Penelope

                                              Weave a new tale for the clever queen. By day she weaves the shroud; by night she … Continued

“Hawks Do Not Share”

Ernest Hemingway met F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in 1925 when they were all living in Paris. The Great Gatsby had just come out and, according to Fitzgerald, “was not selling well but had very fine reviews.” Hemingway pursued the … Continued

Cyclones

That night, as Sam slept, Daisy snuck out and drove out of town, the sky clear, the moon half-empty. Ahead of her the tail lights of a semi-trailer. She watched for the gleam of green deer eyes on the shoulder. … Continued

Joke

  When I mention a crush I have on some boy I’ll forget in three weeks’ time or never, call it love, Scuba, my closest friend, rolls his eyes, shoots back Did you pee on him so he’s marked as … Continued

The Prophecy

Holding my death in his mouth I’m reminded of a cat Snapping a canary up All blood and blonde feathers and grey fur Tiny beak and talons no match against that Merciless beast Poor creature  I have arrived here And … Continued

You Whom They Border

      you border crosser in this simulation you constantly slip and call one border by the other’s name the names aren’t straight inside of you and you conflate one with two because you still yearn for another border … Continued

You, Amateur Interpreter

  You would have told yourself as your mother sat in the dentist’s chair, had you known who Wittgenstein was then, “I have to imagine pain which I do not feel on the model of the pain which I do … Continued

Anniversary

      I haunt you because I love you. You are constantly surprised by this. I am made of papier-mâché. You have dreamt of this before, a serious matter. You delight in torment. We were made for this. I … Continued

Review: The Nail in the Tree by Carol Ann Davis

(North Adams, MA: Tupelo Press, 2020) One night after three am, Carol Ann Davis holds her sleeping seven-year-old boy, Luke, as he shutters and mumbles from night terrors, “My boy wakes repeating I don’t know I don’t know.” After he … Continued

‘Mysteries of Small Houses’

    To put off doing what I need to, I plan a trip to Detroit with my mom. I spend hours looking at every Airbnb in the city, thinking of all the empty houses. There’s the ones that burned … Continued

Hearses

    A professor once wrote me that to write of fruit or flowers or dreams, no matter how deftly, is the lowest form of metaphor, after processions. Years later, on the subject again, she that time indicted horses as … Continued

The Rat Problem

      The lady upstairs is yelling at her kids. I mean, really yelling. The high whine of these kids’ voices and the pitter-patter lightness of their footsteps suggest the oldest can’t be older than ten—or at least not … Continued

Historic District

    With purpose, you pull up the blinds. Light enters the room like a feeling violating a man. Sitting up in a bed built for a husband and a wife, I think for a second nature has taken us … Continued

Review: Creatures Among Us by Rebecca Lilly

(Frankfurt, KY: Broadstone Books, 2019) There certainly is a need for fantasy in our culture. Fantasy novels, sci-fi novels, manga, anime, adult fantasy fiction and films, fan fiction — the list runs like a stream into an ever-growing groundswell of … Continued

A Report on Forbidden Beverages

    For many years, I did not drink beer and then, suddenly, I did.  Before that, before I drank beer, I drank wine. For many years when I was asked at a party, at a gathering, at an event, … Continued

Minor Neil

They’ll be here soon. I’m not denying that fact. But knowing and accepting are not one and the same. I accept myself, sometimes. I’ll never be more than a fan, but that’s okay, because I’m a good fan. For example, … Continued

[For the first time…]

translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson for the castaways of the Ker Anna       For the first time, we were naked. Who taught us to fall from the tree? What power had we wasted? To which blood founding our … Continued

The Philosophy Student

Translated from Italian by Stiliana Milkova   the philosophy student dreams she has insomnia her hair grows at night spilling from her bed even-numbered strands sprout into serpents’ heads odd-numbered strands splice into steel scissors serpents and scissors battle while … Continued

Once Upon an Ending

          Once upon a time, I wasn’t a good little girl. Momma only had a few rules for my sister, Jane, and me. Rule number one: Always have each other’s backs. Rule number two: Do our … Continued

A Mother of Concern

      Mary worked night shifts because of the babies. At night, when the lights were dimmed in the hospital nursery, she could hold and rock the newborns. During the hubbub of the day, when administrators roamed the halls … Continued

Heart Out

For Marina       My friend tells me my courage is my vulnerability, that in my overthrow of self lies refinement. What part un-hindering & what part exchange? Is it courage that extends the detangling of days? Maybe so. … Continued

Review: Anxious Attachments by Beth Alvarado

(Pittsburgh, PA: Autumn House Press, 2019) The desert: a place of strange, spiked plants and long, sandy distances. Even today in the age of air conditioners and running water, it’s not exactly a place that welcomes human life. It is … Continued

Judith and Ahmed: A Story of Friendship

You know what … I was proved fucking right. That’s what happened. People who disagreed with me were saying, ‘There she goes again.’ But I was proved fucking right.—Judith Miller [Chalabi] published three mathematics papers between 1973 and 1980, in … Continued

Dog Ears

    Flouncing when she trots, Perked, cocked, flopped, Flattened, swiveled at Prompts of joy or itch Or curiosity, velvet Flaps opening on secret Zones of sound more Precious than what’s Hidden inside any silken Purse—awareness’s soft Synecdoches, alert just … Continued

Prepared Instruments

 After V.W. & H.D.T. How I wish someone would draft These lines for me. Perhaps I could Revise, develop, finish them, but Then whom would I owe, and what Would be demanded?  Someone Young, I suppose—amused or kind Or shrewd, … Continued

Further Notice

      Later, in the dream of having bought a rambling seaside house, in which just a few rooms had been finished—furnished, decorated— while others remained box-cluttered, empty of design or even purpose, I find a man I know … Continued

all of my days were nights

One night I walk to a bookstore five blocks from my house. The weather is perfect, cool and dry. The Big Dipper fills the canvas of a clear night. I am on my phone renting equipment for work when I … Continued

The Pretty Red-Head

“O Sun it is the time for flaming judgment,”—Guillaume Apollinaire, “La Jolie Rousse”   Always I was misunderstanding the words. Too many guns in the air to be happy. The news but a sour case of pink eye with a … Continued

Wilder Bluer Yonder

I packed my bags and left my home, and when I got to the edge, I did what everyone does and stepped off into the great blue Yawn, which I was surprised to find (though I shouldn’t have been) never … Continued

A Comforting Return

    1. On my desk, two silver and black pens— Zebra pens—wait casually at weird angles for the beginning of something         And in one of the corners of the room, a ghost-silver guitar fashioned after a … Continued

When Will We Get What We Deserve?

  In late spring, Darla said that she was pregnant. Hermann knew that the baby wasn’t his, couldn’t be his, because she was fastidious about him always using a condom. She made him take it off in the bathroom when … Continued

Judith

translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal   A bored married couple of actors in front of a full hall rattle off their lines Bride and Bridegroom from the Song of Songs. Do you remember? I don’t want it that way: … Continued

Judyta

  Znudzone sobą małżeństwo aktorów przy pełnej sali odbębniało kwestie Oblubienicy i Oblubieńca z Pieśni nad Pieśniami. Pamiętasz ich? Ja tak nie chcę. Już wolę w wierszu uciąć ci głowę jak Judyta Holofernesowi i z nieco teatralną mieszaniną strachu i … Continued