Volume 2, Issue xii
Wild Greens 2, no. 12 (October 2022)
Welcome to the October 2022 issue of Wild Greens
October is the first real month of fall in Philadelphia. It’s also the end of the year and the last edition of our second volume here at Wild Greens. There’s a chill in the air, and we’re feeling a bit “Haunted.”
Holly Genovese, inspired by Emily Dickinson, writes of the end of summer in her poem “for the after.” Holly’s collage explores grief as “Flight.” Natalie R. Quiles’s poem “marigold love,” the first of two poems by Natalie in the issue, is about the loss of her grandmother, and the need to hold on to the haunting of grief to keep the person you lost close.
In part 2 of Myra Chappius’s serialized story “Lost and Found,” we pick up with Jo on her way to Arizona, haunted by memories of her lost friendship with Ethan, and curious as to what will come next. The memory of a “faded” high school romance is the subject of Rebecca Samuelson’s poem: “writing initials / together on a quad wall / in borrowed black sharpie.”
The second movement of “Haunted” lives up to the name. Chloe Coblentz’s watercolor and colored pencil “Hollow” brings gothic romance novels to life with all the tropes we love to see: the house, the white dress, the fallen leaves. Sam Ken’s oil on canvas, “Cherub” depicts another well-loved horror image, the cemetery cherub. Angie Cosey, in her adventure short story “A Tale from the Crypt,” writes a gothic backstory for another favorite character… I will leave it to you to discover which one.
“Creepy Cork Peeps” by Melissa Lomax uses champagne corks to make tiny people. (Special side note! Handcrafts has been a huge part of Wild Greens but lately we haven’t been receiving as much. We are so excited to share “Creepy Cork Peeps” with you, and to invite you to send more handcrafts for Volume 3!)
In Lauren Kimball’s newest Turtle and Hare, the bunny FBI investigates a haunted house.
Last, we have the haunting of anger, of cages, of fear.
To enjoy the final part of the issue, listen to Tim Brey’s song “Hunted.” Listen with headphones, and picture yourself in a vast and barren field in the dusk moments before night has fully arrived.
Robin Brownfield’s “I Was” explores the haunting of being silenced, of the loss of one’s voice. Natalie's second poem “America the—” grieves the loss of faith in our institutions, and our fury at their betrayal.
The leaves are falling, and fall is fleeting. This month, we are all haunted.
for the after
by Holly Genovesesummer—we have all seen
the dread, normalcy haunts—
a break from life, a life we wish we didn't need a break from
the unwanted hug: cloying, unrelenting, holding tight
all consuming heat, soothed only by the pool, the ocean, the ice packs on my neck
on the farm—a long dead dream,
(the plywood swing—-the 200 year old tree—- the fields for horses running and—-for little girls reading—- the burn of the concrete on bare feet)
but always summer’s true north— the last gasp of strawberries destined for pies—
for us and the after
by Holly Genovese
acrylic, acrylic markers
Inspiration: This piece is inspired by haunting, death, and grief as flight. Contrasting the images of living women who I find inspiring with an image of 'the girl with the green ribbon' I try to evoke the duality of flight, of life, of haunting.
by Natalie R. Quilesmy hometown feels too small to hold me, but it’s the only place I can bear to exist in this mourning.
where can I store my love for you? It is sitting behind my eyelids and threatens to burst over the trembling ledge of my lower lashes.
I keep finding you in the birds, or in the shade of marigold that is my favorite t-shirt. I see your smile in the sun bouncing off this car hood. In the way this cabinet closes shut slowly, snugly, softly.
where do I put my love for you? no one tells you this. we do the best we can, storing them in old cans and cracked mugs, crumpling our loving and our missing in gum wrappers and shoving them into our pockets. To contain is to control, but
my love for you is a handful of wasps that refuse to be contained. my love for you buzzes and stings, seeks the sweetness of spilled soda, craves the bright heat of the afternoon sun.
maybe I only know how to love as a yellow, angry thing. maybe I can only love you as an other, as a flying this.
come, meet me in the sky.
Lost and Found (part 2)
by Myra Chappius
Two weeks later, Jo found herself trying to pack for a trip of indeterminate length full of indeterminate events, and the entire thing was a struggle. Her communication with Ethan had continued to be limited— they hadn’t even spoken on the phone. He was being intentionally vague, telling her he would explain everything in person. He also didn’t offer her a place to stay (and she didn’t ask). Instead, she found a reasonable rental that would accommodate her uncertain departure.
Though he stopped short of talking her out of going, it was no secret that Ryan wasn’t exactly in favor of the trip. Jo understood; he cared for her as deeply as a person could and would’ve done anything to prevent her hurt. But Ryan also knew how much it would trouble Jo’s heart to leave this hanging. So, instead of questioning the entire thing, he helped her pack, setting what he knew were her staple garments, folded neatly, into her suitcase. He would miss his wife, no matter how long she was gone.
