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Ray McManus. For the pump of it, the drop with the brake, the tongue tip, the anus, the nipple.

31 Oct


For the pump of it, the drop with the brake, the tongue tip, the anus, the nipple
still pointed in the sunlight that floods under the visor; for the new sun that starts
to shimmer before it explodes into a million suns, and all I have left
is you and me covered in sheets, the sweat of it cooling the engine.

That’s when I hold your hand on the console, riding the two-lane through
the swamp past the blockhouses and garages where the boys break radios
to fan belt overtures. That’s when I feel the warm damp of your palm.

A running engine must be tuned, pulled hard, turned over, and tuned again.
The exhaust of it. The rise. The hail. To be on top of it. Man always wrestling
with his machine.

In town, the people look the same, wear clothes from the same makers, speak
in same to same. It’s all the same. There are no garages to wrestle, just windows.

We walk in town in held hands, in stride toward any corner, look both ways
before crossing, live cautious and deliberate. We hardly speak a word
until we reach our destination, and even then, what we are thankful for,
we sit with a weight in our laps testing the outer limits of quiet.

It is not until we give attention to our scars, the same scars, that we no longer
remember why we came here in the first place. It is not until then do we
look for the fastest possible route to savagery.

Here, where we can’t trick out the word. Here, where there is no word.
Just us. Now pulled over and out. Your head in my lap, my hand under yours,
the engine humming, the slow, steady tap. For the quick of it to come.



special call for a special issue: Remaking Moby-Dick

31 Mar

In late 2013, we are publishing a special issue of the Pea River Journal focused on Melville’s Moby-Dick. What in the world does that even mean? The novel has 100+ chapters plus an epilogue. Our special issue will remake Moby-Dick in the form of poems, flash stories, and whatever writers and artists can imagine, one chapter at a time.

How can you be a part of it?  Email us at trish at peariverjournal to request your chapter. We’ll send a chapter synopsis and leading questions and ask you to simply respond. Write a poem, a prose riff, some associative listing, a responsive set of questions, … up to you. And then send it to us via Submittable. Easy schmeezy.

But that’s not all. The Remaking Moby project will be part of the Mixing Realities media festival this May, so your work could also be featured there.  We’ll share details about that once you’re in our Remaking loop.

Dozens of writers and artists are already  working their assigned chapters. We already have some poems and images in hand. We’re excited. We know you will be, too.

Can you just choose your own chapter? Well, no. We need to make sure all the chapters are covered, so we’re tracking chapter+creator matches.

Do you have to be a Moby-Dick expert? Not at all. The love note we’ll send when you sign up will cover all your bases.

Intrigued? Motivated? Did we mention the deadline for submissions is April 30?

Badger, Party of 7


james (w) moore

poems, and the poet who poems them

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Beth Gilstrap

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Anthony Wilson

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Grant Clauser

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