Accessible 2016

Nine Mile Magazine is an magazine of literature and art, which has been digitally published each Spring and Fall since 2013.  With this issue we will begin a print version of the magazine in addition to the digital version.

The magazine was founded in 2013 by Bob Herz and Whitney Daniels.  Ms. Daniels is now art editor emeritus.  We remain grateful to her for our design and look, and for her unfailing good taste in artwork.  Stephen Kuusisto, the well-known poet and memorist, joined as co-editor and co-publisher in 2015, bringing new skills and outlook to the effort.

Our purpose is to publish the best writing and artwork available to us, emphasiszing Central New York artists but not excluding others.  Our views are broad and eclectic, and we’re excited to be able to provide publication and appreciation to a range of creative types.

We hope you enjoy this and all our prior issues, which are available online.

The Editors

Bob Herz & Stephen Kuusisto.

 

David Weiss

HARDENING UP

Yesterday sun branded your back
Today wind is roaring like the sea
Yesterday there was plenty of time
Today you can’t even feel your toes
A buck lifts its head ready to bolt
Yesterday you’d stop to talk
Today snow careens sideways
and you’re not looking up
Later the wood you split
will be going up the stove pipe
We are the birds that stay
is how she put it
though going wouldn’t change a thing
Your letter said as much
One then two shots   far down the hill
and the buck is gone
You can survive getting lost
or lonely    if you don’t lose your head
You can even survive the touch
that melted your heart

LATE

The moon’s a mole tunneling
through the sky   so cold
you can see its breath
You can hear creaking
in the trees which crack
without breaking   You’re
out looking for a dog
that’s missing   It’s 2 am
and you’ve been calling
Now you’re just walking
stopping   listening
Long ago
you found the dog
you were searching for
its front paw clenched
in a trap   Part-collie
it made a sound so soft
you didn’t hear it
until you were beside her
Now each tiny snap
makes you listen harder
At the bee hives
you go close and
make out the sound of
ten thousand wings vibrating
like a choir in a cathedral
Really   what do you
know about anything   You’d
like to go back
in where the fire’s warming
the walls   but a dog
is out there where
it’s unforgiving   and
who knows what else

UNREADINESS

A wagon train of clouds is trekking east
In the fields no rows are left for the fox to move through unseen
Blackberry shoots scratch at the window to get in
The cold rain stings
You can remember a thing only so long
Blue sky breaks through and pleases the eye
The water is cold   the trough scuzzy   but the cows don’t mind it
They’re in it for the duration   which is not all that long
Nothing welcoming in the air   ground hard underfoot
You like it outside where knuckles ache
and there’s always another thing to get done
On the inside something’s missing
The dog barks   he’s going blind
Nor can the small plane up in the clouds see a thing
So much to get ready   to get ready for
If you close your eyes you can see her face   turning back   half-hidden by hair
And still you don’t know how to find the tulip tree
once its leaves have blown away

EQUINOX

Like that
carousels of snow geese
out of the north
boomeranging in midair
black blurry wingtips dizzying
to us earthbound ones who’d
crawled out from under
the International Harvester
dragging the starter motor
whose brushes were too shot
to start anything    We stood cold-
toed and runny-nosed beneath that
feathered machine turning like Ezekiel’s
wheels within wheels   and which
turned which we couldn’t tell   They
banked dark against white cloud
white against blue sky
and the starter   too worn to
work   pulling our arms
down as rooted to the spot
we wheeled with the gyroing geese
that rose and fell off to weave
through each other like line
dancers or circus jugglers
spontaneous and intricate
unorchestrated and interlocked
With our eyes we took our best
shot and rode the revolving
kaleidoscope into a whooping
larger life where feeling sight
flung us until we couldn’t hold it
up much longer and lugged
the iron thing like a passel of geese
to the bed of the pickup
then on to Monroe Tractor
to order a rebuilt
the sound of the honking still
geysering behind us as though nothing
mattered more than the pure
urgency of that commotion
which set us straight till our own
motion carried us to care
more for that kingdom of small
concerns we were headed toward
Our hands warmed in the cab
and fiery windblown minds turned
to incandescent and neon light
where by then a small hand
would seize hold of a forefinger
and tug it toward some other miracle
saying   Daddy!   look!   look!   look!

ABOUT DAVID WEISS
David Weiss is the author of a recent book of poems, GNOMON, two previous collections of poems, The Fourth Part of the World and The Pail of Steam, and a novel, The Mensch, which was published by Mid-List Press as a winner in their first novel contest. He has also published numerous essays on poetry. Weiss teaches at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  He is the editor of Seneca Review, a literary and art journal published by Hobart & William Smith colleges.

ABOUT THE POEMS
There is a wonderful photograph of Federico Garcia Lorca sitting in a bi-plane (it’s a studio prop) with Luis Bunuel behind him. Lorca has his hands on the wheel and a look of great glee on his face as he looks toward the camera. I saw this on a postcard in Lorca’s summer house, a museum now on the edge of Granada. There were other postcards in the rack. In many, Lorca has the same look of delight, of gusto (to use a Spanish word), of high spirits. I think often of his notion of duende, that spirit of blood, earthiness, and death, of the deepest strata where the human and nature commune. But the glee that fills Lorca in those pictures is another aspect of duende. The poems of mine that Nine Mile has accepted, that appear under the sign of hard necessity and the hard necessities, could not exist without the vitality Lorca was so evidently imbued with. I think that where the two come together, vitality and necessity, are in idiom and image. Idiom is the animal body of language; image is the animal body itself.  And the animating, inhabiting self, it struck me, while in Granada, is essentially a Flamencan dance of desire and mortality, which I saw a young boy doing in a circle of young and old women who were clapping out the beat.

Thank You

Thank you to the Central New York Community Foundation, which has generously provided a grant to aid in the publication of Nine Mile Magazine and of our Nine Mile book series.

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