New Fiction on Isthmus Online
“They never say your name. They never put themselves into situations where they have to say it. More people protecting me. They never mention that I was married or what happened. It’s like I was born from the Shinkansen. Sometimes I don’t mind it. Here there is no past, only a future. They talk about cherry blossoms in spring, beaches in the summer. I admit waking up here feels clearer. Before, my brain in the morning felt as cloudy as unsettled tap water. I’ve stopped believing the whole thing was a dream. I’ve stopped thinking a good night sleep will bring you back. It doesn’t mean I’m forgetting you, or that you can’t come back to me if you find a way.”
New Poetry on Isthmus Online
Can you see them through the trees?
Crisp, red orchards; gather wood to burn.
The hills are quiet this time of year.
Interview with Natania Rosenfeld
“Some of the poems are statements about history—in ‘For Omm Sety’ the English woman, Dorothy Eady, ‘recalls’ being the mistress of a pharaoh. This is a way of imagining having a completely different relationship with history. Eady was able to lead archeologists to amazing finds in Egypt. I’m fascinated that she could have had a totally different history than the one she was born into. Just once, as in my poem ‘Fantasia,’ I would like to imagine not being a Jew, not being burdened by my parents’ history, or my own. I try to imagine what it would be to have a neutral relationship to history.”
Isthmus was proud to feature an interview with Ruth Danon a while back, and now, we are equally proud to bring you a complementary piece, wherein interviewer becomes interviewee. Here, Ruth asks Natania about her recent book of poems, her essayistic versus poetic impulses, her views on domesticity, and much more.
In addition to the above mentioned interview, we are delighted to share these poems with you.
“Apocalypse” and “Floridian” by Ruth Danon
“What I Want for My Birthday” and “Earthward” by Natania Rosenfeld
bell hooks wrote, “For us, true speaking is not solely an expression of creative power, it is an act of resistance, a political gesture that challenges the politics of domination that would render us nameless and voiceless.”
We hope that Isthmus no 6 will create a new awareness of perspectives and voices and, in turn, ignite creative energy toward common good. Our contributors have met this challenge head-on. Some delve into the lives of the marginalized—slaves, immigrants, refugees. Others look squarely at themselves in order to make sense of the past and define a present and a future. And many address the collective “we” and the individual’s place and responsibility within that realm. (order a copy here).