Weekly Write: “Adobe Fires” by S.A. Leger

First published in Issue 8 of 2 Bridges Review, Summer 2019

Adobe Fires

Used to sing a song about him, maybe hum. Used to serve it
around Bridge Street, call him Leatherface or some such Ruthism.
Used it wrong again, didn’t I? Anyhow, he made ends meet
butchering hogs for corporate cook-outs & whittling—assisting
kids with whittling I mean. And lighting fires. ‘Dobe fires. Blest,
canonized with not one but two sickly wives & never, not once

breathe anything but pure lemon-sweet oxygen. I, the always
embers, I, the tongue that licks the clay. Hold me up, eighty-twenty
aspen shrapnel/help-wanted ads from the Sentinel, show me wretched
objects & I’ll show you the void that falls in line behind chastity
behind you. Your shadow and its void. It’s void & I’m the vacuum
that clears a room, fills it with smoke. I am feared, I am not alive

in 37 years did ole Deeprivers stay home. He lit fires. He lived
for that shit. Sometimes he walked back alleys collecting—when
pigs fly, we’d say, he’ll stop lighting ‘dobe fires—anyhow, he held
prob’ly six stems of dried tumbleweed, squeezed his fists, split
his knuckles just about. Walking alleys with stickers making love
to his leaking capillaries. See, tumbleweeds weren’t tinder. Hallowed

but empty, not really there at all. Unless you channel back, magnify
original thermodynamic laws. Then hold me. Then feel my record
sear. Lace up wounds from thorns. Cauterize the matrix of fish &
wasps forming new scar tissue as we speak. Perhaps I am never
the real enemy of white blood cells, plasma—at least, less selfish
than an infection. In my dreams they call me a fever, now disease

fuel for his fires, but again, never tinder. Maybe sagebrush feeds
his fires. I’m not even sure sagebrush will burn. He might’ve invoked
god’s favour by lighting those fires because he was carving up
a good piece of dirt with ash. No city folk ever complained. Exist
is all he did—that’s just ole Dinosaur bones—skin ratcheted certain
to the canyon walls of his sternum. Shirtless. There. Genderless

but not as shapeless as I appear. White then choked red with sex
with magnesium & minerals that colour me like water. Sustained
doubled by dry crackling splintering empty cellulose matter, not
once silent. Not once. I am all mouth & all teeth & all spit—sacred
tongue. I’ll take no credit for my discovery. You found me, ignited
my pain. I am all face, anguished with soot & you never have

mated with those sickly wives or wolves or the black starless part
of the night & of air-nursed sustenance & of exhaled dwellings.
Where is he now? Haven’t you heard a word I said? Frozen-holy

 

S.A. Leger is a biologist and writer from Colorado. After studying zoology and English at Colorado State University, she spent time researching the flora and fauna of Tasmania, of the islands of Puget Sound during her masters, and for the last six years, of Newfoundland. Leger currently works as a biology instructor at Memorial University.

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Weekly Write: “You Are My Symphony” by Adriana Estrada

You Are My Symphony

I hear you loud and clear
not obtrusive or ear-deafening
not at all like a three -man band

at first

just small notes
when you walked into my life
I didn’t know music could be made so easily
like every laugh, sound and noise
you made
was part of an echo.
like you made sure
that every note could only be heard
by me.
audience for one.

the chimes came in first

suddenly
your joy
and how you make the room listen to you
as if you were the concert master
and your baton was the way
for the air waves to direct music
to only my ears

then came the woodwinds

your likes
and dislikes,
the swiftness and easy-going attitude from a relationship
then came the brass
every factor that comes with new beginnings,
unexpected surprises,
and the early stages of
“look at me, love me!”

every note is different

and by what you play
and how you play it,
brings me that much closer to you

then come the strings

like a piano,
you create soothing melodies that I fall into peace
at first note

like the cello,

you show me man-made strength
that requires all of you
at all times
you don’t show me hollowness or emptiness
instead,

your music keeps playing-

in the crevices of my heart I didn’t know existed
in the most profound hallways to my soul
that I have never let anyone else walk through

last come the percussion,

with bangs
with eruption
with cymbal
and pitch
I’m here.
I love you.

