the
 


47



farmers
kept
for
shrews
or
rats
that
might
have
been
carrying
rabies.
One
of
the
victims
was
an
 infant,
so
we
all
felt
like
those
people
were
depending
on
us.”
 
 He
 drops
 his
 rucksack
 and
 peels
 its
 front
 pockets
 open.
 He
 turns
 off
 the
 GPS
 tracker,
 removes
and
caps
his
camera’s
lens,
and
packs
everything
away.


 “Still,”
he
says,
hefting
the
bag
onto
his
back,
“I
would
have
liked
to
catch
the
tiger
alive.
 We
could
have
studied
its
diet,
its
habitat,
maybe
understood
why
it
attacked
humans.
After
all,
 that
 is
 an
 inordinately
 unusual
 behavior
 in
 large
 felines.
 Usually
 animals
 only
 attack
 under
 extreme
 duress,
 either
 from
 hunger
 or
 fear.
 Of
 course,
 encroachment
 plays
 a
 role.
 It
 helps
 to
 know
what
you
are
up
against.”
 Roy
agrees
with
him.
This
is
the
nature
of
the
hunt.
You
have
to
study
your
prey.
 
 *
 *
 *
 
 Another
Sunday
sermon,
this
time
about
comfort.
This
must
be
what
the
young
shepherd
 thinks
his
flock
needs.
Lee’s
voice
rising:
He
works
signs
and
wonders
in
Heaven
and
in
earth,
 who
hath
delivered
Daniel
from
the
power
of
the
lions.
 
 They
 do
 need
 such
 a
 level
 of
 comfort.
 In
 the
 convenience
 store
 aisles,
 over
 breakfast
 in
 the
café,
on
the
fields
of
hay
bailers,
Roy
hears
Reverend
Lee’s
words
traverse
their
lips.
In
long
 breaths
 they
 talk
 about
 the
 cougar,
 about
 Bigfoot—a
 barrel
 of
 what‐if
 and
 could‐be
 stories
 traveling
among
them.


 
 People
drive
instead
of
walking,
even
for
short
trips
in
town.
They
trap
the
autumn
heat
 behind
locked
windows
and
doors.
The
gas
station,
café,
and
tourist
shop
close
early,
trying
to
 beat
 the
 sunset.
 People
are
 sure
 of
things
 happening
in
 the
 dark
 that
 could
 not
 happen
 in
 the
 day.
 
 At
twilight
Roy
is
checking
the
pine
board
fence
between
his
property
and
Sawyer’s.
He
 imagines
Bellis
is
right,
that
the
lion
has
moved
on.
If
that’s
the
case,
Sawyer
might
not
come
out
 of
 this.
 The
 fear
 that
 has
 taken
 hold
 of
 everyone
 will
 keep
 them
 all
 shut
 in,
 checking
 locks,
 turning
 on
 their
 floodlights
 at
 dusk.
 He
 imagines
 a
 town
 of
 electric
 fences
 and
 scanning
 spotlights
 and
 guard
 towers,
 Sawyer
 perched
 at
 the
 corner
 of
 his
 land
 with
 a
 rifle
 and
 an
 exhausted
look.
Ridiculous.
 His
 own
 land
 seems
 safe
 enough
 that
 he
 indulges
 in
 leaning
 on
 the
 fence
 until
 dark,
 watching
the
sun
go
down
the
way
it
did
before
the
attacks.
Only
the
ordinary
and
routine
kind
 of
miracle.
 
 Water
 runs
 thin
 over
 the
 pebble
 creek
 bed.
 He
 ducks
 down
 and
 leans
 under
 the
 lowest
 plank
of
the
fence,
but
his
fingers
can’t
quite
reach
the
water.
He
wants
to
touch
the
creek
water
 only
 because
 Sawyer
 has
 made
 it
 off
 limits.
 This
 says
 something
 about
 him,
 he
 figures,
 but
 he
 can’t
make
out
what
that
might
be.
 Sawyer
 has
 spent
 the
 day
 dragging
 out
 rolls
 of
 electric
 fencing.
 Before
 long,
 Roy
 won’t
 even
be
able
to
try
for
the
creek.


 A
glaze
of
light
instantaneous
on
his
body
leads
him
to
stand
and
look
out
over
Sawyer’s
 land.
Sawyer
comes
up
in
silhouette
behind
the
spotlight.
 48
 



“Praise
God
it
was
only
you,”
Sawyer
says.
His
beard
has
grown
in
salty,
his
eyes
shriveled
 and
 dry,
 Roy
 guesses,
 from
 sleeplessness.
 “My
 finger
 wasn’t
 a
 hairsbreadth
 away
 from
 the
 trigger.”
 “You
 been
 taking
 care
 of
 yourself,
 David?”
 Roy
 says.
 He
 steadies
 his
 voice
 to
 casual,
 hoping
Sawyer
is
exaggerating.
“You
look
like
hell.”
 “We
 look
 our
 worst
 when
 we’re
 at
 our
 best,”
 Sawyer
 says.
 “I
 have
 everything
 under
 control.
A
constant
eye.”
 He
doesn’t
look
at
Roy.
A
worrisome
sign.
Roy
asks
if
he’s
been
getting
enough
sleep,
and
 Sawyer
tells
him
about
his
dream,
the
one
keeping
him
awake
every
night.
A
horde
of
lions
kills
 everyone
in
town.
They
dress
in
the
human
skins,
disguise
themselves.
Sawyer
lets
them
into
his
 home,
and
they
throw
off
the
disguises,
reveal
their
plan
to
make
his
home
their
den.
 Roy
asks
if
he
could
sit
with
him,
keep
watch
so
he
could
sleep
a
while.
But
Sawyer
has
 already
turned.
The
bobbing
light
pitches
streams
into
the
darkness
until
it
disappears
into
the
 back
of
the
house.
The
sound
of
Sawyer’s
door
closing
echoes
over
the
field.
After,
everything
is
 dark.
 
