Online Exclusives

12.20.11
Greyhounds
When James bites his nails. When James kisses a woman. When James uses drugs.  [...]
12.13.11
From Electric Light Parade
STATISTICS

Age: 3 years

Season: Summer

Neck: Supple

Sensory Exam: No loss

Eyes: Pronounced [...]
12.06.11
A Good Name for an Animal
I love a thief. No particular thief. I love a thief in general. I love a thief the way I love a cup of tea, a winter storm, a house of cards.  [...]
11.29.11
In These Times the Home Is a Tired Place
Only one dream the mother remembered: driving, dead bodies on the road, the word PAPER large and black on a billboard. [...]
11.15.11
Ten Poems
Get in at the who’s-to-tells. With the firsts and a first Pacific mouth.  [...]
11.01.11
The Agnostic Grappler’s Itinerary
An entirely unfamiliar older gentleman drove me across a bare countryside. [...]
10.25.11
Another Girl, Another Planet
Sex in outer space is not that different. [...]
10.18.11
The Hinge Trees
Here is where you were. [...]
10.04.11
Five Poems
One helped undo the rippled look of things beyond the pane. One called for writing on the pane. One seemed to aim at suffocation.  [...]
09.27.11
Nine Poems
Hollereyed the moon tries on gas station, soda machine, locked/ toilet, linedried bedsheets, a caterpillar fording yard dirt. [...]
09.20.11
The Father and the Father
We turned and we turned and as we turned my father became one of the void-eyed horses that never stopped galloping. [...]
09.13.11
From The Victor Poems
So long without women, we’re thinking of women. [...]
09.06.11
One Hundred Characters
Your brother, the first boy you ever kissed. Your sister, the first person your brother ever kissed. Your mother, who has never kissed anyone, to your knowledge, since the age of thirty-seven. [...]
08.30.11
The French Knew How to Wave
“I want a cigarette.” You must say this with a French accent. [...]
07.19.11
Five Poems
ore poured
through ode

and hissed forth
the dread

child shape: O
creation floods  [...]
07.06.11
Et In Acadiana Ego
When Father Desmond excommunicated Mathilde Benoit, denying her the benefit of the sacraments, he wrote an account of his complaint against her. [...]
06.28.11
Two Poems
It makes a difference whether he is rosy-fingered/ or trigger-fingered. [...]
06.21.11
The Commander Is Oppressed His Tongues
The commander visits his collection every day now. [...]
06.14.11
Three Poems
He certainly wasn’t thinking “the emancipation of dissonance,”/ as Schöenberg put it, slouched as he was, rumpled tie and all [...]
06.07.11
Players, Tawkers, Spawts
Listen, I’m not saying you don’t have a movie. Two girls and a guy and the Mars Rover, that’s a movie. Come tomorrow morning, you pitch that right, you won’t be riding this shuttle home empty-handed. [...]
05.31.11
Last Year at Schlangenbad
These trips that begin on airplanes and end on airplanes. [...]
05.25.11
From The Kaleidoscopic Almanac and Seed Catalogue, with Notes
Born to be. Under amplified sermons cliffs erode. All this they wrote out and folded before leaving. [...]
05.18.11
Two Poems
Woke from not sleeping going through the words [...]
05.10.11
An Interview
Memoir, as it happens, is a very popular form in South Africa right now, especially because there’s this sense of unspoken history that’s being reclaimed at the moment. [...]
05.03.11
Eleven Stories
by Osama Alomar
translated by C. J. Collins
The candle was astounded to see the widow as she wept for her recently deceased husband. [...]
04.26.11
Four Poems
Bones wired for strength we are less gullible than a feast but more sturdy. [...]
04.10.11
Crickets
Her hands began to run limping crickets over the wounds of the body before her [...]
04.01.11
Leisure
We are in a haunted house. Our first game is played with dice. [...]
03.25.11
Three Stories
After weeks away, and days on the road, I scan my studio apartment. [...]
03.18.11
Bite
Emily bit her baby. It started with the toes and the feet. The little pink baby feet. [...]
03.04.11
News of the Fall of Troy
(what is important is that history be
silent          (for a moment [...]
02.26.11
Two Poems
Nights when the gates closed, the bullets shot,—
Song. And then a cry deeper. Hung at the wrists of night leaves.  [...]
02.18.11
Cultivation
The process begins with a five-gallon bucket, preferably blue. [...]
02.11.11
Four Poems
He awaits the breaking 
news of the nuclei    flaking outward [...]
02.04.11
North Mozia
In 1997, The Foundation for Life-Prolongation Science calculated the average lifespan of first-generation Adrozians to be 120.3 years of age; many in the second generation are still living. [...]
01.25.11
The Flesh-Murmurers
The trees went away and the poles went away and the stop signs went away and the birds went away [...]
01.18.11
Princess of Desire
I was merely his customer: that’s what she said. [...]
01.11.11
Third Person Singular
I says the speaker, the subject. [...]
01.04.11
Logorrhea
The obstetrician was the first to notice. [...]

