25.1 - Winter/Spring 2013

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: Lo Kwa Mei-en, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Ari Banias, Jenny Xie, Jess Novak, M.A. Vizsolyi, Devon J. Moore, Julia Anna Morrison, Rusty Morrison, Sara C. Rolater, Jill McDonough, Rob MacDonald, Marty McConnell, Jeffrey McDaniel, Sohrab Sepehri, S.E. Smith, Garret Dean Johnson, Dean Young, Sean Patrick Hill, Joshua Ware, Sidney Wade, Olga Mexina, Alexandra Teague, Joshua Kryah, Layla Benitez-James, Ansel Elkins, Maggie Shipstead, Mark Beaver, Amy Boesky, Liza Butler, Robin Romm, Patrick McGinty, Geetha Iyer, Emily Watson, Morris Collins, Drew Johnson, Steve Coughlin, Rebecca Evanhoe, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Chris Dombrowski, Norman Dubie, Allie Rowbottom, Laynie Browne, Mary Biddinger, Clancy Martin, Daniel Tyx, Cristin O'Keefe, Thomas Heise,

Features / Interviews

The "F-Word": Fragment and the Futility of…

Allie Rowbottom

Hybrid essays, lyrical essays, nonfiction novels, memoirs in fragments. Lately, the blurring of genre lines, although a storied tradition, seems to be of particular interest within writing programs and the literary communities that inform…

Fiction / Features

The Glass World-Builder

Geetha Iyer

Winner of the 2012 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction, selected by Victor LaValle  It is difficult for me to talk about Sarla Shah. These days everyone has a label for her. Some labels I find too distressing to repeat. Others are ludicrous. Some…

Features / Poetry

Pinnochia on Fire

Lo Kwa Mei-en

Winner of the 2012 Gulf Coast Prize in Poetry, selected by Joyelle McSweeney There is a line that could make you love me really,          but reeling, I spend the words like virgin coin for a real girl on the line. When things got bad, all…

Features / Non-Fiction

Sweetie, Sweetie

Emily Watson

Winner of the 2012 Gulf Coast Prize in Nonfiction, selected by Jenny Boully Saddlebacked       Two women. One has a pair of matching pocketbooks, slung over a forearm and clenched in a fist, and two bundles—one bulky and blue—held in her arms.…

Fiction

The Apiary of Their Love

Morris Collins

The professors are having trouble with their marriage.       They have been married for twenty-five years and have each had one affair. They know about the other’s affair and usually they say nothing, though sometimes alone, facing the mirror…

Fiction

Three Greyhounds

Drew Johnson

1. False Husband       Not long before we board, another passenger has a request. I don’t think I look sympathetic. Mirrored, there’s only my empty face, waiting for some emotion to twitch in from the outside to my jelly eyes stranded in my…

Fiction

Her Circus

Patrick McGinty

My best friend Grace has this circus, and the two of them go everywhere together, her and her circus, because they’re in love.       Even I have to admit that it’s the real thing, and I know how Grace can get. You can see it in how the circus…

Fiction

Adulthood

Robin Romm

The job took her first to Boulder, scenic city under peaks, then to Albuquerque, gritty city under peaks, and now down to the border, henpecked city under peaks, in a town named for crosses. Las Cruces, Gina says to people and they say it…

Fiction

The Orchard

Maggie Shipstead

Jennings has not come to her bed in eight days, not since the dog died. He begged her to bury the dog, weeping while she looked out the window at the orange trees, eight hundred acres of dark leaves and bright fruit. She could see the roof…

Non-Fiction

Addressee Unknown

Mark Beaver

It was the year that Atlanta police charged Wayne Williams with the murders of two black males, and my father announced he was going to be on TV. It was 1981; I was thirteen, a white kid, in a lily-white suburban neighborhood of brick ranches…

