Page 1

4th Collection • Winter 2018


© 2018 The Black Lion Journal & Christina Lydia. All rights reserved. The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection edited and designed by Christina Lydia. Contributors maintain copyright of individual original work. To submit work, for future Collections, visit The Black Lion Journal’s page on Submittable.


A small letter from the editor...


Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of the 4th Collection Contributors. Your work upholds this Magazine and your creativity fuels my passion for publishing and for everything that it involves. 2018 was a difficult year for me both personally and professionally. Without getting into personal details, I will say that the decision to delay the 4th Collection was completely out of necessity. I did not want to push something out that did not reflect what this Magazine is or what I wish to showcase. You all work hard to create your work. This Magazine is my work and it will not ever be published just for the sake of being published. You all deserve better than that. I hope you enjoy seeing your work among a fantastic group of creative and talented individuals. It was my honor to weave and to layout your creativity into this Collection. Please keep watch of upcoming changes for this Magazine including new submission details. Happy New Year and thank you again. Christina Lydia EIC


4th Collection

The Obscure Fariel Shafee

15

The Chemical Fire Holly Day

16

Sonata for Gun and Hypo Howie Good

8

The Wire’s Dream Magazine

14

17

The Last Days of the Flu Holly Day

18

Annus Mirabilis Brandon Marlon

20

Thoughts Of A 24 Kt Crucifix Paulie Lipman

22

5 Collages

Bill Wolak

28

Our Political State (Intermission)

30

Jeremiah’s jeremiad Jeremy Nathan Marks

32

Tribunes

Jeremy Nathan Marks

34

American promises

Jeremy Nathan Marks

35

American Massacre Brandon Marlon

36

“Violence Is Not The Answer” Is The Answer To A Question No One Fucking Asked Paulie Lipman

40

Heat Wave

Michael T. Smith

42

Creatures Matt Reid

58

Garlic Boy

Jonathan Ferrini

64

Signs and Omens Lorraine Wilson

76

The Dark One Phil Gallos

82

Royal and Ancient

M.E. Proctor


94

Disappeared

Nolcha Fox

98

Phantom

The Wire’s Dream Magazine

Somewhere Safe

Will McMillan

4th Collection

90

Benjamin Daniel Lukey

Arctic Flower

Amanda Tumminaro

100 In August

Wanda Deglane

101

On the Night I “Came Out” Danielle Christine Hastings

105 For Amy Bluel the Founder of the Semi Colon Project; 23 March 2017. Danielle Christine Hastings

106 Therapy

Carissa Owens

116

Trauma Recovery Group Wanda Deglane

118

Tools for Happiness Wanda Deglane

120 Embers

Sandra Hosking

121

If My Name Were a Flower

Danielle Christine Hastings

122

Open Up Your Mind

Amanda Tumminaro

123

Uncrossed

Sandra Hosking

124 The Cabin

Emily F. Butler

126

Words

Nolcha Fox

130 Anticipation

Benjamin Daniel Lukey

131

People Watching

Anne Valentino

134

Gift

Lynn Atkinson-Boutette

9

99


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 10

136

Photography (4 Images)

155

146

Passing By

156

Holly Day

147 The Sorrow of Wheat Anne Valentino

150 Sonic threshold of the sacred Rus Khomutoff

151

158 This Wasn’t Supposed to Be a Space Opera Alyssa Oursler

162 The Potato Princess

On Meeting An Old Friend (After 170 Ou Yang Hsiu)

Nikon

Amanda Tumminaro

171

Morning

173

Headshots, 2013

179 Justin Bieber Finally Joined Snapchat!

Margarita Serafimova

154

Kassie Shanafelt

On A Painting By Shen Zhou George Freek

153

Decisions

Lynn Atkinson-Boutette

George Freek

152

Name in Sidewalk

Joe Bisicchia

Tanya Holtland

James Croal Jackson

Family Photos

Lynn Atkinson-Boutette

From Moss

Michael Rerick

James Croal Jackson


182

In These Life-Locked Grooves Christopher S. Bell

Brandon Black

200 MS and FMS — being creatively disabled Lynn Atkinson-Boutette

204 6 Hybrid Found-Word Collages J.I. Kleinberg

212 A Courageous Heart Margarita Serafimova

214 Creator Bios

11

188 The Resurrection of a Dream, Fulfillment of Life’s Pursuit

The Wire’s Dream Magazine

James Croal Jackson

4th Collection

180 Fantasy After A Few Good Dates


4th Collection


4th Collection


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 14

The seared earth has fumed into a dusty fog of confusion that pervades the left and right, the North and South into streaks of meaning and nothingness. Quietly I watch, and I laugh, until the storm whistles, until the frosty whips of needs push around and slash, so the silenced bits of time rail against the skin, lacerates, and I close my eyes, and dive in to a tomorrow beyond recall — a simple law of chance.

The Obscure Fariel Shafee


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

15

they found the dead janitor in the back of the warehouse curled around himself as if against the cold. his skin came off in handfuls of ash when they tried to move him black, greasy ash that would not wash off. the two boys who first found him had gone through his pockets only to have what remained of clothes, his wallet, disintegrate as well dried out past leather, his face was barely recognizable as human mouth stretched out in a forever scream.

The Chemical Fire Holly Day


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 16

A banner draped across the wall directly behind the ad hoc altar said, SMILE EMPTY SOUL! I probably won’t make a complaint, but I didn’t like it. The bride was wearing a dress with long sleeves to hide her dirty tattoos. I called my father and said goodbye to him because the way everything was falling out of the windows reminded me of 9/11. Hours later, many guests were still trying to keep their heads above heart level to avoid further realizations. It got me wondering how a mosquito can fly in the rain. & There are many places where a person can get lost and not even realize it until they are lost for good, but maybe you did find hints along the way, seeing things that weren’t there, the occasional escalator going up into a vagina, and if so, it would have been like a Persian astronomer from the 13th century came to you in your sleep and showed you the blue-black smoke of stars, and then, except for his dead voice, everything would have burned ten thousand times darker. & I sat in my car at the intersection next to the school mesmerized by the way the fire was raging from the windows. Every day I think about what I’ve lost. John has paint he says we might be able to use to clean up the burnt-over areas a bit, but more things can go wrong than right. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of this. There’s a bullet hole in my child’s car seat.

Sonata for Gun and Hypo Howie Good


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

17

We move like dying butterflies against each other chitinous wings rasping dry in final death throes like dead leaves pushed along the sidewalk by the wind like dead scales sloughed off against a rock. I hear my jagged breath echoing your own feeble one lungs rattling like an engine running dry but refusing to die gears almost catching but slipping again and again if I stay here too long, here, next to you I might catch it, too.

The Last Days of the Flu Holly Day


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 18

Caught unawares, they should have seen it coming from afar, ever since the first stirrings in continental and peninsular elsewheres driving them headlong from supposed abodes that in the fullness of time rather proved way stations, lands wherein they lived on sufferance before being disgorged, adrift as foam on the ocean. Sepharad would be no different, only worse, and neither court rabbis nor their bribes could avert the expulsive edict reifying a providence incomprehensible to the too comfortable of Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, whose laments clogged Catholic skies as nocent inquisitors zealous for purity of belief if not blood tortured and purged from Asturias to Andalusia. Fully a century of persecution and massacres had ushered directly to this black hour whose infamy stained instead of cleansed; lapsed conversos fell prey to intolerance’s traps, hidden dungeon racks and blazing stakes cremating la convivencia amid anguished shrieks and the stench of martyred flesh.

Annus Mirabilis Brandon Marlon


Regional memories strut along the landscape, insinuating themselves in lockstep with clock tower chimes, surfacing into awareness even as hot, sulfurous waters bubble and spume. In my lassitude I toss back my head and shut my eyes, recalling the fish stench from when I earlier nosed a dolium of garum meticulously preserved, yet somehow it all seems the residue of a fugue. Perhaps tonight, after a repast of seared sea bream with olives, artichokes, zucchini, and kale, after climbing nearby hills full of metals, I will meet with Dante’s ghost at sundown. If so, I will lay down my rucksack and inquire where he has been and whether he ever slept overnight on a farmhouse roof with the stars his guerdon, then spill waterfalls of gratitude for the experience.

19

The mind craves downtime to absorb stimuli and coalesce the landscape’s specters lingering in the shards of Etruscan artisanry, loitering at the Roman Gates, lazing by windmills.

The Wire’s Dream Magazine

Luxuriating in therapeutic thermal springs affords a reprieve from a fortnight of tramping across quondam marshes, through sunflower fields and vineyards, past hay bales and cypresses.

4th Collection

At last the communal knell tolled, awakening the slumbering from their stupor and hurrying them in lengthy columns toward borders and ports and ships, abrupt thresholds of futures unknown. The exile they had mistaken for a citadel had all along been a threadbare tent now folded on top of their heads, prompting within them yearnings for mercy, longings for rest, reminders of home. Maremma


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 20

Knowing exactly when the scythe leveled at your throat was going to swing Preaching Love when all anyone had to proffer was War Betrayal, the reward for lifting thousands out of the dust Arrows/slings/stones and a spear your father’s only gift Consignment to Hell/raising one’s self out of the pit Light is God Think of all this when claiming a path the same as Jesus and know the real meaning of persecution: Lifting the stone when darkness would be the most human choice

Thoughts Of A 24 Kt Crucifix Paulie Lipman


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

21


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 22

Fear of Weightlessness Fear of Weightlessness is from series of collages that I am working on that deals with the theme of hair art. The face is the result of a chance operation with human hair. The juxtaposition of hair and face produces the strangeness of the piece. It is the mysteriously intriguing quality of human hair that has fascinated me and inspired me to experiment with hair as a medium for collage.

5 Collages

Bill Wolak


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

23


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 24

The Wound Reaching Through Time The Wound Reaching Through Time is a collage that juxtaposes various plant and animal forms into a strange gesturing body. On the one hand, the gesture seems open, whereas the body seems filled with protective spines. The image is, therefore, unsettling.

5 Collages

Bill Wolak


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

25

Bittersweet Bittersweet Trembling is a face emerging from some fern-like structures. The abstraction of the face’s form due to the the abstraction of the lines of the ferns causes the tension in the piece. I enjoy making faces out of very diverse materials. Here I am using the structure of ferns to define a face.

5 Collages

Bill Wolak


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 26

The Silence of a Kiss The Silence of a Kiss is comprised of a rather bizarre, armored worm-like form with a dangerous looking mouth. A kiss with such a creature does not appear desirable. So this work deals with the intimate anxiety of relationships.

5 Collages

Bill Wolak


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

27

Accomplished in the Tender Arts Accomplished in the Tender Arts is from a series of collages constructed from the bodies of birds. The welcoming textures of the feathers is contrasted with the alarming stare of the unusual eyes that look directly through you.

5 Collages

Bill Wolak


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 28

I suspect that this enterprising polymath will have to deflect a suspicion that we, the people, caused our own ruin


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

29


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 30

When another Edward Gibbon appears in a number of years to write the American epitaph I suspect that this enterprising polymath will have to deflect a suspicion that we, the people, caused our own ruin. For it wasn’t we, the people, who wrote the Constitution or authored Lincoln’s new birth of freedom we simply lived with the words of our betters until they decided to replace one set of fetters with another though unlike Pooh, most of us couldn’t bother to digest these facts; we weren’t driven to unrest We just followed our American seasons by tallying points -that is, extra points all the while solving personal problems so life wouldn’t get us out of joint. Even the Americanists better known as our foreign defenders folks like Tocqueville (or Piers Morgan) said we were better than our leaders; we were not merely the mindless jingoists

Jeremiah’s jeremiad Jeremy Nathan Marks


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

31

our detractors (also from Europe) declared us to be since we strove to believe the American dream of being free That is, from the norms of political gravity that weighed down only mere mortals like Caesar’s Rome or her Majesty the Queen; why spoil the millennial side of manifest destiny even if its gloss caused the best of us to get lostYes, we could mistake our good luck for pluck for providence and so our success (like our good sense) became something with which we had to dispense For in a land where the Bible was said to be the final word Jeremiah’s jeremiad went unheard: “And the prophets shall become wind. . . .”


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 32

When the tribune came down on his gold plated platform (it was an escalator) ready to play the part of American praetor his followers saw no breach of norms celebrating him as the common man’s true protector. His biggest promoters fancying themselves scholars declared him to be -without any ironya Coriolanus (they insist they mean no offense). And for four long years his truculent detractors a gaggle of self-appointed defenders of democracy self-declared detectors of every hypocrisy assured the public that this traitor Could never be rewarded with re-election as his first selection was clearly -truly- a fluke and that a man who saw himself as some duke

Tribunes

Jeremy Nathan Marks


And so the morning after the election there was again talk of defection as the coasts awoke to the suzerainty of an antediluvian minority formed from a belt of landlocked states flat as pan handles and dinner plates. It was all very sobering and its familiarity unsettling; so that while it did induce some hilarity in its midst, there was nevertheless through the din a lesson to be learned Which was: with no sense of history and without civic literacy no just cause can simply win void of any prior preparation For until there is education to wake the nation as to the actual issues at large in the land fake tribunes can -and will- win by promising to make everything great again.

33

But it didn’t happen.

The Wire’s Dream Magazine

No self-respecting American majority would ever stand (again) for such sheer effrontery! So rest assured that the way things were is how they once more will be when we turn loose this tyrant and are free.

4th Collection

or worse, a king; that is, an aristocrat of divine breeding


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 34

Sometimes I see Frederick Douglass Harriet Tubman and Dr. King seated inside a clapboard church. It is silent. They do not move. That is until groups of slaves gather at the windows. As they press their chains to the panes Frederick and Harriet and Martin look up The waning light of the day strikes an iron chord on the cuffs about ankles and wrists This is the temple of American promises.

American promises

Jeremy Nathan Marks


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

35

We the people enjoy the inalienable right to be slain in cold blood like fodder in our various streets, schools, campuses, cinemas, and concert venues, even at any hour of day or night, with readily obtained weapons of war in the hands of arms-bearing civilians though they be livid, bitter, depressed, insane, or (to cover their bases) all of the above, because it was for this very reason that our nation’s founding fathers toiled by the dawn’s early light to plant the bullet-spangled banner and bring forth on this continent a new nation, establishing these colonies and territories as the land of the free gunned down and the home of the brave grieving, that military grade semi-automatic and automatic assault rifles and ammo magazines shall not have been purchased in vain, so that shooting sprees and mass slaughter shall not perish from the earth. May God the NRA continue to bless hold hostage these United States of America.

American Massacre Brandon Marlon


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 36

Nazis are not new or abstract The way I choose to deal with them though could be called, at times Expressionist or even Dada I shout into a sea of raised arms: “Seek help! Seek help! Oh and those jackboots? I wouldn’t wear those to a dog fight! Y’all ain’t nothing but a shitty cover band! Hey, Wagner called. He wants back his pageantry and Nietzche’s lyrics were soooo much better in the original German.” Not all Germans are Nazis but

“Violence Is Not The Answer” Is The Answer To A Question No One Fucking Asked Paulie Lipman


Barbed wire can be beautiful, if it is the only horizon you have ever known It has to be otherwise, you will know that you have been deprived the sun The only thing human about some monsters is that they must be held accountable

37

Laughter is the only salve to the memory of kicking a Nazi, repeatedly while reciting the Kaddish I blacked out came to with my copper in my mouth unable to tell if it was his blood or my Star Of David bitten in two

The Wire’s Dream Magazine

You might ask how I can laugh I am a child of Mel Brooks and sometimes humor is the only fist I can summon This is how a Jew boy shown holocaust documentaries since the age of 7 flushes piled bodies out of their eyes

4th Collection

no Nazi has ever been original


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 38

It is always exactly now/forever here all too dawn’s early light “Du hast gedacht, ich mache Spaß, aber keiner hier lacht Sieh dich mal um, all die Waffen sind scharf Ey, was hast du gedacht?” So much is lost in translation Foreign makes it funny/static you can always turn off the subtitles I have to laugh to keep from screaming While it’s just plagiarism I’ve got jokes When the blood starts to flow I got fists and teeth and boots and numbers and too many


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

39

dead relatives cheering me on “You thought I was joking, but no one here is laughing Look around, all the weapons are armed Ey, what were you thinking?” Has our gallows humor numbed us to where we don’t even see the noose? Will sowing blood rebloom the soil of Auschwitz? or are we just so much battered DNA/cackling into the face of a falling sun?


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 40

The mural of America melted to a psychedelic hue, a Rockwell left unseen -and the sixties’ peace sign is now a commodity on a T-shirt, with drool stains down the front seam. Still it’s better than buckwheat cake of hope and raisins, keeping the jaw unhinged, claiming everyone’s as happy as happy can be while Dylan’s a discount spin. Unexpected weather men blow out the north, and blow our minds as well. Now an ani singing on a windowsill provides the day’s careless knell. You and me and all of us, We suffer the cold curse Of asking for some more love, and getting a lethal dose.

Heat Wave

Michael T. Smith


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

41


42 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

43

“We must begin seeing other creatures as equal. Existence makes us all equal.” - Alice Walker

I

t was a scorching summer Saturday morning.

My ears registered the echoes of white plastic buckets banging on ashen kneecaps, bursts of laughter ricocheted off a unit building’s broken brick walls and floated through the air. The sounds of the dirty dozen, my friends, were explicit to my ears; the noises I heard hypnotized me. Their footsteps scraped the sidewalk, kicking rocks as they traveled toward the opposite direction of the Village, crossing my front yard on Buttonwood Street to get there. I stepped outside.

