Go Places: Sea Creatures

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<ul><li><p> : </p><p>GoPlaces:SeaCreatures</p><p>July:Issue5</p></li><li><p>ContributorsJesseCataldo http://www.jessecataldo.com/ RachaelEasterly EmilyHiggins EileenHillery http://www.eileenhillery.com/ EmilyHockaday emily.hockaday.poetry@gmail.com GordonHolden http://www.gordonholden.com/ MeganHummel TiffanyNavarro http://www.tnavarro.blogspot.com/ AmelaParcic JackieSherbow TerinTalarico MonicaWendel CoverDesignbySimoPeretti WaltzinJennybyThemDamnHamiltons</p><p>ThemDamnHamiltonswriteandperformoriginaldarkNewEnglandfolkwithatouchofgypsyswaggerandseachanteystomp.www.themdamnhamiltons.com </p><p>CreatedandCuratedbyHannahRaineBrennerLeonard </p></li><li><p>DearFriends,</p><p>WhaleMystic,collage,2011</p><p> Thankyoutoallthecontributorsformakingitgreat!Hopeyoulovethisone.</p><p> Truly, Hannah</p></li><li><p>SeaBurialJackieSherbow</p><p>listofbeachlife,LongIslandSound,9/11/2000snail,shell,weeds,ladybugs(note:check),oneblackarrowhead,smallwhitecrabs.Oceanside,CA,7/4/2009AMarinedrownedinthemiddleofthedayjustdownthebeachmightaswellhavebeennexttome:thewaywaterflows.Requirementsforburialatsea:musttakeplacethreenauticalmilesfromlandandinwateratleastsixhundredfeetdeep.Certainareasrequiredeeperwater.Allnecessarymeasuresshallbetakentoensurethattheremainssinktothebottomrapidlyandpermanently.listofsealifefromdream,2012areunionofoldfriendstiedupinoceandwellingplants:theMarinefromIndependenceDayweekend,redtide,myAuntM.sashes,silverknottedflyfishingties,skippingrocks,thegirlmymotherdoveintoretrievefromthepoolsdeepend,MaisieafterjumpingoverthefencetothebrokenglassshoreoftheEastRiver,theviewofLowerManhattanfromthewater,mytoesskimmingthetipsofeveryone'sfloatinghair.</p></li><li><p>Mom'sBathroom, Northglenn,Colorado,January2010TerinTalarico</p></li><li><p>ByNightWithTorchAndSpearJesseCataldo</p><p>Theyspenttheirdaysonthebeachandatnighttheyargued.Quietarguments,oneswithroundededges,whereshewouldbreakaglassinthesinkandhewouldmurmurunderhisbreath:forGod'ssakehowmanytimes?Shewasn'tworkinganymoreandhewaspaintingthethingshewanted,deadcantedtreesandemptybeds,theirsheetsgrayandunwashedandsinister.Thingsthatmadethemeninthelittlegalleriesonthehilltilttheframesslightlytotheirsides,bemusedlooksappearingontheirfaces.Hewasn'tworried.Theydidn'tneedthemoney.Summerendedandtheystayedthere,intheshorehousewiththreerooms,onthebeacheachdayinsweatshirtsandlongpants.Thetouristswenthome,ofcourse,andtheicecreammanlefthistruckbehind,parkedonasandycornerneartheboardwalk.Beforethishehadimaginedthattherewassomeonetotidyupwhentheseasonwasover,acleaningmanwithacartorapickuptruck,scouringthebeachfortrashanddebris.Buttherewasnosuchperson.Thecellophanewrappersandplasticbagssunktheirwaydownintothesandorblewoutintothesea.Thewaveswereglassyandcalmandtherewasseaweedeveryday.Bynowthewaterwascoldenoughthatitdidn'tmatter.Theysayitsfulloftinymaggots,theseaweed,Heathersaidasifitwasntbadenough.</p><p>Hemadeadisgustedface.Itwasanothercoldday.Likealwaystheyhadwokenatdifferenttimes,eatendifferentbreakfasts,takentheirmorningwalksalone.Butbynoontheywouldbeonthebeachagain,reading,orsketching,orjustlookingoutatthewater.