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Soliloquies Anthology 22.1

Copyright Š 2017 Soliloquies Anthology Soliloquies Anthology retains first North American Serial Rights. Except for brief passages quoted in a newspaper, magazine, radio, television, or website review, no part of this anthology may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Manufactured in Canada Printed and bound by Caïus du Livre Design and layout by Bronwyn Carere Soliloquies Anthology, c/o Concordia University Department of English 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8 ISSN 1496-4910 (Print) ISSN 2369-601X (Online) soliloquies.ca

Contents 5 Editorial Team Foreword 6

Poetry D. Christie Hands cradling porcelain bowl. 11 Laurinda Lind Avenue 12 Chambers 1 3 DĂĄShaun Washington Nobody's CafĂŠ 14 Bronwyn Haney i am thinking about the colours 16 Edwin Wentworth Monologue for Kitty 19 Evan J I sleep with mountains and politics and think of you once 20 David Harvey Wears a T-Shirt 21

simon t.j.h.-banderob from the american kibbutz no. 1


from the american kibbutz no. 2 23

Louise Carson Orange roses 24 mason gates musician 25 liver 26

Tessa R. Untitled 1 28 Untitled 2 29 Untitled 3 30 Untitled 4 31

Prose Jeff Burd Alejandra MelianMorse Chip Jett Jill Talbot K. Daniel O'Reilly

Hardware 35 Fifth Sense 39 The Muscadine Tree 43 Prosopagnosia 53 blood is hard let me in 55

Creative Non-Fiction Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar The Blue Trunk 65 Joe Oswald My Sister's CPO Jacket 67 Contributors


Editorial Team Editor-in-Chief Meredith Marty-Dugas

Managing Editor Jennifer Mancini

Artistic Director Bronwyn Carere

Poetry Editors Adrian Ngai Annah-Lauren Bloom Kieran Airey-Lee

Prose Editors Salena Wiener Gabby Crowley Thomas Molander Alexander Cruz

Media Editors Jessica Kinnari Tyson Burger Megan Hunt


Foreword This is my third year involved with Soliloquies, but I still find myself inspired by the vast creativity we end up binding between these pages. It has been a strange beginning this year at Soliloquies Anthology 22.1 as we all try to hold onto the vestiges of a short summer. The poems in this journal consider where we exist in the free fall, and what defines our movements in such a place. They gather in the interim to look at the wandering: in a poem, on the sidewalk, in the perfect beach-warm sandstone. These poems contemplate the subpar day and the acts performed from the American Kibbutz to the Dallas Museum of Art. Our prose and creative non-fiction primarily seek out the meaning of loss. How do we mourn for the disappearance of loved ones who we no longer recognize? How do we remember those who have chosen not to recognize us? Blood is hard, and so are the objects we hold its memory in. These stories explore what remains in a bank note, a nickname, or the plumbing aisle of your local hardware store. I’d recommend curling up this winter in something warm before sitting with the loss that waits within the closet or near the radiator. I would like to thank all of the writers that have submitted to our journal; we received an overwhelming number of submissions this issue. Your generosity when sharing your work with us is what keeps this process memorable, heartwarming, and earnest. Without your dedication, we would not be able to present this journal 6

with such pride. This year’s masthead has renewed my fondness for Soliloquies and its journey. Their consideration and drive is what keeps this journal moving forward, so I am indebted to them. I am still grateful to past Editors-inChief who have helped mold Soliloquies into the young adult it is, including Kailey Havelock and Jake Byrne. We would be unable to create these journals without the generous financial support of Concordia’s English Department, the Concordia Association for Students in English, and the Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations. I am delighted to introduce the first issue of Soliloquies’ twenty-second year. Soliloquies Anthology 22.1 wants you to get another coffee, take an apple, and lie alone to watch the mess we made; we hope you want it bad. Meredith Marty-Dugas Editor-in-Chief



D. Christie

Hands cradling porcelain bowl. I woke one day and found that I had the face of a boy but the hands of a man only without any of the strength of the arms. She stared out the window. Is the moon waxing or waning tonight? I thought that was a silly question to ask about an object in free fall


Laurinda Lind

Avenue All day down the sidewalk assume the sky and slide along it as if you are a moon saving your fuel against a sun that squanders itself since it stays too far away off to see if smoking shrivels your lung or if its light leaks down your neck and you haven’t felt your feet since this afternoon when they started to rise off the street if you could climb as high as the window of an upper room you could fly


Laurinda Lind

Chambers A branch combs my mind for me and the space beneath is a ventricle that beats slow in its own dark, reminding me of the way the water washed over my shoes in the time when I had ten summers and no moons, the caves in the trees whose floors were made of the river in its thawed cycle. I strung my days on wet twigs, rosaries resolute like clicking vertebrae while I gathered evidence just out of waves’ reach below limbs where they leaned out of rocks from their earthsoaked roots up, trying to bud and reach or practicing the pulse, making the motions of beings suddenly come to light.



Nobody's Café

Hoping to be among the haves and to leave the have knots behind,

Unraveling their Bantu knots of creole tresses, dressed in lye and desrizado,

I imagine their descendants: great-granddaughters, granddaughters, and daughters

their voices echo to me, whispering, “adelantar la raza”.

As I recall the mestizo and mulatto faces from around the corner,

Far too advanced to join the primitive portraits of the colored section.

Countless portraits of the exotic Nahui Olin and her eurocentric beauty,

Turn the next corner and it seems that you've left Mexico and landed in Spain.

While the faces of brown people are labeled everything but.

The word Latino makes an appearance beneath every ivory face,

Chocolate faces illumined to russet, then fading to tan, then beige.

I can't help but feel like I'm witnessing the extinction of brown people;

As I wander the halls of the México exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art,

DáShaun Washington


Nobody's Café. At least, not for another three years.

The title of Ramón Alva de la Canal's painting comes to mind.

She’d proudly exclaim, as if whiteness were a testament of beauty.

In which they birthed a baby girl. “¡Ella era tan blanca; muy bonita!”

And listen to their abuelita tell them about the dream she had the other night,

For the next three years, maybe they'll continue to check the box labeled “other”

In three more years, an entire demographic will be uncovered.

Correction: In 2020, black Mexicans will officially be recognized.

Millions of Mexican citizens of African descent finally acknowledged.

For the very first time, Mexican citizens had the option to identify as black;

Last year, the Mexican government created a survey to serve as a preliminary census.

For locks of silky thread and rose-blushed porcelain flesh.

