Willy Conley


This is what I call a “watergraph”—a term I invented that came from taking photographs of water reflections that have been turned upside-down. Depending on environmental factors like the wind, debris in the water, and the color of the sky, each inverted reflection created a painting in its own right framed by whatever was surrounding the water.  This has been part of my serendipitous quest of water reflections that range from little puddles to large bodies of water.  Turn the photo (or your head) upside-down to see how the image was originally discovered.

A Shrub Grows in Phoenix

In 100 words. Not one word more, not one word less—

It looted the earth of everything: stuffed soil in the mattress, stole the silt matrix and sacked the gravel. Because no one could tell it which way to grow and the sun was setting, it filled the jointed sky with pebble and boulder. Cloud frames were cobbled and sanded. The horizon coughed; it heard echoes between the fault edges. None of its branches, brittle tendrils now, could swing open a door. The family tree was missing from the photo album, replaced by pages of glued and pockmarked canyons that offered it nothing but the cloistered sound of its own rustling.

-Scott Hammer

The sharp rocks bite at my knees, and the puddle soaks my naked toes as the storm dissipates. In the water’s reflection, I see the dark clouds part, forming a hole like a mouth over the twisted tree where I crouch. I fear God himself might suck me up to the heavens for defiance. The rough trunk grates against my sweat-drenched back. The hot desert wind still blows, and though the shrubs crackle and bend to its will, I refuse. Here, I played as a child. Here, my house once stood. And here, my husband lies. I will never leave.

-Samantha Kymmell-Harvey