gouache and black oil pastel on cardboard by Julie Dru
December 2010

Balkan Horse, gouache and black oil pastel on cardboard

Ellen Palmer
November 2010

There is a woman in this village
who lost her son to a bomb,
lost him
—not like the bumper sticker—
she knew exactly where and who he was.
She lost her husband
to a tank,
and her granddaughter
to a drone.

Now she insists on wearing slippers,
and will tolerate
only library-muffled, worn clothes.
If you come over,
she will serve you quiet foods
you eat with your fingers,
for dessert—ice cream.
She cannot understand anything
said to her above a whisper.
For sanity's sake,
she came to this decision
to only let some things in.
If you try to talk to her in a normal tone,
she will only shrug,
shake her head no.

She will say,
if asked,
that anywhere trees fall,
they scream.

Jacob Stains
October 2010

A light turns on and drowns the stars
in electric white as I'm awoken from a dream.
She stands in the doorway,
pulling her nightgown over her cold bare body
and asks me if I'm coming back inside tonight,
if I'll stay inside tonight.
I gaze over the blackness of the placid lake as the wind picks up
and strokes my face with its cool grey fingers.
"No," I say,
"I think I'll stay out here."

oil on wood by Brian Willard
September 2010

Renunciation, oil on wood by Brian Willard

Andrea Barton
August 2010

As yet unfinished men,
the boys tended toward the drama
of scaling the water tower
those hot, dark, summer nights.

Shirtless, bony, pale, barefoot
and drunk on pilfered beer,
they threw up their arms to God,
whooping, as close as they would get.

We girls, with newly invested wisdom,
bore our breasts to lure them down.

acrylic on wood by Lily Vose-O'Neal
July 2010

untitled acrylic on wood

Dominic S. Failla
June 2010

Where does my poetry come from?
the sweet honey
of fear
a fist of dark stars
children making soap
out of ancient clay
windows opened—on a summer day—
to breaths of joy
women dressed in black
harvesting wine grapes
the hot sun
burning in their heads
bonfires of desires
the aroma of chick pea soup
rising from wooden bowls
cradled by tired hands in the dusk.

photographs by Peter Konerko
May 2010

Three faces

Three Faces is part of a larger project I am curently involved with: FACITY. This website is dedicated to capturing faces from cities around the world. The limitations set upon each photographer are very specific: partial headshot, no makeup, no jewelry, neutral face/no expression, no visible clothing, natural indoor light, normal lens, f/2.8, and simple white background. For more, see http://www.facity.com.

two photographs by Robert Kotchen
April 2010

Lake Michigan, 1

This photo of Lake Michigan, seen from Milwaukee, was made with a camera mounted on a tripod. The shutter speed was (I'm guessing) one-sixtieth of a second, fast enough to record the slight swells in the water and define the breaking edge of a wave near the shore, slow enough so that the movement of the wave blurs that breaking edge.

Lake Michigan, 2

Without moving the camera, this second photo was made with an exposure closer to two minutes.

collage by Paula Dawn Lietz
March 2010

Tick

David Morley
February 2010

Natasha brought me tea and sat down at my desk. As usual, she filed her nails and regaled me with tales of her clever shopping in the new economy. Competition ran riot. One market had best prices in this thing, another market in that thing. Natasha was an eager expert.

She rose to answer the doorbell. Our bullet-proof steel door was always locked, but for no purpose because whenever anybody rang the bell, we just opened it without looking through the peephole or shouting "Who's there?" This time, when Natasha turned the deadbolt she was thrown back against the coat-rack by a stampede of burley Russian Mafiosi who quickly fanned out through the office. Their Chief strode in behind them and shouted out, "Director! Where's the Director?!"

Everyone froze in their work and looked up. Vlad, our Director, turned white.

Meekly, Vlad stood up. The Chief grabbed him by the arm, pushed him into the storeroom, and slammed the door behind them.

The other thugs swaggered among us. One guy inspected a floppy disk with thick calloused fingers that could barely navigate the thing. Another guy poked at the buttons on the printer, and joked over his shoulder in a loud guttural voice. Others looked into closets and drawers. Tiny Natasha walked around to each of them, shouted insults in their faces, and hit at them. We menfolk sat glumly silent.

Suddenly the Chief charged out from the storeroom and briskly led his thugs out and away in their several Mercedes. Slowly Vlad emerged, still white as death and breathless. His hands were shaking. He gathered his things, and left.

The rest of us gathered around the kitchen table. Oleg speculated that Vlad would pay "protection" of $500 per month. When Natasha heard this price she dropped her nail file, looked up, and banged the table, clattering the teacups. "That's too much!" she shouted. "I'm sure we can find cheaper mafia!"

photographs by Linda Farwell
January 2010

Arrived

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