Continuing their parents reining; reneging their sun-kissed skin


i am thinking about the colours

you wrap your knee in after an accident or a fight

when i am lying on the floor of my living room i am usually alone can feel my hair growing almost as if it into the floorboards wants to push (small quivering)

and i wonder what colour they are whenever i think about them they are shiny mucus like silkworm whenever i cry they are sweaty and the colour of ruddy flesh-toned bandages

sometimes when i lie on the floor i can feel my tears pooling at the base of my skull

Bronwyn Haney


imagine there is someone in the house and it pitters along a few feet

i am playing a game now: they trip on one of the

lying with my heartbeat in the floor, as if a furniture ugly and trying

and ruddy tears and barren and

me, alone, still sunken between the corduroy couch the sandpapery godawful stained rug


the someone is surprised : in the spongy place where the wood was , a lock of my hair pushes out , perches as if a

loose tiles

the ones by the kitchen come loose sometimes and startle people who don't know that about me

the tiles are made of wood


nothing is wasted.

like this, a cicada shell

and the place on my body where this poem is coming from

the only thing lighting up the room is my grandmother's chandelier, there above the dining room table

like this,

Edwin Wentworth

Monologue for Kitty As I walk my feet send ripples of every story You have ever told me. I watch them go Searching, Like fingers, For a stone. For the perfect beach warm sandstone to crack open And crawl inside of. To live among the flowers and formica. Breathing the smell of old books. As I walk my hands brush through your smiling curls. I fall into the surf. We dance there, Damp, With our dresses blooming ecstasy as all my fish make us a Hurricane. What a mess. What a mess we have made. I feed you moss for strength And for fun, And I step away, Leaving you Gasping and laughing on the black shale.


Evan J

I sleep with mountains and politics and think of you once You want less poem, more bedroom, so I thrust sex into these lines. I write this naked emptied from lust between a partner smelling of politics and another with tiny mountains for eyes. Spoiled ceviche and backgammon, money and coy nationalisms. To eat is only the fruit and cursive tattooed on a skinny Californian arm. But we still gorge like it’s Genesis, regrettably full, and I curl to the moon, realize there is always something in the sky as pretty as you. We lie alone, fatigued fingers drumming the walnut night-stand home of iphones and dildos, the rhythm of dishonesty vibrating.


Evan J

David Harvey Wears a T-Shirt It’s a shirt No, it’s an identity No, it’s just a shirt Well, I believe it has appeal It has a dick on it It’s not a dick It looks like a dick It’s a banana and it’s fashion It’s a fashionable dick and a pun It’s postmodern Please, tell me how? It speaks to airquote commodity fetishism airquote and the erasure of international labour Labour of the dick You’re a dick I’m a realist Well, I’m a Marxist Mating with Freud You mean the love child No, you’re the mating The act of mating? The climax


simon t. j. h.-banderob

from the american kibbutz no. 1 take an apple take this apple an apple that is green with a blush of red a yellow sort of green a rosy sort of red a bloodorange sort of apple milk from a stone and fruit from the cusp of winter an apple the size of 3 knuckles thrown from the flames of autumn the bite sounds of the crunch of boots through snow the only sound in an orchard of bare trees past branches raising empty their hands


simon t.j.h.-banderob

from the american kibbutz no. 2 believe me, i meant it as a compliment when i smelt the knotted joint of your clothes and i said i was reminded of the barn with 500 garlic plants, bulb and scape swaying down from the rafters incense makes a temple borscht makes a kitchen and you make me think of the harvest we keep in the woodshed basilica from the rootcellar to you this year i fear no winter allelujah


Louise Carson

Orange roses Two rows – buckets of orange roses – lead to the rest of the flowers I bail out a tank of drowning pink tulips – red geraniums hang above Your friends sit in our living room, their presence a tightly organized fraud Your lover leaves our shower, towelling her hair, laughing Small acts, seen or imagined – the tea, the fruit, the blossoms I bail out a tank of drowning tulips – water pours from their cups


mason gates

musician a grammatically subpar day, isn’t it? someone once told you there was a baby inside of their cell phone. you knew worse. born cuffed to english, there is a song got from a dog’s tongue. it slides the faces of cobblestone. a song of muscle, what is in that warehouse? there is a lot involved in certain phone calls.


mason gates

liver a press on your mean button. the soft oil in brushfire. here is a might of confidence. a grass switching sides to paint a joke about a bee-stung underlip. candle in the tooth gap. wax math. the liver part a park. slug garden. mulch a crown for cavities. therefore a grub. therefore the heater needs a bath before it can leave its store. soot flurry. come to clean. the heater does it itself. then it will be easier to show off in yelp and sugar. here is the liver unvacuumed. a beast. it is a machine on which you may get used to mistakes. it is saturday. worm math in the garden. still saturday. where is the mud in your teeth? what can you do for the slop in the country? gap. dog as proxy. here is a square and a tree. a bend on the young part. slim canvas but what earthquake? liver you are rinsed but are you clean clean? everything in the stove is one unit except for the candles. here is an orange. a sip per wrong slice of pie. a lemon squeezed like a dog. the sea is colder now. dog walker at the door. you need to work but here is a blanket spread out in a



square. the furry floor. do you like being introduced late? the woman you. the wine of the house in a liver. this park doesn’t allow bottles. the guts are mad for no winter. our dog will die. we get used to it. i am the grinch i’ve always wanted. sure the language is brutal but are the hands? she didn’t ask to be born on saturday. it is around saturday in the garden. luck a little brick under your tongue. eaten in a hole. here is not enough wine to last the potatoes cooking. my favorite kind of dinner is the one that never gets eaten because of the potatoes. maybe if we let the blood out of the dog’s dreams, saturday could rest on the liver.


Tessa R.

Untitled 1 Popping zits and eating lasagna Not at the same time, but it makes you Feel gross thinking about it I hope I disgust you I hope you want me bad


Tessa R.

Untitled 2 July is cruel and lacking purpose I’m not even horny anymore I liked my waterproof mascara for the first twelve hours Now it’s been three days Trying to get it off I pulled out an eyelash And still made a wish Which might be cheating Then I told someone what the wish was Which is definitely cheating Come over and see just how much I can sweat in a day Come watch me while I rip my eyelids off It’ll be fun We’ll drink lemonade Out of plastic cups And we won’t touch


Tessa R.

Untitled 3 Wearing my perfume I smell Like something you would want but Cheaper Love on sale Still Good but not Desirable Still Good


Tessa R.

