Contributors

Michael Parrish Lee
Contributor History

Biography
Michael Parrish Lee is the author of The Food Plot in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel (Palgrave Macmillan), a study of eating and appetite in fiction. His fiction has appeared previously in Conjunctions’ print and online editions and in Scrivener Creative Review, and his essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Studies in the Novel.

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In Print

Vol. 82
Works & Days
Spring 2024
Bradford Morrow

Online

May 15, 2024
The boy watches me tend the fry pan. First of November in a warm year. I was an old man this morning. Now it is night and I am still an old man. The good stink of hot fried whitefish rises in the kitchen and oak leaves have fallen, painted the hill red. I am an old man because my body does not move fast. I am an old man because I have seen change that is large enough to fit inside my body. The change I have seen is like a bent stick I have swallowed. It sits inside my chest. It might make a hole in something soon.
May 8, 2024
Why my mother don’t like me?
     I ask Ansin, my grandmother. I say, How it is my mother never did like me?
     She steups. Kiss she teeth. And smooth-out that news she was reading in. Raise it up again to give it a little flip. At the top. And you could feel the vexness in that flip too.
     I say, Is cause I ent got no father?
May 1, 2024
“You have fifteen minutes,” the cashier says. Repeats it, runs your card, matter-of-factly smiling like Iowa girls do. Brenda smiled that smile too—pleasant, courteous. No faking, no strain.
     “Any questions?” she asks.
     You poke a carousel rack of baseball caps in front of her register. It creaks a clockwise inch. Stiff-billed, nylon, mesh. Lots of American flags. This one with the cabin patch, stitched with “Home Sweet Home.” It’s a deep bluish plum, a color Brenda likes.