NINE MILE MAGAZINE Vol. 8, No. 1 Spring 2020 Publisher: Nine Mile Art Corp. Editors: Bob Herz, Stephen Kuusisto, Andrea Scarpino Assistant Editor: Diane R. Wiener Associate Editors: Cyrus Cassells, Pamela (Jody) Stewart, James Cervantes Art Editor Emeritus: Whitney Daniels Cover Art: Painting is by Thomasina DeMaio, "The Last Tango." It is an anti-nuclear statement, with the dancers not seeing the atomic blast taking place to the right off balcony. The piece is 8 ft by 10 ft oil on canvas (1981) The publishers gratefully acknowledge support of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support ofGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. We also acknowledge support of the County ofOnondaga and CNY Arts through the Tier Three Project Support Grant Program. We have also received significant support from the Central New York Community Foundation. This publication would not have been possible without their generous support. We are grateful to them all. ISBN-13: 978-1-7326600-8-3 Poetry and artwork copyright of their respective authors and artists. All rights reserved. No poem or artwork may be reproduced in full or in part without prior written permission from its owner. Page 2 - Nine Mile Magazine

Contents About Nine Mile Magazine vi Appreciations & Asides Jody Pamela Stewart Edgar Is Disgruntled Pretty Much Ok The Farmer’s Wife This Year, Todd’s Spoons All Saints Cyrus Cassells The Bamboo Labyrinth Blood Rushing To A Knight’s Head Verse In Which The Poet’s New Lover Carves Him Into A Sicilian Puppet The Wrestlers (Caramelo And Guapo Gringo) Sandra McPherson Henry, Praying: Sutter Psych Hospital Mad Boy in the Odorscape: Sutter Psych Hospital Existentialist, Swimming Establishments Names at Land’s End Finishing Sandra Kolankiewicz 20th Century Petroglyph, Marietta, Ohio Bill Schulz Estate Sale —Eagle Pond Farm Splinters Vin Santo Rita Rouvalis Chapman Near Salt River Road: An Elegy For S.D. By These Waters Katelyn Delvaux My Mother Starred In M*A*S*H Reruns People Tell Me I Remind Them Of After She Died, We’d Visit In Dreams 10 17 18 19 20 21 23 26 29 33 38 40 42 44 46 47 50 52 53 54 56 58 60 61 62 Page iii Volume 8 No 1 - Page 3

David M. Taylor Gravel Parking Lot Renner’s Poem Anya America Charles Casey Martin A House in the Air Quipu John Lennon Los ilegales Elián González at Ninety Ralph James Savarese Face Time with the President College Trip The Columnist Darrah Cloud Rescue Squad The Adventurer’s Club Goes To The Track Hannah Emerson Teach A House Made for Dancing Costume Me A Blue Sound Songoing I Need Lovely Help to Look Very Paul Eluard Max Ernst The Invention The Unique One More Reason Max Ernst In The Heart OfMy Love Your Mouth With Golden Lips She Of Always, All Martin Willetts, Jr. What Passes Goes Away Page i4v- Nine Mile Magazine P 64 66 67 68 70 72 74 75 76 79 85 87 94 93 96 97 98 99 100 101 105 106 107 108 109 110 112 113 114

Peggy Liuzzi I Fall Into The Arms of Time 71 Reflection Linda Pennisi Self Portrait As Blue Chair in a Mowed Field Self Portrait As U Self Portrait As Dinner Party Field Notes Travel Marcela Sulak Spider Double Life Two Views of Incarnate: The CollectedDeadMan Poems 1. Of The Resistance Of The Dead Man 2. Of The Pleasure And Wisdom Of The Dead Man 118 120 121 122 123 125 128 132 136 Page v Volume 8 No 1 - Page 5

About Nine Mile Magazine We publish twice yearly, showcasing the best work we receive from authors whose work, energy, and vision seem to us most deeply entangled with life. This includes writers within and outside the mainstream, writers with disabilities, writers of color, writers with marginalized genders and sexual orientations, and writers from different cultures and religions. We produce this magazine in inclusive and accessible formats. We believe that poetry is everyone’s art. SUBMISSIONS For consideration in the magazine, submit 4 - 6 poems in Word or text to editor@ninemile.org. You can access a submission form at our website, ninemile.org. Please include: • your name and contact information (email and home address for sending contributor’s copies), • a paragraph about yourself (background, achievements, etc.), • a statement of your aesthetic intent in the work, • a photo headshot of yourself. We respond within 2 weeks. If you do not hear from us, reconnect to make sure we received your submission. Note that we do not accept unsolicited essays, reviews, video / motion based art, or Q&A’s. TALK ABOUT POETRY PODCASTS AND BLOG At our Talk About Poetry podcast, working poets discuss poems that interest, annoy, excite, and engage them. The Talk About Poetry blog provides more opportunities for feedback. The addresses are: -Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bobherz; -iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talk-about-poetry/ id972411979?mt=2; -Talk About Poetry blog: https://talkaboutpoetry.wordpress.com. Page vi6 - Nine Mile Magazine P

NINE MILE BOOKS Nine Mile Books are available at our website, ninemile.org, or online at Amazon.com and iTunes. Recent books are: • More Than Watchmen At Daybreak, Cyrus Cassells (2020), $16, or $9.99 at Kindle. “These twelve poems log time Cassells spent in silence in a hermitage with the Benedictine Brothers at the Christ in the Desert monastery... Cassells waited for these poems, listening patiently for their deep harmonies, probing their quiet revelations... Throughout there is a clear strain of praise and belief, unabashed and unapologetic. The last poem ends with a ‘burgeoning dawn’ a promise ofmore after this geyser of sound. What distilled magical mysterious poems!”—Spencer Reece, author of The Clerk´s Tale andThe Road to Emmaus • Metamortuary, Dylan Krieger (2020), $16, or $9.99 at Kindle and iBooks. Brilliant variations on Ovid’s Metamorphoses with dazzling excursions through life, poetry, and death. “Each of the book’s four sections, Dangerous Meat / Raw War / Quiet Catastrophes / Eternal End-Times, is a detached possession belonging to the same church of an absent and holy endeavor where Krieger stages population myths for an imagined audience of resuscitated reanimations with a language so alive and so secretly killed that it renders irrelevant the spelling that revelation too often uses to sound out the shape of its more basic priests.”—Barton Smock, isacoustic • The You That AllAlong Has HousedYou: A Sequence, Leslie Ullman (2019), $16, or $9.99 at Kindle and iBooks. “Leslie Ullman has the ability to spin illuminating spells through and around the matter of earth and life. Her vision penetrates with an attention as careful and as transforming as day through clear water, as moonlight on stone. She is an artisan with words, and the results are poems embodying the intricacy and beauty of the subjects they honor.” —Pattiann Rogers • A Little GutMagic, Matthew Lippman (2018), $16, or $9.99 at Kindle. “Reading Matthew Lippman’s poems feels like having a conversation with a hilarious, brutally honest, and brilliant friend.”—Jessica Bacal, author ofMistakes IMade atWork: 25 InfluentialWomen Reflect on What They Got Out ofGetting ItWrong • The GolemVerses, Diane R. Wiener (2018), $16, or $9.99 at Kindle and iBooks. “…Diane Wiener unlocks the door to a room of confidences, secrets, passions, and fears. These poems present an interior dialogue in which the Golem is more than symbol or legend but trusted companion and guiding, grounding force. This room is furnished with intellect, Volume 8 No 1 - Page 7 Page vii

