17.2 - Summer/Fall 2005

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: David Hutchinson, Lance Larsen, Titos Patrikios, Kevin Clark, Dara Wier, Kimiko Hahn, Donald Barthelme, Laura McCullough, Ander Monson, Sandy Longhorn, Alex Lemon, Bob Hicok, James Kimbrell, Vera Kroms, Lucia Perillo, Jeanine Walker, Jennifer Grotz, Emily Pérez, Emily Wolahan, Fred Von Drasek, Mathias Svalina, Emily Raabe, J. Allyn Rosser, Floyd Skloot, Kathleen Halme, Jenn Habel, Angela Woodward, Jocelyn Bartkevicius, Catherine Kasper, David Lazar, Natalie Serber, Josh Rolnick, Glen Blake, Miriam Gershow, Greg Hammond, Karen An-Hwei Lee, Naton Leslie, Debra Marquart, Jennifer Chang, Jim Daniels, Rikki Ducornet, Rebecca Dunham, Stacie Cassarino, Joseph Campana, Kathleen Ossip, Gaylord Brewer, Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, Mark Halliday,

Fiction

The School

Donald Barthelme

Fiction

The Baby

Donald Barthelme

Fiction

Pain

Glen Blake

Pain. It is finally, totally, completely about pain.They want to hurt you. That is all they want.Listen to me. They will give you and your friends thirty minutes. They will give you an hour to collect small animals, small reptiles, insects,…

Fiction

Don't Leave Me

Miriam Gershow

       I am wearing my Don’t Leave Me t-shirt to my blind date. We have 250 of them. Red background. Black writing, in big block letters across the front. Mel and I came up with the idea one night on the phone. She used to date a silk screener…

Fiction

Romantic Comedy

Greg Hammond

She sold exotic vegetables and fruit. In a ritzy L. A. office, she took phone orders from hundreds of grocery stores in Florida and Key West. She was enamored of her boss, the woman who had actually named the kiwi fruit. Before her boss, kiwis…

Fiction

Job's Tears

Karen An-Hwei Lee

 Dream of Flight        No flight experience, yet he is required by necessity to fly, the fourth nightmare for a blind man awaiting a sustained form of lift in the darkness, a form he can trust or tolerate at minimum.  Sleep, for instance,…

Fiction

The Carousel

Josh Rolnick

       I have been a carousel man for thirty-three years. I work the “B&D Carousell” on Coney Island—one of the originals manufactured by William F. Mangels—which my father operated before me. When my father started up in the business, there…

Fiction

Plum Tree

Natalie Serber

       Nora managed to scrape together enough for a joint from her mom’s stash. Her mom kept it hidden under her bed on a silver tray, which, in better times, displayed a tea set. The tray’s scalloped edges were already tarnished when she…

Fiction

The Iron Keys

Angela Woodward

       One morning the workmen digging the new lime kiln found a set of five iron keys. The keys were black, heavy, with curious ridges half worn down. Instead of tossing them onto the debris, they set them aside for Mr. Latrobe, an assistant…

Non-Fiction

In the Dark

Jocelyn Bartkevicius

       I am alone in the nightclub’s kitchen when it happens, an industrial kitchen, all stainless steel: a wall of broilers across from me, a huge stove beside that, Friolator nearby, deep double sink to my right, wall of freezers and refrigerators…

Non-Fiction

The Feminine Mistake

Catherine Kasper

       Because my mother has had a stroke, because my mother did not speak for a year, because she was temporarily paralyzed and now is in a wheelchair, because she had to relearn everything: how to breathe, how to swallow, how to name the…

Non-Fiction

The City Always Speaks: London, New York, San…

David Lazar

 But sidewalks and those who use them are not passive beneficiaries of safety or helpless victims of danger. Sidewalks, their bordering uses, and their users, are active participants in the drama of civilization versus barbarism in cities….…

Non-Fiction

Layers and Levels

Naton Leslie

       Day One:  June 16       I arrived at the front gate of the fort, as per the instructions in my acceptance letter. Fort William Henry is a curious anomaly, plunked-down amid hyperactive Lake George, among the miniature golf courses,…

Non-Fiction

The Perils of Travel

Debra Marquart

               Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?                               —Elizabeth Bishop, “Questions of Travel”       Something that unnerves me when I fly on certain European airlines is the way that passengers will…

Non-Fiction

The Nervousness of Yvor Winters

Kathleen Ossip

Poetry

Apologia to the Trout at Meadow Farm

Gaylord Brewer

I am thankful today for thumb and fingerchafed raw from lifting you, each blood-dripped iridescent figure, between sawsof teeth and under cheek, laying eachin a lidded bucket atop twisted, wide-eyedbrethren. Small discomfort sufficientto remind…

Poetry

The Fire Museum

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Beside the copper bell and hammer, a tea-brown gas mask stares out, left eye cracked. A tangle of rope, blackened and frayed, lies pressed under glass like a lock of hair. What doesn't burn becomes relic, talisman against. On a scroll, huge…

