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This content was published: April 14, 2021. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Two Deep Breaths: The Pointed Circle

Posted by Justin Rigamonti

Happy National Poetry Month! To celebrate, we’re kicking off a special series: for the next month and a half or so, student editors of PCC’s literary magazines will be doing a “takeover” of Two Deep Breaths. This week and next, we’ll be starting with posts from the editors of The Pointed Circle, Cascade Campuses’ 38 year old magazine. Here’s the actual article about its nascence from a 1983 copy of PCC Newspaper, The Bridge:

Clipping from a 1983 Issue of the PCC Newspaper the Bridge, explaining the origins of the Pointed Circle Literary Magazine
What follows below is a poem and short introduction from the 2021 editors of The Pointed Circle. Watch for more posts in the coming weeks from current editors of The Bellwether Review, Alchemy and Cinder Cone, the literary magazines of Rock Creek, Sylvania, and Southeast Campus, respectively:

Springtime has come again to the lovely city of Portland, and after the trials of last year it feels all the sweeter. To celebrate this joyous season we at The Pointed Circle will present for you a couple of poems to refresh and reinvigorate your senses after a long winter indoors.

This first piece is by North Carolina writer and former contributing editor to The Pointed Circle, Rebecca Petchenik, our beloved friend and colleague who will be dearly missed when she relocates to Emerson College later this year. In the poem we’re featuring today, Rebecca weaves imagery from her native Appalachia into a thoughtful meditation on self, secrecy, and regret.

We hope you will enjoy this and other pieces to be found in Issue 37 of The Pointed Circle, slated for release this June.

The 2021 Pointed Circle Editorial Team

The Faun
or Petrichor and Unfamiliar Mushrooms

by Rebecca Petchenik

Sometimes I am like the riddle-telling demons you meet at remote crossroads.
Can’t you just imagine me in a silk hat with a poof of chimera feathers in the band?
I am both here and not here, dead and not dead, living and paradoxical.
I am couched in falsehood and misdirection, an act still performing as I sneak out the back.
There’s a confession in here somewhere, but you’ll have to look closely.
I could breathe stained glass, fingernails, petrichor, and turpentine.
But I prefer to breathe deep the smell of where you used to be.
There is a hard, cold, vacuum there like the frigid darkness between celestial bodies.
The horrible truth is that I exist in flux, at any given moment, both a particle and a wave.
Until you look directly at me, and I disappear in a puff of purple smoke.
I’ll run down the hill and into the dell where I’ll tumble into the shade and land flat on my back.
I’ll just lay there and let time turn the world below as nature reclaims me.
I’d rather become part of an undiscovered mycota, a single organism the size of a mountain.
Maybe then, when I am ancient and slow moving, my feelings will be the same from day to day.
Maybe I’ll be able to catch a promise on my tongue like a gray, mid-city snowflake.
Let’s just turn to stone together, staring into the eyes of the Gorgon, enraptured in her beauty.
I can keep my riddles and my stained glass and maybe even a few of my promises.
I’ll never have to be a sphynx or a demon or anything other than a static truth.
I can sit on a stump like a faun and sing “no more change for me, no sir no how.”
I can blow a pipe and never once acknowledge any single me that I ever have been.
We can always be these dancing and singing forest spirits and forget about truths.
We can forget about the reason I’m here in the first place.
We can leave the hard things unsaid if we put our minds to it, trust me.
We can all prance off into the forest together and forget I ever had a confession to make.
We can go into the warm, dark thickets I come from and be mushrooms together.