 *
 *
 *
 
 A
 week
 before
 the
 Bigfoot
 Festival
 is
 set
 to
 go
 on,
 Roy
 tracks
 north
 toward
 Buffalo
 Mountain.
He
has
sent
Bellis
off
to
the
east
end,
the
well‐worn
territory
of
their
early
searches.
 They
have
been
at
this
for
a
month
and
found
nothing.
No
cat
on
any
of
the
cameras.
No
bait
 stolen.
Unless
the
lion
crossed
the
miles
of
flat
and
open
prairie
around
the
Kiamichis,
it
must
 have
traveled
the
region
lying
in
front
of
Roy.
 The
 sharp
 ridges
 and
 tall
 pines
 remind
 him
 of
 the
 quartz
 territories
 of
 Arkansas.
 Little
 wonder,
 since
 all
 these
 mountains
 are
 part
 of
 the
 Ouachita
 formation.
 A
 region
 formed
 by
 tectonic
 shift.
 What
 once
 was
 the
 Gulf
 of
 Mexico,
 ages
 before
 a
 language
 existed
 to
 give
 it
 a
 name.
 Folds
 of
 earth,
 buckled
 rock.
 Geological
 throes
 that
 left
 pockets
 for
 outlaws
 to
 hide
 in
 during
Prohibition.
Any
number
of
caves
for
an
animal
to
settle
in.
 
 Leaning
out
from
a
summit,
he
sees
a
glint
of
light
reflecting
off
something
near
the
base
 of
a
ridge.
A
quick
descent,
feet
slipping
over
flat
rock
and
steep
loose
gravel.
He
lands
within
 feet
of
the
source,
a
five‐foot
trap
baited
with
meat
not
yet
rotten.
 
 He
kicks
the
cage,
looks
up,
sees
that
a
camera
is
trained
on
the
position,
probably
set
to
 shoot
when
the
bait
is
pulled.
But
the
slag
of
meat
hangs
intact,
untouched.
 “Goddamn
it,”
he
yells
and
hears
the
echo
from
a
wall
of
sedimentary
rock.
 Bellis
has
been
here
without
him.
 
 *
 *
 *
 
 Two
nights
before
the
festival
is
slated
to
start,
Reverend
Lee
hosts
a
planning
meeting
in
 the
church
basement
cafeteria.
Roy
sees
Sawyer
sitting
at
the
front
and
is
tempted
to
talk
to
him,
 but
he
wants
to
wait
until
he
has
some
result,
some
cure.
The
corpse
of
the
lion.


49



The
 reverend
 will
 provide
 his
 two
 microphones
 and
 small
 amplifiers
 for
 the
 scientific
 conference
 on
 the
 status
 of
 the
 Sasquatch.
 Several
 men
 volunteer
 to
 judge
 the
 results
 of
 the
 Biggest
 Foot
 Mini‐marathon.
 The
 hang
 gliding
 events
 are
 slated
 to
 take
 place
 starting
 from
 Buffalo
 Mountain.
 The
 citizens
 distribute
 the
 street‐side
 tents:
 Carrie
 will
 provide
 a
 snack
 bar,
 her
mother
will
set
up
the
quilt
exhibit.
 No
one
volunteers
to
lead
the
Bigfoot
hunt.
No
one
promises
to
lead
tourist
hikes.
After
a
 few
minutes,
it
becomes
clear
that
no
one
plans
to
volunteer
for
these
roles.
 “What
is
this
fear,
my
people?”
Lee
says.
“If
the
Lord
is
your
salvation,
you
have
nothing
 to
worry
about.
You
must
be
one
with
this
community
of
believers,
to
stand
behind
the
shield
 our
great
hunters
have
provided.
Being
here
right
now
protects
you.
Weep
not:
behold,
the
Lion
 of
the
tribe
of
Judah,
the
Root
of
David,
will
prevail.”
 
 Sawyer
stands,
unbidden.
His
hair
fallen
wild,
beard
uncut,
he
greets
his
fellow
townsfolk:
 “You
 know
 that
 I
 have
 lost
 more
 than
 the
 rest
 of
 you.
 I
 am
 the
 closest
 to
 this
 thing.
 The
 only
 people
 who
 might
 come
 close
 to
 understanding
 me
 are
 those
 two
 families
 up
 in
 Talihina
 who
 lost
their
kin.”
 
