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THE SALON A Journal of Poetry & Fiction

ISSUE #2

AUTUMN 2010


THE SALON Copyright © 2010 Printed on 100% recycled paper By Honeybee Press

‗Tomatoes‘ by Annie Doran, appears in the first edition of The Barn Owl Poetry Extra EDITOR: Ben Aleshire ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Robert McKay & Edie Rhoads GRAPHIC DESIGN: Raychel Severance SUMMER INTERN: Alexander Goss Cover photograph Tamang Shaman, Gosainkund, 1978 by Kevin Bubriski 2 The Salon


CONTENTS: POETRY Annie Doran – Date Talk Tomatoes Marc Awodey – Excerpts from Rain Greg Delanty – Even Now To a Girlfriend of Twenty Years Ago Stranger David Budbill – Now The End of November Ariel Wengroff – Sheep in Fog Estefania Puerta – Naturalization, Santa Maria de las Flores Phyllis B. Katz – On the Train to Cambridge Laura Davis Foley – Resilience Melissa Hotchkiss – Stumble Angela Patten – Lonely Planet Getting Yourself Sorted Visitations David Symons – Four Haiku Elizabeth Powell – Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances, Care Package with Riddle as Missive TRANSLATION: Ladi Marussi – Boy Painting Rainbow by Milan Rufus THEATRE: Dana Yeaton – You Gotta Go First FICTION: Peter Bruno – Crazy Ceal Meredith Martinez – An excerpt from the novel, Tri-State View CONTRIBUTORS NOTES SUBSCRIPTION & SUBMISSION INFORMATION 3 The Salon


Annie Doran – Date

You are about to turn the corner when you stop to look. Your hand like a surrendering flag. You don‘t know how young you seem from such a distance, muted by streetlamps. It‘s not that you aren‘t a universe all your own, with valleys of cornflowers and perpetual water. It‘s not that I don‘t see the shadows and lamps that pass behind your eyes, but I can‘t be a home for you. I can‘t imagine loving your knuckles, the spaces behind your ears. I can‘t imagine you passing panther-like through the dim rooms of my house, hunting me in the kitchen and finishing me, mouth wet, in the pantry. Maybe it‘s the stiffness of your neck. I saw someone else in your jaw‘s elbow, and it made me wonder if you could take my sadness by the hand like a daughter. How young you seem. You disappear behind a fortress of apartments and walk up the street. There is only a round bleach-stain of light where you stood.

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Talk I am tired of talk. My tongue lays sleeping and the muscles of my mouth are like field men coming in from the cold. What do we have to talk about, anyway? I‘d rather flutter my fingers over your jaw, your mouth to feel the shape of your sound without sound. What would a word mean when I can read your hands, the way they fall, listless as puppets? I press them to my quiet skin, quieter than you knew it could be. You don‘t have to talk to me. Let‘s listen to the wind and its duet with the window. Let‘s speak like roses while the world spins and spins in a hurricane of talk.

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Tomatoes Tomatoes are the passion of the plant. The color of heat and sweet-smelling, I could measure the days by the swell of tomatoes. An abundance like summer. The farm‘s slow fire. In the little city far from the farm a man stands shaking, his frame like a cage for fruit. His voice battles the walls. I forget, sometimes, how poetry can change the seasons of our bodies. He swells with it, his body a slow fire. A garden of words. On his hand is the tattoo of a star. His hand looks overripe, like a tomato split by its juices.

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Marc Awodey – An Excerpt from Rain Leaves mew in small and gentle voices as pregnant milkweed, and cottonwood whiskers symmetrically loiter in sunlight. Exposed seeds polished before exhales are offered to regenerate acid burned forests. My son once heard me muttering to no one about a place of warm wind. Ascending sounds of morning unfold as twilight‘s embroidered train atrophies over the fog drugged Adirondacks. Swarming raindrops rattle on my sash. Beyond dripping clapboards I hear October‘s last finch.

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Greg Delanty – Even Now Our first thoughts dawned on us, each a pearl on a string signifying we‘re lonely, we‘re afraid, we‘re alive yet shan‘t be here forever. These glowing black pearls, strung through time, overpower gene pearls of brighter colors, blinding us into concocting deities who promise safety like a mother inventing a story for a quizzical child asking ―Where‘s grandma gone?‖ ―To a happy mansion beyond the cotton candy sky,‖ or tricks us into the slaughter and slavery of the blood and chlorophyll races and not simply to eat of their flesh or make clothes out of their pelts. We are ingenious in our ways. Even here in the kitchen, music lilts from a silver box, music from everywhere, played and sung by souls long gone. Gone where? That we know not is the source fueling the black pearls, delivering ourselves to our one unsure abode. Maybe a reserved god watches, even now, from we know not where, thinking this doesn‘t have to happen so. We lie down in the great potter‘s field of the universe.

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Stranger How do expressions appear when you‘re alone in a room? If you could scrutinize a cheerful friend, loving father, serene sister, it would be like observing a face as the person descends from Holy Communion, or stands alone over a family grave; all the stranger for being familiar. The countenance is almost more dreadful than picturing your own in a room by yourself, more frightening than looking in a mirror while alone since by then you‘re aware of your visage. If you could look without forethought you‘d wonder who that person is, how sad, how glum, how odd that face. Turn away.

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To a Girlfriend of Twenty Years Ago From Riverside Drive a cloud wraps the distant mountain summit in a mohair scarf, the type a girl might drape about her neck. One of those females that jam words in the Adam‘s apple. The traffic is bottlenecked now. The lights turn from red to green and back to red. It‘s late. I notice how gray my hair‘s turned in the rearview mirror as a woman strolls through, the image of one I vowed to spend my life with once. The traffic begins to flow. No going back now. She‘s gone forever sipping her take-away coffee, her ambrosia this bitter morning. Ah, my cold old flame, old muse. Daughter of Mnemosyne, how cruel you are today.

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David Budbill – Now Now the crickets come inside and sing upon the hearth. They say, Oh! Oh! Autumn is coming to an end. They say, Oh! Winter is just around the bend. They say, Oh! Oh! The year is dying. They say, Oh! We are dying too. They say, Oh! Oh! So are you!

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The End of November Deer season over. Deer hunters gone. Fewer and fewer people pass by on the road below the house. Snow begins to fall a blanket for my garden. In the white quiet, emptiness grows— this unseen winter vegetable fertilized by snow.

