Ingrid Ankerson, Elisabeth Blair, Sudhanshu Chopra, Mark Danowsky, H.W. Day, Meghan DePeau, Howie Good, John Grey, Ray Malone, Irene Mitchell, Robert Nisbet, Alejandro Pérez, Ed Robson

Right Hand Pointing

homesick​                Issue 117

 

STAFF
Dale Wisely
Laura M. Kaminski

F. John Sharp

José Angel Araguz
F. J. Bergmann

about the editors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Note

 

by Dale Wisely

I'm writing this the day Charlie Manson died in prison. Over the years, I would occasionally see footage of one of his many futile parole hearings. We all knew that Manson would never get paroled. The parole boards knew it. Charlie knew it. Charlie's lawyers knew it. They would just sit by helplessly while Charlie reduced his chance of parole from zero to less than zero by doing things in the hearing like suggesting he might beat a parole board member to death with a book.

 

One of the things I've thought about Manson and similar notorious murderers is that they irritate me. Irritation may seem an inappropriate response to their horrible crimes. Their crimes don't irritate me. The crimes shock and grieve me. But these murderous people irritate me. Charlie Manson, for example, should never have been someone whose name was so widely known. He should never have been a significant person. He was a two-bit thief and criminal. Unfortunately, he apparently had a talent for seducing and brainwashing damaged young women. He belongs to the sad category of people who would be lost to our attention, and to history, but for their crimes. Now these people are showing up all too regularly on the news. It is a shame that their crimes force us to speak their names and to put their pictures on TV.

 

I have never found Charlie Manson frightening. I listen to Charlie rant and I think, this ridiculous guy is full of shit. The great tragedy is that the twisted little con man inspired the murder of innocent people and those victims not only did not deserve to be murdered, but didn't deserve to be murdered by someone so ridiculous and so full of shit. 

 

Through all those parole hearings, I am not sure Charlie would have really wanted to be out of prison. In fact, he told an interviewer that he had informed his jailers as early as 1967 that he'd rather be in prison than to have to deal with all the lunatics on the outside. Fair enough. That leads me to something Manson did say once that wasn't complete gibberish or BS. Maybe it's that chimps-with-typewriters idea. If you run your mouth long enough, you'll say something sensible. It's from his 1994 interview with Diane Sawyer.

 

You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.

 

Charlie had a point there. 

 

 

Here is issue 117. As always, I thank the editorial team for reading all the submissions and for all their work. Thanks to all who submitted and all whose work we present in this issue.

 

Enjoy!

 

Dale

Right Hand Pointing

Ingrid Ankerson

 

It moves around, 
the place you are  
sick for, like a 

tent unstaked 
in a flat 
breezy field 
where  
the moon 
is the only 

thing to be sure 
of. But one night  
even it 
slips away. 

 

Homesick

Right Hand Pointing

In the 8th grade,

Elisabeth Blair

 

my sweet love-poem writer and first kiss asked to be 
pinned against the wall with his neck compressed. 

He was supposed to pass out for a fraction of a second, 
then come to again. And sometimes he did, he went

away, his body slumped against the door— 
for a second he wasn’t there. But before he could fall   

he’d come back again. His friend did it for him 
and he did it for his friend; I stood nearby. 
I loved everything he did and everything he loved, 
but could not want to be that alive.

Right Hand Pointing

Fumes

Mark Danowsky

 

The neighboring town was on fire earlier. 
I saw 
it from my porch because 
the builder next door said to look. 

I went to see my wife, who is injured. 
When I returned to my place it was 
dark 
and the air was poor. 

We can discuss parts per 
million 
or you can picture as I walk the dog 
thoughts cloudier with each breath. 

 

Right Hand Pointing

H.W. Day

Meadowplay

 

In a tousled grazing 
cotton mice race 

a monochrome 
caterpillar 
of contiguous hay bales. 
Unspent the sprinters pass 

wagons & wrappers, 
copperheads in kudzu. 

 

Right Hand Pointing

Meghan DePeau

A Penguin in the Biodome in Montreal ​

 

She swims with the tip of her beak pressed 
to the glass seam at the corner of the enclosure. 
The others preen, dive, waddle. But she persists, 
making tired, perpetual strokes toward a blurry 
world 
of bipeds. 

My daughter is waving at her when I turn 
away 
so she won’t see my moist eyes. Other tourists 
stare deep into their phones, glance up, pose 
for a selfie.

 

Right Hand Pointing

Meghan DePeau

 

I’m staring into the flames dancing in the wood stove 
at a quarter to midnight on a Thursday, everyone else 
sawing logs, and it hits me. I know what I want. 
I want to know this fine gray dust—all that 
remains 
of those who came before me, all that will remain 
of my one life—will be completely spent. Every breath, 
every stretch toward 
light, every scar will all come 
to this, these hot embers ebbing 
to this quiet glow. 

 

 

Ashes

 
Right Hand Pointing
Right Hand Pointing

Howie Good

You never find a place that is total silence. There’s always something happening, always temptations, all the variations of green. You feel your brain is wider than the sky. There’s a feeling of water, somehow, abandoned and never-ending. You think, “I’m going to drown,” “I’m going to die,” “I’m going to lose everything.” Then suddenly the building is just dancing in the air. To go in there―​wow.

Yet to Be Titled

 
Right Hand Pointing

John Grey

Twilight condenses, 
congeals the outside world. 

The church, the houses, 
luminous with the sun's last gasp, 
take on the mysterious patina 
of another land, 
a city where I've never set 
foot until this very moment. 

But it will be night soon, 
lit by
street lamp, 
and where I live. 

