Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Cherrypicked Hands #2

Today is a big day in the small history of Cherrypicked Hands. It is our second issue. To continue the theme of "second" things, there will be two items in this second issue - the first, and the second. They are both poems.

You may be saying to yourself that this is a short issue. You are right - it is a short issue. That's because I'm a short man, and time is short, and also, mainly, because I have only yet received two submissions that I feel are worthy to be included.

This will mark a change in the way Cherrypicked Hands is distributed to the big wide world. From now on, I declare issues will only be issued as and when I feel there is something worth issuing. If I receive one thing I think should be issued, I will issue it, and will no longer wait until I have amassed enough other submissions to make an issue seem worthwhile. I hope that has cleared that issue up.

In editorial news, there is not much to say. We have a new government here in England. I didn't vote for it, but that doesn't matter. Other people did - kind of - and in times like these, I always try to think of other people. Summer is on its way, but the nights are still cold, and every day I still have to go scavenging through my local woods in my caveman outfit and lug back armloads of logs to burn on my fire. It is nice, but tiring. One time I found a collection of logs all set together, as if somebody was preparing their own fire with them, but as I didn't see anyone around, I picked them up and carried them back to my place. I think you will all agree that this does not make me a thief. I am drinking a lot, but I am not an alcoholic.

What other news? I am still getting Chinese/Japanese and sometimes English messages about sex. Sometimes these links to sex sites are disguised as words of wisdom - "Do not cast the first stone!" says one of them. I clicked on this link, and was led to a world of sex and iniquity.
I suppose it is something you just have to get used to if you start an online literary magazine. Since starting it, I have indeed been plagued by sex.

Oh well.

Other news? I don't think there is, no. I suppose one downside of what I envisage to be more regular updates of Cherrypicked Hands is that I will have to write more editorials. It is time I started to lead a more active lifestyle, in order to have more things to fill you in on. Hm.

In the meantime, enjoy the issue. It is short, but as I always tell my girlfriend, that doesn't mean it won't do the trick.


by William Doreski

Leering over crossword puzzles
for days and weeks has numbed me
with words like aloe, natal, fungus-
vowel-rich and useless except
to fill spaces empty as the rooms

of the house you abandoned when
a man of nonlinear mien
impressed you away with him.
Mien is another crossword. Too bad
you've left me with so many spaces

to fill with only five vowels
and the occasional y. Too bad
your new mien man can't solve
the warp you've left in time and place,
which eventually will overtake

and fell you both. Fell is another
crossword. Yes, it will hurt you.
Like that honky-tonk night in Dreamland
when in a Coney Island mood
lost in a single mutual smile

we drifted among bristling nightclubs
and swaggered home too tipsy to tell.
Tipsy occasionally crops up
in crosswords, and swagger as well.
Every day the New York Times

delivers fresh invective
to direct at the silence you left
brimming in the kitchen where we sliced
mushrooms fresh from the uplands.
That man you've snagged won't savor

wild mushrooms the way I do,
but maybe he'll make up for it
by eschewing crossword puzzles
in favor of a smaller lexis
still ripe enough to inscribe you.

also by William Doreski

Bicycling to New York to track you
to your lair, I feel the small towns
cringe in the heat of my passing.

Churches sag on brick foundations.
General stores peddle doughnuts
ten years old. Gas pumps weep fumes

that sicken mothers and children
en route to the local mall. The light
of Connecticut looks too slack

to support its huge economy.
Factories stand around sadly,
underemployed. My bicycle creaks

beneath me, tired of my weight.
I stop and oil the chain. Standing
instead of pedaling feels so natural

I question why I'm devouring
all these miles to expose you
rapt with your ripest lover yet.

Not my business anyway, this leer
you impose on half the world.
Let the Defense Department worry

about vulnerabilities exposed
by your rage for self-creation.
Let the President quake in his shoes

whenever your name scrawls itself
across an otherwise cloudless sky.
I point my bicycle home but walk

rather than ride, the long slow distance
extending my life span one town
at a time, the clapboard houses

waving their mortgages like hand-
kerchiefs at a parade, the landscape
too bulldozed and paved to object.

William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire.
He told me some other stuff about himself, but I have accidentally
deleted his email, and can't find it, and rather than email him again
and admit to my embarrassing mistake, I have chosen instead
to simply give you the barest outline of his biography. I hope he
doesn't mind this.

by Meg Eden

what are you doing here? a man in the

airport asks.

it isn’t the Olympics yet. come back later,

as if Beijing is still dressing up, has her

panties over her head, no

make-up on.

we wanted to see China, we answer,

carrying suitcases to the bright hotel in front of

cheap camera stores.

everything reeks of pollution.

but it’s cold. you come back though, right?

white people are walking purses.

we tell him we’ll see.

Meg Eden is the name of the person who wrote this poem.
She's been published in a lot of places and has won quite a few
awards. Unfortunately, in the same catastrophe that also
deleted William Doreski's emails, her full biography has gone
missing - I have also decided to withhold this from her until
now. I hope she is all right with this.

I have also realised this has been quite an error-prone issue,
as I firstlyhinted that there were two things in this issue
(the first, and the second) but I now discover there are,
actually, three things in it. That is a bonus for you, reader,
no doubt, but it does make me look a bit like an unprepared fool.

Let's ignore it, hey?

Yes. Let's. Until next time - farewell!