By Erin Carlyle
she is not the brilliant head of anything. she sits slack and never learns. you bring her dreams fully back to their beginnings. is she a bird girl or a deer girl? which one is the one that is the best to be? if she were a cat, how could she have chased you under all of that dust and distance while you never follow anything that isn’t a hard pill to swallow? here is a story: once, a long time ago, nothing happened and all of the people everywhere burned in their stomachs because they wanted to be. Understood? you little old thing. what is the age that is the age that no one will comment on? can’t be the same one that the cat whispered you’d die at. sly thing under the couch. she hides from the thunder of course. she licks her fur until she is clean of course. she reminds us that we eat dirt in the desert. she forgets to tell us not to rub her against the grain.
Living in poverty as a child in the rural south, Erin Carlyle found solace writing poems modeled after Emily Dickinson. Her poetry is informed by the deep South countryside and a lifetime of living in poverty. Currently a MFA candidate at New Mexico State University, she holds a MA in literary and textual studies from Bowling Green State University and a graduate certificate in gender and women’s studies from Western Kentucky University. Her recent work concerns the effects of gender, class, and geography on the body. Her work appears in journals such as the Yellow Medicine Review and The Zephyrus.
Art: “Desolate” by Courtney Kenny Porto
Porto has been featured in numerous publications, anthologies, blogs and television interviews. Most recently, she was honored to have been featured on Maxim Feminine Hygiene’s Blog, “Green Feminine Hygiene Queen Blog” as March 2015’s “Fierce Woman”. She has also been featured in “Her Magazine”, “The Reader”, “Omaha Magazine”, the “Morning Blend” (KMTV), Channel 6 News, and The Omaha World Herald among many others. She has been an art instructor with WhyArts and the “Artists in Our Community” project through Omaha Creative Institute. She is also an Artist INC fellow. She was recently nominated for “Best Emerging Artist 2015” by The Omaha Arts and Entertainment Awards, was selected as 1 of 10 artists to be included in the 2015 FBAlous Project Banner display in Omaha, NE and received 3rd place at Friends of Art’s ARTslam 2015.