Captivity

BYDick Bentley

CAPTIVITY

I was welcomed here.
This room, clear, golden
And dark as a medieval chamber,
Is love on an autumn night.
The fresh perfume of some lotion,
The dark hair and pale and
Hardly visible face,
And the lace of reflected street lamps
Across the ceiling
Scored by window frames
And the folds of curtains.

TCR Talks with Ruth Nolan

BY: Nathania Seales Oh

In a time when the power of a woman’s voice rings louder and clearer than ever, Ruth Nolan is putting her money where her mouth is. From the beautiful ecopoetry in her latest project, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, where she acted as coeditor and contributor, to her deeply personal poetry collection Ruby Mountain, Nolan is, in a word, an activist. She is a profound advocate for the respect and conservation of the California desert, a landscape she has always called home. She speaks not only to its beauty but also to its transformative power. Nolan tells of our relationship, history, and encroachment upon lands where wildfires have burned for centuries. Yes, it’s true. Wildfires are not a new thing. Our living in the places where they unfold, is. She also reminds her readers, students, and fan base of the importance of speaking your truth. As we witness this watershed moment in time, The Coachella Review is honored to spend time in conversation with the passionate and incomparable Ruth Nolan.

Lust Will Ewigkeit

BY: Robert Beveridge

The needle at seventy.
The plains states pass,
one endless road and miles
of crops. Now and again,
corn becomes barley.

You, next to me.
The heat was too much;
you cropped your hair, left it
at the last rest stop
hundreds of miles ago.
Your t-shirt lies
on the cooler.
Seat half-reclined
window topless
seventy-mile-an-hour wind
dries sweat before it forms.

TCR Talks with Mag Gabbert

BY: J. Markowitz

The physicality of Mag Gabbert’s poetry and essays is dreamily overwhelming. We enter a twilight through the medium of a body—her body—which her craft makes so palpable that it could be our own. Via the sensations of her vulnerabilities, Gabbert delivers us to the liminal spaces between pleasure and shame, power and exploitation, existence and the body. She takes us to the edge of her mortality, because it is there that we are most aware of our own aliveness.

Retrograde Movement

A poem BY: WILLIAM CULLEN JR. A spider on the window centers its web like a bull’s-eye on the full moon and then moves diagonally eight legs in motion across its creation to the darkest corner where it will wait for that hypnotic light to draw white wings near until the faintest tremor radiating outward from the dead center sets in motion a very local eclipse. William Cullen Jr. is a veteran and works at a social services non-profit in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gravel, Lake Effect, North Dakota Quarterly, Pouch, Spillway, Switchback, The…

The Sophia Poems

By: Patrick Reichard

The Cliffhanger Dilemma

Let’s say you are holding two loved ones over the edge of a cliff, one on each arm. If you had to drop one in order to save the other one, which person do you save? Mom or Dad? Brother or sister? Spouse or kid? Kid 1 or kid 2? Do you drop both because the choice is too equal? People try to say that they would use their super-strength adrenaline to pull both up. That’s a cop-out. You have to choose. For me, the answer is easy: Mom, my brother Dan, and spouse. I have an answer to the kid question, but I’m not going to write it down. Though, if the situation arises, I know what I’m doing.

Denny’s Grand Slam Special

By: Tatiana Forero Puerta When I was little I thought people only died at night. When death came for her at 4pm the sun still shone blossoms pink to velvet opening their tabernacle mouths towards the sky, petals like hallelujah arms. A bird on the windowsill stared in opened its beak silent, unable to sing the piercing song of our sorrow. After they rolled her pale body away there were enough hours left to keep living like running in a dream where no matter how fast your legs shuffle, you’re never moving: we could get in a car, go grocery shopping,…

Red Prince

By: Barbara Westwood Diehl Let us be a diocese of two, not parishioners, but a confessional of cardinals, each of us red as papal slippers, a clergy plumed in tongues. Let us be our own absolution, our liturgy a litany of your hymn singing to my psalm, your hallelujah a chorus to my every verse. You and I, we are a rapture adapted for flight. Let us be red princes of our own northeast Let us be whistling priests in the sacrament of air. Barbara Westwood Diehl is founding editor of the Baltimore Review. Her fiction and poetry have been published…

Blue Exhaust

April 4, 1968 BY:Janet Reed At eight, sunk in the back seat of my dad’s red Corvair, yawning into my pink flannels, I lost faith fast, the way a bandage ripped from skin tears the weave of wound it’s tended. The night of the murder in Memphis, we waited in the graveled drive of a trailer park, my mind on the promise of ice cream when mom returned. Engine idling, Dad slumped in his seat, hand on the Delco’s AM dial, and hummed a hymn with Loretta Lynn. I still hear their song, still hear the motor’s measured piston taps…

Mummy

By: Marie-Andree Auclair My first mummy, I stared at so long my father wondered where I was. He did not see I was with herin the glass cage sitting compact arms holding my knees staring back. What had they done to me that I lingered undissolved leather on stone prisoner of time not allowed to fade? She found my dreams. We ran on the sand of her river wove baskets in the reeds laughed, rarely disobeyed. In the dark, I feared her loneliness matched mine. Marie-Andree Auclair’s poems have appeared in many print and online literary publications such as Apeiron, Gravel…