February 2018

cover art: “shadow” by Thomas Gresham

 

contents

Elizabeth Theriot

Lark Omura

Stephanie Lane Sutton

Chestina Craig

Myles Em Taylor

Lydia Stucki

Laura McGehee

Krys Malcolm Belc

Emily O’Neill

Celeste Smith

 

Thomas Gresham is an associate editor of Fiction International. Thomas’s work has appeared in Permafrost, Le Scat Noir, and Fiction International (forthcoming). Two of Thomas’s short stories were selected as finalists in Fairy Tale Review and American Short Fiction writing contests.

December 2017

contents

Kyle Liang

Billie R. Tadros

Sarah Lilius

Alirio Karina

Kitt Keller

Scott Branson

Laura Page

Kelly DuMar

Jesse Rice-Evans

Rachel Lallouz

Daniel Garcia

 

 

 

 

 

 

cover art “bathtub” by Katy Dai

 

Katy Dai is creating a series of conceptual multi-media installations referencing the body through absence of the body. The process of creation serves as therapeutic tools for her self-realization and recovery. Katy is a Fine Arts junior at Columbus College of Art and Design. Her own experiences and the experiences of other survivors inspire her work. She hopes to empower women as well as bring awareness to sexual assault and violence.

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Under the Kaufmann’s Clock // Angele Ellis & Rebecca Clever

Under the Kaufmann’s Clock by Angele Ellis & Rebecca Clever

Publisher: Six Gallery Press

Release Date: December 2016

84 pages

ISBN 978-1-926616-89-6

Trim: 8″ x 10″ in.

 

 

 

 

review by Eileen Murphy

 

Although an elegant color photo of a gilded clock that’s a Pittsburgh landmark graces the cover of Under the Kaufmann’s Clock, the book isn’t literally “about” Pittsburgh. In this hybrid poetry/flash fiction/photo collection, Rebecca Clever’s black-and-white photos of Pittsburgh provide a unifying back story to Angele Ellis’s poems and flash fiction.  Ellis, activist and well-published author of Arab on Radar, Spared, and other poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, is obsessed with time, at looking backwards at key moments and events.

 

Angele Ellis has the knack of capturing important moments from the past. Her tour de force poem about a special moment, both public and intimate, “Rocking the Apollo at the Stanley Theater, 1979,” is a narrative-lyric blur poem starring Pittsburgh’s own singer Phyllis Hyman (“a red iris in a slit gown”) opening for singer Peabo Bryson (“a groom in his cream tuxedo, the ladies’ man, the crooner”) at a local concert. As one of the few white-skinned people at the event, the speaker says, “[O] god, if you want to know the beauty of black, sink like two lumps of dough / into a concert hall where the only other white face is the Elton John-ish dude // tickling the ivories for Phyllis Hyman.” The night’s events impress the speaker, and: “[S]omething was liberated in me that night,…//”—a powerful moment—“and yes, it was enough to make me into a poet…”

 

Another standout piece that captures an intimate moment in time is the flash fiction “A Man in a Truck by a River,” in which the narrator hooks up with a man who accompanies her regular plumber to fix her bathtub, agreeing to rendezvous with him on a riverbank where he makes her wait until “mud crept over the tops of [her] shoes.” Inside his Bronco, his wallet falls to the floor, opening to a photo of a woman: “She pouted in bloody lipstick, with purple-shadowed eyes. Her Pirates jersey was meant for a kid…Stretch jeans, and wide hips you hung on to for balance.” The description of the woman in the wallet photo, who turns out to be the man’s regular girlfriend and mother of his child, implies that she, like the man, is more “Yinzer” (slang for native Pittsburgher) than the narrator. No wonder the narrator dreams of “helpless faces” of cauliflower “planted in the ground, choking on mud.”

