The next nonfiction folio for Drunken Boat has the theme of “Portraits.” Written portraits of all shapes, sizes, and themes. Also photographs, paintings, video, and multi-media pieces. Please submit via the submissions manager in the general nonfiction category. Deadline: April 15.
a tongue touching other teeth: Praise Song for what’s Missing (part three)
For the native tongue, a second language requires a tongue touching new teeth. A reshuffling of the shutter, where the scene is the same but the frame has changed.
Imagine two travelers from Taipei who have arrived in Munich for a conference on industrial magnets. After long days touring factories, the two women break free of their translator and embark upon an afternoon hike through the Bavarian countryside.
A late May rain descends and they gather beneath a black umbrella, and with their eyes cast down to avoid mud and puddles, they pause and admire a delicate forest stream more damp yet than wet, lined in rocks mossed and flocked with green. They hesitate and commune a while with the ancient holy purple hue of violets sprung up in lush velvet clumps.
They’re not much for cameras, but this is too lovely.
The frame contains, the shutter snaps: meaning is defined. It is a glorious spring morning on this one spot on the earth, wedged between factory and airplane – a brief moment where for once translation isn’t needed because green is green, and a flower is a flower, and a forest stream is always a forest stream.
I was there behind them, and we all kept walking, following the narrow shoe-worn path alongside the little flowered rivulet.
Within moments, the rivulet ended and we came upon a sign.
Drunken Boat’s editorial team is seeking a fiction reader to join our staff. Candidates should be comfortable with non-traditional forms, and should possess an MFA in fiction or a related field. Reliability and the ability to work independently are musts, familiarity with Drunken Boat a plus. Readers commit to approximately 5-6 hours per month, and will recommend acceptances or rejections to the fiction editor. The entire process is done through our online submissions manager, so you can work from anywhere in the world.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The slots have been filled. Thanks to everyone who queried!
Laura Hershey, whose work is forthcoming in our spring issue’s /Slant/Sex/ folio, passed away on November 26th, 2010.
Hershey was renowned for her writing as well as her social activism in disability awareness and rights, and her passing is a great loss to the literary world. Over 100 of her articles and essays have been published in journals, anthologies, websites, and magazines, and her poems, on subjects from nature to social justice, have appeared in dozens of publications.
Hershey wrote a daily blog called Life Support for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s website, and was a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Most recently, Hershey was the 2010 Lambda Fellow in Poetry.
For an archive of Hershey’s work, as well as selected memories celebrating her 48 years of life, please visit the memorial page, “Celebrating the Life of Laura Hershey.”
from “Nights,” forthcoming from DB#14
At some point you will realize that of all the people marching with you, you can’t stop looking at one person, the two of you moving along side by side on that street and looking and smiling at each other. Later, back at the hotel, you will actually talk with her, discovering obscure shared songs and a desire to see each other again. Returning to your separate states, you will write and call, and see each other again.
And again. And again. And again.
One day, after bidding her goodbye and watching her fly away, the silence, the waiting, will become intolerable, causing you to speak a letter to her into your computer, a letter which sounds exactly true, truer than anything you have ever written, causing you to turn red and smile, and to file the letter in the recesses of your computer and not print or send it. But later you will write a poem saying the same things but taking place on a beach in the third person, and you print and send that. She’ll like the poem, she’ll love the poem, but won’t get the underlying message, or will pretend not to get it. Things will stay the same for a while until another letter, what the hell, it’s Valentine’s Day and you will find the perfect card and put the letter into the card and sent it off without giving yourself a chance to change your mind and, amazingly, she will have the same idea and your valentines will arrive in each other’s mailboxes on the very same day.