After the Uprising

Shane McCrae

Well some of us escaped
into the swamp and some of us
Snuck back quick to our masters      and our masters knew
who stayed and who…

Goodbye to the Small Man

Melanie Nead

Of the bus ride south there’s not much to say except that it was long and very beautiful and they did not sit together. The bus was wood-paneled inside with many windows, and the young couple were the only passengers. …

Hurricane Irene Fingers My Hair

Claudia Cortese

The night is light-webbed, silver-ribbed—all spearmint-
scented ghost fuzz, all dancing the dance of end days,

of the Kingdom of What Is Not: a black so black it neons,
a green so green it furs our skin like leaves, like wolves.…

A Typeface for Senior Citizens

Hilary Leichter

Say that you built it with your bare hands and you’ll win their hearts. Don’t bother with words like font or computer. Present your audience with enlarged charts of glyphs and diacritics and digits, an elaborate eye exam.…

Heart of the Matter: Myfanwy Collins’ Echolocation

Vanessa Blakeslee

In his 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, William Faulkner stated that what writers most needed to remember was “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.” …

The Invisible Chassidishe Maidel (The Invisible Chassidic Girl)

Shula Rosen

Shmuel Pearlmutter had never looked at a woman. Yes, he had a vague recollection of what his mother looked like, since he had caught a definite glance at her stooped dotage two days earlier when she fed him soup at her apartment. But an actual woman, aside from his mother, was as familiar a sight to the Jerusalem-born chossid as the Grand Canyon.…

“This Baggy Monster”: Gretchen E. Henderson’s Galerie de Difformité

John Brown Spiers

The back cover of Gretchen E. Henderson’s Galerie de Difformité promises a work with “the head of a novel and the body of a poem.” In fact, Galerie is a literary art collage, employing image almost as often as it does language, and a ruination, its words first erased, then laid atop themselves, highlighted, obscured by photographs and further ruined text.…

Snow

Derek Walcott

Against thin woods, Siberian snow
steadily erases objects from their names,
like weevils in flour rocks crawl under the elms.
There is a place whose year is February. …

Belly of the Whale

Hannah Withers

He slipped into the museum gift shop on the way into the office that day. He’d decided to buy her one of the African bracelets as a little gift. A better bouquet.…

weekend-readsThe Ghost Writes Back

Amy Boesky

There was nothing surprising about my professor’s lecture on Shakespeare until, out of the blue, she started talking about ghostwriting. I was in the back of the packed auditorium with the other teaching assistants. Taking notes, working fast to revise…

Crazy Badland of the Tongue: Cyrus Console’s The Odicy

John Steen

If, in a moment of indignant weakness, you’ve ever asked why bad things happen to good people, you’ve reckoned with theodicy. Cyrus Console’s new book of poems takes its title from this theological term for philosophical defenses of God’s goodness in the light of the existence of evil. …

Country Ways

Maggie Schwed

If she be not nimble, she that holdeth a bucket will be trod upon by the sow.

Whoso eateth banana shall be set upon by the angry hive for the scent is signal.

Blowout

Rebecca Dunham

up on the main deck      I seen mud
shooting all the way up to the derrick      gas
& smoke filled      so loud      like taking an air
hose & sticking it in your ear      starboard

Chauncy Street

Brian Doyle

Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I worked for a small and obscure newspaper on Chauncy Street in Boston. The newspaper office was also small and obscure, as was Chauncy Street itself, which began forthrightly enough at…

Great Meadows Gallery

Tom Hart

Fairly recently retired, I find myself asked the standard questions: So what do you do with your time now that you’ve got so much of it? What explorations, what fresh directions do you find yourself taking now in this new flowering of the retired life? The sad essence, coming from non-retirees, is more or less this: how do you justify your existence?…

Sleeping Out

Cassie Gonzales

The Tunisian sky at night was the deepest black he had ever seen—the stars pulsed like living things, and he wanted to run his fingers through them. How strange it was to travel so far from home just to find the same Michigan stars, he thought.…

Home

Madiha Sattar

Mostly he shrieked endlessly in the sticky Karachi heat or when a bomb went off, and in those moments Zainab fantasized about dangling him up by his tiny pink feet, still soft and wrinkly at age three, and smashing his brains out against the garden wall or suffocating him with a pillow.…

Ginsberg; Schopenhauer; Whitman

Bruce Bond

Ginsberg

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows.

Pity the man who spits on the mirror
to make it shine. I am talking to you,
world, the face I gave you a monster,
my shame a little circle I plunged into.

Advent Santa

Scott Garson

On the Wednesday before my kid’s holiday break, school let out two hours early. I wasn’t able to pick him up; I’d gotten some temp work that week. So I called my ex-girlfriend, Anne. Ben liked her a lot. When…

Watermark and Fable: On Eduardo C. Corral’s Slow Lightning

Anna Journey

“I’m / performing / an autopsy on my shadow,” writes Eduardo C. Corral in “Self-Portrait with Tumbling and Lasso.” Elliptically narrative, imagistic, musical, and fabular, the poems in Corral’s debut poetry collection, Slow Lightning, explore the shadowy borderlands of both gay and Chicano identity while adapting and altering aspects of magical realism.…

Shirking the Genre Ghetto: On Lev Grossman’s The Magician King and the Fantastical Novel in 2012

Alexander Yates

Last fall, Lev Grossman released The Magician King, the follow-up to his 2009 bestseller, The Magicians, and the second book in a planned trilogy. Like its predecessor, which was variously called “Harry Potter for adults” and “Harry Potter with sex and drugs”, The Magician King follows Quentin Coldwater and his friends on their adventures through an imagined world called “Fillory,” as well as a magical, booze-infused underground on good old Earth.…

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