Procession on Cochran Road

by Gaby Bedetti

60 days after Easter, Christ the King Cathedral
celebrated a nearly 800-year-old tradition–
the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
A half-mile procession wound around the church grounds,
a public witness of veneration of the Blessed Eucharist
displayed in a monstrance carried by the bishop.

No little girls cast flowers, no passerby genuflected
as the procession passed, though a few police cars
did block the intersections. Roofers working
along Cochran continued hammering
while pockets of people sang “Sing, My Tongue, the Savior’s Glory.”
The procession moved at a slow and not always reverent pace.
Some checked iPhones, others chatted. A deacon peeled off
and skipped the return to the cathedral,
the bishop’s benediction.

In the 13th century, when the faith of the world was growing cold,
a 16-year-old Belgian nun, Juliana, had visions of the moon
crossed by a dark stripe. She came to understand
that the moon symbolized the Church on earth,
the opaque line represented the absence of a feast in honor of Christ.
After Juliana shared her vision, her bishop
established the feast in 1246
and Pope Urban extended it to the entire Church in 1264.

And so we still move together following the monstrance,
most of us not singing, but all of us walking, sweating
a bit in our good clothes, the procession ancient and sunlit.

 

 

 

 

Gaby Bedetti likes to hike, take photos, plant trees, and sing. Born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, she received her PhD in comparative literature from the University of Iowa. A long-time professor at Eastern Kentucky University, she co-teaches Page-to-Stage: Imagining the Military Experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. To her readers, she would like to sing, “Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then. . . .” Her poem “Singing in the Pool” is forthcoming in The Voices Project.

Dinner Time

by M. Anthony C.

Like the glaciers that slug
rock slow down steep
mountain slopes, digging the trenches
like veins as they go, I am going through
an extended mental breakdown
remarkably well.
My broken-plate memory’s
a mosaic. I scoot up to it.
I don’t mind eating off the floor.

 

 

 

M. Anthony C. is an alumni of Salt Lake Community College and is majoring in English with a minor in creative writing at BYU. He has had several pieces (poems and essays) published in Folio (SLCC’s literary magazine), Haiku Universe, paintedcave.net, Sucarnochee Review and more.

Quodam

by Sarah Farrar

Back in my day,
the sun ran backwards,
west to east, searching the Orient
at night for the secret to life.

Time didn’t splatter, covering all
in should-haves and going-tos.
It flowed, ice through a valley
It was different then,

one could look in the mirror
and see nothing but pure darkness.

 

 

 

After two years of studying Engineering, Sarah Farrar saw the light and switched to English, with a minor in creative writing. In her spare time, she writes and reads and occasionally binge watches shows like SVU and Parks and Rec. She lives with her husband, Kraig Farrar, who happens to be an excellent writing companion, and her dog, Toby, who is a fantastic writing distraction. She was published in the Fall 2016 edition of Inscape.

Mill River in the Evening and a Funeral

by Tamara Thomson

I met a friend from twenty years ago
we stood and sang a hymn for the departed—
what secrets we shared paled in the light
of secrets we hid. We could not forget

our year together, ill youth, wards of
the state, when I had done my best
to bleed out and she had hoped to starve.
We sang for the dead and longed to remember:

thatch reeds and a solitary otter,
dumplings the texture of river mist,
Palestrina motets and a song to
sage salmon. But what we remembered:

the gauzy scent of saliva, the sooty
stare of eyes with no color, the boy who
strangled on bed sheets knotted to a fire
sprinkler. The funeral left me wanting.

I want to rent the redbrick Brassworks:
green wooden windows and locked green doors
on the bank of Mill River—
I will walk through bare rooms in dusty light

fluent in prayer to the god of paneled space
eating olives from clear glass bowls
my green eyes like an echo in green windows
(the river will pause in a pool of orchid gold)

and chilled by a rising mist I will wait
for a disturbance, any disturbance,
for the plunge of a silk otter
or the splash of an Hesperides’ heel.

 

 

 

Tamara Pace Thomson is an MFA candidate in creative writing. She and her husband have three kids, two dogs, and a hedgehog (thanks to Shamae Budd for the inspiration).

Fallacy

by Tamara Thomson

She did not ask if I was alcoholic
or if I wore a white headscarf while
playing Frisbee with a husband in shorts.
She did not ask if I was map
or tattered territory.

She asked, instead, “Are you Mennonite?”
“No.” I said.
She paused.
“Are you Jewish?” She asked.
“No.” I said.

But what I wanted to say was:
I held a silver Star of David, once,
to the flame of a Bic lighter—
when it burned red I pressed it
to the back of my hand,
above the wrist, to brand myself
like a cow; as a Jew.
Only it bubbled black and left
a lump of pink with blurred edges
not six intersecting lines.

“Where did you find your handbag?” I asked.
“Nordstrom or thrift?”

But, what I wanted to say was:
Are there black spots on your cornea
From staring at the sun?
Have you ever noticed how a copper beech ignites
green to purple from the inside out?
Are you aware that the sexually ravenous
get bug-eyed in the exact same way
whether they read Baudrillard
or “How to Read Tarot Cards?”

