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Yellow Chair  Review   Issue  #2  –  July  2015  


YELLOW CHAIR  REVIEW   ISSUE  #2  –  JULY  2015  

Edited  by:    Sarah  Frances  Moran   Co-­‐‑edited  by:    Iva  Montgomery     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:    "ʺLooking  at  Eurydice”  by  Elspeth  Jensen  


Editor’s Note:     This  is  YCR’s  third  issue  since  its  inception!    We  are  thrilled  that  our  little  Review  has  taken   off  as  well  as  it  has  and  we’re  honored  to  continue  to  give  space  to  great  art  and  literature.         We  hope  you  enjoy  what  Issue  #2  has  to  offer.    If  you  see  work  you  just  love  please  let  the   poet,  author  or  artist  know  you’ve  enjoyed  their  work.    All  contributor  biographical   information  is  listed  on  the  Yellow  Chair  Review  website.       Happy  Reading!     Sarah  Frances  Moran,     Founder/Editor    

Yellow Chair  Review     3  


CONTENTS   On  The  Cover:        

Looking At  Eurydice  –  Elspeth  Jensen  

6

To The  Fascist  Fundamentalist  Editor  –  Scott  Thomas  Outlar  

7

Bit: A  Definition  –  Kelly  Magee  

8

The Wrong  Empty  You  In  Strange  Weather    –  Christina  Murphy    

9

I Find  A  Dead  Wren  (After  Mei  Yao  Chen)  –  George  Freek  

10-­‐‑12

The Amazing  Angee  –  Anushree  Nande  

13

Gopuram –  Dwarakanathan  Ravi  

14

Four Plays  –  Heller  Levinson  

15

Kamikaze Summer  –  Kevin  Ridgeway  

16

Duck Duck  Goose  –  Emma  Van  Dinter  

17

Sunflower -­‐‑  Robin  Turner  

18

Humanoid -­‐‑  Shloka  Shankar  

19

Mandala -­‐‑    Shloka  Shankar  

20

Playing Love  –  Jocelyn  Mosman  

21

To My  Body  At  40  –  Lisa  Wiley  

22-­‐‑25

A Happy  Place  –  Michael  Verderber  

26

Demons –  Dah  

27

(Per)Version Of  Justice(s)  –  Euphrates  Moss  

28

A Shiny  World  As  This  –  Julianza  Shavin  

29

Denverscape –  Julianza  Shavin  

30

Hamartia –  Casey  Hampf  

31

A Spring  Tale  –  Michael  Enevoldson  

32-­‐‑33

Amazing –  Brennan  DeFrisco  

34

Grenade –  Ally  Malinenko  

35

Wish You  Were  Her  –  Carly  A.  Kocurek  

36

The Changing  Face  Of  Beauty  –  Howards  Debs  

37

The Changing  Face  Of  Beauty  (photograph)  –  Howard  Debs  

38

Less Friend  –  Jackson  Shumaker  

39    

Monday –  Leonard  Orr  

40-­‐‑41

poem to  cindy  x  garcia  –  John  Grochalski  

42

Yours And  Mine  –  Heath  Brougher  

43

Battlefields –  Susan  Castillo  Street  

44

Babel –  Allie  Marini  Batts  

45

Origins –  Allie  Marini  Batts  

46 47    

 

 

The Thrill  of  Arousal  –  Bill  Wolak   Sotto  Voce  –  Ricky  Garni  


48

Greenish Irony  –  Yuan  Changming  

49

Travelogue –  Rachel  Schmieder-­‐‑Gropen  

50

Solution To  Population  –  Colby  McAdams  

51

The Answer  Understands  Its  Question  –  Kami  Westhoff  

52

More –  J.K.  Durick  

53

Breakfast At  Tiffany’s  –  Dee  Dee  Chapman  

54

Heads Down  –  Caitlin  Upshall  

55

Uprooted Tree  –  James  Baxenfield  

56

Ruminations –  Na-­‐‑Moya  Lawrence  

57

Middle Sister  –  Jessie  Ulmer  

58-­‐‑59

Rant –  Chelsea  Williams  

60-­‐‑62

Five Excerpts  From  Brazil,  Indiana  –  Brian  Beatty  

63

Adulthood –  Rony  Nair  

64

For You,  Long  Gone  –  Tonya  Eberhard  

65

A Dead  River  Mark  –  Wale  Owoade  

66-­‐‑68

How To  Find  Treasure  With  A  Burning  Map  –  Joe  Nicholas  

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

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To The  Fascist  Fundamentalist  Editor   By  Scott  Thomas  Outlar  

_________________   I  used  to  agree  with  Nietzsche   about  having  no  pity  for  fools,   but  you’ve  blown  a  hole   through  my  philosophy  with  this  one.   Your  opinion  is  so  bad  –     (of  course,  that’s  just  my  opinion)   [but  my  opinion  is  better  than  yours]   {much  better,  in  fact,  by  far}   …and  so  is  my  style…   –  that  I  cannot  help  but  feel  sorry.   Right  brain,  left  brain  –  some  of  us     like  to  use  both  hemispheres,  leaving  your   literal,  classical  interpretation   in  the  mud   with  the  rest  of  the  extinct  fossils   that  forgot  to  evolve   when  the  natural  selections  were  being  made.   To  favor  a  particular  aesthetic  over  others  is  one  thing;   to  suck  its  cock  eternally   like  a  blind  religious  ceremony   is  quite  another.   This  is  the  New  Age,  baby  –     This  is  the  Renaissance  Revolution  –     This  is  an  artistic  orgy  –     Better  get  you  some   while  the  fire’s  still  hot   before  you’re  left  in  bed   cold   all  alone   jerking  off  to  that  sonnet     you  just  can’t  get  out  of  your  head.  


Bit: A  Definition   By  Kelly  Magee  

_________________   Party   postponed   for   a   trip   to   Urgent   Care.   Dog   bite.   Stitches   in   the   birthday   boy’s   head.   I   fill   out   the   paperwork   for   the  dog,   the   vicious   dog,   the  dog  I   love   who’s   turned  on   me.   I’m   the   only   one   to   defend  the   dog.  Everyone  else  says,  Put  him  down.  I  won’t.  I  think  but  do  not  say  that  I  understand  this  kind  of  aggression.   The  desire  to  bare  teeth.     In  the  Urgent  Care  parking  lot,  I  ignore  the  sound  of  the  ambulance.  I  let  the  sun  burn  shapes  onto  my  face.  A   sandhill   crane   flies   overhead,   its   left   leg   dead   and   about   to   fall   off.   I   wonder   how   it   will   land,   thrown   off-­‐‑ balance  like  that.  I  wonder  if  it  can  prepare,  or  if  the  ground  just  happens  to  it,  like  an  accident.       At  home,  I  go  into  the  kitchen  to  find  that  the  dog  has  eaten  the  boy’s  birthday  cake.  This  is  love,  I  think  as  I   drag   him   by   the   collar   to   a   back   bedroom.   This,   I   think,   is   loyalty.   I   close   the   door   gently.   And   fuck   you,   I   whisper,  for  eating  that  cake.  

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The Wrong  Empty  You  In  Strange  Weather   By  Christina  Murphy  

_________________   1.     Extraordinary  attempts  are  being  made   Why  should  we  look  for  reasons?     Craft  your  answer  carefully   Cut  it  and  trim  it  like  wood     The  design  will  say  less  than  you  intended   And  more  than  you  realize     2.     Yes,  I  know,  you  will  laugh  at  what  I  tell  you   Such  is  the  way  love  goes  and  how  it  falters     I  have  more  of  what  I  need  now,  so  loneliness     Is  less  an  arid  and  unyielding  wasteland     I  am  my  own  sound  of  stones  splashing  into  streams   And  I  have  lost  faith  in  the  simplicity  of  wishing  wells     Where  coins,  like  thoughts,  tumble  through  clear  water   Into  a  sharp,  blue  darkness  not  unlike  your  own    


I Find  A  Dead  Wren  (After  Mei  Yao  Chen)   By  George  Freek  

_________________   What  is  this  death  to  me?   His  tiny  body  has  not   yet  begun  to  rot.  I  wonder   if  wrens  die  of  old  age?   I’m  now  seventy-­‐‑three.   Unknown  to  me,  many  things   have  passed  me  by.     Do  wrens  know  love?   Did  he  have  a  mate?   Do  wrens  mate  for  life?   Just  two  months  ago,     I  lost  my  wife.   When  we  were  sitting  in  our  garden,   did  we  hear  his  song?   I  think  life  is  too  short,   or  else  it  is  too  long.  

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The Amazing  Angee   By  Anushree  Nande  

_________________                     Years  later  whenever  Angee  looked  back,  she  would  tell  herself  that  it  was  a  blocked  nose  that  woke  her  up  in   the  middle  of  the  night.  It  seemed  like  she  had  just  drifted  off  to  sleep  when  she  woke  to  find  a  blurry  squirrel   staring  at  her  from  the  window-­‐‑sill.  She  blinked;  she  was  definitely  awake.  The  squirrel  continued  to  stare,  its   head   cocked   to   one   side.   There   was   something   comforting   about   it,   something   almost  familiar.   Her   phone   suddenly  vibrated  under  the  pillow.  You  have  5  new  voicemails.  She  groaned.  Why  hadn’t  he  got  the  hint?  She   put  the  phone  back,  sitting  up  in  the  sudden  silence.  The  squirrel  was  gone.  Maybe  it  had  been  a  dream.  Angee   shrugged  it  off  and  tried  to  find  a  comfortable  position  to  fall  asleep.  There  was  none  where  she  could  breathe   through  both  nostrils  and  she  finally  settled  for  a  half  mouth  open  situation.   The  bright  morning  light  made  her  forget  the  night  before.  She  got  ready  for  what  she  knew  would  be  another   busy  day,  remembering  to  message  her  aunt  –  Hope  you  are  having  fun  on  the  cruise,  don´t  worry  about  me!  All  fine   here.  And  it  would  have  been  too  if  she  hadn´t  seen  the  small  kitchen  window  open  just  as  she  was  about  to   leave.  There  were  small  footprints  on  the  sill,  faint  but  unmistakable.   Ten  days  later  that  was  the  least  of  her  problems.  On  that  first  evening  she  had  been  teaching  the  kids  at  the   after-­‐‑school   programme   where   she   volunteered.   They   were   all   engrossed   in   drawing   the   numbers   after   she   had  shown  them  how  each  could  be  turned  into  an  animal.  Angee  had  nipped  to  the  small  supplies  room  to   get   some   more   colours   when   she   found   herself   face   to   face   with   her   kindergarden   mascot.   There   were   few   things   she   remembered   from   those   first   years   –   the   swing   in   their   back   garden,   the   taste   of   chopped   up   strawberries  sprinkled  with  powdered  sugar,  how  her  mum´s  hair  smelled  before  all  the  hospital  treatments   …  and  how  scared  she  used  to  be  of  Happy  the  Hippo.  All  her  classmates  adored  him,  even  after  they  realised   he  was  just  a  puppet  controlled  by  their  teacher.  But  Angee  had  a  vivid  memory  of  being  terrified  of  his  beady   eyes  and  of  his  smile  that  seemed  to  her  a  bit  sinister.  She  also  thought  it  suspicious  that  he  was  always  happy.   Did  that  mean  if  he  had  been  named  Sad,  he´d  cry  all  the  time?  But  she  hadn´t  thought  of  him  since  her  aunt   made  her  draw  him  as  many  times  as  she  needed  to  get  over  her  fear.  Her  aunt  was  a  big  believer  in  facing   one´s  fears,  provided  it  was  done  in  a  methodical  way.   It   had   taken   her   a   minute   or   two   to   even   believe   what   she   was   seeing.   He   was   almost   life-­‐‑size,   and   even   though  she  had  rid  herself  of  the  irrational  terror  all  those  years  ago,  this  unexpected  reunion  made  her  want   to  run  far  away  from  there.  But  he  just  sat  there,  silent,  with  that  unchanging,  ridiculous  smile.  She  had  stuffed   the   hippo   in   a   corner   at   the   back   of   the   supplies   room,   composed   herself   and   walked   back   to   the   kids   as   if   nothing  had  happened,  albeit  without  the  colours  she  had  originally  gone  for.   That  night,  Angee  returned  home  with  a  dull  headache.  There  were  more  unopened  voicemails  and  messages   on  her  phone.  The  first  thing   she  heard  was   the   television  in   the   living  room.   Was  her  aunt  back  early?  The   room  was  empty  but  then  she  heard  the  low  snoring  coming  from  the  couch.  Angee  swore  softly  and  grabbed   the   nearest   thing   she   could   find   –   a   teddy   bear   she   hadn´t   seen   in   years.   Where   had   that   come   from?   She   would  worry  about  that  later.  For  now  she  had  to  tiptoe  from  the  back  to  the  front  of  the  couch  while  ruing  the   lack  of  a  baseball  bat  around.   But  how  could  one  ever  be  prepared  for  an   80s  loving,   talking  unicorn?   It   was   then  that  she  remembered  why  last  night´s  squirrel  had  seemed  familiar.      