I LOVE YOU.

with that much intensity
with that much passion
I don’t know how you manage to play them all
I didn’t even know you could.
not that I underestimated your talents
but when you show me
how your love is just for me

I found myself without words.

I didn’t have a ticket to enter
I didn’t even have a reserved seat
yet you gave me the entire room
to hear you play
I managed to book a concierto that bears my love
in its entirety

I only came in to hear the first note
and I was given the whole symphony.

 

Adriana Estrada is a writer (poet) who uses her craft and poetry to create recollections of poetry that illustrate experiences. She is currently enrolled as a second-year graduate student at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota under their MFA Low-Residency Creative Writing program. She is from Texas.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Are you ready for the Weekly Write?

Starting next Sunday, January 6 2019, follow this site for a new featured work of writing every week.

The Weekly Write will post a variety of poetry and prose. Each week, read our new addition and if you like it and share it, it may be featured in the 2019 Swimming with Elephants Print Anthology.

The twenty pieces with the most “likes” and “shares” get a spot in our 2019 anthology, so don’t be shy about promoting the work you like, especially if it is your own work.

If you would like to learn more about our yearly anthology, click here to check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 for the current low price of $7.95 plus free shipping through Amazon Prime. This collection features a variety of poetry from around the world and would make a great addition to any poetry lovers collection.

Tune in next Sunday and every following Sunday until October 2019, for the Weekly Write.

Swimming with Elephant Soiree THIS SATURDAY!

Make your way down to Tortuga Gallery this Saturday to join us in celebrating five years of publishing under Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

An size donation will get you in the door, but a minimum 5$ donation will get you a SwEP Swag bag.

We will have a limited supply of books for sale at the event. All available books will be priced at 10$ each or three for 20$. Bring cash or credit card (a 1$ service charge will be added for credit card purchases). If you want to be sure to have a certain book signed by one of our performing poets, you are encouraged to purchase it prior to the event and bring it along.

Many of our poets will also be bringing their personal crafts to sell at the event so come get some shopping done for the holidays.

Poetry Performers include:

Bassam, Emily Bjustrom, Matthew Brown, Courtney Butler, SaraEve Fermin, Kat Heatherington, Zachary Kluckman, Manuel Gonzalez, Sarita Sol Gonzalez, Jessica Helen Lopez, Kristian Macaron, Gina Marselle, Manuel Montoya, Mary Oishi, Liza Wolff Francis

Musical Guests:

Kai Ocean

Marion Carrillo

Bring Food!

This is a pot luck, bring your own beverage event (Yes, alcoholic beverages are okay, just be responsible).

Please attempt to bring reusable plates/cups etc. View Tortuga’s Zero Waste Goals for more information. 

Featured

Open Call for Chapbooks 2018

THE OPEN CALL

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC (SwEP) is hosting a chapbook open call to find some fresh work and new voices. With over 50 publications under our belt, SwEP works hard to represent our authors and create publications of which our authors are proud. Please visit our website and check out some of our publications to see if we are a good fit for your writing, then polish up your best pieces to submit.

From our submissions, our guest judges will choose three for publication. All our publications include an ISBN, Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC contract, and creative control over cover and production. For more information on what SwEP provides its authors or to see a general contract, please email us.

In the past we have run this as a competition with a first, second, and third place, and various prizes awarded based on rank. This year we are not placing the submissions and instead, will choose three (3) to publish. All three chosen publications will receive the same award of 25 author copies.

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

SwEP is seeking previously unpublished manuscripts of poems 25-75 pages in length. We are looking for well-crafted, visceral and daring material that promotes crossing physical/psychological/spiritual/gendered borderlands, therefore breaking boundaries and blurring the lines.

