Snapshot: Bend Over Backwards

AJ Dent brings us another snapshot from the streets of Seattle, Washington, in the form of a poem and photo.


It’s not even the strangest thing you’ll see tonight,
this bent-over-backwards instrumentalist.
She may curve her spine like the side of a violin and
raise steam from her strings as she pulls the bow
as if an arrow from quiver, but this isn’t
what sticks in your craw as the hangover wears off
the next day halfway through your first Nutella Mocha.

No. The oddest activity you’re likely to witness
on this Saturday night downtown Seattle
are the people who refuse to find the balance
between pouring out art and guzzling down drinks.
Every writer’s an alcoholic, right? But if Hunter,
Dorothy Parker, and Hemingway are your heroes,
you can’t just emulate one half of their lifestyles.
Brooding does not a bestseller make.

Yes, pick up the glass and the tab and the cab,
please, I won’t argue with you, but only after
you name the last night you don’t remember
falling asleep but woke up with pages to proofread.
The ice is as tempting as ever, that merlot
keeps the whine high in your throat as your
computer croons, and I know microbrews
mix sonnets in your mind each time you’re out

but if you never write it down, it disappears.
Bust out the spraypaint and color a wall
in this town literally red, or sew a heart
onto the sleeve of that Goodwill dress, or
leave a Post-It limerick on your neighboor’s door.
With the tequila breeze of your breath just create
before your death. Sure, let it kill you. I am.
But don’t set down the pen before then.

AJ Dent is a Seattle-based blogger and photographer. She currently writes copy for GeekGirlCon. For more from AJ, see our website.

September 18, 2013

Release TBC – the ‘fun and games’ issue.

Including: a vision of a nuclear explosion during London’s Olympics; interviews with artist Joshua Seidner, games maker James Wallis, and the anonymous author of Chameleon on a Kaleidoscope.

Plus: poetry from Will Nicoll, and prints from Rap Coloring Book.

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If you'd like to contribute you can:

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  • Respond to a 'call for submissions' for our magazine. We print once or twice a year.
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For all of the above, Banner considers any topic in any medium. That includes reviews, videos, fiction, features, poetry, audio, interviews - you name it.

Submissions for issue #3 are closed. Details for #4 will be announced on this page, as and when.

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