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Peter Bruno – Crazy Ceal In the fields behind Ceal‘s house Salvatore and his friend Anthony sniffed glue. They didn‘t know much about Ceal, but would see her walking home from Vinny‘s Sugar Bowl in a tattered house dress, and an ice cream cone in each hand. She‘d be engaged in serious conversation, gesturing wildly with her arms then suddenly stop to make a point, or laugh at an invisible joke. Kids said one year at Halloween Ceal had answered the door in her slip holding a basket full of moldy oranges. The grass was high, uncut for months, and to the boys the field was a forest hidden from the traffic along St. Joseph‘s Boulevard. Ceal‘s house sat on a small hill; it was shingled in dark red, and her windows were covered by dingy sheets. The airplane glue came in a small silver tube. The same tube Anthony used to assemble plastic models from classic horror films like Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Werewolf. ―What does it do?‖ ―I don‘t know,‖ Anthony shrugged squeezing the clear liquid into a paper bag and passing it to Salvatore. ―Is it like pot?‖ The smell burned in his nostrils as he brought the bag over his mouth and nose. ―I doubt it!‖ Anthony‘s words left his mouth, but like a dummy out of synch with its ventriloquist, the sound was delayed. The grass began to swirl around him, each blade blending with the next, a kaleidoscopic wave of green Salvatore tried to ride as he rose to his feet. He suddenly felt afraid, unsure that he had any control over his body, his mind. He heard the sounds from the street and Anthony‘s laughter whirr together as if echoing from the blades of a fan. He tried to move. If he could move, he told himself, he‘d be alright. I’ll be alright. But each step felt gigantic, shaking the field like a 13 The Salon


prehistoric mammal foraging for food. He wondered about Ceal. Would these rumblings disturb her? Could they rouse her from her insane trance? Anthony‘s laughs grew louder. He always seemed to laugh when Salvatore was most nervous. Then he saw her: Ceal leaving her back door walking toward them. Salvatore stumbled backward. ―She‘s coming!‖ ―Who? What the hell are you talking about?‖ The grass parted before her, turning brown and dry as if each hand emitted a noxious gas. To Salvatore, Ceal‘s face looked like a cubist painting his sister Angela once showed him. She appeared more distorted with each step: her nose shifted to her eyes, her eyes to her mouth and her mouth to her ears. ―You want any more of this?‖ Anthony asked between inhales, his eyes red and watery. ―Tony, let‘s go. Let‘s just go home.‖ They took the short cut to Salvatore‘s house through backyard patios lit with multi-colored lights, where neighbors chatted over AM radio and small bottles of Miller‘s High Life beer. Was she still there? Salvatore turned around. Ceal was gone, but in the distance he could make out her wake of withered grass.

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Milan Rufus – Boy Painting Rainbow Blind, tender, as baby bird unintentionally daring, like salt, I did not know its worth, love offered pain to me. Day grew dark: its gray horses hurrying, whipped by a mad anguish. A poem folded wings in to an empty lap sinning with a sad rhyme. Yet, from muddy streams a summer rainbow drinks as today peace forms in my veins. Forgive me, dear, if towards you I blasphemed, before I learned to love. –

Translated by Ladi Maruss

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Phyllis B. Katz – On the Train to Cambridge Out our window a green wind Dances silver-toed Over field on field of bending grass. High above us, a hawk wind-hovers As if his pulsing wings Could hold him forever. We rush past waiting stations Whose painted names are speed-blurred So that we are off the map, Reminder of how easily we lose location How fast our lives fly by, How years reduce to moments, Our parents dead before we really knew them, Our children bearing children Almost before we saw that they were grown, Chapters of our story moving to conclusions while we were writing introductions. Like our speeding train, we seldom stop To hang suspended like the sparrow hawk, Who watches for a rustle in the grass, Then dives to grasp it for his own.

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Laura Davies Foley – Resilience A huge tendriled flower glows yellow, purple, blue; Barely faded, though painted forty years ago On the barn he built from cast-off timbers. In the stall where our mare birthed two colts, An old farm car sinks slowly into mud. Blackberry stalks and vines sprout their upward leaves Through gears of an iron threshing machine. Our haying wagon lies empty, and near it, The ruined sleigh. The ponies‘ drinking trough, corroded through with holes, rests upturned on grass outside. Pine trees grow among the iron parts, rusted wheels, Metal seat of the rake we used to gather hay, Its wooden tongue sunken now in earth. But in the nearby pasture, a big old apple tree, Untended all these years and bent, quickens With pink and fragrant buds.

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Angela Patten – Getting Yourself Sorted When you were young his shadow filled the doorway, hers the kitchen. You studied them like an explorer poring over the cartography of a new continent, absorbed in all their exploits until the day the tinker girl appeared on the doorstep, a wisp of red hair escaping from her shawl, a baby underneath her oxter. Go in now, love, like a good girl, she commanded you. Ask your Mammy for a sup of milk for the babby and I‘ll say a prayer that a nice man will marry you. You looked at yourself in your blue school gymslip, gawky as a light-deprived houseplant, then fled back to your books and pencils, terrified at the prospect of some drunken lout landing you with a baby and you only a child yourself. Fast-forward then to adolescence when you haunted all the pubs in Dublin, discussing the deficiencies of those gigantic obstacles, your parents, their stony silences, their implacable refusal to let you grow up, leave home, ruin your own life. A few years later you had hacked the hawsers to unmoor yourself, the baby parked on your hip like a big moon straddling the horizon, as you paddled, frightened but afloat, towards that faraway country called adulthood.

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Luckily for you your life cracked up, rebalanced. Your parents grew smaller with age. Your mother a bright fly-catcher dashing out for the morning messages. Your father a mere sparrow, full of songs and sweetness. By then you were relieved to discover your place among the rocks and trees, the other animals. The way a photographer might shoot your portrait next to a giant Redwood, everything arranged to indicate perspective.

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Visitations Today three deer materialized out of nowhere in the yard. Late afternoon sun poured down on their soft brown backs their long ears that twitched like radio antennae. We never know when they will appear nor how to tell one from another. Namelessly they traverse our rocky cliff their delicate unhesitating hooves step lightly over hazardous terrain. And the wind cares nothing for our names or the labels we have placed on stakes next to the Lamb‘s Ears, the Oxeye daisies or the Jacob‘s Ladder, but only echoes through the unidentified trees making its constant instrumental music.

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Lonely Planet ―Odors that the smolts experience during this time of heightened sensitivity are stored in the brain and become important direction-finding cues years later, when adults attempt to return to their home streams.‖ – The Scientific American. I am a fish the Iraqi man on NPR says quietly and Baghdad is my sea. If I do not return to it I will die. He is going back to the place where he watched aghast as three teenage boys pulled a man from a car and shot him in the head the dark blood seeping down the narrow street like a scandal. To the place where an old woman crossing the road to buy bread her garments billowing behind her like a ship with black sails was blown to pieces by a suicide bomber who could not bear to wait his turn at death but had to rig the race win by a photo finish prove himself worthy of a place in paradise. 21 The Salon


Homesick for months the Iraqi man is happy now he has made up his mind to return to the place where he hopes to be buried next to his wife, his parents. To the place where his family gathers to celebrate births and birthdays eat fattoush, tabbouleh, hummus remark on the miracle of merely being alive. Not like his American colleague who left his wife for another woman and now finds himself in a foreign country missing his passport, visa, compass the Iraqi man no longer wonders if his homing instinct represents fidelity or fiction. Lucky to be a fish that loves its bowl.

