Issue 10: Palouse, Washington

Contributors: Maggie Bakeman, Jackie Barry, Carson Davis Brown, Catherine Cooper, The Echanoves, Tiana Gregg-Holmes, Corbin LaMont, James Saylor Longstreet, Palouse Grain Growers, Inc., Rob Schoepflin, The Snooks and Mary Welcome.

Copyeditor: Amy Mae Garrett.

11" x 17" Poster Cover with Loose Bound 8.5" x 11" Pages, Risograph, Various Ink Color, Various Paper Color.

Printed by Outlet.

Palouse Arms

Written by Mary Welcome

Photo:  Mary Welcome

i am married to a place and not a person. i live in the house that i will die in. i tend to a chunk of earth and it tends to me. i sleep beneath my douglas fir and listen to it breathing. i like my window open all year round. sometimes in winter the snow blows on my pillow, in the summer the smoke snakes into my quilts. my neighbors are my hoping machines.

this place, this palouse place, this homing latitude, this boomerang town, this city of possibilities, this feeling of infinite return.

i am a person that works far away. i lend myself to lots of other towns, i keep heart-homes in all sorts of landscapes, i make projects that help people and their places work better together. but palouse is the place that makes my away-work possible, i carry its soft power with me and i share it around.

we are all looking after one another, all the time, here. it is nice to be made visible from care; all worn in, never worn out. there is room enough in this place for all your rolling feelings. it’s prismatic in that way, bending lightness and darkness into a spectrum that allows you to feel whole. high highs and low lows, two hills and a river valley. our palouse arms can carry it all.

a palouse perfume would be the hot hazy smell of harvest season, the dawn and the dusk when the air gets heavy and the barley has been baking in the sun. a palouse perfume would be the morning of the first real freeze, when the fog rolls in and you can smell the chimneys warming up with woodsmoke. a palouse perfume would be the inky smell of the letterpress museum and inner-acres of black contractor’s plastic, chili in the crockpot and hot cocoa on the corner. a palouse perfume would be the heady smell of lush green grass when it is finally warm enough to lay down at the park under the world’s tallest town trees. a palouse perfume could even be a wine shot, sipped quickly, before singing all your favorite songs.

this is a town that has resonance, even at a great distance. at my most homesick, it still thrums in my chest, a humming buzzing place of power and of promise. sometimes i am away for too long and i get all busted up from being on the road. this note from margo kept me warm all winter and said simply “we will put you back together as soon as you get home”