Online Exclusives

09.16.20
Four Poems
An exhibit was all you wanted

and me to lay close
my face

like a film behind a curtain [...]
09.09.20
Rural America, 1974
When I thought of their home life, I pictured them hunched beside flame, firelight bringing out grime on their faces.

     Between my mother and grandmother, Mrs. Hufferman is always referred to as Lilly. [...]
06.30.20
Four Poems
The bones and crosses left out for him an emerald

Cicada dying attended by ants the emperor’s pleading face

All over town I dragged it behind me like a wing [...]
06.29.20
New Sisters
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:74, Grendel’s Kin: The Monsters Issue
Quisa had fallen into the habit of disappointing herself, and then disappointing herself a little more, with the words she let slip from her mouth. She kept talking to people in this hungry, intimate way, as if they too had spent the time of their lives in their heads and read the warning labels too closely and worried irrationally about their lymph nodes. Accidental confessions are what these amounted to. [...]
06.23.20
Thrown
Four cops come. Both parents are arrested, D&D. The children—William, six, and Stephanie, three—are taken by CPS.

     The neighborhood will be quiet for almost two weeks. [...]
06.22.20
We Are All Breakable, Ready to Break
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:74, Grendel's Kin: The Monsters Issue
After the bites. After the appearance of what, under one of the wobbly lamps in the employee dressing room/lounge, looked like three welts on T.’s forearm and two little ones on the webbing between S.’s index finger and thumb. After they (zombie fans all of them, horror fans all of them, gore fans all of them) whooped for October 1, whooped for the whole damn month, whooped for another year at the Haunted Farm, which was the only thing they loved in otherwise miserable Olney, Maryland. [...]
06.16.20
Monster Training, Module Three
An Online Monster Supplement
After a long battle, the Department of Special Needs approved my request for a monster.

     It should have been a good thing. There was a long wait list for the monsters, which had only recently been developed. During lunch at the treatment center, when everyone heard I had been approved for a monster, they clapped and congratulated me. I had been waiting for a monster for years, as had many of the other clients, but I still had misgivings. [...]
06.15.20
The Moon Fairy
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:74, Grendel’s Kin: The Monsters Issue
by Sofia Samatar
illustrations by Del Samatar
When the Moon Fairy arrived, blown in through an open window one summer night, we were all surprised by how much it resembled Sylvie. Of course, it was much smaller—no longer than Sylvie’s forearm, the perfect size to take its place among her forgotten dolls—but its small, shimmering face was a tiny image of hers, like a portrait cleverly formed from beaten tin. [...]
06.09.20
Lychnoscope
From Watch Night
that mineral sacrifice, nacre-pled
a knitted there

the commercial
pleat, which the body recognizes
squint
of your courtesy, liege & master [...]
05.26.20
Camp Gesticuslapper
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 [...]
05.19.20
Two Prose Poems
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. [...]
05.13.20
Her Head
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. [...]
04.29.20
A Quarantine Collective Interview with Joyce Carol Oates
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? [...]
03.31.20
Three Poems
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 [...]
03.17.20
Cut
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. [...]
03.10.20
The One Who Takes Your Name
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. [...]
03.03.20
Three Poems
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. [...]
02.25.20
Three Poems
This is where the sand meets the

collapse / the flat line / cove     

            a silver or brown hole

a line                that causes a fever             [...]
02.18.20
Things That Are Funny on a Submarine but Not Really (FSBNR)
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.” [...]
02.04.20
Dance Hall Days
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. [...]
01.28.20
Last Days with the Product
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. [...]
01.21.20
The Recollection
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. [...]
01.14.20
The Dream Tongue
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. [...]
01.07.20
Three Poems
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. [...]

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In Print

Vol. 74
Grendel’s Kin: The Monsters Issue
Spring 2020
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

September 16, 2020
An exhibit was all you wanted

and me to lay close
my face

like a film behind a curtain
September 9, 2020
When I thought of their home life, I pictured them hunched beside flame, firelight bringing out grime on their faces.

     Between my mother and grandmother, Mrs. Hufferman is always referred to as Lilly.
June 30, 2020
The bones and crosses left out for him an emerald

Cicada dying attended by ants the emperor’s pleading face

All over town I dragged it behind me like a wing
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