“MATT-MATT! ASK YOUR MOM IF YOU CAN COME WITH US!” The metallic screen door squeaked open and a dark figure emerged. An aroma of eggs and bacon drifted out from the kitchen. My mother heard

Creatures Matt Reid


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 44

every last word. She pointed her spatula at me as if branding a sword. Before I uttered a word, she yelled “NO! IT’S TOO DANGEROUS YOU COULD DROWN!” I stomped back inside. My friends moved along. I daydreamed about my friends and their explorations as I waited in the baking sun for hours, my copper-colored skin reflecting the sun’s rays. The hot sizzling sun steadily roasted the life out of blades of grass. The Village appeared as empty as I felt inside. A ghostcommunity for the moment. I crawled over dead crabgrass armymen style to take cover underneath a towering tree in the nearby field. My head popped up like a prairie dog at every single noise or Movement. I remember how eager I was to see my friends return. Something had caught my attention and I raised my head to see. Sucking my teeth in disappointment, it wasn’t who I wanted it to be. Only a fellow Villager by the name of Touche. He was overdressed, drenched in an earth-toned sweatshirt and corduroys. As he walked, he swayed left-to-right like a metronome. He was coming from the Korean store on High Street. His image became smaller and smaller as it crept into the Village and reminded me of the way an ant crawls back into the colony. Heat in the horizon waved and made everything look like a mirage. Looking at the horizon, I had thought that I saw images of kids. These same images danced to a rhythm of similar sounds I heard hours ago. As the image became clearer, I saw my friends: Louie, his younger brother, Little Justin; the Wood Brothers, Andre, Jim-


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

45

Jim, and Steven, along with Juan and his younger brother Darius (the Tinson Brothers). The dialogue between my friends flowed yet the buckets no longer played music. Carrying them didn’t seem as carefree as before. The echoing effect was no longer heard from a distance either. Instead, the buckets were being carried as carefully as a carton of eggs. I knew then what was inside; I dashed over the thirsty grass to peek. Crayfish. Crawfish. Crawdads. Little lobsters. Mudbugs. My friends caught these creatures along with salamanders, frogs, and, if they were lucky enough, a turtle. Crayfishing, as they called it, was a highlight of their childhood. A pastime that I grew tired of missing out on. It was then that I made up my mind. The next time they were going, I was going against my mother’s word and sneaking off with the crew. I needed a plan. An alibi to make it seem as if I’d be in the Village for the duration of the journey toward the unknown. Within the boundaries of the Village, the shield of a noble community kept us protected. In the 1980s, our housing project community truly abided by “it takes a Village,” so my mother really didn’t have to worry about me roaming free. Just as long as I didn’t leave the Village. Between broken-brick-buildings, bushes, Johnny Smoker trees, tall Big Bluestem grass, and rusty playground equipment, I could have stood right in front of my mother without her seeing me; I was camouflaged in the comfort of home, but also dodged any grownups who could report me to my mother. The safari-like grass behind the basketball court fence hid my body as I peeked to see if my crew was coming. Suddenly I heard them.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 46

My golden brown hair weaved in between the weeds. Grasshoppers sprung and fluttered past my nose. Ants crawled up my legs and made my blonde hairs itch as I repeatedly plucked them off one-by-one. At the perfect moment, I pounced over the fence, like a lion cub, in front of my friends. They were startled but quickly recovered with cheers and hoorays. I finally took the bold risk in joining their adventure. Adrenaline rushed through my veins while taking each step closer to the edge of the only home I’ve ever known. The air was sweeter in the suburban scenery. The birds chirped in peace and the squirrels didn’t scurry in fear of children throwing rocks at them. The lawns were manicured and greener on the other side. Curtains wiggled in windows followed by eyeballs with perplexing stares. Children stopped soaring on swing sets, others almost fell off bicycles, and some even ran to their parents for safety. It felt as if everything was quiet before we arrived. Our happiness was too loud for them. These reactions to our presence didn’t steal my joy at that moment. My friends seemed to be immune to them too after several trips through this neighborhood. We took a mandatory stop at Trout’s — a mom and pop store filled with an assortment of penny candy: chewy gummy bears, fish, worms, Tootsie Rolls, Tootie Fruities of all flavors, Blow Pops, Laffy Taffy, and of course Tootsie Roll Pops to see “how many licks does it take to get to the center.” Mrs. Trout rustled in the refrigerator up front. A clattering of glass was heard down the aisle as she wrestled inside of the fridge making the luminous bulb flicker across the dimlit store.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

47

We were all confused until we realized that she was trying to crush a cockroach running for its life in between milk cartons and Coke bottles. “How many licks does it take?” I blurted out. My friends all chuckled. Mr. Trout glared from behind the counter. That was our cue to leave. A few more steps across the street, past a fire station, a block down, and across another street, I noticed everyone slowing their pace. Their long tube socks with the stripes at the top were pulled up to skinny kneecaps. Arms tucked into white short-sleeve t-shirts. Brown paper bags full of penny candy stashed into pockets. Those without pockets placed candy into their tighty-whities. I had thought they were all playing a joke on me or something until they all peeled back branches on bushes, danced around poison ivy, and did the limbo underneath pricker plants. Their previous preparations all made sense now.I lagged behind as I watched my last friend vanish into a thickness of foliage. “WAIT FOR ME!” Before I entered the secret greenery passage, I pulled up my short white socks as far as I could and darted forward. “OUCH!” Prickers introduced themselves to my skin. Tree branches waved and smacked me in my face. Then a sudden realization of how steep the ground became took over. Loose rocks on top of the dry dirt and underneath my sneakers seemed like roller blade wheels and caused me to coast downhill. I eventually lost all of my balance and slid on my back the remainder of the way. I heard snickering above me along with the trickling sound of water. It was nice and cool down by the creek. No wonder my friends


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 48

had gone there. With my new view from the ground looking up, the sun or sky could hardly be seen through the leaves. The little light that shined in tiny spaces between the leaves and branches reminded me of a kaleidoscope. It was that beautiful. As if I traveled into a different dimension. To my left was a small dark half-circled tunnel. It was spitting out the trickling water I had first heard. Its appearance made me realize we all were underground. Shocked by the sight of my friends bending over to fit inside the cave-like structure, I nervously got up to follow them. I saw them all hunched over, walking with discomfort, stepping in puddles, and trying not to fall over. I quickly hopped up and ducked inside to follow. The tunnel was cool and damp. Squatting down to move forward without falling over was difficult. Drops of water landed on the top of my head. Sneakers squeaked and crunched over gravel. Slippery moss and algae slimed my hands. Midway through the tunnel, there was less light and at one point it was pitch-black. Above us was the sound of cars driving over manhole covers. I felt like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in a sewer. A few feet further down, light sparkled at the end of the tunnel. A secret underground passage to another creek was just Ahead. Now that I had gotten soaking wet, completely muddy and covered in green slime, my alibi was worthless. Nevertheless, I had been over the moon to be part of the crew even though my guilt weighed me


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

49

down like the heavy rocks we had to flip over. “Flip the rocks over carefully then let the muddy water clear,” Steven instructed. In this process, you had to wait patiently. Just like a magician who uses smoke to cause an illusion for his tricks, the crayfish sometimes swam backward through the cloudy water for an escape. As my knees squatted over the edge of the bank, the reflection of my face looked back at me. Nothing appeared after the water cleared. I moved on to another spot. I continued these techniques in hopes to find a creature. At the same time, I wasn’t sure how to catch one if I happened to spot it. The professionals alongside me were tossing crayfish in the buckets left and right. I decided to sit back and observe. My friends picked the tiny lobsters up by the backsides so that their claws wouldn’t pinch them. For whatever reason, the very thought of being pinched by a crayfish reminded me of our journey to get to the creek. My reflection in the murky brown water moments ago caused me to dwell on us being stared at as if we did not belong. Since the creeks were located in the suburbs, I’m pretty sure we weren’t welcomed as Villagers from the projects. By the icy cold looks given earlier, I only then realized that some of those white people weren’t used to black kids being in their backyards. Visions of being at the creek by myself frightened me a little. I had vowed to never come back alone. After several trips with my first crew ever, I slowly started to make


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 50

other visits to the creeks with different Villagers. One of those visits was with my friend Tron. A thunderstorm had suddenly cracked the sky open and we were forced to race the dark clouds back home to the Village. We would have won that race if we hadn’t remembered that we weren’t allowed at the creeks to begin with. We hid the evidence by placing our bucket of creatures in someone’s basement window area. The rest of the run home was met with cold raindrops splashing on the back of my neck. It was one of those storms that flooded the front of our home all the way up to the steps. Parked cars were almost completely submerged. Villagers swam in the flood like it was a river. A local newspaper photographer capture shots of it all. I recall lying on the living room floor listening to the thunder roar wondering if the bucket full of creatures would still be there the next day. I don’t remember if they ever were. As time went on, I knew my mother would catch on to my whereabouts. I felt the two worlds of double consciousness, like Dubois had described in Souls of Black Folk — stuck in the middle of wanting to share my thoughts on my own identity with her yet not knowing if she would understand. My mother, a white woman, her son, Jamaican and Pennsylvania Dutch, and this mirror of a white neighborhood made me have many thoughts about race. Knowing I could not reveal to my mother that I explored the suburban area made me want to travel there, even more, to get answers on my own. My friend Steven, a few years ahead of me and biracial just like me, had learned about Hitler in his social studies class. He also learned


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

51

about Social Darwinism, eugenics, and the survival of the fittest mechanism of natural selection. It kept me up at night in fear. Why some white people dislike people of color will always be an ongoing issue. That’s unless we all unite and make changes. My young mind was tortured knowing I had people I loved dearly who, if standing together, all mirrored a beautiful rainbow. As children, we are all born innocent. But even some innocent white kids knew the vilest thing they can say to a little black boy. As we black children grew older, so did the same white kids who transitioned from swing sets on the playground to bikes and skateboards in the streets. They didn’t share the same fascination with crayfish as us. As we matured a little, we too took fewer trips to the creeks. We became wise to the fact that while we did venture off into neighborhoods that did not belong to us, we were considered, to some white people, as distinct from a human being — just the same as those tiny crayfish. At times, the groups of Villagers making the trips varied in numbers and names. The more Villagers, the more fun, the more fun, the more disturbance to the white people who didn’t want us there. I don’t even remember if we were actually crayfishing on that day. Maybe we were just searching for some peace and quiet. Something we hardly experienced in the projects. I do remember that up to eight or ten of us were enjoying one of the final few days of summer. That weird weather, shortly after school starts, when fall cannot decide if it wants to come. It’s more than likely that we all had our school clothes on, so the idea of crayfishing in the attire of Jordan’s, Cross Colours Jeans, and Polo shirts seem irrational. All we planned


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 52

to do was enjoy our stroll, maybe stop for some penny candy, and head back home. We almost accomplished that desire. The infamous “N” word targeted us on our way by a pompous teenage white girl who sat on her mountain bike as if sitting on a throne. She aimed to hurt. In her mind, that word possessed enough poisonous power to put us all in our place. Most of us disagreed with her logic, or lack thereof, but only verbally. Except for one friend of mine who refused to turn the other cheek. I assumed the white girl felt protected by the few white boys who accompanied her. However, they were all quiet as mice, fearful of several black Villagers. But we didn’t go to fight. Only to enjoy the lovely day God gave us. We attempted to grab our one friend in order to talk him out of giving that disgusting word any power. But our friend was physically strong as an ox and relentless. Our efforts to defuse the situation had failed. Plus we were intelligent enough to know that, even though we had numbers, the odds were not in our favor. We were still a few blocks away from home. No matter how quick we were, the police would arrive in the suburbs much quicker. The sound of dying summer insects buzzed in my ears. At that moment, I felt a bad energy. Birds stopped chirping, revealing that nature always knows before humans. Along with the buzzing, I heard the trickling sound of water. Knowing that something awful would soon happen and I had no control over stopping it, I braced myself to run. Before taking off, I watched my friend shove the white girl off her bike, down the rocky hill, through the scratchy bushes, and into the creek. What the white girl said was wrong. What my friend did in


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

53

response was wrong. However, at that point, there wasn’t any more time to spare. Our first reactions were to dart back to the Village. All of us. Even the friend who shoved the white girl. But not Little Justin. He boldly refused to run with us. “I AIN’T RUNNING! MY MOM TOLD ME THAT IF I AIN’T DO NUTTIN, THEN I AIN’T GOT NO REASON TO RUN!” We couldn’t argue with Little Justin and his mother’s sage advice for survival. He was left behind several feet in the dust. The next time we looked back over our shoulders to see where he was at, he was snatched up by different white folks who popped up in the alleyway behind Trout’s penny candy store. It was a bunch of grown-ups and the family of the white girl who was shoved into the creek. The sight of Little Justin with a cloud of dust surrounding him was terrifying. He was dragged with his tiny feet dangling trying to dig in the gravel to escape. This triggered us all to sprint back to his rescue. We hit the opening of the alleyway. There was a mob of white folks, with chains, bats, and Rottweilers. One white man in the front of the crowd was viciously holding the arm of Little Justin. Our friend sobbed in fear. The entire mob hollered obscenities. We threw some back demanding that they release our fellow Villager. They flat out refused. I couldn’t help but think that his little ass


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 54

shoulda ran! But it was far too late and we all were in some deep shit. We needed reinforcement. Our first thought was notifying our leader, a brave warrior who we called Hot Sani. His real name was Hasani (handsome in Swahili). We found Hot Sani on Myrtle Street. He too was disgruntled by the fact that we left the poor little guy alone. It was as if he was Huey P. Newton and knew exactly what to do in order to rescue Little Justin who was held hostage. As we followed our childhood hero, cutting through yards and alleyways as if we owned them, the numbers from before doubled. Twenty to thirty kids and teenagers seemed ready for war. As a Villager, it was your unwritten duty to defend against whomever caused your people harm. It was the first time we had to actually rescue one of our own from a dire circumstance. The angry crowd of white folks were still there holding Little Justin. We now outnumbered them yet it wasn’t enough to discourage them. They still refused to release him. Even Hot Sani’s threats weren’t intimidating against chains, bats, and dogs. Louie, Little Justin’s older brother, was animated with rage and ready to go after them even if it meant being harmed or killed. We were all furious during the stand-off as tensions increased every second. None of us were leaving until we got Little Justin back. So we stood our ground in solidarity until the police arrived. We already...naturally...feared...the police.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

55

Moments later, Little Justin was taken into police custody. Tears streamed down his cheeks. Though he pleaded his innocence to the officer’s deaf ears, handcuffs were still slapped onto his little wrists, tight, like the pinch of a crayfish. The squad car. The bucket. My friend was caught like a creature. Truthfully, he didn’t do anything and he honestly felt he didn’t have to run. The youngest child out of the group reacted in a manner that would make the most sense if we all lived in a world of justice. Proof that we initially grow up believing in equality. As we painfully watched him be placed in the back of the cop car, we maintained our loyalty by following it all the way back to the Village. The officer cruised down Myrtle Street. Villagers ran alongside the car as if they had any power in Little Justin’s safe delivery home. Brazen little black children knocked on the squad car’s glass windows as they ran next to it like if they were running on a treadmill. Others boldly banged on the car’s trunk. The intimidating black and white vehicle with stickers on its doors that read, “protect and serve” zooming by. The cop car slowly made a left turn onto King Street then a quick right turn onto Custer Court. Ms. Kim already received the news from whispers down the alley. She nervously stood on the sidewalk waiting for her captured son. The mother who logically gave her son advice to never run if he was innocent. I can only imagine the combination of fear, hopelessness,


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 56

and confusion, all spiraling in Little Justin’s mind at the time. All because of his decision not to run. A traumatizing experience that, I can only imagine, most likely haunted him for the rest of his life. As he was released back into his mother’s care, the first words she spoke to him were, “you should’ve run! Don’t ever come home in a cop car again!”


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

57


58 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

59

T

he screams and cries are loudest at night and aggravate the inmates who encourage the predators and fantasize about the fate of the prey. It isn’t long before “Om Mani Padme Hum” resonates throughout the cell block and peace replaces terror. It’s my final night after being incarcerated at Corcoran State prison for five years.

The tiny plastic mirror above my combination metal sink and toilet reflects the transformation of a slightly built eighteen year old into a formidable man with prison tattoos. The tattoo on my forearm reads, “El Chico de Ajo” which translates into “Garlic Boy”. Soon after my incarceration, I visited the prison library and randomly selected “The Teachings of Buddha”. Reading it removed the hatred and vengeance consuming me. I wrote to the Buddhist publisher and thanked them for transforming my life and was forwarded additional Buddhist publications. The transformation I found in

Garlic Boy

Jonathan Ferrini


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 60

Buddhism spread throughout the cell block and I became a revered Buddhism counselor to the hardest of criminals and their jailers. Its daybreak and the Warden escorts me to the bus which will take me home. The only possession I took is my copy of “The Teachings of Buddha.” He hands me a pencil drawing of a family of spiders nestled in their web. The drawing is titled “Peace and Gratitude” and the Warden tells me “Charlie” meditated and gave it to me as a gift. I tell him to sell it and buy Buddhist publications for the library. Gilroy California is a farming community known for growing garlic. Our family lived in a trailer home located downwind from a garlic processing plant and gave my family the permanent stench of garlic. There are two social classes of Latino’s who live and work in Gilroy: wealthy landowners tracing their lineage to Spanish land grants and migrant farm workers harvesting their crops. My parents are migrants paying the wealthy land owner rent and a percentage of their crop sales. I’m an only child, and was a lonely, quiet, studious kid with dreams of attending college to study agricultural science and one day owning our own farm. My garlic stench made me an outcast teased and bullied with the exception of Andalina, a quiet, studious girl, exchanging loving glances with me in school. Andalina’s parents own a beautiful ranch home on hundreds of acres. A relationship was never possible given our economic differences. I received a postcard from Andalina in prison telling me she graduated from college and was attending graduate school. I was proud of her but too embarrassed to write back and tell her I earned my GED in prison.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

61

My parents often sent me to the only minimarket/gas station in our neighborhood to buy groceries and I welcomed the errand because they included money for a “Slurpee”. The owner of the minimarket is Ernesto. He was once a struggling immigrant but saved to open the new minimarket/gas station. He’s considered a “Coconut” by Latino’s and prefers to go by “Ernie”. Ernesto was politically ambitious and a “law and order” businessman with aspirations of running for mayor. His minimarket/gas station has no competition for miles and he charges monopoly prices. I entered the minimarket and dashed for the Slurpee machine. I poured a tall Slurpee and grabbed the groceries. As I approached Ernesto to pay, a Latino gang entered the store which was empty except for me and Ernesto. One gang member stood guard at the entrance. Sensing trouble, I hurried to complete the transaction and get out of the store. The leader of the gang passed me and smelled my garlic stench placing his arm around me saying, “You’re my garlic boy”. His grip was firm and he approached the counter with me in tow. He held a gun to Ernesto’s head demanding money. Ernesto opened the register and handed over the money begging, “Please don’t kill me!” The gunman turned to me and said, “You stink man!” He hit me on the back of the head with the butt of the gun. I fell unconscious. I regained consciousness to find Ernesto standing over me. My arms and feet were bound and I was being photographed by the local newspaper. Ernesto assumed I was a gang member and used the robbery as a photo opportunity for his mayoral run. Ernesto planted the pistol dropped by the thief in my pants. I was arrested and charged with armed robbery. The Public Defender ignored my plea


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 62

of “wrong place, wrong time”, and pressured me to accept a plea deal. I was sentenced to prison and Ernesto was elected mayor. The bus ride home feels like a prison cell as it crawls up Interstate 5 surrounded by Central Valley farms. I’m anxious and clutch the “Teachings of Buddha”. We pass a billboard reading: Next Services 8 miles. Ernie’s Minimarket and Gas Station The billboard reignites hatred and vengeance towards Ernesto but I hold the book close to my heart and chant, “Om Mani Padme Hum” which calms me. I’ll get off the bus at Ernesto’s minimarket and buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate our family reunion and treat myself to a Slurpee which I dreamed about in prison. The bus stops in front of the minimarket. I enter and recognize Ernesto behind the counter. I pour a Slurpee and select a bottle of champagne. I approach the register and ask Ernesto, “Remember me?” to which he replies, “No. You all look alike!” The doors to the minimarket swing open and in the store mirror behind Ernesto, I see the “shark like” stare of a “meth head” quickly approaching the register determined to rob and likely kill Ernesto. I alone will determine if Ernesto lives or dies. I turn to the meth head rolling up my shirt sleeves revealing prison “tats” criminals recognize while giving him my “prison eye stare down.” I hold the bottle of champagne like a baton. The meth head stops dead in his tracks saying, “It’s cool man. No hassle from me!” He backs his way out of the store and runs to his car speeding away. Ernesto knew he “dodged a bullet” and holds out his hand to shake saying, “Thank you. How can I repay you?” I hand him my copy of “The Teachings


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

63

of Buddha”. I walk out of the store to my family reunion sipping the Slurpee like expensive cognac.


