weekend-readsMary Butcher

Jess Lacher

There are days, over the baby crying, when I still think I hear Mary Butcher calling from the broken-out basement windows of the ranch house at the end of the cul-de-sac. I tell myself that this is impossible but when…

From Diary of Age (Imerologio tis ilikias)

Karen Emmerich

Stillness Is the surrounding by silence Of a low land Whose still-insatiable age Lies deeply in wait —Against the attraction of another planet— There where the older works sank Into its body And those works Isolated dangers from other eras…

On Her Having Arrived

Hannah Sanghee Park

He thickets in. He thickens.     The AA meeting ran late: he brandished a BB gun and the cops were called. Shot ten CC’s of something slowing in him.     Type AB blood, type A personality, B.A. in French: this only goes one way…

Diving

Natalie Sypolt

Today is Thanksgiving and Maggie and Mom are peeling potatoes. They cube and drop them into a pan of murky water that sits between them on the table. Mom’s potatoes are smooth and white. Maggie’s are chopped and little specks…

weekend-readsDeath Threat

Megan Anderegg Malone

She knew it was serious when she saw her father strap the gun belt over his pinstriped shirt in the morning as he was getting ready for work. Guns were nothing unusual in their house—Robin’s mother often joked that the…

Listened

Charles reached across the seat of the cab to cover his wife’s dry hand with his own. The knuckles of it were tensed and he felt the ridges there. “When was the last time we saw the McClaines?” his wife…

Salt

Christopher Feliciano Arnold

There were three of us kids, so during those last days, when Dad felt cramped with all of us staring at him, Mom scheduled time for everyone to be alone with him a few minutes. The twins went in together…

weekend-readsExcerpts from Lunar Savings Time

Alex Epstein

Translated from Hebrew by Becka Mara McKay On the Power of Russian Literature My great-grandmother once shut a book by Tolstoy so hard that a spark came from its pages, and the spark climbed up the curtains, and ignited a…

Benjamin Percy’s The Wilding

Alexander Yates

Graywolf Press: Minneapolis, MN, 2010. 288 pages. $23.00. In the tradition of Deliverance—and with an epigraph from the same—comes Benjamin Percy’s tense debut novel, The Wilding. Like James Dickey’s classic, this is a story about men adventuring through a menacing…

Lingerie

James Midgley

I love you because you remind me of somebody else. In heels; in a babydoll; wearing only my old shirt. We are taking a holiday from the real world. On the balcony a mantis is caught in half the burlap…

A Temporary Fix

Joseph Fazio

The service bell rang. Wesley looked up from his book and saw a silver hatchback gliding to a stop in the gas station island. Steam rose from the front of the car, and two short, shirtless men with skin the…

I’m an Old Cowhand

M. Chase Colton

One road led away from Dalton and I was on it—washboard red dirt narrowed by unkempt wheat growth. About five miles back on farm-road 196 the rotted-oak electric poles laid flat. The town sign, full of buckshot, read: Dalton, OK,…

Algorithms

John Allman

Final State It’s not what you did in the third grade exactly—reciting theory and shepherd letter by letter in the class spelling bee—arriving at the word beyond any doubt, or even going backwards in what later you’d call heuristic, as…

Nothing in Nature

Christian C. Thompson

On a fall afternoon walking across a field in Concord Emerson was not oblivious to the colors of the leaves yet his response was dull, without connection between his mood and the world—nothing in nature was equivalent to his indifference—…

Lab Report

Rose Swartz

Experiment for Combating the Disorder Commonly Known as “Being in Love with the Idea of Being in Love” Introduction/Purpose: Being in love with the idea of being in love is a tired game. The old voodoo of mix tapes crackling…

The Snake

Brian Swann

                  green, hunting, long as my bootlace, thumb-thick, whips in front across the path, a flick, a curl like the Pueblo sign                   for flowing water, renewing rain, lightning, so fast it isn’t there, but green, green as the beans in cans…

Review of Atsuro Riley’s Romey’s Order

Jason Schneiderman

University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL, 2010. 54 pages. $14.00. Atsuro Riley’s debut collection draws its energy from the collision of an outsider’s strangeness with the deep slang of an insider. His language is a dark mirror of the regional…

Ventrakl: Georg Trakl Redubbed for the Twenty-first Century

Dan Rosenberg

Ventrakl. Christian Hawkey. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010. 152 pp. $17. Christian Hawkey’s fourth collection—the brilliant “scrapbook” Ventrakl—genre-mashes like mad, combining photographs, poems (as translations, imitations, adaptations), faux interviews, and essays. This polyvalent dossier creates an imaginative space from…

weekend-readsFive Skull Diadem

Dana Levin

at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1 Because           you believe in your skin, you must           elect the knife.           Peel the hair, the scalp-skin down.           Bow to the fruit-bearing crown. • • When someone asked Rinzai           to define the…

weekend-readsThe Wife

Julie Iromuanya

On the driest days of Harmattan, the sky rains sand. On such days, the wives collectively battle against the storm, stuffing rags into cracks of doorways and leaking thatched roofs. When it is time to draw well water, from a…

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