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Issue #1  

June 2015    

Yellow Chair   Review    


YELLOW CHAIR  REVIEW   ISSUE  #1    

Edited  by:    Sarah  Frances  Moran   Co-­‐‑edited  by:    Mike  Jewett     COPYRIGHT  ©  2015  YCR  Publishing     Published  by  YCR  Publishing  Waco,  Texas     All  rights  reserved.    No  part  of  this  publication  may  be  reproduced  or  transmitted  in  any   form  or  by  any  means  without  written  permission  of  the  author.     Each  work  is  copyright  ©  2015  the  respective  writers  and  artists.       Cover  art:    The  Absentee   Copyright  ©  Kushal  Poddar  

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Yellow Chair  Review    


Editor’s Note:     Welcome   to   the   very   first   issue   of   Yellow   Chair   Review.     I   want   to   personally   thank   the   many   writers   and   artists   that   took   a   chance   on   sending   their   work   to   such   a   new   publication.    It  is  the  goal  of  YCR  to  give  space  to  a  multitude  of  voices.    We  want  work  that   is  demanding  and  work  that  knocks  the  air  out  of  you.    This  first  issue  does  just  that.         From   Donna   Snyder’s   Voice   to   Jocelyn   Mosman’s   Wrestling   Match;   the   words   reach   up   at   you  and  refuse  you  look  away.         For   information   on   submissions   please   visit   our   website   at   www.yellowchairreview.com   and  to  keep  up-­‐‑to-­‐‑date  on  the  latest  YCR  news  follow  us  on  Facebook.     Thank  you  again  and  dig  in…     Sarah  Frances  Moran,     Founder/Editor    

Yellow Chair  Review     3  


CONTENTS   On  The  Cover:        

The Absentee  –  Kushal  Poddar  

6-­‐‑7

Voices -­‐‑  Donna  Snyder  

8

Nature -­‐‑  Zelda  Chappel  

9

The Muscle  Feast  -­‐‑  Zelda  Chappel  

10

A Drink  With  A  Drunk  -­‐‑  Nancy  Davenport  

11

Girl Scout  -­‐‑  Erin  Redfern  

12

Summer 2009  -­‐‑  Emily  Jalloul  

13

When A  Woman  Makes  Herself  Come  -­‐‑  Emily  Jalloul  

14

dressing up,  dressing  down  -­‐‑  Beth  Schneider  

15

Crazy -­‐‑  Glen  Armstrong  

16

Familiar -­‐‑  Iva  Montgomery  

17

Refrigerator -­‐‑  Barbara  Ruth  

18

Vestibule -­‐‑  Larry  Narron  

19

The Eating  Makes  You  Stronger  -­‐‑  Charles  Darnell  

20

Class of  92’  -­‐‑  Robert  Whiteley  

21

“Why Not  Cold  Water  and  a  Bottle  of  Rum?”  -­‐‑  Ace  Boggess  

22

Body Language  -­‐‑  Alan  Harris  

22

Honoring the  Nun-­‐‑resuscitated  -­‐‑  Alan  Harris  

23

Please Rob  Me  -­‐‑  Ashlie  Allen  

24-­‐‑25

Two Completely  Different  Things  -­‐‑  Mike  Jewett  

26-­‐‑27

Eat Me  -­‐‑  Shane  Allison  

28

A Basket  of  My  Own  -­‐‑  Debangana  Banerjee  

29

This is  How  I  Know  -­‐‑  Logen  Cure  

30-­‐‑31

College Station,  Texas  -­‐‑  Logen  Cure  

32

you say  what  you  want…  -­‐‑  Gary  Lundy  

33

The Sound  of  Smashing  Glass  -­‐‑  Matthew  Duggan  

34-­‐‑35

Birthday Poem  for  Jarret  -­‐‑  Shane  Allison  

36  

True Bromance  -­‐‑  Jerrod  Bohn  

37    

Red Diamonds  -­‐‑  Jodi  Sh.  Doff  

38

Yellow Chair  -­‐‑  Jodi  Sh.  Doff  

39

Yellow Chair  -­‐‑  Sarah  Frances  Moran  

40

Melee -­‐‑  Scott  Thomas  Outlar  

41

Sapiens -­‐‑  Reuben  Woolley  

42-­‐‑43

Ever After  -­‐‑  Aida  Bode  

44

Chess By  Night  -­‐‑  Kyle  Hemmings  

45  

A Challenge  -­‐‑  Matthew  Toll  

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46

Tea Party;  Table  Six  -­‐‑  David  Williams  

47

You Can’t  Paint  the  Moon  -­‐‑  Sarah  Lilius  

48

Then -­‐‑  Holly  Holt  

49

Ether -­‐‑  Malkeet  Kaur  

50-­‐‑51

Hemlock -­‐‑  PW  Covington  

52

It Happened  This  Morning  -­‐‑  Chris  Billings  

53

Talk -­‐‑  Annis  Cassells  

54

Airport Terminal  -­‐‑  Lori  DeSanti  

55

What You’re  Left  With  -­‐‑  Alyssa  Yankwitt  

56

Ellipse -­‐‑  Janet  Snell  

57

Ellipse -­‐‑  Cheryl  Snell  

58

Drown -­‐‑  Caroline  Wilson  

59

Reproductive FAQ  -­‐‑  Barbara  Ruth  

60

Everything is  Strange  -­‐‑  Luis  Neer  

61

Tainted Growth  -­‐‑  Tyler  Lizaola  

62

Did I  Dream?  -­‐‑  Allison  Grayhurst  

63

Eternal Peace  -­‐‑  Dustin  Pickering  

64

In My  Dreams  -­‐‑  Amaranthia  Sepia  Gittens-­‐‑Jones  

65

Lemonade -­‐‑  David  Ishaya  Osu  

66-­‐‑67

Give Grant  Laptop  -­‐‑  Serra  Ota    

68-­‐‑69

Etre -­‐‑  Joanna  Schroeder  

70

Let Me  Out  -­‐‑  Rich  Boucher  

71

Strange View  -­‐‑  Louis  Staeble  

72-­‐‑73

Wrestling Match  -­‐‑  Jocelyn  Mosman  

Please visit www.yellowchairreview.com for contributor bios and information.

Yellow Chair  Review     5  


Voices By  Donna  Snyder  

_________________   Someone  said  Anne  Sexton  wrote  poetry  so  Kurt  Vonnegut  could  conquer  fear     coerced  confessions  never  the  most  reliable   you  want  truth  then  look  at  Botero’s  art   stick  my  head  in  a  latrine  and  call  me  Rover   leash  me  beat  me  send  photos  to  your  friends   I'ʹll  tell  you  every  truth  that  never  existed   shackle  my  hands  to  the  dungeon  wall   fetter  my  ankles  and  dress  me  in  a  red  bra   be  sure  to  match  the  panties  painted  on  me   show  my  hairy  arm  pits  my  hairy  knees   my  face  and  belly  and  disgusting  arms   what  you  want  me  to  be  what  you’re  afraid  I  am   soon  I'ʹll  confess  both  my  sin  and  your  own   I  am  a  spy  who  bears  incendiary  thought   the  hand  of  an  angry  god  ready  for  retribution   put  a  collar  on  my  throat  sing  cantatas  of  jeers     I  call  Lowell  mama  and  Plath  was  my  daddy   Sexton  became  my  lover  on  the  asylum  path   I  got  no  poppa  and  momma  doesn'ʹt  want  me   I'ʹm  not  a  normal  woman  I  have  needs   she  breathed  into  my  ear  I  want  it  all  the  time   at  least  I  did  before  these  new  little  pills   Dear  Abby  got  it  all  wrong  at  least  about  me   she  says  women  think  about  sex  only  rarely   while  she  claims  men  do  every  other  minute   she’s  wrong  or  I’m  not  natural  the  votes  are  in   It'ʹs  not  that  I  see  people  as  walking  dicks  or  cunts   I'ʹm  no  kvetching  Portnoy  either  I  don’t  complain   it'ʹs  not  like  I'ʹm  even  very  good  anymore  I  fear   the  way  they  all  leave  I  must  have  lost  my  touch   but  still  I  have  my  needs  my  needs  my  needs   I  hear  your  rhythms  in  words  inside  my  head   put  your  hands  around  my  neck  inhale  my  breath  

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Yellow Chair  Review    


she confessed  my  madness  in  lie  after  naked  lie   she  chronicled  my  strife  in  every  precise  detail   torturous  connections  described  everyone’s  fear   her  breath  in  my  ear  made  me  want  to  be  her  poppa   hold  her  in  my  arms  and  carry  her  to  a  sturdy  bed   listen  to  her  prayers  and  lick  her  throat  with  kisses   hide  my  excitement  behind  a  mask  of  care   but  I  knew  exactly  how  it  would  all  turn  out   standing  on  the  path  behind  a  cold  stone  wall   she'ʹd  forget  me  as  soon  as  she  found  another   that’s  if  she'ʹs  ever  able  to  forget  me  at  all     she  was  running  for  the  streets  when  she  found  me   I  was  running  from  the  streets  when  I  moved  in   she  told  me  stories  about  family  but  nothing  real   she  sang  Jim  Carroll  lullabies  throughout  the  night   a  song  about  people  he  knew  who  died  so  young   she  let  me  sleep  by  day  against  the  doctor’s  order   she  didn'ʹt  like  how  wet  I  get  didn'ʹt  like  my  smell   I  left  her  to  be  Edward  Hopper’s  waiting  redhead     and  now  live  on  the  always  lonely  side  of  the  pain   condensation  on  glass  my  paper  and  flesh  my  pen   blood  for  ink  scrawled  across  a  threatening  wall   a  rhyme  on  my  lips  I'ʹll  jump  into  my  own  grave   and  I  shall  die  sullen  no  one  knowing  my  name   split  me  in  threes  with  your  spite  part  poppa  part     meat-­‐‑hook  part  the  me  that  lurks  in  sordid  glass   since  I'ʹve  already  been  to  Brooklyn  as  she  said   there’s  nothing  more  to  expect  from  this  life   but  it'ʹs  not  her  I  want  now  that  she’s  left  me   it  was  the  thrill  of  meeting  her  on  that  path     I  gaze  into  the  mirror  like  a  Botero  beauty   I  always  hear  her  rhythms  inside  my  head   I’ll  forget  about  her  as  soon  as  I  find  another   that  is  if  I’m  ever  able  to  forget  her  at  all   I  don’t  think  about  her  now  except  sometimes   those  random  dark  hours  when  I  call  her  name

Yellow Chair  Review     7  


Nature By  Zelda  Chappel  

_________________   You  tell  me  the  wind  is  words     we  never  said.       Sometimes  I  am  surprised     by  the  lack  of  it.     I  have  thought  about  this                        too  much     the  place  of  unseen  thought     and  unnoticed  action             where   a  twig'ʹs  snap  is  temporary               and  permanent       all  at  once  and  today   that'ʹs  hard  to  make  sense  of.     Your  skin       could  be  leaf  mulch     in  forgotten  rain   dark  silk   between  cold  fingers.              I  want  to  smell  you     and  know  the  season   want  to  know         just  how  ripe  we  are   how  far  we'ʹve  got  to  go  

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Yellow Chair  Review    


The Muscle  Feast   By  Zelda  Chappel  

_________________   Break  my  shell,  reveal  the  green  of  weathered  copper,   thin  mother  of  pearl  in  full  rainbow  split.  Show  the  air   the  softness  of  my  flesh  but  don'ʹt  forget  to  let  me  outline  it     for  you  first.  Expose  me  to  the  gulls.  I  cannot  wait  for  sun,     nor  the  salt  of  her.  Be  sure  to  breathe  slow  as  you  do  it.   Don'ʹt  pretend  this  is  not  deliberate.  Embrace  your  poise.   It'ʹs  the  middle  months  that  mean  the  most,  their  wait.   It'ʹs  anticipation.  The  way  I'ʹve  balanced  on  the  cusp  in  fear   and  trust  is  worse  each  year,  I  know.  I  am  more  brittle   in  this  age  now  sand  works  hard  to  do  its  thing  and  you   are  happy  with  its  scratch.  The  pulse  of  dead  muscles  is     too  subtle  for  your  tastes.  She'ʹll  linger,  acrid  in  the  drive     of  blood  by  heart  and  breath  by  lung—a  slow  ratchet  click     until  I  am  wound  and  you  are  tighter.  One  day,  I'ʹll  be  fiercer.    

