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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 

Magazine of the Arts at UNCG 

Spring 1995 
Volume XCIX 
Number Three 


Jennifer Weaver 

Production Manager 

Rick Spencer 

Literary Editor 

Rebecca Johnson 

Assistant Literary Editor 

Gina Calloway 

Nonaction Editor 

Erin Stratford 

Art Editor 

Stephanie Shaw 

Assistant Art Editor 

Verniesa Allen 

Art Staff 

Nichole Bower 
Johanna Bowen 


Jack Thomson 

Editorial Assistant 

Kathryn Andrews 


Harper Piver 

Faculty Advisor 

Dr. Charles Tisdale 

Coraddi is published by the University Media Board of The University of North CaroUna at Greensboro. It is funded by 
the student body and distributed free. 

Special thanks to: Dr. Charles Tisdale, Margaret Shearin, The Carolinian. Janice Thompson. Felicia Bond. Stuart 
Comfort, Christopher Schwarzen, Tate Street Coffee House. Mama. Daddy. Ben, Nana, Noel, Michael Parker, Stuart 
Dischell, UNCG University Archives. UNCG Creative Services. Client Ser\rices, Paul Batt, Kathleen Ahern, Michael Santulll. 
that guy at Wolf Camera, Pec 12, info desk folks, and the Broadcast and Cinema Department. 

The following businesses graciously sponsored the art and fiction contests: Cup A Joe. Addams Bookstore. Know 
Juan, Ben & Jerrys, Atticus Books, The Intimate Bookshop, Thai Garden, Southern Photo Print and Supply Company, 
and the UNCG Bookstore. 

Coraddi welcomes any form of creative or critical work mailed or delivered to Room 205. Box 1 1. Elliott Univer- 
sity Center, UNCG, Greensboro. NC 27412. 

Printed by Jostens Publishing Company, Winston-Salem, NC. Harry Thomas, Account Representative. 

Cover: Ben Billingsley: Painting Without Chair 
©Coraddi 1995 


Fiction Contest 

50 First Place: From Water by Marisa Taylor 

27 Second Place: Herbs and Other Cures by Sarah Atkinson 

6 Third Place: Deer and Hunters by Yulia Borodyanskaya 

62 About the Judge: Dr. Charles Tisdale 


13 Evening /Vby Stuart Dischell 

14 Another Dead Twentieth Century Poetess by Kimberly Holzer 
16 Cojfee by Gregg Carroll 

18 Fire in the Fields by Sascha Dallas 

2 1 Indiana 1 974, The Hollow by Chuck Turner 

22 Kepler by David Teague 

25 Upon Lx)oking at a Map of Pamlico Sound by Sean Butler 

38 Once Alone by Gregg Carroll 

43 There Are Monsters Within Us by Chuck Turner 

48 Texas Rattle by Lenna Nichole Burnette 

59 Translation by Yulia Borodyanskaya 


33 First Place Sculpture: Red Dream by Lisa Chicoyne 

44 First Place Drawing: Orange Monsters by Miguel Martin 

44 First Place Painting: Beavers by Leanne Blake 

33 Second Place Overall: Winter Fountain by Paul Batt 

36 Third Place Overall: Empty Bowl by Robert LaBranche 

63 About the Judge: Margaret Shearin 

5 The Trees by Denman Wall 

1 1 Archival Photograph taken in UNCG's Peabody Park 

12 Satchmo in my Living Room by Beth Aronson 
1 7 Holy Roller by Jon Smith 

1 9 Oak Hill Ivy by Adele Deaton 

20 Soma by Monica Rief 

23 Helmet #3 by Keny Home 

23 Helmet #4 by Kerry Home 

24 The Reclining Man by Denman Wall 
26 Fire Escape by Adele Deaton 

34 Sacred Vessels 11 by Kathleen Ward 

35 Sacred Vessels I by Kathleen Ward 

36 I-Way by Baron Toler 

37 Untitled by Karen Ingram 

37 A Lesson for "S." by Ben Billingsley 

39 Archival Photograph taken in UNCG's Peabody Park 

40 Fertility Goddess by John Mclntyre 

40 Strider by Kerry Home 

41 SelJ-Portrait by Sean McDaniel 

4 1 Who's There by Beth Aronson 

42 First Shadow by Lisa Chicoyne 

42 Shadow by Lisa Chicoyne 

43 Medici Sleeping by Beth Aronson 
45 Knowledge is Pow by Ruth Stone 

45 Conversation and Dance by Roger Goldenberg 

46 Untitled by Marian Humphrey 

47 Nobody Loves Me by Paul Batt 

48 Hold Please by Leanne Blake 

49 Boingy Jumping by Jack Thomson 

56 / Free I by Robert Carter 

57 Archival Photograph taken in UNCG's Peabody Park 

60 Mattock by Jon Smith 

6 1 Equivalence by Jon Smith 
64 Reprint from 1986 Coraddi 

Illustrations in From Water by Scott Raynor 
Illustrations in Herbs and Other Cures by Nichole Bower 
Illustrations in Deer and Hunters by Verniesa Allen 

Not all work printed in this issue was subject to jury. 

Denman Wall: The Trees, charcoal on paper 

Deer and Hunters 

Yulia Borodyanskaya 

nee when I was nine, I knew 
what love was. It became a shared 
knowledge between me and two of my girl 
friends, Nastya and Sasha. The three of us 
figured it out. 

That year we spent most of our time 
at school, from early morning until evening, 
when our parents got off work and came to 
pick us up. There was a special after -school 
group organized for the ones like us who 
lived far away and could not walk home by 
ourselves. The supervisor who stayed with 
us had a plump wart above her upper lip, 
and always pleaded for our attention, 
saying: "Listen here!" If it was not for that 
wart and her funny grammar, the woman 
would be hardly noticeable. She usually left 
us alone to roam the school building and 
the territory around it. But first we would 
race to get the homework done as fast as 
possible. After standing in line to get her 
approval — a big check mark in red pencil 
on the margins — we would get out of the 
classroom and go wherever we wished. "Only 
do not go behind the fence!" the wart-woman 
would instruct. And we did not. There was 
too much to do within the fenced grounds. 

Nastya, Sasha and 1 always fled from 
the rest of the girls, who played skipping- 
rope, drew cartoon characters on the asphalt 

with colored chalk, and braided each other's 
hair. We did not join the boys either — all they 
ever did was play soccer. We made up our 
own games. 

When spring came, our favourites 
were "The Spy," "Deer and Hunters," and 
'The Three Musketeers." Outside, the red 
brick of the school building blended with the 
brown of last year's rotten leaves. The fence 
was an old concrete grating shaped into a 
lacy pattern with few holes in it, big enough 
for escape. The world outside the school 
grounds seemed so far away then, the school 
and the yard creating a quiet niche, 
securing us from the traffic and noise of St. 

We knew the place better than 
anyone else, except maybe the janitors. 
There were chipped front steps painted red. 
a soccer field with two basketball hoops, a 
row of private garages which were easy to 
climb, aligned along the fence. Ever\i:hing 
presented itself as a generous offering to our 

Playing "The Three Musketeers" was 
not easy without horses, so Nastya 
suggested climbing an old apple tree: she 
claimed it for her horse. She even called it 
"Horse." That's just how she was: she'd come 
up with something new and make the best 

of it. Sasha and I could never catch up. 

I picked the tree next to Nastya's, a 
big sturdy one with many branches spread 
out comfortably for climbing. That was my 
"Fork." 1 was the nice one among us, and 
reserved Sasha a tree too, but she was afraid 
to tear up her dress, and never climbed up. 
Every time we played, Nastya would take her 
fitted black wool apron off, and stay in the 
itchy brown dress with pleated skirt and 
white collar and cuffs. That was our 
uniform, so hated and never washed often 
enough. Sasha somehow managed to keep 
her collar and cuffs clean, her hair in 
accurate page-boy cut. She was the neat one, 
and I fit right in between them: tidy at first, 
1 got disheveled after a few minutes of 
running around. Nastya 
pulled her thick dishwater- 
blond strands of hair into a 
tight braid, tied it with a dark 
ribbon, and let it dangle 
between her shoulder blades. 
Then she was ready to play. 

One spring day, not 
long before the school recess, 
we were making a round of 
our property. "Let's climb the 
garages," said Nastya, and 
hurried on towards them. She 
knew we would not follow her, 
and even though she did not 
care, we always followed her, 
as if Sasha and I could not 
come up with a good idea. 

Up on the garages, it 
smelled of tar and blooming 
bird cherries. The roofs were 
covered with bird dung, trash, 
and chalk writings: swear 
words, love confessions, and 
promises of revenge. "You just wait!" read 
one, written in bright yellow spray paint. It 
could be anjAthing, a threat or a promise, 
but Nastya insisted upon suspense. "Maybe 
someone is going to kill somebody, here. 

tonight!" she gasped. She loved the idea, but 
I just went on along the roofs, picking up 
fallen cherry flowers and sucking nectar out 
of the petals. 

When I returned, I saw Sasha 
choosing a clean spot among the writings 
and sitting down. The sun shone straight 
on her, warming up her wool dress and thick 
cotton stockings. "Aren't you hot?" I asked 
her. She said she did not mind the heat, and 
started reading scribbled love notes over 
again, whispering the names out loud. 
"That's silly," 1 said. "If I liked someone, I 
would not write about it all over the place." 
"Yes, you would." Nastya leaped down 
from the tree that grew right next to the 
garages, where she was hidden among the 
green-covered branches. 