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Ariel Wengroff – Sheep In Fog On Sabbath, the infection Of the whole flock came By one sheep. Reared For its flesh, I—the wolf Pulled decomposition In the pasture, Ripping Purity by the underbelly. The cold frost wetted my hands Glistening in red, digging For the intestines. Turning The canal from the mouth Downward into strings— The Harp, Triangular in form. Grace in fog. Music intent On calling one who Has strayed from the right way. Until then, I on all four, Bent as in prayer Bow my head in guidance For what is frozen On my palms.

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Melissa Hotchkiss – Stumble Occurred indirectly let us Say, by accident 6:40 AM near Tompkins Square Park, 7th and A Let‘s also say ‗on the way‘ for quite Some time, the odd look from the deli owner On 4th and First just last week, or the manner I feel ineffective at the gym Sweat but go nowhere The taxi driver, chatting on his phone Twice I say ‗what‘ – think he speaks to me but no Separately, these clues, including a delivery Man recently stating ‗you have nice toes‘ Makes the stumble As imbalance, release, the sun climbs up and over the East River My 3 ½ year-old Shar-Pei mix yanks on the leash To reach the leaves and dirt and garbage lining the iron fence Which surrounds the park, yes I am falling, catch on the curb Of toe then ankle, know I am here and this is happening What release, to let a body, let pavement, as cold as contrast 24 The Salon


Dana Yeaton – You Gotta Go First A Solo Piece (A circle of streetlight fades up, next to a highway. Just beyond the light, stands a lone hitchhiker. Hoodie, backpack – we can’t tell if they are male or female, black or white. We hear the sound and see light from an approaching car. ) DOMINIQUE (To the driver.) Come on, now . . . Welleducated. Trustworthy. (The car passes.) Forgiving! . . . Mostly . . . (To audience.) Yeah, I see you, sittin‘ there in your tight little Beamer, got the iTunes crankin‘, got that seat warmer toastin‘ your big ass like a, like a upside down Pep‘ridge Farm dinner roll. In your movie, here in this bag, got my blade, right? Ready in the streetlight flashing like a gold tooth. Cold steel truth, Mothafuckah. In my movie? This . . . is the coolest smartphone ever. (Stepping into the light.) 25% thinner, volume controls on the side, accessible microSIM tray, front-facing camera. (Preparing to take a picture.) Smile! . . . No? . . . Back here we got microphone, speaker, 30pin connector for docking, while the top sports a second microphone for noise cancellation, sleep/wake button, and a headset input. (Striking a pose.) Just the thing for that Gangstah On The Go Look . . . Actually, it‘s a graduation present. (She slips the hood off her head. She’s young, black, maybe 21.) Not that I asked for it, my parents were probably like, ―Sociology? With a minor in Japanese? What 25 The Salon


kinda job Dominique gonna get being a Japanese sociologist? We better give her one those iThingies, maybe she go off, get herself into business.‖ And maybe I will, you know, be the first in my hyper-extended family to graduate college, then use those brains and those connections to climb my way up that big old corporate ladder to the stars. Maybe I will. First, though, I gotta save America. (Thumb out.) Starting with you. . .You think I‘m kidding. (Thumb down.) Okay, we‘re gonna break this down. Strangers, right? Here I am, asking you for something you would love to give, right? You would love to be a generous, confident person, right, with a big, open, courageous spirit . . . But is it safe? I mean in the ‗60s, the ‗70s maybe, sure, but post 9/11? Post all the stories you hear, the movies you see? Post Brad Pitt, can we really afford to give rides to strangers? Here. (She pulls a stack of cardboard signs from her bag.) Maybe if I look more legitimate. Better? (The sign reads, ―Selma.‖) Next stop. (The next sign reads, ―Montgomery.‖) Get it? Like one of those Civil War re-enactors, only I‘m doing the Civil Rights circuit. All the great battlefields. (―Little Rock.‖) The holy sites. (―Atlanta.‖ ―Memphis.‖) ‗Course it‘s not just a southern thing, I‘ll be heading out west. (―L,A.‖ ―Oakland.‖) Up north. (―Detroit.‖) 26 The Salon


Back east, to the land of the pilgrim‘s pride. (―Boston.‖) Till the tour ends back in the cradle of my parents home. When I will finally tell my mother what I‘ve been doing. Because in her movie, think about it . . . The dangerous one is you. I‘m the young black woman alone in the middle of the night. Without a car. In America. ―Dominique, have you lost your mind? What were you thinking?‖ And I will tell her, mama, I think we got it wrong. Somehow we got it in our heads, you want to earn someone‘s trust, you gotta act trustworthy, but that‘s backwards. You don‘t earn someone‘s love by acting loveable. You love them and they feel that and they love you back. If you want someone‘s trust . . . you trust them. You gotta go first. (She pulls the hood back up and steps back into the shadows.) That‘s when I‘ll show her all the pictures, all the people who, for a few minutes anyway, were exactly who they wanted to be. (Pulls out the camera. Thumb out.) Come on now . . . Smile.

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Elizabeth Powell

Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances The house lights dim for the drama to begin. It‘s not over if the problem hasn‘t been solved. Isn‘t acting just this: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances? Here the lights dim, Momentarily extinguish our lives, For two hours at least. Each one of us Like a pebble finding its way to the ocean bottom, Thrown over the balcony to the life boat Of the orchestra section. The settling Feeling, in the dark, waiting for truth Of what has been imagined. The theory isn‘t How you felt when your father died, But how to imagine a world where he is Living with the truth he could never get Or understand, except from this new vantage point. I walk across stage after stage with this in mind, All my actions a compass pointing toward True north. How to live truthfully Under imaginary circumstances is to understand What Einstein said: All time is simultaneous Still sometimes I mix up and forget The difference between living and circumstance, Or what the pebble dropping to the ocean floor Discovers: the truth is You are me and I am you.

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Except for when we aren‘t. And this is why we sometimes are compelled To stare at strangers as if they were Actors or family members, full of signs Or wonders.

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Care Package, With Riddle As Missive I had found my father‘s favorite Swiss army knife in a box he sent me with no note, in it only James Bond videos, nothing else. What was the message? The message was that there was no message. This world violent, full of sex, the zeitgeist of the movies, era after era, a new Bond stepping in. The divorced Dad Sundays at the Greenwich watching the British Secret Service save the world. I thought he sent the knife inadvertently, now I see. It was code. He was in a box. There was no way to cut himself out.

