Spring 2015 Issue Preview

By this time next week Poictesme will showcasing the wonderful writing and art of VCU students in our Spring 2015 journal. This issue features the work of many talented writers and artists: illustration by Keith Pfeiffer, Anthony Sudol and Skye Young; photography by Weston Clark and Alex Matzke; poetry by Jamal Stone and Jessie Kraemer; and prose by Brennan Chambre and Nicole Maria Willis. Enjoy the sneak peek of some of the featured works below! Want to see it person? Come to our release event at the Depot on Sunday, April 19 at 1pm!


The trash we left on the moon | Keith Pfeiffer 


A Life In the Woods | Nicole Maria Willis

The old man and his grandson weaved between the fresh evergreens and lifeless deciduous trees whose skeletal branches hung heavy with ice from the last storm. Slowly and quietly they made their way towards a sloping clearing by the trees. It was sometime between late winter and early spring. The snow was still abundant but the ground was beginning to thaw, causing large patches of coarse, frostbitten grass to come through. Heavy stalks of sickly chartreuse grass dragged at the ground, its weight forcing it to arch over, forming a soft, cushioned blanket. Small animals scavenged in the dirt, scratching about, looking for something to change up the mundane flavors of winter.


This is How It Happened | Bayan Atari

You allowed yourself to trust.
Imagine your arms raised towards the atmosphere
like two fleshy candles, your marionette body twirling
with the ferocity of a child throwing a temper tantrum,
face alight with delusion –
this is the road to recovery! you thought.


Sovereignty | Brennan Chambre

My grandfather, Josef, died about a week after spending 24 hours on the bathroom floor on which he fell a few days before Christmas 2010. Back then I would have called it something snide like “he was put down” or even “he was killed.” But really I know, knew, that his body would not be able to survive the sepsis. Taking him off life support was the only humane thing to do, I think.

As my mom, uncle, aunt, cousin and I went about the task of going through the Orlando, Florida home two generations had grown up in, I discovered a Romanian-English dictionary on the bookshelf in the living room. I knew my grandfather was born and raised in a village in Romania before he moved to the U.S., but my second language growing up was German. The family members who visited from overseas to go to Disney world flew from Germany. And yet, this was not a German-English dictionary in my hands, nor was one found elsewhere in the house. It was a Dicţionar Român-Englez.


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Kathleen Brien


The Lair of Saint House | Grant Wolfe

Saint House was an older man with a thick mustache wearing a suit with a bowler cap. He looked immaculate except that his skin and clothes were covered in an off-white layer of dust. They stood uncomfortably for a moment, surprised by his appearance, but a young woman sitting on a couch behind him smiled and waved so they made their way inside. The apartment was decorated in the fashion of an old study and lacked the dust that consumed its patron. The walls were lined with shelves, some with antique books, others with record and CD collections, and even one with a stack of computer games. A soft stream of classical music was drifting from the room beyond the living room. Plastered across the walls were portraits of old white men and women, with an authentic-looking Pollock painting hung between them.


Frontier | Meagan Dermody

When we passed through the mountains of Utah,
full of invisible beasts, brutes, friends and foes,
crudely built, unidentified by science,
like a new, harsh planet where the natives
weren’t friendly, I was sure they were mean—
I mean malicious; I mean inferior; I mean
starving—just the shadow of that potential
was enough to convince me of their reality,
their cruelty, and their intentions toward me.


Dusk In Nelson County, Virginia | David Brunson

Different mornings
burn upstream
like rustling leaves spread idly
over water—spread
with the soft understanding
of the autumn in their branches.
The grove has a heart and it beats
with the grace of pines.

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