“Nordstrom,” she said.

I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear:
I am territory. Yes. Territory.

 

 

 

Tamara Pace Thomson is an MFA candidate in creative writing. She and her husband have three kids, two dogs, and a hedgehog (thanks to Shamae Budd for the inspiration).

Letter to Stevie Smith

by Lainey Wardlow

On a day like today, Stevie,
I would have loved to sit with you
At your tiny breakfast table,
Sip tea, and look out on a thick,
October sky.

Is your soul as turbulent
And confused as mine?
The question would pour from my cup,
And you, with your sweet, paper face
Would sip it in and not be sick.

On a day like today, sweet Stevie,
I would have loved to run my brush
Through your little strands of hair
And hear you recite your mind into the air.
I would sip it in, and not be sick.

 

 

 

Lainey Wardlow wrote this poem on a day when she was feeling particularly alone and depressed. She had just finished reading Stevie Smith’s, “Not Waving But Drowning,” and felt connected to her poetry more than the people in her own life. To shed her inertia, she wrote a poem addressing Stevie Smith and explaining her feelings to her.

Heliocentric

by Hayley Rawle

The sun arrived on a chariot
and cruised past the remnants of Saturday
which had fallen in piles
on the lawn in the nighttime
and heaped like clothes
next to the unmade bed
of Nicolaus Copernicus,

who woke up late to the gilded light
of mid-morning thickening
in his bedroom, his longish black hair
puffy and his eyelids still weighted
with sleep.

The bronze noise of church
bells rung dense in his ears
as he plodded to the window
and peered out at the obtrusive sun,

which seemed to be caught in orbit,
circling just around his room.

 

 

 

Hayley Rawle is a Provo, Utah native. She was raised on reading and writing, and naturally landed in the English major at Brigham Young University. Along with English things, she enjoys hiking, eating Mexican food, and watching good films. Her husband Bentley, of course, is her #1 fan.

Colin Nathaniel Scott Falls into Yellowstone Geyser

by Meg McManama

He was drawn to the water like a bug
to the porch light, no,
like a boy
reaching for the hips of a woman
for the first time, he felt
like a man all at once
the water bit to the bone, grabbed
at his lungs and breathed him in.

With each gleam of lightning his sister
saw his erasure in the earth’s stomach.
Surely her mind melted too as she waited all night.

Rescuers came in the morning to retrieve
his sister from the edge,
his shoes from the pool, and I can’t sleep knowing
flip flops survive while raw nature digests
bone and man. Yes, he was reborn
as a new hue, a hue that epitomized the sublime,
a beauty too dangerous to understand, but to hear
he was nothing by morning gnaws at my bones.

 

 

 

Meg Mcmanama is an MFA candidate at BYU in Poetry. She lives in Utah where she rides her bike.

Time to Go

Guinotte Wise

There’s a weed smells like cat piss in my pasture
Makes me want to pack some things
Head for mountains where the air is sharp
and not return
Until clean cutting cold of razor winter shapes
and purifies and stings tears draws skin tight
and startled deer tremble and dart wide eyed
sailing over fences bouncing like boulders
falling down a hillside

A crane I like and know, lifts and aches into too
thin air, ponderous, finally attains grace
I wish he knew I bring no harm and use
the calories in better ways, he’ll migrate soon
when cooler air swathes the marsh bathing him in
delicious shudders, time to go when winter’s
Kansas wind from Canada with nothing to slow
it between here and there but barbed wire
with a bit of coyote fur attached and fluttering

Nothing makes time flow cascade so fast and
free like something needing paint before
winter and not getting it again and
yet again guilt like a thousand jewish mamas
howl or is that the wind it is the wind
but that weed that smells like cat piss is no
longer causing restlessness, no longer
giving me the move-ons
the faraway call of a train whistle
does that and more.

 

 

 

Guinotte Wise lives on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and not much acclaim. Three more books since. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it. www.wisesculpture.com

(poh-i-tree) n.

by Scot Hansen

1. a walnut loved after the vise. 2. a measure
of wood beneath splitting-wedge mathematics.
3. an ear of corn stripped and torn for
gold. 4. (archaic) a wishingplace-dig that
finally kisses the shovel’s scuffed lip with
water. 5. a coconut cast down, wounded on
a wooden stake until it offers no more resis-
tance, then split open for milk. 6. (informal) an
imprisoned warrior, now open to supply the
morning’s heartblood. 7. an orange cut apart
and crushed for breakfast. 8. a chest of water-
logged wood, exhumed at the end of a tat-
tered map. 9. a door smashed off the hinges
and trampled with pistols and flashlights
hunting fugitives. 10. a boulder nibbled at by
chisles to reveal the immanent passion in
marble. 11. (slang) a crashing between steel
and flint that breeds fire. 12. a cardboard
form covered with crepe paper that you ques-
tion with a stick until it answers in candy.

 

Scot Hansen is a budding young poet.