MY DEAR FRIEND AND MENTOR, Christina Thompson, is very meticulous about the way she assembles issues of Harvard Review. You will notice that each piece in an issue of Harvard Review has something to do with the piece before and after it -- themes, word echoes, title puns; often several things at once. I, on the other hand, used to assemble issues of Slush Pile rather lazily by the authors' names alphabetically, unless I was presented with a specific reason to do otherwise. I am not admitting this to you as a point of pride. On the contrary, I aspire to be more like Christina in many ways but alas, Christina is Christina and I am myself. Her talents as an editor surpass my own. However, my desk is neater than her desk. I guess I'll take what I can get?
In any case, I tried a novel approach with this issue and put the pieces in absolutely no order at all. I am relying on chaos and chance, or the mysterious workings of my subconscious brain, to tell us something about how these pieces relate to each other... (read more)
I MIGHT AS WELL BEGIN with the tornado, even though it'll lead to all sorts of questions. You'll want to know how it felt to hang in the taffy-like stretch of time as sure of death as the dead; about how little Kyle entered a bundle of hyperactive incoherence and emerged tightfisted, pinched with crazy poetry; about Jamie, who no one ever helped, ending up at Yale; or how our tragic mother fell down and couldn't get up... (read more)
LOOK. HERE’S YOUR SIX-YEAR OLD autistic son, Jake, hustling wind-sprints down the feminine needs aisle of the Wal-Mart. As he rips down the lane, he tilts his head, his chin touching his left shoulder, his eyes skewed right, so he can watch the kaleidoscope of boxes scroll past his peripheral vision. The packages transform into a blurred line, a continuous row of edges and angles... (read more)
IN MAY, WINDS BROKE robust with spring vigor
lifting loose hair from shoulders, set awnings
ruffling over downtown shops and baby strollers
over the din of gathering crowds blocks-wide
in the thick of the early hours, tight and bundled
just as we were, too, still in bed... (read more)
WE USED TO LAUGH
at my southern speech—
"put up" for "put away."
I tell you my grandmother
about pies on shelves... (read more)
“YOU'RE JUST A LITTLE BITCH,” Louisa’s mother said to the dog, one bright February morning, a couple of months after Louisa’s sister had stopped eating.
“If you don’t stop meowing, I’ll cut out your eyes and fry them for supper,” Louisa’s father said to the cat... (read more)
THE WOMAN COLLAPSED the Sunday after the opening of the Mini Mahal, a space for first and second generation Indian-Americans in Houston to mourn the deaths of their relatives. A more compressed version of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, the mini-mausoleum consisted of a large dome made out of concrete, surrounded by four columns... (read more)
“AT THE CENTER OF MY dedication to visual art is an ongoing internal struggle with historical images and their meanings. I work to integrate my responses to a range of art historical paintings from medieval to modernist with the seen world in an attempt to imbue abstract imagery with the same emotive weight of storytelling.”