 Lee
steps
back,
stands
against
the
wall
next
to
the
cafeteria
window.
A
wash
of
pity
on
the
 faces
of
the
crowd.
 “But
even
they
do
not
know
what
I
know.
You
see,
I
have
seen
the
face
of
the
Devil.
It
is
 also
the
face
of
God.
The
great
gaping
mouth
of
the
lion.”
 He
 makes
 it
 no
 further
 before
 a
 number
 of
 men
 and
 women
 stand
 to
 surround
 him,
 to
 force
 him
 out
 of
 the
 room
 with
 the
 swarm
 of
 their
 concern.
 His
 voice
 gutters
 and
 falls
 into
 silence
as
they
steer
him
outside.
 
 *
 *
 *
 
 On
 the
 day
 of
 the
 festival,
 the
 streets
 of
 Honobia
 clatter
 with
 footfalls,
 the
 roar
 of
 vehicles.
The
town
was
not
built
for
as
many
people
as
the
festival
brings.
The
noise,
the
huddled
 throng
 of
 people
 will
 keep
 the
 cougar
 away,
 even
 with
 the
 smell
 of
 food
 wafting
 over
 the
 stretched
white
gazebo
tents.

 
 Now
 that
 it
 arrives,
 the
 festival
 serves
 as
 cure
 to
 their
 fear,
 as
 reminder
 of
 routine
 and
 normal
life.
No
different
from
any
other
year.
For
a
minute,
it
doesn’t
seem
to
matter
whether
 Roy
catches
the
cougar.
Maybe
the
people
will
let
go
of
their
fear,
see
the
festival
as
the
end
of
 some
chain
of
events,
and
leave
the
book
closed.


 Then
 he
 remembers
 Sawyer,
 his
 crazed
 look
 at
 the
 town
 meeting
 as
 the
 people
 herded
 him
away.
He
has
to
go.
 He
feels
safe
about
leaving
the
people
to
go
out
on
hunt.
They’ve
never
had
problems
in
 past
years,
beyond
one
boy
stepping
on
a
loose
manhole
and
getting
his
leg
pinned
and
wearing
 home
the
badge
of
a
ring
of
purple
bruises.

 It
only
takes
twenty
minutes
for
Roy
to
catch
up
with
Bellis.
He
hears
the
chaos
before
he
 sees
it:
 Camcorder
 in
 hand,
Bellis
circles
 one
of
his
large
cages.
Inside,
 a
 trapped
lion
paces
in


50
 



circles.
In
the
inner
cage,
a
goat
lies
with
its
neck
torn
open,
pumping
blood
like
a
broken
gasket
 pumps
water.
The
goat’s
squealing
noise
like
a
car
wreck
in
slow
motion.
 “He
took
the
live
bait,”
Bellis
says.
“A
mohair
kid
I
put
in
there
last
night.

To
think,
he
 couldn’t
have
been
far
off
even
then.”
 
 “I
thought
the
goat
was
supposed
to
be
safe,”
Roy
says.
 
 “Under
normal
circumstances,
yes.
But
he
must
have
been
right
up
against
the
bars
when
 the
catamount
entered.
Astounding.
It
pounced
in
and
hit
the
goat
on
the
neck
before
the
goat
 even
saw
it
coming.”
 
 Roy
 watches
 the
 tiger
 pace,
 its
 eyes
 trained
 on
 him.
 It
 stands
 in
 place,
 and
 its
 great
 maw—white
teeth
in
a
black
ring—falls
open.
Saliva
pink
with
blood
falls
in
webs
to
the
ground.


 
 Roy
is
relieved
to
have
the
cougar,
to
see
it
caged.
Bellis
beat
him
to
the
capture,
but
that
 doesn’t
mean
Bellis
has
won.
Roy
still
has
a
debt
to
pay.
 
 He
raises
his
rifle,
levels,
and
fires.
He
carries
out
this
duty
without
hesitation.
The
cougar
 drops
in
an
instant,
its
life
shed
as
easily
as
a
cloak
falling
heaped
to
the
ground.
 
 *
 *
 *
 After
 a
 rant
 of
 cursing
 laments,
 Bellis
 drops
 Roy
 off
 on
 his
 way
 back
 to
 town
 to
 make
 arrangements
for
the
cougar’s
body.
Bellis
leaves
Roy
just
a
few
minutes
down
the
road
between
 the
festival
and
home,
then
skids
his
truck
away
on
angry
wheels.
Heading
home,
Roy
walks
the
 street
that
Ellen
once
drove
away
on.
He
formulates
his
triumph,
rehearses
what
he
will
say
to
 Sawyer:
The
cougar
is
taken
care
of.


 As
he
crests
the
hill
by
his
own
driveway,
he
sees
a
crowd
gathered
in
the
valley
below.
 Cars
sit
parked
at
odd
angles
in
the
street.
A
dozen
or
more
people
in
the
black
Bigfoot
Festival
 T‐shirts
 perch
 on
 the
 walking
 path
 like
 a
 murder
 of
 crows.
 A
 crumpled
 confusion
 of
 bodies
 humming
along
the
skeleton
fence.
 
 He
draws
closer
and
sees
a
teenaged
boy
sitting
half
covered
by
a
blanket,
guarded
by
the
 tourist
crowd
in
T‐shirts.
 
