Sally Ashton is Editor-in-Chief of the DMQ Review, an online journal featuring poetry and art (www.dmqreview.com). She earned her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars in 2003 and is the recipient of an Artist Fellowship, Poetry, from Arts Council Silicon Valley. She is the author of These Metallic Days. Poetry and reviews have appeared in Sentence: a journal of prose poetics, failbetter.com, Mississippi Review, and in Breathe: 101 Contemporary Odes. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area where she teaches poetry workshops. She also teaches at San José State University.
Excerpt from “Her Name is Juanita:”
The Donkey’s Role in Spiritual Awakenings
My friends want me to see Juanita. Soon. If you hear a donkey, find the damn donkey. My house a stall in desperate need of a shovel. I barely sleep, books piled on the dining room table, sheaves of computer print-outs. The donkey in myth. The donkey as “other.” I compose, too, or will, a libretto based on Juanita already suggesting itself, sung across a loop of her bray or a computer generated facsimile. And snapshots, donkey-shaped clouds, clouds that looked like they would turn into donkeys before an ear blew off, a muzzle moved left. Images not easy to catch. Here’s a picture of my cat, smiling, after I whisperedJuanita three times. I should put the photos in an album or shoebox but I like seeing them when I walk by, Juanita in the sky.