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Cut Out 4366, Multiple windows cut out of paper, mounted in plexiglas box, 10” x 14” x 3”, 2014 by Daniella Woolf

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David Allen Sullivan

Pulled In

When my son fought me about getting in the bath—
clawing at doorways, denouncing me and all
the world’s injustices, I clasped flailing limbs
to his sides and dumped him in the tub, fully clothed.
His mouth opened wide—
                                           then he pulled me in.

The Hang of It

The mask my son carved: heavy warp
of kiln-hard clay, eye slits roughly gouged,
edges puckered by his fingerings bloom outwards.
Nose, a pyramid, cut and laid on top.
Diagonal, tractor-tire slash the only mouth.
A fright of dried hay sprouts from the top.
He takes it from me, gingerly, like some relic.
Stiffly bows to it, eyes filling the holes,
a familiar foreigner.
                                 “Let’s hang it up safe”
I say, pulling it off his face, feeling the shell
overfill my hands.


Out of the Dark

I approach the room, push open the door, and there’s
the rocking boy on the pull-out day-bed
with its rough herringboned weave of orange and black
just where I left him. The grandfather clock counts down
its drip feed of hours. Light gleams like whiskey
on a slurred tumbler. Why were all the lights left on?
He’s rocking hard, creak of the springs must comfort.
He shuckles, a Jew at prayer, a flame dancing
away from a wick, unaware of me.
His body fiercely oscillates around some still
center he can’t reach. My hand extends, stops
just short of his moving form. Do I dare touch him?
I bend to the rush of his breath. I see he’s wearing my face
crosshatched by couch bruise, that he’s been waiting,
eyes clamped tight. Whisper: Come, it’s time to go.

David Allen Sullivan’s first book, Strong-Armed Angels, was published by Hummingbird Press, and three of its poems were read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. Every Seed of the Pomegranate, a multi-voiced manuscript about the war in Iraq, was published by Tebot Bach. A book of translation from the Arabic of Iraqi Adnan Al-Sayegh, Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet was published in 2013, and Black Ice, about his father’s dementia and death, is forthcoming from Turning Point. He teaches at Cabrillo College, where he edits the Porter Gulch Review with his students, and lives in Santa Cruz with his love, the historian Cherie Barkey, and their two children, Jules and Mina Barivan. He was awarded a Fulbright, and taught in China for one year. Visit David's web site HERE.

Wallace Baine
Elizabeth McKenzie
Jill Wolfson

Carolyn Burke
Patrice Vecchione

Stephen Kessler
David Allen Sullivan

Daniella Woolf

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