wonder, inquiry, discovery, revelation, and release. Curl up in a comfy chair and bear witness to this lyric journey.”—Georgia Popoff, author of Psychometry. • Perfect Crime, David Weiss (2017), $16. Of this book the poet says, “The whole of it thinks about the idea of perfect crime metaphysically, in the sense that time, for example, is, itself, a perfect crime. Perfect meaning: effect without cause. A crime or situation or condition that can’t be solved.” • Where I Come From (2016), Jackie Warren-Moore, $12. Poet, playwright, theatrical director, teacher, and freelance writer, Ms. Warren-Moore’s work has been published nationally and internationally. She is a Survivor of racism, sexism, sexual abuse, and physical abuse who regards her poetic voice as the roadmap of her survival, a way of healing herself and of speaking to the souls of others. • SelectedLate Poems ofGeorg Trakl (2016), translations by Bob Herz, $7.50, or $7.49 at Kindle and iBooks. This book includes all the poems Trakl wrote in the last two years of his life, from Sebastian in Dream and the poems that appeared in Der Brenner, plus poems from other periods showing the development of the poet's art. • Letter to Kerouac in Heaven (2016), Jack Micheline, $10. One of the original Beats, Micheline's career took him from Greenwich Village to San Francisco, with friends that included almost everyone, from Mailer to Ginsberg to Corso and others. He was a street poet whose first book included an introduction by Jack Kerouac and was reviewed in Esquire by Dorothy Parker. This is a replica publication of one of his street books. • BadAngels, Sam Pereira (2015), $20, or at Kindle and iBooks, $9.99. Of this poet Peter Everwine wrote, “He’s an original.” Pereira’s work has been praised by Norman Dubie, David St. John, and Peter Campion. • Some Time in the Winter, Michael Burkard (2014), $16. A reprint of the famed original 1978 chapbook with an extended essay by Mr. Burkard on the origins of the poem. • Poems forLorca, Walt Shepperd (2012), $9.95. The poems continue Mr. Shepperd’s lifelong effort to truly see and record the life around him. Lorca is his daughter, and the poems constitute an invaluable generational gift from father to daughter, and from friend, colleague, and community member to all of us. Page vii8 - Nine Mile Magazine P

Nine Mile Magazine Vol. 8, No. 1 Spring, 2020 Volume 8 No 1 - Page 9

Appreciations & Asides Random notes and quotes on art, literature, and life, unedited and as we found them, from artists and critics whom we love: I don’t try to be prophetic, as I don’t sit down to write literature. It is simply this: a writer has to take all the risks of putting down what he sees. No one can tell him about that. No one can control that reality. It reminds me of something Pablo Picasso was supposed to have said to Gertrude Stein while he was painting her portrait. Gertrude said, “I don’t look like that.” And Picasso replied, “You will.” And he was right. —James Baldwin, “The Art of Fiction No. 78,” The Paris Review 1984. Remember the players have often mentioned it as an honor to Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, “Would he had blotted a thousand,” which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity this but for their ignorance, who chose that circumstance to commend their friend by wherein he most faulted; and to justify mine own candor, for I loved the man, and do honor his memory on this side idolatry as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of an open and free nature; had an excellent fancy, brave notions, and gentle expressions, wherein be flowed with that facility that sometime it was necessary he should be stopped. “Sufflaminandus erat,” [He should have been clogged] as Augustus said ofHaterius. His wit was in his own power; would the rule of it had been so too. Many times he fell into those things, could not escape laughter, as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him: “Caesar, thou dost me wrong.” He replied: “Caesar did never wrong but with just cause;” and such like, which were ridiculous. But he redeemed his vices with his virtues. There was ever more in him to be praised than to be pardoned. —Ben Johnson, adapted from The HarvardClassics (1910), Vol. 27. Eliot tells us that the mystery ofHamlet is clarified if, instead of considering the entire action of the drama as being due to Shakespeare’s design, we see the tragedy as a sort of poorly made patchwork of previous tragic material…There are traces of a work by Thomas Kyd, which we know indirectly from other sources, in which the motive was only that of revenge; and the delay in taking revenge was caused only by the problem of assassinating a monarch surrounded by guards; moreover, Hamlet’s “madness” is feigned, the aim being to avert suspicion. In Shakespeare’s Page 10 - Nine Mile Magazine

definitive drama the delayed vengeance is not explained—with the exception ofHamlet’s continuous doubts, and the effect of his “madness” is not to lull but to arouse the king’s suspicions. Shakespeare’s Hamlet also deals with the effect of a mother’s guilt on the son, but Shakespeare was unable to impose this motif upon the material of the old drama—and the modification is not sufficiently complete to be convincing. In several ways the play is puzzling, disquieting as none of the others is. Shakespeare left in unnecessary and incongruent scenes that ought to have been spotted on even the hastiest revision. Then there are unexplained scenes that would seem to derive from a reworking ofKyd’s original play perhaps by Chapman. In conclusion, Hamlet is a stratification ofmotifs that have not merged, and represents the efforts of different authors, where each one put his hand to the work of his predecessors. So, far from being Shakespeare’s masterpiece, the play is an artistic failure. “Both workmanship and thought are in an unstable condition …And probably more people have thought Hamlet a work of art because they found it interesting, than have found it interesting because it is a work of art. It is the Mona Lisa of literature.” —Umberto Eco, On The Shoulders OfGiants (Harvard University Press, 2019). [NOTE: Quote is from Elliot’s essay “Hamlet and His Problems.”] I have always known that there were spellbinding evil parts for women. For one thing, I was taken at an early age to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Never mind the Protestant work ethic of the dwarfs. Never mind the tedious housework-is-virtuous motif. Never mind the fact that Snow White is a vampire—anyone who lies in a glass coffin without decaying and then comes to life again must be. The truth is that I was paralysed by the scene in which the evil queen drinks the magic potion and changes her shape. What power, what untold possibilities! —Margaret Atwood, “Spotty-Handed Villainesses: Problems Of Female Bad Behaviour In The Creation Of Literature,” from a speech given “in various versions, here and there, in 1994.” When one goes at ideas directly, with hammer and tongs as it were, ideas tend to elude one in a poem. I think they only come back in when one pretends not to be paying any attention to them, like a cat that will rub against your leg. —John Ashbery, Interview with Daniel Kane, English 88 Reading List. When I write, I never re-write a sentence because for me my thought and my writing are one thing. It’s like breathing, I don’t re-breathe a breath... Volume 8 No 1 - Page 11

