Seth D. Slater is currently finishing up his senior year at Oregon State University, pursuing a BA in English, and resides in Halsey, Oregon. He has been published by The Commuter, Trans Lit Mag, and currently has a short story set to be published in the February edition of Bird’s Thumb.
When this house no longer is,
its garden will still persist,
freed from walls that sought
to imprison its mysteries.
In the shade of weeping trees,
wild roses and wine-red leaves
will charm the sky to pliancy,
serenaded by an admiring breeze.
And long after I’ve confided my thoughts
to its silent paths
and joined the fox stilled to prayer
by stone’s gentle artistry,
long after I am a little less
than the longing with which I leave this place,
you’ll wander the kingdom
that was yours
even before you conquered it and me,
and I abdicated with a kiss.
And perhaps those who pause
to look beyond the crumbling walls
shot through with the honeysuckle’s
overcome by a sense of awe,
will wander in.
And perhaps, as on a restless, heartsick day, I have,
they’ll come across a little child,
unsmiling in her purpose
as she caresses the wandering tulips
that pay homage to her quiet wisdom,
or sits on a granite throne
in severe conversation with the ravens,
tempering her admonitions with soft pats
and the beginnings of a smile.
Perhaps they’ll come across you
as you give the setting sun
something of your strange beauty,
the sweet music of your melancholy.
Or they’ll discover you touring your empire,
the wild cat that was your first friend,
sharing in the fierceness of your isolation,
sauntering by your side.
But I will no longer be.
I am readying to leave, to take up exile
in the company of my grief,
though the soft embrace of the rain
and the softer caresses of the sun
will remind me of you.
I cannot bear to stay so close
when I cannot claim
your warmth for my own,
or annex you with my kisses.
I knew you were not mine for long.
Did it have to be so soon?
Adreyo Sen resides in Kolkata, India. He is pursuing his MFA degree at Stony Brook, Southampton. His work has been published in Danse Macabre and Kritya, among others.
The TreeHouse editors had the pleasure of chatting with author Peter Nez about his new book, Helena. Find Helena here.
TreeHouse: Tell us about your new book, Helena.
Peter Nez: Actually, this new book is not so new, as a matter fact it was a story that I was working on in grad school. I recently revisited it and actually found that this internal editor that didn’t exist back then suddenly came alive and I really got into the story again. It was one of those really rare nostalgic moments where the stuff that I wrote back in the day actually still held up, at least for me, a little bit today. And it was actually taken straight from a news article. I remember driving my dad to the airport one day, driving his car to drop him off, and he always listened to the news, and the story came up about a woman who just left everything without taking her purse left her husband and her baby and was found at some park later with no injuries. That was enough for me.
TH: What inspired you to write the story?
PN: Inspirational book has to do with the story about driving my dad to the airport.
TH: Could you share some info with other writers about your self publishing journey?
PN: I was really against it in the beginning, I always felt like self-publishing was kind of like cheating, but I love the independence, I love the freedom of having all the rights and deciding how I distribute manage and so forth my own material. Plus why am I putting so much weight into the opinion of some slush pile editor intern who probably doesn’t know the first thing about writing in the first place and wouldn’t spot a genius if it smacked her over the head? It’s weird for me, it’s not for everybody, but I like having the autonomy.
Peter Nez is a writer living in the Southwestern United States. His words are his prayers. His hopes are few. His angels are his two children and his savior his wife. He has published many works of poetry in such distinguished journals as ‘The Hudson Review’ and ‘The Southern Journal’ as well as short works such as ‘The Smiling Man’ and ‘The Indelible Stamina of Mason Muslevitch.’ He writes for sanity, is often misunderstood, and is rarely brilliant. If there is a simple line out there amongst the towering madness littered across the collective psyche he aims to find it. And more importantly, he aims to share his findings.