A Candle in the Dark

Nonfiction by Cj Hayes

It’s cold outside, blustery and nasty—the way that makes joints ache and allergies flare up. Pollen from the redwoods has been painting parked cars green all week, making a sickly mossy mess when the rain inevitably falls. Even now, my head is plugged with the microscopic drift of a dry afternoon.

A Chat with Feature Lauren Schmidt

I lie a lot. My poems often start with observation—literally writing down what I see and hear—but that’s not always enough. I find that writing poetry allows me to wonder and ask questions, and that’s what I was doing in these two poems [inspired by The Dining Room], a place that was rife with material. I have become much less afraid to invent things for the sake of poetry, but it always starts with some truth.

Poems by Lauren Schmidt

Her Name is Sarah

When Randy drifted in for dinner with her baby
tangled in the rosary scars of her arms,
pressed against the dust of her breast,
everyone wanted to see. They softened
their eyes, their smiles, the way people do
when they look on a baby sleeping,
a baby who has not cried in two days,
a baby whose eyes ooze a thick glue,
whose lips are latched in a palsied twist.

Nights

Nonfiction by Amanda Lee Hickey

1. Take two orange slices and a few sprigs of mint.

2. Squash them together for a few seconds.

3. Add ice.

4. Add one packet of sugar.

5. Add one part Grand Marnier.

6. Another part orange vodka.

A Q&A with Visual Artist Jeremy Ehling

My work speaks to the current state of relations between the natural culture and human culture and how they affect each other. In 2007, I read The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, a non-fiction account of how the world would respond if human civilization disappeared tomorrow leaving behind our waste. I began making paintings based on this idea. I envisioned animals making forts and dwellings out of our rubbish.