Over the last ten issues, cahoodaloodaling has gone from a very small online press to surviving past its first year – a feat for a small press, many of which do not last long out here on the internet. As we’ve grown, we’ve gone from receiving primarily submissions from yet unpublished poets to having a mailbox of submissions from both fledgling poets and veterans. It has been incredibly exciting for us watching our readership and amount of submissions grow; however, that has made our job harder. There were submissions we loved, but could not include in this issue. So let us know what you think. Or, better yet, leave the author some feedback in our comments.
Submissions will be closed until November/December as our next issue will be dedicated to our In Cahoots Contest winner and runner-ups. In the meantime, tell us what YOU want to see as prompts up at cahoodaloodaling – right now we are considering “Where I’m From” and a special “Prose Only” issue as future possibilities.
Guest Editor’s Spotlight – Jessica’s Favorite
Aubade by C.J. Matthews
Under the darkened sliver of dawn’s sleek seam
Morning possums, awakening, but not awake
Poised on the high cliffs of daybreak, motionless
In an imminence that longs for light.
Now my thoughts flare in a tarantella of fireweed worries
Then settle heavy into the lonely proposition of night’s edgy allure.
Under the lingering sickle of a wandering moon
When 4am’s chameleon reversals orphan distractions
When stiff winds spread songs sung into the flat face of an aged night
When all year long, I am fluent in the bald language of winter
Its terrible pleasure grows stronger, sadder since you were lost.
Rushed away, you now voyage starlight alone.
I worry you are burdened by my smoldering grief.
Do you remember the way your death set fire to our maps?
Now I carry only rocks in my disappointing guts
Leaving no trail of crumbs
Only a hard comma grimace bedraggling my aging face
A face you may no longer recognize.
Sometimes your voice comes, imagined:
Hey sweetie sweetie hey
And then I quicken my song to you
Eager to apologize
The ground note of my milled sorrow: regret
I promised you bravery in your absence
Yet the slow, ascending syllable of my sorrow
Disturbs your peace, I suspect
My displaced love lugging its shadow of sadness still
Into the dark, drape-drawn room.
Shelled like a tortoise was your goodbye
Your leave-taking, even to the last, oblique
Yet my love for you refuses easy dispersal.
Your grave is, to you, a small unfocused blur–
An anaesthetic link to sight, to sound.
To me, your grave is the call for all extinction
Its reality having travelled the map of my soundless dark
Never arriving at my not-quite-nearly-half-drunk heart.
I was inspired to write “Aubade” by reading a set of aubades the poet Michael Morse shared with me in Iowa City, including “Aubade” by Linda Hull, “Waking, 2:34″ by David Wojahn, “Appalachian Aubade” by Traci Brimhall, “Aubade” by Catherine Barnett, “Aubade” by Terese Svoboda, “Aubade in Autumn” by Peter Everwine, “Leave-Taking” by Louis Bogan, “Aubade” by Devin Johnson, and “Aubade” by Philip Larkin. The aubade is a poem born in the wee hours of the morning that features a quiet farewell to a lover or loved one. A special form of poetry, the aubade strikes me as complex and meditative, lonely and longing, in a loving sort of way.
C.J. Matthews (not pictured), a teacher of writing and a facilitator of writing groups for nearly two decades, earned her B.A. at Cornell College and her Master’s at the University of Iowa. She adores reading, writing, traveling, live music, elegant food, bold red wine, and her two little dogs, Hercules and Hucklebee. Sometimes, like Emerson, she is glad to the brink of fear. Mostly, like the rest of us, she’s simply grateful to be alive. C.J. is a managing editor at 3Elements Review and her poetry will appear in the October 2013 issue of Spoilage Magazine.
Little Yellow Horses by Franz Marc
Little Yellow Horses
In the golden dew
of the dappling sun
little yellow horses
graze on yellow grass—
it is a morning
and they know
the scent of autumn
winter on their heels
and they must move
to greener ground.
What struck me about this painting was its simplicity in creating an
image without pretension or embellishment. I tried to write the poems in the
Neil Ellman discovered his love and poetry and art while in high school. Because he fancied himself a poet, and quickly realized that the had no artistic talent whatsoever, he devoted himself to the literary arts. However, he did not write seriously for another forty years until after his retirement from a long career in public education. It was only then that he discovered a way to combine poetry and art, and it was only after that he discovered a word for it–ekphrasis. As a result, he has published more than 800 poems, more than 500 of which are ekphrastic, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.
Senior Citizens at the Retirement Center Discuss
John Ashbery’s “More Reluctant”
I was doing okay until I got to the
wake-up call part. Is he famous, this
Ashbery? Rambling on about
nobody knows what – That’s what
he’s doing. Is all his poetry like this?
I thought there were going to be snacks.
What’s that word ‘spalls?’ Did anyone bring a
dictionary? Maybe it’s a typo.
I think he’s talking about a dream.
I like the part about out of control
but mature. Sometimes I feel that way.
Don’t we all? What’s that noise?