Arranging the bones of the story took time, but it was never painful. Everything I have—my intellect, my experience, my feelings have been used. If someone doesn’t like it, it is like saying they don’t like my gall bladder. I can’t do anything about it. —Arundhati Roy, interview in India 50, 1998. Which is more musical: a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school? —John Cage, Silence: Lectures andWritings (Wesleyan University Press, Anniversary edition, 2013) Many people will agree that a man may be a great artist, and yet have a bad influence. There is more ofMilton's influence in the badness of the bad verse of the eighteenth century than of anybody's else: he certainly did more harm than Dryden and Pope, and perhaps a good deal of the obloquy which has fallen on these two poets, especially the latter, because of their influence, ought to be transferred to Milton. But to put the matter simply in terms of “bad influence” is not necessarily to bring a serious charge: because a good deal of the responsibility, when we state the problem in these terms, may devolve on the eighteenth-century poets themselves for being such bad poets that they were incapable of being influenced except for ill. —T. S. Eliot, “The Poetry of John Milton,” 1936. I repeat that the remoteness ofMilton’s verse from ordinary speech, his invention of his own poetic language, seems to me one of the marks of his greatness. Other marks are his sense of structure, both in the general design of Paradise Lost and Samson, and in his syntax; and finally, and not least, his inerrancy, conscious or unconscious, in writing so as to make the best display of his talents, and the best concealment of his weaknesses. —T. S. Eliot, “The Poetry of John Milton,” 1960. Born and raised in what they used to call “The Radical Movement,” I always look back with amused pride on those old-timers who didn’t smoke or drink and lived long and troubled lives absolutely devoted to one unmarried spouse—to keep themselves fit and ready for the barricades. The World, The Flesh, and The Devil are far subtler personages than those innocent Jewish mechanics and Italian peasants thought, but they still go about in the night as a roaring lion seeking whom they may devour. It behooves the artist to recognize and avoid them, especially when they wave Page 12 - Nine Mile Magazine

red, or black, flags, as well as roar. Because art is a weapon. After millions of well-aimed blows, someday perhaps it will break the stone heart of the mindless cacodemon called Things As They Are. Everything else has failed. —Kenneth Rexroth, Introduction to Rexroth’s first collection of essays, Bird in the Bush (New Directions, 1959). Well, being a poet is a funny kind of jazz. It doesn’t get you anything. It doesn’t get you any money, or not much, and it doesn’t get you any prestige, or not much. It’s just something you do. —John Berryman, from “An Interview with John Berryman” conducted by John Plotz of the HarvardAdvocate on Oct. 27, 1968. In Berryman’s Understanding: Reflections on the Poetry ofJohn Berryman. Ed. Harry Thomas. Boston: Northeastern UP, 1988. Copyright © HarvardAdvocate In recent years I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Britain a number of times for literary events. My conversations with poets and readers there have led me to think more about what it means to be an American writer— something that we don’t consider so carefully, I suppose, until we’re confronted with difference. In conversations in pubs after readings, or in the café at the Poetry Society in London, it struck me that our colleagues in the United Kingdom have a very different sense of the poet’s right to speak about his or her own life—of the centrality of the self, in other words, in the poems we write. The clearest example of this came one evening when we were talking about American poets, and the conversation turned to the poems of James Wright. I quoted three lines ofWright’s I’ve always loved: Suddenly I realize That ifI stepped out ofmy body I would break Into blossom. I was shocked to discover that this passage had been enormously controversial in the U.K.; for my British friends, it represented the height of a brash, American sense of self. How dare Wright make such a claim for his own feelings? How could he have the nerve to be so self-aggrandizing, to assume that he felt some special, important emotion that could be announced in this way, without irony, without apology? Perhaps the signal characteristic of American poetry is our desire to put the self at the center—whether it be Whitman’s expansive, inclusive “I” or Dickinson’s micro-cosmic, endlessly doubting examination. Our way of knowing the world is through the study of our own feelings and perceptions. And if this gets in our way, some of the time, and offers too Volume 8 No 1 - Page 13

many opportunities for self-absorption, then I also feel it’s our strength. Through its bold curiosity about the self, its willingness to investigate perception, thought and feeling with a relentless intensity, American poetry in our century has evolved into a vibrant and diverse endeavor that’s among this last century’s brighter achievement. —Mark Doty, citied online at Modern American Poetry (http://mapslegacy.org/poets/a_f/doty/american.htm) It has become increasingly plain to me that the very excellent organisation of a long book or the finest perceptions and judgment in time of revision do not go well with liquor. A short story can be written on the bottle, but for a novel you need the mental speed that enables you to keep the whole pattern inside your head and ruthlessly sacrifice the sideshows … I would give anything if I hadn’t written Part III of Tender Is the Night entirely on stimulant. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to Max Perkins, March 11, 1935, in F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Life in Letters, ed. Matthew Bruccoli (Simon & Schuster, 1994) Memory, I think, is a substitute for the tail that we lost for good in the happy process of evolution. It directs our movements, including migration. Apart from that there is clearly something atavistic in the very process of recollection, if only because such a process is never linear. —Joseph Brodsky, “Less Than One,” in Less Than One SelectedEssays (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986) Someone said to Donne, the English satirist, “Thunder against the sins but spare the sinners.” “What,” he said. “damn the cards and pardon the card sharps?” —Chamfort, Products ofthe PerfectedCivilization, translated by W.S. Merwin, (North Point Press, 1984) Great writers are either husbands or lovers. Some writers supply the solid virtues of the husband: reliability, intelligibility, generosity, decency. There are other writers in whom one prizes the gifts of a lover, gifts of temperament rather than moral goodness. Notoriously, women tolerate qualities in a lover—moodiness, selfishness, unreliability, brutality—that they would never countenance in a husband, in return for excitement, an infusion of intense feeling. In the same way, readers put up with unintelligibility, obsessiveness, painful, truths, lies, bad grammar—if, in compensation, the writers allows them to savor rare emotions and Page 14 - Nine Mile Magazine

dangerous sensations. And, as in life, so in art both are necessary, husbands and lovers. It’s a pity when one is forced to choose between them. —Susan Sontag, “Camus’ Notebooks,” in Against Interpretation (Dell Publishing, 1969) In a political culture ofmanaged spectacles and passive spectators, poetry appears as a rift, a peculiar lapse, in the prevailing mode. The reading of a poem, a poetry reading, is not a spectacle, nor can it be passively received. It’s an exchange of electrical currents through language—that daily, mundane, abused, and ill-prized medium, that instrument of deception and revelation, that material thing, that knife, rag, boat, spoon/ reed become pipe/tree trunk become drum/mud become clay flute/conch shell become summons to freedom/old trousers and petticoats become iconography in appliqué/rubber bands stretched around a box become lyre. —Adrienne Rich, “Someone Is Writing a Poem” fromWhat Is FoundThere: Notebooks on Poetry andPolitics. (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1993) …we heard that [Hemingway] was back in Paris and telling a number of people how much he wanted to see her. Don’t you come home with Hemingway on your arm, I used to say to her when she went out for a walk. Sure enough one day she came back bringing him with her…. They sat and talked a long time. Finally I heard her say, Hemingway, after all you are ninety percent Rotarian. Can’t you, he said, make it eighty percent. No, she said regretfully, I can’t. —Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography ofAlice B. Toklas, SelectedWritings of Gertrude Stein (Random House, 1946) Why go grubbing in muck heaps? The world is fair, and the proportion of healthy-minded men and honest women, to those who are foul, fallen or unnatural is great. Mr Oscar Wilde has again been writing stuff that were better unwritten; and while The Picture ofDorian Gray, which he contributes to Lippincott’s, is ingenious, interesting, full of cleverness, and plainly the work of a man of letters, it is false art—for its interest is medicolegal; it is false to human nature—for its hero is a devil, it is false to morality—for it is not made sufficiently clear that the writer does not prefer a course of unnatural iniquity to a life of cleanliness, health and sanity. The story—which deals with matters only fit for the Criminal Investigation Department or a hearing in camera—is discreditable alike to author and editor…Mr. Wilde has brains, and art, and style; but if he can write for none but outlawed noblemen and perverted telegraph-boys, the sooner he Volume 8 No 1 - Page 15

