EDITORIAL REMARKS by M.R. Branwen
THERE IS A LOT OF ILLICIT SEX happening in short fiction this issue. I didn’t think, dear reader, that you’d mind.
To honor the last of the hot, sticky dog-days of summer, you’ll find stories about “curvy blonde” sex, dive bar sex, and house sitting sex. There’s also a story about a “young teacher/ the subject of school[boy] fantasy,” to (sort of) quote The Police. Sexual tension abounds in that story and, although there is no actual sex, I’m willing to admit that I wish there had been.
Exciting—in a different way—is this our featured artist, Matthew Rich, whose colorful contortions (such as “Pulse” at left) have taken up residence in this issue. He is recently returned from some frolicking abroad and, in addition to his beautiful work, he shares some of his thoughts from the road. (read more)
LAYERS by Marianne Apostolides
MAY 2007. 18 GRENADIER ROAD, Toronto. On the phone to Garden City, New York.
“He was such a shit,” she says.
That conversation leads back, then, into this—the story I’d recalled, on occasion, over the course of twenty-five years. This story was not static through those years... (read more)
THE HOUSE-SITTER by Julie Innis
MEN SHE WALKS BY GESTURE at their crotches. “You want a piece o’that?” they ask.
Lately though, she has been dreaming a lot about food. Doughnuts. Chocolates. Plates full of sugary treats.
“Libidinal,” her doctor tells her... (read more)
THREE STORIES by Francine Witte
[YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR] this one time and it’s not you looking back. Instead, it’s a rather tall curvy blonde, the type your boyfriend said he’d go after if he wasn’t so darn in love with you. When you open your mouth to speak, it’s not your voice, but her voice and it hits you that you are in just the right position to find out everything... (read more)
IS THIS DESIRE? by Aida Zilelian
“SO?” HE ASKS AND SLUMPS down into his seat, to meet me eye-level.
“How’s it going?”
“Fine. How’s it going with you?”
Ever since his mother vanished last year, I have been meeting my student Samuel after school once a week. Although his day ends earlier than mine he is willing to bide his time and come back... (read more)
DIVE by Bonnie Zobell
FLIPPING YOUR HAIR OVER your shoulder, you approach a bar, the fun one with red leather seats that hardly stick. Your favorite jukebox song teases: “How Could You Believe Me When I Told You That I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life.” Smokers issue smoke at the entry while the working neon beer signs blink magenta and sky blue... (read more)
SCENTS by Bonnie Zobell
CHARLOTTE'S SINUSES WERE SO AWRY they made the inside of her head feel like a perfect storm. Her nose streamed fluids she had to tend for days. Then, in her shrink’s waiting room that week, she’d met the first guy in six months she could stand to be in the same room with for more than five minutes, Bobby, and he was supposed to call... (read more)
TWO POEMS by Aran Donovan
H HAD SMOKED TWO PACKS, so many
He was sick and couldn’t make it.
J arrived late, met us face pale
Swimming about the eyes, stood off to the side.
It was a fact of blood... (read more)
HILARY WHITE by Kythe Heller
“WHEN I LIT THE SCHOOL ON FIRE, it was good,
and then I stood there for a while watching it,—
but it was funny,—afterwards
it was as if somebody else did it…
Everything flat, in a vacuum, like how shadows of things look
seen on a wall… (read more)
GRAND STAIRCASE by Hope Jordan
IN THIS GREAT DRY EMPTY,
petroglyphs work their way up from prehistory;
chiseled images of bighorn sheep,
human hunters, alien spirals.
Only months ago we decided together was better than not
and there was a sort of miracle to us... (read more)
TO WEST FROM by Jenny Kern
TRUNK TO LIMBS TO
hands to feet
Mississippi to west
to mountain lions
to fat fish
to red-winged blackbirds
everywhere... (read more)
THIS TREMENDOUS EXPLODING WHALE by Michael James Martin
HELICOPTER CAMERA BEACH-COMB
caught on horizontal sand-gibbet, caught on
bellydown past tense Whalebone
drooling plankton while off the beach-head
palm-shielded eyes watch
local officials with sticks
tempted to poke
the county explosives expert... (read more)
TWO POEMS by Chloe Martinez
THOSE WIDE, BLOOMING SKIES.
Beside the red road, horses stand
like ghosts among the tree trunks
and will come no closer.
The cat’s gone, my mother
cries over the phone. She won’t come back,
I can just tell. When her painting arrives
rolled up in a cardboard mailing tube... (read more)
FEATURED ARTIST Matthew Rich
“THE EXPERIENCE OF TRAVELING is similar to the experience of having a studio. You make things, you go places, you see things, you gather information, you sort, you invent.
I was abroad for seven and a half weeks this summer, spending a month in Iceland on an artist residency followed by three weeks in Ireland [...] I came up with what seemed like a proper hierarchy to organize the various kind of activities I was participating in during my travels: Touching is closer than Sitting. Sitting is closer than Walking. Walking is closer than Biking. Biking is closer than Driving. Driving is closer than Touring.”