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ESTEFANIA PUERTA – Santa Maria de las Flores We climb up to her home To see her skin draped over the hill Like an abandoned flag After a tragic duel With her own body She is strewn together By the diseases That made a dried well Out of her lips And a valley of flowers beneath her Lungs where she could not breathe anymore Santa Maria de las Flores Moans at the top of the hill Like an empty covenant out of holy water She spreads her tender arms gently To give slender shade to her Swollen grandchildren who Peck at dirt and bottles To find the depleted nutrients of A second hand world She looks at me and Barely whispers God knows When it is our time to go As the rain spills itself onto bells That shake their golden bodies 31 The Salon


For all the Honduran women To take out their rosary beads And caress their Mother's veils

Naturalization We are sitting in a structure Surfaced on American soil Chinese blood, Colombian blood, Ukranian blood, Russian, French Everyone now trickling into U.S.A. bloodbath The tender souls The calloused hands The tired eyes Working in the factories Working in the industries Working in the fields working working working The four walls of Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, Now the waiting hall For the Chinks Spics Gooks Niggers 32 The Salon


My father 21 years later Gathering bald spots Looking like a burning angel Waiting for the gate of heaven To open and bless the Unforgiving constriction Of his tie His blue eyes turning white His black hair turning white His brown skin turning white He is becoming light itself On a rain soaked Wednesday afternoon As hotdog venders sell the last intestines, The bowels of other animals Who fucked and shat before us This is America the Melancholy America the legless America the unborn child My father looks up at me From the depths of cracked centuries And I understand That he is trying to say, This land is for you and me, My darling, Quicksand at times But it’s ours And we’ll love her Until we become her Hallejuah Hallejuah. 33 The Salon


David Symons – Four Haiku

My feet read these streets like a blind man reading braille through holes in my shoes

Stolen from the Moon a river of children's hands have worn these stones smooth

We climb a dark hill as my heart silently breaks snow covers all tracks

Be careful, my dear my heart was a sleeping bear now he is hungry

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Meredith Martinez – Excerpt from novel, Tri-State View The first time it almost happened to Cat, that morning, Mops was making biscuits. I thought that had been the noise which woke me, her banging dough out on the hoosier. Or Tripod barking until he tipped over. Or Tripod licking my feet until he got sad or bored and tipped over. The light came hard and pink through my window, my skin flying everywhere in it. I remember thinking, at any given time, all over me, more of my skin was dying. I heard the radio of a passing car, it changed my pulse, it made me older for few seconds, and then it was gone, along with the skin that passed through the screen after it. My sheets were also full of skin, like Mops‘s apron, all floury. I closed my eyes and wondered where on my body that dying was happening thickest, my armpits maybe, all the new places I was growing hair, also in my mouth, I could taste it, worse than Belfast. I put my hands behind my head and stared up through the burned steering wheel my uncles had mounted above my headboard. I had not been to Belfast, but they showed us pictures at school, those murals, guns, all that razor wire. I watched my skin move through the steering wheel my uncles stole from the wreck yard, the wheel and also two door handles, from my parents‘ Ford. I said to my uncles, Get them for me, and they brought me the wheel and door handles instead. My uncles thought I didn‘t know what I was asking, I was only five when it happened, I knew exactly what I was asking. They hated me for about forty-five minutes. Then they became gods again—I can‘t remember how it happened, there were cigarettes, Uncle Arthur had smack, probably—and they fixed the steering wheel and door handles to the wall in place of the crucifix 35 The Salon


grandma had there, Don‘t tell Mops, Uncle Arthur said, if she noticed, she didn‘t say anything. On either side of the wheel, the handles, like, if you got the right combination with the wheel, you could grab them and open up the wall and go and take Cat with you, just go, the two of you, where would you go? No one I knew had been to Belfast, but I could imagine what it was like. The wheel and the door handles, the inside ones, maybe the last things they touched, my mom and dad, before the dying happened, though I hoped not, I hoped the last things they touched were each other. Unlike in Belfast. In Belfast, I learned from pictures, everything is covered with chicken wire to protect against firebombs, and no one touches anyone else, except with sticks and gun butts and firebombs, except the moms, moms do all the touching, the praying, the cleaning, they wash everything, they get so tired out from washing jackets they don‘t even have the strength to knead dough, which is why all they eat in Belfast is potatoes and soda bread and wee Mars Bars. My teacher brought in some soda bread with currents and real butter on the last day of Troubles Week. It was nice. I imagined myself coming home to nice bread like this after blowing up a train. Mum bloody good bread this, I saw myself saying—I had seen movies. Mom was sipping a cup of tea. I saw myself older, thinner, serious. Mom was dressed in an old flowered curtain, her hair white, mine too, and falling out in clumps. I tried to gather the hair up, she did so much, she didn‘t need the aggravation of my shedding. I was gathering it up to put in a sack when mom dropped the teacup and calmly turned into the curtain, she looked down and watched it happen, the sun passing through her like immaculate conception. Our hair and skin flew out the window, I couldn‘t help it, our vaporization, so Bloody Good Bread This is what I 36 The Salon


shouted, Marker you‘ve had seven pieces, said my teacher, which was true, I got constipated. It was Saturday morning and I was now older, a teenager maybe, and Mops was making biscuits, too many biscuits, a hundred biscuits every week, because it was her job never to say to me, Honey I‘m fresh out of biscuits. I was glad Uncle Timmy was a handyman, and had fixed the steering wheel to a stud and not too high—sometimes I thought of poisoning the well—so I could grab the wheel, pretend to hang on for dear life as I drove Mops‘s house through the stratosphere (I still do this in my truck, it‘s not the same, it‘s almost fun now) singing Space Oddity at the top of my lungs, which is to say, silently, my knotted throat exploding on behalf of Major Tom, I sang passionate as a vacuum cleaner to the wall where in the olive paint I could still see the nimbus of the crucifix, the miserable hitchhike of Christ‘s right thumb, didn‘t ruin it for me, not at all—killing them slowly, my uncles and aunties, not Cat, not with my school scissors, it was only natural, they said it might be like this for me, heat, slow burning, that kind of anger— landing Mops‘s house some empty place, no chicken wire or ashes, no skin fireflies. But that morning I felt pretty good. I remember realizing that the noise which woke me didn‘t come from the kitchen, it came from the window. I rolled over and looked outside. A gladiola, open like a mouth against the screen, was trying to get me. I remember thinking that: It‘s trying to get me. When I looked away, I heard the teeth of the gladiola on the screen, its loud tongue, the smooch of its petals. I remember thinking: No, it‘s really trying to get me. So I got up and got my school scissors and went over, like, You messed with the wrong kid, Gladiola, but when I opened the screen, a pebble hit me in the cheek. There was Cat, wiping her chin with the back of her 37 The Salon


hand. There was gravel in Cat‘s fist, and there was dirt on her face, and her forearms were skinned in two directions, like she‘d fallen while hurrying, slid and gotten up and slid again, like she couldn‘t wait to get here. Come on, she whispered. Let‘s get gone. When she saw me go for my clothes, she dropped the gravel and ran to the window. No, I have to get gone. Why? I said. What‘s happening? Her shirt was also torn at the neck. Shut up, she whispered. Jump down, I‘ll catch you. Shut up and jump, Mark. And then I heard dogs and my uncles calling and she said Oh Christ and tore off through the garden and I jumped from the window on my own and followed her. I think that, at the time, we couldn‘t have been much younger than twelve because I remember bra straps, her white cotton bra straps, straps printed with magenta flowers slipping loose as reins over her shoulders as she ran down the road, the flowered bra fully visible through her undertank. And we couldn‘t have been much older than twelve because she was still blonde, and she ran with those straps hanging like that, new breasts like raw pieces of lung, they weren‘t bothering us yet, in a few months they would, pale and biscuit-light, they would bother all of us, but her hair was still virgin, and the pretty bra was still only strange cheap jewelry—for her it was at least, for me a little different: I wanted to cut it off with my school scissors, snip open the back of her tank as she ran, snip the straps, the bra where it lay on her spine, catch it, let her run wherever on as I planted it in the ground somewhere, beneath the gladiolas, water the bra a lot, in a year I would dig it up and 38 The Salon