</p><p>Cleanermaggotsthough,hesaid,atleastrelatively.BecauseofthesaltImean.Peoplewerestillthereintown,somewhere.Theywouldrunintostrangersinthecornerstore</p><p>andsayhello,forcedintofriendlinessbythenewfoundemptinessoftheplace.Butthebeachwasempty.Therewasoneperson,anoldwoman,whohadsetupacardtablenearthestepsdownfromtheboardwalk.Shesoldseashells,unironically,readingromancenovelswithsurprisinglytastefulcovers.SheworeaNavajochief'sblanketaroundhershoulders,aheavythingwithamaroonandgoldpattern.Thismustbeoneofthosepeople,hethought,theonesHeathersfatherhadspokenabout,theweirdoswhoclungtothetownallyearround,throughcoldweatherandwarm,likedeadantsonoldPopsiclesticks.Thiswomanmaywellhavebeenthereduringthesummer,sittingoutamongthefruitsellersandthecaricaturists,withtheirsampledrawingsofoutdatedcelebrities.Ifshewastheyhadnotnoticed.Nowtheysawhereveryday,hershellslaidoutmessilyonthetable,asiftheyhadwashedupthere.Theywerenotthesamekindofshellsyouwouldfindonthebeach.Theylookedforeign,withviolentpatterns,streakedsunsetaccumulationsofpurple,orangeandred.Thewomanlearnedbothoftheirnamesandtalkedtothemwhentheypassed,aboutthesoundthewavesmadeonthejettyandtheislandjustoffthecoast,whichtheycouldseebuthadnevervisited.</p><p>Itsthekindofplacewhereyouseeflowerseverywhere.Inthebackseatsofabandonedcars.Justgrowing.Yearafteryearandthepetalspileuponthefloor.Fallingdowncottagesallcoveredinivy.Thewomankeptherhairtiedstifflybackandwhenshespokeherhandsfluttered,asinthemotionofsomecomplicateddance.Whenyouseeahouselikethat,ahousewithrootstearingupthecellar,thingslivingintherafters,deadleavesuptoyourkneesintheoldkitchen,youfeelsomethingrighthere.Shetouchedherchest.Andthedogs.Thereareoldstraysthathavegonewildandatnightyoucanhearthemcryingbythewaves.Atnightthelightsonthenearsideoftheduneswentdarkfirst,thenthoseupabove,inthesmallerbungalowswhereoldcoupleshadsettleddownforgood,leavingonlytowatchthewavesandpickup</p></li><li><p>groceries.Therewerestillboatsoutinthewater,andfromtimetotimeonewouldpassclosetotheshore,theglintofitslightsreflectinginthewindow.Sometimestheywouldgobyquickly;othertimestheymightsitoutthereforhours,faroff,likesomethingpaintedonthesky.Whenhesawonehewouldwalkovertothewindow,pickinguptheashtrayinonehandandstandingthere,theasheswanderingoverthelipofthetray,hisfacesmushedupagainsttheglass.</p><p>Shepaintsthoseshells,Heathersaidlater.TheywereplayingScrabbleandhewassurprisedtofind,hourslater,thattheoldwomanwasstillonhermind.Hehadjustspelledtheword'fuzz'butnowregrettedit,howoutofplaceitlooked,theuglyblockageitputontheboard. </p><p>They'reconvincing,sure,butIknowforafactshepaintsthem,Heathercontinued.Hewonderednowifthewomanwasstilloutthere,ifshespentallnightundertheboardwalk,</p><p>sleepingwrappedupinthatblanket.Thisseemedpossible.HeknewwhyshebotheredHeather,whofearedthingsthatmadeherfeelstupidorunbalanced.Thewomanlikelydidthis,throughthecarefulwayshespoke,poppingoutsyllableslikesoapbubbles,inthearch,measuredtoneofaBaedeker's.