Cerise Press, a well laid-out and professional looking online journal, publishes a variety of fiction, poetry, translations, essays, and art and photography in the latest issue. I started with the fiction, getting lost in the narratives and then dove into the endless (okay, not literally) amounts of poetry.
“Grandma Marija’s Ghost” by Jozefina Cutura deals with a difficult emotion: guilt. As a young girl, the narrator must leave Bosnia during the war. Although she feels compelled to say goodbye to Grandma Marija—her father’s stepfather who has seemingly gone crazy and whom she does not love—when the narrator encounters Grandma Marija on the bus out of town, she doesn’t acknowledge her: “I sometimes wonder if things might have turned out differently for Grandma Marija if I’d stood by her.”
“Aquarela Do San Francisco” by Jaydn DeWald is a much smaller piece of fiction in which the “we” narrators encounter a man following them, lingering on the street outside the window:
. . . staring at us under his hat-brim, so we close the curtains, lock the deadbolts, and turn off all the lights in the house. After a few minutes, we unpause the film, but we can no longer concentrate: we are concerned about the man, that he may reveal something about our lives, our pasts, that he has come here to unravel us. We crawl into bed, silent, and listen to footfalls that, though distant, seem to explode right in our ears. Are they the man’s footfalls? Should we pull aside the curtain and see? We cannot decide: we lie here, too frightened to move, though filled with the desire to know.
Kurt Brown’s poem “Corrigan’s Compass” plays with the idea of things that seem backwards but can really be forward, or things that are wrong that may be right, starting “Venus is the only planet that rotates counter clockwise, / like one of those soccer balls driven into the wrong net.”
When “Wrong-Way Corrigan” flew from New York
to Ireland, rather than back to California, he claimed
it was due to a navigational error and dim lighting
so he couldn’t read his compass. But the truth is always
different from belief. There are those who think
he meant to fly to Ireland and I like to think that’s true,
making a fox of a fool.
Be sure also to read Jon Pineda’s essay “Trailer,” Christopher Howell’s poem “Diminishing Returns,” Wendy Mnookin’s poem “If It’s You,” Nathaniel Perry’s poem “Drunk on the New Honey and the Honey,” Kathleen Winter’s poem “Third Eye,” J. M. Villaverde’s fiction piece “The Interpretation of Dreams,” and the translations.