26.1 - Winter/Spring 2014

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: Russ Woods, Nico Alvarado, Lucie Brock-Broido, Anne Barngrover, Patrick Rosal, Erica Wright, Stacy Kidd, Mary Reid Kelley, Heather Sellers, Kerri Webster, Adam Vines, Donald Platt, Annabelle Yeeseul Yoo, Lia Purpura, Christopher Kempf, and Will Wilkinson., Nate Powell, Dash Shaw, James Sturm, Jillian Tamaki, Kimberly Grey, Sam Ross, Bridget R. Cooks, Chris Hutchinson, John Sherer, Kristin Kostick, William Pope.L, Ariel Evans, Angie Estes, Robert Whitehead, Jericho Brown, Jenni Sorkin, Hope Larson, Matt Kindt, Melanie Rae Thon, Jacob Newberry, Celeste Ng, Alan Heathcock, Matthew Pennock, Alexander Lumans, Marissa Landrigan, Patricia Hampl, Marya Hornbacher, Pam Houston, Megan Kimble, Justin Carroll, Ilya Kaminsky, Henrietta Goodman, Zachary Martin, Daniil Kharms, Lindsey Drager, Karyna McGlynn, Brandel France de Bravo, M.K. Foster, JR Fenn, Lucy Bradnock, Rebecca Bates, Matthew Gavin Frank,

Features

Where We Went and What We Did There

JR Fenn

Our daughters go south and come back changed, smaller, with sliced-off hair and silences they themselves don’t understand. Our sons go south and east and west and come back sad, diminished, their dullness a pall on their faces...

Poetry

Fugue for the Sky Burial of Your Father

M.K. Foster

If white noise meant any shade other than the stone dark of / a closed eye, you would / remember that a hammer can also build, a shoulder can also / hold, nightshade can wake, / you would remember the swollen song the body sings to itself...

Non-Fiction / Features

A Lyric Voice: A Lyric Essay on Osip Mandelstam

Ilya Kaminsky

“I have no manuscripts, no notebooks, no archives,” wrote Osip Mandelstam, “I have no handwriting because I never write. I alone in Russia work from the voice, while all around the bitch pack writes. What the hell kind of writer am I!? ...

Fiction / Features

Power and Light

Alexander Lumans

Then I pour the first jarful of honey over his thigh: my own little touch to the ceremony. I manipulate that honey into golden shapes: an X for the fallen, an H for the Harlan family name, a big old zigzag for I didn’t have a clue...

Fiction

Darryl Strawberry

Justin Carroll

He’s thought about asking her, about mentioning that she smells like smoke, but he doesn’t know how. He used to, but lately all they do is smile politely and nod to one another like strangers washing their hands in a men’s room...

Fiction

Shelter

Alan Heathcock

Sleep had been elusive since Mazzy had been called home from the Army, just after the last storm, but night after night she lay beside her sister because the girl said she couldn’t sleep without her there. Another storm was coming...

Fiction

How to Be Chinese

Celeste Ng

Parts fall out of the conversation like paper snowflakes you cut out in kindergarten, mostly holes. You want to ask the girl next to you to translate, but you glance at her name tag and don’t know how to pronounce what’s there...

Fiction

The Light of Stars, Yes

Melanie Rae Thon

A word will shatter thought: skull, stone, star, rabbit: everything here, now, lost and still to come in this moment. There’s no reason why he can’t remember the future. Even now the light of stars long dead streaks toward him...

Non-Fiction

Those Poor Drowned

Matthew Gavin Frank

This is winter as casserole, as the French word for saucepan. This is a season so freezing, it doubles back on itself and simmers. Sometimes, our bodies get so cold, they burn. Sometimes, in the blizzard, we overflow the…

Editor's Note

Editor's Note

Karyna McGlynn, Zachary Martin

The first issue of Domestic Crude, the journal that would ultimately become Gulf Coast, was published i 1982. We recently turned up what is perhaps the only extant copy of that issue, opened to page one, and found...

Non-Fiction

Montaigne's Lute

Patricia Hampl

It had a lock and a key, the first book I wrote. A red leatherette five-year diary. The lock and key were the most important part—absolute privacy, the invitation to candor. A book that was a room to live in alone, speaking (my) truth...

