044.1: The Offending Adam:: Pushcart Prize Nominees 044

This year has been a year of surprises. We began the year as a fledgling publication, hoping to gain a few loyal and excited readers. Now, as the year comes to a close, we have been given the opportunity to select the first Pushcart Prize nominees from The Offending Adam. As we had developed a strong connection with every piece of writing we published over the course of the year, this task daunted us. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all our contributors this year, who have helped make our first year of publishing such a success. And, in particular, we would like to thank our Pushcart nominees Melissa Kwasny, Laura Mullen, Kelli Anne Noftle, Craig Santos Perez, Chris Shipman, and William Stobb for sharing such striking work with us and our readers. We invite you to read or re-read these poems, and we hope that you find them as interesting and enjoyable as we did. The Offending Adam
Melissa Kwasny:: Lost Pictograph

“The light darkened, stained to the thin color of Chinese tea, then lost its muscle and unraveled. Dust covering the shine we lost on surfaces. We lost, too, some will, never our strong suit. Disturbing, the children who, once we have mentioned the word “grenade,” cannot think about anything else…”

Laura Mullen:: Bride of the Bayou

“She is drained—that’s her word. She takes care of other people’s needs all day long, never thinking of herself, but employing the various time saving devices developed to expand each task until it approaches the horizon of the impossible. An entire ecology damaged, possibly irreparable: where there were birds no bird, and so forth, the grim countdown of what should be visible. Sticky mud and silence, a tour boat tilted up against the bank below the reopened bar because there’s no longer a reason to teach anyone anything about this disappearing world…”

Kelli Anne Noftle:: What We’re Making: Replication

“No one believed I could do it. I wasn’t even sure myself. The trick is beginning from the outside and working your way toward the middle. The paint thickens as you approach the center, where the real trouble happens. When I was a kid I hated fireworks. Every July I hid under my bed with our cat and stuffed toilet paper in my ears…”

Craig Santos Perez:: Juan Malo Explains What a “Guam” Is

“Guam is virtually nonexistent, just a little island, a little fly-speck in the Pacific, far, far away from everything. Guam is three and a half hours. Guam is a travel hub to other Micronesian Islands and America’s gateway to the West Pacific and Asia. Guam is one of the few remaining colonies of the world. Guam is a duty-free port. Guam is a United States citizen at birth…”

Chris Shipman:: Death Writes Home

“Dear mother, I have found a home
in the world and won’t be returning
to the darkness save holidays.

Tell Life she can have my room.
She always wanted it anyway…”

William Stobb:: A Natural History

”                                                                                          Canceled by virtue
of its own best qualities, the desert produced its idea. Stretch mark faulting. Salt
dome rising. A pleasured region arches its back. One day the Snake River
Canyon burst and five hundred valleys filled like kiddie pools.
                                                                                                           Or are we
just having a bad weekend here? Everything’s a joke?…”