E. Louise Beach
December 2013

Lallation—
like that of a brook—

without malice or guile
as when humans were good,

and gain could be got
with lesser vexation.

Then follows congruence
of wind and trees,

of the musical
with the metrical accent.

Each word, a birth.
Like a morning walk

beside a white fence
toward horses.

Korkut Onaran
November 2013

I wake up early
and take a walk
into dawn’s sky.

I meet a shadow
way up there
who doesn’t remember its source.

The moon is still out.
I fold some moonlight
and put it in my pocket for later.

I run into an old routine.
I feel at home
seeing it.

A poem asks for directions.
I don’t know my way around
these skies either, I say.

Then I meet a future without a past
and it tells me that
my absence does not exist.

How can I talk about my presence
without my absence?
I ask.

A hummingbird
lands on my ear and draws some words
out of my brain.

The poem keeps staring at me.
After a while it asks
for a kiss.

Oil on wood panel, 16" x 20"
Leeah Joo
October 2013

Flight of the Crane Wives, oil on wood panel by Leeah Joo

Mark Turcotte
September 2013

Back when I used to be Indian
I am reaching toward the light
with both fists, yawning,
growling like a flower.
Mother pushes me, gasping.
Mother pushes me again.
I swim out from muffled
cradle, dripping blood,
salt of the very first
flood, first wound, I uncurl
upon the island shore.
I breathe.
Mother pulls me, gasping.
Mother pulls me again
to her weeping breast. I drink
and begin, with one shaky eye
to search for my father.
The room rattles with empty.
In the hallway hoofbeats fade.
Millions cry in my veins.

“Continue” was originally published in Mark Turcotte's Exploding Chippewas (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2002).

Sarah Brown Weitzman
August 2013

To subtract to increase.
Each paring, each chip
magnifies the essential.

Brancusi’s brass bird
a curved gleam
gives flight form.

On marble heads
both nose and brows
streamlined to a slender V.

Just lips jut out
from a polished egg.
To subtract to increase.

Each paring, each chip
magnifies the essential.
What genius

to express only essence.
What genius to know
just how little it takes.

Geoffrey Miller
July 2013

Paperboy, cleaner, tourist guide, stock taker, dishwasher, lifeguard, waiter, bartender, teacher, house painter, writer is a thing I have been paid for. Kyke, algebra, wop, drop-stich, jap, bowline, chink, piecrust, nigger, radius, dyke, spelling, faggot, manners, yank, voltage, spic, driving, whore, ice-skating, slut, baseball, cracker, geography, trash, climate, dingo, playboy, French-press, prep, weed, jock, drinking, nerd is a thing I have been taught. Whale, snake, dolphin, dog, chicken, pig, cow, ant, cricket, camel, lamb, bear, buffalo, pigeon, pheasant, duck, lobster, crab, oyster, snail, mussel, roe, tuna, salmon, veal, trout, catfish, piranha, swordfish, cod is a thing I have killed. Paris, London, Tokyo, Doha, Dubai, Christchurch, Seoul, Hanoi, Moncton, Vancouver, Lima, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, LA, NY, Dallas, Beijing, Colombo, Ulan Bator, Gale, Siem Reap, Efate is a place I have slept. Lied, loved, slapped, kicked, cheated, liked, defrauded, slurred, defended, accused, believed, envied, trusted, helped, stole, cared, hit, threw, shamed, lusted, burnt, built, hated is a thing I have done. Ayako, Amanda, Mohammad, Brian, Chris, Jon, Jane, Alex, Hyun Jung, Roanne, Halumi, Ahmed, Glenn, Ayesha, William, Anna, Ozgur, Merv, Alana, Joanne, Soo Nam is a person I have known. I, me, you, we, they, them, those, these, son, rival, brother, student, lover, enemy, friend, foe, colleague, boss, teammate, opponent is a thing I have been. Hate, fear, passion, lust, hunger, joy, compassion, respect, love, horror, history, friendliness, thirst, inspiration, reverence, betrayal is a thing I have felt. Archapilago is how I first said it but my father correcting me by saying archipelago is a thing that taught me shame and pride.

a collection of photos presented courtesy of The Pablove Foundation
June 2013

Untitled photograph by Emmanuel, age 10Emmanuel, age 10, Los Angeles
Untitled

Pablove Shutterbugs, a program of The Pablove Foundation, teaches children living with cancer to develop their creative voice through the art of photography. The attached portfolio features photos taken by Shutterbugs students during the eight-week mentorship program currently offered in New York and Los Angeles. For more information about The Pablove Foundation and Pablove Shutterbugs, please visit www.pablove.org and www.pablove.org/shutterbugs.

