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Raleigh Review, vol. 3 (20122013) Copyright © 2013 by Raleigh Review Cover image, Geri Digiorno’s “Little Mary At The Playhouse Lounge” Printed by: Sheridan Press, Hanover, PA Library of Congress Control Number: 2001012345 ISBN 978‐0‐615‐73503‐0 Printed and bound in the United States of America Raleigh Review Box 6725 Raleigh NC 27628 Raleigh Review is supported by United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County with funds from the United Arts Campaign, as well as the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, and in part by readers like you.
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Editor/Publisher Rob Greene Editors Sierra Golden / Poetry Henry Kivett / Art Rob Greene / Fiction Editorial Staff Tasha Pippin / Poetry & Copyediting Tyree Daye / Poetry & Bookshop Specialist Sejal Mehta / Fiction & Events Planning Susan Shah / Fiction & Fundraising David Koh / Poetry & Publishing Heather Ridlon / Poetry Jessica Phillips / Intern Editorial Advisory Board Will Badger Smriti Ravindra Cassandra Mannes Board of Directors Joseph Millar / Chairman Dorianne Laux / President Walt Wolfram / Vice President Wilton Barnhardt / Secretary Rob Greene / Treasurer Raleigh Review Founded As Rig Poetry Robert Ian Greene February 21, 2010
Editor’s note After reciting fragments of the poem, “Egg Rolls” to Alan Shapiro—one of the most humorous poets of all time—at the West End Poetry Festival in Carrboro this past fall, he told me he noticed Raleigh Review accepts less than zero point five percent of the work that is submitted. So for every one friend, we make a hundred and ninety‐nine enemies. While I laughed at the end of his punch line, I tried not to allow my paranoia to get the best of me. I guess this is my point: there are 4,600 plus magazines out there, so it is very easy to get work published in this twenty‐first century. If I could give any advice, it would be this: this is not a race. Whoever has the most does not win anything. Those who survived the dot com crash and the artificially inflated housing market taught us to make sure our results are organic—innovation should be backed up with legitimacy and steady growth. We have for the most part been very careful at Raleigh Review in our desire to promote excellence in the literary arts. We take our time and try to make sure every syllable counts in each word, every word on each line, and every line on each page in the poems and flash we select. We hope you enjoy some of these works. We believe art should challenge as well as entertain. Rob Greene, ed. Raleigh Review
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ART Campus Blue Curls II Friends Keats
FICTION Fish Tail That Longcase Clock… Eulogy for a Hypothetical What Momma Draws… The Many Subarus Glitter Girl Lives Cozy
POETRY Terlingua Courtship Of Ten or More in a Room After Spring‐Watching Pavilion At the Tidal Basin RR Vol. 3 Featured Poet Om Tara The Nakedness of Things Masha Gingerbread House Without You Cylindrical
REVIEWS If this world falls apart…
Abie Harris Ruby Newman Travis Green Melvin Pena Nicole Taylor Tanya Jacob Kristen Hamelin Tracey Tawnysha Greene David Hopes Richard Sonnenmoser John Oliver Hodges
Jeffrey Alfier Leslee Wright Scott Owens Jane Otto John Balaban, Translation Nissa Lee Doug Anderson Judy Shepps Battle Dorianne Laux David Rigsbee Benjamin Goldberg Andrea Scarpino Gerardo Mena
8 19 37 66
13 22 40 45 49 52 58
7 11 18 21 27 28 29 39 43 47 51 57 60
POEM Jeffrey Alfier
For the opulent lust of cinnabar, men could once die here in three languages. Man and stone need every hour of darkness to exhale the sun’s fire. Adobe’s faithful to legend – roofs are gone, spelled by the sky’s enameled blue skull. I step through a gate and on down a slope that fans into the dull green of creosote to find a Model T, skeletal in oxidized decay, crows cawing its indigent anthem. Lightning spikes the Chisos Mountains, like strands of a woman’s hair, disquieted into silver, where she stands in afterlight, the dust unswept from her doorway. Raleigh Review 7
Centennial Campus Abie Harris
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POEM Leslee Wright
Courtship The treads drone like love songs gone bad, our rusty carriage through the country, past an audience of long‐necked refineries, all peeping past a sky brighter than onionskin. These roads used to flood, whisk away silt and dead leaves, leg‐up insects and aluminum scrap. We liked to drive through them at top speed, water rioting over the roof of the car, the engine almost catching on a gut full of weeds and muck, lost in the sensation of drowning while perfectly dressed and parched. Everything eventually dried up. Raleigh Review 11
Now grasshoppers churn in the water’s stead, their migration a wheezy, sour syrup. He parks the car and pulls something sweet from behind my ear, like the surprise coin of a one‐trick magician. Where to next? he asks. I imagine him gone to shivers, tee‐shirt heavy with water, and me watching at the passenger window, tracing the course of his bright red hair, kissing the glass as he floats by. 12
FICTION Nicole Taylor
Fish Tail I opened up the scab on my elbow again with the antique salad fork. I was hoping for scars. The fork was pretty interesting. The handle was a big bulb of heavy metal, like lead or something. And there was a naked mermaid carved into it. It was that sort of place. Heavy black napkins and candles in the windows. Some pieces of the scab, the parts that were stuck together with lint and dust and cat fur, fell off and landed on the white tablecloth. Mama saw and I thought she was going to belt me right there at the table. That summer we told everyone that we were on vacation, even though we weren’t the sort of people who summered in Europe. We weren’t people who “summered.” Really, we had gone overseas for my sister Yvonne to take care of the baby. “Don’t call it that,” Mama kept telling me. But I did anyway. Yvonne did too. Yvonne was on the other side of the table. She was staring at my elbow where just a little bit of dark blood was making a round bead and sinking down the side of my arm. She got all white like Raleigh Review 13
she was going to be sick. Everything was making Yvonne sick then. “Jesus Christ, Char,” Yvonne said. “Excuse me?” Mama snapped. She set her own fork down on the corner of her plate and it was such a brittle sound that I winced. Before, Yvonne would have had some answer, smart and mean, for her. But now she just got quiet and turned her face away. That was the worst part of it, watching Yvonne try to walk on eggshells. I held the fork up to the light. The mermaid’s tail was all coiled up and it made the handle with its twisting. There were little tiny scales and I could feel them when I gripped it hard. There was a little bit of my blood, sticky on the end of one of the tines. I looked over at Mama, she was looking down and pursing her lips at her salad, like they still hadn’t done it right. She’d already sent it back three times. I put the fork in my windbreaker’s pocket and she didn’t see. The doctor we took Yvonne to was Swedish. His voice sounded like singing and it was hard to believe that he was a real, serious person. He sat down at a chair across from Yvonne and touched her knee. Yvonne’s skirt rode up a little bit and there was nothing in between his skin and hers except for pantyhose and I didn’t like that, but Mama didn’t say anything. He looked at Mama when he asked all his questions, but he left his 14
