29.2 - Summer/Fall 2017

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: Hilda Hilst transl. by Laura Cesarco Eglin, Rosemary Kitchen, Sarah M. C. Baugh, Garry Reece, Jamel Brinkley, Nicholas Wong, Shannon Ratliff, C. McAllister Williams, Carrie Fountain, Mitchell Jacobs, Philip Metres, Jill McDonough, Steve Jansen, A. Will Brown, Ching-In Chen, Celia Bland, Roberta Iannamico transl. Alexis Almeida, Frances Park, Brandi George, Jee Leong Koh, Caroline Chavatel, Keagan LeJune, Michael Holladay, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Catherine Bresner, Mahogany L. Browne, Leila Chatti, Andrew Mitchell, Marya Hornbacher, Marigloria Palma transl. Carina del Valle Schorske, sam sax, Corey Van Landingham, Reyes Ramirez, Kyle G. Dargan, Mary McMyne, Wesley Rothman, Carmen Maria Machado, John Gosslee, Jayson P. Smith, Lauren R. O'Connell, Andrew Finegold, Molly Reid,

Editor's Note

Editors' Note

If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred. -Walt Whitman    

Fiction

2016 Barthelme Prize Winner: Going North

Andrew Mitchell

It’s following us, pull over, my husband says, to which I say, It’s dark, to which he says, Please, Ellie, let’s not fight over this one, and so I pull to the side of the road. Lo and behold, the truck pulls behind us, its headlights inflating…

Fiction

2016 Barthelme Prize Honorable Mention: A Peck…

Marya Hornbacher

My second husband once walked into the house by the lake, carrying a very large basket of beets. They were freshly picked, dusty with dirt. I said, What is that. He said, These are beets. I said, Why have you bought a peck of beets. He said,…

Fiction

2016 Barthelme Prize Honorable Mention: Fall…

Molly Reid

The first one, a visitor from out of town, slipped on a mossy rock and fell 10,000 feet into the gorge’s open mouth. Then Marcy Eldritch, a week from her thirteenth birthday, leaned too far out a third-floor window. The neighbor broke his…

Poetry

Two Poems: Night Ghazal and The Blood

Leila Chatti

She had the blood, too. Bathtubs filled to enameled lip and her body pouring. As a girl, I thought being a woman meant your life spilling from you like a cup of juice you kept knocking over. I was young enough to think anything that bled was…

Fiction

Slacklines

Michael Holladay

I like your stomach hair, I told him, and he frowned down at me, confused, curious. Then he smiled, a slack-jawed smile. I braided them, the hairs, wild wiry things, pale like the goose-necked lamp curling on its stand, a pale kind of white…

Poetry

Dear X

Hieu Minh Nguyen

Sometimes when I wake up & my body does not follow, I imagine it is busy lying beside you on the hillside above the McDonough baseball field, where the sounds from the interstate fill the empty bleachers until each woosh & horn is a father…

Non-Fiction

Apologia

Corey Van Landingham

“I just can’t get down with all the self-flagellation,” I tell my partner, Chris, who’s been Catholic his whole life—previously in religion, now in countenance. It’s the first Friday of Lent, and we’ve just finished the Stations of the Cross…

Poetry

There is No Such Thing as Confession in Latinx…

Natalie Scenters-Zapico

1.During the Mexican Revolution I set up a lawn chair at the bank of the Rio Bravo and watched men kill other men. Near me a woman passed around a bottle of champagne, so I had a glass.

Poetry

To Know a Thing

Catherine Bresner

Let me tell you about the atomic tangerine/aquamarine cerulean/magenta mantis shrimp.

