Poet of the Month, July 2017
Ariel Endress is a traveller, engineer, shark-lover, dog foster mom, conservation business owner and writer. When she isn’t trying to pay the bills, she’s doing the things she loves. Writing & traveling are her two favorite hobbies, and she tries to make a difference while doing both. She calls herself a recycling enthusiast & through her conservation company, Conversation Ocean, she tries to inspire others to make small changes to help save the world. She writes because she feels herself needing an outlet to express her empathetic emotions for others, and to try to connect with people on a deeper level. She was very hesitant to submit to the journal as most of the things she writes never make it off the page & into the hands of anyone else; especially not strangers. She hopes to inspire people to not only write, but to share it with others! It’s an amazing feeling.
You can check out Conversation Ocean here: conversationocean.org.
I want people to remember my magnetism.
Isn’t that what we all want?
To form intimate connections,
Like strands of a spiderweb;
Lacing ourselves together with
Memories of inspiring laughter?
I want your face to light up
When you think of me.
I want the tears that drop
From your eyes, to be
Accompanied by laughter of simpler times.
I don’t want you to remember these tubes,
Or this cold skin.
I want you to remember me
catching you smile.
I want you to remember the wild,
Don’t remember hospital visits
& starchy white sheets.
Don’t remember poison running
Through my veins, and exhaustion on my face.
Don’t remember holding my hand
When I met my defeat.
Remember my magnetism.
Remember the way I could draw you to me.
One soft look would make your heart race.
Remember that, remember Me.
Prose Author of the Month, July 2017
Samantha Campbell is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a current student at Duquesne University. She has been writing fiction for as long as she can remember, and credits her inspiration to two pioneering female authors: Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Fuller. At Duquesne, her focus is on Literary Studies in early American history as well as Global Politics. Her mom is her number one motivator, the eternal president of her fan club, and the person who really encouraged her love of books from the beginning. She owes all of her writing and reading abilities to her mom. The Liaison was borne of a writing assignment for a creative writing class and is Samantha’s favorite piece of fiction that she has written. It represents her love of both literature and history, and continues to be one of her proudest accomplishments. In addition to 1932 Quarterly, she has been published in :lexicon Literary Journal and on ShortFictionBreak.com’s winter writing competition. In the near future, Samantha hopes to spend some time teaching English language in Germany before continuing her education by pursuing a Master’s degree. She occasionally publishes personal essays on Medium and enjoys talking about politics, movies, and much more. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @sammil3igh!
Heat rose from the pavement in dense waves, warping and twisting the shoes of the passers-by hustling to their day jobs. It was early, but the determined sun had been hard at work for hours now. Businessmen sweating in professional suits and young collegiate men and women passed the concrete steps upon which a young woman was perched, cradling a notebook in one arm and erasing with the opposite hand. I pulled into the open spot slightly down the road from the house, windows rolled down. As I shifted the car into park and attempted to focus on my job, the girl glanced up and back down to her work.
Eyes closed, breathing steadied.
“Breakfast is ready,” called a woman’s voice from inside of the house.
“I’ll be right there,” said the girl, scribbling furiously as she furrowed her brow.
She stood after a moment, gathered her supplies, and turned to meet her father’s gaze as he stood in the doorway. He reached out and grabbed her elbow, pulling her with careful force through the threshold. Adjusting my hat, I turned on the radio only to be met, however ironically, with the voice of President Johnson, declaring that the war in Vietnam was not yet moot despite overwhelming opposition from the American public. A glance to my right revealed, through a picture window, the kitchen of the family. The girl, all dark hair and sullen eyes, sat across from a man I assumed to be her father as her a woman I supposed was her mother took a seat between the two. One chair sat vacant next to the girl. I heard snippets of the conversation as it drifted through the thick summer air, their voices undulating in volume.
“—behavior last night was unacceptable—,” the man said sternly, eyeing his daughter.
“—sharing the political opinions of dirty hippies—,” her mother added, averting her eyes to the food on her plate as she spoke.
I grimaced at the conversation and turned the radio off quickly. Obviously, this was not going to be smooth for anyone involved. My official papers sat scattered across the passenger’s seat, the most important one lay on the top of the pile. Each official document was one delivery that I had to make today. Gathering them, I sighed and buttoned my uniform, using the rear view mirror to check the quality of my work.
“Excuse me!” a woman’s voice pierced through my consciousness. I tore my eyes from the mirror and looked straight ahead. She stood in front of my car, hands on the hood, as a man on his bicycle skids to a stop behind her.
“Are you deaf?” the girl spoke in a conversational tone now; looking at me with familiar sullen eyes, shared by many sisters, mothers, and wives.
“Not quite deaf yet,” I said, “Can I help you?”
“If you could possibly give me a ride, that would be helpful,” she said, nearly under her breath.
“Sorry, miss, I’m afraid I can’t. Government car.”
I opened the door and stood in the street, remaining close to my car.
She shrugged. Cautiously, we continued to survey each other. I felt a twinge of guilt in my stomach as my eyes caught sight of a button on the bag that she held to her side: Draft Beer not Students. Another on the strap of the bag: give peace a chance. I met her eyes and a flash of realization passed over her as she took in my Class A uniform and what my presence implied. She maintained her stony visage for just a moment before her eyes were brimming with tears, and she left, turning on her heel and walking off down the sidewalk. The bicyclist was nowhere to be found.
Stepping up onto the sidewalk, I took a few unsatisfying breaths of the sticky midsummer air. My lungs felt starved. Normally, I prayed that the family didn’t see me coming, as in most cases it only made the job harder. This time, I hoped they saw me from their picture window or heard the exchange between their daughter and myself. As I moved toward the doorway, again I heard the same speech by President Johnson, this time emanating from an abandoned radio balancing on the ledge of a window.
His words mingled in my head with the image of the girl’s button – give peace a chance.
Climbing the stairs, I heard her parents’ conversation through the open window in the kitchen. Plans for an upcoming trip, I guessed, or maybe a visit to relatives or a vacation destination. I would never know, but it was pleasant to imagine. Listening for a moment, their rapport comforted me greatly and reminded me of my own parents. Quick, clever responses – their communication laying mostly in eye contact and the sort of mind reading only many years of marriage can perfect. I rang the doorbell.
Their conversation halted.
Footsteps padded through the kitchen as I glanced down at the name on the top of the paper. I didn’t like to know too soon, it felt too personal.
The door swung open, and terror flashed across their faces. Tears stung my eyes as the woman wordlessly clung to her husband. I passed him the Union telegram and began my army-issued speech: “Mr. and Mrs. Beck, at this time the United States Military…”
At times like this, I felt like an extension of the grim reaper – not the collector of the dead but his liaison to the living. I had a stack of telegrams to deliver today.