Winter/Spring 2019


Heavy-Headed

Aram Mrjoian

My head often feels filled with concrete. This is not to say congested. If anything, I am rarely sick.


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

A Note on "Dear Cyntoia Brown"

francine j. harris

At sixteen, life is supposed to be safe. Things are supposed to be beginning. We are supposed to be weaning from the care and guidance of people who have raised us. We are supposed to be on the brink of our adult lives. We should be taking the reins and figuring out how to care for ourselves, and we should have our most basic needs met so that we can care for others. It’s a volatile, dizzying, restless age. It is not always sweet.

Heavy-Headed

Aram Mrjoian

My head often feels filled with concrete. This is not to say congested. If anything, I am rarely sick.

Reliquary

Alyssa Proujansky

A cupboard is just asking to be opened. A cupboard doesn’t ask a question, but is, by its very nature, an entreaty. A cupboard says it did not ask to be a cupboard, did not ask to be an entreaty, is not, in fact, a cupboard at all.

The Traveling Coconut

Tashima Thomas

The spindly stalks creep out from the nexus of the composition like arachnid extremities. The pronounced compression of space pushes the roughly hewn roots into the forefront for the beholder’s contemplation. The sharp points and scraggly edges of the root system prevent easy entrance into the scene. Oller creates a kind of coconut Noli me tangere: we may look, but not touch.

Mott Street in July

Xuan Juliana Wang

It did not yet boggle their minds that the insides of those things that fly also look like the insides of those that swim. They had yet to question why the bones of a fish could look like the bones of a kite. They had not known to wonder how far to look back in history for the connection.

How to Clean a Boy

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

Triple check the joist hooked / from your garage ceiling / is rated for at least 97 pounds.

By the Light of Other Suns

Janie Paul

We talked about light and dark, how to render it in paintings and drawings, and how it connects to spirit. We talked about Emerson and Thoreau. They connected their faiths to mine, to the pantheism I developed out there in the woods, and to art as faith. As I worked with artists in prison over the next couple of decades, I continued to see this transcendental connection to light and dark through their eyes.

Bright Perfection

Nancy Au

The chicken crows at midnight. Crows at four o’clock in the morning. Crows when it rains. Crows when the sun sets. Crows when sirens blare down our street. Only stops crowing to eat.

The Machine is Trying to Make You Lose

Liam Baranauskas

Pinball takes place in a more liminal environment: those may be your physical fingers hitting flipper buttons and your real voice cussing out Bride of Pin-Bot, but your vision, your concentration—everything about you that’s more consciousness than body—moves outside of yourself and behind a thin layer of glass.

No Separate Thing Called Nature: An Interview with Richard Powers

Charlotte Wyatt

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author talks to Gulf Coast about trees, the transformative power of storytelling, and how writers might respond—and stay responsive to—the unique demands of this moment in both human- and tree-time.

Oh, The Pretty Boys

Shannon Savvas

Their forever never lasts that long. Gone by Christmas.

intimate structures: Dorothea Rockburne at Dia:Beacon

Chloe Wyma

At once hermetic and worldly, ethereal and dense, this tightly focused exhibition reflects in its contradictions the difficulties and pleasures of Rockburne’s early career, which spanned from the late 1960s to the early ’70s.

Chicxulub Köçekçe / Pioneer Species

Kenan Ince

Like those jellyfish that swell with future oxygen, / I live into my gender, balloon constantly rising

Taking My Dog to The Opera

Who would have thought he’d sit / so still so long, but he settles right / into our row, props his head on the velvet / armrest basking in the company

Dead Matter

Katharine Coles

Not fossil not decay unfurls / A shining ladder and makes / Rescue all. In movies / Lets loose, tears off

Dear Cyntoia Brown

francine j. harris

I wonder when you push at mirrors, if they slip off in your hands. I would / like to hold you, who you were at sixteen with the you I was when I was / sixteen.

Father and Son

Flavia Company, transl. by Kate Whittemore

The man was his father. How could he be so disgusted by him? His mother, long dead, always told him: your father will outlive us all, but not before he makes us suffer as much as he wants to, and more.

from Waiting for Perec

Mario Meléndez, trans. by Eloisa Amezcua and John Allen Taylor

It was night / Death slept naked / on God’s corpse

Playing in the Institute: on Tag at ICA Philadelphia

C. Klockner

It’s still a question of how queer exhibitions can function within certain institutions without assimilating, without petrifying living works in order to propose additions to “the” hegemonic canon, but Tag proposes ways forward that walk indeterminacy with confidence.

Kimchi Daily

Leora Fridman

This is the fantasy of self-sufficiency: healthy in a closed loop, without needing anything from anyone else.

2 Poems

Alyse Bensel

A neighbor assures me not to worry when the dog eats / rabbit flesh flattened on the street. Uncooked bones / are not sharp enough to hurt, turn an animal inside out.

Common Motivations for Teaching English Abroad, or A Short Physics Lesson

Kelly Morse

I’d bicycle home after teaching, pumping the pedals so hard I hoped the blurred street would crack beneath them. I’d learned early how to leap—from hotel maid to fine dining server, student to teacher, dying desert town to rain-drenched city. So I left. I filled out applications, fielded phone interviews, signed a contract and flew to Hanoi, sight unseen.


From the Archives

Two Transactions

Carmen Petaccio

He stared down the neck of the guitar like a rifle sight. The shelves in the glass case between us were lined with switchblades, laptops, engagement rings and arrowheads. A small fan on the counter blew only on the clerk. BEWARE: GUARD FERRETS, said a sign taped to the side of the register.

Withdrawal

Alysia Sawchyn

She says, Maybe I am not, in fact, ill. The ends of all her sentences curve upward into questions. We reduce her medication with a warning: Bipolar I is a lifetime diagnosis, though we concede that perhaps Patient could do with a smaller dosage.

House on Toluca

Jesus De La Torre

Bars or no bars, if you did have something worth having, they’d take it, whether you were ridiculous about home security or not.