Yellow Chair  Review     9  


A Drink  with  a  Drunk   By  Nancy  Davenport  

_________________ there  is  something       uncomfortable     about  drinking  with  a  drunk   you  either     chugalug  to  catch  up   and  end  up   wasted     or  you       slow     down     to  be   an   example     either  way     if  a  drunk  has  a  drink     in  their  hand   this  is     what   they   are  thinking   about           (this       try  changing  a  pickle   back  to  a  cucumber     a  mummy  back     to  life     try  changing  history     making  the  sand  in   an  hourglass     go  up    

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Yellow Chair  Review    

and the  next  one)  


Girl Scout     By  Erin  Redfern  

_________________   The  whole  troop  volunteered  for  the  fashion  show.     It  was  1958.  Her  father  drank.     Her  mother  had  been  sick  since  always.  God     made  her  brother  smart,  so  what  could  she  be     but  good?  Not-­‐‑quite-­‐‑good-­‐‑enough  girl     who  couldn’t  bear  the  thought  of  being  on  display.     At  rehearsals,  scouts  were  put  through  their  paces.     The  day  before  the  show  she  took  the  dog     for  a  walk.  Beneath  madrones  and  bays     the  light  was  soft.  The  woods  were  hushed.     She  strayed  into  a  thicket  of  poison  oak.     Parting  the  thornless  canes,  wriggling  farther  in,     feeling  the  shade-­‐‑cooled  air  on  her  sun-­‐‑browned  skin,     she  hid  her  face  in  the  blushing  leaves  again  and  again.    

Yellow Chair  Review     11  


Summer of  2009     By:  Emily  Jalloul  

_________________   We  couldn’t  afford  an  apartment  with  air  conditioning  so  we  took  cold  showers  as  a  reprieve.  We  kept  the   bananas  in  the  fridge  because  they  got  too  warm  on  the  counter  and  left  the  sliding  door  open,  hoping  rain   would  break  the  humidity.       The  car  horns  and  loud  neighbors  heard  through  the  walls  all  night  meant  nothing  to  us—we  were  already   awake,  playing  backgammon  on  the  bed  and  drinking  lemonade  with  drops  of  rose  water.       In  the  afternoons,  you’d  nap  and  I’d  watch  your  chest  as  you  breathed.  When  I’d  get  bored,  I’d  hold  your  balls   like  the  soft  yolk  of  an  egg  in  the  middle  of  my  palm  until  you  woke.       This  was  the  summer  I  knew  the  time  of  sunrise  and  sunset  for  everyday  in  August,  waking  early  to  eat  a   large  breakfast,  preparing  to  fast  until  sunset.       We  went  to  my  parents’  house  for  Eid,  where  my  dad  had  prepared  kibbeh  and  cabbage  salad  and  knafeh   with  hard  sesame  bread.  I  counted  the  minutes  until  my  freedom.       This  was  the  summer  you  asked  me  to  marry  you  and  I  said  no,  but  we  stayed  together  for  three  more  years.       This  was  the  summer  I  threw  the  fan  at  you  as  I  was  getting  ready  for  Mosque—what  were  we  arguing  over?  I   can’t  remember.     I  can’t  remember  a  lot  of  things—what  you  put  on  your  burger,  what  position  you  slept  in,  what  you  wrote   your  dissertation  about.  But  I  remember  you’re  going  to  turn  thirty-­‐‑two  in  two  days,  and  what  would’ve  been   our  twelfth  anniversary  passed  a  week  ago.       One  day,  we  were  walking  in  a  park  to  escape  the  apartment  when  my  mom  called  and  said  Michael  Jackson   is  dead.  I’d  just  put  my  hand  to  a  cactus  to  feel  its  spines,  coming  away  with  tiny  splinters  in  my  fingertips.       We  didn’t  argue  for  the  rest  of  the  day.  We  went  to  three  different  Blockbusters  to  find  Free  Willy,  and  then   we  drove  along  A1A,  windows  rolled  down,  blasting  “Man  in  the  Mirror.”  

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Yellow Chair  Review    


When A  Woman  Makes  Herself  Come   By  Emily  Jalloul  

_________________   When  a  twenty-­‐‑four  year  old  makes  herself  come  for  the  first  time,  she  knows  she’ll  never  again  remain  in  a   six-­‐‑year  relationship  without  orgasms.  She  knows  she’ll  start  to  plan  time     between   work   in   the   mornings   and   class   in   the   evenings   for   herself,   and   she   knows   her   double-­‐‑AA   battery   purchases  are  going  to  increase.  She  feels  successful,  independent,  and  free  from  the  need  of  another  body— she   is   enough   for   herself   to   enjoy.   She   lies   back   on   her   bed   in   an   apartment   she   decorated   without   asking   anyone,   “Do   you   think  this   mirror   should   be   hung   here   or  in   the   living   room?”   or   “What   color   rug   do   you   prefer?”  Her  muscles  still  twitching,  she  smiles  to  herself,  surprised  at  the  sweat  accumulated  on  her  forehead   and  her  swollen  labium:  all  her  own  work.  The  flesh  of  her  stomach  and  thighs  is  sexy  to  her  now;  she  admires   the  stretch-­‐‑marks  on  her  ass  like  tree-­‐‑rings,  indicative  of  her  maturity.        When   she   starts   again,   she   notices   that   as   she   breathes   deeply   from   her   belly,   the   reverberation   inside   her   pulses  outward  and  expands,  like  undulations  from  a  stone  thrown  into  water.  She  notices  each  ripple,  each   capillary   wave   as   they  settle   and   rise   again,   repeating   with   each   inhalation.   She   doesn’t   think  about   her   ex-­‐‑ lover,   or   her   next   lover;   she   doesn’t   think   about   the   paper   due   next   week   or   what   groceries   she   needs.   She   doesn’t  think  about  her  sick  mother  or  aging  father.  She  thinks  about  all  the  time  she’s  got  to  make  up  for;  she   thinks  about  all  the  orgasms  she’s  faked,  the  times  she  thought  something  was  wrong  with  her,  the  times  she   went   to   sleep,   bitter   and   resentful,   next   to   a   pleasured   man,   while   she   was   still   aching   for   something   they   couldn’t  give  her.  

Yellow Chair  Review     13  


dressing up,  dressing  down   By:  Beth  Schneider  

_________________   i  used  to  wear  my  mother’s  nightgown     to  bed,  teal  and  wrapped  in  silk.  at  eight,     i  found  myself   building  shelters  out  of  men.  visions   of  love  stormed  my  brain  and  i  dreamed     of  him  taking  me   away  when  i  was  old   enough  to  kiss.     at  twenty-­‐‑two,  i’ve  stripped     down  to  less.  this  time,  i  wear     black  lace,  teasing   at  my  hips.  it’s  pointless,  i  know.     you  will  use  your  words   to  remove  me  from  them  anyway,     dressed  now  just  in  flesh   where  you  can  touch   the  wounds  i’ve  inflicted   out  of  love.  

14

Yellow Chair  Review    


Crazy By  Glen  Armstrong  

_________________   The  sweet,  sweet  cherry  calls  its  pit  “crazy,”   each  of  our  hearts  a  little  bit  crazy.       She  screams  as  she  searches  for  middle  c,     eyes  to  the  sky,  having  a  fit,  crazy.       I  drink  whiskey  near  the  jukebox  soaking  in   every  note  of  Patsy  Cline’s  hit,  “Crazy.”       The  interest  drawn  is  emotional  depth.   The  initial  deposit?  Crazy.       From  where  I  sit,  Ms.  Cline  is  a  genius  –   from  where  those  devils  in  white  sit,  crazy.       Princess  ‘Xandra  thinks  I’ll  survive  her  song,   but  Princess  ‘Xandra  is  bat-­‐‑shit  crazy.    