Lummox? What lummox? It’s just Al,
winding the clock. No, I mean
in the poem. How old is this Ashbery guy?
I like the part where he says,
When I was young, I thought of myself as
enduring. Maybe he’s visiting his home town
after being away. He says it’s changed.
observe customs of the spruce of the year—
It must be Christmas. Why’s he talking about pee
all of a sudden? What’s an
awful leaf and how is it congruent?
You brought it– You explain it.
Maybe it’s not that
I’m stupid; maybe he’s just a bad poet.
Maybe this is one of his rejects.
It was in the New Yorker. It must be good.
Who says? Wait. Do you think– maybe you’re supposed to
not analyze it, just kind of
feel it, like
In the last line – it’s not easy
for the poet either.
A few years ago my mother invited me to accompany her to a class on American Poetry being taught by a retired teacher at her retirement center. I was impressed with the quality of the discussion on Yeats and other poets, but when it came to John Ashbery, even the teacher was confused. I simply took notes on the discussion, finding them perceptive, bright, poignant and delightfully honest.
Faith Paulsen works full-time as all of the following: mom, wife, pet lover, insurance customer service rep, volunteer and writer – and possibly more, depending on the day of the week, not necessarily in that order. Her work has appeared in journals and collections including philly.com, Apiary, Wild River Review, Literary Mama, Blast Furnace, Musehouse Journal, three Cup of Comfort collections, and four Chicken Soup for the Soul books including the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenting on the Spectrum. She lives in Norristown, PA.
Deborah Edler Brown
you make me want to hold my breasts
and keep them where they belong.
What is this fury
and fascination with women?
Multiplying and dividing
lives, loves, lines and geometry,
separating east breast from west,
nose from mouth,
one here with a wife
here, with a lover and child,
but never whole.
I weep for your women,
hung in oil and fragmented.
I hold my breasts in this bustling gallery
look at image after image
with arms wrapped tightly around me
before body parts fall off in despair.
True story. I was walking through the Picasso exhibit in Los Angeles and realized that I had my arms wrapped around my breasts, as if to keep them where they belong. I made a joke about it, then pulled out my notebook to record the line. The whole poem spilled out.
“Cubism” was first published in Kalliope, where it won the 2005 Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Prize, and then again for Moontide’s Press Poet of the Month in September 2010.
Deborah Edler Brown (not pictured) was born in Brazil and raised in Pittsburgh. She was the 2005 winner of the Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Prize, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart. She loves to dance…in body, imagination, and in words. Links to her work and performances can be found at www.DeborahEdlerBrown.com.
Anaïs Nin. A Poem. Unread.
Fresh from the Fire.
From the head
One- hundred pairs of ambered feet.
Pale they walk.
Fresh from the fire
A tis’it a task ‘it
A little straw basket.
A Poet killed by other poets.
A poem. Unread.
She knows them.
The named. And unnamed.
In Harlem and Spain.
Memory is a great betrayer.
The naked and the dead.
A poem. Unread.
In the forests of
Getting and forgetting
Old trees sing
Eve’n tide vespers
In tones of green greys.
Weird wing’d Nightwinds
In turquoised whispers.
Woman as houseboat.
Une oeuvre inachevee,
m.f. nagel (not pictured) lives in Alaska.
these are the things I leave behind:
love like a headstrong art,
a barrage of skyscrapers lined up
a strange, surreal cityscape
with furtive alcoves and concave places
in which I hid my secrets.
perhaps one day I will
walk these streets without
stringing regret along at my heels—
I will greet the weeds
that struggle through the concrete
Inspired by The City, a song written and performed by Unwoman.
Najia Khaled is a poetess who enjoys reading, playing ukulele, and drinking more tea than is probably strictly good for you. She attends University of Rochester and is working on a double major in English literature and astrophysics, the latter of which finds ways to sneak into her poetry rather often. She has been published by Creative Communication, Anthology of Poetry, Inc., and Word Smiths, among others, but the best place to find her is at toxic-nebulae.deviantart.com. Some say that she can be invoked by sprinkling glitter over a field of wildflowers at dawn, but these rumours have yet to be confirmed. She is a former contributing editor to cahoodaloodaling.
About Our Guest Editor
Jessica Lindsay began poetry the same way she began photography: when someone told her “Hey, you’re pretty good.” Of course, “pretty good” is seventh grade was actually morbidly bad, and it wasn’t until her junior year of high school that she realized that poetry could be something more than teenage angst. So her poetry turned more into snapshots of her life, and when her interest in photography grew, her writing hit a rather large block that she constantly struggles to get through. Well, that and inner peace doesn’t really give an emotional writer much to work with.
To date, all of her favorite poems happen to be the ones about her very dysfunctional family. Figures. She is currently trying to write a novel, but that is forever a work in progress simply because she always wants to skip to the “good stuff”.
She is very shy about people in her life reading her poetry, so it can only be found on Jessicaconk.deviantart.com. She was once published in her community college’s lit mag and got honorable mention for a horrible story back in eighth grade.