takes to tailoring (or some other decent trade) the better for his own reputation and the public morals. —The Scots Observer, July 5th, 1890 It is rumoured that The Waste Land was written as a hoax. Several of its supporters explain that this is immaterial, literature being concerned not with intentions but results. —J. F., “Shantih, Shantih, Shantih: Has the Reader Any Rights Before the Bar of Literature?,” Time (March 1923) We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us—and if we do not agree, seems to put its hand in its breeches pocket. Poetry should be great & unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself but with its subject.—How beautiful are the retired flowers! how would they lose their beauty were they to throng into the highway crying out, “admire me I am a violet! dote upon me I am a primrose!” Modern poets differ from the Elizabethans in this. Each of the moderns like an Elector ofHanover governs his petty state, & knows how many straws are swept daily from the Causeways in all his dominions & has a continual itching that all the Housewives should have their coppers well scoured: the antients were Emperors of vast Provinces, they had only heard of the remote ones and scarcely cared to visit them.—I will cut all this—I will have no more ofWordsworth or Hunt in particular—Why should we be of the tribe ofManasseh when we can wander with Esau? why should we kick against the Pricks, when we can walk on Roses? Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles? —John Keats, Letter to J. H. Reynolds (February 3, 1818) Hampstead Page 16 - Nine Mile Magazine

Jody Pamela Stewart Edgar Is Disgruntled his gutters need repair and outside, as all too often happens, there are flags, high-pitched hollers, grill-smoke, heavy-on-the-mustard deviled eggs, sausage sputter, great shimmering haunches of Jello, cakes like pillows, and an ominous gluten-free table tucked up against Albert’s hedge. Edgar loves his food, but what’s not to loathe navigating the wheeling kids, the pale midriffs of girls age 8-58, heartiness and piles of flimsy paper plates, those wide grins beneath eyes which roam away when Edgar starts to speak. With his hand on the doorknob and his dog occupied with a large chew, Edgar realizes that to step out the door is to step down into a war zone. He hesitates. It’s well known that a neighborhood barbecue can get you killed. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 17

Pretty Much Ok It’s the dried up child that’s the problem; it’s not as though her mother has to worry about fitting a wizened being in a booster seat, or that shopping for an outfit that might make the first day of school feel ok is a hassle – it’s the not knowing, day to day. Her daughter tells her nothing. It’s the not knowing, when the mother taps open the bedroom door to wake her child, whether the world will be upright, or on its side. The Grandmother worries she’s hasn’t enough money to send even the smallest check. The girl herself’s ok. She makes sure she’s ok. Classes are ok. Food’s ok; her shoes fit and at school the kids are either solicitous or evil and therefore a known quantity. The girl knows a lot about the state of the world; she reads way more books than her classmates and could pry their heads open. She wishes her always-worried mother would give her a break and just shut up. The grandmother waits for her social security deposit and wonders whether to spring for new wrapping paper this Christmas or just smooth out what she neatly folded up last year. The dried up child is on a field trip to an historic village with lots of sheep. The mother steps out into the cold, closing the door behind her. Page 18 - Nine Mile Magazine

The Farmer’s Wife was not home when neighbor Todd came to the door. At first the dogs barked. Each year he knocks, stands back politely and asks permission to hunt deer on those forest ledges sloping down towards the Deerfield River. In his hand, a gift of 3 beautiful wooden spoons he’d carved during solitary evenings. Todd works at the hospital. He cleans things up. He is a calm man with a slow, affectionate smile but he notices everything. Each day this man on the sidelines, doing his job, sees what falls off the edges of life itself, of hope, or even credibility. That is why, each year, when Todd arrives at the several doorways here in the hill towns, family dogs only bark once or twice. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 19

This Year, Todd’s Spoons are slender as women conjured by Modigliani: Clarice has been to the beach. She shakes out her shoes, removes thick woolen socks and pins them on the clothesline to drain out their sand. Alda has been brushing the ghosts of Edward Gorey’s cats, a demanding chore she busies herself with four times a week. On Fridays she sets out black bowls of raw cream. Skinny Mickey has spent all afternoon drifting back and forth thinking she might dust the front room windowsills. She loves vernal pools and frog songs, but the season is long past and the music she thought stored tightly in her mind is fading. That distresses her; she’s the saddest of the three Spoon sisters but she never speaks of it. We’re lost, she thinks, why dust at all. Why sweep up the sand sliding from my sister’s skirts; why wash and dry the ghost bowls, or tidy the invisible litter boxes. Justice is a feather caught in the tide, affection a plastic Christmas tree torn up at the curb; singing starts with pride and a wide heart but daily sours in the mouth.... Still, it matters to make the evening soup, buy bread, chocolate, paper and pens. Clarice, Alda, and Skinny Mickey gather for their meal: curtains drawn, joy and discouragement are both set aside in a velvet-lined drawer. The sisters rest like any family at their small kitchen table with its yellow oilcloth. Just a few cobwebs in the corner above the closed and bolted cellar door. Page 20 - Nine Mile Magazine

All Saints It’s just after dawn and she’s taken the mare out, riding through mist, slow-stepping over slippery leaves, then up the slope to that spot on the ridge which signifies clarity. These are the terrible weeks before Thanksgiving with its whirl of details and recipes, those shopping lists, the spot cleaning and airing of best linens. The morning is damp-cold, pinching her cheeks red, bruising her lips with something she’s not ready for: all that food, buttery oranges and greens parceled out on gold-rimmed white china. How she thinks of what she won’t eat at the table, how she’ll urge the family and guests towards seconds and thirds, how she’ll hoard – for later – some of everything in that dark corner of her pantry. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 21