Yellow Chair  Review     15  


_________________

Familiar   Photograph  

By Iva  Montgomery  

16

Yellow Chair  Review    


Refrigerator By  Barbara  Ruth  

_________________   When   I   was   five   I   loved   to   swing   on   the   refrigerator   door.   Of   course   my   parents   told   me   not   to:   “Somebody  could  get  hurt!”  but  no  one  ever  did,  and  they  never  punished  me  for  it.  Hot  midwestern  summer,   my  cupped  fingers  over  the  white  edge,  I  swayed,  back  and  forth,  the  cool  on  my  front,  my  back,  my  knuckles   gliding   to   where   the   freezer   began.   I   loved   the   pull   of   my   stretched   out   muscles,   the   sweat   in   my   armpits   evaporating  in  the  humming  chill.  I  wanted  to  let  my  legs  hang  long,  but  my  feet  banged  against  the  vegetable   crisper  -­‐‑   one  large  drawer  in  1951  -­‐‑   so  I  bent  my  knees  and  tucked  them  up  and  let  the  cool  air  turn  my  neck   and  shoulders  all  shivery  as  my  body  neared  the  shelves.       Perhaps   I   wouldn’t   remember   this   at   all,   over   60   years   later,   except   for   what   happened   at   my   grandparents’  house  in  Topeka.  I  ran  indoors,  hot  from  chasing  around  with  my  bratty  cousin  Jimmy.  No  one   was   in   the   kitchen   so   I   opened   the   Frigidaire   and   started   swinging.   A   different   height,   different   smells;   I   pushed  off  with  my  right  foot,  trying  to  find  the  rhythm  of  my  familiar  ride  on  this  unfamiliar  swing.       Mom   came   in,   walked   around   the   open   refrigerator   door.   “Didn’t   I   tell   you   not   to   do   that?”   she   muttered  distractedly.     I  didn’t  answer,  didn’t  get  down,  just  hung  in  suspended  animation,  waiting  for  her  to  find  what  she   needed  and  leave.     My   hands,   my   body   felt   the   tilt.   Why   didn’t   I   bring   my   feet   to   ground?   I’ve   wondered   a   hundred   times.  Instead,  I  hugged  myself  to  the  slanting  door.     The  refrigerator  lunged  and  somehow  I  flew  out  of  its  path.  I  jumped,  I  hopped,  I  propelled  myself  to   the  side  of  the  refrigerator  and  watched  in  horror  as  it  crashed  onto  my  mother.  She  screamed.  The  snakes  of   cobwebby  black  coils  on  the  back  of  the  fridge  were  ugly  and  scary.  Kids  weren’t  supposed  to  see  them.  Kids   weren’t  supposed  to   see  their  Moms  under   the  fridge  as  though   she   were  the  Wicked   Witch  with  the  house   landed  on  top  of  her.  Except  she  wasn’t  the  Wicked  Witch  and  I  was  the  reason  the  refrigerator  landed  on  her   and  how  would  she  ever  get  out?     “Mommy,  I’m  sorry  I’m  sorry,  I  didn’t  mean  to  do  it,”  I  sobbed  as   everyone  rushed  into  the  kitchen.  My  uncles  lifted  the  refrigerator  off  her  body.  I  held  my  breath,  expecting  to   see   her   covered   with   food   and   blood.   Mom   had   one   cut,   on   her   leg,   from   the   pickle   jar,   the   only   thing   that   broke.   Maybe   I’m   wrong,   maybe   that   wasn’t   how   she   got   that   trail   of   blood   on   the   side   of   her   calf,   but   I   remember   the   tart   pungent   smell   of   the   pickle   juice   as   my   father   and   grandfather   pulled   her   up,   while   the   uncles  plugged  in  and  put  back  the  refrigerator  back  where  it  belonged,  and  the  aunts  and  my  grandmother   mopped  up  the  mess  and  put  the  food  back  on  the  shelves.  Jimmy  stared  wide-­‐‑eyed.  Maybe  he  stuck  out  his   tongue   at   me   after   that,   I   don’t   know,   my   head   was   hung   in   shame.   “You   kids   get   out,”   someone   said.   “There’s  glass  on  the  floor.”     Whatever  punishment  I  received  is  long  forgotten  and  inconsequential.  I  will  never  forget  the  sight  of   my  mother  buried  under  the  Frigidaire.  

Yellow Chair  Review     17  


Vestibule By  Larry  Narron  

_________________   If  my  body  is  a  temple,  my  mouth  is  its  vestibule.     I  could  drink  wine,  holy  water,  or  both.  I  could     breathe  in  the  smoke  from  this  incense  &  feel     my  prayers  float  up  to  the  domed  roof  of   my  skull,  adorned  with  its  paintings  of  archangels.     My  prayers  keep  unraveling  in  the  dark  high  above       these  candles  I  have  to  light  over  &  over,  staring     into  their  flames  that  are  always  snuffed  out     by  a  draft  that  seems  remotely  controlled,     that  never  quite  dies.  I  keep  the  doors     of  this  vestibule  closed,  but  unlocked     in  case  somebody  wants  inside.  Mostly     it  isn’t  salvation  they’re  after,  but  shelter.     I  try  to  get  here  early  so  I  can  loiter  awhile   in  the  front  pew  before  the  altar.  Later,  sometimes     I  hear  words  recited  from  a  book,  sometimes     silence,  sometimes  the  murmur  of  others,  kneeling.     Sometimes  people  wander  in  &  hang  back     in  the  vestibule,  walking  in  circles  on  the  tip     of  my  tongue.  Once,  a  crow  flew  in  by  accident   &  beat  its  wings  in  a  panic  against  my  teeth.     I  was  careful  not  to  bite  down.  I  tried  to  spit  it  out   but  it  got  into  the  sanctuary  &  dove  between     the  pillars  of  my  ribs  where  the  Stations     of  the  Cross  have  been  etched.  It  darted     up  through  the  rafters,  thrashing  its  feathers     against  the  glittering  mosaic  of  Gethsemane,     against  a  stained-­‐‑glass  window  where     sunlight  is  dyed  blue  by  the  sad  eyes  of  a  saint.     As  I  watched  it  struggle  for  sky,     words  I  wasn’t  able  to  utter  hung  there   among  motes  of  dust  as  they  twirled,  illuminated.    

18

Yellow Chair  Review    


The Eating  Makes  You  Stronger   By  Charles  Darnell  

_________________   They  divide  in  secret   Until  their  multiplication   Makes  it  plain.     Rogue  cells  stack   One  on  one,   Eating  the  energy   Meant  for  the  normal.     Fingertips  find  them   In  a  shower  check   Sending  a  message   Of  dread  and  denial.     The  surgeon  says   She  has  to  do  it,   “It’s  for  your  own  good.”   She  says,   But  how  can  this   Be  good?     In  ancient  myths   They  seared  the  breast   Of  the  baby  girls   That  later  there   Would  be  no  obstruction,     So  you  cry,  sigh,   String  your  bow,   And  draw  it  back   Like  an  Amazon.  

Yellow Chair  Review     19  


Class of  92   (For  K,  October  2,  2014)   By  Robert  Whiteley  

_________________  

love looked  the  other  way  today   but  I  turned  around   and  followed  her  anyway     past  the  shuttered  good  looks     of  a  matinee  idol   past  the  glass  seraphim  and  flowers     made  of  dust   past  the  anabolic  anime     gracing  me  with  immortality     into  the  pharmacy  next  to  the  puppy  mill                                                              I  followed     inhale:  incontinence                  exhale:  pain  relief   cough:  nothing     cough  again     if  there  ever  was  an  answer   to  my  question   time  has  sat  it  down  next  to  me   on  this  bench     while  I  watched  her  walk  away  

20

Yellow Chair  Review    


“Why Not  Cold  Water  and  a  Bottle  of  Rum?”   [anonymous  questioner]       by  Ace  Boggess  

_________________  

A man  who  loves  his  misery   loves  sleep  best,   loves  the  cold  feel  of  a  stone   behind  his  head.   He  says,  “Let’s  raise  a  glass   to  emptiness.”   He  collects  seaweed  in  a  paper  bag,   when  he  gets  home,  worships   the  hole  he’s  made,   the  mess,   trail  straining  back   like  a  railway  line  of  slime.   Boss  or  wife  lancing   with  their  scalpels  of  words,   policeman  on  the  corner   waving  his  pistol  as  a  robber  would,   the  customer  who  brings  along   her  goose-­‐‑stepping  Nazi  dog   in  spiked  collar,  canine  scowl—   he  pleads  with  them,  “Make  me  small.”   He  wants  what  hurts  most:   a  good  lie,   stubbed  little  toe,   broken  belt  on  an  alternator,   brimstone  sermon   from  a  stranger   passing  on  the  street   as  he  wonders  if  the  rain  ever  ends.  

Yellow Chair  Review     21  


Body Language   By  Alan  Harris  

_________________   after  my  father  had  his  stroke     we  never  spoke  again   but  that  didn'ʹt  stop  us     from  reading  each  other'ʹs  faces     recognizing  the  punctuated  pauses   periods  and  question  marks   etched  in  eyes,  sighs,  and  sad  smiles       It  took  both  hands  to  hold  one  of  his   that  first  day  in  the  hospital   as  my  eyes  whispered  how  much  I  cared   and  his  smile  replied,  Thank  you     but  before  I  left  his  side  that  night   our  sighs  acknowledged   the  painful  truth   that  despite  how  well   we  finally  understood  each  other   it  became  regrettably  apparent   of  how  little  time  we  had  left  to  talk  

Honoring the  Non-­‐‑resuscitated   By  Alan  Harris  

_________________   Friends  gathered  in  the  dining  room     of  the  nursing  home     to  share  whispers  and  suspicions     Was  the  old  girl  dead     when  the  nurse’s  aide  found  her     slumped  over  her  hospital  bed-­‐‑rail?       It’s  no  secret  that  the  nursing  home  staff     adheres  to  a  strict  Do  Not  Resuscitate  policy   Could  she  have  lived  another  day?     Would  she  have  wanted  to?     What  were  her  dying  words?     Was  she  alone?     These  are  the  topics  that  crisscross     the  dining  room  tables     as  each  resident       takes  their  turn  honoring     the  latest  escapee     who  found  her  way  home  

22  

Yellow Chair  Review    


Please rob  me   By  Ashlie  Allen  

_________________   I  climbed  through  the  window  with  you.  You  were  excited  to  find   old  clothes  to  steal.  On  the  way  inside  the  house,  you  cut  your   knee.  You  denied  the  bleeding,  but  I  grabbed  your  hand  and   pressed  you  into  my  ribs.  When  I  plucked  out  the  glass  you   moaned.  I  was  malicious  with  longing.  I  bowed  to  taste  your   wound,  letting  the  tips  of  my  hair  scatter  in  the  wet  mess.  You   cried  for  awhile,  not  because  you  were  in  pain  but  because  I  was.   There  was  nothing  to  rob  in  here,  only  if  you  wanted  my   depression.  

Yellow Chair  Review     23  


Two Completely  Different  Things   By  Mike  Jewett  

_________________   I.     I  swallow  three  birds   to  digest  what  you  say:   a  shorebird,   a  raptor,   a  songbird.     II.     Near  the  beach  in  a  white  house   with  drunks  inside;   then,  the  second-­‐‑story   window  on  the  right   where  you  tried   to  kill  yourself.     Such  a  pretty  lawn   under  the  snow.     You  can  still  see   yourself  passed  out   when  you  sleep  there.     I.     You  like  me.     II.     You  won'ʹt  talk  to  me.     Swallow  your  birds,   they'ʹre  for  the  taking,   migration  routes  winding   in  between  your  legs.     Passerines.  Take  my  head.  

24

Yellow Chair  Review    


I.   Do  you  like  me?     II.     When  did  we  become  secrets  that  people   whispered?  Sharp  dances  in  the  moonlight?     Take  my  hand.     I.     Punk  and  dubstep  don'ʹt  mix   but  you'ʹll  say  yes,  yes  it  does,   I  downloaded  three  versions   of  a  punk  dubstep  song.     Mockingbirds   can  learn  to  sigh   just  as  solemnly   as  people.     II.     There'ʹs  not  even   a  cord  of  wood   in  your  name.     I.     Have  a  good  night.     II.     (It'ʹs  not  me  it'ʹs)  You  too.  