It was   her   father   who   had   taught   her   how   to   hold   a   pencil,   how   to   colour   inside   the   lines   before   it   was   fashionable  among  her  school  mates.  The  last  memory  she  had  of  him  was  of  the  night  he  left.  He  had  come   home  late  from  the  studio  and  she  was  tucked  up  in  bed  by  her  Aunt  Jenna  who  was  baby-­‐‑sitting.  Little  Angee   had   a   surprise   for   him.   The   lines   were   a   bit   shaky   and   one   of   the   ears   was   bent,   but   she   thought   it   looked   exactly  like   Mr.  Squirrel  who  came  into  their  yard  at  noon  every   day  for   a   few   nuts   from   his  friend,  Angee.   Her   father   had   smiled   tightly,   mumbled   something   about   being   tired   and   left   the   room   without   kissing   her   goodnight.  The  sketch  had  lain  under  the  bed  for  days  after,  until  her  aunt  had  put  it  in  a  box  with  the  rest  of   her   art   things.   Mr.   Squirrel   stopped   coming   to   their   house   and   Angee   made   herself   forget   her   little   friend.   Until  he  had  briefly  turned  up  on  her  window-­‐‑sill,  blurry  with  a  wonky  ear.   Who  would  have  thought  drawing  cartoons  and  animals  could  be  this  dangerous?  For  some  reason  that  she   convinced   herself   had   nothing   to   do   with   her   father,   Angee   had   always   wanted   to   be   an   illustrator   for   children´s   books.   Sparky   (Angee   hadn´t   planned   on   naming   the   unicorn,   it   had   just   happened)   had   been   a   response   to   a   tutor   saying   that   she   needed   to   try   out   “edgier”   things.   Not   that   Sparky   was   edgy   or   even   dangerous  really.  He  was  just  proof  that  when  you  thought  things  were  finally  working  out  for  the  better,  you   came  home  to  find  a  baby  unicorn  sleeping  on  your  couch.  Now  here  they  were,  two  misfits  eating  popcorn   (he  preferred  caramel)  and  watching  Hugh  Grant  movies.  Because  what  else  was  any  sane  person  supposed  to   do  in  that  situation?   While  she  tried  to  find  loopholes  in  her  college-­‐‑work  –  small,  inanimate  objects  were  fine,  it  was  the  ones  with   a  soul  that  she  had  to  be  careful  about  –  Sparky  watered  her  aunt´s  plants  and  watched  a  lot  of  dance  movies.   While   Angee   tried   to   salvage   her   second   (and   last)   chance   at   getting   an   arts   degree,   and   ignored   more   voicemails  and  messages  from  the  last  person  she  wanted  to  talk  to,  Sparky  tidied  her  desk,  her  art  supplies   and  calmly  informed  her  about  new  and  thankfully  mostly  lifeless  arrivals  at  the  end  of  the  day.  Maybe  it  was   a  good  thing  that  she  didn´t  draw  people  or  too  many  talking  animals.  But  her  aunt  would  be  home  soon  and   there   was   a   limit   to   how   many   gifts   she   could   give   within   her   small   circle   or   how   many   animals   she   could   donate   to   the   local   zoo.   Even   Jenna   would   never   understand   if   Angee   ended   up   turning   their   house   into   a   menagerie  of  woodland  creatures.  Sparky  was  hard  enough  to  explain,  even  without  his  preference  for  cheesy   Doritos,  carrot  sticks  and  grape  juice.   How   was   one   supposed   to   even  begin  to   deal   with   all   of   this?   Mr.   Rowland,   I   can´t   submit   any   assignments   because  I  am  afraid  they  will  come  alive.  I  have  this  power,  you  see.  Who  wouldn´t   believe   that?  Angee   had  never   been  desperate  enough  to  make  up  an  excuse  like  this  back  when  they  were  all  she  had  to  protect  her  dream.   But   now   when   she   was   on   her   last   chance   to   make   up   for   all   the   tantrums   and   eventual   detachment   in   her   original  first  year,  even  the  truth  wasn’t  enough.   Calm  rational  thinking  was  near  impossible  while  one´s  headaches  got  worse,  and  one  had  to  strain  their  brain   thinking   up   harmless   ideas   for   the   kids   at   the   after-­‐‑school   programme.   She   could   just   imagine   the   news   –  Sudden,   inexplicable   outbreak   of   hummingbirds   and   butterflies   down   Main   Street.   Experts   at   a   loss   to   explain   this   sudden  invasion.  We  advise  everyone  to  remain  calm  and  shut  all  of  their  windows.  Angee  finally  understood   what   her  teenage  self  with  the  DIY  haircuts  and  dye  jobs,  her  marker-­‐‑doodled  cut-­‐‑offs  and  clip-­‐‑on  nose-­‐‑rings  never   had.  Being  different  when  you  had  no  choice  was  feeling  truly  alone.  

Yellow Chair  Review     11  


At least   things   couldn’t   get   worse,   she   thought   as   she   planned   a   simple   class   on   primary   and   secondary   colours  for  the  kids.  It  gave  her  something  to  do  while  she  tried  to  think  of  a  way  out  of  her  assignment  mess.   She   should   have   known   not   to   jinx   it.   Coming   home   that   night,   covered   in   random   blobs   of   colour   that   suddenly  started  appearing  on  her  clothes  as  soon  as  she  got  off  the  bus,  Angee  was  ready  to  lock  herself  in   her   bedroom   and   never   come   out.   Whatever   it   was   seemed   to   be   getting   stronger.   Even   the   impromptu  Saturday   Night   Fever  dance-­‐‑a-­‐‑thon   courtesy   Sparky   did   little   for   her   mood.   She   left   him   watching  The  Breakfast  Club  and  went  to  bed  early.   A  night  of  turning  this  way,  then  that  and  finally  on  her  back  even  though  it  gave  her  strange  dreams,  hadn´t   made   things   better   for   her.   Until   she   saw   the   text   message.  Is  it  happening  already?   We  need  to  talk.  It  was   the   only  thing  that  could  have  made  her  pick  up  the  phone.  How  do  you  greet  someone  who  left  in  the  middle  of   the  night  without  any  goodbye?  Luckily  Angee  mostly  listened   –  increasingly  light-­‐‑headed  and  nauseous  as   she  finally  realised  why  she  had  never  seen  Mr.  Squirrel  after  her  father  left,  or  why  animals  always  seemed  to   turn  up  in  their  backyard  while  she  was  a  little  girl.   She  didn´t  even  realise  she  had  drifted  off  to  sleep  again,  but  when  she  woke  up,  it  was  without  a  headache   for   the   first   time   in   a   while.   Not   that   she   could   enjoy   the   feeling.   The   words   “clean   slate”   loomed   over   her   Sunday.  Yesterday  she  had  been  so  sure  that  was  what  she  wanted.  Until  her  father  told  her  it  was  her  only   shot   at   surviving   with   the   slightest   hint   of   sanity.   But   he   meant   an   actual   clean   slate,   erasing   who   she   was,   who  she  had  been,  who  she  wanted  to  be.     The  boxes  of  everything  she  had  ever  painted  or  drawn  were  accusatory  just  with  their  presence  in  her  room.   Even  the  doodles  on  the  walls  seemed  to  judge  her  from  under  the  numerous  layers  of  fresh  paint.  Her  aunt   had  allowed  her  to  scribble  on  them  as  much  as  she  wanted,  provided  she  helped  her  paint  over  it  after  a  year.   Angee  remembered  that  first  time.  She  had  been  only  six  years  old.  Her  father  had  locked  himself  in  his  studio   and  started  to  work  from  home,  ignoring  the  fact  that  he  couldn’t  handle  saying  goodbye  to  his  wife.  And  she   was  overly  agitated  because  the  hospital  smell  had  finally  washed  out  of  her  clothes.  She  was  afraid  that  she   was  already  forgetting  her  mother  and  Aunt  Jenna  had  held  her  close  before  handing  her  a  box  of  wall  chalk   and  asking  her  to  draw  everything  she  remembered  about  her  mother.     Angee  doubted  that  quiet  efficiency  and  wall  chalk  would  work  this  time,  but  a  part  of  her  still  wanted  to  be   back.   Even   though   she   found   it   difficult  to   swallow  every  time   she  thought   about   the   ache   she   still   felt,  the   people  she  still  missed.  At  least  then  she  could  paint  everything  away  without  a  worry  of  being  invaded  by   them.  “Clean  slate”.  At  least  Sparky  wouldn’t  have  any  art  supplies  to  tidy  up,  she  thought,  before  realising   that  it  would  mean  no  Sparky  either,  no  few  but  well-­‐‑chosen  words  that  were  oddly  comforting.  She  sighed,   picked   up  a  pencil  and  the  notepad  she  always  kept  on  her  bedside  table.  Straight   lines,  curvy  lines,  circles,   thin  lines,  thick  lines  …  all  the  exercises  her  father  had  ever  taught  her.  She  then  moved  on  to  shadows  and   light,   to   empty   spaces.   Angee   drew   everything   she   could   see,   everything   she   could   remember   seeing   some   time  in  her  life,  everything  she  wished  she  could  see.  How  could  her  father  just  give  it  all  up?  But  then,  how   could  he  just  leave  his  daughter  and  not  contact  her  for  14  years?   That   night   Angee   kept   her  bedroom  window   open,  hippos   and  talking  owls  be   damned.   The  flat   across   the   street  were  watching  the  football,  their  cheers  and  groans  making  her  downstairs  neighbour'ʹs  tuneless  ukelele   playing  seem  almost  pleasant.  She  had  a  lot  of  work  to  do.  The  adventures  of  Angee  and  Sparky,  crime-­‐‑solving  duo   extraordinaire.  She   grinned,   a   Cheshire   Cat   smile   at   no   nobody   in   particular.   Maybe   that   was   the   key   she   thought,   as   her   pet   unicorn   settled   down   on   the   rug   beside   her   bed   and   started   to   gently   snore   -­‐‑   even   superheroes,  especially  them,  needed  a  dose  of  normal  every  now  and  then.      


