The Imaginary Jew

John Berryman

From The Kenyon Review, Autumn 1945, Vol. VII, No. 4 The second summer of the European War I spent in New York. I lived in a room just below street-level on Lexington above 34th, wrote a good deal, tried not…

Four Poems by Anna Journey

Anna Journey

Elegy Where I Initially Refuse to Eat Sand My mother liked to eat beach glass and sand people stepped in. Not many girls would forgive such a palate. I was willing to forgive her half moon- shaped cookies called Swedish…

Saint

Raisa Tolchinsky

Been waiting for this headless coachman to save me from the cold. I give myself over to pain that smells of papercranes that burn in flight. It’s a summer field with no place to run slow over water as you…

The Last Things We Said

Kevin McIlvoy

The last things we said to each other after hours of calling out, knocking walls, wild thumping around, pointless strategizing, no cell phone reception, laughing, loud chilled laughing, urinating so satisfying we called it The Rapture—lots of urinating against the…

Romance in a Time of Rockets

Gareth Lee

We suffered largesse, a bombardment citrus light and a taste of burned roses, sandalwood blooming in air pockets whereas from these pockets come two shocks of levity, eruptions sacrilegious: origami churches made of pages, ripped mass hymnals, serrations so much…

Sissy

John Kinsella

Where the great wandoo forests abut open farmland, there’s a sense of possibility that can corrupt as much as stimulate mystery. The edge-effect has implications that police and locals are all too conscious of. Casual dope-smokers get ideas into their…

A Review of Adam Levin’s The Instructions

Burke Hilsabeck

McSweeney’s: San Francisco, CA, 2010. 1030 pages. $29.00. The Instructions, Adam Levin’s first novel, invites estimations of size. It weighs three pounds. After choosing it for the book club of the website The Rumpus, Stephen Elliot described the book as…

Excerpts from A Hundred Thousand Hours

Rebecca Wadlinger

Translated from Norwegian by Rebecca Wadlinger • • I have my mother in my hands. It is she who holds my daughter through me. And my mother strokes my daughter across her back with my hands. And my mother kisses…

A Review of Adonis: Selected Poems

M. Lynx Qualey

Edited and translated by Khaled Mattawa. Yale University Press: New Haven, 2010. 399 pages. $30.00. It was 1988 when Adonis’s name was first connected with the Nobel Prize for Literature. In his 2006 memoir, Memories in Translation, pioneer Arabic-English translator…

The Animals are Undisturbed

Daniel Poppick

Snow distributes script if music                                             Pastes its name to speech, all necking           With its own inflections in the orchard. Winter Meanwhile strings its trinket to your joke before you       Even shake the punchline Loose, regardless of your fleetest finger. Call…

Don’t I Know

Rose McLarney

A man who was not to be trusted once owned the hound. Don’t I know the kind. But I won’t walk the way the stray dog does, head down, side-stepping, skitter. He’s pulled taut, fear hauling against his troublesome tendency…

The Stations of the Sun

Reese Okyong Kwon

1. Another god, another artist According to Chinese mythology, the goddess Nugua formed the first mortals from yellow mud. An artist, she carefully sculpted each limb, pressed closed each fingertip, contoured each nose, creating individuals. But at some point she…

Eve

Leslie Harrison

If the angels came there would be no kindness they are after all also without mercy pity they are warriors soldiers of wing beak and sword griffins of the lord endlessly taking sides come unto all of this world to…

A Sort of Infinity

Matthew Baker

Christopher Surrey is at the kitchen table wearing a normal green T-shirt and normal blue jeans and normal white socks and just starting his homework for precalculus that’s due tomorrow when his aunt comes banging through their front door still…

The Brain Truck

Catherine Wing

He’s all magnet to my brain truck, polarized and pulled in a stark, strange-thoughted veer. Lacks ground and full with impulse. Queer about the eye, occipital. Never blinks but ringing. Loads the charge and smells of sulfur. He needs riddling…

The Ludlum Identity

The premise is everything. Your opening scene? A man floating on the ocean. Of course: The origins of life. Vishnu sleeps on an ocean. It fits. Now have the man rescued, drawn up from the pre-existent state into existence. After…

Metamorphosis

Katherine Larson

It is astounding how little the ordinary person notices butterflies. —Nabokov We dredge the stream with soup strainers and separate dragonfly and damselfly nymphs— their eyes like inky bulbs, jaws snapping at the light as if the world was full…

Photographs of the Interiors of Dictators’ Houses

Albert Goldbarth

It’s as if every demon from hell with aspirations toward interior design flew overhead and indiscriminately spouted gouts of molten gold, that cooled down into swan-shape spigots, doorknobs, pen-and-inkwell sets. A chandelier the size of a planetarium dome is gold,…

The Composer’s Lover

Alex Dimitrov

We had an hour without music. A nerve brightly turning in a closed room of the mind— the heart’s black pool, a word that expired into the air and woke everything. Your bed slid under an invisible knife. What happened…

Incubator Baby World’s Fair, 1939

Meagan Ciesla

JuŻ? The father said when his wife went from lighting the Sabbath candle to hunching over the mattress, water trickling down her stockinged leg. Already? He was alarmed to see his wife in labor so soon—barely two months in America…

Black Stones

Amy Bonnaffons

To whom can we turn in our need? Not angels, not humans. . . . —Rilke I. At midnight, Sarah awoke to find an angel hovering above her hospital bed like a hummingbird. Aside from his large white wings, he…

Sign up for Our Email Newsletter