Yellow Chair  Review     25  


Eat Me   By  Shane  Allison  

_________________   Wonton  pussy   Spring  roll  pussy   Steamed  pussy  with  spicy  pussy  sauce   Barbecue  boneless  pussy   Pussy  dipped  in  hot  sauce   Honey-­‐‑sweet  pussy   Spit-­‐‑roasted  pussy   Fried  or  steamed  pussy  with  your  choice  of  pussy,   pussy  or  pussy   Shrimp  pussy   Sesame  pussy   Hot  &  sour  pussy     Chicken  &  noodle  pussy   Pussy  with  pickled  pussy   Soup  Bean  Curd  pussy   Corn  beef  pussy   Shark’s  fin  Peking  pussy  with  garlic  sauce   Moo  Shu  pussy   Peking  pussy   Roast  pork  pussy   Chicken  Chow  pussy   Orange-­‐‑flavored  pussy   Pussy  with  pepper  sauce   Pussy  with  cashew  nuts   Pussy  with  walnuts   Pussy  with  black  bean  sauce   Pussy  with  curry  sauce   Pussy  with  snow  peas   Moo  Goo  Gai  pussy   Lemon  crème  pussy   Crispy  pussy   Sautéed  Triple  Delight  Pussy   Cream  pie  pussy  

26

Yellow Chair  Review    


Sautéed black  pussy   Sautéed  snow  pussy  &  water  chestnuts   Mo  Po  Bean  pussy   Yang  Chow  Pan  fried  pussy   Yang  Chow  Lo  Pussy   Low  Mien  Pussy   Singapore  style  curry  pussy   Cantonese  style  pussy   Pussy  soap  with  steak   Non-­‐‑alcoholic  pussy   Crispy  corn  pussy  smothered  w/melted  cheddar   Beans  and  jalapeño  pussy     Cheese,  tomato  and  onion  pussy   Sour  cream  pinto  pussy   Chorizo  pussy   Super-­‐‑size  the  pussy  for  only  39  cents  more   Chicken  Caesar  pussy   Chicken  nugget  pussy   Chicken  fajita  pussy   Chicken  finger  pussy   Filet-­‐‑o-­‐‑pussy   Diet  pussy   Apple  pie  pussy   Veal  parmapussy   Oatmeal  raisin  pussy   Chocolate  chip  pussy  with  chewy  chocolate  chips  

Yellow Chair  Review     27  


_________________

A  Basket  of  My  Own   Mixed  Media   By  Debangana  Banerjee  

28

Yellow Chair  Review    


This is  How  I  Know   By  Logen  Cure  

_________________   We  clean  the  house  together,   because  my  friend  is  visiting  for  the  weekend.   You  mop  the  floor  and  let  me   have  the  easy  job:  folding  the  laundry.   After  she  arrives,  I  watch  you,  your  easy  grace,   the  way  you  carry  a  plate  of  fresh  cinnamon  rolls   on  your  fingertips,  the  way  you  make     our  house  feel  like  the  blanket  you  folded   across  the  back  of  the  couch.     Later,  in  the  warm  dark  of  our  room,   we  undress  under  the  covers.   You  press  your  body  to  my  body,   your  sweet  hips  move  against  my  bones,   your  hands  remind  me  what  it  is   to  no  longer  feel  empty,   that  it  is  good  to  be  possessed.   I  press  my  face  into  your  hair   to  stifle  the  involuntary  sound  of  my  voice  –   politeness  for  our  guest  –   and  as  my  breath  comes  faster  I  notice     your  hair  smells  like  cinnamon.  

Yellow Chair  Review     29  


College Station,  Texas   By  Logen  Cure  

_________________   How  clear  that  rumble  and  cry  of  the  train   seemed  in  the  hush,  when  all  of  campus     slept  around  us.  The  steady,  unfailing  interval     of  street  lights  illuminated  everything  –   antiquated  buildings  lined     with  bas-­‐‑relief  animal  skulls,   the  wide  face  of  the  clock  tower,     austere,  masculine  statues.   We  could  never  see  the  stars     when  we  walked  alone  at  night.   I  never  minded.     I  remember  that  Sunday  we  rode  the  bus   all  the  way  around  –  you  looking     out  the  window,  me  looking  at  you,   the  dull  copper  gleam  of  the  Academic  Building’s  dome,     bees  drifting  around  vibrant  flowers,  the  post  oaks,   the  manicured  grass  we  weren’t  allowed  to  walk  on.     It  was  different  after  skeletons  of  cranes     materialized  in  the  overcast  skyline.   The  roads  were  broken  to  bare  jagged     concrete  teeth.  The  hum  of  campus     became  a  cacophony  of  back-­‐‑up  beeping,     metal-­‐‑on-­‐‑metal  sparking,   the  hammering  of  progress.     The  noxious  odor  of  hot  tar  stung     my  throat,  permeated  my  clothes.   The  buses  rerouted,  the  03  stopped     taking  me  anywhere  I  wanted  to  go.  

30

Yellow Chair  Review    


Our lives  stopped  beating     and  started  ticking.     I  wanted  to  tell  you,  I  went  back  –   the  stadium  still  yawns  wide   above  the  slate  horizon,   the  streets  are  smooth   and  accommodating  with  fresh-­‐‑painted  lines,   the  golf  course  green   died  of  drought,   everything  was  quiet,   except  for  the  trains.  

Yellow Chair  Review     31  


you say  what  you  want.  easily  as  night  slips  under  our   covers.   By  Gary  Lundy  

_________________   i  sense  a  smell  of  you  on  dirtied  towel.  afterward  you  lie  still  as  a  breathing  love.  i   cannot  sleep  encumbered  as  i  am  in  different  distance.  this  motel  room.  our  clothes   the  unused  words  between  us.  when  the  drummer  took  his  solo  it  was  clear  to   everyone.  the  intimacy  of  head  and  cymbal.  talk  on  the  phone.  my  friend  washes   her  hands  compulsively  while  making  sandwiches.  i  listen  to  a  wall  of  voices   separating  the  alive  from  other  art  forms.  notice  a  pristine  moment  as  you  pull  me   back  against  your  chest  and  stomach.  a  growl  tidying  up  the  moments  in  order   once  again  to  enter  pleasure.  

32

Yellow Chair  Review    


The Sound  of  Smashing  Glass   By  Matthew  Duggan  

_________________   I  walk  on  the  dirt  and  rubble   While  you  stroll  on  the  pristine  path,   I  like  my  rustic  made  surroundings   You  like  the  sound  of  smashing  glass,   Imposter  of  any  human  empathy   A  creature  that  thrives  on  the  past,   In  long  flowing  robes  in  Strawberry  red   You  dictate  the  rules  to  what  you  believe  to  be  the  lower  class   Why  do  you  like  the  sound  of  smashing  glass?   A  champagne  flute  filled  with  life   Thrown  then  scattered  on  the  floor  in  pieces     as  we  crawl  to  your  feet  and  ask   “Why  do  you  like  the  sound  of  smashing  glass”  

Yellow Chair  Review     33  


Birthday Poem  for  Jarret   By  Shane  Allison  

_________________   Jarret,  will  there  be  an  ice  cream  cake  with  your  name  written  in  tomato  ketchup  at  your  birthday  party?   Will  there  be  trick  candles  at  your  birthday  party,  Jarret?  Because  I  hate  trick  candles.     Will  there  be  any  balloons  at  your  birthday  party?     If  that’s  the  case,  I’m  not  coming.     Will  there  be  gifts  in  gift  boxes?     Will  there  be  Pin  the  Tail  on  the  Donkey?     Big  boxes  wrapped  in  fancy  paper  make  me  nervous.     There  won’t  be  any  show  girls  at  this  party  right,  Jarret?     I  don’t  like  any  of  these  things.     I  don’t  like  canary  diamonds  or  inkwells,  either  just  so  you  know.     Will  there  be  any  prosthetic  limbs  lying  around  at  your  birthday  party,  Jarret?     Prosthetic  limbs  are  scary.     Jarret,  will  there  be  nitroglycerin  at  your  birthday  party  or  monkeys  dressed  in  three-­‐‑piece  suits?     I  love  chimpanzees  in  three-­‐‑piece  suits.     Will  there  be  Vic  Tayback  impersonators  at  your  birthday  party,  Jarret?     I  can  live  with  impersonators  impersonating  Vic  Tayback,  but  not  half  eaten  bags  of  pistachios.     Jarret,  will  there  be  any  live  nude  guys  at  your  party?     You  know  how  I  feel  about  live  nude  guys  and  Vic  Tayback  impersonators  eating  half  eaten  bags  of  pistachios.     I  will  be  there  as  long  as  there  aren’t  any  rednecks  wearing  ponchos.     Jarret,  this  birthday  party  you’re  throwing,   Will  there  be  board  games  or  shoe  boxes  filled  with  stamps?     Will  you  be  giving  away  edible  motorcycle  jackets?     I’m  leaving  if  I  see  a  dust  mop  or  a  preliminary  report.     If  I  smell  lemon-­‐‑scented  furniture  cleaner,  I’m  leaving.   If  I  see  an  orange  bathroom  rug,  Brian,  or  burnt  gingerbread  cookies,  I’m  on  the  next  plain  out  of  Ohio  before   you  can  say…liver  cheese,  which  I  hate  by  the  way.     Will  there  be  rock  salt,  Jarret?     I’m  history  if  I  see  purple  construction  paper.     If  I  see  a  widescreen  TV  or  a  six  disc  CD  player,  you  better  call  me  a  cab  because  I’m  leaving.     I  love  you  like  the  white  adopted  brother  I  never  had,  but  if  I  see  any  maximum  protection  panty  liners  at  your   birthday  party,  I  don’t  know  what  I  will  do.  I’m  just  telling  you.  I’m  just  saying.     Who  are  you  inviting?     Will  Craig  T.  Nelson  be  there?     Will  Marla  Gibbs  be  there,  Jarret?     What  about  the  surviving  member  of  Milli-­‐‑Vanilli?     Will  there  be  any  Yugoslavian  mail  order  brides  at  your  party,  Jarret?     Will  Jimmy  Smits  be  there  or  Cheryl  Ladd?     Jarret,  will  there  be  any  Solid  Gold  dancers  at  your  birthday  party?      

