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. 79
Fall 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow


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.