it would be enormous and fragrant and dirty and it would fit her perfectly. But now she was thinking only of her legs and maybe me, me first, and a few Tripods behind, and then all of our uncles running after us like a nightmare whose recurrence happens once all at once, loud as Belfast, it was fun chasing her and being chased, no one really after me, I was safe, just running along between, Cat, barefoot on the fearsome gravel of the road, wasn‘t shouting, only Uncle L.E., her dad, was shouting as he led the uncles in the chase, but fitfully, laboring as he was with his rifle. And if the high crying of Cat‘s mom, Clara, touched the outer folds of my upper ear, I didn‘t let it in until I was sure it was just morning bird music and, yes, it was beautiful, and the air was rich and thick with it, golden, and the Dial-dripping sun. At a certain point, the Tripods overtook me, and soon I fell over some them. We rolled together in the road, an elevenleg tangle, and then Uncle Arthur also fell over us, and we all rolled some more, I felt a snout on my groin, and then fingers, It will finally happen now, I thought, and then we landed in Aunt Lucy‘s vegetable garden next to the Virgin Mary statue in Her bathtub niche. The Tripods scattered and Uncle Arthur, who smelled wonderful, like mud and deodorant, said, Fucking Bitch, and rolled me behind the tub. He sat on me, his knees on my arms, and, when he had me good and pinned, he put his hand over my mouth. He looked up at the road and then at Aunt Lucy‘s curtains. He had hair down to his jaw, straight and black, and, from that angle, with the hair and his thin shoulders and cheeks, the thick bottom lip of his half-open mouth, the wonderful garden smell in his hair, he would not have made a beautiful woman, I thought, but pretty, he wasn‘t a bad thing to stare at, my other uncles used to say his lower lip was made for giving head, he was biting it now, he could make a lot of money 39 The Salon


in Miami with that lip, I was tired from running, I just waited, breathing through my ears. He took his hand from my mouth and put it on my shoulder. He tilted his head. I was tired from running. He bent over me, he kissed me hard on the mouth, he was so good at shaving his chin was smoother than his hand, it was more comfortable this way, actually, I was tired from running anyway. They‘ll find her in a car. I remember thinking this. Locked up in a car. She‘ll be eating her hair when they find her. She will pull a blanket over herself, but the sun will find my name on her anklet. It will be my fault, whatever they do to her, I remember thinking. Before I fell, I was running so fast, fast as a car, I felt gasoline flood my neck, my uncles behind, like a VW bus, humping each other‘s shadows. If I could pull up along side her—Get in my car!—and away, far away, stopping only for ice creams, not caring what we spilled on my upholstery, ride all night and wake up somewhere else, an island planet, cold and dry, the two of us clean as slips, she‘d be naked, she‘d hang her bra on the antenna as she went to piss behind on a moon rock and I‘d catch her waist, I‘d write on her back with my fingernail, I wouldn‘t know what to write, I‘d write two long lines. Don‘t fight, my other cousins said, don‘t fight and he‘ll just kiss you for a while. Fight, and he‘ll knock you out and kiss you anyway, you don‘t know what else, that‘s worse, right? He‘ll kiss you, it‘ll be okay, he‘s a good kisser, you might learn something so pay attention, but not too much attention, that kind of attention, don‘t let him get to you, he got to some of us and he still gets to Annie, gets to her almost every night, we hear it, she opened her teeth to him and it was over, it always 40 The Salon


happens when you open your teeth so don‘t open your teeth, we‘ve figured this out, if you open your teeth, it‘s over. They‘ll find her in a car with her mouth open, not for five more years, but that‘s where they‘ll find her, we won‘t know who she is at first and then we‘ll recognize him, poor Arthur, in his garage, he will be wearing a plastic beaded necklace which does not spell the name of any girl we know and we know everyone, his made-up name, the church will smell like exhaust. He kissed me, my uncle, holding me down like that, for fully thirty seconds, I know, because he took five deep breaths while moving his tongue around on my teeth and pulling my ribs up toward him so my back arched like a woman‘s. He didn‘t smell so good anymore. His nose smelled like a fresh-cleaned sore, like acetone, like bad lettuce. It was so long, forty seconds, maybe longer, he was moving and I could feel carrot stalks breaking beneath us, I had time to imagine him and a woman somewhere half-lit, kissing to a famous song, I had time to imagine what it would feel like, being that woman, I opened my teeth a little, then clamped them shut again, I felt him smile into my mouth. I had time to open my eyes and see the sky, a shape in the clouds, so long I thought of three things that shape could be—a lizard, a lily, a half-eaten sandwich—and I saw Uncle Arthur‘s eyes were closed, and only then did I realize I‘d hit my head on the bathtub, it hurt, I was glad, that was why I was crying, I always liked Uncle Arthur and I hoped this wouldn‘t change anything. He put his whole mouth over mine and blew and blew until I had to open my teeth, he breathed down my throat and drew the breath back out of me, passionate as a vacuum cleaner. And when he was through kissing me, Uncle Arthur put his mouth on my earlobe, thumbed it with his tongue, and said, 41 The Salon


―You know, Sailor, I don‘t care you forgot your pants, but Mops, if she sees, you know.‖ And then he got up, dusted himself off. He was a goodlooking man, my Uncle Arthur. He took care of himself, he had nice clothes, good records, he had so many women. As I ran home, the wind making my wet ear cold, I thought, it must be good, being Uncle Arthur‘s woman, sometimes, it must feel so good but, sometimes, it must also feel like you‘re only Uncle Arthur‘s woman, that‘s all you are, and, when he‘s done with you, you‘re not anything at all, your clothes fall off you, they can‘t even find your bones. I ran home, not feeling anything at all, only the coldness he‘d just put in my ear, and the pain on my skull, I became both of these things as I ran, these were only two things in the world, wet right-brain, sore left-brain, throbbing sadly at each other across my nose. But if I had to discuss it with Mops when I got home, I‘d say pain and wetness were beside the point, I felt only that mean throbbing. And all those sheds, those tools, tools, tools. I don‘t remember getting home, climbing back through my window, I don‘t remember getting my jeans on, my boots on, washing my ear, but once I had done all these things beneath the steering wheel, I felt reconstituted—that wasn‘t the word that came to my mind, of course, being only twelve, but I‘d been drinking a lot of dry milk around then, and my jeans and boots were a little small for me, and feeling their tightness reminded me, Yes, I am solid and I am expanding, I think I said this to the steering wheel, or maybe I just said, That was weird. It took about fifteen minutes for me to find Cat. It was so quiet in the neighborhood now. No one seemed to be home or anywhere else, except Mops, and that was because Mops couldn‘t hear much, and wasn‘t often invited to tea at Aunt Edna‘s where the complaining mostly happened. Probably, 42 The Salon


