Issue 9.4

9.4

Front Cover 9.4The Spring 2016 issue of Forge is now available.

If you prefer paper to pixels, you can order your copy online today.

Enjoy!

~Leif Milliken

Uber-editor, Forge 9.4

—PROSE—

Lewis K. Schrager: The Blooming

Lenny Levine: Kid Lit

Caroline Allen: I May Never See Him Again

David Shrauger: The Line That Is Dotted

Jon Pearson: Water God

Erin Lynn Cook: Red Cape

Jonah Smith-Bartlett: The Tale of an Epileptic


CONTENTS of ISSUE 9.4

—POETRY—

William Benton: The Lawrence Snake / Steps / Sagaponack Notebook / Until / Away

Andrea Moorhead: Evolution of madness / within the rings / Watching the Western Light / Returning

Simon Perchik: Five Poems—Spring 2016

M. Sakran: Stain

Jeanine Stevens: Brunch Ghazal / Potlatch

 

—VISUAL—

Sarah Katharina Kayß: Three Photographs

VittorioCavalli.com

Potlatch

By Jeanine Stevens

~after the Kwakiutl

 

Begin by giving away $10 packs of cigarettes,

copper chafing dishes, doilies and anamacasters,

Schaeffer ink pens, milk pitchers, travel brochures,

potato chips and cracklings.

 

Have everyone give away manual can openers,

polka dot bow ties, menus for the Brown Derby,

fitted bed sheets, etched goblets, dusty packs

of Walnettos, jars of Nescafe and slot machines.

 

Pretend to be a queen. Have the men pretend

to be ornaments and walking sticks. Have the

women pretend to be chefs and refrigerator magnets.

 

Talk Siberian or another language. Put a limbo pole

at the front door so people have to dance low to enter.

Hang cans of Chef-boy-ardee spaghetti and a

ball cap collection on the pole. Conduct a raffle.

Add shoe horns and pickle forks— make a small racket.

 

Give away foil balls from cream cheese wrappers.

Give everyone a new name from the bird world.

Go and look again: maybe Snap-On-tools, straight-

edged razors, psychedelic bed rolls, “Happy Days”

lunch box and skunk traps? Have an auction.

___

Jeanine Stevens is the author of Sailing on Milkweed released by Cherry Grove Collections. Her second poetry book, Limberlost, is forthcoming from Future Cycle Press. Her most recent chapbook, Needle in the Sea, was published by Tiger’s Eye Press. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, the Ekphrasis Prize and the Stockton Arts Commission Award. Poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Stoneboat, Arsenic Lobster, Rosebud, Pearl, Evansville Review, Addana and the Connecticut River Review.

Brunch Ghazal

By Jeanine Stevens

Naked disciples drag nets on the Sea of Tiberius.

Jesus sets up a BBQ. They all toast fish and bread.

 

In the southern hemisphere it is always tricky

to exchange ivory for diamonds, salt for gold.

 

I still have my Underwood Portable from high school.

A younger man calls me a seasoned poet. Turmeric?

 

At camp I gorged on eggs turned green in tin pans,

and slimy, fish-eyed tapioca (untouched by others).

 

At Pacific Bell, my first job, the supervisor Miss Flowers,

had the hots for me. I disconnected Mickey Rooney thrice.

 

A brief walk at coffee break, we discover a hog wrapped

in burlap under the wooden bridge. Don’t mention this.

___

Jeanine Stevens is the author of Sailing on Milkweed released by Cherry Grove Collections. Her second poetry book, Limberlost, is forthcoming from Future Cycle Press. Her most recent chapbook, Needle in the Sea, was published by Tiger’s Eye Press. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, the Ekphrasis Prize and the Stockton Arts Commission Award. Poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Stoneboat, Arsenic Lobster, Rosebud, Pearl, Evansville Review, Addana and the Connecticut River Review.

Stain

By M. Sakran

“The stain of homelessness will be removed from our city.”

They pressure washed the concrete.

___

M. Sakran is the author of a collection of poetry entitled First Try and has also written a number items for magazines and websites.  M. Sakran’s poetry related blog can be found at msakran.wordpress.com, and M. Sakran’s website can be found at msakran.com.

Five Poems—Spring 2016

By Simon Perchik

*

The silence that is not a moon

or someone passing by –this dirt

burned itself out though you sift

 

the way the emptiness that’s left

knows what each rock was for

–you uproot one then a second

 

as if your lips could be warmed

by a wall falling on its side

–you can’t hold on anymore

 

are already weakened by kisses

from the night between two rivers

no longer moving one at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

And though the casket closed

each corner is starting over

with lips and empty-handed evenings

 

helps you remember your death

by leaning across the dirt

as the reflection embracing you

 

needing more light :a dead lake

deeper, enough to cover you

with your shadow and this kiss

 

turning itself into sun after sun

that never lets go, still darkening

to be what it was.

 

 

 

 

 

*

What did you do! floating off

as the sound these walls make

from the light between the bed

 

and the pillow leaving together

once you shut your eyes –this room

is not a place to hand over

 

or wear a necklace that is not a sling

–this room is now a tiny stone

even mourners can’t empty

 

though the window is kept closed

and the sun too was lowered

is turning into water, drop by drop

 

carries you along, smoothing your dress

your hair, loosening its still damp light

on the rug, your bare feet and earrings.

