ISSUE No. 6

Clerestory

A clerestory is a window which allows light and air into the body of an old building. Clerestory Magazine stories and storytellers are like windows through which the pain and beauty of the human experience shine.

The Clerestory Podcast S1 E25

The Oklahoma Tenant Farmer and Me
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After Another School Shooting, I Cook Red Beans and Rice

I can’t hear the TV news 

over the soothing static

of diced onion in the pan.

States away, children bled.  

In my kitchen, oregano 

and cayenne bloom over celery.

Then broth, kidney beans soaked overnight.  

Basmati.  An hour later, 

comfort.  Food.  


My bowl is warm, heavy, like my son

asleep on my chest.  I can’t stop

things, or start them.  I can only 

cook dinner, sit at table with wife

and child, and eat.    

James Dickson teaches English and creative writing at Germantown High School just outside of Jackson, Mississippi. His debut collection of poems, Some Sweet Vandal, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books this summer. Find him on Twitter @SomeSweetVandal.

Discover more from James Dickson.