Front Cover by Leonel Góngora
Politics, CIRCA 1962
TEMPERA, WATERCOLOR, AND INK ON PAPER, 38" X 25"
Courtesy R. Michelson Galleries, Northampton, MA. www.R.Michelson.com
Volume 53, Issue 1
MARCH. The only month that is also a command. Named to honor the god of war, as if we hadn’t done enough already. As if we hadn’t had enough already. “Marciare, non marcire!”—the motto of Marinetti and of his black-shirted marionettes. “March, don’t rot?” No thanks, I’ll stick with Beckett, and rot.
“To old dogs the hour comes when, whistled by their master setting forth with his stick at dawn, they cannot spring after him. Then they stay in their kennel, or in their basket, though they are not chained, and listen to the steps dying away. The man too is sad. But soon the pure air and the sun console him, he thinks no more about his old companion, until evening. The lights in his house bid him welcome home and a feeble barking makes him say, It is time I had him destroyed.”
“There’s a nice passage,” comments Malone, for once pleased with himself. The travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor penned plenty, some just as good, and, as Margot Demopoulos reminds us in this issue, their proving ground was his passage on foot, as an eighteen-year-old, from Hoek van Holland to Istanbul. Elsewhere in these pages we travel with Lenore Myka to Romania, Jeff Hunter to Albania, Steven Schwartz to Auschwitz and beyond. With Gerald Stern we ride the crazed crash of a dying maple, and, in poems from Dan Gerber and Breyten Breytenbach, we punctuate both earth and sky.
History is travel of another sort, and it’s anyone’s guess whose next we’re doomed to repeat. Doug Anderson meditates on the sixties, lost youth, and desire, and the contemporary reassessment of Sterling Brown, the great poet-critic of black culture, is itself reconsidered by Phillip Richards. And as we also place our literary and political bets on another revolutionary, Victor Serge: in this issue, the first of a three-parter about one of the twentieth century’s great political writers.
And yet sometimes, as we've known ever since our ancestors began dreaming in paint in the Ardèche, the most breathtaking journeys do not even require exiting your cave. In this issue, Michael Moon encapsulates the evolving scholarship on the word-and-image work by Henry Danger, a clandestine artist who was at once classical in theme, otherworldly in intent, and deeply in dialogue with contemporary mass culture.
Of course, none of these varied iteneraries would we have brought your way for their destination alone. Carol Moldaw's essay captures it cleanly, craft is conduit; we'll hold on to that as both walking stick and gold standard. And so we invite you to perambulate through these poems, to wander and wonder in each and every work, to saunter in our stories. "Forward, March!"
By Gerald Stern
By Gerald Stern
By Gerald Stern
The Red and the Black: Victor Serge's Russian Heritage, Part One
By Richard Greeman
Ode to Sleeping in My Clothes
By Ross Gay
Patrick Leigh Fermor: We May Just Forget to Die
By Margot Demopoulos
The Unbearable Lightness of Not Being There
By Steven Schwartz
By Betsy Scholl
Sterling Brown, Past and Present
By Phillip M. Richards
By Colin Fleming
In Arcadia with Henry Darger
By Michael Moon
If I were to tell you
By Breyten Breytenbach
By Doug Anderson
Craft as Conduit
By Carol Moldaw
By Carol Moldaw
Jacob and His Friends Work Out the Difference Between Post and Modern
By Jacob Paul
Sailing Through Cassiopea
By Dan Gerber
Chome and Oranges
By Kevin Miller
Lessons in Romanian
By Lenore Myka
Williamsburg 2000: Reflections on the Colonial Artist
By Matt Ashby
By Jefferson Hunter
By Maya Janson
Bite the Hand
By Catherine Morocco
The Naked Days
By Melanie McCabe
Create in Me a Clean Heart
By Lisa Ampleman
What Comes Through These Walls
By Dario Sulzman
Table of Contents
Introduction, by Jim Hicks
Kafeteria, Norman Riding, and Hotel Wellesley,
poems by Gerald Stern
The Red and the Black: Victor Serge's Russian Heritage, Part One, an essay by Richard Greeman
Ode to Sleeping in My Clothes,
a poem by Ross Gay
We May Just Forget to Die: Patrick Leigh Fermor,
a story by Margot Demopoulos
If I Were to Tell You,
a poem by Breyten Breytenbach
The Unbearable Lightness of Not Being There,
a story by Steven Schwartz
Blue Village, a poem by Betsy Sholl
Sterling Brown, Past and Present
an essay by Phil Richards
Bone's Blues, a story by Colin Fleming
Bad Mediator, a poem by Doug Anderson
Craft as Conduit, an essay by Carol Moldaw