 

Ellis also has a gift for satire and surrealism that’s showcased in the flash fiction “Room 101,” a spoof of a Catholic school childhood that many can relate to. What if there were a special room in the school basement for extra-bad students? In Ellis’s fiction, this special room is presided over by “Sister Winston,” whose role resembles Lloyd’s in The Shining:  to speak in inanities, lurk menacingly, and symbolize the place. The student-speaker, disciplined for speaking rudely to her nun-teacher, is forced to lie in an empty coffin in Room 101 while Sister Winston piles copies of the catechism book on top of her. The results are hilarious, yet touching.

 

How tender and kind Ellis is when remembering the dead. In the prose poem “Bust of a Child,” a youth dies, “doomed by a cracked chromosome to stop at ten, a small watch wearing down tick by tick.” But the child’s body becomes a thing of strange beauty. “Your skin has turned verdigris. Pennies of algae weight your closed eyes. A mossy birthmark spreads across your soft cheek.” In a poem modeled after Marie Howe’s “What the Living Do,” a poem simply addressed to “John [Howe],” Ellis says, “My hot-coffee tears run and run. . .//… and I’m speechless / you are dead. But your breath fills the air” (“What the Dead Do”). And it is with the utmost respect that the speaker releases a friend’s ashes into local Carnegie Lake in the flash fiction “Ashes,” musing, “Not dead, just falling, like freakish snow in the dark.”

 

Angele Ellis’s obsession with remembering the past in Under the Kaufmann’s Clock results in a tremendous variety of poems—narrative, lyric, narrative-lyric blur, prose poems—and flash fiction pieces—which differ widely in style, tone, and length, but all of which are intelligent and relatable. We are privileged to enjoy the writings of such a talented, caring, versatile author.

 

Readers will also want to linger over Under the Kaufmann’s Clock in order to savor the photos by Rebecca Clever. The gorgeous color cover photo of a baroque Kaufmann’s clock makes this oversized book suitable for coffee tables, although its innards have more substance than most such books. Clever’s black-and-white photos of Pittsburgh are interspersed with Ellis’s text every few pages, helping make this book an easy read. The photographs by Clever lend atmosphere and unity to the book’s hybrid mix. In one inspired photo of Pittsburgh’s marketplace, the Strip District (Penn Avenue—Strip District), we see amusing business signs, including one with a rooster. Another beauty is Clever’s photo of the Rachel Carson Bridge reflected in water—the photo is haunting and sublime (Smoke, Steel, Stillness—Downtown).  Clever is also a great street photographer, as witnessed by her shot of two participants in a gay pride parade, a woman with bouffant hair and man in a skinny white tee-shirt (Pride Parade—Fifth Avenue).

 

Under the Kaufmann’s Clock by Angele Ellis and Rebecca Clever is about time, memory, and moments. Readers from all cities and countries will find this mix of poetry, flash fiction, and photography relatable as well as affordable. As Ellis writes, “Every minute we have is like amber” (“Amber”). So spend some time “in amber” with this gem of a book.

 

Under the Kaufmann’s Clock by Angele Ellis and Rebecca Clever may be purchased here.

 


Eileen Murphy lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband and three dogs. She received her Masters degree from Columbia College, Chicago. She teaches literature/English at Polk State College in Lakeland. Her recent book reviews are published in Cultural Weekly, Tinderbox Journal, Glass, Arsenic Lobster, and Rain Taxi.

November 2017

Mariel Fechik

Brittany Hailer

Evangela Shread

Jill Khoury

Anna Kelley

Lisa Marie Basile

Christopher Morgan

Sam Jowett

Jill Talbot

C.E. Witherow

Laura Gianino

Rebecca Jensen

Robert Knox

 

cover art: Noon at Coole by Roger Leege

 

Roger Leege started out as a painter, printmaker and analog photographer, earning BA and MA degrees in Visual Arts from Goddard College. During post-grad university study in computer science, he was an early adopter and evangelist for digital art and artists’ tools. With gallery, print, and online publishing credits in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, he especially enjoys working with writers and the literate press.