Gopuram Photography   Dwarakanathan  Ravi  

Yellow Chair  Review     13  


Four Plays   By  Heller  Levinson  

_________________     coming  apart  at  the  intersection  provokes  public  display.      some  would    

consider dissolution  a  personal  matter.      others  would  not.      an    

intersection in  its  own  right.  

I’m going  to  wear  my  favorite  odors  she  said.      just  don’t  smother    

them in  surprise  he  offered.      the  waft  was  dense,  …  foliate.        

supervision out  the  window.  


Kamikaze Summer   By  Kevin  Ridgeway  

_________________   early  that  last  June  of  school,   I  received  dozens  of  get  well   soon  letters  from  classmates   in  response  to  a  week  earlier   when  I  swallowed  a  bottle  of   sleeping  pills  that  landed  me   in  an  adolescent  psychiatric   ward,  flowers  and  great  big   stuffed  animals  waiting  at     the  front  hospital  desk.     I  cannot  remember  much     about  that  day  other  than     all  of  the  revisions  my  suicide     letter  went  through,  and  I  nearly   lost  my  nerve  with  Brian  Wilson     singing  on  top  of  a  teenaged     symphony  to  God  that  made  me     dwell  too  much  on  small  tragedies,   and  my  brother  flew  out  from     New  York  City  not  knowing     what  to  say  while  my  teachers     all  felt  sorry  for  me  enough   to  pass  me  without  completing     my  final  exams  and  rumors     that  I  was  disfigured  in  my     feeble  attempt  at  death  were   quashed  when  I  marched  with     a  class  of  over  four  hundred     students  at  our  commencement,     still  breathing  but  just  another     lonely  name  they  announced  that   hot  afternoon  that  echoed  off     the  bleachers  of  their  football     stadium  before  it  rocketed     beyond  the  clouds  to  the  outer     limits  of  uncertainty.    

Yellow Chair  Review     15  


Duck Duck  Goose   By  Emma  Van  Dinter  

_________________   1) Whitey-­‐‑tighties  found  on  the  damp  70’s  shag  carpet  of  my  oldest  brother’s  bedroom.  Clumsily  I  lifted  my   knees  and  guided  my  feet  through  two  holes  and  wondered  what  the  third  was  for.       2) Pokémon  t-­‐‑shirt  found  crumpled  in  a  netted  laundry  basket  in  my  older  brother’s  room.  Against  black   cotton  glimmered  a  vivid  yellow  vinyl  sticker,  it  complemented  my  new  underwear.       3) Sunhat  made  of  woven  brown  hay.  Under  the  rim,  rosy  cheeks  and  a  gap  tooth  would  hide.  On  the  swing-­‐‑ set,  my  feet  dangled  above  grey  pebbles  and  my  floral  dress  swayed  in  summer  air.       4) Shiny  bikini  displayed  on  the  front  porch  of  my  childhood  home.  My  brother’s  friends  gathered  around  a   silver  car  as  I  tried  to  catch  their  attention.  I  walked  down  the  smooth  concrete  like  a  model;  plastic   sequins  emitted  white  light  with  each  dramatic  hip  jolt.       5) Motorcycle  rides  only  allowed  when  protected  by  teenage  boy  arms.  Elbows  hovered  parallel  to  my   shoulders,  big  hands  directed  muddy  tires  around  the  yard.  I  would  imagine  tightly  gripping  the  throttle   alone.       6) BB  gun  given  to  my  youngest  brother  while  balloons  and  paper  plates  cluttered  the  kitchen.  My  fingers   itched  to  pull  the  trigger,  proving  my  outdoorsman-­‐‑ship  to  my  father.           7) Tampons  were  quickly  recognized  as  uncomfortable-­‐‑fun-­‐‑sucking–stick-­‐‑of-­‐‑cotton.  Every  step  rubbed  what   felt  like  a  yarn  ball  against  my  insides.       8) Pubic  hair  being  pulled  out  ferociously.  Black  zigzag  hairs,  coated  in  red  wax,  crunched  between  thumb   and  pointer.  I  ripped  back  the  solid  wax  slab,  soft  pink  skin  remained.       9) Open  doors  lack  respect.  My  mother  feared  closed  doors,  the  promiscuity  behind  them.  I  was  compared  to   the  teen  moms  she  would  nurse,  girls  without  rules  making  their  own  decisions.  Protection  is  what  she   offered  but  not  direction.       10) Cellphone  pictures  lack  trust.  My  mother  requested  to  send  photos  of  familiar  faces  and  places  whenever  I   went  out.  I  decided  to  plan  ahead,  storing  fake  visual  memories  to  lie  with  while  I  explored  that  last  of  my   youth.    


Sunflower By  Robin  Turner  

_________________   Somewhere  a  sun-­‐‑yellow  universe.     Somewhere  painted  dusk  nearing  night.     A  petal  pressed  deep  in  the  fold  of  your  pocket.   Every  pretty  little  name  of  love.     Somewhere  orbit  and  low  slow  motion.   Somewhere  whisper  and  sweet  red  wine.     And  there  is  each  quiet  room   in  the  house  of  your  childhood     when  the  rain  fell  steady  outside.

Yellow Chair  Review     17  


Humanoid By  Shloka  Shankar  

_________________ i am  a  humanoid   bursting  at  the  seams.     i  am  the  colour  purple   in  all  its  hues.     i  am  a  sounding  board   for  your  problems.     or,  at  least,  i  pretend  to  be.   i  am  not  easy  to  please.       i  have  a  ghastly  temper   that  ties  itself  up  in  knots     and  comes  undone     when  you  kiss  me.       i  was  born  out     of  the  earth’s  belly     when  lightning  struck  thrice   on  the  same  spot.       i  am  never  who  i  think  i  am.   a  dream  is  exhaled     from  a  banyan   twice  my  age.      


Mandala Black  Pens  on  Paper   Shloka  Shankar  

Yellow Chair  Review     19  


Playing Love   By  Jocelyn  Mosman  

_________________ we played  house,  but  never  home  for  a  year  of  unorthodox  loving  our  relationship  was  car  rides  in  broken   down  jeeps  with  duct  taped  windows  shopping  cart  romances  in  the  yogurt  aisle  stealing  bacon  at  the  local   cracker  barrel     we  played  mommy  and  daddy  to  your  two  dogs  but  their  real  mommy  was  daddy’s  ex-­‐‑wife  split  custody  of   dogs  and  clothing  i  felt  like  the  other  woman  exiled  from  the  eden  of  our  love  affair     we  played  king  and  queen,  without  the  royalty  sprawled  across  his  bed  like  a  housewife  we  created  fortresses   out  of  the  sheets  to  block  out  the  world  around  us  we  were  stolen  glances  in  classes  quiet  kisses  in  an  empty   parking  lot     we  never  played  teacher  and  student  it  felt  too  much  like  reality  in  the  fiction  we  wanted  to  create  from  our   story  the  quiet  never  felt  more  like  torture  than  the  moments  of  silence  in  shared  spaces  where  fingers   intertwined  like    butterflies  and  ribbons     we  played  adam  and  eve  wearing  only  each  other’s  kiss  as  clothing  until  the  shame  of  our  sinful  nature  set  in   god  promised  us  fruit  but  my  barren  soil  told  us  even  eden  could  not  last  forever     we  played  house  for  a  year  but  never  did  our  hearts  resonate  the  sound  of  forever  home  i  was  just  a  squatter   for  a  while  but  we  never  could  have  made  it  to  “‘til  death  do  us  part”     we  were  just  playing  into  the  fiction  of  an  impossible  and  unorthodox  love  


To My  Body  At  40  (after  Carl  Dennis)     By  Lisa  Wiley  

_________________   If  I’ve  interpreted  your  smirk  properly,   You’ve  never  brooded,  never  slammed     A  door  because  I’ve  treated  you     More  as  a  teenager  treats  a  younger  sibling   Than  equal  treats  equal.     On  the  warm  morning  when  you’ll  be  too  tired     To  meet  my  request  for  an  early  run,  I  don’t  envision     You’ll  be  pleased,  content  to  be  rid     Of  an  acquaintance  who  abused  you.   I  sense  you’ll  feel  perplexed,   Leaving  me  alone  on  the  cold  pavement.     I  know  how  blessed  I  am   That  your  knees  and  Achilles  held  up  so  long,   So  willing  to  run  in  the  sun  for  hours  —   Now  that  your  freckles  are  almost  faded   And  the  belly  fat  has  responded  to  repeated  crunches  —   Without  whining,  active   Except  for  those  nights  of  sipping  Malbec  with  friends.     What  overture  could  I  perform     Sweet  enough  for  your  sake,  to  convince  you   I’m  not  unappreciative.    Should  we  vacation     Together  soon?    Should  we  ski  the  black  diamonds   Or  swim  at  the  beach?     It’s  your  choice,  if  you  pick  the  beach,   Whether  we  race  to  check  your  speed   And  stamina,  and  face  fatigue,   Or  recline  under  an  umbrella  with  slim  volumes  of  verse.     And  if  we  recline,  it’s  up  to  you  whether  we  dine,   There  and  then,  consuming  all  that  we  packed,   As  if  that  picnic  were  our  first,     Or  keep  a  serving  so  that  tomorrow   Won’t  seem  empty,   If  not  as  full  as  today.  

Yellow Chair  Review     21  


A Happy  Place   By  Michael  Verderber  

_________________   SETTING:  A  beach  in  Blake’s  psyche  and  several  memories  in  his  past.       (Lights  rise  on  BLAKE,  who  is  face  down  on  a  beach.  Around  him  are  four  items:  a  coffee  cup,  a  black  umbrella,  a   paper  bird,  and  a  flower  bouquet.  The  soft  sound  of  gulls  can  be  heard.  He  rises  slowly  and  looks  around.  A  slightly   different  light  coloring  could  be  used  to  distinguish  between  beach  and  flashback  scenes.)     BLAKE  –  What?  Where  am…I  recognize  this  place…  I  remember,  I  think…       (Lights  fade  as  BLAKE  exits  and  then  rise.  SHELLY  is  on  the  beach  crying.  BLAKE  enters  nonchalantly   carrying  a  coffee  cup.  He  sees  SHELLY  and  takes  a  moment  to  think.)     BLAKE  –  (Crossing  to  SHELLY)  I  thought  the  beach  was  supposed  to  be  a  happy  place.     SHELLY  –  Leave  me  alone.     BLAKE  –  See,  now  I  can’t.  I  see  a  pretty  girl  on  the  beach  crying  and  now  I  have  to  intervene.     SHELLY  –  If  you  are  trying  to  be  cute,  you  are  trying  way  too  hard.     BLAKE  –  I  think  you  calling  my  actions  as,  what  was  the  word?  Cute?  I  think  that  is  you  calling  it  cute.  Unless   you  meant  me?     SHELLY  –  (Lightens  up  and  smiles)  Ok,  that  was  pretty  good.     BLAKE  –  Thanks,  I’m  Blake.     SHELLY  –  I’m  Shelly.     BLAKE  –  Huh,  I  found  a  shell  on  the  beach…       SHELLY  –  You’re  slipping  back  into  corny.     BLAKE  –  I’ll  say  no  more.  (gestures  to  zip  his  lips)     SHELLY  –  …why  are  you  drinking  coffee?  This  is  a  beach.     BLAKE  –  Oh,  so  I’m  the  weird  one  now?  Would  you  suggest  I  drink  a  beverage  more  befitting  of  the  beach?     SHELLY  –  Yes.     BLAKE  –  Say,  sun  tan  lotion?  


