M

hard light

by Kateema Lee

by definition
she is an absence
little cut-out girl
with no lucent
light   the window
withholds natural
unforgiving
as angle of view
alone
blue-black form
purposeful
a shadow’s silhouette
if removed would she
be missed   if kept
would she be missed
transcription
of the unnamed
if lit   named If
would she become
a focal figure
muddy contrast
origin fixed

Kateema Lee is a Washington, DC native. Her recent work has been published or is forthcoming in the African American Review, Gargoyle, and PMS: Poem Memoir Story. She is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, a Callaloo fellow, a participant of The Home School, and she has a chapbook, Almost Invisible, forthcoming from Aldrich Press later this year.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “hard light”?

“hard light” is an ekphrastic poem. It started with a wonderful workshop prompt, an image of a little nondescript girl in front of a window, and my love of photography. In the draft, the language of photography and short lines gave shape to my inquiry about the image. That little girl, a “shadow’s silhouette, to me, represents absence and the many unnamed little girls and women who make up the numbers of often ignored statistics. The few girls and women who are named reveal, in many cases, dual narratives. I’m amazed by how light or the lack of light can change perceptions.

News

Congrats to Christopher Allen for having a work from HOUSEHOLD TOXINS 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 CLOSED. Check out our new category triptychs! The next submission period opens September 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