A Measure, a poem by Carol Moldaw
Jacob and His Friends Work Out the Difference
Between Post and Modern, an essay by Jacob Paul
Sailing through Cassiopeia, a poem by Dan Gerber
Chrome & Oranges, a poem by Kevin Miller
Lessons in Romanian, an essay by Lenore Myka
Williamsburg 2000: Reflections on the Colonial Artist,
an essay by Matt Ashby
Roadside Albania, an essay by Jefferson Hunter
Forged, a poem by Maya Smith Janson
Bite the Hand, a poem by Catherine Morocco
The Naked Days, a poem by Melanie McCabe
Create in Me a Clean Heart, a poem by Lisa Ampleman
What Comes Through These Walls,
a story by Dario Sulzman
LISA AMPLEMAN is the author of I’ve Been Collecting This to Tell You, winner of the 2010 Wick Chapbook competition. Her poems have appeared in journals including Cave Wall, Court Green, Forklift, Ohio, New Ohio Review, New South, and Notre Dame Review. A Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg poetry prize winner and 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist, Ampleman is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati.
DOUG ANDERSON's memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, The Sixties, And a Journey of Self-Discovery was published by W.W. Norton in 2009. His book of poetry, The Moon Reflected Fire won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 1995; and Blues for Unemployed Secret Police a grant from the Eric Matthew King Fund of The Academy of American Poets. His work has appeared in many literary journals including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and The Massachusetts Review. He has received fellowships and grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Cultural Council and other funding organizations. In addition to poetry and creative nonfiction he has written plays, screenplays and journalism. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. In May, he will become poet in residence at Fort Juniper, the former home of the poet Robert Francis.
MATT ASHBY lives and writes. He is grateful to those people and forces that sustain him in doing so.
BREYTON BREYTENBACH is a poet, novelist, memoirist, essayist, and visual artist. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited around the world. Born in South Africa, he immigrated to Paris in the late '60s and became deeply involved in the anti-apartheid movement. Breytenbach was imprisoned for seven years under South Africa's Treason Act; his prison memoir, Confessions of an Albino Terrorist, is his best-known work. His other books include All One Horse, Mouroir, Notes from the Middle World, A Season in Paradise, Dog Heart, The Memory of Birds in Times of Revolution, and Voice Over: A Nomadic Conversation with Mahmoud Darwish. He has been awarded the Alan Paton Award and the prestigious Hertzof Prize. In 2010 Breytenbach's Voice Over (Archipelago Books) won the inaugural Mahmoud Darwish Literature Prize.
MARGOT DEMOPOULOS is a writer based in Los Angeles. She has just completed a novel set in Crete during the Nazi occupation. The novel includes an account of the abduction of General Kreipe, and Patrick Leigh Fermor appears as a fictional character.
COLIN FLEMING's fiction appears in The Iowa Review, Boulevard, Slice Magazine, Black Clock, and TriQuarterly, and he also contributes to The Atlantic, Slate, New York Times Book Review, ESPN The Magazine, and Rolling Stone. His first book, Between Cloud and Horizon: A Relationship Casebook in Stories, is forthcoming. He is at work on two novels. He divides his time between Boston and Rockport and can generally be found along the coast, and on the web at colinfleminglit.com.
ROSS GAY's new book Bringing the Shovel Down was published by University of Pittsburgh Press. He teaches at Indiana University and in Drew University's low-residency MFA program, but mostly he reads about gardening.
DAN GERBER lives in the mountains of central California. His poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, Narrative, Georgia Review, Best American Poetry, and have received three Pushcart nominations. His most recent book is A Primer on Parallel Lives, and his new collection, Sailing Through Cassiopeia, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012.
RICHARD GREEMAN has translated five of Victor Serge’s novels into English, most recently Unforgiving Years (NYRB 2008). He is the author of Beware of Vegetarian Sharks: Radical Rants and Internationalist Essays (Illustrated), and secretary of the Victor Serge Foundation in Montpellier, France.
