Cordelia M. Hanemann

Double Exposure

Meditation on Summer Day from Edvard Munch’s Linde Frieze

 

Munch, commissioned to paint

a sweet seascape—sunny

Asgardstrand—to please

the sensibilities of children:

rolling gentle horizons,

measured sweep of kindly sea,

gleaming white triangulations

of brilliant sails, and certainly, no

offensive human actors to clutter up

the scenery—“no lovers kissing…

children know nothing of such things.”

 

Did the offended artist know

he superimposed a scrim over holiday

and fancy, shattering serenity?

The accidental couple, spectral shapes

seeping through the gouache

of the artist’s eye,

transparent lover binding

his black-eyed bride

to the vertical mast of pine,

its flap of green sails futile

across the windless plane.

Invasive in one corner,

impasto oval blond,

ingenuous, eyeless witness

to predator and purple anguish.

 

Realities vacillate: beside

beach, sun, sea, and sails,

a cone of faceless girls,

black back of a blank man’s head,

intrusive clutch, or worse,

dark intimacies. The artless veneer

of image defies the eye: which

is surface, which substance?

Palimpsest or leakage?

 

Madonna

Meditation on Edvard Munch’s Madonna

 

Madonna of the red halo:

white moon shadows glaze her face,

eyes closed against dark;

lips, crimson as fruit,

sealed against desire;

arms fading into umber haze.

 

Eve to apple, hallowed fire:

eat of me: ripe woman body,

blood, breasts that suckle

a wolfish world, cryptic

smile barring sin.

 

Crucifixion:

apple white of ancient moonlight,

arms fastened to a tree,

dogwood, apple, rose, red gall,

pierced, openings

close on intimacy.

 

Mouths choke on repast,

lips on words:

It is consummated.

Fruit, forbidden in the garden,

ferments into wine, wine

into sacrifice.

 

Virgin waits: echoes

of the bridegroom

at the closed gate,

walls for the climbing rose;

candles flicker, moonlight

wanes to the hem of dawn.

 

Cordelia M. Hanemann

Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, NC. She has published in numerous journals including Turtle Island Quarterly, Connecticut River Review, Dual Coast Magazine, and Laurel Review; anthologies, The Well-Versed Reader, Heron Clan VI and Kakalak 2018 and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. Her poem, “photo-op” was a finalist in the Poems of Resistance competition at Sable Press and her poem “Cezanne’s Apples” was nominated for a Pushcart. Recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and The Alexandria Quarterly, she is now working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.

The Delegates are Confused

I can tell because they spill out from the chain hotel

and stare at my empty storefronts.

 

Scattered scooters knocked over on sidewalks decorating

my urban decay.

 

—the convention and visitors bureau is even more confused—

 

Like an alcoholic, I exaggerate with grandiosity

and defiance, repeating myself about urban emptiness.

 

Old-timers no longer lecture the new residents. Even

the giddiest of community boosters have quit salvaging

 

the scooters and scooping up trash, now that the

convention and visitors bureau sells my neighborhood

 

to meeting planners who prefer their banquet rooms

cheap and their reward points easy.

 

—you don’t need a scooter to go from the hotel bar

to the board meeting upstairs—

 

After 30 years in this town, do I continue to tell its story

through my own story? Do I wait for the 12th revitalization?

 

—or as Cavafy warned—

 

If I move to another town, will the dead scooters ever rise

from the sidewalk?

 

 

Gary Singh

As a working scribe, Gary Singh has published over 1100 works including newspaper columns, travel essays, art and music criticism, profiles, business journalism, lifestyle articles, poetry and short fiction. He is the author of The San Jose Earthquakes: A Seismic Soccer Legacy (2015, The History Press) and was recently a Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University.

Action, Reflection.

East Tennessee, an hour from the mines,

and Tuesdays, at the public clinic, I’m

buckled into full extraction mode.

My knuckles blanch on forceps

dug into blackened stumps

the meth mouth offers me.

Numb, his eyes twitch: More. More

of what collapsed him in the parking lot.

Blood wells up, ligaments let go.

He hardly moves as I bear down

and slowly, slowly turn out teeth like screws.

 

Off-days, my hands, clammy as a mist, float above

a keyboard: poetry at three removes from urgency.

Imagination is the act of sweeping clouds.

 

I inject inside a woman’s lip.

She’s reclined, head nearly cradled in my lap.

Her stringy hair droops across my knee.

“Why are your front teeth gone?”

I’m asking quietly.

“My husband caved in my jaw.”

 

If I lay crisp witness out,

clamber through these gullied woods,

will a mourning dove burst into view?

Who neither hears nor sees the whippoorwill?

 

A fresh scar rakes another woman,

starting in the scalp, across her eyelid, into

the pucker of a mid-cheek gouge.

