“The day is green and I long ago reached the limit of my fear.” (Jill Mceldowney on Grazioso)


Jill Mceldowney is a contributor to Half Mystic Journal's fourth issuegrazioso. She is the author of the chapbook Kisses Over Babylon (dancing girl press 2016). Her work can be found in journals such as Vinyl, Fugue, Ghost Proposal, Corium and other notable publications.


We asked three of our Issue IV contributors to share with us their personal definitions of “grazioso”: how it is formed, where it has been, what it could be. Here is Jill Mceldowney's vision of the dream-bright waltz – the soft-stained song – the place where sunlight settles & nothing really hurts…

We need to talk about this time of day—half dawn—when the ethereal is that gasp between defibrillator compressions. It is the space between this no air here and how the electric currents is solid all the way through—a wall. I want to walk through it like a ghost. I want to believe it is a space open to ferry without cost. I want to believe that there is light in this narrowing and that it cradles a truth that does not ask to be bitten, torn into like the apple.

To bite down hard is know truth’s stuttering music—it is violence that makes the ethereal accessible. Or—it is late in this morning and I don’t know how to describe the quality of light, how it climbs the streetlight giving way to streetlight giving way to horse on horizon. It reminds me of the person that told me breathing the breath of horses will cure any illness.

In late February I think we are at the throat of spring. Where I am from, there is still time for months of winter, frost in early May, the whitetailed deer lick the salt from the road. But today is false spring and by the time dusk falls, the too eager apple blossoms will have frozen on the branch. But for now, the horses are breathing their warm plumes of ghosts the day is green and I long ago reached the limit of my fear. The apple was green, it’s what we mean when we say “Live your—“

best light; the pulse of battery acid, sky the morning after and its blister of snow. I breathe the breath of a horse. I mean—that—that’s the kind of light I mean.


Jill Mceldowney’s poem “Terre à Terre”, along with twenty other pieces by contributors and three columns by the Half Mysticteam, are compiled in Half Mystic Journal’s Issue IV:GRAZIOSO, a volume of work full of the rare kind of light that never drowned anything, the kind of light that knows only song. It is available for preorder now.