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Benjamin Hertwig

About the Writer      

 

            Benjamin Hertwig lives in Vancouver, on the unceded land of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. His writing has recently appeared in The New York Times and Word Riot, and his first book of poems, Slow War, is coming out in 2017.

sunday mornings, after Afghanistan

 

when the mornings are all fresh ground coffee

and reverend john ames fried egg sandwiches,

sunshine on drapes and wallace stevens oranges

you wonder how paul nash would have painted

afghanistan—soviet tanks in oil perhaps and the

desert at night with chalk or ink?

marilynne robinson once told you that butter

is the best foundation for an egg, better than

mayonnaise, and when the yolk in the pan splits

yellow, separates from butter and solidifying whites,

you start to think: the man in kakfa's metamorphosis

must have been a soldier with his legs blown

off. how else could he hate himself so much? 

not an easy question as you fill the cup again,

but you have both your legs. your concern

resolves into an elizabeth thompson sunrise

over kandahar airfield and the ice cream bars

they had at the base that you liked so much.

ice cream aside, kafka knew something about

soldiers and before the war you saw a soldier fall

from the table with food in his foaming mouth.

he writhed himself to calm on the concrete floor

and it was all very startling, very much a prince

myshkin moment. he ended up not going to

war, as the epileptic fits made his hands shake.

you felt bad but one clearly can't hold a rifle

with shaking hands. back then you still wanted

to hold a rifle yourself though it never felt quite

right but go you did and now you are back.

you do not have blood on your combat pants

here. even the meat in the fridge is bloodless,

the bacon spits and hisses but the life went away

long ago, rubbed its muzzle on the corners of your

couch, and left a wet snout print on the window.

now you sit in the sun eating an egg sandwich,

writing sunday poems in the complacencies of

plaid pajamas and a white shirt: your face is clean.

you warm the coffee in septimus warren smith's

cup and ask him how virginia woolf wrote things

that were so bloody true but he doesn't respond

at all. so you turn on netflix and it was evening all

afternoon—or something like that, and you fell

asleep and the house smelled of bacon fat and

coffee when you awoke.

 
Contents
Poetry

Robert Rothman

 

-- Ambassador To A Distant Kingdom In The North County

-- The Monk's Halo

 

Leah MacLean-Evans

-- Blood Days Recipe

 

Paula Bernett

 

-- Memory Consumed So It Was Never

-- Quill and Brood

Gordon Massman

 

-- The Master of Nothing

-- My Appassionato

-- Finnegan's Religion

Naomi Ruth Lewinsky

 

-- To My Brother's Late Dragon Lady

Marie Andree-Auclaire

-- Closer Than One Thinks

Joelle Barron

-- Total Eclipse

-- House Stuff

Claire Matthews

-- My Underwear Drawer Houses the Book of Mormon

Claire Kelly

-- Poem for a Woman I Made Up

Benjamin Hertwig

-- sunday mornings, after Afghanistan

Eugenie Juliet Theall

-- Other than a Paperweight

Will Harris

-- Imam Ali Shrine

-- Kangaroo Wall

Prose

Mallory Tater

 

-- Heat Dream

 

Liz Johnston

 

-- Public Transit

Gardner Landry

 

-- Mayonaise

Benjamin Dugdale

-- Orlando Two Point O: Hashtag Forever Yung

Artwork and Photography

Gord Marci Jr.

-- Typewriter With Note

Allen Forrest

 

-- The New World Manbike 12 x 9 2016

-- The New World Workers 2 Ink 15 x 11 2016

Kerry Rawlinson

-- Mistry Trees

David Mutnjakovik

-- Let it Begin

Colette Campbell-Moscrop

-- Untitled-Gouache, Graphite, Ink and Watercolour on Laid-Textured Paper

-- Nope-Gouache, Graphite, Ink and Watercolour on Found Paper

-- Horrible Together, Full Circle-Ink on Cardboard Paper

Reviews

Margaret Crawford

 

-- A Review of Kathleen McCraken's Double Self-Portrait with Mirror: New and Selected Poems (1978-2014)

-- A Review of R. Aviars Utskins' The Hoosier Zebra and other "Poims"

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