Woven Tale Publishing ÂŠ copyright 2013 ISSN: 2333-2387
The Woven Tale Press
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Sandra Tyler Author of Blue Glass, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and After Lydia, both published by Harcourt Brace; awarded BA from Amherst College and MFA in writing from Columbia University; professor of creative writing on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including at Columbia University, (NY), Wesleyan University (CT), and Manhattanvill College, (NY); served as assistant editor at Ploughshares and The Paris Review literary magazines, and production freelancer for Glamour, Self, and Vogue magazines; freelance editor; Stony Brook University’s national annual fiction contest judge; a 2013 BlogHer.com Voices of the Year. http://www.awriterweavesatale.com
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Michael Dickel, Ph.D. A poet, fiction writer, essayist, photographer and digital artist, Dr. Dickel holds degrees in psychology, creative writing, and English literature. He has taught college, university writing and literature courses for nearly 25 years; served as the director of the Student Writing Center at the University of Minnesota and the Macalester Academic Excellence Center at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN). He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36 (2010). His work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, art books, and online for over 20 years, including in:THIS Literary Magazine, Eclectic Flash, Cartier Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Sketchbook, Emerging Visions Visionary Art eZine, and Poetry Midwest. His latest book of poems is Midwest / Mid-East: March 2012 Poetry Tour. http://michaeldickel.info Kelly Garriott Waite Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Science Monitor, Thunderbird Stories Project, Volume One, Valley Living, The Center for a New American Dream and in the on-line magazine, Tales From a Small Planet. Her fiction has been published in The Rose and Thorn Journal (Memory, Misplaced), in Front Row Lit (The Fullness of the Moon) and in Idea Gems Magazine (No Map and No Directions). Her works in progress have been included in the Third Sunday Blog Carnival: The Contours of a Man’s Heart and Wheezy Hart. She is the author of Downriver and The Loneliness Stories, both available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://writinginthemarginsburstingattheseams.blogspot.com
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Dyane Forde Author of forthcoming Rise of the Papilion Trilogy: The Purple Morrow (Book 1) http://droppedpebbles.wordpress.com Adrienne Kerman Freelance writer and editor, her essays have appeared in multiple magazines, as well as in The Boston Globe and Washington Post. She has authored a weekly parenting column, MomsTalk, for the Boston area AOL/Patch sites. http://mintsinmymotherspurse.blogspot.com Lisa A. Kramer, Ph.D Freelance writer, editor, theatre director, and arts educator. She has published non-fiction articles in theater journals, as well articles aimed at young people for Listen Magazine. Her fiction is included in Theme-Thology: Invasion published by HDWPBooks.com. She is the director of a writers’ workshop From Stage to Page: Using Creative Dramatics to Inspire Writing. http://www.lisaakramer.com LeoNard Thompson Has published opinion editorials, weekly columns and essays, and interviewed performers, practitioners, writers, politicians and personalities. http://leeyonard.com Lynn Wohlers Awarded BFA from School of Visual Arts, NY, NY; writer for Daily Post’s Photography 101 series. lynn-wohlers.artistwebsites.com, Bluebrightly. WordPress.com
Our staff is an eclectic mix of editors with keen eyes for the striking. So beware â€“ they may be culling your own site for those gems deserving to be unearthed and spotlit in The Woven Tale Press.
Editor’s Note: The Woven Tale Press is a monthly culling of the creative web, exhibiting the artful and innovative. So enjoy here an eclectic mix of the literary, visual arts, photography, humorous, and offbeat. This month: Glass Art, Graphic Grafitti, a Crook and More All submissions are credited with interactive Urls; click on an Url to learn more about a contributor. Click on a “Featured!” button to read more about a contributor on the Press site. To submit go to: thewoventalepress.net
â€œ My work is an exploration in the transmission, reflection and diffusion of light through glass. I attempt to capture and suspend light whether it comes from within or from the outside world.â€?