"You just want to argue 
with me, Nastya!" I was 

"Well, you just wait," she 

The next day we got into 
trouble. Not "we," but Nastya, 
of course. Sasha and I just 
followed her. Before doing 
homework, she led us to the 
cafeteria to get some black 
bread for a snack. We really 
were supposed to pay for it, a 
kopek for a slice, but a sliced 
loaf sitting out in a tray near 
the doorway was tempting. So 
easy to steal. Nastya waited for 
the cafeteria workers to go Into 
the kitchen, grabbed a stack 
of thick slices, and winked at 
us: "Hurry up!" I counted off 
three pieces from the pile, and 
shoved them behind the front 
of my apron. Sasha did not take any. 

We ran, faster and faster, afraid of our 
own footsteps echoing in the corridors. When 
we reached our classroom, we burst into 
laughter: what a scare it was! During the 

study time, Nastya kept rolling balls out of 
her bread. She kneaded soft pieces with her 
fingers, until they became more and more 
like clumps of grayish plaster, and sealed 
the balls' roundness with saliva. I sat next 
to her at the desk, pretending to be 
studious. Then Nastya started popping the 
bread balls into her mouth, and playing 
finger soccer with the last one remaining on 
the desk. Crumbs were covering her apron 
and notebooks. Next thing 1 saw was our 
supervisor, quietly approaching us. 

"What is it that you have there?" Her 
voice sounded unusually sharp. 1 looked at 
Nastya with horror and saw her smile 
innocently at the supervisor, while 
swallowing the bread ball without chewing. 
I could almost trace its shape going down 
her throat, and I hugged my own bread 
closer to my chest. 

"You should not play with the bread 
wasting it like this. Look at all this mess! 
You will have to stay after you are done with 
homework, and clean up," she said walking 
away. "On second thought, don't go outside 
at all, you should learn for the future not to 
play with your bread." She turned around. 
Nastya stuck her bread-covered tongue at 

Of course we stayed with Nastya, out 
of solidarity. Upstairs, on the third floor, 
there was a big assembly hall with dusty 
parquet laid out in a checkered pattern, and 
a stage with an old piano next to it. That's 
where we dragged ourselves: Nastya — as if 
nothing had happened, and 1 with a hidden 
grudge against her. I'd much rather have 
been outside. Sasha stayed in the class- 
room, finishing up her homework. 

When we approached the glass doors, 
I could hear the out-of-tune arpeggios played 
on the piano and two voices singing in a 
duet. "Hush!" I hissed at Nastya. "Don't 
stomp so loud. Let's see what's going on 
here." We squatted so that we could not be 
seen above the wooden panel on the bottom 

of the side door, and peeped through the 
corner of the glass. 

There was a couple at the piano, a 
guy playing and singing with a girl, who led 
the melody of the song. Her voice sounded 
stronger than his, more self-assured. I 
listened to the words. They blurred together, 
but I could figure out the refrain: 

"I will never forget you 

And 1 will never see you again." 
I rose up a little, and pressed my forehead 
against the glass. 1 could not see their faces, 
but I could tell that they were older students, 
maybe even seniors, wearing navy blue 
uniforms instead of our brown and black 
ones. Never before had we seen anyone but 
our small school group stay at school that 

I picked up the tune of the refrain, and 
started to sing along, quietly. Pushing the 
door too hard, I made it squeak loudly. The 
girl swiftly turned around, spotted the two 
of us, and tugged the guy by his sleeve. My 
face flushed. 1 felt embarrassed, frightened, 
but most of all, disappointed, as if we had 
interrupted some kind of magic by spying 
on their secret. The guy got up, awkwardly 
patted the girl on the shoulder, and they 
walked out the opposite end of the hall. It 
felt empty without them. 

"1 know them. 1 know them!" Nastya 
smiled at me triumphantly, as soon as they 
left. 'They are my older sister's friends, they 
are 'Lena-i-Alex=Love,' from the garage roof!" 
"So what?" I said. "1 still think it's 
silly to write such things." 

We kept coming to the assembly hall 
when we got tired of the outside. Then 
Nastya invented a game of "Deer and 
Hunters." We teamed up with two guys, 
Alexy and Andrei, who were too much 
trouble for the rest of our after-school group. 
They became our "hunters." Hiding under 
the rows of chairs and long curtains in the 
hall, in ambush, they would jump out and 
"shoot" at us. There weren't any guns, so 

they had to chase and touch us with a hand; 
only after that would we be claimed dead. 

1 loved the game, but Sasha com- 

plained some about her hands getting tired 
from holding them up above her head for 
too long. 

"You bend your arms in at the elbows, 
make the outsides of the wrists touch, and 
spread the fingers out. Then it'll still look 
like the deer's horns," instructed Nastya. 

"A girl-deer doesn't have such big 
horns," insisted Sasha. "I'll be a girl deer." 
At the time, neither of us knew that female 
deer don't have any horns. 

So we played, and after many times of 
being killed, 1 got really nimble, and almost 
as good as Nastya, and the guy's hand hardly 
touched me during a long game. Alexey was 
not very fast, he did not care if he missed, 
but Andrei clenched his teeth and only ran 
faster when the "deer" slipped from under 
his hand. And if he caught me, he wouldn't 
leave me alone. Once he held me by my 
apron straps and pulled my ponytail so hard 
I kicked him in his stomach. Then Andrei 
started following me around everywhere. 

I complained to the supervisor, but 
she only said, "He is just ten, guys are like 
that at his age." 1 thought then that I was 
not much older, but I didn't go around 
following someone like a puppy. "Maybe he 
likes you," added the supervisor with a 

On a day when Nastya stayed at home 
with a cold, and Sasha left home early, 1 went 
to the garages by myself. The bird cherry 
blossoms were gone, and recent rains had 
washed away some of the writings. The roofs 
looked bare. 1 reread all that remained, and 
found a writing from Alex and Lena. 1 could 
hardly figure it out, so 1 found a piece of 
whitewash near the drain at the edge of the 
roof, and traced the big uneven letters of 
their names. I stared at the bright white 
against the dark of the roof for a while, and 
then, in the corner where the roof met the 

wall of the neighbouring building, wrote 
down mine and Andrei's initals, putting a 
big plus between them. 

Nastya ran up to me two days later 
after class. "You wrote it!" She was puzzled. 
"Why did you? Didn't you swear you 
wouldn't write such silly stuff?" 

"So I did," I said. "I changed my mind. 
I can do whatever I want, can't I?" 

"But you don't really like him, do 
you?" she asked. 

"Maybe 1 do," I said. 

"Prove it then!" Nastya exclaimed. 

"But how?" 1 felt nervous. 

"You will have to kiss him. Will you?" 
she asked. I knew that if I gave in that time, 
I'd lose. Some little cartoon devil jumped 
around in my head, setting me on. That 
time 1 wanted to be the leader, even though 
I did not have a clear explanation for my 
spontaneous roof writing. So to Nastya's 

question I answered, "Fine." 

There were two cellars for the 
gardening utilities on both sides of the school 
building, with a few steps surrounded by 
banisters, which hid the entrances to the 
storage rooms in underground darkness. 
Nastya said it would be a perfect place for 
Andrei and me; no one could see us there. I 
wanted to choose the spot myself, but Nastya 
was right about the cellar. She wanted to 
stay on the top of the stairs while we were 
down there; she said she had to see us kiss, 
just to make sure I did not lie to her. I went 
along with these rules; 1 decided that 1 would 
still be stronger in what 1 was going to do 
than Nastya. I was going to talk Andrei into 
going down to the cellar with me; it could 
not be hard. I would say there was 
something interesting 1 wanted to show him 
there. Sasha refused to be part of the plan, 
but promised to look around and let us know 
in case the supervisor, or anyone else, would 
be approaching the cellar. 

I was waiting for the school day to be 
over, with nervous excitement: for better or 
for worse, I was going to take charge. After 
the last class 1 came up to Andrei and told 
him 1 found a rusted cartridge case from the 
Second World War at the bottom of the 
cellar steps. It could have been true: guys 
were finding those cases all over the school 
grounds, and I heard Andrei talk about the 
war with others a whole lot. 

Andrei followed me obediently. I was 
afraid for him to start asking me questions, 
but he was quiet, as always when around 
me. From the corner of my eye I could see 
Nastya following us, keeping a safe distance. 
When we went down the stairs, I could hear 
her crawl closer to the banister. After we 
got used to the darkness, I noticed a big lock 
hanging on the door into the cellar. We could 
not go in. "Where is it?" asked Andrei. I 
started feeling frightened again, but still 
leaned down to the ground, pretending to 
search for the promised cartridge. I 

mumbled something about losing it, while 
he stood next to me patiently. Then I rose 
up quickly, stretched out to my full height 
and even lifted my heels above the ground 
(Andrei was a little taller than me) . I pecked 
his cheek with my lips, shaped like a little 
bow tie: I saw a girl do so on TV, in an 
afternoon children's movie. She was trying 
to kiss a giraffe, though. 

Andrei remained standing in one spot, 
and then I continued smacking my lips, 
switching from one of his cheeks to the other. 
I was so afraid for him to say something that 
I did not stop, until I heard Nastya's voice, 
counting in a whisper. I stopped and looked 
up: she was leaning over the banister, and 
looking at me with what I knew to be 
amusement, and relief. 1 was relieved to see 
her, too. Andrei laughed awkwardly. 

