Trestle Ties - Issue One

Trestle Ties' mission is to create a bridge to publication and access to readers for emerging writers. We seek to create a safe and respectful place for emerging voices and to foster new writers. We also want to cultivate diversity, in both voice and form.

We aim to make the process of submission and publication open to all at no cost to the writer. We respect that submitting one's work is an anxious and personal process and do our best to be transparent about our decisions and process.

We chose the name Trestle Ties to represent the role we hope to play in writers' lives and the lives of the community. Trestles are bridges that convey large amounts of people, goods and ideas. Ties help keep the track stable and moving for miles and miles. Building on this metaphor, we hope each writer whose work is showcased will be a tie in our ongoing adventure to keep poetry at the forefront of literary culture.

Literature is not just a tool to depict feelings, but also a way to access history, people and a vehicle to be political. Trestle Ties will help make tracks to lend strength and stability to the process of producing work. We hope to help create community by showcasing emerging works.

Thank you for reading and submitting to Trestle Ties.

Issue One Contributors:

Lana Bella - Delphi Blanshard - James Clark - Joe Crescente - David Greenspan - Mike Medeiros - Suchi Jennifer Pritchard - Ellie Rees - Gabriela Stryjek

Photography by Kyle Jordan

Bios and more information about our contributiors can be found here.

Lana Bella


Dear Suki: Winter, Hanoi, 40’s,
I alone knew how everywhere
was dark plaiting through salt-
plume, dearing your thousand
griefs into buds, tinsel-winged
upon the tails of December sun.
You freckled seeking over earth,
keening quiet cries with caress
smooth from my slight of turn,
wrist to radius stretching there
to everything you had loved that
remained seam-like, straight to
the end of memory. Ten weeks,
they had said, ten weeks to fall
from still stone steps for vertigo,
descending hazy as though each
limb prostrate in nocturne, your
mouth lotus-bulbed on my finger-
tips to a stunning death of petals.


~You will always be someone from somewhere else. This is the design flaw of water.~ Dao Strom

You finger of ocean, and from
which the salt of ambergris
whispers the North Sea back.
Like an enclave of accessible
winter so far-reaching yet at
the same time, not endlessly,
you miss you with the drag of
smokes courting shore, pale in
all the ways of branding water.
Here is the after ending, the less
history of you coming out with
sea, your coolness moves dear
at the hips, wet feet lonesome on
sodden kelp and sand, fearing
how still it is again as a hunger
fleeces to ancient horizon, soon
of home descending down to sea.

Delphi Blanshard

*Hologynic sight

She saw before me, by two’s and before
that by three’s

passed on genes—
we can’t deny

left over
from her Holocene. We keep

quiet whispers
for eyes

startle us—
we take note those

the others
that don’t yet see

organs of sight

the bodies don’t register
the faint shiver that courses through one

when one


At the shore in silhouette
a boat

long arms steer
and oar— bend the water

against salt
against current

against tides
cyclic reminder of nights


      alone and not,
   we are left languid


we reach
without reaching

cellophane islands help to cross
the sea between us


    limbless sparkling cloud-surface spread

   noctiluca we

  so small that thousands of us can fit in a single drop of water

deepest caves
and coast

we bend
to your shores waiting

drifts of rain and
waves touch

we keep

limbs outstretched
for horizons

edges and
contours show

they recline on their backs
to gaze

skyward while stars
mirror us

     *hologynic adj. [Gr. holos, whole; gyne, woman]
character inheritance traits which are sex-limited to be passed down only through females

no monument

  the whir of a fan, under a Tv shooting
         baskets, LeBron James,
  there is nothing spectacular here
  a room
  a fan
  a silence interrupted
  the blades of the fan move, slow

        still and again, spin—
  walking north beach
  of the milk
  on my teeth,
  my body, the body that was, the body that is, the body that will be

     this wind
       lean into towards—
  itinerary, maps, ships and fools, the seagulls, dive and cry
  salt of the sky
  on my cheek,
  edge, this
        lean into towards—

  tainted air  the body that
  west on white  evaporate
  toward cathedral towers.

              there was no monument toward
                the moment of

James Clark

Altitude Frost

On the flight back, somewhere over West Texas,
she rests her head on his shoulder. It’s a strange
gesture, born in the enthusiasm of the moment,
a product of shared experience, intimate but innocent—
a brief, tender high-five at five miles high.

