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

On Childhood

1 My daughter has slid down in the bath so that just the island of her face breaks the surface— and when she holds in her breath her body suspends touching nothing I say can you hear me and she … Continued

On Aesthetics

  Here the boy is fifteen when his father’s friend Paul— six foot six and seething because his saxophone career ended twenty-five years ago and, ever since, he’s taught middle school—calls the boy a little prick, a little piece of … Continued

The Almost Audience (for Phyllis Wheatley)

      Of Senegambia and seven, she should have been of the not-to be-taken, the not-high price, for a not-prime boy’s a girl of the unsuitable labor (birth not work)—and that years away. (Some of the captured, their spirits: … Continued

Chasing a Ghost: Portrait of My Father

YOU DO NOT CHASE A GHOST BY LOOKING DIRECTLY BUT BY CATCHING HIS REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR. YOU LOOK BEHIND.   My father Thomas is long gone, and this year I have outlived his fifty-five years. In the forty years since … Continued

Crying

      Instead of crying on your shoulder I cry on the internet. Instead of crying I make allusions to crying by cherry picking the subjects. Instead of crying on his shoulder I build a fountain of black amethyst … Continued

The Neon Touch

          Kelly, whose mother had rolled up the Subaru windows and driven into a lake, took photos of crushed up anti-depressants. Each pill, Kelly said, represented an unanswered question about her mother’s suicide. Sophia, whose parents … Continued

A Profile of John Michael Cummings

Updike, Redux It’s 1993. John Michael Cummings, an award-winning writer, is chasing John Updike down the main drag of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Cummings is clutching his latest manuscript, and he wants the celebrated novelist to read it. Updike, 60 years old … Continued