Weekly Feature Editor #2: James (Jesse) Crawford

By James Crawford
I can’t speak for the mirror, standing
outside, I am inside & different, and
why question anything anyways if it’s
the room that thinks we live our lives
a tiny apartment, a kitchen, & a closet
is emptied of items that might suggest
— a couple is living, taking up
space (what else) standing several
feet apart they stare into a mirror.
The space between us
is the void. a carpet.
the absence of a rug.
the thought of your dog
shedding in June the winter
we thought we’d lost him.
(it must be strange. alone.
in that big house)
I am behind you(hello)
I am living. more as couch
than person. you are window
(&I mess up. I call you television)
we change names the same way.
an old man complains. the summer
is hot. winter is not cold enough.
we change names hoping
are seasonal things. will stick
around with the earth.
(men are not built in motion.
But in still hammocks of their own
dripping wet. you come out of the
shower. the diffused
light. like a quick violence
in July. is frightening the blackbirds filling the
frame. obscuring you. (as an idea)
your form: a black cloud. your
nakedness: another kind of death. with
a towel crown. the fog dissipates. &it
appears that I am sleeping. Dreaming you
as television.
As couch. A few years from now.
I sit &expect you among others.
today is your birthday. happy
birthday. I wonder if you will
leave your house. At the party,
people dance to wild music (Can
you recall the viola player’s face?
The dutiful shadow. Who stayed
Silent till morning. Needing only
the fare
to get wherever
he was going next.)
You arrive late under a large, Russian satellite.
Refusing Heaven. Like a crucifix.
You take the seat across from me.
Adjust your awkward antennae. Channel your suffering.
(with an umbrella, he shields you from the sun&
with his free hand points west, assuring you, “Arizona
didn’t kill your mother”
Your mother killed your mother in the second person,
&then poured herself a drink. I read it in a poem. It
was taped to a pipe under our sink.)
Through the open window
church bells come in& touch everything:
Your body’s black script
My own pale index of symbols. Naked by the
bookshelf where poems go missing (which poem.
this poem? I can no longer be certain) they knock
at my chest and wait for the heart to answer.
I hung the mirror to the ceiling. Underneath,
our bodies took shape in a painting I’d make.
One winter alone.
Near the place where men kill chickens.
Believe the magician.
Two things can happen at once, but always
with the possibility
one or the other is forgotten.

Write-up in CCSF’s Guardsman

Shake Off The Dust for City College’s Lit. Mag.
By Barbara Muniz

Remember your New Year’s resolution to dig out your artwork and finally show it to the public? Now is the time.

Forum, City College’s literary magazine, invites contributors to submit poetry, photography, stories, screenplays, music, creative nonfiction, and/or visual art. Selected work will be exhibited in their semiannual publication. Their website provides all the nits and bits on how to submit and upload your creation for magazine editors to evaluate.

Since its debut in 1937, the periodical has been produced by City College students. “We practically do everything here in Forum Magazine except the binding of the pages,” Professor Steven Mayers said. “Students learn how to copy edit, market, design the layout, fundraise as well as web publish and participate in all the phases of the production process to not only launch the printed work but also to promote it to the public.”

“Students learn how to copy edit, market, design the layout, fundraise, as well as publish, and participate in all the phases of the production process.”

-Professor Steven Mayers

Forum Magazine is a vehicle for students to expose their work. It is also open to former students, teachers, staff and anyone associated with City College. Now on volume eight and released twice a year during spring and fall, the periodical also has an online presence and a digital version available.

John Isles and Steven Mayers co-teach English 35 intro and intermediate literary magazine classes which is part of the English department’s certificate program in creative writing. In addition, students also become members of the Forum Literary Magazine Club.

Professors Isles and Mayers invite literary icons to include their pieces and participate in readings. Two such icons are fiction writer and poet Alejandro Murguía, chair of the City College Latina/Latino Studies Program as well as the current Poet Laureate of San Francisco. Another is University of San Francisco professor D.A. Powell also an internationally acclaimed poet.

Contributors may submit more than one piece, uploaded individually. The deadline is Feb. 23, 2016, but the earlier the better in case the organizers need additional details.

For submission guidelines, visit https://forumccsf.wordpress.com/or https://www.facebook.com/ForumMagazine

Shake Off The Dust for City College’s Lit. Mag.