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qarrtsiluni

economy

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june – august 2009

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1. Cyril McGrath taking his sheep to Pigeon Island in Tilting, Robert Mellin 2. underneath is snow, Stacy Elaine Dacheux 3. Of View, Anne Morrison Smyth Cover : cupboard’s bare, Michael Aanji Crowley

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barcode for

ISBN 978-0-9781749-7-2

qarrtsiluni online literary magazine

june – august 2009

economy


june - august 2009

economy

The word Economy has its roots in Greek - oikos and nomos - meaning the principles necessary to maintain the household. It’s a thoughtful word. The study of economics, until the 18th century, was a branch of philosophy. And in 2009, as the global economy struggled to find its way to recovery, we decided to take this much-used word and ask artists to play around with its meaning and implication so that it might be re-envisioned. Contributors were challenged to send us interpretive and imaginative explorations of this one word - and our challenge, as editors, was to select from the rowdy, triumphant, and eclectic mix of poems, flash fiction, visual artwork, and video poetry that resulted. We then had the difficult and stimulating task of choosing work we believe depicted the word beyond its stereotypical associations. We sought out submissions that weren’t so much about the news of the word but about its heart and heat. It was a real honor to read through, select and then present the brave and beautiful work in the Economy issue of qarrtsiluni, which engaged its audience to read and think in new and wonderful ways. And it goes without saying that we are delighted to learn that Beth and Dave, as qarrtsiluni’s managing editors, consider the issue worthy of being added to their wonderful stable of print editions.

Anna Dickie and Pamela Hart editors

economy of line by Michael Aanji Crowley, pg. 28


Contents

Tilting  Anna Dickie; photos by Robert Mellin............................................................................................2 The New Poetry  Ray Templeton..............................................................................................................4 Sojourn  Gerard Wozek............................................................................................................................5 Patty Cake  Karen Stromberg..................................................................................................................6 The New Economy  Rob A. Mackenzie....................................................................................................7 The Steel  Steve Rago.............................................................................................................................8 From Earth Records  Alistair Noon........................................................................................................10 Our Rowdy Pack Song  Holly Anderson and Caroline Beasley-Baker......................................................11 The Supper at Emmaus  Irene Brown...................................................................................................12 What the Forest Said  Jessamyn Smyth................................................................................................13 February Day Trip  Susan Donnelly.......................................................................................................16 underneath is snow  Stacy Elaine Dacheux...........................................................................................17 No Diminishing Returns  Tom Sheehan................................................................................................18 Need  Gregory Stapp..............................................................................................................................19 Economy of the Untamable  Jane Rice................................................................................................20 Let Go  Christopher Woods.....................................................................................................................22 Dealing With Family and Friends  Karyn Eisler and Dorothee Lang.......................................................23 Gift Section  Irene Brown......................................................................................................................24 Penny  Rachel Dacus.............................................................................................................................25 Summer’s Orders  Elizabeth Kate Switaj................................................................................................26 Problems with Value  Rachel Fox.........................................................................................................27 economy of line  Michael Aanji Crowley................................................................................................28 Binary  Anne Connolly...........................................................................................................................29 Pushing 1s and 0s  Holly Wehmeyer.....................................................................................................30 What Did the News Say About a Vacation?  Julene Tripp Weaver........................................................31 Bank Holiday  Rob A. Mackenzie...........................................................................................................32 The Huancabamba Depression  Judith Terzi........................................................................................33 Of View  Anne Morrison Smyth...............................................................................................................34 chicken little considers the sky again  Ed Higgins.............................................................................35 The Mystic in the Basement  Monica Raymond...................................................................................36 Seasoning  Rachel Woolf.......................................................................................................................37 Rio Hondo Crossroads  Steve Wing......................................................................................................38 Quick Brew  Rachel Dacus....................................................................................................................39 Sustenance  Jessamyn Smyth...............................................................................................................40 The Core of a Woman  Pia Taavila........................................................................................................41


