Monday, July 14, 2014

#BLauthor9: Sarah Hulyk Maxwell

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After a brief hiatus, we’re back now with #BLauthor9, poet Sarah Hulyk Maxwell.

Sarah Hulyk Maxwell lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. She has two cats, a husband, and an MFA from Louisiana State University. Her work can most recently be found in The Nassau Review and Common Ground Review and is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander.

Stayed tuned for an interview with the poet next week, but for now, here are two new prose poems and art by addison:

At a party, Gingerine hears DagoBerto introducing himself to the girl in the corner. He repeats his name, embarrassing Gingerine. Hmm-mmh, the girl finally sighs, I can’t say that. Can I just call you Berto? Berto. Like shivered in ice, like a toe, like birds and a deep O. The corner girl so aggressive: So, Berto. What is he to say? No? Gingerine hates nicknames. She often tells people she is not a spice. His name is DagoBerto, she whispers and he lifts his head as if caught by a scent.

"projected and broken perspective,"
acrylic, by addison
For Gingerine, long term memory is suddenly short: as in . . . she has been transported to a place in her life where she truly feels the way she did back then. See, time is cyclical, she says to DagoBerto in a bar. What? he yells. When she can have a dream about crushing cigarettes with her heel and instantly think  of DagoBerto’s hands. What? he yells. Not necessarily holding them again, but remembering their feel and the way they extended as shadows across a farmhouse. What? he yells. Because of who he is and because of who he wasn’t and what he did and what he didn’t do. What? he yells.

Co-editor Quinn Fairfeldt on Sarah Hulyk Maxwell: What draws me to these two pieces by Sarah Hulyk Maxwell is the tangible longing contained within their boxy borders. Maxwell’s strength lies in her deft rendering of this relationship from its outer edges, creating an outline of Gingerine’s want and leaving the reader to fill in the blanks. The reader follows Gingerine in her orbit around DagoBerto, slave to this gravity, desperate to make contact with him but unable to achieve it.  There is an importance to his name, a weight to his hands that one is meant to imagine without ever justifying why, without suggesting what it is about him that we long to get close to. Like the heartbreaker we assume DagoBerto to be, Maxwell leaves me with an anxious hunger for more, desiring an ellipsis instead of my current position, dangling at the end of a question mark, yelled across a crowded space.

About addison, the artist: Here today, gone tomorrow...
Will wonders ever cease,
will wonders ever wonder?

What do you think of Sarah’s poems?

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