that‘s why Mops was so happy, she only had to satisfy her toy goat and the Tripods and me, and we all liked biscuits well enough. I peeked in the window of Edna‘s house. There were a lot of women, all of the women in the neighborhood. They were all gathered around Aunt Clara. I didn‘t mind stopping for a minute because Edna had scented geraniums in her window boxes. Aunt Clara wasn‘t anything like Cat. She had a flat, muscular chest, cropped hair, and she wore thin floral dresses with lots of pockets. Her hat, which she wore inside, was wicker and shaped like half a cantaloupe. She wasn‘t beautiful, she moved slowly and continuously. She kept putting down her iced tea, taking honey, touching her collarbone, taking the iced tea again, passing it to her other hand, touching her collarbone, touching Edna‘s arm, taking more honey, sipping the tea, wiping the glass with her skirt before setting it down, she kept doing this, talking all the while, taking so much honey that Edna eventually moved the pot away from her. Then I heard a gunshot down at the river. We all heard it. All of the women put their iced teas down in one movement and touched their collarbones, except Clara, who took a big drink of iced tea, which was so full of honey it moved slow as dish soap. I could see Edna ask Clara something, but Clara just shook her head and took another drink, then another, she drank the whole slow-moving tea, and when she was done, not have anything else to do, she dropped her head to her knees, letting the hat fall on the floor where it rolled around like a dirty word, and then I noticed all of the women looking at me like I was the one who said it. But I wanted to know who just got shot, so I ran across the yard, through the shed, the kudzu. Cat and I had a secret path to the river along which grew a thick old tree. Climb, and you could see pretty far, you could take in the whole river 43 The Salon


without anyone knowing, you could feel very European watching all the old skinny dippers, but I didn‘t climb the tree now because I wanted to hear, to be seen, where the gun was, I wanted to be there, be in it with Cat, who wasn‘t shot, couldn‘t be, we were just running, she was only twelve for chrissakes, that didn‘t happen, even around— I ran through poison ivy to get there. What my Aunt Clara was doing with two Pekin ducks in those blue-sweating mountains, I had no idea. They weren‘t for eating. They were her pets. She called them Boris and Cristina, she fed them from her pockets, she watched them floating like bread on the river, they were so fat they weren‘t even pinioned, for hours she would watch them alone, always alone, Uncle L.E. hated those ducks and Cat wouldn‘t take sides, I could understand that, as I now understand why Clara loved them: Who ever heard of a hateful duck? Because Clara would ask what L.E. wanted for dinner, and he would say roasted duck, seared duck breast, barbecued duck, duck casserole, potted duck, chipped duck on toast, duck biscuits, double-breasted duck, duct-taped duck, fire-fucked duck, duck 69, two fucking ducks with duck sauce, to fuck two ducks into her, Clara, you trash-breasted duck-ugly doublefucked bag, fuck those ducks, I‘m gonna eat ‗em. I found Cat sitting cross-legged on the bank, holding a broken-neck duck in her arms, Boris or Cristina, I don‘t know which, and quietly dry-heaving into her shoulder. My favorite Tripod had the other duck, the one they shot, he‘d claimed it from the water and was bringing it to me while the other Tripods were waiting for Cat‘s vomit. My uncles stood back, laughing, except Uncle Arthur, who was squatting behind Cat and twisting her hair with one hand, his other hand was busy in her lap. I later found out he had killed the duck she was now 44 The Salon


holding, killed it as she held it, he‘d held them both and killed it like that so she‘d feel it, so he‘d be in her feeling, he just wanted to be in, I want that too, I remember thinking, to be in, we are almost the same person, I took a few steps closer to them. (Which doesn‘t make much sense to me now. At that moment, I didn‘t know Uncle Arthur killed the duck, so that being in, I must have thought it afterwards. It might have happened that Uncle Arthur didn‘t kiss me until after Cat plucked the ducks. It might have happened there behind the shed, while she was plucking. They told me to go get some honey, and, as I was coming back with it, Uncle Arthur might have pulled me down outside the shed, he was blitzing my teeth with his tongue, Sailor I want to be in. Or it might have happened that, on her way back to the river to wash off the blood and feathers and honey, Uncle Arthur gave her a vial of bubble fluid, they were standing beneath the big tree and, as she was blowing bubbles up at me, me hidden in the tree where she knew I was, I heard him say in, I saw him pop a bubble.) I walked toward them huddled on the bank. (This is the part that doesn‘t make sense to me. If it made sense to me then, I don‘t know, it is possible to walk into something accidentally but, no, I remember, I stopped and looked and kept walking.) Her bra straps had dropped down her shoulders again. I watched Uncle Arthur take one between his thumb and forefinger and slowly slide it back up, letting three loose fingers trail over her skin, I saw her shiver, I saw him palm the side of her neck, he had a big cool palm and smelled wonderful until you got really close, he was being careful not to get so close that Cat would smell his nose—like an old freezer—I saw her twitch her shoulder and Uncle Arthur lifted his hand. 45 The Salon


But then Tripod dropped the duck on my shoes. When Arthur and the rest of the uncles looked at me, I could see I was wrong, we weren‘t the same person, Arthur and me, he was like the other uncles, they all told me to get the hell down there and bring the duck with me. So I did. It was as heavy as Uncle Arthur‘s head, so pretty, its breast opening like a gladiola. I gave it to Uncle L.E, who threw his arm around my shoulders. Let‘s get this done, he said to all of us. At that point, I saw what Uncle Arthur had been doing, removing from Cat‘s foot an old nail she must have caught running in the gravel. They carried Cat and the ducks to the Timmy‘s workshed. L.E. had me by the shoulders, but I would have followed anyway, I‘m not a bad guy, but I know myself, I would have gone with them. It was the middle of the morning now, but none of the aunties were in the yards. They wouldn‘t try to meddle, they knew better, they were standing in Edna‘s front window. We all waved to them as we walked by, except Uncle Arthur, who was combing his hair with a metal comb that folded like a razor. I waved too, I admit it, and the aunties closed the curtain. When we got to the shed, the uncles set Cat on a sawhorse and gave her the ducks and told her to start plucking. She wasn‘t crying. I remember that, and even if I didn‘t, it would be true. She arranged the ducks in her lap so they were straight on her thighs, their heads covering her kneecaps. She said she‘d rather not, if it was all the same to them, she‘d let them do their own plucking, she needed to go for a tetanus shot. Her dad, L.E., stood in front of her. He picked up her foot and looked at it. The nail had gone all the way through, just above her fourth toe. It was still dripping. He told her she didn‘t need a tetanus shot, they could clean it with whisky and honey, 46 The Salon