SHELLY –  If  this  is  your  way  of  cheering  a  pretty  girl  up,  you  aren’t  doing  a  very  good  job.     BLAKE  –  Really?  I  should  drink  more  lotion  then.  And  I  beg  to  differ.     SHELLY  –  Do  you  now?     BLAKE  –  I  do.  You  are  smiling  and  seem  in  better  spirits.  I’d  say  I’m  doing  a  pretty  good  job.     SHELLY  –  (Lightens)  Perhaps.     BLAKE  –  (Points)  Is  this  mound  taken?     SHELLY  –  Grab  a  seat,  er,  sand.  (pause)  Is  this  when  the  gallant  gentleman  asks  me  why  I’m  crying?     BLAKE  –  Who  said  I  was  a  gentleman?  Who  said  I  wanted  to  know?     SHELLY  –  Do  you?     BLAKE  –  Of  course.  You  think  I’m  gallant.  I  need  to  live  up  to  that.    No  pressure  or  anything  –  gee  thanks!     SHELLY  –    You  gonna  offer  me  that  coffee?     BLAKE  –  You  gonna  offer  me  lotion?     SHELLY  –  (laughs)     BLAKE  –  So  are  you  gonna  tell  me  why  you  are  crying?     SHELLY  –  Trade  you  for  a  coffee.  (Rises  and  starts  to  exit)     BLAKE  –  (Rises)  Wait,  wait!     (Lights  out  and  then  back  up.  SHELLY  is  gone  and  BLAKE  is  alone  on  the  beach  again.  The  sound  of  gulls  is   heard.)     BLAKE  –  She  felt  like  a  storybook.  But  I  never  got  that  happily  ever  after…did  I?  Everything  went  fast,  so  by   the  book.  (He  picks  up  the  black  umbrella)       (Lights  out  and  then  rise.  BLAKE  runs  on  stage  with  wet  hair  as  he  closes  the  umbrella.  SHELLY  is  seated  with  a   pregnancy  test  in  hand.)     BLAKE  –  Did  I  miss  it?       SHELLY  –  Why  is  your  hair  wet?     BLAKE  –  Baby,  it’s  pouring  out!     SHELLY  –  Isn’t  that  what  the  umbrella  is  for?      

Yellow Chair  Review     23  


BLAKE –  Well,  yeah,  but  I  was  in  a  rush  to  get  here.     SHELLY  –  It’s  only  a  test.  You’re  so  sweet,  Blake.  And  I’ve  got  good  news.     BLAKE  –  Yeah?     SHELLY  –  I’m  pregnant!     BLAKE  –  Ahhh!  Yes,  baby!  (They  hug  exuberantly)     SHELLY  –  (Sighs)  Now  how  on  earth  are  we  going  to  put  up  with  a  kid?  (Laughs)     BLAKE  –  More  importantly,  how  is  this  kid  going  to  put  up  with  us?       SHELLY  –  You  are  silly.  (They  kiss.)       (Lights  fade  and  rise  on  the  beach.  BLAKE  is  alone.)     BLAKE  –  We  were  prepared  parents.  We  were  good  parents,  we  paid  attention  to  our  kid.  Took  him  to   baseball.  We  paid  attention…         (Lights  fade  and  rise  on  the  beach,  in  a  memory.  BLAKE  and  SHELLY  enter  with  picnic  supplies.)       SHELLY  –  (Readying  a  towel  for  the  floor.  She  talks  to  TYLER,  who  is  represented  as  a  voice  offstage.)  Tyler,  honey,   you  ready  to  hit  the  beach?     TYLER  –  Yeah…momma,  can  I  build  a  sandcastle?     SHELLY  –  Yes,  but  stay  close.     BLAKE  –  Don’t  get  too  close  to  the  water,  alright?  You  haven’t  learned  to  swim  yet.     TYLER  –  Ok,  daddy.       (SHELLY  and  BLAKE  set  up  the  picnic)     SHELLY  –  You  know,  we  met  right  over  there.  Remember?     BLAKE  –  Of  course.  (Catches  sight  of  TYLER  offstage.)  Tyler,  no  wait!  (Lights  turn  blue)     SHELLY  &  BLAKE  –  (Run  offstage  yelling)  Tyler,  stop!         (Lights  turn  red  as  stage  empties.  Lights  out.)     (Lights  rise  on  the  beach.  BLAKE  is  alone.  He  crosses  to  the  bouquet  and  picks  it  up.)     BLAKE  –  Shelly  was  never  the  same  after  that.  It  became  harder  and  harder  for  us.  Everything  was   like…moving  through  this  impenetrable  force.  Even  waking  up  and  making  coffee  was  monolithic.      


(Lights fade  and  rise  on  SHELLY,  sitting  in  a  chair,  playing  with  a  paper  bird.  BLAKE  enters  with  the  bouquet.)     BLAKE  –  You  found  Tyler’s  bird.     SHELLY  –  (Sniffs  and  wipes  tears  away)     BLAKE  –  He  really  loved  that  thing.     SHELLY  –  We  really  loved  him.     BLAKE  –  Still  do,  Shelly.  We  still  do.  And  we  forever  will.       SHELLY  –  (Examines  the  bird)  We  got  him  everything  he  wanted,  every  toy,  and  this  was  still  his  favorite.     BLAKE  –  A  little  paper  bird.     SHELLY  –  It  was  the  first  thing  he  and  I  made  together.       BLAKE  –  I  know,  baby.  I  know.  We  need  to  go.  It’s  time.         (Lights  fade.  In  the  darkness,  church  organs  are  heard  playing  a  somber  dirge.  Lights  rise  slowly  on  BLAKE  and       SHELLY  at  Tyler’s  funeral,  facing  downstage.  They  each  step  forward  slowly.)     BLAKE  –  (He  places  the  flowers  down.)  I  should  have  been  a  better  father.  I’m  sorry,  Tyler.  (He  steps  back.)     SHELLY  –  (She  places  the  paper  bird  down.)  I  brought  your  favorite  toy,  Tyler.  Keep  playing  with  it,  ok?         (They  quietly  weep  as  the  lights  fade.)     (Lights  rise  on  BLAKE  alone  on  the  beach  surrounded  by  the  coffee  cup,  umbrella,  paper  bird,  and  bouquet.)       BLAKE  –  (He  weeps  and  picks  up  the  paper  bird.  He  rises.)  I  thought  the  beach  was  supposed  to  be  a  happy  place.         (Lights  out  as  the  sound  of  splashing  waves  rises  and  fades.)       [  F  I  N  ]    

Yellow Chair  Review     25  


Demons By  Dah  

_________________  

Once again the demons emerge from the news fly into my ears and stab my heart It is difficult to fathom how they have eaten half of the world The refineries fiery exhales blast the atmosphere until the sky wears a dirty mask The demons swarm like radiation and move their goods across disheveled kingdoms and each streak of brown light is a sick body plunging into a soiled bed In the overgrown sepia haze hot residue singes the air A dense smudge cripples the waters plagues the oceans with black disease Once again the demons emerge from the news fly into my ears and stab my heart (after the latest oil spill)


(Per)Version Of  Justice(s)   By  Euphrates  Moss  

_________________   Somebody  call  Chris  Hansen!  Predators!  Predators!   The  first  men  of  the  cloth  to  be  featured,  too,  I  think…   And  the  diddlee  the  fairest  document  in  the  land   Gather  ‘round,  little  children,  and  hear  me  tell   Of  the  road  to  kakistocracy,  our  political  hell     Money  shot          through  Ashtown’s  glory  hole   Into  the  hands  of  the  vested  Catholic  priestjudges   Justices  Kennedy,  Roberts,  Alito,  Scalia,  and  Thomas   From  unknown  donors  in  conscientious  deniability,   Sworn  ignorance  of  bribers  or  even  of  a  bribery     They  used  scalpels  but  it  was  no  surgery  performed,   Near  Viceregal  Lodge,  this  Supreme  Court  butchery   Before  they  convened  in  their  holier-­‐‑than-­‐‑thou  cassocks   And  administered  the  Gospel  of  Greed  to  the  rule  of  law   Gloria  in  excessus  richesse–  unmonied  bemarginalized     Citizens  United  v.  the  Federal  Election  Commission   I  speak  of  complete  collusion  between  government   And  corporations,  a  merger  in  the  face  of  anti-­‐‑trust   That’s  cancerized  America’s  very  blood  in  rich  clods   “Money  is  speech.”  …  “Corporations  are  people.”     Jackjustices  doing  the  hokeypoky  and  then   They  brother  Buzz  the  vote;  that’s  what  it’s  about   How  far  down  the  rabbit  hole  does  this  infection  creep?   Conservatives:  Catholics  now  in  bed  with  Protestants   Corporations,  church,  and  state:  totalitarian  Trinity     O  padre  of  Rome  who  art  in  Vatican  City,   Please  ring  out  the  curse  against  these  ministers   Who  so  dearly  love  that  never-­‐‑overflowing  chalice   First-­‐‑first  last-­‐‑last,  the  sentence  read  from  the  book   May  these  five  candles  forever  be  extinguished,  amen!  

Yellow Chair  Review     27  


A Shiny  World  As  This   By  Julianza  Shavin  

_________________  

Putting the  innocent  knife  to  her  throat,   my  mother  says,  I  don'ʹt  give  a  shit  who  eats  broccoli!   Rain  mudslides  her  makeupped  face   that  reflects  her  mother,  projects  her  girls.   The  dog,  having  gnawed  all  sun  and  stink   from  bone,  skulks  to  his  upside  down  self   by  the  sofa'ʹs  timid  welcome,  and  my  brother,     smiling  like  the  village  idiom,  reaches  for  salt.  Then  salts.   My  sister,  God  bless  her,  has  sworn  off  food   and  later  will  pronounce  us  dysfunctional   which  is  when  all  laughter  ceases,   not  at  the  knife,  those  second  and  third  helpings.   My  father'ʹs  appetizer,  an  anxious  tranquilizer,   fails  to  keep  his  sweet  brown  eyes  from  silvering   in  some  sudden  gastronomic  aging.   It  occurs  to  me  then  that  Elijah  never  came.   It  occurs  to  me  that  once  we  heard  Elijah  rustle,   but  it  was  the  dog,  and  how  we  laughed,     that  dogs  were  our  only  real  hope   in  such  a  shiny  world  as  this,     except  they  kept  dying,  just  the  usual.   The  knife  returned  to  its  baby-­‐‑hungry  drawer.   Then,  low  blood  sugar  picked  us  all  off  like  kites   and  my  mother  cleaned  up  alone.  


Denverscape Photography   By  Julianza  Shavin  

Yellow Chair  Review     29  


Hamartia By  Casey  Hampf  

_________________ My  flaws  have  been  bothering  me  today  more  than  usual.  Lateness  turned  off  my  alarm  this  morning  and  hid   my  keys   in  his   pockets.  Though  he  refuses  to   come  clean.  When  I  finally  did  make   it   to  work,  I   was  tapped   incessantly  on  the  shoulder  by  Anxiety  with  her  bitten  down  nails.  She  can’t  seem  to  let  me  forget  about  the   presentation  I  had.  The  one  I  didn’t  make  it  to  after  I  was  tripped  by  a  red-­‐‑faced  Clumsiness,  making  me  spill   coffee  all  over  myself.  Thankfully  Self-­‐‑Consciousness  stopped  cowering  from  behind  the  stairs  to  help  pick  me   up.       Leaving  has  been  the  most  persistent  flaw.  I  keep  finding  him  hiding  in  places  he  isn’t  supposed  to  be  like  in   the  trunk  of  my  car  or  under  my  bed.  But  he’s  different  now.  He’s  starting  to  look  like  you.  And  even  though  I   said  wouldn’t,  seeing  him  makes  me  want  to  call  or  even  go  back.  Especially  on  days  like  this.  But  whenever  I   pick   up   the   phone,   I   am   instantly   berated   by   Anxiety,   Fear,   Desperation,   and   Restlessness.   Their   huddled   bodies  block  me  in  while  they  strangle  the  phone  away.  I  can’t  stop  them  from  hanging  up  on  you.  It  will  be   hard   to   avoid   them   after   that.   Even   harder   to   evade   the   smiling   faces   of   Alcoholism   and   Depression.   So   instead  I’ll  lie  in  bed  and  turn  off  the  lights  and  try  not  to  think  of  you.  And  because  he  has  your  face,  I’ll  seek   out  comfort  from  Leaving.    


