Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother currently living in Asheville, NC. Her poetry has been published in Passages North, EcoTheo Review, Into the Void, Pidgeonholes, Barren, SWWIM, Pithead Chapel, and others. Her full-length poetry collection, This Small Machine of Prayer, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in July 2021 and her chapbook The Water Cycle is forthcoming from Variant Literature in November 2021. She is Managing Editor of Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, and Co-Managing Editor of Animal Heart Press. Twitter and Instagram @bethgordonpoet.
Elisabeth Horan is a poet/momma/flower/animal from Vermont caring for all creatures…and writing her heart out — She has books at Fly on the Wall, Twist in Time, Cephalo Press, and others…. Elisabeth is proud to serve as Editor in Chief at Animal Heart Press. She has two precious sons…Peter and Tommy – Breathe the air. Feel the love. Let’s be kind and cherish one another. Friends pickles horses rivers cookies sleep sex; mexican food singing out loud and sunsets @ehoranpoet & ehoranpoet.net
Lisa Tellor-Kelley won the 2015 State of Illinois Emerging Writer’s Award. Previously, she was an English composition lecturer at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and a creative writing lecturer at Lindenwood University-Belleville, IL. Lisa is the name giver of the River Bluff Review literary journal at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her poems have been published in OVS-Organs of Voice & Speech, South Broadway Ghost Society, Assisi: Journal of Arts and Letters, and The River Bluff Review. Currently, she spends her time writing poetry, indulging in rich food and drink while living in rural Southern Illinois.
Governor French Academy Gallery
219 W Main St, Belleville, IL 62220
June 11, 2021, 6:00pm
by Lisa Tellor-Kelley
I never obey imaginary boundaries
of longitude that measure the sunrise
and the sunset. The 90th meridian hides
under the black tar. This line tries to sturdy me,
and attempts to connect me to a home
base, my curiosity is never satisfied. I swerve
across the road’s white shoulder lines. I search
for gratification directly on the broken yellow line. I gamble
on dull, gray skies and dive into tough, wild grass. I welcome
Texas blazing stars into the narrow space of my lower back. I
binge on the ripe blackberries who beg me to sample them. I feast,
return to a hot asphalt road, find the dry mud
mold of my feet, and I no longer fit. I never will
surrender to the thin imaginary line that measures.
I’m Inventing a New Language
by Beth Gordon
I’ve been counting sparrow feathers for 1800 days and I’m as close to zero as I was the day I started, splicing consonants from vampire, nouns from asphyxiation, learning to navigate butter-thick pronunciations of hurricane fables, jellyfish stew, hush puppies and mermaid bones. I’m telling you I have no oxygen, no saliva, no pallet, no tongue, no divine precognition to form the future syllables, gnashing of teeth, tiny slivers of glass beneath my fingernails, robotic harmonies, air bubbles screaming like hunted rabbits inside copper pipes. I’m finding abandoned spoons in black Nebraska dirt, dormant tulip bulbs, the talking rag doll my father gave me on my third birthday when he emerged from the missile silo to help me blow out candles, the lilac dust in the back corner of my grandmother’s lingerie drawer. I’m using a 3-D printer to build a labyrinth from nursery rhymes and the lingering thunder of Emily Dickinson’s burial gown, reimagined fortresses of quartz, of bloom, reading the instructions to redesign my DNA, the source of my malfunction in mitochondrial couplets, like the astronaut who returned to Earth only to discover that he was no longer his twin’s perfect genetic double.