64 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

65

I

open my eyes and they are crystalline with tears. I remember this, waking with this loss. A secret gnaws beneath my ribs like hunger.

‘Hey, lady. Lunchtime.’ I lift my head. His scarred cheek is familiar, but I do not know his name. Mountains rise beyond the concrete walls, rain falls and fills the air. I am made of hollows, watching the man by the unlocked door. I know the sound this door makes when it locks. I know the feel of it beneath my fists.

There are moss-silver treelines and bruises on my hands, my wrists. Perhaps bruises are what aches on my face, or is that the tears? My whole body is a stranger. He is there when we come outside and I loathe him. I know this. His hands and the turn of his hips, the sweat and cloth smell of him. I remember it on my skin, retching and heaving until I was scalded and empty.

Signs and Omens Lorraine Wilson


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 66

‘You been behaving?’ he says. I shiver. Someone else touches my elbow and makes me walk. A scar divides his cheek mathematically and his eyes avoid mine. There is something weighting my pocket, I remember what it is just as my fingers find it. A stone, black and strewn with crystal in lines of light. ‘Oh!’ I almost drop it, but it is special, it is precious and I have held onto it all this time because it is all my unknowns and my hope. I know this. I press it to my cheek and it whispers. It tells me to shout and fill myself with rage. Can I? Did I, once? It whispers of beaches white against a tumbling ocean. It whispers of the helpless laughter of a child. Is this my dream, then? Is this why I cry? ‘Where am I?’ My voice is slippery as an eel. This place has knife-sloped rainforest, and no sea. My lips taste of salt and pain. ‘Shut up,’ the man says, the one I hate. ‘Where am I? I say, louder. A hand closes on my wrist.I pull, fear in my lungs because they will take it. They will take it from me. ‘No!’ I say, both hands on the stone, body twisting, dropping against the grip on my skin. ‘No!’ ‘Time again, then,’ the man says and the one behind me releases my wrist to wrap an arm around my chest. I cannot move, he is a cage and a rock-


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

67

face but the stone is in my hand and so I still. The man, the terrible, awful, man reaches out; my muscles jerk with knowledge I do not quite share. There is a high, sharp pain in my neck, and then he steps back. ‘Get some food in her before she’s out,’ he says but he is walking away and the stone is in my hand, and so I am safe. Mist in the canopy, mud beneath my feet. Men sitting on boxes beneath concrete overhangs ignore me. Perhaps I am not here. Is this the next morning, or the next or the next? A small plane sits on the earth like an insect, and the man who revolts my skin is talking to a man with a scar. ‘Take her today. There’s too much activity round here, I don’t like it.’ We climb into silver-blue air, our shadow chasing us across mist and trees. I am holding the stone again. I can still remember … what? There is a hole beneath my ribs that is the shape of all my questions, but those in turn match my bruises so instead I close my eyes. The plane bucks and prances.I look up, and see a marvel. Familiar, but also impossible. Or is it? How can I know truth, when all my mind is gaps? Claws and paws grip the plane’s wing and he roars wind, pride, fury. He is unfathomably real and the colour of blood. He is the colour of love. I should be frightened, I think. The plane tips, the engines wail. The blood lion rears, jaws wide, and there is a smile in my throat and an aching. ‘Christ, Fletcher,’ the scarred man says. ‘Can’t you fly this thing at all?’


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 68

The pilot curses and his shirt clings to his bulk where he overspills the seat. I turn away but the beast in the wind has gone. A man leans over. His scar is familiar and I do not fear him. Should I? I don’t. ‘You ok?’ he says. I clutch the stone to myself. ‘The lion,’ I say. ‘Where are you from?’ he asks, and I frown. I look for the ocean but it is not there. ‘Where am I?’ I ask. My words are rusty from disuse or from blood. ‘Let me go. I need to go…’ I need to go somewhere. There is a place I am missing, and missing from, and even if I have forgotten it, my body has not. I wait, I forget things. I wait. ——— ‘God.’ Chris says. He’s angry and tired and, ‘Fuck it.I’m not paid enough for this.’ Two steps to push his gun against Fletcher’s neck. Chris talks, Fletcher garbles. Behind them, Chris hears the woman take a long breath and release it. The plane climbs, Chris keeps half an eye on Fletcher, half on the woman. Her face is dirt over bruises and she holds that fucking stone like it’s gold. Two months they’ve had her, waiting for the


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

69

windfall. She fought at first. Fought people and cable-ties, broke Hassan’s nose, refused food. Hence the drugs. The perfect earner, Mr Willet calls it, another body, another ransom. So … what the hell’s he thinking? She always wakes weeping, that’s the thing. And he recognises it. Sudan; a mother mourning. Hell, there’s been hundreds of them, but that one won’t leave him alone. Maybe this is about redemption. ‘Damn.’ he says. It’s complete madness, but he’d been a good man, once. The plane catches updrafts, then reaches the plains. Arua calls on the radio. Was her last dose at breakfast? He thinks so. But what’ll happen next? Clarity? Delirium? ‘You’ll feel better soon,’ he says. ‘We’re going away,’ she says like the two are linked. Which they are. Arua’s easy, Fletcher tied up and waiting, her eerily silent, watching him. They find a roadside café full of rangy chickens and flies. ‘We are now even, brother. You hear?’ Perot doesn’t linger. The passports are worn with dirt along their folds; good, possibly even genuine. He’ll get her to an embassy and then forget the mother in Sudan. ‘Come on, lady,’ he says to the woman, she rises. But Mr Willett has moved fast; the airport watched. He pulls the woman back into the taxi. ‘Change of plan,’ he says. Not DRC, he’s not insane. East to Gulu, or north and over the border. Still pretty


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 70

fucking suicidal, but two might cross this border with a stolen aid truck and false papers; a dozen dodgy mercenaries won’t. Not quickly. South Sudan then, which is Ironic. ‘Road-trip,’ he says. She watches him. ‘You are helping,’ she says. Not a question. He smiles and the scar pulls. ‘I guess.’ ——— The truck throws up dust in clouds. I think I sleep, because when I wake my face is salt-wet-aching. I remember this. The man looks at me. ‘Who’s Owen?’ he says. I shake my head. I do not know, I do not know, but I am crying in great jags and howls and the stone against my heart is the only solid thing I have. The man says nothing and the road goes on. There are men, briefly, with beautiful faces and guns, then the road again. Waves shimmer in the sand, seagulls wheeling. The dust cloud Rises. ‘I’m Chris,’ says the man. I nod. He’s Chris. Should I have known this before? He says we are in Juba. I’ve no idea why we are in Juba. Why would we be in South Sudan? Why would I know where Juba is, or that it


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

71

is not a good place to be? My hands are shaking and, ‘Chris,’ I say, surprising myself. ‘Yes?’ ‘Not here,’ I say. ‘It’s not safe here.’ We are in an airport replete with chaos and lethargy and guns. He holds my arm, moving fast though my feet stumble. ‘We have to get away.’ ‘Relax,’ he says. ‘We’re flying to Nairobi. Bit dicey handing you over there, but if I chuck you on a plane, you can tell them the far end. Alright?’ The stone whispers stories of my heart, but I cannot fathom out the words. ‘Yes,’ I say. Then another airport, sleepy-lit, but my bones are rattles and my stomach a snake. I lose hold of all my fragments, I vomit and vomit, my flesh carving free from shaking bones. The wall against my head is cool and kind and I don’t want to ever rise. Nairobi; it is safer, but still too far away. The void of my chest is full of stars. ‘Lady, let’s move. You’ll get better. Your flight’s soon.’ His name is Chris, and he has taken me away from shadows. ‘Yes,’ I say. ‘I’m coming.’ Struggling upward, disoriented by the press of walls. ‘You gonna be alright?’ he says, frowning. ‘Yes.’ I try to straighten, the bruises on my face throb cruelly. ‘I’m fine. I’m fine.’ We both know it is a lie. ‘Thank-you.’ Did I say that already? I lean against the door-frame so that I do not fall. My whole body is an earthquake. He still frowns. ‘You even know your name, or where you’re going?’


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 72

I don’t. My heart breaks and bleeds and breaks, but I still don’t know. ‘Embassy. You said-’ ‘On a false passport? In Paris? They’ll lock you up first.’ Locked doors and needle marks, a scream in my throat. Locks and needles, my hands are fists. Chris’ eyes are on me, and sad. ‘Fucking hell,’ he says. We climb up to a plane, the night thick with the flight of bats. I tilt my head up, and then, as I pause, snow falls. The flakes are thick and perfect, and they sear my skin like loss. They turn the night into a sacrament, and oh, I remember this. Chris waits; people murmur. ‘Snow,’ I say.Chris’ face is strange but in my palm, the stone is cold, its whispers peat-fires and darkness. ——— God but Charles de Gaulle was close. Two men, the woman choosing just that moment to fight him. This is, Chris decides, suicidal. Hijacking, fake passports, all because of that woman in Sudan. He should’ve left her in Nairobi, only she sounds of home and she looked like death. ‘Fuck it,’ he says. It’s a screwed up redemption, but anything’s better than Nothing. Mid-channel, one of those men approaches. The woman says with fear, and then without, ‘He’s looking for me.’ Chris stands and loosens out his arms; he has no clue where the line is, or whether


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

73

he’ll cross it. The man is D.S. Carpenter. Chris lies about himself, but not about her. ‘Lady,’ he says. ‘This bloke is gonna help you.’ Then he steps into the background. She doesn’t need him, and he doesn’t need the attention. ——— This new man says I was an aid worker in Libya and memories rise like flames; dirt and desperation, children. He talks of ransom demands, Interpol in Nairobi. I stop listening at one single word. Eriskay. It is a word for an ocean. ‘You’ll need to see a doctor, and then we’ll talk,’ the man says. ‘No!’ I say. ‘No! I’ll not go with you.’ I lift the stone and my bruised hands onto the table. ‘Eriskay. I am going to Eriskay.’ My head aches, and I look to where Chris stands in shadow. ‘She needs a debriefing,’ the man says, ‘and treatment.’ ‘No,’I repeat. ‘Chris is … I am going home.’ It is all I have, this word, its name. The man eyes me, Chris sighs. My spine is not strong enough for all of my desire. He comes with us, the policeman, although he does not want to. To Kings Cross where a busker is singing. I know the words, I remember fingers along my spine; dancing, a kiss. The train heaves and the stone sings of omens and going home. He


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 74

had beautiful eyes, the man who kissed me. The circle of gold on my finger catches sunlight and I remember all these things. But not his name. Chris is shutter-faced beside me. The policeman watches us both, differently. I sleep, I wake. I am not crying. The hollows within me are full of wings. ‘Glasgow soon,’ the policeman says. ‘Another train, then a boat waiting in Oban.’ I look at Chris, who says, ‘Why aren’t you telling her?’ ‘It’s best she remembers herself.’ This is what I am doing, remembering myself. I married a man who’s name is Thomas. I am made of glass and fire, I will either break or burn. The next train, but my limbs are insectile and restless, they quiver and claw. I want to run, to scream and scream, rending the walls with my fingernails until everything bleeds. The stone against my neck fits against my hollows, it tucks beneath my chin like a child… The world breaks open. I shatter, I burn. Owen! Oh, Owen. Oh my boy, my child. My blood, my son, my own. My Owen. How could I forget you? How could I not recognise your shape missing from my soul? ‘Owen,’ I say aloud, and it is perfect. The pain in my chest is the sun. Then a harbour and quiet-spoken men. The air keens with gull-calls


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

75

and the police-boat sheds the land like a skin. Salt sheathes me, the stone croons and I am washing clean of all my bruises, my voids. I pass over the ocean and like spirits, they cannot follow. ‘Nearly there now,’ says the policeman. The stone sings and finally, I know its voice. ‘A wee piece of home,’ he had said, fitting it into my hand. ‘To bring you back to us.’ I remember his eyes in the sunlight, unbearably soft. ‘Oh,’ I say. Chris looks back at me, and I laugh. Then again I laugh because I do not remember doing so. There is a pennant against the hill, my scarlet lion who came all those miles to wake me. The boat dips toward a beach and then they are there. Oh dear God, my Thomas and our Owen. They are waiting on white sand. And I cannot see because the world breaks into pieces, but I blink and blink because I want to see this. I want to hold it, and print it onto my bones, so that it cannot be taken again. Chris holds my arm, water takes my feet; the sea brings me home.


76 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

77

T

hey were changed when I came back. I don’t know why.

They were artists. She was a photographer. He was a painter. When they found me, it was summer. I was in rags, but I was happy; and the days were warm. I asked them for a dollar, and they told me to come home with them. They made me take a bath, and they watched me the whole time. When I was finished, they took their clothes off, and we compared bodies. They called me “The Dark One” because they were blond. They never asked me my name. When I got there, the walls were bare. There were no paintings or photographs anywhere. I saw nothing but stacks of blank canvases in the studio; in the little darkroom, only shelves of sealed photo paper. Her equipment looked unused. The same with his brushes and palettes.

They told me I was their model and must stay with them. They said they’d been waiting for me a long

The Dark One Phil Gallos


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 78

time. He gave me a robe of his to wear; but the next morning it was gone, and she gave me one of hers. They did this all the days I was there. They would never tell me who they were. When I’d ask them, he would say he was the sun; she would say she was the moon. The next time, she would be the earth and he the sky. I finally gave up. Whenever I’d say, “Don’t you want to know my name?” they’d say, “We know who you are. You’re ‘The Dark One.’” I slept on an old couch in the studio – the same one I posed on. I posed for them both, every day, as long as there was enough light without turning on a lamp. They always worked together. He would sit at a distance with his easel. She would come very close and move from angle to angle. They were completely quiet, and they never seemed to get in each other’s way. They were like two parts of something else. After a while, some pictures of me were hung on the walls, and then some paintings, too. As time went on, there were more and more until the walls in some of the rooms were becoming crowded. It was like looking in a mirror everywhere I went. The mirrors would show all of me (sometimes as though from a great distance) or just parts of me (sometimes magnified to show every detail). It was strange, too, that sometimes it seemed like his paintings should have been her photographs and the other way around – as if he had been close up and moving and she had been sitting across the room. After a few months, there was hardly any space left on any of the walls for the pictures and paintings they made of me; and it was becoming hard for me to pose for them. They never hurt me. They were very kind; but the posing began to make me ache inside like I was being hollowed out.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

79

They were so serious, so – so.... It was the way they looked at me – as though they had been starving and my body was food, but they could only eat with their eyes. Every day they would eat me, but they never touched me. When I became weak and felt myself fading, they would notice and stop their work. They would say, “Don’t move. We will give you substance.” Then they would make love on the floor in front of me or on the end of the couch at my feet until they quit from exhaustion or I fell asleep. But they were devouring me, and I felt like I was becoming a shadow. One day when I thought I was going to disappear or go flat like a cartoon character or just die forever, she put down her camera and he put down his brushes and they walked out of the room without saying a word. ——— When they came in again, she said we were going away, and she gave me a blouse of hers and a skirt and sandals to wear. It was the first time I’d been outside since they found me, and we drove for many hours. We went far from the city, through smaller and smaller towns that were farther and farther apart; and the people in them looked like they were from another time. After a long while, there was just trees; and then it was dark. When it was light again, the land had changed and the air smelled different. We were on a narrow road that was not paved. It ended at the ocean; but there was no sand – just gravel and cobbles – and it was hard to walk with the sandals on, so I took them off and went barefoot. The stones were smooth, and the sun made them warm, and I sat down because it felt so good, like the stones were coming into me through my skin and filling me up.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 80

I lay down on my back and began to put the stones on top of me so that they would soak into me. When I was almost covered, my two artists came and stood by me – one on either side. They had taken off their clothes, and they were holding hands over me. I said, “Who are you?” but she said, “The time is almost over. Come back to us in seven days.” Then she held up a black rock, seapolished and the shape of his penis. I put it inside me and made love to it. When I finished, they were gone. It took me a week to make it back to the city. By the time I got to their place, it was late at night; but they were waiting for me, and the door was open, and they were standing by it as if they knew exactly when I was going to arrive. They were smiling. It was the first time I had ever seen them smile. They took me in and hugged me and kissed me again and again; and then they began to laugh, and as they laughed they took off their clothes and mine too and led me to the studio where there was a huge piece of canvas spread out at the foot of the couch; and there they lay me down and ate me with their mouths until I was so dizzy with their lovemaking I thought I was paint – or light. I woke up on the couch. The place was empty. On the canvas on the floor were my old, raggy clothes and the black rock. Everything else was gone except for all the pictures and paintings of me everywhere I looked. They covered the walls so completely now, there wasn’t even room for a light switch to show. I stayed there all fall and winter and spring. They must have paid their rent in advance because nobody bothered me. I sold the


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

81

paintings and pictures one at a time. I didn’t get much for them, but at least I didn’t have to panhandle. The day after the last one went, a truck pulled up outside and some people started to move in. They had a little dog and didn’t seem to want me around; but I didn’t mind. It was summer again, and the days were warm.