Timmy had the whisky in the shed, but no honey, so they sent me to Edna‘s to get it. But I didn‘t want to go to Edna‘s. I told Mops the honey was for—Don‘t get a stomachache, she said. I went out through my room, I know that, but there‘s hole here, between my leaving and the shed, I don‘t remember gladiolas or running, it was like I spun the steering wheel and opened up the wall and feathers flew out, all around, like big skin flakes, and there, bent backwards on the sawhorse, Cat, and there was Uncle Timmy shoving feathers down her bra, like that was on the other side of my wall the whole time, it was always happening, only, I didn‘t hear it til now. They didn‘t just clean her foot, they cleaned her whole torso with the honey. Uncle Timmy held a broom handle under her chin. I watched them tip the jar over her face. It was so quiet while the honey fell and ran up her forehead into her hair. They were holding her upside down over the sawhorse, they poured a fat gold line down her stomach. I stood with Uncle Arthur in the corner next to the two bald trampled ducks. He was smoking. His hands were absolutely dry. He looked like he couldn‘t care less, like Timmy was showing new techniques for turning bowls, that‘s how interested he was, it was so boring, what they were doing to her, he looked away and offered me a cigarette, Let‘s go outside Sailor, he said. This is where he might have kissed me, pressed up against the shingles, he was holding the cigarette by my ear, I could hear it burning down. Clyde Junior was going on and on about love, You can love more than one person at once. Uncle Arthur thumbed my earlobe with his tongue. He said, If you turn a left-handed glove inside-out it will fit on your right hand. As I was thinking about this, It‘s okay, he said, she still has her 47 The Salon


jeans on. We went back in, we saw them lathering her hair with the feathers. Arthur and I left with the other uncles, Uncle L.E. steering me by the shoulders again, Arthur trailing behind, flicking his comb, but we both came back afterwards, separately. I got there first. I helped her find her bra and her anklet. I asked her if she could walk to the river. She said she didn‘t think so. We didn‘t notice Uncle Arthur standing in the doorway until he asked if there was any honey left, Go fuck yourself, For her foot, he meant. Oh, she said. Yeah, there‘s probably enough for that. Put her on my back, he told me. Get the honey, follow me down. He took us to the river along a path we didn‘t know. We walked for a long time through the kudzu. Her shirt was still off. On her back, feathers, two long lines I hadn‘t put there. I think she fell asleep on his shoulder as we walked, she must have been so tired. We came to a place at a bend in the river where an enormous tree had fallen over. In the shallow cave of its roots, a tent, a guitar case, a propane stove. Uncle Arthur set Cat down at the edge of the water and put her hurt foot in the current. Then he went to the tent and brought back an old pillowcase full of small bottles, cotton balls, and candy. He gave Cat and me a candy bar each, Cat didn‘t want hers, he let me have it. Then he took his metal comb out of his pocket and dipped it in the river and began to clean the wound with the teeth. It was now noon, and the sun was dropping down through the trees, so strong I could almost hear it trying to get us, but Arthur‘s spot was good and safe, nothing, not even sun, could get us there. I lay on my side and ate the candy, watching him comb the gravel out of her foot. Are you breathing, he said, and 48 The Salon


I said Yes, and he said he didn‘t mean me. Cat looked at him for a long time, then she shook her head, No, she wasn‘t breathing, he was almost done, he said. I watched him dab honey onto the wound. I got on my hands and knees and crawled over. I wanted to see the honey go in, I let him put his hand in my hair. He told me he knew what it was like, he was the youngest, he‘d been through stuff too. I looked up at him, on my hands and knees like that, I noticed again his soft lower lip, his bobbed hair falling forward as he worked honey into the cut. I felt Cat falling backwards onto the mossy ground. Better that way, Arthur said. We‘ll wake her later. He looked out over the happy moving river, watching all that water getting the hell out of dodge. He had such long eyelashes. Do I want to see the stuff? I remember, on his left thigh, a four-inch scar the shape of string bean, just below the hem of his boxers. Clyde Junior, he said, stabbed me once. And now I have to see I every time, he said. I have to see it every time. But he didn‘t kiss me, not then, I‘m sure of it, because I remember looking through his hair and seeing the colors, the bright grass and leaves, the white flowers of the dogwood and the pink mountain laurel, poisonous red berries on the ground, all of it bright and moving with insects, the worm wild ground moving beneath us, I remember looking through him at the river coming toward me, slow and easy and thick with fish, he was moving his cool palms over my shoulders, Look at me, he said. But the river, so much color, such wonderful bad teeth chattering on it, I didn‘t want to look away, Look how beautiful, I wanted to say. But it would be flowing away from him. 49 The Salon


A minute passed. Then he let me go, and sat back on his heels, and took off his belt. I heard Cat stir in the grass behind us. Pass me the pillowcase, Uncle Arthur said. I told him I knew a few songs. If he let me borrow his guitar, I would play for him. I picked up the pillowcase held it in my lap—I‘m thirsty, Cat said. I told him all the songs I knew. Lord Henry. Knoxville Girl. In the Pines. I‘m so thirsty, Cat said. She sat up, her hair full of grass and feathers, and looked at us. We knew some things then, about scars, me and Cat. The fingers of a little girl on a scar—she was not a little girl, but even sticky and half-clad in feathers she was beautiful, and he was pretty, and I saw it, and it being real and my seeing it, and her fingers on it, that helped. Christ, he said, he covered her hand with his, he held her fingers on his leg for a moment, then he took her hand off. I let him have his pillowcase. He walked away with his pillowcase. We had sodas afterwards. He pulled them out of the tree for us—magic. Later, he carried Cat over to the river so he could comb the honey and feathers and grass and sticks and staples and sawdust and paint chips and busted watch innards out of her hair. They floated away down the river. I sang every song I knew, they floated away down the river, What is this, a fucking sing-a-long? we laughed, it floated away down the river too. We slept there, the three of us, in one sleeping bag, none of us slept, we were all sweating out different things, in the morning, we smelled so bad. In the morning, he and I went swimming while Cat lay on the bank in his clothes snorting Pixie Stix like he 50 The Salon


showed her until she got a nosebleed. I stayed close to him while we were swimming. And we weren‘t really swimming anyway, not really, we were just sitting there in the water. I don‘t even remember what you‘re wearing, he said. In the sky, the clouds broke and broke. The sun fell, and the water caught it. What are you wearing? he said. The river. The whole thing. And some of the sky. He wanted to know how it looked on him. And he pushed his hair out of his face so I could see how it looked on him.