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In Print

Vol. 79
Onword
Fall 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

January 25, 2023
The birth of color begins in the entanglement
of water. Color is the birth of light.

Low clouds morning visitation, the words are
forming separable from their origins. Stars

crease the heavens. I have been moving
into their stream, heavenly bodies, the architecture

loose and ungainly. I’m not one but two, the occupancy
of a system, here in the apparel of another’s

light, to come down these stairs, dawn
weighted with silver, a perimeter that hooks

sky, bleeds our nights into day. There is this
sanctuary, intricate respite, cut-out, here on the floor
January 18, 2023
A second-growth forest is not the same as a first, and a third is not the same as a second. Those old dying oak and chestnut trees saved a century ago from axe and saw to shade the grazing livestock are surrounded now by all the wrong progeny—birches and popple in one case, pine trees in the other. Absent a mature overstory’s broad canopy, the understory receives too much unfiltered light, and low thickets and dense copses of trees and shrubs all the same age spring up.
     In ancient times a carpet of fallen leaves and ferny ground cover was lit by long beams of sunlight descending from openings in the treetops as if from the clerestory windows of a great cathedral. Humans and other animals walked easily among the tall, straight trunks and had unobstructed views from glen to vernal pond and stream to the glacial moraine beyond. That was a forest, not a woods. But the forest was not replaced by itself. It was displaced and replaced by these woods, which is a different and lesser thing.
     My dog darted through the brush ahead of me, tracing the lingering spoor of a deer or bear or coyote, led by his nose instead of our man-made trail. And as I walked I remembered again a story from the village, part of which I saw, part of which I heard from witnesses, and part of which I imagined.
January 11, 2023
A brick-shaped piece of architectural rubbish. A brick of someone’s missing place. My brick, but only because I’ve taken it as my own, to collect, among my menageries, set alongside small shoes made of mottled glass and rusted railway spikes and silver-clad icons sold to me by aging nuns in old-world churches I’ve visited. I have shelves full of this stuff, little artifacts of the beautiful/not beautiful city. I collect glass and tarnished things. I collect memories too, all kinds, some that might fall into the category of demolition garbage, what might be too sharp and embarrassing to keep out in the light.
     I learned in AA to call these kinds of inmost collections my inventory. I haven’t been to AA recently, but when I used to go every week I loved the inventory step meetings. Step Four is to make “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” Step Ten is to continue “to take personal inventory” and when we are wrong to promptly admit. My inventory/my me-ventory/our we-ventory, one might say—an everyday assessment of the invisible collections residing beneath and within.
     I don’t believe in the Christian version of God but I do believe in the spiritual wonder located in material presence. Like my brick. Any cubic space in the world is a brick of multiple histories. I interrogate all of what feels like mine.