82 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

83

A

lex was relieved the meeting was finally over. This mind-numbing exercise in futility took place once a month, and after a year and a half he still had no idea what purpose it served. It was depressingly like the corporate world, where getting the entire organization in a big room for hours of pointless PowerPoint presentations was mostly to prove that you had the power to do it. Look how many people report to me, look how many productive hours I can waste! Alex thought he had stepped miles away from a conventional lifestyle - and that was putting it mildly - only to realize that the things that irked him most in his previous life were still an irritant in the new one. The more things changed, the more they stayed the same, according to some dumb law of the universe. He sighed. It was no use complaining, there was nothing he could do about it, he had to suck it up. Very funny, in this context. He doubted anybody attending the meeting would appreciate the humor. This was not a light-hearted crowd. Dead serious they all were, yes indeed, and that was no laughing matter.

Royal and Ancient

M.E. Proctor


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 84

Alex had quickly repressed any snarky comment he may have been tempted to make. He had been blown away by the tremendous power that surrounded him, the elemental force running through the assembly, the energy he shared with the other attendees, and it was exhilarating. It reminded him of those tent revivals - only seen in TV shows and movies - where rustics would suddenly jump up and proclaim they were saved after the hopping-mad preacher had brought them to the edge of hysteria. Alex could have leaped out of his seat too; the urge was that strong. He didn’t know what he would have screamed but it certainly wouldn’t have had anything to do with salvation. On the contrary. And just like the black-clad preachers of yore alternated glory and brimstone, the leaders of this strange congregation distributed rewards and punishment, and in classical dictatorial fashion penalties bore no relation to the crimes. Failing to attend a meeting was deemed a major offense. After witnessing what happened to the poor wretches who had missed roll call, Alex wisely decided to sit far in the back, keep his mouth shut and his thoughts to himself. In this company, he no longer was an entitled smart-ass investment banker turning in fat expense statements and racking in bonuses in the high six figures; he was a newbie learning the ropes, and there was a daunting lot to learn. In this company, time served meant dominance and a nearly explosive geometric progression of abilities. Seniority wasn’t a synonym for a stack of gift cards or a gold pin with a logo. The woman sitting on the podium on what could only be described as a throne was the supreme ruler, referred to as the Royal and Ancient (until his induction Alex thought the R&A label was reserved to St Andrews Golf Club.) Her title wasn’t honorary. She could, according to Julian, “bring the temple down.” Alex visualized the


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

85

New York Stock Exchange, the only temple to the only divinity he ever worshipped, toppling over into Wall Street. It wasn’t at all what Julian had in mind as events soon made clear. At first Alex wasn’t entirely convinced he wasn’t sold a truckload of bull, but he was so in awe of all the nifty things he could do that he gave Julian the benefit of the doubt. Over time he developed a healthy terror of the R&A. It didn’t make it any easier to sit quietly through the monthly meetings. The unfathomable thing, maybe Royal and definitely Ancient, sitting on her pedestal spouted incomprehensible and never-ending gibberish that the nitwits in the room absorbed religiously. Pilgrims probably swallowed the ravings of the Sibyl of Cumae with the same ecstatic expression on their dumb faces. Not that anybody attending this dank cellar reunion would have the slightest notion who the Sibyl was, or the Pythia on her tripod, or the Fool on a Hill for that matter. Alex Hastings, thirty years old, English lit and a smattering of Greek, Latin and classic rock, was probably the only one in attendance fashionably over-educated. Maybe not by the standards of a Princeton faculty cocktail party, but definitely way above the creeps in this crypt. Quite amazing, when you stopped to think about it. Because this crowd had plenty of opportunity and unlimited means to access higher learning. This crowd had enough time to not only learn to read and write, but to absorb everything, literally everything, human intelligence ever produced. But not so, nope. Lazy bones, all of them. Bones, ha-ha. They didn’t even have the excuse that the transformation impacted the brain. It didn’t. Far from it. Alex felt sharper than he’d ever been. Reasoning, intuition, feeling and senses tingled from the top of his skull to the tip of his toes. Alex felt more alive now than when he banged Teresa in that boathouse in the Hamptons, and that had been the high point of his life so far.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 86

The transformation was a wondrous gift, all right. And it had come from the most unreliable and shallow source imaginable - Julian - who described the miracle with less creativity than a Shopping Channel sales pitch. No wonder Alex had dismissed the whole thing as boozy nonsense, silliness on a scale unheard of even from his unreasonable and rarely sober friend. Not that Julian ever needed to make sense. You just looked at the guy and you felt weak at the knees. Listening to what he said was totally superfluous. Alex had been drawn to Julian because girls were drawn to Julian. Lots of girls. Alex could sit back, observe and relax. Julian would soon disappear with the pick of the litter, leaving the others to realize that Alex - handsome in his own right if not in the same flowinggolden-hair category as his friend - was still there with his boyish all-American smile and regularly replenished Dom Pérignon in an ice bucket. Innocent, enjoyable nights those had been, until Julian let slip that they could do this forever. “You hear me, Alex? Forever!” Yes, Julian, I give you another five years tops partying the way you do before everything starts sagging, your chin, your six-pack and the junk below. Julian laughed. “Not so, not so Alex. You’ll be forever young. Ain’t that a dream, dude?” Yeah, right, how long have you been hawking that story to suckers like me, Julian? “Eighty years or so,” Julian said without missing a beat and that was something, because Julian couldn’t lie to save his life. He was all true, all the time, what you see is what you get. Alex was in that wonderful state, half drunk half lucid when almost anything was possible or could be believed providing the punch line didn’t bring him back to drab reality. He must have told Julian to keep talking but he didn’t have any memory of doing so. “It’s easy, believe me,” Julian said. “You only have to agree, and bingo, you’re immortal. Cool, right?” Not


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

87

the words Alex would have used in similar circumstances, but they were both extremely drunk so what do you expect? Alex said immortality was intriguing from a philosophical point of view but its consequences should be carefully considered; in hindsight, he doubted he used so many multi-syllabic words, his champagnesoaked tongue was long past eloquence. He vaguely remembered Julian leaning on him and putting his head on his shoulder. It was oddly intimate and closer than Alex was comfortable with but he was in a mellow mood. Okay Julian, whatever you say, just don’t fall asleep on me. “You agree then?” Julian said. Agree to what? The topic of the conversation had already slipped Alex’s mind. Sure Julian, whatever makes you happy. What happened after was never clear. Alex thought he had come down with the flu, despite the shot. Did they ever get that vaccine formula right? He called his boss to say he was feeling like shit and didn’t think he could make it to the office, and got the predictable answer: stay home, take it easy, drink lots of fluids, and don’t bring your germs over here, buddy. After a few days, Alex knew he would never go back to his nice sleek desk with the comfortable chair and the big Ansel Adams photograph over the credenza. He had experienced a dramatic change of perspective. Julian had been helpful, sort of. “I don’t have a good grasp on it, dude. I roll.” A shrug, fatalistic. “There must be books but I never read them, and I’m not worse off, so… I’ll tell you what I know and you’re smart enough to find out the rest by yourself.” Alex did find out, remarkably fast considering a single night had been enough to upend his entire existence. He had been wildly excited at first; so much to explore and try out that he wished he didn’t have to stop


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 88

at sunrise. It was fun to check off the old clichés. No reflection in mirrors, check, although he could still take selfies, go figure. Otherworldly beauty, check. It was more a kind of glow to tell the truth, like a really good facial, and a two-week vacation on a Caribbean beach. Maybe he had the right bone structure for this. Full sunlight was unbearably painful, check, but a misty or overcast day was tolerable, and he didn’t have to crawl below ground at daybreak; pulling the curtains close or shutting the blinds was sufficient. The rules had been set down before the invention of LED lights after all. The pointy canines were a little bothersome but they only shot out when he was hungry. Alex learned restraint early in the process, to Julian’s surprise. Amusing how some dietary guidelines crossed over universes. Portion control, high protein, low carb! “Some of us never get the hang of it,” Julian said. “It took me a while. The world is a big endless buffet.” Precisely. Alex never felt the urge to stuff his face in all-you-can-eat joints. It was reassuring to find out that being undead didn’t change your personality. It certainly didn’t make him more patient even if he contemplated eternity. Stupidity, not surprisingly, shredded his nerves. That was something Julian omitted in his management summary. Heightened perception meant exactly that. Feelings were magnified. It made the full moon impossibly gorgeous, every piece of music was both sweeping and technicolor evocative, and a walk through the Met left him both exhausted and elated. Those were the positives. The negatives, unfortunately, were similarly enhanced. The monthly assembly was pure, exquisite torture. When Alex had told Julian, after the first meeting, that he would not attend another, Julian had turned a ghastly white. “You have to be there,” he said. “They have ways to make you forever miserable, and they’ll punish me too. I’m your sponsor. I’m responsible for you.” Julian’s terror was entirely


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

89

justified. The punishment inflicted to whoever offended the R&A gave Alex a glimpse of Hell he would never forget, even if he hung around for five thousand years. A bell rang somewhere in the darkness, signaling the official end of the reunion. Alex put on his coat, took his place at the end of the line behind Julian and waited for his turn to bow in front of the presiding creature. Royal and Ancient. What a joke. He felt sad, somehow. Was it God’s revenge? Immortality, the ultimate gift, being wasted on the stupid and the unworthy? Alex vowed he would not let his mind turn to mush, and when he decided to make an apprentice he would be very careful and choose well. Somebody with similar tastes. Somebody he could have an intelligent and very very long conversation with. There was no hurry, he had all the time in the world.


90 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

91

“G

et out of here,” she says, but it’s already too late. My mother’s standing alone in the kitchen, propped up against the counter, writing. I’d snuck up behind her, peeping over her shoulder, catching the words she’s committing to paper.

Glen, I know there’s no way I can explain this to you…

They say animals know when a disaster is looming; an earthquake, a flood, an approaching tsunami. They sense some sort of shift in the earth; a glitch within the planet’s vibrations. Somehow alerted to impending destruction, they make their way elsewhere, away from the danger, moving instead toward a place somewhere safe. My sister’s putting berets in her hair. My brother’s slipping shoes on his feet. I back out from our kitchen at my mother’s admonishment; I only have minutes to be ready for school.

Somewhere Safe

Will McMillan


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 92

Cartoons blare out from the TV. The scent of toast and fresh scrambled eggs are infusing together, invading the air. This morning is just like the morning before it, but twelve simple words written out by my mother and I sense there’s been a shift in our world. I sense in that moment a disaster is coming. “Don’t forget to grab your books,” she says, walking out from the kitchen. She folds the note she’d written in half, slipping it under the door to her bedroom. Her unemployed husband, our father, is still fast asleep. “Make sure you have everything you need. Don’t leave anything behind today.” The washer sits dead next to our dryer. Having conceded washing our clothes in the tub was one chore too many for his wife to endure, our father allows her to gather our clothes in the morning and haul them down to the laundry mat. This morning is one of those mornings. Clothes are stuffed in our thin laundry basket, bursting out from the sides like weeds through the dirt. Not all the clothes in the basket seem dirty; in fact, not everything I notice is clothes. Shoes and belts poke out from the basket, along with books, shampoo, and a stray photo album. Strange these things should be lumped in with the laundry, crammed next to our pants, our shirts and our socks. My brother slips his arms through his coat, helping our sister sling her arms through her backpack. He shuts off the TV, and I stare at the screen as it fades into gray. Dishes are placed in the sink in our kitchen, lights are turned off in our bedroom, the bathroom. And as the lights go off through our home, a sense of finality comes on in their place. Was this the last time we’ll turn off these lights? Was this the last time we’ll be using these dishes? Our mother wasn’t just writing a note for our father; she was re-writing the outcome of our history, forever.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

93

A hug for me, for my brother, my sister. Then a basket of laundry lifted up from the floor, our mother’s thin arms strained by the weight. I glance at my siblings: did her hug feel different to them? Was it goodbye for now, or goodbye forever? The laundromat’s less than a mile from our home. A straight shot down our street, then a turn to the left. A turn to the right takes you onto the highway and out of our town. I stand in my bedroom, in front of the window, watching our mother pullout from the driveway. I wave goodbye, but it isn’t returned. “She just didn’t see you,” I say to myself. The car sputters its way down our street, puffs of exhaust coughing out from the tailpipe. Winter has taken the world by the throat; my breath turns to fog on my cold bedroom window. At the end of the street the car comes to a halt. Left turn, or right? One way or another? Laundry, or something she couldn’t explain to our father? I hold my breath as my mom holds position. The car moves again. A turn to the right. Time to go, I think. But not off to school. Just someplace away from the shift in our world, away from the danger that I sense all around us. A place we might survive the inevitable, a place, I hope, I might think of as safe.


94 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

95

I

wake up in my car with a headache. I really need to cut down on my drinking. Maybe I’ll start tomorrow, since it’s already too late to start tonight.

Where am I? The car headlights illuminate rain and trees. I look behind me and recognize the curve lit by the rear tail lights. It’s a good thing that I pulled off the mountain road. It’s tricky enough to navigate in good weather during the day, much less on a rainy night. What was I thinking? Or was I? I turn the key. The engine doesn’t start. My cell phone is on the passenger seat. And it’s dead. Even if I could call someone, who would I ask for help? Everyone I know is halfway across the country. I rest my forehead against the steering wheel and close my eyes. Now what? I open my eyes and see tiny flashes of light twinkling in the dark foliage. Fireflies! I haven’t seen any since childhood. I step out of the car. The wet air has a metallic smell and clings to my body. I immediately sink up to my ankles in clammy mud

Disappeared

Nolcha Fox


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 96

that oozes through my pantyhose and between my toes. So much for my red satin heels. Oh well, I never really liked them anyway. I wiggle my feet out of muck and shoes, then push through shrubs and branches that crackle and spray me with rain drops. In the moonlight, I see runs in my pantyhose, so I take them off. Fireflies light up a small clearing in the forest. They circle around my head, and then flit off before I can grab them. I laugh and chase after them. They fly away, just out of reach. I follow them until a tree blocks my path. The fireflies scatter. The moonlight shines on a round door embedded in the bark. It feels perfectly natural and right to pull the door open. The aroma of dust and lavender wafts out into the night. I crawl partly through the door, but the crinoline slip of my red velvet dress won’t fit through the opening. I back out and remove the dress. Dressed only in my bra and panties, I crawl through the door. In the dimly lit interior, I see a stairway. I climb the stairs. The wooden steps creak, and clouds of dust fill the air every time I put a foot down. There is no railing, so I put my hand against the wall to steady myself. The wall is uneven, covered with peeling paint. The stairway ends at a landing, lit by moonlight streaming through a window. The only way to continue is to climb through the window or walk back down the staircase. I don’t want to go back, ever. The only physical evidence of the life I left behind is my bra and panties. I take them off, and throw them into the darkness below.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

97

I crawl through the window, and jump down to a cobblestone surface surrounded by a low stone wall. In the distance is another stairway of irregular rocks. Beyond the wall is the earth, dotted with pinpoints of light that are dim compared to the stars above. I can either stay here or go up that stairway. I decide to climb the stairs. Slippery moss covers each step, and I ascend using my hands and feet so that I don’t fall. The stars become bigger and hotter as the stairs spiral up and up. With every step I climb, shame, despair, anger, nostalgia, fear, guilt, all the emotions that tied me to the past and clouded my future dissipate. I feel lighter, joyful. My skin radiates a brightness that reaches for its sister stars. I stick my finger into a black hole and turn it inside out into a white hole. The white hole emits the stuff of planets. I lick my finger. It tastes like blackberry jam. I climb a few steps higher and shake some stars out of their nursery. They are little crystal globes, crying as they fall, shooting through the night sky. I climb until the steps end, until I am surrounded by spaciousness. I tear a hole into the star scape and climb through. Warm, thick, dark matter surrounds me and pulls me down, down to before the beginning.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 98

Alone in the woods, I rest and smoke my cob pipe-But am I alone? Wreaths of white smoke surround me; The forest seems full of wraiths.

Phantom

Benjamin Daniel Lukey


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

99

When the sunlight hits you and even it is artificial, that is when your guards are damned. (You might as well play hopscotch.) This deep freeze can stop you midstride, stop you mid-intention. This Arctic blast will still your breath, and for me it is my smoky breakfast. I am frostbitten to my dozen tails, and romanced to stay within my mold, but a spirit of mine that is of the summer ought to be kept on the grains of the beach.

Arctic Flower

Amanda Tumminaro


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 100

I didn’t speak of it for many months, for the shame burrowed deep in my bones, for the nights I scrubbed my skin so feverishly to try and rid myself of all the cells that ever touched his cells. My mind worked double over-time trying to remember exactly what happened, and I still did not quite piece it together until I told another soul in August. The words came out trembling, brand new and bloody red like a screaming, just-born infant, and in my head the fragments finally came forth, like flashes and glimpses of a movie as it skips from scene to scene: a dick, slammed violently into the back of my throat a scream, with no body my skin on cold floor pushing, kicking another, twice my size my screaming, but no body attached to it my screaming, but nobody outside the door laughing crying cold red bright, cold, red pain bursting from my skull and between my legs between my legs, no longer a piece of me between my legs, becoming another thing he owned and after and after and after and after the memories only come back in spots, in gutting stab-wounds, in not-nothings but not-yet-somethings. And I take those pieces and I put them with the others. And a whole picture begins to come together.