View portfolio

Albert Pertalion
May 2013

Tannic water

Sky-scraping cypresses

Lofty limbs

Cathedral light-columns

Dropping moccasins

Alligator nostrils

Pirogue and paddles

Fly rod and spinners

Black gnats and cat-gut

Green trout

Stillness

This poem is about a swamp where I fly fished into my twenties. A true swamp, it nevertheless had an open feeling. The light coming into the darkness was like shafts of light in European cathedrals. The water was dark, but not muddy. The green trout were really small mouth bass, but the locals called them “green trout.” Moccasins would plop off a limb and aggressively swim toward the pirogue we fished from. I killed many with the paddle. The fly bait was a wet fly (black gnat) we used with a very tiny spinner and trailing a sliver of cat-gut. No fly fisherman ever uses a spinner except in the Southern Louisiana swamps. The most an alligator would let us see were two black nostrils, just above the water line. After we cooked the bass late in the day and ate them, we took small wooden stools down by the water, sat, listened to the silence.

Acrylic on canvas, 12" x 12"
Ben Cowan
April 2013

Neighbors (Caress), acrylic on canvas by Ben Cowan

Cresce a vinda da lua (but what is gained by the moon's return?)
Teu corpo, teu limite.
When will o rio dovetail nas ruas and which ainda arrives too soon?
Cresce a vinda da lua.
While the drunken dogwatch pities      another far-off monsoon,
Teu corpo, teu limite.
Something pulls against day's patois. Something restrings the body's loom.
Cresce a vinda da lua.
Who would leave your side for comfort? Who would row against the moon?
Teu corpo, teu limite.
Tudo cresce, tudo pity tudo rua, tudo moon
all is body, all is rowing, all notation is natação.

 

“Caravela with Two Lines by Fernando Pessoa” was originally published in Terri Witek's Exit Island
(Orchises Press, 2012).

Oil on canvas, 30" x 40"
Marion Kryczka
February 2013

Alley and El in Light Snow, oil on canvas by Marion Kryczka

Black ink print from woodblock, 7" x 5", and text
Loren Kantor
January 2013

Grandpa Al, woodcut print and text by Loren Kantor

My Grandpa Al was a seminal figure in my life. The youngest of 12 children, he was born in 1913 in Austria-Hungary and came to America at age 2. He was raised in a poor Jewish family and acquired a “worldly education” on the tough streets of the Bronx. He married young and became a traveling pasta salesman singing Italian songs to his customers.

Tired of east coast winters, he moved his wife and three daughters (my mom included) across country to Los Angeles in 1948. After a failed pretzel business, he opened a liquor store in midtown Los Angeles at the corner of Western Avenue & Pico Boulevard. The store was adjacent to Redd Foxx's nightclub “Foxx's” and celebrities often came by for Al's barbecue chicken and ribs. Al loved telling the story about how he almost killed Wilt Chamberlain. It seems Wilt entered the store via the 8-foot high Western entrance for some ribs and left through the 7-foot high Pico door. Being 7 foot 1" tall, Wilt slammed his head on the doorframe and fell to the ground. Al gave Wilt a lifetime supply of barbecue to keep him happy.

In 1977 when I was 14, Grandpa Al gave me my first ever job as a clerk in his liquor store. I'd lived a sheltered life in the suburbs and that summer at Al's store was eye opening. The surrounding area was impoverished and crime-ridden. Two years earlier, Al was robbed four times at gunpoint. Six weeks before I began working, the store was robbed in the middle of the night and half the liquor stock was stolen or destroyed. Al was not intimidated. He'd made it through the 1965 Watts Riots and he considered himself a “tough jew.” He gave me lectures about the tricks of his trade. “Never leave more than twenty dollars in the register...Don't open the register until you see the customer's money...If someone asks you a question while the register is open, close the register, then answer the question.” He showed me the thin strip of rubber beneath the counter that triggered the silent alarm. He taught me how to spot a counterfeit bill by rubbing the bill against a white piece of paper and looking for a faint green mark. He instructed me to leave a hundred dollars in singles in the “fake safe” in the storage room while leaving the lion's share of money in the “real safe” upstairs. He showed me the secret compartment beneath the register where he carried his loaded pistol. “I've never had to use this but if that day comes, I'm ready.”

Grandpa Al was also a prankster. One time he decided to teach a lesson to a customer named Clarence who came in every day and stole candy bars. When Clarence entered the store, Al took a foil-wrapped Ex-Lax chocolate bar and inserted it into the outer wrapping of a Kit Kat bar. When Clarence approached, Al left the faux Kit Kat on the counter and walked away. I watched from the storage room as Clarence pocketed the Kit Kat and left. We didn't see him for two weeks. When Clarence finally returned, he looked noticeably lighter and pale. “Where you been, Clarence,” my grandpa asked. Clarence's reply was unforgettable. “Man, you wouldn't believe the shit that's been happening to me.” My grandfather finally sold the store in 1988. Along with my Grandma Stella, they devoted the rest of their life to raising money for the City of Hope Hospital to help aid children with cancer. This was my grandparents' tribute to their daughter Lita who died of cancer at a young age. Grandpa Al passed away in 1994. He was a beautiful man and I still miss him.

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