WELL, WE’VE MADE IT to the holiday season! And Issue Six is here to help you appreciate your family, however dysfunctional.
To kick things off, our Featured Poet Nadia Herman Colburn contributes three haunting, delicate poems about the nuclear family, love, and procreation.
In fiction we have a story on just about every other family-related theme: There’s one about a mother, daughter and grand-daughter; two about a father and daughter, one about a father and son, and one about some orphaned children growing up on a farm. Not to play favorites (because I realize that I am terrible about this) but that last story is Christopher James Klingbeil’s Farmer’s Almanac, and it breaks my heart in all the right ways... (read more)
SAHARA, STRANGE CREATURE SHE IS, has decided we’ll go birding. She knows what a bird is, but in a casual, somewhat abstract way, as a live thing that zips through the air on rare occasion. If you spotted one, you’d point to the gray, dimming sky and ask, “Did you see that?” You’d wonder where the bird was coming from and where it was going next... (read more)
WALKING THROUGH THE PARK we imagine
our children running into some room, letting the door slam,
a vase of tulips placed that morning on the kitchen counter.
imperfect in the bare branching larch. (read more)
WAITE SQUINTED. THE SUN sprayed sequins of light into his creased eyes. A chill nipped the lukewarm air, creating an uneven blend of warm and cold breezes. Clad in a spring jacket, he hobbled across the street like he was dragging a broken leg. Tall, lean and elderly, he’d banished his much needed walking stick... (read more)
THEY COME IN A HALLOWEEN tin, the letters. Four of them, bound with a rubber band that’s so chapped, it crumbles under my thumb. A Halloween tin from a decade ago, I’d say. It’s so scratched up, probably from the tin above it on the cellar shelf, I can barely make out the witch or the cat. The livid pumpkin is no problem. The letters are from my father, who’s dead now, to his lifelong best friend, Graham Novak, who’s dead now too, as of three weeks ago. Probably suicide... (read more)
I WAS EIGHTEEN THEN, not a bad-looking girl, just picky, so what I knew about sex was largely theoretical. Still, I knew that most arguments began with it and this was no exception. The night before, my roommate’s boyfriend had given her a Siamese fighting fish, which by morning she’d christened Electra on account of its color. She seemed pleased with this, with herself. (read more)
I REMEMBER MY POPS telling me he was going to heaven before he scaled the rungs of our farm’s only silo without using his legs. I was ten years old, jaw-dropped and hopping with excitement, watching the old man pull himself skyward as if climbing a rope. His forearms, I remember, were the size of cedar posts, and later that night he slept very, very well... (read more)
FEATURED ARTIST Joe Nanashe
ABOUT THE ART: JOE • noun informal 1 an ordinary man. (OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY)
"A schizophrenic, self-indulgent, hypnotic appropriated video self-portrait edited from 144 films over 3 years, telling the life, death and rebirth of “Joe.” Named after a television character and tortured by the predetermined path the name suggests. Joe (A Self-Portrait) is an exorcism of the demons that have haunted me since someone first recited the lyrics to Hey Joe in conversation..." (read more)