</p><p>Whydoesitmatterwhattheyare?heasked.Itdoesn'tmatter.That'swhyitmatters.Whosellsshells?Andoffseason?Whatdoesshe</p><p>thinkthisis?Thiswashowtheargumentsstarted.Shewouldpushhimtodefendasidehehadwouldnot</p><p>normallyhavetaken.Fromherehewouldstruggletogetback,toescapethetopicandthesidehedbeenassigned.Indoingthishewouldenduptakingontheargument.Thiswashowhefoundhimselfdefendingnucleararms,dogshows,ChiquitaBanana,theoldracistwhoownedthetshirtshop.Eventuallyhewouldrealizethathewastrapped.Then,slowly,thefightwouldwinddown.Theywouldgotosleepandinthemorningwhenhewokeupshewouldalreadybegone,ashallowdentinthesheetswhereshehadslept.Usuallyhewouldlosethearguments,becausehisheartwasnotinthedefense.Heatherwasatenaciousandwilydebater.Therealityofhislosswouldlingerwithhimandtosavefacehe'dbeforcedtostartanotherfightlater,pickingatherforsomethingpointless,thewayshecoughedorhowshelefttheforkshalfwashed,inthedishdrainerdottedwithgritandcrust.</p><p>Didyouwashtheseinthesand?hemightask,quizzically.TherewouldbesilencefromthecouchwhereshesatwiththelightoffandtheTVvolumeonlow.Heknewthesekindsofcommentshurther.Shehadnopatiencefordishesanditwasalwaysdarkinthekitchen.Ifshedidapoorjobitwasonlypartiallyherfault.Soshewouldsaynothing,walkintothebedroomandclosethedoor.Or,ifthingsthatdayhadbeenmoreamicable,shemightwhine:</p><p>MorganforGodssake.YouknowI'mnotgoodwiththesethings.Iknowthat.Ido,hewouldanswer.Sowhybringitup?Whynot,hewouldask,justcleantheforks?</p><p>Itwasavacationhouse.Thismeantitwasfilledwiththings,allthecastoffdriftwoodofherprivilegedchildhood:frayedstuffedanimals,ovenmitts,booksthathadbeentrappedbetweenbedsandwallsforfifteenyears.Therewasa1987calendarinthekitchen,asmallyellowboxwithallthemonthsononepage,highupabovethecabinetswherenoonehadbotheredtotakeitdown.Hethoughtoftenaboutherandthehouse,thetimesthathadbeensharedbeforehegotthere,whatwouldhappenaftertheyhadgone,thethingstheplacemeanttoherthathewouldneverunderstand.Therehadbeenweekendsherewhenshewasthegrinningfiveyearoldhesawinpictures,whenshehadwokenupearlyinthemorningsanddoveintoherparentsbed,squirmingherwayunderneaththecovers.Nowitwastheirbed,withdarkstainsonthecoverletfromlyingonitwiththeirshoeson.Tohimitwasnothingmorethanadrearyplace,onethatseemedbarelyaliveevenwhenitwaswarm.Therewasastinkofdeadwoodandagriminess,anancientmusttothewalls,thatwouldhavenotcomeouteveniftheydtriedtoremoveit.Hecouldnotgetpastthis,couldnotforma</p></li><li><p>sentimentalbondwiththissadlittleplacethatwasnotreallyahomeorevenahouse.Thereseemednoreasontotry.ByOctoberitwasfullofdrafts,alwayscold,thereflectedcharmofsummercompletelystrippedaway.Itscreakingwoketheminthenight. Thewaterlookslikestewnow,hesaid,Inthesummerithasthatnicelightness,butnowitslikeredmiso.Theseaweeddoesnthelpthings.</p><p>Iguesssheanswered.Idon'tknow,hesaid.It'snotthemostbeautifulthingintheworld,sheagreed.