Summer 2009

Spring 2009

Autumn 2008

Summer 2008

Spring/Summer 2008

Winter/Spring 2008

Autumn 2007

Summer 2007

Spring 2007

Winter 2007

Autumn 2006

Summer 2006

Spring 2006

Winter 2006

Fall 2005

Summer 2005

Editor's Note


SNR's Writers



At 20, left home for Brussels, craving change.
Got a job in European Parliament,
covered my curves with a pin-striped power suit,
and spent my days in a corner office
drinking my coffee with cream and sugar,
writing speeches about change for Europe.
Lobbyists greeted me with kisses on both cheeks,
commenting on the weather and my perfume,
while on our stoop, a Roma woman begged
for change, snuggling her infant who howled,
hungry like a Windigo.  Cold wind grew
icicles on the their long, dark lashes.

Passed them quickly in the cold— no change left—
all spent at drunken pub talks about change.


Insatiable, I left you home
and traversed the Atlantic,
searching for a fix, a cure
for my restless soul syndrome.
I drank all the Trappistes dry
and ate each every chocolate—
bartenders shook their heads,
Served Guinness instead of Rochefort.
Neuhaus and Leonidas boarded their windows—
I had to devour them all.
The flavors tasted richer than home,
filled with histories: of recipes, buildings,
and feuds burgeoning back
to before America was called America.
My skin burst with gifts for you.

I thought I could see the Manneken Pis
and send you all of his silliness.
And I sent you the finest chocolates and beers
to fill you with this history too,
but you said the chocolates
tasted like chocolates and the beers
tasted like beer, not battles
between Francophones and Flems.

I tried collecting more gifts for you,
but I lost most along the way.
One day I dropped my keys, drunk.
My landlord said she'd have my head,
but she settled for an arm and a leg.
I protested, But Madame, they were only keys!
These must come off, she said—
chop, chop and half my limbs were gone
with two hacks of the old surgeon's saw.

I tried to run away from my butcher,
but crumpled under the weight
of my baggage full of gifts for you—
too much to carry
with just one arm and leg.
I thought we might enjoy
a lovely kidney pie,
but beer had bloated mine—
too heavy, I left them by the curb. 
Because I knew the pangs
of loneliness, I left them friends,
swollen and diseased by my gluttony:
my liver, stomach, some intestines.
Hopefully some creature of the night
found some sustenance.

The airport guards seemed concerned
by my blood-stained clothes.
I tried to explain—I had gifts for you,
and was missing the Great Lakes and snow.
I craved ketchup, not mayo with my fries and your
warm breath breathing down my neck at night.
 But they carried me out like a dirty diaper.
There was only one way to get these gifts to you
Left, then right, then left then—
sinking, sinking fast, salt water
stinging my wounds.

Still too heavy to walk on water—
I took off my epidermis,
peeled off one strip at a time,
like old floral wallpaper.
Stretched out and over worked,
it was no real gift to give you.
A heap of bones, skeletal, I tread
over the great Atlantic, yearning
for you, for home, for English.
I saved a few good parts.
I'll leave them on your doorstep:
my heart, two ovaries, tits.
I brought these gifts for you—
celebrate their loveliness.

Trying to Sleep in Brussels

3 AM in Brussels. Back from the bar.
I rest my bones in a bed for one.
Picture you: lying down, wrapping
your body around the place I used to sleep
on your queen-sized mattress, the place
where I long to be.  Doze off—

    A Teddy Graham leaps from the yellow box,
    chases me through the library corridors,
    chuckling, I'll get you this time.
    His fangs twinkle in the fluorescent lighting.

    First, he goes for the legs—
    he dunks my head in a tub of holy water:
    Drink and be whole again!
    Fully saturated, I sink
    Down and down—can't bear
    this heaviness of being.

Wake up whimpering.  Try to remember:
two months ago I was safe.  Your pillow smelled
like Old Spice.  I was working on being naked,
trying to feel whole again. You were helping—
your hands tracing the outline of an hourglass
along my side, fingers lingering at every
little perfection. You nestled your nose in my hair,
Breathing slowly, softly—my favorite lullaby,
lulls me to sleep again—

    I am surrounded.
    Rwandans, Sudanese, Bosnians, Iraqis, Cambodians—
    everywhere, victims of genocide.
    The undead—skeletons protruding
    through gray skin, sunken cheeks, hacked up, bloody—
    chanting: We'll get you this time!

    Captured and blind folded,
    I feel a blade press against my jugular.
    Nothing gold can stay!
    They pry my rings off my fingers.
    Rip my earrings out. Shave my head.
    Strip me naked. Tattoo my forehead
    with a label I cannot see.  Rape me.
    The cool blade threatens closer. I smell
    steel.  But my pulse does not race. I am
    a vision of calmness—an oasis.  I'm already
    cut up, cut out.  Nothing left

to sink the blade into—

This frenzy, this restless soul syndrome
shakes me from my bed, scratches
through my skin—leaving
only shreds from the inside out.

Yes, I'm cold—
Cover me up from head to toe.
Hide me from breezy looks.

I listen to the old-style radiator clattering
and count the miles from here to you till dawn. 

Copyright 2009, Stevie Lee Edwards. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Stevie Lee Edwards recently graduated from Albion College, where she studied English and economics.  Her poetry has been published in The November 3rd Club and The Cartier Street Review. She also has poems forthcoming publication with PANK Magazine. At Albion College, she worked as a Poetry & Fiction Editor on The Albion Review. She formerly wrote speeches and worked as an office monkey for Member of European Parliament Peter Skinner in Brussels, Belgium.