IT'S SO HARD TO KNOW

“Do You Love Me?”


Vol.58 Issue 02

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TOC
“DO YOU LOVE ME?”

 

EDITOR’S LETTER
Minna Proctor

The stories and poems collected here are largely about perspective, specifically the shifting perspectives of age. …read the whole letter here

COVER ARTIST’S STATEMENT
Gillian Laub

I have been photographing in Israel for almost ten years. The beach is where I go to escape.
…read the artist’s statement here

 

FICTION

Eric Barnes
Headstands

My father is watching in amazement as my phone rings but I don’t pick it up. “You’re not going to answer that?” he asks, incredulous.

Eliot Schrefer
Singlet

Remember how your coach had a sleepover for your team and bought everyone their own porn movie? We thought that was the coolest thing any adult has ever done, but looking back I think it was weird. Don’t you?
…read the whole story

Anton Gunasingam
Coming Home

There’s a roar. I look up. The sea is surging at us. As it does, it swallows up the beach very quickly.
…read the whole story

Andrei Krasniashikh, Ukraine
Labyrinth
Translated by Tanya Paperny

I hear the muted sound of thunder in the distance, and there might have even been a flash of lightning somewhere behind me, though there’s not a single window in my room. This means Uncle Heyerdahl will drop in soon.

Rav Grewal-Kök
Professor Ozül!

Gamze would have continued for the three years that remained to him on the faculty and, with certain adjustments—a second daily walk, the occasional pleasure-boat excursion with the widow Uzuner—for the ten or fifteen additional years he could hope to be allotted in this life, were it not for the fact that one spring morning, in his laboratory, he invented a method for producing an industrial lubricant far more resistant to viscosity breakdown during certain petrochemical refinement applications than the lubricant in general use.

Rebecca Givens Rolland
Honey Alone Would Do It

Imagine what it feels like, I said, to be a nail stapling down the sole to the base of a shoe, and flapping right in the wind, reeking of gum and paste and sand grains from a walk on the beach.

Michael Broida
The Kings of Ethiopia

In the morning, Wazeba would roll downstairs in his mutant-green pajamas to eat his favorite breakfast: boiled hot dogs with mayonnaise rolled in the bitter sponginess of his mother’s injera.

Carol Ghiglieri
Vena Cava

In the months before he died, my father was preoccupied with his stomach. With his entire digestive tract more like it, and its moody and intricate functioning.

Bezalel Stern
Short Story

This is a short story, about a boy and a girl. They fall in love. Star-crossed lovers, perhaps? Not even.

Wolfgang Hilbig, Germany
The Sleep of the Righteous
Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole

By day we keep silent, we know too much about ourselves, and our resolve to skirt or ignore this knowledge of ourselves is unshakeable.

Dennis McFadden
The Cap of Colored Air

Radwell, the headhunter at ProSource Services, Inc., had told him to color his hair. Radwell had said in his folksy way that the age on the application—fifty-two in Stanley’s case—“didn’t mean a tick on a fat dog’s ass,” what mattered was the age of the man walking through the door.

 

POETRY

Kathleen Graber
The Weight

My acupuncturist says it is not necessary to believe 
in acupuncture for the needles to work. Lord, may there be a metaphor 
here for all the mysteries.

Kathleen McGookey
Tornado Machine
Three Letters

Death, check your suggestion box. I slipped in Take a vacation. Also stop watching the sunset and fold some laundry.

Kathryn Nuernberger
Also So What if She Is and What if She Isn’t
The Saint Girl Tries To Do the Right Thing
Ways in Which the Saint Girl Is and Is Not Me

Wracked with wrongness, she made a dream of going to the clocksmith. Please, she said, I’d like to dissect a clock. The better to understand analytic philosophy, I guess.

Shane McCrae
That You Use Your Body to Escape Your Skin
The Black Child Raised in a White Home Must Look Outside the Home
The Mountain Will Be as a Cottonwood Seed Taken by the Wind in the Winds of the Last Days
That the Powerful Inspire Empathy in the Powerless

Growing up black white trash you read
Poetry yes     Shel Silverstein
Novels for kids about smart kids who don’t fit in
And catalogues of war machinery

James E. Allman, Jr.
There Is No Poetry Fit
Practice

Like a gaggle of kids once 
making a game of it,
like playing telephone: between 
here and there, or 
just between you and me—

Lori Lamothe
Rothko No. 8, 1952

It’s the kind of formula 
that leaves even the suicides 
tap dancing like madmen 
on the heads of ghostly pins. 