As we were growing up, I asked Nastya 
to keep this story in secret: others would 
not understand my courage, I thought then. 
But for myself I was proud of chasing down 
the hunter, it made me feel strong, as strong 
as Nastya. I want the writings to remain on 
the garage roofs; they are ephemeral, they 
show me love and friendship 1 can find for 
myself. I>ove does not have to be hunted 
down, that I learned. But for a nine-year- 
old, it was still only a game. 


Photograph courtesy of University Archives/Jackson Library. UNCG 

Beth Aronson: Satchmo in my Living Room, charcoal on paper 

Evening IV 

Stuart Dischell 

Walking the long blocks home after work 
On my feet I am the child coming from school. 
An embarrassing thought the way it means 
My wife's my mother and not my daughter's. 

Late autumn evening the sun quits early, 
The porch lights blur, and the leaf- 
Strewn sidewalks alert family dogs 
To your presence along the property lines. 

This is good you believe, another proof 
Your existence on earth is not wholly imagined, 
Like those late night talks in the common room 
... if I died in the city and nobody saw me. 

If I die in the city and nobody claims me, 
Let four trash collectors haul away my body. 
Leave me rot in the pit at the edge of the city. 
Tell them I was born to be great but never born. 


Stuart Dischell has been a Visiting Writer at UNCG 
since 1992. He is the author of Good Hope Road, a 
1991 National Poetry Series Selection, and Evenings 
& Avenues, forthcoming. He will join the English 
faculty at New Mexico State University this fall. 


Another Dead Twentieth-Century Poetess 

Kimberly Holzer 

If only the good die 


then I've got a 

long time 

to make all the necessary arrangements. 

Another Dead Twentieth-Century Poetess 

I'll be. 

Overestimated overanalyzed overwrought overagonized 

by college professors who never loved me 

or my stuff 

'til I died in a silver flash — 

broke my neck turning cartwheels 

down the front steps of the White House 

while wrapped in a burning flag 

just to say that 

I did. 


will read the headlines next day, 

"Dead Cremated Poof All At The Same Time 

Another Dead Twentieth-Century Poetess 

Dead Gone Poof In A Flash Of Hair 

Poof Went The Poetess 

Bye Bye Ljoical One." 

And I'll be so glad I'm dead 

so 1 won't have to read all the 


they obituate about me. 

Portraying me as so much sweeter 

than 1 really was 

honoring more virtue 

than I ever did 

with bigger breasts 

than I ever had. 

"She Died In A 38-D Cup 

Another Dead Twentieth- Century Poetess 

Big Burning Boobs Wrapped In A Fiery Flag." 

Now there's a hell of a statement. 

Oh, and the wake. . . 
A priest 


blackballed by the Pope himself 

for sex with a lady parishioner 

proud of what she'd done — 

1 want a guy like that to lead the procession 

with the ashes in a coffee can 

cause I'm in no mood to be 


And won't the mourners be happy when they see the sign, 




Hundreds of drunks who never knew me 

throwing licorice ropes instead of flowers 

into the hole as they lower 

the coffee can, 

"Man, she was awesome. 

Another Dead Twentieth-Century Poetess." 

Lay a big chalkboard where the granite should be, 

engraved for all the visitors to see, 

"mm Can't Come Up Right Now, So 

Leave A Message." 

More headlines! 

Give me even MORE headlines! 

May Americans read at the supermarket checkout lane, 

"Fiery Poetess Dies In Fireball!" 

"Elvis Sighted At Poetess Burial!" 

"Aliens Plunder Poetess Coffee Can; 

Leave Mysterious Obscenities On Chalkboard" 

Eccentric wannabes will throw themselves from 

White House stairs, 

"We want to die like her!" 

Another silly fad, with the 

Another Dead Twentieth-Century Poetess Dolls. 


Bumper stickers. 

And I'll be so glad I'm dead. 

Dust in a coffee can 

Worms feasting on licorice ropes. 

Another Dead Twentieth-Century Poetess 


but she sure made a hell of a statement." 



Gregg Carroll 

The man drinks coffee 
and reads a book on horticulture 
and thinks that it is not a good 
time to die in what he knows. 

Steam drifts free from his coffee. 

He ponders the eroticism 
of kissing his sister on the lips 
and the closeness of lovers 
during oral sex. 

Soap residue casts a rainbow 
across the top of his mug. 

Was it when he was ten 

and he watched the motion 

of his babysitters breasts 

as she exercised on a stairmaster 

that he first became aware, 

or was it seeing his aunt 

naked and wet from shower 

when he was six. 

It was too late to care. 

He sips fully. 

A friend had once told him, 

"Never love somebody more 

than they love you" 

but relationships for him 

had never seemed so spit-shined 

or two-dimensional. 

It was always like forcing 

fingers through the skin 

and between the ribs. 

The last sips are always the sweetest. 

He curses his aunt and his babysitter, 
along with his heart and his need. 
He curses the fact that love 
always came to him with words 


that Hitler or Stalin might have used. 

"There is so much comfort in flowers" 

he says, "and all they need is sun and water.' 

He can give that. 

Jon Smith: Holy Roller, steel 


Fire in the Fields 

Sascha Dallas 

The leafy vines curled through the broken teeth of ploughs 

leaning against the slanted barns like sorrow. 

1 had seen those fields still and then charging forward 

under the wind ever since 1 was a child, 

believing that a sea- monster swam through the wheat fields 

which swallowed horses and chewed on rust. 

Shy tractors were awake upon command; 

their mechanical hearts growling and drumming upon the earth. 

Their sleek metal bodies gave them an appearance of grandeur, 

as though they were knights of the fields. 

1 knew the earth had made a covenant with the sky 

because at noon, when the sun was highest, 

I could hear the day breathing as though it could speak. 

When the thunder came, the silence of the earth 

was inhaled by the clouds in a gulp, 

and the raindrops tapped on flattened grass. 

1 knew Eden was not so far from there 

because the sun set the earth on fire one hot day, 

and we had to leave the fields, 

but they grow inside me still. 


Adele Deaton: Oak Hill Ivy, photograph 

Monica Rief: Sonui. Hydrocal on styrofoam 

Indiana 1974, The Hollow 

Chuck Turner 

It was a strange wilderness made 

between the two of us in a summer kitchen, 

I remember. 

You barely breathing and I 

feeding on this silence where 

gulps became a sudden charge of emotion. 

It was your father's stroke 

that brought you here. 

I wondered what you 

thought. What it must have been like. 

You, who had never seen rust 

or stood that close to death 

dragged into lives without permission. You 

who sat that day 

by an empty fireplace, in a dusty chair 

600 miles outside of Chicago 

and thought how lives can be 

instantly changed. You 
who would now think daily of these fields, 
compare the golden stalks to street lights 
and in this unfamiliar begin 

to depict your own slow dying. In time 
your father's voice became louder, 
how you waited, swallowed 
as if first to hear your own. 



David Teague 

She sees the letters of ancient Greece 

scrawled In his thick Oxford hand, the ink 

perfect and black. The egg shells of his curves 

seem more natural than fruit or spiraling branches. 

The names of Roman gods, Mercury, Jupiter, 

Mars, the warrior, fall from his pen and record 

the journey of a thousand-year-old light, guiding 

ships in the rough dark seas. 

His quick parabola drawn for her, as if to explain 

what he cannot say, the ellipse that encircles his 

face, the two blue foci twinkling and alive, 

watching her enthralled. He draws curves for her 

when she sneaks from her mother's circling hands. 

The stars high and bright, giving sight 

to the candle's waxing shadows. 

Then his hands on her, his lips pressed into the 

arc other neck. She is paralyzed, confused, but 

he explains in numbers, sketching a perfect circle that 

tightens around them. Binding and dazzling her, the giant 

planets orbitting above, moons laughing and lighting his 

face for her to see. 

Then the circle breaks and she is sent spinning out like 

a comet away from him. Her mother at the doorway, the 

sun eclipsing the stars in its blue blanket behind her, and 

he covers his face with his hands, repeating over and over 

too soft to hear that she must never tell. 


Kerry Home: Helmet #3. steel 

Kerry Home: Helmet #4, steel 

Denman Wall: The Reclining Man. charcoal on paper 

Upon Looking at a Map of Pamlico Sound 

Sean Butler 

There was never just the sound of water 

without the name; 

Never just the gray or blue or white of 

noon shades. 

The shallows had to lighten and blue, 

as tropical shades will do, 

to the sound of the "o." 

The waters were not blue in 

the Sound of the Mind 

before the poet came with the music 

of names. 

The ripples did not ring silver and gold, 

nor did the wave-rocked reeds 

dance to the Cancito of "ico" and "pam." 

The Sound is a Tune 

held by the rhj^hm of ebb and neap. 

And this is a dancing eddy, 

a waltz of tides that nightly glides 

to paint such watery pictures 

as the shimmering timbrel of the moon. 


• ii'U'<'jt:w 

Adele Deaton: Fire Escape, photograph 


•• ...i.;:iUV.: 

Herbs and Other Cures 

Sarah Atkinson 

M was sent to Lonata after the 
needle took my mom. I fought it. I said I 
could take care of myself just like 1 took care 
of Mom, but the courts wouldn't hear it and 
I was sent to live in a foster home in Ixinata, 
a town with about as many people in it as 
the Guthrie Theatre during a sold out 
performance. Its flat wide open fields of corn 
and windy gravel roads were a change from 
the Minneapolis streets I was accustomed 
to, but I liked it fine. 