A Spring  Tale   By  Michael  Enevoldsen  

_________________   A  beautiful  butterfly     Tasting  the  sweet  honeydew  of  a  spring  child     May  suddenly  catch  on  fire  from  his  embrace       A  dangerous  game     A  dangerous  game     The  warm  touch  of  this  strange  child     Spread  all  of  the  bed  of  flowers   Will  soon  catch  on  fire  other  butterflies       Like  a  moth  to  a  flame     Like  a  moth  to  a  flame       The  spring  child  full  of  honeydew     Awakens  green  passion  by  his  name...  

Yellow Chair  Review     31  


Amazing By  Brennan  “B  Deep”  DeFrisco  

_________________   Hey  you—   looking  down  at  this  page     you’re  amazing     &  here’s  why:         Did  you  know  you  can  glow  in  the  dark?       Humans  are  bioluminescent—   it  doesn’t  matter  what  color  your  skin  is—   this  light  that  our  eyes  can’t  detect     lets  other  predators  know  where  we  are   we  all  look  the  same     when  you  can  see  through  the  darkness       Or  instead,  let’s  talk  about  love:     an  avalanche  of  neurotransmitters       moving  through  you   speeding  up  your  heartbeat   making  it  hard  to  eat  or  sleep   producing  the  same  chemical  effects  as  amphetamines   We  are  literally       addicted  to  love     In  your  blood,  there  will  always  flow  a  dash  of  gold   You  are  more  precious  than  you  know     &  did  you  know   we  share  half  our  genetic  code     with  bananas?     Or  that  the  average  ejaculation     contains  1,500  terabytes  of  information?   Do  you  know  how  many  hard  drives  you’d  have  to  buy?   Never  mind…     A  few  of  us  humans  can  taste  the  flavor  of  syllables   as  we  speak  them   &  some  women  have  an  extra  color  receptor  or  two   seeing  more  shades  of  red  and  blue  than  men     will  ever  know    


Loneliness is  physically  painful—   the  same  part  of  the  brain     that  makes  pain  frightening   drives  us     to  connect,     to  seek  companionship   to  feel  home  in  someone  else’s  arms     &  feel     lost     when  you  aren’t  there     which  might  explain  why     tears  are  like  memories,   changing  shape     depending  on  why  you’re  crying     even  though  around  90%  of  the  cells  in  your  body    have  their  own  DNA  and     are  not,     technically,     you     Every  atom  inside  you  is  99.99999999%     empty       space       &  not  one  of  them  are  the  ones  you  were  born  with   but  all  of  them  were  born  in  the  belly  of  a  star         You  are  so  amazing   I  just  thought  you  should  know  

Yellow Chair  Review     33  


Grenade By  Ally  Malinenko  

_________________   It  happens   for  too  long.   Everything  I  tried  to  shed   when  I  boarded  that  plane   and  crossed  that  ocean   comes  back   and  here  I  am  walking  through   the  streets  of  Leipzig   telling  you  that  I’m  not  getting  better   that  sometimes  I  just  want  the  disease   to  come  back   and  kill  me   because  then  it  will  be  over.   The  waiting  and  worrying  and  wondering  will  be  over.       I  don’t  think  that’s  what  you  want,   you  tell  me  softly       and  I  realized  I  did  it  again   threw  another  grenade  of  fear   right  at  you   and  you  caught  it   and  held  it   and  pressed  it  to  your  chest   and  you  didn’t  even  blink   when  it  blew  up  your  heart.  


Wish You  Were  Her   By  Carly  A.  Kocurek  

_________________   He  sends  me  letters       from  other  edges  of  the  world     as  I  stand  staring  off  the  coast  of  Texas.   He  drops  postcards  from  cliffs  in  South  America,     sets  them  adrift  in  bottles  in  the  Black  Sea,     sends  them  sliding  down  Alpine  slopes,     leaves  them  to  rise  on  heat  waves  in  the  Sahara.     They  come  to  me  crinkled  and  world-­‐‑weary,       Their  messages  incomplete.         One  depicting  Argentinee  tango  dancers  read       “Wish  you  were   her”     Maybe  he  imagined  things  would  be  simpler     if  he  were  twined  in  my  two-­‐‑step  arms     as  we  scuffled  across  bare  board  floors   Maybe  he  thought  he  had  taken  a  wrong  turn     Somewhere  out  in  the  Gulf.     But  maybe  to  he  wished  his  two  worlds  would  compress.     His  Texas  girl  would  dissolve       into  the  thick  black  hair  of  the  tango  dancer  and       breathe  through  painted  lips.  

Yellow Chair  Review     35  


The Changing  Face  of  Beauty   By  Howard  Debs  

_________________   The  Japanese  have  made  an  art  of  it,  golden  repair   —after  a  commentary  on  Kintsugi,  lacquerware  mending       Soon  these,         will  bear  wilted     petals  golden  hues  succumbing       becoming  burnt  umber   taking  on  another  cast,   reflecting  not  the  past       but  the  passage  of  time.     ***     Long  ago  in  what  too  will  change     from  a  quaint  fishing  village     called  Edo  to  a  burgeoning  Tokyo     a  craftsman  ponders  a  conundrum   in  his  ceramics  shop  one  spring  day,   looking  towards  a  sky  of  periwinkle  blue   he  searches  the  heavens  for  an  answer     amidst  that  exquisite  view   the  delicate  porcelain  masterpiece   known  as  “two  flowers”  fragile  as   its  namesake  sits  upon  his  bench   then,  after  examining  each  crack,   each  spidery  wrinkle   conceded  from  use,   with  care  he  fills   the  fissures     applying  a  lacquer   and  metallic  mix     the  object  of  his  art     now  showing  its  wear     in  shimmering     golden  seams   not  hiding  what     came  to  be—   redeeming   the  changing     face  of  beauty.  


The Changing  Face  of  Beauty   Photography   By  Howard  Debs  

Yellow Chair  Review     37  


Less Friend   By  Jackson  Shumaker  

_________________   I  remember  colored  pencils.  Long  hours  spent  indoors  just  you  and  me.  Drawing  snakes,  elves,   dragons,  dream  creatures,  robots,  magic  rings,  things  we  knew.  A  secret  world.   I  remember  you’d  pick  me  first  in  any  game  and  I’d  do  the  same  for  you.  A  childhood  promise.   I  remember  making  a  tipi  in  the  woods  out  of  sticks  and  an  old  carpet  we  took  without  permission.   Marching  around  with  arrowheads  tied  to  sticks  imagining  we’d  go  hunting  turkey  and  spearing  fish  but   never  hurting  a  thing.   I  remember  when  you’d  disobey  your  parents.  Mock  them.  Fight  them.  But  then  rely  on  them.   I  remember  waiting  with  you  at  the  cabin  when  you  were  too  afraid  to  go  tubing  behind  the  boat  or   too  disenchanted  to  make  the  trip  to  watch  fireworks  on  the  4th  of  July.  I  never  minded.   I  remember  you  telling  your  mother  and  me  that  you  were  more  fire  than  water.  Mostly  fire.   I  remember  thinking  you  were  immature.  A  tolerable  trait.  Because  I  loved  you.   I  remember  our  freshman  year  of  college.  We  ate  lunch  together  almost  every  day  because  we  didn’t   know  anyone  else.  We  were  both  so  glad  it  turned  out  that  way.   I  remember  when  you  got  a  girlfriend.   I  remember  you  shocked  us  both  when  you  told  her  you  thought  that  men  were  smarter  than  women.   That  males  were  inherently  more  likely  to  produce  genius-­‐‑level  intellect.   I  tolerated  that  too.   I  remember  sleepless  nights  under  the  influence  of  fantastic  substances.  Feeling  a  sense  of  peace,  love,   realization,  and  acceptance.  I  tell  myself  it  was  worth  it.  That  each  night  was  worth  it.   I  remember  when  you  lost  your  girlfriend.  You  said  she  had  problems  you  couldn’t  help  her  with.   I  remember  you  calling  my  own  girlfriend  toxic,  unstable,  and  insane.   My  girlfriend?   I  remember  when  you  told  her  that  men  had  stronger  friendships  than  women  and  that  it  was  a  man’s   biological  imperative  to  sleep  with  as  many  women  as  possible  and  to  bear  as  many  children  as  possible.   How  could  you?   I  remember  avoiding  you  for  months.   I  remember  sleepless  nights  trying  to  reconcile  your  presence  in  my  life.     I  remember  asking  you  to  meet  me  for  lunch.  It  had  been  so  long.  Maybe  you’d  changed.   I  remember  you  said  you  were  done  spending  time  with  people  who  sucked.  You  didn’t  want  to  see   the  cousins  on  your  father’s  side  ever  again.  Didn’t  want  to  see  anyone  from  your  mother’s  side.  I  asked  how   you  felt  about  your  parents  and  grandparents.  You  said  you  hadn’t  decided  about  them  yet.   Hadn’t  decided?  Those  people  love  you  unconditionally.   I  remember  leaving  you  with  tears  in  my  eyes.  I’ve  never  been  strong  enough  to  fight  you  on   anything.  I  couldn’t  bring  myself  to  ask  about  the  other  subjects.  What  do  you  think  about  women?  Are  they   second-­‐‑class  citizens  to  you?  Inferior?   I  remember  suffering  a  loss.     I  remember  our  mother’s  called  us  “Baby  buddies”.  Born  just  a  month  apart.  Spending  every  summer   together,  playing  the  same  games,  attending  the  same  university.  But  finding  a  world  of  difference.  


Monday By  Leonard  Orr  

_________________     I  search  for  telltale  signs  of  your  approach:   the  horizon  brightens  and  the  river  calms,   the  seagulls  stalk  about  and  mockingbirds   wave  their  semaphore  wings,  quails  bob  past.   Then  at  last,  still  apart,  closer,  then  the  moment   when  our  shadows  coalesce,  when  we  pounce   and  hold,  and  could  kiss  for  a  week  at  a  time.   Two  days  without  meeting  is  far  too  long,  a  time   of  gloom  and  tedium,  two  days  of  lower  back  pain,   a  period  that  seems  boring  and  bereft,  like   two  long  days  in  the  dental  chair,  days  of  talk  radio.   Two  hours  without  meeting  is  too  long,   a  time  of  restless,  high-­‐‑tension  nerves   strung  dangerously  in  the  electrical  storm,   imagining  unaccountable  delays,  or  that  you   find  you  must  leave  too  soon  (any  time  is  too  soon).   Two  minutes  without  you  is  still  too  long;   when  we  meet,  I  don’t  even  want  to  blink   because  of  the  seconds  I  lose  sight  of  you.  

