Online Exclusives

Book Three: Romance
All life sets itself upon us like a dull, iron-colored grief,

and the discipline is

to realize that we haven’t died

yet.  [...]
Still Life with Nixon on the Beach
The boat came close to the shore, its sails silent, but we could hear the hissing of water against its fiberglass hull. I told Nixon I want to be away from here. No more following the season, island to island. He may have heard me, I’m not sure. [...]
Our Latitude, Our Longitude
The story of how I came to drift so aimlessly, my airship pendulant and high above this wrung-out earth, begins long ago, during that period of uneasy calm before the weather turned so foul. [...]
O. is really suffering 
and I do not believe
that she is suffering
fog ruins the moth
how could O. suffer [...]
The Crossing
There is singularity 
and there is the enclosed shell of the singular. 
A long way from home the shelled pieces 
shell-shocked you could say. How can anyone  [...]
Two Stories
They were the first, in fact, to make up stories. Others before them had told tales, of course, had lied, had imagined things, but these were the first to rely strictly on language, its symbols, its logic, its effects. [...]
Three Poems
Dozens of beds burrowing in the yard.
The saddest time is remembering names
& shivers. You have resonating cloud lots.  [...]
The Wentworth Hotel and Ballroom
Why is it that when I cross the final street before the Wentworth Hotel my eye is drawn to the weave of electric bus lines bolted with cables to the stuccoed buttresses of the retaining walls, to the concrete-based streetlamps where I have never failed, and do not fail tonight, to see the house painters in their white uniforms? [...]
Five Poems
the opening. that joinery is alarming. ulna, radius, elbow, humerus, shoulder joint that brings sight to the edge of this and other half-born worlds. [...]
Three Poems
I hear liquor and lather 
and wood. I press my ear 

to the bottom, and I hear 
the steel, the concrete [...]
Five Poems
by Carlos Pardo
translated by Elizabeth Zuba
And everything has a presexual air. 
The sea stinks of hormone-replaced
waves [...]
From No T(h)ere
Men complicate women’s desires, mother tells me. Finishing with, there are women who wish to take yours away. Her smile shifts into something more human, more woman, like fibers reaching across.  [...]
Five Poems
O inside the O

breadth of the mountain

and water beneath

sky a cipher [...]
From Think Tank
In the soft folds of derivation, 

the spheres ring out, but muffled. [...]
Three Poems
She recalled the general pleasantness of the atmospheres during those last moments before she became for them a kind of monster [...]
Three Poems
tiny bell rant coincident near curve 

wet sunlight negotiating sill and 

chipped-paint ceiling a lesson by hint 

and degree I’ll tell you why and there [...]
Love, an Index
Fate, about which Breton and Eluard asked in an issue of Minotaur:
              What was the most significant moment
              of your life, and did you recognize it at the time? [...]
The Broken Cup
Talking about Trotsky who appeared as a character in a book you are reading, you set an empty wine glass on a thick tile coaster. [...]
Three Poems
Today, in passing, I grew sick of the world
of author’s ideas. I crossed a street
and arrived into rubble. [...]
Six Poems
The codes were suspended there, 
in a place discovered later, 
when we found out about the rain. [...]
The Delicate Architecture of Our Galaxy
My mother lived in a mason jar. Twice daily, I took the lid off. She said it was to allow her to breathe, but she only seemed to dive deeper. [...]
René Renée
The story is about a woman who is dreaming she is dreaming, and who in the dream’s dream wakes herself up because she knows she is frightened of dreaming. [...]
Teratology, the study of human monsters, is a young science, one that is desperate for respect, or, at least, attention. [...]
The Father’s Tale
The world was once pure: animals tilted their perfectly formed heads to listen to the workings of the great clock, the sky-blue waters churning over the sunlit rocks. All was well. Then a twig snapped. Something was coming. It was I. I was traveling in my characteristic way: lumbering, unstoppable, crashing through the fragile woods. [...]
Three Poems
The knife glints in the crosshairs of stars 

Like a plot point. [...]
From An Archive of the Lives of Retired Gunslingers
Oxskin Murphy was born to a poor Oklahoma cattlehand and his wife, and was so legally named Oxskin his father, his mother having died during childbirth. In a squalid cottage on the fringe of the large ranch on which he worked, Mr. Murphy intended to rear his son as a gunslinger, and, indeed, Oxskin’s first revolver and holster were given to him on his sixth birthday. [...]
The Screaming Trees
We became the screaming trees, 
fired and stark, raining down.  [...]
From The Mayflies
A package tied with twine is thrown off the bridge. A leather satchel full of letters is flung into the river. Shirts, sweaters, hats, gloves are tossed off in fits of joy and fall to the river to be taken away the current. [...]
Four Poems
And were you cold last night 
And in dreams somewhat amphibian.  [...]
A Terrible Thing
No one would have disputed it was a terrible thing. It was a terrible thing. A thing that had happened, that frequently happened to very many people they had individually known and some whom they had known together. [...]
Zelda Revisited
Unlike before we start not in the middle of a decision, not in the middle of the egg, but in a house that someone has built. [...]
From The Source
The story is essentially the same: if you are intent on your climb and would never consider cutting back, then balance the sphere of ordinary understanding not in any mere figure of speech, still bent over the shoes you’re mending, but in actual fact loosened from its anchorage to the body. [...]
Five Poems from Mouth of Hell
Strange impatience of horses. Jumbled crossbows, arquebuses. Some luxurious circus or royal company. [...]
The Hollow Leg
Late one night, a father bends over his workbench, removes his daughter’s right femur, and sharpens it into a walking stick. [...]
Three Poems
When I karate chop the world in half, I need you my side. Everything has two pieces and you’ve never tasted an orange so ripe. The seeds are not visible but sonic. [...]
Four Poems
Everyone had a mother then, a working train set, 
and a nearby promenade to daze among flowers
whose names were difficult to pronounce.  [...]
From Sign of Order in the Universe
In the overture a finch caresses a watermelon with its beak. It is a large watermelon and the bird is very small. You are reminded of several images but one or another stands out. [...]
From Rune to Ruin
I can see the sky so white it’s leached of white and branches of winter trees like rude lace. [...]
The soldiers marched off the TV screen in two columns. There were thirty of them dressed in desert fatigues. They barely fit into Frank’s living room. [...]
From Marvels
My heart was a dormitory 
of tiny workers
and their gold-plated forks. [...]
Nine words per line and nine lines per stanza. [...]
Two Stories
Quietly, covertly, bears have toddled into the name Berlin. [...]
Three Conversation Pieces from Unlucky Lucky People
Despite the soot that tumbles from the sky, our old people look good—the color of milk and veal roast. [...]
Two Poems
—it tastes sweet the map
—she sings well the madele
—they talk all night the brothers [...]
Three Poems
When sanity grew tiresome, I went walking through the ghetto.
I bought kidneys, watched buildings crumble, 
                                                                                      offered no hand, no kind word.  [...]
Four Poems
My robot comes to me in the night afraid of death. [...]



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