Blue Five Notebook – (January 2014 / 14.1)
Artist, Lilla Dent, is a freelance photographer and studio artist who dabbles in a variety of styles and media. She is inspired by her multicultural background and international travel experience, including a 5-year residency in Tokyo. Lilla’s work is an ongoing exploration of the concept of the strange or surreal, in particular as relating to self-identity, stories and narratives, and the creation and definition of humour. Lilla is currently in Chicago, pursuing printmaking as well as the expansion of her light portrait portfolio. More here. “Galatea”, Lilla writes, “was a departure from my normally highly detailed and linear-realistic style, an attempt at depicting forms and colors in a more impulsively impressionistic manner. It’s always a challenge as an artist to keep your work fresh, so every once in a while I’ll throw myself an exercise like this to keep me spontaneous and thinking outside of my stylistic box.”
In the Darkness
Thank You, Father,
for this time alone,
this body no longer needing
bread, wine, comfort,
satisfaction of reassurance,
this mind unfettered
with desire or dis-ease.
How to put into words
nothing that is the world,
absence of context
or surface — all flow —
something no longer merely alive
moving through, above,
among what is become
For some time now
I have wondered
what to do with my hands.
Oh, God, what have you done?
Fling back the eyelids,
tear off these bonds,
breathe life back into these lungs.
They are not ready.
I am not ready.
Too soon. Too soon.
Scott Owens’s tenth collection of poetry, Shadows Trail Them Home, was recently published by Clemson University Press. His prior work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the NC Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC.
In morning air as tender as a bruise, the man and the woman wait on a bench, not talking because there isn’t anything else to say. They watch the boy play nearby with his trucks, fist-sized versions of Bonecrusher and Gravedigger. He hurls them along the concrete, bouncing them around and over the military duffle. The man had seen them at a gas station on the way to her apartment on Christmas day and had wrapped them in a donut sack. The boy hadn’t said thank you – he had been wary – but he immediately had made a set of ramps with DVD boxes, and began jumping the trucks off the broken couch. When the woman had told him to be careful, that it would be nice if something lasted longer than a day for once, he had shaken his head and insisted, “Monster trucks don’t break.” The man had laughed and given the boy a thumbs-up, receiving his first smile in return. In the following days, it had become an on-going joke, repeated if one of them stumbled or fell. “I’m okay,” they would say, “Monster trucks don’t break.” Now, the man finds himself repeating it silently like a mantra or a prayer or a plea as they sit and watch the toys get thrown through the air and come crashing down again and again.
A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills has published four collections of poetry with Press 53. His fifth, This Miraculous Turning, will be released in September 2014. More information about his work is available at www.josephrobertmills.com and he blogs regularly here.
While all passengers are asleep, I stay up late, bent over my desk until rising from the next door cabin the woman’s voice begins to lull her child to sleep, attentive to the rise and fall of her voice my pencil runs over the page, in a sinuous way echoing the sound of her humming carrying the stories she will surely tell her child when he grows older but that for now are rocking him in the manner of an empty score filled with inaudible words like notes traced with invisible ink only perceived by me who records them faithfully night after night, stringing words and sound waves together as though weaving a necklace in an unknown language drowning her child’s cries and nightly fears within reefs filled with corals and thick-lipped butterfly fish kissing away the sadness and longing for the home they left behind and the pains yet to come.
Hedy Habra is the author of a poetry collection, Tea in Heliopolis, a short story collection, Flying Carpets, and a scholarly book, Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa. Her multilingual work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Drunken Boat, Cutthroat, Bitter Oleander, Nimrod, Puerto del Sol, The New York Quarterly, Cider Press Review, and Poet Lore.
No space between us
Warping into another dimension. It’s our reality. I tried to explain it to you, but
you didn’t believe me. You refused to believe. Just
Try to understand. Ricocheting away from this far star right into a diametrically opposed galaxy.
Expect me when you see me. I’m never
We are moving backwards through time and every day is one day closer to the end. We are particles; we collide, we
A sea of particles. What are the chances of two particles meeting the same way
We won’t meet again.
You hold your father’s memory in the palm of your hand, in the interstices of your mind. He’s not gone yet, but you fear his loss so much that in this way, he is already gone. One day I will wake up and you will be gone.
Have you even noticed that I am already gone? But it doesn’t matter. It never did matter. Just particles, swirling and bouncing in vast,
universes. Interlinked. One fabric. Always here and always
No matter how far I move away from you, I am always moving towards you.
Chris Galvin writes and edits in Canada and Viet Nam. Her writing and photographs have appeared in various places, including PRISM International, Room, BluePrintReview, Descant, Asian Cha, and others. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely either in the garden, the kitchen, or the middle of a good book.
Another Tree Gothic: Graveyard Tree
I groaned when I saw it
Knowing its coming intrusion
On my thoughts, dreams, words, again and again.
A crow streaks overhead-the maudlin is calling!
His grave is barely out from under its shade
And just his body length from the road
Always just missing the good
Perched on the edge of bad.
The marker is exquisite
A bucolic scene carved in the bronze,
An icon of a whole life
In bas-relief I trace with a finger
Trying to read the Braille of almost 78 years
Rewriting some of it as I go.
There are trees throughout the cemetery
My grandmother, grandfather, an aunt, friends,
Spread across different gardens north, south, east, west
And grand statuary-white marble scarecrows
Warning off the living.
It’s not peaceful here, what with the blood rush
And birds and dissociative screaming
Going on in my head.
I won’t be joining them here ever
We have plots near his family
–you know, all that Biblical cleaving and such
So I try to spend some time now
Looking for Art, Beauty, Truth
The Grand Deception offered
In this absolute empty desolate
Rita Quillen is the author of poetry collections Her Secret Dream, October Dusk, and Counting the Sums, and a book of critical essays, Looking for Native Ground: Contemporary Appalachian Poetry. A chapbook of poems, Something Solid To Anchor To, is forthcoming by Finishing Line Press, and Hiding Ezra, a novel, is forthcoming from Little Creek Books. Her work has appeared in Antietam Review, Chattahoochee Review, Roanoke Review, Appalachian Journal, and in anthologies such as Blood Root: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers (UP of KY, 2000); Listen Here: Appalachian Women Writers (UP of KY, 2004); Girls Like Us: 40 Extraordinary Women Celebrate Girldhood (New World Library, 1999), and Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. 3.