Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

Estivate
Cate Mullen

Part I
I hide from sighs of bone. Dawn rises and licks
morning vines.

Part II
Lamia unwraps herself. Chronos will be fed.

Part III
Thorns rule roses.

Part IV
One room contains everything; sea shells
to spoiled pomegranates.

Part V
I wait until Lamia calls.

Part VI
She called to Eve, trapped her outside the gate.
(Her gold fish plant blooms orange blood.)


Cate Mullen’s work has been published in numerous online and print zines. Her play “Stolen Fire: A New Version of an Old Tale” was recently picked up by YouthPLAYS.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

from The Rainy Season Diaries
Jennifer Reimer

You have been betrayed by stories. You say this house will never be made of gingerbread. It does not appear to fall apart as the result of huffing and puffing. Wrongly imagining knight errantry was compatible with society, we have converted the poet into a wage laborer. Magic beans are not, if you recall, something we can buy around here. And there are rules about wishing for more wishes. Only the mirror knows the price of transformation. A pot of boiling water. A cat curling into sun.

*

You list the words you always misspell. The things I should know before I—. You bring me a little gold fish and say its magic binds us. At midnight, I wait for my fish to vanish into pumpkins. Here no one sleeps. Here no one dreams.

*

An open atlas reminds us of our rootlessness. We bend pages: all places cannot be ruined. We trace the gold embossing and understand the charms of nostalgia. It settles when you call me by my pet names. You say so much muchness with the most peculiar elegance. But who will remember these wished wishes. Who will break the codes or tell the stories. I have kept all your letters. I used to imagine your lips along envelopes, your breath on paper. As if you could stay, spelled, between the sheets of rotting books.

*

Today the lavender is blooming. She makes lists to pass the time: Things That Begin to Disappear Slowly Over Time Until One Day They Are Gone. Things I Take. Things In Need of Constant Attention. It was raining and she remembered a dream she had in which it rained for so long that the house began to fall apart. She laughed because it seemed to her that the whole world was not ending, but that it had never existed in the first place. When she woke, the sun was shining. Things Which Begin to Dim Upon Waking. She has collected enough fruit to make preserves but when she went to the kitchen the water wouldn’t boil. Strange Things. She found $20 in the pocket of your pants—the ones you left on the chair. She didn’t put it on top of the dresser where you keep your watch and spare change. Instead, she put it in her pocket. Tomorrow, she will walk to the store and buy a piece of chocolate.


Jennifer Reimer’s fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of journals, including Our Stories, The Denver Quarterly, The Berkeley Poetry Review, The Chaffey Review, 580 Split, Tinfish, Puerto del Sol, Weave, Zoland, and 14 Hills. She has an MFA from the University of San Francisco. Her first prose poetry book, The Rainy Season Diaries, will be released in early 2013 by Quale Press. She is the co-founder and co-editor of Achiote Press (www.achiotepress.com). She is an Assistant Professor of American Culture & Literature at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

Fence, Zeina Makky
Fence
Zeina Makky

Michigan Midwinter
Deda Kavanagh

Days and nights our skate blades squeak-scrape,
walk-sliding the graveled half-block
to the rink in Lola Valley – icy goldfish scales,
lower slowly to land on our lashes.
I hold hands with whichever sister,
we side-step our blades steady down the hill,
brothers zoom along in saucers and flyers.
A campfire zigzags orange sparks into bitter night air
does nothing to warm numb toes
scratches at throats and burns our eyes.
The rink is lit by one spot lamp,
where a handsome teenage boy hangs, hands in his pockets.
He talks to me. What’s your name?
I’m eleven, and I learn what smitten means.
Every cold night I look for him
I hear the words he spoke to me
I was like a blue-pink glint on a single strand
of his spider’s web. All winter
I replayed his attentiveness and imagined him
singing January’s hit, Go Away Little Girl
it was scrumptious as cotton candy and melted with the snow.


Deda Kavanagh grew up in Redford Michigan and lives in Bucks County Pa. Her poems have been published in U.S. 1 Worksheets, In Gear, Paterson Literary Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Freshet, Kelsey Review, and Lehigh Valley Literary Review.

Zeina Makky is an award-winning newspaper designer who also likes to take photographs in her spare time.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

Light, Now
Tina Barry

It’s 100 degrees in your tower
and that braid you’re so proud of
is one hot ladder to nowhere.
Why not lop it off?
Call to the crows,
“Listen. Take this thing.
It’ll make a great nest.”
Let them have you, too.
That’ll be your moment.
Your hands hot stars against
the inky carpet of their wings.
And you, so light,
bald as a baby bird.


Tina Barry is chipping away at my M.F.A. in creative writing at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Elimae, Fractured West, Pear Noir!, THIS Magazine and other online and print publications.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012


Tree with Snow
Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

Gretel
Savannah Thorne

Worn trees moan:
Ghost-houses in winter.
These woods drink our depths.

We lope unfamiliar remote spaces
Old leaves like damp
Bedding across our faces.

Broken paths, broken branches,
Crescent sun on mud.
We do not know where we

Are going. But we dare to hope.
Darkness comes toward us
In slants.

The snag of wooden claws,
The horror that hangs from trees,
Can look like love.

We hold to each others’ bare arms; our feet
Tap, tap, over skins and stones.
The soil, cold and blunt.

We trip on sticks.
If we should fall, snap bone—
For a long moment we see

Ourselves not just lost and alone
But motionless
Swelling with starvation,

Two stars of blood
On cracked soil, a quiet fall
Into a tangle of witch-arm branches.