Untitled 4 8:30am outside the common café I say that sometimes the sun can be crude And you don’t get it You like the mornings, the early reveal You’ve never felt translucent, and why should you You’ve never been the zoo animal Or the glass cage it’s kept in



Hardware Jeff Burd A lot of joes when they show up in the morning tie on their aprons, grab coffee, and disappear in the stockroom or down their aisles. I don’t know half their names, so I call them by their aisle, like Nails, or Chains, or Tools. They are super focused on hardware. It’s not normal. It’s good if you need a certain type of pipe clamp or tenpenny nails. Maybe a few feet of chain. But if you’re wandering around and you come down their aisle, forget it. They get super busy rearranging shelves, or they make like they’re talking on their radios. It’s like it’s painful for them to talk to customers. They don’t even say good morning. That’s not me. I say good morning and hello because I like showing up here. It beats the hell out of being home. All that happens there is Walter and the kids play on their phones until their minutes run out, and my parents lay in their room all day and stare at the TV. I patrol this place for people who need help. They’re usually cranking their necks to read the signs hanging in the rafters to see what section of the store they need. I’m scoping a guy just now and that’s exactly what he’s doing. I’m ready when he looks down. I’ve screwed a big smile on my face. My name is in huge black letters on my apron. DAWN. Right across my chest. I drew a sun rising behind the letters. Super cute. And yes, my sleeves are rolled down since Kevin told me my tattoos are unbecoming. Unbecoming. But okay. I might not look like much, and this guy


Jeff Burd will probably look right over me because I’m so short, but I know I look friend-ly and welcoming. The guy’s eyes fall on me and he adjusts his glasses. He might be a professor or something. He scopes me. I ask him what’s he looking for. He looks surprised, and this is what pisses me off about a lot of joes that work here. If they cared like I do, nobody would be surprised when they get help. Anyhow, the guy says he needs a bucket. Easy-peasy. Gotcha, I tell him. I reach my hand out to him and I really want to take his arm, but Kevin said that’s too friendly. It makes people uncomfortable. But okay. It’s like you can’t touch anybody anymore. Walter and the kids even pull away when I put my arm around them or hug them. The guy comes with me to Cleaning, and I chat him up some. How are you this morning? How’s the weather outside? You got a big project going at home? He nods his head and says he does and smiles at me. I like this guy. He’s kinda handsome. Tall like Walter, but he looks like he goes to the gym. We get to the buckets and I ask him what kind. Does he need a mop bucket with wheels? I point to a few. Does he need a garbage pail? He’s scanning the buckets. He tells me he just needs a regular bucket. I tell him we have those and take him to the end of the aisle. We have twelve quart. Eighteen quart. And they have spouts in case you’re pouring stuff. He says he needs the smaller one and reaches for the one at the top of the stack. Let me get it, I say. The stack might fall over. They stick together sometimes, I say, even though they don’t. I pull the bucket out and tell him the price. A buck ninety-seven.


Prose He says that’s fine. He holds out his hand to take it, but I tell him I’ll carry it for him. I have to go up front to the registers anyhow. He smiles, and I know he appreciates my help. Plus, this is killing time. Like a lot of time when I’d be doing other shit like sweeping. Or mopping. Or getting carts. We’re halfway up to the registers when I tell him we should go over to Plumbing because I think they have other buckets over there. There aren’t any buckets over there, but he doesn’t know that. I know because I moved them to Cleaning last week. Single location is best, Kevin said. The guy is walking pretty fast ahead of me, but okay. I ask would you like to go over to Plumbing? He says no, but okay because I have to go up front to the registers anyhow. And I have his bucket. I look around and Nails and Chains are down their aisles looking super busy. I don’t see Tools anywhere. Or Kevin. More customers are coming in. I’m hoping a lot of them might need Dawn help.


Fifth Sense Alejandra Melian-Morse My mother smelled like summer—an earthy smell, full of life. There was a saltiness to it. It was a fresh air sort of saltiness that went along with her beautiful strong arms. It came from carrying bales of hay and 50 lb bags of grain down to the barn every week. It came from holding the horses steady while the blacksmith trimmed their hooves, and yanking Snowflake the pony’s head down when he tried to bite my sister and me. It was a saltiness that came from skating. She had been a hockey player, she told me. No checking in women’s hockey— at least not while the ref’s looking. I always had a hard time imagining her play, until we’d go to the Simsbury Farm's rink, and she’d fly away from me as soon as our blades hit the ice. It was a saltiness that came from dancing. She would always give it her all at wedding parties, and the annual Christmas party, and even at the end of Shrek during the Karaoke Dance Party. I always felt embarrassed. She danced almost exclusively with her shoulders—a trait that I, unfortunately, seem to have inherited. My mother smelled like sunshine. She had told me that when she was at Connecticut College, she and her friends would climb out the window of their dorm and lie on the roof, covered in Crisco and wedged between homemade tin-foil reflectors. I thought there was something beautiful about that image, but still I told her, that’s a good way to get skin cancer. It wasn’t skin cancer.


Alejandra Melian-Morse She stopped with the Crisco by the time I was around, but not with the sunshine. She would lie, tummy down, on the bright blue floating dock in Lovell Lake. Sometimes she’d be reading, but mostly she’d have her eyes closed, half dreaming. I loved lying there with her, peering into the water and letting the dragonflies land on my skin. Sometimes I’d talk to her about my own things. Sometimes Sofie and I would take turns pushing each other off. We tried to make the biggest splashes we could and rock the dock in the waves. If she minded, she didn’t show it. When the coolness of the New England summer evenings came I would tangle myself up in her arms and legs and lap. As she sipped a whisky sour or a glass of pinot grigio and talked with Gramps, I would notice the new freckles that had appeared on her skin and breathe in the sunshine she carried with her into the night. I lost her when she lost that smell. We had all tried too hard to get her home from the hospital. What she needed to get better was her own warm house with the big windows to let the light in, we thought. Eventually they let her go, provided a nurse come regularly to visit. We settled her into the living room, taking the back cushions off the couch so she had more room to lie down. I bought her a loose-fitting nightgown so she could be comfortable without putting any pressure around her waist where the trouble was. I bought her some journals so she could write down her thoughts, although she looked at me kind of sad when I gave them to her. She never used them. She just lay there, very still, losing her smell. It was just gone one morning, replaced with something else. I held my breath every time I went near her that day. It was a


Prose smell I had never smelled before. It was ominous and harsh, like it came from another world. It was the furthest thing I knew from her earthy sunshine smell. The visiting nurse came and sat across from her. While she spoke, Sofie wrapped herself in Mama’s arms and buried her face into her chest. Sofie—the girl with the overly sensitive nose, the girl who got dramatically nauseous whenever we passed someone smoking, the girl who made us roll up all the windows whenever we went to the gas station. Did she not smell it? Was I just not strong enough? While the nurse spoke I held back, behind the couch and sat on a radiator by a window. It was hot, working hard in the January weather, but I let the heat in through my jeans. I shifted my weight from one butt cheek to the other, just like I had done when I was little after we went sledding and I was waiting for Mama to finish making the hot chocolate. You can come closer, the nurse said to me. I shook my head. I could still smell her from where I was, but it wasn’t as strong. It’s warm over there, Mama said, coming to my defence. The nurse smiled thinly, and I let the guilt gnaw at me as I breathed shallow breaths, trying to ignore the smell of death.


