Volume 2, Issue 5    |    ISSN: 1941-2908
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The Birth of Bluebeard

by JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT






          No cataclysm,
          earthquake, thunderstone
          eclipse—bruising moon,
          heaven angry as infection
          over Bluebeard's nativity;
          only this:
          Shadows tangling

          now crab grass, now nettle,
          now rose struggling to bloom;
          confusion like a pornographic film
          snapping legs, lips, hair, eyes
          ass and sex
          against a silver reel.

          This and a breeze
          suggesting early frost.

                      (Strange entrance
                      said the storytellers, half-faced in firelight
                      pausing just enough
                      for the biographic pens to scratch.)

          No trumpet,
          no death-yawn through headstones,
          crematorium, clay field
          at Bluebeard's crowning;
          just a thrash of sheets,
          the birthing scream like eagles,
          slime and soil and shit—

          Blood,
          yes, thick as sunset
          salty, sour, a wave of sick.
          Blood is the only constant.

                      (For so it goes
                      with births and funerals:
                      Coming in and out
                      female and male,
                      bride and villain
                      all resemble,
                      squall like torture
                      our distressful sigh.)

          No apocalypse,
          no falling star or planet
          hurtled out of orbit.
          beauty terrible as cold church bells
          no horror lovely as a glimpse of bone.
          Nothing that the stories say but this:

          In a town named Once Upon-a-Time
          the wife pressed down in screams and pain,
          the midwife pulled
          a mess of limbs and womb,
          a bolt of blue hair out upon the world.

                      (It is then,
                      the poets all agree,
                      the babe who would be Bluebeard
                      cried for warm air like a kitten,
                      his eyes cornflower bright.

                      The biographer hesitates,
                      considers as the moon opens like a lily.
                      The locusts saw their violins,
                      the stars hang out like hooks.)










JoSelle Vanderhooft is the author of several poetry collections, including The Minotaur's Last Letter to His Mother (Ash Phoenix), Ossuary (Sam's Dot Publishing), Desert Songs (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2008), Tales Twice Told (Sam's Dot Publishing, 2008) and Death Masks (Papaveria Press, 2008), the novels The Tale of the Miller's Daughter (Papaveria Press) and Owl Skin (Papaveria Press, 2008) and a collection of short stories from Drollerie Press to be released in 2008. Her poetry and fiction has appeared online and in print in a number of publications, including Cabinet des Fees, Star*Line, Mythic Delirium, Mythic, Jabberwocky, The Seventh Quarry and several others.




copyright © 2008, JoSelle Vanderhooft














      CONTENTS

     

      FICTION


      —Identified: Musings (Attributed to Mardun T.)

TOIYA KRISTEN FINLEY

      —Mr. Water Bones and His Wife

PAUL JESSUP

      —The Writing's on the Wall

MATTHEW KRESSEL

      —Praise and Criticism for M. Rekling's The Bottle

ALEX DALLY MACFARLANE

      —Between the Lines

JONATHAN WOOD

     

      POETRY


      —Narrowing Silhouettes

NANETTE RAYMAN RIVERA

      —The Birth of Bluebeard

JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT

      —Bluebeard Searches for a Bottle

JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT

      —Bluebeard's Honeymoon

JOSELLE VANDERHOOFT

     

      NONFICTION


      —Interview: Duncan MacLean

KRYSTAL HART

     

      SERIAL


      —A Self Help Guide for the Last Few Zero Years [1]

DOUGLAS LAIN

      —The Letter

MARK TEPPO

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