Non-Fiction

Tae Kwon Do

Amy Boesky

I understood my daughter would leave, at least in the abstract. I really did. I knew it was coming, and I prepared myself. I read all the blogs, and I knew enough to be ready to pick up a couple of hobbies afterwards. For example, I started…

Non-Fiction

Some Massive Gravity

Liza Butler

The big square pills or the small bullet pills make our old dog Sequoia thirsty. She laps up so much water I have to refill her bowl twice a day. I joke that she is doing much better than me—I am supposed to drink ten cups of water a day,…

Non-Fiction

Boy at Night

Steve Coughlin

In the final hours of daylight, he refuses to stop throwing his football against the chain-link fence. His arm aches from the relentless throwing, and the fence rattles as if the boy could drive a football-sized hole through it if he only…

Non-Fiction

Approximately 36 Toilets

Rebecca Evanhoe

The First ToiletI grew up in a house with four toilets—two upstairs, two down—but as a young girl, I cleaned only one. My sister and I took turns with the toilet we shared. My mother cleaned the toilet she shared with my father. My brothers…

Non-Fiction

Lite-Brite

Clancy Martin

Excerpted from Love, Lies and Marriage (FSG), a book in progressWhen the cops beat on the door I was in a warm bath pecking at my basilic vein with the Global knife my second wife had allowed me after expelling me from our house. I had finished…

Non-Fiction

Occupants

First there is Brandon, who everyone calls Squeaky B because of his big body and small voice. Also his sixteen-year-old cousin, Duncan, who opts out of high school and instead sits on the front porch of their house with a laptop while someone…

Non-Fiction

The Year I Didn't

Daniel Tyx

Selected for inclusion in Best American Travel Writing 2013 The year I didn’t walk 1,900 miles along the US-Mexico border, I purchased a detail map of the border states and Northern Mexico at the Circle K in McAllen. In my mind’s eye, the…

Poetry

Your Wife

Cristin O'Keefe

Poetry

High School, A Version

Ari Banias

Poetry

Exquisite Corpse

Ari Banias

Poetry

Risk Management Memo: Small Enterprise

Mary Biddinger

You wanted to open a café called Rimbaud’s Helicopter. I just kept tellingmyself to look loveable. We watchedApocalypse Now in two sleeping bagszipped together incorrectly. I confessedhow I was making a bejeweled saddlefor a racehorse I would…

Poetry

from Mendicant: "Dear She"

Laynie Browne

Poetry

from "Rocket Fantastic"

Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Poetry

Comes to Worse

Chris Dombrowski

Poetry

Gotterdammerung

Norman Dubie

Poetry

from Moth; or how I came to be with you…

Thomas Heise

— I remember when I touched my sleeping mother’s hair, it sparked in my hands and I thought she was inhuman, but I was young, and only years later would I understand she was under the spell of an erotic dream — I remember a white door emboldened…

Poetry

A Terror of Foxes

Joshua Kryah

What they eat.What they don’t eat.What they leave behind, left there to tell youof their having been.Their hunger.Their choice of eating.Their animal and the parts of the animal we areto remember them by.That men are foxes or foxes men.Their…

Poetry

Expat/Sexpot

Rob MacDonald

Southbound, Erica saysshe wishes eucalyptus didn’tlook so much like apocalypse.Erica never looksher future directlyin the eyes.It hits a hundred,dizzy, and she’s likea walking skinny dip.At a rest area, Erica tells youit’s rude to stareat…

Poetry

animal, vegetable, mineral

Marty McConnell

last night I felt a salt sorrow risein my body, in my mouth, and thought,having a child will not fix this. and,I may always be alone. sugar only mademy heart shiver, and the bathhad hands like drowning. sleep kept dashing away from me on fast…