ABOUT PAMELA STEWART Pamela Stewart (known as Jody) is a true “boomer,” New England born and bred. She began writing in grade school because she couldn’t draw. She’s taught creative writing at ASU, University of Arizona, UC Irvine, and University ofHouston. In 1982 she received a Guggenheim and traveled to Cornwall, UK where she then lived for 7 years. Jody returned to western Massachusetts and in 1994 she, and her family moved to a farm to raise fiber animals. Over the years she’s published in a number ofmagazines, received 3 Pushcart publications, and has written 6 full-length books including The RedWindow (Univ. ofGeorgia Press, 1997), and Ghost Farm (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2010.) A chapbook, Just Visiting, was published by Grey Suit Editions, London, 2014. She still lives on the farm with 3 dogs, some elderly sheep, a rescued horse, his donkey, several goats and old pigs. ABOUT THE POEMS How I met my first Prose-ette was by accident. Over the years I started countless bits of prose which never came to life. They drabbed right off the edge of the page, but about 6 years ago I asked myself to write at least one sentence while drinking my first cup of coffee in the dark of the morning. It wouldn’t matter what I wrote because all that really mattered was that hot black coffee. Sometimes another sentence emerged, then another and maybe a few more. My first prose-ette entity was that of elusive Edgar regarding his Phoenix apartment and its shortcomings. These little paragraphs were spontaneous and always surprised me! To write was just plain fun and the joy of it was that I was never “working on a poem.” Page 22 - Nine Mile Magazine

Cyrus Cassells The Bamboo Labyrinth Legions of rice stalks and midsummer reeds Swayed in accelerating wind. In love, I followed you all the way to Sado Island. Fleeing a farrago of Taiko drums, In favor of the earliest assembling stars, We laughed and ambled in the twilit Silver and jade-green field, With our flimsy muslin shirts Unbuttoned to reveal, As if to Lothario Jupiter, The Big Dipper, and the pockmarked moon, Those old-time eavesdroppers And unregenerate voyeurs, The truant glory of our saké-splashed Collarbones and throats— A beguiling garland of lights shimmered, Festooning the flowing Sea of Japan—a little broadcast Brilliance from Korea (or Manchuria?)— And almost straightaway, baleful clouds Came along to block the ebullient stars. With a shower in locomotion our way, We hurried to a standstill battalion Of hallowing trees; So help me, I’d never encountered Living bamboo, and by chance, There was a whole god-sent grove To revel in— When the flat-footed, rummaging storm, The Kabuki-wild rain reached us, We weren’t abject or enraged, Like bull-headed Lear roughly booted outdoors By his repudiating daughters; We were antic, July-giddy— Volume 8 No 1 - Page 23

Lighting flashes. The swoosh of wind Rattling the gallant trees, the green and ocher Auspices of the grove, Ambushing the soldier-tall spears Encircling us. Your pretext was to hold and protect me From the spieling tempest, Then you pressed your storm-moist palm To my novice’s chest, My unshielded heart— In the tensile year leading up To that crazy, whistling bamboo maze, I’d labored carefully to conceal The sparks I felt so often in your presence; Like dispensing with an intricate mask At uproarious Venetian Carnival, All at once, our mutual longing Was completely pond-clear, ineluctable: Truthfully, no ardent valentine had ever dared To bless me with a French kiss Or to probe my wet but febrile nipples With a purposeful tongue, And well, that was an epiphany! Yes, I admit: I’d never known The rain-slicked moustache And black tussock of thick hair, The telling heat and reassuring heft Of a man’s sinews firsthand— The wide-awake pilgrim, the not shipwrecked Philosopher manqué in me insists: We outwitting survivors Return from oblivion or tempest, Out of the ruckus and voltage, alive, Only to find unmistakable signs, Indelible memories branding us Like Lichtenberg figures: The fabled marks, the improbable flowers Pitiless lighting leaves On startled, inconsolable flesh— Page 24 - Nine Mile Magazine

Tell me, you, who never attained Christ’s age—my sweet summer despoiler, Did an errant thunderbolt claim me? Did I die there in that rain-washed grove?— All I know is, My irreplaceable first man, My amorous prize in the storm, I can’t relinquish our windblown Bamboo labyrinth, I can’t rest without reclaiming That bonanza of rain on my flesh— Volume 8 No 1 - Page 25

Blood Rushing To A Knight’s Head As in a tensile joust, In which stouthearted knights, Beribboned favorites of the king, Both dauntless competitors, Never dare to reveal The turret-tall stakes, Time and again, in the eventful years Following college, I shook Your firm, almost hallowing hand, Tallying in my head Your dynamic triumphs, with the requisite Courteous detachment (Yes, indifference was the hunter’s snare, The focused angler’s reel Of our later encounters, Mock indifference and its cousin, nonchalance) So as to outfox, longstanding crush And university rival, You, with your lightly disguised, Yet thoroughly transparent Fix on me (All of your ingenious bids To secure my applause—detectable Emblems of an undeclared desire), Taking note of the inimitable plays, The sovereign films, The gold and silver accolades, All you had so diligently attained, Sometimes with cast-ashore envy, Sometimes with welling joy— I see now: under my feigned politesse, My false reticence, Beneath almost negligible white lies, denials, I bore the crest and chilly armor That hid irrefutable loss, The fear, in this bustling life, first of squiring Then losing you— Page 26 - Nine Mile Magazine

Everything in my brisk, meticulous Waking world arranged (The humdrum opposite Ofmy unhampered dreams, The valiant world under my lids, In which we pledged gallants And staunch companions strode, Inseparable as Damon and Pythias) Permitting me to venture forth, Sanguine, princely, A full-blown leader in my field, But with my secretly allied, Irrationally loyal heart insolvent— When I heard the riveting news Of your cliff-side crash, Poleaxed as a bested crusader Or a suddenly gasping chatelaine, I actually collapsed In the fabled medieval quarter of Rhodes— As if someone had savaged the revealing Strings of an alluring harp—deposed On the blank, cool cobblestones Near the inimitable moat Of Saint John’s Gate, toppled By the sound of your questing voice In sophomore astronomy class: What is this colossal force, This mighty God-spark That binds the stars?— So help me, my inmost hero (Soul-close as a hungry milk brother), My terrific, quite humbling swoon Was equal to the noon-struck moment In a long-ago copse, When a veering Roosevelt elk Leapt before me, As if the astonishing beast could toss, With its imposing antlers, Volume 8 No 1 - Page 27

The gold chrysanthemum sun, And I staggered back, dear genius, I staggered back— in memory ofD., 1949-2017 Page 28 - Nine Mile Magazine

Verse In Which The Poet’s New Lover Carves Him Into a Sicilian Puppet I. Verse in Which the Poet’s New LoverCarves Him Into a Sicilian Puppet In Sicily, you paint my Moor’s armor The illustrious gold of a royal gingko In garish fall, my foraging, wide-awake eyes The white of glittering feldspar, Or far-off Andromeda, My just-fashioned irises the entreating green Of Van Gogh’s “The Poet’s Garden.” But my eyes are brown as pennies, I protest To my newly acquired lover, Marco Angelo, Ace woodcarver and able puppeteer Who looks impressively tan and fit (It’s sweltering mid-July) In his Starsky and Hutch t-shirt, While he graces my evolving lookalike With the bull’s-eye gaze belonging To a go-for-glory trapeze artist Or a galloping circus showman: Caro poeta, I’m sure pea-green works better For a daring Moor Or a defiant Saracen. But I thought you were transforming me, Like a modern day Geppetto, Into a hero, a truth-loving, crusading knight, Your very own high yellow Orlando! Well, amico, as you can tell, From the latest phase ofthe pupo, I have changedmy mind. By the way, teasing Marco whispers, Gently tapping my island-brown forehead: Are those brows really yours Or just a Japanese painter’s brushstrokes? Volume 8 No 1 - Page 29