hand on Yvonne’s leg and kept moving it, first back and forth and then in slow little circles. Yvonne stared at it, but I could tell that she didn’t see. My elbow was half‐healed, but it was still puffy and pink and hard and that was good. Scars were the best way of knowing that I’d figured it out. Memories got slippery like a mermaid’s tail. They turned around on you. But a scar was a document. A scar was proof. When Yvonne’s doctor put her flat‐back on the table, he let Mama and me stay in the room. I stood on one side of Yvonne and Mama stood on the other. Yvonne reached out for me. I held her hand with one of mine and I touched the mermaid fork in my pocket with the other. It seemed warmer than it should have been, but maybe that was only from being close to me all day. Yvonne turned her head, looked up towards Mama. She asked her if it would hurt. “Yes,” Mama said, with that tight look on her face like when the salad wasn’t right. I saw Yvonne crying four times in my life. Once, when she accidentally cut open the round part of her hand with a bread knife; once when Dad died; once on that doctor’s table and once when that boy was holding her down. She cried Raleigh Review 15
and she screamed and he wouldn’t stop until I got Dad’s pistol out of the desk drawer. But afterwards, everyone knew it was Yvonne’s doing. It was Yvonne’s punishment for not listening to Mama, for being so willful and smart‐mouthed and going with boys, so I must have remembered wrong. I know that mermaids aren’t real, but I read once in a book that sailors were seeing manatees sitting on the flat rocks and thinking they were fish‐tailed ladies. A manatee doesn’t look a thing like a woman, a manatee doesn’t even have hair. It’s kind of scary, how wrong a brain can get it. You can be so certain and it can all be fake, or worse, a lie. I bent Yvonne’s hand in mine, until our wrists kind of curled around one another, like a woman’s messy hair. I looked at my elbow. It had begun to itch, which meant it was healing. But I could open it again, I could be vicious when I had to. “Stop that!” Mama would tell me. “Do you want scars like mine?” She’d pull her hair up and show me the place on her neck when she fell off her grandmother’s back deck, the hard white lines on her hands from knives abandoned in soapy sinks. Mama leaned down next to Yvonne. She whispered, but I understood. “No one will know, honey.” 16
That boy knocked me hard into the buffet when he ran out. Gave me a good dig. All Yvonne’s bruises had faded. And now the baby. Like it was never there. But he might as well have written his name on me and my skin would not forget.
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POEM Scott Owens
Of Ten or More in a Room One will be thinking of dinner. One will be humming a Pretenders' tune in her head. Two or more will look out the window and think of something they’ve forgotten to do. If you’re lucky two will be hanging on every word. The rest will be so sad they can hardly keep their faces on. But one, one will be writing a poem so beautiful you will see trees in her eyes. Flowers will bloom in the corners of her mouth, and in the crease of her forehead a knowledge in that moment that says Right now, I care for you all. 2013 NC Poetry on the Bus
Blue Curls II Ruby Newman
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Portrait of Zwanda III Ruby Newman
POEM Jane Otto
After they pushed and pulled, heaved and tugged with metal tongs that glared like giant shoe horns I lay—shaved and bluish— splayed as they swabbed and dabbed, stitched with barbed‐wire precision. The morning after your birth, drunk with pain I slid from bed, wobbled toward a full‐length mirror, untied my flannel gown, let it fall in a heap, to witness lost iridescence, plumage and ruffles. Raleigh Review 21
FICTION Tanya Jacob
That Longcase Clock at the End of the Hall The day the cat was killed, Maddy watched her mom wind that damn clock with her same little smile, cranking the gold key into its funny little hole, as grandma wandered around the dining table in her see‐through lingerie while her nurse snuck a cigarette on the front step, while her brothers scraped their forks against the table and dripped the last bits of potatoes and corn from their open, awful mouths while that clock sat heavy on the white carpet, at the end of the hall, mom humming along to that terrible ticking all sing‐song. It made Maddy’s teeth clench. Truly, there was no point to these silly, endless family dinners. Always being six o’clock sharp and never over until that clock was wound, thirteen years of her life wasted for this nonsense so far, burnt up in boredom, when all the while she had some very important matters to attend to back in her bedroom. The longcase clock had been left by the previous owner, or maybe the one before that, no one was sure. Cloaked in pine wood and 22
always counting, no birds printed around the clock face, no farm scenes or flowers, just black numbers and wiry hands and that was that. Then near the bottom, a long silver pendulum behind a square of smoky glass. It was too heavy to tip, too tall to place anything on top, old and faded and always suspect. Her brothers avoided it at night and the cat avoided it entirely (or used to). The clock face glowing round and white over the wooden suit, like a pale‐faced ghost or a porcelain reaper, feetless and shadows for arms, nothing like the Russian doll mom would try to compare it to. And mom would say to it, Good morning, Mr Clock! and Maddy would roll her eyes and click her teeth, and mom would say, We’ll be back soon old Mr. Clock and Maddy would fiddle with her jewelry and pretend not to hear her. And mom would sing along with the pendulum while the boys knocked over the kitchen chairs wrestling and playing tag, and grandmother would nap by the television and the nurse would paint her nails. All the time, her mom would smile and hum. Maddy knew better. She knew this life didn’t deserve a sing‐song background score. A mountain lion had eaten grandma’s cat this morning for Christ’s sake, and worse, grandma was too far gone to even notice. Maddy had seen it herself, the mountain lion snatching the cat, as Raleigh Review 23
she ran out the back door too late, one second the cat was on the ground and then in the lion’s mouth, legs ripped off and thrown, and that’s when it happened. When it was almost over and the cat must have known it, he turned and with more than a hiss – with a war cry really – gave the lion one great slash across the face, all claws and fangs. The mountain lion didn’t seem to notice, although he bled a little, and then just like that the cat was nothing but a few flung pieces and the rest gone. Maddy had walked back inside with her stomach all a mess, that poor pathetic thing. And there it was, that fucking clock, cold and uncaring, unchanged, ticking away like it was teasing her, or maybe waiting. Once her mom finished winding it she said There you go you lazy old clock! Finally, Maddy picked up her plate and glass and put them quickly into the kitchen, then without a smile to any of them she escaped to her bedroom and slammed the door. This afternoon the jar had arrived by mail and exactly two hours ago she had applied it: her deluxe facial crème that was going to get rid of the horrible blemishes. She had felt the cool sizzle on her face all through dinner and couldn’t wait to see. Maddy sat down hard in her desk chair, pulled herself close into the mirror and was completely disgusted to note that it was all the same. A little worse, if 24