</p><p>Theirchairswerefacingoneanotherforsomereason.Herslookingoutandhisfaceuptowardthehillandtheboardwalkandthetownbehindit.Helookedatthelinesonherfaceunderthesunhatshestillstubbornlywore.Sherepeatedsomethingtohimthatherfatheralwayssaid,aboutneverturningyourbackontheocean.Fromthebeginninghehadthoughtofthehouseassomethingherparentsbought,aweddingpresentfromtheirparentsorapurchasesharedamongsiblings.Whenhefoundoutotherwise,thatithadbeeninthefamilysince1923,thatseveralpeoplehadhoneymoonedthere,thatoneofhergrandfather'scousinshadchokedtodeathonanappleintheverysamekitchenheatehisFrostedFlakes,hefeltspooked.Thisoldnessgrantedaconfusingvacuitytothethingshere,robbingthemoftheircontextandplaceandloosingthemtoagelesslimbo.Thethingslyinginthehallandbedroomclosets,theshuttlecocksandloosestripsofnetting,thelawnmowerparts(althoughtherewasnolawn),spadesandtrowels,darkgreentennisballs,hats,boots,bundledlengthsoftwineandstring,boxesofhandwrittenrecipes,ClueandTrivialPursuitinoutdatedboxes,withmildeweatenboardsthatlookedlikethefloorsofneglectedmansions.Wheredidthesethingscomefrom?Whenhadtheybeenlefthere?TherewastheyellowraftthatherbrothershadtakenoutontheAtlanticwithoutpermission,rowingagainstthetide,sofarthattheydisappearedbeyondthehorizon.Whentheycameback,trudgingupthebeachwiththeboatheldovertheirheads,herfatherwentafterthemwithhisbeltandlater,aftertheydbeensuitablypunished,goredtheraftwithasteakknife.Thiswasoneofthestoriesheknew.Shetolditblankly,sothathewasntsureifitwasmeanttobefunnyorsad.Buttheraftwasstillthere,foldedupitspackaging,brownanddesiccatedlikeanoldcucumber.</p><p>Itwasnotallfighting,thoughitsometimesseemedlikeit,andhehopedthatlookingbackonedaytheywouldnotrememberthearguments.Therewerenicetimes,evenwhenitwascoldandthewindhowled,whentheywouldfindthemselvessittingIndianstyleonthekitchenfloor,feelingtheoldstormfeeling,theoneyoucouldreallyonlyfeelonvacation.Orinthehallways,theirlegsstretchedoutacrosseachothers.Theywoulddrinkhotthingsfrommugsandeattheoldcrackerstheyfoundwastingawayinthepantry.1991,shejoked,beautifulvintage.FantasticyearforSaltines.Thepinesmellofthewallscameoutwhenitrainedandsometimesthesmellofawoodstovewouldappearoutofnowhere,waftingupthebeachmaybe,slinkingintothebedroomwheretheylaydrapedoverthebed.Itwasduringoneofthesetimesthatshetoldhimaboutthewhale.Itwasrareforhertospeakabouthermemoriesofthisplace,andthethingsshedidtellwerenotimportant,wherethekeyringusedtohangandthewaythebikeswouldtipovereverynightfromthewind.Howherfatherwouldleanthemupagainstthewallasevenlyashecouldbuteachmorningtheywouldcomeoutsideandtheretheydbe,tippedoverinthesand.Butthisstorywasdifferent.</p><p>Wemusthavebeeneightornine,shebegan,wellIwaseightornine.Clintwastenorelevenormaybeeventwelve.Wecamebackfromsomewhereinthecaranditwaslyingthereonthebeach,dead.Justthemouthandtheheadorwhateverandtherestofitwasinthewater.Butthatmouth.Jesus.Therewasthishorriblecrustofbarnacles,blackalgaelookingstuffaroundtheeyesandmouthandIllneverforget,forsomethingtohaveeyeslikethat,likebiggerthanyoucouldimagine.</p></li><li><p>Clintranoverandtriedtotouchitandmydadcameandscoopedhimup.Whichwasgood,hewouldhavecrawledinside,thewayhewas.