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May 26, 2020
Coworkers drop me off at a cutting-edge camp for the talkative so I have people other than them to bore for two weeks such as the doorman with the bad left knee who I tell about my bad right knee as we are exiting applauding vehicles under upstate trees
May 19, 2020
As the light scanned his body, I could not tell if what was projected was what was outside, that which remained of his dynastic rule, the ruins of pillage and scorched-earth tactics from those of the north, or perhaps of his own minions; or was it some landscape of his dreams, an unfolding of what would come, the ruins that lay waiting deep in the tenses of the future, where the springs would be clouded with matter, the earth pocked and scabrous, mucosa and serum streaked.
May 13, 2020
It is contested territory. Right now she has two thick horns atop it. Dying can turn the most flamboyant into their most feared demon.

     R who works with her in the daytime puts oil (olive, coconut) on the horns, which G, who works nighttime, complains about.
April 29, 2020
Conducted by the Students in Bradford Morrow’s Innovative Contemporary Fiction Class
When the coronavirus outbreak caused Bard, along with other schools across the country, to move to remote teaching, my plan to host a campus visit with one of my closest longtime writer friends, Joyce Carol Oates, had to be canceled. Disappointed, we agreed to reschedule for the fall.  But then I had an idea. To salvage some semblance of a class visit, what if I asked my students to read her recent collection, Beautiful Days, and send me an email asking her a question about a favorite story, or about the fictive imagination, and I would forward them to Joyce for her responses?
March 31, 2020
in the pharmacy of the child
one used a hopscotch stone
a jacket zipper one’s tongue
the sharper tongue of a friend
anything to get one’s soft skin back
March 17, 2020
1.

Because he could picture himself curled up on the shelf of the refrigerator between the bread and the light.

2.

Because he stared up at the sprinkler attachment and thought of it as a metal flower.
March 10, 2020
Mears takes your name. As soon as you say it, he speaks it in quick echo, and it is now his and no longer yours. We don’t know what he does with it or what it does for him, but we do know what happens to those he pilfers.
March 3, 2020
All those touched and killed by the night end up floating on sea. Strewn across some other beaches are the stranded bodies of dead kings.
February 25, 2020
This is where the sand meets the

collapse / the flat line / cove     

            a silver or brown hole

a line                that causes a fever            
February 18, 2020
Things that are Funny on a Submarine But Not Really— The torpedo man named Grenadier who lives in South Carolina and thinks North Carolina is the North. The XO who hates my bucket hat I wear printed with cherries, but would rather me wear it than the other one I have that says, “Bigfoot is Real.”
February 4, 2020
Although family therapy consumed more time than basketball practice and did not improve my odds of attending my first-choice college, my sister’s suicide attempt had alarmed my parents, and they were taking every precaution against relapse.

     Horse, meet barn door. Bird, meet coop. I am trying to say: It was all so predictable.
January 28, 2020
I worked for commission in a sterile room with many clocks. The product did not glimmer in the fluorescence, but it was as if it did, and better, like they’d found a way to remove the obligatory negative space of glimmering when the object floated in darkness.
January 21, 2020
I have taken a blow to the head.

     Not one blow. Many blows. But one was worse than the others.

     And my larynx is not my own. My heart isn’t either. But I have a phantom larynx and a phantom heart.
January 14, 2020
We found the laptop in Cressey’s round room. It was black, thin, light as wood, and belonged to Dr. Marcus, the man who came on to me once, the one who smokes dope in the eaves, the philologist or psychologist. I can’t get these “terms” straight in my head anymore, what with these drugs they feed us. The afternoon pills, especially.
January 7, 2020
We turn the floodlights on the actors, extras in one of the world’s great short stories, surprising them mid-escapade, nocturnal animals caught playing dress up with our clothing, our fanciest possessions. Pearl choker on a possum, suit jacket on a raccoon. A skunk, a lynx, two tubby foxes moonlighting as twin nephews or as young men dating our daughters.