A Literary Feast

Posts by Eric Hillerns

Sour Mash

Posted on March 21st, 2017

Smokestacks, carnations and ill-fitting suits Dust in gold leaf, hairspray-sheen plastic fruit Billionaire promises lie on heel and crown There’s a darkness on the edge of town Burnt rivers, burnt towns, burnt fields America Foreclosed Makes Great Again® Bankers — factory closers — knead their newest Reagan Her scorched earth harvests quarterly yields Tell her this is how fem’nism feels Investing meaning back to our lives, see Illusions for what they are And so go reach out, censured Walker Evans Touch a starched fabric of reality done scarred Drapes haggard on windows drawn tight Door locks and lost keys, marital rites Forearm fractures, undone sash Hand guns, rags in gasoline Corn muffins, baked beans and sour mash Hides yellowish bruising, black unseen Wealthcare, opioids and cigarettes Back gate…

Somewhere Between Blue And Orange

Posted on September 17th, 2012

He had been here before. This he had seen and he liked how the colors connected his theories. Stuffed up and under the bowseat of the puttering sixteen-foot Alumaweld was a limp black Hefty bag with an extension cord, two pairs of flannel boxer shorts, a yet unopened can of Cheez Whiz and four teriyaki beef sticks. His dad’s friend called the beef sticks dilators and he didn’t know why exactly but he supposed they were about going to the bathroom because that subject made up at least half of the jokes that he had heard his dad’s friend tell that trip. Atop the platform of the seat were two half-empty cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, twenty two feet of braided nylon rope, and…

The Best Part, Give Or Take

Posted on February 14th, 2012

February wears a suit of gray. Not the fitted darkness that is December or January. But rather a frayed and abrasive mist which enters the void and hovers. Low. Ghostly, at hip level or lower. Its skin is a clammy blanket that covers open nerves and spring creeks of thick blood. Bone is cold and marrow chilled. Gray is blue if pigment could only trespass, frigid dark. Gray is all. Dark again. Drip. The branches underside skew darker than that of their drier sliver top-skins. Damp at midday still, brushing cool surface clay and channeling moisture to hang suspended. Setting sun yields black now, underneath, inhaling earth colorless and dead. Truth reveals this to be the business end of February. Gray forms the shadow…

Kate Whiteman: Steelhead Cakes

Posted on March 25th, 2011

In Fisherman’s Spring, Roderick L. Haig-Brown writes, “In a world of great and varied beauty, nothing is more beautiful than water, especially moving water. I am aware of the beauty of water frozen into glaciers and icebergs, their immensity and power and the glorious light that the sun can summon from them. I have again and again admired the breathless early morning calm on lakes large and small and the reflection of the hills about them. The power of the ocean storms and the glory of ocean surf in sunlight have a magnificence beyond almost anything. Besides these splendors, the intimacy of a fisherman’s river may seem a slight thing. Yet I think that flowing water in all its forms is most beautiful of all.”

Jeanne Thiel Kelley: Warm Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

Posted on March 12th, 2011

“You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.” Mark Twain

While she lays claim to The Golden State as home, my Mom’s side of the immediate family hails from the south. That fundamental extraction — my great grandparents, grandfolks, great aunts and uncles — were tagged with southern handles such as Ethel, Elsie, Billy, Hardy, Eddie, Jimmy, Wilma, Thelma, and Jasper. You get the idea. Bobber-fishin’, potluck-eatin’, guitar-pickin’, church-goin’ people who migrated north and west right when the gettin’ was good.