Brian Fanelli, Spring•Summer 2017

Follow the link below to treat yourself to poet Brian Fanelli’s reading from issue #13.

Word Fountain

Long Nights with B
Brian Fanelli

B liked to raise his fists,
sneer at me with booze breath,
College boy, what you got on me, huh?

B liked to call next morning,
not to apologize, but to plan the night,
promise to buy first rounds.

B liked to forget how he tangled with friends,

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Brian Dean Powers, Spring•Summer 2017

Vincent van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles.

Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. 

Be sure to follow the links to get a print copy with the gorgeous cover design (The Bees!) by Erin Mazzoni. We’ll also be including some bonus audio/visual content in the online version again this time. Here’s the first sample from Brian Dean Powers, including his poem “Van Gogh’s Bedroom.”

Source: Brian Dean Powers, Spring•Summer 2017

Saturday Songs with the Cactus Blossoms

From the credits of 2017’s episode three (and the Cactus Blossom’s website)

If you are like me, you have been enjoying the long-awaited return of Twin Peaks. Perhaps I’ll join the ranks of those attempting to review the episodes, but for now, I’m just enjoying the nostalgia and the wild ride through David Lynch‘s imagination.

I’ve also been digging the bands that have been playing at the Bang Bang Bar at the end of each episode. I think it was episode three’s conclusion and credits that introduced me to the Cactus Blossoms,  who have an Everly Brothers sound with echoes of Johnny Cash, and hints of Eddy Arnold. My mother would have loved them. I also hear a bit of Lucinda Williams in their harmonies. It’s the kind of classic country-early rock-slightly folk mix that takes me back to my childhood (Yes, I am that old).

Here are three songs from the Cactus Blossoms for your Saturday. The first is “Mississippi,” which is the haunting tune they played in Twin Peaks, though not the same footage. The second one seems to fit the show’s theme, “Change Your Ways or Die,” and the third is just a lovely bit of fun to keep you tapping your toes on this long weekend: “Stoplight Kisses.” Enjoy.

And if you still need more, Continue reading

Issue #13, Spring • Summer 2017

To have the latest issue of Word Fountain, the Literary Magazine of the Osterhout Library shipped to you (within the continental US only), please visit our library’s donation page and make a suggested donation of at least five dollars. Be sure you mention in the notes that you are requesting a copy of the latest issue of Word Fountain. You can also ask the recent winter issue while they last!

Read more: Issue #13, Spring • Summer 2017

Of My Mother, and of Life, Thirty Years Later

My mother on her honeymoon, long before I came along.

It’s Mother’s Day, and a young poet friend has been three days without his mother. She died suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep. What can one say, except, “Friend, you are not alone?” I’m thankful that he has many friends and family to look out for him. Eventually, it is my hope, he will feel the truth that she is always with him, a part of him, not just his memory, but his very person.

It’s been thirty years since my own mother died on “Good Friday.” The date was April 17th, and while I know that, to me, the cloud is always over that religious weekend. I think it took until this year for me to look out the window and actually take a little joy in Easter, and not to feel any resentment.

I saw a young rabbit in the yard, among the fresh Dandelions and Violets (weeds, people call them–I don’t understand), a Robin in the grass nearby, digging for spring worms.  And what I already knew somehow sorted itself out in my brain so very clearly, that the old resurrection story I grew up with was, in its proper context, symbolic, metaphorical–for this, but also for our lives in general. So much pain has been caused by taking only the literal view, or taking the symbolism only as far as the doctrine of Christians being “born again.”

I think Emerson would agree that somewhere along the way, and probably very early on, the original intention of an inspiring parable of rebirth and renewal for the earth and for our own spirits, was subverted into something that focused only on the death of one man and how we now must build our entire lives around him. But perhaps the original was a metaphor, a super-hero story (which is always a story about the untapped power within ourselves), symbolic of what we might become if we were to follow nature’s cue and let the old seasons of depression, cold and darkness pass away and see our world anew again. Continue reading