In August

Wanda Deglane


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

101

On the night I came out My choice, my image and becoming Was ripped away from me To be yelled at and rejected For being something I had not claimed But would have when I’d learned more About it I hadn’t yet known whether or not I liked the girl I loved as a friend I did know that I didn’t want to sleep with anyone, But I enjoyed the warmth of her in my arms The night I was outed I did not like the girl my sister saw kiss me That I kissed back Who had treated my body as something Without its own agency on different occasions But on the night we kissed You’d have thought I’d robbed, Beaten, or killed someone The way I was yelled at and threatened by my mom You’d thought I had always been a fuck up A burnout

On the Night I “Came Out” Danielle Christine Hastings


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 102

A delinquent But I was just 16 I didn’t know there was a sexuality spectrum I didn’t know asexuality And grey sexuality existed Had I’d known any of this My coming out would have been my biggest becoming My grandest renewal I would have been more breath More voice More me Because bisexual and demisexual visibility is always question I was never able to be all here Instead I was outed and was an undoing A death A 12 year coma It became a negotiation A bartered identity to be allowed to stay in School


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

103

In my own home I abandoned myself because I was about to be ripped away From the only person who had ever seen me I chose to be invisible again Instead of being forced to leave her Chose to turn back into school (wall flower) and isolation Just to be allowed to stay in the same place as her Banned from ever going back to GSA while my straight sister continued to keep going The night I came out In-between the battles and negotiations I was sent up to my room where I re-baptized myself holy In a sacrificial rite of my own blood My arm became an angry mess A warzone A crime scene where I tried to tear out every capillary and vessel It was an angry mess Clots and dry crust washed crimson each time I cut a new line Trying to change me A me who’d not been ready to be born The room, my room was echo chamber Was falling down


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 104

No one was there to stop me Hurling birthday presents I’d just received out of my window Or to stop me from clawing myself out of my skin Whatever it was that my mom so suddenly hated My activist mother, who knew that this was where she would draw the line The things she gave me became symbols of her love as lie Her love as deceit And I would never be able to hold my friend with anymore innocence As if I’d ever been allowed any innocence On the night I came out I did not come out I was outed Rejected And lost everything


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

105

After my mom died I was stuck in the middle Of the tangled Nothings and Somethings Drowning in an upside down desert and My arms started itching again For the razor blade kisses and bloody sting I wrote the poems about wanting to offer my Body and blood as Eucharist, a communion Life for a life trade so she could live again When I started cutting again in the spring, a year after my mom died I’d already stopped breathing for months and months I’d told three people, but that wasn’t even until summer Between that time and the suffocation I’d seen a single Tattoo on Facebook followed by a brief explanation “;” “My Story isn’t yet over. . .” ‘A semi colon indicates a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma. . .” For ½ a year after I’d drawn one on my wrist and promised myself I’d get one only after going a year without cutting I have not yet gotten the tattoo-it’s been five years Today at work I am hollow smile and Amy, Your 2nd clause ended up shorter than your 1st

For Amy Bluel the Founder of the Semi Colon Project; 23 March 2017. Danielle Christine Hastings


106 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

107

I

sat, stone-faced and silent as my mother carefully backed the car into the uneven driveway that framed our house. For a moment, the world spun around me and came sharply back into focus. The hum of the radio, still turned down to 5 or 6, seemed to shout into the space between us. I didn’t wait for the car to stop, instead choosing to immediately remove my seatbelt- I needed to be able to get out quickly. I wanted to escape the space my mother’s denial seemed determine to fill. It was trying to seep into my blood, to make me believe that I was fine. I was not fine. She stopped the car and turned to me, “Carissa...” ——— I wouldn’t look at my mom as she climbed into the driver’s seat of her Honda, preferring instead to glare at the unsettlingly simple therapist’s building in front of me. It was one of those buildings that should have been two stories but had been reduced to one floor in favor of an unnecessarily

Therapy

Carissa Owens


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 108

over-sized roof. Like every other squished building, the entire structure was painted a mud brown. I had decided in those seconds before my mom had settled into the car, that I appreciated the consistency of the building’s design- why make just one aspect horrible when the entire office could be a monument to the unwanted? Its structure. Its color. Its use. I have always had a tumultuous relationship with the sound of my mother’s engine turning over. It was the vibration that echoed the hum in my blood, begging me to go. I was comfortable sitting in the passenger’s seat, surrounded by empty gum wrappers and loose change, listening to my mom’s discordant, fluid voice fill the air. My body sunk into the black suede suppleness as if it belonged there. It was only when I inevitably decided to distinguish the words and string them into sentences that the caged in space began to feel suffocating, the closed windows inescapable. Looking into the rearview mirror, I watched the eyesore shrink as we started down the never-ending driveway. It wasn’t hard to keep track of the receding roof but I was distracted by the sight of my own eyes in the reflection. I was almost shocked by the deadness that looked back at me- the indifference that had stained the skin under my eyes purple. The clicking of the turn signal echoing through the silence drew me back from my silent wondering. I couldn’t remember the number of sleepless nights that made the purple so violent. It was after that first turn all the words I knew were dying to jump from my mother finally spilled from her lips. Her demanding voice filled the space so concretely, the auto body commercial coming


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

109

from the radio slipped into the background. “So, what are you thinking?” She asked, her eyes darting over to monitor my face. I wanted to scream that the curly haired woman who so completely missed the half dead expression on my face and my zombie eyes couldn’t be an effective therapist. She had made so little an impression I was sure I had forgotten her name as soon as she had said it. I didn’t feel bad though- by the end of the session, I had the distinct feeling that Stan the Therapy Dog knew more about me then she did. But, as I ran my eyes over my mother’s scrunched up profile, I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the truth. “I don’t know. I thought it was weird she didn’t have kids,” I replied. Every stress line seemed to fade from her face with that comment, the relief a tidal wave trying to knock me from my seat. For a moment, we listened to Jason DeRulo pour through the speakers and watched stopped cars glare at the Honda like it wouldn’t get stuck at the next light or the one after that. “If what she said was true, What’s up with your grades?” We slid to a stop, the red light a timer waiting to go off. On a scale of 0 to 5 (0 being none at all and 5 being extreme difficulty) have you experienced difficulty focusing? This whole “questionnaire” was a joke. You could be perfectly happy and circle 5 just for the hell of it. What did extreme difficulty constitute? What number meant that I wouldn’t have to come back? My eyes locked on the five staring back at me from the far end


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 110

of the sheet and I thought, about my latest attempt to grasp the impossible complexities of my Algebra II/Trigonometry homework. I had sat, looking down at the numbers spread across the page in orderly lines until they ran together. The only thing I could pull out were the letters- letters that jumped from problem to problem shifting as they went until the words “dumb ass” appeared against the blurred-number background. And then, the word blurred too, lost behind the tears that I couldn’t stop. Though that broken part of me begged the pencil to circle the last number, the graphite grey mark appeared around the 1. “I don’t know, I have been off. I can’t focus on anything.” I had said the same thing to the therapist, figuring pointing out happy people didn’t usually get dragged into therapy sessions would be counterproductive. “She seemed to think you were fine, Carissa. You aren’t having trouble focusing, you have been staying up until God-knows-when and not putting enough effort in. You’re practically failing math!” “I have a 72, mom.” I knew this was the wrong thing to say but I didn’t think before I said it. I couldn’t find it in me to care if she yelled at me the rest of the way home. The glare she shot me barely registered. “That is not acceptable, and you know it.” The Honda stopped momentarily at the sign before, carrying on down the half paved side road. I didn’t look at her this time. “You need to stop sleeping all day,” she went on. “That’s why you have


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

111

been walking around like you’re half dead.” On a scale of 0 to 5 (0 being no change at all and 5 being extreme change) has your sleeping pattern changed over the last 3 months? “She has been sleeping a lot and I know that’s a sign of depression. I guess my question is do you think she might have that? I just don’t know what to do. I have never dealt with this—” I gave Stan an inquisitive look as I tired to remember a time when sleep came easy. Even made, my bed looked rumpled, the sheets forever twisted with the evidence of my failure. But it wasn’t the sheets she noticed- my mother couldn’t see passed the newly closed door. She had forgotten that closed doors were good for more than just sleeping- my tear stained carpet and the growing indent where I sat with my back against the door were a testament to that. I tried to ignore Stan’s obvious disapproval as the pencil mark again appeared around the 1- a whole page away from the number I should have circled. “I don’t,” I replied, watching my mother’s eyes tighten in frustration. “No, you just read all night.” We made our way off the exit toward home and everything started to look very familiar. I didn’t answer her. “A 2 out of 50. That’s not even mildly depressed.” She was getting louder now, her face becoming rose tinted. “She said you are fine. This was a waste of time.” I agreed.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 112

“I’m sorry,” It was the only thing I could think to say to her, the only thing I could say to create any air in the minuscule space. Even as we both knew there was nothing I could have said to keep her from dragging me to that office she asked, “Why did you make me bring you there?” On a scale of 0 to 5 (0 being not at all and 5 being extremely often) how often have you thought about hurting yourself? I didn’t think. I circled zero. ——— The door was still locked when my mom finally threw the car in park- she had kept it locked on purpose, not quite finished with a conversation I knew she wouldn’t drag inside. But I couldn’t hear her anymore and I couldn’t find the words to tell her the truth without hurting her. I quickly pulled the lock on the door and climbed from my seat. The sound of the door slamming shut echoed through the air as I walked toward the dark void of my garage, leaving the comfort of my passenger’s seat behind.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

113


114 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

115


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 116

I sit in a circle among seven other girlsseven young women, seven daughters and friends and sisters. Some cross their arms tightly across their chests, biting their nails with fear in their eyes, others sit spread open, brazen and challenging. Two women stand before a whiteboard mounted on the wall and ask us, How has your trauma affected your life? And we begin to speak, at first like a trickle and soon like a pouring flood. I can’t get close to anyone. I can’t say no, a girl says, weaving her limbs tighter still around her body, one touch and she might crumble. Another chimes in, I’m scared, so scared all the time. I can’t stop checking behind my shoulders, I can’t stop finding refuge in brass knuckles and mace. Still another: I can’t stop being angry- at myself, at everything. My rage comes out exploding and sideways. I can hardly sleep anymore, I know the nightmares lay in wait there, or when I do, I fall asleep like a bird, on fire, falls out of the sky: crashing and screaming and burning away in a heap of ash and feather and flame. The women write faster and faster to catch up with our words. I can’t talk to a man without the irreparable fear that he’ll destroy me. I still can’t shake the feeling that it was all my fault. I feel nothing, nothing at all, and then I explode and feel everything and even the lights, the sounds

Trauma Recovery Group Wanda Deglane


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

117

hurt me. I make myself busy so I can’t feel the pain, but oh god oh god it still hurts. They write frantically, in large, bold handwriting that soon deflates to tiny, squeezed, sad words, and when every space of the board is filled, they write all over the walls, and then the ceilings, and then the floors, until the room too bleeds with our pain. And when the women finish writing, letting the markers drop at their feet, we stand back and gaze at these things that mold us, change us, make us share in our suffering. And we hold one another, weeping, breaking but simultaneously coming together finally, the eight of us the tiniest slice of all the women in the world who also weep.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 118

I. A woman entered the large, nearly empty lecture hall where I sat, she slammed her hands down on the table and said, I’m going to teach you to be whole. My ears pricked forward like a dog as she reached into my mouth, pulled out my soul and breathed into it, I’m going to teach you to cope. To speak up. To make friends and be friendly, and not just with anyone, but the people who will let the howl of you sneak into their chests, but they’ll hold it safe and close. I’m going to teach you to make sense of the pain. I’m going to teach you to finally be Happy. She said every word I had always dreamt would be poured into my eager ears and the thought of such things finally becoming mine drove me giddy and mad. That night I snuck to her bedside and cut her mind in two. Her glorious brain came out with a nasty plop, radiating dazzling violet. I reached into it, wishing to pull out all her knowledge, let it wash over me and make me new like the strangest baptism. But her mind spoke out, You fool. You’re not yet ready to learn, and sent me out the door.

Tools for Happiness Wanda Deglane


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

119

II. I realize now and again that Happy isn’t a place you can journey to and settle down in. Children aren’t born in Happy, or spend their lives frolicking in its turquoise fields. How I’d love to build myself a little home in such a locale, toss my feet up on the softest cloud of a couch, and watch French rom-coms snuggled next to my dog, both of us laughing and sighing along as if we’d ever learned the language. In my tiny house in Happy, I’d never have to open a door or even look out a window again. But Happy is like the stars looming gloomily over us all: I see them night after night, close my eyes and picture their warmth is just out of reach. But the poor things, they’re already dead. If by some gracious miracle I ever found myself at the gates of the township of Happy, the keeper would take one look at me and throw me out on my ass. When will you learn? he’ll yell after me. You’re sick with misery. Anywhere you go, you’ll kill us all.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 120

Let the fire go out. Let the light go dark. Watch as the ember glow dims to nothing As the light’s rays recede into the air What do they become then? Memories of the night? Do the atoms remember what had been in their midst As every cell of your being does? How they resonate at the sound of her name or the sight of her A photographic imprint left on a wall It is only a shadow of something that was It fades You wonder if you really felt it at all.

Embers

Sandra Hosking


They keep it when it’s sweet and blooming It doesn’t like a lot of handling So when it is no longer pleasant they discard it Call it weed Mispronounce all its names It rides the wind in bits and pieces Never asked to stay Always expected to serve And then leave Do not bother to memorize Everything that has come before Continue to treat it as a weed They need no soil or water They are best left alone

If My Name Were a Flower

Danielle Christine Hastings

121

Many wish to touch it

The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

There is a plant that grows on the wind It doesn’t need water or soil It’s named for everything that came before Its roots are hollow like wing bones


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 122

The circuits of your mind should receive like an open mouth – Susceptible to theories and thought and chewed like a wage. You don’t have to hang upside down; and passing in your car you see visions of emotions, like broken hydrants and little children. But your ideas are imprisoned. Mannequins are your false seduction and they let off gas any way. Even the gutter can be a romantic cradle.

Open Up Your Mind

Amanda Tumminaro


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

123

What am I to you in the world? An echo A promise of love A diversion Something to be conquered What are you to me? An absent lover A soul apart A disembodied voice Oceans between us What would I be in your world? An invitation An open door The other side Thresholds are meant to be crossed But some stand idle How many linger Never fulfilled? How wretched they are Empty archways Hunger Never to be satisfied

Uncrossed

Sandra Hosking


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 124

1. Thoughts dissolve. Atoms shift as smokesilver behind fresh eyes. Each color codependent. Books claim individuality But melt and drip off shelves. Waxen white blinds knock Under false electric wind. Laughter against the mountain sways with the house. A pink canvas sings. I sit in the river and use paper to float. Words are sipped by talkative birds. Leaves my painted dreams. 2. Knocking at the bench with my knuckles to sustain a feeling of concrete life. The sunsations of being aren’t sitting well with me.

The Cabin

Emily F. Butler


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

125

If our adventure does not commence here, in a cabin that smells like markers and toastI’ll be stuck. Unfinished. Translucent in my pale desire. I’d rather be broken apart by symbolic construction than reconstruct my symbols. Will you talk with me about the imperfections of language? I need to make still these magnetic fields which feel like infinite wires in my fingers. You tried to sit on the bench only to find yourself standing on the table. “I forgot what I was trying to do,” you said, “but I ended up at this new vantage point.” I wanted you to say, “Come join me.”


126 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

127

1.

The Morning After

Justin woke up with his cheek against the toilet bowl rim. The perfume of regurgitated Chinese food and cheap bourbon filled the bathroom. He vaguely recalled bingedrinking and taking sleeping pills, hoping to erase the fading echoes of stiletto heels clicking into the night. Death would be more welcome than the steam iron inside his head pressing out the wrinkles of his brain.

When he replayed her final voice message, he could see her words in sharp, steel gray letters. One word slammed against the wall so hard that the bookcase shook. Another word shattered a bulb on the ceiling fan before smacking against the floor and breaking into splinters at his feet. 2. Escape Someone had to shake him back to normal. He found the phone under a pile of newspapers.

Words

Nolcha Fox


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 128

Before he could dial, the letters and numbers crawled off the phone and scurried across the floor to hide under the rug. Which buttons should he press? Tears trickled down his cheeks and he began to sob. Justin left his apartment, looking for help. He felt dizzy, and grabbed onto the street sign pole to steady himself. He looked up at the street names. The numbers and letters glistened like moist earthworms as they crawled off the signs, shimmied down the pole, and slipped into the sidewalk cracks. The number 9 stuck to his hand. It was gooey. He shook his hand, and the 9 flew into a bush. 3. Words Misbehaving A group of women on the sidewalk laughed and talked breathlessly, their words bright reds, greens, and blues, curling and uncurling like kite tails. The first letter of a blue word tangled itself in some tree branches, while the rest of the letters fluttered among the leaves. A breeze carried away a broken red O. A green word wove itself around some telephone wires. A bird picked at it. Ahead of him, a woman huddled against her man, her hands clutching his arm, her eyes fixed on his. Then the woman spoke. Soft, thick, pink words slithered out of her mouth and caressed the man’s face. Her words dribbled down his neck, under his shirt, undulated around his body, and finally wrapped themselves between his legs. The man shuddered. Justin shuddered as he watched the words bulging and pulsating under the man’s clothes. The sunlight suddenly faded and Justin was surrounded by a


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

129

whirring, flapping sound. He looked up. Words of all sizes and shapes and colors rushed at him from every direction. Some stuck together as phrases and sentences. He recognized most of them. They were all the words he ever said and thought. The larger fatter ones hammered his head and shoulders. The smaller thinner ones whipped his face and tried to crawl into his ears, his nose, his mouth, and even under his fingernails. 4. At the River Where could he hide? He headed for the river. The words followed him, so many words that they turned the sky black. He reached the river walk and clutched the railing separating land from water. He could jump into the river. The words couldn’t possibly follow him there. He climbed on top of the railing and fell forward. The words were a weight on his back, pushing him down. Pushing him underneath. The water was cold. He gasped as he sank into darkness. Choking, he coughed up bubbles filled with words. The bubbles filled the air with sound when they rose to the surface and popped. I’m. Sorry. Forgive. Me. Then, like the bubbles, Justin burst.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 130

Since dawn I’ve been sitting In this boat, eagerly Longing for the line’s twitch that says “Breakfast!”

Anticipation

Benjamin Daniel Lukey


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

131

I went for a walk in the wind and noticed Mother Nature’s dark side showing. A crazy-eyed, bed headed mug shot turning everything inside out. She presented me with her menstrual blood in a consecrated tampon whose toilet paper satchel had graciously come undone for me to see. A street long battalion of green plastic bins— their last stand a massacre, each defeated by its own personal hurricane with nary a sandbag in sight. From the mundane to the maudlin, M.N. opened up the scraps of people’s lives; that old wry witch, accomplishing more in her sleepwalk then most do in their marathons. I follow the map of rubbish, directions gotten from a collective of yesterdays. Brassy yellow and boilerplate blue have a shocking aesthetic dominance in this un/natural world. There sits the requisite pizza box holding court in a gravely shoulder. Brown paper napkin, grease stained parchment and plastic eye count themselves among its minions. I wonder of the family who gathered round, whether by TV or by table

People Watching

Anne Valentino


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 132

over football or trivial pursuit. The slim booklet of instructions to a ceiling fan, its pages flapping happily— an almost-laugh in the iconic breeze. Blueberry filling is forced to show a healthy dose of shiny metal leg. Unabashedly shedding her skirt, as can, lighter than air, was shuttered out onto the street. Its insides though washed clean first by conscientious pie and pancake eaters. And there lies a First Response that wasn’t any kind of response at all. Its piss soaked tip a sad vestige of unhappy endings— or perhaps that’s just my guilty read. The AARP came calling in vain. William, probably Bill, Redding never bothered with either letter opener nor finger nail. No one wants to be that old anyway. The razored teeth of Reynolds has certainly seen better days. While the naked tube inside apparently failed to tempt the imagination of a child, long overtaken I suppose by Snapchats and X-Boxes. A squirrel investigates the remorseless remnants of a takeout salad. Speared, deflated cherry tomato, the suggestion of lettuce. Picky eaters, he twitches his otherwise


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

133

insouciant tale as if to say. I assume it will be Mother Nature again, whether by decomposition, happenstance or more wind, that removes these careless traces of people from the land, leaving the squirrel and me to go and seek their stories somewhere else.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 134

“What do you want to do today?” I ask It’s his birthday “I don’t know,” he says and in the grey slough of morning the game deploys as he pushes me in my wheelchair along mountain trails a tug, pull and bump made heavy with the weight of my wish for a “walk” in the woods under the silence of cedars that he tries to grant but can’t. . . when I know love is enough.

