Author Archives: Andrew Selway

The Deepest Blue, The Brightest Bronze by Khalilah Asaka

Tinged Teal
though I imagined
stone
gray
forgotten
blending into
clouds that never part
for amber rays or blackbirds,
that chirped songs
we couldn’t hear

We squinted for the clearer picture
but beyond
was just a place
of washed out reflections,
More of a blur
as if we had stepped foot into
a watercolor landscape
of colliding tones
– mellow and undefined

We didn’t bother
pulling out the red
from a pack of crayons,
furiously striking the muted page

Instead, we let the horizon
vanish amongst the seas

Focus

this kept my eyes
from
buzzing

suddenly all things distant distracted me
from what lied
before me

-the drenched brim of my
sweater hood,

the shrieks on brakes pulled
on rusty tracks
with a thin coat of polish,

young waterfalls
beginning from
chipped cobblestone, hammered
into the bridge before the station
fell a silent fall into
puddles below

What hushed
the pitter patter on city streets?
I wondered

a train of quilted cloth
I followed
from a crack in the pavement
where moss and ferns were
beginning to
sprout

My eyes
wanted to jump ahead
faster than the speed my mind processed

A basket full of
wilted petals
and golden brooches
through the straw weaving
was the first I had
seen a color so
bold
in a pallet of tones
so dull
they only whispered your name

Toes peeked from
beneath a matted blanket
The brown of her skin
glistened in all its beauty
Undertones of blue
which sparkled beneath
was earth reflecting
itself on her skin

I searched for her
dark blue pupils
in sunken holes
pits
dark
deep
cold
and followed veins
branched out
from the tips of
her eyelids
which told me she had laughed before
smiled before
like the little girls
and boys giggling past her
with their teeth stained by
German chocolates

My fingers quivered
at the thought
of dropping
the bronze coins
left in my hand
not nearly as bright
as her gold pendant
for a wilted rosebud
without its thorn stem

Your Sanctuary By Alex Blenman

There is a place that you go.

Where no one else knows.

That place is your sanctuary where no one can find you.

Let your mind wander to that place of peace

You may not know your beauty but in your sanctuary.

You will find yourself anew.

Your heart is your garden.

Let your dreams grow in your garden and blossom.

Never forget this place.

Your sacred place of gold and silver  

Your Sanctuary.

 

  

Sometimes At Night By Stella Scanlon

My tongue cut in halves;

Bitter words and old gold blooming leaves of the decayed cocoa tree.

They dance slowly in the midnight of the meridian sun.

But now the tears stop in the oyster shell balance of my nose.

The salt crystallizes in the bowl like holy water.

 

We used to lick this salt

Tasting none of the bitterness that blackens me now;

We tasted nothing but laughs, clutching the constellation quilt in our young hands.

I have forgotten those hands and that invisible taste.

 

I drowned, hanging onto my mink furs in the basilica,

I thought I held the cord trailing to the moon.

But here I opened unused eyes,

And proven in the black mirrors of fortune,

I found myself in the bath.

 

Letter To Our Readers

Dear Reader:

We want to be the voice of those who spend their days at the corner of Madison and Cathedral. You paint, you sing, you dance or you play music, but you may write for no one but yourself. Here’s the place to speak your mind: stories, poetry, essays, aphorisms, art of all kinds — send it here and we’ll share it with the world, or at least the tiny share of it that knows we’re here. Give us your voice — you have nothing to lose but your silence. Send it to the hard-working staff of madisonandcathedral@bsfa.org, or come to the library on Wednesday’s at 8 a.m. You’ll find us there.

 

–Andrew Selway

 

 

 

A-za-zi-ah by Khalilah Asaka

Beneath the brim of a worn Fedora,

placed limp on the frame of a brown face

pinched by dimples,

overshining gloom

The feather tucked in red ribbon

bobbed back and forth at the edge of the kitchen table

and I squinted,

irritable at my sight playing

tricks on me

Dark brown pupils which

drowned in the whites around it

suddenly bulged

and searched the figure

towering over

her

I watched her study the papers

loosely

tucked in my plaid button up

and bags dropped at my toes

The hat tumbled to the floor,

pushed out of place

and afro puffs

smelling of my lavender shampoo

clipped by blue barrettes

spring back,

into their natural state

a-za-zi-ah

was a sound that tickled my tongue,

a song I’ve never sung

 

before

in thought of the baby girl

that belonged to that name

She hobbled away

like a weeble wobble toy

and later I regretted

chuckling at a fear

so immense

and dark

swelling deep inside a body

that didn’t understand being

the refuge from an abusive man,

a father

It was a big step

for an outsider so

unfamiliar

if it weren’t for the leap

into the arms of a woman

whose stare

blank

looked straight through me

as if transparent

Had her eyes not watered

confused,

whether hands were used

to slap,

            to beat bruised back

or to hug

Nothing could be simple if she thought I was him

and I pulled her up far

higher than me

where ivy parted in windows

for sunshine to sneak through,

for blue jays to chirp messages

and so

he could again believe

that the plush middle of

Mr. Cuddles was his grizzly bear

heart

The beads strung on wire bars

which could be flicked

from one end to the next

were zooming rockets

And that frisky cats

with yellow eyes

gathered around teacups

for a sip of Red Zinger

She brought life to puppet strings,

making wooden jokers

dance out of their drawers

Seeing younger fingers,

turning the knobs

I hadn’t touched in years

frightened me

though

When I saved her, she saved me

            from forgetting.