Except, 1 thought the people there 
could sense my wickedness from the 
beginning. Everywhere I went people stared 
at me and whispered to their friends. Mrs. 
Anderson said it might be the purple in my 
hair that they were whispering about, or the 
way 1 always dressed in black, like 1 was in 
mourning. Valerie thought maybe it was the 
way 1 did my makeup, that the colors I chose 
weren't right for me and made my face look 
long and unfriendly. But that didn't make 
sense to me. It had to be something deeper. 

I sensed from a very young age that I 
was different. When I was five or ten, 1 can't 
remember when exactly, I used to sit high 
up in trees without leaves and imagine 
myself, shadowy and veiled, a keeper of dark 
secrets. Mom said it was because 1 was a 
bastard that 1 felt different, that she was 

sorry for bringing me into this world and if 
she could change things she would, but it 
was too late for that and all she could do 
now was learn to control things. That's why 
she needed the needle, she said, because 
sometimes things got so out of control 
something was needed to keep them from 

1 knew what she was talking about. 
Once I cut an isosceles triangle in my arm 
with a sharp pencil during geometry class 
to keep my concentration from falling apart. 
But Mr. Sharmer broke it anyway when he 
grabbed my pencil, then my arm, and pulled 
me, screaming and kicking, down to the 
principal's office where I was disciplined, 
was required to sit alone in an empty class- 
room with the instructions to think about 
what 1 had done. They called Mom and she 
came in all dressed in green and smelling of 
spearmint gum. She grabbed my hand, 
squeezed it hard and said, "I love you, 
Maggie, my daughter, my beautiful 
daughter, I love you so much. I'm so sorry." 

I told her not to be sorry, that it was 
me who should be sorry, that I didn't have 
control over my wickedness and now it had 
turned inward. She cried and hugged me 
and rocked me back and forth in her skinny 
arms. I told her not to worry, that I would 


learn to discipline myself so 1 wouldn't make 
her cry anymore. 

This is when I developed an interest 
in science. Science worked to solve the 
mysteries of life and present information in 
concrete, logical terms that could be tested 
and proven and controlled in laboratory 
situations. This appealed to 
me. The way I understood it 
then was that personality was 
nothing more than an 
assortment of genes, and 
emotions merely chemical 
formulas, something medicine 
could control. I went to the 
school nurse and asked for 
some medicine that could 
alter my genes or at least 
change my moods, but she said there was 
no such thing and what 1 needed wasn't 
medicine, but a mother. I told her she was 
wrong, it was a father 1 didn't have and how 
did she know what 1 needed anyway. She 
said she was sorry and she shouldn't have 
said that, but it gets so hard to treat people's 
pains sometimes. 

1 didn't understand what she meant 
then, but 1 do now. The last time 1 saw Momi 
she was in terrible pain; she was blue and 
swollen and swinging her arm against the 
couch trying to knock the needle out. When 
I came home and saw it I started kicking 
the wall over and over and over again. It 
didn't hurt, but Mom's crying did. And 1 
couldn't make it stop. The paramedics came 
and took us both away. I healed, but Mom 

After I could put weight on my foot 
again, 1 was moved to the fifth floor of the 
hospital where I had weekly meetings with 
a psychologist. He asked me what I thought 
1 needed and 1 told him I needed to be left 
alone, that 1 was wicked and there was 
nothing that could make me different, 
except medicine maybe. I told him it would 
be best to keep me away from the others so 

I wouldn't cause them harm and that it 
would be in his best interest to stay away 

But he didn't listen and involved me 
in group activities such as communicating 
my emotions through hitting balloons and 
explaining what animal I felt like today and 
why. 1 swung at a balloon and 
accidentally hit another group 
member in the head so hard 
he fell over. I said 1 felt like a 
cockroach because they were 
always crawling around where 
nobody wanted them. The 
group said that a cockroach 
wasn't an animal, it was an 
Insect, and couldn't I think of 
anything better to be. After 
that, I refused any further participation. I 
told Dr. Rosenberg that I was born wicked 
and I needed some medicine to change the 
chemical formulas in my brain, that 
swatting at balloons and pretending 1 was 
an animal wasn't going to change the way I 
was. He said I was being belligerent and he 
couldn't help me until I was ready to be 
helped. 1 was then released to the custody 
of the Anderson family in Lonata, 

The Andersons lived in a farm house 
about five miles out of town on County Road 
1 1, a gravel road. They were a nice family, 
a husband and a wife who opened their 
doors to a young stranger. 1 had my own 
room on the second floor with blue lacy 
curtains and a bedspread and pillow cases 
that matched. It was real different from the 
downtown apartment 1 shared with Mom, 
but I liked it fine. 

Mr. Anderson sold insurance and had 
an office downtown. Mrs. Anderson worked 
part-time arranging flowers at Greenbriar 
Florist. They raised a few chickens and grew 
giant green peas, beans and cucumbers in 
the backyard garden. Every night we sat 
down to a well balanced meal including 


chicken, potatoes, a vegetable from the 
garden and milk. Chicken was the only meat 
they ever ate; outside of that they were 
regular folks. 

1 had to ride the bus to school so I 
had to be ready and waiting at the end of 
the driveway by 7:30 a.m. Valerie's house 
was the next stop after mine and we sat 
together most days because it felt right. 
Valerie told me that she was born in Lonata, 
but she always felt like she was supposed 
to have been born somewhere else, 
someplace with tall buildings and neon 
lights. 1 told her that she was probably born 
with a city gene and there wasn't much she 
could do but wait it out until graduation then 
go and find a place where her genes could 
be exposed to the stimuli they needed to 
properly express themselves. Like 
Minneapolis, or someplace bigger even, like 
Chicago. She liked this idea and started 
asking me a lot of questions I couldn't 

My first day at school is when I met 
Eddie. His locker was next to mine. 1 tried 
hard to avoid making eye contact with 
anyone because 1 was through causing 
hsirm, but Eddie spoke first. 

"You from the cities?" he asked. 

"Yeah, so?" 

"Just wondering, you look different is 

He was right. My skin was at least a 
shade darker than anybody else's and my 
hair black as coffee, except for the purple 
streaks. 1 was tall and skinny and unhealthy 
looking compared to most other girls in 
Lx)nata. But 1 already knew 1 was different 
so 1 didn't let it bother me. 1 kept to myself 
mostly. I figured I'd do my time in Lxjnata 
and when 1 graduated I'd move back to 
Minneapolis and get a job as a dancer at a 
Hennepin Avenue club. Meanwhile I'd do 
the best 1 could. 

1 took an interest in Eddie. I started 
watching him every chance I had. He was 

always touching people; hugging them, 
patting their backs or grabbing their hands 
and waltzing them down the hall. 1 
wondered what made him the way he was 
and decided to research his behavior. I 
bought a new notebook so I could chart 
Eddie's behavior. I recorded every move- 
ment: every sound he made, every look he 
gave and the precise times at which they 
occurred. I watched him in the mornings 
before school and in the afternoons during 
lunch hour. During the first week Eddie 
averaged about twenty-three social interac- 
tions per half hour between 8:00 a.m. and 
8:30 a.m. and forty-one social interactions 
per hour during lunch. This included ver- 
bal greetings, smiles, handshakes, hugs, etc. 
1 averaged one, which was usually with 
Eddie. Without graphing the results, 1 con- 
cluded that people liked Eddie and they 
didn't like me and 1 wanted to know why. 

About halfway through the second 
week of my research project I approached 
Eddie at lunchtime. 

"You take any medicine?" I asked him. 
He smiled and motioned for me to sit down. 

"Herbs," he said and pointed to his 

Eddie was tall and had big, muscular 
shoulders. He dressed in jeans and T-shirts 
and something about him sipping tea didn't 
seem right until you got close enough to see 
the softness of his curly browTi hair and how 
it matched his smile. 

"Where do you get the herbs?" I asked. 

"My mom's an herbologist. She says 
sanicle leaves work to keep poison out of 
my body." 

I leaned in close to Eddie's face. "You 
have poison in your body too?" I said. 

"Sure. Everybody has poison in their 
body, most people just ignore it is all." 

1 told him about my poison, about how 
I was wicked and kept away from people so 
I couldn't harm them. I told him I thought 
it was a gene, but I was willing to try herbs. 


He recommended that I get some wild yam 
root and drink it as a tea twice a day; once 
in the morning and once in the late 

When I got off the bus that afternoon 
I ran in the house and told Mrs. Anderson 
to put wild yam root on her food shopping 
list. She said, "No, 1 will not have herbs in 
this house, young lady." She said Eddie's 
family was weird and everyone in Lonata 
knew it. And furthermore, I should stay 
away from Eddie and try to make some nice 

1 told Valerie about wild yam root on 
the bus the next afternoon and she said she 
might know where to find some and to meet 
her in the ditch where County Road 1 1 
intersects with Highway 5 at 7:30 that night. 

At 7:30 Valerie showed up on her dirt 
bike, I hopped on and we rode twenty 
minutes to the next town where we stopped 
at Maka's Mystic Herb and Rock Shop. The 
sign was carved in wood and hung from vines 
over a narrow alleyway entrance. Inside was 
Maka, mystic herbs and rocks. Maka was a 
tiny woman with long white hair. She wore 
leather sandals and was dressed in soft, 
white cotton. She smelled spicy, like freshly 
shredded ginger root. 

"Welcome," she said and took my 
hands in hers. Her voice was soft like 
summer wind. 