Gift

Lynn Atkinson-Boutette


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

135


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 136

P

erspective, like memory, requires a departure to take place. This series was taken from inside Palacio Municipal de Mérida in the state of Yucatán, looking out on Catedral de Mérida. The views preceded the camera. Which is to say, to walk the Palacio gallery by night blends city hall and the adjacent cathedral, the built environment and a nod to the ethereal, art and religion, citizen and reflection. To be with these intersections is to ask: With what faculty do we identify things as separate? And separate from whom, from what? At what point do we lose the ability to factor the difference?

These photos were captured digitally but rendered only in the conversation between the interior gallery windows’ mirroring and the external city lights. In at least one there is also a trace of self, or the point in which that dialogue is witnessed, disrupted. Standing inside the gallery allowed me to look forward yet see behind. At the same time, others could see me too. Despite separateness, each of us possesses both the boundary and the dissolution between. This is a fold in the surface that bears seeing.

Photography (4 Images)

Tanya Holtland


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

137


138 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

139


140 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

141


142 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

143


144 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

145


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 146

My friends come by to remind me we’re getting old, that as decrepit as former lovers look to me this is how bad I look to them. I have to remember this when I go to the flower shop and old men hit on me that I’m probably close to their age, and therefore an appropriate pick-up. I have to remember this when young waitresses stumble between calling me “miss” or “ma’am, ” that they, too, wonder which term is more appropriate. I have to remember this when I pick up my 17-year-old son from school and his teachers automatically assume I’m his mother and not another teenager, despite how young I feel despite my adamant clinging to the notion that I am still young.

Passing By

Holly Day


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

147

I watched the wind helped along by the densely packed beige-trenchcoated spikes. The desperation in their outstretched fingers enough to make anyone cry. They live only to die into their usefulness. Passersby getting off on the vulnerability of the golden moment, watching their faded march to the other side. They cheer it on with paintings and song, selfishly proud in memoriam. Hats off and huzzahs to our beloved amber waves, having aged gracefully to their task. As my eyes float across this plain of high expectation, I glimpse the window of a farmhouse nearby. A face permanently grafted to the pane, the warped and wavy glass hides the wrinkles that have bitterly consented to their purpose. The unremarkable grey hair sits

The Sorrow of Wheat Anne Valentino


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 148

after breakfast, before lunch, after tea, before dinner. Jealously, I can only suppose, she watches the unnaturalness of this natural cycle. What else is so cherished for its ability to age. What else so lauded for its willingness to simply harden and die. The wheat whispers to her, derisively so, and she cannot turn away from its playground taunts. A longing to belong. Locked in Christina’s World though from the opposite side. Once in awhile someone might clean her up or correct her slouch. They bring her daffodils—her favorite. What do they know. Daintily buttercup-ed persona non grata, their fate even worse than her own. Mocking mirrors of the meaning of life. Take them away and leave her to her wheat. Let her watch as they milk and dough and calcify into the skeletal sheaves from whence they came. Then they will be feted in song. (Where is her song? The tributes dried up circa 1975.) Not even the cataracts


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

149

can keep her from this. As her own skeleton more and more becomes the language of who she is. But then again, she must have forgotten the threshing floor, as sometimes the aged will do. Where they flail the flowers out of them. The seasoned, the venerable, those noteworthy of song, mercilessly battered and broken. Their seeds stripped and husks thrown away. No more proudly waving, no dappling sun’s rays. Majestic fields are lain bare. Perhaps this is better—no need for sour grapes. Let them blanket your knees, spoon you pureed pork and mushed grey peas, glance at the clock when your stories run long. For now, the language in you still has a voice, though your own seeds may sadly be gone.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 150

To William Carlos Williams What waxes wanes the enforced reincarnation hour and green quartz veins over the mind of pride nonentities Nowhere you! Everywhere the electric! the golden one living in a poetic world, devouring words these are the thoughts that run rampant love paves the way to our existence

Sonic threshold of the sacred Rus Khomutoff


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

151

When he and I were young we would stare at the stars, and contemplate God’s existence, thinking our questions made sense. When he played the piano his fingers would glide over the keyboard like swans across a lake, though the sounds weren’t so great. Now he no longer plays at all. His fingers are crippled with arthritis. Sparse hair sits on top of his head like an abandoned robin’s nest. His teeth are crooked, those that remain. Looking at me, I’m sure his thoughts are the same. Now I watch the sun as it sets like a flag slowly lowered. Well, today I wrote this poem. That thought has to cheer me. There is a bit of light from a fingernail moon, but it won’t keep out the gloom.

On Meeting An Old Friend (After Ou Yang Hsiu) George Freek


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 152

He colors in the sky. He sees it as blue. He colors the river. He sees that blue, too. And those leaves will never fall on ground where bones are hidden in black shrouds. Where death is not, it cannot be proud. The truth lies in my mind, Shen claims. He works in the cold, in the rain. At night he sits on a balcony to stare at the stars. They gleam like the eyes of gods, he hopes are there.

On A Painting By Shen Zhou George Freek


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

153

The cat left the sunlit roof, and it remained empty.

Morning

Margarita Serafimova


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 154

Unrecognizable? I’m the same bag of slime swimming the freshwater of time, but with a pinch of salt. How to see yourself without looking through the mirror: the need. Saturation. Angled flesh, aged and tilted. The monotonous color of landscapes. The same itch, the same nose. These days I photograph my cat.

Headshots, 2013

James Croal Jackson


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

155

Back then, I chose to be engraved. Through hue of pride I hoed wet cement in my own way, vandalizing worse than regular blackened gum chewed hard and from me spent then stamped to pavement. Becoming pavement itself. Now what remains? Have I dared to hear the passing names, the children, the silence, the birds, the buses, the pulse as I have hardened my heart? Do I now even hear me still deep within me as if planted like a dream, life eternal called to rise above this salted corpse? Is my name able to peel away and fly like a magic carpet ride? Or is there tar upon my feathers? Are there tears between my letters? I wonder now if truth stand stills, or breathes? I hear God is truth. Seems I am indeed free to believe, if only I could get out of the way. And not be stuck on me.

Name in Sidewalk

Joe Bisicchia


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 156

Blue dress or red? Ten floors above she steps into the blue -Redheaded finch at the feeder catches my eye just as she hits birdseed blood and bones on blacktop I decide on white.

Decisions

Lynn Atkinson-Boutette


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

157


158 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

159

I

n some ways, Z marked the end of my east coast existence. He was my first and last Tinder love, too. Z was in the Navy and I was raised to like men in uniform. Our first night was spent on a bench in Baltimore. We heard Walk the Moon sing “Shut up and Dance” before it was cool, then sat under the stars as Z described to me his love for the vastness of the universe. Perhaps that should have been my first clue. The first time Z stayed over, a week or so later, he asked to be exclusive. I haven’t seen Z for years; I believe he is now stationed on a submarine somewhere in the Middle East. I thought of him today only because I have been immersing myself in outer space for a story I’m writing. For the story, I attend a two-day space conference at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. If you ever need to restore your faith in humanity, I tell a stranger afterwards, go ask a bunch of space nerds why they love space! I believe the words as I am saying them but I can’t remember Z and forget that, in reality, there is nothing less romantic than the universe’s size. Outside the Palace of Fine Arts, I meet a woman who makes piñatas for a living. She asks if I saw the turtles and if I know what a

This Wasn’t Supposed to Be a Space Opera Alyssa Oursler


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 160

hot Jupiter is, then begins explaining something about hot gases in our solar system. I have a friend who’s a writer, Piñata Lady tells me. Isn’t it great? I nod and tell her some story to show it is indeed. When people ask me what I do for a living, I lie, she says. Because it’s just too awesome! I often tell people I work in tech because San Francisco and because I don’t know how to explain what I write about. I tell her this and we laugh. I tell them I’m a server! she says. At first, hot Jupiters were considered oddballs, since we don’t have anything like them in our own solar system, NASA’s website informs me. I wonder if Piñata Lady feels like a hot Jupiter too. Outside the Palace of Fine Arts, I open a notebook to draw. The stranger who watched me talk to Piñata Lady sits down, so I tell him about the turtles. He has piercing eyes and enjoys symmetry and my sarcasm. I have never met someone who speaks more carefully. It comes up in conversation that I have written a book I don’t like and plan to go home and start again. But I am both more passive and more urgent as I explain it, as if this desire to purge is something that’s happened to me. You must read his response slowly, with a staccato rhythm, for the proper effect. Why? he and his piercing eyes ask. What is it in your life that feels so unattainable? I don’t know if it’s the question or the delivery that startles me. But I stumble around an answer, as I do when he asks me on a date later that afternoon. I say sure, but then he asks if I’m unattached and uncomplicated. I don’t know if it’s the question or the delivery that startles me. We’re all just bumbling around this world, trying not to hurt each other, hurting each other anyway, Z told me towards the end. I remember glaring at him, not because I thought he was wrong but because there’s a thin line between an observation and an excuse. I take a break from outer space to eat lunch with my friend C. He is an actor, in the midst of memorizing a monologue that makes him cry. I ask if emotional


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

161

scenes tend to seep into his daily reality. In acting, you’re taught techniques to come in and out of scenes, he tells me. To come out of a scene, for instance, you might stare at a bright light. Try it. I try it. In my universe, though, equilibrium is evasive. Even from the safety of this metaphor, I find the light too piercing. I turn away. Later that day, I am telling a new guy from a new dating app a story about my dad. When I am done, he thanks me sincerely. I don’t remember the precise sentence thanks to booze, but I remember weighted words like sharing and trust. I don’t tell him I told my last “match” the same story. I don’t tell him that match was a big fan of the phrase if we’re being honest. I don’t tell him about the vastness of the universe. Another man I meet at the Palace of Fine Arts hitchhiked through the Middle East. The week after we meet, we are in my favorite coffeeshop, and he asks what comes to mind when he says the phrase love and gravity. I think I’m hesitating, I say after a moment, because they are both things I don’t understand. Which I guess is the point. In some ways, I would still call Z my soul mate. I understand, on a fundamental level, how he sees the stars. But I also understand how insignificant that is. There is nothing less romantic than the vastness of the universe.


162 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

163

P

eople said a lot of things about Mama in this tiny town, but no one could ever deny that she was the best cook in at least a hundred miles. In fact, she was probably the best cook in the entire state of Alabama. She’d grown up here like everyone else, but there was a time when she thought she just might escape. That’s what kept people talking about her for years and years. Mama had ran off the day after graduation with only her college acceptance letter, scholarship money, and big dreams. Everyone pretty much forgot about her until she came back four years later with a degree and a baby. No one knew what she’d been doing all of that time. That was when she started cooking. The money she’d saved as a cashier in college was just enough to get her started. She rented a trailer on the east side of town. It was situated right on the edge of the highway, and it seemed like the perfect place to build an empire. The

The Potato Princess Kassie Shanafelt


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 164

shack out front was built with her bare hands and maybe a little leftover pregnancy hormones. Something about women being able to lift a car from on top of their baby went into building the shack. It only had enough space for a stove, grill top, and industrial sized refrigerator. She nailed a plywood sign with the words “The Potato Princess” in the front of our lot. She was in business. Everyone in town was dying to know what the legendary lone wolf was doing. Cars were lined down the highway on the grand opening of her miniature restaurant waiting to get their first taste. The old ladies on the porches had done their jobs as unintentional publicists, and she was sold out by 11:30. Word of mouth had brought everyone in, but the potatoes brought them back everyday after that. Mama made whatever she felt like with whatever she could get her hands on, but the potatoes were a clear classic. They never turned out the same. Some days they would be garlicky and covered in butter. Some days they’d pack a kick you wouldn’t expect. They are kind of like snowflakes in that way. Each batch turns out different but almost magical. No matter how she serves them they end up on a homemade corn tortilla. It’s a classic breakfast staple around Here. The legend of Mama’s potatoes got out quick. The truckers started stopping by on their route, and before you knew it Food Network shows started coming around to film her cook. I was still wobbling around barefooted in the front yard covered only in a diaper. People would take cross-country road trips just to try some of Mama’s potatoes. The line down the highway got so long the county sheriff had to tell people they couldn’t wait in their cars anymore. Everyone started parking at the elementary school across from our lot. They’d


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

165

walk over from the school and wait in a line that made people driving by stop to try the potatoes for themselves. The principle let it slide because Mama always had his potatoes ready for him in the morning, and she never charged him a dime. I think that’s why I was always on his good side in school. I never understood why Mama had come back. I had a fire burning a hole inside of me dying to get out of this tiny town. Mama tried to fill the hole with books that took me on trips around the entire world, but that only made my desire to leave even bigger. No one else bothered to ask Mama why she’d come back. They were too busy enjoying her potatoes. When I finally graduated from high school, Mama woke me up early the next morning. She was usually up early, but the sun hadn’t even come up yet. I knew something was different, so I didn’t ask any questions when she handed me a light jacket and my work boots. I slid them both on over my pajamas and followed her outside. Mama led me down to the back of the lot. There was a poor excuse for a barbwire fence that separated our little bit of land with someone’s cow pasture. I couldn’t think of a time there had actually been cows out there. Miles and miles of empty land stretched from here to the next town. Mama held down the rusted wire for me to step over. I almost tripped but caught myself on her shoulder. After I settled myself, I went to hold down the wire for her, but she had already jumped over it with the ease that comes from frequent use. She walked lightly over the grass like someone who knew where they were headed. I followed her for half an hour. Finally we reached a thicket of trees. Her hands had intertwined with mine as we made


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 166

our way through it, and I squeezed her fingers tighter when I saw where she’d brought me. Thousands of potatoes were scattered in the circle within the trees. Mama breathed a deep sigh of relief. “When I was a little girl, I never wanted to go home after school. You don’t know this, but both of my parents were miserable, mean drunks. After school let out, I would walk across the street and through this field. I found this very thicket, and it felt like I had traveled to another world. It made me want to get out of this town and do something big. I knew I was destined for at least one good thing.” I looked around at the circle in the trees imagining my mother as a little girl playing by herself in the trees. It seemed like something a lone wolf would do. “Before I left for college, I came out here to say goodbye to the trees. I’d packed several pre-baked potatoes to take with me on the bus. It was something cheap that would last a long time. For some reason, I felt the trees telling me they were hungry, and I buried one of the potatoes in the ground.” I knew the story was about to get really good when Mama paused and gave me a nervous look. “While I was in school, I worked as a cashier at a deli. That’s where I met your daddy. He worked behind the counter slicing sandwich meat. He had a real love for food, and I mean love. Neither of us could ever afford to go out for dinner, so we would cook for each other on our date nights. That man could really cook.” Mama almost laughed, enjoying airing out her old memories. “Does he still work at the Deli?”


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

167

“No” Mama turned suddenly serious again. “He died in a car accident after you were born.” The words hung in the air, chilly like the morning. After a moment had passed, she began her story again, “I didn’t know what to do raising a baby by myself, so I loaded you up and came back here. I bought the trailer and a little plot of land nearest I could get to the trees because that was what really felt like home to me. I was still worried about how to provide for the two of us, so I went to see if the trees had the answers once again. That’s how I found the potatoes. Over the years I had been gone, they’d multiplied.” “All of these potatoes grew from the one you planted?” much like the potatoes my eyes grew in size. Shaking her head, Mama began again, “I’ll never understand how, but they did. I’ve only ever taken what I need from them, and they’ve always continued to grow. I knew this place had a power. I think that’s why they taste so good.” “Magic,” we both whispered at the same time. At this point Mama reached into the front pocket of the apron she had already donned for the day and pulled out an envelope. Before she handed it to me she said, “After I found the potatoes and built the shack, I knew the one great thing I was supposed to do.” “Feed everyone,” I interjected as if I finally had all of the answers. “No,” Mama was shaking her head, “You were my one great thing. Now take the money and go find yours.”


168 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

169


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 170

All light casts a bone to the underdog in an eventual offering. But all light is paired with shadow. You take snapshots of me, the sun carrying on my hair as if it were a halo. I take your picture beneath a tree, as you break plates against the bark. I want proof that you lived. We’re lost along the way. Two views from a Nikon, one day, one night.

