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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

tale as old

By: Corey Ruzicano

stop me if you’ve heard this one.

girl hears voice

             a voice

             like smoke

             a voice

             like dark wood

             a voice 

             like Truth

                           or at least something close



in love

with voice

                           whatever that means


meets boy

expects to hear 


but does not


leaves boy


meets boy

listens for

dark wood

but hears something warmer

and holds it tightly

for a time


meets work

meets words

meets the world

and still

she cannot forget

the sound

of smoke


begins to believe there is nothing out there

that sounds like


not really

             maybe some tinny cassette tape copy

             maybe some winnowed down wive’s tale

but nothing genuine

no coin

she’d bite into

to find anything


as gold

girl goes on

girl settles in herself


girl hears it

in the last place

she expects to

the dark wood

the smoke

that something like the Truth

only it isn’t the truth

only it isn’t anything but 


and girl

does not know what to look for anymore

does not know

how to go on

knowing smoke exists

as something more than match breath

as something more than finished flame

as everything and still not enough.


corey ruzicano is a producer/writer/educator from the san francisco bay area. while pursuing her bfa at emerson college she went through the creative producing program under p. carl and david dower, and continues to write for howlwound. she has completed apprenticeships at the lark, the orchard project and the 52nd street project. she has been the creative projects manager of jeanine tesori's studio, siena music and a broaderway, where she also teaches writing and leadership to young women. she has managed the intern program at second stage theater and fellowships and awards for new dramatists and aids in making space for writers of all kinds and created community engagement programs for rattlestick playwrights theater. she is the executive producer of words on white, an art and conversation initiative. with all her work, she seeks to empower voices and stories that encourage more empathic communities and a better understanding of one another.


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