anything. Maddy’s irritation stayed at a constant low rumble as she touched the blotchy corners of her frown. Of course this too had failed and she’d return to school in two months invisible at best and a monster at most probable. She pushed the jar of crème away from her mirror and began to begrudgingly fix her hair this way and that, rubbing her braces with her tongue and poking at her stomach, and even there she could hear the pendulum. For a moment she felt guilty to have forgotten the cat, but then quickly her mind wandered to where she and the girls would go later that night, and would she maybe be in movies someday, if this acne cleared up, and wondered if maybe she’d grow another inch this summer the way some of the boys had, or was it true that boys kept growing after girls, and then she started to hear it—it had been many months since she’d heard it—her grandmother’s laughter, not the way she remembered it really, but like a giggle. Like a little girl. Maddy opened the door and began to walk back into the hall. She stopped when she saw her, sucking in her lips and trying to hide herself in the remainder of the hallway. There she was, naked this time, her favorite grandmother, one hand cocked on her hip, her eyes lighting up at the sight of Maddy. Hey doll, you know if the show’s Raleigh Review 25
started? It’s getting cold out here, you know if it’s started? The cat and now this. Maddy began to cry and right like that she was there, mom, still smiling, still in that sing‐song way, and she put a jacket around her own mom and glanced back at that longcase clock sitting on the white carpet, Oh I see. Are you causing trouble again you dirty old dog? And the nurse ran in from watching her favorite soap, all apologies, and walked Maddy’s grandmother back to her room, everything quiet again but the pendulum. But still mom stood by that clock and Maddy watched her in secret, and then it happened. Her mom’s face dropped, just for a moment, and she kicked that clock, right in the smokey glass, easily enough, like she did it all the time, in the morning or late a night when they all were asleep or at school, hard enough to make the glass shudder. She watched as her mom stretched her arms out behind her, making herself tall like when Maddy was still a child, humming again now at the ceiling, at the dull stucco that was both earless and ugly, she smiled and hummed to it all the same. 26
POEM Ho Xuan Huong Translated from Vietnamese John Balaban, Translator
Spring‐Watching Pavilion A gentle spring evening arrives airily, unclouded by worldly dust. Three times the bell tolls echoes like a wave. We see heaven upside down in sad puddles. Love's vast sea cannot be emptied. And springs of grace flow easily everywhere. Where is nirvana? Nirvana is here, nine times out of ten. Raleigh Review 27
POEM Nissa Lee
At the Tidal Basin, Washington DC Couples stretch beneath cherry trees blossoming while children suspend from bent knees gossiping. They grow heady, their cheeks turn pink.
FEATURED POET Doug Anderson
Poet Doug Anderson grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He served as a combat medic in the Vietnam War, and after Vietnam attended the University of Arizona, where he studied acting. He started writing poetry after he moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, and worked with the poet Jack Gilbert. Anderson has written about his experiences in the Vietnam War in both poetry and nonfiction. He is the author of the poetry collections The Moon Reflected Fire (1994), the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Blues for Unemployed Secret Police (2000). In 2000 he published his memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery. His awards include a grant from the Eric Mathieu King Fund of the Academy of American Poets, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize. Anderson has taught at the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, and the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He now teaches at Smith and Emerson. Raleigh Review 29
DOUG ANDERSON Elements
The typhoon spins tin roofs off shacks and sends them scything. Where sea meets river mouth, the swollen mingling washes away whole villages, people sucked under in their sleep. It has been raining for a week. Leeches spill from flood surge into the paddies and we burn them off with cigarettes. Watch them drop and writhe. The mines we just put down and armed are shifting in the turbid water and we fear to step on them ourselves. Our weapons jam with grit and rust. The heat falls away, we shiver in our ponchos, try to light sodden cigarettes. There, a dog stands on a hummock, cut off from home, where they will eat him. He shakes and sprays and lives another day. We wade through rice fertilized with human shit. The leeches come back and we burn them off again. There, Smithson stands butt naked, killing them, his thighs streaming with blood. That night we light sterno tabs and heat coffee. The rain roars in the leaves. I would not wish this on my enemy, out there trying to make a fire to cook his rice.
DOUG ANDERSON Birds
They don’t domesticate, their little bird brains a knot of see and eat. No matter how long we cage them they remain aloof. Some, having found you harmless will sit on a finger or a shoulder. I had a love bird once that was anything but loving. Escaped while I cleaned its cage and went to live in the TV, would not come out and bit me when I tried to pry it loose. No, they do not love us, nor did they love St. Francis, only the seed sprinkled on his open palm. They are to us like people who move to another country and refuse to learn the language. Or cats, who love the sofa with its cube of sunlight more than you. When my mother died I sat with my friend Berta in her living room, eating ice cream by the pint when suddenly her cat, feeling spry, leaped from chair to chair and landed on the bird cage, an act which so terrified the parakeet it brained itself on the bars and died right there. Raleigh Review 31
We laughed—imagine that— and again, loud and long, some contraction of the gut like grief, like the expulsion of the bird of death from its sordid roost.
DOUG ANDERSON Cabbie Days, 1983 Driving nights paid better, taking home the clubbers, booze‐lit or sodden. But I liked mornings best. I’d come on at dawn, whores in Times Square yawning, the boy hosing down the sidewalk in front of Madam Tussaud’s. People on their way to work that just minutes ago, stood at the mirror and waited for their gang face to show up. I’d stop at the Gem Spa on Second Avenue, pick up my coffee and Times, start my day as if anything was possible, as if I had just arrived on earth. I loved it when it snowed, the streets quiet except for the spin of a tire or the rattle of a gate being folded back to reveal a fruit stand. By lunch I’d imagined a hundred jobs besides the one I had. I’d count my money from the cigar box, head uptown to eat squid and rice, platanos and malta. I’d come to New York for whatever gold there might be, just like all the rest. I saw another cabby stopped at a light near Columbus Circle, Raleigh Review 33
saxophone between his knees. Played like Colman Hawkins. And me, who’d come to write, as if the cab was just a means and one day I’d drive it across town and leave it to enter another life, pay off the driver, a ghost, my former self.