My Strange Land

Right Hand Pointing
 

mea·sure 107 

Ray Malone

 

too soon, the shoes off, the feet sore, 
flat on your back, at last, content, 
that this should be the case―but then, 
the door, open to the elements 



 ​

Right Hand Pointing

there it is, the hand, held out to me, 
open to debt, to the dirt of the world, 
there, to be damned, or disdained, to be 
shamed, there it is, the 
hand held out again 

.

 

mea·sure 293 ​

Ray Malone

Right Hand Pointing
 

midday    the almost there 
but then gone by 

the moment where you were 
no more 

where the tick of would be 
was 

the time to come 
still    to come 

when what you were 
would never be 

the very pause itself 
passing on​

sounding 25

Ray Malone

Right Hand Pointing
 
Right Hand Pointing
 

Few Distortions

Irene Mitchell

 

 The sea meant everything to her imagination. 
Immensity. Purpose. New 
calculations 
with every curlicue of seaspray. 
Unstoppable spigot. 

She looks to the sea for reflection. 
No shame in solitude. 

May the ship swim well!, 
cried Captain Bligh. 

She falls in with the 
raptors 
making their way through clouds and traffic.  

Right Hand Pointing

My Utopia

Alejandro Pérez 

 

A world where roads have 
legs and where we humans have 
none. Where roads choose us, 
and we’re not burdened with the 
task of choosing the right one
. ​


 ​

Right Hand Pointing

In a Twentieth Century Winter ​

Robert Nisbet

 

That long grey stretch, November on, 
was ripped apart that year, 
on March the third, eight-thirty 
(the postman early on Saturdays), 

by her airmail letter, in limpid hand, 
and the news she was tiring 
of Adelaide’s dust and heat, 
was planning to come back. 

I walked to town, down Meadow Lane, 
past Davies’s big field (the stream, 
two colts frisking), clouds 
rent 
by a rush of morning sun. 



.


 ​

Right Hand Pointing

All around is death 
and innocence. Guilt 
clings only to survivors. 
I take up space and 
eat 
and generate nonbiomass- 
type waste and didn’t
even 
spring for cage-free eggs 
at Aldi. It’s been three years 
now. She wonders when I’ll 
just get over it and 
come 
back home. Her cluelessness 
revives my shame, my dirty 
secret of survivorship, this 
habit that my cowardice 
can’t break. 
 

Dirty Secret

Ed Robson

Right Hand Pointing
 

Holding the Line

Ed Robson

 

Ever since he gave up trying to dislodge 
the stubborn boulder from his northmost field, 
Caleb has been death on any rock he 
spots 
fist-size or more. He’ll stop his plow to grab 
and fling it quick into the pond. He’s seen 
what’s like to happen if you let them grow. 

 



.


 ​

Right Hand Pointing

Objectivity

Sudhanshu Chopra​

 

If my lip were to graze by 
your earlobe, 

I would know what it is like 
to 
be dew 
slanting down smooth eaves. 

To be on outskirts, 
in beautiful exile. 

 

Right Hand Pointing

117

 

Ingrid Ankerson is a graphic designer and many other things, living in Ann Arbor Michigan.
 

Elisabeth Blair is a poet, composer, visual artist and feminist podcaster. Her work is forthcoming in Feminist Studies, S/tick, and cream city review. Her chapbook, We He She/It, is available through Dancing Girl Press. www.elisabethblair.net
 

Sudhanshu Chopra hails from India. He draws inspiration to write from observation, memories, subconscious, books he reads, movies he watches, and music he listens to. Sometimes a phrase or simply a word is enough.
 

 

Contributors

Right Hand Pointing
 


 

Mark Danowsky is a writer/poet from Philadelphia who lives in West Virginia. His poems have appeared in About Place, Cordite, Gargoyle, Shot Glass Journal, Subprimal, and elsewhere. Mark is Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal and Founder of the poetry coaching and editing service VRS CRFT.
 

H.W. Day is an Alabama native and received his Doctor of Pharmacy from Auburn University. He has contributed to RHP in the past, and also has work featured in the Tipton Poetry Journal & Red Fez. He resides in Birmingham, Alabama.
 

Meghan DePeau’s poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Connecticut River Review, Common Ground Review, and Freshwater.  She won CGR’s annual poetry contest in 2016.  She also received the Outstanding Young Poet Award and won the annual writing contest at Manchester Community College during the 2015-16 academic year.
 

Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize and forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press. 
 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Examined Life Journal and Midwest Quarterly.
 

Ray Malone is an artist, writer and translator, living in Berlin, Germany, currently exploring the expressive (lyric) potential of minimal forms in a series of related projects. In most cases the poems begin with a brief quotationit may be only one or two wordsused to generate meaning.

 

Irene Mitchell’s fourth poetry collection, Equal Parts Sun and Shade: An Almanac of Precarious Days was published in 2017 by Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press. Mitchell, an ad hoc facilitator of poetry workshops, is known for her collaborations with visual artists and composers.
 

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh writer who does not see himself as unduly competitive but who has recently won the Prole Pamphlet Competition. His chapbook entry, Robeson, Fitzgerald and Other Heroes, has just appeared from Prolebooks.

Alejandro Pérez is a Creative Writing major at Emory University. Being part American and part Guatemalan, he was raised in a bilingual/bicultural home. He is caught between two cultures, just as he is caught between his desire to live in the real world and in the world of his imagination.

 

Ed Robson is a retired clinical psychologist currently seeking admission to an MFA program in creative writing.  His poetry has appeared recently in Perfume River, Prune Juice, and Flying South, and on posters downtown and on buses in Winston-Salem, NC.  He also writes plays, essays, and fiction.