Summer/Fall 2019


Crackhead Clint Will See You Now

Thomas Kearnes

Here it was laid out: we’d tricked with Clint a few times over the years. Sure, he was a geek, but he possessed this obscure magnetism. He was so indelibly himself, we allowed ourselves, when with him, to believe that the established rules of conduct, constraining all men of our tribe, could be ignored.


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

Betrayed

Joy Castro

When I first saw the bright gold rip of gas flares against the Corpus night sky from the passenger seat of some guy’s green Datsun—all that oil just rushing incinerated into the air—I said, Damn, don’t they know about global warming?

Hollow Pockets for Resting

Alicia Mountain

That empty matchbook winter was a new trudge / through short-light afternoons with time to kill.

Salvation

Jonathan Louis Duckworth

Rationalizing didn’t help. No matter how much he told himself that this was a different woman, that it couldn’t be the same widow, he couldn’t escape the gut certainty that she was.

Hurt Locker

Ernie Wang

How much muscle one carries is the largest determinant of bodybuilding credibility, regardless of the degree of fairness with which it’s constructed, and by this metric, he was the one, not me, with the authority to dispense advice.

History

Joshua Burton

One night, my father will come home late with a rifle in his hands / yelling “I’m here.” Everyone will laugh. / Every corner of the ocean is the same.

2 Poems

Wendy Xu

And if they’re missing / in inaction, forgive them / Their useless pearls, nouns

Cheerio Petals

Amanda Auerbach

The color yellow and the red heart on the box remind me parts / of childhood are nice not / embarrassing. Does that include eating / cheerios with fingers?

Astros Sign Osuna Despite Local Outrage

Iliana Rocha

It means to want so badly. / How close win is to want is the distance / between his fast ball & her face.

The Evangelist

Kathleen Blackburn

I was twelve, with little idea of the drying sediment, the vanishing well, under my feet, though as far as I could tell West Texas was desert. A shrug in the middle of forgotten. At the time, I feared one thing only: Dad would die because of me.

Disability Seen Through Photographs, Darkly

Pepper Stetler

The people whom Arbus photographed were probably separated from their families when they were born. Their mothers and fathers were most likely told that they would be too much of a burden to raise. However, none of this is really what we are supposed to be thinking about when viewing the Untitled series. We are told to think about the compositional choices, the lighting, the true talent of Arbus who discovered these subjects.

The Parable of the Dead Dog

David James Poissant

The story the fiction writer reads is fiction. His wife has never cheated. He has never run over a dog.

Crackhead Clint Will See You Now

Thomas Kearnes

Here it was laid out: we’d tricked with Clint a few times over the years. Sure, he was a geek, but he possessed this obscure magnetism. He was so indelibly himself, we allowed ourselves, when with him, to believe that the established rules of conduct, constraining all men of our tribe, could be ignored.

But were it not for the caps lock key [...]

Rachel Z. Arndt

While waiting for the ring I was waiting for his call. And while waiting for his call I was waiting for my finger to heal; the doctor had taken the tip and it had not healed, and then I was putting medicine on it twice a day, covering it with a bandage I had to wait hours to take off, each time.

2 Poems

Roger Reeves

And did we come to some conclusion about who set fire to the Master’s House / The autumn-petal of it, swinging flame on the black bough of the sky?

2 Poems

Jane Huffman

I have a worm / beneath my hair — / a future worm, / a nerve / from the eternal / present.

Perfect Kill

Caroline Sutton

Dragonflies are like Waze. They predict. They don’t chase after mosquitoes, they intercept them, which means they have to calculate the mosquito’s distance, speed, and trajectory. Dragonflies perform these calculations in milliseconds, far faster than Waze, which always takes agonizing seconds to load as it computes the route, average speed of drivers, and quagmires that might await.

from Fudekara

Liliana Ponce transl. by Michael Martin Shea

The return trip has a map already. Surviving in sugar waters, in rhythms of algae. / The earth in the hollow is breaking—I knew it instinctively, and in my mind, insects were swarming, traversing the city of your map.


From the Archives

Eighty-Three Questions About the Death of De’Sohn Wilson: An Ongoing Investigation

Catina Bacote

Who called Mirrellez C. Elliott and told her that her son had died in police custody? How many minutes did it take for the police to drive De’Sohn from where he was arrested in New Haven to the police station at One Union Avenue?

Fried Chicken

Caroline Wray

She’s there on one of those red-herring March afternoons that make you think spring’s arrived, when everyone pours outdoors gasping, like they’re emerging from underwater. Her parents’ house is the worst on the block, squat and ranch-style, and she’s on a sunny ledge, a small plane on her roof that’s eye-level out your window, where you’re sitting in the stuffy green chair trying to read a Lincoln biography.

2 Poems

Roger Reeves

And did we come to some conclusion about who set fire to the Master’s House / The autumn-petal of it, swinging flame on the black bough of the sky?

4 Poems

Ama Codjoe

Before I am beautiful I'm in the hairdresser’s chair, / perched atop two phone books, holding my ear. My reflection / in the bathroom mirror is a landscape painting.