#amreading: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “Watching the Rain in Galicia,” (translated from the Spanish by Margaret Costa)
“Homesickness starts with food,” said Che Guevara, pining perhaps for the vast roasts of his native Argentina while they, men alone in the night in Sierra Maestra, spoke of war. For me, too, homesickness for Galicia had started with food even before I had been there. The fact is that my grandmother, in the big house at Aracata, where I got to know my first ghosts, had the delightful role of baker and she carried on even when she was already old and nearly blind, until the river flooded, ruined the oven and no one in the house felt like rebuilding it. But my grandmother’s vocation was so strong that when she could no longer make bread, she made hams. Delicious hams, though we children did not like them — children never like the novelties of adults — even though the flavor of that first taste has remained recorded forever on the memory of my palate. I never found it again in any of the many and various hams I ate later in any of my good or bad years until, by chance, I tasted — 40 years later, in Barcelona — an innocent slice of shoulder of pork.— from the essay Watching the Rain in Galicia, included in Travelers’ Tales Guides: Spain, edited by Lucy McCauley
From Cee Neuner:
- Be creative if you feel like it, and have fun with this challenge this week. Remember your photos need to be black and white, desaturated, sepia (brown tones) or selective color. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up.
Here are two photos from self’s archives. The one with the spider was taken during Halloween. The second picture was taken at the Chester Beatty Museum in Dublin Castle. (Those are self’s sneakers, lol)
She didn’t retouch these pictures, they simply turned out that way.
Malkovych is self’s new favorite poet! His poem was included in the anthology Writng from Ukraine: Fiction, Poetry and Essays since 1965, edited by Mark Andryczyk
— translated by Bohdan Boychuk and Myrosia Stefaniuk
Again I’ll visit for a day or two,
won’t help with anything again,
nervous, distracted conversations
will just distress my parents.
What will I find next time
I come? Everyone there?
As I leave: father and mother in the window
like Hutsul icons on glass.
Note: Hutsul are an ethnic group of Ukrainian highlanders that inhabit the Carpathian Mountains in Western Ukraine.
Ivan Malkovych was born in Nyzhnyii Bereziv (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast Ukraine). At age 19, Malkovych was voted best young poet in a clandestine vote among several hundred Ukrainian writers.
Prypiat was a Ukrainian city that was born in 1970 (its founding) and died in 1986 (after Chernobyl). Reason for Death: Acute Radiation Syndrome.
In 1995, the Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovych visited the site.
Most unforgettable that day were . . . the catfish in the canal near the Nuclear Power Plant. They were the size of dolphins, or sharks, and this is nature’s categorically harsh answer to man . . .
Gazing at fish in water is one of my favorite and constant activities. I’ve had very few opportunities to do this in my life. One, for example, came in Nuremberg, another — in Regensburg. I think it was in Nuremberg that I came to the conclusion that Europe is a land in which fish live well. I would not have come to this conclusion if I hadn’t been in Nuremberg precisely at that time, in the summer of 1995. If I hadn’t stood on those bridges time and again and I hadn’t gazed down deep into the river to see how fish slowly move just above its bottom . . . I’m not sure if they really live all that well. But they definitely live long: no one catches them or kills them, in fear of the undeniable danger of radiation. How long is Silurus glanis, a normal (non-radioactive) catfish, supposed to live? According to several sources, up to one hundred years. This fish can live longer than any other fish found in our rivers and waters. Only moss-covered carp can live longer . . .— The Star Absinthe: Notes on a Bitter Anniversary, by Yuri Andrukhovych
The essay, which is quite long, fascinates self with the movement from carp to Ukrainian nationalism.
If Sweden “hadn’t created such a ruckus,” the West wouldn’t have known about the disaster. Also, around that time, “Poland had stopped being a friend and was increasingly turning away, westward. This time it turned away from a radioactive cloud — holding its breath and fastidiously holding its nose.”
Fascinating piece. It’s in the anthology Writing from Ukraine: Fiction, Poetry and Essays since 1965, edited by Mark Andryczyk.
Ever since Cleaver Magazine published self’s story Toad, a few years ago, she has had a soft spot for this scrappy little independent publication, based in Philadelphia, a city always close to her heart because that was where Dearest Mum studied piano (at Curtis) and where Dear Departed Sister got her MBA (at Wharton).
Given how they were already operating on a shoestring budget, self offered fervent prayers that they would somehow make it through the pandemic, and they have!
