24.2 - Summer/Fall 2012

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: Brandi George, Fritz Ward, Tom Lake, Victoria Chang, Allyson Paty and Danniel Schoonebeek, Rick Barot, Simone Muench, Erica Olsen, Joy Katz, Patricia Lockwood, Mark Neely, Shane McCrae, Robby Nadler, Kyle McCord, Erika Meitner, Jason Myers, Matt Rasmussen, Kimberly Bruss, JP O'Malley, Thomas Calder, Kay Cosgrove, Lauren Genovesi, Zachary Martin, G.C. Waldrep, Adrian Matejka, Thibault Raoult, Matthew Rohrer, Sandra Simonds, Mathias Svalina, Emilia Phillips, Jennifer L. Knox, Kevin Wilson, Alan Barstow, Carand Burnet, Matthew Mahaney, Josip Novakovich, Lisa Glatt, Sonja Vitow, Paul Zaic, Liam Callanan, Thomas Cooper, Marilyn Martin, Ben Merriman, Kathleen Graber, Bradley Harrison, Sarah Manguso, Marni Ludwig, Jehanne Dubrow, Lissa Cattrone, Amy Lee Scott, Jeff Alessandrelli, Ciaran Berry, Jason Bredle, Erin Lyndal Martin,

Features

2011 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

Sarah Manguso

       Good prose provides an emotional experience (feeling) wrapped in an intellectual experience (reading). The particular problem of short prose is—well, its shortness. How can several hundred words compel without begging? Allow me to introduce…

Features

Grand Canyon II

Erica Olsen

For a long time I wanted to go back to the Grand Canyon. Then came the dual catastrophe: an earthquake that left Grand Canyon Village in ruins; a mining accident, the details of which have never been released to the public. So, it’s too late.…

Features

Master Bedroom

Sonja Vitow

I. After you left, I tried to sleep in our bed and found the mattress too hard on your side and too soft on mine. I laid in the middle and pretended I was both of us which worked for a little while. The bedroom was too hot, so I opened the…

Features

Why I Became a Fireman

Paul Zaic

       A fireman is a very noble thing to be. They said, You’re too short to be a fireman, Marty, and really, what service do you think you’re providing the world as a short fireman with a master’s degree in nothing-in-particular, and to that…

Fiction

Listen

Liam Callanan

Fiction

Kat Daddy

Thomas Cooper

Fiction

Happy Birthday, Clementine

Lisa Glatt

       No matter how much my best friend Kelly dressed it up for the party, the balcony was too damn small. I was standing with a man I’d just met on a pretty shag rug that obviously belonged inside. There were little colorful lights strung…

Fiction

A View from Pulkovo

Josip Novakovich

       David, an American Fulbright exchange scholar, was staying in an apartment on the Embankment of Canal Griboyedova. His third morning, almost noon, while he was recovering from a hangover, jetlag, and strange impressions of having seen…

Fiction

Hunger Strike

Kevin Wilson

Non-Fiction

Marriage in a Time of AIDS

Alan Barstow

Non-Fiction

Axis

Carand Burnet

       Within a thick fur of trees, a single sharp black dart punctures the gray sky. A hollow shot sounds throughout fields and mountains, echoes as if from an oil drum’s bottom. A minute dot busy scuffing clouds abruptly snaps and falls…

Non-Fiction

Part Miracle

Tom Lake

Non-Fiction

Altared There in a Darksome Place

Tom Lake

Non-Fiction

Unsleeping

Matthew Mahaney

Non-Fiction

The Treachery of Trees

Marilyn Martin

Non-Fiction

Making Fine

Ben Merriman

Non-Fiction

Convergence

Amy Lee Scott

        Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.                                        —Michel de Montaigne        All, like diamond,        is carbon first, then light.                —José MartíI did not…

Poetry

Wright Park

Rick Barot

Poetry

Brown Refrigerator

Rick Barot

Poetry

Sideshow

Ciaran Berry

I: Tom ThumbAs they sweep through midnight and spring rain,they seem to step straight out of a vision or a pantomimein which three stoned stage hands join into parodytheir awkward limbs beneath a fabric cut and sewn into a skin.I mean the…

Poetry

Birthday Party

Jason Bredle

When I walk into a room the first thing I do is size  everyone up fiscally. You people have scored very  low. Where are the gifts? Have you heard the latest  about politics and religion? Guess what I did last  night. I dipped myself in chum…

Poetry

Dumb Girl

Lissa Cattrone

Poetry

[The boss wears wrist guards I risk carpal…

Victoria Chang

The boss wears wrist guards I risk carpal tunnel without them can’t see anything but her fingers palm hidden palm line of the liver line of Apollo line of deposition hidden the line of the heart leaks out the end of it sneaks out of the guard…

Poetry

Still Life

Jehanne Dubrow

Poetry

To Cora Goldman, My Exorcist

Brandi George

Poetry

America (Train)

Kathleen Graber

Poetry

The Impossibly Boy Returns

Bradley Harrison

Poetry

Between Menus

Jennifer L. Knox

When the waitress finally toddled back to our table, she looked really funny: all the hard edges of her features (and believe me, they could’ve cut glass) had melted down in the time that she’d been gone, like a candle—and she wasn’t bending…

