The title of this issue is also the title of Vanessa Wang's wonderful poem herein, "I Love You for the Things You Own." How could we resist that title?
How was your Halloween? Spot any klowns? I work at a public K-12 school system. The clown scare of recent weeks has had me engaging in behavior I wouldn't have predicted. There was the moment when I Googled the phrase "Clown News." I wrote an email assuring people that, while there is a lot of talk about clowns, and some threats made by clowns on social media, there has been no credible reports of any "actual clown misconduct." If you are interested in auditioning for my new punk band, Klown Miskonduct, email me.
I led a meeting with about 3 dozen school employees. I had planned to make some snide comments about clowns, but someone pulled me aside and told me that at least two people in the room were part-time clowns. If you are interested in auditioning for my new Gregorian Chant/Ska band, Part Time Clowns, email me. And, by the way, that name is set up that way on purpose. Could be Part-time clowns. Could be part Time Clowns.
And, perhaps the best moment was when I saw the headline of a news item about a sheriff here in Alabama, who gave a press conference to talk about his determination to arrest a clown who made a terroristic threat on Facebook. The headline: "Sheriff to Clown: 'We're Gonna Get You.'" If you are interested in auditioning for my new Gospel/Shoegaze band, Sheriff to Clown, email me.
Of course, this phenomenon is a natural and fully predictable result of people's natural horror of clowns. Anyway. Enough talk during this election cycle about people we're going to throw out of the country or not let in to the country. There's no reason to take it seriously unless we start talking about throwing out clowns.
I'm a little tired.
Thanks to my beloved co-editors, Laura M Kaminski, F. John Sharp, and F. J. Bergmann.
Enjoy Issue 104.
Dale Wisely, Editor-in-Chief
You can keep your astrology chart,
your Tarot cards
and your tea-leaves
and keep your fingers away
from the bumps on my head—
I do not want to know.
Things may get better.
They may get worse.
What they won't get
click on the hand to continue.
Crow’s Fork is on the rise. Ochre waters
churn a foot below the bridge.
They’ve pushed uprooted trees
and gravel into Hornbuckle’s
pasture. His cattle hug the hillside,
stare waterward almost believing
they could still stroll across
the roiling mud, an illusion
the elements sometimes allow them.
But they are satisfied to stand
with firmer mud sliding between their cloves.
At Crow's Fork Crossing
You couldn’t begin
to understand darkness
in total, full of bullet holes,
beautiful and surprising and deep.
Separated by stars,
one mile straight down,
Note: This is a remixed poem composed only from the first three pages of chapter 5 of Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The title is taken from the Tralfamadorian view of the heavens appearing like “rarefied, luminous spaghetti.”
Come unstuck in time—
sleep is birth
and death many times,
and all the events in between
are a constant state
of stage fright.
Source: An erasure from Chapter 2, of Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-dance with
Death by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
there is much interest
The general idea is
I’m not overjoyed.
Source: An erasure from Chapter 10 of Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
A plastic carnation,
porcelain jars and tea cups,
crushed shells, twigs,
an open beak.
she feeds her chick an earthworm,
always on the lookout; her eye,
the feather of a peacock.
A rustle of leaves,
the chick shoves through,
leaps into the light
of the sun.
An old slipper, pieces of string,
a delicate teacup, broken,
at the base of the trunk.
J. I. Kleinberg
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Patrick Theron Erickson
Chelsey van der Munnik
Putting a Lid on the Future
J. I. Kleinberg
J. I. Kleinberg
When I was lord and master,
I ordered my servants to stitch me to the wings
of a rainbow kite and fly me from the highest balcony.
I crashed into the gardens and lay very still
in a fog of yellow roses.
Between these hills is a boy who will spend his whole life
counting the birds
flying south, and sending up wishes to be carried like seeds
through the atmospheric hourglass and scattered
on the Floridian coast.