From the Editor Welcome to The Big Windows Review, Issue 4. My thanks to the contributors. â€”TZ Ann Arbor, MI July 2013 All contents ÂŠ 2013 the individual authors or artists. Front- and back-cover art and publication design by Tom Zimmerman. The works herein have been chosen for their literary and artistic merit and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Washtenaw Community College, its Board of Trustees, its administration, or its faculty, staff, or students. About
The Big Windows Review is a literary magazine of the beautiful and
the strange produced by the Writing Center at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We are open to submissions of poetry, short prose, and visual art from WCC students, faculty, and staff. The BWR is the direct descendant of Blood Orange, the Writing Center's former print zine of the beautiful and the strange, which ran for 18 issues from 2005-2011. Tom Zimmerman, who teaches English and directs the Writing Center at WCC, is editor/janitor of The Big Windows Review, as he was of Blood Orange. His student editorial staff is comprised of interested (and interesting!) Writing Center tutors. Send submissions to orange @wccnet.edu Check out our website: http://thebigwindowsreview.wordpress.com/ 2
The Big Windows Review Issue 4 Spring/Summer 2013 Contents Liz Arnold | The Green Mallory Wayt | Three Poems S.A. Levin | The Bond Erica Morris | I Pledge Allegiance Simon Mermelstein | A Ghazonnet Tom Zimmerman | Zimmerman and Poetry Thomas Cudney | Dithyrambic Blitzkrieg Sheldon Ferguson | Two Poems Leilauni Smith | The Little Girl Alprentice | Frances Farmers Compass Diane M. Laboda | At This Very Moment
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Liz Arnold | The Green Walking down a path, wrought with stone and sand, I can feel the dirt shift beneath my feet and I revel in the response of the land to my stride. The air holds the sweetness of honeysuckle long past its bloom and I fill my lungs with its healing warmth. I try to tread softly and not allow my presence to interrupt the ebb and flow that is life; that is the green. As I journey further the trees and brush grow dense and soon I am surrounded by all that is truly inspiring to my spirit. I can hear the squirrels chattering to each other, and the birds calling out to one another with their humble songs; They speak the language of the wood. I lie down on the grass and feel its soft strength on my skin, Feel the harsh caress of leaves fallen long ago yet refusing to dissipate from the bed of the forest. Would that I were a leaf, drifting along the winds of the green. The winds, they rustle the tops of the trees sounding Almost like waves crashing against the shore and their echoes make my heart ache with longing for the sight of a clean, turquoise coastline.
As I lie there in the woods my mind is freed, my essence is released, I am whole. The sunshine comes down to me through cracks in the wild roof of clouds and gnarled branches and it rests its fingertips on my forehead in blessing. In this moment I am one with the wood, I am one with the green, and I am inspiration personified.
Mallory Wayt | Three Poems Doppler Effect The Doppler Effect From a flock of crying geese Passing overhead.
Heart Beats When you touch my leg, My heart beats so fast, I choke. I hate you for it.
Holy Mother Sacred Womb that beareth Fruit Holy Mother, resolute In her silence, naked heat From her Bosom, milk is sweet All-embracing endless joy There is naught that can destroy That which yieldeth without yield She the Moon, She the Field She the Giver, She the Gift She the Everlasting Rift Pure reception, dark and clear: One cannot help but revere.
S.A. Levin | The Bond We are born chained to each other first soft and easily let go then hard as long-held grudges as we age. Weaving our lives tightly is our need and predicament The arguments pull the yarn sometimes even the most delicate needle cannot smooth what is now loose but only return our shrouds to knots. We’re undone some of us clutching only ourselves isolated as if thrown off a freighter at sea. We’re offered rescue someone paid to throw us a rope it’s their duty they’ll be gone the next day. We wish for bondage Pay someone to tie us up but they too will be gone soon. We ask to be left tied to the post waiting for someone to come.
Erica Morris | I Pledge Allegiance Two pills a day one in the morning and one at night. If you take enough I can fit you in my pocket and I’ll take you anywhere you want to go. Don’t bother reading the little label on the side. We all have to take these at some point in time and remember soon enough you’ll be able to go anywhere you want to go. I’ll be able to label you quite easily and you’ll get extra credit if you sometimes chose to double up secretly before bed. Remember now no one may go astray all tighter now into this little pill bottle in my pocket. I’ll shake you and spin you and spill you and swallow you if I so desire. But remember now that we must all end up this way we need money to go back into the system and it all adds up inside this little pill bottle. Someday someone else rather than I may come to swallow you whole but it is our one nation under God that we must serve our country one bottle at a time.