DOUG ANDERSON Teeth The elders, shawled in old silver, waist‐deep in gum and clinging claw‐footed against extraction, scowl at the still randy incisors posturing in their pits, looking for trouble. And there, the clotted ruby crater where once a molar stood, and through which whines the breathing of the Host. They do not speak of him, nor do they embrace the memory of the scalpel and bloody forceps that came in like SWAT and took him. They would rather remember the pure young gods who fell out unassisted, one after the other, fled under pillows and morphed into coins by morning. And so begins their day, these hoary druids, gazing at each other across the sleeping tongue, that whoring leviathan that has not yet reared itself to speak.
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DOUG ANDERSON The Tomb Cleaners
We worked in mausoleums three tiers high with dead rich folk. The Hants, said Thomas, and looked around like someone else was there only he could see. In time, even the finest coffins leaked, ran down and stained the marble walls. We’d sand them down and polish them. These folks stank as bad as any VC corpse. I had some trouble re‐entering in 1968, more at home with the dead. But Thomas feared their unfettered spirits. I think he must have hated them: their Cadillac caskets. Buried in suits whose cost would have fed him for six months. Hants, he said, and slapped a slab of marble with his rag. We ate lunch out under the big elms that grew so high in the rot‐rich soil, I said, These dead are on staff in Hell, they run the place. Thomas looked at me like my mama raised me wrong to be so smartass among these malicious ghosts. I looked up at the stone, chipped‐wing angel that bore a child to heaven, and thought, yes, wouldn’t mind one made flesh whose tenderness might lift me up. I held this image close and when we knocked off, went back to my room. Pulled a quart of gin from the toilet tank, where I hid it from the crone who took the rent and snooped.
Friends Travis Green
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POEM Scott Owens
Partly Norman Norman admits he’s partly to blame for raising boys who partly know how to be men. He always meant to teach them more but didn’t, partly because he married too young, partly because he had to make a living, partly because he wanted his boys to be tough, partly because he didn’t know how himself, partly because he lacked patience, understanding, kindness, partly because such things didn’t matter in the military, but even he suspected it was mostly because he had always only been partly himself.
POEM Judy Shepps Battle
Om Tara How many hands have caught me as I transition? With each karmic chapter I pass from life to life from scene to scene from person to person threads of sacred tapestry all Captain Marvel rings within rings teaching me to find the me to feed the me to love the me to free the me to become the not me. This birth asks me to be alchemist to change my chemistry to withdraw adrenaline addiction to embrace spirit, mind and body as one to focus on healing self and Mother Earth. Tara, Goddess of New Life, your holy midwife hands birth me once again. Once again genetics and biography disappear. Once again destiny suspends harsh judgments. Once again, a hardened heart becomes malleable. Once again, all is possible.
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FICTION Kristen Hamelin Tracey
Eulogy for a Hypothetical Yes I know we didn't have a hard time with the decision itself. We're pragmatic people, Sam, you and I; hard in many ways, like the fathers we so admire (like the fathers we spent years and years trying to convince that we were sexy, strong, smart, bound for success yet cavalier about working for it, happy, but not unselfconsciously so, and rational, because that would mean we were grown‐up). It was easy. We'd talked about it before, right? We wouldn't let accident get in the way of the fates for which we had girded and gussied ourselves. The hypothetical had seemed further away then, so improbable; now it was soon, and big, like the way the tunnel entrance goes from a dot to a dome just moments before you're to drive into it. I think... ...there was some relief, there? In you, or me? A sad, smothered little thing inside that breathes easier when there's freedom ahead, but I would've felt blasphemous, saying that at such a time. Anyhow, after that I wanted to go away with you, Sam. To drink up sadness, spew out sentimentalities (when we allowed 40
ourselves: not too often; there is such a thing as decorum). To fuck absolutely everywhere, and I mean everywhere, both geographically and physiologically, turning ourselves on with the aphrodisiacs of: 1) Clean sheets. The way the maid turns them down so they're smooth on your skin, that's sensual, sexy. The crisp white against puce geometrics on the bedspread. And then of course they're so damned virginal—an external descriptor, not an essential one—inviting you to despoil them. Slide inside; be enveloped. I'd say, leaning back against the pillow, I'm not wearing any underwear. 2) Nostalgia. Impending nostalgia, really. I'd look at you as you knelt up over me to be sucked, and at the awkwardly protruding pecs, and at the little dark hairs that only grow around your nipples, and I'd be thinking: Wow, I'll miss his nipple hair. Whereas usually I'd be thinking about a wax salon. 3) Guilt. A no‐brainer—it's the sexiest thing in the world. I'd feel not just my own, but yours, like a vice in my pelvic region, urging me on. Thing is, my mother. The face she made when she got the call about The Castaways. Understudy? she said her voice cracking. Then a look at me, as I avidly searched for a sign of Raleigh Review 41
disappointment, finding which I would have hugged her, yes, while feeling pity for her, oh certainly. She swallowed everything, said Oh yes, I'd love to, I can't wait to work with you. Me, I cannot, quite, picture myself ever strong enough to promise: I'm going to protect another person from the things that I feel, on the theory that they (the things) are too much. Not picturing that, I couldn't sign up to do it, or to fail to do it. Question: Is it possible that choosing not to be mother‐and‐father together—choosing not to send forth the unique combination of DNA, meiosis, gamete, Radegast‐drunk, PBR‐soaked, winter‐in‐Brooklyn, reverse‐cowgirl, these‐ damned‐things‐dry‐my‐cunt‐up‐like‐a‐raisin stupidity and lust into the world as a puny declaration of our own immortality, thus admitting that we die and that our love, too, dies —means choosing, definitively, not to be together? What has happened, or has anything happened, to the declaration we once made that the future didn't have to.
POEM Dorianne Laux
The Nakedness of Things There is nothing more naked than a cactus, its green skin exposed, the enlarged pores from which each spiny hair sprouts. Nothing so naked as a wave lifting its frothy dress to show off one glassy blue thigh. The pliers spreads its legs, sheathed in red rubber stockings, displays its shiny metal crotch, cold to the touch. A dab of kerosene behind an ear of glowing coal and it splays open, twisting in a pit, like the frayed wilderness of sex. Nothing naked as the rain, dragging its fingers over the mountain's bare breasts or music undressing itself Raleigh Review 43
in the air. Look, it's everywhere, the world undone, naked as the day it was born.