Yellow Chair  Review     39  


poem to  cindy  x  garcia   age,  approximately  5  ½     By  John  Grochalski  

_________________

cindy   what  is  there  to  say?     except  that  we’re  both  pretty  tired   coming  home  on  this  evening  train     only  i  don’t  have  my  mother  with  me   to  try  and  keep  waking  me  up,  like  you  do     she’s  only  doing  it   because  if  you  sleep  now   you’ll  be  a  terror  when  she  tries  to  put  you  to  bed     it’s  kind  of  like  how  i  feel   those  nights  struggling  to  keep  my  eyes  open   until  at  least  ten  o’clock     frustrated  at  all  of  these  inabilities  and  limits   i  seem  to  be  acquiring  year  by  year     cindy   it’s  hard  at  your  age  and  it’s  getting  harder  at  mine     and  i  know  how  you  feel   two  parents  working  full-­‐‑time   or  maybe  even  just  one     up  and  out  the  door  before  most  kids  are  even  awake   back  home  to  the  insult  of  everyone  else’s  warm  yellow  window     because  you’ve  spent  mornings  and  afternoons   shucked  off  to  daycare  or  lousy  babysitters   that  your  folks  can’t  really  afford     you  know  they’re  working  hard   but  it’s  tough  only  seeing  them  when  the  sun  comes  down   when  you’re  tired  and  on  this  train  tonight   where  thankfully  no  one  is  making  any  noise     remember  they  don’t  want  to  pay  someone  else   to  raise  you  either    


cindy   i  wish  that  i  could  say  that  it  gets  better   that  the  tiredness  abates       but  if  i  have  to  be  honest  with  you   life  comes  down  to  small  pockets  of  joy   tucked  between  the  sadness  and  strife     and  before  you  know  it   you’ll  be  putting  your  mom  to  bed   or  saying  goodbye  for  the  long  run     so  don’t  give  her  too  much  shit  right  now   because  she  seems  like  a  nice  lady   with  soft,  brown  loving  eyes     cindy   i  can  see  the  tears  welling  up     as  she  keeps  sitting  you  up  straight     there’s  no  need  to  cry   because  this  is  just  what  we  do   trying  to  live  this  life  we’ve  been  given     we  endure   we  make  magic  happen  when  we  can     and  there’s  still  a  few  more  good  hours     left  in  the  day  for  us  both     dinner,  television,  or  maybe  a  decent  book     so  let’s  not  squander  this,  little  girl   on  tears  and  petty  disagreements     let’s  do  as  mom  says   and  get  up     let’s  get  off  this  train  tonight   and  get  back  to  the  art  of  living     until  tomorrow,  cindy   until  tomorrow.  

Yellow Chair  Review     41  


Yours And  Mine   By  Heath  Brougher  

_________________   The  day  is  made  of  slammed  doors     everything  is  labeled  and  certain     and  few  things  are  more  certain  than  a  slammed  door       everything  is  closed  off  or  separated       the  natural  boundaries  of  ownership  [wolf  piss  on  a  bush]     have  ballooned  to  a  near  explosion       by  what  Mankind  has  done  to  this   extant  thing…………………………………..this  thing       commonly  called  ownership       left  here  for  you  humans  to  find  and  exploit   to  where  it  has  become  the  dominant  force  in  almost  every  culture  in  the  World.         [these  illusions  make  me  sick  to  my  brain]    


Battlefields By  Susan  Castillo  Street  

_________________ You’d  think  that  battlefields   Would  be  haunted.    Fierce  bursts  of  cannon,   horses’  shrieks,  soldiers’  groans  hissing  through  air,   rustling  in  grass,     reverberating  against  stones     But  no.    In  Hastings  and  Bayeux,   in  skies  above  green  fields  in  Kent   or  beaches  in  the  north  of  France   no  echoes  there,  no  cries,  no  drones  of  aircraft   spiralling  down  in  catherine-­‐‑wheels.     The  wind  blows  soft  and  ruffles  grass   as  though  young  soldiers  never  fought,   guns  never  roared,     shells  never  burst  and  burned   through  bones  and  flesh  and  earth.    

Yellow Chair  Review     43  


Babel By  Allie  Marini  Batts  

_________________   if  sorrow  is  the  autumn  of  heart  &  mind,     then  with  the  sun  tangled  in  myrtle  branches   instead—re-­‐‑seed  between  my  thighs  &  name  me  springtime     plant  flowers  of  fire  along  the  edges  of  my  skin     &  watch  me     burst  into  bloom       coming  up  green-­‐‑eyed  again,         like  blades  of  grass  after  a  controlled  burn—     if  language  strips  away  the  meaning  &  the  motivation,     then  breaking  apart  this  well-­‐‑wrought  vessel     turns  the  translator  into  a  traitor.       if  there  are  five  distinct  tonal  qualities  to  language,     then  explain  away  the  night  by  breaking  it  down     into  five  simple  sounds:     pull  each  of  them  from  my  antediluvian  lips,     thread  them  up  from  the  anchor  in  my  lungs     this  thing—mistranslated  as  love  that  was  planted  bitter—   like  autumn—   bring  it  back  as  languageless  sound,       joined  as  my  breath         to           the  water  &  the  heart  radicals  re-­‐‑emerge  &  intermesh,     turning  the  traitor  into  a  pure  tonal  value,     a  rose  of  deepest  blue,       the  color  a  saturation  of  love       untranslatable.    

your breath  


Origins By  Allie  Marini  Batts  

_________________   Because  I  had  no  interest  in  learning       the  art  of  blowjobs,  practicing  skills  I  saw  no  use  for   on  an  acned  and  unappreciative  audience,     I  made  myself  a  target.       Defending  that  virginity     like  it  was  a  goddamn  lottery  ticket     taught  me  better  than  AP  English  11   the  definition  of  irony:     When  what  happens  is  the  opposite  of  what’s  expected—   WHORE  scrawled  on  my  locker     four  times  in  four  years,     painted  over  to  hide  what’s  written  beneath     Ignore  it;  they’ll  lose  interest  if  you  don’t  react  to  them,     but  my  mother  didn’t  seem  to  understand  that     ignoring  it  only  made  it  worse,  upped  the  ante:   DykeFreakBitchCuntSlutWhassamattergonnaCRYnow?     Spitballs  clinging  to  my  hair,  I  terrified  myself   as  I  leapt  up  like  a  dog  gone  blood  simple,     whipping  my  desk  across  the  room     like  a  prairie  twister,  bearing  down  towards  Jason-­‐‑or-­‐‑Josh     Caught  at  the  cuff  of  my  long-­‐‑sleeved  shirt  by  Mrs.  I,     revealing  to  her  in  a  flash,  the  map  on  my  arm     dotted  and  cross-­‐‑hatched  in  cigarette  burns  and  shallow  cuts   silvery  scars  and  half-­‐‑scabbed  attempts  to  Just  Ignore  It     After  class,  she  finds  me  behind  the  portable,     hands  me  a  blank  notebook,  a  detention  slip,   and  a  skinny  volume  of  a  book  that’s  not  on  the  reading  list—    stark  white  with  jet-­‐‑black  capital  letters  spelling  ARIEL.     I’m  tired  of  writing  you  detentions  for  smoking  back  here,     she  says,  I’m  not  going  to  tell  your  dad  what  happened  today,     and  motions  toward  my  arms—   But  we  need  to  figure  out  a  better  way  for  you  to  get  through  this.     In  detention  on  Saturday  morning,     I  stabbed  at  the  page  with  the  sharp  nib  of  a  Pilot  pen   and  learned  that  in  order  to  forge  a  sword  that  is  sharp  and  strong   you  must  first  suffer  through  the  burning.      

Yellow Chair  Review     45  


The Thrill  of  Arousal   Collage   By  Bill  Wolak  


Sotto Voce   By  Ricky  Garni  

_________________   Sometimes   I   think   of   the  woman  I   love   and   then   I  say   to   myself   all   the   things   that  I   can  see  that  she   is.   For   example:  “She  is  a  cloud,  she  is  a  tree,  she  is  that  bunny  rabbit  there,  she  is  that  log  cabin,  she  is  that  cat  asleep   on   that   jeep,   she   is   that   John   Deere   Tractor,   she   is   that   Hallmark   card,   she   is   that   water   pistol,   she   is   that   loofah,  she  is  that  noisy  bird,  she  is  that  big  bar  of  soap,  she  is  that  funny  movie,  she  is  that  race  car  with  the   flame  decals,  she  is  that  piece  of  chocolate  candy  in  the  fridge  that  is  so  expensive  yet  so  delicious.”  After  I  do   that,  I  say  to  myself  all  the  things  she  is  not,  but  rather  than  be  specific,  I  sweep  my  hand  from  one  horizon  to   the  next  and  I  simply  say:  “She  is  none  of  these  terrible  things.”  

Yellow Chair  Review     47  


Greenish Irony   By  Yuan  Changming  

_________________ You  wish  to  be  a  Douglas  fir   Tall,  straight,  almost  immortal   But  you  stand  like  a  Peking  willow   Prone  to  cankers,  full  of  twisted  twigs     Worse  still,  you  are  not  so  resistant     As  the  authentic  willow  that  can  bend  gracefully   Shake  off  all  its  unwanted  leaves  in  autumn   When  there  is  a  wind  blowing  even  from  nowhere     No  matter  how  much  sunshine  you  receive   During  the  summer,  you  have  nothing  but  scars   To  show  off  against  winter  storms   The  scars  that  you  can  never  shake  off  


Travelogue By  Rachel  Schmieder-­‐‑Gropen  

_________________   -­‐‑-­‐‑  And  now  I’ve  loved  another  woman   from  another  city:  Springfield,  TN,   with  its  murder  rate  and  gentle  lovers.   Mark  the  map;  add  it  to  the  list     of  places  I  don’t  intend  to  revisit.     The  list  is  getting  longer,  the  map   riddled  with  pushpin  holes   like  a  town  crossed  with     a  hundred  tracks.  A  red  splotch   where  Texas  used  to  be.   Boston,  my  pretty  city,   where  can  I  walk  without   retracing  all  my  steps?   Boston,  my  pretty  city,   with  swan  boats  in  summer   and  bookshops  where  we   ducked  behind  the  shelves   to  kiss  and  whisper  and   run  our  hands  over  the  spines   of  new  bodies  and  old  books     -­‐‑-­‐‑  any  direction  can  take  me   a  step  too  far.  Tell  me,   where  can  I  walk  in  peace?   Please,  mark  the  map.   Drive  a  pushpin  through   the  secret  places  in  my  heart,   the  places  I  have  been   and  will  not  be  again.    

Yellow Chair  Review     49  


Solution To  Population   By  Colby  McAdams  

_________________   Someone  tell  them  to  stop   having  kids.  That’s  your   kid  with  vomit  down  her  camisole.   Your  kid   is  broke  and  calling     for  more  money,  learned  to  love   back  as  needed.   I  love  you-­‐‑  hangs  up.   Picks  up-­‐‑  I  love  you.   Never  loves  you  in  the  middle.       Oh  and  yours  is  so  mean,   Predator  of  Breakable  Objects-­‐‑   teeth  and  heart  and  once  a  car.   Better  than  Crier  in  Public  Too  Often   or  Sex-­‐‑er  of  People  Because  Bored.   Better  than     Your  kid     is  insecure  about  her  nose  today   her  hips.  (Your  hips,  really)   But  yours  is  Ted  Bundy.  Your  kid   will  choke  to  death  on  a  ravioli.   Your  kid  is  breaking  her  kid’s  heart.     If  they  would  just  stop  having,   how  beautiful  to  watch   an  undoing.     Drag  your  hand  through  a  spider’s  web.     The  dying  off-­‐‑   first  the  people  you  love     then  know   then  think  you  know   like  Angelina  Jolie’s  lips,  your  own  kid   then  what  does  it  matter   a  bus  driver  or  a  prime  minister     then  you.   Something  final,   until  everything  eventually-­‐‑   I  love  you.  Hangs  up.  