October 2017

Sylvan Lebrun

Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick

Katie Burke

Meg E. Griffitts

Andrew Boomhower

Lauren Yates

Ariel Francisco

Meghan O’Hern

Robin Cedar

Ellie White

Christina M. Wells

Jules Archer

Amanda Marbais

 

cover art: “The Figurative Language of Figueras #8″ by Seigar.

 

Seigar is an English philologist, high school teacher, and curious photographer. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, details and religious icons. He feels passion for pop culture that shows in his series. He considers himself a traveler and an urban street photographer. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, to capture moments but trying to give them a new frame and perspective. Travelling is his inspiration. However, he tries to show more than mere postcards from his visits, creating a continuous conceptual line story from his trips. The details and subject matters come to his camera once and once again, almost becoming an obsession. His three most ambitious projects so far are his “Plastic People,” a study on anthropology and sociology that focuses on the humanization of the mannequins he finds in the shop windows all over the world, “Response to Ceal Floyer for the Summer Exhibition,” a conceptual work that understands art as a form of communication, and “Tales of a city,” an ongoing series taken in London. He has participated in several exhibitions, and his works have also been featured in international publications.

 

Artist Statement:
On the 21st 2014, I got into Dali’s universe, in his Figueras Theatre Museum. His imagination and magnificence inundated my cam and my soul. My visions aspire to represent his craziness from my eyes perspective, trying to add from my most absolute and humblest adoration “another reading of his works.” This is my tribute to the Figueras genious.

 

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September 2017

 

contents:

Jeanette Beebe

Stepy Kamei

Ari K. Castañeda

Jennifer Hudgens

Charles McGregor

Claire Denson

Jess Rizkallah

Diana Clark

Linette Reeman

Megan Merchant

Kirt Ethridge

Alexandria Petrassi

Sarah Mims Yeargin

Isabelle Davis

Lexi Senior


cover art: “The Figurative Language of Figueras #7″ by Seigar.

 

Seigar is an English philologist, high school teacher, and curious photographer. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colors, details and religious icons. He feels passion for pop culture that shows in his series. He considers himself a traveler and an urban street photographer. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, to capture moments but trying to give them a new frame and perspective. Travelling is his inspiration. However, he tries to show more than mere postcards from his visits, creating a continuous conceptual line story from his trips. The details and subject matters come to his camera once and once again, almost becoming an obsession. His three most ambitious projects so far are his “Plastic People,” a study on anthropology and sociology that focuses on the humanization of the mannequins he finds in the shop windows all over the world, “Response to Ceal Floyer for the Summer Exhibition,” a conceptual work that understands art as a form of communication, and “Tales of a city,” an ongoing series taken in London. He has participated in several exhibitions, and his works have also been featured in international publications.

 

Artist Statement:
On the 21st 2014, I got into Dali’s universe, in his Figueras Theatre Museum. His imagination and magnificence inundated my cam and my soul. My visions aspire to represent his craziness from my eyes perspective, trying to add from my most absolute and humblest adoration “another reading of his works.” This is my tribute to the Figueras genious.

 

 

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August 2017

KC Snow

Hannah McSorley

Anna Keeler

Brittany Talbot

Patricia Coral

Yousef Alasfoor

Sarah Bess

Danielle Susi

Erin Elizabeth Smith

Chloe Burns

Jennifer Martelli

Daniel Andrews

BOOK REVIEW // Ona Gritz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cover: “let’s go nowhere together” by Michael Seymour Blake

 


 

Michael Seymour Blake’s work has appeared at Queen Mob’s, Fanzine, Flapperhouse, Entropy, Corium, Paper DartsPeople Holding, and Reality Beach, among others, and he has work forthcoming from Hypertext. He has painted various murals around NYC, including one that was prominently featured at Silent Barn in Brooklyn, home to the new Mellow Pages Library. He lives in Queens.