23.2 - Summer/Fall 2011

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: Anthony Madrid, Sasha Pimentel Chacón, Greg Wrenn, Brian Trimboli, Mark Bibbins, Aracelis Girmay, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorothea Lasky, D.A. Powell, Rusty Morrison, Valzhyna Mort, Allison Titus, Aja Gabel, Sarah V. Schweig, Dane A. Wisher, David Duhr, Adam Day, Sofi Hall, R.A. Villanueva, Andrew Zawacki, Andrew Seguin, Sean Clemmons, but it was as though my travels to the equator had altered the passage of time. As though some spine had risen up inside me along which time nestled, like a dune., Derek Furr, Quintan Ana WikswoI endured the many long flights that brought me home and my skin again softened and smoothed out, Robert Thomas, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Benjamin Glass, Sarah Gorham, Josh MacIvor-Andersen, Phillip Lopate, Collin Tracy, Joe Bonomo, Claire Donato, Jennifer Chang, Elizabeth Slater, Michael Parker, Benjamin S. Grossberg,

Fiction

Introduction: 2010 Barthelme Prize for Short…

Joe Bonomo

       Abbreviated and enormous, hand-held and vast, portable and rooted—the short prose piece seemingly cannot exist in nature. The form is essential because of this particular magic, this echo of the colossal in the diminutive. The world…

Fiction

Animals Do Not Commit Delusional Acts

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Compared to an egg, seashell, or shark, humans are, in general and already, crazy. Only the human looks away when attacked, though its propensity to do so exponentially increases the probability for loss of life. The human turns inward, protects…

Fiction

Koolau

Sean Clemmons

Fiction

Tennesse Apology

Benjamin Glass

What I can’t get is how he, even being only half a man, didn’t flub it up. Even if he was a prophet or some riddle of a priest. The finest preachers I know hardly ever decline something to drink or smoke, or don’t temper a dirty joke here…

Fiction

Picnic

Robert Thomas

Jeffrey and I liked to go our separate ways for lunch. I usually had a tuna-radish sandwich and ate at my desk. The radishes were my inspiration: I liked to think of how they clashed with my lipstick, and they tasted how I liked to think my…

Fiction

My Nebulae, My Antilles

Quintan Ana WikswoI endured the many long flights that brought me home and my skin again softened and smoothed out, but it was as though my travels to the equator had altered the passage of time. As though some spine had risen up inside me along which time nestled, like a dune.

Non-Fiction

Starting from Error

Derek Furr

“Make it a mistake”—Gertrude Stein, “Patriarchal Poetry”        “There is an e at the end of time,” my student Samantha whispered to Tim, pointing out to her friend that he had spelled time as though he were writing his name. I peered over…

Non-Fiction

The Shape of Fear

Sarah Gorham

… moves like a centipede in the bathtub. Pricks like punctuation. Festers like a puddle of water edged with mud where cows trod and bullhead slurp. Who would dive into fear like that, willingly? She squatted against an outside brick wall,…

Non-Fiction

Hazlitt on Hating

Phillip Lopate

Non-Fiction

Field Notes

Josh MacIvor-Andersen

      A very tall red oak tree grows on a hill past the barn, past Mom’s sheep and llamas and goats. It is the tallest tree on our Tennessee farm and because it plunged its roots down on the hillside, right where the slope begins its descent,…

Non-Fiction

Man with a Woman

Elizabeth Slater

Poetry

Historical Action Figures

Mark Bibbins

Poetry

To Petrol and Honey

Mark Bibbins

Poetry

Sasha Pimentel Chacón: On a Business Meeting…

Sasha Pimentel Chacón

Poetry

Sasha Pimentel Chacón: In Their Dark Habits

Sasha Pimentel Chacón

Poetry

A Short History of Marriage

Jennifer Chang

A gun is an instrument of articulation: Glory be the backyard travesty, orange grass and ochre leaves. My gunis not my gun, but it isa kind of being: my word, one may careto carry it. The sky fallswith my paper lantern and my hallelujah pain—why…

