Issue #11, 2009

Price: $6.00

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Table of Contents

Bethany Reid, Summer Solstice (excerpt)
Simeon Mills, Ice (excerpt)
Jean Esteve, For Who Sleep on Floors
Judith Barrington, The Hypnotist at the County Fair
Lowell Jaeger, The Missionary
Judith Skillman, Ants
Bethany Reid, His Ghost
William Malatinsky, Good for Charlie
Judith Skillman, Pavlov’s Dog
Lowell Jaeger, Four Chaplains
Jean Esteve, Pristine
Kelly Davio, Lagan
Joe LaBreck, White Boat
Kevin Miller, Poem for Fleming Palle Hansen, Danish Resistance
Kingshuk Sarkar, A Fly-chaser’s Lament
Penny Snyder, Blooming
Michael Schmeltzer, Forest of No Treasure
Penny Snyder, Road Trip
Scott Provence, One Hundred Words
Cecilie Scott, As You Make Your Bed
Bethany Reid, How Stories Go
Judith Skillman, Bedtime Story
Bethany Reid, The Dream of Having Children
Holly Day, Tentacles

Kevin Miller, Heir Apparent
Marlene Elliott, Reasons—for Cooking Eggs, for Everything
Sara Gettys, Jane’s Chili
Terry Martin, September Ripens and So Do We
Sara Gettys, Starlings
Terry Martin, Plenty
Terry Martin, Waking to Rain
Carol Levin, Juncture Where Victims Of Love Say Zip
Tanya Chernov, Minong, Wisconsin
Sara Gettys, House Dreams
Tom Holmes, Obstinacy
Carol Levin, On the Verge of My Next Life
Judith Skillman, Lemon
Steven Arntson, Clothes
Matthew Roberts, At Carver’s Grave
Judith Skillman, Forest Canopy
Tanya Chernov, The Other Side of Son
Jean Esteve, Swimming in Oregon
Matthew Roberts, Night along the Yakima River
John Byrne, Islands for the Queen of Spain
Steve Cleveland, Pilgrim
Chris Anderson, The One Thing Necessary

Excerpts

Bethany Reid

Summer Solstice

We arrive like pilgrims. Ten years
since my youngest brother’s death
and green hills lie flung over fields
of oxeye daisies and purple vetch.
A painter’s cloth of greens.
We talk about our children,
my nephews’ baseball teams,
public school, a niece’s recital.
The younger children climb the swingset
and launch themselves like birds.
To destroy an anthill, one brother-in-law
tells another, poke a stick
into its core, pour gasoline,
then light a match. A man
someone went to school with
has died. He was fat
and didn’t exercise. Childless,
as if that explains it. No one
says my brother’s name,
so the breeze finds it and the creek,
unseen, mumbles and burbles
over it like an old priest
over the sacrament. A white-faced cow
pushes her nose under the barbed wire
of the fence. Green hills
cup blue sky in their hands.

Simeon Mills

Ice

I’d been on my own a year now, all my things in mini-storage, living in different places, different motels, but mostly those close to the town where I used to live. Nowhere like this place, I can tell you that. This was my son’s idea, his plan of action for me. I can’t say that I was for or against it, at any point, but I didn’t want to disappoint him. The money wasn’t an issue. Neither his mother nor I wanted to keep hold of our wedding house when it was all said and done, so I took my half of the money, put my things in storage—minus one suitcase—and checked into a motel. It was a year later my son came around with his plan. New York City, he’d said. Well.

Having just eaten a first-rate fish dinner, I decided it wouldn’t kill me if I walked the way back to 94th Street, the street my hotel was on. I traced my finger over the criss-crossing lines on the map handed down to me from my son, and estimated a total distance of three miles. “If you ever run out of things to do,” my son had advised in a phone call the night before I left, “just get out on the street and see what’s happening. Just get out and do things. Anything!” After my walk I could tell him I’d done something. And the truth was, I guess, I was even looking forward to the walk. You know the way everyone talks about New York City. Who knows. It was windy out, cold, but maybe there’d be something to see anyhow. And then when I got back to my room I could see what was on TV for the remainder of the night. And maybe order some room service if I got hungry again. Yeah, but first there’d be the walk. Three miles. And then when I got back, maybe I’d start into the book my son had mailed me for Christmas, On the Road, which, he’d said in a personalized note on the inside cover, was such an inspirational book, he’d read the whole thing in one night.

Last night, immediately after I checked in, a snow storm hit the city. I watched the whole thing from the window in my room. Six inches all before eleven o’clock without any sign of easing up. I had to put my face against the glass and squint just to see the buildings across the street. I watched until midnight, waiting for something to happen, entertaining the possibility that the city’s power would die and there would be some kind of massacre on the streets. I didn’t know. I imagined an enormous white comforter being draped over the buildings and blocking out the sun, and everybody shouting obscenities and fighting to escape the island. Pile-ups on bridges. Gun shots. Some brave people would even jump into the channel and swim for it. Right before getting into bed, I looked out the window one last time, but things were still quiet. People were moving about on the street, going placing, coming back from places. At midnight several children where building a snowman on the sidewalk.

... (continues in magazine issue)