36.1 Summer/Fall 2023


After Two Recent Reproductive Disasters

Abby Horowitz

After something like this, the rabbi told me, there are no good answers.


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

Horizon Management 2089

Julian Robles

The poor burning garbage, the captain announces. Nothing, apocalyptic.

Elevated Flare

Henk Rossouw

The refinery amid the marshland /of my earliest memories // repeats itself on the Gulf—

What to Take, What to Leave: A Conversation with DanceNotes

Jess Goldschmidt

Yet DanceNotes is uninterested in writing that aims to freeze lived experience. The mission statement continues: “If notation is an instrument for comprehension, preservation, and iteration, DanceNotes is an experiment in notation dedicated to refractory, malleable, and plural knowledges, and to re-contextualized genealogies of movement.”

The Undamning

Zoë Fay-Stindt

Buried on the side of I-20, covered in red maples: the Pro-Life Memorial in St. Joseph, Iowa. A stretch of fenced-in earth, speared with a thousand tiny crosses for all the aborted “children” since 1973—

“A Perch From Which to Be Kind:” Mikko Harvey’s Let the World Have You

Kylie Gellatly

In Let the World Have You, Mikko Harvey plays with a kind of surrealism in this collection to confront a quiet grief—it is ambiguous. It is daily.

Gentlemen of a Specific Interest

Ry Molloy

It seemed that porn had stunted the imaginations of most men. Their conception of sex was tied up in keywords and surface-level descriptors.

Blood

Valk Fisher

The patient registration form wants to know about me. I leaf through its fourteen stapled sheets. There are lines for writing, boxes for checking and tables for completion of a story. Printed carefully, please.

Writing Red: Chloe Caldwell and Gabriela Ponce in Conversation

Sarah Booker

Blood, unruly emotions, and intense relationships are at the heart of work by both the US author Chloe Caldwell and the Ecuadorian Gabriela Ponce.

Shadows and Bed Sheets Blur My Memory OR Watching the Sunrise with Alejandra Pizarnik

Parker Logan

Can you see the imaginary houses? The bed post? The night stand? The trail of blood / leading back to you and me?

Anything Sharp

Alice White

In your next life, you plan to be an animal / impenetrable by a knife.

Estazolam

Yiru Zhang

Back then I was taking Estazolam. It had brought along bothersome but tolerable side effects. For the whole day I was clumsy and unsteady, and at night I'd hold the tablet pack tightly, unable to stop my craving. I studied your messages in drowsiness. Zolpidem and Lorazepam were what you recommended. They might make me feel better, you said.

When it left I could see it leaving

Shannan Mann

They asked me where I wanted / to put my missing watermelon. / Not the watermelon but the missing / of it.

The Paradox

Kit Haggard

The books feel farther apart on my nightstand; the tub has shouldered open, wide enough now for two; space seems to have grown between the sugar and creamer on the breakfast table, and despite the silent chess game Renée and I play with them as she reads the paper and drinks cup after cup of coffee—the cream now advancing, now slinking back in retreat—I somehow can’t bring them together.

Darling, Every Day I Wake Up Afraid

Urvashi Bahuguna

Fresh from the ER, I drove round a parade / ground empty but for peepal trees and a row // of slumbering buses.

The Shrine

Alexandria Peterson

a moon the size of Neptune / rising from the green muck like ectoplasmic / crossfire.

In Star Wars, everyone’s daddy is hot, famous or dead

Jordan Hamel

I am your faceless someone bored/ / horny/mobile/available on a Tuesday afternoon/ / your memory taking root inside tighter skin

Translating Voices, Advocating Change: In Conversation with Alex Zucker

Ibrahim Badshah

In the realm of literary translation, few names resonate as strongly as Alex Zucker. With his extensive body of work encompassing Czech fiction, plays, subtitles, song lyrics, essays, poems, philosophy, and art history, Alex has firmly established himself as a prolific and versatile translator.

INTERPLANETARY UNCERTAINTIES

Megan J. Arlett

A headline reads: NASA warns alien life might not be fuckable. / An op-ed, hopefully.

_________ trash

Nikki Ummel

i don’t want to ___________________ about this.

Dismantling the Carceral System in Metaphor: A Review of Redaction by Reginald Dwayne Betts and Titus Kaphar

Erik Gleibermann

Inside his backpack at Yale Law School, as he aimed to become a public defender, 17 years after being imprisoned for a carjacking he committed at age 16, poet Reginald Dwayne Betts kept a sheaf of handwritten letters penned by an executed man named Glenn McGinnis. Some letters began with poems.

My Heart is Yours

Kaori Fujino (translated by Heather D. Davis)

The boys are dancing. They prance around the dark stage in matching white shirts, striking a pose with their pale arms and pale necks. Seven cookie-cutter boys toss back their hair—bangs just skimming the eyes—then bend their narrow waists, fold themselves unbelievably tight, and launch into acrobatic flips.

Ultrazone

Joseph Han

Listen up! We’ve been getting our asses handed to us out there, and there’s no end in sight. I’m the best shot we’ve had at taking opposing bases down and reclaiming the map—until you showed up. Maybe we’ll stand a fighting chance. But that’s up to you and how well you handle that phaser.

The Undertaker

Ellen June Wright

to bury a Black body / not out of respect for life / but to prevent disease // and cut the stench / and if a cross is laid on / the mound of dirt

After Two Recent Reproductive Disasters

Abby Horowitz

After something like this, the rabbi told me, there are no good answers.

Time Oddity: A Retrospective Review of Zeroes Were Hollow by David Larsen, Kenning Editions, December 2022

Jared Joseph

The 1967 song written by the enigmatic David Bowie famously dramatizes a call and response between Ground Control and Major Tom, except that we don’t know whether the call goes through, and we don’t know whether the response is actually a response.

