The almonds I think grew slowly on a tree (a wild almond tree) along a curved road near a rounding hill, perhaps in Lebanon, but that may not be—no mind.
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…and none of them useful or meritorious a much-scraped palimpsest of things–lives, maybe–
I wanted it to be like a movie where interrogation leads to advanced interrogation and what you learn in school
He is ryegrass. The voices of his heart like tensed wings; ripples in the serum of a stoppered vial. Death is the only word in any language sleeping won't spoil.
“Looker,” Peggy said as I hustled Gilligan’s order to Jailbait, our 16-year-old grill chef and the boy Peggy slept with off and on. Peggy had a thirteen-year-old son and a husband who’d turned funny after his return from Gulf War Number 1.
After driving Daddy home as gently as I could, so as not to jostle his aching noggin, I asked Guy about their night together. He said it had gone fine, but then I reminded him that I’d sent him with a purpose in mind.
I still haven’t finished my screenplay, and I have to admit I don’t know how. Why is my life important enough to write a script about? Why is anyone’s?
After a time, the figure settled back down into his former place, became one of the bodies on the floor, unable on the one hand to discern a path in the jigsaw, unable on the other to force what will he did possess upon them. Then again, perhaps he had been afraid his warm gap on the floor would close.
"Water? Coffee? Tea?" the receptionist asked. I asked for water. She returned with a small bottle and a rocks glass on a wooden tray. She set the tray on the coffee table in front of the couch, poured the water from the bottle into the glass, set the glass down on a coaster then left with the tray and the empty bottle.
the body so like surgeons or Michelangelo we dissected dogs and cats and called it art and took our pictures with the work and turned this fear to wonder
or butterflies. blunt sides of pins. the polyester blanket soaked
MOSCOW SUBURB Blocks of gray buildings in Tyoplyi Stan a windy suburb in the southwest of Moscow where Napoleon’s army used to burn fires to try to survive the [...]
For Tibor Gábor Gajdics, 1930-2014 Stewed plums in cottage cheese dumplings squirt sweet explosions in my mouth. I left my flat on Wesselényi utca beside the Dohány Street Synagogue and [...]
She has passover in the lower case She has angel belief she sends ahead and thinks she hears bowling some night storms
Dawn outside his chambers disintegrates, retreats, Anxious, breath unwholesome, like the stricken man.
She slid off the counter and in front of her mirror began applying my lip gloss to her beautiful, wide mouth with its curling, upper lip that now looked like a beckoning finger. She wore a sly expression, watching me watch her. She placed the tube of lotion I had given her with her pile of things. I didn’t say anything. I was unsure what tone to take.
Plus, there was something so unexpectedly exciting about being together that we wanted to explore it without everybody watching. So we kept it quiet and, as I say, for two months, we'd been going strong.
'Have you seen a doctor?' I pointed at her hand. Girija shook her head. 'Ratni brought some herb oil from the village. She applies it for me every day.' The thick, green-brown fluid in the re-used Old Monk bottle near the stove looked foul.
They laughed with mouths open too wide. Soon, she’ll get up from this field
I hadn’t been able to read it in the darkness of the hall. The train was late, all the blueness was becoming gold.
Ladies, this license plate is your journal, an everlasting ticket up a Northern route where you’ll still have access to electroshock therapy through some faux forest in the middle of the US.
Where the way this combo tongue and squeeze the air tells me it’s John C’s b’day-O yes; he had a nice place on Long Island
About a third space, a place of a community and a place of solitude.
And yet some leaves more complicated than this. And yet.
by Megan Fernandes Alex Dimitrov came to Concordia University in Montreal on Thursday, March 5th for a campus-wide reading. The following day he came to speak to my class, “Queer Sexuality and [...]
For ever so long, Iskren Syeveratz had watched over the island's elders, who without their offspring were like oysters without pearls. The octogenarian grandfathers and grandmothers sat in front of their stone houses looking out at the sea for the return of their children from the foreign lands, until they were petrified and turned into dust.
The other part is that he’s such a fucking terrible imposter. In life, Ingrid Lynn was a poet, so she thinks in terms of metaphors. She can say that he dances without grace and inflects the letter r in a way that conflates meaning. She says his eyes are dead. She says he gets whole stanzas wrong. She says he’s an automaton.
By protocol, he should have called security. But Andy ran down the utility stairs instead to stop her rattling the door, her feet planted apart. A flash of white showed up her shorts, her legs spread to pull the door handle, before she straightened to wave him down.
Tiny knew lots of people like Francine. Some people could talk forever telling all they knew, trying to get out what was wrong with them. But it wasn’t her problem. The ones that looked vulnerable were everyone else. They all looked like porcelain thems. Like they were fixing to break.