Poetry

Return to El Perdido Mundo

Jeffrey McDaniel

Poetry

Tomorrow Never Dies II

Jill McDonough

Poetry

Pinnochia, We Loved You Enough

Lo Kwa Mei-en

Poetry

Pinnochia Sends Home the Manifesto

Lo Kwa Mei-en

Poetry

Telegraph

Lo Kwa Mei-en

Poetry

Red

Devon J. Moore

Poetry

Lightship

Julia Anna Morrison

Poetry

Rude Girls

Jess Novak

Poetry

Marie Antoinette's Husband Was a Total Baller

Jess Novak

but he never really took advantage of it.    He gave his wife the house he was supposed to give to his mistress. Jenny asks me if I think that is way romantic    & I know it’s a trick question but I can’t tell which waybecause last night Jack…

Poetry

Oasis of Now

Sohrab Sepehri

Poetry

No Explode

S.E. Smith

The grapefruit tree explodes with the power of its senselessness. To hold this thought in my mind I had to shoo away many others.It’s really a leap to believe Howdy Doody was actually speakingwhen he sang all those songs, and not some semi-retired…

Poetry

Memento Mori

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Poetry

On Cancer

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

I have decided that my life is herdare. One that I shoutfuck against in this thawing month that weepslike a wet cornerof bread, stupidflesh that I am decided to fail. Who am I to press a mark on something that tired? Instead, I have decidedthe…

Poetry

Whole Cloth

Alexandra Teague

Poetry

Just Another Sad, Sad Evening

M.A. Vizsolyi

You’ve come back againlooking for the weeping girlwith braidsyou most likely have a better phraseor feel more prepared to deal with sorrowshe’s still gonei put her in a barshe is older and thinner& more beautiful& is a stripperi can take you…

Poetry

The Dream of Poppies & H.D.

M.A. Vizsolyi

Poetry

Glory Train

Sidney Wade

Poetry

Deglet Nour

Joshua Ware

Poetry

Animal

Jenny Xie

They have no need for forgettingthemselves. Unnamed, two bucksapproach the backyard, snouts grazingthe loam. What does that make me—barefoot and barbed on the porch,repeating the most tired things into the receiver.Last summer, I painted the…

Poetry

Transplant

Jenny Xie

Poetry

Light-Bringers

Dean Young

Interviews

"A Poem Argues for its Own Existence": An Interview…

Sean Patrick Hill

Sean Patrick Hill: To begin, I’d like to ask about the title of your book,Address. Obviously, there are a couple thematic dimensions to it: addressing others on both a small, personal scale and a larger, more political address. Did you set…

Editor's Note

On a Tightrope in a Storm of Starlings: Dan…

Layla Benitez-James

Perhaps it is not a logical assumption that a collection of poems inspired by the philosophical musings in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Circles,” would be especially exciting. Intelligent, yes, but compelling? Whimsical? In Dan Beachy-Quick’s Circle’s…

Editor's Note

Fiction that Waves Its Arms About: Matt Bondurant's…

Garret Dean Johnson

Salman Rushdie recently mentioned at a reading in Houston, apropos of his novel Luka and the Fire of Life, being attracted to “fiction that waves its arms about.” While Matt Bondurant’s newest offering features no adventuring boys getting…

Editor's Note

"Blunt Chorus": Ken Badstock's Methodist…

Olga Mexina

The speaker of Ken Babstock’s Methodist Hatchet is both anxious and confident. Confident because he knows there is no hope, yet the show must go on if only for the purposes of pure aesthetic description. Anxious because he realizes how constructed…

Editor's Note

"the exact temperature of a hand": Melissa…

Rusty Morrison

Henry Corbin, whose writings have illuminated the Sufi tradition for the western mind, states that the symbolic image “announces a plane of consciousness distinct from rational evidence; it is the 'cipher' of a mystery.” A number of women…

Editor's Note

Doomed Red Blooded Hope: Brian Doyle's Bin…

Sara C. Rolater

Brian Doyle, the versatile author of eleven books of fiction, nonfiction, and “proems,” could well be the love child of a literary three-way between George Saunders, Steve Almond, and the late David Foster Wallace (in the canonical Caucasian…