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Sixth Finch - Winter 2014

  • Image: Image
  • Published Date: Winter 2014
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly online
This issue of Sixth Finch begins with the line “You wish for a moon,” from Elizabeth Barnett’s “Between Two Houses,” which ends, “if sometimes / a house hurts you, // you still walk toward it / in the dark.” So tread forward into this issue; you may be wishing for a moon—beautiful turns of lines—and you’re most certainly walking in the dark, not sure what you’ll find, but I promise it won’t hurt you.

Glide into Patricia Colleen Murphy’s “Halloween in the Tank” and you won’t find ghouls or goblins, instead—hookers. “All the hookers have spectacular stretch marks. / Not one of them will finger me for free,” it starts. The hookers make the narrator think of his job, “hired to brainstorm several fun things / to do in a cornfield . . . to dress the dead / however I want.” I urge you to venture further into this poem.

Andy Stallings’s “Contact” is a longer poem, with shorter lines, many containing only four words. It begins, “We’ve been living in other cities / throughout these limitless nights / & now they’re gone.” Unpunctuated, it’s one long phrase, like the constant flowing thoughts of this narrator who has lost his wife:
I only want to sleep
beside your body
perplexed by touch
& feel the ferment of
direction torn
where you are
I feel bluing in the
cadence of my veins
I am awake
not for anything just
I am here I am awake
& waiting for contact
or for a dredge or for
anyone to speak
Caroline Cabrera’s “Remember When You Didn’t Exist?” also touches on that feeling of a person missing, beginning, “I received phone calls from no one. / The light in my house was interrupted by no shadows. / No body warmed against mine while I slept.” And while most of these are typical images of a person alone, there are also creative lines that struck home to me, such as “Either I ate the raspberries or they rotted in the fridge” (especially because I’m fairly certain that are some rotting in my own fridge). But it ends on a higher note: “Warm air in the house hit me like a memory we don’t have of each other. / The phone rang. / It was you.”

I loved the art as well, particularly Joseba Elorza’s “Kiteman” and Unchalee Anantawat’s untitled piece, though I really wish there was more context to the art other than the title and artist’s name—I would have at least liked to know the medium. This issue of course features many more writers worth exploring, so start reading.
[sixthfinch.com]
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Review Posted on April 14, 2014
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