G L A S S
A R T
Somewhere Else 4
Fine Line Blue 5
http://dvonderembse.tumblr.com The Mess We Left What can we tell from these pictures on walls jars filled with glass candies wrapped in paper that cuts? What do we know of those who lived here, their secrets in plain sight of passersby the water-stained wall the empty picture hook the drawer full of broken glass? Listen and you can hear the uneasiness of a life never quite cleaned up or put away asking only for quiet, a place to be left alone. Perhaps if we sit and wait these walls will spill open to explain the sudden change.
Into the Springs The requiem that lowered my old friend into the ground plays in my head â€“ looking out over dark patches that once held life barren now but for the twinkle of water in moonlight I think of him swimming in the warm springs one day to be met there by me.
For now let us stop and sit amidst the mess we left and contemplate ourselves reflected back at us in a broken mirror.
Painting the Shed “So,” my brother said, “when Marvin was in high school, he got into trouble at school and we decided to ground him for life, but Annie wanted to get the toolshed in the backyard painted.” “That sounds like a job for you,” I said. “Unfortunately, yes.” “But I can already see your mind at work.” “I had been putting it off for a couple of months and no doubt I could have put it off a little longer, except here was Marvin grounded for life and a shed that needed painting, so I suggested that he paint the shed, and Annie was all over that idea.” “One of those rare situations where having a kid grounded for life actually comes in handy.” “I’ll say,” my brother said, “but you should have heard Marvin. As if he’d received a death sentence. He was into the hip-hop world in those days, and he wore those enormous pants with the waist around the middle of his butt, and he was forever tugging and adjusting to prevent the pants from actually falling down around his ankles. And everything was motherfucker this and motherfucker that.” “Very nice.” “So he whines and whines about painting, but finally after a day of two of swearing he’d rather die than paint the shed, he slouches into the kitchen and asks me where I put the fucking paint. I tell him it is in the garage.” “So he gave in?” “But only to the bare minimum. I go down to the garage and the paint cans are right by the door. Two brand new buckets of hunter-green house paint with a big old paintbrush and a paint stirrer on top.” 7
“Hunter green?” “Yeah, I know. It had been sitting out there for a couple of months ever since Annie bought it and every time I walked by I wondered what ‘hunter green’ looked like.” “But not enough to actually open the paint can.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You sound like Annie.” “I doubt it.” “So anyway, I come into the garage and he’s standing there like he’d just been dropped off by a taxi in bad neighborhood. He says, ‘so where in the fuck is it?’ and I point out the cans of paint with my elbow.” “What did he do then?” “Well he tucks the paintbrush and stirrer under his arm. Then he picks up the cans, one in each hand, and heads for the garage door. I call after him to ask if he wants a screwdriver but he doesn’t acknowledge that I am alive.” “Just a man on a mission.” “So he storms out into the backyard. He has got the big pants hanging down his butt with about a foot of boxer showing and the pant legs dragging on the ground. You can’t even tell if he’s wearing shoes. He’s not wearing a shirt and he has a baseball cap on backwards.” “Did he have the tattoo?” 8
“Yeah that stupid thing on his shoulder.” “Beavis and Butthead smoking a blunt.” “He says it’s a work of art. So anyway he gets out to the shed and now he has to open the paint cans but he doesn’t have a screwdriver. From the house, I can hear him cursing and whining.” “So he comes back to the house?” “No way. That would be an admission of defeat. He does what men of our family have always done under those circumstances…. He tries to pry the lid off with the plastic doohickey they give you to mix up the paint. It does not work very well.” “I have tried that very thing myself.” I said. “Obviously. You are a Duret. Things like that run in the blood.” “Amen, brother. So then what?” “He hunts around behind the shed by the tree line and finds a rock and a couple of branches and then he’s pounding away with the rock on the sticks and swearing to beat the band.” “How did that work?” “About as well as expected.” “I don’t think it worked for me either.” “Finally, I take pity on him and I go find the screwdriver and take it out to him.” “Did he actually take it?” 9