34

Yellow Chair  Review    


Will Richard  Simmons  be  there,  Jarret?     Will  there  be  white  bengal  tigers?  I  love  white  bengal  tigers.     Jarret,  will  a  poetry  reading  be  held?     If  so,  I  just  might  read  a  poem  or  two.  Hell,  maybe  three  poems  if  cured  honey  ham  is  going  to  be  served.     Jarret,  will  the  punch  be  spiked?     Will  I  have  to  take  off  my  shoes?     Will  there  be  a  sushi  chef  at  your  birthday  party,  Jarret?     Will  there  be  Buffalo  wings?   If  I  see  stridex  pads  and  panda  bears  wearing  low-­‐‑riding  jeans,  I’m  walking  home  shoeless  in  the  snow  of   Kettering,  Ohio.     If  I  see  a  PTA  mom  I’m  leaving.     I’m  allergic  to  Yugoslavian  rappers  just  so  you  know,  Jarret.     Macaroni  salad  breaks  me  out  in  bruises  bigger  than  homemade  ashtrays.     Will  there  be  any  step  aerobic  videos  at  your  party?  I  like  friendship  bracelets  but  hate  blue  eye  shadow.     Jarret,  will  Beau  Bridges  be  there?  I’m  just  asking,  because  I  love  Beau  Bridges.    

Yellow Chair  Review     35  


True Bromance  (For  Victoria  W.)   By  Jerrod  Bohn  

_________________   I’m  just  another  guy   dreaming  for  a  Transamerica     an  ordinary  man’s  man  wearing  plaid  snapshirts   who  wants  sparkling  mineral  water   when  the  vending  machine  only  has   non-­‐‑bubbly  artisanal  water,  so  I  take  my  change  &  use  it   to  write  a  poem,  still  dreaming     to  be  cat-­‐‑called  from  the  street   to  play  footsie  under  the  table   w/  my  best  friend’s  straight  boyfriend     the  editorial  advice—“show  them  you’re  just  a  dude   writing  dude  poems”             he  used  to  text  me           pictures  of  his  cock             called  it  accidental     America  is  so  dude   so  bro  let’s  buy  another  craft  beer  &  end  the  night   staring  at  each  other  before  the  street  sign   not  sure  if  we  want  to  fuck  or  fight   where  our  walks  diverge                   one  time  you  told  me           two  androgynes  were  in  the  alley           one  on  knees,  one  grabbing  head           you  weren’t  sure  you  just     perform  the  part  that  preserves  you   long  enough   to  unlock  your  front  door.  

36

Yellow Chair  Review    


Red Diamonds   By  Jodi Sh. Doff

_________________   She  leans  close  to  the  mirror,  layering  on  the  makeup.  She’s  getting  older,  her  eyesight  is  getting  worse  and   the  light  of  a  gas  station  bathroom  isn’t  very  kind.  I  sit  on  the  toilet,  watching  her,  like  always.  Trying  to  figure   how  that  same  mascara,  rouge,  and  eyeliner  looks  a  whole  ‘nother  way  on  me.  She  speaks,  and  her  words  are   meant  for  me,  but  she  talks  to  herself  in  the  mirror,  never  looking  my  way.  She  doesn’t  have  to.  I’m  always   here.  Always  right  behind  her.     She  says,  “You’re  lucky—plain  as  you  are—other  women  don’t  take  much  notice  of  you.  Men  don’t  need  to   own  you.  You  can’t  imagine  how  hard  it  is.  How  hard  I  work.  It’s  exhausting  to  be  beautiful  even  when  you   don’t  want  to.  Never  get  a  day  off  it.    You’re  smart,  honey,  and  they  can’t  never  take  that  from  you.”     I  say,  “You  could  take  a  day  off.  Give  the  makeup  a  rest,  just  be...a  mom.  You  don’t  always  have  to  be  the   prettiest...”     “Honey,  when  they  stop  trying  to  own  you  or  kill  you?”  my  mother  says,  “That’s  when  a  woman  really  needs   to  start  worrying.”     Outside,  in  the  sunlight,  I  plunge  the  knife  into  the  hard  Arizona  dirt  two  or  three  times  to  clean  off  the  blood.   I  love  her  too  much.  Too  much  to  let  her  realize  her  looks  are  fading.  Too  much  to  let  her  struggle  with  who   she  is  if  she  isn’t  the  pretty  one.  Too  much  to  watch  the  years  tick  by.     Too  much  to  ever  be  free  while  she’s  alive.         I  leave  her  lying  on  the  floor  of  the  Gulf  station  on  Route  160––her  throat’s  cut,  her  makeup  is  perfect.  I  pull   the  Chevelle  onto  the  highway,  checking  my  lipstick  in  the  rear  view  at  the  same  time.  Red  Diamonds.  Her   shade.  But,  prettier  now,  on  me.  

Yellow Chair  Review     37  


_________________   Yellow  Chair   Photograph   By  Jodi  Sh.  Doff  

38

Yellow Chair  Review    


Yellow Chair   By  Sarah  Frances  Moran  

_________________   Hey  baby   on  the  yellow  chair   I  never  understood  the  evolutions   of  your  hair   Daddy  did  it   My  Daddy  did  it  you  said   and  they  never  understood   what  they  read.   Your  pain  is  backseat  to     their  need   It’s  the  fire  between  her  legs   that  they  feed.   Hey  baby   on  the  yellow  chair   he’ll  never  understand   your  lack  of  care   it’s  so  hard   when  you  feel  the  need  too   It’s  hard  to  comprehend   what  a  little  girl  can  do   it’s  hard  to  comprehend   how  she’ll  satiate  her  need   and  compensate  for  all  the  tears  she  feeds   And  I  bet   that  there  spot   is  a  love-­‐‑bite  stain   but  hey  baby…  you  seem  to  enjoy  the  pain.  

Yellow Chair  Review     39  


Melee By  Scott  Thomas  Outlar  

_________________

Upset  the  apple  cart   and  red  juice  spilled   like  honey  maple  vodka   down  the  diluted  drainpipe   with  secret  wishes  for  a  fallout   with  holding  pattern  propaganda   with  missile  fortune  to  the  heartstring   with  sold  out  system  failures     You  are  an  alcoholic…   There  is  no  way  to  get  around  it  –     Thus  spoke  the  choir     Well,  at  least  I  got  one  thing  right  this  time  around  –     Thus  spoke  the  asshole     Suck  my  cancer  dry   lest  it  take  these  lungs   before  they’ve  had  a  chance   to  breathe  in  all  the  holy  pollution  in  the  air     I  don’t  want  to  die  of  just  one  cause   I’d  rather  go  down  in  a  melee     I  killed  my  mind  four  times   but  it’s  like  a  fucking  cat   so  I’ve  still  got  five  more  to  go  

40

Yellow Chair  Review    


Sapiens By  Reuben  Woolley  

_________________   burst  wet   the  red  flowers   the  ugly  here   i  haven'ʹt  travelled   &  bleeding                          see   the  strategic  exchange   the  debriefing  of  ants     ollie  call  ollie   ollie  ollie  oxenfree   i'ʹll  call  you     home        unravelled   the  loss  ,  i'ʹll  meet  you   in  the  evening   the  legitimate  silence   unsigned     &  remember   a  first  cell  division   a  thumb                  opposed  

Yellow Chair  Review     41  


Ever After   By  Aida  Bode  

_________________   I  saw  her  white  body  half  hanging  on  the  bed  where  we  had  made  love  so  many  times.  We  had  rented  that   apartment   room   and   it   had   been   our   sanctuary.   Now   it   was   an   open   grave   where   she   ended   her   life.   I   was   numb  as  if  death  had  captured  me  too.  Why  did  she  come  here  of  all  places?  Why  did  she  call  me  and  didn'ʹt   wait  for  me?  Why  was  she  so  desperate  to  die  like  this?  Her  arms  had  been  cut  and  the  blood  was  crispy  dry.   For  a  moment  I  wished  it  was  wine  and  that  she'ʹd  jump  up  on  me,  hug  me  and  kiss  me.  Yet,  life  didn'ʹt  make  a   move  on  her.  It  remained  still  and  sad  reminding  me  that  death  is  not  the  opposite  of  life,  or  the  absence  of  it  -­‐‑   it  is  eternity,  empty  and  lonely.   I  stopped  looking  at  her  and  took  a  look  around  the  room.  Her  clothes  were  on  the  burgundy  carpet,  taken  off   carelessly  as  if  she  was  there  to  make  love,  the  arm  chair  was  moved  too,  as  if  she  wanted  to  remind  herself  of   my  presence,  the  beige  curtains  were  shut,  yet  the  window  was  opened.  I  was  numb  again.  She  was  there,  red   and  white;   lifeless.   I  felt  the   power  of  revenge  in   the  room  and  moved  myself  back.   I  wanted   to  go   out,  but   forgot   that   I   had   locked   the   door   after   I   got   in.   As   I   was   turning   the   key   I   took   a   last   look   at   her.   She   was   holding  something  in  her  hand.  I  walked  toward  her  body  and  touched  her.  I  was  cold,  just  like  her.  It  felt  as  if   eternity  with  its  loneliness  was  entering  into  my  veins,  too.  I  opened  her  hand.  She  had  written  on  her  palm:   "ʺTake   it!"ʺ   and   I   noticed   the   ring   fall   on   the   floor.   It   didn'ʹt   make   a   noise,   as   if   that   too   was   falling   in   a   void   taking  me  with  it  while  I  tried  to  reach  for  it.  I  felt  my  hand  shake  as  I  picked  the  ring  from  the  floor.  Life  had   come  back  to  me,  punishing  me  with  her  last  good-­‐‑bye.  I  remembered  when  she  once  said  that  the  ring  is  not   the  symbol  of  eternal  love,  but  the  eternal  void  that  it  holds  within.    

42

Yellow Chair  Review    


I ran  outside  and  got  into  the  car.  She  was  there,  in  the  back  seat.  I  drove  and  saw  the  reflection  of  us  in  the   rear  view  mirror.  It  was  raining  and  we  were  making  love  covered  by  the  flow  of  rain  on  the  windows.  The   clarity  of  that  watery  curtain  gave  me  peace  and  I  kept  looking  at  the  mirror.  She  was  kissing  me  and  I  was   touching  her  breasts.  I  was  drowning   in  her  body.  She   was  my   ocean,   my  abyss…  my   woman,   yet  she  died   again  and  I  felt  as  if  I  fell  on  rocky  ground  and  broke  like  sand  out  of  an  hourglass.  However  I  didn’t  hurt.  I   felt  naturally   grained,   dry   and  hot.   The   rain  was  over.  All   that   was   left  was  the   mark   of   our   breaths  on   the   windows:  the  last  fog  of  life.  The  mirror  reflected  a  golden  glimmer  of  something  that  I  had  long  forgotten:  it   was   a   small   cross.   It   had   fallen   off   her   neck.   It   didn’t   have   a   chain.   I   pulled   over   and   stopped   the   car,   and   reached  to  take  it.  It  was  so  light,  like  a  flake.  I  wondered  if  she  had  taken  all  the  weight  of  gold  with  her!  The   mirror  reflected  nothing  anymore.  All  that  was  behind  was  the  empty  road.   I  drove  to  the  place  where  we  made  love  for  the  first  time.  She  was  there.  It  was  a  nice  park  by  a  creek.  The   water  flowed  slowly  making  a  soft  murmuring  noise.  She  drew  near  to  me  and  put  her  arms  around  me.  She   was   alive  again.   I   kissed   her   on   the   shoulder   and   put   my   hands   on   her   lips.   They   were  red   and   moist   with   love.   She  looked  me   in   the  eye   and  sat  on   the   grass   pulling   me  to   herself.   We  laid   on  the   ground   and   were   looking   at   the   trees   above   us,   listening   to   the   eternal   song   of   water.   She   closed   her   eyes   and   suddenly   everything  became  dark.  The  water  turned  into  mud  and  the  trees  vanished  as  if  a  tornado  passed  by.  I  was   alone   and   she   was   dead   again.   She   died   here   where   she   first   kissed   me,   where   she   first   gave   herself   to   me,   where  I  first  promised  love  to  her.   She  died  three  times  today  not  giving  me  a  chance  to  hope  that  she  will  return.  She  died  in  everything  where   she  lived  and  made  sure  I  was  lonely,  just  like  she  had  been,  ever  since  she  had  met  me.  