SwEP enjoys promoting diverse voices and are particularly interested in poetry that promotes an innate intersectionality of social issues and a deep respect for humanity. We like our poetry achingly raw and true to who YOU are as a writer.

We have a goal of promoting marginalized voices and those who are most often overlooked. If you feel your work doesn’t have a place to ‘fit,’ it may be perfect for us.

Open to writers worldwide, the open call is facilitated as a blind submission process via SwEP Submissions Manger. Additionally, all finalists will be considered for further SwEP publications and features.

HINTS

  • Get to know our press to make sure we are a good fit for you and your publication goals. Explore our website, order some of our publications, review our works on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Goodreads.
  • Send your best work. Make sure your collection is complete, edited, and polished before hitting the submit button.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Swimming with Elephants Publications accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee ($25) exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. To learn why we change a submission fee, please click here.

We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

All entries are read blind. All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the collection). Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman. (More creative fonts may be incorporated after publications – see books by Wil Gibson as an example.)

Identifying information for the author should not be included anywhere on the manuscript itself, including in the name of your file or in the “title” field in Submittable. Please include a brief bio and your publication goals in the cover letter on Submittable, which will be made accessible to the editorial panel only after the Finalist manuscripts has been chosen. It is important to include your publication goals. If your goals are outside of our abilities, we will let you know.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript from Submittable immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.

Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the open call) are permitted. A separate submission fee is required for each submission.

OUR GUEST JUDGES:

Maxine Peseke

Maxine L. Peseke is a book reviewer, editor, and administrator with Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC. Her poetry can be found on our website as well as various anthologies. She plays an intricate role in website and social media maintenance.

Her work has previously appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of Catching Calliope, in both the poetry and prose sections; and she has worked previously as a coordinator and host of Valencia County’s first poetry slam and open mic, encouraging new and young writers to participate in the active poetry community in Albuquerque.
During her time as an active member of the ABQ slam poetry community, she qualified and placed third in the OUTSpoken Queer Poetry Slam Championship, in 2013, and again in 2014 when she tied for third place.

In 2013, she was among the top 10 female poets in Albuquerque and competed to represent the city at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam. In 2015, following a brief hiatus, she competed and qualified for the Slam of Enchantment finals stage, where she placed in the top five and represented New Mexico at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland.

Lately, she loves on other writers and can be found in an snowy small town in Northern Ontario, where she finds poetry in the giggles of her two girls and in every falling leaf, though her neighbours know her as the lady who tells her dogs to stop barking all too frequently.

 

Gina Marselle

Gina Marselle, M.A.Ed, resides in New Mexico with her husband and children. She is a high school English teacher, and finds enjoyment in being creative through poetry, painting, and photography. She has been awarded three grants for various philanthropy poetic projects. In addition, she has published poetic work with The Sunday Poem Online Series, in the Alibi, the Rag, SIC3, Adobe Walls: An anthology of New Mexico poetry, Catching Calliope, Fix and Free Poetry Anthology I and II, and La Palabra Anthology I and II.

Gina reads her poetry at local coffee shops, art galleries, and has been a featured poet at the Church of Beethoven (now known as Sunday Chatter). She has one chapbook (self published) titled ‘Round Midnight (2012). Furthermore, she has coordinated the poetry event for the Summer Open Space Series sponsored by The City of Albuquerque since 2009. Currently, she is honored to be part of the collective La Palabra: The Word is a Woman, which is a writer’s collective founded by poet Jessica Helen Lopez.

Beyond poetry, she is an accomplished photographer. Her photos of New Mexico poets have been featured in the Santa Fe magazine Trend (March of 2011). She also photographed the cover of Jessica Helen Lopez’ poetry book, Always Messing With Them Boys (West End Press, 2011), and has her photography featured in September: traces of letting go a poetry book by Katrina K Guarascio (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014).