II. Marco Angelo’s PuppetMuseum Tour (Come Upstairs) The flame-like moment our eyes locked, Marco Angelo was lifting his Naples yellow And peony-pink awning, And after a lush, prolonged stare, Don Intensity, With his prophet-long hair, deliberately Lowered the awning again, So I was impelled to amble past His suddenly reopened store And inviting woodcarver’s workshop Once, twice, before summoning My All-American stars-and-stripes resolve To venture inside, where, As a dumbshow tourist in Ortigia, The bewitching island offshoot of Syracuse, I pretended to browse, Musing just how long I could sustain My finicky shopper’s ruse, My mostly lust-fueled performance, Before fleeing, in a clumsy flash, With a heartfelt buona sera— Finally, in an affable, committed voice, Marco Angelo proclaimed: My two brothers and I, we have A whole collection ofrare And even precious puppets, Little stages, woodcarving tools, and old posters, Yes, a museum— Please follow me upstairs; Let me show you— In a cat-quiet corner Of the remarkable puppet collection, I confess, I came for the first time From the pressure of his formidable, Sinewy arms, from the shock Of his trimmed, cologne-scented beard And care-taking tongue: Page 30 - Nine Mile Magazine

At one crest in our lovemaking, Before the countless widened eyes Of ready-to-be-seen-and-see antique puppets, He laughed and wrapped His waterfall of waist-length hair Like a dark flag around my throat— * It became a summer ritual: I’d arrive, Just as Marco Angelo was closing: In our daft, eleventh hour re-enactment Of his salacious museum tour, Like an appraising collector, I’d run my assessing hands Over a few glittering Sicilian knights And fearsome, “swart-skinned” Saracens— Once my avid puppeteer Literally hauled me upstairs, let me Unbutton his linen shirt and unbraid His gleaming black hair, Then nimbly blindfolded me—with a blue, Hand-sewn scarf from Cefalù— To let me savor more fully Our unleashed bodies’ veneer Of sweat and midsummer musk— Volume 8 No 1 - Page 31

III. My Lookalike Saracen Under the Stars After a steady month ofmeticulous carving, assembling, Sewing on a black and gold-trimmed velvet cape, And crowning my hard-knock lookalike With a shiny, sickle-moon helmet, Marco declares my bearded twin warrior Is prime to hit the illustrious puppet stage, Magically erected in a lovely But mostly roofless building: In your honor, we’ll let you be The parlatore—the voice Ofthe wily Saracen Just for a few performances. It’s good you’re an actor as well, Because, amore, you better soundmean! So into the chivalrous world of Charlemagne, I plunge—the bustling planet of the Sicilian pupi, Brimming with 9 th century Parisians, Invading Tartars, and Saracens, With beloved stock characters: The staunch, always do-right paladin Orlando, The dazzling, clash-inducing beauty Angelica, The ever-scheming witch, Morgana . . . . Look!Here I am relentless, dastardly, Never giving in to the Christians; Here I am dramatic, wheedling, A horse’s ass . . . As I sally into battle under the dog day stars, I laugh and say, Marco, When things get seriously mean: Just remember, puppet master, deep down, Like any steadfast poet worth his salt, I’m a troubadour, yes indeed, A verse-spouting lover, head to toe, Never a harsh foe or a fighter! Page 32 - Nine Mile Magazine

The Wrestlers (Caramelo And Guapo Gringo) Though I was rash, run-of-the-mill— A tagalong athlete at best, How is it, after all these years, We’re still punning and wrestling? We never banter about this, The bald-as-a-sumo fact you insisted I drop “Fancy-pants” French and straightaway “enlist”— That’s exactly the verb you used!— In “handier” First-Year Spanish, And then recruited me For the mostly belittled wrestling team; I suppose, for your part, even then, Mat-work was akin To outright philosophy, a pulsing physical form Of fathomless meditation— I confess it tickles me you’ve settled In “Guadalajara, Guadalajara,” The vaunted birthplace of our tiny, At times fortissimo Spanish teacher, The far-sighted woman who instilled in us An endless love for totemic García Lorca, The magus García Marquez, And blind, encyclopedic Borges— On Señora Leticia’s engaging High school senior Spanish Club trek To gargantuan Mexico City, I fell in love with Montezuma’s Godzilla-and-Mothara-sized metropolis, But lamented my gadabout paseos, Without fail, blackened my saved-for deck shoes— In “onerous” high school, As we once derided it, As disapproving sophomores, You felt demi-cursed by your German And Scandinavian good looks, And instead of duly squiring Volume 8 No 1 - Page 33

The fig-ripe Valkyries, The cookie-cutter sweethearts Your Cologne-born mother Had carefully, almost gingerly Allotted for you, In wayward fashion, You praised our high desert town’s Wary, wiseacre Latina girls, With lush rose-trellis names: Keris, Jacinta, Maria Isabel, Socorro … I replay those early years Of sheer horseplay and camaraderie, As we trek to irresistible Tulum, And later, climb to the panoramic top Of the rugged pyramid in Cobá (Yes, with its buffeted cloud flotillas, Its fabled blue-and-white canopy, Mexico has my favorite sky), Stopping for a journeyman bullfight In a humble jungle village, Where your flagpole height, Wheat-colored ponytail, And tallow-pale forearms Make you a lightning-fast Nordic celeb, A Mayan curiosity— Back in college, we used to exclaim: I see a hammock with my name on it! Nowadays, in spiffed-up Playa del Carmen, There’s little sleeping outdoors: After a flirty, agile jack-of-all-trades Valiantly fixes your truck’s flat tire, Marcelino gleefully coaxes, and yes, slyly ushers “Caramelo and Guapo Gringo” (As if we’d been hailed As first-class Lucha Libre wrestlers!) To a newly inaugurated, no-frills hotel, Where an impervious tarantula blooms, Above the lintel of our shore-blessed room, Page 34 - Nine Mile Magazine

Like a blossoming black star In some abysmal Hammer Horror— In this bright, empty-bellied hotel, I recall, before our lively tenure As on-fire teen wrestlers, The summer-to-summer stretch That we incorrigible thespians (Acned, raring to go, and graced With ever-ready erections) Started impersonating blood-sampling “Champs and Vampires” — Count Dracula versus Barnabas Collins!— And our delightful horror show duel Suddenly veered (as if some leering demigod Or lust-inducing satyr Had waved a magic wand) Into our first heedless kisses, Our first blissed-out thrusts And quick-as-a-hare climaxes— As you recall, your tree house Was aptly christened “Collinwood West,” (You were obsessed, naturally, With that creaky-as-a-crypt-lid soap, Dark Shadows) And my own cobbled-together perch Was dubbed Lord Dracula’s Castle— Today we’re the untried inn’s Absolute first and only welcome guests, So nobody but nobody can detect Or fault my sudden gasps As our at-ease siesta, Started in separate beds, becomes More than your average August siesta— In our marvelous, semi-nervous, Yet still vigorous faux-wrestling, Followed by our surprise, Volume 8 No 1 - Page 35