Melons  Richard Spuler..........................................................................................................................42 Isles and Lakes  Alec Finlay..................................................................................................................43 The Economic Heart  Maureen Jivani...................................................................................................45 Pliant de Voyage; Objects of Desire  Alex Cigale.................................................................................46 Evening  Angela Koh.............................................................................................................................47 Then Again: In Meditation on Ruskin’s Stones of Venice  Joanne Hudson........................................48 Math Tutor  Pia Taavila..........................................................................................................................49 Visual Economy  Anne Morrison Smyth.................................................................................................50 The Economy of Porn  Maureen Jivani..................................................................................................51 Post-Coital  Eileen R. Tabios..................................................................................................................52 Truck Song, You and I  Gregory Stapp..................................................................................................53 Space Walk  Glenda Bailey-Mershon.....................................................................................................54 blue Raleigh  Kay McKenzie Cooke........................................................................................................56 Critical Mass, Vancouver  Alan Girling.................................................................................................57 Collective  Kristin Berkey-Abbott............................................................................................................58 Year Abroad Room and Board  Merry Speece......................................................................................59 Trickle-Up  William Sea.........................................................................................................................60 How Appurtenances Are Made Sacred  Alex Cigale............................................................................61 Frui  Angela Koh....................................................................................................................................62 A Rainy Day  Claire Quigley...................................................................................................................63 A Different Planet  Ray Templeton........................................................................................................64 Missing  Kristin Berkey-Abbott...............................................................................................................65 Doing My Part  Kate Irving....................................................................................................................66 The Bookmark  Russell Helms..............................................................................................................67 We Never Talk Anymore  Meredith Trede..............................................................................................69 An Economical Fairytale  Kelsey Blair..................................................................................................70 An Economy of Language  James Brush..............................................................................................73 New Poem Breathing  Tom Sheehan....................................................................................................74 blown by the wind  Michael Aanji Crowley............................................................................................75 My Lady Copia  M.V. Montgomery.........................................................................................................76 A 92-Degree Day  Don Skiles and Peter Cherches.................................................................................77 401(k)  Ed Higgins.................................................................................................................................79 Balance  Anne Connolly.........................................................................................................................80 Pearl, Lantern  Merry Speece................................................................................................................81 Recessional  Colin Will..........................................................................................................................82 Recession: A User’s Guide  Nathan Moore...........................................................................................83 economies  Monica Raymond................................................................................................................84 cupboard’s bare  Michael Aanji Crowley................................................................................................85 Notes on the Contributors ..................................................................................................................87


The New Poetry Ray Templeton He wrote his verse in smileys: expressive punctuation, soul laid bare in variations on the colon and parenthesis, a kiss to make up with an asterisk, collusion in a semi-colon wink, sleep with one stroke, sickness with another, death dealt with his two fingers — the keyboard skull and crossbones, using eight and X. He excelled at concrete imagery: roses made from ats and brackets, percentages for clover. He made the most of metaphors on cows and monkeys, pigs and chickens. That year he swept the board at all the major competitions despite complaints from purists, and the old guard raging that symbols couldn’t rhyme. But others got the point: anything to lift the art from dusty books and droning readings can’t be bad. His limelight period didn’t last, though: there were queries about his methods, he made a hash of his defence. Quotes in the papers spoke of scandal — he lost the next year’s smiley slam, and his career just …

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qarrtsiluni : june - august 2009


Sojourn Gerard Wozek Saint Alphonsus instructed his followers: “Take only what you need.” Retreating into the desert, he lived for three weeks eating volcanic ash, waiting on Uriel’s command. After twenty days he was flame, his mind, the arc of sky. He no longer felt his toes scraping hot sands. He walked unharmed past rattlesnakes, blended into copper hillsides, drank from arid sage plants. The ascetic turned into wind, moving effortlessly over mountains, branches of tall cypress. Years later, clerics found his rotted sandals, placed them as a relic amid hair and purported bones of local saints. Believers still come to place their hands on the worn insteps where Alphonsus stood looking into the archangel’s eyes. Supplicants touch desert dust to tongues, reverently bow, attempt to cast off everything but their marrow.

