Sarah Pape teaches English and works as the Managing Editor of Watershed Review at Chico State. Her poetry and prose has recently been published in: Passages North, Ecotone, Crab Orchard Review, Bluestem, The Pinch, Smartish Pace, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and others. Her chapbook, Ruination Atlas, was published this year (dancing girl press). She curates community literary programming and is a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
Smell the deep funk of the orchard overwatered in high heat:
Walnut, almond, olive—rows stuttering in the periphery
between our two dark towns.
The men, given to taking things apart, showed you
the molten solder, a sense of wires.
Ten squares made the town that made you. Mine, green hills.
My molars ached to taste the callous, the origin sweat.
You held a flag for crop dusters, running diagonal
to mark invisible lines. Whir of propeller called you.
I tried hard, but couldn’t imagine the tilled earth patterns
you traced over my stomach, your finger wings hovering.
We thought ourselves pure, felt the sun and poison rising up.
(Prick of the Spindle, Issue 6)
Michael Spring, of southern Oregon, will be reading primarily from his fourth poetry book Unfolding the Field. His other books are: blue crow, Mudsong, and Root of Lightning (Finalist for the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award). He has won several awards for his poetry, including The Robert Graves Award, the Turtle Island Poetry Award, and most recently a 2016 Luso-American Fellowship from DISQUIET International. He is featured reading a poem about cockroaches, in collaboration with composer-musician Martin Birke, on the CD Your Sleekest Engine by Genre Peak (Gonzo Multimedia, 2016). Michael is a natural builder, a martial art instructor, and a poetry editor for the Pedestal Magazine.
the neighborhood dogs didn’t hear me
when I climbed over the fence
and passed the yellow plastic Buddha
and the smashed grocery cart tangled in ivy
I walked around the brambles
and the hobo camps
where hotdogs burned on garbage can lids
when I found the red clay banks
I followed the river
looking for rainbows on the surface of fish
I walked under the tree
where Regino hanged himself
beyond the brown scum of river shallows
and the muck gripping tin cans
and broken bottles
I walked over mildewed clothes
to avoid stepping on the dead gull
I’m lucky the neighborhood dogs didn’t hear me
as I followed the river
over boulders and fallen trees
into a field of tall grass
(from Unfolding the Field)