Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Smash Cake

Smash Cake

When you wake up how are you changed
little boy What ropes and pulleys are now joined
in your mind and swaying For each new ability
a new rung on your inner monkey bars Your voice
which comes spilling out of your smile Your small
smile And later your grin The anemones that your hands
become fingers curling in and blooming out How must
it feel when suddenly movement or sensations are newly
available to you An unfamiliar room you find yourself in
that you yourself are building This is why children
love blocks Love tinker toys Love joining two hard bits
that seem unchanging to make a changed third thing
Baby if you will build I will bake you the warm bricks
and hand them to you like cupcakes Bang the world’s pieces
together sweetie Slam your eyelashes up and down
Let your drawbridge mouth release horns and horses
and also mandolin-strumming pacifists who will never
hold a sword

[image above by Lynn Basa]

Friday, February 12, 2016

Poetry/Art Collaboration by Joy Sullivan and Kristin Calhoun

Poems by Joy Sullivan, art by Kristin Calhoun. An absolutely beautiful project! These pieces and more will be on display at EASE Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, as part of the exhibit "The Game Show," centering on collaborative works.


Tongues lap at open air
as we, sad animals of salt,
move towards the altar
sloughing strands of hair, sweat, skin,
the residue of bodies.

Show me holy.

Bone angle and bent exuberance,
the wafer beneath my tongue, fit of little
disappointments in my fist.

The chalice awakes, its open mouth
as whole and dark as your mouth,
a black-eyed susan toppled from the sun.

I turn and taste the drought.


When you meet the Beluga of your grief
in the open ocean, do not pierce or pet it.
Do not ride or tame it.
Do not feed it anything other than yourself.
Instead, let it roll you in its mouth,
mold you with its gargantuan tongue.

Let it swallow you whole.
Arrive like Jonah in the soft underbelly of lament,
in the whale of your own sorrow, drown.
Settle among the tattered fish, the carnage,
the fishermen's hooks carved into bones of rust.
Push your hands into the raucous heart,
feel it beat wildly against your palms.

Begin to crawl.

Up the colossal throat and past monoliths of teeth,
climb out like a hymn. Rise like a stupid miracle
flung upon some sun-fragrant rock,
shocked and land-hungry, wet with whale spit and resolve.
Cup your hands to your heart---full now with the sonar of sadness
Remember how it propelled you, breathless, towards the shore.


In autumn, I eavesdrop on winter.
I ruddy my cheeks up and go out.

You were my little shark,
cool beside my body, sluicing for blood.

Yet I remain unbroken, innocent as a goat,
clenched white in the lemon trees, sleeved in snow—

these are the shining days.



Joy Sullivan is a poet and educator living in Franklinton, Ohio. Currently, she teaches Creative Writing at Columbus State Community College, Columbus Academy and Thurber House. Joy earned an MA in Poetry from Miami University and her academic work reflects an interest in social justice, community development, and creative education. Her most recent publications include Periodisa Publishing, Boxcar Poetry, and Mirror Dance. Additionally, she currently serves as the Artist-in-Residence for the Wexner Center's Pages Program. 

Kristin Calhoun is an artist and illustrator living in Columbus, Ohio.
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.