Jo left for Arizona on a Tuesday morning in late May. The blossoms on the crab apple trees that lined their suburban street added bright color to the cloudless skies. Ryan and Jo had lived in this same town since before they were married. Their children had grown up there, they had seen the harshest of winters and even a tornado or two, but she still enjoyed the particular shade of those pink blooms more than any other.
As Ryan drove her to the airport, Jo reflected on years past. Before he moved to Arizona, Ethan had lived on the East coast. The two of them had met in college, sophomore year on a cold upstate New York campus. They had bonded over sushi, the classics and a love for the greatest frontman in the history of music— Freddie Mercury. Ethan, who was an annoyingly good cook, had done his very best to elevate Jo’s culinary skills. After a few months he abandoned the endeavor in exchange for the opportunity to poke fun at her for life. He took that opportunity often, but he coupled the ribbing with some truly memorable meals. In fact, just before their relationship hiatus, he had made a stellar red velvet cake to celebrate her youngest daughter’s 18th birthday. They really had been the best of friends.
Jo, honestly, had no idea what to expect as she boarded the plane to cross the country. She had thought it over, again and again; tried to puzzle out what could possibly have changed everything. And what had changed again to bring it back. She was a bit scared, but a whole lot more curious.
Editor's note: Lost and Found will be serialized across six issues. Tune in next month for the third installment, and catch up on the first installment if you haven't read it, yet.
by Rebecca Samuelsonremember when the greatestact of love was writing initialstogether on a quad wall inborrowed black sharpiepermanence eluded due to rainfall excessive leaning at lunchpaint covered in one fell swoop
years later curiosity overtakingthe red orange slides revisitedscrawls from a mideveningunder observant eyes only existin memory cards from digitalcameras that no longer turn ondespite multiple attempts
what are the parameters for lovequalifications if passenger seatswere still a legal requirement doesit count on the invisible abacusintertwined fingers scraping queriesinto the bulges of textured buildingswhat to do with all these markers?
by Chloe Coblentz
watercolor and colored pencil on hot-pressed paper
Inspiration: This piece is inspired by the horror novels of Darcy Coates, as well as the cover art of gothic romance novels from the 60s and 70s. I love the idea of a female protagonist living in an old haunted house and I wanted to create a piece dedicated to that. I included all of my favorite details— branchy trees, a vintage white dress, and a breeze carrying fallen leaves. The story behind this piece is that she's been the inhabitant of the old house for as long as anyone can remember, but there are rumors on whether she is really a living person or a ghost...
by Sam Ken
8x10 oil on canvas
Inspiration: Statues of cherubs always look so innocent and disarming because of their chubby cheeks and childlike look. However, they can represent strength and protection, especially when seen in churches and cemeteries. I'll leave it to the viewer to interpret the meaning of this painting, but haunted is one of the things that definitely comes to mind when I look at it.
A Tale from the Crypt
by Angie Cosey
It was a dark and stormy night. The rain slashed down, gathering in slick pools of muck under my feet and obscuring my vision as I hacked desperately at the vines in front of me. I glanced nervously over my shoulder as a flash of lightning briefly illuminated the gloom. I saw nothing in the mist behind me but the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as the temperature dropped. They were getting closer.
It’s hard to remember my life before. I am pretty sure I was a maintenance technician for an HVAC company. Just an ordinary man. I didn’t even own a machete in those days. Funny to think about that now. Sometimes I try to recall my life before the plagues came, but mostly it’s a hazy blur.
In the final days of the sixth plague, the really weird stuff started to happen. People died, but they didn’t stay dead. They weren’t zombies, exactly— their flesh didn’t rot and they didn’t eat brains. But they were reanimated, in a way, and they came for the living. They were recruiting to their spectral ranks.
They were ghosts.
I ran from them, and hid when I could. But eventually, sooner or later, the ghosts would always find me. And so I would run again, always moving. I’ve been running for so long now. I know they are chasing me, even when I can’t see them. When they get too close, it’s like walking into a deep freezer, like diving into a lake in January. It gets so cold, even my bones hurt.
It’s been months, and as far as I can tell, I’m in Central America now. There is jungle all around me. I have this machete, and it eats through the vines as I try to stay ahead of the pack of ghosts that tail me. A wall of trees rises up on either side of my path and it seems I can only go forward or backward, as though trapped in a labyrinth. Some kind of maze, and I never know if there is a ghost around the next bend.
The same four wraiths have trailed me here. Their wide and staring eyes bulge out of their faces. They are translucent, but I can still see enough of them to tell them apart; they are so familiar now, after chasing me for so long, that I’ve given them names. Blinky is the redhead whose eyelids flutter open and shut like a nervous tic carried over from life. He follows relentlessly behind me, never wavering. Pinky must have loved the color in life because her shade is dressed head to toe in it. Inky, the shadowy one with the blue hat, follows Pinky around, and they disappear from time to time only to reappear ahead of me, waiting in ambush.
