T-minus 4, 3, 2, 1…

All right folks, this season’s first reading is only four days away! Besides distributing the fall issue, we’ll feature two stellar writers: Cynthia Plascencia and Darlene Campos. Both come from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program.

Darlene will have her story “Lost Angeles” appear in the new issue. You’ll see her work on this site pretty soon. In the meantime, check out her blog D-Dazehttp://darlenec91.tumblr.com/.

As for Cynthia, she is a poet who graduated with her Bachelor’s in 2010. She currently works as a Senior Writing Consultant and Studio Facilitator at UH’s Writing Center. Cynthia received the 2009 Robertson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Lex Allen Literary Prize. Her work has appeared in Glass Mountain, Pebble Lake Review, and Prairie Margins, among other venues. To acquaint you with her verse, we present one of her latest poems. Its title is “Steak House.” Enjoy and see you Thursday.

The Editors

▪ ▪ ▪

Steak House by Cynthia Plascencia

Poetry is dangerous, says Lauren,
You write to either hurt yourself, or everyone else.
I have no desire to dispute this.
It is her leading question of then why do it
that I consider through the entree course – braised ox tail.
I slice through the dark slab with my knife
shredding until I meet the bone,
a sick satisfaction rising
having seen the slaughter to its end.
What an easy association this is to my love
for crime documentaries.
More specifically, murders.
More specifically, the adrenaline I feel
when the motive is announced –
Just felt the need the assailants say into the camera,
taking a quick sip from the tepid water set out for the reporter.
Is it wrong that I identify with this desire?
Not the heinous result, with found bodies,
cut in half, drained, and wrapped
in a terry cloth towel by I-10 and Federal,
but rather the lack of intricate explanation for it?
I tell myself it’s okay, this feeling,
because I’m attracted to crime under the premise
that I will never commit any.
But is that even true?

Poetry is dangerous, my friend repeats,
pushing, the lack of silverware on the table
signaling a change in course is imminent.
Shrugging at her, I don’t see the problem.
Let the crimes I commit leave open wounds,
I’d say into some camera, its blinking red dot agreeing,
and the motive be as simple as urge.



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