Yellow Chair  Review     43  


_________________   Chess  By  Night   Photography   By  Kyle  Hemmings  

44

Yellow Chair  Review    


A Challenge   By  Matthew  Toll  

_________________   I  dare  you,   Mona  Lisa,   to  frown  on  me   today.  

Yellow Chair  Review     45  


Tea Party;   Table  Six   By  David  Williams  

_________________   they`re  like     a  bag  full   of  angry   double  negatives   with  x-­‐‑tra  big   rattlers   but  only  one   yellow  fang/  apiece/   who/  don`t/  won`t/   tip    

46

Yellow Chair  Review    


You Can’t  Paint  the  Moon   By  Sarah  Lilius  

_________________   Her  face,  his  canvas,   nothing  delicate  about  shades     of  changing  red,  maroon,  purple   and  when  she  passed  out     the  color  was  black  behind  her  eyes.     He  wakes  her  often  with  brush     strokes,  concrete,  force,  and  tongue,   Bitch,  get  back  here,  make  me  dinner.   Liquor  mouth  and  sweaty,   wicked  artist,  frames  his  work     with  bones  of  his  dead  ex-­‐‑wife,   the  sharp  angles,  elbows,  knees,   ragged  juts  are  blanched  from  sun,   cracks  filled  in  with  garden  dirt,   rich  brown  earth  looks  to  the  sky.     She  just  wants  to  be  his  moon,   she  wanes  when  necessary.   Feeling  brave,  once  a  month,   she’s  full  on—bright  and  ready     to  leave,  car  packed,  baby  on  her  hip.     He  begs.  He  unpacks  the  car.   He  gathers  the  baby.   She  cries  into  the  wounds,   the  paint  runs  onto  her  collar,   she  stays.  

Yellow Chair  Review     47  


Then By  Holly  Holt  

_________________   barefoot,  running  free   across  a  Georgia  field   grass  tickling,  rocks  jabbing   while  a  brown  dog  leaps   at  my  heels     youth  was  never  a  chore   because  we  knew  the  sun   would  find  us,  somehow   and  at  night,  whispering   when  we  were  sent  to  bed,   we  found  each  other     even  now,  quiet  moments  alone,   where  the  same  familiar  sun   shines  like  an  old  friend’s  smile,   I  still  think  of  then,   but  the  whispering  is  gone     and  the  dog  is  long  buried  

48

Yellow Chair  Review    


Ether By  Malkeet  Kaur  

_________________   I  live  in  a  suitcase  like  a  contortionist,   A  tiny  life  in  circadian  rhythms,   the  tattered  non  reality,   a  salacious  scandal     within  the  cracked  shanty  walls.     These  cracks  will  come  undone  soon   With  the  slime  in  a  furious  downpour.     I  am  turning  into  mass  of  silver   over  the  hairlines  on  the  forehead   like  consecrated  birth  smudges.     I  am  ether  now.   I  live  on  air.   I  live  in  a  Pollock  maze  in  my  head.  

Yellow Chair  Review     49  


Hemlock By  PW  Covington  

_________________   This  evening,   I  am  ordering  hemlock   Over  ice   In  a  rocks  glass   From  the  bar  at  the  hotel     Compromising  with  the  barman,   Agave  will  do     Poisoning  myself  with  south  Texas   With  denial   With  faith  and  flags  and  family   I  am  poisoning  myself  with  poetry   Poisoning  myself  with  the  cheap  highway  stuff   93  octane   Poisoning  myself  with  the  company  of  women   That  I  will  never  fuck     I’m  not  even  sure  what  mirrors  are  for   Anymore   Poisoning  myself  with  vanity   Sweet,  sweet  pride  in  mid-­‐‑Spring  swelter   This  is  not  New  England   Poisoning  myself  on  promises  made  decades  ago   On  other  continents     I  am  poisoning  myself  with  the  patience   Of  a  snake  tail  rattling   Poisoning  myself  with  cheap,  counter-­‐‑top  condiments   With  vending  machine  ice   At  the  Echo  Hotel   I  am  poisoning  myself  with  walls   And  rifles…And  checkpoints     Surveillance  blimps  tethered  with   Long   White   Cords    

50

Yellow Chair  Review    


I am  poisoning  myself  like  a  peacock,   Shooting  the  Rio  Grande  River   Into  rolling,  shy  veins   A  bump  of  smack  backstage   Then  on  with  the  show   Tonight,  I  am  feeling  familiar,  forgotten   Untrusted   I  am  poisoning  myself  with  embossed  credit  cards   Transfixed  by  my  name  pressed  on  plastic   Poisoning  myself  on  the  streets  of  Austin   Somewhere  south  of  the  river   And  north  of  Ben  White   I  am  poisoning  myself  on  Craigslist   Sucking  cocks  in  a  Zilker  Park  mens’  room     I  am  poisoning  myself,  looking  for  Venus   Through  Army-­‐‑surplus  binoculars     In  an  era  of   Don’t  ask   Don’t  tell     Don’t  share   I  don’t  know     I  am  poisoning  myself  with  muddy   Houston  steam   And  in  smoky  backrooms  in  Dallas   Poisoning  myself  with  passions  and  dreams   Lessons  and  schemes   With  poems  written  on  napkins   Like  plea-­‐‑bargains       Trees  shed  leaves  and  serpents   Slough  skin   It’s  in  places  like  this,  I  poison  myself   Kill  off   What  does  not  belong   Gun  stores  and  tequila     Offend  me   But,  I’ll  drink  with  you   All   Night   Long.

Yellow Chair  Review     51  


It Happened  This  Morning   By  Chris  Billings  

_________________   “Did  you  lose  someone  you  loved?”   she  asked,  looking  at  the  tattoo  I  have   just  above  the  ankle   “I  noticed  the  footprints”  she  added   I  explained  that  I  go  barefoot  a  lot   and  the  tattoo  symbolizes  this   She  nodded,  then  said   “We  lost  our  son,  I  have  a  tattoo   to  remember  him”   and  she  pulled  up  her  pants  leg   to  just  above  her  ankle   to  show  a  tiny  hand  print   and  foot  print   her  son’s  name   her  son’s  date  of  birth/death   and  I  was  moved  to  silence   She  smiled  and  went  back  to  the  table   to  join  her  husband  and  baby  girl   who  had  blue  eyes  full  of  life   a  smile  to  melt  your  heart   and  on  my  way  towards  the  door   I  told  the  woman  her  daughter   is  beautiful   And  I  thought  no  matter  what  personal  battles   I’m  waging  with  the  man  above   it’s  pretty  cool   that  He  gave  this  couple   a  second  chance…  

52

Yellow Chair  Review    


Talk By  Annis  Cassells  

_________________   What  kinda  talk  is  that   My  mother'ʹs  moon-­‐‑wide  hazel  eyes  shine     harsh  light  on  my  unacceptable  grammar     We  don'ʹt  say  ain'ʹt  in  this  house   It'ʹs     That'ʹs  not  right   And    I  don'ʹt  have  any     I  yearned  to  please   Learned  the  code   Knew  when  not  to  say  Ain'ʹt  got  no     And  when  to  talk  proper   Learned  double  negatives  negate   Tacked  on  the  i-­‐‑n-­‐‑g'ʹs     Precise,  equalizing  speech   a  life-­‐‑long  saleable  commodity     Cash  language     She  talk  white   Like  a  col-­‐‑lidge  gurrl   She  think  she  bettah  den  us  

Yellow Chair  Review     53  


Airport Terminal   By  Lori  DeSanti  

_________________   Vegas,  Las  Vegas.    My  father  liked  the  craps  tables,  bled  them  dry.    We’d  always  come  back  winners.    He   taught  me  to  gamble  when  I  was  sixteen,  never  touched  the  dice  though.    He  told  me  you  have  to  wait  ‘til  you’re   twenty-­‐‑one,  you  blow  on  the  die  and  I’ll  roll,  we’ll  hit  it  big.    I  believed  him.    I  won  him  a  few  hundred  bucks  the   first  time.         Once  a  year  we’d  take  a  father-­‐‑daughter  trip  to  Vegas,  just  him  and  me  to  get  away  for  a  while.    He  liked  to   travel  and  flew  a  lot  for  work.    It  was  two  summers  ago,  I  picked  up  some  pomegranate  seeds  from  one  of   those  over-­‐‑priced  snack  stands  waiting  at  our  gate.    Frank  Sinatra’s  Feet  of  Clay  seeped  from  the  speakers;  I   could  barely  hear  it  over  the  chatter  of  people—  vacationers,  children,  businessmen  on  cell  phones  discussing   stock,  my  own  teeth  popping  pomegranate  seeds.         I  made  my  way  back  over  to  the  airport  chairs,  August  heat  sticking  to  their  tearing  blue  leather.    Frank   Sinatra,  he  says.    I  lower  my  brow,  what?      He  repeats  the  singer’s  name,  says  your  grandmother  used  to  call  him   Franky,  used  to  get  free  tickets  and  dress  in  expensive  fur.    She  wore  gaudy  gold  rings  and  diamonds  to  his  shows.  Used   to  fly  all  the  way  to  Vegas  to  see  him.     She  knew  Frank  Sinatra?    I  asked.    My  father  chortled,  says  she  knew  him  pretty  well.      Tells  me  his  uncle  grew   up  with  him,  he  even  baptized  his  children.    I  ask  him  if  he  was  a  religious  man,  he  says  all  mobsters  are.      Says   he  has  photos  of  him  wearing  a  big  cross  with  a  cigar  hanging  from  his  mouth  splashing  holy  water  across  his   cousin’s  forehead.         The  song  was  still  playing;  I  sat  in  disbelief,  crunching  sweet  pomegranate  seeds.    It  felt  too  much  like  church,   the  priest  preaching  the  holy  book,  me  chewing  on  the  bread  of  Christ,  still  trying  to  figure  out  the  plot  of  it   all.      Frank  Sinatra,  huh?               Yeah,  my  dad  said  again.    Franky.      