“I didn’t think he would at first. He gave me a murderous look, but I dropped the thing on the ground and went back in the house, and about five minutes later I look out the window and see he has started to paint. I figure he decided that branches and a stick would never work.” “So then what happened?” “It was an old shed, very weatherbeaten, so it drinks up the paint. He has to paint and paint just to get the paint to cover. It takes several coats. If you actually listened to his whining you’d think it was his blood on the brush.” “How long did it take?” “Almost two days. He spent more than a day on the front and then he had to go around into the woods behind our yard to to get to the back of the shed. Although he wasted a lot of time with his continual bellyaching.” “Did he do a good job.” “Well it looked okay from the house, but if you got a little closer you would not conclude that Marvin was neat.” “What do you mean?” “Well, there was paint all over the grass and shrubs around the shed. He actually painted a couple of leaves right into the side of the shed because he was too lazy to move the branches out of the way. And, of course, he got himself covered in paint. He had hunter green smears all over his chest and it looked like he’d wiped off his brush on those enormous pants.” “I bet he was unhappy about that.” 10
“You got it. But I will say this. He is enterprising. When he was finished he came inside and said that I owed him 80 bucks.” “I thought it was punishment.” “It was.” “So what did you do? Did you pay him or not?” “I did not do either. Obviously.” “Oh I get it. You told him to ask Annie. Very smart.” “But she had had it with his attitude and she wouldn’t pay him a penny. He sulked around for days. He said his pants were ruined and they cost at least 80 bucks. He was demented on the subject. He wouldn’t let go of it. Finally we ungrounded him and he took his bad attitude off to other locations. Man I am glad we made it through that age.” “But at least you got your shed painted.” “Sort of.” “Oh come on it sounds like, in the end, he did a pretty good job. And cheap.” “I thought it was ok until last year. He had gone off to college by that point, and Annie made me go out behind the yard and dig up a little holly tree out there.” “Missing him at that point, I bet.” “Badly, I avoid that stuff like poison. Anyway I walked around the back of the shed. I hadn’t been back there in years. And when I did, I discovered that he hadn’t actually painted that side. He just painted the side that faced the house.” “You gotta be kidding. The dog.” “But you’ll like this. On the back of the shed in hunter-green letters at least a foot high it said: “FUCK YOU MOM AND DAD” It had been out there for two or three years that way.” “Ha! What did you do?” “What could I do? It was two or three years after the fact. I just laughed. And then I sent him a check for $80.”
http://michaeldickel.info SOLSTICE i Darkness cool and short relieves the solstice heat while the earth stealthily slips around toward winter. ii Dogs darken barks at sight of shadows & eclipses but dance high, with wild glee when they see glinting waves.
iv Peeling my eyes open though sticky closed they’d be gives me ways to see this world unravel from my dreams. v Summer opens as its end starts—long day toward long night—without noticing cold harmony under hot melody.
iii Tree bark peels away only to display colors beyond gray, brown, or black imagining.
http://www.whosham.com Hamilton Glass is unique in his application of architectural elements– the line “drafting” of his dynamic backgrounds– to graffiti art. Elements that are common within his work are freehand shapes executed with graffiti-hand styles, along with unpredictable raw mediums and bold bright colors.