Hello-again coupling, It’s clear as a cornet’s register: You’re a man now, Possessing a roustabout’s chest And impressive shoulders, And lo, your strong, insurgent kisses Are much surer than at fumbling fourteen: Look, how did you get inside me, Barnabas Collins? Does this mean We’re Champs andVampires again? Page 36 - Nine Mile Magazine

ABOUT CYRUS CASSELLS Cyrus Cassells’ six books are The MudActor, SoulMake a Path through Shouting, Beautiful Signor, More Than Peace andCypresses, The Crossed-Out Swastika, and The GospelAccording To Wild Indigo. His book of Catalan translations, StillLife with Children: SelectedPoems ofFrancesc Parcerisas, is due from Stephen F. Austin State University Press in April 2019. He’s a recipient of a Lannan Literary Award, a William Carlos Williams Award, and a Lambda Literary Award. ABOUT THE POEMS My six published books of poetry, multicultural and international in spirit, have been concerned with issues of justice, war, conscience, the healing of trauma, as well as the restorative power of romantic and erotic love. In addition to my study of French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, I have also been drawn, out of a sense of justice, to endangered languages and dialects, including Gullah, Hawaiian, and Catalan (callously banned from public use by Franco at the close of the Spanish Civil War). I strive hard to make my poetic language precise, musical, and memorable. As poet Ellen Hinsey once asserted, “poetry is an independent ambassador for conscience: it answers to no one, it crosses borders without a passport, and it speaks the truth.” With my poetry, I like to think ofmyself as an intrepid AfricanAmerican ambassador working freely and fearlessly in the world. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 37

Sandra McPherson Henry, Praying: Sutter Psych Hospital Keeping this chair beside him— three times our day. And at midnight, when the Cosmos reduces us to snacks, still he prays. Mercy on tiptoes trips into his ruthless world. He’s formal, a stately murmurer, with the longest band of gratitudes even though he must be starved. And even though he’s starving, he manages a stony ascending trail of thank-goodness-for-this, thank-heaven-for-that. Esses whisper where teeth used to be. No piped-in music, palliative or reverent, mistimes Henry’s peace before our viands, a hospital class act, roast au jus, not as tough to a springy knife as guys he knows from the street. Vegetables bright verde, blues swirled into yellows, squash in its home of amber rind, pallid glory of a baked underground staple. Eyelids down, ropy strands of gray-brown-gray hair, Face washed with grace, Henry begins to eat only after he’s spared nothing. Page 38 - Nine Mile Magazine

I am full; I pray Henry wants my roll and milk and butter. That prayer is answered. I remain there, with Henry’s prayer in the air: something fair’s been given him. (You, God, don’t you dare walk out on Henry’s prayer.) Volume 8 No 1 - Page 39

Mad Boy in the Odorscape: Sutter Psych Hospital New jar of honey Cat’s territory Fish guts under a pier Clove — the jacks of spice Salt air over the dunes — it can reach much further in New leather shoes French fries at the boardwalk Hills ofmanure and barn of hay Sourdough baking — but not for ourselves alone The shoulders of a friend with no top lying in the sun Wet wool wet paint Pizza Vanilla Good skunky pot Wicked coffee In the outside world Dorothy walks by wearing Estée Lauder Soap on someone in the snow Daphne odora Silver sperm like pitch around its tree What a cat knows about catnip See Valéry And missing them, not knowing what he missed, made him go Page 40 - Nine Mile Magazine

mad Orange tree in bloom Cedar, lumber Winter woodsmoke Match-head between thumb and index If you could smell these things you’d know who you are (I want to tell him) Since — stripped — you can’t you’ve learned the nature ofGod a god who turns up his nose Note: the condition is called “anosmia.” Volume 8 No 1 - Page 41

Existentialist, Swimming forLinda Allen Water’s an -ism. Pr. Linda’s bi-weekly at the pool. Driver’s dependable Abdul. Tiptoes choose: Not to slip on the rim. Then surface smooth, Tense, or in facets — Linda’s in it. She’d taught her class Camus — Not strange to adolescents — Each swore, “That’s what I am too!” I know swimming but hardly philosophy: “Philosophy is underneath how you live and act,” A medium as full as it can muster about you. Philosophy swims funny. At least to me. Does it slosh around, flounder? Is it abstract without geology? What stroke needs to follow another? As a girl she was already free. In inlets, bays. But she could tie its name To what she swam, existential swan-foot. In Marin she designed her own, stone On its floor, river-rock instead of diving board. “You need to be aware that you’re an Existentialist to be one,” Linda makes gin-clear. For me, philosophy adds water-wings. But swimming lifts our weight: Page 42 - Nine Mile Magazine

I carried my whole Dad across the Eel. Everyone in her Cal Extension Existentialism class Had brushes with death. Sixteen, driving outside Vincennes, her car hit rock, rolled, Spilled her into a flood, where she tried (which side Was closer?) swimming to safety. Her existentialism saved her. Linda’s blue eyes are the closest cloud to land. She’s ready to float on floes, in snow. You need a beach towel for real meaning. So, go get. Linda never looks back, even at the end of the year. In life’s floating world, Over the tide of time, Her purpose doesn’t change. We know We exist because we catch a stranger looking us over In our swimsuit. Sidestroke always feels You can talk to someone alongside, Even across the whole fetch. If to exist is to swim, is to swim to exist? But of course. Long lanes stretch our explanation. Literary agent — yes, for a poet That is absurd, my friend. Part of the meaning of Linda Is what Linda means to me. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 43

Establishments The bars in Iowa City, the taverns in Portland, AA in California. AA in San Miguel. George’s, The Mill, farmers lugging bagsful ofmorels for patrons. Mead at eighteen in Solvang. The liquor store every day but Sunday in Seattle. Asking Ray Carver in Evansville where is one? He honorably did not know. Singapore sling in Honolulu, a bumble-foot hopping at sandal-feet. Black Russian at nineteen in Mazatlán. Gin with Andrea election night. Election-related injury. Margaritas with Dr. Malia after her long day diagnosing children. Sazerac with Heaney, French Quarter. Rye with cramps and bickering Harvard grad students in Somerville. Welch’s treat in D.C. Vodka for bridge phobia corner ofGolden Gate. Vodka before crossing the Benicia bridge, fear of the maw of fog around the Mothball Fleet. Whatever I wish I hadn’t in Wilkes-Barre. Napa wineries with Kizer and Woodbridge. Sonoma bottles at Carolyn’s kitchen island. “Tying One On in Vienna,” vicariously. IV in the ER. Little bottles in luggage. That thumbnail funnel — Page 44 - Nine Mile Magazine

a bird’s eye. Tipsy cedar waxwings, falling-down-drunk woodchuck, snails in a saucer of beer. With birds it was mountain ashberries. With Ashbery, nothing remembered after five, any city. Dallas: everyone charging their bar bill to Stafford’s room. Larry Queen’s Molotov cocktail thrown into the Blue Moon where everyone was still toasting Roethke. Holy watering hole, and we come out not quite whole without him. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 45

