Friday, March 4, 2016

Bacopa Literary Review: Winning Words

by Editor-in-Chief Mary Bast

Charlotte M. Porter's writing sweeps enthusiastically through poetry, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, fiction. And the first thing you'll notice about every piece of this oeuvre is the imaginative use of language. Her characteristic verbal verve as nom de plume Wanda Legend is evident in a single sentence from N-word (creative nonfiction, Bacopa Literary Review 2011) as quoted in NewPages:
Not for amateurs, small-town chat is a craft masterful as tractor repair or canning.
In Porter's fiction piece, Rip Curl (Duende), foster child Sierra lives in a trailer park: 
Sierra counts out twenty-eight hop-steps to Trailer no. 78, Home Sweet Home. . . Lake Park is a slum of life-size crates, what the social worker calls a community of manufactured homes. Sierra has never been sure what to call the factory colors – dark white, grubby tan, dishwater blond. . .  The one window, covered with baggy Mylar, reminds her of a big eye with a snotty cold.
Swerve: A Life in Three Parts (SLAB|Sound & Literary Art Book) takes us from B.S. (Before Speech) through A.S. (After Speech), and a Coda:
After Speech, words are my pilosity, nettle cowage, stinging hairs.
Lips lacquered, teeth capped, ventral implants, I look like soccer mom or human rage-cage, gagged hostage inside snare.
Burningwood Literary Journal features two of Porter's poems. 
From Snapshot with Suet:
Say, has anyone found the old lorgnettes, those folding opera glasses?
Nice keepsake my musical sisters agree, sorting our dead Mother’s things.
Vissi d’arte, Vissi d’amore they yodel from Tosca.
From Morning Scrabble:
At my brother Michael’s gravesite, others toss handfuls of earth, stones, flowers. I throw small wooden squares with letters, stuffed in my purse and pockets, pieces from his favorite childhood board game — winning words, our excuse for wagers.

Before they dump out drawers at home, let’s see what’s left to play: O B T X R U D Z E S C H I F N A T M A …W. WOMBAT, RATFINK, tags for schoolyard FOES. FAUX, FINCH, short DEFT words like ZED and UR earned quick points. Easy vocab, RUDE, RAIN, SHINE, AFTER, we learned, ate money vowels that better earned their keep in CRUDE, INTRUDE, SHINER, SHAFTED, RAFTER.
About Porter's prize-winning Deaf Uncle (Talking/Writing flash fiction contest), judge Joanne Avallon wrote:
I fell hardest for 'Deaf Uncle' because the language haunted me, both the Uncle's ('virgin cartilage' for 'Virgil's Carthage') and the narrator's ('crafts for girls, sports for boys...same old Scout badges'). The author packs so much intention into every word that each has a long half-life. . . .
So now you know what to expect in Charlotte M. Porter's Pangs (First Place Fiction prize, Bacopa 2014). And you won't be disappointed:
. . . After we split, I should have dug out all the bulbs and tubers, yanked the corms and grafts, peeled the orchids off their small wooden paddles. . .
Bunky never could say no to the unwanted or underperforming office plant. . . After several months in a kind home, these salvaged plants always gained strength and id, huge, office-bossy with drag-along auras from the culture of mid-level management. Pencil cactus hangs overhead transpiring oxygen like a panting creep. Euphorb snivels, shrivels skin, sprouts thorns to snag curious fingers. Croton reaches out like a mission statement and threatens to crawl on those damn leafy polka dots. . . .
Charlotte M. Porter lives in an old citrus hamlet in North Central Florida. In addition to awards mentioned above, she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has placed as finalist in The Calvino Prize (outstanding pieces of fiction in the fabulist experimentalist style of Italo Calvino) and Rose Metal Press Sixth Annual Chapbook contest. She's also been published in Baseball Bard, and the Remaking Moby-Dick project of Pea River Journal (international multimodal storytelling performance). Porter's most recent exhibit, Hem-nal, a collaboration with Christy Sheffield Sanford, explores hemlines through poetry and stitched collages.

No comments:

Post a Comment