 “We
 didn’t
 think
 anyone
 would
 be
 here,”
 he
 says.
 He
 is
 shivering,
 pale.
 Flecks
 of
 blood
 blaze
in
his
hair.
 He
and
his
friends
thought
everyone
was
at
the
festival.
They
knew
Sawyer
boarded
the
 best
horses,
Arabians
and
Morgans.
They
brought
a
torch
to
cut
the
lock,
he
says.

 Someone
 else,
 shaking
 dazed
 with
 excitement
 and
 with
 the
 energy
 of
 the
 scene
 as
 if
 trying
 to
 hold
 in
 a
 laugh,
 fills
 in
 the
 gaps
 for
 Roy.
 The
 boy
 and
 two
 friends
 came
 up
 from
 the
 woods
behind
Sawyer’s
house.
They
waited
and
watched
for
movement
until
they
were
certain
 no
 one
 was
 home.
 Sawyer
 didn’t
 wait
 for
 them
 to
 clear
 the
 trees.
 He
 opened
 fire
 at
 the
 first
 movement,
the
first
shimmer
of
branches.
The
girl
was
fifteen,
maybe
sixteen.
 Roy
kneels
to
the
creek,
bent
with
his
forehead
on
one
knee.
He
rises
only
when
he
sees
 men
approach
from
the
distant
group
in
Sawyer’s
yard.
Sawyer
is
among
them,
drawn
along
the
 creek
by
the
two
church
deacons
who
sat
next
to
him
at
D.J.’s
funeral.
One
of
the
men
carries
 Sawyer’s
 gun.
 Someone
 helps
 Sawyer
 up
 to
 the
 roadside.
 His
 face
 is
 blanched
 white,
 a
 


51



translucent
 sheet
 of
 paper
 with
 gray
 eyebrows
 and
 mouth
 slack
 as
 if
 drawn
 by
 a
 child’s
 hand.
 The
triumph
slips
away
from
Roy’s
mind.
Nothing
he
could
tell
Sawyer
would
make
a
difference
 now.
 Roy
 reaches
 for
 him,
 clutches
 his
 shoulder.
 Sawyer
 doesn’t
 acknowledge
 the
 touch.
 His
 eyes
trace
odd
lines
toward
the
tree
line,
looking
for
nothing
at
all.


52
 



53



54
 



Book

 

Reviews




 55



Daniel
Borzutzky.
The
Performance
of
Becoming
Human.
 Brooklyn
Arts
Press.
2016.


Reviewed by Bayard Godsave 
 I
first
encountered
Daniel
Borzutzky’s
work
in
Angels
 of
 the
 Americlypse:
 An
 Anthology
 of
 New
 Latin@
 Writing,
 a
 beautifully
 put
 together
 book
 edited
 by
 Carmen
 Giménez
 Smith
 and
 John
 Chávez
 in
 2014.
 The
 prose
 poems
 of
 Borzutzky’s
 included
 in
 that
 anthology
 were
 arresting,
 violent,
 and
 rigid,
 employing
 the
 language
 of
 bureaucracy
 to
 examine
 the
 ways
 that
 human
 beings
are
transformed
into
commodifiable
bodies,
bodies
to
be
shuttled
back
and
forth
across
 borders,
bodies
to
be
counted,
to
be
tortured,
to
be
killed.
As
Johannes
Göransson
writes
in
his
 introduction
 to
 Borzutzky’s
 poems:
 “whether
 they
 take
 place
 in
 an
 invaded
 country
 or
 on
 the
 streets
 of
 America,
 the
 poems
 focus
 on
 the
 body,
 and
 the
 violence
 that
 goes
 out
 from
 and
 returns
 to
 bodies.”
 And
 later:
 “every
 body
 can
 be
 weaponized”
 (21).
 Borzutzky
 has
 been
 publishing
prolifically
on
small
presses
for
nearly
a
decade,
and
his
books
include,
among
many
 others,
The
 Book
 of
 Interfering
 Bodies
and
In
 the
 Murmurs
 of
 the
 Carcass
 Economy
 ,
both
from
 Nightboat
 Books.
 Most
 recently,
 he
 is
 the
 author
 of
 The
 Performance
 of
 Becoming
 Human
 (Brooklyn
Arts
Press)
which
in
November
was
awarded
the
2016
National
Book
Award
for
poetry.
 The
 poems
 in
 The
 Performance
 of
 Becoming
 Human
 operate
 according
 to
 an
 almost
 Kafkaesque
logic.
There
is
a
capricious
movement
from
image
to
image,
and
even
the
point
of
 view
of
the
poems
shifts
in
seemingly
arbitrary
and
disorienting
ways
as
well.
In
“The
Gross
and
 Borderless
Body,”
for
example,
sometimes
the
gaze
is
cast
upon
a
hypothetical
immigrant
body,
 and
 other
 times
 the
 poem
 is
 seen
 through
 that
 immigrant’s
 eyes.
 The
 spaces
 these
 poems
 occupy,
as
Göransson
has
pointed
out,
are
interchangeable.
They
are
the
US
and
they
are
foreign
 countries;
they
are
the
world
we
occupy
right
now,
and
they
are
the
blasted
landscape
of
some
 not‐too‐distant
dark
future—a
future
that
suddenly
seems
nearer
still
in
the
wake
of
the
Untied
 Sates’
 election,
 in
 2016,
 of
 the
 least
 qualified
 major
 party
 candidate
 in
 American
 history.
 “The
 Gross
 and
 Borderless
 Body”
 imagines
 an
 “immigrant
 at
 the
 border
 that
 separates
 Indiana
 from
 Illinois,”
 as
 though,
 by
 the
 very
 presence
 of
 the
 immigrant,
 this
 innocuous
 space,
 what
 is
 basically
 an
 arbitrary,
 easily
 crossed
 dividing
 line,
 is
 suddenly
 transformed.
 It
 is
 a
 remarkable
 kind
 of
 transformation,
 a
 transformation
 that
 comes
 about
 through
 an
 alchemy
 of
 language
 (“immigrant”)
and
context
(proximity
to
a
border),
and
one
that
the
book
continually
explores.
 It
 is
 with
 words
 like
 “immigrant”
 and
 “illegal”
 that,
 as
 Borzutzky’s
 book
 so
 often
 illustrates,
 a
 human
being
is
transformed
into
a
body,
a
commodity,
a
thing
to
which
violence
can
be
done,
 and
it
is
a
transformation
that
is
carried
out
at
the
behest
of
a
system,
a
vague
power
structure
 encircling
all
people
and
all
places.
“[I]t
is
often
said
on
the
shores
of
Lake
Michigan,
which
is
 the
 bay
 of
 Valparaiso,
 that
 we
 will
 die
 for
 reasons
 we
 do
 not
 understand,”
 reads
 one
 of
 the
 stanzas
in
“Lake
Michigan
Verges
into
the
Bay
of
Valparaiso,
Chile.”
All
spaces,
by
virtue
of
the
 bureaucratic
 structures
 that
 link
 them,
 are
 “unitestatesian,”
 all
 bodies
 are
 “untiedstatesian
 bodies,”
all
of
them
beneath
the
same
“unitedstatesian”
night.

