Online Exclusives

12.04.00
From Others’ Work
You arrive in a small seaside town where the installations of a little-known artist are currently on view. As you step out a train pipes somewhere up the coast, out of sight. [...]
11.16.00
What Is Missing
Take, for example, the phone call. Her father had used pasted-together phrases like “alleged suspicions,” “supposedly missing team member,” and “questioning process,” but then put more emphasis on such remarks as “your help and support,” and “ridiculous, out to get the coach,” and “so you know what’s happening.” [...]
08.09.00
The Temple Birds Love Incense
Angel Trumpets grow on the north end of the compound … on the far end near the entrance. They blossom in early spring and last until September. [...]
07.30.00
From Fin
… The subject is quieted when the object ceases.
         In the first act, she will be dressed in faded gardening clothes, a
         scarf around her head. She will be a comfortable and lively woman. [...]
06.30.00
Your Lips Testify against You
I withdrew yet farther into my shell, snug as a meadow louse in a weedy mausoleum. I survived on porridge and my own brand of boosterism, which had me pacing the room and inciting imaginary riots in support of my seclusion:  [...]
06.20.00
Light Carried on Air Moves Less
In a lavender twilight, on the west side of an abandoned pasture gone to hay in the greenest part of our state, a mendicant, a scarved pale beauty with silver bell earrings, curled to sleep on kinked metal filings on the floor of a windowless farm shed gone to rot. [...]
06.11.00
Four Prose Poems
The memory theater burned, and in its ruins I could remember only portions of scripture, commentary, history, poetry, biographies of notable men, successful recipes, homeopathy, botany, and the classification of animals. [...]
06.09.00
Once Confined
Strata of chanting vertebrae           west of the Côte d’Ivoire,

late beside the Niger,        land of cliffs and chockstones 

you have blown through. [...]
05.08.00
Bump and Grind
This is how we begin: a little paint here; a little dab there. Pointilism is the favored method. [...]
04.19.00
Portraits and Repetition
(picture) of cloud body above line of ridge, position itself
being an event on a surface which can’t otherwise be seen [...]
03.28.00
Five Poems
A depiction complains of whose casual hand that made it?
Every figure in the picture is dressed in paper, fading. [...]
03.05.00
Three Exhibits
by Weldon Kees
edited by James Reidel
The houses were identical all up and down the block. One-story bungalows, oatmeal-colored stucco, with red-shingled roofs and copies of the evening paper folded in triangles on the porches. [...]
02.15.00
Outside: Postcards from Abroad
Here I am in Geneva. The Swiss have the second-largest standing army in the world. They can mobilize their entire force in less than thirty minutes. [...]
02.09.00
The Liquidators
Everything flows, the Greek said from the river bank. Barging down the interstate, we tell you everything fails. [...]
01.19.00
Musée Mécanique
Herman Godfrey lay, not yet breathing, in an empty sitting room, said Godmother Drosselmeier. Empty, that is, except for a grandfather clock and a tall cabinet with a bust of Nefertiti on top of it. [...]

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In Print

Vol. 78
Fear Itself
Spring 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

September 28, 2022
When you were the size of a fist, a coyote dragged a three-year-old Angeleno out of the living room by the Peter Pan collar of her pale yellow shirt. She survived but was left with a sizable scar on her cheek. The scar resembled an American flag, pocks for stars and gouges for stripes. Her mother was on the news all the time, which led to the child signing a deal with an agency, and quite soon after that, the child and her scar started appearing on billboards as the new face of a California restaurant chain that sold bratwursts. Last month, for reasons unrelated, the little girl passed away. 
     The querent used to say we come back as either human or animal, that in the spirit world, there is no delineation.
     It’s nice to think the end isn’t the end. 
     Though I wouldn’t dare say that to the dead girl’s mother.
September 21, 2022
What we had done was trample on Johnson’s city, four sheets of paper, loosely placed side by side, with buildings growing in no particular visual perspective, some upwards, some in profile, some in three dimensions but others in blueprint, and this, we felt intuitively, was a triumph of Johnson’s city, or would-be city, it’s resistance to confinement, its ability to transcend.

And we sat with Johnson. We consoled. We patted Johnson on the back and said that we might rebuild it, that it could be rebuilt. That it could be better and that we could help.

We collected the roll of white butcher paper from its mount and unfurled it across the linoleum, gathered the colored pencils, the crayons and scented markers and watercolors and even the Sharpies we’d hidden in our cubbies. We collected scissors and Scotch tape, and began to connect the sheets of paper, for there would be no limit to what we could design.
September 14, 2022
Nocturne

Midnight at the pit of my irrelevance:
     a hair’s breadth away, I step closer to the mouth of it, no more afraid to
shake hands with my lacuna than a bird is of the air
     whistling in its bones. To stay possible as long as possible

had felt like enough now—a persistence of streaks
     in soft butter yellow shed from the clock tower onto the indigo-
freaked slate-to-black vagueness
     that indicates the river. The light lives
 
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