Conceived, born, and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin—that’s me, Paul Vincent Bartlett, a (displaced) cheesehead. And not of your typical Wisconsin lineage.
When I see sweet potatoes, I often think of Deborah Torraine. Deb was a community organizer in the Twin Cities. She always referred to herself as a cultural worker; she was a mentor to new and emerging artists, and the Director of Community Engagement for the Saint Paul Almanac.
Driving back from the reservation, I cross a small bridge into Saint Paul. I feel the troubled waters. I think of my grandfather’s people,the Dakota. I think of how they lived by the water, how they made fire by the water.
Jenna already has her lights up, of course. I would have mine up, too, except ever since Sam fell into the Grand Canyon, I have been a little behind on things.
Saint Paul is my chosen home, the place where I feel most deeply that I belong. Now. It has not always been so.
I'm sorry you fell Tuesday night, a little after 8 p.m. I hope you're okay. Your husband looked mighty upset when you fell.
Art by Lisa-Marie Greenly
By Beth L. Voigt ● 2015
“Mom, what’s a sin?” Mom straightened the newspapers on the coffee table, picked up my brother’s two sweat socks and his blue Highland Groveland baseball shirt, and moved the armchair…
“All over (America), Negro boys and girls are growing into stunted maturity, trying desperately to find a place to stand, and the wonder is not that so many are ruined—but that so many survive!”
JAMES BALDWIN 1955
Not wanting to alarm my husband and infant son, in case they’ve fallen back asleep, I don’t call. I don’t even text. But I do take a picture with my camera-phone, because I need proof that I’ve done it, that I’m actually here: sitting in a 2005 toyota Matrix, outside the Saint anthony Park library. this is incredible.
In praise of buses rattling through the streets
In praise of passengers jostling for a seat
In praise of a transfer I didn’t need to buy
In praise of snow falling from the sky, and my down coat
Bought secondhand but warm
It was my mom’s first marriage proposal. At eight, she was the older woman. George was only six. After hasty consideration, Mom turned him down. As she explained to her mother, she couldn’t marry George. He liked carrots. She didn’t.
Saint Paul recently lost one of its most sterling examples of what it means to be a responsible, useful, and compassionate citizen. That individual was Arthur Chandler McWatt.