51 The Salon


CONTRIBUTOR’S NOTES MARC AWODEY is an artist and poet. His poetry collections include Telegrams from the Psych Ward, New York; A Haibun Journey and Senryu and Nudes from Kasini House Books. He's also author of the collection of essays, Art and Machine: 95 theses discussing his poetry vending machine project of the late 1990s. He resides in Burlington, Vermont and serves on the faculty of Burlington College, Community College of Vermont, and Johnson State College. Awodey has written over 500 reviews for Vermont's alternative weekly Seven Days. He was also one of the first Vermont Justices of the Peace to perform civil unions in 2000. PETER BRUNO

DAVID BUDBILL is a poet and a playwright. His most recent play is A SONG FOR MY FATHER, which premiered at Lost Nation Theatre in Montpelier, Vermont in the spring of 2010, will have its second production at Old Castle Theatre Company in Bennington, VT, in August and September. His most recent book of poems, Happy Life, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in the fall of 2011. David lives in the mountains of northern Vermont. GREG DELANTY‘s most recent books are The Ship of Birth (Louisiana State University Press 2006), The Blind Stitch (LSU Press, 2003) and The Hellbox (Oxford University Press 1998)). His Collected Poems 1986-2006 is out from the Oxford Poet‘s series of Carcanet Press. He has received many awards, most recently a Guggenheim for poetry. The magazine Agenda has 52 The Salon


just devoted its latest issue to celebrate Greg Delanty‘s 50th birthday. The National Library of Ireland have recently acquired his papers up to the end of 2012. ANNIE DORAN

LAURA DAVIES FOLEY is the author of two books of poetry, Syringa and Mapping the Fourth Dimension; she has won the Atlanta Review Grand Prize and been awarded a Fellowship from the Frost Place. Her work has appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Bloodroot, California Quarterly, The Georgetown Review, and others. One of her poems has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently a chaplain intern with New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and lives on the wide banks of the Connecticut River in Cornish, NH. MELISSA HOTCHKISS‘s first book of poems, Storm Damage, was published by Tupelo Press. Her poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous publications such as failbetter.com, American Poetry Review, Free Inquiry, LIT, Upstairs at Duroc, the New Virginia Review, and the anthology Poets for Palestine. Melissa is one of the editors at Barrow Street and lives in New York City with her dog Jesse. PHYLLIS B. KATZ lives in Norwich, VT. She has published poems in The Anthology of New England Writers, The Breath of Parted Lips: Voices from the Frost Place, Vol. II, Lifelines, The Connecticut River Review, Ekphrasis, and Bloodroot. LADI MARUSSI 53 The Salon


ESTEFANIA PUERTA is a local artist in Burlington, VT. Her work has been featured in various spaces around Vermont including the Fleming Museum. She is co-founder of the Barn Owl Poetry Extra, a local monthly poetry publication. She draws most of her inspiration from her upbringing as a Colombiana in the U.S and revels in the exquisite beauty of identity crisis both internally and internationally. MILAN RUFUS (1928 – 2009) was a Slovak poet, essayist, children's writer and academic, born in Závažná Poruba, in the Zilina region. Rúfus published his first poems in the 1940s and his first collection, Až dozrieme (When We Grow Mature) in 1956. Another 20 poetry books followed. A children's book, Modlitbičky (Little Prayers) has been called his most successful work. Toward the end of his life he also published Báseň a čas (Poem and Time) and Vernosť (Fidelity). ARIEL WENGROFF

LAURA DAVIES FOLEY is the author of two books of poetry, Syringa and Mapping the Fourth Dimension; she has won the 54 The Salon


Atlanta Review Grand Prize and been awarded a fellowship from Frost Place. Her work has appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Bloodroot, California Quarterly, The Georgetown Review, The Distillery and other print and literary journals, has a poem nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently a chaplain intern with New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and lives on the wide banks of the Connecticut River in Cornish, NH. MEREDITH MARTINEZ is a fiction student in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. She received her BA in English Literature and BFA in Dance Choreography from Arizona State University in 2007. Her poetry has appeared in Contrary Magazine and in Dzanc Books‘ Best of the Web 2010 anthology. She grew up in Brattleboro, VT, and currently lives with her husband in Mesa, AZ. ANGELA PATTEN is a native of Dublin, Ireland. She moved to the United States and Vermont in 1977. Author of two poetry collections, Reliquaries and Still Listening, both from Salmon Poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in literary journals including The Literary Review; Prairie Schooner; Michigan Quarterly Review; Poetry Ireland Review; Calyx, Full Circle Journal, and others. Angela teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Vermont. She has presented her work at readings in Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, and throughout Vermont and New England. DAVID SYMONS is a performer and teacher of Yiddish music, an accordionist, singer, cornetist, arranger, composer, band-leader, actor, and activist from Burlington, Vermont. He founded and led the bands Black Sea Quartet, Inner Fire District, and The Salt Wives, and was a founding member of Berlin's The Painted Bird. He teaches klezmer music at the Summit School in Montpelier, VT. Last December, he traveled 55 The Salon


to Cairo, Palestine, and Israel as a delegate to the Gaza Freedom March, and chronicled the experience in a blog. DANA YEATON is the recipient of the ―New Voice in American Theatre‖ award from the William Inge Theatre Festival. His short play Helen At Risk won the Heideman Award from the Actor‘s Theatre of Louisville and his fulllength drama Mad River Rising received the Moss Hart Award from the New England Theatre Conference. His adaptation of Chris Bohjalian's best-selling novel Midwives has been professionally produced in North Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, Vermont and, most recently, in Washington, D.C. He teaches playwriting at Middlebury College, the University of Vermont and the Vermont Governor‘s Institute on the Arts. Dana was founding director of the Vermont Stage Young Playwrights. BEN ALESHIRE (Editor) is a writer and artist based in Burlington, Vermont. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry East, Green Mountains Review, Seven Days, and The Café Review. His play, Gauvain the Good Knight, won the 2009 Nor‟Eastern Playwright Competition. SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to The Salon, please email: thepoetrysalon@gmail.com. Sample copies are $5. One-year subscriptions are $12. Two-year subscriptions are $20. ADVERTISING If your organization would like to advertise in The Salon, please contact us via email: thepoetrysalon@gmail.com for more information. $20 per page (includes a 1-year subscription). SUPPORT Volunteer efforts and financial support are greatly appreciated. If you wish to volunteer or donate to The Salon, please email: thepoetrysalon@gmail.com 56 The Salon


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES The Salon is currently seeking new writing for its next issue, due in early April, 2010. Response time is up to 4 months. Include your name, address, email, and phone number on each page, as well as a brief cover letter telling us about yourself. All submissions must be typed. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as this is stated in your cover letter. Previously published work will not be considered. Responses will be emailed. If you don’t receive a response in 4 months, send an email to thepoetrysalon@gmail.com. Pay is 2 copies of the magazine and a 1-year subscription. Writing from all styles and traditions is welcomed; the focus is on clarity, purpose, originality, and inventiveness of language. No rants, please. Translations welcomed (please include the poem in original language as well). POETRY: Submit up to five poems. Either single or double-spaced is fine. Feel free to print double-sided; it may save you postage. FICTION: Submit one short story, up to 20 pages. The Salon also considers excerpts from longer works. Either single or double-spaced is fine. PLAYS: Submit one short play, or excerpt from a longer play, up to 20 pages, standard format. Send submissions to: The Salon, c/o Ben Aleshire 6 1/2 N. Winooski Ave. Apt #1 Burlington, VT, 05401 Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage if you‘d like your manuscript returned, otherwise it will be recycled. Do not send your only copy. Though we prefer postal submissions, you may also email a single doc. or pdf. file to: thepoetrysalon@gmail.com with your name and the genre in which you are submitting in the subject line, and cover letter in the body of the email.

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The Salon, Vol. I, No. 2