Issue 15

man & the bridge - #15 Cover

cover drawingby Vicky Perry
(drawn for "
Waiting",by Jeff Chang)

 

Katherine Antheil, GuestEditor


Table of Contents

full or partial textavailable for some items

Stories

Poetry

(updated September 25,1996)


© Copyright 1995 EchoesMagazine

All stories, poems, and drawings are protected by copyright andmay not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form, by copyingor by any electronic or mechanical means, without written permissionfrom Echoes Magazine. Individual stories and poems are also copyrightby their authors; drawings are copyright by Echoes Magazine and bythe artists.


Provider, Protector

by Dominic Preziosi
 

Following is a brief excerpt from thestory:

. . .

"Sure," Mary Beth said, stamping out her cigarette in the ashtray. She smoked when she was nervous. It was only the second time she'd visited this summer, and I was sure that my coming along did little to make her more comfortable. A bag of groceries rested on the back seat, along with some wine and a couple of six packs of beer - all the necessary supplies to go with the lobsters we were planning for dinner. Big plans forced her to think positive. Still, she had smoked the whole trip, through the Saturday traffic we'd left at six-thirty in hopes of avoiding. A tattered box of Newports, almost empty, was wedged above the visor of the Jeep. The odor of smoke was already beginning to mask the new-car smell. She had purchased the Jeep just month before (with some creative financing I'd counseled against), and it was beginning to show wear you'd normally expect after a year of use: Frayed floor mats, a small tear in the seat, and a sizable ding in the right front fender. Mary Beth, I was learning, could be hard on things.

She turned off the ignition and we listened as the sound of the engine faded into the early morning quiet. "Ready for the weekend?" she asked, although the way she said it made it sound like a statement - a bit of that positive thinking verbalized. I nodded. We climbed out of the Jeep and made our way to the house.

. . .

MaryBeth, Dennis & Shelly

illustration by Erin Higgins

© Copyright 1996 Dominic Preziosi

Dominic Preziosi is thirty years old and lives in theCarroll Gardens section of Brooklyn with his wife, Lisa. He holds anMFA from Brooklyn College and an MA from the City University of NewYork. Dominic has worked in publishing since 1987 and is currentlycopy chief at Data Communications magazine, but he hopes one day toteach creative writing for a living. Dominic names Joyce, Cheever,O'Connor, and Carver as writers who have influenced his work.(8/96)

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FishPond,Ji'an, Jiangxi Province

by Joseph Farley

 

Watching the shadows
in the water, the bubbles,
ripples, beginning and ending there,
I know the fish pond is well stocked
with tomorrow's supper,
but this is not as important
or as wonderful as the sun
painted over the mountains,
a few clouds sprinkled here and there
and one swallow
skimming across the water;
catching a sip in flight.

© Copyright 1996 Joseph Farley

Joseph Farley, thirty-four, has been writing seriouslysince he was seventeen. A former public relations specialist, for thepast five years he has been investigating discrimination cases andhas been the editor of the Axe Factory Review since 1986. Hehas several chapbooks and his work has also appeared in MudvilleDiaries and The Next Parish Over: A Collection ofIrish-American Writing. (8/96)

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Cold Blooded

by Rick Chillot

 

Following is a brief excerpt from thestory:

. . .

I watched Jake for another ten minutes. He gradually slid his entire body into the water dish, coiling until only his head was above water. On my way out of the room, I stopped at the big gray trash can in the corner. I looked back at Jake, then reached into my coat and pulled out Dean's manila envelope. I dropped it into the trash, right on top of a thick pile of mimeographs. I turned out the lights.

I was almost out of the building when I stopped. I imagined Dean and all my classmates laughing at me for my cowardice. With my heart pounding, I went back into Mrs. Sweeney's classroom. I glanced at the window sill and saw that Jake had slithered back into the sun again. I realized that Mrs. Sweeney had raised the blind to give him more light.

I closed my eyes, reached into the trash can and grabbed the envelope. I ran practically the whole way home, imagining bullets and arrows and bombs being shot at me from every window and doorway.

. . .

