Online Exclusives

Three Poems
Remember me as an
elephant figurine, 
chipped trunk, one ear, 
or a tailless squirrel
languishing in dust. [...]
Two Stories
She hired a man to build a gazebo for her. The yard was green and grassy as any, but in an absent moment called out for a structure beyond its billowing color. [...]
From Fabric
At Bristol Zoo in the mid 1990s I watched an LED display of the world’s increasing population. The figure was juxtaposed with the decreasing acreage of rainforest. What I mean is, I am interested in sequence. [...]
Light Without
Two nearly identical babies born at the same time on a hot August night. An orderly at the end of a twelve-hour shift, angry and confused unfair events earlier that day, switches the identities of the children before heading home to a tall Pabst and stale corn chips and a sleeping lover curled on the couch glowing gray from a snowy television. He finishes his drink and leaves his lover in the light. Beneath the glass a trapped star sizzles against the screen. [...]
The Pond
That’s pretty, she thinks as the hood of the car tips into the pond and the windshield is covered with green algae and lily pads and little white things that look like flower petals. [...]
From Underground Sonnets
Tell us, lines, what we should say. Let the hand-/ writing govern our movements. [...]
The Will of Achilles
But under the rain
a different thing. Vine leaves
Achilles sees, inconsequent
myrtles. There is no end 
to weather. The gods are done with him. [...]
Three Poems
(Not the light that tethers towards) (a melting/ fortunate, thanks due) [...]
Engine Blanket
Dill brung Rita a whole lot of long flowers after he run his car up in her yard and smashed Julie’s trike. The box them flowers come in was near about the size of a kiddie coffin. [...]
Three Poems from The Rest of the Voyage
by Bernard Noël
translated by Eléna Rivera
air steams borders leafless branches a low sky
makes eyes believe that finally they see matter [...]
Three Poems
Their knees knock the shudder of bone while their hands
fist their dresses into peonies. [...]
Nervous Recollection
I was old enough to remember the last tumor in our town. It inhabited a girl my age who shared a last name close to mine, sitting in classes near me. [...]
The Well at Founders Grove
Many critics, seeking a precedent for the work of novelist Clarence Winthrop, cite the fictional topographies of Anderson’s Winesburg or Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha. [...]
No One Can Name the General
It’s winter: the season of hunching, the season of sleeves and long jackets, of hands in pockets, of woolen caps, flipped-up collars, and darkened streets. [...]
Trophies We Don’t Deserve
Here’s my best friend Davis’s stupid idea: mix up a bloodlike substance, pour it all over my face, knock on some old guy’s door, tell him we’ve been in a car accident, come in, rob him. [...]
Low Season
It is the low season and the pool is not crowded. A fiftyish German couple occupies the area nearest the beach path, buttressed open bags and facedown magazines. A darkly tanned woman pulls a ululating child across the shallow end. [...]
Six Poems
Syringes crescendo incrementally. Segmental sound drift. Rostrum-gist shifts from leading edge to trailing. Feathers shed antithetically (molto molting melodeon). [...]
From Just Looking
Freddy caught his reflection in the window of Sophistication—he looked good. His hair had followed orders this morning, succumbing to the blow and comb. He’d ratted it up and over one eye to balance the big white shirt flowing over his tight pants, the studded belt and boots. Tough and put together—no one in Lynch looked like him. [...]
One does not start with mourning doves. One cannot start with doves surrounding the bedroom. One starts with the trip to Sausalito, the quick ride over the bridge, the city shrinking in the sideview. [...]
Two Stories
by B. Kite
Dr. Sperber sat in the corner, rhythmically clicking his gums. [...]
Three Stories
Outside, skeletons were knocking. She’d flown early, noticing the time change. Her girl slept in the crib, and this country wasn’t home yet. Each base a hotel, and the uniform hadn’t made her fearless. The gun on her hip wasn’t on her hip and now everyone walked in the rain.  [...]
Too Late
An acquaintance in the group, a rather strange type with esoteric interests, had told me, during a conversation on deck the evening before, that if I was so afraid of the sea it must be because I had drowned in a previous life. [...]
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Fur-Covered Teacup
Dream as sphinx: At age 36 Oppenheim dreamt a half-full hourglass. Exactly thirty-six years later, in 1985, the artist Meret Oppenheim dies of a heart attack. [...]
Four Poems
Alaska turned 10 on a 
summer storm day. 

