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T.M. Hudenburg

Followed by Bio and Q&A

mystery mastery threshold

thoughts pass over to silence

because it has

(this line has been left blank intentionally)

 

in whose voice did you just speak

when you thought you had so much more to say

and said nothing

~

T. M. Hudenburg is a poet who currently resides and writes in Northern Virginia. He is a once and future Federal Poet. The best advice he can give is that there are many avenues in life: some you take but, sadly, most you cannot. T. M. has been a soldier and teacher and a poet. He is always eager to catch the next wave. T.M. is honored to be found in the pages of Prime Number Magazine and his favorite prime number is 11. What is yours?

Note

I continue to listen to silence and am intrigued by what comes to mind. What often goes unsaid usually is the most profound.

Q&A

What is your favorite dessert? 

Angel Food Cake covered with strawberries (mostly because of the 'relative' health benefits); I also like coffee ice cream the richer & more decadent the better for the 'lack of' health benefits.

What is the best performance (music, sports, other) you’ve attended?

I saw Jordan Zimmermann pitch a no-hitter for the Washington Nationals a few years ago. The near perfect performance  & the 25,000 plus people collectively exhaling at the last miraculous out. Ironically my wife wanted to leave due to it being boring and lacking any offensive output.  

You’ve just been offered the opportunity to create a mascot for yourself. What will it be?  What is its name?

Some kind of bird, such as an Owl—kind of like the old hermit contemplating all of our foibles and heroics with such a clear eye. What is its name? Hoot.


 Photo by Joe Walters

Photo by Joe Walters

Kit Loney

Followed by Bio and Q&A

The Dish and the Spoon

 

Mornings in the dim
bed with always the fish,
flicker-lust of copper and water.

In the mirrored other, a familiar ache.
When do I tear away this veil?
Who were you all along while we sat

and drank oolong out of tin thimbles?
Ah, my jo, that time you were a silver
dime. That time you were wren.

We are lizards with hexagonal scales. We absorb
fire. The world cracked, and we hatched.
We are molten utensils finding our shapes.

My mouth is a bell. Your tongue is the clapper.

~

Kit Loney came to poetry from a background in visual art, which she taught in middle school for twenty years. Her poems have appeared in Emrys Journal, Yemassee, Redheaded Stepchild, Qarrtsiluni, Waccamaw, One, Fall Lines, and Poetry East. Kit received the 2012 Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. 

Note

“The Dish and the Spoon” is a love poem to my husband, Joe. After an opening in Atlanta, we sat outside with the gallery owner and she told us about how a wren took up residency in her Solari bell. When Joe was a baby in Kentucky, they drilled a hole in a silver dime to string around his neck, remedy for teething pain. Sometimes I am a minnow, swimming upstream. Sometimes the water holds fire, light.

Q&A

What is your favorite dessert?

We picked blueberries all day, juiced lemons, grated the peels, rolled out the crust and wove the lattice top, then just as we were all set to put it in the oven Oh no! Forgot the sugar! so used doll house spoons to put that in through the little square holes.

What is the best performance you’ve attended?

When I was five my mother took me to see The Nutcracker. The way we drove through an ice storm into New York City. The way the Christmas tree grew to fill the stage.

You’ve just been offered the opportunity to create a mascot for yourself. What will it be? What is its name?

It is a time-traveling cockroach. His name is Pilgrim.


Martin Ott.jpg

Martin Ott

Followed by Bio and Q&A

Bird Nests Used to Look More Like Fortresses

 

My daughter just failed her driving test.
The cradle of the nest allows for easier
delivery of food and fledgling flight.
Worried about a call, a rude awakening.
My son just walked seven miles playing
Pokémon Go. The dangers of predators
can strike the hatchlings from any angle.
Worried he won’t look up in his crossing.
My wife just got her green card. The rules
of what keeps you close to loved ones
are in flux, flights to hunt for sustenance.
Worried a hawk can strike in customs.
I just learned about the degenerative disease
in my back. The aching of nerves, the notes
of birds outside keeping me sane on bed rest.
Worried about the cracked buttress of myself.