Nikon

Amanda Tumminaro


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

171

#1 I sit in the canoe fishing. In my curls, specks of dirt and watermarks, like a low-lying cloud of insects dusting the surface of the lake at dusk. I am careful not to let the paddle scrape against the canvas gunwales for fear of disturbing the stillness, when the slap of a beaver tail shoots me home like a bullet to family ties that bind — to the flicker and fade of moth-swarmed light bulbs, and the comforting chug of a generator that hiccups and dies. #2 Once, my father took us to Skeekit, the warm wind rising from the Fraser Canyon to the mountain tops Where we spread our sleeping bags under sequined aspens, knowing comfort from the hands That built the fire and promised peace

Family Photos

Lynn Atkinson-Boutette


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 172

in the proximity of nature, then lost us to cliff-hung logging roads on the drive home Which made my mother furious so she got out and walked, trusting to neither luck nor the wind. My father going his own way and knowing no other while the river churned below. #3 My father kneels beside me steadying my baby legs on the slippery creek bed below our house. I am wearing the white frock that mother sewed for me. My hand reaches out of the picture towards her, the photographer, a visitor to our perfect water world. Behind us, the old log bridge, in front the rocks dark with her shadow over us.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

173

with compassionate smiles the neighbors rent in a rain coat pose under a black cottonwood the urban planning and garbage trucks run and the banks close earlier everyday the unemployed walk snuggled two story house lattices to the nearby transit center lingering tempura air and beg under the bitter cherry tree or work juice at the juice bar where there is little account for peas tomatoes squash and kale in private gardens across the river pansies ring the bronze lifted horse and rider in grass so rain saturated it cannot be slept on and when told to love the new bridge nod love at the territorial blackberry unreflective of imported shelves and when the bus schedules are cut the cut off grow wild as rigid willow and running feet slip at the creek’s edge marking less regulated spills from the drain pipe where recycled debris collects in soppy untouched lumps

From Moss

Michael Rerick


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 174

duplicate stained glass pelicans in candy colored houses fridge magnets loop script variations on small wind and flower distractions and owl macramĂŠ contestants unturn all contested stiches righted in Willamette valley bittercress underfoot the glaring window smudges lift silver edges propped by driftwood known to piggybacked seagull screech captured and sculpted for beach shops ceramic likenesses on pilings nested in ticklegrass


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

175

a sunflower neighborhood quiet om schoolyard skateboard and hamster aum smell a lemony day squeezed of reference om a droopy yard dripping green flecked with brown ohm sticks and sun hipster style nostalgic for home half plastic construction trucks tossed and exposed aum houses on the sidewalk a sprawled tabby by the blue mail drop box overgrown with hairy honeysuckle


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 176

om bamboo bent handrails ohm red tiny spiders crawl black drying asphalt greys om hawks and groceries slowly wheeling aum


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

177

we spectate sharp wood tussle an aesthetic commercial haw gathering transparent in the gaps we sell authentic aura spoons in display ideals with compound clock hand interest a soft split under a nail we watch pith dissipate paying for seats to be amazed we chop sticks ingrained with sway tap rings burning through night’s seesawing and smoky scale economy we myth a shoulder free for hauls and toothpick chewing


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 178

the river churns up rolled socks, orange rubber balls, sailboats, white ripple shine, ducks, long sits with California tea, knobbed concrete benches smooth railings for handling city engineers plan safe bike ways, walk ways for jogging, gated ledges for illicit talk under the bridge, Columbia river willow planters to fool bay leaves, a seagull’s float on drift wood, drown tires to cling to floating cups, the river wall, rocks tough to wear, a jet ski bruising a gasoline bloom, pilings, viewed in a moderate sunshine with footwear on a political walkable sculpture, graffiti, as a polite and useful barge quietly passes


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

179

I have waited for this moment! The ephemeral steel of HollywoodGrammy abs! Your sheen, an apple in the sun! Follow me– I have photos of dogs and yes, the videos! I sleep on dandelions! Justin, between satisfaction and the petals left behind, youth wanes and I’m following your chiseled Davidian lips’ every move to narrow our vast distance in this moment! Make me immortal, make me tangible! Put me in your palm like a snowflake melting on his first spring day!

Justin Bieber Finally Joined Snapchat! Michael Rerick


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 180

I’ll enter our bedroom to open my laptop where I reserve a French five-star dinner and yes we have kids in this dream the universe theirs to explore so they start by clanging pots and pans in the sine band of our kitchen underbelly worlds smaller than the space we used to enclose the first time beneath the orange blanket hot chocolate wafting from the kitchen slunk into pillowcases and snug before the sun steams yolk in the black pan gathers its yellow around the edges waiting patiently to rise

Fantasy After A Few Good Dates

James Croal Jackson


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

181


182 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

183

Y

ou’re a lot like all of the others at first; fresh and glossy, melted then pressed and cut to size. Some look exactly like you, but the small details start to show almost immediately, extra wax here, a bit of edge there. Down the line, you fall in, circular, sleeved and sealed before a long journey to the shelves. The delivery process is bumpy; a scratchy echo of the manager’s pen barely registering through the cardboard. It sounds like drums, dry hands pulling your siblings out before everyone’s arranged alphabetically. You proudly support the label with a red badge tacked in your top right corner. The insert promotes your fellow noisemakers; some shining from the other sections or wondering why they’re filed under Pop instead of Rock and Roll. Those first few customers walk past you without a single glance, more interested in four odd men singing about love and magic. It’s hard listening to their voices every hour, while the owner hums along, telling his clientele they’ll enjoy every song. More copies float away in brown paper bags;

In These Life-Locked Grooves Christopher S. Bell


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 184

consumers smiling on their way to somewhere else. You’re not sure how you’ll make them feel, biding your time gazing at Nancy Sinatra in the pink bikini, until she too disappears. It’s a reduced price sticker over your label; the summer making everyone warp more than usual. You stop bothering with most of them, either a little too flashy or self-involved. They don’t wanna get to know you, to explore who you are and perhaps make a few comparisons. Maybe you’re just off-beat, not sexy enough to warrant all these multi-colored tags. It gets uncomfortable, jumping from one bargain bin to another; swallowing your pride as the whole world shifts and jives at odd intervals. There’s a war on, corruption spreading endlessly into every open crevice, and here you sit, inept and almost spoiled. In the fall, a young long-hair finally pulls you from the pile. He reads your back, and pays with a toothy grin, lugging you and another down the sidewalk under his shoulder. You catch a glimpse of town through a hole in the paper; bars and businesses with large front windows housing indecisive stragglers who underestimated your value. Not this one, though. He’s careful, peeling back the cellophane and examining your life-locked grooves, before wiping away the dust. When the needle drops, you’re fulfilled, loud and alive before he plugs in headphones and scribbles his name on the left edge of your back. Randy in blue ink. You don’t mind sitting and listening to the others when he returns home after a long day. They compliment you now, all the pieces well-


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

185

placed and bundled together for warmth. He picks you out a few times when there’s a girl with him; both of them coughing smoke before undressing on the couch, moaning and lightly discussing an inevitable future. You feel prideful being here, until he packs you up on his way to somewhere else. It’s a nice view; the morning sun hitting you and another crate’s worth, while he eats breakfast in a collared shirt and ironed pants. You’re played less often than before, softer voices and instrumentation eventually wooing him into a proposal. She doesn’t like you at all; too loud and reminiscent of a time both have inevitably grown out of. It’s a different war now that they just ignore, calm and comfortable in their proper place. A new face pulls you out at a dinner party and giggles. He plays your single, before switching to one of the new guys after the guests moan in unison. Boy, they sure know how to make you feel like an asshole. Another subtle shift across town has you doubting every defect, her stomach bigger now as they listen to mellow breezes and nauseating harmonies sung by mustached men. He plays you once the whole way through when she’s gone, but doesn’t sing along. Then they both leave for a day, and return with a little one. She’s louder than you’ll ever be, constantly making a fuss if only to test your patience. Small fingers grab some of the others once she can walk, dancing around with a side in each hand, or throwing them across the room before being scolded. You start to feel for her when the boy arrives; her need for attention and occasional destruction at least entertaining. All the while, you wait as Randy builds various structures around you, upgrading the


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 186

speakers but wasting all his time on tapes. He records from the radio mostly or dubs from another cassette. You and your fellow indentations are nothing more than a placeholder, to show any number of uninvited guests that he was into you back before you grew obsolete. The boy scribbles on a few of your pale counterparts one day; long, smooth crayon circles that his mother compliments before taking the colors away. “These are important to your dad, but I bet you if we hide them in the back, he probably won’t notice.” You’re closer to the front by default, but it doesn’t make a difference. The others all know as much as you despite their frequency of play or the occasional sleeve rip. All your days are numbered; smaller discs soon spinning and skipping just a few feet above your head. They sound like shit, but seem to keep all four of them entertained at different points in the day. The boy and girl return home, before arguing about what they can put on while doing their homework or playing Nintendo. Those dumb square cartridges don’t work half the time, but still provide them with plenty of blinking lights to bicker over. They always have something on each other; while Randy and the wife weave in and out, scolding their kids when necessary. They butt heads and match wits, all the while forgetting everything you’ve tried to teach them these many years. Love, but also rock like you’re breathing fire; a lush flame of smoke and guitars directly from the dragon’s mouth. Make sure the serpent isn’t cunning enough to steer you from the beaten path and above all else, let the trees guide your soul to eternity and back. The white dove flies like no other, but also plummets in the face of true beauty. You’re a fortune cookie from a nearly forgotten era. Maybe these ideals carried through to some


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

187

of the other houses you ended up in, but here amongst the socially remiss, you’re a sentiment eventually placed out on the curb next to the old television and sofa. Then it’s pick-ups full of ragged men and their wives, driving up and down the block, stopping and sifting through. It’s a look of astonishment from one; before he grabs the lot of you, gently placing the crate on his passenger’s side floor. He’ll appreciate all of your complexities, how you’re good for most occasions. You watch out the window as he drops some stragglers off at the junkyard. You’re sturdy, but soon tossed aside to an old timer who examines the lot then pays a solid fee. He places your crate next to some others; boxes and unorganized piles scattered throughout the shop. The customers return slowly, most asking about CD’s and cassettes. Still, there’s an occasional interest, usually from men with bad facial hair. They don’t wanna take a gamble, but will still check your composition. It’s here you wait for the right person. She’s younger than you expect, with long curly blonde hair and eyes that’ll set the world ablaze. You want to impress her, especially after she pays more than she should. You’re one of three in the bag, coasting to a small house and then back into a basement. She listens to you last, dancing around the room by track three. You’re safe for a while longer, a little skewed but ridden with character. She’s gone during the days, but plays you again every couple of nights until the collection grows, slow at first, but then combined with his. You’re waiting for them to make sense of their lives, and hope she doesn’t forget your hers should things not work out. No, that’s not possible. Not with this one.


188 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

189

T

he U.S. Navy’s versatile jet-fighter aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat, famed for its starring role in the hit 1980s film Top Gun, streaked across the pale blue sky on a warm April day at Naval Air Station Point Mugu in Ventura County, California. A crowd of nearly 60,000 had come for a weekend of watching heart-stopping aerial displays by the military’s best pilots and their respective aircraft. As they stood on their feet, eyes squinting at the sky, two Navy jets, with the sun sitting just behind them, banked right and low heading toward the runway. Both jets then dropped in altitude, their pilots hitting the afterburners, a red glow appearing to engulf each of the aircraft’s engines. An earth shattering bang and reverberation then echoed throughout the showground; it was the breaking of the sound barrier, 767 miles per hour. The crowd cheered as the aircraft streaked by with excitement for what had just happened; it was an electrifying and inspiring event for all in attendance. Who wouldn’t want to be that pilot? How many of

The Resurrection of a Dream, Fulfillment of Life’s Pursuit Brandon Black


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 190

those in the crowd would give anything to trade in their day job for the chance to fly one of the military’s hottest jets for just one day? The biggest question of them all: what would it take to become a pilot for Uncle Sam? For Charlie Bailey, an impressionable and ever-curious fourth grader, with a head of hair as dark as molasses and whose innocent disposition masked his insatiable appetite for mischief, the experience he witnessed that day at Naval Air Station Point Mugu forever changed his life and its intent. He knew what he wanted to be from that moment on: a pilot in the United States military. The airshow at Naval Station Point Mugu catalyzed not only the aspiration for becoming a military pilot but also an intense, closeted view that no other avenue would fit his desire to pierce the wild blue sky. Forget about flying for an airline or merely attaining the certification of a private pilot license (the first among many certifications and ratings to fly an aircraft). No; Charlie was dead set on flying in the U.S. Navy or the Air Force. He had it all figured out. His call sign - a nickname given to a pilot instead of using his or her real name during communications - would be “Black Jack” and he would have the swagger and bravado as Navy fighter pilot Lieutenant Pete Mitchell from Top Gun (call sign Maverick) played impeccably by Tom Cruise. As a boy, he dotted his room with posters of military aircraft while books on the history of military aviation and that of World War II


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

191

lined the corner of his small desk. He was often found watching Top Gun or The Right Stuff on his parents’ bed, joystick in hand, with the unplugged wire that connected to the computer dangling off its edge. A resourceful method to mimic the flight controls of the aircraft, he thought. Other practical means to gaining a competitive edge as a budding fighter pilot - at the ripe age of 10 years old - was spending his hard earned allowance from mowing the lawn and doing household chores, on computer games like Microsoft Flight Simulator. Hour after hour, his mind fully engrossed in a dream that he would, no matter what, become a pilot in the military. A twenty-minute drive from where Charlie lives, sits the busiest municipal airport in the United States. Frequent trips to visit the airport and its viewing area of the runway where countless private jets takeoff and land were inspiring experiences. On top of that, a major regional airport - whose distinguished history can be traced back to the Cold War and the development (under the strictest of secrecy and classified knowledge) of many stealth aircraft. It was also the former location of the famed Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, located a mere thirty-five minutes away from Charlie’s home. Suffice it to say, Charlie had plenty of opportunities to see airplanes in flight and their coming and going. Yet life’s evolution proved that his overt wish, if not his life’s pursuit, would never be realized. Charlie became inflicted with a stutter — a disfluency in speech — which struck without warning or precedent in grade school and followed him throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Despite countless hours of speech therapy, his stutter remained. As he got


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 192

older, he felt less committed or even compelled to pursue speech therapy. To his dismay, he later found out that any possibility of becoming a pilot in the military was dashed as a result of his stutter — an immediate medical disqualification. Gaining admission to military service academy toward flight school was equally impacted at the outset. It was clear: the Department of Defense medical staff needed to ensure that every candidate was capable of having “crystal-clear communication, without a break in speech or disruption in the flow of vital life-saving information.” Charlie’s fluency, although not perfect, was clear and understandable — yet, in conversation with these medical professionals, a pause here, a block on a word there did not make for a convincing case that he would be in the clear, medical waiver in hand. His efforts came screeching to a halt. Spiraling into self-doubt, he realized how unscalable the wall of clearing medical was to be because his speech impediment. As time passed, Charlie studied hard and applied himself to his in academics and extracurricular pursuits, gaining a 3.65 grade point average, excelling in multiple varsity sports and participating in student government. He worked to create a competitive resume so that maybe he could apply to the Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He used his tennis playing skills to attempt to gain admission to school — yet, once again, Charlie struck out. In his correspondence with several tennis coaches at the service academies, each had unequivocally said he had to receive a nomination from a member of Congress to gain admission; and then — and only then — would they be able to consider him for a spot on their respective rosters.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

193

Perhaps ROTC, reserve officer training corp, would be a better bet? Charlie thought. He decided to forego seeking admission to the service academies, choosing instead to apply to a four-year university with an ROTC (reserve officer training corp.) program. If he could excel in the classroom and in the field, maybe, just maybe, this would make up for his speech impediment and put him in competitive footing for flight school qualification. Charlie wrote a list: ROTC would be the best way to circumnavigate admission to a service academy while still allowing for the opportunity to become an officer: 1. It would act as a work around to my medical disqualification for becoming a pilot (as I’d be able to reapply later in the program); 2. I’d have time to prepare for the pilot qualification examination; 3. The examination’s test requirements would mirror those happening at the service academies! However, every attempt to gain entry into flight school ended up in failure. Upon medical examination and records check during his sophomore year in college while participating in Air Force ROTC, the fact remained that Charlie still had a stutter. With many other occupations in the military to choose from where having a speech impediment wasn’t a disqualification, the hard facts were these: he was not going to be a pilot in the military. Upon graduation from university, Charlie, like many recent graduates who entered the job market after the 2008 global


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 194

financial crisis, was saddled with student loans, with no job, and with no interview lined up to speak of. 15 Years Later He still loved everything about flying. Not being able to be that pilot who could possibly, most likely, be the source of inspiration for many to pursue flying and service in uniform still pained him. The closest he had been to watching live aerial demonstrations was to watch YouTube videos of the Navy’s flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, and the Air Force equivalent, Thunderbirds, perform flyovers in San Francisco, New York City or Pensacola, or to take a thirty-minute drive to a local airport to catch private, commercial aircraft flying in and out. As adulthood took hold of Charlie, and as professional career aspirations soon gave way to more practical avenues to pursue, the dream and contemplation of pursuing a basic pilot license to fly faded as quickly as a sunset. One lazy Sunday morning at the beginning of March, Charlie flipped through the local newspaper, skimming through the Sports section (he found an article about his high school alma mater’s football team in which the school had four of its players sign letters of intent to notable Division 1 football programs). He spotted a full color advertisement for an upcoming county air show at Edwards Air Force Base in California’s high desert. The ad was placed just opposite the page Charlie had been reading. The air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force - the Thunderbirds - were front and center. Charlie smiled; the jets appeared as if they flew off


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

195

the page. How long has it been since I’ve been to an air show? Charlie thought to himself as he glanced at the ad. Too long. Charlie found himself penciling in the dates, promising himself that if he didn’t have any pressing commitments on either of the two days when the air show took place, then he would go. Weeks quickly passed and the final weekend approached; it couldn’t have been a more beautiful day at Edwards Air Force Base. The skies were clear, canvassed in a shade of blue as if mimicking the color of the not-to-distant Pacific Ocean. Not a cloud within sight. You could see for miles. Going to the air show was his way of selftherapy and acceptance of a dream that never came to be. He was free to enjoy the aerobatics and military air display without the stranglehold of an aspiration gone awry. As he was watching the Thunderbirds fly in diamond formation (in which each of the six aircraft fly directly under and behind the group leader to form the shape of a diamond) a truly breathtaking display, he thought, Charlie smiled and reflected on his long-held pursuit of becoming a pilot. He glanced to his right and caught sight of a young boy holding his father’s hand, staring at the jets with a look of wonder and awe. A growing smile enveloped the boy’s face as the roar of the engines grew louder and louder. The jets zoomed in for a close-in fly by. The boy broke hold of his father’s grip to cover his ears as the jets streaked by, the smell of jet fuel lingering over the wildly cheering


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 196

crowd as they flew overhead. Charlie watched as the enthusiastic boy tugged at his father’s shirt, pointing in the air, beaming a smile that resonated profoundly. He knew exactly what the boy was thinking and what he wanted to be when he grew up. As he realized this, Charlie found himself at ease, smiling at the revelation that while he could never accomplish his goal of becoming a pilot in the military, that boy certainly could. A plane sprinted down, its engines at maximum power. The plane’s roar, as it broke free of the ground and climbed the sky, was loud and clear for everyone to hear. The hair on his arms stood straight up and he felt the same emotional joy and passion for flight that had long been dormant. Charlie laughed once again, just as he had done since childhood. He turned back to see if the little boy and his father were watching but they were already out of sight. On the drive home, all Charlie could think about was that young boy and the range of emotions he experienced with his father at the airshow. Kenny Loggins’s “Highway to the Danger Zone” began to play on the radio (a theme song that resonates with any aviation buff or, for that matter, anyone who has seen the film Top Gun). The song and the young boy he saw made him think of the day he stood with his own father as they watched two Navy F-14 jets break the sound barrier; a day that planted the seed for his love of flight, deep in his heart and in his mind. It was then a realization came to him: becoming a general aviation pilot - in light of still having a stutter - was not an impractical feat. Truthfully, I’d never put in the same effort and spirit toward pursuing


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

197

civilian flying as I’ve done back in high school and at university while pursuing pilot qualification in the military. Charlie pondered some time as he drove home, the radio now a buzz in the background as his mind turned out possibilities. The physical and mental screening process to become certified for a private pilot license isn’t as intense or stringent as the military. I can make do with some tight finances for a while, right? I’ve done that before. I know I can make ends meet and be able to take care of obligations at home and at work. Plus, what better way to spend a couple thousand dollars of my savings than on this long-held pursuit? Never before had Charlie seriously considered this feat. But it’s time, he thought. Now or never. Arriving home, Charlie sped-walked through his front door, plopped himself on the couch, kicked off his shoes and, in true millennial fashion, took out his iPhone and Googled flight schools in his area. After all, this wasn’t the first time he had researched flight programs “out of curiosity.” He knew where to look. With the proper phone calls placed and reviews of the instructors and flight school vetted to the fullest extent possible, he made an appointment the next week to speak with program advisors and to get acquainted with the local airport where the program would be based from. Looming on his mind, as it always did, was how he was to clear the medical and physical examinations — the pivotal point and lone hurdle that could once again, bring the reality of flying to a crashing halt.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 198

But Charlie somehow knew that this was not like last time; this was not a story that would repeat itself. He knew he would pass the examinations. And he did. With flying colors. Charlie was on his way to finally, unequivocally, becoming a pilot. Black Jack over and out.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

199


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 200

I

have MS (multiple sclerosis), and I also suffer from what my mother calls FMS [Fear of Missing Something], an intense curiosity about life and the world. MS and FMS are a daunting combination. But they have often forced me to find creative ways to realize my goals: to travel, to find a life mate, and to deal with midlife challenges exacerbated by a chronic progressive Disease.

