Savannah Fires

The Third on the Trestle. The Last Cricket on the Track. The Window in the Wall.

Reunited Creations

Christal Mancari/Writer. Luke Mancari/Photographer

Siblings from Virginia,

I have asked my brother who I now live 2,772.3 miles away from, to help me close the distance between us by combining our talents of writing and photography. I will be starting a series of short stories and poems based on the photographs he sends me.

It is hard to live so far from one I love so much, someone who is growing up so well, with so much talent. I am sad to not be there with him, the way my sisters were with me, that I am not just upstairs to talk to about girls, and bullies, and homework. I miss him and all the things that I wish we could do together.

When he and I were still both young and lived in Virginia, we would have what we proclaimed as Sunday Afternoon Adventures! No matter the weather we suited up for snow, rain, or sun, to forge streams and climb bridges, to find sandy beaches along the river, to build mud castles. We were little Indians, although I was past the age of playing make believe I wanted him to have what my sisters and I had on the hill side in Pennsylvania. I wanted him to stay out under the trees till dark, but I was a teenager and I wasn’t always there the way I should have been, I wasn’t always the sister that in my heart I knew I should be, and many times he played alone.

Now I am in Oregon, and he is in Virginia, we both still have access to water ways, woody glades, but not to each other. I am not upstairs in my attic sanctuary, I am hardly even a phone call away with our differing schedules and timezones. So this project is for us, for us to relearn what it is to be siblings and friends, to work together, to go on amazing adventures with one another, just like the days when we were young and he got is shoes wet in the icy stream so I gave him mine. Through words and image we get to know each others hearts, we get share the things that matter.


Relive 1980s Bushwick, Where Arson Turned Streets to Rubble

Using just a point-and-shoot camera, Meryl Meisler documented Bushwick, the neighborhood to which she commuted for her job as an art teacher at I.S. 291 (and, later, I.S. 300) from 1981 to 1994. Her striking, honest street photography, which captures an area beset by arson, poverty, and other afflictions, is newly compiled in a book. Available at the Strand courtesy ofBizarre PublishingA Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick juxtaposes Meisler’s shots of burned-out buildings and area residents with images from the city’s hopping dance halls. Meisler purposely avoided capturing drug paraphernalia, or all-too-common sights like massive murals in memory of locals who tragically died too young, in favor of small slices of seemingly humdrum humanity. “After I got over the fact that it was desolate—the buildings that you saw, the destruction—I think I was looking for things that were uplifting, to keep me teaching and to keep me joyful. The first picture I took was kids putting a makeshift hoop on a shuttered-up building surrounded by tires,” she said. “And then things changed. I photographed things coming down and housing going up.”

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A false history of the Redwood Forest: an excerpt from my short story

There once was a girl who lived in cities, she rode on buses, and worked in restaurants and bars, and sometimes she walked the streets late at night, at times when no young girl should be walking.

Her name I cannot exactly recall but we will call her Naira, this means “big eyes” in Quechua, because she gave and took so much through her eyes that never seemed to close. But in legend some would call her Wakanda, and this mean “possesses magical power”.

She was almost like any other poor, young girl in a city scape trying to scrape by with a hint of potential for perhaps music, art, or writing. And yet there was something else, born in her, it would be called a magic, a gift, a blessing. She had the power to transform you into the version of your self you miss the most, the child who built forts and baked mud pies in the sun, this was her blessing and her curse.


She didn’t cure you, she just saw you, she saw the old men in the park who were nodding off in tired hopes it would be their last nod, she saw them as if they are small napping boys after a long day playing wild games in the city’s green pockets.

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they called you a magnet, a magnet, that does not discriminate, it pulls the bad and the good, and you are afraid to let any of it in, or any of it go.

That Moon Song

There is a song I listen to over and over again,


it sounds like tires over gravel at my first apartment,

it smells like the James river,

it pulls like weed at the back of my head,

it taste like PBR and camel blues,

it echoes in the sun through leaves,

it is like pulling up grass in your front yard at 3AM

In my experience, whatever happens clings to us like barnacles on the hull of a ship, slowing us slightly, both uglifying and giving us texture. You can scrape all you want, you can, if you have money, hire someone else to scrape, but the barnacles will come back or at least leave a blemish on the steel.

—Nick Flynn, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (aka Being Flynn)

(Source: wwnorton)

Stop and Smell

I used to know what the smell of earth was

what the smell of spring

and sea

and trees

and rain

and spruce

and ginger

and cinnamon

and apples

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This Day

May 2013

This day feels like many things

Like Pennsylvania summer.

Virginia fall

African winter

Summer in Pennsylvania

is warm and smiling;


I think she may look like mother.

She is carrying a picnic basket

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