Wild Greens

Volume 2, Issue viii

Missed Connections

Wild Greens 2, no. 8 (June 2022)

Missed Connections

Welcome to the June 2022 issue of Wild Greens

June has arrived, and with it, the beginning of unofficial summer here in Philadelphia. Though we still have nearly three weeks left of spring, yesterday’s high of 97° left no room for doubt. It’s summer, and with the change of the seasons comes opportunity: for time, for travel, for rest.

When I picture Missed Connections, I see the meeting eyes of two people on trains going in opposite directions. Glances, a chance meeting, a romance that almost could have been. A lost letter, a missed phone call, a word unsaid.

Mike D’Andrea’s poem “Sweet Escape” is a reverie: the speaker spends time dreaming about a person but when the moment comes—it slips by. How can you get out of your head and live in the present?

“Expired/Discarded” by Lynne Marie Rosenberg depicts a missed opportunity in the form of a discarded condom in a wastebasket, rendered in pen, ink, and watercolor. I did some light Googling and found that some condoms can last up to five years. I’m going off the rails here, but half a decade is a long time to wait for someone.

In Elaine Mead’s flash fiction “Death of an Imagined Future,” the narrator is in the aftermath of a breakup. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger—a possible connection—is soured by the experience of past heartbreak.

The digital painting by KJ Hannah Greenberg, “Rainy Days,” reflects on the disconnect between the so-called "silver lining" of loss that other people want to assure you you’ll find and the grief you’re living with each and every day.

Saswat Kumar Mishra’s poem “Sand Castle,” is about how, after losing someone, you still long for them, and you still work to build a connection to them.

In the newest Turtle and Hare by Lauren Kimball, the hares struggle to learn idiomatic turns of phrase.

“Lost Thought Tavern” by Melissa Lomax imagines the places where lost thoughts go in order to drink and carouse together. I hope they’re having a good time; I wish they would invite me some time.

To conclude, two pieces about the awkwardness of first connections. Of flirting with someone in “Courier of Shiny Pennies” by Douglas Hardman, and of starting a conversation only to realize that the sentence isn’t going how you planned in “This Happened Twice” by Melissa Lomax.

I’m glad you’re here, reading Wild Greens. I'm glad we didn’t miss each other this month.

-Rebecca

Sweet Escape

by Mike D'Andrea


I think about the poetry of you:

Your company, the way you make me feel,

elation at unwavering devotion,

a fantasy that’s too good to be real.


And then, there you are:

We’ve barely said hello.


The gumption comes and goes,

and so do you.

A failed falling star.


I withdraw with an aching heart

back into a world apart,

severing all ties to you.


Expired/Discarded

by Lynne Marie Rosenberg


Pen, ink, watercolor


Methods: Discarding, drawing, painting


Inspiration: Sam Ken [Editor's Note: another Wild Greens contributor] made me do it! I posted a picture on Instagram of the sad, sad state of affairs of an expired condom in a wastebasket, and Sam suggested I do a drawing of it for Wild Greens/Missed Connections. So, you can blame him.


Death of an Imagined Future

by Elaine Mead


A self-help account I follow on social media tells me a break-up is the death of an imagined future, and we should grieve accordingly.

I grieve via late night trips to the twenty-four-hour supermarket two blocks from my apartment. I shuffle in wearing the same joggers I’ve been wearing all week, tatty sweater and greasy hair. I delight in the savage reflection of red-rimmed eyes in the frosted fridges, crowned by the violent strips of lights that beat down on aisle four. Snacks and confectionery.

I cradle a family share–sized packet of salt and vinegar crisps, cheese dip, and a four-pack of canned sticky-sweet fizzy sugar, as though they are the baby I fear I’ll never have. Your eyes meet mine from down the aisle, your slovenly outfit a mirror of my own. I think I spy cereal in your hedonistically overgrown beard. The tinny pop music blasting from the overhead speakers is dueted by the dunking of a mop into a streaked bucket of brown-grey water by the night cleaner as you grin and brandish your own junk food baby towards me. Despite myself, there’s an attraction.

I fast forward in my mind and see us conversing for longer than necessary in the rain-filtered neon light of the supermarket parking lot. We’ll exchange numbers and converse via an escalating array of witty text messages. Before I know it, I’m joining you at the dinner table of a nice restaurant, something with charm but not too pricey. Your nerves will get the better of you. You’ll spill a drink, and it’ll break the awkwardness that’s just beginning to smother us like a damp towel as I help you clean up the mess. Your fingers will brush mine as our eyes lock, and we realise everything will be okay. I’ll take you home, and we’ll fumble, embarrassed, muttering it’s been a while, and I’m sorry about that, before falling exhausted into each other’s arms. I’ll spray the night with a liberal mix of naive longing and shattered loneliness, telling myself it was better than it was. I don’t worry if you know I faked it, but I do stress about the downstairs neighbour having overheard us. We’ll drag this out for a few weeks before the veneer of pretending to be people we aren’t, better people, starts to crack. The way you inhale your food too quickly and the way I chew too loudly. Your dead-end job and low ambition, and my neurotic perfectionism. We’ll have our first fight when I ask where is this going and you’ll shrug noncommittally, tell me we’re just having fun and I’ll think ‘but where is the fun?’ I’ll head for a night out, work drinks with colleagues, and take my flirtations with the guy from I.T. too far. We won’t be the same again. I’ll disappear into myself and you’ll become increasingly desperate to hold onto the dwindling idea that what we had might have some longevity. I’ll ignore you when you call, and you’ll show up on my doorstep, shouting at three in the morning, drunk and vengeful because I won’t let you in, before texting me we’re through.

