Liquid Rose - davisco- Rough Cut Press
liquid rose
 davisco 
Liquid Rose - davisco- Rough Cut Press
liquid rose
 davisco 

Eight months ago we launched Rough Cut Press because we wanted to create and contribute to a community of artists who deploy their craft to wage dialogue.

This month’s issue is near and dear to my heart because we are publishing the three finalists of our first writing contest. The theme was selected by artist Lauren K. Dougherty.

Duende - Writing Competition - Rough cut Press

In “Juego y Teoría Del Duende,”  Federico García Lorca writes:  “And so, duende is a power, not an act; a fight, not a thought. I heard an old guitar master say: duende does not dwell in the throat; duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet...”

We asked writers to give us their duende in under 650 words. The three finalists are below. Thank you, so much, to everyone who participated. We will announce the theme for our next contest in March.

We are currently accepting written and visual submissions for our February issue.

The theme is:

Machine - Christopher Burns

Love,

 amanda lezra 
Editor-in-Chief

1.

Daffodils Remind Us of Spring in Their Absence

& when i said, i worry about things i can’t control— i meant i have to keep reminding myself my mother is gone, or because she was, i have to keep forgetting. & in spite of the timer set on my life to write these words: i love my mother. would she still be here if i had loved myself a little? (what if i had loved myself more?). it is March & i smell her silence on my breath. how long do i have to eat an apple & its core? wild grief has a scent of roses— & i keep sleeping in other people’s clothing. do you ever love something so much you become it? do you measure twice & cut once—what a relief it was to pretend to heal. my story was this: she was happy, & i was sad (a boy’s mouth— of light growing as gradually as his hair over the unaware forest of flickering faces). & every time i look at her photographs, joy does another lap across the race track of my heart. they say i don’t deserve the word grief but really i’m loudly making a whole room fine with emptiness & flowers. a poem keeps me alive— & i eat paper & the empty sky is perfect. i stay afloat with the momentum of a story & my apartment is impossibly quiet—the copper envy of words my mouth can’t remember. i keep my distance & a song is the opposite of falling. how we fake to feel the magic inside us. it took me a while to understand that my mother remains a place where i found blood smells only of blood & a landscape where i knew i could be equal to the whole world & a birthday could be like an old cassette.

Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian poet who uses poetry as a tool to hide his frustration with society. He is the winner of prestigious awards including the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize for his chapbook “All of Us Are Birds and Some of Us Have Broken Wings” and the 2019 Broken River Prize for his chapbook “Cotton Silence”, forthcoming in 2020. In 2019 he was shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Award for his poem “Surveillance Camera” which appeared in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. He was the winner of 2019 Hart Crane Poetry Prize, the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, and others. His works appears and is forthcoming in Rattle, Notre Dame Review, Vallum, Temz Review, Palette Poetry, Glass Journal, Savant-Garde Journal, Glintmoon, Icefloe Press, Frontier Poetry, Strange Horizon, Cherry Tree, Willow Review, Cincinnati Review, Mary Journal, and others. You can reach out to him on twitter @ojo_poems.

Isiah Gibson - Blue And Orange Inflatable Boat- Rough Cut Press
inflatable boat
 isiah gibson 

Eight months ago we launched Rough Cut Press because we wanted to create and contribute to a community of artists who deploy their craft to wage dialogue.

This month’s issue is near and dear to my heart because we are publishing the three finalists of our first writing contest. The theme was selected by artist Lauren K. Dougherty.

Duende - Writing Competition - Rough cut Press

In “Juego y Teoría Del Duende,”  Federico García Lorca writes:  “And so, duende is a power, not an act; a fight, not a thought. I heard an old guitar master say: duende does not dwell in the throat; duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet...”

We asked writers to give us their duende in under 650 words. The three finalists are below. Thank you, so much, to everyone who participated. We will announce the theme for our next contest in March.

We are currently accepting written and visual submissions for our February issue.

The theme is:

Machine - Christopher Burns

Love,

 amanda lezra 
Editor-in-Chief

1.

Daffodils Remind Us of Spring in Their Absence

& when i said, i worry about things i can’t control— i meant i have to keep reminding myself my mother is gone, or because she was, i have to keep forgetting. & in spite of the timer set on my life to write these words: i love my mother. would she still be here if i had loved myself a little? (what if i had loved myself more?). it is March & i smell her silence on my breath. how long do i have to eat an apple & its core? wild grief has a scent of roses— & i keep sleeping in other people’s clothing. do you ever love something so much you become it? do you measure twice & cut once—what a relief it was to pretend to heal. my story was this: she was happy, & i was sad (a boy’s mouth— of light growing as gradually as his hair over the unaware forest of flickering faces). & every time i look at her photographs, joy does another lap across the race track of my heart. they say i don’t deserve the word grief but really i’m loudly making a whole room fine with emptiness & flowers. a poem keeps me alive— & i eat paper & the empty sky is perfect. i stay afloat with the momentum of a story & my apartment is impossibly quiet—the copper envy of words my mouth can’t remember. i keep my distance & a song is the opposite of falling. how we fake to feel the magic inside us. it took me a while to understand that my mother remains a place where i found blood smells only of blood & a landscape where i knew i could be equal to the whole world & a birthday could be like an old cassette.

Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian poet who uses poetry as a tool to hide his frustration with society. He is the winner of prestigious awards including the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize for his chapbook “All of Us Are Birds and Some of Us Have Broken Wings” and the 2019 Broken River Prize for his chapbook “Cotton Silence”, forthcoming in 2020. In 2019 he was shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Award for his poem “Surveillance Camera” which appeared in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. He was the winner of 2019 Hart Crane Poetry Prize, the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, and others. His works appears and is forthcoming in Rattle, Notre Dame Review, Vallum, Temz Review, Palette Poetry, Glass Journal, Savant-Garde Journal, Glintmoon, Icefloe Press, Frontier Poetry, Strange Horizon, Cherry Tree, Willow Review, Cincinnati Review, Mary Journal, and others. You can reach out to him on twitter @ojo_poems.

Isiah Gibson - Blue And Orange Inflatable Boat- Rough Cut Press
inflatable boat
 isiah gibson 

2.

Poem In Which Secrets Are Revealed

There’s a story my father doesn’t
tell. Why he still calls himself an
alcoholic after two decades of detox.

They say alcoholism is hereditary
and I’m skeptical that DNA tracks our
weaknesses that way. But I believe in

weaknesses handed down. I’ve been
weak, leaned into weakness, and blamed
it on my early twenties. Untethered myself

from the things I cared for. Unraveled
those who had come to depend on
me. When I feel an urge these days,

I run away. On my lowest days, I just
collapse on the floor, the only thing
I understand. I am terrified of asking for

more. I am terrified of feeling broken
—being seen as a broken thing. My
greatest fear is suicide, which

is a way of saying I am terrified of being
left to my own devices. My second greatest
fear is that I will die before I understand

what it means to be happy.

jd hegarty is a poet, an anarchist, and a sunflower living in Saint Paul Minnesota with two loud grey cats. jd’s work can be found in Chronotope, White Stag, Crab Orchard Review, Mortar Magazine, and elsewhere. Their first chapbook, On Passing, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2017. They can be reached at jdhegarty.com.

Blue and Orange Smoke - Lucas Benjamin - Rough Cut Press

blue and orange smoke

 lucas benjamin 

2.

Poem In Which Secrets Are Revealed

There’s a story my father doesn’t
tell. Why he still calls himself an
alcoholic after two decades of detox.

They say alcoholism is hereditary
and I’m skeptical that DNA tracks our
weaknesses that way. But I believe in

weaknesses handed down. I’ve been
weak, leaned into weakness, and blamed
it on my early twenties. Untethered myself

from the things I cared for. Unraveled
those who had come to depend on
me. When I feel an urge these days,

I run away. On my lowest days, I just
collapse on the floor, the only thing
I understand. I am terrified of asking for

more. I am terrified of feeling broken
—being seen as a broken thing. My
greatest fear is suicide, which

is a way of saying I am terrified of being
left to my own devices. My second greatest
fear is that I will die before I understand

what it means to be happy.

jd hegarty is a poet, an anarchist, and a sunflower living in Saint Paul Minnesota with two loud grey cats. jd’s work can be found in Chronotope, White Stag, Crab Orchard Review, Mortar Magazine, and elsewhere. Their first chapbook, On Passing, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2017. They can be reached at jdhegarty.com.

Blue and Orange Smoke - Lucas Benjamin - Rough Cut Press

blue and orange smoke

 lucas benjamin 

3.

unhinged(again)

solidified public a cruel hint

discuss the emperor in my lungs

vinegar and milk hold fast to their views

world fire

bite the birds to pieces

Qiu jingyi was born in 1994 in Urumqi, Xing Jiang, China. She studied film and screenwriting for four years at the Beijing Film Academy; she is currently completing her graduate degree in writing and literature at the California College of the Arts.

Cristina Gottardi - Rough Cut Press

 cristina gottardi 

3.

unhinged(again)

solidified public a cruel hint

discuss the emperor in my lungs

vinegar and milk hold fast to their views

world fire

bite the birds to pieces

Qiu jingyi was born in 1994 in Urumqi, Xing Jiang, China. She studied film and screenwriting for four years at the Beijing Film Academy; she is currently completing her graduate degree in writing and literature at the California College of the Arts.

Cristina Gottardi - Rough Cut Press

 cristina gottardi 

Subscribe to receive a new issue of Rough Cut Press on the first day of each month.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy.