the lumberyard - Typecast Publishing
Handicapped Van Conversion by BRETT EUGENE RALPH
Fallen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by KATHLEEN McGOOKEY
Each with a Job to Do, & Etc. . . . by DAN PI NKERTON
Three Bridges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by STEM HOLDER
Seclusion EP - Insert
My Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by YI KI LO H I SKI S S
Floaters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by TI FFANY TURNER
This is what they say, they say . . by M. BARTLEY SEIGEL
In Open G for Don and Phil Everly . . by BRETT EUGENE RALPH
Instructions for Burial . . . . . . . . . . . by DEREK MONG
Illustration: Ryan Edge
I’ve had an affinity for truckers my whole life. There is the obvious reason to love them:
they bring us the “stuff” we need and want. But I loved them first as a kid, because of
my grandfather’s CB radio, which he let me use to sing made-up songs to truckers who
might be listening. There were plenty of miles to cover in the Ozarks that didn’t even
have an AM radio station back then, and so I guess monotony is to blame for the
number of truckers who would express appreciation for my little songs. Back then I
thought the CB could disguise my age, and that maybe, just maybe they were taking
me seriously–something a very serious kid rarely gets from adults.
I’ve been thinking about truckers a lot since I heard the Farmer’s Almanac was predicting
record cold this winter. I don’t know how you pass the hours on those frozen, winter
roads. My friend David Grimes always kept a little dog with him for company, but I
imagine at night especially, the road becomes an impossibly lonely place.
This issue is dedicated to the lonely road travelers out there, for those who find
themselves, as issue 5 contributor Brett Ralph referred to it, “in the Punishment Truck.”
Many writers in this issue are experiencing their first published work. Some of the
work comes from unlikely places. For instance, Stem Holder is a young man who
sings lead in a Louisville metal band. He is also an avid writer, and when he showed
me his private journal this past summer, I discovered someone who lives very close
to the essential nature of poetry: the need to say “I am here and I long to connect.” It
reminded me of the true spirit of The Lumberyard–the idea that poetry starts in a
million places beyond the classroom–and pushed me to create this issue, which
I believe is truer to our mission than any prior.
We’ve reprinted a page from Stem’s journal (with his permission of course) and have
included a CD single of the poem in its final version: a song by his metal band,
Seclusion. We hope his work, as well as the work of our many other talented
contributors, will remind you of why we need and want the written word. Perhaps
this issue will help pass the dark hours until spring rolls back around. Meanwhile,
remember reader, you are not nearly so alone as you think.
by B RET T E UGENE R ALPH
an intermittent blue
not to upset his tray
to everyone else
by KATHLEEN McGOOKEY
it does not speak.
It does not ask
terrible thoughts about friends
want money and dream of getting
measured by number.
the pink quartz rock
on my side, turned
by DAN PI NKERTON
A few bombs lay like
His breath spiraled out
One Tuesday, before “lights out,” he viewed a film of desolation
The film contained twelve
debility on the floor of
headed by a jowled man in bifocals.
When the recruiter arrived home from work,
he made armpit noises for his son
and paid the minimums on his credit cards.
His recruit meanwhile,
by STEM HOLDER of SECLU S ION
by YI KI LO H I SKI S S
sister’s friend, Meme,
I entertained myself
vivid and distinct
where I lived.
I knew then there were two worlds–the one I wish I had never experienced
I began to dre am about.
Meme and I rode the bus that day to the end of the line. My surprise
of the entire city of Oakland.
ear that this was heaven,
waited for the last possible bus home before giving up our oasis. On the ride home, I
was no longer interested in analyzing the faces of others; I was more interested in the
reflection staring back at me from the bus window, a backdrop of darkness. Was I a
of the ugly place I called Stepping off of the bus onto the familiar pavement, I
wondered if the place Meme and I had just left was
was this place
by TI FFANY TURNER
You have submerged yourself again,
listening for the churn of your
living body in bathwater gone tepid.
the epileptic one
in a tub, back at
Renick R-V Elementary.
it was 1996, maybe,
and Robbie, he was 9 and
wore a helmet for protection.
They held his open-casket
funeral in the school gymnasium.
played clarinet, a hymn,
looked at the basketball goals
not his family, never him.
for a moment, was he there with you?
Blue skin and that limp face,
the one he was making in the hallway
that time he had a seizure at school.
Did he whisper something to you,
make a noise you’ve never heard
from a human child?
Did he breath
Did he reach out
by M . BARTLEY SEIGEL
Fatboy’s mother is dead. He wants to put his that he can pull open at will,
snort, cook for a needle. Fatboy wants to take over, but he’s too busy smashing
and peppering, too busy burning, punching out teeth—what the fuck are you looking at?
he was six-years-old, Fatboy would bite the edge of the kitchen counter and hang
there by his head, arms limp, legs dangling—the marks are all still there. When he was
six-years-old, Fatboy would hide in his bedroom, under every blanket in the trailer,
imagining the smells and colors of today.
in the trailer,
by M . BARTLEY SEIGEL
everyone, just about everything begins with a lump. In her armpit. In his
throat. Grief. Leaves drift to the ground, bare branches, a dusting of snow. Play
something dirge and drudge, he thinks, trot out the pipes, the strings. He makes a show of
forefinger and thumb – ain’t that how it goes, tiny like? Mostly, it’s just a second ago
with her across the table, sipping a beer, smoking a cigarette, pushing a greasy hair
behind her greasy ear and then she isn’t. Mostly things are like that, not holy, just hollow.
by M . BARTLEY SEIGEL
and forgetting. Blood gone scab is the richest
Iron, wine, and behind that nothing, no one,
Somewhere the sun sets and in the distance the dogs begin to
Somewhere a child is lost. Somewhere something is forgotten and left behind
like time, like denial,
Leaves pile up as love is made.
