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Editor's Note

James R. Adair

On June 13, 1691, a group of Spanish explorers traveling through Nueva España came upon a river called the Yanaguana by the natives of the region, the Payaya Indians. The Spanish named the river and the location San Antonio, in honor of the Portuguese priest and Franciscan monk San Antonio de Padua, whose feast day it was. Twenty-seven years later, in 1718, Spain founded a mission (San Antonio de Valero, which came to be known as the Alamo) and a presidio on the site. This year San Antonio is celebrating its 300th anniversary, and this issue of Voices de la Luna, along with the next three, will highlight the city, its history, and its culture in various ways.

We begin our celebration of San Antonio’s tricentennial with the cover art by Ramin Samandari, one of the artists selected by his peers to produce an original work of art that reflects one of the years between 1718 and today—as you can see from the column on the left side of this page, his year was 1767. This issue also features reflections from four local authors on the writers who influenced them most as they developed their craft. The local writers featured in this issue are Sheila Black, Robert Flynn, Jim LaVilla-Havelin, and Sheila Rinear; we will hear from other local writers over the next three issues.

Our featured poet in this issue is Alexandra van de Kamp, interim executive director of Gemini Ink. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and literary magazines, and she is the author of two books of poems, as well as several chapbooks. In conjunction with National Poetry Month in April, we have chosen to interview someone for whom it can truly be said, poet is his middle name: Anthony “The Poet” Flores. Anthony is a three-time Grand Slam Poetry champion of San Antonio, and we include two of his poems as well.

The Stone in the Stream/Roca en el Río ecopoets contribute both poetry and artwork to this issue, and we also feature poems by many other poets, local, national, and international. Our spotlight artist is Kenneth Schwoerke, a Houston native who now calls San Antonio home.

Are you looking for prose? In addition to the four “Writers on Writers” essays already mentioned, we rejoin Paul Juhasz as he slogs his way through more grueling shifts as a picker at an Amazon fulfillment center. In the short fiction category, Victoria Anderson recounts the travails of a woman who joins a book club not exactly against her will, but against her better judgment. Finally, Bett Butler describes a racially charged encounter set in Greenville, TX, in 1964.

In keeping with the spring season, there are also a few Easter eggs in the following pages. Look for references to poetry on demand in a sister city also founded in 1718, a short story vending machine, at least a dozen different references to birds (including three separate references to grackles!), and a neologism.

San Antonio is a great place to live and experience una gran mezcla of food, drink, art, culture, language, weather, faith traditions (and lack thereof), history, and points of view. If you don’t live here, come visit us sometime. Here’s to the next 300 years!


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Themes for future issues
Aug 2018: Public Art
Nov 2018: Multicultural San Antonio

Current Voices


How to Build a Summer Vacation

Alexandra van de Kamp

Mine would begin with words like innocuous or synesthesia. I would be reading Madame Bovary and learning foreign words for clothes, such as cravat and fez. There would be a smattering of dust, lavender-black dust, as in the darkness under trees in the month of June, exceptional for its cavalcades of rain. Fog would suffocate cities in indecision, obscure the green islands offshore— hallucinogenic arms embracing nothing. In the silver glow of headlights, the streets would grow wet and impatient. Raspberries would buoy up from the scratch and sniff cardboard garden in my hands. I’d press my nose to my husband’s skin and watch a salty tide of bruised fog, a riverbed of unpicked fruit, rise up to me. What mingles now in that next room? The wallpaper in the hotel had an antique, well-used odor; flowers in rose and gold waltzed up and down our room. The bathroom tiles were contact paper peeling up under my toes. I want each day to pour like an hourglass— svelte and methodical; loss encased in a seasoned decanter and divvied out like a wine brought up from a temperature-controlled cellar. I want to be snagged thickly to something. In the museum, in the painting, the woman’s dress in the summer garden radiated from across the room like a halogen street lamp turning on at 6PM. The pointillist beach scene grew more vivid at two hundred feet. Clarity is just a matter of distance mixed with a massive dollop of patience. On the ferry ride home, we spied the island famous for its scientific experiments. After, possums curled up along the side of the road— gray, fleshy semi-colons—and we drove on, trying to beat the storm.


Want to Buy a Watch?

Kenneth Schwoerke


On the Wire

Nenad Trajković

Translated by Danijela Trajković

in a village my father comes from the toilets were outside their paper on a rusty wire when I first entered them I found Emily Bronte whom my grandfather had tried to hang there it was unpleasant to be there with a lady so I took her out in my arms in the morning I was shown a suitcase full of convicted writers ready for hanging and these were the first people I ever freed


Record of Anomalous Emergence II

Conan Chadbourne


Ay Padre Viento

Paul Pineda

Ay, Padre Viento speak to us. Teach us, once again. Your wisdom roams the earth with all its languages, in all its accents. Through the rustle of your trees you whisper wisdom. You sign your name in the waters, in the ripples of the lakes and rivers so as to put an exclamation point to your words. Yet we have turned our ears away, we have abandoned your language. We are lost. In our impudence and our arrogance, we have disowned our earth family. Our rivers and oceans cry out to us. Our forest and sky are no longer that which you gave us. Forgive us.


Poet's Chair

Lyn Belisle



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