The third issue of Broad Street has been out for a year, filled with tales of troubles, vexations, irritations and curses. “Bedeviled” features essays and assorted musings by D. J. Lee, Alan Cheuse, Carol Moldaw, Ramsey Hootman, and Glenn H. Shepard, Jr.; poetry from Lisa Allen Ortiz, Richard Peabody, and Lea Marshall; photography by John Moser, James Prochnik, and Chad Hunt; and more! Below is a taste of some of the work you’ll see.
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Demons in the Woods, byJohn Moser
From “Dale Flynn’s Blood” by D. J. Lee
Dale Flynn had a vendetta against me. Every day in fifth grade, he chased me from the bus stop on 208th Street to the cul-de-sac where we lived, a distance of two blocks. He caught me by the shoulder, whirled me around, pushed me to the ground, and punched me. I screamed, he let go, and I bolted for home.
This was the 1960s. The cul-de-sac was in a gritty suburb in Seattle, a place of strip malls, grunge bands, and big industrial buildings. The mothers stayed home while the fathers worked low-income jobs. One sold shoes. One was a Baptist preacher. One was killed in the Vietnam war. Dale’s father, old Mr. Flynn, a beefy man with a crew cut, didn’t do anything. My father complained, “He’s a cheater, he’s not crippled,” because Mr. Flynn was on government disability for a shoulder injury. Our backyard faced the Flynns’, and we’d see him working on a fence as if he were in perfect health. …
From “Kipaw-paw-pish!” by Charlotte Simmonds
Our bud Toki is a beat-boxer. Beat-boxing is when you make the noise of a drum machine with your mouth and voice. Toki is the national beat-boxing champion. This means he is better at beat-boxing than everyone else in New Zealand. Maybe there are people who are better than he is and are too shy or uninterested to challenge him, but I don’t think there are. I think he is better than everyone else in New Zealand. He also wears the biggest shoes I’ve ever seen. …
From “The Jersey in Me” by Alan Cheuse
I’ve tried to live a civilized life, despite the handicap of having been born and raised in north Jersey—specifically, in Perth Amboy, the town nestled on the little elbow of land that pokes out into the confluence of waters made by the meeting of the Raritan River and the Arthur Kill. But whenever I feel a perceived wrong, as in, say, someone cutting me off in traffic or elbowing his way past me in a line at a sports event or a supermarket, I can feel what I call the Jersey in me rising. And I want to smash them in the nose or kick them to their knees.
That’s how we learned to make our way in that rough-and-tumble part of the country …
From “Chastity Belt Included” by Ramsey Hootman
As a teenaged girl, I lived in fear of losing my virginity. It wasn’t that my parents were strict—we never discussed sex at all, actually. But I was brought up an Evangelical Christian, which meant that by the time I got my period I was already quite aware that having carnal relations outside of wedlock was basically the worst sin I could commit. I might not lose my eternal salvation, but it would be a pretty near thing….
From “The Dance Vanishes / The Poem Remains” by Lea Marshall
Within the architecture of certain
concertos, the tap dancer walks up walls,
slides across ceilings. The floor
vibrates, wood on metal, metatarsals
drumming, leather creaking and a shirt
like a sail as he wings down the hallway
of a Brandenburg, unfurling the score
and scattering its notes like mice. …