April 2015

SSR Cover- April2015

April 2015

Pull It Out of the Earth and Sky

Editor: Santino DallaVecchia

April’s Content:

Mozart’s Sister Address Him by Kamryn Kurtzner

how to write someone into a poem: a recreation by Paige Emerson

Halo by William Palmer

The Fate of Simon Gulliver by Caitlin A. Marsh

The Hands of Time by Jim Daniels

Structured Wanderings by Jocelyn Kirk

seated on my park bench by Andrea Aguilera

View from the Front Porch by Ellen Martin

Another Sky by Robert Vivian

Beneath the Stones of Sometimes Comfort by Lisa Folkmire

Song of Making Bread, of Boiling Water by Jacob Hammer

Scavengers by Jocelyn Kirk

April 5, 1994 by Paige Emerson

Across the Snow by William Palmer

Church Alley Walk by Andrea Aguilera

The Woodland Bible’s First Reading by Lisa Folkmire

Dear Jim Poems by Michael Delp

When Grandpa Played That Crooked Waltz by Ellen Martin

Miles by Kamryn Kurtzner

Spotlight Piece: Commencement by Wesley Hoyle


Front Cover: Arthur Rackam by Annamarie Williams

Back Cover: Drowning in your Love by Annamarie Williams

Le Parfum Rodo by Annamarie Williams

Velo by Annamarie Williams

You can also see the PDF version of the Magazine with this link: SSRApril2015.

Spotlight Piece: Commencement

“You all packed up? Ready to leave?” It was the end of an era for me. Graduation was over, and my horizons were about to expand in a big way.
“Yeah, Dad, it should all be there.” I was getting a little exasperated. How many times would he ask me to double check that I had everything?
“Well, make sure, because it’ll be a lot harder to just call home for things from now on.” Apparently, at least once more.
“Augh, Dad! Why do you have to be on my case so much!” I doubled back and did another sweep through my room. Sure enough, it was looking pretty empty. “Okay, now will you believe me when I say I’m ready?” I walked past him, swiping my keys from the counter and moving toward the door.
“I’m trying to help you adjust. You know you won’t be able to just goof off now, not like you did in school the last four years.” Yep. I had heard that one before, and increasingly often during the past few weeks. It stopped just briefly for the festivities surrounding graduation, and now it was back with even more desperation. I turned around.
“You say that like I’ve barely done any work so far.” It’s a little cliché, but I couldn’t help but think he was only nagging me so much because he didn’t remember what it’s like in this position.
“Of course that’s not true,” he said, and then sighed. “But it’s all going to change for you. How you live your life will be fundamentally different from here on out. I don’t want it to catch you off guard.” As much as I hated to admit it, I had been thinking the same thing, even since before my parents started bringing it up in every conversation. The idea was certainly a little scary.
“I know, I know,” I replied. I put my hands on my hips and looked down. “I’ll be fine, though. It’s not like you’re going to disappear from my life.” I think I said it more to myself than to Dad.
Then the clock in the living room chimed in with its own argument: it was time to get on the road. I said my last, hasty “goodbye” to my folks, and half-skipped my way out the door.
As I drove away, leaving for my freshman year of college, I couldn’t help but think if I’d have the same experience in another four years.

By Wesley Hoyle

Originally published in the April 2015 issue. 

Miles by Kamryn Kurtzner

i used to write because my heart
was empty, a void echoing your name
and now that it’s full again
i find myself writing
to put walls around what we have
because nothing is breaking us down
not ever
      not again
one thousand
   one hundred
      twenty six
cinch around your heart
dont let them break you
listen to my voice
dont let them in
im only a few seconds away
    my touch is near
and i know these words are not
going to compare
    to my airport kisses
and i know when i say I’m trying
  it doesn’t soothe the pain
i have no excuse
no well written proverb or
  honey soaked apology
only my naked, bleeding heart
screaming i love you through
one hundred
  twenty minutes
and two airports
for a weekend long embrace
buried in your neck
trying to shake away thoughts of goodbye
and i know i keep saying soon
like it’s a thing with wings

please let me fulfill my promise
help you forget unhappiness
i swear i wont leave your side
and i know it’s too much to ask
but it’s only a little bit longer

Originally published in the April 2015 issue.

When Grandpa Played That Crooked Waltz by Ellen Martin

I could not predict how
a snag
of frayed bow
    on loose strings
could hollow
      that inch between my ribs,

or how it would fill
   as that crooked waltz
     echoed from the belly
   of weathered violin

worn like the man who played it
slouched in a wheelchair,
head nodding to rough tempo
and eyes closed
     to unsteady hands
   that would shake him
from the memory
of a barn floor strewn with straw,
   heat of July twilight
and her cheek on his,
   lamp hung from rusty nail
to light the steps of the woman
who would be his wife,
   following him
as he hummed the melody

     now the slow heart-
   of a fading

Originally published in the April 2015 issue.

Dear Jim Poems by Michael Delp

Several summers ago, waiting for a mayfly hatch, I was reading a collection of Jim Harrisonʼs poems and started writing notes to him in the margins. I have known Jim and have read his poems for decades. I return to them again and again, much as you would a sacred text, though that seems a bit inflated. I recall, to the very day, I first picked up his work in 1970, and thought then as I do now, that he was writing directly to me and into me. He remains, one of the few American writers who manages to unleash whatever it is that resides in me to help me see the world differently, and I hope more clearly. These notes to Jim are simply that…notes translated into prose poems that would fit on a postcard. “I want to die in the saddle, an enemy of civilization/want to walk around in the woods, fish and drink”. Indeed.

Dear Jim,

From todayʼs reading: “Missippian Indians of the Cumberland Plateau believed that fish and birds can permeate the barriers separating the three layers of the universe.”

Meanwhile, Iʼm flailing through just one layer, this one, where the heart pumps a fierce juice. Why else would guys like Berryman take a leap into freezing water? Itʼs the end of summer, everyone is leaving. The annual migration of those with money now heads into the wilds of South American where they have bought land over aquifers, their gleaming teeth lighting the way through the jungles they have made of themselves. Up here, on this ground, I mourn the loss of millions of buffalo, the wolves shot down in pastures out West, while nearby, what bears still live in these woods tremble at the sound of jet skis, and fireworks. I need desperately for a Chilean mine style rescue straight out of the sky, some god up their turning the winch of what he thinks is a well bucket, only to find this shrunken head drowning in its last cup of water.

Dear Jim,

From you: “The kestrel has a curious ability to perceive ultraviolet light with a four
dimensional color vision system which enables it to see iridescent urine trails that voles leave in the grass…thus the bird is better able to pursue them.”

I have no honest idea what Iʼm trailing behind myself: 66 years of exhaust, all the poems that never quite caught fire, and that image I have of you of the inside of your head smoldering like an ancient signal fire. I know there is something out there,, the opposite of any kind of muse, I long ago perceived with talons harboring the force of wrecking balls homing in on whatʼs left of my head. But to you I offer this: no fear. Iʼd go prone, hit the ground in love with that fierce whistling monster Kestrel coming in, lifting me off the earth, nothing left but a trail of busted books, thin volumes reduced to paste under her beak.

Originally published in the April 2015 issue.

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