 56
 



The
Performance
of
Becoming
Human
feels
like
an
extension
of
a
larger
project
of
witness,
 and
of
interrogation,
that
Borzutzky
has
been
carrying
out
in
each
of
his
books,
of
the
decades‐ long
neoliberal
experiment
that
has
given
us,
among
other
things,
The
War
on
Terror,
a
bubble
 and
burst
economy,
and
staggering
levels
of
income
inequality.
The
world
they
describe
will
feel
 familiar
to
readers
of
his
previous
books
like
The
Book
of
Interfering
Bodies
and
In
the
Murmurs
 of
the
Rotten
Carcass
Economy.
As
in
those
books,
rotting
carcasses,
both
real
and
metaphorical,
 are
 everywhere.
 The
 world
 in
 them
 is
 defined
 by
 Big
 Data,
 and,
 as
 he
 writes
 in
 “Data
 Harbor”
 (from
In
the
Murmurs
of
the
Rotten
Carcass
Economy.):
“According
to
the
data,
there
will
be
no
 end
 to
 the
 rotten
 carcass
 economy.”
 Though
 the
 content
 feels
 familiar,
 the
 poems
 in
 this
 new
 book
 feel
 more
 mosaic,
 with
 shorter
 paragraphs/stanzas
 that
 seem
 to
 allow
 for
 more
 air
 and
 light.
Borzutzky
has
said
that
as
an
artist
he
is
drawn
to
the
language
of
bureaucracy,
and
that
he
 writes
 with
 the
 idea
 of
 appropriating
 it
 and
 turning
 it
 back
 on
 itself
 as
 a
 kind
 of
 critique,
 and
 that
approach
is
still
on
display
here.
In
those
earlier
books,
though,
with
their
massive
blocks
of
 prose,
 the
 poems
 often
 felt
 as
 though
 they
 were
 written
 from
 within
 the
 confines
 of
 a
 kind
 of
 data
prison—indeed,
reading
Borzutzky
write
about
big
data
it
seems
as
if
he
could
be
writing
 while
 trapped
 in
 an
 hours‐long
 departmental
 program
 assessment
 meeting—where
 these
 new
 poems
appear
to
execute
a
kind
of
pivot,
and
move
with
a
grace
that
feels
more
nimble,
more
 free—none
of
which
is
to
say
that
this
book
is
better
than
the
others,
in
some
ways
I
miss
the
 intensity
of
his
previous
two
books.
 Since
first
reading
Daniel
Borzutzky’s
poems
I
have
been
thinking
a
lot
about
poetry
and
 resistance.
There
is
a
passage
I
can
recall
only
vaguely
from
Michael
Hardt
and
Antonio
Negri’s
 book
 Empire,
 about
 globalization
 and
 protest,
 about
 how,
 in
 the
 fog
 and
 fuzz
 of
 so
 much
 suffering,
it
is
difficult
sometimes
for
the
worker
whose
job
manufacturing
A/C
units
in
Indiana
 is
 lost
 to
 outsourcing,
 and
 the
 child
 disassembling
 iPads
 on
 a
 junk
 heap
 next
 to
 a
 polluted
 stretch
 of
 the
 Indian
 Ocean,
 and
 the
 trans
 persons
 fighting
 for
 basic
 rights
 in
 Thailand
 (and
 practically
 everywhere
 else),
 and
 the
 black
 victims
 of
 systematic
 murder
 and
 incarceration
 all
 across
 the
 United
 States,
 to
 see
 that
 they
 are
 all
 of
 them
 a
 part
 of
 the
 same
 struggle,
 are
 all
 victims
of
the
same
system
of
state
violence.
The
power
that
wields
violence
and
oppression
is
so
 systematized
 that,
 though
 its
 tools
 are
 often
 highly
 visible—and
 destructive—that
 power
 itself
 often
 remains
 invisible.
 It
 is
 everywhere,
 and
 in
 all
 things,
 and
 it
 is
 nowhere.
 In
 the
 aesthetic
 statement
 that
 accompanies
 his
 poems
 in
 Angels
 of
 the
 Americlypse,
 Daniel
 Borzutzky
 writes,
 “my
writing
is
informed
by
a
refusal
to
see
the
history
of
atrocities
as
a
series
of
separate
events.”
 In
Performance
of
Becoming
Human,
and
in
the
books
that
come
before
it,
we
can
see
Borzutzky
 shaping
language
into
a
tool
to
trace,
describe,
and
interrogate
systems.
As
a
project,
his
books
 seem
to
unfold
like
an
ever
expanding
map
of
that
unitedstatesian
space
our
world
has
become;
 and
they
represent,
I
think
anyway,
a
concerted
effort
on
Borzutzky’s
part
to
make
visible
that
 which
would
prefer
to
remain
unseen.
 


