New Ohio Review Issue 13 (Originally printed Spring 2013)

Newohioreview.org is archiving previous editions as they originally appeared. We are pairing the pieces with curated art work, as well as select audio recordings. In collaboration with our past contributors, we are happy to (re)-present this outstanding work.

Issue 13 compiled by Will Bower.

Not Ready for Our Close-Up

By Elton Glaser

Featured Art: Portrait of Jeanne Wenz by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

So here we are, helpless among the infinities,
Like noonday devils with the midnight blues.

It’s no use looking for clues in the cradle or the cave.
They’re having none of it down at the U, the cranky professors

And the poets won’t tuck us in with milk and macaroons,
With the sleepy rise and fall of blanket verse.

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Namaste

By George Bilgere

Featured Art: Madame François Buron by Jacques-Louis David

The slender, balding fellow
walking out of the yoga center
with his neatly rolled up yoga mat
and seraphic, post-yoga glow
probably thinks he is superior to me
as I clump down the sidewalk with my poor posture
and relatively limited spinal flexibility, my failure
to think deeply, if at all, about my breathing.

Which is fine. He’s entitled to his opinion.

However, what he doesn’t realize
is that I live on the same street as he does
and I happen to know, from walking past his house
on garbage day, that he makes no effort whatsoever
to recycle. Newspapers, bottles, plastic containers—
the things you’re supposed to put in the blue bag—
he just sticks in the white bag, along with the coffee grounds
and cantaloupe halves and the rest of the so-called “wet” trash.
Even beer cans are in there (a cheap, off-brand beer, I might add).

I guess saving the planet isn’t that important to him,
compared with mastering Down Dog or Up Dog or whatever.

So here he is feeling superior to me,
whereas in fact I am the more evolved being,
and I give him a glance of cool, skeptical appraisal
which I hope conveys this.

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Snorkeling

By Allison Funk

Featured Art: Solar Effect in the Clouds-Ocean by Gustave Le Gray

What if, late in my life,
an old love returned?
I might get carried away

as I did my first time in that otherworld
ablaze with coney
and neon blue tang,

soundless except for the resonance
of my breath, a hypnotic
one-two, now/then, why not

me, you. I must have seen
the stoplight parrotfish
beam red from a grotto,

but, heedless, sped up,
flippers propelling me over coral
resembling Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia

still unfinished after a hundred years.
Remembering my past,
I circled the remains

of countless marine animals.
Fragile memorials, yes,
but not harmless I’d learn:

the thousand mouths of the reef
that open out of hunger,
alive to the careless swimmer

who comes too close.
One who, succumbing to the pull
of the beautiful, swims out

so far she finds herself at the mercy
of surf that flings her
against the stinging ridge.

Cells meeting cells, tentacles, flesh,
she’s left with the mark
of a fiery ring that burns longer

than a slap. Weeks. Months.
A tattoo that may never fade
from the soft underside of her arm.

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June

By Michael Bazzett

Featured Art: The Sick Child I by Edvard Munch

Stray hair is pulled from the lapel of her favorite
wool coat years later in a secondhand shop, drawn
free in a quick, definitive gesture that could only
be called thoughtless. It settles on the worn carpet
while another woman’s hand holds the hanger and
drapes the coat across her chest—she eyes it

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Nothing

By Lawrence Raab

Featured Art: Georgia O’Keeffe—Hands and Thimble by Alfred Stieglitz

Why not believe death is also nothing?
—Dean Young

Sometimes nothing’s a glass
waiting to be filled, and sometimes

it’s sleep without dreams, a blank slate
no one gets to leave a message on,

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The Nod

By Kenneth Hart

Featured Art: Bar-room Scene by William Sidney Mount

Guys like us, we nod to each other
when we pass on the street at night.
We get that things are okay at the moment.

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Couples

By Kenneth Hart

Featured Art: Underworld Scene with a Man and Woman Enthroned and Death Standing Guard by Robert Caney

Couples who fight in front of you.
Couples who call each other every hour.
Couples who show up early.
Couples who are business partners.

Couples who say “Absolutely.”
Couples who met in rehab.
Couples who sleep with other couples.
Couples who make out in front of you.

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Never Better

By Mark Kraushaar

Featured Art: Kalaat el Hosn (Castle of the Knights, Syria) by Louis De Clercq

On the phone tonight
it’s my ex-wife asking how I am.
I’m fine, thanks, you?
Well, she’s fine too: new place,
friends, job, cousin, pet: perfect.

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Earning a Title

By Jaclyn Dwyer

Featured Art: Bouquet of Spring Flowers in a Terracotta Vase by Jan van Huysum

Your ex is a skinny girl. Skinny like sex-
starved cats, like tigers in Thailand teased
with soccer balls in plastic wrap. Your ex
is a crushed mustard seed. She stains our sheets,
cowers in soft earth, and runs from every room
I enter, wind teasing a tail. Your ex is a sieve,

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The Rules of the Game

By Simon Barker

Featured Art: Fishing in Spring, the Pont de Clichy (Asnières) by Vincent van Gogh

I was eating tagliatelle napolitana and drinking imitation Chablis when I remembered that I was supposed to be looking at a house. I said to the others,  “I have to go and look at a house.” “We’ll order veal scaloppine,” they said. “We’ll wait for you.” Veal scaloppine was what you ordered at the Mussolini after tagliatelle napoli. The only other thing was grilled liver but Wendy didn’t like the blood so we never ordered it when she was there. Wendy and David had been married for about a year. Wendy was dark-eyed and beautiful and I was in love with her because she was utterly vivacious and she put up with me even though I was an idiot.

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Sweet Spot

By Ange Mlinko

“Sweet Spot” is not available online, but is available for purchase as a part of New Ohio Review Issue 13, which can be purchased here.

Wheels

By Ann Harleman

Featured Art: Car 2F-77-77 by Alfred Stieglitz

1961: ’61 Chevy Impala Convertible

Eddie was the only Catholic boy I knew with a car of his own. It was black with a red top and a sweeping red stripe along each side—a car that swaggered. My mother, impressed in spite of herself (she drove an old Ford coupe the color of cement), made me promise to stay off the Schuylkill Expressway and never to ride with the top down. I agreed, but only because it was December.

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Short Lists on a Diagnosis

By Aran Donovan

Featured Art: A City Park by William Merritt Chase

Ever so rare: the robin’s egg that’s fallen
at the doorstep, as yet untouched by ants
or useless knowledge. A letter mailed from France,
its certain words predestined. New snow, appalling
last spring on cars, mailboxes. Quite rare: the pollen
of narcissus but more rare the bees that dance
their distance. The choreography of plants,
shadow of leaves. St. Francis granting pardon.

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A Simple Request

By Patricia Corbus

Featured Art: Threatening Sky, Bay of New York by Thomas Chambers

—for Wes

Here I am, still drowning in the world,
while you are opening Dame Simplicity’s closet—

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