Over the 40 years I’ve had MS, it has progressed to the point of quadriplegia and I can no longer walk or use my hands to turn the pages of a book or use the keyboard to write as I used to. However, it was only after the slow relinquishment of my career as a journalist (when lying under the lunch table for an afternoon nap became too onerous) that I discovered my disability was not the problem. While it was an inconvenience, it was not a significant limitation. It is the narrative of my life, not the context or meaning. Call it denial if you will. In fact, I can say that my quality of life is as good as or better than it was when I was able-bodied — when there is an obstacle to overcome, the dream often takes over and ingenuity and resourcefulness come to the fore. My passion for travel developed only after it became difficult and I recognized the need for getting access information out to disabled travellers. I began writing and publishing ‘We’re Accessible -- News

MS and FMS — being creatively disabled

Lynn Atkinson-Boutette


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

201

for Disabled Travellers which I distributed worldwide for six years during the 90s. I also freelanced for publications in Canada, United States, and Europe, earning ‘fam’ trips and speaking to groups about innovative ways to travel with a wheelchair. For Egypt, Jordan, Peru and the Galapagos where rough terrain, and wheelchairs don’t mix, I found a rickshaw/wheelbarrow TrailRider device (developed by quadriplegic and ex Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan,) that comes apart and fits into a bag with wheels that I had especially made. In Italy and other countries where washrooms are not very accessible, I adapted my wheelchair to use as a toilet by cutting a hole in the canvas seat, and inserting a self- clumping baggie. When I could stand on my own, my travelling companion and I ducked into an alleyway, she whipped off the cushion, and I sat down and did my business. Worked like a charm. When we were not out and about I used a shower commode chair that packed into a suitcase. Unlike travelling however, finding a partner posed different problems. How was I to find a man who looked beyond my disability to the woman underneath? Before the Internet was popular I advertised in the companion section of my local paper, and met a lot of frogs, as they say, before I eventually found my husband. He has shown me that although my dependence on others to live my life has made me more vulnerable, which I am loathe to accept, (I can’t pretend anymore that I can do it on my own), that’s okay. Over the 20 years we have been together we have been all over the world and he has helped me to realize many of my dreams. Some years ago, we moved from Vancouver to Toronto, which is an older and therefore less accessible city. Since we knew no one, it meant spending more time alone while my husband was at his


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 202

new job. I had less personal help, and I couldn’t enter or exit my apartment or building on my own as there were no automatic door openers. Much of my former busyness disappeared as my world grew smaller. One day I hadn’t prepared ahead, and when my support worker left, I had nothing to do. I stared out of the apartment window and felt hopeless. But as the songs of the chickadees at my bird feeder echoed those of Mozart’s on the radio, I suddenly felt better. Had I made something creative out of the moment -- chosen to do something with my frustration? Did I, in other words, have complete control over my well-being? Fulfilment, I realized, had more to do with my relationship with myself, rather than with the outside world. Unlike the dread of earlier years when being alone meant being lonely, midlife has brought me a new appreciation of Solitude. This new self-awareness has allowed me to come closer to my feelings, which in turn has enriched the creative process. I have begun to call myself a writer, not a public relations “flak” who wrote copy as I had in my career as a journalist. Not able to use my hands anymore, I now use voice dictation software and this has opened up a whole new world; I have started to write poetry and have had some poems published. And to facilitate reading which is an important part of my life, I found the best hands-free page turner on eBay. I have committed myself to this often laborious process called creativity, and with that commitment have gained a new selfrespect with less thoughts about what I could or should be doing. I have gained a new appreciation for the strength in vulnerability, although I’m still trying to figure out how vulnerability and guilt [for


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

203

having MS, go figure], inform writing and the creative process. But ultimately, aren’t the necessary elements of creativity simply selfrespect, self-discovery and maybe a small contribution to society? The stage is set: the props are in place. Like a weed growing in concrete that splits its bonds, I hold my soul in tenderness - a hayseed floating.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 204

T

hese visual poems are from an ongoing series of collages built from phrases created unintentionally through the accident of magazine page design. Each chunk of text (roughly the equivalent of a poetic line) is entirely removed from its original sense and syntax. The text is not altered and includes no attributable phrases. The lines of each collage are sourced from different magazines.

6 Hybrid Found-Word Collages J.I. Kleinberg


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

205


206 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

207


208 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

209


210 4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

211


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 212

Sometimes there is no one but the road is black, and blackness morphs into matter. Inside the body of a raven, there is an egg of sun.

A Courageous Heart Margarita Serafimova


The Wire’s Dream Magazine 4th Collection

213

Continue For Creator Bios


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 214

Fariel Shafee Fariel Shafee has degrees in science, but enjoys writing and art. She has published prose and poems in decomP, miller’r pond, Scryptic etc. http://fshafee.wixsite.com/farielsart http://fariels.tripod.com Holly Day Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Big Muddy, The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.) will be out late 2018. Howie Good Howie Good is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. Brandon Marlon Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 225+ publications in 28 countries. www. brandonmarlon.com. Paulie Lipman Paulie Lipman is a former bartender/bouncer/record store employee/Renaissance Fair worker/two time National Poetry Slam finalist and a current loud Jewish/Queer/ poet/writer/performer. His work has appeared in the anthology ‘We Will Be Shelter’ (Write Bloody Publishing) as well as The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, and Prisma (Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache). Social Media Links: Twitter Facebook Instagram Tumblr


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

215

Bill Wolak Bill Wolak has just published his fifteenth book of poetry entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Editions. His collages have appeared recently in Naked in New Hope 2017 and The 2017 Seattle Erotic Art Festival. Mr. Wolak teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey. Jeremy Nathan Marks Jeremy Nathan Marks is an American living in London, Ontario. Recent poetry has appeared (or is appearing) in Rat’s Ass Review, The Blue Nib, Word Fountain, The Wild Word, Ariel Chart, Muddy River Review, Morel Magazine, I-70 Review and Chiron Review. Michael T. Smith Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of the Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University, where he received his PhD in English. He teaches cross-disciplinary courses that blend humanities with other areas. He has published over 50 poems in over 20 different journals (mostly within the past year). He also has critical work recently published in Symbolism and Cinematic. He loves to travel. Matt Reid Matt Reid is a Child Specific Aide who works with amazing students to help them overcome obstacles within the Wissahickon School District located in Ambler, Pennsylvania. Matt believes that confidence is everything when it comes to helping students discover their talents. Matt has gone viral exceeding a million views on House of Highlights after scoring the game winning shot in a faculty versus students basketball game. Matt holds a B.A. in History from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Jonathan B. Ferrini Jonathan B. Ferrini received my MFA in Motion Picture and Television Production from UCLA. Lorraine Wilson Having spent many years working in remote corners of the world, Lorraine Wilson now lives by the sea in Scotland and write stories that are touched by folklore and the wilderness. Wilson has had short stories published in anthologies and magazines, and tweets @raine_clouds about science, writing, cats, and weirdnesses.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 216

Phil Gallos Phil Gallos has been a newspaper reporter and columnist, a researcher/writer in the historic preservation field, and has spent 28 years working in academic libraries. Longer works include Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake: Architecture and History of a Pioneer Health Resort, Historic Saranac Lake, 1985, 186 p. Anthologized shorter work can be found in Rooted in Rock: New Adirondack Writing, 1975-2000, Adirondack Museum/Syracuse University Press, 2001; and in Adirondack Reflections: On Life and Living in the Mountains and the Valleys, The History Press, 2013. Most recently, his writing has been published in Thrice Fiction, The Vignette Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Sky Island Journal and is forthcoming in The MacGuffin and Blueline. A native of Manhattan, he lives in Saranac Lake, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains. Will McMillan Will McMillan was born and raised outside of Portland, Oregon. He began writing when he was five years old, trading in pop can money to buy notebooks to write his stories in. He’s been featured in The Sun, Thread, Sweet, Cold Creek Review, and Nailed literary journals, among others. An expanded version of the story published in The Sun was used for a piece he did with Neil Drumming and was featured in the September 1st, 2017 episode of This American Life. Will currently lives in New York City.

Nolcha Fox Nolcha Fox worked as a professional writer in the software and finance industries for over two decades. Retirement couldn’t stop the itch in her fingers to write, so Fox started blogging about life in a Wyoming small town (http://nolchafox.wixsite.com/ buffalo-wyoming-blog). Blogging wasn’t enough; Fox returned to her old love of short stories. Fox focuses on (dark) humor, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Her stories have been published in Deadlights, The Wire’s Dream Magazine, We Are A Website New Literary Journal, and Cadaverous Magazine. Fox is an active member of Wyoming Writers, Inc., and the Writers Ink group in Buffalo, WY (they meet in the local haunted hotel).


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

217

Benjamin Daniel Lukey Benjamin Daniel Lukey was born in 1986, but he often feels much older than he actually is. It must be the miles, not the years. He copes by drinking entirely too much coffee and taking lots of naps. He has lived all over the Eastern United States and currently resides near Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Megan. She once bought him a canoe as an anniversary present, and he is still pretty excited about it. He spends an inordinate amount of time fishing, camping, playing the banjo, and writing poetry, but when he is not busy with these important pursuits he can often be found teaching high school English classes or fixing things around the house that some other folks might hire professionals to fix. His work has previously appeared in Edify Fiction, The Mystic Blue Review, The Society of Classical Poets, and Sincerely Magazine. Honestly, he is just as surprised about this as anybody else. Please visit hellopoetry.com/bdlukey to read more. Amanda Tumminaro Amanda Tumminaro lives in the U.S. She is a poet and short story writer and her work has been featured in The Write Launch, The Radvocate, and Cottonwood, among others. Her first poetry chapbook, “The Flying Onion”, was released through The Paragon Journal in April of 2018. Wanda Deglane Wanda Deglane is a psychology/family & human development student at Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming on Dodging the Rain, Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She writes to survive. Wanda is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, and lives with her giant family and beloved dog, Princess Leia, in Glendale, Arizona. Danielle Christine Hastings Danielle Christine Hastings is from North County, San Diego California, and attend CSUSM as a single subject History major. Hastings has struggled and overcome dyslexia but has always loved writing. In 2012, during Hasting’s 5th and nearly last year at Palomar Community College, a Professor taught Hastings the additional lesson of finding value in truth, and in sharing that truth on the stage through Spoken Word (Performance Poetry).


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 218

Carissa Owens Carissa Owens is a Boston based writer currently attending Emmanuel College. Owens has a passion for beautiful prose and literature. While she is currently a server at the best BBQ joint in Boston, she hopes to focus more on her writing as she finishes out her college career. Insta: Carissa8897 Sandra Hosking Sandra Hosking is a professional writer based in Spokane, WA. Her work has appeared in Adelaide, 3 Elements Review, Joey, Edify Fiction, West Texas Review, Glass International, The Spokesman-Review, Journal of Business, Inland NW Homes & Lifestyles, Insight for Playwrights, and various anthologies. Hosking holds an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University and an MFA in theatre/ playwriting from the University of Idaho. Sandra’s work in adelaidmagazine.org Emily F. Butler Emily F. Butler is a librarian and comedian. Their work has appeared in Halfway Down the Stairs, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Moonglasses, Eunoia Review, Cliterature Journal, and Bone Parade. They were a finalist for the Adelaide Voices Literary Award Contest 2018. You can follow them on Twitter @EBetcetera. Anne Valentino Anne Valentino is a self-professed over protective mom to two teenagers, a devoted companion (and servant) to three dogs and a freelance writer—in that order. A former English instructor, she has previously published literary criticism and is now venturing into the vast emotional landscape that is poetry. Her words are influenced by the powerful peculiarity inherent in the ‘everyday.’ Lynn Atkinson-Boutette Lynn Atkinson-Boutette is a freelance travel writer specializing in writing about accessible travel. Atkinson-Boutette has written for Canada’s national newspaper the Globe and Mail and since moving from Vancouver to Toronto after a long journalism career began writing poetry. Atkinson-Boutette has had poems published in Grain, Hart House Revue (University of Toronto Press), The Toronto Quarterly, All Rights Reserved, Ars Medica – a journal of Medicine, Arts & Humanities and the University of Dalhousie Review.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

219

Tanya Holtland Tanya Holtland is author of the chapbook Inner River (Drop Leaf Press, 2016). A finalist for the editors’ prize in poetry at MARY: A Journal of New Writing, her poetry and nonfiction also appear in The Collagist, Statement Magazine, OXALIS, and elsewhere. She holds creative writing degrees from San Francisco State University. Recently artist-in-residence at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, her libretto FATED, a collaboration with composer Daniela Candillari, premiered there in winter of 2017. This is her first photography publication. Rus Khomutoff Rus Khomutoff is a neo surrealist language poet in Brooklyn, NY. Khomutoff is featured in Occulum, Erbacce, Poethead, Rasputin and Hypnopomp. Immaculate Days (Alien Buddha Press) is Khomutoff’s first book. Twitter @rusdaboss George Freek George Freek is a poet/playwright living in Belvidere, IL. His poetry has recently appeared in ‘Barnstorm Journal’; ‘Carcinogenic Poetry’; ‘The Tipton Poetry Journal’; ‘The Ottawa Review of the Arts’; Artifacts Noveau’ and ‘The Sentinel :iterar4y Quarterly’. His plays are published by Playscripts, Inc.; Lazy Bee Scripts; an Off The Wall Plays. James Croal Jackson James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Hobart, FLAPPERHOUSE, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere. He edits The Mantle, a poetry journal. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at jimjakk.com. Christopher S. Bell Christopher S. Bell has been writing and releasing literary and musical works through My Idea of Fun since 2008. His sound projects include Emmett and Mary, Technological Epidemic, C. Scott and the Beltones and Fine Wives. My Idea of Fun is an art and music archive focused on digital preservation with roots in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. (www.myideaoffun.org). Christopher’s work has recently been published in Anti-Heroin Chic, Avalon Literary Review, BlazeVOX17, Drunken Monkeys, Heavy Athletics, Queen’s Mob Teahouse, Lime Hawk and Talking Book among others. He has also contributed to Entropy and Fogged Clarity.


4th Collection

The Wire’s Dream Magazine 220

Brandon Black Brandon Black is a 29-year-old aspiring writer, based in Los Angeles, California, who has chronic speech disfluency, stuttering. He grew up with a stutter and attended speech therapy in middle school and for a brief period after university. J.l. Kleinberg Artist, poet, and freelance writer, J.I. Kleinberg is a Pushcart nominee and winner of the 2016 Ken Warfel Fellowship. Her found poems have appeared in Diagram, Heavy Feather Review, Rise Up Review, The Tishman Review (Oct. 2016), Hedgerow, Otoliths, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and blogs most days at thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com. Margarita Serafimova Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017. She was awarded a merit-based fellowship by Summer Literary Seminars as one of fifty runners-up in their 2018 poetry contest. Margarita has three collections in Bulgarian. Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip New Poetry, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, The Journal, A-Minor, and many other places. Some of her work on Faceboook: facebook.com/MargaritaISerafimova Joe Bisicchia Joe Bisicchia writes of our shared dynamic. An Honorable Mention recipient for the Fernando Rielo XXXII World Prize for Mystical Poetry, his works have appeared in numerous publications. His website is http://www.widewide.world. Alyssa Oursler Alyssa Oursler is a journalist and essayist. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hobart, The East Bay Review, SF Weekly, and more. You can find her at alyssaoursler.com and on Twitter: @alyssaoursler. Kassie Shanafelt Kassie Shanafelt lives in Brooklyn. Her work is forthcoming in Cauldron Anthology, The Airgonaut, and Lemon Star Magazine and can be found in Philosophical Idiot, Coffin Bell Journal, Cold Creek Review, and Enclave. She is the founding creative director of Millennial Pink, an online community for fellow creatives. Find out more at the website.


The Wire’s Dream Magazine

4th Collection

221

Michael Rerick Michael Rerick lives and teaches in Portland, OR. Work recently appears or is forthcoming at Angel City Review, Parentheses Journal, Porridge Magazine, and Potluck Magazine. Rerick is also the author of In Ways Impossible to Fold, morefrom, The Kingdom of Blizzards, The Switch Yards, and X-Ray. Facebook: facebook.com/ michael.rerick


The Wire's Dream Magazine 4th Collection • Winter 2018  

This Collection features over 200 pages of fantastic creative work by new and established creators. Visit: twitter.com/TWDMagazine for curre...

The Wire's Dream Magazine 4th Collection • Winter 2018  

This Collection features over 200 pages of fantastic creative work by new and established creators. Visit: twitter.com/TWDMagazine for curre...

Advertisement