It’s true Conduit may have too many slogans for a budget-deficit endeavor,
but we insist. One of my personal favorites states that it’s published “when
least expected.” This refers to our irregular schedule. Conduit is a biannual that has been publishing since 1993, yet only
recently did we publish our twentieth issue. No, the math doesn’t quite add up,
but nevertheless we persist.
The idea for Conduit came to me, just before I graduated from the University of Massachusetts, when I realized that few of my many talented associates were getting published. Because there were fewer venues to publish then and even fewer willing to take chances on unknown voices, or so I thought, I determined the remedy for such a malady was to start a magazine, to start “the only magazine that risks annihilation,” and thus Conduit was born. From the beginning, we’ve championed the young, the unknown, and the unaffiliated. It’s a joy to publish one’s heroes as we have, but it’s almost sweeter to find a wildflower among the weeds.
Carley Moore’s “The Match” is the first poem in our twentieth issue, “Humans ‘N Nature.” I can’t say I know much about Ms. Moore aside from she writes a no nonsense cover letter and polite emails, but we took a fancy to her poem right away. And when the time came I knew “The Match” had to lead the issue off. Plainspoken as it appears, the poem welcomes, calms, disarms, and even comforts before dispatching the reader to that beautiful, yet slippery, precipice where reason and unreason hang in the balance.
-- William Waltz
At the stairs to the top of the volcano,
you warn me, “Secrets are small fires.
Let’s be more primitive. Let’s tie ourselves up.
Let’s wait for the monster.”
We do. We tie. We wait. And we wait.
This waiting is more like a highway than a staircase.
This waiting is more like waiting than I thought it would be.
There are things that are right about the moon,
but it’s not enough. You want to live underneath the volcano—
to stop hanging out in other people’s hallways.
You want to take the kitchen chairs out of the kitchen.
It’s not unreasonable, but then you cut your heel on the crust of the volcano.
You beg to be put to bed and I do it.
I pretend to know what you are.
You are something that lies down and offers itself.
You are small and almost wooden—a match trying to move to the fire.
You are my arm reaching to turn out the light.
-- Carley Moore