Non-Fiction / Features

Rebecca

Marya Hornbacher

I have ended it five times. She forgets each day that it’s ended. Each day, another patient or a nurse tells her that I’ve left. She calls me in a panic and wants to know if it’s true. I say it’s true. I tell her she knew yesterday that it…

Non-Fiction

Mount Holyoke, 1992

Pam Houston

How good it’s been to slide backthe heart’s hood awhile, how fortunatethere’s a heart and a covering for it,and that whatever is still warmhas a chance            –Stephen Dunn, “Loves” I was out planting tomatoes in my garden when the phone…

Non-Fiction

Dropping the Moon

Megan Kimble

        Three small beanbags rest in my right palm, waiting flight. They are meant to be globes in our spinning solar system: moon, Earth, sun. The moon leans against my middle finger, the Earth rests in the hammock between my thumb and forefinger;…

Non-Fiction

Monsters

Marissa Landrigan

        When I was twenty-six, I sought out my professor and asked to be chosen to accompany him on the prison creative writing workshop for reasons I couldn’t even articulate. The first thing that happened was I got warned about walking the…

Non-Fiction

As Long as You're Able

Jacob Newberry

        Jerusalem, early February. Michael and I walk from West to East, past the Rolex store, down the old road to the Arab bus station. There are sparrows flying in circles above us, frozen avian bones alighting through the sunlight. Calling…

Features / Poetry

Tim Riggins Speaks of Waterfalls

Nico Alvarado

You want to know what it was like?It was like my whole life had a fever.Whole acres of me were on fire.The sun talked dirty in my ear all night.I couldn’t drive past a wheatfield without doing it violence.I couldn’t even look at a bridge.I…

Features / Poetry

Tim Riggins Invents a New Number

Nico Alvarado

I love you so muchI want to bury my fist in your chest.Eleventeen.

Features / Poetry

Bastille Day

Anne Barngrover

There are many unplanned ways to say goodbye: stealing away, making a show,lying drunk and intertwined in lawns. Againstthe washing machine in our friends’ sunroom,this may be the last time I will feel your hands rub down my legs, even if…

Features / Poetry

Little Industry of Ghosts

Lucie Brock-Broido

How is it you can explain their living here with me, leaningOn their cellos, doleful and plenty. In my single-person tax-bracket of one alive, there are more Living here with me not aliveThan are.   You are a good Dog now. Rising, supposing,…

Features / Poetry

Outskirt

Matthew Pennock

    –Ecrit par L’Automate de Maillardet    From the long view, the wetlands stun me—                patches of long grass sway like dauphinesses lost in a troubadour’s voice.But up close, Mademoiselle,                         the green is…

Features / Poetry

You Cannot Go to the God You Love With Your…

Patrick Rosal

And because you’re not an antelope or a dogyou think you can’t drop your other two limbs down and charge toward the Eternal Heart. But those are your legs too, the ones that have hauled your strangest body through a city of millions in less…

Features / Poetry

Woods: St. Julia of Corsica

Russ Woods

I have a bird in my mouth. He can’t get out. His wings and head keep struggling. Everybody notices bulges in my cheeks and asks what’s wrong. Rfmmrmff I say. I can’t seem to open my mouth wide enough for him to get more than a foot or some…

Features / Poetry

Disguised Weapons, Everyday Objects

Erica Wright

With the right combination of numbers, a phone discharges .22 caliber rounds, and that’s enough to silence the witnesses. Bedposts fall under “less spy, more convenient” and can be wiped clean. All the women line their eyes with kohl, let…

Features

Transcript of The Syphilis of Sisyphus

Mary Reid Kelley

Paris, 1952Scene 1: Sisyphus' Garret SISYPHUS:Nature sold me a lie, and I’ve kept the deceitOn my face to remind me: Her falsehoods repeat    Like the seasons renew. Same advice every time,Because Nature can counsel me nothing but crime.Her…

Features / Editor's Note

Before the Menil: Walter Hopps's Curatorial…

Lucy Bradnock

     An intriguing tale crops up in oral history interviews conducted with Los Angeles artists and curators of the 1950s. Recounted by the curator Walter Hopps, the artist Craig Kauffman, and the gallerist Jim Newman, it concerns a Midwestern…

Poetry

The Matador

Lucie Brock-Broido

The last I saw of him was on the final neurasthenic afternoon of his harmonica/When he lost his hair ad said I did this to him with my grief,/As the pink halo of a monk's scalp began to shine up through his own.

