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Martha Arrowood Pelc posted a photo

Love and Mercy Booksigning

Gaston County Library, Main BranchGastonia, NCDec. 12. 20153:30 - 5:30 pm
14 hours ago
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Spooks Branch, a human history story

Spooks Branch was a singular place in settlers’ loreby Rob NeufeldImportant editorial note:This is a significant historical story that is also, in parts, personal and controversial.  It is about a few families who settled a particular cove and played out their heroic and complex legacies in ways that interacted with place and time.  You don't read this kind of story much because people don't like to expose themselves or stir up trouble, even a little.  This caution makes history classes boring…See More
Nov 25
Dawn Trowell Jones updated their profile
Nov 24
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 21
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Rise of Asheville by Marilyn Ball

History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance                       Let’s not miss the history of Asheville’s renaissance, Marilyn Ball’s new book, “The Rise of Asheville,” advocates.            She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Century-ago woman's apple cake recipe

Mmm, them apples in Beaverdam coveIn 1972, Helen Nelon wrote about the traditions of old-time Spooks Branch, off Beaverdam Road.  Here's what she said about her use of apples in a cake.(The full story of Spooks Branch will appear soon.)There were apples for delicious cider cooled in the spring "dreem" (drain), apples for frying for cold winter days, and for special days there were dried apple sauce fruit cakes.These cakes were made of very thin, sweet dough with dried apple sauce spread between…See More
Nov 18
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 16
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Dignity is the key to Richard Russo's inspiration

So funny, and yet so exposing--Richard Russo's geniusSnakes on the lane            In Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Empire Falls, the protagonist, Miles recalls the time his father, driving, had accelerated into a box on a highway.  “What if that box had been full of rocks?” Miles asks.  Unfazed, Max quizzes his son about what he would do about the box.  Max says he'd stop and look in it,  “What if it was full of rattlesnakes? “ his father asks.            The verbal match…See More
Nov 14
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 13
Rob Neufeld commented on Mark de Castrique's video
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Humanize the history--especially with Civil War--writes acclaimed author

Writer illuminates tangled web of Civil Warby Rob Neufeld             David Madden has written a book, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” that deserves special attention.            First, there’s Madden’s background.  In 1992, he founded the U.S. Civil War Center in New…See More
Nov 12
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Nov 11
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 10
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Coming attraction--Singleton at Malaprop's & City Lights for Calloustown

George Singleton's latest collection of stories, Calloustown...features the folk who try to survive in a place that has little to offer besides a Finger Museum and a taxidermy petting zoo,It's funny, but also tragic and angry.  The review, "Love-hate humor cries in Calloustown," appears in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, 11/15/2015.  Singleton's at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 18; and at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21.Here's an excerpt from the…See More
Nov 10
Lockie Hunter posted an event

Juniper Bends Quarterly Reading at DownTown Books & News

November 13, 2015 from 7pm to 8pm
Our very special Autumnal edition starts at 7PM and is sure to be a lively and vibrant set, with featured writers Randi Janelle, Tina FireWolf, Logan Parker, and Annabelle Crowe. Two of our readers have new books out, and as always there is wine flowing by donation. Hosts Lockie Hunter and Caroline Wilson look forward to seeing you there----remember, your wellbeing depends upon it.See More
Nov 9
Martha Arrowood Pelc posted a photo

Love and Mercy ~ Up On Roan Mountain

My family lived and loved up on Roan Mountain and in the surrounding mountain areas, and this is their story. It's woven into a tapestry that weaves down through the years, before the days of the Civil War and up to present day. They were…
Nov 9
Catherine Carter, an assistant professor Western Carolina University, has won the 2009 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition with a dazzling poem, titled, “Toast,” about a tall tale attraction to an electric man. The contest was recently judged by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Carter states in her biography that she’d been “raised by wolves and vultures on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.” (Click attachment below to read bio.) Now, she coordinates the English education program at WCU and writes. Her work has appeared in major poetry journals, and has made it into “Best American Poetry 2009.” Her first book, The Memory of Gills (LSU Press, 2006), won the 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Award. Her chapbook, The Swamp Monster at Home, is currently circulating.

“Toast” begins, “Here’s to a man like the swoop and rise of an electric line,” and remarks on him as he approaches. He’s so hot, “his tie-knot crisps with heat…rattlesnakes lair in his hair.” Read the full poem below, or click the attachement.


Here’s to a man like the swoop and rise of an electric line.
At a distance he’s some anonymous steel tower
stalking across the hillside, but come nearer
and you can’t miss the power
vibrating through him. It could toast your skin
like bread. At ten feet he’s no great beauty,
but at six the room gets warmer.
At four feet the heat’s banked, a dormant ruby,
and you don’t get to three. Maybe you’re not the electrical kind;
maybe you like beeswax candles, the snap of woodfire,
maybe you’ve your own fire at home,
lively and hot. But there’s that wire,
thrumming with acquiescence and resistance,
singing with force, lighting up streets.
Stripped of whatever insulates him, he’d fry
mountainsides; his tie-knot crisps with heat;
in November, rattlesnakes lair in his desk.
One day a condor tangled in his wiry hair;
it didn’t end well. You wouldn’t survive being locked to that grid,
hooked in by manmade power. But the shimmering air
around him buzzes, fidgets, seethes, kinetic;
it takes some doing to resist the field
pulling your hand that way, while you wonder
if he’s noticed when you reel
or stammer. So it’s no good pretending
you never liked the shock-streak down your spine
grounding you to the dirt: no, here’s to him,
that man, humming like a power line.

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The piece ,itself, makes an interesting analogy between electrical power and
sexual attraction. I can see that. The structure is fluid and organic,
an interesting contrast to the 'hardwired' nature one associates with power grids.
The inherent rhyme works at times, but sentence length may enhance that aspect,
it it were, indeed, the intention of the author. Great metaphoric references, too:
(i.e., "rattlesnakes lair in his desk", and ""he'd fry mountainsides." Good writing.


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