 

 

 

 

 

*

As if these leaves are no longer at home

this match is breaking away –by itself

strikes against the wooden door

 

demands it open her eyes, already smells

from hair loosening around her shoulders

as smoke –you need more wind

 

and the sky to level out, clear this place

for the stones growing wild side by side

no longer feel your fingers kept warm

 

by gathering more and more leaves

to their death just to want to be held

as never before by the burning.

 

 

 

 

 

*

Though only two survived, each eye

is homesick for the others

still fingertips, unable to go on

 

are fanning out as darkness

before it becomes hillside

carried off with this small stone

 

for loving you, are letting each one

loosen, fall away from the others

still wet from a brother or a sister

 

or the night washing over you

the way you see through dirt

–you watch how you are wanted

 

with just two fingers, held close

looking for rain after it leaves

as lips a little at a time.

___

 

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.

Returning

By Andrea Moorhead

He left a sound in the attic

when the windows were open

and the wintering bats gone

just the space of a vibrating string,

a thin wisp of thistle

caught in the lungs.

___

Andrea Moorhead was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1947. Editor of Osiris and translator of contemporary Francophone poetry, Moorhead publishes in French and in English. Poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Abraxas, Great River Review, The Bitter Oleander, Autre Sud, Estuaire, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Metamorphoses. Poetry collections include From a Grove of Aspen (University of Salzburg Press), Présence de la terre (Écrits des Forges), De loin and Géocide (Le Noroît). Translations include The Edges of Light (Hélène Dorion, Guernica Editions), Night Watch (Abderrahmane Djelfaoui, Red Dragonfly Press), and Dark Menagerie (Élise Turcotte, Guernica Editions, 2014).

Watching the Western Wind

By Andrea Moorhead

How sudden the forest

the burned core of the day

still oscillating under ash and wind

the embers caught in the dried boughs

showering at night as if rain had come up

from the west, from the purple-throated jaws of

splintered plains and broken hills

the white smooth surface of snow

somewhere shining

under the shade of tender stones

worked up from beneath

while we sway into the night

carrying the day’s charge of fire.

___

Andrea Moorhead was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1947. Editor of Osiris and translator of contemporary Francophone poetry, Moorhead publishes in French and in English. Poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Abraxas, Great River Review, The Bitter Oleander, Autre Sud, Estuaire, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Metamorphoses. Poetry collections include From a Grove of Aspen (University of Salzburg Press), Présence de la terre (Écrits des Forges), De loin and Géocide (Le Noroît). Translations include The Edges of Light (Hélène Dorion, Guernica Editions), Night Watch (Abderrahmane Djelfaoui, Red Dragonfly Press), and Dark Menagerie (Élise Turcotte, Guernica Editions, 2014).

within the rings

By Andrea Moorhead

the heart ring of an ancient oak

holds the rain within its core

swaying under the heavy rock flames

pulsating as the leaves disintegrate

black flowing into the ring

but the startled light of a winter snow

in some remote cell

extinguishes the flames

turns over and over

the burnt raw embers

sifting the branches until

this white this gentle this remote

in the rain in the ring

in the wearied roots returns.

___

Andrea Moorhead was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1947. Editor of Osiris and translator of contemporary Francophone poetry, Moorhead publishes in French and in English. Poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Abraxas, Great River Review, The Bitter Oleander, Autre Sud, Estuaire, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Metamorphoses. Poetry collections include From a Grove of Aspen (University of Salzburg Press), Présence de la terre (Écrits des Forges), De loin and Géocide (Le Noroît). Translations include The Edges of Light (Hélène Dorion, Guernica Editions), Night Watch (Abderrahmane Djelfaoui, Red Dragonfly Press), and Dark Menagerie (Élise Turcotte, Guernica Editions, 2014).

Evolution of madness

By Andrea Moorhead

Systematic pulling of nettles

bees among them

the tiny yellow flowers

compact and firm,

she was eating sunflower leaves

when the day ended

each spiny hot surface

under the tongue

and the rising heat created

ground fog

a shimmering she mistook for

something too close to the heart.

___

Andrea Moorhead was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1947. Editor of Osiris and translator of contemporary Francophone poetry, Moorhead publishes in French and in English. Poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Abraxas, Great River Review, The Bitter Oleander, Autre Sud, Estuaire, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Metamorphoses. Poetry collections include From a Grove of Aspen (University of Salzburg Press), Présence de la terre (Écrits des Forges), De loin and Géocide (Le Noroît). Translations include The Edges of Light (Hélène Dorion, Guernica Editions), Night Watch (Abderrahmane Djelfaoui, Red Dragonfly Press), and Dark Menagerie (Élise Turcotte, Guernica Editions, 2014).

Away

By William Benton

Bright noon,

the narrow stairs lead

 

into the water, cool

wavering shallows,

 

she looks at her feet.

The way back had logic,

 

a maze of marks

in frozen flight

 

through the gray trees.

Her hair is a wreath

 

in a story laid

darkly on the pool.

___

William Benton received his early training in music, and worked as a jazz musician before becoming a writer.  He is the author of several books of poetry, including Marmalade, Normal Meanings, Eye La View, Birds, and The Bell Poems.  His poetry has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Open City, and other magazines.  He is also the author of Exchanging Hats, a book on the paintings of Elizabeth Bishop, and a novel, Madly.  He lives in New York City.