Today, they announced the winners and finalists of their 2022 flash contest. Let’s give all the winners and honorable mentions a big hand!
First Place: Sabrina Hicks, “When We Knew How to Get Lost”
Second Place: Janet Burroway, “The Tale of Molly Grimm”
Third Place: Dawn Miller, “The Egg”
Honorable Mention: Laura Tanenbaum, Fannie H. Gray, Andrea Marcusa, Lisa Lanser-Rose, Andrew Stancek, Luke Tennis, Emily Hoover, James LaRowe, Paul Enea, Kris Willcox, Christina Simon
All the writers are from two central Philippine islands: Negros (yes, that IS the name of one of the islands, thank you Spanish colonizers who named it after the locals, who were “Negros” — dark-skinned) and Siquijor.
Buglas was the pre-Spanish name for Negros.
It is edited by writers from the Dumaguete Writers Workshop.
Self’s story Dumaguete is in it, which renders her speechless. Just speechless!
Welcome from the Editors.
Submission Guidelines here.
AFTER THE SALVO
from the anthology The War Poets: An Anthology (Norwich: Jarrold Publishing, 2nd printing 2005)
Up and down, up and down,
They go, the gray rat, and the brown.
The telegraph lines are tangled hair,
Motionless on the sullen air;
An engine has fallen on its back,
With crazy wheels; on a twisted track;
All ground to dust is the little town;
Up and down, up and down
They go, the gray rat and the brown.
A skull, torn out of the graves nearby,
Gapes in the grass. A butterfly,
In azure iridescence new,
Floats into the world, across the dew;
Between the flow’rs. Have we lost our way,
Or are we toys of a god at play,
Who do these things on a young Spring day?
Where the salvo fell, on a splintered ledge,
Of ruin, at the crater’s edge,
A poppy lives: and young, and fair,
The dewdrops hang on the spider’s stair,
With every rainbow still unhurt
From leaflet unto leaflet girt.
Man’s house is crushed; the spider’s lives:
Inscrutably, He takes, and gives,
Who guards not any temple here,
Save the temple of the gossamer.
Up and down, up and down
They go, the gray rat, and the brown:
A pistol cracks, they too are dead.
The nightwind rustles overhead.
from the listing on Duotrope:
- ROSEBUD is one of the most dramatically eclectic literary magazines published in English, designed for the interests of both readers and writers. Our mission is to encourage a higher literacy by publishing a wide range of modern and traditional writing with a great variety of subjects, literary styles, and cultural points of view. While we publish many famous and established writers, most of our content comes from newer or under-appreciated authors.
One of their regular contributors was a man in federal prison in California (since released). Editor’s note: “Throughout his incarceration, he has continued to produce laudable work in circumstances under which most people would not be able to write at all.”
Here’s the cover of self’s contributor copy, Issue 67, dated 2020:
They published self’s story The Vanishing, which had been hard to place because . . . Juan de Salcedo? Who the heck ever heard of Juan de Salcedo! The grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who got to the Philippines in 1565 with (she just found out, from reading Conquering the Pacific) an older brother, Felipe. Juan de Salcedo was 17, Felipe was 18.
Felipe became captain of his grandfather’s flagship, the San Pedro, on the vuelta. He succeeded in taking it all the way back to Nueva España (quite a feat for an 18-year-old!). Juan stayed with his grandfather, who died in the Philippines the following year. No one really knows what happened to Juan de Salcedo after, but self found, in a book by the late Filipino journalist Manuel Duldulao, a reference to a group of about 40 “starving Spaniards” who tried to push their way into the Mountain Province. The Spaniards were led by a “boy.” That was a very young and green Juan de Salcedo, trying to survive.
Anyhoo, how can you not become fascinated with that boy? In self’s short story, they call him “Vanquisher.” A fourth of self’s story was written in Spanish, without translation. The conceit was that the Spanish issued from the mouth of the insomniac king, His Royal Catholic Majesty Felipe II, and he really didn’t care if anyone (meaning you, dear reader) understood him or not.
An excerpt from The Vanishing:
His Royal Majesty will grant Legazpi five ships. Two ships more than El Viejo expected. Each ship will be fitted with the usual complement of bronze cannon. And 500 men, he adds, almost as an afterthought. Legazpi thinks how those ships will sit in the water, attracting privateers the way honey does flies. He imagines Portuguese and Dutch sails bearing down swiftly in fresh wind.
Thank you, Rosebud editors, for giving self’s story, as well as that of so many others, a home.