Poetry

Cell

Joseph Campana

It’s the part of the film (Charade) after Audrey Hepburn has lumped ice cream on Cary Grant’s suit (though she doesn’t offer to lick it off) so he takes a shower fully dressed in her bathroom because she’s trapped him there (we can understand…

Poetry

Brooklyn Morning

Stacie Cassarino

There’s no one who could be everythingfor me. That’s what I tell youwalking up Seventh, and I think it soundsgood. The flea-market has just opened.You hold up a mirror for fifteen dollars,and I see cheekbones and clouds.I see you sad. And…

Poetry

End Note

Jennifer Chang

Before words, there was the language of the mark.We moved a stick along the dirt and drewa line to the end. Our wild flickers ink-streaked a page, symbols like the stars’ orphaned radiance giving more light than reason. He holds out a hand: what…

Poetry

6 Miles Up

Kevin Clark

As if what’s said here is not my heart’s wreck.As if turbulence did not author the need.As if this scribbling were not last council.As if this sheet would be found in the breach.As if you, son, were reading this fifty years from now.As if…

Poetry

Regs

Kevin Clark

Before unlocking the door, Derek likes staring in the portal window for a long time, watching Jack watching Jill as they huddle in their chairs near the giant monitor. They wear shirts in anticipation of his arrival.Jack can’t move but he…

Poetry

The Land of 3,000 Dreams

Jim Daniels

They say if you just strap weightsaround your ankles and wrists and carry on                    you will be stronger.They say if you just strap weightsto your earlobes and testiclesyou will hear                    your true love call your…

Poetry

On the Hottest of Afternoons

Rikki Ducornet

for R.P.We came wantingthe ‘marvelous knowledge’the blue evening eggs, radiantdesirable as alphabetsbeginning and endingwith the letter ‘A.’The eggs. Prodigious.Round as the sphere of the moon.And everywhere the airamethyst with pollentusked…

Poetry

Saint Anne to Her Daughter

Rebecca Dunham

           Madonna and Saint Anne, Da VinciIt will not work. He’ll neverfold back into you, body curledtight, a kitten in sleep. He leans—seems always to lean—away.Everything you do pulls death, thick& woolly, closer to your emptied flesh.…

Poetry

Thoreau Entered His Cabin Fifty Years Before…

Jenn Habel

  Think of the consummate folly of attempting to go away from here!  When the constant endeavor should be to get nearer and nearerhere.                                             —Thoreau’s Journal, Nov. 1, 1858How is one question and why…

Poetry

Research

Kimiko Hahn

Darwin could not believe an insectwould visit a blossom that had no rewardso insisted this orchidmust withhold the nectar deep inside.But he was deceived as well.Which brings us up-to-date—where the green-winged orchiddoes not offer nectar…

Poetry

The Blob

Kimiko Hahn

In 1896—nearly fifty years after Melville’s masterpiece,three years before Freud’s Dreamand my grandpa’s journey across the Pacific—a storm shoved seven tons of white blobonto a St. Augustine shore:twenty-one monstrous feet of glistening flesh—a…

Poetry

Rink

Mark Halliday

      Well I’ve been afraid of changin’      cuz I’ve built my life around you                                     —Fleetwood MacToday in the car I heard the song that meantmy love at the end of 1975 and how afraid I was,afraid of depending…

Poetry

What Self

Kathleen Halme

Nothing lived on land, nothing hadcrawled out of the shallow sea.Because they have no hard parts,it’s rare to find the fossil of a jelly.The farm boy digging a new duck pondexposed thousands, like old verbsstranded on the shore of the lonelyPaleozoic;…

Poetry

Mercy

Bob Hicok

Three green doors in the falling apart shed.I put one on the stream and wave as it leaves.Someone will knock miles from here, and go under,and live in rooms of water, take your boots off please. I tie another to a parachute, walk it to the…

Poetry

Four Tangerines

James Kimbrell

1 In my dream an elderly man climbs through the window wearing    only boxers and a threadbare tank top. His hair is dripping and it    appears as though he swam a great distance. He opens the door to    my closet. “Mine!” he says, touching…

Poetry

The Prince of Sugar

Vera Kroms

                            I have been            the summoning lip                       of a Flemish hunger, a school          of limber certainty, the wit               inside the horizontal.                            Old enough     …

Poetry

Borrowing Electricity

Lance Larsen

Everything comes down to numbers but nothing is finite, not me waking at 3:47 a.m.and not fifty feet of power cord snaking out my window.Can sleep be factored or does it dreamits own dark prime?  Four days ago, Jacqui miscarried.Last night,…

Poetry

The Apprentice

Lance Larsen

In the heat of chance, in the cold sweetness of rules,my son slaps out rhythm. Rock Paper Scissors.Does the hand quicken the mind?  He is a mystic,a prisoner gambling for bread. His rock crushes my scissors. My scissors cut his paper. He shrugsoff…

Poetry

Scaffolding

Alex Lemon

It would take jack-hammers to find that other-self. Saw-shrieks, elegies for taste—whiplash, moan & scald. This body is something Giacometti sculpted: wax & molten steel, the die-cast of night’s necessities.Smaller, I beg you, smaller. For…