He turns away, to the window, peers at mountains,
at wind farms scattered like points on a graph
across the flatlands. The air gets colder and colder
as the plane climbs, until altitude frost forms like cracks
on the windows. A bare inch of glass fills the gap

between the crystals and the tip of his curious finger,
but outside the aluminum shell, it is as distant
as the silent spiderweb shapes of towns five miles below.
He swears

if he were flying, if he could, just once, take over
the pilot’s seat, he’d dip down fast, find a way
to reach out, to be the one to run his fingers
across those spreading veins of ice, to know
the impossible, to feel the bite of their burning cold.

Without Corners

I remember way back when, how you said
you hated a made bed, sheets tight as skin,
corners tucked under, too neat. How the bed
boxed you in, like some kind of crime scene pinned
at every corner by pokerfaced cops.
You swore it was a guy thing—another mark
of the Patriarchy. I didn’t stop
you, tell you it was necessary: stark
white, starched corners in a tight forty-five.
You opposed order. I couldn’t explain
to you, free spirit, could never quite drive
home the point: the artist who sculpts or paints
needs straight lines, and a sonnet needs fourteen.
There is freedom and form: we live in between.

Joe Crescente

Overfishing in Siberia

To the world you are full of
bears, oil, dishes baked in mayonnaise,
weird, wild, limitless. I could walk
a dozen days in your heart and
never hear a human footstep.

You have all the time in the world
but too many time zones to make sense of it.

Half your country and everyone
else thinks of you as permanently gelid
but you have a desert! The Chara Sands
are as unexplained as they are warm,
surrounded by fields of ice
and frozen blue lakes.

The world outside imagines you
as a place to cease living
to lose yourself in exile
among wilted trees
or to spend your best years
in a rotten camp so that
your country’s literature can be great.

Perhaps not everyone shocks
when they learn you are electrified
but few know you have million people
cities, subways, opera, summer, life.

I felt your lungs breathe
onto my cheeks, traversed between
points on your body as long as centuries,
saw my toes go blue as you
waited for an answer.

You’ve been mistreated,
haven’t you? Moscow
is a dirty word,
isn’t it? Europe is a dream—
don’t answer that.

For decades they have poked holes in your skin,
hollowed caves from your bowels, burnt metals in
your hair long enough to turn your snow black.

What good is a photograph of a beautiful lake when
there aren’t any fish?


Somewhere on the way
home from airports
I do my counting:

how long since I
last had communion

when do I get to
the place I’ve always
wanted to be

will the sun be up
when I get home

At the station I walk
my suitcase through snow
suitcase wheels carve their path
in the slush on the sides of roads

There are no sidewalks here

Across the street are the dogs that always bark
the dogs who’ve never been home

And it’s too early to go shopping
and the buses aren’t running
the only people living are the
drunks collecting bottles

I need a haircut but
what I really need is
to sleep for two days
days no one will give back

I wish I had someone
to make my bed
but since I don’t
I’ll watch the forest burn
from the fourteenth floor window

It was burning before I left

David Greenspan

A man walks down the street he says why am I soft in the middle now why am I soft in the middle now

Years after my first cigarette
& still nothing happens.
Nothing has happened I promise
as my throat tightens & fills
fishhook, tightens & fills creek.
Don't listen to my throat
sloppy & spilling over.
Lying is my patriotic duty,
is our patriotic duty as men
with silk ties strung tight
around our necks. Our necks,
don't get me started
on our necks. They're thick
& prideful. They’re feathered
& make decisions
about the national debt
of countries other necks
have never heard of.
They're bearded & smoke
unfiltered cigarettes. In fact
they smoke tobacco straight
from sunbaked dirt. Our necks
yell timber as trees fall
& crush other trees but anyway
I said don't get me started
on our necks & here I am
going on & on when all I want
is to yell about something else
like sour water or limp skin
or the wonderful feeling of
pushing my fingers through
an undercooked cut of meat.

Said a simple grace (reprise)

I'm at your lover’s house
and look it's not like I don't
feel this creak and pressure
welling up inside but really
all I can do is ignore it
before it puts a boot to my throat
and pushes. Of course and don't
take this the wrong way
but I can't get my clothes off
with this fullness of drunk,
these coal explosions all around.
Have I ever eaten until I vomited?
What kind of question is that?
You know I have. In fact
this weekend I found a two-by-four
and placed it with the utmost care
beneath my tongue until it dissolved
and the wood mites scattered
and I know you can taste them. Don't
change the subject please just sit
like an important business person
left alone which is to say
an entire morning spent folding
sheets. Sometimes I watch
myself breathe and swallow, the song
my father and mother taught
most nights and I've been reading
a story about their war
with creatures large and otherwise.
So far there hasn't been a single white man
in his suit and polished shoes
firing a gun and I can't tell you
how happy that makes me.