FICTION Tawnysha Greene
What Momma Draws on Windows Momma’s favorite book is Revelation and during Bible studies at night with her red marker, she draws on the sliding glass door, the same story each time—the antichrist, the four horsemen, beast with seven heads, ten horns. She draws a map of the world, points to the king of the north, the east, fighting the lion, says this is happening now, in the news. She sketches the seven churches, the lamb that speaks like a dragon, the woman clothed with sun. Before bed, we pray with Momma, so that if the rapture comes, we’ll be saved. She says God only takes the children who are blameless, pure. The rest burn in a lake of fire, and when we dream, the lake’s water is black. One night, Grandma comes over and after dinner, Momma gets the Bibles and I let Grandma borrow mine, show her the highlighted verses, the pictures of dragons I’ve drawn in the margins like the ones Momma makes on the sliding glass door. Grandma doesn’t listen to Momma, plays games with us when she isn’t looking, sits at attention when Momma turns around. It makes us
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laugh and Momma gets mad, takes our Bibles, sends us to bed. Momma and Grandma talk late and we don’t say the sinner’s prayer before bed, don’t ask for God to make us clean. By morning, Grandma’s gone and Momma’s still asleep and we play in our room until mid‐day. We go to Momma’s room to wake her up, but we can’t find her. Her clothes are in her bed under the blankets, laid out like she was sleeping, her watch on her pillow. We pull the covers off and find her socks at the bottom of the bed, underwear inside pajamas. We run outside to find out who is gone, who else left behind, and we find Momma outside the door. She had been watching us through the windows. She is wearing her own clothes. Her Bible is in her hand. The Rapture never came. Every night after that, we are serious during Momma’s Bible studies, sit away from Grandma and in the mornings, we get out of bed, sneak down the hall to see if Momma’s still there. She is and we open the sliding glass door, watch the sun rise over the trees. We pray to God, kneeling in the cold, look to heaven for the people Momma draws on the windows, for the angels, the woman of the sun, twelve stars around her head, the moon at her feet.
POEM David Rigsbee
Masha I’m listening to the violins shimmer, a cheap and self‐conscious attempt at emotional presentiment, like Wordsworth’s daffodils—only black. It’s perhaps only a composer’s joke (here, Rachmaninoff’s) so heavily does the music hover between the quotation marks of what it feels, of what in some way it must be, until it reaches a chromatic delta, then regroups into a swell of melody. To tell you the truth, it reminded me—in the multivalent way music does—of a time I drove to Montreal to marry a Russian girl, Masha, so that, like Auden’s wife, she could peel off immediately on crossing the border and go her way into civilization, as Wystan and Thomas Mann intended. I had been put up to this escapade by a friend, himself an émigré, and imagined its potential far into the future, for literary treatment. But what I found was a series of quizzical beings: a mother, a sullen ex‐husband, and some other persons identifiable only by grunts and movements in the background. Raleigh Review 47
When Masha appeared, I beheld a woman with a full mustache, a beauty marred in an atrocious and pitiless way not only by brutal politics, but by something more hostile in nature, something against which the mere barbarities of the materialist State were just buffetings of the otherwise inert. We went for tea, and after listening to my rehearsed entreaty, she told me in tenderness and with tact, why this was a fool’s errand, why Canada, even with an ex‐spouse in tow, ended her pilgrimage more appropriately than the States. I left as the sun eased into the lake, feeling empty and ashamed of using and also, of being used. I felt like an aide‐de‐camp who had screwed up at Yalta, having lost nuance and substance both, and the second‐to‐last thing he remembered was the swishing capes and the wheelchair’s crunch, as the principals exited the raised dais, and everyone turned and glimpsed the Black Sea, all swells and wheeling seagulls, one last time. 48
FICTION David Hopes
The Many Subarus Most of the cars in the parking lot are Subarus, with that starry logo on back or side. I cannot account for this. It seems random, though perhaps it is not. Perhaps the Subaru owners sent out a message conveying to each other where and when to gather. The family at the next table on the sunstruck terrace came in a gray Subaru hatchback. I don’t know cars very well, so all the information I can provide involves appearance. The family—mother, father, pretty daughter‐ talks about how old the pretty daughter will be when she finishes medical school. She is in high school at present, so there is plenty of time for revision. She seems dedicated to the idea without being determined, so if something interferes or intervenes, she will be able to cope. All the conversation is about her. The parents are relieved. They have nothing at the moment to say for themselves. The father is trim, bearded, bald. I think that people probably still want to have sex with him. What is striking is the way he looks at his daughter, learning, evaluating, as if he were a stranger: the way she holds her little clutch purse; turning over in his mind the fact that she has chosen a little green clutch purse rather than something else; that she walks that way; that she Raleigh Review 49
chose the friends he has gotten used to; that she likes this boy rather than that one. It all amazes him. The mother must have stopped at the bathroom, for father and daughter get into the gray Subaru, drive around and pick her up at the café door. The mother, now that I see more than the back of her head, is gorgeous, like a middle aged movie star who has lost nothing. She is more beautiful than the daughter. The daughter doesn’t seem to care. She has plenty of time. The father’s eyes are on her. 50
POEM Benjamin Goldberg
Gingerbread House Between Moose Bottom Road and Naked Creek it's perfect leave‐your‐baby‐in‐the‐car weather. Tucked in the folds of Old Rag Mountain, its dumpsters lend to the ambience of burnt sugar and swamp. Flies buzz near a bucket of mop water, the smell of a bathroom you could die pissing in. Someone's grandma in zebra‐print booty shorts winks at a Mormon whose vintage titty mag peaks from his bag. In the open kitchen, a plate drops into a skillet of scowls. Even the misplaced hipster found her place here sketching on the placemat portraits of a waitress who calls her diners “honey” or "ladybug." Cool air caresses your face from an open mini‐ fridge as fingernails polished the color of pan grease tear plastic wrapping off a Black Forest cake: nobody stays hungry long enough.
