Soundings East is the literary journal of Salem State University, published annually with support from the Center for Creative and Performing Arts. Founded in 1973, the journal is edited by upper-level creative students under the aegis of an advisory editor from the writing faculty. Soundings East publishes poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Soundings East is dedicated to publishing high-quality literature. Submissions from across the country are submitted and reviewed for publication. The magazine is distributed nationally, with recent press runs of 750 copies.
Poetry Excerpt, Vol 35 [Fall 2014]
A Snake in the Flood
by John Grey
There are people more afraid
of that floating coffin than the floodwaters themselves.
Imagine if that brackish brown flood
smashes the box against the statue of the town founder
and a loved one topples out through shattered pine.
A couple of cops in waist-level water
struggle manfully to guide the dead toward the fire station.
But the current is too strong.
Swollen earth has given up this treasure,
main street eddies bear it up like so many hands,
and somewhere, three hundred miles south,
awaits the ocean - the deepest, most undiscerning
burial ground of all.
The living huddle together on the second floor
of the town hall.
The dead play gadabout
past parked cars, the barber shop,
the Baptist church and feed store.
It is an upset in the natural order.
The mayor throws up his hands.
The pastor weeps.
When a river ignores the warnings of its banks,
more than one sanctity is imperiled.
And what of the cornrows and the soybean?
The cattle in the fields?
The creatures in the forest?
A water moccasin puffed up on the pride
of its sudden vast milieu slithers by
a family of faces impressed on a bedroom window.
Eyes strain credulity.
A snake is the result.
John Grey, an Australian poet living in Rhode Island, is one of dozens of emerging voices in the new issue of Soundings East. Get your copy today! Stop by the English department office or send a check for $7.50 to the mailing address shown below.
Hard-copy submissions are read and considered September 1 to April 1. Multiple submissions accepted.
Salem State University
352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA 01970