Mike Medeiros


My best vase fell to the parking lot asphalt
and shattered when I opened the car door
and the landlord’s dog is dead,
one last summer of cherry tomatoes off the vine,
those begging eyes never again are going wide
for them pulling leashholder towards the garden fence.
If glue could put the vase back together (it can’t)
I could summon back that dog with a ring of cherry
tomatoes last-of-the-season on the burial lawn.
It is October, you know, call back the things we love
with the simplest magics here’s the transformation now,
I can feel it welling like the water seeps up
through the dirt floor basement after a week of
rain, if it brings the mushrooms to surface what else lies
beneath waiting just for the right moment of
revelation, too much loss in too short a span
makes for introspection the mind goes blank
a focus can’t really be determined everything’s
on the fritz but maybe that blank is just the
chalkboard on which will be writ the spell
writ it, old magics, writ it good with cliff chalk because
I’m vaselike, cracked but holding tight
as possible to contain the water as
it seeps in with the incantation and tomatoes float,
begging eyes on the surface some
red skin split from the uptake of water
but fresh.

Suchi Jennifer Pritchard

Supreme Creator

De Kooning
made flesh—

I can’t even make
balloon animals.

In a corner traditionally reserved for icons

A vast field
white on white—

one square over
another, turning

but not a circle

angles added
and taken away

I’m left staring, again
or rather—

I am caught.

*words are all we have

a  pink energizer bunny mocking a tired late night body

a  paul frank sock monkey print enlivens pajamas

a  sleep app won’t work, battery died, charger is in the car

a  simulacra of said app b4 apps became a basic mimesis of human functions

    Bbreeeeaaaattttthhheeee in, breathe oooOOOuuuuUUTttTTtt

a  vanity fair won’t save you from existential ennui, still it’s

a  special issue on Basquiat & Wharhol: eating

a  hamburger alone: an American iconic food item + American icon = Art

                               is this alchemy?

a  phrase *attributed to Beckett that no one seems to find a citation for

a  reach back by Basquiat, all the way to Moses and the king of heaven on earth

   Jesus tricks: water into blood, blood into wine, the blind man, the serpent and

   the staff, the prostitute: virgin /whore schema even he wasn’t free of


   between the lines—we're not laughing at/        you it’s/not, you, it’s me?

   it’s just

a  matter / mater/ of mother / maker transubstantiation magic

   of time

   of glitter into gold                  at last

                               is this alchemy?

an eternity, palpably only as long as the time of my life, an eternity
as old as the hills.

a  waste of time without
a  care in the world, i woke up on the wrong side of the bed and realize it’s a
a  dream, spinning itself, lost track of happily ever after, that again, thieving
    stolen, stealing, held tight in my fist
a  diamond in the rough glittering, like black coal new born babies eyes.

a  dream: i wake Basquiat from his sleep in a sarcophagus to come back as
a  crowned king— majestic:
                 red stigmata hands paint Trojan horses
                               is this alchemy?

                  (“I cross out words so you will see them more.”
                  <3 <3 <3 —Jean-Michel Basquiat <3 )

Ellie Rees

The Owl

I heard no feathered thud
no hoot nor shriek
nor muffled snap
no tell-tale puff of owl-debris.
It left a lasting impression though
a realist portrait painted in dust
each feather, filament stencilled on glass
but its head was merely a smudge.
So burnished by the October sun
it appeared a sacred icon,
a gift for the house, a fingerprint
from another dimension.

At Goldcliff on the Severn Estuary
footprints of a human family
are stratified in estuarine silts and peat.
Their walk, six thousand years ago
now seems just as ephemeral
as the delicacy of wings outstretched
each feather attuned to night’s quiet air
that moment of open-winged surprise,
  snapped by my window pane.

Gabriela Stryjek

palm springs 65

All the movie stars,
   in all the different cities​—
   Neon signs and crushed cigarettes.
   It was you and me and
   Your Friends. They
   never slept.
   In the High Desert,
   sameness tends to haunt—
   it’s always 90, we
   Are Always Going
   this america, not mine
   where all you could ever do is
   Go. Run fast and
   run so far ‘til you can’t smell gunsmoke
   no more. They’ll say
   It’s not a race but it might as well
   be. sometimes
   you don’t win,
   you don’t get the rewards card—
   Yellowed teeth and Orange trees.
   dollar store green taquitos
   three AM at
   Union Station, waltz with a helium balloon
   or sleep in an
   empty parking lot.
   In the High Desert.

Thank You for Reading