To my surprise, her eye’s alive.

“What happened to you?”

“My boyfriend done come home on meth

and put my face through a window.”

 

 

Eric Forsbergh

Eric Forsbergh’s poetry has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Neurology, Zeotrope, The Cafe Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and the Northern Virginia Review, which awarded him a Pushcart nomination in 2016. He is a Vietnam veteran.

The Proxy Tunnel

I.

There’s a chance everything has been assumed incorrectly.

There’s a chance I’ve gotten it all wrong.

Misplaced the dangling modifiers.

Left decimals out of column.

Commas forgotten, and misfired chromosomes

flipping an entire species on its genealogical frontal lobe.

Prophets tried to warn.

Seers and shaman returned

carrying markers of indemnity, lived experience

suffered and survived, until now

becomes instinct, systemic acceptance

defining the limits of beauty and love.

 

II.

Compressing time compares

particle versus wave, proxy tunnels

navigating both like wormholes

linking process and form.

Conceptual technology owes its existence

to the human body, the internalized

network of firewalls, end-stops, cul-de-sacs

of private intentions needing protection

from fear of the anonymous hack.

Conjunction subordinates proper speech.

By all indications, pop stars leave the myth-

making to poets and teachers.

Take a straw poll of life’s greatest fears.

See how many answers feature

bridges and tunnels connecting us,

and all things.

 

III.

I carry weight around unknown,

height a cradle-fantasy of remembered baptism.

I am never smart enough to think like a foreigner,

an outsider accustomed to facing nature

in its raw nakedness, beauty balanced and awe.

Some tastes require jugular sweetness,

warm country tabernacles surrounded by thick night.

Preachers wed desire with a mother’s faith,

common metaphor saving its best for last days

of character-selling, shelter-space limited

to flesh and imagination.

 

IV.

Sanctuary splits me confused, me not smart enough

to skate across thin layers of meaning.

Not understanding but knowing the difference

between here and not here

simultaneously.  Nowhere to be found

depicted in watercolors is too diluted

for aristocrats and the general

practitioners of the Sacred Arts,

the Primal Magic of self-doubt,

paranoia, and its shady base

of operations in poetry.

Patrons pay my expenses, photograph my receipts.

Desire allocates, critiques my inner algebra,

formulas setting parameter for stammer

too elastic to eliminate its brittle shell.

After questioning, beauty accepts

quiet comfort, knowing fear remains

the only modern ignorance left to eradicate.

 

Marc Meierkort

Marc Meierkort is a writer and educator who has taught high school English for 19 years. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (B.S.) and National-Louis University (M.A.T.), and he currently lives in Chicago’s suburbs. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he has recently had poems published by The Main Street Rag, Columbia College Literary Review, The Nassau Review, Inscape, and Spectrum.

Beach Trip

Sand is future glass, so get in the car,

fast-forward into the future, and stand

on the giant glass bridge of the beach.

We can listen to the waves while we stare

at the creatures frozen below, encapsulated—

there’s a crab mid-stride and there’s a plastic

cup.  There will always be a band-aid, and we’re lucky—

the washed-up jellyfish is under glass—just

step right on it and laugh.  Mostly there’s just rock, though,

and it’s too hard to sit on all day.  Let’s take the car

to the diner and the past.  Let’s stare out the window

and watch the fish bones and shells, glistening in the sun.

 

 

Danielle Hanson

Danielle Hanson is the author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in over 70 journals, won the Vi Gale Award from Hubbub, was Finalist for 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award and was nominated for several Pushcarts and Best of the Nets. She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and is on the staff of the Atlanta Review. Her poetry has been the basis for visual art included in the exhibit EVERLASTING BLOOM at the Hambidge Center Art Gallery, and Haunting the Wrong House, a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts. More about her at daniellejhanson.com.

ODALISQUE PAINTING, MIXED MEDIA

odalisque #7 climbs out of the wall                 evicts me from the museum

odalisque untitled becomes very invested in her cuticles

odalisque #13 is detained in de gaulle international for the oil pastels in her purse so she
touches up her makeup in the airport bathroom & forgets her foundation inframe

odalisque (black eyes) spoke to me about the parts of the sky she had omitted
on Wednesday I find her bedrooming the beehives in the tree under my kitchen

odalisque #8 is still waiting for the moon to notice her back

 

 

Maya Salameh

Maya Salameh is a sophomore at Stanford University, where she is a member of the nationally ranking Spoken Word Collective and serves as the Inaugural Artist-in-Residence at the Markaz Cultural Center. She is a 2016 National Student Poet, America’s highest honor for youth poets, and has performed at venues including the Obama White House and Carnegie Hall. Her chapbook, rooh, is forthcoming with Paper Nautilus Press. Her work has been published in the Greensboro Review.

 

 

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