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Root Cellar

by Justin Bond

The rain always comes too late to make any difference. I’m tired of negotiating with the dead. The sour stench of scorched tomato vines, the ruined fruit of the people we used to be. The season has come for storing the pasts we have grown in a cool dry place until we learn to make use of them. For the gentle nodding of heads, the soft clicking of tongues at the lateness of the hour.


Justin Bond’s poetry has appeared most recently in Temenos, NAP, and StepAway Magazine. He lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

When I think of “root cellar,” I think of the place where Norman Bates kept his mother. What experiences do you have with root cellars?

Growing up in Oklahoma in the 1980s, root cellars were commonplace fixtures on a lot of farms, but even then they were generally something your grandparents or other senior members of your family might have. They were used for storage, of course, and as a handy place to hide when the weather got nasty. As a child, they were pretty scary places; they were damp, they smelled like the earth. They were full of odd jars and farm tools, they were havens for spiders and snakes and the occasional bat. Exploring one made you feel like Indiana Jones or a Goonie. Nowadays, you don’t really see them. People don’t can food; fewer and fewer live on farms. They have Doppler radar to help predict tornadoes and reinforced rooms built into their homes in the event of one. Root cellars have become something nostaligc for me at this point, a facet of an idealized version of a world I remember so vividly from my childhood that doesn’t really seem to exist anymore.

News

Congrats to the Best Small Fictions nominations from Matter Press for Compressed Creative Arts: Sara Backer’s “Oh, What a Night”; Dan Crawley’s “Powers”; Jill Talbot’s “Malahat Highway on Boxing Day”; Christopher Allen’s “Falling Man;” and Kathy Fish’s “Five Micros.” Congrats to Christopher Allen for being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now open. Check out our new category triptychs! The submission period closes June 15, 2019; submit here.

Upcoming

05/23 • Nance Van Winckel (1 of 8)
05/30 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
06/05 • Rachel Rodman
06/06 • Nance Van Winckel (3 of 8)
06/10 • Erica Soon Olsen
06/12 • Beverly Jackson
06/13 • Nance Van Winckel (4 of 8)
06/17 • Avra Margariti
06/19 • Tommy Dean
06/20 • Nance Van Winckel (5 of 8)
06/24 • Stephen Reaugh
06/26 • Hege Lepri
06/27 • Nance Van Winckel (6 of 8)
07/01 • Danielle Hark
07/03 • Shirley Harshenin
07/04 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
07/08 • Matthew Barrett
07/10 • Andrew Stevens
07/11 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
07/15 • Peter Cherches
07/17 • Christopher Ryan
07/18 • Alex Durham
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • Jillian Pretzel
07/25 • Danielle Hark (1 of 6)
07/29 • Theresa Senato Edwards
07/31 • Stephanie Dickinson
08/01 • Danielle Hark (2 of 6)
08/05 • Callista Buchen
08/07 • Sara Elkamel
08/08 • Danielle Hark (3 of 6)
08/12 • Steven Ostrowski
08/14 • Karie Luidens
08/15 • Danielle Hark (4 of 6)
08/19 • Nick Ackerson
08/21 • Tyler Friend
08/22 • Danielle Hark (5 of 6)
08/26 • Suzanne Verrall
08/28 • Amelia Wright
08/29 • Danielle Hark (6 of 6)
09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
12/23 • Tara Campbell