The Muscadine Tree Chip Jett

Samantha stopped in the hot summer of a Texas morning. She struggled to simultaneously roll her wheelchair and cover her face, as she was pitted against the harsh wind and heat which seemed relentless. It was as if the weather conspired to keep her from home. From the barn, she could see her house just up the dirt road. It had been a quick walk for her little brother, Veston, maybe five minutes on his spry legs. For Samantha, it took extra time. Everything took extra time for her. Her mother would tell her, “The Lord says your troubles and suffering are achieving you an eternal glory that outweighs it all.” Samantha mostly knew what that meant, but it was of little comfort. She sometimes felt as if the god of evil himself took pleasure in sending one obstacle after another to test her resolve. It was barely eight in the morning, but already the sun made Samantha’s effort unbearable. She looked back to the east, past the barn and towards town. Her older brother, Lewis, was there somewhere, toiling away on the outskirts of Galveston in the cotton gin owned by the Oglesbys. The sun was blazing as it made its slow climb to noon. There was a strange haze in the air, a yellowish tint to the sky that seemed the opposite of what was snaking in from the west, and yet the two were intertwined. As she turned in her seat to look ahead and beyond her house, the distant sky was an ominous black, so black Samantha wondered


Chip Jett for a moment if it was still midnight somewhere out to sea. There was a storm on the way, she knew, but her parents didn’t seem to mind. “Storms come, storms go,” her daddy had said, “and we got things to do.” He and Mama had left that morning before the sun had topped the horizon, walking to town for the week’s supplies. Lewis was gone before that. Shortly after, Samantha had headed out to the barn, like always, to check the coops for eggs. She had almost forgotten: Little Veston was not with her this day. Not today, and not ever again. And she remembered. At nine years old, Veston had been about as patient as you could expect a little brother to be, which is to say not at all. He would often run ahead of Samantha. He was sympathetic to her condition and would double back to check on her from time to time, making sure she was still on her way. But he was more interested in the muscadine vines growing in the giant oak trees along the road, so he never stayed back for too long. Mama forbade him to climb the vines and burdened Samantha with the impossible task of keeping his feet on the earth. He eventually stopped offering to help Samantha with her chair because she always declined. She would tell him, “No, thank you. I can do it. Just give me time. You go on ahead.” The truth was, Veston wouldn’t have had the strength to push Samantha across the freshly-waxed hardwoods of the living room floor, much less up a quarter mile of dirt road. Besides, it was therapeutic for her to use her arms and hands. She looked at them now, weak and misshapen with disease. Her legs were in just about the same


Prose shape, causing the doctor from the mainland to suggest the wheelchair for her some years ago. She hated it. She feared she would lose what strength she had if she sat the rest of her life, but, as it was, she could hardly bear the pain of something as simple as a five minute trip to the barn. “Rheumatoid arthritis,” Doctor Strickland had called it. “Not much to do but take aspirin for the pain and learn to use a chair.” She had been fourteen then, December of 1911. Just before Christmas. Still, Mama would take Samantha and work her arms, her legs, her fingers. She had done this every day with her for the last four years. Physical therapy, Mama called it. It hurt like the devil to work with Mama like that, and it hurt even more when she made Samantha walk. She would hold her child tight, and arm in arm they would keep the memory of walking alive in Samantha’s damaged legs. Together they watched her muscles atrophy, her arms and legs becoming near useless versions of their younger selves. This past June, Samantha and Veston had been coming up the road from chores at the barn. Veston ran ahead. Samantha was having no problem convincing her chair to make its way across the dirt path. Once a week, Daddy would hook up the team and scrape the road flat so she would have little trouble getting to the barn and back from the house. With a smooth path ahead of her, Samantha could exercise her miserable hands and arms and still make good time going back and forth. What Samantha hadn’t realized was that Veston had not only raced ahead but was already at the top of a giant oak tree within sight of the house, a tree almost choked to death and thick with


Chip Jett muscadine vines full of fruit. She saw Veston as she got closer and called for him to get down. Mama would come undone if she found out he’d climbed that tree on Samantha’s watch. Even with the smooth road helping drive her chair forward, she still didn’t have the speed to match her little brother. “Veston Seay! You get down from there this instant! You know Mama won’t have you climbing that high! Now get down!” Veston hadn’t heard. Consumed only with the thought of reaching the highest branch, the sweetest fruit, he had stretched his little arm out and had taken one more step towards the sun and the best bunch of grapes on the vine. Samantha was still too far away for him to hear her scream his name as he fell, straight down, head first with no branches to slow his fall. He was dead on impact. Samantha had watched as the coroner sat in their living room and filled out the death certificate. She felt the weight of the words. It read, “Cause of death: fractured skull. Fell from tree.” She would finish the thought in her mind, “Because Samantha wasn’t able to stop him.” And now she made her trips to the barn, egg-gathering, alone. From inside the cloth covering her face, Samantha choked back tears and collected herself from the memory. Her dark eyes scanned the horizon once more beyond the barn where the sun had already climbed higher in the morning sky. She didn’t mean to waste time. Veston’s ghost kept her occupied often enough, but it refused to push her chair. With both hands, she straightened herself and got the chair back on the path to home.


Prose As she neared the tree which Veston had fallen from, she felt the first drops of rain. Almost home. The storm must still be far out to sea, she told herself. These drops are the first hint that something is coming and you better get ready. The drops were spaced far apart and were so big she could see them as they hit the ground, tiny explosions on the dry earth of home. Every now and then one would find its mark on her skin and smack her hard and angry. She would get soaked if she didn’t hurry. But hurry was the one thing she couldn’t do. She turned the wheels of her chair in unison, the tracks in the dirt behind her as parallel as the rows of cotton Daddy tended every day. Lewis, her other brother, dreamed of owning his own gin someday, and chose to work in town rather than on the family farm. He was engaged to Nonnie Blake, a neighbor girl from a respectable family. The two had fallen in love one frozen December day skating at the lake, and Nonnie’s daddy approved. Lewis was a good brother to Samantha. She could almost hear him telling her, “Samantha, that chair ain’t got no hold on you. Not forever it don’t. You can do this. You’re tough when you want to be.” She smiled at the memory. “So now–” the memory was suddenly interrupted by a familiar voice which finished the thought. “I need you to help me. Help me, Sam. Help me! Help!” Samantha sat up straight, startled, not by the rain that she hadn’t noticed beginning to pour around her, but by the voice which she thought, for a moment, had come from somewhere deep inside her head. But then she realized. It was Lewis. It was real. He was calling to her for help, but from where?