And then there’s Clyde. I once knew a dog named Clyde who got rabies and spent his last hours stumbling around in confusion. The ghost dressed in what must have once been a bright orange tracksuit reminds me of that dog. He bobs around randomly. At times he’ll become brave and give chase; other times when I turn upon him with my chewing machete he flees as though in terror.
I can feel the goosebumps rising along my spine as the ghosts get closer. It’s dark and raining, and the jungle seems impenetrable. The dense foliage before me yields to the desperate hacks of my machete, but my arm is growing tired. I can’t keep this up much longer.
Just through the leaves ahead, I see a flash of something. Another ghost? No— it can’t be. It isn’t moving, it isn’t flickering transparently. It’s gleaming, just beyond the tangle of vines and moss. It seems far away, but it shines so brightly. Seeing something, anything, besides the dark vegetation of the leafy labyrinth I’ve been trapped in fills me with hope. Maybe it’s a way out!
I furiously cut and chop and tear at the forest, determined to reach my glimmering goal. As I get closer, the source of light becomes clearer: it’s an orb, glowing from some internal energy source, lighting up the gloom around me like a beacon. A little bigger than my fist, it’s so bright that it’s almost hard to look at directly. Whatever it is, surely it’s the key to my salvation!
Just as I am nearing the incandescent ball, I feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. The temperature plunges. Out of the corner of my eye, I see movement and the wraithlike form of Blinky floats into view. He reaches for me, but I dodge his grasp. I’m so close now. Just a few more steps…
…and then Inky and Pinky materialize to my left, and beyond them I see Clyde bobbing towards me. The phantoms are closing in, my lungs have constricted in the icy air, I can feel their spectral hands clawing for me. I am surrounded by these murderous revenants and I feel hope dissolving. Desperately, with my last gasp of strength, I throw myself at the orb—
I could have died that night, and very nearly did. But something else happened entirely. I discovered the power pellets that give me the strength to fight the ghosts. As soon as I’ve got one, I become invincible. The ghosts flee from me, and when I catch them, they dissolve into nothing. The power doesn’t last long, though, and it seems that the longer I travel, the power pellets become fewer and farther apart. But I have a chance now— a weapon against the ghosts. I just have to keep moving, to find the next orb, to stay alive long enough to put all the phantoms to rest…
Creepy Cork Peeps
by Melissa Lomax
acrylic paint on champagne corks
Inspiration: October is a very inspirational time of year for my husband Patch and I! As a creative couple, we love to encourage and support each other. During one of our long walks together, Patch said, “Don't champagne corks remind you of little people?” And from that magical remark, 'Corks Peeps' were born! I've created these for many occasions and holidays, but the Halloween 'Creepy Cork Peeps' are definitely one of my FANGvorites!
If you like the issue, you can donate to Wild Greens through our Ko-fi page!
The Haunted House
by Lauren Kimball
Music and lyrics by Tim Brey
Inspiration: I wanted to write a song that captured the feeling of being haunted, or hunted. Listen with headphones. Envision yourself in a vast and barren field in the minutes before night has fully arrived, the belly of the earth ready to open up beneath you.
For mobile listeners: Pressing "play" will open a new tab. As long as you keep the tab open, most phones will allow you to listen to the song while you explore the rest of the issue in a separate tab!
For desktop listeners: Press "play" and listen while you explore the rest of the issue!
by Robin Brownfield
glass tiles, glue, grout
Methods: Recycled glass tiles are used to portray being haunted by loss— whether loss of life, loss of one's voice, loss of one's or rights, or being haunted by words spoken and unspoken. It can represent the consequences of being silenced.
I was silent
I was silenced
See behind the scenes of Wild Greens. Our Ko-fi page contains concept art for past issues.
by Natalie R. QuilesWhat a world to enterwith faded, bleeding edges.Heartbroken fury does not begin to cover the feeling unearthed by this injustice.
To concede to the ruling of a fake court in a country founded on stolen land. This land is neither yours nor mine, but a horrorscape of their own creation. As a child, you hope
to trust authority,to believe that our society has morals, that our lands and our leaders are the ones to be proud of— who will do the right thing.
It is a constant unlearning, a relentless beating on your own idiocy to believe such lies.
grow up, the voice in the back of your head shouts. loudly, bruskly. we’ve got work to do.
Where can we go that is not scorched earth?How can we exist in this space? How do I risewith hope inflating my lungs again?
The anger in my body has nowhere to goand it’s going to choke me trying to get out.
it is a slow death, to lay helpless beneath the rubble of a society crumbling I scribble over truths I cannot admit in the light of day. Instead, I google valkyries, supernatural warrior women.“In Norse literature, Valkyries were associated with fairness, brightness, and gold, as well as bloodshed.”
