Tag Archives: Winter 2013

Ants on the Wall by Jabeen Akhtar

I calculated as my hair fanned across the scorched, crumbly asphalt: 5.5 pineapple vodkas since 12:13pm, four in the privacy of my kitchen, one and a half since I had been out in the sun, and a beer. I was a spectacle, another drunkard attempting to dance to the live jazz that had overtaken our streets. Are you ok? they all asked. Seriously, are you ok? Canned pineapple juice trickled up my throat. A pebble had lodged itself in my left earlobe. I turned my face to the afternoon sky, opalescent from the heat radiating … Continue reading Ants on the Wall by Jabeen Akhtar

A Clean-Swept Room by Raennah Mitchell

For days after her mother’s death, while adults move around her making funeral and guardianship arrangements, Sarah stands by walls. Her six-year-old fingertips search the wallpaper in the day care where they have placed her. Peach-colored blossoms overlay faint gray stripes. She turns away and leans against them. Across the room, other children color, drive toy trucks through a box of rice, dress in capes and felt hats. Sarah rolls her head from side to side, imagining she can fall backward into her mother’s arms, the paper flowers closing over them. The squat woman who … Continue reading A Clean-Swept Room by Raennah Mitchell

Eyeclops by Grace Maselli

His single working eyeball strained left to meet my gaze, protruding slightly from the taught skin around his eye. Walter the electrician and I stood diagonal to each other, looking through the glass door of my rental house. “I’m here to check the wires,” he said, muffled through the glass. Not long before he showed up I had sent an email to my property manager: “A snow storm is on the way. My kids have no heat or lights in their bedrooms. It’s been three days since I called you with the problem. Three days … Continue reading Eyeclops by Grace Maselli

Art by Avery Lawrence

  Charlottesville performance artist Avery Lawrence recently claimed the Grand Prize of Art Takes Miami 2012 competition. The “edgy,” contemporary SCOPE art fair was held in early December concurrently with Art Basel. Lawrence’s interactive, winning show, Arranging Suitcases, is an imaginative mix of painting, film and performances based on “personal memories” turned into “visual yarns.” His first daily performance, Assembling the Instrument, was inspired by his paternal grandmother “who picks up with a new man and a new life after her husband’s death (from a brain aneurysm).” Lawrence reenacts a video scene dramatizing his grandmother’s … Continue reading Art by Avery Lawrence

Between Worlds; Wavering Place by Diana Pinckney

Between Worlds for Margie   Her arms flutter, as if                     to flee her body, the milk   glass hands skimming sheets                     like autumn wings:   thumb and fingers open and close,                     perhaps to pluck a word,   sometimes pointing to say                     a name or spread   into a trembling fan as lungs surge                     inside her chest, the way   that burst of sparrow, trapped                     on my sun porch, charged   the frantic air, beating,                     beating against God’s hard light.   Wavering Place   I’m slowly bringing things back, … Continue reading Between Worlds; Wavering Place by Diana Pinckney

Fence by Corey Mesler

Fence for Margie   She built that fence in the snow. All we saw of her was her red anorak and the upward flash of her tool, a hammer. Later, after her husband died and we tried to visit she wouldn’t come to the door. Now all that’s left is that fence, weathered, sturdy, still barring us, though she has moved away. She took her dog with her but she left the dish behind. Now, it sits there like a bright blue plug. We think if we remove it the whole yard may swirl inward, … Continue reading Fence by Corey Mesler

Being Me by Thomas Michael McDade

Being Me   The Trip across Texas is mine. Well, it’s in my name. The bank picks up the tab, I grab the fantasy: he practices my autograph in a cheap motel like a kid does Mickey Mantle’s. His girlfriend is horny, pretty and young, naked but for an anklet with chain linked to a ring on her toe. Her thighs are tattooed with flames. He says, “Wait one Goddamn minute,” goes out to test my card on a carton of Camels, beer and a convenience store rose. “YES, YES,” she shouts applauding his success. … Continue reading Being Me by Thomas Michael McDade

Accidental by Stephen Cushman

Accidental   Stowaway from Singapore, no papers or passport, surname unknown, Short-tailed Babbler, Japanese White-eye, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, whoever you are, passing passerine, drawn to perch on a lifeboat winch by some crumb or flash of an earring as tugs yank the ship out into channel and two days later, in the South China Sea, you’re stuck too, nowhere to flee from here to horizon, as shown by forays of fluttering panic over the waves and back before exhaustion drowns you, little prisoner, condemned to be transported to a dirtier city, or if you hang on … Continue reading Accidental by Stephen Cushman

Lover’s Quarrel; At the Intersection by Stephen Hitchcock

Lover’s Quarrel   1 Because you cling like cigarette smoke, thin and acrid, in the brim of my hat, as if you know God lives on the addiction of our breath. 2 When the shadows finish wallpapering the bedroom, and the crows flock east with the traffic, is when. 3 How can I watch, in peace, the city bathe behind the sheer plastic shower curtain of the rain? My eyes towel off a nakedness not ours. 4 Because it’s late, and we know it will all expire, and I’ve programmed the wind, an oscillating fan, … Continue reading Lover’s Quarrel; At the Intersection by Stephen Hitchcock