Emrick Flats 14
Dove & Pigeon 16
Fine Lines Mural J 17
Hamilton Glass Paintings: Acrylic and Ink on Canvas
Strength in Evolution
The scarecrow looked behind him. As far as he could see there was the desert. Somewhere out there was the train that had taken him as far as the rails of the Bad Road would go. After he had disembarked, he had rented a horse and travelled many days farther, until he had reached the small shack that now sat before him in the distance. The old beast was refusing to clear that last bit of distance. It was unnerved by something, no doubt; the scarecrow had been warned about the possibility. He slipped off, slapped it on the side, and the horse was off as soon as he said â€œGo away back home now.â€? The scarecrow stood for a moment, contemplating his present loneliness and the sight of 19
Strength in Hope
the shack. He collected himself and went forward, past a humble little garden of squash, maize, and climbing beans. Inside the shack, there was a man with hair the color of snow. He sat in a dirty, handmade rocking chair before an oaken chest tall enough to double as a davenport. A straw hat covered the manâ€™s sole remaining eye, so that all that showed was the piece of blue glass that sat in his empty eye socket. It flashed in the light of the setting sun shining through the open door behind the scarecrow. He could have been eighty or eight hundred, for all he looked. After the scarecrow closed the door, they were cast into darkness, but the old manâ€™s glass gleamed all the same. 20
It was the old man who broke the silence first. “You come on account of a famine,” he said. “Food don’t concern you, nor drink, though you take of both at times. No, but yours is a drought of the inspiration of God.” Despite the darkness, the scarecrow nodded. “Aye.” Light returned to the shack; the old man had lit a fire. The glass in his socket sparkled in the firelight. “Then why trouble an old man?” The scarecrow smiled. If the old man had truly been unwilling to help, he would not have entertained the conversation even thus far. “They call you a mountain man, who is able to talk to God and make intercession. I ask that you do so now, and open wide the windows of Heaven for me.” His expression fell. “Without my words I am nothing. Any scarecrow may labor crudely with his hands or watch the fields, but few can fashion the music that makes men live or even craft with their hands well enough to make men lift up their heads because of it.” “What are you willing to give?” asked the old man. Around the scarecrow’s neck hung a small, golden medallion emblazoned with ten horns. The scarecrow pulled it off his neck and handed it to the old man. The old man held it close to his eye and examined it carefully in the firelight. After what seemed to be a long while he spoke, saying, “It is not I who must receive this, nor I who may accept it. The offering is to God, and acceptance is from the same.” He sighed. “Go out beneath the light of the moon, and see there whether your offering is well-received.” This the scarecrow did, and he sat for many hours until, with the rising of the sun, the old man walked out and sat beside him. Two seagulls had taken roost on the scarecrow, one on either shoulder, and they spoke in a susurrus too low for the scarecrow to make out. “What is it that you hear?” asked the old man. “Nothing,” replied the pensive scarecrow. “Then keep yourself in silence, and make an offering in that manner, for who can feel a whisper amid the sounding of brass?” The old man then left the scarecrow and headed toward his garden. He sang something, but the language was unfamiliar to the scarecrow. The scarecrow waited and listened in patience, and the sun climbed its course in the sky. 21
The grass died beside him, burning in the heat of the day, and still the scarecrow sat, and thought on the mysteries of God. In time, the old man returned from his garden and sat beside the scarecrow again. “What is it that you hear?” he asked. The scarecrow almost spoke, but caught himself. He waited, and the old man waited with him. The wind blew softly, and when it came the scarecrow could not hear the old man’s low, wheezing breath, nor the voices of his seagulls. Finally he answered, saying again, “Nothing.”
“And if you met Him who you seek,” asked the old man, “What would you do, not being able to talk, nor able to stand there in silence?”
The wind died, and all was quiet again. “Or God’s breath,” the old man said. Silence returned, and the scarecrow remained. “And if you met Him who you seek,” asked the old man, “What would you do, not being able to talk, nor able to stand there in silence?”
The scarecrow turned his eyes to the old man. The old man waited in patience. And then the words came at last. “Bow.” The old man smiled. “If, then, you do this in the flesh, meeting in the flesh, do so in the spirit, meeting in the spirit.” And are not all things before Him now, through His spirit? These words flashed across the scarecrow’s mind, and he was released from himself, by himself, and in that moment of enlightenment, the image in his mind of lightning struck the grass. And the fire spread, and lived in his mind, and there was rain again in his soul, and from that time on, the scarecrow was likened unto a voice speaking from out of the mouth of God, who muttered with the power of seven thunders and sounded a song to shake the pillars of the world. And when he perished in the passing of the ages, he went not from one absence to another, nor from an absence to a presence, but from one presence to another, for he had long been bowed before his God, and his afflatus had been the sign of it. 22
Magazine Images and Gel Matte Medium
â€œCongratulations, You Caught the Bouquet....â€?