Poetry

The Empty Set, Recurring

Sandy Longhorn

No members, no elements to speak of.                                                            With nothingleft to say, she resides in the white asylum of solitude.A bird on the branch refusing to sing.She throws pebbles into onion grass, wanting…

Poetry

Radiation

Laura McCullough

Stand on the sidewalk           with a cup of warm soup, curry,the color of wheat in late August, and let yourselfbe seen. It’s the currency           of the street. Wear nothing or everything you own. It doesn’t matter. They’ll devouryou…

Poetry

Snow Amnesia

Ander Monson

It’s like Jesse was never here at all, he’s been so longgone, like a gunshot that leaves no print—no motive, modus operandi, no finger-trace behind, no black. So many through the crust via snowmobileor car, and you behind, hulking like a buoy,unwilling…

Poetry

The Message

Titos Patrikios

I met you cast away in a giant citywhere people pass by and disappearinside its oceanic yowl.It was miraculous how new wordsburst from my desert mouth.I put them in a bottle without promises, absurd, lolling on the asphalt.I realized there…

Poetry

While They Speak

Titos Patrikios

While they speak in cafésof love and freedom and that kind of thing,how could you say love was abandoned,how it eluded even solitude,or how justice is shaped by the chaosof a thousand insults and errors;how could you say that freedomcould…

Poetry

Fresh Water And Salt

Lucia Perillo

When we were young girls and swam naked in Turkey Lakewe were like animals: our legs were thickly furred.We took the trees’ rustling for a sign of their watching.Even the limestone drooled from its mouth-cracks.But then I got real: it was…

Poetry

Spring, El Portal

Emily Raabe

I told you the story in the kitchen, shouting over the shouting river. You examined your hands, the thin lines in your wrists like the snaking of blue on a map, then gave your apple a name and went hungry. Outside, the Merced river churned, a…

Poetry

Doubt This

J. Allyn Rosser

With enough unpleasantness in the airyour mind exhales, you can ruin anything. You can ruin the fifties by thinking freon, McCarthy. Spoil an hour rereading ingredients in the cereal in your child’s bowl. You can taint your love for your spousejust…

Poetry

Scrapbook

Floyd Skloot

In all her childhood photos that survive,my mother wears a costume of some kind:A scowling gypsy with her tambourine;chauffeur in worn livery poised to drivea cardboard roadster; bold pirate, half-blind,before an ocean painted on a screen.At…

Poetry

Litany

Mathias Svalina

Litany Mathias Svalina Shade:          new buildings require fresh blood, or, with reservations, a boy’s shadow trapped in the foundation.Shade:          by candlelight the solid outline of the body flickers,splinters into a…

Poetry

Saints and Waters

Fred Von Drasek

A crop duster on the deck pumps DDT into the lake cabin—ah, the year was right for summering, but not for breathing. Oh,years enough ahead for all the kids’ breath and the yearsthey won’t breathe, now. There’s still the trip to the capitol,there’s…

Poetry

Attitude of Rags

Dara Wier

It felt like a story sorry it’d lost all its sentences,Like a sentence looking for its syntax.All of the words had homeless, unemployed, orphanWritten all over their faces.It had that parboiled, simmering, half-baked lookOf curiosity about…

Poetry

Magnetized Annunciator

Dara Wier

If ever there were words for birdsThese come as some surprise, distressed,Dying.Days on end, routine as a tide.As awful as a fish who’s drowned.Disturbed as though atomized.In order to listen better, longer.A not-all-that-well-recorded loop.That’s…

Editor's Note

Marilyn Abildskov's The Men In My Country

Jeanine Walker

Expatriate in LoveMarilyn Abildskov. The Men In My Country. University of Iowa Press, 2004. Hardcover, 166 pp., $29.95.       I remember first leaving the customs area of Kimpo Airport in South Korea—I’d safely arrived for the first time in…

Editor's Note

Marcin Baran's Carnivorous Boy, Carnivorous…

Jennifer Grotz

The Rhyme Between “Voice” and “Fate”: Contemporary Polish PoetryCarnivorous Boy, Carnivorous Bird: Poetry from Poland. Selected by Marcin Baran. Edited by Anna Skucinska and Elzbieta Wojcik-Leese. Zephyr Press, 2002. Paper, 444 pp., $19.95.      …

Editor's Note

Christian Hawkey's The Book of Funnels

Emily Pérez

Eyewitness Storm SpotterChristian Hawkey. The Book of Funnels. Verse Press, 2004. Paper, 77 pp., $13.       In Christian Hawkey’s first collection of poetry, The Book of Funnels, forces of nature transport us to an alternate Oz, one where…

Editor's Note

David Shumate's High Water Mark

Emily Wolahan

A Travelogue from the ImaginationDavid Shumate. High Water Mark. University of Pittsburg Press, 2004. Paper, 69 pp., $12.95.        Prose poetry, I was recently informed at a party, is the new black. It is no longer rare to see prose poems…

Fiction

A Purged Edition of The Thief's Journal

David Hutchinson