Thank you for all your poetry and fiction sent for consideration in the Midsummer Madness 2022 anthology. We are now closed for submissions as we read through the final submissions and begin to format the anthology for publication. We won’t reopen for new work until after the anthology is published on 21st June 2022 – please check back after 1st July 2022 for updates on our reading period for the Winter Wonderland anthology 2022. Any work submitted after 29th April 2022 will not be read.
For writers and poets who are still awaiting a decision about work, you’ll hear back from us within the next week.
Cover reveal, details for pre-order and any other updates for the anthology will appear on the Bindweed homepage shortly. Stay tuned!
CTD Robinson writes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and picture books. She obtained her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University in June, 2018, and anticipates earning her MA at the Bread Loaf School of English (Middlebury College) in August, 2023. Recent and forthcoming publications include poetry at Spillwords Press, Soul-Lit, Braided Way and Blue Lake Review, as well as nonfiction at Solstice Literary Magazine and Kripalu.org. https://twitter.com/CTDRobinson
WBZ reached out with the beat from Boston in ’64 and struck my libido like a tuning fork. I hid the transistor radio under my pillow and wondered what the lucky kids back east
had done to deserve the beat while nothing moved in my part of America for days on end except copies of the Bible and corn weevils. We had no beat unless WBZ bounced off a
chance cloud, leaving me to imagine kids in Boston necking to the music from subversive bands while we in the heartland were trapped in the amber of crooning Elvis. On those dreadful
nights when the reception failed, my fingers frantically coaxed the radio dial. All I wanted was to swing and thrust and howl to the songs I knew were out there exploding the night like
a train wreck and the shackles on me rattled as I danced to the static all by myself there in the Ohio dark.
The wheelbarrow tire is still flat, a long-standing excuse I lean upon, for I was not born with dirt under my nails.
I am therefore not inclined to bury pinches of carrot seeds just to spend hours on my knees trying to distinguish between
weed and vegetable. Still, when fending off the chaos of a morning, I envy those who find peace in the garden. My father claimed
this blessing, planting and tending his crops, with our reluctant help, after a long day making steel. I know he was aware of the
farmer’s markets groaning under the burden of fresh produce only a few miles from Monica Avenue. I do not doubt his
passion for gardening was true, but I have long suspected there was also a lesson for us in our labors, passed down one
generation to the next in case the end of the world should fall on our days and we would starve if we didn’t know how to
hill potatoes in the blistering summer sun. If this was the case, the lesson didn’t take and I will surely starve.
Grandpa Lester was stoic as Mount Rushmore / only after his death when I was ten did I learn that as a teen he ran away from the family and joined the circus / this would have been back
on the Ohio farm around 1916 / plows / outhouses / handsewns / prayer meetings on Wednesday / dumb nights and coal smoke / buggy wheel tracks in frozen mud / I never asked him about his youth
for I assumed he had been born seventy years old and all those signs of a lifetime’s labor back on the farm / a hundred acres and a milking herd / had been done by elves / and now I long to know how a
taciturn farmer transformed himself into a circus boy / did he bathe elephants / hawk circus peanuts / was his ponderous nose covered in face paint / did he hang with the human cannonball and the trapeze lady /
so rude of him to take such stories to the grave / although I share some of the fault / I’ve never been curious enough about anyone but myself / and I’ve lacked the courage to run away from any expectations / so as I age my face
too is showing less and less emotion / for fear, I suppose, that people will understand just how Grandpa shames me now.
Tom Barlow is an Ohio author of poetry, short stories and novels. His work has appeared in journals including PlainSongs, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, Aji, The New York Quarterly, The Remington Review, Aurora Review, and many more. See more at tombarlowauthor.com.
Attention writers and poets! Bindweed Magazine will be running an anthology of poetry and short fiction, Midsummer Madness, on 21st June. It will be published as a Kindle Ebook, and possibly a paperback anthology (depending on the editors’ schedules later in the year).