The Cenacle | 118 | December 2021 | *Just Released*

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The Cenacle | 118 | December 2021 | *Just Released*

Post by Cenacle » January 8th, 2022, 5:12 pm

The Cenacle | 118 | December 2021
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Hello everyone,

Here comes the just-released Cenacle | 118 | December 2021! A very exciting new issue to conclude this past year’s run of issues. A wonderful variety of writings to enjoy too, from poetry to fiction to prose.

There is also much fine graphic artwork by Kassandra Soulard, Sam Knot, Tamara Miles, Jo Monea, Nathan D. Horowitz, Timothy Vilgiate, Judih Haggai, AbandonView, & Arthur Hughes.

Contents of this new issue include:

From Soulard’s Notebooks:
Dear Jim, Been awhile since I’ve written to you. Could be the 10th anniversary of your passing earlier this month got me thinking about this. A prompt maybe, but it was due time anyway.

Feedback on Cenacle 117:
Judih Haggai’s selection of haiku in this issue is mesmerizing and soothing, like staring at a lava lamp. “I release tension,” she writes in one, and that is the exact feeling one gets while reading. Each piece, though tiny, packs in a book’s worth of serenity. I really enjoyed all of them. (Ace Boggess)

From the ElectroLounge Forums: As an Artist, What Best Supports You?:
My mom teaches Creative Writing at the University of Michigan (she’s currently in her last week of teaching before she retires!) and she says that writing is like driving a flock of sheep down a country road. You want to give clear enough guidance so that sheep don’t wander off to one side or another. Feedback can be helpful so that we know if readers are following us, or chewing on a bit of grass by the roadside.
(Nathan D. Horowitz)

Many Musics (Poetry) by Raymond Soulard, Jr.:
Returning here weakens him, blurs him,
till this recurring imperative is all he possesses
of his long years. Of me he recalls nothing,
save inclined to a vague trust when we
happen to meet. Seem to happen to meet.

Dialogue on Imperfection by Jimmy Heffernan:
So why, indeed, in a world that is so absolutely wonderful, inherently, in a universe with limitless promise and opportunity, should everything be so faulty? Why do so many suffer? Why do we have all these problems? What makes it necessary? I’m afraid I can’t answer these questions, but they stoke my curiosity into a blaze.

Mabon Calling [Fiction] by Sam Knot:
The syllables of the magic word seem to have distilled themselves to an essential few, and I am emitting them as they recycle, which is, in one sense, my way of acknowledging the multidimensional drama I am witnessing—my way of responding to and participating in it—but it is also the world itself, which is also my questioning of it.

Poetry by Jo Monea:
let go
trust you’ll be taken care of if you
let go

Notes from New England: The Great Grand Braided Narrative [Gr. Gr. Br. N. for friendly]
by Raymond Soulard, Jr.:

But what Art does best is to transfigure life, & so, beyond the general sentiment of lost fraternity, the poems are fixtional. Honest feeling does not thus render good Art. But good Art cannot abide without it. Craftsmanship, the flash & trickeries of talent, the sensations of manipulating imaginal flesh, can none of them amount to good Art without honest feeling in the bones & sinews of the piece. It’s there or it ain’t. Without it, it may be clever, may distract, may attract bored masses, or highbrow critics, or both, but it’s not Art.

Shadow People [Fiction] by Ace Boggess:
We were the shadow people here: insignificant phantasms that staffers secretly were afraid of, but laughed about when they thought none of us were listening. The cons were the chain-rattlers, fiends with foul breath stinking up the night. That included me. I gave a friend a ride once, and I was an honorary ghoul because of it. The khaki prison uniform made monsters of us all.

Poetry by Tamara Miles:
My mouth is full of seeds,
my wool-scratch thoughts scattered

Rivers of the Mind (A Novel) by Timothy Vilgiate:
The Deep Space Exploration lab was located miles underground, behind a park that all the people in town knew as Blackberry Creek. Growing up, it was the stuff of local urban legends, a place that kids dared each other to try to look at from the surrounding hills. Nominally, it was a water treatment facility, but some water treatment facility it was—surrounded by electric fences, with armed guards seen from time to time in the name of counterterrorism—located in a dense forest filled with security cameras, more befitting a prison than anything else. Local mythology held that in the old days, back in the ’50s and ’60s, they’d run mind control experiments for the CIA deep within its walls.