Chip Jett She looked at her house and saw nothing. It was empty, with only the ghost of Veston Seay sliding in his socked feet on the living room hardwoods. Then she heard him again. Lewis. “Sam! Help! Get Daddy! Get Mama! Oh God, Samantha! Help!” She looked behind again to find the road turning to mud in the ever-increasing pace of the rain. The yellow haze had vanished from the sky, and the black of noonday midnight was upon her as the storm began to spread like wildfire across the outer banks of the island. Fifteen years ago, a hurricane had just about destroyed Galveston, washing most of the town and its residents out to sea. She had lost family and friends in that one. Mama even named little Veston after it. But the town learned and had built fortifications against such a thing ever happening again. But she was still afraid, for the god of evil was at her door. Terror rose in her chest and for a moment she couldn’t catch her breath. She could see Lewis in the middle of the muddy road, staggering towards her like a prize fighter losing bad in the final round. His left arm was stretched across his body holding something fast to his right side, a rain-soaked red bundle. As brother and sister neared each other, Samantha could see more clearly what Lewis had pressed to himself. It was a blanket, probably one from the gin, and it wasn’t wet from rain: it was soaked in blood. “Lewis!” she managed to scream. Her arms worked the wheels of her chair faster and harder than before. She never took her eyes off Lewis and watched as he took the last step before


Prose his body decided he could take no more. She was inching her way through the mud and rain when Lewis stopped, swayed for a moment, and collapsed in a drenched heap. The storm was everywhere now, the wind whipping rain in all directions. Tiny streams of red flowed around Lewis, puddles swapping rain water for blood. “Lewis! Lewis! Answer me! Lewis!” She finally got to him. She slid from her chair to the ground beside Lewis and slapped his face again and again to revive him. He moaned as his head lolled from side to side. His eyes fluttered open and he clutched at his sister with his free hand. “Where’s Daddy?” he croaked. “Him and Mama’s up town. Lewis, what is it? What’s happened to you?” “It’s my arm. Gin took it. Clear up to my shoulder. The storm tore the roof off so nobody could hear me calling for help. When it hit, everybody just run out everywhere. By the time I got myself loose, the place was empty. I didn’t know what else to do, so I took out for home.” He closed his eyes and slipped between here and gone. Samantha slapped his face again and he flinched, but his eyes didn’t open. Samantha felt a resolve within herself which she hadn’t felt even at her strongest moments working with her mother. She got down on her hands and knees beside Lewis, pain shooting through her fingers to her wrists and elbows. Her ankles and knees were on fire as she used the weight of her body to force Lewis into a sitting position. Every joint exploded in pain. Lewis


Chip Jett groaned, distantly aware that she was by his side. “Lewis! Lewis! I need you to help me! I’m going to get you up, and we’re going to the house. Come on, Lewis!” With Lewis’s right arm gone, Samantha wedged herself under his left. He leaned into his crippled sister, and she held strong. The wind swirled around them, rain blinding her eyes. They took torturous steps together. Halfway to the house, she thought to look back at her chair. There it was, alone and on its side in the mud, the top wheel racing like a weathervane from the force of the storm. She had a sudden feeling she would never need that chair again. As they reached the steps leading to the front door of the house, Lewis sighed heavily and slumped to the ground. An ear-splitting crack shook the ground and sounded too close. Samantha turned to watch Veston’s muscadine tree splinter into a thousand pieces, the top branches flying off in every direction. Samantha got behind her brother on the ground and grabbed his wet body under his ribs. She pulled with every bit of strength she didn’t know she possessed and dragged him, limp as a sack of dirt, up the stairs and through the front door. With a pained cry, Samantha kicked the wooden door shut against the hurricane and collapsed to the floor. She looked at Lewis. There was a pool of blood around the blanket where his arm should have been. Dragging herself across the shiny, smooth hardwood of the living room floor, she made her way to the hall closet and got one of Mama’s dry quilts for Lewis. This one was made from scraps Mama had salvaged: flour sacks, Veston’s Sunday suit that had been Lewis’s and had been Daddy’s,


Prose Samantha’s own dresses, and other odds and ends which she didn’t recognize. She brought the quilt to Lewis and re-wrapped the wound. There was no blood flowing; she couldn’t hear him breathe. Outside, the storm seemed to ease. Daddy used to say the eye of the storm was a false hope. Just when everything was calm, when hope flickered for a moment like the distant glow of a lighthouse beacon, the next round would hit. You could gather yourself, you could clean up a little bit of the mess, but the storm wasn’t done. There would be more. It was the other side of the eye that would settle any unfinished business. Daddy said it was the second wave that would fall upon you and wash you and yours out to sea. Soon, Daddy and Mama would be home. When the storm passed, she thought to herself, despite what every part of her regrettably felt to be true, that everything would be right as rain. Just as Lewis liked to say. Samantha then looked at him; he was quiet, at peace, as she cradled his head in her lap. The howling wind sounded like a freight train bearing down on her and her dead brother. The storm began shredding the house board from board. Holding her brother like this, she let go of the last ounces of strength which she had held onto while trying to save him. As Samantha passed from this life to the next, Veston came to her from the quiet dark of the hall. He held a large pair of Daddy’s thick wool socks. “Here,” he told her. “Put these on. Mama wants the hardwoods waxed.” Samantha took the socks from her little brother. She moved Lewis’s head gently from her lap and placed it on the floor. With


Chip Jett nimble fingers and strong hands, she pulled the socks up to knees that knew no pain. She clasped Veston’s outstretched hand and stood. Brother and sister skated as they waxed their mother's floor, oblivious to the chaotic storm still swirling around them. Veston laughed and raced away, his long strides putting distance between himself and his sister. He looked for all the world like Nonnie Blake had on a winter’s day some time back when the lake had frozen over and she had skated towards Lewis Seay and stolen his heart. Samantha and Veston skated and laughed and raced and waxed Mama’s floors. Samantha loved the feeling, and hoped that it would never end. August 17, 1915, Galveston Texas.


Prosopagnosia Jill Talbot The coffee stain on Susan’s hospital bed looked like Cleopatra. Perhaps she would post it on YouTube, like that woman who saw Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich. She would have to get one of her grandchildren to teach her how. Susan had developed prosopagnosia: an inability to recognize faces. This resulted in Susan believing that no one was real—a neurologic disorder rather than psychiatric. On the phone she was all right, as this didn’t involve visual neuron malfunction, but any time there was a face to the name, the neural codes became confused. The neural firings would then associate the name with the category of “strangers.” No matter how many times this was explained to Susan, she didn’t believe it, so everyone had to hide so that she would believe they were real. The grandkids would make a game of this. The irony that Susan saw a face in a coffee stain would no doubt be recorded in some medical journal. The doctors even took photos. They took one close-up of the stain, one of the entire hospital room, and one of Susan in bed. Say cheese, they said to Susan, who scowled back. A med student suggested that they could solve everything by making her blind, foolishly not realizing that she was in earshot. What a thing to say to a confused and bitter patient! Susan stared at the stain again and the world got fuzzy around it. The stain started to grow. It was telling her something.