--The snake coiled against my spine unfurls itself, slithering up and around the expanse of my shoulder. It whispers to me, a slow show of seduction.
Shout, scream, stand up. The snake's cold tongue licks the outside of my ear and I shiver. To remain silent is to accept defeat.
Artists and Contributors
Artist and Poet
Holly Genovese (she/her) is an Austin-based artist working primarily in collage, mixed media, and acrylics. She served as art director for the 2021 issue of PubLab and has shown her work at the Da-Vinci Art Alliance in Philadelphia. In her other life, she is a journalist and Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at UT-Austin.
Natalie R. Quiles
Natalie R. Quiles (she/her) is a dreamer, lover of greek mythology, and overall circus peanut. She earned a degree in Political Science and hasn't used it once. When she's not writing poetry, you can find her listening to music and staring into space, salsa dancing, or practicing yoga. She works full-time in marketing and is in the process of becoming a yoga teacher. Follow her on instagram: @natalieryanxx
Writer and 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
Rebecca Samuelson is a Bay Area poet from Hayward, California who writes from the intersection of caretaking and grief. She received her MFA in creative writing, with a concentration in poetry, from Saint Mary’s College of California. She received a BA in English, with a concentration in creative writing, from San Francisco State University. Her work can be found at rebecca-samuelson.com.
Chloe Coblentz (she/her) is a traditional artist from the United States. She studied with the Watts Atelier of the Arts. She paints illustrations of gloomy female characters in haunted places and takes inspiration from horror literature, dark romanticism, and gothic aesthetics. Her work has been featured in Marvelous Art Magazine and multiple zines. When she's not busy painting, she enjoys reading, sketching outdoors, and spending time with her many animals. You can find her on DeviantArt or Instagram at @haunted_chloe.
Sam (he/him) is an oil painter and sketch artist that currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He specializes in portraits and figurative paintings, but is always in search of ways to challenge and express himself. He is currently a board member on the Pikes Peak Arts Council whose mission is to honor, connect, and enrich local artists. His inspirations include, but are not limited to: John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Karl Kopinski, and Jane French.
Instagram: @samkenart, or find him on Etsy, Facebook, and Ko-Fi: @samkenart
Angie (she/her) came to Philly from south-central PA 15 years ago. Trained as a veterinary nurse, she is currently a research coordinator helping (human) cancer patients enroll in immunotherapy trials at Penn. Her travels have taken her across four continents (so far) and her special interests include bird- and wildlife-watching, hiking, and storytelling.
Find her on Instagram: @angiercosey
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, Barnes & Noble, 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 having 'everyday adventures' with her husband. Pop by her Instagram @melissalomaxart for weekly inspiration!
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.
Pianist and 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.
Robin Brownfield (she/her) is a former sociology professor in Collingswood, New Jersey who turned to mosaic art after becoming disabled. She was featured in a FOX-29 (Philadelphia) News report, because after sharing a series of award-winning “Black Lives Matter” mosaic portraits online, she was commissioned by Tamika Palmer to do a mosaic portrait of her daughter, Breonna Taylor, whose death, in part, launched a rebirth of the Black Lives Matter movement. That portrait can be seen in the documentary “Bree Way: Promise Witness Remembrance.” Her award-winning artwork has been in galleries in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York City, Las Vegas, Norfolk, Virginia, Texas, Illinois, and San Francisco. She recently finished supervising a community mosaic mural project entitled “Childhood Memories,” which she designed at Thomas Sharp Elementary School in Collingswood, NJ. Above the mural honoring her is a plaque making her one of those old dead people (in the future) who nobody ever heard of, but whose name is on a plaque. Visit her website, www.robinbrownfieldmosaics.com, to see more of her work.
Jessica Doble (she/her) holds a PhD in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She's published two critical works: “Hope in the Apocalypse: Narrative Perspective as Negotiation of Structural Crises in Salvage the Bones” Xavier Review, and “Two-Sides of the Same Witchy Coin: Re-examining Belief in Witches through Jeannette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate” in All about Monsters. Her poetry has appeared in PubLab and Wild Greens magazine.
Jacqueline (she/her) is a writer, editor, and copyeditor living in California. She earned her BA in English and creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. She was a 2021 publishing fellow with the Los Angeles Review of Books and an editor and co-editor for PubLab and Mosaic Art and Literary Journal. She serves as the fiction editor for Wild Greens magazine and a copyeditor for the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Arrow Journal.
Maggie Topel (she/her) is an artist and writer living in Philadelphia. She designs our seasonal Wild Greens logo and social media avatar.
Hayley (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 (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. She teaches in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
You can find Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccalipperini (personal) @wildgreensmag (you already know it).