“Whose Boundaries Are That of Imagination”


 

A couple of weeks ago I discovered the original “Twilight Zone” series was available on Netflix Instant. Needless to say I have (happily) surrendered hours of my life re-watching this classic series, which I still believe is one of the very few truly great things to have aired on television. (“The Muppet Show” is probably a close second.) The far-reaching influence of the show is undeniable. The twists and bitter ironies for which the show was famous have informed dozens of tropes in film and popular culture (including fiction). A quick survey of the first season, … Continue reading “Whose Boundaries Are That of Imagination”

Poetry as Reprieve


 

[frame align=”right”][/frame]In my twenties I thought of language as a bridge, not from one place to another, but above an abyss. The damnation waiting below was ordinary chaos, the dissonant march of hours, the rush of unsorted, simultaneous emotions – terror, desire, depression, exultation – swirling together without structure or purpose. Raw consciousness, natural and unimpeded. I needed some artifact of the patterning mind to survive nothing more terrible than my daily life, and I found in words the material for these necessary shapings. I had always loved words, found them concrete, caressable. Never a … Continue reading Poetry as Reprieve

What You Don’t See


 

[frame align=”right”][/frame]In 2006, Farrar Straus and Giroux published Edgar Allan Poe and the Jukebox, a medley of previously uncollected work by Elizabeth Bishop (edited by Alice Quinn, poetry editor of The New Yorker and executive director of the Poetry Society of America). Running to over three hundred pages, it’s a bigger book than any book of poetry Bishop published in her lifetime and includes all sorts of things: juvenilia, scraps of unfinished poetry, and prose pieces of many kinds, in varying degrees of completion. “For those who love Elizabeth Bishop, “ said John Ashbery (perhaps … Continue reading What You Don’t See

Art in Albemarle and Beyond…{issue no.1}


 

Maybe it’s the Blue Ridge Mountains. Maybe it’s the red clay, rolling pastures, horse farms, holsteins and herefords. Of course, it could be Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village. Whatever the lure, Charlottesville and Albemarle County have an abundance of talented and varied visual artists. Streetlight looks forward to highlighting many of their works in the months ahead. Our first issue features the black and white photographs of Bill Emory and the paintings and mixed media of Rosamond Casey, both Charlottesville residents. Emory’s fine photographs document the past and present, candid and mysterious images confronting family, cows … Continue reading Art in Albemarle and Beyond…{issue no.1}

How To Start A Magazine


 

[frame align=”right”][/frame]Sometime after Streetlight published the 5th issue, I met Browning Porter. The staff of SL had just heard bad news. Our printer Lexis Nexis was pulling the plug. It was during the financial crash of ’08 and we were a bit stunned. What to do to keep the magazine alive? None of us had the stomach for knocking on doors with our tin cups. Someone thought to call Browning. (He had not been active on the magazine since I had joined the staff). After more than a few meetings, plotting and paper, he helped … Continue reading How To Start A Magazine

Wanted: Delusions of Grandeur


 

[frame align=”right”]  [/frame]Taken at face value, writing is a bit of an odd enterprise: Writers work alone, spending inordinate amounts of time and energy on something with absolutely no guarantee of success. In fact, the whole endeavor seems insane. And yet. Anyone who writes, and is brave enough to say it publicly, has probably been confronted by the question, Why do you write? There are sophisticated answers involving “the human condition” or “art” or the like. But, after the terrified pause, the moment to gather one’s thoughts at the brink of the abyss, the answer, I think, is … Continue reading Wanted: Delusions of Grandeur

I Revise; Critic; Happiness by Jean Sampson


 

I Revise   I revise because images, like moth wings, grow, hidden in secret shrouds, because the sun never stops seeking an oak in every acorn, because milkweed, beautiful in bloom offers wind-borne gifts to the earth in autumn. I revise because the sky molds and re-forms clouds the way a sculptor works wet clay. I revise because the Muse is a shape-shifter who lifts me up on eagle wings at dawn. By dusk, we crawl the ground as ants. I revise because I like surprises, poems that turn themselves inside-out like tee-shirts ready for … Continue reading I Revise; Critic; Happiness by Jean Sampson

Letterpress, Bangor; Herd, Sheepscot; Vibrations, Crystal by Kevin McFadden


 

Letterpress, Bangor   I, too, discern it: an impression of the impression left on leaves, the broadside’s bite, an invitation through the mail in a bygone, backhanded braille. The leaden shadows that hide there, in our words. Type lives on, thank Gutenberg, in our unsubtle century, with a pass through Whitman’s fingers— This latent mine—these unlaunch’d voices— but rarer and rarer, slipped shophand to shophand, rarer and rarer is the specimen in recto that spares the verso. We don’t look verso, indent-bent. The LED is our screen, it projects only forward, the LEAD is some … Continue reading Letterpress, Bangor; Herd, Sheepscot; Vibrations, Crystal by Kevin McFadden

A Tomato, Like Love; Balm; Answered by Michael McFee


 

A Tomato, Like Love,   starts small, a fuzzy flimsy seedling sneaky worms would secretly undercut. You could almost miss its yellowish blossom that becomes a fruit, hard and green at first, slowly ripening in increasing light, growing fuller and rounder and smoother. A tangy air, not altogether pleasant, and a certain prickliness surround it. One day it simply falls into your hand, that thin taut skin barely able to contain the sticky red juice that wants to burst out at the slightest pressure of the very tip of knife or fingernail or tooth or … Continue reading A Tomato, Like Love; Balm; Answered by Michael McFee

Popillia Japonica; Naivete by Angie Hogan


 

Popillia Japonica   For rows of sun-buttered, glistening corn, red and green trimmed vines of tomatoes wrapping themselves around silvery rusted poles, thick fields of gummy blooming tobacco, tangled thrusts of okra and lean stalks of string beans, plump pumpkins and cantaloupe, they came. Some think they rode over, camouflaged in the beautiful, murderous kudzu. Others that we brought them here purposely, despite or unaware of their hunger, like gems. Papa called them pests, bastards, Japanese—beetles no different from morning glories or Johnson grass, or me puffing the fluffy seeds of dandelions. Instead of apple … Continue reading Popillia Japonica; Naivete by Angie Hogan

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