</p><p>Shelaughedandwentontalking,abouttheeyes,whicheventuallyslidshutontheirown,andtheslackmouth,aswideasagaragedoor.Aftershetoldthisstorytheywentbackoutonthebeachandwalked,upalongthehighdunespasttheoldwoodenshops,closedfortheseason,whereonelonelyhousesatatthetopoftheridge.Thishousealwayslookeddarkfromtheirwindow.Butcloseuptheycouldseethefrailbluelightinsideasatelevisionreflectedagainstthebaywindow.Theydidnotholdhands.Thiswasnotthatkindofsituation,wherethestoryremindedhimofwhyhelovedherinthefirstplace,openeduntappeddepthsofaffectionandbrokethroughthecrustedloamofmisunderstanding.Nothinglikethathappened.Partofhimwasstillannoyed,tobehonest,thatshehadeatenthelastthreeeggsthatmorning.Theywalkedsomewhatapartandsometimeshishandwoulddartcloser,brushingthehairoffhershoulder.Outofhabitmaybe,butwiththehandclingingtothelastfibersofhairandswooshingthembackingbehindherearwhereheknewtheywouldcatch.Theoceanwashideousandblack,swollen,proudofthebilliondeadthingsrottinginside.Itsselfish,shesaid,ButIwouldlovetoseeithappenagain.Thewhale,tremendous,dead,lyingthereontheshore.Whatareyoudoingoutthere,hismotheraskedonthephone,andwhereisthereexactly?Whatcanyoupossiblybeeatingeveryday?</p><p>Nothing,hesaid,whichwasnottrue.Hewaspaintingeveryday,evenwhenhedidntfeellikeit,thingshewasnotsurehelikedbecausehedidnotlookatthemoncetheyweredone.Therewasnotmuchelsetodo.Thelibraryintownwassmallandtheyhadnotelevision.Sothepaintingsfilledthehouse.Leaningfacedown,firstagainstthebackofthecouchandthenagainstthebacksofotherpaintings.</p><p>Wellbebackwhenwereback,hesaidintothephone.WhenhewasoutorinbedHeatherwouldturnthepaintingsoverandexaminethem.There</p><p>wassomethingmenacinghere,shefelt.Thepaletteandchunkybrushstrokesindicatedfrustration,blackmoods,depressioneven,amorbidintimacywithshadowsandfog.Onepaintingwasofthebeach,coveredindeadjellyfish.Anothershowedthedarkwaterchurninglikesewage,anoldrowboatlistingnearadock,threedustypelicansperchedonabuoy.Shepickedattheirframelessedgeslikeaboxofrecords,runningherfingerovercertainparts,lettingthemfallbackagainstoneanother.</p><p>Whatareyoutryingtosaywiththesepaintings?sheasked,onemorning,whentheyfoundthemselvesbothdrinkingespressoatthecafdownthestreet.Hethoughtaboutthisforamoment.Hisfingerspulledfromhissleeveanddrummedagainstthetable.Ithink,heanswered,thatIlikedthisplacebetterwhenitwaswarm.OnedayjustbeforeHalloweentheywalkedupthecoasttowardthejetty,furtherthantheydbeenbefore,pastthegraymossyhouseswhereoldfriendsofherparentsstilllived.Hehadstoppedshavingandhisbeardhadgrownoutunevenly,patchyinsomeplaces,scragglyinothers.Hecuppedhishandsandblewonthem.</p><p>Therewasaplacehereshehadnotseeninyears.Fardownthebeach,pastwherethecliffwallspressedtightagainstthesea,wherethewaterwasfullofbouldersandsharkeggschokedthesandinthespring.Sheknewitastheboathouse,althoughitdidnotholdboatsanddidnotlookasitevercouldhave.Itwasasmallshackonthewater,connectedbyashortpier,halfcollapsed,withsnappedclamshellsscatteredacrossthefloor.Shetoldhimthatasachildithadscaredherterribly,howherbrotherswouldforceherinside,barthedoorandpretendtoleave.Lookingatitnowshefelt</p></li><li><p>nothingatall,watchingthewaterlapagainsttheopenfrontoftheshack,thegapsinthewallscreakingasthetideslowlywrenchedthemfromtheirmoorings.</p><p>Whatahorribleplace,hesaid. It...</p></li></ul>