Notes on Hurricane Sandy

by Samantha Hopkins

storm. A violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder,lightning, or snow.

A pile of wood now, but once
the tiki bar we frequented
all summer after I turned 21.
The beach scattered with Debris
from the gazebo my neighbors
got married in just the year before.
Mr. Teehan owns the ice cream stands
on the boardwalk and
he found parts of the soft serve machine
scattered throughout town.

storm chasing. The pursuit of any severe weather condition, regardless of motive, which can be curiosity, adventure, scientific exploration, or for news professions/media coverage.

You flew home on the first flight
not cancelled to photograph
disaster. You wanted to show
the deserted streets of our town
and our neighbor’s belongings
strewn amongst fallen braches. You
couldn’t stop crying when you saw the doors
marked with X’s and deemed condemned.
You shared your photos on Facebook.

storm surge. A rising of the sea as a result of atmospheric pressure changes and wind associated with a storm.

During the storm, main street became waist-
deep with water. The ocean covered
the entire town and left no distinction
among roads, homes, stores, and
the actual beach. Your pictures
showed the door of Uncle Will’s
Pancake House covered and I
could not recognize the motel
on Shell Street, covered in sand,
even though I’ve lived
down the street my entire life.

storm warning. A warning issued by the National Weather Service of the United States when winds between 48 knots and 63 knots are predicted to occur soon.

I called my Mother the morning
the storm hit —
Everything is fine, I’m out
getting coffee, the warning sounds
worse than it really is.


Published in Kalliope 2013


by Emma Farrell

It was January.
White sky, frozen ground.
The driver didn’t see you.
You were completely annihilated.
But a nice angel came down
and gathered your bones.
She dusted the snow off each one
and placed them in her bag
with all the others she collected.

Six years have gone by
since that 8th grade Sunday.
But I know you’re not really gone.
Your left sneaker is still lying in the street.
An airy ghost of you
still shuffles through the hallway.
The seat you once sat in–
still untouched.
I hear you whispering through the walls.


Published in Kalliope 2013

Hanna Who Lives By the Sand

by Ryan Farrell

Barefoot on red sand, a coyote trotting at his heels, he strides across the desert. What used to be is no more; a wanderer must find what he can. The roaming soldier runs from his old life, what he used to know, stumbles across the dunes and the parched landscape ‘til he reaches a tract of tall grass at the edge of the sand, where he smells the scent of sage blown by dry wind. The sky bleeds to a violet haze as the sun dips below the uppermost branches of a sequoia; he sees a cottage, and Hanna, and the coyote paws at the ground, meanders in a circle, and lays down content.

A man learns to call this home. He adapts to, embraces, the rhythm: the rising of the sun, the setting of his body, the closing of four eyes, the bodily warmth of another through the noontime hours, and the steadfast awakening to a starry night. A man learns to appreciate the bliss of a nocturnal life, to hold a hand, to marvel with another at the sudden and synchronized blooming of the cactus’ flowers, the sudden blooming of Hanna’s eyes, a sudden bodily shuddering at the dependably abrupt desert storms – miraculously swift, a darkening sky, the crack of thunder and the parched ground opening its throat to swallow all it can. On those nights the wind would howl through the sequoia’s branches, would drown out the coyote’s growls of an ever-increasing volume, would necessitate a greater degree of warmth to be shared on the floor of the cottage. A man loses track of the passage of time, knows not how long has been spent by minutes and seconds but by the periodic grinning of the moon and of his partner and by the periodic snarls of his companion.

Oh, but the beauty of the desert at night.

The earth and the dunes and the grass would have swallowed him whole were it not for the sequoia beneath them and the fine silvery threads cast down from the night sky upon his shoulders, she a puppeteer – and he a marionette! – playing their game ‘til the morning when the sun’s rays deaden his wooden eyes and turn his skin to ash. He seeks refuge under shade of the branches and is received with open arms by his Hanna, and in his daylit slumber he is yet burnt. He is content, and in the night they run across the veldt, the tall grasses, the seas of green flanked by sand, and he is free. Yet the coyote still comes in the cool desert darkness and howls at the moon, and nips at his heels as they trot through the grasses and dangle from the lower branches, and he scorns it and bid it not interrupt.

Yet even a soldier is shackled by his needs; a man is pumped dry, can live no more in a state marked by permanent transience. He must spurn his lover and shed his wings, resolve himself to a life of wandering and meandering, searching the endless breadth of the earth and grasping for a place to call home, all the while pestered by a coyote, the single permanent fixture through all his days, one who gnashes his teeth and snarls at his conscience and claws at the air when the man knows he is truly lost.

He leaves but a letter, frightened by her tendency, her inescapable ability, to strip him of his resolution. He flees as she sleeps, friend at his heels once more.

“I sat staring at the stars for what felt like hours, Hanna, but I could not decide on how toopen my letter. These are all ways that I would address you. You may select that by which you are most pleased.

Dearest Hanna, who need not worry, for our journey is

at a close:

Hanna, the dryad, who lives in a meadow at the edge of the sands.

Ravishing Hanna, who would beget a shiver with a touch from her hands!

Amiable Hanna, in her floral crown, with whom I stood vigil under the moon –

Sweet, sweet Hanna, with whom I spent many an idle afternoon.

Hanna with her charm, yet whose words could be so cruel…

Towheaded Hanna, who took me for a fool.

Fitful, fickle Hanna, who lulled me with a word and culled me with a glance:

Resplendent Hanna, whose siren song left me in a trance.

Cold blue Hanna, a font of folly from which I could not depart:

Ruinous, gratifying Hanna, whose words would bring me to –

Ravaging Hanna; so long as I did which my life could not start!

Lithe, enthralling Hanna, whose voice was so fine:

Hanna, my Calypso –

Hanna who was mine.

Forgive me, Hanna, but I could not stay. I have enjoyed your home, your sequoia, your desert, and you – and for that, I thank you. But I must go. Perhaps one day my path will bring me back to this place.

– your lover.”

published in Kalliope 2013

Song of the 35mm Camera

by Kyle Kasinec 

Load me up with a notion,
and when both our bodies brim
with tension, hold me up—
press me close against your skin.

Let light kiss my eye, let
light kindle my insides, let
light expose a freckled shoulder
deep within my skull. Find

a dark place—delicately
adjust my focus—hold it
steady—press my button,
flash—shutter, repetition. Wind

my dials, pull my levers;
unlatch me and behold
mechanical anatomy,
my prized, imprinted memory.

published in Kalliope 2013