Ivy Alvarez (Ivy is here) is the author of Mortal. In 2006, she was awarded a grant by the Australia Council for the Arts to write poems for her second poetry manuscript. Her poems appear in journals and anthologies worldwide and online. Her previous contributions to qarrtsiluni are here and here.
Rachel Barenblat (Velveteen Rabbi) is a student in the Aleph rabbinic program. Her most recent collection of poems is chaplainbook (laupe house press, 2006). The Tex-Mex food of her childhood, early music, and the television show Veronica Mars are a few of her favorite things. Rachel is one of qarrtsiluni‘s most faithful supporters, with seven previous contributions: here, here, here, here, here, here and here. She also co-edited the Opening in the Body theme.
K. Cohen writes,
There is nothing like a happy ending.
There is always something like a path.
Hineni . . .
This is her first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Jeff Crouch is an internet artist living in Grand Prairie, Texas. His graphic work has appeared in numerous places on the internet (google “Jeff Crouch” to see where). For a series of links to Jeff’s work, see here. This is his first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Todd Davis teaches creative writing, environmental studies, and American literature at Penn State University—Altoona. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and have appeared in many journals and magazines, and he is the author of two books of poems, Ripe (Bottom Dog Press, 2002) and Some Heaven (Michigan State University Press, 2007). Todd loves to go out tracking in the snow, and after 3 and 1/2 years of tracking bobcats in Central Pennsylvania, was rewarded with his first bobcat sighting at the beginning of February. His poems in this edition of qarrtsiluni mark his first appearance in any online publication.
Catherine Ednie (louder) belongs to a community of local poets and writers in Stamford, Connecticut. She runs a wiki for the group at stamfordwrites.org. Her previous contributions to qarrtsiluni are here and here.
Karl Elder (homepage) has an eighth collection of verse, Gilgamesh at the Bellagio, forthcoming from The National Poetry Review Award Book Series. Among his honors are a Pushcart Prize, two appearances in The Best American Poetry, the Chad Walsh Award, the Lorine Niedecker Award, and the Lucien Stryk Award. For many years and since its inception, Elder has been associated with the magazine Seems — originally as a contributor, followed by poetry editor, and, since 1978, editor and publisher. His previous contributions to qarrtsiluni are here and here.
Susie Ghahremani (website) is an illustrator, musician and stuff maker who loves ice cream and finches. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and recently moved to California. She has notecards, memo pads, stationary, and other fun things for sale at her online shoppe. This is her first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
After teaching in England for many years, Ian House taught in Eastern Europe. His collection Cutting the Quick (2005) is available from Two Rivers Press. He lives in Reading. This is his first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Jean (this too) describes herself as an unhappy Londoner, unhappy bureaucrat, happy translator, copy-editor, and writer of political reports and speeches. Her visual and verbal creativity got blocked when she was six or seven and miraculously reappeared some 45 years later thanks to blogging, a digital camera and the inspiration of artists and writers met online. Her previous contributions to qarrtsiluni are here and here.
Dick Jones (Patteran Pages), a drama teacher and musician, has been writing seriously for the past 20 years. His poems and short stories have been published in a wide range of magazines, both on- and offline, and he is currently preparing a selection of poetry for submission to publishers. His previous contributions to qaartsiluni are here, here, and here.
Ken Lamberton (homepage) says, “I divide my time between doing laundry, sitting on my porch staring at the desert around my home, and other distractions that take the place of writing, which is what I should be doing so that one day my wife can quit her job.” Ken’s book Wilderness and Razor Wire (Mercury House, 2000) won the John Burroughs Medal, and he recently received a Soros Justice Fellowship to help promote A Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and Punishment, forthcoming from the University of Arizona Press this fall. “Outside Guevavi” is an excerpt from his current project, Santa Cruz: Stories of Life and Redemption on a Dead River. His previous contribution to qarrtsiluni is here.
Esther Morgan (homepage) was born in Worcestershire, UK. Her first collection, Beyond Calling Distance (Bloodaxe Books, 2001) won the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize; her second, The Silence Living in Houses, was published by Bloodaxe in 2005. At the moment she is listening very hard for new poems which is perhaps why silence is a pre-occupying theme. This is her first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Ann Rapstoff‘s website describes her as an interdisciplinary arts practitioner who “explores ways of engagement, often experientially, unsettling known structures and shifting the proximity between artist, audience and or participants. Past work has included navigating and facilitating chance meetings in crowd situations including festival sites, creating small changes in the space. In negotiating particular situations and sites, she attempts to engage and facilitate further possible histories related to identity, myth, narrative and ritual.” This is her first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Fiona Robyn is a writer living happily in the UK with her partner and cats, Fatty and Silver. She blogs at a small stone and creative living, and her homepage includes additional samples of her work. She is currently working on her second poetry collection and her third novel. Before guest-editing this edition, she contributed to qarrtsiluni here, here, here, here, and here.