Tod Marshall
Manners
Correspondence

When potholes start earning their own names,
trucks come from the city to dump asphalt by Mike and Sue’s,

Christine Larusso
There will be no more daughters

There will be no more disaster of the street
signs. No treecrash or clunker, no perfume for
I Met You Then, of the hour, the whole hour,

Robert Wrigley
Ecology
Cartwheels, 1968

The idea was, she said, they would do it
in an open grave, the one she’d seen being dug
that afternoon from her house by the cemetery.

Lisa Allen Ortiz
Novoandina

My children stopped eating
when we moved to this country. …read the whole poem here

Nick Twemlow
The speaker’s feeling of loneliness is profound, or I read the lyrics of the emergency

When I picked up my son
From preschool this 
Moment willed itself
Into being
& nuffingness, like when
I tethered myself
To his teacher.

Robyn Schiff
Although

lobster is a delicacy to
lobster, and possessed of the ability 
to drop and grow back claws, …read the whole poem here

 

ESSAY

Knud Sønderby, Denmark
Deer Park in the Dark
Ride with a Lady
Translated by Michael Goldman

If I had been alone I would never have made it to this gully. If I had been riding with a man, I could have said, “No, thank you very much. You won’t find me risking life and limb hazarding a two- to three-yard chasm.” But I was not alone

Chris Arthur, United Kingdom
Memory Sticks

Once in daily use, relied on, gripped tightly, leaned upon, the sticks haven’t left their dusty station now for years. They’re like redundant rolling stock shunted into a forgotten siding and abandoned there. 

 

CONTRIBUTORS

James E. Allman, Jr. (poetry) is a dabbler with an expensive photography habit and a poetry dependency. Nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, his work appears or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Los Angeles Review, Nimrod, and Prairie Schooner, among others. He’s written reviews for Rattle and elsewhere and is the co-founder of an artist community called Continuum.

Chris Arthur’s (essay) five essay collections are Irish Nocturnes, Irish Willow, Irish Haiku, Irish Elegies, and On the Shoreline of Knowledge. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays. Honors include the Akegarasu Haya International Essay Prize and a Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award.

Eric Barnes (“Headstands”) is author of the novels Something Pretty, Something Beautiful and Shimmer, plus short stories in publications including Prairie Schooner and Best American Mystery Stories, as well as publisher of three newspapers covering business and politics.

Michael Broida (“The Kings of Ethiopia”) repairs old bicycles and enjoys learning Spanish and Portuguese in his free time. Originally from Ohio, where he graduated from Kenyon College in 2012, he now lives in Boston and works in education.

Isabel Fargo Cole’s translations include Boys and Murderers by Hermann Ungar, All the Roads Are Open by Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and The Jew Car by Franz Fühmann. The recipient of a prestigious PEN/Heim Translation Grant in 2013, she is co-editor of No Man’s Land, an online magazine for new German literature in English.

Carol Ghiglieri (“Vena Cava”) was born in the Bay Area and now lives in Brooklyn. Her short stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, Crazyhorse, Alaska Quarterly Review, and other fine literary journals, and she’s currently at work on a novel.

Michael Goldman (translation) taught himself Danish while working on a pig farm in Denmark in 1986 to help him win the heart of a Danish girl. They just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. He recently was inside a Danish classroom for the first time when he taught translation at the University of Wisconsin.

Kathleen Graber (poetry) is an associate professor of English and the director of the graduate creative writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the author of two poetry collections, The Eternal City and Correspondence, and the recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation. New poems have appeared recently AGNI, Mead, and Painted Bride Quarterly.

Rav Grewal-Kök (“Professor Ozül!”) is an associate fiction editor of Fence. His stories have recently appeared in The Missouri Review, Little Star, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. He lives in Saint Louis, where he is working on a novel.

Anton Gunasingam (“Coming Home”) lives in Sri Lanka and is working on a fantasy novel. He writes freelance for The Sunday Island, a Sri Lankan newspaper.

Wolfgang Hilbig (1941–2007) (“The Sleep of the Righteous”) was one of the major German writers to emerge in the postwar era. Though raised in East Germany, he proved so troublesome to the authorities that in 1985 he was granted permission to emigrate west. The author of over 20 books, he received virtually all of Germany’s major literary prizes, capped by the 2002 Georg Büchner Prize, Germany’s highest literary honor.

