Online Exclusives

11.15.18
Transfer
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:71, A Cabinet of Curiosity
After the sudden death of my employer, I was tasked with overseeing the transfer of his personal library. The books would travel from his studio in New York City to an arts foundation in Italy, where my employer had once enjoyed a long and productive stay, many years in the past. [...]
11.13.18
The Malingerers
8:00 p.m. in this perpetual night shift, and we talk again to the person inside the photo booth, you know, that one photo booth that tunnels all the way down—or up, depending on where you are—to that familiar place where all afterlife and underworld mythologies owe their artifice, the predictability of salvation they purport to deliver. [...]
11.08.18
Days of Heaven
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:71, A Cabinet of Curiosity
A grown-up man not unlike me is trying to coax a struggling child into a box. That’s badly phrased and only a single sentence in we are in need of starting over. [...]
11.06.18
From It Was Over There by That Place
There were parts I recognized.

I saw by night a man riding a red horse and he stood among the myrtle trees in the bottom and behind him were red horses, sorrel and white. My Lord what are these? [...]
11.01.18
Why Brother Stayed Away
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:71, A Cabinet of Curiosity
The moment had come to see if it was true that Grumpa had a collection of ties lined with pictures of what her brother called “naughty ladies.” [...]
10.30.18
Two Poems
In the beginning she was guilty, then her guilt
was scene:
                      the drift of rust-rimmed apple leaves,
the latticework of branches whose fruit [...]
10.23.18
Black Box
Even though I was a couple of floors below on the sidewalk, I thought I recognized her from long ago when I, or we, lived in another country. But I heard she’d died—nothing confirmed, but I’d been told as much, and yet, what do you do with this but try to forget that the person is real, forget that they may still be moving through life. [...]
10.16.18
Incomplete Enlightenment 
The knife was raised
before there was an after.
He cried out, “Stop, stop!
“My name means laughter.” [...]
10.09.18
The Necklace
It was his mother’s necklace, so it had value to him, more value to him than probably to his wife. It was meant for a woman though, so he couldn’t wear it. [...]
10.02.18
Three Poems
Song of Betel leaves being moved
from one cheek to the other and
someone sleeps on a sofa, the peal
of fleecy bells in the distance.
These real things. These real
things that make everything
real around them. [...]
09.25.18
Five Poems
Take the depth of spring in air 
A depth-charge of life that is also death
To be in the right place
To take their picture [...]
09.18.18
Four Poems
And in having “lost” a person twenty
years back as if out in these woods as if
looking    will find will be
found [...]
09.11.18
The Orams
The Oram brothers live up the mountain. Head east on the main road until it crosses the river and forks. Take the fork leading into the woods. Take the road less traveled. Don’t pat yourself on the back for your poet jokes. That is a false poem, and that poet knew it. [...]
09.04.18
Curios
The skin is useful for allowing Heather to draw close to other products, to trade touches that result in pleasure, tickles, irritation, and rashes that blister and peel away. Heather’s internal units archive the glistening faces of other products. She wonders how they keep themselves so smooth, so lifelike. [...]
08.28.18
Declarations and Observations
It wasn’t even necessary to write a statement in blood on the walls. We have extensive accounts, typed out neatly: “They took him to a room and beat him. On another occasion, he was forced to lie down on the floor, while the MPs jumped off a table onto his back and legs.” [...]
08.21.18
Four Poems
The sidewalk tables are ruins
that we walk through, eager.
It has always been like this.
A sear with a varnish of butter
and fresh pepper. A swallow
of wine. A swallow. [...]
08.14.18
Sequentials
The coffee from yesterday warmed up and left in the microwave, the late-December sky two hours before the sun comes up outside of smudgy windows. Sitting. The desk. The bed. The bed the desk. It’s funny the things we hold on to, for no particular reason, or no good reason. [...]
07.31.18
Six Poems
Perhaps we should begin in extreme heat
              or intemperate ice,                  in salt solutions,   
              in drastic acid or radical alkaline,         in heavy metals
or in toxic waste—                    wherever life seems improbable [...]
07.24.18
Done to Scale
First, an unsteady tree of clothing inside the door: the coat rack, heaped with jackets, scarfs and furs, most torn, buttons missing, some stained, all rarely worn as few ever go out—for what is outside the house but another house? [...]
07.17.18
Three Poems
by Aleš Šteger
translated by Brian Henry
One, two days
And the mouth
Goes back on its word. [...]
07.10.18
Even Huck, Even Emmeline Grangerford
Like me when I was a child, Huck Finn hates Sundays. And sunshine. One day, “Sunday-like, and hot and sunshiny,” Huck explains, [...]
06.26.18
The Camping Trip
The purpose of the camping trip was to get away from the house and our ordinary routine, we explained to the boy, knowing he would resist if we said the real purpose was to learn more about his new school and how the other kids were treating him, specifically a bully named “Chuck.” [...]
06.19.18
Four Prose Poems
I wrote this letter to explain my withdrawing myself from school