Miles Storey says, “I design stuff for a living and take photos for fun.” He posts mostly digital photos, taken with a Canon 20d, on his photoblog, MUTE. This is his first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Adelle Stripe is a performance poet/fiction writer from Tadcaster, UK. Her work has appeared in Full Moon Empty Sports Bag, Laura Hird, 3:AM Magazine, Paris Bitter Hearts Pit, Rising Poetry, Scarecrow, and Savage Kick. She edits Straight From The Fridge and is a co founder of the Brutalist movement. She will one day release her secrets to the world in paperback under the banner “Things I Never Told Anyone.” Adelle also hopes to retire to the country and become the only female professional rat catcher in the north, sometime before her 35th birthday. This is her first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Susan Utting (homepage) has worked as a barmaid, florist’s assistant, yoga teacher, adult literacy tutor and in a psychology department. She now runs poetry workshops throughout the U.K. and teaches poetry at Reading and Oxford Universities. Publications include Something Small is Missing (Smith/Doorstop, 1999 — a Poetry Business prize winner), Striptease (Smith/Doorstop, 2001) and her latest collection, Houses Without Walls (Two Rivers Press, July 2006). This is her first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Jared Wahlgren is a poet and student. He enjoys guitar and house music. His poetry has appeared in Flutter (January) and is forthcoming in Static Movement (March) and Watching the Wheels: A Blackbird (April). “Finger Lakes” was inspired by a friend he used to spend time with in Upstate New York where he studied liberal arts. This is his first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Loren Webster (In a Dark Time) is a retired high school English teacher living in Tacoma, Washington. He enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, photography, and birding, though he spends far too much time on his computer perfecting Photoshop skills and trying to write semi-articulate articles for his blog. This is his first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
Laura Wilkinson is a founding member of hagsharlotsheroines.com and writes fiction and non-fiction. She has only dipped her toes in the creative writing pool to date and she is making this the year she dives in the deep end. On the whole Laura favours short fiction though she is also developing a novel; it’s at the germination stage, in an egg box on the kitchen window ledge. This is her first appearance in qarrtsiluni.
bright ducks land
wings out onto watered mirrorglass
mercury flakes fall
as the wallpaper fades
year on year
a door is open in the house
the one thing that props the roof up
the fire smokes
exhales another breath
outside the snow
and this room already far away
speculum (SPEK-yoo-luhm) noun
1. A mirror used as a reflector in an optical instrument,
such as a telescope.
2. Speculum metal: any of various alloys of copper and
tin used in making mirrors.
3. An instrument for holding open a body cavity for
4. A bright patch of color on the wings of certain birds,
for example ducks.
[From Latin speculum (mirror), from specere (to look at), ultimately
from the Indo-European root spek- (to observe) which is also the
root of such words as suspect, spectrum, bishop (literally, overseer),
espionage, despise, telescope, and spectacles.]
morning’s beauty has wrinkled
into cloud glower
with the threat
of sharp stars
by Ivy Alvarez
Out behind the barn, along the dry gray boards of the barn, near the dry gold grasses of late August. Grasshoppers skitter in the weeds. She sits back there for hours, still and quiet, playing with grass stalks.
Five pennies are embedded in the cement floor of the barn entrance. She would like to pry them out but they will not come loose. The cement floor feels cool on her bare legs. Sitting on the cement marks her legs with fine pox. Gray cement dust gets on her clothes. She’s already dirty again.
Dust coats everything in the barn. The heat intensifies the smell of dust. She doesn’t explore. Normally she would explore. She knows there’s a scythe in there, a big old-fashioned hand scythe with a wooden handle. They use it to cut the golden grasses. There’s an old washing machine in there, with a mangle mounted on top. Your hair could get caught in the mangle and yanked right out of your head.
She looks out of the barn. The barn doorway frames the edge of the flower garden. Giddy sprays of gladiola, orange and yellow, start inside the frame and then shoot past it. The gravel driveway curves partly into the frame, then exits.
They’re all inside. Taking naps. Hanging up clothes. Folding clothes. Putting away clothes. Clearing up after food. Making more food. There’s a plate of sliced tomatoes at every meal. Someone is usually crying, starting to cry, or getting over crying. The others talk, but their talk doesn’t draw her. It has no shape and no weight. She doesn’t want to go inside. She doesn’t want to move. The door frame holds her.
She wants to get exactly into the space of the door frame, the space that’s not the barn, the space that’s not the gladiola garden. If she gets there, she can disappear. None of it will matter. The untouched dust. The embedded pennies. The hard eyes. The no words.
by Catherine Ednie of louder
1. Nubian Ibex
2. Naibun Xebi
by Jeff Crouch of Galactic Fish Fry
There is a row
of row houses—
a boat, out at
and micro brews.
Out on the lake,
covers the floor
for ten feet.
is in my heart.
by Susie Ghahremani of boygirlparty
I stopped at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes after passing it twice. The stations of the cross are built into the hill. The whole place is full of rough wooden prie-dieus. The large number of votives flickering heated up the inside of the stone and cement grotto and made it seem alive. The quantities of hideous statuary winked and mocked me. No faith, no faith, they said. I said Ugly, ugly, in return. Mary had a garden-ful of beautiful well-watered fresh bouquets at her feet, including a dozen red roses in a glass vase. Over in the woods there was the burial plot of the dead flowers. This moved me. Also, one remarkable hydrangea bloom [in the grotto], all dusky, green, mottled with faint purple and blue. I touched it. It was real. I didn’t want to light a candle, although I thought about it—to what? to the goddess? to the new? to the future? No faith, no faith. I left there.
by Catherine Ednie of louder