57



Danielle
Vega.
Survive
the
Night.
 Razorbill.
2016.


Review by Gary Reddin


 What’s
the
one
thing
that
contemporary
YA
novels
have
been
missing?
Well,
if
you
ask
Danielle
 Vega,
the
answer
might
just
be
Lovecraftian
horror.
On
the
heels
of
her
successful
duology
The
 Merciless
 and
 The
 Merciless
 II,
 Vega
 has
 released
 Survive
 the
 Night.

 The
plot
of
Survive
the
Night
is
fun,
if
not
a
bit
formulaic.
A
group
of
teens
attends
an
exclusive
 underground
rave
in
NYC
filled
with
drugs,
booze,
and
sex
only
to
find
themselves
locked
in
the
 sewers
as
someone
disembowels
their
friends
one
by
one.
At
first
the
plot
feels
like
another
run
 of
the
mill
slasher.
Things
get
weird
quick
though,
as
the
teens
soon
realize
that
it
isn’t
someone
 hunting
them
down,
but
something.
 Around
the
mid‐point
of
the
novel
the
killer
is
revealed,
not
as
a
masked
maniac,
or
even
 a
mutated
alligator/sewer
monster,
but
as
a
writhing
mass
of
clawed,
omnipresent
tentacles.
To
 make
 matters
 worse,
 the
 wounds
 from
 these
 tentacles
 cause
 a
 zombie‐like
 infection,
 turning
 friend
against
friend.

 Now,
for
the
uninitiated,
this
may
seem
like
a
sharp
turn
into
left
field,
or,
perhaps
even
a
 letdown
 after
 a
 great
 build
 up.
 However,
 for
 anyone
 that
 has
 ever
 dipped
 their
 toes
 into
 the
 waters
of
weird
fiction,
this
scenario
will
be
eerily
familiar.
Like
something
crawling
out
of
the
 Shadow
of
Innsmouth,
the
cosmic
horrors
of
H.P
Lovecraft
have
worked
their
way
into
the
world
 of
YA
fiction
in
Vega’s
novel.

 The
 creature
 in
 Survive
 the
 Night
 is
 never
 explained.
 It
 exists
 as
 an
 extension
 of
 the
 deepest
human
fear.
See,
there
is
a
reason
that
Vega’s
novel
works
on
the
level
that
it
does.
It
 owes
all
of
its
tension,
its
fear,
to
that
greatest
of
human
villains:
the
unknown.

 As
Lovecraft
himself
once
said
The
oldest
and
strongest
emotion
of
mankind
is
fear,
and
the
oldest
 and
strongest
kind
of
fear
is
fear
of
the
unknown.
 What
 makes
 Vega’s
 book
 interesting,
 is
 the
 way
 she
 weaves
 the
 traditional
 YA
 story
 of
 teen
 rebellion
 into
 this
 dark,
 unnerving,
 gory
 tale
 of
 cosmic
 horror.
 Casey,
 the
 books
 protagonist,
is
fresh
out
of
rehab
for
an
addiction
to
pain
pills
she
acquired
after
blowing
out
her
 knee
 at
 a
 soccer
 game.
 Throughout
 the
 book
 the
 reader
 is
 given
 a
 patchwork
 recollection
 of
 Casey’s
fall
from
grace.
From
star
captain
of
the
school’s
soccer
team,
to
washed‐out
pillhead
in
 just
 a
 few
 months.
 Throughout
 the
 book,
 Casey
 struggles
 with
 the
 very
 real
 monsters
 in
 the
 subway
tunnels,
and
the
monster
of
addiction
still
trapped
inside
of
her.
While
at
times
heavy‐ handed,
Vega
often
strikes
a
generous
balance
between
the
two.