Poetry

Two Poems: On Conversion Therapy, and On Prep…

sam sax

grandpa’s initial response upon learning i was queer was to look to history for all the ways he could fix me :

Poetry

Two Poems: Portrait of the Artist as a Young…

Jayson P. Smith

I. no, because I am afraid to die, it does not matter what I become.

Art

Marigold, Horses, & a Diamond: Jill Magid's…

Lauren R. O'Connell

In a minimal black ring box with white interior cushions rests a 2-carat blue diamond set on a silver band. The ring’s simple form doubles in a mirror positioned within the lid of the box, and the diamond’s semi-polished surface gleams under…

Interviews / Art

Whistle While You Work: An Interview with Liz…

Andrew Finegold

For the past two years, artist Liz McCarthy has been making whistles from clay, hosting “hangouts” during which people are invited to play with them, and freely distributing them to participants. More recent work has involved larger, less…

Fiction

All of the Plant is Edible

John Gosslee

I watch the stars hide behind each other and it’s another beautiful/ day of sin in the world.

Fiction

Eight Bites

Carmen Maria Machado

As they put me to sleep, my mouth fills with the dust of the moon. I expect to choke on the silt but instead it slides in and out, and in and out, and I am, impossibly, breathing. I have dreamt of inhaling underneath water and this is what…

Poetry

Hijo, please

Reyes Ramirez

Get Celli. Tell her to gather enough change to buy some apples. Make sure they are green. I want the sourness to overwhelm mi lengua like the weight of el sol on naked naked skin.

Poetry

Another Poem Beginning with a Bullet

Kyle G. Dargan

My aunt is still alive—let us begin there instead— and I step off the 34 Montclair into a breezequelled dusk. Thanksgiving eve. It takes twenty of my strides, or ten seconds, for the bus engine belts’ wheeze to dissipate. The hush cracked…

Poetry

The 2016 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation

Marigloria Palma transl. Carina del Valle Schorske

My sadness, that wet brown box moaning against the wall; gum of rain and dead trees, that bitch lost in a jungle of smoke, that yellow scrap of old news.

Fiction

Louisiana Disaster Recovery 3.0

Mary McMyne

Roll up your sleeves. wade on into the floodwater

Poetry

Bars of Blue

Wesley Rothman

Hand-me-down blue, that's our kind of blue--sailed, revolutioned, majestied--hand-me-down-blue, that's our royal high-ness. This, our hot-stepping constellation of ringed colonies

Fiction

Sedentism

Keagan LeJune

That their hair was that flat black painted on the inside of a mirror—that’s what I remember most about those boys. And that their eyes were always turned down. You could never see their color, but you guessed it was the shade of acorns. And…

Poetry

Candy

Caroline Chavatel

His name was burden. He said he was looking for his drone. He invited them down the alley, tried to bait them with sugar, technology.

Fiction

The Man on the Moon

Shannon Ratliff

Poetry

Turnbuckle

C. McAllister Williams

C. McAllister Williams wrote Neon Augury (Fact-Simile Editions, 2011) and WILLIAM SHATNER (alice blue books, 2010). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Sonora Review, ILK, Pinwheel, and elsewhere. He lives in Milwaukee.

Poetry

Masha Eventually

Carrie Fountain

At first, I couldn’t decide if I should call the bear it or if I should call the bear him. At first, this distinction was important to me, and because it was a problem I could solve entirely within my own body, I worked on it daily, like…

Poetry

That I say Nationalism is a Tote Bag and I…

Nicholas Wong

nor a trend. Not that my scaphoid will fracture or my fame will be down in the drainage otherwise, but receipts are calm territories. No refund guarantee. Sometimes I find myself huddling in the tote, as if to make space for someone’s expectation.

Fiction

A Family

Jamel Brinkley

Curtis Smith watched from across the street as the boy argued with Lena Johnson in front of the movie theater. She had probably bought tickets for the wrong movie. Or maybe Andre didn’t want to see any movie with his mother on a Friday night.…

Poetry

XIV

Hilda Hilst transl. by Laura Cesarco Eglin

As if you fit on the crest on the peak on obverse of the bone I try to capture your body your mountain, your reverse.