We Fix All Major Appliances
The Bones in the Cave
http://nuzedit.blogspot.com It’s funny what will sometimes set a person’s – particularly a journalist’s – memory banks in motion. This morning, my friend Scott Maier, who is now senior public information officer at the University of California, San Francisco, posted this photo on Facebook with this accompanying text: “Yes, these still exist where I work. Anyone remember, or ever use them?” Well, of course, being almost 70, I remember them and, as a reporter in the pre-cell phone era, used them frequently. In fact one of those stupid working payphone booths was every bit as important–although frequently far less reliable–a reporting tool in those days as a “smart phone” is today. Back then, a good reporter had to be just as resourceful as, and sometimes a whole bunch sneakier than, today’s reporters when it came to beating the competition on a breaking story–something that could become a bit problematic back in the phone-booth era.
e h t d Hol
Photo by Scott Maier
As I prepared to respond to Scott’s post, my memory banks kicked into motion. Back in 1973, I was the crime and courts reporter for the now long-defunct afternoon paper The Louisville (Ky.) Times and, as part of my beat, covered the Jefferson County Circuit Courts. At the side entrance to the circuit courts building, there was one, and just one, phone booth. When covering a particularly big, “hot” trial, I had to rely on that phone booth as my primary mode of contact with the rewrite desk to call in and retop and update my story between each of the paper’s four daily editions. 27
When I first was assigned to the beat, I often found that when I’d come dashing out of a courtroom and head to the solo phone booth to call in a story update, it would be in use by some lawyer or other miscreant. That would sometimes cause me to miss a deadline which was never something that sat too well with my direct boss, Assistant City Editor Harold Benjamin.
ne o h P e
So, after several ass chewings as only Ben, as he was known, could deliver them–and remember, this was long before dyspeptic HR twits had much say or any sway over what happened in the newsroom–I decided that I would have to find a means of making certain the phone booth was not in use when I needed it. Let’s face it, one can take just so much brutal verbal abuse before the resourceful and creative juices begin to flow.
It didn’t take me long to come up with a solution.
Steve Fagan is a retired editor with 43+ years in the newspaper business.
First, I “acquired” an official Southern Bell “OUT OF ORDER” hang tag. Then, whenever I was covering a major trial that required me to call in regular updates to the rewrite desk (yep, newspapers had those back in the day, staffed by generally older, burned-out reporters who took notes or dictation from their colleagues in the field and made sure that stories that needed it got retopped in time to meet deadlines) I would hang it on the phone booth to discourage use by others. As an added measure of insurance, I would also unscrew the mouthpiece cover from the receiver, take out the speaker and pocket it just in case someone didn’t believe the sign and tried to make a call anyway. Then, when I needed the phone, I simply removed the sign, reinstalled the speaker, dropped my dime in the coin slot and dictated my update. When finished, I’d check to make certain no one else was around and remove the speaker from the mouthpiece, rehang the sign and head back into court. Was this fair to others in the media who were covering the same trial and might need a close-by phone? Nope, but I did in particular love the way it drove the reporters from the three local TV news stations nuts. Was it ethical? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that. Did I feel bad about doing it? Although I hate to admit it, not in the least because it helped me to get the job done and keep each of the daily editions of The Louisville Times current and relevant in their coverage of big, important trials at a time when that mattered every bit as much as it does today.
By Martin H. Israel: firstname.lastname@example.org
e-mail: gimpelthefool@aol. com
n o i s s e s s o P
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All images are created digitally using a combination of Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.