In an interview about his school, Stanley Bosworth speaks of the god in all of us, the god in which we do not even have to believe, “because simply the fact of Bach, the fact of music…the fact of discovery, the fact of Degas, the fact of one thousand other artists and writers and Yeats above all is what sacredness is about…” All of this, he concludes, is the fundamental “mobile” of Saint Ann’s School.
His interviews bring back the memory of hearing him speak live. To me it always felt like watching a masterful musician improvise- thrilling, risky, profound. “We are near god as ever we can be…”
The school, he tells, is about communication. How appropriate that a literary journal was born here.
I recently started work as assistant editor. Going through past issues, I found myself wading through wonders:
By Mervyn Taylor
night in the park Odetta sang Alabama
And I thought I saw your hat
Moving through the crowd, and I thought
I heard you call for a second microphone and
Everything just got so still.
And Odetta sang
That traveling song, and the glare
From her white dress made me close my eyes.
And the white boy made that stride piano
Sound like a train moving through the dark,
And Odetta did like she was waving from
A window, and you were coming down the aisle.
Last stop, you whispered, without slowing down.
One day in the office, I caught Beth frozen over a poem. “I used to love this poem,” she said. “Do you still?” I asked. “Yes”
By Alberta Turner
put childish things away,
have scrubbed and rinsed and put
on shoes and grown discrete.
My morals loosen, my breasts
sag, my nose lengthens.
Dinosaurs in plastic coats
greet me in the Child’s
Museum. I drink milk. I wear
diapers. My future is
inscribed on granite
and deciphered by tourists
with pointy heads, who
drive up in saucers. My god floats
in space, hunting for stars
that have swallowed their
That lives are round.
We worry, but we’ll be OK.
Come, Little Ones, curl
around me, and wait.
In an interview with Edwidge Danticat, Beth Bosworth asks what guides the shape of a story or a novel.
"ED: The characters guide that. The characters guide how the story is told. The stories that I've written in third person always come that way, where you see a scene and you're watching something, as opposed to the stories that I tell in the first person, where I feel that I hear the person telling me the story. The stories and characters often dictate the form and the structure. And some stories are faster than others because you feel that's how the person would tell it. There's an attempt at copying a voice.
BB: You use the word "patience." What you're describing seems to require time and a degree of peace, to be able to hear the characters.
ED: Well, as far as the time goes, I'm learning more and more to wait for something to come. To wait for the stories. Because I've had such great coincidences, where I'm writing a story and I just see something on the street that is the answer to where the story should go next. Or I go to bed and have a dream which dictates the next move for the character. I'm just now learning more and more to trust that, that if it comes, it's ok, and if it doesn't, it's ok too. We live in a society where everything works so quickly that it's much harder to wait for a catalyst or a solution. However, I am learning more and more if a story's not working, to just leave it alone and give it time to resolve itself.
BB: You enjoy writing?
ED: I enjoy writing but sometimes I find it extremely difficult. Sometimes it feels like somebody really sadistic is playing with you, because some days it’s great and then other days it’s so hard and you feel like you’ll never do it again. That’s why I say I’m learning to be patient and to trust that it will happen again, that a line, or a word will come when it wants to."
The god that is everywhere may strike; if she does, good, and if not, also good. Stanley loves it.
The upcoming issue features poetry by Justin Boening (including a review of his chapbook “Self-Portrait as Missing Person,”) and Marina Kaganova, translations of Arseny Tarkovsky by Jeff Landman, a translation of Efrain Bartolome’s “Ocosingo War Diary: Voices from Chiapas” by Kevin Brown, and prose by Ingrid Norton, Diane Greco, and Curt Saltzman. It also features an interview and poems by Saar Yachin, as well as essays by Lori Horvitz, Sue Allison, and art by writers who make art such as Mark Strand and Bianca Stone. We read submissions September-July.
Listen to Beth Bosworth read from her work on “The Next Hour” WBAI 99.5 FM this Sunday from 11-12 www.wbai.org. Also featuring playwright Halley Feiffer and poet D. Nurkse
Watch “First Meetings” by Arseny Tarkovsky in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film “The Mirror"
Translation by Jeff Landman
Each moment of our every
we celebrated in revelation,
one in the whole world. You
bolder and lighter than a bird on wing,
down the stairs like vertigo
took me running through the dew-
damp lilac to your sanctuary
on the other side of the silvered glass.
When night began grace
was granted me, the chancel gates
opened, and our nakedness slowly
stretched out sparks in the darkness,
and awakened, “Be Blessed”
I cried and knew my benediction
bold: you slept
and the lilacs hung heaven’s whole blue
above your eyelids, and touched
you were calm and your hand was warm.
And in the crystal rivers
mountains billowed, oceans dawned glinting,
and you palmed the sphere,
a crystal globe, and you slept on the throne,
and - Good God! - you were mine.
Everything in the bright world was transfigured,
even simple things - a basin, a pitcher - when
standing between us, as if on guard,
solid and stratified, was water.
Miraculously built cities parted
like mirages before us, mint
laid itself beneath our feet, and
there were birds with us along the way,
and fish writhed out of the river,
and the sky unfurled before our eyes…
While fate trailed our steps
like a madman, blade in hand.