Poetry

Ode to the Little "r"

Aracelis Girmay

Little propellerworking betweenthe two fields of my a’s,making my namea small boatthat leaves the portof old San Juanor Ponce,with my grandfather,Miguel, on a boat,or in an airplane,with a hundred or soothers, leaving the islandfor work, cities,in…

Poetry

The Space Traveler's Tense

Benjamin S. Grossberg

Poetry

Swearing-In

Sofi Hall

Poetry

English

Yusef Komunyakaa

When I was a boy, he says, the sky began burning,& someone ran knocking on our doorone night. The house became birdsin the eaves too low for a boy’s ears.I heard a girl talking, but they weren’t words.I knew one good thing: a girlwas somewhere…

Poetry

Genius

Dorothea Lasky

  If I believed in genius, then I’d sayYes I am oneBut I don’t believe, believe in itNor intelligenceOr all thatWhy? Because it is fosteredDeterminedIt is not born It is not a magical spellThere is no museThere are only the wild wild forcesThat…

Poetry

The Medical Expert Held the Floor

Anthony Madrid

Poetry

Ill-Timed

Rusty Morrison

Poetry

From "Zhenya"

Valzhyna Mort

1.… Zhenya moves as if her left side were heavier than her right. She leanslike an old village fence, almost kissing the ground, and a shred of greencloth, scudded by the wind around the grazing, has finally caught hold ofone of the boards…

Poetry

Tender Mercies

D.A. Powell

Poetry

The Royal Court at Storm King

Andrew Seguin

Poetry

Ecclesiastes

Brian Trimboli

Poetry

Datura Innoxia

Brian Trimboli

Poetry

Antipodal

R.A. Villanueva

Poetry

Invocation

Greg Wrenn

Poetry

Self-Immolation

Greg Wrenn

Interviews

"Living in a Loop": Sean Patrick Hill interviews…

Poet Ben Mirov is coming into his own this year. With two books now in print, both having won publication awards, there is a substantial collection of poems to read and admire. The absolutely compellingGhost Machine, winner of the Caketrain Chapbook…

Editor's Note

Mansions, Meat-Cuttery

Adam Day

Robin Ekiss, The Mansion of Happiness.        University of Georgia Press, 2009. Paperback, 64 pp, $16.95. Robin Ekiss’s first book, The Mansion of Happiness, is peopled with characters that often feel like apparitions and poems that read…

Editor's Note

For Nature to Have a Shot at Winning

David Duhr

Benjamin Percy, The Wilding.       Graywolf Press, 2010. Hardcover, 288 pp, $23.00.   James Dickey’s Deliverance joined our literary canon forty years ago, opening with the unfurling of a map: “It rolled slowly, forced to show its colors,…

Editor's Note

Brief Assents and What We Know

Aja Gabel

Emma Rathbone, The Patterns of Paper Monsters.       Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Co., 2010. Paperback, 206 pp, $13.99.Hannah Pittard, The Fates Will Find Their Way.       Ecco/HarperCollins, 2011. Hardcover, 256 pp, $22.99.     …

Editor's Note

Variants Thereof

Sarah V. Schweig

Cynthia Zarin, The Ada Poems.       Knopf, 2010. Hardcover, 80 pp, $25.00.Paul Legault, The Madeleine Poems.       Omnidawn, 2010. Paperback, 80 pp, $15.95.   “The poem then, whatever its wide cast of characters, is essentially about an imaginary…

Editor's Note

[exhibit gray]

Dane A. Wisher

Amelia Gray, Museum of the Weird.       Fiction Collective 2 (FC2), 2010. Paperback, 171 pp. $15.50.   Literature of the Quirky has become something of its own generic subset in the past decade and a half. The works of writers like Ben Marcus,…