Jill Talbot Neurons were firing like her son’s half-sweet, triple foam, double shot, what-the-fuck latte. She was in a hospital bed, but she was also in her childhood bed, she was also in the hotel bed where she had her honeymoon, she was also saying good-night to her son as he lay in bed with a fever. Well, isn’t anyone going to get me a new coffee? Susan asked. The problem started in the visual cortex, but the confusion grew until all neurons were running amok. Nothing could be trusted anymore, not even Starbucks.  


blood is hard let me in K. Daniel O'Reilly

Francis Bachman is arguing with a woman over who can take the taxi that has arrived at the corner of Brock and Mendel. It is raining. He thinks that she is his sister. He is not sure if she recognizes him and he says nothing to indicate his suspicion. She reaches for the door and he reaches for her arm. They argue more. She shoves and he stumbles. The cab leaves them both behind. She calls him vulgar names; he calls her ‘Lulu.’ Alone at the corner of Brock and Mendel with the man who calls her Lulu, she walks away with haste. Francis follows her for a block. They make eye contact three times before a pair of taxis arrive. Francis sleeps when he gets home. It is late and he is tired. He rises too early and cannot fall asleep again. Francis wakes on his sofa. It is Saturday and he is late for work. He takes the bus and does not see the woman who may be Lulu as he transits. After his shift he stands at the corner of Brock and Mendel where he still does not see the woman who may be Lulu. It is not raining. Francis does not sleep when he gets home. He flips through the phonebook twice but does not make any calls. He rearranges pictures on the fridge and writes many lines


K. Daniel O'Reilly with his magnetic alphabet letters. He stares at the phrase “blood is hard let me in” for a while. Mother makes noise in the kitchen and Francis draws in a coloring book; Lulu watches him scribble over his shoulder. She asks for the crayon. They argue. “Give her a crayon,” Mother says. He hands Lulu the entire box of crayons and walks out of the room in silence. Mother goes back to cooking and Lulu colors on the page where Francis left off. That night when Lulu returns to her room she sees all of her dolls in a pile on the floor, each one missing its head. Lulu’s friends Colette and Beth are over at the house. They sit in Lulu’s room turning through magazines and talking about their classmates. They tease Lulu and ask where her brother is. He is in the basement so they go down there to see him. Lulu clings to the staircase railing while her friends peek around the corner. She knows that Francis does not like to be disturbed while he plays with his jar bugs (cicadas, beetles, crickets, pill bugs, and, his favourite, the praying mantis) but her friends insist. He does not notice them as they enter the room and continues to stare at the beetle crawling across the back of his hand. Beth giggles and he turns. Francis towers over her when he stands even though he is only eleven years old. Lulu hears movement and walks in to apologize for her friends. Instead of shouting, Francis puts the insect back into the jar and motions


Prose Beth over to the chair. She hesitates before sitting. He tells her each one’s name. Beth laughs when he gets to the wriggling Magicicada named Robert. Francis pauses. He asks if she wants to hold Robert. Beth looks at Lulu but does not say anything. Francis takes Robert out of the jar. He does not know if Beth wants to hold him so he places the insect on her head. She screams. He wakes up at his desk. It is three in the morning. He is a security guard at an apartment building on Doyle for now. People are always coming in and out of the front door, even at this hour. This makes it hard to stay asleep for long. Besides, his job is to stay awake. A man walks in while Francis leafs through yesterday’s newspaper. The man smirks and asks for help. He lost his keys, he says. Francis asks for his name. The apartment is signed under his girlfriend’s name, he says. The room number is 817. Francis grabs the spare key and they take the elevator up. It is quiet and the man taps his foot so Francis asks why he’s getting back so late. He says he was out of town for business all week and just got back. “My wife’s not expecting me. I told her I’d be back on Tuesday but I came home early to surprise her,” the man says. “I thought it was your lady-friend’s apartment,” Francis interjects. The man explains that he misspoke. “We’ve only been married for a few weeks and I forget sometimes.” “Why do you want to surprise her?”


K. Daniel O'Reilly “I figured she might think it’s romantic.” Francis’s expression shifts. “Is your wife home?” The man nods. “Then why do you need me to let you in?” “I don’t want to wake her up.” The elevator stops and they walk to the room in silence. Francis pauses at the door and eyes the man from head to toe. He nods and unlocks the door. The two shake hands and the man passes Francis a five dollar bill, thanking him. Back at the desk he thinks about the last time he saw Lulu, four years ago at Mother’s house on Christmas. He caught Lulu arguing with her fiancé so Francis broke a vase over his back. Lulu told him to leave and they haven’t spoken since. Francis flips through the phonebook but does not make any calls. There is no ‘Lulu Bachman.’ He tries ‘Louise Bachman.’ He cannot remember her fiancé’s name and does not know if they married. Hearing the elevator doors open behind him, he turns his head. The man he let in earlier strides out with scratches on his face and a torn collar. He is in a hurry. Francis looks back down at the phonebook on his desk. Maybe he can find her. Maybe he can call Mother in the morning and ask for Lulu's telephone number. Francis is three years old and at the insectarium with Dad. Mother is in the hospital with Lulu. Lulu is his sister. She was born early this morning and he is very excited to meet her. They walk to the stick bug exhibit. Dad hoists him up to


Prose the glass but he cannot see any stick bugs. He wants to go to the next cage until Dad points one out. It has five legs and two antennae branching off of its slender body. The bug walks towards him. He stares and tries to reach through the glass at it. For a second he is sure that it looks at him. It crawls back under a clump of leaves and his attention is lost. Next they look at dragon flies. A green one catches Francis’s eye as it buzzes around the cage. Francis and Dad explore for another hour until Dad gets a call. It’s time to go to the hospital to meet Lulu. The insectarium is close by so they arrive at the maternity ward at noon. Mother lies in bed holding Lulu wrapped in a blanket. She is small and wears a hat. Francis tries to take it off but Mother stops him. She says Lulu needs to sleep. An hour later Lulu wakes up and cries. Mother and Dad try to shush her and Francis watches. Her face turns red and she wriggles around in the blanket. Lulu's eyes open for a moment and she looks at Francis. Louise stands by the courthouse at the corner of Brock and Mendel Avenue in the rain. She has been waiting for a cab for easily ten minutes, if not more, and does not enjoy the rain. Her husband calls asking where she is. She explains that the case went longer than expected and that her client wanted to discuss the settlement. He’s making dinner and doesn’t want it to be cold when she gets home. It should be another thirty minutes, assuming a cab comes in the next lifetime, she says. They say


K. Daniel O'Reilly goodbye and hang up the phone. She notices a man standing a few feet away out of the corner of her eye and pretends not to notice. A cab rounds the corner and they both wave to the driver. The taxi pulls over and they both head towards it. “Mind if I take this one?” she says. “I’ve been out here for like twenty minutes and my husband is waiting for me.” “No.” “Thanks, I—” “No, I mean you cannot take it,” he says. “Come on, give me a goddamn break. I’m cold and wet,” she says, reaching for the door. He tugs her elbow away from the handle. “Get your hands off of me,” she cries. “I am cold too.” “Look, I have to get home. My husband is waiting and I’ve been here all day,” she says. “I’m taking this one.” “No.” She pushes him away and he stumbles over the curb as the cab leaves them behind. “You dick! Look what you’ve done,” she shouts. “Now we’re both stuck here. Are you happy? Asshole.” He gives her a confused look and gets back up. After a moment he replies, “That one was mine, Lulu.” She feels a pang in her chest but keeps her bearings. Without another word she begins to walk up Brock, hearing footsteps behind her for another block. She looks back a couple of times and locks eyes with the man.


