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Poetry Fall 2013    fiction    all issues


Chris Joyner
Wrestlemania III
& other poems

Carey Russell
Visiting Hours
& other poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Cabinet of Wonders
& other poems

Jonathan Travelstead
Prayer of the K-12
& other poems

Jennifer Lowers Warren
Our Daughter's Skin
& other poems

Jeff Burt
The Mapmaker's Legend
& other poems

Patricia Percival
Giving in to What If
& other poems

Toni Hanner
& other poems

Christopher Dulaney
& other poems

Suzanne Burns
Window Shopping
& other poems

Katherine Smith
Mountain Lion
& other poems

Peter Kent
Surliness in the Green Mountains
& other poems

William Doreski
Gathering Sea Lavender
& other poems

Huso Liszt
Fresco, The Forlorn Virgin...
& other poems

Clifford Hill
How natural you are
& other poems

R. G. Evans
& other poems

David Kann
Dead Reckoning
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Music of As Is
& other poems

Tori Jane Quante
Creatio ex Materia
& other poems

G. L. Morrison
Baba Yaga
& other poems

Joe Freeman
In a Wood
& other poems

George Longenecker
Bear Lake
& other poems

Benjamin Dombroski
South of Paris
& other poems

Ryan Kerr
& other poems

Josh Flaccavento
Glen Canyon Dam
& other poems
& other poems

Christine Stroud
& other poems

Abraham Moore
Inadvertent Landscape
& other poems

Chris Haug
Cow with Parasol
& other poems

Mariah Blankenship
Fiberglass Madonna
& other poems

Emily Hyland
The Hit
& other poems

Sam Pittman
Growth Memory
& other poems

Alex Linden
The Blues of In-Between
& other poems

Bobby Lynn Taylor
& other poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Alia Neaton
Cosmogony I
& other poems

Elisa Albo
Each Day More
& other poems

Noah B. Salamon
& other poems

Writer's Site

Christopher Dulaney


They found him on his face in a motel room

where he paid rent with his hands, painting walls

and cutting lawn, keeping things up—

               There were notes on the upright

               that I could not play,

               keys that would not sound.

You were afraid of his hands. You all were,

as if they had buried a part of you,

deep enough, you all had thought;

until it came time to bury him,

his death in your minds

like water too hot for the skin.

It was still morning and you were all old

and thinking the same things—

just as helpless as you were then,

those nights when you were young

and he, deaf drunk, found you

cold and still and silent

               There were notes on the upright

               that I could not play,

               keys that would not sound.

It was me who held his cold hands

who straightened his curled fingers

so that they could lie flat like the rest of him,

crying like the rest of the room,

thinking of how

you were only girls then and already

full of feelings without names;

left with the ugliness of his touch,

the blame of his hands:

as if they had buried a part of you,

deep enough, you had thought—

there were moments in the night,

in your night—

               They were notes on the upright

               that I could not play,

               keys that would not sound.

Somehow, Distance Becomes A Bosom I am Gawking At

Today I walked to work with a Steinbeckian tractor for a heart,

a dust covered machine lurching towards the Bethlehem
behind my eyelids,

overworked from plowing the cropless field of our love. I am stuck in oscillation

between honesty and victimhood, searching myself over
for a wound.

I turn around to spot no trail of blood or chain and ball—I yield only a sense, a memory

slipping in and out of focus: Wrongness.

I woke today from a dream of Krishna dancing with his gopis,

                my dream self juggling a blue desire to be recognized, to be collected

into the arms of God, to be seen dancing,

chanting the Maha Mantra with my eyes closed

                                                out on my permanent lunch break.

But these wrongs, even renouncement can’t smother:

the injuries acquiesced along the curves and protrusions of togetherness—

                       the yo-yoing of the heart, the titter tatter of my brain—

                my hands

           always in your braids,

fucking them up. In the dream, Krishna laughs as I approach him,

and his laugh is an ocean, electric with death, darkened by sex. I am embarrassed.

Ashamed of the limits of my love for you,

guilty for pretending they could be any less severe,

for never taking my eyes off the distance I would place between us.

In another dream, you were the turtle crossing the road

                                that I didn’t swerve to miss,

                                that I told myself

I had only nicked.


“The heart is deceitful above all things,
& desperately wicked: who can know it?”
—Jeremiah 17:9

If I open it up to find it bare,

unadorned with the sap of experience,

beating fast, (though I’m breathing slow),

I find its red almost insolent, the way it’s

both bright and pale, shimmering and dark,

the way it wavers but doesn’t fall, like

infrastructure made with the earth in mind.

As if we are children playing on staircases,

faced with the peril of the questions we

didn’t think to ask, or else older, grown and

always mesmerized by the consequences

we seem to escape; dogged with the trouble

of looking out and only seeing our wide-eyed selves.

I start to think of light as the first

and most elegant fiction refracted by what

is really there: a parched desert bush, a fruit tree

by a stream, my hand as I reach out to touch you,

always and forever wishing that each time I do

really is the good flesh continuing.

I am aware that I shouldn’t trust it,

that it is not mine to search—

but here, with you, beneath this blanket

of coalescent days, perhaps I am

folding into the thing of it now,

perhaps I am catching on.

Fever in My Pocket

Up until now I’d lost it, that tune you’d hum between A and B,

us alone and on foot, our stomachs ruined with an idea:

the difference between wisdom and ignorance,

between how the two make you act.

How you’d known all the ways to keep me out,

and yet neither of us knew when to let me in,

nor did we guess that when you did it would

do nothing for our stomachs. Even months later,

with you off for summer, the light still

pours through the hole in the window above

the sink from the last time you sent me home.

Alone in my kitchen,

I shake the thought of us around in my head

                                                like a riff from Exile

                on Mainstreet or a lyric

from Blonde on Blonde,

                                                how the one bleeds

                helplessly into the other,

how a plea is a plea

and every time the a/c clicks on or off

                I hear myself singing

—come, come on down Sweet


—because sometimes it gets so hard

                                                you see?

Because someone once taught me that flour

doesn’t rise unless you’ve remembered to sift it first,

and like your dress on so many of those dead note

nights, I am afraid we are not self-rising.

There’s a difference between someone you’ve fallen

mad for and a lonely pool of light,

                                          but I don’t think I’ve found it.

Skipping to the Back of the Qur’an


With hardship comes ease

                with hardship comes ease

Twice it reads

                 and I think 





                I read

as sure as rain as grass is green

this is a discerning recitation

                 not a flippant jest


There is an image of denial

                as men reclining in mirth

and as I read of their damned fate

I am afraid

                I myself

am too in love with distraction

At times

                these old recitations

are less words on a page

and more the coarse

whistle of wind eroding rock

the only cruelty of God is time


A garden and a river

and always a cup of nectar in your hand




removed from your breast

the blind are not

                the same as the seeing


                be gentle for a while

do not leave me alone to my pleasure

Christopher Dulaney graduated with BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Georgia College & State University in May 2013. A multiracial writer, he writes prose and poetry and has studied under Allen Gee, Laura Newbern, Judson Mitcham, and Marty Lammon. He currently lives in Savannah, GA.

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