Category: Issue 05

Issue Five, September/October 2013

Visual Art

Floe
Address
Words Beyond
Vermont
United Acetates
– Reenie Charrière

Poetry

Dear Knife, Dear Body
Gifts from the 7-11” – Rosalie Moffett

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Trigonometry
Instinct” – Elena Tomorowitz
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Have Mercy” – Franklin K.R. Cline
Another Satisfied Customer” – Marc Vincenz
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Record
Notes on the National Body
We The People” – Rebecca Morgan Frank 
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Biofuel Confusion” – Gary Beck
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Prose
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Purchase, Murder, Theft” – Brooke Wonders
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from Venus Edamame” – Donald Dunbar
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Floe

Floe (evening view)

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(Floe, dimensions variable, fused and stitched packaging materials, sound, 2012)

Reenie Charrière – Artist website

Artist statement:

“I am invested in everyday moments.  My practice is triggered by expeditions along everyday paths, and sidewalks, including public waterways and shorelines.

I investigate by walking, driving and even waiting in traffic, and I am captivated by what accumulates in the environment. Detritus is a menacing punctuation. It comes in all colors and forms. The synthetic bright colors of plastic haunt me as they interrupt and accent the natural topography.   I am also drawn to these colors, and their forms as well as the juxtaposition between organic and synthetic matter.

My current work starts with photographing this relationship. Going beyond documentation, I spotlight the situation by fabricating sculptural installations out of discarded packaging materials, particularly  plastic, fabric, paper, and cardboard. By sewing, cutting, fusing, reshaping, dangling, and weaving, I transform the material into atmospheric and surprisingly organic-like structures. Many of my installations are integrated with video, projections, and or sound.  My choice of materials reflects a collision of clumsiness, and grace and questions how consumerism drives the world.”

Dear Knife, Dear Body

Dear knife in the shape of a mermaid, dear blood
work, dear ambiguous graph. Dear disembodied
odometer, dear thumb-knuckle, dear cervix.

Dear four-chambered thumper, dear peach, dear murmuring
fruit, peach pit, stone fruit, bloodstone. Dear weight.
Dear innocuousness, body like a metal

mermaid, dear fist and first and wrist. Dear body
in the shape of a flea market find, dear sharp
hip-bone, blade of shoulder. Dear desire

to cut, desire to hold.
Dear hold, full-up with dark limbless organs,
dear cavity, corn syrup, dear chamber—

I’ve been trying to call, dear body and knife, I have
lost the number, lost
without you, dear tangible, governable flesh.

*

Rosalie Moffett is the winner of a 2012 Discovery / Boston Review poetry prize. Her work has appeared in The Believer, FIELD, Tin House, AGNI and the anthology Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets. She recently received her MFA from Purdue University and is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Gifts from the 7-11

Dental insurance is important, I tell myself.
Just last night there was a man. He stood in a parking-lot
with his arms full of divinity—

Ben and Jerry’s. His teeth were a little ruined
from telling the future and knowing god,
etc. He was black

and my Dixie grandmother told me once
that when they get a little money,
what they do is buy gold.

All our cooks had gold teeth,
she said. I want to tell her how I found myself
outside a 7-11

after midnight, hands frozen
to two pints of ice cream. Him saying
The freezer’s broken. Help yourself, take it all.

*

Rosalie Moffett is the winner of a 2012 Discovery / Boston Review poetry prize. Her work has appeared in The Believer, FIELD, Tin House, AGNI and the anthology Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets. She recently received her MFA from Purdue University and is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Trigonometry

Let’s say beauty can be calculated
like the weight of air or the ink in pens.
If the dictator marks his face at night,
an indication that he’s grown
into his moustache, then he will
fail at becoming a lumberjack—
will subsequently apply for compensation.

Let’s say beauty equals the thump
of your coffee-colored heart. You need
milk and sugar now more than ever.
You need the cut-off shorts, tan arms,
skinny legs, a marginally expensive pet—
your green-tailed sunbird, matched
to your grand grand marquis.

Let’s say you hardly made the deadline
to get your braces removed,
you waited all these years to pawn
those frosty whites for oranges.
You need them now, more than ever,
nitrate-free batwings to cover your eyes—
your thick, black fuel encrusted eyes.

*

Elena T Tomorowitz is associate editor of the Mississippi Review and graphic designer for Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction. She has poems appearing in Guernica, Used Furniture Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, ILK, Blue Earth Review, Barn Owl Review, and others. She spends her time between Boise, Idaho and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Instinct

Like a thousand horses running in circles
and the sound of rivers and bees
I am tucked into pockets like a burial of juniper berries—
there are no candlesticks, no lights, no cardinal wings
If you are the animal and I am
the criminal, how would you sleep at night?
I carry diamonds on my backs
you swallow living things whole in desperation,
yet we are never released.
In darkness you tame manes, I catch flies for food,
you carry them into the wilderness.
Let’s say we are both undesirable.
I’d follow you into thorns of bushes,
but stop with the gasp of your            breath.
***
Elena T Tomorowitz is associate editor of the Mississippi Review and graphic designer for Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction. She has poems appearing inGuernicaUsed Furniture Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, ILK, Blue Earth Review, Barn Owl Review, and others. She spends her time between Boise, Idaho and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Have Mercy

I’ve gotten a lot
of mileage out
of the luxuries
of slaughter. I
swerved to hit
a collapsed bird
on the road today;
I’m not sure if it
was already dead
or not, but it certainly
couldn’t fly. It was
a puddle of a bird.
Meanwhile, several
police officers
stood outside of an indoor
soccer field staring off
into the distance
with their guns pointed
at a coyote. One of them
shot at it but it didn’t
move; the damn thing
was frozen. They shot
more at it. It continued
to wag its tail
mockingly. I don’t know anything
about my family history,
but I have a card
that says
I’m 25% Cherokee so I
get upset sometimes.
Eventually
the youngest officer
got sent over
to the animal and discovered
it was a scarecrow
with a couple of bullet holes
in its ass. Today
the news said
that 50 terrorist attacks
were prevented through
the surveillance of hundreds
of thousands of Americans.
I heard that
on the news in a restaurant
while I was eating
lunch. Today’s Featured Picture
on Wikipedia is
an Albatross. I admire
the brazen irony
of secrets. A few
of the officers
had missed and put
thumb-sized holes
in the dirt, so
there were ants scurrying
about confusedly, which
come to think of it
is pretty much how ants
always seem to get around.
I bet
they have a better plan
than they get credit for.
We’ve all got a little
torture in our blood,
but it’s a matter of
what side
our ancestors were on.
I never got
any money from the government
for being Cherokee
but that’s the first thing
people ask me
when they find out. It
was so cold
in the airconditioned
restaurant that I felt
uncomfortable, but then
it was so hot
outside that I didn’t want
to be there,
either. I don’t
look NDN.
I don’t look like
much of anything.
I can’t remember the last
time I looked
in the mirror. I hate having
my picture
taken. Most of us
have mercy every now
and again,
too. I wonder if it’s
too late to get some
of that money, though I
don’t really know whom I’d ask. I hope that bird wasn’t going to make it.

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Franklin K.R. Cline‘s work has been published in Beechers, The Chariton Review, and The Wide Net. He lives in Kalamazoo, MI, with his fiancee, author Rachel Kincaid.