Current Issue

Blue Five Notebook – (August 2014 / 14.15)

Empty Highway
Jo Ann Tomaselli is a photographer whose works have been featured before at Blue Five Notebook. She says of this piece: “I have always been intrigued by highways that stretch through the open landscape — they speak of our amazingly scenic countryside, the beauty of nature and an escape from the ordinary where a route to adventure lies on the horizon. When seeking change, take to the road and be sure to buckle-up for it is here, it is certain, you will venture into your deepest self. My photographic goal is to show the world simplified, clearer, less complicated. My inspiration? Color, shape, design and the most delightful factor of all ~ fun!

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Kathleen Kirk

Blue Penumbra

Mark Rothko, Blue Penumbra (1957)

Where is everything? I sometimes ask,
not knowing where I’ve left it.
There may be a factual answer
even if it is like gazing at an abstract
painting, searching for the concrete,

but I don’t know it yet, the way
science changes the status of a planet
or a species, the way virus cells react
to hormones by invading the body’s
former truths, and then suddenly

it’s there, everything again, but gone,
like that address on thirty-fourth street,
permission to use comparisons
or the name of God, the shadow
of the earth on the moon, childhood,
unwritten dreams, that old professor.

Kathleen Kirk is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012). Her work appears in a variety of print and online journals, including Crab Creek Review, Menacing Hedge, Poetry East, and Waccamaw. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life.

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Carol Reid

And

You’re a test case, a miracle, twenty- plus years with AIDS, medicinal pot lush in your greenhouse and a thrice daily chemical cocktail keeping you alight. Long before the plague years we had a sweet teenaged drunken fumble, each of us thinking hard of someone else. “Hey!” We wave seeing one another across the street, you on your stick legs still walking faster than your demons, and one of us calls out, “Still kickin?’” and the other shouts, “Oh yeah!” Who says this isn’t love?

Carol Reid lives in Powell River, Canada, at the north end of Highway 101. A collection of her micro-fiction, with illustrations by west coast artist Wendy Brown, just might be available later this year.

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Dianna MacKinnon-Henning

I Came from the Village of Painted Toes While
You Came from the Village of Shaving Cream

Your mouth hugged my mouth
as though it were a plum.
The stars outside our tent rankled
for better seats. Intruder, you yelled,
and zipped the flap. Your sleeping-bag
inched into a cocoon. –The moon spread
silver on our lips as it pressed through.

My heart fished for trout when you
whispered my salty name. We could
have made our home anywhere—a good
ground-cover, an oiled skillet, but you were
the man from Shaving Cream Village, and I
was the woman with a penchant for fancy toes.

We dipped into the river and let our fish go.

Dianna MacKinnon-Henning holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She taught creative writing for California Poets in the Schools, through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program and through several California Arts Council grants. Dianna has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her most recent book, The Broken Bone Tongue, was published by Black Buzzard Press, (Visions International) Austin TX. Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Poetry Now, Asheville Poetry Review, and The Spoon River Quarterly.

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Mark Reep

Colorblind

On sunny afternoons I never found her home. Cold days and gray she shuttered her window, lit candles to three or four lifelong regrets, refused visitors unless you brought a buzz. When you got her high she got talky. Her spirit animal was a cat named Bent. He got hit by a car. He walks funny. He’s unreliable. I don’t trust him.

She was unabashedly selfish: Kneeling beside her narrow bed, I learned a dozen ways to aid her joissance. She’d fall asleep, wake moaning: Fool, did I tell you to stop?

She only painted women deshabille: A waitress from a café on Rue Madelaine who complained of disrobing in the cold, a dancer from McHattie’s who smoked thin brown cheroots, held impossible poses, feral stares. A quiet mustard girl from Maison sipped vodka, said little, sold best.

She dreaded deadlines, painted in a tearful rage. When she cursed me, called me colorblind, I knew better than to argue. But I remember the scent of her shadow, how it lingered when she’d stormed out, stomped down the stairs.

Mark Reep is an artist and writer whose work has appeared in or is forthcoming inAmerican Art Collector, Bluecanvas, Endicott Journal, Metazen, Prick of the Spindle, The Word Riot Anthology, and Spectrum 21. He is represented by Jardine Gallery, Perth, Scotland. His exhibition of drawings Dreams In Black and White hangs June 4-29 at Found in Ithaca. Visit Mark’s website and blog.

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David Wolf

[Each day arrives]

Each day arrives, nervous as a rice paper blossom fluttering in the holiday breeze.
No, the day is not nervous, we are.
Or rather it’s a combination, never solely us, never the world.
The Buddhist in me knows this.
Language is its own morphing tattoo.
Are you happy with your latest selection of…whatever? If not, forget it.
Sit yourself down anywhere you like and stay awhile, take in the ragged view,
the dismissive landscape you may be accustomed to skating past
like the notion of a leaf or the old sun still rolling along with us on our lonely way.
Willfully it seemed summer wished to restart, jumping back to spring.
I love faces absorbed in a real book, an old-fashioned one.
One that keeps saying, I’ve a bit more to say, for instance,
“Molly, please put down your hatchet if you’re out there holding one in anger.”
The lawn of my childhood folds up, whistling privately like a famous painter’s lifted image,
jamming my signals,
my seaside Easters, my past life of half bulldozer, half student of the ancients.
Once more, I’m out of tune amid the wine and a pen failing to dispense,
but there’s more flow in the flipping cultural glow of dawn’s soul-satisfying peach splash.
Loss mounts and pours skyward, drawing offers from the broad waters lapping away in
     thought’s forgotten harbors.
The longer I stay, the less nothing matters.
Reading fries me, and man are my remains short on impeccability.
That soul I was speaking of earlier nods off like a dusty official waiting for another storm to
     spin through the heart,
soul for whom Wife endures as a problematic word, like so many.
How memory returns the long-vanished rush of mystery to me.
I age which means I must get used to being my own after-hours club.
This is a different way of saying that hope is a quick study.
So publish this then: religion outs the concave estimation that is the finish on our warped
     panel of silence.
My fugue was sizeable before I left the only version in the backseat of a cab
deep in the wordless wilderness of care.
The surface is, of course, also a well, a wooden blah, a cross made of apples.
I sometimes hurt like a two-century-old fertile composition,
a half-measured poem fetching as dead truth.
Woof!
Bye.
Ask me to hush and I will.
I am but a pale hiker
bequeathing the whim of forever to God at rest in a port of his or her own choosing.

David Wolf is the author of three collections of poetry: Open Season, The Moment Forever, and Sablier. My work has appeared in The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, Poet & Critic, River Styx Magazine, and elsewhere. Wolf is Chair and Professor of English at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Recently, he was named the creative writing editor of Janus Head.

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