Tag Archives: Virtual Artists Collective

katia mitova | leap year

I open the wax-sealed envelope: a day of summer towards the end of a long winter. Father and I on a yellow tandem. We pedal quickly but are not moving. I like this. My brother in the garden, still a baby, crawling toward a blue-green caterpillar, never reaching it. A tawny puppy perpetually chasing its tail. My mother on the porch, at her sewing machine. She is hemming a length of white cotton – without thread, without making any noise. We are happy. Suddenly – a buzz. An invisible bee hitting a window pane. Am I the only one who hears it? I jump off the bike and follow the noise. It leads me to the window of my room. The pane is all iced save for a small opening scratched by the bee. I look through this peephole: inside, winter continues. I step back, slowly fold the day, put it back in the envelope, moisten the glue on the flap with my tongue and seal Being & Becoming together.
From Dream Diary (Virtual Artists Collective, 2013).
Katia Mitova was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1993 she moved to Chicago and stayed. This is an orally-enhanced version of a poem about her now almost mythological Bulgarian childhood. Check http://katiamitova.org.

larry d thomas | san antonio zoo

The peacock faces us in a splay of lust, prompting the unconscious holding of our hands, blinding our eyes with iridescent blue collapsing our lungs with breathlessness. Hand in hand we enter the penguin exhibit, and we see them standing erect, motionless, their backs to the glass, their heads tilted upward among outcroppings of fake gray rocks rising to a concrete wall of painted Antarctic vistas. We stand for several minutes and not a penguin moves, each brooking the bitter cold, keeping its back to viewing humans, living with every bit of possible dignity the dire little fictions of its life.
Larry Head ShotLarry D. Thomas, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate, has published twenty collections of poetry, most recently Uncle Ernest (Virtual Artists Collective, Chicago, 2013). His Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (TCU Press, 2008) was short-listed for the National Book Award. Visit his website at LarryDThomas.com.

rosebud ben-oni | the appetite of plastic flowers

She flits through morning rounds Purse shoulder slung Like one of those gunmetal aunties Who waylay the dim sum carts At flying kitchen doors They eat so little themselves The tables large and round Not for two All the things I say I loved Phoenix claws and turnip cake Dumplings dripping with chili oil I chew and chew Into broth and rubber Burning me through Our mouths were full I couldn’t tell you Until that child Asking the room And you flick away the news We never exchange a word Or sweep the curtain between We watch Sesame Street As the old man surrenders The last dry heave Cookie Monster She whispers Rocking him to sleep Never actually eats Crumbles all for show Someone you never see Has to clean it up
"The Appetite of Plastic Flowers" first appeared in Sundog Lit: Issue Two.
Rosebud Ben-Oni 2013Born to a Mexican mother and Jewish father, Rosebud Ben-Oni is a 2013 CantoMundo Fellow. A Leopold Schepp Scholar at New York University, she won the Seth Barkas Prize for Best Short Story and The Thomas Wolfe/Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Best Poetry Collection. She was a Rackham Merit Fellow at the University of Michigan where she earned her MFA in Poetry, and was a Horace Goldsmith Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A graduate of the 2010 Women's Work Lab at New Perspectives Theater, her plays have been produced in New York City, Washington DC and Toronto. Her work appears in Arts & Letters, B O D Y, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and Puerto del Sol. She writes the series "On 7 Train Love" for the blog of Sundog Lit. Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, her debut book of poems SOLECISM was published by Virtual Artists Collective in March 2013. Rosebud is a co-editor for HER KIND at VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Find out more about her at 7TrainLove.org.

elizabeth raby | at the peak

Above smoldering caldera, from the rim of the volcano long gray slopes of cinders still hot and smoking, nothing alive but the fire inside. It’s hard to believe that this barren beginning will in time nourish so much green, so much life. The wildebeests graze on the richest grass on earth nourished by minerals forced out through fire. Our earth has done it again and again and so have we, I guess. Churned and ruined land at Verdun, bones of 600,000 bodies collected, piled in the grim hump of the ossuary, most of the bombs from that battlefield gathered too. Almost one hundred years later, although the ground is still prone to detonate from unexploded ordinance, trees have grown tall. How many times can we do it to each other and the earth? How much ruined land, corpse-littered, can regenerate? We wait for the super volcano, the asteroid, the force that will finish us. Perhaps if sentient life evolves again it will be better, finer, kinder, deserving this magnificent chance.
Elizabeth Raby is the author of 3 full-length poetry collections, This Woman (2012), Ink on Snow (2010), and The Year the Pears Bloomed Twice (2009), all published by Virtual Artists Collective and of four chapbooks. She worked as a poet-in-the-schools and taught poetry at Muhlenberg College.