In school, the brief schooling I attended, the benefits of water were endlessly extolled. (Eckhart Tolle, mindfulness, a tripart time, a mermaid time, a time that just was not going to work for the mountains.) [...]
06.12.18
The Open Water
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:70, Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue
Peaches redden on branches; in the dark,
I drop the irrigation gate—each month

a woman crosses Havana Bay and, looking

at the open water, reclaims her mother— [...]
06.05.18
The Cathedral Is a Mouth
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:70, Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue
The great Gothic cathedrals, with their arches, ribs, and vaults, were modeled after trees in the forest, the way trees reach up and their branches intertwine. [...]
05.29.18
Four Poems
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:70, Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue
“Use the Crown Club Card
to see Justice League,”

he, she, it says. [...]
05.22.18
You Don’t Have a Father and He Likes Cheese
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:70, Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue
Take him, Alma wrote almost ten years ago, when she was still a senior in high school and her English teacher, Mr. Poland, tried to teach her and her retrograde classmates how to craft compelling opening sentences for their college admissions essays [...]
05.15.18
Exposure
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:70, Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue
Punishment is a poor substitute for justice. When, after all, does punishment end? And what is punishment meant to do? [...]
05.08.18
Three Poems
You still eat roots the way each footstep
put together this hillside
as if it was once a pond and slowly

dried for the afternoon–a simple life [...]
05.04.18
An Introduction to Richard Powers’ Reading at Bard College
What an honor it is to welcome Richard Powers back to Bard College this afternoon after over a decade since he last read in the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading series. [...]
05.01.18
Three Poems
This is one, hoping to exist. This is one, holding out against zero: its reign of absence, its absolute winter.

Down for the count, which needs or does not need our factories of charge. [...]
04.24.18
By Another Route
One is haunted. Haunted, one must proceed nonetheless with the courtesy of a host. One assumes the ghost is lost and needs to be helped on its way. One sees things others do not see. Or rather, one sees things that others cannot see. [...]
04.17.18
Black Tongue
There was a socket in the wall my mother told me not to touch. The wire innards of the plug spilled out of the unguarded hole. The wires looked like black spaghetti. [...]
04.10.18
Doubts
“And you say they’ve been here how long?”

     “We don’t know exactly. Our estimate is a month, approximately. It’s difficult to be sure, we don’t keep tabs on our employees, so it could well be longer, a month and a few days, perhaps.” [...]
04.03.18
Walks Scribbled over Scribbled over Walks
Cold hole in my right pant
through which
                        grass’s eyelash brushes my calf,
                                                                
flirty infinite     [...]
03.27.18
Field Guide
Be the brown bear and the honeybee,
the finch and the squirrel

both too picky for this birdseed. [...]
03.20.18
Nonpsalms
You can’t live forever in fear   of language. Or well,
you can.
But it’s pathetic.   [...]
03.13.18
Three Poems
Come late spring the branches bear

creamy blooms then pulpy orange half-sweet

three- or four-stoned fruits that slip to the dirt

that all things living leave behind, dirt [...]
02.27.18
Five Poems
You dwell at green lights
longer than expected.
Thoughts that had gone far
are slow in returning. [...]
02.20.18
when it happens to you : little white commas
An Excerpt from My Red Heaven
The iridescent blue butterfly flits free of the airship and is catapulted high into the silver light by a rogue gust of wind. [...]
02.13.18
Seven Poems
From Suspension
call me   some never mind     precisely     little interest
off circulation     growing about the mouth         damp I [...]
01.30.18
A Coalescence
From that distance its rifts and fusions across a theater of inexplicable ages sown in [...]
01.23.18
Three Poems
All the fowl, land animals, and fish fear him.

Muslims assert that he had an infidel wife named Waila,
who died in the Deluge, and was thus not aboard the Ark. [...]
01.16.18
Three Poems
To sit with you
 among the starlings,
 yellow-eyed,  their
  paths hieroglyphic, and
 throw some crumbs our way. [...]
01.02.18
A Sickening, Bucolia
I left him in the wilderness, the scrag that’s left of wilderness—plastic bag choking the gatepost, Styrofoam snow in the farmyard. The wilderness drips down my legs. Mercury, moonlight, multinutrient fertilizer. What we pour on the land in nostalgia. [...]
12.04.17
An Interview
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:70, Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue
For writers: ask yourself how many invisible nonhuman actors and agents are required to enable your tale of individual self-realization or domestic drama, then make those hidden sponsors visible. For readers: let the beauty of whatever book you’ve just read teach you to read the world beyond what we human beings call the real world. [...]

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In Print

Vol. 70
Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue
Spring 2018
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

A Selected Text from Conjunctions:71, A Cabinet of Curiosity
November 15, 2018
After the sudden death of my employer, I was tasked with overseeing the transfer of his personal library. The books would travel from his studio in New York City to an arts foundation in Italy, where my employer had once enjoyed a long and productive stay, many years in the past.
November 13, 2018
8:00 p.m. in this perpetual night shift, and we talk again to the person inside the photo booth, you know, that one photo booth that tunnels all the way down—or up, depending on where you are—to that familiar place where all afterlife and underworld mythologies owe their artifice, the predictability of salvation they purport to deliver.
A Selected Text from Conjunctions:71, A Cabinet of Curiosity
November 8, 2018
A grown-up man not unlike me is trying to coax a struggling child into a box. That’s badly phrased and only a single sentence in we are in need of starting over.
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