"I'm looking for wild yam root," I said. 

"Of course," she said, "something to 
relax your mind." 

"And get rid of the poison," I said. 

She took my chin in her tiny hands 
and looked me straight in the eye. "You have 
such a sad looking face, my pretty Little lady." 

"It's the poison," 1 told her, "it makes 
me wicked." 

"Ahh. You need herbs for the poison." 

"Exactly," I said. 

She pulled a small, cotton drawstring 
pouch out of a wooden drawer, filled it with 
sweet smelling herbs and pressed it in my 

hands. "Sometimes, if the poison has been 
inside your body for a long time, the herb 
isn't enough." She pressed harder when she 
said this. 

"What else?" I asked. 

She put both her tiny wrinkled hands 
on my face and smiled, her soft summer 
breath warm on my face. She kissed my 
forehead strong and with purpose. 

I thanked her for the herbs and waved 
from the dirt bike as Valerie pulled out of 
the alleyway. 1 held on tight and leaned into 
Valerie. I let my head rest on her cushioned 
back. Something about Valerie was so 
comfortable. At first I thought maybe it was 
her uniform plumpness or her cheery 
laughter, or the was she always dressed in 
shades of pink to match her baby cheeks. 
But that night on the motorcycle I thought 
of things like how she never looked away 
when I was talking, how she understood 
what I was saying. And even if she didn't, 
she listened anyway. 

When Valerie dropped me off at the 
ditch she instructed me to keep this quiet 
because folks in Lonata thought bad things 
about herbs and if they found out I had 
them, they'd think bad things about me too. 
Since I was sure nobody thought good things 
about me, this didn't concern me much. 

I told Eddie what Maka said about the 
herbs maybe not being enough to get real 
deep poison out of the body and he just 
smiled his soft smile. After I started taking 
the herb, Eddie really took to me. We started 
to eat lunch together almost every day. 
Sometimes in the morning before school he 
would ask if he could brush my hair and I'd 
let him. He brought me things like 
peppermints and snap dragons. We started 
to hold hands a lot, but when he tried to 
kiss me I had to stop and remind him about 
what Maka said. I told him that we 
probably shouldn't touch for a while. Eddie 
said maybe we didn't need to touch, maybe 
we could just stand close enough to feel the 


warmth that floats above the skin. I felt fire 
in my thighs when Eddie said this, but I had 
to say no. 

After three days like this, I started 
having moods. I found myself wanting to be 
near Eddie, wanting to 
touch his hair and trace 
the shape of his hand with 
my own. I bought him 
bubble gum and tiny 
balloons with messages 
like "Thinking of You" and 
"I miss you" on them that I 
left in his locker before 
school. I recorded music 
for him to listen to that 
might help him 

understand how I thought 
about him all the time, but 
until I was sure the herb 
was working. I had to stay away. 

Valerie said that was good. That's 
what Seventeen magazine said to do. Be 
mysterious, it'll make him crazy for you. I 
told her that was a bunch of trash and if 
weren't for this poison I'd be giving Eddie a 
lot more than bubble gum. She said that 
according to Mademoiselle bad girls were out 
and I should probably refuse sex until at 
least six months into the relationship. I told 
her that's not what I meant and it didn't 
make sense to me to keep yourself away from 
somebody you wanted to be near. "Why you 
staying away from Eddie then?" she said. 
The only thing I could think to say was 
"Because." Then I added that those 
magazines are stupid and if she didn't stop 
reading them she was going to get stupid 
too. And anyway, maybe it was her 1 needed 
to stay away from. 

I knew right when 1 said it that I didn't 
mean it, but it was too late. Valerie was 
shaking in the seat next to me. I wiped her 
tears with my sleeve then held both my 
hands up as close to her face as I could 
without touching her. 

"What are you doing?" she asked. 
"Feeling the warmth of your skin." 
"You can feel without touching?" 

She closed her eyes and sat still as a 
totem pole. 
"So can 1." 

We made peace and she 
gave me more advice about 
Eddie. She said maybe 
what 1 needed was some 
new underwear or a lacy 
bra maybe. She had read 
in Cosmo about how 
wearing sexy underclothes 
could make you feel 
different — sensuous, 
desirable; but I knew I 
needed more than fancy 
panties to change the way 
1 felt. 
That night when I was alone in my 
blue room, 1 tried on the purple flannel shirt 
that Mrs. Anderson had bought for me 
because she liked the way it matched my 
hair. She was trjang. It looked nice, but 1 
didn't feel right wearing it. The Andersons 
were nice people but I didn't feel right being 
there. I took off the shirt, threw it in the 
closet and paced around the room with just 
my jeans on. 1 pulled the bedspread off the 
bed and tore the curtains down. I wrapped 
myself in the lacy blue and spun circles in 
front of the mirror as I opened my arms and 
closed my arms and opened my arms and 
closed my arms. I couldn't stop the moods 
from coming. I whirled across the room, 
picked up the phone and called Valerie. 
"I'm having moods," 1 told her. 
"What kind of moods?" 
"You know, moods." 
"What are you feeling?" 
"In what ways?" 
"Moody ways." 
"Can you describe the moods?" 


"Moods there's no music for, moods 
herbs can't cure, moods you can't change 
like your underwear; moods Val, moods." 

"O.K. Maggie, O.K. I read in Self that 
sometimes it's good to pretend you're 
boxing when this happens, but don't hit 
anything real." 

I hung up the phone and started 
boxing around the room. Peek-a-boo jab jab, 
right hook, left hook, combination, keep 
dancln'. Bam. I was down for the count. I 
reached over to the round table skirted in 
blue lace, picked up the phone and hit 

"I have to leave," I told Valerie. 

"1 understand," she said without 
questioning, and asked to help. We planned 
to meet at the ditch at 2:00 a.m. She said if 
I had to wait longer than an hour I should 
go back home and we could try again the 
next day. Sometimes her mom was up all 
night pacing and that would make it hard 
to sneak out, she explained. 

That night after 1 was sure the 
Andersons had gone to sleep, I quietly 
packed my things then left for the ditch to 
meet Valerie. I laid in the ditch with my 
head resting on the colorful duffel Mrs. 
Anderson bought for me to use as a book 
bag. The wind was blowing gentle and warm. 
I imagined myself a scarecrow dancing in 
the cornfield, skipping from stalk to stalk, 
touching the tips, making the cobs grow big 
and golden as the sun. I felt at peace in 
that ditch. 

Valerie showed up on her Kawasaki 
at twenty-five minutes past 2:00 a.m. 
apologizing for being late. She explained that 
her mom couldn't sleep until her dad got 
home. He didn't get home until 1:30 a.m. 
and smelled of the bottle. Proper sleeping 
arrangements had to be made. This 
interfered with her schedule. It was hard to 
dream in her house with her sleep always 
getting interrupted, she said as she strapped 
my duffel bag down on the dirt bike. 

We drove to the old motel downtown. 
I bought a Greyhound bus ticket to 
Minneapolis. Valerie pulled money out of her 
purse and asked for the same. 

"What are you doing?" I asked her. 

"I'm going too." 

"But you can't." 

"Why not?" 

"What about your family?" 

"What about yours?" 

'They're not my family. 1 don't feel 
right there." 

"Well I don't feel right at my house 
either. 1 want to go where I can feel at home." 

I grabbed her by the hand and pulled 
her outside. We stood on the street corner, 
arguing under the dim red glow of the Motel 
de la Luna vacancy sign. After about five 
minutes, we returned to the front desk and 
exchanged our bus tickets for a room. We 
both took a key. 

The room was small and decorated in 
solid patterns of blue and green. There was 
a double bed, a desk and chair with a 
notepad and a glitzy Motel de la Luna pen, 
an unfinished dresser with four drawers, an 
empty nightstand, and a lamp with a 
moth-eaten shade. Me and Val sat 
cross-legged on the bed in the middle of the 
quiet, still room. The vacancy sign blinked 
on and off outside the window. The red glow 
gave Val's face a glamorous look. I 
imagined her on the cover of Vogue, a place 
she would've Uked to have been. This caused 
a big grin to break out on my face. Valerie 
laughed her laugh. 

'This bed's comfortable," she said and 
bounced lightly on the mattress. 

"Yeah," 1 agreed. 

"Let's stay here forever." 

"Forever," I said. And we planned to 
stay forever in that room. 


Lisa Chicoyne: Red Dream, mixed media: plaster, wax, fabric 

Paul Batt^ Winter Fountain, color photograph 

Kathleen Ward: Sacred Vessels II, charcoal on paper 


Kathleen Ward: Sacred Vessels I. charcoal on paper 


Baron Toler: I-way, computer generated image 

Robert LaBranche: Empty Bowl, acrylic on canvas 

Karen Ingram: Untitled, oil on canvas 

Ben Billingsley: A Lesson for "S," oil on canvas 

Once Alone 

Gregg Carroll 

In the sickly light of institution 

he lay in the bed once filled by her 

and now reflected on how 

a meaningless moment for one 

could stand out in another's mind 

like a volunteer for execution. 

The comfort of touch fulfilled 

like the thick cloud inhaled 

by the lungs of a smoker 

and he had clung to her sleep 

and inadvertent attention. 

Holding her, unconscious, 

the obliviously accepting hand 

on his arm reminded him of someone 

who had cared for him, more 

than he had cared for being alone. 

It had made all the difference. 

In five hours of breathing and rolling, 

she had made him as empty 

as a friend can make another friend, 

who has nothing, just by smiling. 

