The Architect by Craig Billow
The Architect by Craig Billow

Volume 4.4—Winter 2009-2010

Artwork | Fiction | Poetry | Western Australian Showcase | 2009 Pushcart Prize Nominees

Editor’s Notes

This issue came together in a quietly spectacular way. As we put together the proofs, frost was icing the lawns of Salem, Oregon. Men were climbing ladders and hanging Christmas lights from the rooftops. As we edited the issue, we listened to the recordings of the Western Australian poems and communicated with the poets through email. Their voices and work radiated warmth in the chilly Pacific Northwest day. [more]


Craig Billow | bio

The Chuter Takes Aim by Craig Billow    Urban Renewal by Craig Billow

The Chuter Takes Aim | Urban Renewal


Seth Borgen | I Used to Know This Place

Bones and Sidney loved each other like soldiers and pitied all friendships not their own. In their last winter of high school, they rattled down Main Street in Bones’ ’82 Civic. The yet-to-overturned zoning laws of Hunnsicker Township prohibited change, one side of Main Street a city green and gazebo, the other a train of antique stores, candle stores, and an old-fashioned soda fountain called Saywell’s. Behind Main Street sprawled vast nothing, back roads and barren, loping fields of snow and mud ... [more]

Bridget Hardy | How to be a Ballroom Regular

The worries of your common life have released you for the night.

The cat vomit you left next to the couch; your sometimes-boyfriend, who left a message on your machine while you blotted your lipstick with a credit card bill; your goal to become editor of the trite features section of the newspaper and still be a contributor to world peace, etc.; gone, all of it ... [more]

David Susman | Take the E-Match Quiz

1. What is your favorite color?
2. What is your idea of the perfect evening?
3. How long ago was your last relationship?
4. Did he know what your favorite color was? Did he ever try to create the perfect evening for you?
5. Was it a serious relationship? Did it last longer than the relationship before it?
6. When did you start seeing your relationships as a sequence? When did the sequence become something to be studied and understood, like a strand of DNA? [more]


Mandy Malloy | The C.E.O.’s Announcement, Transcribed By My Heart

I find myself compelled to tell you
about my journey to find beauty.
How I watched it fight
to give itself up to words ... [more]

Diane Seuss
| boy god wearing nouveau Fauntleroy knee pants

let me indulge your love
for my spinning prayer
wheel, its whizzing daisy
chain. i like a boy with a huge
Victorian dollhouse ... [more]

Diane Seuss
| How about this?

Instead of titling the chapters after men I thought I loved:
Sam, Warren, Billy with the Wooden Leg, Dorian, Chuck,
Keith, Craig Who Was a Shondelle, Kevin, Peter the Shy,

Abed the Supposed Heart Doctor, I use the names
of casseroles that didn’t quite work out, in alphabetical order ... [more]

Eric Vithalani
| The Darkest Corner of Heaven

It is sad
that the pigeons
do not dance
more, and the keys
to the old Thunderbird
only move
with the open window ... [more]

Eric Vithalani
| Soldier (1943)

Across the Aries River, a town
burns like a slim, solo
ballerina’s turn. Do we still
have to go? For mortality,
the answer is yes ... [more]

Western Australian Showcase

Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre

The Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre is the oldest writers’ center of its kind in Australia located in the Perth hills. Editor H.K. Hummel spent the month of August there as Writer-in-Residence. The following poems were collected and recorded in the bustling facilities located in the former home of Katharine Susannah Prichard, author of Coonardoo, Working Bullocks, and The Goldfields Trilogy.


Sally Clarke | falling   

you should write about a broken arm,
your quick step, his side step, deadly dance,
bodies tangled on the kitchen floor ... [more]

Paula Jones
| Semi-Circle   

we are attempting
perfect harmony
mathematics of mind
divided by the philosophy
of slow breathing ... [more]

Mardi May
| Music    

Stem of the cello
rests on my sternum
the rise and fall
of breathing
through bone ... [more]

Mardi May
| Trading Lovers   

When we are old, we will sip red wine

and talk of the lovers who coloured our lives ... [more]

Jo Mills | Aphrodite’s Smile   

movement on the waters
semen of a god catches flying foam
beauty born, pale curves of
hips, luxurious breasts
vicarious pleasures founded on
her Botticelli smile ... [more]

Agnes O’Kane
| Leaving: A Ghazal  

Winds of change surge, rising hormones seethe, so you leave
drawn to the lights, dreams and bags gripped tight as you leave

Sampling smorgasbord delights of a dazzling city life
touched by loves, you find your voice, choose when to leave ... [more]

Glen Phillips
| The Remarkable Absence of Birds

At Xian’s Little Goose Pagoda at last
I find the birds. Not many, they cluster
round an ancient two-wheeled cart ... [more]

Rose van Son
| Family Visit  

when her brother visits
he brings eggs
from his mother’s hens
& a very large pumpkin
composted in seed ... [more]

2009 Pushcart Prize Nominees

  1. Scott Gould, Boy on Fire: Williamsburg County, 1971 (nonfiction)
  2. Cecelia Hagen, Praying and Cursing (poetry)
  3. Sean Patrick Hill, Love Terns (poetry)
  4. Colin Pope, On the Disappearance of Bees, Spring 2009 (poetry)

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