 

© Copyright 1996 Rick Chillot

Rick Chillot, an editor at Men's Health Online, says hewrites best when there's a million other things he should be doing --or would rather be doing -- riding his bike, painting, doing radioshows, folding paper into useless shapes, eating pizza or drinkingbeer. . (8/96)

 

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Prelude

by Pandora Deichert

I bit into a pear --
it tasted of lilacs
and I caught the juice at my wrist
with my tongue.
Legs up, settled into
the corner of a weathered-wood porch swing,
the close summer evening
was heavy with touchable stars.
Fireflies lit,
a slow marriage with the night,
and drifted lazily
amidst the arms of a rhododendron tree
which carried pink purple flower bouquets
as bridesmaids at the wedding.
Sweet perfume sang
from a tangle of honeysuckle,
the swing creaked gently
but I could not match my body
to the rhythm of cicadas
hidden somewhere in the shadows.
So, I lay back my head,
thinking of nothing,
and swam with eyes closed
along this fringe of tomorrow.

girl on porch swing
illustration by Vicky Perry

 

© Copyright 1996 Pandora Deichert

Pandora Deichert says that "Prelude" was fairly easy towrite -- it's her parents' front porch back home, and she lived thatpoem countless times. "Autumn Yield" is a memory from the home sheshared with her husband in Pennsylvania. They now live in Des Moines,Iowa, where Pandora enjoys a career as well as writing poems, essays,articles and short stories. . (8/96)

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Twin Beads

by Mary Hanford

 

Following is a brief excerpt from thestory:

 . . .

I didn't have a moment longer to think about it, though. Eager students flocked about me, stretching out hands for me to shake, as if I were the pope or president. A spokesman made a speech about the increase of blessings represented by my visit. They didn't look blessed to me. All were dressed in near rags; many had rotted teeth and scabbed skin. Most were in their twenties, some with babies on their backs. One infant's crying face reminded me of the way my daughter Rosalind's had screwed up in her losing struggle for life. The mother looked about the same age I was when Rosalind died, but she was stick thin, whereas I had never lost the "baby weight." A familiar sense of failure overpowered me. I resolved to succeed in this teaching assignment, overwhelmed or not.

My duty was to prepare these rural students for their annual examinations in American literature. The students had no books, nor had they had any instruction in American literature. Yet their scores on the examination would determine their economic status in Cameroon! Inwardly wondering why I had come, I promised the students that we would cover all the books on the examination reading list.

 . . .

Twin Beads

illustration by Erin Higgins

© Copyright 1996 Mary Hanford

Mary Hanford was born in Washington, DC. and brought up inEurope and the Southwest. She teaches English at Monmouth College,Illinois. She taught on a Fulbright in Cameroon, on the west coast ofAfrica, and directed the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Programin Zimbabwe. Mary says she is "young enough to be remarried, oldenough to have two sons and one granddaughter, and vain enough tohide her age!" Her short stories and poems have been published allaround the world, including journals from Arizona to Maine, India,and Israel. . . (8/96)

 

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waiting

by Jeff Chang

 

today he's standing at the top of the old stone bridge
like a rainbow it curls gently over the train tracks
allowing enough room for a cloud to pass underneath

today the funny man in the red knit stocking cap
is standing at the top
torso pressed hard against the shiny metal railing
eyes searching along the tracks, waiting

his companion, a golden dog with soulful eyes
waits beside him
worn leather leash strung out across the pavement
dangling freely

the pair are always on the bridge
ascending
descending
sometimes stopping somewhere in the middle
seemingly unsure of a destination

some days the funny man with the strange smile
and sparkling buck teeth
sits at the bottom, on a brick fence
his golden dog below him, on the sidewalk
leash strewn across the grass

on the fence
the newly waxed cars shimmer as they race by
convertibles full of sun baked teens honking and hollering
waving at the retarded man in the red knit stocking cap
some days he waves back
other days he walks up to the top and waits

the metal railing rattles as a train draws near
his body vibrates as he leans forward
eyes closed
and then
the train whisks by, followed by a tremendous wind
he smiles his strange smile

some days i wonder whether he waits for the gust
to blow him in front of the oncoming traffic
or to send him like a balloon, away from this place

up like a balloon (
illustration by Vicky Perry . . . . ..

 

© Copyright 1996 JeffChang

Jeff Chang is twenty-three years old, a recent graduate ofthe University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Last year he studiedabroad in Wollongong, Australia where he took a writing class for funand ended up writing poetry. "waiting" is an account of a man heoften passed on the street in Wollongong. He continues to takewriting classes and plans to move out west to begin a writing career..(8/96)

 

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About our Guest Editor...

 

Katherine Antheil studied philosophy and literature at Kenyon College, and works on Web sites for Rodale Press. She enjoys reading, watching lots of movies, training for her first half-marathon, and volunteering at Echoes every week. Katie is very versatile -- she reviews submissions, edits stories for publication, and helped design our Web pages! . (8/96)

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