Stonework is published by Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts college located in New York’s rural Genesee Valley. Stonework seeks a diverse mix of mature and emerging voices in fellowship with the evangelical tradition. Published twice a year, the journal reflects the arts community at Houghton College where excellence in music, writing, and the visual arts has long been a distinctive.

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  • Issue 6
    Poetry by Paul Willis and Thom Satterlee. Fiction and interview with Lori Huth. Essay by James Wardwell, and student poets from Christian campuses.
  • Issue 5
    Poetry by Susanna Childress and Debra Rienstra. Fiction excerpt by Emilie Griffin. Art from Houghton's 2007 presidential inauguration and a forum on women writing.
  • Issue 4
    Matthew Roth--new poems. Diane Glancy--from One of Us and an interview. John Tatter-on gardens and poetry. The Landscapes of John Rhett. Stephen Woolsey--on the poetry of Jack Clemo. James Wardwell--on Herrick.
  • Issue 3
    Poetry by Julia Kasdorf, Robert Siegel and Sandra Duguid. Fiction by Tom Noyes. The portraits of Alieen Ortlip Shea. An anthology of Australian Poets
  • Issue 2
    Thom Satterlee - Poems from Burning Wycliff with an appreciation by David Perkins. Alison Gresik - new fiction and an interview. James Zoller - Poems from Living on the Floodplain.
  • Issue 1
    Luci Shaw — new poems with an appreciation by Eugene H. Peterson & Hugh Cook — new fiction and an interview

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bat Boy, Break a Leg

Julia Kasdorf

The student with two studs in his nose

and a dragon tattoo crawling from his collar,

who seems always ready to swoon

from bliss or despair, now flits

At my office door. I will look at his poem

drawn onto a music score and find nothing

to say about chance or HIV.

Only later I’ll think to tell him

the night before I left home, I slept

sadly in our old house until a wing

touched my cheek, tenderly as a breeze.

I woke to black fluttering at my feet,

and a mind fresh from the other side

said don’t turn on the light, don’t

Wake the man, don’t scream or speak.

Go back to sleep. The next morning

I remembered that people upstate

whack them with tennis rackets, that

the Chinese character for good luck

resembles the character for bat—

both so unsettling and erratic—

but it’s bad luck to say good luck

in China, as on stage where they say

Break a leg, so delicate bats

must be woven into silk brocade

and glazed onto porcelain plates.

Next morning, I found a big-eared mouse

with leather folded over his shoulders

hanging from claws stuck in a screen.

All day, my work made me forget, but

then I’d remember, passing the window

where he slept, shaded under the eves.

He was fine. I was fine. Then at dusk,

he was gone, suddenly. Pale boy dressed in black,

Maybe the best that can be said for any of us is that

once we were angelic enough to sleep with strangers.

He touched my cheek. I opened the screen.

He flew in his time. We did no harm.



Next: After Birth, a Conversation with Myself