Past the stone angel heads and over the calm brutes, the freeway thins and wears white like a patient tonight.
There’s always more work to be done. My book still isn’t finished. A happy ending is only so happy. If the cancer doesn’t return, then something else will finish the job.
by Chanelle Benz I met Dana Spiotta in 2009 at the Syracuse University MFA Program. We had both just arrived, but unlike me she knew what she was doing. As she [...]
I’m trying to know how swallows know to build nests from mud.
But this may become, especially in the context of our contemporary theaters of war, increasingly difficult. As war technology advances exponentially and we become more and more able to replace human effort, skill, and sacrifice with robotics, we risk also displacing our essentially human ability to recognize ourselves, and—even more dangerously, in the context of war—others as human.
Bills come in like falling leaves. They soothe me: a record of where I've been, as if the things I have might possibly define me. Sometimes I look at the [...]
The Invisibles The tour bus pulled into the lot and Arnold put his Playstation on pause. Now I must represent my country, he thought, snickering, as Ambassador from the [...]
A NIGHT DRIVE I had been looking after a phonograph for my friend’s girlfriend. My friend’s girlfriend and I were very close; in fact, it was in my bed [...]
The wind rushing in through the windows blows our long hair into our faces. It’ll be tangled when we get home but we feel too good to care. We’ve been out dancing at a club in Hollywood. Used our fake IDs to get in. Mine says I’m from Florida. The bouncer knows they’re fake but he lets us in anyway.
Cleve and I met in eighth grade where we briefly “went out” before breaking up, because I thought he had a crush on one of our school’s cheerleaders. We remained fairly close, carefully dodging an intensity we were too young to address. We lost touch after high school.
In the early 90’s, just a few years into our marriage, when John and I were living in theobshaga, a shitty Russian university dormitory, on the windiest part of Vasilevsky [...]
"Imagine the marriage lasting, the lilies blooming in the black vase for years..." -Kim Addonizio, Tell Me It is Saturday afternoon in Lisbon, and I've stumbled upon bliss. Or whatever [...]
a wayward protein bloodletting from unforeseen orifice gathers us to elongated grass-fed hours
Morning, Mom’s tires spit out Pennsylvania, taking us to California.
Townspeople (the other side of an old poem) town carnivals and songs. no one waits for tomorrow. drizzle. packed streets. a jumble at your feet. we all depart our dwellings [...]
They can’t find a working lighter, so they take all the shreds of tobacco out of their cigarettes.
TENDER DATA Inquiries feel like enemas What is it called when your fist blooms inside someone The civilization I live in has lost its purpose so I turn to [...]
WHITE BONE PINE The woman said she was looking for her son. This was after Mr. Lee, cigarette seller and realtor to the western valley, looked her up and [...]
by Rebecca Fishow I first met Rivka Galchen in endlessly grey, snowy Syracuse, New York. I was an MFA student student at Syracuse University, Galchen was a visiting professor, teaching [...]
It is rumored in his later years he would leave his apartment in the city and drive through the night to arrive before sun up. He would dress warmly and [...]
I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I received a mass email from Caitlin bragging about the start of her book tour. You have to understand that Caitlin Morrow is [...]
Little Dude looks out the window as we approach Orlando International, at the wash of winking blue lights that tell the airplanes where to land. “A story,” I suggest. “Father,” [...]
She tacks the quote on her wall. Not the virtual kind, but the smooth white one with the round corners. The sound of a kettle whistles in the kitchen. Outside, the rustle of a few trees. This is Montréal in the spring. It is the sound of being nine hundred and eighty kilometres west of the Atlantic Ocean.
translation by Jonathan Brooks Platt *** the moving space of the revolution you think you’re Nekrasov or something, bitch? war machines all along the roadside the functionary of the [...]
(She sings softly.) Happy Birthday Nadia.
The moment has fallen and--what a shame!--it is forever. What a kind of distance! And at your shadow’s fingers.
The pale one is still scanning the unthinkably blue thing, his dim eyes
The Riviera descended the dark mill hill and in its lights were geese waddling out of the way, some hissing, wings spread, waddling quickly, and we pulled into the mill parking lot. “What the fuck?” said James, stopping the car.
I don’t know if I ever expected them to come back, but the night was long and loud and to this day, let me tell you, I can still see our mother exactly the way she was the next morning as she unfastened our seatbelts: her eyes bloated into garnets as she squeezed us both to her chest, asked if we were hungry—a new shade of lipstick on her that I have never seen since.
Hello. Excuse. Excuse me. Do you have bourbon? I don’t know what kind. What does the bottle look like? Let me see. Let me see. Oh, anything. What is the rocks?