Aug 122011



What It’s Like Living Here,

by Allison Kaufman in Connecticut

Living by the Numbers 

Seven days.  You check your watch constantly.  You live and die by the ping of the calendar on your phone.  Realize that there is slight irony in the fact that you are writing of this place with only seven days left before there are seven states between you and this desk.  Seven being the magic number, not in the lucky sort of way.  Seven being the number of days that you work twenty-four hours.  Seven being the number of blocks there are in the daily schedule.
It’s only been three years.  You’ve done everything you can.  You repeat this mantra.

You’ve been a parent now for three years.  Not biologically, but in dorms.  You sleep in an apartment that is likely larger than any you will ever own.  There are 10-foot ceilings, a handrail that snakes around the living room, and a kitchen whose appliances and cabinetry are older than you are.  You install pendant lighting.  You paint (Nantucket Grey).



Your charges in your first year were 16 junior and senior girls.  Your toughest disciplinary issue was dealing with a girl who left a douchebag (literally) with a bow on it in front of a neighbor’s room.  You fought laughter while scolding the seventeen-year-olds.  You noted that there were only 4 years separating you from them.  You wished you had thought of the douchebag gift your senior year of college; a roommate of yours, the one you and your friends called Sandy Vagina, could have used a wakeup call.
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Aug 082011


Sheryl Luna’s poems are brimming with sincerity—and they seem to elucidate the actual while reveling in the cosmic. Her work offers a palpable humanity, stemming in part from her multi-cultural heritage that she simultaneously strives to reconcile and illuminate. Having known Sheryl over the years, I remain impressed by her unwavering self-examination and emotional tenacity.

Widely accomplished as a poet, critic, and teacher, her credentials are also noteworthy: Sheryl Luna won the inaugural Andres Montoya Poetry Prize for emerging Latino/a poets, and her first collection Pity the Drowned Horses was published by University of Notre Dame Press. She has received fellowships at Ragdale, Yaddo and the Anderson Center. She also received the 2008 Alfredo del Moral Foundation award, funded by Sandra Cisneros. Poems have appeared in Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Amherst Review and others. She is also a Canto Mundo fellow. She blogs at Dialectical Migrations and writes a review column for the El Paso Times.

It is certainly a pleasure to have Sheryl’s work here on Numéro Cinq.

—Martin Balgach


Four Poems
By Sheryl Luna




If you try to ruin me,
saddle me with man-made
doubt, I’ll gallop past large pines.

Aspen will bleed fall as I run
forgotten trails, seeking
a sunlit path.

My sway back will sweat slick.

Arctic and blazing,
I’ll grow wild,
rear up and kick.

If you try to break me,
remember, I’m a maverick
on a mad run.

Corral me?
Herd me?

A lasso burns my thick neck.
I thump, trot, and kick.

Use me like property?
Cage me and blame me?

I’m hard-hoofed, snickered trouble.

Just when you think you’ve won,
I’ll buck.


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