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Patty Cake Karen Stromberg The moment she knew she’d conceived she made two decisions: no doctors, no birth. “Baby,” she said to the cluster of 15 cells adhering to her uterine wall. “Forgive me. It’s a harsh world. I can only think of one way out.” Every cell of their collective body agreed. At the end of nine months there were no contractions, no birth. By the end of the first in-utero year he slept through the night and drummed on her lower left rib if he wanted a shot of caffeine. He liked reruns of Myron Floren on the Lawrence Welk Show and did not care for Chinese food. She filled with song. He learned to crack his thumbs in time to her voice, a double-jointedness which ran through the family on her father’s side. By the third year she began to thin. Lying nude in the backyard dosing them both with Vitamin D, she noticed how translucent her flesh had become, the centerline full of white striations pulling and stretching like a seam coming undone. In the dome of her belly, two small hands pressed, and then between them, a face. Even pale and waterlogged, his hair a floating nimbus, he looked exactly like her uncle Vinnie. She smiled. The boy smiled back. His finger with its long curled nail followed the path of a crow over the dome of his world, leaving a flush of pink in the fluid. She called her sister, said she was leaving a present in the backyard. The sister said she’d be right over. When the sister arrived, the boy, sitting upright in the pelvic girdle, was playing pattycake in a small puddle of amniotic fluid, tears streaming down his face from the pure brilliance of the day.

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qarrtsiluni : june - august 2009


The New Economy Rob A. Mackenzie The rattling cans fell silent and the rattlers stiffened to attention, equidistant, as if on military display.

a family can be trucked out from the city. For five hundred, your name will be immortalised

On the clearing’s far side, a massive hangar, slabbed together with corrugated iron, stewed in the sun’s gut.

in Speck City on a plaque of solid aluminium. Please give generously, we rely on your gifts.”

One door, no windows. “You live there?” Laughter churned through the ranks. One woman spoke, “This building is the last hope for Speckland, a hut of refuge for its people, a slim dignity. Here, those forced into tiny squats in Leith, twelve to a room, with only Speckish supermarkets for nutrition, can now find fulfilment and five-minute toilet breaks while studying the language of Shakespeare and Thatcher by selling off last year’s mobile phone technology.” At that moment, the door opened and a shock of ragged men, women and children tumbled out, sharing cigarettes, pulling open Kraft lunch boxes and cans of Coke Zero, setting alarms to vibrate. “For six pounds a month, you can feed a child a week of recycled meat. For twelve,

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The Steel Steve Rago

Entrance, Bethlehem Steel Plant

These black-and-white pinhole photographs show how the iconic Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) steel plant—“The Steel” to those who worked there—appeared in 2005. The sprawling complex sat dark, rusting, and abandoned behind chain link fencing. The plant, which closed in 1998, had fueled the economic engines of the 20th Century, providing the ribs for battleships, skyscrapers, bridges, and the interstate highway system. This year, part of the historic site has been developed into a Sands Casino and Resort.

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qarrtsiluni : june - august 2009


Empty Lot and Towers, Bethlehem Plant

While some of the lesser buildings have been bulldozed, the blast furnaces and several other core components remain. The Sands has said the tall furnaces will be repainted and illuminated with “architectural lighting.�

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From Earth Records Alistair Noon You sign your name, and live, as long-term guest, the economics of the domicile: the highest prices start where views are best. Light has status. One pays for space and style. Descending from these peaks, the roofs begin to terrace out across each marked-off plot. The postcode scores the loss or draw or win. Sometimes the height is shared, and sometimes not. You’ll find the horizontal villa, or the block of income worry, standing tall. A bench in central London costs no more than dangerous nights, a policeman’s wake-up call. In any case, the place that’s always free is where the land breathes out, becoming sea. * A different kind of music sprays the pavements in the summers of economic booms: trained violinists play for unit payments; grandmothers, graduates amortize rooms. The raising of the GDP includes sales of Sleeping Beauty by teenage boys in stations; seminars that teach the moods suited to business, the interview ploys. Private coaches are the sleeker design, the comfier; brighter the books and shops. The local film moves quickly into line— the new heroes: brick-faced boxers and cops. The higher prices crush the ticket crush, and chums count less. The new pavements are flush.

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qarrtsiluni : june - august 2009


qarrtsiluni online literary magazine

june – august 2009

1

2

1. Cyril McGrath taking his sheep to Pigeon Island in Tilting, Robert Mellin 2. underneath is snow, Stacy Elaine Dacheux 3. Of View, Anne Morrison Smyth Cover : cupboard’s bare, Michael Aanji Crowley

3

economy

Profile for Phoenicia Publishing

Economy  

The june-august 2009 issue of qarrtsiluni, edited by Anna Dickie and Pamela Hart

Economy  

The june-august 2009 issue of qarrtsiluni, edited by Anna Dickie and Pamela Hart

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