Prose A few moments later a pair of taxis arrive. She hails one and gets in. “Nobody calls me Lulu,” she says under her breath. When she gets home she has dinner with her husband, watches TV and then goes to bed. It’s late and she’s tired.


Creative Non-Fiction

The Blue Trunk

Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar

No one was allowed to peek inside Father’s beat up blue trunk, which remained secured with an old, but shiny, brass Godrej lock. The trunk had been a part of my mother’s dowry accouterment which her father had put together for her wedding, almost fifty-one years ago. Father always kept the key to that brass lock in his pocket; other keys lay on the fridge. When his memory started to fail, he misplaced the key multiple times a day, and then would turn the house upside down in its pursuit. Mother, ingenious as she is, eventually hung the key like a pendant on a thick string, and made father wear it around his neck, tucked under his shirt. When Father was admitted for surgery following his hip fracture, my sister took the string off of his neck and handed it to my mother. When Father passed, the key lay in my mothers’ purse, but she never opened the trunk. We all respected the sanctity of the trunk. Sometime last year, though, in India, old bills of 500 and 1000 rupee denominations were being decommissioned; they had to be deposited in a bank immediately. For this, mother opened the trunk, but found no money. Curious, I went to see what was inside the box which Father had guarded more than his own life. There was a hardbound Panj Surah—a collection of five chapters of Quran—which Father read and tried to memorize every day. There was a diary listing our real dates of birth; they had been 65

Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar changed to fit the age restrictions of the schools here, so that we could skip a year or two in primary classes to save on school fees. There were pens in all shades of ink possible. There was a clipboard of papers on which he practiced his signature in variegated colors; the letters started smooth, but became squiggly, and later morphed into ink-dyed ants with unruly antennae. There were bank withdrawal slips, which he had filled out and carried to the bank on pension day to save time and energy. There were wool hats and handkerchiefs that I brought him from the USA. There were wrappers of the chocolate candy I got him. There was the Titan watch with the golden chain that I gifted him from my first paycheck; its box was dusty but intact, and the watch was still running. He seldom wore it, only on occasions like marriages, but he always replaced the worn batteries. What do I have of him? Did I keep his memories safe? I am awash with guilt and shame at losing the letters Father wrote to me when I was away at graduate college. I remember my gravid pigeonhole of a letterbox at the college hostel had been an eyesore to my friends who never got any mail. Though those letters had made me feel worthy and loved, I didn’t cherish them the way I should have, the way Father had cherished what I had given him. After college, I moved to New Delhi for work. I changed jobs, workplaces, apartments and roommates, many times over the course of six years. Then, I migrated to the USA. Each new phase of life inevitably involved cleaning up before restarting again. Between those movements, purges, and my frivolous carelessness, I had lost Father’s letters. Those envelopes licked by him, those words that touched his fingers—they were all gone.


My Sister's CPO Jacket Joe Oswald CPO Jackets were all the rage during my older sister’s sophomore year in high school, but it wasn’t until late September when the evenings began to cool that Mom finally gave into her pleadings and bought her one from JCPenney. Its coarse wool was like the changing season, shades of harvest yellow and gold. I was only in seventh grade, but I was old enough to know my sister was cool. She had already traded in some wholesome rituals like church on Sunday and family meals. These were replaced by Saturday night guitar-mass and hanging out with her friends after school, listening to the latest Doors’ album and gossiping about the cute junior who all of her friends said liked her. He drove a loud, beat-up red Chevy and smoked Camel cigarettes during lunch hour by the chain linked fence at the south end of the football field. Dad hated that she ratted her hair and even Mom was quick to point out which skirts were out of the question because they failed to pass the two-fingers-below-the-knee test. Yet they both enjoyed the conversations they’d have at home, at church, or wherever they happened to see her girl friends. They all dressed the same as her in multi-colored skirts above the knee, bold paisley printed bell bottoms, tight knit shirts and sweaters, so unlike the formless white blouses and pleated plaid skirts of their


Joe Oswald school uniforms at St. James. Each was now a master in reversebrushing hair into just the right airy shape above their heads, and combing stiff straight bangs into a precise curl meant to hang slightly below a narrow ridge of tweezer-plucked eyebrows. I paid less attention to any of that than her promise. She was staffing the ticket booth for Friday night football that fall, and she’d promised to sneak me into the homecoming game. I’m sure Mom and Dad encouraged her to study and to find more organized and constructive after school activities; they were pleased to hear that she and some of her friends were joining Junior Achievement, believing its weekly evening sessions of planning and running a mock business might help bend her mind to the dreams they both held for her. The acceptance letter came on the first Friday in October with the letters “JA” inscribed in bold red caps at the top of the stationary and the somewhat legible signature of the local chapter president written in real black ink. I am pleased to inform you… The letter went on, assigning her to a specific company with the address and time of her first meeting. “Now just sign right here,” she said the next afternoon to my brother. She pointed to a line at the bottom of a strip of paper she’d removed from a receipt book before handing him the stock he’d just bought in her company. I didn’t have the requisite dollar, but I told her I’d buy one if I could. She smiled and placed the slip into a larger envelope where it joined the few others she’d already collected from some neighbors down the street. It’s hard to say if my sister had become more motivated because of JA, or if the sale of company stock just offered a good


Creative Non-Fiction excuse to leave the house and roam the neighborhood with her friends after dark. All I know is the next evening after she mentioned to Mom her plans to join Dedie to sell stock down on 35th street, she sat at the kitchen table and in less than an hour hand-wrote a six-page short story she’d been assigned for her English class. By all accounts it was cold enough that night for frost to form on a car windshield. It might have even been too cold for a CPO jacket, although that’s what my sister wore when she walked out the door. An hour later it was perhaps even colder, cold enough for a nineteen-year old boy who lived off 35th Street to not feel like taking the time to scrape the frost from his car’s windshield. I’ve never met him, so I can’t say what it might have been like for him to live with having not done things differently for the rest of his life. His decision haunted my parents too, along with a list of what ifs that for a time, as I grew older, even gained a foothold in me. Had he let the car idle in his driveway long enough for the defroster to turn the frost on his windshield to tiny beads of water light enough to be rolled away by the wind… Had the other car that came over the rise in the opposite direction just been stopped for even a few seconds by the traffic lights at the intersection down the street from the high school… Had the other car that came over the rise in the opposite direction at just the right time and at just the right angle for its headlights to turn the frost that he had not scraped from his windshield white, blinding him from seeing the mailbox he thought he’d struck, turned instead into one of the six parking