Names at Land’s End Tragedy won’t get me with the smoke of the few molassesy Filipino cigarettes I lit in graduate school and snuffed out with pregnancy. But tobacco ate Welch, Orlen, Ray, Hip, Mariana, and Leah. Franz, Harrison, the sweet Door County haiku-gatherer, Norbert Blei. Georgia’s inbreath and cough. Vern in his bacon air, heavy ham of a chair. Good Hugh Duffield’s chains of nicotine tainting his paintings. O’Hara toked all available flavors but his poetry sounds as if there’s nothing to worry about, until the arrow that flieth by day comes out of nowhere. Huff drops his Camel and the whole basement goes up, two lovers burn down, ashes soaked in ashes. Mick my snow-melter, alone in Montana, stardust gone. Paper remains — no sweet driftwood fire on a beach: Berry tills them into his Kentucky field. Page 46 - Nine Mile Magazine

Finishing Bill Matthews said he knew when a poem was finished. It was like painting a floor, and you painted the floor until you got to the last corner. Then you brushed it in. Henry and I painted a fir floor cobalt blue. The walls, paper pulled down, scraped, gouges filled, we swabbed white. The day we finished, we closed the door and got in bed. That was the night our daughter figured how to turn a doorknob. Her feet questioned that the floor was complete. I told the young poet who asked, How do you know when a poem is done? I told her these parallels of floors. Well, she said, did that leave Bill stuck in a corner? And how did you get to bed over the wet floor? I do not know. I muffed. You’re right — that wasn’t quite true. There is always more to solve, like why a carpet, never? We loved that her feet were blue. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 47

ABOUT SANDRA MCPHERSON Sandra McPherson has twenty collections published, including five with Ecco, three with Wesleyan, two with Illinois, and two with Ostrakon. Her new collection, Quicksilver, Cougars, andQuartz, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry Press (Ireland). Newer work appears or is forthcoming in TriQuarterly, Pedestal, Field, Poetry, The Iowa Review, Yale Review, Agni, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Ecotone, Cimarron, Crazyhorse, Basalt, Cirque, Palette Poetry, Plume, Red Wheelbarrow, Epoch, JuxtaProse, Vox Populi, and Antioch Review. She taught for 23 years at University of California at Davis and 4 years at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her collection of 67 African-American improvisational quilts is housed at University of California at Davis Design Department. She founded Swan Scythe Press. She is the great-grand-niece of Abby Morton Diaz, Plymouth feminist author and abolitionist. ABOUT THE POEMS This group felt, to me, as unified as an armload of flowers, old clothes, cats, a child to calm, lost friends, cherished diversions, and selfishlyclutched indebtedness to the wisdom of equals also holding themselves together. Elements: Bill Matthews’ concept about how a poem ends, that he told me at the Aspen Writers’ Conference; my daughter on the Spectrum padded over our newly painted floor in Portland before we knew she could open a door. Raised on the wisdom of older poets, I’ve come to feel that our generation too has said things to preserve. They just stay with you, even if you don’t write them down. The two Sutter Psych poems are from a whole mental illness manuscript, The 5150 Poems, I can’t tantalize any press to take, but it’s valuable to me because it centers on my fellow patients, whom I cared for and whose coping strategies I tried to learn from. In early 2013 I was involuntarily hospitalized for a month. The whole cycle is not depressing, I Page 48 - Nine Mile Magazine

feel, because it cares about others and it studies myself and my dissolution at the time in order to document a crisis, brain chemistry and emotional muddle. My dear Existentialist, Linda Allen, who is now over 90, was a literary agent, in NYC and SF, for fiction and other prose writers. I wanted to learn how her swimming and her Existentialism might overlap, so I interviewed her a few years ago. This piece evolved. I so admire her strength and balance. We laugh together. “Establishments” is as clear as can be. I might add that I studied with Elizabeth Bishop, along with my first husband, who additionally studied with Theodore Roethke. The smoking poem is a grievous elegy for so many of our beloveds. With a dig at the end at a poet-tobacco-grower, I had to name names. The group coheres because it tears me apart and reassembles me or whoever is willing to go through that “procedure.” * photo credit: Malia McCarthy Volume 8 No 1 - Page 49

Sandra Kolankiewicz 20 th Century Petroglyph, Marietta, Ohio They must have used tools to do it, would have taken hours to cut so deeply through the rock, the image they created dated 1925, two Klan members side by side in their hoods, round insignias still clear, the trim at the edges of their robes carefully etched. Back then hillsides were bare, shorn of all trees for the clear cut. To create their tableau they would have stood in the sun while they carved the great, flat piece of exposed sandstone for all the faces to see from the porches of homes long since collapsed, foundations become nothing, sites marked by old fashioned snowdrops, yellow daffodils in the spring, just one old homestead leaving behind a chimney constructed from the type of composite cement that suggests one hundred and fifty years have passed since its construction out of bricks from the yard once found at the bottom of the hollow where the path now ends, the beehive kilns long forgotten, pavers smothered by asphalt. Page 50 - Nine Mile Magazine

ABOUT SANDRA KOLANKIEWICZ Sandra Kolankiewicz’s poems have appeared widely, most recently in One, Otis Nebulae, Trampset, Concho RiverReview, London Magazine, NewWorld Writing and Appalachian Heritage. Turning Inside Out was published by Black Lawrence. Finishing Line has released The Way You WillGo and Lost in Transition. ABOUT THE POEM I have a friend with whom I go out hiking in the old watersheds of our little Ohio town. Many of the places we go used to have houses a hundred or so years ago, but because the houses were built on hillsides, they have all disappeared. Occasionally we will find daffodils poking up, an old rose bush, or some other remnant of a home, the foundation stones barefly visible in the moss and leaves. One day, however, we found this carving. We realized that whoever made it had taken a lot of time and also because of the date of the carving the hillside would have been in plain view for all of the houses to see—this would have been after the clear cutting and before the forests retook the hillsides. A very sobering find. I very much wanted to do justice to the experience. Good old Ohio, which had never allowed slavery, outed at the same time black young men are still being targeted. I am pleased you will publish the poem and hope it contributes to a conversation about equity, humanity, and love. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 51

Bill Schulz Estate Sale —Eagle Pond Farm catacombs blown blown from within not so cluttered as convulsed ancestors awaken quilts spill sheds whisks wooden boxes children’s blocks dominoes and peeling wallpaper those in a mason jar and Jane’s porcelain cats on the sill should be poetry enough sunflowers gifting Page 52 - Nine Mile Magazine

Splinters I fell in the old henhouse playing submarine though in August it was hot and dry and smelled ofmanure, feathers and straw. Hands full of splinters I climbed the long hill to the house where my father waited having heard my cries. Taking my hands in his one good hand he said some of these we can get with a quick flick but some are deep under your skin and will take time. And though the pain was almost gone I cried because he was there with me and I cried for the shame of falling and I cried for the splinters that remained deep in my flesh. Volume 8 No 1 - Page 53

1 Publizr


  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
  30. 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36
  37. 37
  38. 38
  39. 39
  40. 40
  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
  44. 44
  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
  48. 48
  49. 49
  50. 50
  51. 51
  52. 52

You need flash player to view this online publication