Afterimage moves from the southern to northern Plains and the eastern Midwest, where the natural world calls out through deep lakes and dark woods, and finally through transient moments framed by gardens: a butterfly nectaring on a coneflower, planting lavender with his future wife, or autumn leaves crashing against a morning window. In a rich array of forms and evocative imagery, the poems in Afterimage reach through prairie history until grass becomes skin, and light becomes shadow.
BENJAMIN VOGT was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Minnesota. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.F.A from The Ohio State University. His poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in American Life in Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, ISLE, Sou'wester, Subtropics, and Verse Daily. Benjamin is also the author of two poetry chapbooks: Indelible Marks (Pudding House) and Without Such Absence (Finishing Line Press).
Bonnie & Clyde & Marie
I had known Marie since autumn, 1993 . . .
after both of us had worked on a documentary titled Remembering Bonnie and Clyde. She brought in the "death shirt" and other items to be photographed for this program. I watched her being interviewed and was impressed by the story she had to tell. A few days afterward, I sent Marie a small thank-you card with a note telling her how much I enjoyed meeting her and that if I could ever be of assistance, she should call. I didn't expect a response, but shortly thereafter, Marie called and asked to meet with me, and thus began one of the richest and most interesting times of my life.
It's probably too late to change the overall perception
that the American public has of my brothers Clyde and Buck, as well as Clyde's sweetheart Bonnie Parker and Buck's wife Blanche Caldwell Barrow. The public's perspective on my family members and friends has been reinforced by over 60 years of caricature and exaggeration through the output of the publishing houses and the Hollywood studios. It began during the days of the old newsreels in the movie houses and has continued unchanged up through today's modern cable television networks and satellite communications. No matter which medium carries the message, the message itself is typically 100% pure baloney. The proper place to begin to tell the story of my brothers, Clyde and Buck, is with our parents, since my father and my mother played such a big part in all of our lives. Henry B. Barrow, my father, was born in Pensacola, Florida, on January 10, 1873 . . . Back in those days, mandatory school attendance was taken pretty lightly. In fact, my father only went to school one-half-day in his life. The day he attempted to go, he was brought back home in a buggy after getting sick at school. Early in his life, he was afflicted with chills and this condition stayed with him throughout his childhood years. I've always felt that my father was a victim of a malaria attack back in his Florida days, to which he developed a severe reaction. He was extremely sickly as a child in Florida, and this condition carried over to his early adolescent years in Texas. However, he was able to assist on his father's farm as his health improved in his later teen years. Apparently getting away from the mosquito-infested Pensacola region of the 1880's eventually improved my father's health.
--Marie Barrow Scoma