Joe Oswald stalls of the little store on the corner of 27th Street and West Forest Hill Avenue… Or. Had my sister, moments before impact, not switched positions with Dedie as they walked side by side on the wrong side of the road… The last one, so selfish, still gives me guilt. But not the guilt Mom wrapped so deep within her that it never really escaped beyond the occasional “God damn it!” during shouting matches with dad late at night, long after I was supposed to be sleeping and months after she’d last seen her first child walk out the door. Long after she allowed her to sell company stock after dark and gave her that CPO Jacket that she wanted so badly, that she so loved to wear, and without which she might have never ventured out that evening. Mom never wanted the job as curator of my sister’s belongings, but she devoted the better part of a lower dresser drawer to her sketches, posters, her black sketchbook, other art and writing projects. There were letters and words drawn in extraordinary fashion as if to assign more meaning to the thoughts she was recording. There were small posters comprised of the individual letters of “Peace” and “Love” blown up like colorful bubbles, filling the confined space of a precisely rounded globe or symmetrical heart, which had once hung with blue ribbons on the wall in her eighth-grade classroom. In that same drawer, a stiff brown folder held yellowed JA receipts, one share of unsold company stock, and the unredeemed check for two dollars she would have received


Creative Non-Fiction within days of her sixteenth birthday the following spring, along with a congratulatory note, signed by no one in particular for her participation in JA and the success of her company. In that same folder was the story she wrote about a girl and her friends out driving way too fast after dark. After we learn that the driver lost all control, it ends with three little dots, much like the list of what ifs I sometimes still wrap myself up in. Mom kept the CPO Jacket, too. She had it dry-cleaned but never mended, the smallest of tears along the seam near the top of its right shoulder the only visible sign of what happened that night. For all the years Mom was alive it hung on a wire hanger in the closet by the front door. On that same hanger, it hangs now in mine. Its coarse wool is untouched by the changing seasons, still shades of harvest yellows and gold.


Contributors Jeff Burd is a graduate of the Northwestern University writing program, and was recently announced as a winner of the George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest. His writing has appeared in Third Wednesday, Dislocate, Imitation Fruit, Mount Hope, The Baseball Research Journal, and Flash: The International Short-short Story Magazine. He works as a Reading Specialist at Zion-Benton Township High School in Zion, IL Louise Carson's poetry has recently appeared in Petal Journal, The Windsor Review, The Nashwaak Review, Montreal Serai and Carte blanche. Her book of collected poems—A Clearing—was published by Signature Editions in 2015. Her latest book, a mystery—The Cat Among Us—was published in 2017. Louise lives in St-Lazare, QC where she writes, gardens and teaches music. Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American. She was born in a middle-class family in India and will forever be indebted to her parents for educating her beyond their means. She now lives in the United States. Her life is blessed with plenitude but she is oceans away from her family. That pain makes her write and express herself. Her work has been published in Ms Magazine blog, The Same, The Aerogram, The Haiku Journal, Columbus Moms Blog among others. She blogs at Puny Fingers and can be reached on Twitter, @PunyFingers.

D. Christie is a writer of Anishinaabe descent studying creative writing at Concordia University, and living in Montréal. His work has been featured in the Headlight Anthology, and in BAD NUDES.

mason gates is a poet living in Portugal.


Soliloquies Anthology simon t. j. h.-banderob is, in order roughly chronological and mostly alphabetical, an actor, author, clown, director, editor, poet, playwright, podcaster, puppeteer, radio producer, storyteller, disgraced exdishwasher, itinerant landscaper, amateur cyclist, declassé stationery snob and lumpenbourgeois for all occasions. simon was the one-time host of the Concordia-based Discordia Poetry Slam as well as a two-time member of the Throw! Poetry Collective slam team. He is also a past poetry editor of Soliloquies Anthology. Since 2011, simon has been inflicting his work upon readers and audiences across Canada, the United States, and Germany.

Bronwyn Haney lives and writes in Montreal. She is completing a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and German at Concordia, and paints whenever she can. Evan J comes from Cree, Anishinaabe, Dakota, and Métis territory, the land of Treaty 1, and he currently lives in Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory, the land the Dish-With-One-Spoon Wampum and Treaty 13, beside Niwa’ah Onega’gaih’ih / Gabekanaang-ziibi / The Humber River. If you have read Evan’s work, he implores you to read at least two other non-white writers. Evan is a member of the Brick, A Literary Journal team and is the Literary Director and Founder of Slackline Creative Arts Series in Toronto. Chip Jett is a teacher at a small school in Georgia. He has taught reading and writing for twenty years. He has a wife and three daughters and writes creatively whenever he can. His short story “A Permanent Vacation” is in the Fall 2017 issue of The First Line literary magazine. His previous work includes non-fiction literary criticism, published in Notes on Contemporary Literature and Connections: Georgia Language Arts, as well as poetry, published in The Eclectic. Laurinda Lind teaches in the U.S. in northern New York State, near the St. Lawrence River, and won second place in this year’s New York State Fair Poetry Competition. Some publications/ acceptances are in Anima, Compose, Comstock Review, The Cortland Review, Ekphrasis, JONAHmagazine, Josephine Quarterly, Two Thirds North, and Unbroken.


Contributors Alejandra Melian-Morse is an MA student at Concordia University studying Social and Cultural Anthropology. She received her undergraduate degree at Concordia, in Anthropology and Creative Writing. Although her goal is to become an anthropologist, what she learns from people in the field and in her own life is often best expressed through prose. She plans to combine both her passions as she moves ahead in her career and expresses her thoughts, theories, and anthropological insights through accessible, creative writing.

K. Daniel O'Reilly is a second-year Concordia student. Sometimes he writes and sometimes he doesn’t. Joe Oswald was born in Franklin, Wisconsin and holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University. After a career in political and labor organizing, he now enjoys writing, traveling and volunteering for local community based organizations. He lives in Madison with his wife, son, and cat, Romeo. His stories have appeared in Compose Journal, Hippocampus, and Furious Gazelle.

Tessa R. is a creative writing student at Concordia University. She is trying her best.

Jill Talbot attended Simon Fraser University for psychology before pursuing her passion for writing. Jill has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review, The Cardiff Review and is forthcoming in PRISM . Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize and 3rd place for the Geist Short Long-Distance Contest. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.

DĂĄShaun Washington is a 26 year old Massachusetts native and Dallas resident. He is a pre-med undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas majoring in Biology and minoring in Creative Writing.


Soliloquies Anthology Edwin Wentworth was born in Stratford, Ontario, the son of a performing arts family and as such spent most of his childhood travelling. After becoming a grown man, he attempted various forms of schooling before giving that up altogether and is now attempting to live off his poetry, with mixed results.


Profile for Soliloquies Anthology

Soliloquies Anthology 22.1  

Soliloquies Anthology is Concordia University's undergraduate literary journal. The journal publishes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from...

Soliloquies Anthology 22.1  

Soliloquies Anthology is Concordia University's undergraduate literary journal. The journal publishes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from...