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Archive for June, 2011

One of the most important (and productively hurtful) things a writing mentor once said to me, after reading a piece I’d written and rewritten I didn’t know how many times, was “Good job. Second draft out of ten.”

Jesus Angel Garcia’s “transmedia” novel, badbadbad, though presented as finished, seems in actuality at a similar awkward stage of development. This child is precocious, lively, simultaneously endearing and frustrating, and carries so much raw potential; this child wants to light the world on fire, has probably been encouraged to do so, but at the moment of truth must run to the men’s room to tend to an unexpected mess. The high level of talent is apparent, but unfortunately, so is the inexperience. (more…)

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Martin Egblewogbe stands at the door of most well-meaning literary activities in Ghana, turning the knob and ushering you in with a smile, if you were a visitor to West Africa’s calmest country, longing for poetry and beer. You will be drawn to him before his poetry, organisational panache in the city of Accra of writers who refused to be left behind by a kaleidoscopic culture and indifferent polity, this writer and teacher of physics at the University of Ghana, Legon. But once you hear him read, a mellifluous rendering of philosophy and love most often, (more…)

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Poetry # 134

There’s this rumor going around that the world didn’t end May 21, 2011, as some had predicted. Well, after looking around locally and reading the

international news, I think the Jesus freaks had it right – sorta. The world did end. But it’s been a process. Not a day, but rather the stretch of our recent history. This issue brings you the subterranean perspective from the ones – the majority – that didn’t ascend.

Yours Truly,

The Poetry Editors

Luis Rivas

Henry Ajumeze

Amber Bromer

Chroma

By Nils Michals

And at dusk when men in rolled shirtsleeves

give themselves up to newborns I couldsee

for once the trees as nothing

of any concern to anything except other

trees, the uninhibited turning of their leaves

as no leap skyward in me, nothing atall,

no beat ampersanding in the chest nor good

intention unfolding in the slow terror

of a rudderless body blindered, starstruck.

To shepherd an error in some practiced cripple’s rhythm—

one leg feather, one leg jackhammer—

as the town fills with whirling bits and turned-out umbrellas

is nothing kind, is no pure burning color

to expect the sky to receive.

One child draws a blue boat where the heart’s supposed to be.

Another says give me red I must make

thegrass on fire, and the landscape in a far

corner explodes, form and color slapdashas cornfields

before the specter of a twister, its bruised end

essing like a massive anchor awry.

Leaves, rooftops, cattle chucked silly.

After, a boat and some pieces of a lake

where a barn used to be.

What is a child to the maple still standing?

To burn darkly or brightly just for

the mere fuck of it, to set ablaze the skyline

leaf by leaf so fiercely

the child watching from his father’s forearms

years later cannot discern which came first:

the fire,

or the memory of fire? (more…)

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