The Tower Journal

S Stephanie

Private Shoot

(after the collage by Wayne Atherton)

I’ve been walking in on myself
for months, catching myself at my worst
emotional poses. Buck-naked Indian
in moccasins one day, running through
the arenas yelling, “Every day is not
a fucking gift!” Snapping action shots of myself
in full uniform the next, winning
games for the evening news I will watch.
And don’t think I am unlike the hawk
who would fly into its own image
if it thought there were something
to eat in there. Or that owl who startles up,
turns into cardboard whenever asked
to say something wise. I would tackle
my own nakedness in a heartbeat
and report back to you, dear reader,
if I thought I could afford the price of admission.
But let’s just say, today I am looking over
my own shoulder, and even I can see
how thin our suits, how empty our pockets,
how readily we turn our backs on ourselves.

Copyright © 2014 S Stephanie
Wayne Atherton - Private Shoot
Private Shoot by Wayne Atherton

S Stephanie’s poetry and book reviews have appeared in many literary magazines such as, Birmingham Poetry Review, Café Review, Literary Laundry, OVS, Rattle, St. Petersburg Review, Solidus, The Southern Review, The Sun and Third Coast. She has two chapbooks, Throat (Igneus Press) and What the News Seemed to Say (Pudding House). She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is an adjunct teacher of Composition and Poetry at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester, NH. She is Editor Emeritus for The Tower Journal. In her spare time she is learning the art of typewriter repair.

Wayne AthertonWayne Atherton: is senior editor of The Cafe’ Review, Maine’s oldest literary and art journal since 1989. For many years he has been building a rather large body of mixed media collage and is currently setting about to expand the exposure of his work. He has an ongoing exhibit of 18 collages, which may be viewed at, archived issue no.15. Seven of his collages will be featured in collaboration with poet Paul Pines in a new book of poems scheduled for release in May 2014 titled, FISHING ON THE POLESTAR, Dos Madres Press. He may be contacted directly at,

The Tower Journal
Spring/Summer 2014