Editor’s Note: Edie Rhoads
Snake Charm Tattoos, Myanmar
What Dirt Smells Like
What Makes a Peaceful Warrior
Archival Footage: Johns Hopkins, 1944
Finding a Story for my Granddaughter, Aged 3
Rose & Nightingale
Gabi Marcel Shapiro
Estrellas de Piel – Skin of Stars
Translation by Blossom S. Kirschenbaum
An excerpt from the play, ‘Green Eden’
Poppa Neutrino & Christine Ellis
An excerpt from ‘North Beach Revisited: Burlington, Vermont’
An excerpt from ‘Skinny Dipping’
Gamble everything for love,
if you’re a true human being.
Half-heartedness doesn’t reach
into majesty. You set out
to find God, but then you keep
stopping for long periods
at mean-spirited roadhouses.
In a boat down a fast-running creek,
it feels like trees on the bank
are rushing by. What seems
to be changing around us
is rather the speed of our craft
leaving this world.
– From ‘Gambling’, by Rumi
It‘s with great pleasure that we present the poetry and prose in this spring’s Salon, which remind us of the many ways to answer Rumi’s challenge. Ink to ink, these authors gamble the unseen and the real, risking a reach into majesty. Our third issue of The Salon represents an exciting new partnership with Burlington City Arts, who have made their own gamble for love’s confusing joy by offering to assist us with printing and to host our readings at the lovely BCA Center, where our first issue was fêted. Special thanks to Communications Director Eric Ford for his enthusiasm and generous aid. Heartfelt appreciation to all our supporters as we gather between these covers in honor of communion, courage, and the necessity of self-expression.
– Edie Rhoads, Associate Editor
JOAN ALESHIRE (no relation to the editor) has taught in the MFA Program at Warren Wilson College since 1983. Her fifth book of poems, Happily, comes out from Four Way Books in 2012. She lives in Shrewsbury, VT.
DARSHANA BOLT is an artist, clothing designer for Hot Cooter Hi-End Fashions, art critic for Art Map Burlington, Ramble coordinator, poet, story-writer, lead singer in a punk/drag band called Moustache Ride, model/narcissist, rainbow/spandex/moonboot-enthusiast, Teflon-scraper, anarchist, art teacher, messmaker, and aspiring unicorn. She has a website for brand new things (darshanabolt.wordpress.com) and a website full of older things (darshanabolt.weebly.com).
ANTONELLO BORRA is a poet, translator, and scholar. He is the author of Guittone d’Arezzo e le maschere del poeta, and the co-author of three books of language pedagogy. His most recent volume of poetry is Alfabestiario. He regularly contributes with poems, translations, and critical articles to several journals and magazines both in Italy and the United States. His poems have been translated into English, Catalan, and German.
PARTRIDGE BOSWELL has served as Executive Director of Lebanon Opera House, NH, and Pentangle Arts Council in Woodstock, VT. A founder of Bookstock: The Green Mountain Festival of Words‘, Boswell is currently president of Harbor Mountain Press, based in White River Junction. Singer, lyricist, and poet, he has performed widely and his poems have recently surfaced in the minnesota review, Rattle, New Delta Review, and in his chapbook In Hindsight, A Happy Accident (Pudding House, 2008). He lives with his family in Woodstock, Vermont.
STEPHEN CRAMER‘s first book of poems, Shiva’s Drum, was selected by Grace Schulman for the National Poetry Series and published in 2004. His second, Tongue & Groove, was published by University of Illinois Press in the fall of 2007. His work has appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, and Southwest Review. He‘s currently polishing up a third collection of poetry with help from a grant from The Vermont Arts Council. He teaches writing and literature at the University of Vermont and lives with his wife and daughter in Burlington.
PENELOPE CRAY‘s poems have appeared in such journals as Barrow Street, Pleiades, and American Letters & Commentary. She lives in Burlington, VT, with her husband and son.
Born and raised in Vermont, BRENDAN DEMPSEY is finishing his last semester at the University of Vermont, where he has been studying Classics and Religion. His poetry has been published in the Barn Owl Poetry Extra and Vantage Point, and he is currently work planning his magnum opus: an epic poem in Miltonic verse which will be published sometime in the next 30 years.
