Online Exclusives

If you spend a quiet fortress in tears it may be necessary to spurn stillness. [...]
Two Poems
Elephant chest deep in the green-
Gray swamp; sinking elephant

Escaping the charms of light. [...]
Arguments from a Winter’s Walk
by Thomas Bernhard
translated by Adam Siegel
It was a terrible fear of others, you should know, that kept me from killing myself [...]
Rancho Brava
Under cover of this letter please find initial, selected results from GCD’s first Focus Group in Zone 5 (Southwest) for Product 1822J: Authentic Garden-fresh Salsa.  [...]
Cloud in Trousers
Your thought, 
dreaming on a softened brain
like a blown-up lackey on a greasy couch,  [...]
And yet on a northern railway line terminating at a certain coastal fishing village where a yearly festival is held in honor of the sea’s glaciation, unexplained derailments had suddenly increased, leading to pronounced injury and, in at least one case, death. [...]
Fugue State
This morning I woke up and it was drizzling hard little needles onto the gray mud of our wasted fields and I thought that today I might finally do it. [...]
Stranded at Alpha
A man does alpha
exercises on his wolves

Tall as deer 
glacial eyes [...]
Three Stories
It took Ruth a long time to begin seeing Julian. At first he didn’t have the shape of a man, but of the piles of furniture and clothes she’d see heaped beside the road. [...]
The Orange Tree
by Dong Li
In a yellowed family photo there is an orange tree, leaves burned.

The oranges are green, but we are already starting to look alike in the photo. [...]
From Mandelstam Variations
meanwhile across the mimetic subdivide
lights go green &
                             a republic faintly
                       vox organum [...]
A Genealogy of Instinct
There were few realms in which he was a novice, that Saro, let alone the sphere of self-fashioning. Exceedingly fleshy yet with terrific agility, this first cousin of my mother flaunted the same billowy paunch that would come to be called, by its own bearer, The Tomb of, Not (as he always made clear) the Ubiquitous Anchovy, but of the Eternal Engraulis Encrasicolus. [...]
Three Poems
My path is determined by invisible gold coins that rattle at the bottom of a moneybag until their volume becomes a ruby. [...]
And so found myself to be the not-iris planted in the Mary Garden as in picture her eyes (forget-me-nots) her hair (maidenhair fern) her fingers fluttering as she speaks with her hands (potentilla). [...]
Minstrel Passage
Under cover of darkness, and not unlike a pirate heself, Mr. Stollmeyer eventually dared climb the Rosalind’s mainmast. [...]
From Letters to Mao
Dear Mao, I want to describe for you the feeling of sleep, as described neuropsychologist Giulio Tononi, who uses words like oscillations and waves, while his patient is noted to gather the phrase the sea moving a boat. [...]
Excerpts from the Glossary for A Practical History of Dr. Horatio Bergen’s Experiments in Time Travel
Absence of Time: For the purposes of this volume, references to an absence of time primarily address a subject’s lack of an internal perception module which humans experience the passage of time. [...]
Three Poems
These are the days everyone talks about: pixilated skies, 
newness reinventing itself like an aura, each of us 
driving away. In Coeur d’Alene (Heart of an Awl) you fall in love [...]
Without a Body
(in which—sea monsters—and Ava’s wedding ring is returned to Jacob by a female police officer) [...]
From Sea of Hooks
A strikingly lovely young woman was sitting alone at a table in Christopher’s section. [...]
Two Poems
The cat who wore too many pajamas took a walk around the block, said
I’d rather be in bed but the walk around the block takes me there. [...]
Correspondence sans Violin
dear a.,

            have you found them

huddled in ash

their fat leaves like parasols [...]
                        Murmur  sift  incomplete and sudden—
                    Spring on   bowed  feet
                                                           and  lend no purchase to the flagstone floors [...]
Architectural Absence
Aedicule: A small shrine nominated, to the Académie Québécoise, in the category of official sacramental profanity. [...]
What Is and What Could Be: Hank Mobley
When my coworker Robert heard that I was getting into jazz, he brought a CD into work for me. [...]
Two Onesheets
Br’er was a trouble word in early 1980s North Carolina. [...]
The map was printed on a handkerchief. [...]
Four Phantom Limbs
It drags an unlined palm forward, clutching
a way over ground by paper-smooth fingers.  [...]
Four Sonnets
With papers, crayons, ink, colors, with
Signs then words, with rules to assemble
Them, with persistence and the aid [...]
The Windows
This is my entreaty and my first word. The old
lacking in any charm, cars in the carport,
—such feverish violins—beyond established archives, 
a silken paradise, overstuffed panorama. [...]
Three Poems
Stray frays of virga. In the wood grain: line graph of annual rainfall. [...]
From Maps for Jackie
days of rain project
ennui in morning [...]
Three Stories
She wears his socks and they pack the dogs and leashes, getting in his Jeep, the dogs in back with their heads out the window. [...]
A Report on Certain Curious Objects, Believed to Be Words in an Unknown Language of the Dead
The headmistress of the Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing Mouth Children, in addition to turning out youthful amanuenses for the dead, developed a theory of what she called the necrocosmos. [...]



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