In the "Looking Glass," we provide the space for contributors to share reflections on their work. "Looking Glass" provides a sort of parlor where authors reveal the genesis of their pieces, as well as provide meta-discursive insight into their textual and visual creative works.
Issue 1 Reflections
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"Life as a Sandwich"
My essay, "Life As a Sandwich," came out of my daily experience caring for my young son and my elderly father. The phrase "sandwich generation" is often bandied about as an apt description for those of us who care for children and parents at the same time. I remember thinking to myself: "This is a rotten sandwich."I just re-read the essay and am struck how honest and blunt I was. That is how I am as a journalist, but I usually write about things from my own life with a veil of humor. I am glad this essay came out as raw as it did. Clearly, I needed to say it. And people in my life needed to hear it.
R.L. Swihart :
Who knows exactly what I was thinking, where the mind had strayed, when I followed the threads that led to this poem. Certainly I can tell you precisely where I was when the poem started to tease me: I was outside at the pool—a summer day flecked by clouds, punctuated by an occasional airplane overhead—and I was watching my two girls swim.
Laura LeHew :
"A Day Without Pain"
We were reading Lorca. We, the Let Them Eat Cake* poets, were researching the concept of duende. We were discussing it with everyone. The Roving Park Players (a local theater troupe) joined in our discussion. They brought up Flamenco dancers. We brought up Heath Ledger. We all had been to where Creativity takes hold and there’s no stopping for waffles or bathrooms or spouses. How we wouldn’t want to stop, even if we could.
Then in one flash of insight, my mind multitasking, I realized a series of simultaneous things:
· if pain is the Loch Ness monster just under the surface of belief
· and if pain is just a normal part of life like brushing your teeth or dying your hair
· in the battle between pain/no pain where the darkness fuels the Muse I am prolific writer
I left the discussion and wrote “A Day Without Pain.”
*Formed in 2004 the Let Them Eat Cake poets meet weekly to critique our works; our motto is “losing our heads over poetry.”
Dr. Ernest Williamson III
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In my paintings, I try to convey a multiplicity of meanings via exploring abstract expressionism with an intent to offer the viewer figuration, association, and deconstruction of the human form.
Joseph Farley :
"Onions for Breakfast"
The inspiration for this poem came from actual events. The larder was nearly empty. I was listening to jazz. It was breakfast. I was hungry. I had to scrounge a meal. I had onions. A sad jazz tune was playing while I sliced an onion. I ate the onion raw on crackers. Slicing the onions brought tears to eyes that were already wet. I was suffering through a horrible period in a long term relationship in which my partner had not been very faithful. Onions, tears, sadness, jazz - the elements were all there. Life gave birth to the poem.
Girls in red parkas bring a foretaste of spring to come, and stimulate memories of past springs on a snowy day. I remember slogging through snow, feeling down, and suddenly perking up at the sight of pretty faces and bright outfits in the cold. The poem came from this. I always try to carry pen and paper with me wherever I go. A few scribbled lines reworked later became the poem.
Joan Hanna :
The inspiration for my poem Mojitos came one fourth of July when I was feeling particularly melancholy about not having my family around me. My mother would have these big holiday bashes that kind of fell away after her passing. On this day I was sitting in my yard and thinking, “if we were still getting together, we would probably be trying to make mojitos” since that was the new “it” drink that year. I had already written so much about my mother’s death that I wanted the melancholy turn to be an undertone in the poem so I focused on the more comical things that happened during the holidays. We could never quite get the yearly fashionable cocktail right. Whether it was Pina Coladas or Cosmopolitans, we would either run out of ingredients or not even know what the ingredients were in the first place. But that never stopped us from rummaging through cabinets and refrigerator drawers trying to find something that we thought would taste the same. The drinks inevitably failed, and some of the concoctions were absolutely horrible, but the process was one that always made us laugh. And although the melancholy aspect slips into the middle of the poem (as my poems are known to do) I was glad that this poem was somewhat lighthearted in remembering those times.