He wanted her and feared the vastness 

of his single bed and wished 

for a grave with two corpses 

who lay like spoons, warm 

with no need for light or faces. 


Photograph courtesy of University Archives /Jackson Library. UNCG 

John H. Mclntyre: Fertility Goddess, conte and 
pastel on newsprint 

Kerry Home: Slridcr. iiiixed media on paper 

Sean McDaniel: SelJ- Portrait, oil on canvas 

Beth Aronson: Who's There?, mixed media on paper 

Lisa Chicoyne: First Shadow, wood, newspaper, wax, fabric 


Lisa Chicoyne: Shadow, plaster, wax, fabric 

There Are Monsters Within Us 

Chuck Turner 

Fighting with sticks 

when brothers together, feet apart 

take swings, climb to treetops 
and ward off not too distant 

enemies, then turn on each other. 
One, the old victor, with longer branch 

now holding your sword, laughing 
these times will be forgotten 

by dinner a new mission, by nine 
completed. And the new day begins 

much like the one before 

with newfound weapons — tree housed 

safe in your hand 

fit only for its breaking. 

Beth Aronson: Medici Sleeping, charcoal on paper 


Miguel Martin: Orange Monster, oil pastel on acetate 

, ^^^.^fe^^-i^fC 

o \ 


'/^- ''^''/'^ /^M 

V - 



Leanne Bleike: Beavers, charcoal and housepaint on wood panel 

Roger Goldenberg: Conversation and Dance, oil on canvas 


- ^0 

Ruth Stone: Knowledge is Pow. painted Hydrocal on wood 

Marian Humphrey: Untitled, wood 

Paul Batt: Nobody Lx)ves Me, photograph 


Texas Rattle 

Lenna Nicole Burnette 

Blitz rod strives 

for northern gutters. 

Bends heavily 

while southern shutters 

crack the back of evening. 

Cheeks packed full 

with night chilled soil 

as cactus blossoms 

coax a sneeze. 

Blows dust 'round corners 

to sleep on baby's bones. 

Leanne Blake: Hold Please. 
oil on wood panel 

Jack Thomson: Boingy Jumping, photograph 

From Water 

Marisa Taylor 

A was born under a bad omen. The 
lunar eclipse made everyone in town crazy. 
Mothers fed their children raw eggs to keep them 
safe, and the school, bank and grocery store shut 
down leaving yellow chalk crosses on their doors. 
They told Mom not to have me. They said to put 
paper bags over her watermelon-sized tummy 
to keep me from coming out. The ladies in town 
strung rosaries over Mom's door praying I 
wouldn't come out on the day when newborn 
babies resembled two-headed monsters, but 1 
wanted out. Mother was so embarrassed that 1 
was already disobeying her and the town that 
she didn't send for Dad at work. She just 
squatted over the toilet. If it hadn't been for Miss 
Inez Castillo who happened to need an extra egg 
for her youngest child, and came in and saw my 
feet dangling out of Mom's uterus, we probably 
both would have died. I remained half in and 
half out of Mom for an hour until we got to the 
hospital in the closest city. 

Once there. Mother said I slipped right out 
of her womb. That it was even a comfort the 
way my lubricated body oozed out. She said it 
was like swiniming at midnight when water feels 
like satin sheets. 1 came into the world with the 
breath of salt and memory of waves. The 
moment they poured me in her arms she slid me 
back and forth and knew 1 came fresh from the 
ocean of God. My birth certificate said Floriza 

Maurizia Menchoa, but everyone called me Flo. 

The whole town came to visit. First to see 
if I had been born double-headed as the rumor 
had said. Then they came to see my eyes. No 
one in our small border town had ever seen eyes 
my color. 1 remember all of them touching my 
eyes as I blinked so they only felt the softness of 
my lids. Never before had they seen eyes with 
blue and green and yellow flecks shaped exactly 
like a half moon. Miss Inez Castillo, who felt it 
was her duty to stay until my mother completely 
recovered, commented how even if the rest of 
my face was ugly, I'd at least have brilliant eyes. 
Mom was too worn out to really notice. 

After my birth Mother swore God had 
touched her life, and the Pentecostal woman 
sharing the sterile pastel yellow room made no 
hesitation in converting Mom once the visitors 
all left. Mom ate up that lady's every spoken 
tongue. She abandoned her traditional 
Catholicism with the speed of the Pope's divine 
intervention. Everything changed. She put away 
her rosaries, postcards of Saint Jude and Blessed 
Virgin de Guadaloupe candles. Mom stopped 
cooking with jalapehos because something that 
hot had to come from hell. Her Pentecostal 
insanity knew no bounds. While my brothers, 
already on the brink of adolescence, tamied and 
grew strong on sandwiches that tasted like the 
salt of their skin. Mother melted into a shapeless 


glob of putty in the hands of her new rehgion. I 
sucked on a tit, excited and heaving over the evil 
sins of life. It was too late for the strapping boys, 
but not for a lucid little girl. That was when she 
banned niusic and dancing from my life. 

Dad worked too hard to notice. The meals 
on the table when he got home and his ability to 
provide food for six kids and a wife, fed into his 
macho image of life. He loved me, but his 
concerns for my development slipped through 
his fingers like the bits of sawdust he worked 
with. Only on Sundays when the town came out 
and sat sucking on lemon slices sprinkled with 
salt, talking about the impromptu pachanga they 
had in Jose Carlos' yard, did he regret my stern 
upbringing, but it was too late. I turned into a 
teenager in pale yellow dresses under Mother's 
grooming. Everything I did satisfied God and 
Mom. 1 didn't think anything of it. I accepted 
my life as God's plan. The way Mother described 

Mother was so sure of my being there that 
she would pray in a passionate fury and fall 
straight back from the miracle of God, knowing 
I'd catch her before her head hit the floor and 
cracked like a nut. In school, I was normal 
everyday Flo. A little quiet, but normal. I had 
girls to walk to school with and eat lunch with, 
but nothing further. Mother scolded me if I 
brought anyone home. She told me those girls 
grew from the lizards that crawled on our screens 
and I was the moth they were looking for with 
long dry tongues. I didn't argue. Instead, I 
learned silence. I learned to camouflage myself 
against the steam of my cooking. I glided in and 
out of rooms with the quiet sensation of a 
butterfly's scream, sometimes going unnoticed 
until one of my brothers gasped, startled to see 
their sister's eyes shining in the shadows of the 
room. When they complained or commented on 
my ghostly presence. Mom just smiled. She 
believed I saw visions. My silence and graceful 
steps were the result of angels carrying me 
through the house to watch over her saved soul. 
My brothers avoided me, but somehow I always 
seemed to appear silent and soft, moving in and 

out of the house searching for an answer to a 
question I had not yet formed. 

It is said that the moon tilted in a funny 
ptwition the day Zolita asked me to sneak into El 
Matador in the city with the other girls from the 
barrio. They say that the fishermen were 
turning over from vicious waves and whales 
were jumping out of the violence in scared 
magnificence. Maybe that accounts for the 
reason I said yes. Then again, maybe not. 

I didn't have the slightest idea what to 
wear to a club. I knew I had to pass for twenty- 
one. The covers of magazines I saw in grocery 
store lines showed women with long blonde hair 
and too-small dresses. My brothers hid posters 
of women in little leather skirts and spiked tops. 
All of these women spilled out of themselves like 
dough rising over the pan's rim. None of it 
belonged to me and my world. For a moment I 
doubted my decision, but we didn't have a phone 
to tell Zolita otherwise so I bit my lip and looked 
in my closet once more. 

I decided on a hand-me-down sundress 
that Mom deemed too risque. The little orange 
straps looked like flames against my brown skin. 
In a split second of rash madness, I cut the 
cotton skirt of my dress. The scissors ripped into 
the dress with sharp "z" sounds as I heard Mom 
praying and Dad snoring in the room next door. 
I turned myself into my own fairy godmother. 
My dress took on a mystical life of its own. The 
brilliant blaze of orange kicked way above the 
knee and nestled into my waist. It was the 
witch's creation I always wanted to wear. 

Sneaking out was easy. The only girl in 
the house got the only bedroom. I remember not 
even being scared. The screen squeaked weakly, 
and a gap in the window let me hop into the 
darkness of the night. Zolita and the girls met 
me under the only street light in our complex. 
We looked over fake ID's deciding who looked 
like who, giggling over all of it. Monica had her 
older sister's car, and off we flew. The muffler 
spit out smoke each time she hit the gas. An older 
man turned and stared at us at a red light. A 
lady drove too slow. We passed a blue Mercedes. 


We were there. 

The guy at the door inspected our ID's 
closely. He even smelled the ink. He looked at 
all of us. I was the last one. I tried not to catch 
his eye, but I did. He held it for five seconds 
while I counted. Then he stepped away from 
the door, and we bounced in giving each other 
knowing little smiles. 

Everything was so different and so like I 
imagined. The darkness, the smoke, the men 
draped over the bar, the women staking their 
domains with straight backs slightly curved from 
the extremity of their heels and the music. What 
was I doing here? It was how Mom described 
hell. The other girls marched in the formation of 
ducks to the bar, ready to exhaust their twenty- 
one-year-old year old status. I wasn't going to 
go that far so I took a seat. Everyone looked like 
they knew what they were doing. A woman in 
the corner pulled a misplaced thread off a man's 
lapel. The confidence. Groups of men and 
women stood around gawking at each other and 
groping with their eyes. A man at my right held 
his drink too low and the straw caught in a loop 
of his sweater vest. It hung there on his tummy 
while he gyrated with the music. The 
foolishness. A man dressed in dark clothes with 
painfully large pupils took the empty seat to my 
right. He looked like the devil seated next to me, 
scaled and decorated with lust. 