~

A former contributor to Prime Number Magazine, Martin Ott is the author of eight books of poetry and fiction, including Underdays (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015), Sandeen Prize Winner and Forward Indies Finalist. His newest book Fake News Poems—52 Weeks, 52 Headlines, 52 poems (BlazeVOX Books, 2019) takes the headline of a news story from each week as a jumping off point to explore political and personal turmoil in the first year of Trump's presidency. His work has appeared in twenty anthologies and more than two hundred magazines, including Antioch Review, Epoch, Harvard Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Zyzzyva.

Note

This poem is part of my collection Fake News Poems—2017 Year in Review, 52 Weeks, 52 Headlines, 52 Poems. Each poem in the collection is based on a news headline. This one is from an April 19, 2017, Scientific American headline. In a collection with numerous political poems, this headline (and resulting poem) resonated with me as a father about to lose his daughter from the nest to college.

Q&A

What is your favorite dessert?

Warm apple pie and caramel vanilla ice cream.

What is the best performance (music, sports, other) you’ve attended?

Cirque Du Soleil O

You’ve just been offered the opportunity to create a mascot for yourself. What will it be? What is its name?

Otterpop—would rather be surprised by what it looks like.


Andy Stallings.jpg

Andy Stallings

Followed by Bio and Q&A

 

Surplus Is a Relative Term

 

Most consumers falsely feel that we comprehend without trying the major premise. In the sudden purity of the sales environment, there’s nothing to refuse to buy. Still, when summer arrived, I departed home early and rode city buses to distant city parks. The present sometimes arose and I sat looking into it without foresight, without regret, without a map of terrain or some special purpose. In its depths, I perceived a saturating abundance, the air wet at the edge of my skin, everywhere underneath the monumental sequoias. Can you say without trembling how you came to be here? Perhaps the city reminds you of an orchard but you can’t explain why. Its richness, its dimpling texture. Where states the subtlest difference. A nearby voice says softly, lean into any distance to make it mountainous. Some obstacle, a hanging basket of flowers or a stiff collar, keeps you from whipping your head around in a hurry. As zeitgeist skewers the general but spares the specific. The soft, slick coating of rocks in the river. The deep, cool reservoirs of a fire. My own point of entry was a cluster of distant voices whispering out in the night. A series of signal warnings I couldn’t shape into sequence by morning’s last light. I found you between a belief and a withheld belief. Now, if we must learn the same lesson again and again, then let it at least appear golden in color, tinged with that which we seek and not that which we attain by the ease of being. Is there any value in it at all? What would be basically unacceptable? Live a little within it if you will.

~

 

Andy Stallings lives and works at Deerfield Academy in Western Massachusetts. He teaches poetry and coaches cross country and track. His second collection with Rescue Press, Paradise, was released in 2018.

Note

The group of poems, of which this poem is a part, came about strangely. I work at a boarding school, and it is written into my contract that it is a 24/7 job. It’s not quite that, but it’s close. During my first year at the school, I wrote my second book of poetry during breaks from the teaching schedule. In my second year, a couple other writers came to teach, and they complained to me that there was no time to write. I felt otherwise, and said so. Then I set myself the task of writing another full manuscript of poems literally while working. From daily freewrites I did with my classes, I assembled materials; during dorm duty, I worked on lines from those freewrites, and during odd moments in cross country practices, and at other times during the day, I composed the poems and, later, edited them. I wouldn’t say that I was trying to prove that it could be done, but I was absolutely trying to see what kinds of cracks existed in the days which a writer could make use, if they wished. And I found plenty.

Q&A

What is your favorite dessert?

I like crème brûlée best.

What is the best performance (music, sports, other) you’ve attended?

Although I don’t love most poetry readings very much, the event that I can recall which was the most riveting, and at which I saw an innovative artist reading their best work to date at the height of their ability, was a poetry reading. This was in the spring, a little more than a year ago, in 2017, at the University of Massachusetts. Fred Moten was the poet, and he read the middle section of The Feel Trio in its entirety.

You’ve just been offered the opportunity to create a mascot for yourself. What will it be?

My mascot would be the moon. I would call it by its name.