In the supermarket, I’m snapped back from my reverie by the checkout girl asking me if I need to buy a bag, and I realise I’ve forgotten one. Before I can reply, you step up, brandishing a spare rumpled tote, insisting I borrow it. I look at you, my ears hot and pounding with the reverberations of your angry, drunken shouts.

I shake my head, sadly. No. Not again.

Rainy Days

by KJ Hannah Greenberg


Digital painting


Methods: freehand


Inspiration: "Rainy Days" is a digital painting illuminating the alleged silver lining in loss.


Sand Castle

by Saswat Kumar Mishra


Sand, waves, and sunset

They all scream your name.

Stirring in the breeze,

Along with the taste of brine

On my tongue, you still linger

Like the orange clouds overhead.

My feet slip off slowly

Deeper and deeper, losing balance.

Knowing very well that the waves

Will wash away every ounce of it

Yet, once again,

I build a sandcastle.


Common Idioms

by Lauren Kimball


Digital stylus


See behind the scenes of Wild Greens. Our Ko-fi page contains concept art for past issues.

Lost Thought Tavern

by Melissa Lomax


Pencil, digital color


Inspiration: I enjoy turning emotions, sensations, and abstract concepts into physical characters. Welcome to "The Lost Thought Tavern," a hideaway where some of my most easily forgotten thoughts love to spend quality time, especially when they are most needed! My comic, Doodle Town runs bi-weekly on DoodleTownComic.com. And if you can remember please feel free to visit anytime!


Courier of Shiny Pennies

by Douglas Hardman


Me:

Blue eyed devil

Mischievous smiles

Deceiving mannerisms


You:

Doe-eyed ingenue

Fresh off the train

Naivete


Me:

Double-masked confidence

Fake it till I break it

Prolonged eye contact


You:

Too nervous to tell

Open book with shredded pages

Child-like laughter


Me:

Store bought personality

You met me at the right time

Anxiously side-stepping my anxiety


You:

Heartbreaker tendencies

Emotional dependency

Rumored to be the one


Me:

Desperately clinging to an idea

Jokes about dying dads and psych ward fever dreams

I want you to see the “real” “me”


You:

Handsome as hell

Wasted on a new high

Always disappearing in the moonlight


Me:

A weary traveler

Calloused hands and blistered feet

I’ll tend to myself to make myself new for


You:

Confused I would even tell you

Dark secrets in group settings

“Who is this person and why does he want to know what prescription drugs I’m on?”


Me:

Breaking the flow

The format is shifting

Am I losing it?


You:

Sneaking off into shadows on abandoned streets

Glass shelters shielding pink laser beams

A fish out of water trekking into new territory


Me:


You:

Tell me the truth

Made a pact

Signed, sealed, delivered, package lost in transit


Me:

I lost myself for a minute

I’m a king with golden gifts wrapped in plastic

Back on track

Increased my meds

To alleviate the tension


You:

Sleepy morning messages

Recovering and reviving

Hopeful I keep my word


Me:

I know how to walk away

But keep you by my side

Keeper of my promise

If you like the issue, you can donate to Wild Greens through our Ko-fi page!

This Happened Twice

by Melissa Lomax


Digital drawing, color


Inspiration: In this Doodle Town comic the reader catches Kitty Lolo (who is me) in a slightly awkward social moment. This event actually happened... twice with the same person! Writing and drawing about my real-life foibles can feel vulnerable, but it's also extremely liberating. Being able to laugh at myself allows me to feel more lighthearted, and embarrassing situations make great content for autobiographical comics!


Artists and Contributors

Mike D'Andrea

Poet

Mike D'Andrea (he/him) was born and raised in the Philly suburbs, though he currently lives in Hell's Kitchen in NYC, where he works in tech as a User Experience Researcher. Writing poetry is one of Mike's longest-held hobbies; you can find more of his work on his Instagram, @mikeyd231!

Lynne Marie Rosenberg

Artist

Lynne Marie Rosenberg (she/her) is a performer turned advocate turned Emmy-nominated content maker turned visual artist. She is the host and creator of the interview show, "Famous Cast Words" on New York's PBS affiliate station, ALL ARTS, and the one-person-band behind the Etsy store, Hungry Bodhisattva. Lynne works predominantly in graphite and ink with additional forays into charcoal, watercolor, and stop motion animation. www.LynneMarieRosenberg.com, IG: @LynneMarieRosenberg VENMO: @Lynne-Rosenberg-1

Elaine Mead

Writer

Elaine (she/her) is a writer and educator from London, currently residing in Hobart, Tasmania. Her flash fiction and short stories have been published internationally in both print and digital media. You can find more of her work online at wordswithelaine.com and follow her online at @cestelaine.

