Winter/Spring 2020


Fragments and Farewell Songs

Song Lin, transl. by Dong Li

The retreating autumn deepens in the city. Water turns from silver to maroon. A fisherman smokes on the bank, looking at the rising tide. The dark tones in the landscape are often overlooked. The bank, grey in the fog.


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

Cold-Hardy

Kelsey Englert

The yellow powder blankets my car as thick as the snow that never falls here. For the first time in thirty years, I am allergic. Everyone smokes for comfort and so grows the communal cough.

Of Fennel & Kintsugi

Miriam Bird Greenberg

Frayed hymn, but faded. Unsown / threads turned toothy-tough — a gift / of wild roadside seedheads gone / gunmetal with dirt-freckled rain.

2 Stories

Brenda Peynado

Still, she liked what she had become. She slept in a den of sticks of her own making. Language and its judgment escaped her. Was being animal closer to God than innocence? Her voice was her breath. She was still alive.

Baba

K-Ming Chang

But in another language, in my father’s mouth, there is a tenderness to the tone he takes, so that the word beat overlaps with other words, some of them meaning I miss you. He says beat as if the word shares a border with laughter. As if it is just a lost synonym for love.

I Remember the Rabbits of Sasso Field

Carlie Hoffman

From the bleachers I watched them / watch you (multiplying, it seemed) / running sprints in heat / across the grass, / standing in for X's and O's.

Danger

Sarah Braunstein

When she got a paper cut, that speck seemed newly foreboding—she’d lick it off, heart accelerating, as if to let it pool for even a moment would invite some deviously patient menace.

Dairy Free Dance: Digestion and Resistance at zurich moves! 2019

Philip Wesley Gates

This review of zürich moves! 2019, an annual festival for contemporary arts practice in performing arts, was a runner-up in the 2019 Toni Beauchamp Prize for Critical Art Writing, judged by Jessica Lynne.

The Ideal Form

Armando Jaramillo Garcia

On the ice floe they pretended they were on a white sand beach / The trail guide had really screwed up / Earlier he had pinched a thistle and paid the consequences

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.

Four Seasons

Jake Bauer

The arcade I lived in was the cryptograph, more or less. / The dog named Mila demanded evidence of the crowd. / You rented a room in the hotel by the sea.

The Air Between Us

Kathleen Boland

And the cloud that took over the family’s house that Tuesday wasn’t made of your run-of-the-mill water vapor. It was so humid and heavy you could reach out and shake hands with it, and it would grab your hand and shake back.

2 Poems

Louise Mathias

Vexed light on dune evening primrose. The mineral lands denuded, / this still hurts.

Fragments and Farewell Songs

Song Lin, transl. by Dong Li

The retreating autumn deepens in the city. Water turns from silver to maroon. A fisherman smokes on the bank, looking at the rising tide. The dark tones in the landscape are often overlooked. The bank, grey in the fog.

The Poster

Weike Wang

The more I looked at her the more she seemed angry. This was probably because I was breaking into John’s computer again.

3 Poems

Eleni Sikelianos

in a place where one grass blade makes / the next grass blade’s shade / that grass blade made / the next grass blade’s root

Shrapnel

Hugh Martin

In Iraq I said that word so much, heard it so often. I came home and found myself still saying it. Shrapnel's shell was first used against the Dutch at Surinam (now Guyana). The Dutch were so taken aback by the weapon that they surrendered after only the second time it was fired.

These Thin Green Hints

Allison Grace Myers

How easy it was, once, to imagine our future children. The blueprints were right in front of us, waiting to be brought to life. We envisioned them, tiny replicas of ourselves, as all couples surely do when they are “trying.”


From the Archives

For Samuel Beckett

Jean-Philippe Toussaint trans. Edward Gauvin

In the early ’80s, I wrote Samuel Beckett a letter. I explained that I was trying to write, adding that he was probably often sought out by strangers,…

Driftless

Joe Fletcher

The ghosts of men who named the river / suckle moon-limned mist slipping down / from thick firefly-flickering treelines...

The Void Wife

Kate Folk

One thing was for sure: Elise couldn't be Robert's void wife. On the day the void was scheduled to hit San Francisco, she hid from him in the ruin of the Sutro Baths. She gazed out at the Pacific while behind her, the void consumed Oakland. The void had appeared six months ago in a slender belt around the globe near the 90th meridian, slicing through Detroit and New Orleans, Bangkok and the Kirov Islands of Russia. Since then it had expanded in both directions on both sides of the planet at the rate of seventy miles a day, like two immense pairs of lids drawing over the eye of the earth.

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.