Encounters with the Otherworldly in Yuri Herrera’s Ten Planets

Biz Rasich

“Why must everything come to an end?” wonders a bit of sentient stomach bacteria in Yuri Herrera’s new story collection, Ten Planets. “Why had it begun to begin with?”

Moon Ghazal

Alison Zheng

As a child, I drank black goo made from herbs so bitter it tasted like the earth. Mother taught me to / chase it with Haw Flakes, pink candy shaped like coins. Mother taught me to swallow many moons.

What We Read About Ukraine Makes Us Dream of Burning

Sarah Carey

Like any good flame / I tapered, acquiescing / to my extinction.

ODE TO LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Megan J. Arlett

Let us recognise “dad bod” as another / crystallization of sexism.

Broken Ode on My Bank Account

Parker Logan

Jesus Christ let me get a witness / on my grave I don’t have a dollar / I barely even own my name.

LAMENT FOR SAD DAUGHTERS

Clare Labrador

If she emptied her hands / of this weight, my face / would fall from the ground, / scattering below her feet again.

Advice to Rilke (Tango)

Cristina Piña (transl by Emily Eaton and C. Violet Eaton)

Do me a favor, brother, / what's all this about / summoning Death / for each / person to bear?

Our Verb is Loved

Kimberly Grey

to go is to be gone; one day quick as a ship / wreck dignified by sea, I realize I am incongruent / to the lover that has slept asleep beside me

My Mother is Afraid, Mostly, of Being Alone

Jackie Chicalese

I am writing myself / into the mother of this poem

Born to Make Books: In Conversation with Christine Lysnewycz Holbert of Lost Horse Press

Carolyne Wright

In early April of 2022, in the second month of the Russian invasion of and war on Ukraine, Phoebe Bosché, Editor of Seattle-based Raven Chronicles Press, invited me to interview Christine Lysnewycz Holbert, Founding Editor and Publisher of Lost Horse Press, as part of her Raven Chronicles’ “Raven Talks / qaẃqs” podcast.

[what luxuries...]

Lisa Huffaker

Source text: Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin, originally self-published in 1963. These erasures were composed upon pages of the mass-market paperback,…

Bastards

Grace Byron

The art cinema was a few blocks away from the lake, he wanted to take her there. She assented. He bought her a maple creamie and he licked his black raspberry with his thick tongue. They waited on the dock as the sun began to set.

The Mongolian Goat

Leanne Ma

When someone asks me what I do for a living, I give a different answer every time.

[I trust my ear…]

Lisa Huffaker

Source text: Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin, originally self-published in 1963. These erasures were composed upon pages of the mass-market paperback,…

a man with a gun in either hand

James Dewey

he can't sort mail or carry / library books to his car. he can’t give the tiny disco / ball dangling from his rearview mirror a spin.

Ars Poetica

Nishta J. Mehra

Pain is uninteresting to everyone except the person who experiences it, and even then, the appeal wears off. I became bored by my own pain, afraid that I was becoming irrelevant, ceasing to exist. Who was I if I could not teach, could not parent, could not write? Pain makes a very poor companion, and rather enjoys maximizing presence so that no one and nothing else can occupy your time. I worried about Stockholm Syndrome: was I making nice with my pain or simply getting used to him?

SLOW TWILIGHT, BURNING DARKNESS: On Metaphors of Blindness

Hannah Kauders

Throughout my father’s life, people often described him as a sage or clairvoyant, a blind man who could see beyond the visual.I was seventeen when I noticed the pattern. When an admissions officer at a small liberal arts college called me in for an interview, she spotted my dad and his dog in the waiting room.

Carb massacre – a love story

Jordan Hamel

Science wants me / to murder every loaf of bread in cold blood while / the pastries watch, so scared of me, they unbake themselves.

i didn’t know before

Yasmina Jaksic

you cannot grow faster than you can rot.

Tamas Dobozy: Biographer of Shadows

Brett Warnke

Reading Tamas Dobozy recently has been like hearing the chime of an antique clock in a crowded internet cafe.

Persona Poem as Mexican-American Bildungsroman

Julian Robles

Two hands pluck me from a river, / and unfold my pages to the sun.

The Woman with No Mouth

Morgan Day

I am the woman who the writer could not earn enough money to see. He never finished the stories, nor the political articles. He never arrived on the train, we never stayed at the hotel. We were dating at a time when I hated the idea of old age. In other words, I was happy.

Translations of Ephemera

Mackenzie Duan

Now, I daydream about blue light, fever, freak weather. Once, it rained in late August and for several miles I walked beside B, both of us sharing an eggplant-purple umbrella, untouching except for when she’d wander past the umbrella’s brim and I’d tug her back into its orbit, its purple bruise.

Silver Salt

Richard Frailing

When I was 12, dad took me to the darkroom to help him develop film. He wanted to show me the enlarger, the dangerous developer liquid, and why red light won’t react with silver salt.


From the Archives

Devils, Our Sons

Karissa Chen

Our sons told us to place the steel cleavers we used to butcher hogs and chickens beneath our pillows, in case our enemies appeared.

Who Would Rather Stay at Home Alone?

Elizabeth Miki Brina

It’s approaching midnight and this is not how I would have wanted it to happen: sitting by myself on my porch, drinking wine from the bag of a box and chain-smoking cigarettes...

from Waiting for Perec

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

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

Micro-Interview with Joe Fletcher

Christopher Murray

"I was also drawn to the awkward syntax of the title, the roughly translated feel of it. Who would make that pronouncement? Would he have a graying mustache?"