54

Yellow Chair  Review    


What You’re  Left  With   By  Alyssa  Yankwitt  

_________________   Beneath  that  thin,  white  cotton  sheet   my  body  opening  against  your  thick,  coital  tongue   I  wanted  that  little  death     to  drag  me  out   from  between  the  dark  branches  of  your  thighs,   lay  me  down.     You  hoped  I  would  sleep,   I  wanted  to.   Instead,  I  watched  the  rise  and  fall  of  your  chest     trembling  inside  my  non-­‐‑sleep       to  the  rhythm   of  your  slumbered  breaths   each  one  a  tiny  death.  

Yellow Chair  Review     55  


_________________   Ellipse   Drawing  (charcoal,  pencil,  ink)   By  Janet  Snell  

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Yellow Chair  Review    


Ellipse By  Cheryl  Snell  

_________________   My  before  followed  your  after   your  down  and  out          your  without  within.     Despite  or  because,  you  moved  around  and  about.   I  wanted  you  behind,  with  me  inside  among.   How  to  get  beyond?    If  became  when     and  then  right  now  -­‐‑-­‐‑      the  present  was  where  I  moved  past  you.  

Yellow Chair  Review     57  


Drown By  Caroline  Wilson  

_________________   When  you  died,  Carlos  broke  from  the  arms  of  three  camp  counselors.  He  ran  across     the  lawn  to  grab  a  wooden  cross  around  its  throat  until  “his  hands  were  bleeding,”     as  the  pastor  put  it,  a  voice  on  the  phone.  I  received  the  call  in  the  florist’s  shop  and  walked  away  without  the   peonies,  which  I  had  planned   to  send  to  your  mother  that  Sunday.         I  changed  the  ringer  on  my  cell     to  Flight  of  the  Bumblebee—   Fur  Elise  got  my  stomach     to  reverse.     For  the  rest  of  the  summer  I  let  Carlos  sleep  in  our  bed  beside  me,  like  he  once  did  when  he  had  night  terrors.   He  filled  up  the  space  you  usually  occupied  easily;  his  shape  became     your  shape.  Still,  I  felt  compelled  to  shove  all  the  books  you  had  been  reading  under  the   mattress.  Together,  we  decided  on  a  grief  therapist     who  wore  a  pentagram  around  her  neck   and  asked  us  about  the  process  of  guilt     while  your  favorite  cat  sat  on  her  lap  and  kneaded  her  skirt,     as  he  once  did  your  thighs.     It’s  normal  to  feel  this  way,  she  said.     When  I  was  twelve  and  Father  died,  I  had  nightmares  for  weeks  about  a  yellow  man     coming  out  of  Mother’s  room  wailing  for  me.  I  was  so  afraid  I’d  see  your  water-­‐‑logged  body  and  the  way  your   features  twisted  up  in  the  autopsy  photos  like  rotted  rope.     I  don’t.  Sometimes  instead  I  dream  at  night  of  sliding  into  a  hot  bath,   limb  by  limb.  

58

Yellow Chair  Review    


Reproductive FAQ   By  Barbara  Ruth  

_________________   Q:  What  is  missed  abortion?     A:  Passing  scarlet  clots   hallucinated  embryos   uterine  agony.     Ache  in  the  cervix,   the  tug,  the  pull   of  this  rebellious  zygote   refusing  to  be   my  baby.  

Yellow Chair  Review     59  


Everything is  Strange   By  Luis  Neer  

_________________   I  was  at  school  yesterday   I  walked  into  the  bathroom   Two  guys  were  sitting   In  adjacent  stalls,  talking   To  each  other   Their  fingers  also  tapping  cell  phone  screens—     I  went  to  a  urinal,  unzipped—   They  were  talking  about  an  older  teacher—   “She’s  kind  of  hot  in  a  freak  way,  I’d  hit  it”—   “Eh,  she’s  old,  man”—   “I  don’t  give  a  shit,  I  like  the  sex”—     I  pissed  the  Seine,  listened   To  their  mouths   Echo  on  the  tiles   Washed  my  hands  with  cold  water   And  left     In  the  hallway  I  passed  that  same  teacher   She  flashed  bedroom  eyes  at  me   She  said  “I  read  those  booklets,  Matt,   Your  poems  are  pretty  good”—     She  yelled  “pretty  good”  and   I  wasn’t  sure  why   Nor  did  I  know   Why  she  called  me  “Matt”     I  tried  to  put  it  all  away   In  a  filing  cabinet  of  the  mind     But  my  name  isn’t  “Matt”   This  life  belongs  to  somebody  leaping   In  a  watercolor  in  rain     The  fluorescent  lights  are  just  bright  enough   To  burn  the  shadows  of  my  hands   Into  the  walls  

60

Yellow Chair  Review    


Tainted Growth   By  Tyler  Lizaola  

_________________   We  solicit  change   While  our  actions  stunt  progress   Alas,  hypocrites  

Yellow Chair  Review     61  


Did I  Dream?   By  Allison  Grayhurst  

_________________   Did  I  dream  the  broken  flesh   upon  my  wrist  or  only  tell   the  story  I  gathered  from   my  stay  in  Hell?   What  meaning  is  contained   in  the  pavement  stones  or  from   a  solitary  searchlight?   Do  I  answer  what  I  see   or  only  that  which  bends  my  blood   to  mourn?   Somehow  I  felt  the  shadows  burn   and  watched  a  butterfly  rise  up  like  a  leaf   from  the  earth  -­‐‑  yellow.   Sometime  I  was  changed,   and  saw  the  patience  of  God   and  the  over-­‐‑rated  bliss  of  power.   Do  I  remember  the  day  I  lost  my  curtains?   Yes.  And  I  remember   that  first  evening  star.  

62

Yellow Chair  Review    


Eternal Peace   By  Dustin  Pickering  

_________________   I  sift  the  dust  of  this  earth  after  a  great  violence.   War  is  no  longer  declared,  boundaries  are  not  drawn.   Humankind  is  one.     And  because  majorities  did  not  rule  before   and  masses  refused  to  call  out  oppressors,   accurate  histories  were  not  written.   We  do  not  know  who  we  are.     How  do  flowers  grow   in  such  boasting  light,  now,     when  our  deceit  only  hurt   the  deceiver  we  became?     And  mathematicians  searched   for  a  new  number—   to  calculate  the  moments   between  the  flight  of  a  Phoenix,   and  her  descent.  

Yellow Chair  Review     63  


_________________   In  My  Dreams   Watercolor   By  Amaranthia  Sepia  (Eternal  Brown  Flower)  Gittens-­‐‑Jones  

64

Yellow Chair  Review    


Lemonade By  David  Ishaya  Osu    

_________________   you  enthrone  me   as  your  daughter   a  sister  to  gardenias     when  I’m  hot   I  lean  on  your  liquid   fingers  as  they  make     my  bed  smooth   pat  my  waist  to  the  veins   till  I’m  rolled  up  in  your  magic     you  croon  me   scriptures  from  rains   bring  the  moon  to  our  room     at  night   when  we’re  alone  bathing  in  curds   drinking  jazz     from  afar  in  the  terrace   I  film  your  smile   as  my  scents     waltz  across     easts  and  norths   to  oil  your  locks;     I  am  ripe     in  the  window   where  I  nest     I  weave  my  flowering  green  husk   into  blankets  where   your  bones  winter  in    

Yellow Chair  Review     65  


Give Grant  Laptop   By  Serra  Ota  

_________________ As  if  I’m  five  years  old  again,  I  run  to  my  room  rolling  up  in  my  comforter  into  a  soon  to  be  perfect   burrito.   I   poke   out   my   arms,   trying   to   grab   the   nearest   pillow   to   cover   my   head   and   complete   my   perfect   disguise,  but  I  spot  my  brother  who  is  seconds  away  from  taking  a  picture  of  my  burrito  masterpiece.     “Dad’s  going  to  be  mad,”  my  brother  says.     “I  don’t  give  a  shit,”  I  whine.   “Don’t  be  such  a  wimp.  I’ve  been  on  three  planes  and  it’s  not  that  bad.”   I   ignore   my   brother   and   wriggle   around   in   my   comforter.   To   some   people   flying   is   an   exhilarating   experience.  Slowly  drifting  higher  and  higher  into  the  unknown,  being  on  top  of  the  world.  I  have  friends  who   do  it  for  sport.  On  the  other  hand,  there  are  people  who  hate  it.  People  like  me.     “Hurry  up!  We  have  to  get  you  to  the  airport,”  my  dad  yells.   “Do  I  have  to  go?”  I  shout.   “Yes.”   I  know  that  tone.  The  tone  that  if  I  talk  back  would  result  in  some  serious  ass  whooping  and  this  ass  is   not  in  the  mood  for  whooping.  With  all  hope  lost,  I  finally  admit  defeat  and  get  into  the  car  that  will  take  me   to   the   gates   of   hell.   The   minutes   feel   like   seconds   as   I   pray   for   one   more   red   light.   My   hands   are   sweating,   possibly  hard  enough  to  end  the  drought  in  Africa.  I  try  to  speak  but  my  throat  is  so  parched  I  sound  like  a   dying  dinosaur.  After  the  time  span  of  what  feels  like  the  total  of  three  blinks,  we  arrive  at  LAX.     I   grab   my   suitcase   and   give   my   dad   one   last   pleading   look.   I   should’ve   watched   some   puppy   dog   begging  face  tutorials  on  YouTube  because  this  lip  needed  some  serious  practice.     “I’ll  see  you  in  two  weeks,”  my  dad  says,  hugging  me.     “Or  in  two  hours  after  I  catch  a  taxi  and  come  home,”  I  say  with  utmost  seriousness.   “I  know  you’re  scared,  but  this  trip  is  a  once  in  a  lifetime  opportunity.  You’ll  regret  it  if  you  don'ʹt  go,”   my  dad  sighs,  leaving  me.   I  scream  internally,  my  eyes  scanning  the  overcrowded  airport  for  my  family,  finding  them  instantly.   Not  only  do  I  have  a  fear  of  flying,  but  I’m  going  to  have  to  spend  the  next  two  weeks  with  these  hooligans.   These   hooligans   include   my  triplet   cousins,   aunt  and   uncle,   and   grandparents.   I   cry  out  for   my   brother,  the   only  sane  member  of  my  family  other  than  myself.       “You’re  here,”  my  family  cheerfully  says  to  me  as  I  meet  them  at  the  terminal.     After  greeting  them,  I  plop  myself  down  in  the  nearest  seat.  Looking  at  my  surroundings,  reality  sinks   in.   I’m   about   to   face   my   greatest   fear.   As   a   child   my   ears   wouldn’t   equalize   when   changing   altitudes.   The   tubes  inside  my  ears  are  smaller  than  normal;  hence,  I  have  an  extremely  difficult  time  equalizing  the  pressure   in  my  ears.  So  whenever  I  would  be  in  a  situation  where  the  elevation  changed,  like  a  road  trip  for  example,   I’d   be   crying   out   of   pain.   I   even   went   to   the   doctors   and   had   surgery   for   it.   I’ll   never   forget   my   first   appointment.  The  doctor  took  a  long  tube  that  looked  like  a  spaghetti  noodle,  lubed  it  up,  and  stuck  it  up  my   nose.  It  was  one  of  the  weirdest  and  most  uncomfortable  experiences  of  my  life.  I  mean  at  least  buy  me  dinner   before  sticking  your  spaghetti  noodle  tube  up  my  nose.     “Flight  to  Tokyo,  please  begin  boarding  at  gate  eleven.”   My  head  goes  numb  and  I  have  sweat  coming  out  of  places  I  didn’t  know  existed.  I  am  in  legitimate   fear  that  my  eardrums  are  going  to  explode  because  they  won’t  be  able  to  equalize  and  then  I’ll  die  a  slow  and   painful  death.  Half  way  to  gate  eleven  I  panic.   “I  can’t  do  this.”  

