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
Thick, Slick, Blackfly Physic
Like Robin Hood who for disguise dyed face and hair
with walnut juice before shooting in the contest at Nottingham’s fair,
my father in June, because June means flies, applied dark liquid to his skin
while sitting on a lean-to’s front log stoop, getting ready for a day in the
woods to begin. Small measures of camphor, pennyroyal
and citronella simmered in a saucepan of pine tar and mineral oil—
he’d made this potion at home on my mother’s kitchen
stove, and now passed it around in a bottle. We divided up the day’s goods,
filled backpacks and canteens, then rubbed the stuff into our necks,
arms, backs of hands and wrists. Come afternoon, my father would perplex
us with his cheer. Carefree as Robin when cornered by the sheriff’s men,
he waved a spruce sprig overhead to chase away the flies,
and, when we whined, listened with what seemed mild surprise,
happy himself—no matter what, I guess—to walk all day in the woods again.
Charles Weld’s poems have appeared in literary magazines such as Southern Poetry Review, The Evansville Review, Worcester Review, CT Review, etc. Pudding House published a chapbook of his poems, Country I Would Settle In, in 2004. Kattywompus Press published another chapbook, Who Cooks For You? in 2012. A mental health counselor, he’s worked primarily in a non-profit agency treating youth who face mental health challenges, and lives in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
I pause at the end of the corn row, back and arms weary
from hacking at the morning glory and milk thistle
threatening the Silver Queen, the okra, the speckled limas.
My day’s work done and the barn swallows are feeding,
their adagio dance a thing of grace, blue black wings clipping back
and down, sweeping the green pasture grass, then a rising tour en l’air.
The hoe and shovel put away, the birds arc nearby,
familiar now with this evening ritual of mine
and theirs, the rote chores of our subsistence a comfortable necessity.
When I was a child, the swallows swooped toward me, frightened me.
“Ah,” my mother cooed, “it’s part of their dance. Watch. Listen.”
In the stillness, I heard the soft cusping of their feathers
as they banked close around me, as if to say,
“We’re right here, reach out your hand. Come. Join us,”
only to have them sweep away, disappearing in the shadows.
The western sky purples toward nightfall and the swallows still feed.
I lean in the solitude of the barn’s breezeway, certain I’ll hear
the whisper of my mother’s voice on their wings.
Kevin Winchester writes, teaches, and wanders around looking at things that he later writes
about. He has an MFA from Queens University, has published a novel, Sunflower Dog, a short
story collection, Everybody's Gotta Eat. Other works have appeared in Barren Magazine,
Dead Mule Society of Southern Lit, Tin House, Barrelhouse, among others. He lives in Waxhaw, NC.
Back Page with David Memmott
Alchemy Doesn’t Begin with Gold: Toward a Subjective Regionalism
I consider my creative work a practice, which has changed a lot over the years, but certain threads are deeply woven into my routines and rituals. Light and form, shape and texture, an aesthetic dependent on an eye seeking pleasure, all a part of how I perceive the world. In school, I suffered from left-handed backwardness syndrome. I did not excel in penmanship or drawing because my left hand smudged and rubbed out my cursive lessons along with my fledgling birds and pencil trees. Add an undisciplined drunken obsession with wild color and I made a mess out of everything.
Consistent threads in my visual roots revolve around photography and ink drawings. While the camera demands some basic technical knowledge, the technology has extended the range of the possible for those who practice with digital cameras, programs like Photoshop, high-quality copiers, and giclee printers. Photography and ink drawings can bring one vision into the other. With the camera, I alter what it sees to fit my eye through a process of subjective regionalism, using regional forms, colors, and nuances to fabricate a world of Crooked Comix. With ink, I am able to limit my palette and keep the colors clean and separated. With practice, I have discovered Crooked Comix in my landscapes and critters in the hills. And in that narrative: anything goes. Welcome to my world!
David Memmott has been living and writing in the Pacific Northwest most of his life and his work explores views of the American West both rural and subjective. His collection Lost Transmissions includes the long poem, “Where the Yellow Brick Road Turns West,” a finalist for the Spur Award. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Cirque, The Poeming Pigeon, Weber: The Contemporary West, Triggerfish: A Critical Review, basalt, Sheila-Na-Gig and Gargoyle. Memmott founded Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism and is editor/publisher of Wordcraft of Oregon. His digital art can be viewed in the Moonlight Garden at davidmemmott.com.