LEONEL GÓNGORA was born in Cartago, Colombia, in 1932 and studied at Escuela de Bellas Artes, Bogotá, and with Max Beckman at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. From 1960 to 1963 he lived in Mexico City and was a founding member of Nueva Presencia, and the Salón Independiente. He moved to New York City in 1963 and shortly after moved to Amherst and became a professor of painting at the University of Massachusetts for thirty years. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico; the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Massachusetts; the Houston Art Museum in Houston, Texas; and the Museo Nacional in Bogotá, Columbia. He died in 1999.
JEFFERSON HUNTER is the Helen and Laura Shedd Professor of English and Film Studies at Smith College. His most recent book is English Filming, English Writing (Indiana U. P., 2010); the travel on which “Roadside Albania” is based took place in summer 2011.
MAYA SMITH JANSON's poetry has appeared in journals including The Harvard Review, Jubilat, Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Rattle and Green Mts. Review, and the anthologies Best American Poetry and Women. Period. She has been a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship and is a lecturer in poetry at Smith College.
MELANIE MCCABE is a high school English and creative writing teacher in Arlington, Virginia. Her first book of poetry, History Poems on Injury and Recovery. She is the first winner of a Brain Poetry Contest by the Dana Foundation. She writes and teaches courses on poetry writing in Newton Massachusetts.
KEVIN MILLER lives in Tacoma, Washington. Pleasure Boat Studio published his third collection, Home & Away: The Old Town Poems, in 2008.
CAROL MOLDAW is the author of five books of poetry, including, most recently, So Late, So Soon: New and Selected Poems (Etruscan Press, 2010). Her first novel, The Widening, came out in 2008. New work is forthcoming this spring in Field and Harvard Review. She lives outside Santa Fe, with her husband and daughter.
MICHAEL MOON is the author of Darger's Resources (2012), Diseminating Whitman (1991), and A Small Boy and Others: Imitation and Initiation in American Culture from Henry James to Andy Warhol (1998), and is the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Leaves of Grass (second edition). He teaches American Studies and queer theory at Emory University.
CATHERINE MOROCCO has published numerous poems in journals and collections. Her most recent book is Brain Storm, Poems on Injury and Recovery. She is the first winner of a Brain Poetry Contest by the Dana Foundation. She writes and teaches courses on poetry writing in Newton, Massachusetts.
LENORE MYKA's work has previously appeared in this journal, as well as H.O.W. Journal, Upstreet Magazine, Talking River Review, and the anthology Further Fenway Fiction. In 2008, her fiction was selected as one of the 100 Distinguished Stories by The Best American Short Stories. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson College and has recently completed a collection of short stories. She is currently at work on a novel.
Poets & Writers counted JACOB PAUL's debut novel, Sarah/Sara, as one of the 2010’s five best first fictions. His fiction has also appeared in Hunger Mountain, Western Humanities Review, and Green Mountains Review.
PHILLIP RICHARDS is Arnold Sio Professor of Diversity and Community in the Department of English at Colgate University. He has published widely on early African American literature, the literary culture of Black Studies, and blacks in higher education. He has taught in universities in Gabon, France, and England. His most recent book is the forthcoming An Integrated Boyhood: Coming of Age in Segregated Cleveland (Kent State University Press).
STEVEN SCHWARTZ is the author of the novels Therapy and A Good Doctor’s Son, and the story collections Lives of the Fathers and To Leningrad in Winter. He teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and in the Warren Wilson MFA low-residency program. His new collection of stories, Little Raw Souls, will be published by Autumn House Press in fall 2012.
BETSY SHOLL's most recent book of poetry is Rough Cradle (Alice James Books). She teaches at the University of Southern Maine and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program. From 2006 to 2011 she was Poet Laureate of Maine. Recent poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Image, Field, Best American Poetry 2009, Brilliant Corners, Best Spiritual Writing 2012.
GERALD STERN was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2010, W. W. Norton published Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992. For many years a teacher at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Stern now lives in Lambertville, New Jersey.
DARIO SULZMAN was raised in upstate New York and currently lives in Talllahassee, Florida where he recently received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida State University. This is his first publication.