Poetry

Rescue Song

Joy Katz

—What Do People Do All Day, Richard Scarry     FIRE! I read in my modern jazz radio deejay voice. A cat mother screams, her iron set the house aflame, her cat-son plays, upstairs, alone—My son has lived to be 4 and each morning asks for this…

Poetry

Unfunky UFO, 1981

Adrian Matejka

Poetry

The Soft Machinery of the Dark

Kyle McCord

Poetry

The First Part of the Earth

Shane McCrae

We the thirst    brother the we water from the inside from the lips From nowhere to the lips We water inside brother we to say it water from the inside thirst and we    / Can’t never have us        like it’s water got a color        got a…

Poetry

Staking a Claim

Erika Meitner

It seems that a certain fear underlies everything.If I were to tell you something profoundit would be useless, as every single thing I knowis not timeless. I am particularly risk averse.I choose someone else over me every time,as I’m sure…

Poetry

Wolf Cento

Simone Muench

Poetry

Wolf Cento

Simone Muench

Poetry

America Mix-Tape, Track 51

Jason Myers

Poetry

[a woman in Dior]

Mark Neely

Poetry

Torch Song: Hickory

Allyson Paty and Danniel Schoonebeek

Poetry

Torch Song: Stagger Lee

Allyson Paty and Danniel Schoonebeek

Poetry

Latent Print: Pale Suits

Emilia Phillips

Poetry

Enthusiasm as Inheritance

Thibault Raoult

Poetry

From "Elegy in X Parts"

Matt Rasmussen

X.The self-murder mysterybegins like this:We are more likelyto kill ourselvesthan be killedby someone else.I am the pistolsaying I will onlysay this once.Do not openthe tiny doorin the backof your head.All alone whenall alone, weare asleepinside…

Poetry

Poem for Virgil Banescu

Matthew Rohrer

Bear and reindeer cut up on a plate.An endless cave.A duvet of darkness.Your notes piping and plaintive I thinkare still down there thoughthey traveled ahead of youtoo. They walked all the wayback to the vineyardswhere we slept. You werenow…

Poetry

Yoga I

Sandra Simonds

Poetry

The Wine-Dark Sea

Mathias Svalina

I am tryingto be simple as ink.But the hornsline my spine.I talk to yousometimesin the daylight.At nightI try not tosuspend.I hope it does notdistract you.Celan said thisto Liana Shmueli:Through you I translate you over to me.There is so muchI…

Poetry

Tea Ceremony

G.C. Waldrep

The sick queen crochets beesfrom pockets palsied stevedoresserrate, then ties with string the cineplexto suburbs swabbed in pollen.The poet speaks precisely so we hearthe “b” in “lamb,” the “p” and “t”of “slept,” the double “s” of “thrusts”while…

Interviews

"I Start From a Place of Outrage and Sadness":…

Zachary Martin

A conversation on humor in fiction with Elisa Albert, Steve Almond, Brock Clarke, Sam Lipsyte, John McNally, and Deb Olin Unferth The conversation that follows took place over e-mail in the fall of 2011 and grew out of a belief among Gulf…

Interviews

Erica Olsen, winner of the 2011 Barthelme Prize…

Erica Olsen

Melissa Dziedzic: The duplicating of the Grand Canyon is an interesting concept for a story, how did you come up with the initial idea? Did you start work on the piece with a familiarity with the geology and formations you were discussing?…

Interviews

"I came from a tussle with the sea": An interview…

JP O'Malley

       It’s ten a.m. on an overcast Monday morning at the Gore Hotel in west London. Just yards from the Royal Albert Hall, Michael Ondaatje waits alone in a room lined with volumes of leather-bound books. Wearing a cardigan and sporting a…

Editor's Note

To Know Something is to Kill It: Colin Cheney's…

Kimberly Bruss

    Colin Cheney, Here Be Monsters.           University of Georgia Press, 2010. Paperback, 80 pp, $16.95.        Reading Colin Cheney's collection of poems, selected by David Wojahn for the National Poetry Series in 2009, is akin to being…

Editor's Note

"The Sound Track to Your Next Teenage Riot":…

Thomas Calder

        Will Boast, Power Ballads.                University of Iowa Press, 2011. Paperback, 184 pp, $16.       There are two types of ballads explained in the title story of Will Boast’s collection, Power Ballads. There is the power ballad…

Editor's Note

“We’re sad in our own country”: David Dodd…

Kay Cosgrove

            David Dodd Lee, The Nervous Filaments                 Four Way Books, 2010. Paperback, 90 pp, $15.95.and those aren’t real horsessomething peeleddown to speechless woodduck after duck moving across the sealed windowsit happens…

Editor's Note

Miniature/Grand: Kjersti A. Skomsvold's The…

Lauren Genovesi

      Kjersti A. Skomsvold, translated by Kerri A. Pierce, The Faster I Walk,           the Smaller I Am. Dalkey Archive Press, 2011. Hardcover, 112 pp,           $17.95.       Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s first novel, The Faster I Walk, the Smaller…