Curbside Quotidian

Letter From the Editors

World Read Aloud Day 2012 by the editors

World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.

By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

Find out more at Lit World!

Table of Contents

In this issue (October 2011) by Curbside Quotidian

Letter From the Editors

Issue 4 (October 2011) by The Editors

Dear Readers,

We are cocooning. We are building, adding, deconstructing, reconstructing, cutting off the baby fat, frying it and serving it for dinner. We are changing, metamorphosing. Like a duck on the internet’s pond, we are furiously kicking our legs beneath the surface, fighting, trying new things, burning the midnight oil and sleeping through day jobs, dreaming and shit.

What does that mean in English? Well, we have a new layout, for one. All the better to accommodate two new features. One is a writing workshop. We all know (or should!) that constructive feedback does a body good. You can use the brand new submission form to send us poetry or prose you need advice on, and we will give you that advice and open up your submission to comments from our wonderful readers (that would be you!).

The second is something more ethereal – a sort of caption contest which “offers writers an opportunity to riff off an image and bring new significance to its forms in 300 words or less.” Think of it as a writing prompt, an exercise in thought-generation.

Look out for these two thing in the coming week. And don’t worry, this week we have some old favorites and some new gems to keep you occupied. Curbside Quotidian has gained some weight (hopefully in all the right places)! So pull up a little closer, enjoy our bountiful beauty and the sweet morsels we have for you today…

Love,
The Editors

Fine Art

Lily by Codrina Cazacu

Codrina Cazacu is a 19 year old photographer from Romania. And in the madness of college life, photography has become a point of escape and stability. With no defined style, she finds inspiration from music and movies. If you would like to see more, you can find Codrina on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bittersweetsunshines/ and tumblr: http://seaembraces.tumblr.com/.

Poetry

The Joy of Crushed Grapes by Daniel Fitzsimmons

 

Piano keys unlock your shut ears

and the music is upon you.

 

-

 

Reaching out, she brushes your arm,

the whole world turns to gold,

and you can’t help but love her.

 

-

 

I can still remember the days

when the joy of crushed grapes

was in the sweetness of the juice,

not the strength of the wine.

 

Daniel enjoys writing poems, playing rugby, brewing beer and dancing like a fool at weddings. He hopes you enjoy his poems, but thinks you should try to write your own so that he has more to read.

Fiction

The Pilgrim by Kara Vernor

His beer-battered tongue engorged her little mouth like horse balls, a hair from which unfurled to scratch at her uvula.  It flitted in the purgatory of her throat even after he dislodged. When her face came into focus, he told her to leave.

She did remember how to walk, but her room at the end of the house was no other country.  Stopping by her closet there, she took her black dress and did what he said.  At the edge of her yard, where grass gave way to a bank of redwoods, she threw the dress over her clothes, grabbed her cardboard Mayflower, and sailed down the bank, the forest a curtain closing behind her.

When she reached the bottom of the bank, she sat with her toes in a cold creek.  A salamander winked at her and crept in.  The water carried it over a rock’s ledge, and it did not resurface downstream.  She watched for an era as the water flowed on without it.

Standing now, she pushed over a log, a home to a nest of grub-worms.  She saw the forest was littered with fallen branches.  Were grubs under each of them?  Did they writhe beneath her in the humus?

Sighting a banana slug, she picked up a stick and speared it.  Purple blood gushed, and its body contorted around the wound.  She heard her mother’s voice telling her she should know better, as if knowing better somehow meant she’d know what else to do.

From above the light thinned. She dropped the stick and marched back, leaving her boat at the bottom of the bank.

Kara Vernor lives in Napa. Her stories have appeared in Word Riot, Todd Point Review, and Bike Monkey Magazine. She was this year’s fiction fellow at the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, and has a story forthcoming in the Pale Horse Review.

Fine Art

Girl by Walker Fee

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Walker Fee has been creating and showing artwork in New York City for nearly 10 years. His paintings have been showcased in various solo and group exhibitions across the United States, including Los Angeles and New York City, and internationally in Shanghai, China. In the spring of 2011, he participated in Sing for Hope’s “Pop-Up Piano” program, taping an upright piano for public display and performance in NYC’s Times Square.

Walker’s online portfolio and event listings can be viewed on his website at www.walkerfee.com.

Poetry

Making a Point by Kenneth Gurney

We set our egos aside to continue
an earnest political debate
and our egos walked off
to some shady place
and spread a picnic blanket
upon the grass and dandelions
while we explored our ideas
of the role of government
in the fried chicken industry
and how congress should pass
the potato salad bill
while the judiciary
should cease legislating
how many chocolate chip cookies
a conscientious weight watcher
may consume on a day
when colorful balloons
seurat the sky.

Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA. He edits Adobe Walls, an anthology of New Mexico’s poetry. To view a full biography, publication credits and available books visit http://www.kpgurney.me/Poet/Welcome.html

Poetry

She Agrees With the Verb by Elizabeth Goodwin

She falls backward. There’s urine leakage. But just a little. She speaks French, except when she doesn’t, which is most of the time. She speaks everything except French, which is to say, she speaks English. She loses her train of thought. She throws the baby out with the bathwater. She agrees with the verb.

She’s suddenly interested in colostrum and meconium. She is suddenly not interested in anything at all. Time agrees with the verb and gets the hell out of Ohio. She thinks the West swallowed the sun. She stays flat on her back. There’s eye leakage. But just a little. Her dog takes psychiatric medication. She takes her dog to the vet. She is still flat on her back. That’s not right. She’s on her side. She’s on her left side. She’s not looking at the person who used to be there. To her left, that is. She wears pants with elastic waist bands and can’t imagine wearing anything else. The elastic agrees with the verb.

She calls something called The Helpline. She leaves on the outside lights. She puts on his shirt. She takes it off. She drinks a non-alcoholic beer. She reads a religious text. She puts on the cat’s pajamas. There’s urine leakage. This time from the cat. She cleans it up. She cuts herself bangs. She wonders what the hell went wrong with Marlon Brando. She wonders when her specially-ordered tennis shoes will come in. What about that ship? Marlon Brando agrees with the verb.

She finds an old list. She reads it. She does everything on the old list again. She sets her clocks back so the sun will rise when she gets up at four in the morning to pee. She commits to filling a page. She commits to eating five a day, the color way. She goes vegan every other day. She listens to the wind deconstruct her roof. She meets with a lawyer. She takes notes. She takes note. The city. The Round Bar at the Holiday Inn. She resolves not to meet with lawyers. The lawyer agrees with the verb.

She contracts. It’s nothing. She practices breast feeding a teddy bear. There’s colostrum leakage. But just a little. She folds little hats. She doesn’t wear hats anymore because she has bangs. She decides against bangs. But it’s too late. She decides against filling a page. But it’s too late.

Elizabeth Goodwin’s poetry has been featured in The English Journal and Prairie Margins. In 2002, she won Bowling Green State University’s Howard McCord Prize for Poetry for her poem “Metempsychosis.” She was a featured reader at Ohio Magazine’s poetry booth at the Columbus Arts Festival in 2007, 2008, and 2010. Elizabeth currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her daughter, Amelia.

Fine Art

Haven by Allie Falco

Allie Falco was born and raised in New York City.

Poetry

Sealed with a Kiss by Inge Hoonte

Inge Hoonte is a writer, performance, video and sound artist with an interest in how notions of privacy, identity, and behavioral routines shape the tension between reaching out and keeping one’s distance in interpersonal communication and physicality. The artists’ book ‘I was 28 in 1923,’ a collaboration with filmmaker Noe Kidder, was featured in Requited Journal.