Andrei Krasniashikh (“Labyrinth”) is a prose writer, professor of literature, and co-founder and co-editor of a prominent literary journal in Kharkov, Ukraine. He was shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize in 2009, the oldest independent literary prize in Russia.

Lori Lamothe’s (poetry) second book of poetry, Happily, is forthcoming in winter 2015. She lives in New England with her daughter and a red Siberian husky born on Halloween.

Christine Larusso (poetry) is from California, and her heart is still there. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, Narrative, Court Green, The Awl, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She wishes there were a better way than poetry book contests. She also wishes she owned a dog. She lives in Brooklyn, where she procrastinates by cooking elaborate meals.

Tod Marshall (poetry) lives in Spokane, Washington, where he teaches at Gonzaga University.

Dennis McFadden (“The Cap of Colored Air”), a project manager for the State of New York, lives and writes in an old farmhouse called Mountjoy on Bliss Road, just up Peaceable Street from Harmony Corners. His collection is entitled Hart’s Grove and his stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Best American Mystery Stories (2011 and 2013), The Missouri Review, New England Review, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fiction, and Crazyhorse.

Shane McCrae (poetry) is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Animal Too Big to Kill, and the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award and a fellowship from the NEA. He teaches at Oberlin College.

Kathleen McGookey (poetry) bakes pies and goes water skiing or downhill skiing, depending on weather, when she’s not writing. Often her actual dreams, or scraps of them, find their way into her poems. When she looks out the window above her desk, she sees a field of corn and white farmhouses. Her books Stay and At the Zoo are forthcoming.

Kathryn Nuernberger (poetry) is the author of two poetry collections, Rag & Bone and The End of Pink, forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2016. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Green Mountains Review, Harpur Palate, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. She is assistant professor of creative writing at University of Central Missouri, where she also serves as the director of Pleiades Press.

Lisa Allen Ortiz (poetry) wrote “Novoandina” when she was living in Cusco, Peru with her husband and two daughters. She’s now returned to her home in Santa Cruz, California, but Peru haunts her with its mountainous wings. Some of her poems and translations have appeared in Best New Poets, Beloit Poetry Journal, Duende, and Zyzzyva, and in two chapbooks, Turns Out and Self Portrait as a Clock. Earlier work was published in TLR: Refrigerator Mothers

Tanya Paperny (translator) is a writer and translator in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Pacific Standard, VICE, The Massachusetts Review, and other fine outlets. She is an editor at Anomalous Press.

Rebecca Givens Rolland (“Honey Alone Would Do It”) is a writer, educator, photographer, and consultant. She is a speech-language pathologist and learning specialist with a focus on early childhood. She won the 2011 Dana Award in Short Fiction and has fiction published or forthcoming in Tampa Review, Slice, and Hobart. Her nonfiction has appeared in Brain, Child Magazine, The Harvard Education Letter, and Education Week. Her first book of poetry won the May Sarton New Hampshire First Book Award.

Robyn Schiff (poetry) is the author of Worth and Revolver, and the forthcoming collection A Woman of Property, which will be published in 2016. Her recent poems have appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, Company, and elsewhere. She co-edits Canarium Books and teaches at the University of Iowa.

Eliot Schrefer (“Singlet”) is a two-time finalist for the National Book Award. His NY Times-bestselling books have been named to the NPR Best of the Year list and the ALA best fiction list for young adults. He is on the faculty at the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA program.

Knud Sønderby (1909–1966) (essay) was a career journalist for three Danish newspapers while publishing six essay collections, five novels, six plays, and translating numerous works into Danish for the Royal Theater. He was also a founding member of the Danish Academy.

Bezalel Stern (“Short Story”) is a poet trapped in the body of a writer of fiction. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Monkeybicycle, Contrary Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, and other places. In 2013–14, he was an Emerging Writer Fellow at the Center for Fiction in New York. He currently lives in Washington DC, and enjoys cheese.

Nick Twemlow’s (poetry) Palm Trees received the Norma Farber First Book Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Recent poems are just out or forthcoming in jubilat, Lana Turner, and The Paris Review. He co-edits Canarium Books and teaches at Coe College.

Robert Wrigley’s (poetry) most recent books are Anatomy of Melancholy & Other Poems and The Church of Omnivorous Light: Selected Poems. He teaches at the University of Idaho.