66

Yellow Chair  Review    


“You’ll be  fine,”  my  grandmother  consoles  me.     If   only   my   family   could   understand   the   pain   I’m   about   to   put   myself   through.   My   cousin   Karisa,   sensing  my  intense  discomfort,  tries  to  assure  me  that  everything  would  be  fine.  After  finally  finding  our  seats   on  the  plane  and  settling  down  I  attempt  to  have  some  kind  of  mental  composure  which  ended  with  me  just   crushing  my  cousin’s  hand  past  repair.  To  top  off  my  overwhelming   anxiousness,  there  is  something  wrong   with   the   airplane’s   door.   I’m   barely   sane   due   to   my   pending   ear   explosion   death   and   the   fucking   door   is   broken.  With  my  mind  already  in  an  irrational  state,  the  whole  plane  scenario  from  Final  Destination  plays  in   my  head.  Now  I  was  convinced  that  not  only  was  I  going  to  die,  but  also  everyone  in  the  whole  damn  plane   was   going   to   die.   Not   a   second   later,   a   crying   baby   runs   through   the   isle   on   my   left.   Could   this   flight   get   anymore  ridiculous?  There  are  ear  explosions,  broken  doors,  and  babies  running  amok.     I   feel   tears   rolling   down   my   cheeks.   Confronting   my   greatest   fear   in   life   ain’t   easy.   Noticing   my   glimmering   teardrops,   my   cousin   Grant   says   something   I’ll   never   forget.   I   imagine   he’ll   give   me   some   encouraging  words  on  how  get  through  this  moment.     Instead  he  says,  “If  you’re  going  to  die,  die  with  style  and  give  me  that  new  laptop  you  got  since  you   won’t  be  using  it.”   Letting   out   my   first   laugh   in   hours,   I   finally   feel   somewhat   calm.   Continuing   his   twisted   ways,   he   hands  me  a  paper  and  a  pen.     “Write  a  mini-­‐‑will,  and  sign  it.  All  you  got  to  write  is  Give  Grant  Laptop,”  he  laughs.     “Shut  up,”  I  smile.   Ding.  Ding.  Ding.     My  heart  sinks  and  my  body  stiffens.     “Hello,   ladies   and   gentlemen,   we   will   be   departing   in   a   matter   of   moments.   Please   fasten   your   seatbelts   and   be   ready   for   departure.”   Tears   start   to   form   once   again,   but   Grant   nudges   me   and   teasingly   wiggles  the  pen  prompting  me  to  sign  his  ‘mini-­‐‑will.’     “Dude,  stop,”  I  laugh  as  the  airplane  begins  to  move.    

Yellow Chair  Review     67  


Etre   By  Joanna  Schroeder  

_________________   The  most  beautiful  verb     in  any  language  is  etre,     to  be.  Part  Hamlet,     part  limitless.  To  be.       Be  a  blank  page,  be  the  lines     of  the  last  telegraph  transmission,     the  frantic  mountains  and  valleys,     the  landscape  of  your  heart  monitor.     Be  the  ink  of  your  next  tattoo,     the  picture  from  a  dream     you  haven’t  had  yet.       Be  arms  flung  open  wide     to  embrace  anything,  everything     that  is  and  ever  will  be.     Be  the  prayer  of  your  wingspan,     be  your  shadow  so  large     it  becomes  the  whole  sky.     Be  dragon,  be  a  mouth  on  fire,     be  scales  on  your  back     that  are  mistaken  for  mountains     when  you  sleep.  Be  fireworks,     be  joyful  explosion,  be  sparks     drawing  awe  on  the  night.       Be  the  face  of  God     in  your  own  mirror     be  I  am,     be  the  scribble  at  the  end  of     the  eighth  day,  be  the  dry     riverbeds,  eraser  marks     on  the  rough  draft  of  creation.       Be  the  notes  of  a  new  anthem,     be  the  wind  that  composed  it     be  the  ghost  town  piano     it  plays  on,  the  crooked     smile  of  its  missing  keys.    

68

Yellow Chair  Review    


Be a  pocket  full  of  lighter  fluid     in  the  face  of  the  next  Ice  Age.     Be  a  palace  made  from  dinosaur  ribs.     Be  the  telescope  we  are  building     to  see  past  the  edges  of  this  galaxy.     Be  mighty     even  when  you  know     you  are  small.       Be  the  final  boarding  call,     the  blinking  silhouette  of  the  last     spaceship  out  of  your  hometown,     the  future  that  is  not  here  yet,     but  will  be.       Be  the  moment  we  invented  language.     Be  the  first  lips  that  ever  formed     I  love  you,  be  the  ear  they  whispered  it  to.     Be  every  mother  fucking  curse  word     you  know,  be  the  last  magic  words     we  have  left  to  us,     be  yes.    

Yellow Chair  Review     69  


Let Me  Out   By  Rich  Boucher  

_________________   There’s  so  much  red  in  all  the  Target  stores  and  I  don’t  understand  it.  What  are  they  trying  to  do  to  people?  I’m   sorry  about  yesterday;  I’m  sorry  I  told  you  that  I  didn’t  like  you  anymore  and  that  I  wasn’t  going  to  split  the   cost  of  the  snacks  with  you;  it  seems  like  every  time  I  go  into  a  Target  I  get  really  angry.  Why  do  they  have  to   fill  the  place  with  so  much  red  color?  Why   do  they  want   to  do  this  to   me?  I  don’t  even  know  why  we  were   there   and   I   don’t   know   that   anybody   knows   why   they   go   there.   I   think   we   were   there   to   either   buy   some   ginger  ale  and  a  chair,  or  a  picture  frame,  or  you  needed  to  get  some  tampons  or  I  needed  a  video  game  and   some  aspirin  or  else  we  needed  to  buy  the  idea  that  our  future  was  going  to  be  ok  or  else  we  wanted  to  find   out  if  it  was  possible  to  have  church  anywhere  or  else  have  some  dessert  or  else  hold  me  now  but  all  I  could  see   was  red.  That  bright  angry  red  that  says  you’re  not  leaving  here  until  you  buy  some  electronics  and  Milano  cookies.   That  sweating  tomato  on  the  vine,  shaking  and  about  to  burst  like  a  throbbing  brain,  those  holly  berries  like   little   crazy   eyes.   They   make   me   think   I’m   capable   of   terrible   things.   Those   red   stone   spheres   in   front   of   the   Target  give  me  the  bad  dream  feeling  that  I’m  going  to  lose  control  and  become  the  first  man  who  ever  lived   and   donkeypunch   someone’s   grandmother   on   the   stairs,   chainsaw   everything   in   half.   Every   other   breath   I   take  in  that  place  is  an  exasperated  sigh  and  I  want  to  chokeslam  an  elderly  greeter  right  into  the  wall.  Target   makes  me  feel  like  I’m  about  to  learn  how  dangerous  nature  can  be,  in  the  way  that  cavemen  found  out  which   of  the  colored  sweets  were  the  deadly  berries.  I  feel  like  I’m  about  to  be  the  dangerous  nature  when  I’m  there.   All   of   that   murder   everywhere,   all   of   that   Target   welling   up   inside   of   me   like   bile.   I   feel   like   I’m   about   to   dropkick   the   nearest   dachshund   into   next   week.   I   can   see   myself   backing   over   a   soccer   mom   with   my   car   because   I   don’t   want   to   check   the   rear-­‐‑view   mirror   for   fear   of   seeing   all   of   that   exciting   goddamned   merchandise  in  my  eyes.  I  can’t  believe  how  big  my  eyebrows  are.  All  that  bright  emergency  ambulance  red  in   the  signs  over  every  aisle,  all  that  infuriating  red  has  become  a  pulse  in  my  skull  and  I  want  to  leap  over  the   counter   and   go   after   that   cashier   with   his   stupid   bloody   shirt   and   his   way-­‐‑too-­‐‑tight   khakis.   I   can’t   stop   thinking  about  it  once  I  start.  Am  I  in  a  Target  now?  Is  that  where  I  am?  I  need  to  get  the  hell  out  of  here.  

70

Yellow Chair  Review    


_________________   Strange  View   Photograph   By  Louis  Staeble  

Yellow Chair  Review     71  


Wrestling Match   By  Jocelyn  Mosman  

_________________     Round  1:     It  came  to  you  in  a  dream   and  you  never  questioned     God'ʹs  plan  to  name  me  Jocelyn.       Champion.     There  was  no  doubt     I  would  grow  up  a  fighter.       Round  2:     You  gave  me  ambition,     but  called  it  passion.     I  was  to  be  a  lawyer,  you  said.       It  was  perfect  for  your  daughter     who  loved  to  argue.     It  was  perfect.  I  wasn'ʹt.       We  wrestled  our  way  through  long  disputes.     We  held  our  ground,     despite  the  pain.       Round  3:     Every  time  I  fell  down,     you  picked  me  up.     Keep  fighting.  Bruises  fade.       You  faded  when  I  moved  north,   and  my  heart  was  too  heavy     a  suitcase  to  unpack.      

72

Yellow Chair  Review    


Round 4:     If  you  peeled  back  the  tough  love   and  admitted  you  were  proud     of  the  woman  I  had  become,       you'ʹd  notice  my  battle  cry,     you'ʹd  listen  to  my  barbaric  yawp,  exalted.     you'ʹd  hear  my  tribal  chant,  victorious.       Round  5:     My  sins  look  like  yours     when  you  tuck  them  in  at  night.   I  have  your  temper  and  your  rage.     Now,  we  wrestle  our  way  through  silence.     We  still  hold  our  ground,     despite  the  pain.       Love  me,  human.     Neither  of  us  looks  holy   when  morning  comes.  

Yellow Chair  Review     73  

Yellow Chair Review: Issue 1  

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Yellow Chair Review! For more information about YCR please visit www.yellowchairreview.com

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