"Do you want to dance?" 

"What?" 1 stammered. "Well, I don't 
know how. " 

He shrugged his shoulders at my 
response, and his large tapered fingers lifted me 
from my seat and led my to the floor. The music 
got quicker and louder the closer I got. It 
pounded, and I felt wrong inside the crowded 
square of soaked shirts and dampened hair. I 
wasn't sure. I never did this before. I was 
shielded from this. The devil partner shook. He 
weaved in and out of air. Suddenly, I heard an 
explosion and I felt the tremors of music. An 
earthquake cracked through me. First my feet. 
They moved. One, two, three. One, two, three. 
Then my hips. They rocked. Back and forth. 

Finally my chest. It responded. In and out. In 
and out. I swayed. 

The beats hit rough, but my body caught 
them smoothly. They became more vicious only 
to feel the reprimand and taming of my body. 
My skirt swung like it was still hanging on the 
line and the material brushed my thighs. I felt 
like the beginning of a storm. 

"1 thought you said you couldn't dance," 
the devil said with his pupils getting larger. 

"I never have before." 

"Ay mama, you look like you came 
straight into this world dancing. Like a possessed 

It was then that I knew I was beautiful. 
Not because of the way the devil looked me deep 
in the eyes or because anyone told me so, but 
because I thought I was. I allowed the music to 
whisper, chuckle and scream in my ears. My life 
of accepting obedience flooded out of me. 
Under the canopy of smoke and carnal musk of 
colognes and perfumes, I was no longer trapped 
like a caged circus lion. I moved. My heart beat 
to the rhythm of each song, and to stop dancing 
would be to stop living. Pretty soon, a crowd of 
people gathered around me, watching and 
clapping. I saw them through the smoky film of 
my fallen hair. My devil partner disappeared into 
the crowd, and only my tireless body and 
smiling glow kept them standing there cheering 
in amazement. 

"She's mesmerizing. Isn't she?" I heard 
one man say. 

"She moves like a hurricane I once saw in 
Florida," another woman said. 

A man with round glasses and a blue satin 
shirt already wet with sweat under the armpits 
began dancing with me. He twisted his waist 
and waved his arms up and down like he would 
have had he been pounding nails. Some people 
pointed and most of the crowed left, but he didn't 
last. I wore hint out. He took off wheezing, and 
another man took his place. The new nian's 
moustache barely showed up above the 
thickness of his lips. The blackiiess in his eves 
looked like they said I'm going to outdance vou, 


woman, but he didn't. He left, and a man with 
snakeskin cowboy boots followed. There was a 
line of men and bets placed at the bar. They took 
out bills, waved them excitedly at this funny 
scene, sized up and decided which man had 
stamina to outlast the madwoman in the middle 
of the floor, hefty men, athletes, regulars, 
weightlifters, ranchers and thieves all tried to 
outdance me, but each song sizzled in me like 
butter on a hot skillet. Nobody stopped me. My 
orange dress drenched with the sweat of my 
continually moving body looked like a campfire 
put out. I still smiled, hi all my life, 1 never felt 
the exhilaration of noise and the control of my 
body. I alniost scared 

It went on like that 
all night until the lights 
went on and the music 
stopped. I almost fainted 
from the shock and abrupt 
ending, but my first 
partner took me by the 
small of my back. 

"I knew you could 
dance. All I had to do was 
look in your eyes. They're 

He handed me 
tickets to another club 
called Boccacio's. He 
promised I'd be a hit and 
that if I went tomorrow 
night there would be a 
dance contest. 

Either out of jealousy or as a result of too 
much liquor, the girls said nothing about my 
crazed dancing. It was as if they hadn't seen me. 
In fact, I seemed to slip back into being invisible 
inside the car. They talked about their ears 
ringing from the loudness of the club and the 
woman with a skirt short enough to see her 
panties. "Didn't you see? They were leopard 
skin panties. Silky. Even looked dirty." Monica 
cursed the lateness, and how her sister would 
beat her with a brush if the car wasn't back in 


ten minutes, the time her sister's boyfriend got 
off work. Zolita talked about the only cute man 
being the bartender, and he was too busy to look 
her way. None of them mentioned my dancing, 
the line of men waiting to wear me out , the 
placing of bets or the odd scent of fire and smoke 
ascending from my pores. 

We all got off at the street lamp, and 

walked to our homes. The early morning sun 

began to crack and the gap in my window let me 

hop into the new light of my room. The June 

bugs already started to calm down, preparing 

themselves for the heat of the day and 

protecting themselves from the wakening birds. 

their stillness signaled 

morning just as sure as the 

sun. I knew in an hour 

Mom would be up praying 

with pillow-flattened hair 

and the bathrobe I gave 

her last year to replace the 

one she wore every 

morning since my birth. It 

would be time for me to 

begin preparing breakfast 

for the guys so I had 

enough time to dress for 

school. I closed my eyes 

and thought about the 

night. The hfe I felt. The 

way my blood ran fast 

inside me. I thought about 

it with a smile 1 never felt 

on my face before. 

The niorning passed 
like any other except that I couldn't hold my feet 
steady. Even Dad noticed that I looked a little 
uneasy. It made him uncomfortable, and he left 
the table without finishing the breakfast I 
prepared. My brothers eyed me suspiciously. 1 
was sure they knew, but no one said anything. It 
was mother who made the comment, "Que 
paso?" She got so close 1 could feel her breath 
mixing with mine. "Are you sick?" 

"No, Mama. I'm fine. I'm going to be late 
for school." 



I did feel a little bit guilty about 
disobeying Mom. Mom had lived through me, 
sure that I was the chosen one. I was the one 
that saved her soul. When someone came over 
to sip juice and talk about politics, as they often 
did in our small town. Mom threw up her hands 
and said she didn't know anything, but Flo 
knows all about everything. Everyone knew to 
speak to Mom they had to speak to me or vice 
versa. I deciphered Moin's foreign tongues as 
wanting a bag of grain to niake bread or as 
ordering a cake for my brother's wedding or 
offering condolences when Carmen Lucero's 
husband died. People in town accepted her crazy 
unknown ways in the same way they accepted 
the superstition that coniets make hair stay black 
for one more day. 

At home I felt 
guilty, but at school I 
couldn't concentrate. 
The thought of dancing 
consumed me. I kept 
asking to go to the 
bathroom so 1 could close 
the door and watch 
myself dance in the 
mirror. I saw my devil 
partner's eyes in mine. 
They were a little darker, 
a little larger with the 
pupil attracting all of the 
attention. The large 
pupil looked like a black 
heart torn out of a puma 
dying in the jungle. Each 
time 1 looked in them I 

hated them, but 1 wanted to see them encourag- 
ing me to dance, to lose myself in my bliss. 

The teachers watched me twitching in my 
seat while my shoulders rolled to the music in 
my head. If 1 closed my eyes I saw my body 
moving. I could smell the warm liquor of the 
bar and the smoke of the endless cigarettes in 
the men's mouths. If I opened my eyes 
everything became the blur of disco lights. By 
the end of the day, I couldn't even hold my 

pencil. 1 used it as an urgent tool to keep the 
beat. 1 took out the ticket to Boccacio's. I waved 
it in the air trying to see if it spoke to me. 

Rain poured wildly when the school bell 
rang. 1 waited at the window to see if it might 
let up, but it gushed like it would never stop. I 
resigned myself to soaking and dashing home 
alone, when 1 spotted Zolita. I always recognized 
her by the big bows she wore in her hair. Her 
mother sold those bows, always with loops and 
extra ribbons hanging off them, in the city on 
Saturday afternoons at the big flea market. 

"Zolita, I'm going to Boccacio's tonight. 

Do you want to come?" 1 hadn't planned on 

asking anyone, but since she invited me dancing 

last night I went ahead asked her to come tonight. 

"Ho, you're as crazy as your mom." She 

said with her cow eyes 

rolling around her very 

brown heart-shaped head. 

"First off, Flo, we don't 

have a car. Second, and I 

hate to break it to you, but 

Jose Carlos' youngest son 

told Miss Castillo he 

danced with you last night, 

and weren't you too young 

to dance in a club like that 

even if your mom allo\ved 

it. You better get home 

quick. Hot Pants." 

1 realized that there 

was no way this news 

escaped Mother. Miss Inez 

Castillo would walk over 

to the post office and 

casually tell Berto the news, and add that wasn't 

it funny that Flo of all people would be in one of 

those sleazy clubs on the outskirts of the red light 

district. Berto, in the middle of his route, \vould 

stop to drink a margarita with the ma\x^r like he 

has done since thev were barelv getting hair on 

their face. He'd tell the mayor how Flo ran off 

with Jose Carlos' son to the red light district. The 

mayor would get upset and tell the store clerk 

how children in this town have ^one to the de\dl. 


The clerk would ask why, and the mayor would 
lean over and say real quietly, like they were 
planning a revolt, that 1 was spotted doing 
favors for men in the back of a club in the red 
light district. Mom would march in, moving her 
knees up real high and buy milk like she did 
every Thursday. The clerk, wiping the sweat off 
his wrinkled forehead, would tell her how he 
feels it is his duty to inform an honorable woman 
and pillar of the community that her daughter 
has taken to prostitution, and if they need the 
cash maybe the town could help out. Before long, 
the whole town would be out shucking corn and 
speculating about my wild doings. 