Simon Mermelstein | A Ghazonnet (for Brad) the notion leapt from my head fully born ghazal that sort of doubles as a sonnet a terrible idea; you should be warned not to try unless you really want it. sonnet hideous. a frankenstein of form that makes traditionalists wanna vomit. sonnet lovers of the Bard just feel forlorn fans of Rumi let out a “gosh-darnit!” (sonnet) “why mess with perfection?” purists scorn guess I’ve got a bee up in my bonnet. sonnet can’t resist poetic perfect storm confession: I am deeply hooked on phonics. sonnet Simon. There’s my name. My name is on it. Now such a thing exists as a ghazonnet
Tom Zimmerman | Zimmerman and Poetry He googles Zimmerman and poetry when he feels low. The point? A poet is a junkyard dog; the published poem, a bone. Most readers give you twenty seconds. Then you’d better give them something back, or else you’ll end up teaching, never to atone. He drinks an ale called Anger. Two-thirds gone. What’s next? That cheap Shiraz that vibrates by the stereo? He’ll workshop now. Alone. Next time you want to die, remember just how good you feel right now. This jagged verse has snagged a drifting petal, scratched a stone. So what’s a poem? A rhythm, and a tone. So what’s this flesh we lug around? A loan.
Thomas Cudney | Dithyrambic Blitzkrieg â€œWant to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the superman, the lightning out of the dark cloud man.â€? ~Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra Hiding his humanity behind tall walls, In a dark fortress, enveloped by chaos, Riding the lightning out, never in, He could not see its inner genesis. He let it charge within the storm, this vajra, Hurled upon the waves of lowly mortals. While the bastion sank into war, His maddening furor incubated. Within this house of shattered mirrors Was clearest, sharpest glass. Pieces reflected into infinity And onto no one. Dying in the mirrors, No reality in sight; So many faces, Their author, Mere ether. Look in And be cut By the jagged edges Of the endless oceans. No man can sail them all Unless shredded to oblivion.
Sheldon Ferguson | Two Poems Summerâ€™s Back Cherries blossomed And ripe for picking, hot Humid weather, cool Gentle breeze, greened grass and trees Longer periods of joyful Daylight
Blood Poem I open up a vein Bleed out my thoughts on paper, Paint a canvas into a blood Mural with twisted barb wire Metal frame covered in Thorny black roses Forgetting about death.
Leilauni Smith | The Little Girl I’m scared, it’s dark, I’m cold, and confused. I can’t see, I’m not sure where I am. I can see a point of light ahead, it’s so far away I don’t know if I can reach it. I know I’m alone in here, but I can hear someone crying. It’s a little girl. She’s scared, she’s crying for her mommy, wants to go home. I follow her voice, I’m calling out to her telling her it’s alright, I’m coming. She cries harder, louder, “Where is my brother?” she cries. “Please, I’ll be good” she promises. “Don’t make me go away” she begs. I’m running now, I have to find her. “I’m cold, I’m hungry, please let me go home” she pleads. “I won’t be bad ever again” she begs. I come to a door, I find the light. There’s no door knob, I hear her on the other side, she’s terrified. I can’t open the door, I collapse in defeat, sobbing in my helplessness. The light is changing, getting stronger. The door has changed, now a mirror. I sit up, I’m on the other side, alone and horrified. The little girl is looking back at me from the mirror.
Alprentice | Frances Farmers Compass Maybe I’ll find my way reading the paper no matter how many days old they may be maybe I’ll find my way traveling down the roads I’ve left tracks in before I’ll find my way even if I have to travel all night to breathe it all in They speak of happiness residing there, I have to find my way.. Times leaving, years to come are fading…my 2020 vision is out of focus now…maybe I’ll find my way in days to come…like great news from the postal man… I am sure my way is just a postcard soon to arrive in my box …maybe my way lies in the scatter stars that shine in the night above my head.. maybe I’ll find my way there… or maybe not knowing my way is actually me finding my way after all. Maybe my journey lies in the unknowing of it all? Maybe I’ll find my way…I’ll find my way even if I have to travel all night to breathe it all in!!!!
Diane M. Laboda | At This Very Moment If I were sharp-eyed and breathing in every woundâ€”present and aware of light and shadow, hard and soft, up and downâ€”I could push inside this moment, bring it life. If I had teeth strong enough to bite off the tail of the dragon, fingers rough enough to start fire, we would eat, know the taste of the moment, fill our bellies, fill our memories. If I could fly above the mountains, see the other side, slide down into valleys green, slip along watery threads, Iâ€™d know how life survives even in the hottest desert. If I had pigments of every color, I could create the animals of the hunt, larger than life and fierce, and make myself a picture on the wall for my sons to see. If I talked the talk and wrote the lines of man, all children would know where they came from, how to love this earth, when to let it go, and when to climb higher into the branches of the moment.
The literary magazine of the Writing Center at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.