Variation by Amy Allara
“Each title in this small collection of poems has been taken from my ancestor’s late 19th Century travel journal written during her service to and travels with the royal Family of Sweden. This collection, however, is not meant to be an historical narrative—instead the borrowed lines from this text, over a century old, have served as a catalyst for the construction of new work. Though perhaps with and without intention, there does exist in the poetry’s content a significant linkage of past and present, a recycling, a rearranging of what can be termed old into what might be seen as new.”
Amy Allara’s poems and book reviews have appeared in the following publications: LIT, Denver Quarterly, The New Review of Literature, 26: a journal of poetry and poetics, First Intensity, Sycamore Review, and others. Her work has also appeared on The Best American Poetry blog. In 2005 she received her MFA in Writing from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. In addition to the MFA, Allara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Social Work from The University of New England, and has completed semester-long study programs at both Brown University and the University of Exeter, UK. Amy currently lives and works in Pennsylvania. Her chapbook Variation was published in 2010 by Highway 101 Press. She has also been named as a finalist for both the Colorado Poetry Prize and most recently the 2010 New Rivers Press MVP Poetry Award. < http://www.amyallara.com/>.
…But for a Brief Interlude at Versailles
by Travis Cebula
From …But for a Brief Interlude at Versailles:
“Madame Jean Louise Henriette Campan was the Queen’s primary lady in waiting throughout the duration of Marie Antoinette’s reign. She was appointed “first lady of the bedchamber” in 1786, and remained the doomed Queen’s companion until they were separated during the storming of the Tuileries in 1792. In the midst of both high points and low, Madame Campan kept a detailed and literate journal. The captions here are excerpts from her memories of her mistress. It cannot be doubted that a “first lady of the bedchamber” was in an unenviable position to observe the unfolding of this particular history, perhaps second only to the Queen herself…”
Travis Cebula currently resides in Golden, Colorado. His poetry, photographs, essays, and stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from New American Writing, BlazeVOX, Eleven-Eleven, NO/ON, The Talking River Review, Monkey Puzzle, Night Bomb, Otoliths, Apothecary, In Stereo Magazine, Fact-Simile, Bombay Gin, Dear Sir, Trunk of Delirium, The Strip, Right Hand Pointing, Leveler, The Bathroom, and Whrrds. His most recent collection of poetry, Under the Sky They Lit Cities, is available now from BlazeVOX Books and Amazon.com. Travis is also the founder and editor of Shadow Mountain Press, specializing in limited-edition chapbooks. <http://www.shadowmountainpress.com>.
The Anyjar by Jaimie Gusman
From The Anyjar:
“Forgive me, he says, I took the Anyjar and buried it in snow until part of the glass froze and then I tried to break the Anyjar apart with an ax that was underneath the kitchen sink, which I discovered when rain caught the slate-stick and with one, two, twenty smashes the Anyjar wouldn’t budge, which meant that an ax wouldn’t do so I went to the bedroom where I found a chain-saw, revved the engine like a quake of earth and sawed the hell out of the Anyjar, but what happened next was disappointing because nothing shattered except my right knuckles and all bloody and in a bad mood I called a friend to help and the friend said I’ll do anything I can do anything to help a friend so the friend came over with very new rubber gloves and twisted the Anyjar until the friend’s hands looked like new hands but of course we thought if new hands wouldn’t do, any other hands would surely fail to open the Anyjar, so then I thought extremely hard about everything and we began to make a catapult from space and flung the Anyjar into the air but it boomeranged right back only to hit the friend in the anything-but-good eye so I ran to get some frozen peas and a patch, and then I got tired so I suggested that maybe the best thing to do was to go get a blanket (I took the one the dog sleeps on) and drape it over the Anyjar and just like that I sighed and the Anyjar disappeared so forgive me he says sorry again, it could be anywhere.”
Jaimie Gusman lives in Honolulu where she is a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii, teaches creative writing and composition, and runs the M.I.A. Art & Literary Series (http://miahonolulu.wordpress.com). Her work has been published nationally and internationally by Unshod Quills, Hearing Voices, Hawaii Women’s Journal, Tinfish Press, Spork Press, Shampoo, Anderbo, Juked, Barnwood, DIAGRAM, Dark Sky Magazine, 2 River Review, The Dirty Napkin Review, and others. Her chapbook, _One Petal Row_ is published by Tinfish Press, which you can buy at http://tinfishpress.com/chapbooks.html.