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FICTION Richard Sonnenmoser
Glitter Girl Lives
Gregarious slips past security. Everyone in line notices but stays mute. Gregarious is our nineteen‐year‐old cousin. We duck out of line and make our way to the alley. We find the fire exit. Gregarious lets us in. Furtively we affix glow‐in‐the‐dark bracelets we stole from ShopRite. They are, we believe, close enough to the real thing. Optimism surges. Inside the air feels twenty degrees cooler. At the bar we ask for drinks by name. We ask, too late, if there are any specials. We nod as we’re told the specials, which we immediately forget. Gregarious says it’s time to light the candle. We ask if this is in reference to something, maybe a Broadway musical. No, no. Don’t be dumb. Annoyed, Gregarious shuffles toward the ladies room. Gregarious is one hundred percent man. He’s a pretty serious user. At school, Gregarious happily goes by Greg. Only family calls him by his real name. Sans Gregarious, we’re at loose ends. We lift our arms and look down and declare disaster. We’re tragically and wrongly dressed. We appear as if we’ve tried too hard. Slowly we gravitate toward a lonely‐looking girl with plump breasts and glittery, childish makeup. We try not to look 52
at the silken beautiful ballooning above the rim of her wrap dress, but it’s difficult. So we just occasionally look. We keep hands in pockets. We try to project a sanguine air. Finally we ask when the music’s going to start. She says the band’s going on in five or ten or fifteen, maybe an hour. We ask if she’s ever seen them before, but she’s deeply into her cell phone as if it contains critical tax information. Wounded, we walk away and worry over the best method of hooking up with Gregarious. Glitter Girl, we know in our bones, is too controlling and manipulative anyway. Our bones are full of information. Gregarious weaves toward us through the crowd, smiling, with many vials of blood. They’re piled in his shirtfront, revealing his flat belly the color of granite. Seeing his meandering belly hair the word that comes is RIVERINE. We’ve seen this holding‐things‐in‐the‐shirt move before, but the kid doing it was cradling four golf balls. Stealing the balls, his and his three bespectacled girlfriends’, from Country Putt. That’s where we work. We look the other way about golf‐ball filching. Putters may not leave the premises. Weekends we drink root beer floats from noon to nine. The vials of blood are disconcerting, but they’re not as disconcerting as would be bloody hands or ripped and bloodied women’s underwear. What’s this about, we want to know. You won’t believe what’s happening in there. Raleigh Review 53
Tell, we say. Tell and just see. About the belief. Dude, I’m dizzy. I’m really feeling it now. Gregarious holds a vial to the light. He gives us two and pockets the rest. The lights dim. The band emerges. They lay into us. We hum and sway. In between songs, there’s a lot of chatter with the crowd. The band is bought many shots. We ask a waitress about buying a round, but what they’re drinking is too expensive. We apologize to her more than is necessary. Everyone’s keeping time with fingertaps on jeans and head shifts. Before the encore, the lead singer curses at a skinhead who stands a few people in front of us. The skinhead wears a homemade shirt that says AIDS KILLS FAGS DEAD. He curses back and is, flailing and anger‐gibbering, removed by security. At the break, we make for the bar. Gregarious reminds us to tip. Tattoo Sleeve, who orders before us, says something about bloodletting in the bathroom. High nearly as good as X, she says. We don’t really believe this, but we’re compelled. Now, we think, we’re a part of something. We’re in the club. We order and then tip a dollar a drink. We’re heading back to our spot when we see Gregarious with a glittery girl with plump and beautiful breasts. It’s her. She’s working him. Her eyes are opening wider and wider. She’s giving him the business. She’s telling him everything we wish we would be told. She leans 54
like a professional leaner and slips a finger into the waistband of his jeans. The band reemerges, smoking cigarettes, waving. The crowd gets hot. The stage lights switch and then switch again. Glitter Girl pulls Gregarious’s head to hers. Now, in the open air, they’re licking tongues. Outside, after the show, there’s a confused row. The skinhead who’d been kicked from the club is fighting anyone who walks by. He hits upside the head a couple Subterranean Lords. He smashes his thumb into the eye of Silently Angry. Tattoo Sleeve, who is maybe forty and is visibly undone, screams at him and pulls his homemade shirt, and he whirls and strikes her in the ear with his fist and the butt of a Zippo. Craig, what the fuck are you doing? says Glitter Girl to the skinhead. Go home, Kat. Mom’s not going to— Craig peels the homemade shirt from his torso. He’s coming for her. He’s a mythical bull. He’s a bad taste in the air. Everything’s crystalline and blurred. Each movement’s distinct and all at once. He grabs Glitter Girl by the throat. She fights him, but she’s losing, which here and now’s the same as dying. Her eyes flutter. She squeaks out the last air from her lungs. He pushes her onto the concrete. Her breasts remain in the wrap dress, helplessly buoyant. She’s beautiful and shimmering and her brother’s killing her. We are helplessly buoyant, too. Bobbing listlessly in the water, unable even to say STOP. Raleigh Review 55
Our cousin makes a small noise. It’s a whimper‐shout. He’s releasing accumulated steam. Then he’s got Glitter Girl’s brother by the neck. Kat’s brother. Craig. Gregarious’s got Craig by the ears. They’re grunting in the struggle. Teeth are bared. Veins protrude. A growling, everywhere a growling. Then there’s a new gurgling. Craig’s being choked. Now he’s the one dying. Everything is crystalline and blurred. Glitter Girl lives. For now. We live, too, though there’s no reason for any of it, all of this living. We are uselessly bedazzled. Gregarious, too, lives, we know, because he’s reaching into his pocket and now, before we all get the breather we’ve been waiting for, as we’re readying the breath that somehow we’d forgotten to take, as our breathing hitches and then effortlessly resumes, at this critical moment in the history of our breathing, let’s say, cousin Greg’s smashing a vial of his blood against a skinhead’s teeth. 56
POEM Andrea Scarpino
Without You Don’t you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you. ~Cleopatra VII One hundred times I dreamed henbane, ground, baked, hemlock honey steeped, banewort mixed with grapes. Dreamed bouquets picked carefully, foxglove, poppy. One hundred times you called me beautiful, your hand on my back, face. One hundred times, your gifts. Your wandering. Purple flower, yellow eye, heavy bread on your plate. You mouth chokes open, gasps. Belladonna, you say.
