FIRST THINGS FIRST: Sadie Hoagland. I've never met Sadie Hoagland, but my first encounter with her was roughly nine years ago. I was reading through the slush pile of Harvard Review and came upon a story called, "I Don't Care if a Broken Heart Is a Thing of the Devil Cause I Got One." I thought, this story is going to have to be damn good to live up to a title like that. Boy was it. I've been a little obsessed with her writing ever since. It turns out that "I Don't Care if a Broken Heart Is a Thing of the Devil Cause I Got One" is but one chapter of a fantastic novel, called Strange Children, (which -- word to the wise -- is in need of a publisher) a coming of age story about a handful of teens growing up in, and later expelled from, a polygamous Mormon community. You will find another chapter of Strange Children, "When the Prophet of God Is Not a Good Man," in this issue. I hope you love it as much as I do. And if you do, check out another story of Sadie's in Issue Two... (read more)
IT’S HARD TO SAY WHEN things started to go bad for the whole commune. No plague came down like in the Book. There was no locusts, no blood on the doors. No, it just eventually became clear that things had gone all rotten and even as we thought it, the orchards all turned sour and the sick sweet smell of softening and bruising apples hung about everywhere... (read more)
ON A CLAY TENNIS COURT overgrown with English ivy, a dog / the size and color of a roast chicken sits and waits for a clear / impulse to be honed into trajectory by a squirrel, chipmunk, / rabbit, something small and trying to live. A tennis ball hides / in the dark green milderness like a movie star leaving a / restaurant through the kitchen. (read more)
THAT GIRL WHO LEFT me breathless
Once dead to me, now dead
Extinguished in a house fire in Brighton.
How unremarkable the house looks
On the television screen... (read more)
THE KEYHOLE ISN'T BUILT
for parallax. Come in
out of the fine and
The eyes of the dead
took me up to the abandoning
place where my body
misunderstood ... (read more)
AMBER SITS IN HER CAR, finishing her joint. The boys are out back, huddled over a crate with a makeshift chessboard on it. The parking lot is mostly empty, most of the time, but the GM still makes the staff park in the back row, up against the woods. Pathetic, Amber thinks. She puts the roach out in her ashtray ... (read more)
TOLEDO. DAY TWO. BIRD SONG before dawn. My bag holds no toothbrush, blush mascara or eye-shadow.
Bootless, I come to
the realm of constant shifting
where the stars release
reason from its own
weight, where thoughts lift away; drifts
of fog in deaf winds--
where is the meaning in this?
Light footfalls did not wake me ... (read more)
YOU SAY THIS HAND / that’s formed ten thousand loaves / screams at you at night / with pain it sends you off to sleep / with a curse for how you lived.
i say this hand / has formed a dozen loves / they sing to you at night / they follow you to sleep / with dreams of what you gave.
i take this hand / kneading ... (read more)
CHARRED BACON SMELL, short-order shouts, truckers / hunched like bison ready to stampede. Brash men, / they stop here twice a week, chide waitresses
about their hairdos, petticoats, but tip / three times what Highway 5 L.A.-to-Portland / tourists do. Gentler folk prefer the higher priced / slick-menued '50s imitation two miles down the road ... (read more)
THE SUMMER I TURNED SIXTEEN, my mother called with what she deemed exciting news. “Guess what,” she said, “you’re coming to live with me in the States!” It was the same voice she used when I was eight and she surprised us kids with ice cream. It was a Thursday evening in June and my brother and I had just come in from gorging ourselves on the East Indian mangoes that fell from Mrs. Peart’s tree into our front yard.... (read more)
“THROUGH ART I EXPLORE and reconstruct the magical idealism of mid-twentieth-century advertising, popularized by the likes of LIFE Magazine. I transfer these sentiments to a parallel universe of my own creation, constructed of text and figurative imagery, oftentimes containing metaphors and splashes of humor. ”