 Where
 Survive
 the
 Night
 falls
 short
 is
 in
 its
 requisite,
 if
 shoehorned,
 YA
 love
 triangle
 between
 Casey,
her
best
friend,
and
her
ex‐boyfriend,
both
of
which
are
in
the
tunnels
with
her,
because
 of
course
they
are.
Oftentimes,
during
life‐or‐death
moments,
Casey
will
find
herself
wondering
 about
the
status
of
her
relationship.
Which
is…just
ridiculous,
honestly,
if
disembodied
tentacles
 were
killing
off
your
friends
left
and
right
would
you
take
the
time
to
contemplate
why
your
ex‐ 58
 
 



boyfriend
 didn’t
 hold
 your
 hand
 longer
 as
 he
 was
 helping
 you
 escape
 certain
 death?

 








Ham‐fisted
romance
aside,
this
book
certainly
isn’t
for
everyone.
Are
you
a
fan
of
concrete
 endings?
Then
this
book
probably
isn’t
for
you.
Dislike
horror
but
are
a
fan
of
YA
novels?
Maybe
 pass
on
this
one.
However,
if
you’re
a
fan
of
a
good
creature
feature,
enjoy
YA
novels,
and
love
 some
unknown
horrors
from
beyond
thrown
into
your
reading,
I’d
say
pick
up
Survive
the
Night
 and
give
it
a
read.
Don’t
let
a
fear
of
the
unknown
keep
you
from
a
good
book.



59



Nathalie
Léger.
Suite
for
Barbara
Loden.
 Dorothy
Project.
2016.


Reviewed by George McCormick

True
story:
Barbara
Loden
was
an
American
actress
who
was
almost
famous
(writes
Léger,
“She
 should
have
been
in
The
Swimmer
with
Burt
Lancaster,
but
Janice
Rule
got
the
part…should
have
 been
in
The
Arrangement
with
Kirk
Douglas,
but
Faye
Dunaway
got
the
part
instead.”)
and
who,
 in
1970,
wrote,
directed,
and
starred
in
the
enigmatic
film
Wanda,
which
won
the
International
 Film
Critics
Award
for
that
year
and
is
something
of
a
cult
classic
today.
Also
true:
writer
 Nathalie
Léger
was
given
an
assignment
by
an
editor
to
write
a
short
entry
about
Wanda
for
a
 film
encyclopedia.
Unable
to
capture
the
film
in
two
or
three
sentences
Léger
let
the
dam
break
 instead,
and
what
we
have
in
our
hands
is
a
strange,
wonderful
little
novel
(the
back
cover
calls
 it
“auto‐fiction”
but
that
sounds
clunky
to
me;
let’s
just
call
it
a
novel,
we
lose
nothing
by
 allowing
the
form
to
be
as
elastic
as
possible)
about
how
we
see
ourselves
through
others.
 Loden’s
Wanda
follows
Wanda
Goronski,
an
unhappy
housewife
who
upon
relinquishing
 the
rights
to
her
children
wanders
through
a
bleak
American
landscape.
She
sleeps
in
a
movie
 theater,
meets
a
man,
is
abandoned,
meets
another
man
in
a
bar
who
physically
and
emotionally
 abuses
her;
she
helps
him
rob
a
bank,
he
dies,
she
meets
another
man.
This
man
attempts
to
 sexually
assault
her
in
a
hotel
room.
She
escapes
and
in
the
movie’s
final
scene
she
is
in
another
 bar
where
strangers
buy
her
drinks
and
give
her
cigarettes.
Léger
tells
us
where
the
idea
for
 Loden’s
film
came
from:
“Her
inspiration
for
the
screenplay
was
a
newspaper
story
she
had
read
 about
a
woman
convicted
of
robbing
a
bank;
her
accomplice
was
dead
and
she
appeared
in
court
 alone.
Sentenced
to
twenty
years
in
prison,
she
thanked
the
judge.”
It
is
in
this
gesture— thanking
the
judge
for
removing
her
from
the
world—that
Loden
and
Léger
find
mutual
 fascination.
And
it
is
here
that
the
book
moves
from
being
a
piece
of
film
criticism
and
becomes
 a
novel.
Léger’s
obsession
becomes
the
story’s
McGuffin
and
from
here
we
follow
her
(and
a
 sometimes
fictionalized
version
of
herself)
as
she
travels
to
the
United
States
to
learn
everything
 she
possibly
can
about
Loden/Wanda.
What
emerges
is
at
once
a
novel
of
ideas
and
an
oblique
 autobiography—think
a
distant
cousin
to
W.G.
Sebald’s
Vertigo.
 Reading
Léger’s
novel
made
me
think
of
two
relatively
recent
pieces
of
daring
film
 criticism:
Geoff
Dyer’s
book
Zona
(2012),
a
glorious
meditation
on
Tarkovsky’s
Stalker,
and
 Rodney
Ascher’s
documentary
Room
237
(2012),
a
survey
of
some
of
the
wilder
interpretations
of
 Kubrick’s
The
Shining.
Each
taps
the
near
nuclear‐like
energy
of
fan
obsession,
and
both
made
 me
go
back
and
re‐watch
each
respective
film.
And
this
is
where
I
think
Léger’s
book
diverges
 from
them.
While
someday
I
may
in
fact
see
Wanda
(I
pieced
the
above
summary
together
from
 my
reading)
for
now
I
don’t
feel
compelled
to.
Somehow,
it
was
never
about
that.