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FICTION John Oliver Hodges
Cozy They slept in the golden straw, he in blue jeans and a pea coat, she in a print dress of pink violets on green. In the morning he pulled the dress up to her throat, but they heard laughter, saw four eyes staring through a crack in the boards. “Father!” cried the eyes, and they righted themselves, strapped on their backpacks and left the barn. On the hill a stone house stood. An old man with a cane hobbled their way. There were sheep they had not seen the night before, and standing in front of them were two little boys. “We just slept here,” he said. “We saw you!” the boys cried. “Good,” he said, and they walked on down the hill. As they reached the fence a rock hit her head and cut it open. They scrambled over the fence and ran. There was blood, but the cut wasn’t too deep. There was a lot of blood is all. It inched down her cheek and dripped off her chin. The cold was the problem. It was damned cold, and his ears hurt, and they needed some hats, and she needed a Band‐Aid. They had wanted to visit the castle, but said screw the castle. Leaving Harlech, they found a shop where doodads were sold, gimcrackery and snacks. The man inside the shop was not a happy man. The 58
man inside the shop was downright cantankerous. People are that way sometimes. You got to let people be that way if they got to be that way. “My girlfriend cut her head,” he said. “You got a Band‐Aid?” “No,” came the answer. “Any First Aid Kits for sale?” “No.” “How about hats? You got any hats?” “As you can see,” the man said, “I do not sell hats.” It was true. The man sold no hats. There was, however, a little quilted thing draped over a toaster. He picked it up and pulled it down snug over his ears. It was warm. It made a good hat. He thought he’d go ahead and buy it but the man yanked it off his head, and said, “That’s a toaster cozy, not for heads.” She thought it was funny. It cheered her considerably. “Not for heads!” she kept shouting, imitating the British accent as they walked the cold road. “That’s a toaster cozy, not for heads!” But he could’ve used that toaster cozy. His ears were sensitive. He clamped his hands over his ears. “Not for heads,” he said, and her laughter hummed through his palms. Raleigh Review 59
POEM Gerardo Mena
Cylindrical Between firefights, those long moments of silence, of slow exhale, when I allow myself to grasp a bullet with thumb and forefinger— to enjoy its shape, the feel of its smooth brass skin against mine.
REVIEW Tasha Pippin
If this world falls apart:
Moments of Stunning Intimacy
Lou Lipsitz. if this world falls apart. Spokane, WA: Lynx House Press, 2011. $15.95, paper.
Lipsitz starts his collection off with a group of narrative poems about family, so we read first about the poet’s grandfather, father, mother, son, and the poet himself as a child. Here, we not only feel an early connection to the poet, but unearth some striking images within the nostalgia, especially in “Fishing With My Son on Lake Champlain.” The poet harkens back to his days in a “sun‐flooded rowboat thirty years ago,” the beauty of a northern pike, “fierce and beautiful” mirroring the beauty of the boy and the moment itself, before the “long filament of days stretch[ed] itself across the water,” the “reel let out the line:/almost invisible…settling quietly downward.” These early poems seem fitting to start off a collection called if this world falls apart. First, we are seeing and experiencing the poet’s world. And what sort of world is this? A world in which flickers of observation manifest into a Raleigh Review 61
delicate mixture of apprehension and wonder at “all those years in front of [us].” A world in which, in junior high, we are climbing a rope: “twenty‐five feet to /the ceiling / of the gym…not knowing any better how / to return to earth / than [we knew] how to ascend,” with a fear of falling but also a wish to leap into the air and discover what might happen. A world that evades nothing and asks for nothing. A world in which a knuckle ball is like “the startling / crooked spirit of grief.” At times a “mysterious, damaged world,” but one of triumphs. By part two, many of Lipsitz’s poems have moved beyond reflections of past experiences, and on into more collective “we” poems in a lyrical, external style. Perhaps the strongest poem in the collection of this sort is “Unintelligible Words,” whose thematic impression can be seen in many of the other poems. Here, the poet explores the act of revelation itself, “those words that cannot be heard all day” but exist nonetheless, ready, when 62
we are, to be heard. An “old song [that] could come to you. / You don’t know why.” This idea is echoed in the “raw, unending poetry / that vibrates through the roots of the day” in “Vacation,” and again in “Why am I Restless?” We sense the poet’s fascination with the unsayable: …there is too much song, somewhere, waiting and I cannot breathe it… “How many days before / the in comes out?” Lipsitz asks. And poets and readers around the world mutter a collective “Amen.” In the beginning, this collection looks backward at moments of looking forward. Later, it looks outward in order to look inward. The results are moments of stunning intimacy. In fact, “Solomon’s Mistake” is the only poem in this collection which to me seems to lack this sense of intimacy, although it is nonetheless well‐ written. In this poem, Lipsitz re‐imagines the well‐known story of King Solomon dividing the child in two in order to discover the real mother. Instead of the idea being Solomon’s, the poem casts it as the last‐ditch threat of a soldier after Raleigh Review 63
Solomon turns the two arguing mothers away. The poem has the opposite outcome of the biblical version and the false mother gets the child. Solomon only discovers this, regretfully, years later, realizing what he could have done. Thus, his “mistake.” But it is hard to tell to what end this re‐imagining endeavors. That is not to call the poem pointless, for there is a clear point: ..it was then, as she wept, that Solomon realized what he could have done so many years before to reveal the truth. In a flash of despair, he discovered this wisdom— not the effortless solution mythologized by those who prefer the idolatry of kings. But in a collection with such evocative poems, this point seems a comparatively inconsequential one, with no real emotional crescendo. On the other hand, “Dr. Zhivago’s Desire” also describes a well‐known scene, but, I would argue, more successfully. In this poem, Lara, “carrying the great yearning / the way a river carries the bodies of the dead” and Zhivago, “run[ning] after her, howling like a wolf,” resonate with me as a reader. But most of Lipsitz’ 64
poems are more universal, and seem much stronger, such as “Sex,” You’re finished, sad, sullenly dissatisfied, and you get up, trying to be polite, and go home. You turn on the engine, and music blasts into the car, and you shiver but don’t turn it off. A true lyric poem, this piece is born in one impalpable instant and expands, like a stone thrown into a pond, rippling outward, resonating. The last lines of the poem carry it immeasurably outward: “It’s a short trip / home. It’s a / short trip.” So what are we to make of that conditional phrase, the collection’s title, if this world falls apart, by the end of the collection? “Variations on a Line by William Carlos Williams” seems to address that very notion, referencing Adam and Eve and their “fall” from the garden. If Raleigh Review 65
this world does indeed fall apart, maybe this poem contains our best advice: …Eden. Ah, that did not last, did it? …let’s locate Williams’ flower that unfolds and cannot be resisted— help it grow and burst everything open. We can search night after night —dream after obscure dream. …O brokenhearted race— take these hope‐filled roots— carry them carefully in your dreaming hands.