For Don & Phil Everly
by B RET T E UGENE R ALPH
There is a hole in my lap
the sound comes out of,
but there is no sound now.
So I turn it upside down and shake–
hear the pick’s hollow rattle,
hope for it to fall.
I can’t say if men still arm themselves
with picks as they embark on their dark
odyssey into the earth,
but Egypt Mines had an operation
once, when I first moved here,
butted up against my land.
On warm nights, windows open,
there was a constant, distant rumble,
transparent voices that may or may not have.
bled into this world;
huge, lunar contraptions emitting
the ‘mon back beep of a garbage truck,
beep of garbage truck,
which by light of day resembled nothing
so much as dinosaur remains. It’s less
than half an hour from my house
to the place where Isaac Everly
rose from a pit, rubbed grit from his eyes and vowed
no son of his would break his neck
from fields of green infinity,
the place they had ever prayed
and laid down weary heads, tried not to hear
coal trains as they hauled away
the planet’s very pulse, a life
boys would never have to learn
though they’d spend the rest of their days on earth
grown filthy rich from singing
songs of longing to return.
by DEREK MONG
I will have done everything to
Concerning my feet:
I want to dance on the heads of my neighbors. I
want to jog to their long distance calls.
My bones won’t give you much trouble,
spring. These arms are like styrofoam plane wings. My ribs stretch like a wicker basket
my bowels into a cave. Please draw a picture above me; sign my name. Leave the beaded
with what’s left of my shins.
whether bicuspid or molar, there’s little left to salvage. On each of
my birthdays I’ve planted a tooth in the riverbed. There’s a
message poking through
As for these hands, please sew their wrists together loosely. I want them hung from the
basketball hoop above the garage. For once I will applaud the wind for simply moving.
I’ll get the rebounds you couldn’t quite reach.
Concerning my hair, shave it off before performing any other dispersal. I’d like it made
into a woman’s wig and then sold.
Of the head I ask these provisions be taken: leave my ears beneath a well-traveled bridge;
seal my nose in a Tupperware cup, have it lost; bury my tongue with its stamp collection;
liquefy my eyes in a rock tumbler, pour them into a bottle, toss the bottle at sea.
though you may share its contents
YI KI LO H I SKI S S was born in Oakland, CA, from parents who emigrated to the
United States from Eritrea, a small nation in the Horn of Africa. Among his many
interests, writing and time with his family are two favorites.
STEM HOLDER is a writer and the lead vocalist for the band, Seclusion. He is a
native of the South Side of Louisville, Kentucky. Rather than list the details of his life,
he prefers the lyrics and music speak for themselves.
KATHLEEN McGOOKEY’s poems and translations have appeared in over forty
journals including The Antioch Review, Epoch, Field, Indiana Review, The Laurel Review,
Ploughshares, Quarterly West, Seneca Review, and Willow Springs. Her book is
Whatever Shines. She lives in Middleville, Michigan.
DEREK MONG’s first collection of poems will be published by Saturnalia Books
in 2011. A former Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, he currently
lives with his wife in Louisville, Kentucky where he is the 2008-2010 Axton Fellow in
Poetry at the University of Louisville. His previous work has appeared in The Missouri
Review, Pleiades, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. New poems and translations
can be found in Artful Dodge, Arch Journal, and Breathe: 101 Contemporary Odes
(CR Press). Last summer he gave two readings in Moscow, played a single game of
vintage base-ball, and temporarily adopted his brother’s Hawaiian chihuahua, Yum Yum.
DAN PI NKERTON lives in Des Moines, Iowa. His stories and poems have
appeared in North American Review, Sonora Review, Washington Square, Subtropics,
and the 2008 Best New American Voices anthology, among others.
B RET T E UGENE R ALPH spent the better part of his youth in Louisville, Kentucky,
playing football and singing in punk rock bands. His work has appeared in publications
such as Conduit, Mudfish, Willow Springs, and The American Poetry Review, and his
poems have been anthologized in The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets and
The Stiffest of the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader. He has taught at the University
of Massachusetts, Missouri State University, and the Central Institute of Buddhist
Studies in the Himalayas of northern India. Currently, he lives in Empire, Kentucky, and
teaches at Hopkinsville Community College. His country rock ensemble, Brett Eugene
Ralph’s Kentucky Chrome Revue, can be heard in seedy dives throughout the South.
SECLU S ION consists of five veterans of the Louisville music scene: Stem Holder (vocals),
Gezuz (guitar), Tim Kiefer (guitar), Dave Wathen (drums), and Ryan Locke (bass).
They ask everyone to please check out their music at www.myspace.com/seclusion.
M . BARTLEY SEIGEL teaches at Michigan Technological University and is founding
editor of PANK Magazine. His words have appeared in Monkeybicycle, Dogzplot,
Wheelhouse, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere.
TI FFANY TURNER is a native of rural Missouri. She holds a BFA from Stephens
College and is working on her creative thesis in fiction from Murray State’s low-residency
MFA Program. She lives in Columbia, Missouri, where she can be found reading
poetry at open mics, supporting local music, and hiking through the wilderness.
no. 6 summer 2010
Winner of the roark