11.21 (SATURDAY) : Jonas Williams & Tara Emelye Needham




Jonas Williams is a PhD candidate at SUNY Albany. His fiction has appeared in Columbia: A Journal and elimae. He is working on a book about creative writing pedagogy.

Cast Off

The arm emerged intact from the cast, a gutted plaster marked with autographs. The handwriting was mine, familiar as my dear feet, but the names–Guy Santana, Farshad Gundersen, Isabelle Wyndham-Wyndham–stood for new personalities. Alone in the hospital, I had created these friends, signed them up.

The newly functional arm swung wide the hospital doors, saluted the parking lot, tickled a passing gravida’s belly, and windmilled in the sunlight. Guy Santana, not I, made these gestures, for having signed the plaster contract, he claimed a right to the arm. I make do with the leftover.

I had made friends without bodies. Now I know to share. My erstwhile left leg–toe to thigh, plus buttock–has gone to Farshad. Isabelle has accepted both eyes and a paunch. Guy has the arm, of course, and is otherwise happy with a smatter of neck scruff.

Except he would like my mouth, and as soon as he asks I can’t say no.




Tara Emelye Needham lives in Albany, NY where she teaches courses in creative writing, literature and cultural theory while pursuing a Ph. D in English at the University at Albany.  Tara is a poet, essayist and songwriter who has published, performed and recorded throughout the U.S. for the last eighteen years, including with her bands the Reverse and Mad Planets. Locally, she has performed or read as part of the Million Poems show at the Frequency North Series at the College of St. Rose, the Jawbone reading series, and with Rebecca Wolff and Bernadette Mayer for the Capital District Federation of Ideas. Prior to grad school, Tara worked as an arts administrator and consultant for independent literary publishers, including serving as Program Director at the Council of Literary Magazines in NYC.  Way before that, she co-edited the much-beloved grrrl zine Cupsize (with Sasha Cagen).  That’s her cat pencil in the photo.



                        The call comes.
                        Sweaty, chubby fingers
                        press fading plastic keys.


                        Answer the phone. Answer
                        the phone. Loans and the
                        law. Sand overtakes paper.


                        Alone in Arizona, the limbs
                        are too low.  There is
                        nowhere for the noose.


                        Where to sleep then,
                        beneath thorns of cacti,
                        pin-pricks of stars?



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s