Keats Melvin Pena
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CONTRIBUTORS Jeffrey Alfier's poems have appeared recently in Vallum (Canada) and Post Road, with work forthcoming in New York Quarterly. His latest chapbook is Before the Troubadour Exits (2011). His first full‐length book of poems, The Wolf Yearling, will be published in 2012, by Pecan Grove Press. He serves as co‐editor of San Pedro River Review. Doug Anderson's book The Moon Reflected Fire won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Blues for Unemployed Secret Police a grant from the Academy of American Poets. His memoir, Keep Your Head Down, was published in 2009 by W.W. Norton. He teaches at Emerson and Smith Colleges and is poet‐in‐residence at Fort Juniper, the former home of the poet Robert Francis in Amherst, Massachusetts. John Balaban’s books have won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, a National Poetry Series Selection, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. His books have been nominated twice for the National Book Award. He is poet‐in‐residence and a professor of English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Judy Shepps Battle has been writing poems long before she became a psychotherapist and sociology professor at Rutgers University. Widely published both in the USA and abroad during the sixties and seventies, she deferred publishing to concentrate on career and family.
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Benjamin Goldberg currently lives outside Washington, D.C. and works as a high school English teacher. His poem, "Gingerbread House" in Raleigh Review is his first poetry publication. Travis Green is an artist currently living in Middlesex, North Carolina. He is recent graduate of North Carolina State University having received his B.A. in English. Tawnysha Greene is currently a Ph.D. candidate in fiction writing at the University of Tennessee where she serves as the fiction editor for Grist: A Journal for Writers. Her work has appeared in various literary journals including Necessary Fiction and Bluestem and is forthcoming in Emprise Review. Abie Harris won the Paris Prize in Architecture after graduating from N.C. State’s College of Art & Design. This national award enabled him to travel in Europe and study in Paris. He taught in the College of Design, co‐founded the architectural firm Envirotek, and, for thirty‐two years, helped plan the NC State University Main and Centennial campuses. His drawings have been widely published and exhibited at many universities, libraries, museums, and galleries. He is now a charter artist at the Roundabout Art Collective. Tanya Jacob is a clinical psychologist, and a standup comedian living in Santa Monica, California. Her publication credits include Pearl, Red Wheelbarrow, Temenos, Red Ochre, Primal Urge Magazine, 5X5, and the Chuffed Books anthology: You, Me, & a Bit of We.
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Dorianne Laux’s most recent collections are The Book of Men (Winner of The Paterson Prize and The Roanoke‐ Chowan Award for Poetry) and Facts about the Moon (Winner of the Oregon Book Award). She is co‐author of a handbook on writing, The Poet’s Companion, all from W.W. Norton. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry, and Smoke from BOA Editions, as well as a fine press edition, The Book of Women, from Red Dragonfly Press. Laux teaches poetry in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University. Laux is founding faculty at Pacific University's Low Residency MFA Program, and board president of Raleigh Review. Nissa Lee studies and teaches writing at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. Her poetry has been published in several online journals, including Wicked Alice and Requited. Gerardo Mena is a decorated Iraqi Freedom veteran. He spent six years in Special Operations with the Reconnaissance Marines and was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal with a V for Valor for multiple acts of bravery. He won the 2010 War Poetry contest sponsored by Winning Writers, was selected for Best New Poets 2011, and has pieces published or forthcoming in Cream City Review, Raleigh Review, Poetry East, Diagram, Barely South Review, and the Louisiana Review, among others. Ruby Newman is an artist born in northern New Jersey, who currently lives in San Francisco Bay. She received her BFA from Carnegie‐Mellon University, and has been involved in many public arts projects as well as creating private commissioned works for over 35 years.
Jane Otto’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Journal, Eclipse, Talking River, PANK, and Raleigh Review. Otto was raised in Colorado and grew up in New York City, where she lived for 23 years. In 2006, she and her family relocated to Los Angeles, where she raises financial support for nonprofit organizations. Scott Owens has received awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. He is the author of ten collections of poetry and over one thousand published poems in journals including Georgia Review, North American Review, Chattahoochee Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Poetry East, among others. He is the founder of Poetry Hickory, editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review and 234, and vice president of the Poetry Council of NC. Born and raised in Greenwood, SC, he teaches at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. Tasha Pippin, a poetry editor, copyeditor, and reviewer for Raleigh Review, is a recent MFA graduate from North Carolina State University where she taught poetry and creative writing. Her poetry won a state‐wide poetry contest in 2012, and she is published in several journals including Tar River Poetry and Cider Press Review. She currently lives in Raleigh, NC. David Rigsbee is the author of The Red Tower: New and Selected Poems (New South Books 2010), which won the Arthur Young Award for best book of poems by an NC author in 2010, and of The Pilot House (Black Lawrence Press 2011), which won the Black River Poetry Prize. His new collection, School of the Americas, will be published next spring by Black Lawrence Press and his poems have appeared in AGNI, APR, The New Yorker, Poetry, as well as the Pushcart Prize Anthology in 2012, among other places.
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Richard Sonnenmoser lives in Maryville, Missouri, where he teaches at Northwest Missouri State University. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His short fiction has appeared in Harvard Review and West Branch, among other places. His poetry manuscript, ScienceMagic School, won the 2010 Midnight Sun Chapbook Contest. He's the fiction editor for The Laurel Review. Nicole M. Taylor is a writer and a copyeditor, whose work has appeared in Jabberwocky and The Puritan, among other places. Kristen Hamelin Tracey's fiction has recently appeared or is upcoming in The Foundling Review and Unlikely 2.0, and she has written several children's e‐books. Leslee Renee Wright currently works in higher education as an assistant professor of literature and creative writing at Metro State College of Denver. Her poems have previously appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Creek Review, YB Poetry, Louisville Review, Moon Milk Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cimarron Review, and others.
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Raleigh Review Staff Thanks The Following For Contributions Towards This Issue
United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County NC Arts Council Tell It Slant Journal of the Month Roundabout Art Collective Two Guys Restaurant Living Poetry Joseph Milllar & Dorianne Laux JE Greene Family RD Greene Family SB Shah Family John Balaban Geoff Holden Betty Adcock Elaine Neil Orr Karen Kurt Teal Al Maginnes Our Board & Workshop Faculty Our Musicians The Bookstores listed on our website Those who attend our workshops Best of the Net & writers’ markets who list us Those who subscribe The poetry & writers festivals that host us Those who visit our bookshop loft Those who trust us with their work Those who attend our events, and Our families, muses, etcetera 80
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