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Poem by Crystal Condakes

 

Origami Boats

I imagined the boat a bright red
though the image was old and sepia toned

Red like the boat my daughter rows
across lakes all summer, happy and

unaware like the smiling people in the photographs
before their bones were hammered to ash.

Standing in the hall of the Holocaust Memorial Museum
I want to fly backwards around the earth

like Superman. I want to save them all.
I make boats out of paper, folding

and unfolding as a kind of prayer. Please
let me make enough boats to carry

all the hair and all the shoes, to travel
back in time to when the smiling people

were still smiling, to say: This is your hair.
Here are your shoes. You’re free to go.

 

Crystal Condakes teaches English in grades 6-8. She has recently published poetry in The Mom Egg Review; Ekphrastic Review; SWWIM, and prose at Scary Mommy Teen and Tween, and Blunt Moms.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS), two Pollock-Krasner grants, two Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. in 2017 & 2018 he received the Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant.

 

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Poem by Crystal Condakes

 

Blue Angel
for Becky Watts

Her legs and the blue
cornflower dress. As
my son lists the sins
none of them can help me
make sense of this.

She left with her laptop;
she left without extra clothes,
had no intention of running
away. Her name was Becky.

In one picture her eyes
sparkle brighter than her necklace.
My brain rejects the details
and instead demands a Manhattan
in a voice reserved for only
the most unbearable situations.

My brain screams –
What The Fuck! as I fold
the peanut butter sandwich
into wax paper to protect it.
My daughter’s lunchbox
is decorated with pink flowers
and I think of all the parents
who place flowers on graves
instead of in vases.

My brain slams its glass on the table
and barks for more cherries
this time. One drink is not enough
to erase the image of her legs
sticking up out of a barrel
like some cast off Barbie.

Our landscape is littered
with dolls, except they are not
dolls at all they are children.
We try to pick up the pieces,
but our brains have grown
numb. We try to pick up
the pieces. Mostly we fail.

 

"Atmospheric" © Dr. Regina Valluzzi
“Atmospheric” © Dr. Regina Valluzzi

 

Crystal Condakes: “I wondered why only British news sources were covering the disappearance and murder of Becky Watts (of Bristol, England) until I realized that we have enough missing, exploited, abused, and murdered kids of our own to fill the pages of American newspapers. I think Becky deserves to have her voice heard (or her voice as I imagine it), as do all the unfortunate kids we can’t seem to protect. As a poet and survivor of childhood violence, I feel I have a responsibility to speak for those who have been permanently silenced. I have previously written poems for Jeffrey Curley, Sarah Pryor, and Amy Carnevale.”

Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.

 

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Poem by Crystal Condakes

Clean Slate

You wake at night to strange noises,
I say shhhh, it’s only the wind. You think
something is one fire, but all things being equal

the poison is just as sweet
as the honey and with it comes forgetting.
There’s nothing to fear. You and me,

we’re in this together. The first time
you climbed alone, hand against stone.
I threw you a rope, well, I would have,

I mean, I meant to, but all I could see
was myself. I remember the good parts
now. Let’s forget about the breaking,

the fractures in the most private of places.
The bones of us are finally fusing. Excuses
taste medicinal and stale and anyway

I have no alibi. I miss the taste of you.
Let’s try to calm our shaking hands
as they move across cheekbones, down

the taut, shining skin of the belly.
On this the darkest of all roads, the ghosts
are beginning to falter.

 

Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin

 

Crystal Condakes earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University and has attended workshops at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a regular contributor to The Improbable Places Poetry Tour, which brings poetry to local businesses in Beverly, MA. She has taught at Student Day Of Poetry and volunteered at Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, MA.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.