KJ Hannah Greenberg

Artist

KJ Hannah Greenberg (she/her) tilts at social ills and encourages personal evolutions via poetry, prose, and visual art. Her images have appeared as interior art in many places, including Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, Les Femmes Folles, Mused, Piker Press, The Academy of the Heart and Mind, Front Porch Review, and Yellow Mama, and as cover art in many places, including impspired [sic], Pithead Chapel, Red Flag Poetry, Right Hand Pointing, The Broken City, and Torah Tidbits. Additionally, some of her digital paintings are featured alongside her poetry in One-Handed Pianist (Hekate Publishing, 2021). You can find her on her website, kjhannahgreenberg.net


Saswat Kumar Mishra

Poet

Saswat (he/him) has a thing for literature and gardening. An agriculture graduate plucking flowers of poetry from a meadow full of muse. Digital art is his newfound love. You can find him on Instagram @thenovicewordsmiths.

Lauren Kimball

Artist

Lauren Kimball (she/her) lives in Philadelphia. She teaches literature and composition at Rutgers University- New Brunswick. In her spare time, she plays with paint, digital pens, words, and home improvement tools.


You can find her comics on Instagram @turtle_n_hare_comic.

Melissa Lomax

Artist

Melissa Lomax (she/her) is a freelance illustrator, art teacher, and cartoonist, with 20 years of experience in the creative industry. Some of her clients include American Greetings, Recycled Paper Greetings, Sellers Publishing and Highlights for Children. Her comic 'Doodle Town' posts on GoComics.com, the largest catalog of syndicated cartoons and comics. When she is not in the art studio, she enjoys spending time in nature, drinking really good coffee, and 'everyday adventures' with her husband. Pop by her Instagram @melissalomaxart for weekly inspiration!


Douglas Hardman

Poet

Douglas (he/him/they) is a veterinary technician by day and a brooding lyricist/poet by night. He has a background in theater and journalism, with a few original productions under his belt and a national award in collegiate journalism for editing and writing. Philadelphia has been home since August 2019, and he has loved pursuing different mediums, forever being inspired by the beauty of the city. Check out their Instagram @the_hideaway16 for snippets of unpublished poetry and song lyrics. His personal Instagram is @caliboynewyorkmind.

Sean Hughes

Poetry Editor

Sean Hughes (he/him) is a writer and editor who's grateful to live in Philadelphia. He has a PhD from Rutgers where he studied Victorian Literature and also thought about ethics, historicism, poetics, and criticism. He used to co-host the Blackbox Poetry Podcast. He co-writes a webcomic called “Wally and the Witches.”

Myra Chappius

Copyeditor

Myra Chappius (she/her) is the author of six works of fiction and poetry. While her passion lies with shorter creations, it is her aspiration to complete a full-length novel and screenplay someday. She enjoys reading, music, travel, and learning. When not doing mom things, she is working full-time, seeing the latest movie, or waiting an acceptable length of time before returning to Universal Orlando to satiate her Harry Potter obsession.


You can follow Myra on Instagram at @inwordform. Her work can be purchased on Amazon or at www.reverebyjnicole.com


Jacqueline Ruvalcaba

Fiction Editor

Jacqueline (she/her) is a senior undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside, working toward earning her BA in English and creative writing. She was a 2021 publishing fellow with the Los Angeles Review of Books and served as a co-editor, copyeditor, and producer on the fourth issue of PubLab journal. As a bookworm, writer, and homebody at heart, she spends her spare time looking for new fictional worlds she can lose herself in and working on crafting stories of her own.

Tim Brey

Music Editor

Tim Brey (he/him) is a jazz pianist living in Philadelphia. He holds positions as Artist-in-Residence and Adjunct Faculty at Temple University and The University of the Arts, where he teaches jazz piano, music theory, and improvisation. Check out more of his music and his performance schedule at https://www.timbreymusic.com.

Maggie Topel

Artist

Maggie Topel (she/her) is an artist and writer living in Philadelphia. She designs our seasonal Wild Greens logo and social media avatar.


Hayley Boyle

Arts Editor

Hayley Boyle (she/her) creates the cover image for each issue of Wild Greens magazine and serves as the Arts Editor. Hayley is a social justice seeker, world traveler, rock climber, dog snuggler, frisbee player, event planner, and storyteller. She loves to paint with watercolors, embroider, and write. She grew up reading sci-fi and fantasy, and to this day she still turns to those genres to help her make sense of the world. She calls Philadelphia home and wouldn't have it any other way. You can find Hayley on Instagram @hayley3390 or @haypaints. She accepts commissions, and you can find examples of her work on her website.

Rebecca Lipperini

Editor-in-chief

Rebecca Lipperini (she/her) is a writer, teacher, and academic living in Philadelphia, and the founding editor of Wild Greens magazine (hi!). She holds a PhD in English from Rutgers University, where she taught all kinds of classes on literature and poetry and writing, and wrote all kinds of papers on the same. Her essay on the soothing aesthetics of the supermarket was recently published in PubLab.


You can find Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccalipperini (personal) @wildgreensmag (you already know it).