The Answer  Understands  Its  Question   By  Kami  Westhoff  

_________________ In  the  quieter  moments,  perhaps  when  the  knit  and  purl     have  led  her  far  from  the  lifeline,  or  during  the  snap  and  shuck   of  this  season’s  corn,  its  sweet  stickiness  silking     her  fingers  gold,  she  pities  his  mother.  The  realization     must’ve  slammed  into  her  like  a  mudslide:  the  pre-­‐‑dawn     thud  and  whimper  reasoned  away  as  stray-­‐‑cat  feuding;     the  squirm  of  her  daughter  under  the  blanket  in  the  backseat     the  fuss  of  motion  sickness;  even  the  night  she  found  her  son     slinking  from  her  daughter’s  bedroom  his  woolen  footsteps     quiet  as  a  ghost’s,  a  sleepwalker  like  his  father.  And  then,  the  moment     the  answer  finally  understands  its  question.     Pity  passes  quickly.  She  notices  a  mis-­‐‑stitch  and  the  yarn     unravels  like  a  nervous  system.  She  discovers  an  ear  of  corn,     deformed  by  genetic  flaw,  kernels  in  a  scatter.     His  mother  is  again  just  a  mother  that  failed  to  protect     one  child  from  the  other  child.  She’d  once  told  her,     If  his  father  had  known  he  would’ve  killed  our  son.   I  had  to  think  of  my  family,  her  voice  like  a  high  tide,     eyes  slick  as  a  seal.  

Yellow Chair  Review     51  


More By  J.K.  Durick  

_________________   Right  now  –  we  need  more.   It  seems  like  –  there’s  not  enough.   There’s  never  enough.   This  shortage  outweighs  any   past  abundance.       This  lapse  seems  unforgiveable  –     this  empty  feeling  unbearable.   This  void  is  something  we  needed     to  avoid  –  but  didn’t.       We  need  to  fill  this  blank,  this  bare     cupboard,  this  barren  field.       We  need  to  soothe  this  hollow     ache,  this  disturbing  futility,   this  unfulfilled  promise.       Everything  seems  meaningless,   pointless,  aimless  without  more.       We  need  whole  armfuls,  bags   and  barns  full,  whole  rooms     overflowing  till  we  need  to  build       build  more  to  hold  the  more  and     more  we  need  right  now  and  for     our  foreseeable  future,  years  and     years  of  more  and  more,  and  never   any  less.       Right  now  –  we  need  more,   But  it’s  hard  to  imagine  why.    


Breakfast At  Tiffany’s   By  Dee  Dee  Chapman  

_________________ Because all the really crucial moments must happen in the back of taxicabs in New York, in the rain. The wild things and the super rats as well as the cats without names belong to each other there. Hollywood knows the important part is the solidarity found, the prize in the Cracker Jack’s box, knows we have our own Tiffany’s, cages with noble, high ceilings we’ve built ourselves, where nothing bad can ever happen to us, full of all the things we’ve never done. So though the weather report won’t be the same in Brazil, Fred Baby, you can take comfort in the checks you earn outside the powder room; it can be found in the champagne you have before breakfast. Know that the loneliness can be defeated by climbing the fire escape if, Darling, you only open your window.

Yellow Chair  Review     53  


Heads Down   By  Caitlin  Upshall  

_________________   Every  Monday  was  mystery  meat  Monday.  Along  with  that,  other  things  at  Wilson  High  School  that   should   have   died   in   the   80’s   included   the   racist   mascot,   the   spare   gym   clothes   that   smelled   like   Marcus   Trufant’s   sweat,   and   Mrs.   Jameson,   the   math   teacher   who   served   in   WWI   and   enjoyed   killing   people,   both   physically  and  emotionally.  I  walked  into  the  lunchroom,  got  my  state  approved  meal,  complete  with  all  one   half  serving  of  carrot  mush,  and  took  a  seat  at  the  table  with  my  friends.  The  table  to  our  left  was  the  pregnant   freshman’s   table   and   the   one   to   our   right   was   the   drug   users’   table.   It   was   quite   the   three   little   bears’   predicament.     As   I  poked  at   my  mush,  disguised  as  food,  I   noticed   how  eerily   quiet  the  lunchroom   had  become.   I   looked  around  and  saw  my  friend  Sasha  staring  towards  the  dusty  windows  to  our  left.  When  I  followed  her   gaze,   it   became   clear   what   was   attracting   so   much   attention.   By   the   windows,   Jacella   and   Tyesha   were   speaking.     It   was   no  secret  that   they  were  rivals.  Jacella   ran   the   east   side   of   the   school   and   Tyesha   the   west.   It   might  seem  silly,  but  that  was  my  city.  Territories  were  alive  and  well,  whether  that  meant  claiming  a  side  of   the  city  or  claiming  a  person,  it  didn’t  matter.  The  two  of  them  stood  in  quiet  conversation  for  a  few  minutes;   everyone  in  the  cafeteria  breathed  in  synchronized,  shallow  breaths.  Up  until  now,  the  two  of  them  had  only   ever   exchanged   glances.   Words   were   a   whole   new   game   plan,   but   they   were   nothing   compared   to   what   happened  next.                            There  was  a  shriek  and  then  the  sound  of  glass  shattering.  Beside  me,  Sasha  shouted  for  people  to  put   their  “fucking  heads  down”  and  she  dove  under  the  table.  Others  followed  suit,  but  I  didn’t.  Gunshots  were   nothing  new  to  me,  which  meant  that  I  could  tell  them  apart  from  other  loud  noises.  This  was  no  gun.  I  looked   at   the   two   girls,   realizing   now   that   there   was   only   one.   Jacella   was   bent   over   with   her   hands   on   her   knees,   panting.  I  followed  her  gaze  and  saw  shards  of  glass  by  the  window-­‐‑  correction;  by  where  the  window  used  to   be.  Through  the  newly  opened  space,  Tyesha  was  laying  outside  of  the  building,  trying  to  catch  her  breath  and   looking  shocked  at  being  thrown  so  far.  There  was  a  flurry  of  movement  and  one  of  the  security  guards  ran   over  to  Jacella  and  handcuffed  her.  Outside,  a  few  professors  pulled  Tyesha  up  from  the  ground.   The  window  was  fixed  within  a  month,  but  not  quite  soon  enough  to  stop  a  few  dozen  squirrels  from   taking  up  residence  in  the  alcoves.  The  two  girls  were  suspended  and  came  back  a  few  weeks  later.  The  next   year  the  window  was  a  different  tint,  the  territories  had  changed  once  again,  and  the  students  discovered  that   the  only  living  things  that  enjoyed  mystery  meat  Monday  were  baby  squirrels.     High  school  is  a  confusing  time.  Everyone  tries  to  hold  on  to  the  remnants  of  their  childhoods  while   imitating  whatever  they  think  adulthood  looks  like.  Responsibility  isn’t  remembering  to  pick  up  your  toys,  but   it’s  not  to  the  level  of  picking  up  after  your  child’s  toys  either.  There  is  no  easy  way  to  get  through  high  school:   there  aren’t  any  notes  that  you  can  write  on  your  hand  to  help  you.  It’s  one  test  that  you  can’t  study  for  and   that   you’ll   probably   never   experience   again.   All   you   can   really   do   is   to   keep   wading   through   the   murky   waters  of  “not  young  enough  to  get  a  kid’s  movie  ticket  and  not  old  enough  to  drink”,  until  you  make  it  to  the   other  side.  It  will  be  the  longest  test  you  take,  but  the  results  are  much  more  than  just  a  number.  The  results   are  you.  


Uprooted Tree  

Photography By  James  Baxenfield  

Yellow Chair  Review     55  


Rumination By  Na-­‐‑Moya  Lawrence  

_________________   Wake     Broad  swaths  resting  warmly.  Tingle  where  tingle  is  welcome,  unwelcome.  Come.  Flicker,   flicker  darting  gamely.  Alive,  mist  before  mirror.  Write  the  name,  curving  perspective.  Image  is   soul,  stolen  totem.  Devil  on  the  chest.  Respite  in  breathing.  Devil  in  the  nuance.  Wake  wake.   The  lights  are  no  brighter.  Stumbling,  tripping  over  ribs.  Slick,  what  does  it  mean.     Slow,  succumb  to  gravity  grasping  at  your  center.  Magnet  at  your  navel.  No,  lint.     Morning  Light     Tell  me  something  no  one  else  knows.  Lies.  Soft  shelled  crab  don'ʹt  scream  like  the  lobster.   Strive  for  prescience.  Press  deeply  the  vault  until  it  shudders  open.  Soft  shelled  ear,  peach   smooth.  In  one  out  the  other.  If  my  tongue  goes  in,  does  that  make  you  any  truer?  Look  down,   look  left,  don'ʹt  look  in,  mirrors  suck  and  expel.  You'ʹre  prettier  in  theory.     Cube     Touch  me  and  perhaps  I'ʹll  believe  the  cold  press  of  your  tip.  Climbing  an  iceberg  without   protection  is  impossible.  Frostbite  my  lips.  Maybe  then  a  secret  will  be  secret.  Anything  you   want.  Wet  floors  breed  cruel  hands.  Mop,  mop  until  the  floor  is  gone,  until  we  sink  into  the   center  of  the  earth  and  burn  up  our  eyes.     Refuse     Take.  Take  what  is  taken  in  the  giving  of  what?  Like  marshmallow  blackening  and   sweetening  and  hardening  and  melting  primordially  over  a  fire.  Containing  a  high  amount  of   acid,  pineapples  will  burn  you  with  their  sweetness.  Cutting  out  the  core  is  the  suggested   remedy.  Would  that  it  were  so  simple.  Waste  not  want  not.  Glue  the  shoe  back  together  and   weather  the  leaks.     Anticipation     Christmas  lights  never  looked  so  romantic.  Perilous  shelf,  knowledge  is  tumbling  and  breaking   and  waking  only  to  fogginess.  Sharp  and  bitter,  sometimes  spiced,  rum  is  produced  on  

plantations. Chills up your neck, hands, hands so close. No touching. Press cardamom to your nose, inhale. Wake.


Middle Sister   By  Jessie  Ulmer  

_________________   (Found  poem  from  page  71  of  The  Classic  Fairytales,  edited  by  Maria  Tatar)       The  old  morning   my  mother  said   married  the  gold  groom         Chased     Glory       Turned   Cunning       My  house  is  living   cunning  like  birds   careful  like  bone     We  saw  my  eldest  sister   turned  to  woods       She  no  longer  remembers       I,  middle  sister,   live  there  now  

Yellow Chair  Review     57  


Rant By  Chelsea  Williams  

_________________   Dominant,  skinny  jean-­‐‑wearing,  duck  faced  smirked  prick.     A  vegetarian  if-­‐‑I-­‐‑can’t-­‐‑eat-­‐‑it-­‐‑neither-­‐‑can-­‐‑you  son  of  a  bitch.   The  Adonis  of  jock  hipsters  putting  New  York  hippies  to  shame.   Hairless  like  a  naked  mole  rat,  a  rugby  loving,  screamo  music  blasting  smartass.   A  smartass  who  likes  starting  arguments  over  little  shit  like  gluten  free  pizza.   The  diva  who  spends  more  time  in  the  mirror  with  his  phone                                                                                                                                                                            than  he  does  with  me  in  bed.   Who  dislikes  holding  hands  in  public,  Valentine’s  Day,     and  the  need  to  be  romantic  at  our  young  age.   The  age  of  finding  ourselves  and  our  other  halves  like  Plato  stated  in  symposium.   The  rock  star  wannabe  who  tells  me                                                                                    makeup  makes  me  look  fake,                                                                                  yet  he  wears  eyeliner.     That  wearing    clothes  to  show  off  my  genes  makes  me  look  desperate.     The  gorgeous  sarcastic  bastard  who,   spotted  me    in  a  crowd  of  people  at  a  frat  party  one  Saturday  night,                                                                                                                                                                                                  my  boyfriend.     My  asshole  boyfriend  who  politely  guides  me   Away  from  the  candy  aisle,  the  land  of  never  ending  sweets,                                                                                                                    the  reason  why  we’re  here.   With  his  thick  unevenly  waxed  eyebrows,     the  one  tooth  in  the  front  of  his  smile  that  will  never  fit  in  the  pearly  white  royals.   A  stiff  Mohawk  ready  to  keel  over  any  minute,  a  chin  that  looks  like  an  ass,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh  the  irony.     Hazel  eyes  that  I  want  to  claw,     until  my  fingertips  are  raw,    as  he  educates  me…constantly,   On  cavities,  calories,  BMI,  cellulite…   meanwhile  the  fucks  I’ve  given  have  flown  freely  out,                                                                                                                                                                                            the  window.     Pasta  sauce?  Check.  Asparagus  and  green  bellpeppers?  Check.  Black  bean   Humus?  Check.  Candy…in  progress.  I  distract  him,  tell  him  that  he’s  right.     I’m  always  wrong.   We  stroll.      