60
 



61



Contributors
 
 Saima
Afreen
grew
up
in
Calcutta,
smelling
shiuli
flowers
and
chewing
different
syllables.
To
 breathe
she
churns
poems;
to
earn
a
living
she
works
as
a
journalist.
Her
poems
have
been
 featured
in
The
McNeese
Review,
The
Nassau
Review,
The
Foliate
Oak
Literary
Magazine,
Friends
 Journal,
Shot
Glass
Journal,
Visual
Verse,
Open
Road
Review,
Muse
India,
Coldnoon
Travel
 Poetics,
Wordweavers,
Nivasini
Publishers,
Ræd
Leaf
Poetry,
The
Asian
Age,
The
Telegraph,
The
 Times
of
India
and
many
other
publications.

She
won
‘The
Nassau
Review
Writer
Award
in
 Poetry,
2016’.
She
won
the
first
prize
in
poetry
contest
by
Wordweavers,
2013.
She
was
declared
as
 the
winner
in
MuseIndia
Poetry
Contest,
2010.
 
 Paul
Austin
has
acted
and
directed
On
and
Off
Broadway,
Off‐Off
Broadway,
summer
stock,
 and
regional
theatres
around
the
nation,
as
well
as
acting
for
television
and
film.
Late
Night
 Conspiracies,
a
collection
of
his
writings
was
performed
with
jazz
ensemble
at
New
York’s
 Ensemble
Studio
Theatre,
where
he
is
a
long
time
member.
He
has
written
for
and
about
the
 theatre
in
essays,
poetry
and
plays.
His
work
has
appeared
in
such
publications
as
This
Land,
 Sugar
Mule
and
Newport
Review.
He’s
currently
working
on
three
collections
Actors,
Mother
and
 Son
and
Persons
of
Influence.

 
 Louis
Bourgeois
is
the
Executive
Director
of
VOX
PRESS,
a
501
(c
)
3
arts
organization
based
in
 Oxford,
Mississippi.
His
forthcoming
Collected
Works
will
be
released
in
the
fall
of
2018
by
 Xenos
Press.
 
 Molly
Fuller
is
currently
a
Teaching
Fellow
in
the
Literature
program
at
Kent
State
University.
 She
also
received
her
MFA
from
Sarah
Lawrence
College.
You
can
find
her
prose
and
poetry
in
 NANO
Fiction,
Union
Station
Magazine,
Potomac,
Dressing
Room
Poetry
Journal,
and
Hot
Metal
 Bridge.
Her
flash
sequence
“Hold
Your
Breath”
is
in
the
Marie
Alexander
Flash
Sequence
 Anthology,
Nothing
To
Declare.
She
is
also
the
author
of
three
chapbooks:
The
Neighborhood
 Psycho
Dreams
of
Love
(Cutty
Wren
Press),
Tender
the
Body
(Spare
Change
Press),
and
All
My
 Loves
(forthcoming
from
All
Nations
Press).
She
lives
in
Ohio.

 
 Bayard
Godsave
is
an
editor
and
regular
reviewer
for
the
Oklahoma
Review.
 
 Ken
Hada
has
published
6
collections
of
poetry,
including
his
latest:
Persimmon
Sunday
(Purple
 Flag,
2015).
Ken
is
a
professor
at
East
Central
University
where
he
directs
the
annual
Scissortail
 Creative
Writing
Festival.
Reviews,
bookings
and
information
available
at
www.kenhada.org.
 

 Billy
Howell
received
his
MFA
from
University
of
New
Mexico
and
his
PhD
from
Oklahoma
 State
University.
His
writing
has
appeared
in
Florida
Review,
Blue
Mesa
Review,
Lumina,
Arroyo,
 and
elsewhere.
He
lives
in
Washington,
D.C.,
and
teaches
at
George
Mason
University.
 
 George
McCormick
is
a
regular
reviewer
for
the
Oklahoma
Review.
He
teaches
at
Cameron
 University
 
 62
 



Gary
Reddin
is
an
editor
for
the
Oklahoma
Review.
He
is
a
student
at
Cameron
University.
 
 Kerri
Vinson
Snell
completed
an
MFA
degree
from
Ashland
University,
Ashland,
OH
in
2015,
 and
currently
works
as
an
assistant
professor
of
English
and
Communication
at
McPherson
 College,
McPherson,
KS.
Her
poems
have
appeared
in
Mikrokosmos
(Wichita
State
University),
 Relief,
and
Foothill:
a
Journal
of
Poetry.
In
2016
she
received
a
Pushcart
nomination
and
was
a
 contributing
poet
at
Scissortail
Creative
Writing
Festival
in
Ada,
Ok.
 
 


63



64
 



65



66
 



 
 
 


Oklahoma Review, 17.2  

Oklahoma Review, Fall 2016

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you