CHRISTINE ELLIS is employed as a technical writer in Burlington, VT. She has written and directed several plays with her most recent productions being ‘The Divine Collection’, The Greeting’, and a 13-episode radio comedy, ‘Were Tales,’ broadcast on community radio stations in both New York and Vermont. For 8 years, Christine has been the main creative force behind the popular ‘Thursdays at the Intervale’ events and music series, promoting sustainable agriculture through the celebration of art, culture, and food. She is currently editing North Beach Revisited: Burlington, Vermont, a novel she co-wrote with her friend and mentor Poppa Neutrino.
KATHRYN FLAGG is a journalist and poet from Shoreham, VT. She is currently a student in the MFA program at the University of Wyoming, as well as a Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism. Her poetry has also appeared in The Hollins Critic. She co-edits YONTA, a new nonfiction journal of art and science.
VENUS FLYTRAP has been writing stories for most of her life, and stripping for six years. She also enjoys painting pictures, growing vegetables, sitting by the fire, and going for walks.
Published translations by BLOSSOM S. KIRSCHENBAUM include novels Maria Zef by Paola Drigo and I cristalli di Vienna (as Bloodstains) by Giuliana Morandini; stories by Stefano Benni, Marina Mizzau, Fernanda Pivano; and Fables from Trastevere (from the romanesco of Trilussa). Antonello Borra’s Alfabestiario will issue with her translations in an American edition.
TONY MAGISTRALE was born in Buffalo, New York. He is currently Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Vermont. He has also taught at the Breadloaf Young Writers Conference and has served as a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Milan, Italy, and Visiting Professor at the University of Augsburg, Germany. His book of poems, What She Says About Love, won the 2007 Bordighera Poetry Prize. Magistrale lives in South Burlington with his wife, Jennifer, two sons, and a golden retriever
NOAH MEASE is finishing his final semester at Middlebury College where he studies Theatre and Spanish. ‘Green Eden’ began as his Senior Work in playwriting and ran briefly at the independent student theater, the Hepburn Zoo. Two of his other plays were included in the Horizon Theatre‘s Young Playwrights Festival last summer in Atlanta, Georgia, and he regularly writes radioplays produced by the Middlebury Radio Theater of Thrills & Suspense. He grew up in Williston, Vermont.
DAVID MOATS is an editor at the Rutland Herald, where he won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2001. He is the author of the book Civil Wars: A Battle for Gay Marriage, published by Harcourt in 2004. He is also a playwright; five of his plays have been produced by theater companies in Vermont. He lives in Salisbury, VT.
POPPA NEUTRINO (William David Pearlman) is best known for his crossing of the Atlantic on a raft assembled from scrap wood. The voyage was featured in a National Geographic television show as well as in the documentary, ‘Random Lunacy: Videos from the Road Less Travelled.’ He was the subject of a 2007 book by New Yorker writer Alec Wilkinson, The Happiest Man in the World. Poppa – who spent most of the past three years in Burlington – believed that each person, to be truly happy, must define his or her three deepest desires and pursue them relentlessly. Poppa returned to New Orleans to be with his family shortly before he died of heart failure on January 23, 2011. He was 77.
GABI MARCEL SHAPIRO hails from Philadelphia and was begotten by a tribe of artists. Venturing out into the wilderness, he studied music and Spanish at the University of Vermont where he once found a rubber band in the shape of a treble clef on the sidewalk. With his fingers in many pies, he creates music, beer, poetry and bread.
NICHOLAS SPENGLER grew up in Burlington, VT. South End, sister streets. He has always admired little things: fossils, fairy tales, Persian miniatures, poems. Outside of Vermont, he has lived high on a hillside in Valparaíso, Chile, and in a drafty flat in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he recently completed a degree in the internationally celebrated field of Literature and Transatlanticism. Many of his poems have appeared in Middlebury College’s Sweatervest Magazine, but this Salon publication is his hometown poetic debut in print.
JON TURNER is a new father and co-director of Green Door Studios with his partner Catherine. He established the Vermont chapter of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade and is finishing his second collection of poems, Plant the Seed, under his press name Seven Star Press. Jon is involved with Warrior Writers and Combat Paper and further transforms his wartime experience through letterpress, book binding, poetry and handmade paper.
SHARON WEBSTER is a visual artist and a writer who makes her home in Burlington, Vermont. She has produced seven self-published chapbooks and published in places such as Take Heart, Beam I & II, The Burlington Review, and Seven Days. Sharon has given readings in many venues, including WBUR in Boston. She teaches studio art at Community College of Vermont, and has worked with developmentally challenged adults for many years.