Poetry

Half Dark

Sarah M. C. Baugh

It's half dark/and we're up too late in the interest of picking/the still-tender/yellow crookneck squash and blue lake beans/before they get fat and woody/and blueberries still a/violent red-purple not really sweet,/before the birds taste…

Art

Blues and the Archives of the Revolution

Garry Reece

“There is no political power without control of the archive, if not of memory. Effective democratization can always be measured by this essential criterion: the participation in and the access to the archive, its constitution and its interpretation.”…

Poetry

Mutant

Mitchell Jacobs

Coaxing a fruit fly larva from its vial with a sterile brush, I think of that self-portrait in which you hover between woman and man, of the paintbrush stroking you as it rendered you: ashen face unsmiling in an environment…

Poetry

Key to the Fresh Water Fishes of Maryland

Rosemary Kitchen

A. We get off the bus, our tracksuit bottoms Swickswickswicking down the hill to the boathouse where freshwater fish float in basins of ice and formaldehyde, waiting to be identified. The shimmering bodies weigh slimy and cold against our…

Non-Fiction

Matroyshka Memories

Philip Metres

Once, at a bus stop in Kaliningrad around rush hour, I found myself in line behind a group of Russians ready to climb an already-full bus, to head hither or thither. A one-legged older man, in a long coat and hat, crutch under his right armpit,…

Non-Fiction

Serving God, Meat, and Intercourse in an Amish…

Frances Park

Ziggy Stardust and Southern Boogie dominated the FM airwaves the era I lived on greasy tacos from Jack-In-The-Box, ditched high school cap and gown for the beach, wrote poetry and drank vodka-laced Tab, and was in love with two boys who were…

Poetry

Obey Orchestral Orgasm

Brandi George

Oedipus orgasm obligatory orgasm Ocean orgasm omnipotent orgasm Orpheus orgasm oxygen orphan Ornament overkill oyster Origin outerspace origin outlier origin Overseas origin overwrought ovum

Poetry

Selections from Does grass sweat: Translations…

Jee Leong Koh

A dropped napkin It is impossible to speak of the history dabs at the corner of the Japanese haiku in America and of the field not speak of the history of the Japanese people in…

Poetry

Two Poems: I Said Goodbye and Vegetable Stand

Roberta Iannamico transl. Alexis Almeida

I said goodbye and went to live among the lettuces with those sheets the nightgown isn’t worth it soft coarse the lettuce tender fresh it’s a home ideal for summertime clear green with transparencies it allows for the passage of sunlight

Poetry

Cherokee Hogscape

Celia Bland

Pops wd say, hogs’ll knock you down and chaw yr eyeballs out of the socket. I seen ‘em. Pops collected slops from the poolroom café making you carry plastic buckets – don’t slop yr sneakers w/ hamburger scraps, dollops of cream corn, loaf…

Poetry

Late Leeks

Jill McDonough

Linda arrives with the leeks to end all leeks, direct from her garden, practically hydroponic, flawless, already creamy, pale

Art

How Can We Remember the Trailblazing Electronic…

Steve Jansen

No matter what you’re doing—intently reading this piece, scrolling through the journal or flipping between tabs on a web browser, eating, talking to a friend, sitting, walking, breathing—there’s a concert of sound, just for you, going on.…

Art

Dan Graham--Design for Showing Rock Videos…

A. Will Brown

Rock music, better known as Rock and Roll, from its genesis in the 1950s to the present, has remained a dynamic cultural force. For many throughout world history, Dan Graham included, music holds powerful spiritual qualities that extend experience…

Features

Roundtable: Trans and Genderqueer Poetics

Ching-In Chen

This is a roundtable on trans and genderqueer poetics curated by Ching-In Chen in conversation with Ryka Aoki, Kai M. Green, L.G. Parker, and Trish Salah. In this discussion, the writers also address pedagogical concerns around trans and genderqueer…