Online Exclusives

Pages from My Knapsack
by Max Frisch
translated by Linda Frazee Baker
We had just come out of the woods that morning, a gardener’s boy and I, where we had been cutting down young ash trees. To be made into graceful little stilts under a dovecote for the municipal park. This was my first real job, newly begun, the first blueprint of mine that would become reality. [...]
Five Histories of Western Philosophy
Bertrand Russell finds himself in purgatory, tumbling through literal representations of the worlds of ideas he examined in his classic text, A History of Western Philosophy, gulping much-needed air, for example, from Empedocles’ bucket. [...]
You Make Me Opaque
It’s June, and somehow the time of year seems important, though I think of it only this once. I’m out posting a check, and there is a reflection of me in the window—the big one across the street into the coffee shop. I stare at the reflection. You are there too, on the other side with a coffee cup in hand, though I don’t know it. [...]
A Resistance to Theory
She stood outside the lecture hall examining the poster. The image was murky, perhaps a tattooed human face, perhaps a tribal mask. [...]
Tree Encyclopedia by O. G ham
Oliver’s father, before he left, said the old books were scrawled in ink on birch from Kashmir long ago, crumpled to dust. [...]
Many Deaths of Paula Jean Welden
On December 1, 1946, Paula Jean Welden put on a bright-red parka, left her dorm for a hike on the Long Trail, and vanished into the thin mountain air of the trailhead. [...]
Under the Bridge
I have a follower, a man with eloquent eyebrows, miniature in stature. [...]
Five Poems
The knowledge we gathered is no longer useful.

The system you understand shifts and makes no sense.

And this is the body you spent years getting used to.

Tomorrow, the light will not recognize it.

Light has no language for it. [...]
Three Poems
The boy born under the sign of the swan
has walked due north along a line of spoonwood. [...]
I Am a Burning Girl
Wrapped in the good bleach, the house becomes both border and brine. [...]
Four Poems
To the ends of the earth we go
without ever leaving the mall. [...]
The Termite War
A tiny matryoshka doll glides out of her house and onto a broad palm-tree-lined boulevard that stretches along the edge of a white chalk cliff. [...]
Three Poems
Who speaks
                    the word
                    that you hear? [...]
Two Poems
To the woodland-dwelling currier who fizzes my blood, I leave the myth of Daphne, that he might notice the trees’ paralytic lurching. [...]
The Indigo City
On the walls of the little house where I grew up hung three images. [...]
Five Poems
The boy scouts lined up on the freezing banks
about to recite their summerland cheer. [...]
Toward a General Theory of Distance
When a library is emptied, the books are dispersed so that the gathering stands as simply a stage in their being. [...]
Temporal Relocation
Both sexes in the same body. It’s a dream. [...]
Three-Part Invention
Above the pine trees leaning into the wet black bank, a zip moved up and down in the sky, as the treeline moved up and down, controlled by two eyes looking up and looking down through the window. [...]
Underfed, Overgrown
This time last year, I called my doctor to tell her I was dying. [...]
Two Poems
I am from a big book with five books in it. [...]
Death by Chocolate
As Harvey stepped closer to the scene, he saw now that the fishermen’s raincoats were uniformly orange—and not yellow—and, as they surrounded the fallen beast like so many scattered searchlights, the smell of it, this close, shifted to something so deeply marine it smelled dark—mineshaft dark; the rotting corpses of countless failed canaries, the ones who got lost in the pitch; and something of burning tires. [...]
Alphabet on Fire
Signifying garlands               this zealous isle 

with love’s convention          overspread:

let the satellites wander        primordial [...]
The Mansion of Dreadful Night
Designed Fiorenzo Bencivenga in 1914, Il Maniero della Terribile Notte is an Italian board game of which only fifty copies were ever produced. [...]
The Unbidden
Exhibit A in my campaign to save the heath—for now having it declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest—is a slim hardback stolen from a local dealer in rare and unusual books. [...]
with video translation
Before it begins, we take
everything that moves. Leave

remains for the dogs [...]
Four Poems
They walked around in the foreign city looking for someplace to have dinner [...]
From The Lacunae
What will you do with these pearls he has given you?
Can you eat them? Can you grind them into honey
and return them to the water, sweeter than they were? [...]
Three Stories
You have been offered a position at the office that violates your principles. [...]
The Orchard
Day was waning, wind rippled the muddy puddles. For a long time, they stood shivering on the platform; then they filed past an officer who told each one where to go. [...]
The Involuntary Sojourner: A Case Study
While much current research has centered on the challenges faced international students, business people, and military personnel traveling abroad, relatively little has been written about the plight of involuntary sojourners, more commonly known as “in-between people,” after the name given Takahashi in his (1996) landmark study of the subject. [...]
It’s Not Exile If I Like It: Odysseus Debates a Pig
Thank you for the wine, but I am not here to socialize, Circe. I am here looking for my men. [...]
Room and Board
Not a little chilling that you come calling, Mr. Tohwey, tonight, the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s untimely and suspicious death. [...]
In This World Previous to Ours
Divided as half of me is small and distant.
The other tongue talks of exterior objects,
while this one speaks of water and limitation. [...]
The BE/S
flowers that belong to the dead, flowers that unclothe their bodies
                                      without reserve [...]
Gray metal box in the sideyard rumbled low into the warm soft around it. [...]
Diagnosis of a Troop Train
Think of kings. If they cannot impose themselves upon commoners, or just a few folk with almost comparable titles, they sink into an ooze of moldy celery and black bones, where, my dears, they do not belong. [...]
Three Fragments from The Revolutionaries Try Again
The long hallway where the old and the infirm waited for the apostolic group, Leopoldo thinks, the long hallway like a passageway inside cloisters or convents where the old and the infirm waited for the apostolic group every Saturday from 3:00 to 6:00. [...]
The Great Beyond, the Great Hereafter
The Andromeda galaxy ranks among the brightest Messier objects. [...]
Topology of a Paranoid Critical Town
The father goes to the daycare to recover his child. Time ceases to move when he enters the room, which has assumed a preposterous shape and size. [...]



In Print

Vol. 75
Dispatches from Solitude
Fall 2020
Edited by Bradford Morrow


January 27, 2021
Here we are, then, in a typical Mediterranean village, sometime between the end of the last world war and shortly before the next one begins. There’s no obvious reason to think trouble is imminent. In the eyes of an ordinary tourist, everything looks lovely: the colorful, lopsided buildings packed on hillsides above the sea, the slopes lined with abundant vineyards and olive groves, the flowery vines spilling over fences. How could anyone not be happy here?
January 19, 2021
. . . a well-perfumed friend, wise both
in the olfactory and in love, taught me
to spray with economy, to wear scent
as a private pleasure, evident only to
a lover in kissing distance.

January 11, 2021
One’s opportunities to be unhappy are

Unlimited.     Or limited, but only by

One’s own imagination, which is powerful

But fragile, is defenseless,     but is limited

Only by things unseen.     As Bark Psychosis did it