Gossip spreads faster in this town than the 
juice that slips down your hand while peeling 
an orange. My body felt heavy. The water caught 
in my hair pvilled niy hair back. The weight of 
what 1 did sunk in. The way I snuck out in a 
short dress. The many men I danced with. The 
way I was ready to do it again. My skin still 
smelled like fire. It only took me a second to 
realize that when the rain hit iny skin it turned 
to steam. It scalded. The rain fell. Never before 
in the history of the town had there been rain so 
angry that it turned a girl's skin to steam. I 
opened my arms to try and catch the wind like a 
sail, but whistling steam poured and hissed from 
the inside of my arms. 

I stood there for a long time steaniing. The 
young flesh of my skin turned soggy with open 
pores like a toad on the bottom of a 
formaldehyde barrel. Hot moisture singed my 
body until I glowed the red of a coal in a 
barbecue pit. Mr. Hernandez saw me first. 
Maybe he smelled the burned hair and charred 
skin, or maybe the incredibly warm rain 
erupting from an unexpectedly open sky caused 
him to venture out during his nap time. 
Whatever it was, he came, and just after he came, 
the rest of the town opened their moth-eaten 
screen doors and found me jumping up and 
down. The town, at first mute from shock, did 
nothing. A few women dropped to their knees 
crossing themselves — En el nombre del Padre, del 
hijo y del Espiritu Santo. But no one knew what to 

do about a girl incinerating from rain. 

Mother came out . Rollers in her hair. She 
carried a large blanket and draped it over me. 1 
dropped and rolled. Steam was still escaping 
from the blanket. I stopped. Suddenly, 
everyone noticed the smell in the air. It grew 
like the hibiscus that sprouted between some of 
the vegetable fields. The rain stopped quietly, 
leaving puddles with little worms swimming 
inside and clouds of mosquitoes circling around 
the papaya trees. Everyone wanted to say 
something. They all opened their mouths, ready 
to discuss the strange events, but words didn't 
come out. For a long time they just stood there 
staring, opening and closing their mouths, 
trying to talk. They did this for about an hour. 
Then the women realized dinner needed to get 
cooked, and the men went in to listen to the news. 

Mother took me inside. She forced 
tangerines and mangoes down me. She gave me 
cool sugar water and iced niy back. If I thought 
about dancing I'd start to get warm, and Mom 
would rub salt all over me. We did this all night, 
and by morning there wasn't a pore in my body 
not filled with salt grains. 

"I'ni sorry Mother," I said. 

"Shh! Always a strange girl. Always a 
strange girl." 

Life went on as normal, except Mom 
enrolled me in dance lessons in the city. Every 
Saturday she'd take me over to the city and watch 
through a glass window. I lost myself just the 
same. Once in a while between leaps and 
stretches, I'd glance through to see Mom staring 
at me with a Bible on her lap opened up to the 
passage that she interpreted to say dancing is a 
form of a prayer. 


Robert Carter: / FYee I, maibk 

Photograph courtesy of University Archives/Jackson Library, UNCG 


Anna Akhmatova 

H HayMHJiacb npocro, Myapo «HTb, 
CMOTpexb Ha He6o h mojihtlch Bory, 
H flojiro nepen BenepOM SponHXb, 
Mto6 yroMHTb HenyacHyK) xpeBory. 

Korna uiypmaT b oepare jionyxH 


Cjiaraio a Becejibie cthxh 


H BosBpamaiocb. JIhjkct mhc JianoHb 


H apKHH aaropacTCH oroHb 

Ha SamcHKe oaepnoH jieconHJibHH. 

JlHuib H3penKa npopeBbmaer THuib 
KpHK aHCTa, cjieTCBmero na Kpbimy. 


Mhc KajKCTCH, h naxe He ycjibimy. 


Translation from the original poem by Anna Akhmatova 

Yulia Borodyanskaya 

I learned to live a wise and simple life. 
Look at the sky and say my prayers. 
And wander for long hours at night 
To wear out useless grief and worries. 

When burdocks rustle in a deep ravine 
Admiring a bunch of rowan berries, 
I'm writing happily about earthly life 
And its mortality-inspired beauties. 

I'm coming back. A furry, lazy cat 
Sits on my lap, and purrs its soft affection. 
And fire, bright and restless, burns on top 
Of the sawmill tower, lights a deep backwater. 

A stork flies down to my roof. 
It breaks the quietness with lively screams of care. 
And if you once came knocking, where is the proof 
That 1 would hear you? 


Jon Smith: Mattock, steel and wood 



Jon Smith: Equivalence, steel and wood 

About the Judge: Fiction 
Dr. Charles Tisdale 

Charles Tisdale has been a member of the faculty of the 
English Department at UNCG since 1967. He studied as an 
undergraduate at Sewanee, and completed his doctoral work at 
Princeton with a concentration in medieval language and litera- 
ture, especially Chaucer. However, Dr. Tisdale has never 
thought of himself as a specialist, but has consistently branched 
out into the major European literatures of all periods. He loves 
to teach undergraduates, particularly the 200 level surveys. 
Chaucer, and medieval writers in translation. 

Dr. Tisdale has involved himself in many areas of campus 
life during his twenty-eight years of teaching at UNCG. He was 
a member of the faculty committee which established the Resi- 
dential College, and his contributions over fifteen years are 
memorialized there by the naming of a basement room after 
him. From 1985-1988 he survived a three year stint in 
Mossman Building as Dean of Academic Advising, the last 
holder of the office to be honored by that title. Dr. Tisdale is 
currently running a vigorous campaign for Chair of the Faculty 
Senate which, if successful, should install him in that sinecure 
in the thirtieth year of his tenure in the institution which he has 
so attentively served. His name is associated with two faculty 
initiatives, the 'Tisdale Amendment" in 1971 which espoused 
teaching as the primary role of a faculty member at UNCG, and 
the 'Tisdale Memorandum" in 1994 which he has high hopes 
Avill eventually revitalize morale and the quality of life among 
students, faculty, and administration. It has been said Dr. 
Tisdale's demeanor is "calm and quiescent," but that he is apt to 
"erupt like a volcano" every quarter of a century or so. 

Our judge's credentials for the fiction contest are notewor- 
thy. He began his writing career as a poet at the age of eight 
when, in the second grade at Ellis Avenue Elementary in 
Orangeburg. SC, he produced an award winning poem entitled 
"Old King Gotten." Dr. Tisdale chose heroic couplets for his first 
sally into the muse's domain: "That old King Gotten, coming 
round the bend, /Loaded on the truck, headed for the gin," reads 
the first two lines. His next effort was as a junior at Sewanee 
when he amazed his Horace professor by composing a bucolic 
effusion of mowing grass in pherecratic meter with a trochaic 
substitution in the second foot. His most vaunted achievement 
here was the creation of an anachronistic circumlocution. 
machina quae mandet gramen, for the subject of the poem, 
which is translated "a machine which chews grass." 

After this metorious achievement. Dr. Tisdale did not write 


anything, except term papers, for the next eight years, and, of 
course, one dissertation. At age twenty-nine he again tried his 
hand at poetry, and after a five year apprenticeship finally wrote 
a "real" poem. He has the distinct honor of having his first 
poem accepted by the Texas Quarterly, only to remain unpub- 
lished because of the discontinuing of the journal by the Texas 
Legislature during the oil crisis of the early seventies. 

However, Dr. Tisdale was able to include this success as 
an acceptance in his cover letters to other magazines, and even- 
tually editors began to print his work in such publications as 
the Antioch Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The 
Queen's Quarterly, The Chicago Review, and one was even 
posted on the buses of the Mount Holyoke Transit Authority in 
Boston for a summer. 

Dr. Tisdale began writing fiction because he became dis- 
couraged with the loss of a poetic readership in out culture and 
also when, in the aftermath of a trip to Nicaragua in 1983, the 
idea for a novel wafted through the curtains of his bedroom one 
May evening like a seamless lover. However, because this first 
attempt at a full-length fiction was so autobiographical, involv- 
ing international espionage, AK-47's, the CIA, and an English 
Professor, he was unsuccessful in finding a publisher. 

Never one to give up, however. Dr. Tisdale decided to 
return to the Middle Ages for his next attempt. That work has 
proved more fertile, as the initial novel in a trilogy set in Anglo- 
Saxon England was published in early 1994. The title is Month 
of Swallows and it can be found in the UNCG library or pur- 
chased at the Bookstore. Dr. Tisdale sent the sequel, Holy Isle, 
off to his British publisher a month ago, and is now busily 
revising the final volume. Book of Glass. He wonders what the 
title for the entire trilogy should be, but thinks he might just 
settle on a simple one: NORTHUMBRIA. Any suggestions? 

About the Judge: Art 
Margaret Shearin 

Margaret Shearin graduated with a BA from Wake Forest 
University in 1981, and got her MFA from East Carolina Univer- 
sity School of Arts in 1988. She has written for the once-exis- 
tent magazine ArtVu, and Art Papers. Her reviews have ap- 
peared in Sculpture magazine. Currently, she is an artist and 
writer living in Winston-Salem, NC where she writes a weekly 
column for TRlADStyle. 


SiM "^ 

'— ' -^m 





















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Reprint from 1986 Coraddi