Savannah Thorne graduated from the University of Iowa where she studied in the Writers’ Workshop. She also holds cum laude Master’s degrees from De Paul University in Chicago and Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Her poetry has appeared in over a dozen literary journals. Most recently, her poems appeared in Handful of Dust, Meadowland, Extracts, Silent Revelations Press, and Linden Avenue. She is a finalist in the Mary Ballard poetry contest. She was delighted to be published in Conclave: A Journal of Character in its inaugural issue in 2008, and is excited for the new opportunities of becoming Conclave‘s managing editor. In her brief time as managing editor she has drastically changed the magazine while remaining true to its original focus. She has worked with several literary agencies and is currently marketing novels of historical fiction.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a writer and aspiring photographer. Her work has appeared in various journals, online and print, as well as several anthologies. She blogs about the creative life at http://wwwonewriter.blogspot.com.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

The Village
Scott Wiggerman
for Anne Sexton

Their closets and caves ridden
with witches and elves,
warm houses whine in the night.
Shelves of goods, skillets over flames,
suppers innumerable and gone,
a lonely rearranging of air.

The air has bite,
a kind of evil,
like dreaming of woods,
black, possessed.

The air cracks
like a thing ashamed,
nude and haunted,
arms and thighs disaligned.

The village is filled
with carts and wheels,
a twelve-fingered driver,
misunderstood women in worm-carved silks,
and one last creature, waving,
learning to die.


Scott Wiggerman is the author of two books of poetry, Presence and Vegetables and Other Relationships. Recent publications include Spillway, Contemporary Sonnet, Comstock Review, Assaracus, 14 x 14, Southwestern American Literature, Naugatuck River Review, and Hobble Creek Review, which nominated “The Egret Sonnet” for a Pushcart. A frequent workshop instructor, he is also an editor for Dos Gatos Press, publisher of the annual Texas Poetry Calendar, now in its fifteenth year, and a book of poetry exercises, Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry, co-edited by Wiggerman and David Meischen.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

dream caused
William Wright Harris

by the flight of a

bee around a

pomegranate a

second before a

wakening


William Wright Harris wakes up for poetry. His poetry has appeared in twelve countries in such publications as The Cannon’s Mouth, Poetry Salzburg Review, Ascent Aspirations, generations and Write On!!! A graduate from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, he has studied poetry in workshop settings. As a hobby, he collects places he has been published.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

techno buddha
William Wright Harris

siddhartha gautama meditates
aside
nam june paik

the sighing
ohmmm
of a telephone-computer-camera

of a society buzzing as
a sick bee
beating its grotesque wings

the enlightened one
holds receiver to ear
-hope


William Wright Harris wakes up for poetry. His poetry has appeared in twelve countries in such publications as The Cannon’s Mouth, Poetry Salzburg Review, Ascent Aspirations, generations and Write On!!! A graduate from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, he has studied poetry in workshop settings. As a hobby, he collects places he has been published.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

It Always Comes Back to Ritual
Angela Maria Williams

Wrap myself in the Navajo rug of red,
black zigzags from our old living room.
Eternally seven, I balance on a wood

beam in the chicken coop. I do not fear
rattlesnakes, even after my father’s gift,
its length uncoiled and head smashed,

on the porch. He paints the landscape,
ten-acres long, a smudged darkness
over pine trees. Barefoot in the dirt

driveway, pass a tarantula, until I run
into the fogged side of this desert snow
globe. My younger brother blinks in,

a child to my child, then he is sixteen
and gone. Winter each time. A brutal
wind sweeps down the Sandias. My

brother turns to an arrowhead sharp in
my palm. Plead to the old gods, a chant
beneath the blanket. No one taught me

about Spider Woman, from whose
thoughts all things sprung. First, I must
shake loose the saints with snake faces

but stumble on alien words, panic. Time
unravels from my fingers as the storm
breaks. Rain batters ground, turns each

empty arroyo and creek into the thunder
of a river. The water drags down the last
piece, incantation dead on my lips as I wake.


Angela Maria Williams is an indie bookseller, most recently at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. She studied poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and other equally useful subjects (namely the breakfast burrito) at the University of New Mexico. Her work has appeared in Fickle Muses, Contemporary American Voices, Sage Trail and Conceptions Southwest.

Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

No Coda
Jess Cording

The morning air swallows your headache and you wonder
whether you deserve to be clear-headed or
if the calendar knows something that you don’t.

Deep holes form at the bottom of every year, hiding
under music notes. You think maybe
this is the kind of sharp dizziness Dylan’s women would understand.
To know your life is sung somewhere
by lips you can’t read anymore, to be tied down
to chord progressions in someone else’s head, is this how it feels
to have been the temporary keeper of a ghost?

A windy New York, a curious and warm December
wrought with postcard whispers in the thin stretches of sleep—
You wake up to a phantom voice bending close.

They have always come back this way—dice in hand, nervous grins
or gnashing teeth, the familiar overcoats—with everything forgiven.
You have always offered tea and cautious smiles,
tried not to let on about the sleepless nights between measures
or the careful records you kept.

You have never needed to explain the difference
between sweeping dirt beneath a rug and tucking photos
between mattresses. Are you not still their gypsy cat with the same old
color-shifting eyes? An open-mouthed memory without a coda?

Remember, they never undid the lock
all by themselves. You were always there on the other side,
ear pressed to the door, a finger on the latch.


Jess Cording’s work has appeared under several names in various print and online publications, most recently Extracts, Knocking at the Door: Poems About Approaching the Other, Whistling Fire, Squid Quarterly, Otter Tail Review.