Poetry

Okay, Cupid

Christopher Kempf

I admire you most, boldly/drawn boy in Bronzino's/Venus. Oil on wood. where/you, Cupid, cup/your mother's breast & bend/your pale, putto's mouth to her.

Poetry

Typhoon Poem (Two)

Patrick Rosal

The teacher can't hear the children/over all this monsoon racket,/all the zillion spoons whacking/the rusty roods, all the wicked tin streams/flipping full-grown bucks off their hooves.

Poetry

a theory of orbital resonance

Rebecca Bates

the fox body and another and the snow thicket. two foxes circling as bodies, the bodies rigid, the bodies circling in the neighborhood of a thicket rigid with bodies foxes red. the foxes wit tails like passing fire.

Poetry

St. Julia of Corsica

Russ Woods

I have a bird in my mouth. He can't get out. his wings and head keep struggling. Everybody notices bulges in my cheeks and asks what's wrong. Rrmmrmff I say.I can't seem to get my mouth wide enough for him to get more than a foot or some feather's…

Poetry

St. Catherine of Alexandria

Russ Woods

I am sewing a quilt in the shape of my hand. I am sewing a quilt in the shape of my arm. I am sewing a quilt in the shape of my body, a quilt that will cover me perfectly, so long as I lie stiller than anything.

Poetry

Merry-Go-Round

Brandel France de Bravo

We are waiting in line for the carousel. My mother's breath is short and shallow. the closer we get, the more must support her. I'm dizzy, she says. I have to lie down. Her breath as if. In labor.

Poetry

Tim Riggins Imagines Heaven

Nico Alvarado

It's a great sea of stupid people./An ocean of idiots./Everyone just sort of bobs around/And bumps into each other./A lot of the stupid people are kids./Fat, ugly kids.

Poetry

Fauxbade

Heather Sellers

I teach all day, get a weak signal at night,/Malbec, Idol, pasta, peas, cherries. Night, night./Wake at three a.m. to wind-streaked dark, I know/death thinks about me, like a dog...

Poetry

I'm Not Crazy About You

Heather Sellers

You warn me you'll be wearing a suit. Don't./Warn me if you're going to be naked, killed, careless,/in flames.

Poetry

The Puppy and Kitten Channel

Henrietta Goodman

Remember the night I passed my test and the Thai/place where you took me brought my rice pressed/into the shape of a heart,a maraschino cherry/bleeding sweetly on the top?

Poetry

I am not Gertrude Stein

Stacy Kidd

This pleasing or displeasing you,/I curl my hair into a ball of strays.

Poetry

I am not all Elsie and Elsie again

Stacy Kidd

(because maybe I am and Elsie)/isn't a spot in my head, in my whole goddam spotted heart.

Poetry

Old Ladies Are Flying

Daniil Kharms

An old lady fell out of the window because she was too curious. She fell out of the window and was smashed to pieces.

Poetry

After Warhol's Rorsach, 1984

Adam Vines

Too easy/to say Shiva/or Janus/or butterfly/effect or tree/of life or/Christmas/wreath because/it is December

Poetry

Jake I Don't Know the First Thing About Desire

Kerri Webster

So how could I teach it to you. I think/the body's a hub and bodies are spokes/and there are things worth setting the house/on fire for, but hard to know what things/they are plus they may shift and then/you're left with a burned-down house,/you…

Poetry

Evening Prayer

Anne Barngrover

When you think of me, don't think of me wooing/the bed all thick-tongued with vodka./O god, come to my assistance./don't think of me baby-/oiled in a green bikini with dirty feet.

Poetry

Caravaggio's Beheading of St. John the Baptist

Donald Platt

Caravaggio too knew/that violence and murder underlie religion, eroticism, all/civilization.