We All Lived Here

At EWU we are proud of the accomplishments of our alumni, and want to share and promote their work as much as we can. We are also interested in giving prospective students a sense of what living in Spokane while pursuing their MFA might be like. So we are launching this new project called We All Lived Here. On this page we will be publishing work from our alumni that speaks to the idea of home while living in Spokane. We will be collecting these pieces for an anthology to be published by our very own Willow Springs Books in the future. We hope that you enjoy these pieces as much as we do, and that you will check out the archive for more. *If you are an EWU alum who wishes to submit work for this project, please click here for details, and make sure to use this link to sign up for our alumni mailing list!

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We will be featuring one piece per month below, and archiving work here.

Please enjoy three poems from 2015 grad Ryan Scariano! Ryan’s chapbook, Smithereens, was published by Imperfect Press. Some of his recent poetry has appeared in Verde Que Te Quiero Verde: Poems After Frederico Garcia Lorca, Lilac City Fairy Tales, Railtown Almanac, Paper Nautilus, Ink Node, and the Willow Springs Books anthology, Heart of the Rat. New work is upcoming in basalt and in the 2nd edition of Verde Que Te Quiero Verde. He has an MFA from Eastern Washington University and works at Eastern Oregon University. (ryanscariano.com)

 

Mohamed Upstairs

The upstairs neighbor,

Mohamed, welcomed me

when I moved into the building.

Maqluba, kabsa, kanafeh.

Mohamed upstairs

in that little apartment

with his pregnant wife

and three young daughters.

Mohamed in the laundry room.

Mohamed fetching his children

home from school.

Mohamed working

the graveyard shift.

Maqluba, kabsa, kanafeh.

Mohamed smoking on the stoop.

Mohamed waiting for spring.

Maqluba, kabsa, kanafeh.

Mohamed upstairs cooking

and I must make a gift

for his new son, a suncatcher

shining with bits of glass,

green, brown, and blue.

Maqluba, kabsa, kanafeh.

My friend, Mohamed,

knocking at the door with food,

teaching me the names of his dishes.

***

Spokane

There’s always more. Always the old, brick

neighborhoods, the bridges and overpasses,

the Northern Pacific, the little park, the market

on the corner of Last Year and Forever, that

stability they had in the Now, their concrete

certitude, their faith strapped to our backs,

a gray memory behind our ears, mist playing

about the spanning strength of our fathers

and grandfathers. May the city keep us always

from losing their tracks, rolling up

our flannel sleeves and shoving off

into forgetfulness, down that narrow river.

***

Latah Creek

Like hundred-year-old

bottle glass, the dark creek

is stilled green with cold

starlight. Riprap, tattered

bits of clothing, plastic,

muddy sand, our voices

echoing in the scent

of urine under the bridge.

We should get out of here

before our most tired kin

the hobo comes home.

***