Stevie is a 26-year-old Pennsylvanian transplant with a bachelor of arts in creative writing from Susquehanna University. She was recently named Editor-in-Chief of The Corvallis Advocate, leaving little time for poetry – and works part time as a mental health professional. Her humanness and the curious threadwork of life in infinitum, from micro to macro, tempt her brain and body with satisfactory uncertainty. She’s trying to make sense of it too, in hopes she never will.
hinge me moon crook
hang my human suit,
slipped into tomorrow, a plastic bag
of dreams past on the pillow
I liked being a girl
inside a girl inside
what, I don’t know —
mush womb puss and
smeared mirror creature
hands drawing hands drawing
what heeds our living —
transfixed enigma, what churns
this heartbeat nursery:
choir of childsbreath
cooing like newborns we
mouth our sounds
marvel at mazewire, each
maneuver — bone roll scars like burnt
rings of bark I’ve changed
sizes again the fabric’s edge ebbs —
saw that violin like it was slicing
and this is no prize
I’ll build a new house.
Kiki is a 30-year-old Canadian graduate of the University of Oregon, where she studied poetry and painting, and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She currently lives in Corvallis, where she is a staff writer for The Corvallis Advocate.
do you remember
last summer? do you remember
how the sky opened up? can you recall
the clockwork, the vast mandala
of cogs beating time to the weather?
were you nestled next to me, curled
up with your hand resting unknowing
on my breast while we stared up into
clockwork of clouds, wild and grass-
stained and unbelieving?
can you recall river trips,
the day we stood smoking reds
outside the 76, when the thermometer
shot up to one-hundred-and-twelve?
can you see it: you and I curled into
the flatbed of that sweaty afternoon,
salty and unashamed when we came unstuck
with a momentary chafe of your molecules
against my molecules, your stubble to
my scars, intimate and innocent,
together but apart?
when I think of last summer,
she told me, I think of the living room
of your small, dingy apartment
on 18th and Alder, in the building they stripped
this year and are painting shit-red. this is
the first floor above the parking lot where
each night meth-heads broke into cars
and woke you up with alarms, where we found
safety glass everywhere and listened to secrets
like the thousand baby birds roosting
in the floor beneath your futon
and where we hid the stash.
she had never seen an apartment like that— so small,
so spare, so she covered the walls in
her own posters, ones she knew I’d take back
down in time, and she looked around for
a blanket that would fit over the terrible couch,
which was too hard to sit on: something
massive, wooden, covered in foam padding and
disguised in red and green plaid
like something out of a seventies Canadian hunting lodge.
I got paint all over your carpet, she told me,
after I paid back the deposit myself. she dropped
ash on the carpet. she burned resin stains into
the molding of the wall, she cut up lines on the
kitchen counter but she didn’t leave a scratch.
alder street served as my wood-between-
the-worlds; leading out to lots and alleys
and sometimes a little copse, but always
a route to my own narnia, my own
dying city of charm. I rang the bell,
hitting the gong of my cerebral
cortex, and found that a mind is
a terrible thing to waste.
drugs were still a crime, then, so she’d act
only as the middle-man, calling and carrying
for a few extra dollars; when the clock
struck twelve and the air turned cool enough
to move, we’d take shots and make a toast
and then kneel on the floor to squeeze paint
from the tubes, to cover a canvas
in our own exceptional vision. can you
remember what we painted? was
it ever any good?
when I think of alder street, she whispered,
that’s what I see, that paintbrush dripping
with green, your body
dripping with heat.