The back  wheel  of  the  grocery  cart  quivering,  squealing  for  me  to  stop  the  torture.     The  creamy  skinned  ass-­‐‑hat  trails  in  front  of  me  like  the  leader  of  the  pack.   The  only  one  who  wears  the  pants  in  our  relationship.   But  he  loves  it  when  I  wear  my,    baggy  black  fuck-­‐‑you-­‐‑I’m-­‐‑on-­‐‑period  pants  to  the  grocery  store.   The  army  tank  top  that  hadn’t  survived  its  days  in  the  washer.     Remnants  of  Its  life  clinging  to  broken  thread  that  can  never  be  repaired.   He  loves  it  when  my  hair      conceals  the  left  side  of  my  face.                                                                                                                                                            The  right  side  available  that  still  says  I  want  him.    and  always  will.  

Yellow Chair  Review     59  


Five excerpts  from  Brazil,  Indiana  (a  folk  poem  in  the  spirit  of  Ralph  Eugne  Meatyard)   By  Brian  Beatty

_________________   Underage  kids  purchased   their  package  liquor       on  the  corner     at  The  House  of  Spirits.       Or  that’s  where  we’d  hide   bottles  in  our  coat  pockets.       We  were  chased  outside   and  threatened  to  no  avail.       You  couldn’t  tell  the  future     about  failure  back  then.       All  of  us  knew  better  than     to  abide  ghosts.       ****       The  A-­‐‑to-­‐‑Z  Store’s  sagging  wooden  steps     and  floor  creaked  beneath  the  fat  boy’s  weight       as  he  made  his  way  to  the  cave  of  a  basement   to  explore  generations  of  unsold  toys       buried  under  an  entire  alphabet  of  dust.   He  would  hide  down  there  in  the  dark,  teaching       clocks  to  turn  backwards  using  only     a  look.  He  sat  in  the  cobwebs  like  a  Buddha.         He  spoke  his  own  language  to  no  one.  Eventually     he  saved  up  enough  birthday  money       to  buy  himself  a  rusted  electric  train  engine     without  a  track.   ****  

 


Each spring  our  volunteer  fire  department         to  pay  for  the  gear  necessary   to  put  out  trailer  and  Xmas  tree  fires         the  rest  of  the  year  would  play     the  same  team  of  sheriff’s  deputies         in  exhibition  games  of  donkey  basketball.         But  that’s  not  all.           Down  behind  the  old  stacked  bleachers   dancing,  singing  wives  also  sold  cakes  and  pies       whole  or  by  the  slice  to  the  curious     neighbors  who  packed  the  gym  buzzer-­‐‑to-­‐‑buzzer           just  to  see  grown  men  fall.       ****     The  mayor  who  kept  bears     and  lions  he  rescued     from  the  circus         in  train  cars  down  a  gravel  road     behind  his  family’s  place   was  also  known         for  his  earlier  career     as  the  youngest  police  chief   in  the  town’s  history         and  how  during  debates     he  used  to  grind  the  edges  off  of  Kennedy     half-­‐‑dollars  with  just  his  thumb.       ****      

Yellow Chair  Review     61  


After the  lady  next  door  died   somebody  brought  in  a  wrecking  ball   to  knock  over  what  remained   of  her  house       where  a  dentist  wanted  his  new  office.       But  first  men  had  to  wrangle     a  hundred  or  so  unhappy  cats   she’d  loved  as  if  her  children.       The  weak,  hungry  ones  were  harmless.       Others  they  had  to  carry  out   in  thrashing,  hissing  sacks   like  straightjackets  with  no  arms.  


Adulthood By  Rony  Nair  

_________________   another  rejection   for  not  being  adroit   and  the  horizon  looms  far  from  the  house   of  prismatic  prose  that  pretends   to  call  itself  poetic  even  after     multiple  slugs  from  the  3  liter  bottle  of  vodka   that  these  days  grows  in  the  head   like  the  tautological  mirror     you  saw  when  you  first  attempted  to  pierce  the  abscess   saw  red   and  ran   for  your  life   with  alternate  realities  and  telling  tales   laden  with  baskets  of  the  mediocre       we  were  junked  out   and  beds  with  sprines  meant  more  for  you  in  the  passing   than  me   and  then  it  rained   and  we  were  thrown  out   next  to  that  ciggy  shop  where   it  poured  curiosity  and  a  mix  of  scorn  and  querulousness.   and  i  junked  you   and  hitched  a  lift  and  ran   and  the  last  i  saw  was  of  you   alone.  

Yellow Chair  Review     63  


For You,  Long  Gone   By  Tonya  Eberhard  

_________________   Winter  blows  through  our  coats   making  us  shiver.  We  walk     past  frozen  man-­‐‑made  lakes     and  shoveled  driveways.  Our   footsteps  circumnavigate  the   city.  Two  sets  of  footprints  in   powered  sugar  reveal  we  are     real,  but  we  still  cannot  fathom   mortality.  Morning  to  noon  we     walk,  a  pilgrimage  with  no  god   or  purpose.  The  skin  of  my  left  heel     is  chafed  by  the  insides  of  my  boot,   forming  a  blister.  Out  of  devotion,  I     grit  my  teeth  and  say  nothing.  We     continue  walking.  For  lunch  we  split  a  pb     &  j  sandwich,  with  jelly  oozing  down     the  tear  like  a  bloody  heartache.  Your     face  is  blank  as  I  push  75  cents  into     a  newspaper  dispenser,  taking  out  the     paper  with  her  face  on  the  front  page.     The  words  inform  our  eyes  she  was  killed     by  an  index  finger  and  a  trigger  in  a  heated     pole  shed.  But  whether  or  not  the  dead     girl  is  now  a  ghost,  it  does  not  specify.   You  remain  skeptical  of  an  afterlife.   Instead  of  a  Bible  you  use  Slaughterhouse     Five  to  banish  existential  guilt  and  anxiety   over  inevitable  end.  I  only  hope  your  fingers   that  smear  the  ink  across  the  front  page  is  a     final  signing  of  “with  love”  for  she  who     is  gone.    


A Dead  River  Mark   By  Wale  Owoade  

_________________   a  mourning  flood  your  face     the  pillow  has  been  drinking     your  moistness  and  building   a  small  ocean     but  when  your  river     went  off-­‐‑course     but  when  your  river     burnt  off-­‐‑course     a  cylinder  style   marked  a  dead  river  mark   the  dead  river  mark  was   running  to  your  pillow     to  build  a  flood     who  raised  your  face?   who  drained  your  tears?   as  if  you  have  not  dreamt     of  oceans  and  inland  seas     as  if  you  have  not  dreamt  of   overflowing  your  bank    

Yellow Chair  Review     65  


How To  Find  Treasure  With  A  Burning  Map   By  Joe  Nicholas  

_________________ Fourth  of  July  in  August.  No  wait.  Easter.  The  humans   play  rabbits  for  their  children     and  continue     deep  into  the  night.  If  you  saw  me  now  I  would  wear  a  demon'ʹs  grin.   I  would  wear  pretend  feathers  and  flowers.  If  you  saw  anything  else   but  these  words   right  now     it'ʹd  be  a  miracle.         Let  me  not       forget  my  serpent.     I  call  thee  Quetzalcoatl.     I  call  thee  blistered  memory.         Fair  enough  you  caught  me.  Makeup  still  dripping.  My  hair  a  cotton   candy  blue.  Tomato  stained  nose   bleeding.       Wear  yourself  and  remember  to  walk  nude  at  night.     Crown  a  squirrel  and  watch  it  crown  the  others.     Hug  the  tree  then  hold  it  gentle.       The  twigs  are  whispering  but  I  only  speak  fire.  Cut  to   jellyfish  dancing   the  ocean  ablaze   an  old  man  dipping  his  pen(i)s  in  oil  jars.     If  anyone  asks  this  is  not  what  it  was  supposed  to  be.       In  the  end  you  bury  me   and  if  you    


don'ʹt you   end  up   buried.       My  grandfather'ʹs  bones  lie     beneath  Maine  sky.  My  uncle   is  ash  in  the  Atlantic.         Take  a  breath.       Take  a  breath.     Take     a  breath.     Take     a     breath.       Take       a       breath.        

You wake  up  and  it'ʹs  night.  You  laugh.  You  always  laugh.  You  are  widely  known   as  the  Laughing  One.  They  say  your     eyes  are  polished  opals.  They  say  your  teeth  can  travel   through  time.  Hold  your  hands  out  and  take  the  next  thing  that'ʹs  given.   Give  it  to  the  next  thing  you  see.       Guard  your  face  from  the  embers.     The  smoke  reeks  of  venom.  It  hisses   broken  secrets.  When  you  cough  you  laugh  and  cough  again.     When  you  speak  you  start  to  tremble.  

Yellow Chair  Review     67  


Gemstone meets  soot.   Soot  wins.       Pinch  your  fingers  and  don'ʹt  let  go.  Make  your  teeth     a  crumbled  prison.  Teach  your  tongue   how  to  dance.       Dig  your  toes  in  every  step.  Don'ʹt  you  dare   close  your  eyes:  you  might  miss   the  gilded  canary.       Keep  a  dousing  rod  at  your  hip  at  all   times.  Don'ʹt  wear  a  watch.  Forget  the  twelve-­‐‑centric     clock.     Breathe     and  let  go  but  for  goodness  sakes     don'ʹt  let  go.       At  least  one  secret  is  still  intact:  when  you  reach  the  X  there'ʹs  a  pile  of  serpents.     If  you  remembered  your  own  it  whispers  something  in  twig  and  they  all  tie  themselves  into  a                     slightly                                larger                       map.       Fair  enough  you  caught  me.  You  were  never  there.   I  was  never  there  but  someone   somwehere  somewhen  wasiswillbe  there.       In  the  last  moments  put  it  out  but  realize  from  now  on  it'ʹs  useless.     Forge  a  razor  from  stone  and  shave  your  head.     Tattoo  what  you  remember  and  show  it  to  all  you  see.       Smile  and  shine  those  opal  eyes.       I  tell  you  this:  You'ʹre  gonna  need  'ʹem.    


Yellow Chair  Review     69  


Profile for Yellow Chair Review

Yellow Chair Review: Issue 2  

Issue #2! Enjoy!

Yellow Chair Review: Issue 2  

Issue #2! Enjoy!

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