Willawaw Journal Fall 2022 Issue 15
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
COVER ARTIST: David Memmott
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
Page One: Kenneth Anderson Frank Babcock Jodi Balas Louise Cary Barden Page Two: David Memmott Carol Berg Robert Beveridge Ace Boggess Jeff Burt Natalie Callum Page Three: David Memmott Dale Champlin Margaret Chula Richard Dinges Rachel Fogarty Matthew Friday Page Four: David Memmott D. Dina Friedman David A. Goodrum John Grey Allen Helmstetter James Kangas Page Five: David Memmott David Kirby Tricia Knoll Linda Laderman Kurt Luchs David Memmott Page Six: David Memmott Stacy Boe Miller Kathryn Moll John C. Morrison John Muro Toti O'Brien Page Seven: David Memmott John Palen Darrell Petska Vivienne Popperl Laura Ann Reed Erica Reid Page Eight: David Memmott Lindsay Rockwell Beate Sigriddaughter Jeffrey Thompson Elinor Ann Walker William F. Welch Page Nine: David Memmott Charles Weld Kevin Winchester BACK PAGE with David Memmott
I Try Not to Think
Walking along the Squannacook River,
the dog eager, herding us
while the river, also eager, explores rocks
and stones, the sun stretched over the water
as a little white flower among the moss
stretches its thin stem
and I don’t think of the old man
fleeing from his country, his arms
enfolding his tiny wet cat,
the street black with smoke
and the uniformed young
with bully clubs and guns
and I don’t think of that guy in Maine,
his poodle in a leash that pulled its neck
whenever the guy jerked it up,
just walking with his family, jerking that leash up,
that neck up, neck up
while the dog quietly walked beside him
and now we arrive to where the path turns back
and I don’t think that this is where that teenage boy
drowned while swimming across the too-fast water
and I try not to think that death is everywhere,
while walking the dog with my eighteen year old son
who is ready for the world to last and last
Carol Berg’s poems are forthcoming or in Crab Creek Review (Poetry Finalist 2017), DMQ Review, Sou’wester, Radar Poetry, and Zone 3. She lives in Groton, Massachusetts.
The Gorilla Who Has Been Sitting
on my chest for the past three weeks asks me
how I feel about caramel, and specifically whether I believe
it makes for a good pizza topping. I have to pop
my inhaler before I answer. “If I say yes, will you
go into the kitchen and make us one?” He laughs.
“Never. You know I’m here as long as the virus is.”
He turns around, grabs the remote, dooms us both
to another house-flipping reality show marathon on HGTV.
The Prototypes Walked Out
of the Funding Meeting
There is a glitch in our contact
from Moscow. He has forgotten
how to do anything except say no.
This is not the impression we’d
like to make on billions of shareholders,
but when the ball is passed, you
take it down the field, no matter
how many spikes it has, how much coal
it’s filled with. There’s wine
in the carafes and disease in the air,
a thousand thousand hands, pencils
poised above pads, waiting to hear
what you think of all this. Make it count.
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Cordite Poetry Review, Stardust Haiku, and GAS: Poetry, Art, and Music, among others.
We must displace what has been forgotten,
discarded: an old bed
on which no one has slept in a decade.
Down the stairs the mattress slides,
followed by box springs
as if on the run, as if escaping a lonely cell.
We search for the head- & footboards
in storage, their iron supports
already leaning against the wall like skis.
We grant sleep to someone who has none.
We offer sleep;
up to the recipient to accept.
Other items will follow another day:
a desk on which to record the saddest memories,
a chest of drawers where tangible
proofs of lust might be concealed.
For now, this is what we have to share:
the heaviness & enlightenment of rest.
Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021). His poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Harvard Review, River Styx, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where writes and tries to stay out of trouble.
A list on the back of a receipt,
items of errors to confess to your son,
a thing of a shadowy pencil
grinding with friction begging forgiveness
against the hard plastic that rimmed
the center of the steering wheel,
then placed in the pocket of your pants,
slippery, like mercury
spilled on the floor in drops
one cannot re-gather,
in-between the first and the second
of November, a cold night
when your nineteen-year-old son
gave you a roll of twenties to cover your debt,
placed it near you on the bench seat
of your plow horse Pontiac
as the headlights bottom-clipped
by the stone wall in front of the hood
shone in the eyes of five deer
escaping the seasonal hunt in a shorn cornfield.
You’d eaten a good thick navy bean soup,
remember the smell of husk, the money,
the unused list that scratched your leg
through the hole in the pocket of your pants.
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, spending the seasons dodging fires, floods, earth-shaking, and all the other scrambling life-initiatives. He has contributed to Heartwood, Tiny Seeds Journal, Vita Poetica, and Willows Wept Review.
From Ingraham Flats
–on Mt. Rainier
Like an animal, she followed
in the night. A lone
mouths of ice gaping
our breath a rising
fog—ragged life, warm
droplets. I don’t know what
she sought—the only certainty:
of crampons, metal grinding rock
and ice—the crunch
of ice axes
to the tether
between our bodies, my hand
bony wing on animal shoulder,
drawing back from black abyss. The desire
to live electric.
to die like an animal,
consumed by the great
indifference, a stalking, eerie light.
Natalie Callum is a writer and poet living between St. Louis, Missouri and Wyoming. When she is not writing, she can be found outside free-climbing and exploring with her much beloved husband. Her most recent work has been published in Willawaw Journal and North Dakota Quarterly.