Tag: featured

3 Poems – Maryfrances Wagner

Backyard Wishing Well

The wishing well my Father built,
painted to match our house, 
with a bucket on a rope, 
heard wishes and secrets
of friends, relatives, and neighbors 
who came and returned 
with more friends.  Sometimes 
we saw them from the window 
tossing over their shoulders 
or in an underhanded flickering arc. 
They tossed for trips and boats, 
new houses and cars, for Martha’s recovery, 
Ben’s safety, for boyfriends, girlfriends, 
prom dates, periods, rings. They wanted
beauty, first place, a better job.  They wanted
to win the lottery, to win the war.  Some
closed their eyes, kissed their coins,
and didn’t tell their wishes. They tossed 
for novelty, for chance, for romantic charm.  
When the well went dry, my father went down
to make repairs, dig deeper, but water 
didn’t return.  Only a trickle kept the ground wet.  
After that, he rescued fouled balls, a lost ring, 
and our cat, meowing from a squat at the bottom,
but we kept on wishing and tossing while the coins 
arched and stacked and sank into the mud. 

 

Hugging Mother

I slouched against her,
sagged into her skirt folds 
to pout or hide from uncles 
who rubbed whiskers on my cheeks.  

I leaned into her to hide 
a missing tooth, a broken 
nose that healed crooked,
a line of stitches on my forehead.  

On bus rides, I huddled
under her arm and listened
to the bus door hiss each time 
someone entered until I napped.   

 

Saturdays at the Bakery

The couple picked a bagel
and an oatmeal cookie larger
than a splayed hand.  Coffee.
One endless cup, steaming 
its notes around them 
like a harbor fog while they
stared through the window
to watch the spill
of the gumball’s spiky seeds
or the flutter of white 
and pink tree blossoms.  
They weren’t headed
to a black tie fundraiser
at the Hilton, weren’t 
planning an Alaska cruise
or a trip to Miorca.  
The cookie, the bagel,
the coffee, the window
were enough.

Maryfrances Wagner’s books include Salvatore’s Daughter, Light Subtracts Itself, Red Silk (Thorpe Menn Book Award for Literary Excellence), Dioramas, Pouf, and The Silence of Red Glass.  Poems have appeared in New Letters, Midwest Quarterly, Laurel Review, Voices in Italian Americana, Unsettling America:  An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Penguin Books), Literature Across Cultures (Pearson/Longman), Bearing Witness, The Dream Book, An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation), et.al.  She co-edits I-70 Review.

 

Feed Me – Carrie Mumford

Once a guy took me to Point Pleasant Park in the rain and sat me on the rocks overlooking the ocean and fed me spaghetti he’d cooked from a Tupperware and told me he wanted to drop out of school and buy a boat and sail around the world with me. The spaghetti was dry and the next summer he fell in love with a boy at the yacht club.

xxx

Once a guy made me lobster and lasagna. He called his adopted nonna and she coached him over the phone on how to melt the butter, when to take the noodles out, how to rub the spices between his hands. We slept in dog-dirty sheets and he told me about his brother’s time in jail and how he himself had stolen a register full of cash once but that was okay because it was the guy’s own fault for leaving it open when he went in the back to get the pizza.

xxx

Once a guy cooked me plantains and showed me how to choose the perfect mango, how the sweetest meat was closest to the pit. He recited a poem he’d written for his ex about kissing on a bridge in the rain and told me she’d left of her own accord and that it was her fault and her fault alone. He told me to be good be sweet be kind when I left him a few months later, of my own accord.

xxx

Once a guy made me baloney sandwiches with mustard on brown and he’d doubled in size overnight. He told me about his new girlfriend, how her hair was curlier than mine and her bum bigger and how we were so different because she was a cheerleader and I was a point guard but he liked that about her. And then we went upstairs to his dad’s camera room. Antique cameras stared at us on the single bed with baby-blue sheets. His feet hung off the end and we had perfunctory sex because we had to. 

xxx

Once a guy ate snowflakes off my eyelashes. He rolled on top of me and my snowmobile suit from the seventies, waited for the snow to fall, licked it from my eyelids, my cheeks, my lashes. He told me the stars always made him think of the Tragically Hip and the tobogganing hill made him think of weed. He drove me home in his crappy car and told me my mom was bad for me, as if she were something I could quit, like cigarettes.

xxx

Once I made a guy shepherd’s pie because his dad had a heart attack. I borrowed a cookbook from my mom and spent four hours boiling and mashing and frying and baking, and then I dropped it off at his house. He answered the door in an open housecoat and boxers and wouldn’t let me come inside. Behind him, his ex said, “Who’s that?” and I still handed him the pie and he still took it. I never got my dish back.

Carrie Mumford has lived on both the East and West coasts of Canada, and many places in between. Currently, she lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, three naughty cats, and one rambunctious dog. Her first novel, All But What’s Left, is forthcoming in June 2018.

First Week of First Grade – Natalie DeVaull-Robichaud

“He has trouble with transitions,” I explain to the social worker in her air-conditioned office. Two hours before, in class, he yelled out “I want to kill myself! I don’t belong in this school!” because (he later explained) he didn’t want to write anymore. They are wondering what is wrong. I ache in the cool plastic chair. There is a mirror on the wall where there should be a clock. There is my son who is different. I am glad there is organic milk in his snack bag that day as he shapes the magnetic toys on the table into an elaborate sculpture of triangles on triangles. The magnets are balls and sticks. He points to the silver magnetic ball in the center of the sculpture and says, “This is the atom of my mommy’s heart.”

Natalie DeVaull-Robichaud lives with her husband and son in Connecticut, where she teaches writing.

Women Artists We Love: Savannah Loebig

We are switching it up this week. Instead of a writer, we have the very talented artist, Savannah Loebig.  We featured her art back in January 2017.  We got a chance to catch up with her and ask her a few questions about her process and what she’s working on now.  

What inspires you the most? 
 
There are a lot of things that inspire me. I can be inspired by how nice the day is or how well my plants are growing, but I can also be inspired by things I hear in the news and stories of other women. When I hear about other peoples struggles I’m reminded of my own and I’m able to use that in order to think about myself from a different perspective. 
 
savWho are your favorite women artists?
 
Oh my god there are so many. I love Sally Hewett, Stephanie Law, Caledonia Curry (Swoon), Soey Milk, Bunnie Reiss, Jaw Cooper, Lauren Brevner, Kelsey Beckett, Paloma Smith, the list could go on forever. 
 
What does your process look like? 
 
I’m constantly looking at art and getting inspiration on a daily basis. I have a folder with thousands of pictures of things that I find interesting. I wish I could say that I create every day but I don’t. I have a million different interests and things I want to do but I just have to take it one day at a time.
 
What advice do you have for fellow women artists? 
 
My advice would be to work as much as you can and to be involved in the local art scene. Also be aware what other artists are doing so that you can be as informed as possible when making your own work. Have a thick skin and apply to all the shows around you that fit with your work and go to gallery openings to meet people.
 
What are you currently working on?
 
I’m currently working on developing a body of work having to do with the female body and constraints surrounding it.
 

For more info about Savannah visit savannahloebig.com or check her out on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook