Clay Matthews
An Angel Gets Her Wings

Clay Matthews - An Angel Gets Her Wings

Contest - 2nd Place
Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast,… Read more »
Roy Bentley
O, Kindergarten

Roy Bentley - O, Kindergarten

Contest - 3rd Place
Roy Bentley has received fellowships from the NEA, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Ohio Arts Council. Poems… Read more »
Brett Foster
On the Numbness That Will Be Our Future

Brett Foster - On the Numbness That Will Be Our Future

Contest - 1st Place
Brett Foster is the author of two poetry collections, The Garbage Eater (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011), and Fall Run… Read more »

O, Kindergarten

Roy Bentley

This is the classroom, a land of Crayolas
and Nap Time where platoons of inside voices
identify which bodily function requires answering
by raising the appropriate number of fingers
into the air of 1960. Take this quiet child.
Take a good look at something in his face.
He’s been coloring the same standard-sized
sheet of milk-white paper for fifteen minutes,
and he lacks one cotton-ball blossom of a corner
before he can call it a day. But is black a color?
The truth is that it’s in the carton of The Box of 8,
where undersides are flattened to prevent rolling.
To him, the statuary stick figures are Eskimos
bundled to the point of facelessness in parkas of
moonless night. Which is the explanation he hopes
rescues him from the teacher with the dark down
above her upper lip, a woman bending to offer
the bald fact that black is all colors absorbed
and so it’s not a color. Not in the usual sense.
A pigment. Her wide-open eyes… Read more »