Poetry by Judih Haggai:
day for miracles
come on world if you don’t mind
smile in new places

Between Lago Agrio and Quito (Travel Journal) by Nathan D. Horowitz:
On the sidewalk, two serious guys walk past three happy guys. People walking together often adopt the same body language. My bottle of mineral water reads Your Health In This Bottle. In the frosted white illustration, a polar bear sits smiling on an ice floe. I cough and spit phlegm on the sidewalk and nobody minds: the social freedom of Latin America. A middle-aged black man on a balcony above the street is reading a magazine, leaning back in a comfortable chair, one bare foot resting on a ledge.

The Impeccable Diver at the Pond[Fiction] by Tom Sheehan:
In a bathing suit, of a most direct design, Shelly Kearns was gorgeous and desirable all the way past dreams and, in the water, a sylph of the first order and, with every dive she took, explored the bottom of our pond for odd treasures of any sort, reclaimable for new duties or positive salvage. She kept her treasure of such objects on two shelves and a corner table in her home left by her husband Steve, dead from a high dive onto a half-sunken log that we assume made the trip on the river from the forest thirty miles upstream.

Poetry by Nathan D. Horowitz:
After all, we’re all dying, remember?
You, me, Cervantes, Panza, Quixote.
On a vast lawn, three saplings
wrapped in white netting against cicadas
seem marble statues,
afterimages of accomplished or beautiful dead.

Kaspar Hauser and the Chicken (Prose) by Charlie Beyer:
Holy hell. I remember being in the egg, warm and cozy. Then the food ran out and I was compelled to break out of this hard wall. It was tough, and took me a while. Then there was light everywhere. I was covered in tiny fluffy things, and how the hell did that happen? Was I in a southern town getting tarred and feathered before I woke up?

Bags End Book #19: Anniversary of Bags End News! by Algernon Beagle:
I know, I know, Dear Readers, you want to know what manner of madness be this all. I mean, this handwriting by mah friend & colleague Lori Bunny is not bad, 4or sure. Compared to your old pal Algernon’s cryptic scrawlings, hers is gorgeousity itself.

Poetry by Martina Newberry:
In those days, your conscience
was your only weapon;
your internal clock guided your
yearnings; anger and fear fused
into that which you could not
believe and would not sanction.

Consent is Psychedelic (Prose) by Leia Friedwoman:
We all have our own ideas and feelings about consent. It’s a broad and complex topic, spanning many different interpretations, practices, and value systems. To define it loosely, I would say that consent involves a voluntary agreement, made without coercion, between persons with decision-making capacity, knowledge, understanding, and autonomy.

The Golden Key (Classic Fiction) by George MacDonald:
They wandered thus a long way, with endless amusement from the talk of the animals. They soon learned enough of their language to ask them necessary questions. The squirrels were always friendly, and gave them nuts out of their own hoards; but the bees were selfish and rude, justifying themselves on the ground that Tangle and Mossy were not subjects of their queen, and charity must begin at home, though indeed they had not one drone in their poorhouse at the time. Even the blinking moles would fetch them an earth-nut or a truffle now and then, talking as if their mouths, as well as their eyes and ears, were full of cotton wool, or their own velvety fur. By the time they got out of the forest they were very fond of each other, and Tangle was not in the least sorry that her grandmother had sent her away with Mossy.

Poetry by Colin James:
I see you walking to the river,
sticking your head in deeper.
Not quite a formal baptism,
that comes later
on the hotel pillow.

Suicide (Thinking About It)(Prose) by Kenzie Oliver:
We’re given medications, fed commercials about how this or that product will make us whole, worked to the bone, and are surrounded by violence . . . all while nothing changes. And then policymakers turn around and dare to ask why we’re unhappy.

Labyrinthine [a new fixtion] by Raymond Soulard, Jr.:
Attic Radio on a small table, sometimes a Dreamland Jazz station, sometimes reports on psychedelic elixirs on SpiritPlants Radio America.

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