Tag Archives: october 2013

How to Make a Palimpsest
by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

before it was a metaphor

First scrape fat from skin,
turn to sun what never felt light,
in vitriol bathe open wounds,
sear to yellow the inner vellum
until flesh and hair no longer seem animal matter.
Some fold quarto, others folio;
make flocks of pages to lay in wait.

Sharpen a feather,
dip the shaft in iron gall.
Write angel-pin philosophy,
the brewer’s daily tabs,
a festal grocery list, poems
and psalms for a choir gathered to praise
God. Until you think, no more:

Take a knife to dead hymns,
rub out names, erase histories,
cut leaves to strips, use them within
other spines, wood or bone shells.
So buried is living in the skeletons
and tissues we open on velvet cradles.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.

Katherine Durham Oldmixon lives in Austin, TX, where she teaches writing and literature and directs the writing program at historic Huston-Tillotson University. She is co-director of the Poetry at Round Top Festival and a senior poetry editor for Tupelo Quarterly. Her poems appear online in Qarrtsiluni, Poemeleon, and Solstice magazines, as well as in many print journals and anthologies and in her chapbook Water Signs (Finishing Line Press, 2009).

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Eve Paints the Apple Tree
by Lynn Pedersen

after lines from Cesare Pavese’s “Grappa in September”

Her problem, of course, is that she was never a child,
and so hadn’t the opportunity

to know the tree as a sapling, to climb
its branches, bark roughing her thighs, but only

viewed it with the distance of an adult.
Now it’s a question of staying on task with the story

of suffering a great pain. To climb
perhaps another higher tree,

and look back into Eden at the lost crown,
to paint what she remembers later

of that last day: the sky’s blue witness, the leaves slick, glistening.
And the snake—had the snake not spoken? Was it

her imagination, trick of the shadows?
She must variegate the color of bark: siennas, umbers,

ochers, reds, even green moss. Branches
may break off during their lifespans,

may be riddled with knots, regrets.
Cover her right eye and look with the left,

then reverse: each eye sees color differently.
How does she paint the temptation? Every limb and leaf

of before and after? The fulcrum where everything
stops to ripen? Regret a tart yellow.

Black for secrets. Her children must know that the ochres and umbers
even now conceal fruit that would fall at a touch.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.

Lynn Pedersen’s poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in New England Review, Poet Lore, The Southern Poetry Review, and The Palo Alto Review. Her chapbook, Theories of Rain, was published by Main Street Rag in 2009. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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For Knives, Bridges, and Balconies,
by Devon J. Moore

The pears I bought and put in the glass bowl are cinnamon stick red
and rough. Pleasurable it is, the cutting them up and the looking.

Question: What couldn’t you help but do in a room where one wall
is a window? Answer: See all the other rooms you’re not in.

The improbability of probability is a law we know. One day it snowed,
it hailed, it rained, but we were surprised when the sun shone.

Once you slept in a hotel room next to a balcony
and the back of your soon to be ex-lover was a ledge. You are still

backing away.

All this pathos looks the same. Even if she’s not
the one who jumped off a bridge, she is.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.

Devon J. Moore

Devon J. Moore hails from Buffalo, NY with a lot of time spent growing in Wilmington, NC. She currently lives in Syracuse, NY where she teaches writing at Syracuse University and SUNY Oswego. Her poetry manuscript was a semi-finalist for the University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes in 2013.

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