Issue One: June 1, 2018
In Movies, The Apocalypse
is always nigh, drives the ache in the head of the unsung genius deeper as he circumnavigates
the earth in his grey submarine, the soft green glow of a warhead within it. He looks like a savior
but he is disturbed, kept awake at night by angels hammering scenes of heaven onto his walls.
On the mainland, people remain hysterical about the world’s end as they engineer its quickening,
aiming their nuke at the oceanic trench where, of course, the genius is not. One man can save them
but he is very drunk, heartbroken- drunk, and hasn’t shaved for days. He cares not about humanity
stretching out into nothing, wants only the miraculous black of sleep, or for his beautiful dead wife to
awaken and smile at him as she once did in the love montage of his mind. In this script, sadly, he won’t rouse
from the crook of his elbow on the bar. A housefly circles his bitter beer as the mainlanders aim, press the red
button, grasp each other in slow-motion joy, some of them leaping into the air, up and up as the missile they believe will
save them dives down and down and down.
When I Belonged to a Southern City
The city was small, not even a city. There was a neighborhood here, a hospital there, but nothing connected by roads. It was a city without cement or intersections yet the lonely streetlights kept changing, hoping for something to be built. Blond beauties with red lips and pointed shoes stumbled over rocks and weeds, or else the cloth jackets of their valiant men who threw them over the sullen land, though the jackets, so soaked in mud, seemed woven of mud. But the women remained very gracious and thanked them. They drank mint juleps at the edge of the forest where they raced their unbridled horses on invisible tracks. The wild horses ran into each other as the people chatted weather and delighted at the collisions, their mud stained suits and shoes shining. They laughed. They cheered. They drank. Their horses galloped spirals, died of thirst. They called themselves very fine fellows.
From here you sound like wounded dogs wailing on the sea.
Don’t change course. Don’t swim out to us.
We sing for each other. What you have heard was never meant for you at all.
DANIELLE CADENA DEULEN is the author of three books and a chapbook: Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Us(2015), which won the Barrow Street Book Contest, American Libretto (2015), which won the Sow’s Ear Chapbook Contest; The Riots (2011), which won the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction and the GLCA New Writers Award; and Lovely Asunder(2011), which won the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize and the Utah Book Award. She has been the recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship, The Renjen Prize for Faculty Excellence, an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, three Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Awards, and a Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship. Her poems and essays have appeared in many journals, including The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, The Utne Reader, as well as several anthologies, including Best New Poets, and After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essays. She is the poetry editor of Acre Books and lives in Salem, Oregon, where she is an Associate Professor at Willamette University.