She set out breakfast
on a rickety table by
the summer sea

Alaska loves breakfast best.  [...]
Twelve Symmetries
I walked up all your stars, stairs to wake you, walk you home but
you were not there where the taking, talking, was taking place, [...]
The Table
When I met him he evinced many qualities which I admired, or enjoyed, and a few qualities which scared me, or which I did not understand, or which I found annoying. [...]
Three Poems
Good night air glows
under the quantum 
quiet fury [...]
Tentacle Mind Report
We are here, our tentacles coiled in the pond of Martina’s soul, the one untouched the storm. We see everything. We saw everything. We float here in the cold until her lantern fish mind returns and chases us deeper into the dark. In slow, thudding heartbeats, we pass judgment. [...]
Messina (II): Beckmann
On the 28th of December 1908, an early morning earthquake felled the port city of Messina, in northeastern Sicily. After it came a huge wave and then, when the water had receded or settled into lagoons, fire. [...]
On the Brink
I’m standing in the jungle, ankle-deep in mud. It’s dark and hot and the heat seeps through my camouflage gear. My boots, my flak jacket and holster, everything is wet. [...]
Two Poems
Our failure in the waves
What is left of wind scuffling through wind
All meaning no content
A crust blossomed off by looking [...]
The poet’s study was cluttered with his wife’s Egyptian marvels—the plaster head of Isis, a letter opener shaped like the claw of the cat god, Bast, even a shard from an actual canoptic jar that he was to use as a paperweight. [...]
Five Poems
by Yang Zi
translated by Ye Chun, Melissa Tuckey
That night on my way home,
a strange team appeared in front of me.

They were from a comet.
They came so quick! [...]
An Index of How Our Family Was Killed
A brother, a father, a mother, a sister.

A family, to begin with. 

A family, whatever that is.  [...]
Mauricio Kagel on Borges and Gombrowicz
by Mauricio Kagel
interview by Werner Klüppelholz
translated by William Bamberger
Gombrowicz chain-smoked—either cigarettes or pipe—with an intensity I’ve never seen since. He drew the smoke so violently through his clenched teeth that there could be no doubt that the foul vapor reached the last branching capillaries in his diaphragm. [...]
From A Compendium of Domestic Incidents
For her 16th birthday, he gave her a wax statue of Desiderius Erasmus. [...]
Ghost Variations
We woke at the same moment, our hearts twanging in our chests. There was a suffocating disturbance in the darkness, a thrum like beating wings. [...]
Two Poems
What words go with crossing? Orange and security and ventriloquist. This is a special message. [...]
Merely three stops out Kiev’s Green Line Metro 

To Dorohozhycli 

And Babi Yar 

The wooded ravine sinister and extremely unsettling [...]
Adventures in Shangdu
The contractors were in such a hurry to catch up with the rest of the world that they rushed off before they finished building Highrise 88. So here is my apartment without its last wall, gaping out to a panoramic view of Shangdu’s river, the soda barges that creep past my building like brooding islets braided with a riot of seagulls.  [...]
Take This Poem
Take this spoon
from me, this 
cudgel, this axe. [...]
Last Man
The hawthorn is God’s hat
And patterns in the marble
Swarm like bees [...]
Breathing Room
Instruments of music and surgery,
Statues of birds and kings, 
Chapters illuminated by gaslight: 
                      Visual features differentiated in space, not time.  [...]
Three Poems
They are blowing the leaves away
and then together. They are doing
things with leaves to the leaves.  [...]
Three Poems
Dark rosette in the lung’s

pewter lace, early autumn chill [...]
Two Poems
I withhold these truths, in formula, from you, otherwise I am just leading you on, letting you think I know something you don’t, that you are some place I’m not, that’s why it is always so seductive, [...]
Three Poems
In this hour naked with fog you find me

Difficult to hoard [...]
The Picture of the Spirit
Clarify now that “you,” “she,” “I” do not know to stand except at an interchange. The pronoun is the inner ear by which the gaze balances. To effect removal is to make the image fall. Make the spirit, with her eros trailing her, drape us and make us unsteady, her fluid gown as one, unbalancing the parts we once were. [...]



In Print

Vol. 78
Fear Itself
Spring 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow


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

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