Online Exclusives

Three Poems
I had an idea of this, is stacked with song
& cool blood, bruised with salad herbs & oil 
Of petrae, callt oil of peter, salts, flats, larks. 
Wet feathers continue to rise in my breast [...]
They come with the bearing of a retrovirus. Their bodies synchronize in certainty. An idea bustling between their eyebrows and taming their strangeness, bundling gesture between their eyes. After a brief survey of the place, the man in the wheelchair makes a sign to the accompanying blonde, and she holds the handlebars, sliding him on the irregular pavement. [...]
From Spring of the Floor Tom
There were all these tricks
We used to navigate

The night sky including
Having it out midsentence [...]
While my mother was between men, she took me to an open house. She did things like this. We followed the realtor through the rooms for a while before my mother sent me off. “Little girl,” pleaded the realtor, but I no longer answered to that call. [...]
Autumn Rhythm
But if you stand just far enough away the lines move, the painting engulfs and absorbs you in its patterns, in its rhythms, so that there isn’t anything else but the paint, the lines, the motion. [...]
People in my field had to know the whens and hows of doing a bad thing. Good judgment was hard to exercise; it was hard sometimes to hobble a man with a ball peen hammer and call that good. Judgment wasn’t even the word for it. Maybe consistency.  [...]
A Flag of No Nation: Primer for Potential Symbolism
A sequence of similar bodies conc-
els the flag and forms an   unviewable parade: [Imag-
ine our largest organ, iterating]. As it    moves through
worn thresholds, security checks, it is a distress signal,
only to turn into a transitory marker of distance. [...]
Two Pieces
The hound dog universe deceives the deception of sound—cleansing it, that is, into what we might call “the great ear of poetry.” Witness: the silk of a hound ear dragging the ground, the dog baying at the coon in the terrified tree. [...]
New Technologies of Reading
Hard to say if the reading process is at all improved by this, but the figurines exude a degree of charm. These are produced not on a flat substrate but in three dimensions in successive layers: The ink is substrate and substance in one. [...]
Atomos, World Composed
A Canonical Dialogue with Lucretius
Two thousand years ago, the Roman poet Lucretius wrote the first poem about atoms. He described in De Rerum Natura a universe of invisible, indivisible particles which composed our world, long before there was experimental evidence that atoms were real. [...]
Alicja, Love, Ligature
The entwined history of typography, love, and madness is well-documented: The reader will perhaps recall several typefaces named after the objects of obsessive love (such as Gills’s daughter Joanna, or, of course, Helvetica, named after that timeless beloved, Switzerland herself) [...]
Woolley’s Pool
Sheer Kalk Bay Mountain, Kalkbaii’s fringe of steep-stepped houses, Main Road, the train, the tidal rocks, Woolley’s Pool, all close-in to the mountain, then the Atlantic straight out through False Bay, the Indian Ocean off to the east at Cape Agulhas [...]
Five Poems
In the green night there slips
A lamp in the window 
Where burns times’ coordinates.  [...]
Tumbling After
He said, “They say the truth always comes out in the end.”

      She said, “But it was spelled out right from the start in big red letters posted square on the door: Inveterate Liars Anonymous. [...]
Our Book of Failures
We are in a middle land. In the middle land there’s no counting, no chanting. In the middle land there’s no scratching, no licking, no shuffling of feet. Here, in the middle, we talk about the breeze; this breeze, here. We are in the middle land and there’s no one here—not me, not you. Here in the middle land we change our figures out of this into sand. From sand we fall—we are falling. [...]
The Last Vanishing Man
I saw The Great Omega perform three or four times, including that final, strange show. I was ten years old then. It was the summer of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, a time when vaudeville and touring acts were quickly fading behind the glittering light of motion pictures and the crackling squawk of radios.  [...]
Four Poems 
The bee
was all green except for some late
pollen on its legs. The bee
was all green though I could see through the green
body. How is this possible? I thought [...]
The Mirror People 
The first reported cases date to the period of the initial colonization of the island by the Emerald Empire. According to these early records, the Syndrome was referred to as “sailor sickness’ since it mainly affected the many sailors who frequented Arani prostitutes. [...]
Supper with Dr. Dee 
A piece of cheese and some bread

This is what you contemplate as you travel to Mortlake for supper with Dr. Dee: the Grand Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, the second such conjunction since the birth of Christ; and the shift from the watery trigon of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces to the trigon of fire: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.  [...]
The Right to Be Forgotten 
Sun in, out, flirtatious, in tandem

with whatever Empire wants
with each brain’s files, 

the women in trenches stroll, the men in tailored trousers power up.  [...]
The End of the Midwest​​​​
For three days in the early 1800s, the Midwest ceased to exist. The strongest earthquakes on record tore open the Reelfoot Rift near New Madrid, Missouri. The Mississippi River ran backwards for several hours. A lake in Michigan began to boil and immediately a vast number of large tortoises rose to the surface, and swam rapidly to the shore, where they were taken for food by the locals. [...]
Three Poems 
Hey the warp
hey the warp is the graded chunk
that pulls you deftly— [...]
Five Poems
I have no camera 
no game no tent, no word no mon-
strance no belt, no vent no succor, 
no assuage no guilt, no music [...]
Three Poems
Here’s your natural cause.

Exposure, hunger, alcohol.

The flood rushes under the bridge

where some people liked to sleep. [...]
The Before Unapprehended 
No, I’m not less bothered by his absence than you, brother. How could I be? We were eleven and now we are ten, and yet there is no body, none of us can name the one who’s missing, and what must all of that mean? [...]
Winston and the Ocean 
Winston stayed in the ocean longer than the other children. He’d stay in all afternoon, even if his neck turned blue, even if a wave pulled him under, scraping his chest raw against the shells. The mothers looked out at Winston from their tidy circle of primary-colored chairs. They’d shake their heads and laugh, puzzled that Winston was capable of such endurance. [...]
Five Museums
Here we have the strangest beginning. Grasses caught in an underwater universe. Any wild animal: deer and ships topmast mainsail lichen rocks. Body like a breaking lighthouse glass. A street of weavers. Tiny precise models of everything. [...]
Three Poems 
The lunar sublime,
whose berries, dispersed
by winds’ distant ledger, 
tell of the slumber
of bees [...]
From Pre- 
shock of sexual / quake of a ship 
turned toward a strip of land / margining a body
such a headland to do without [...]
Oil (An Erasure of Genesis)
In the beginning, the earth was without form. The face of the deep moved upon the face of the waters. Light divided from darkness, shall become light, is becoming light. The earth brought forth great whales, and every living creature of the earth made the earth over and over and over and over. [...]
Cahier: On the Principles of the New Logic
The Facts, previously accustomed to their modest identities, merely hoped to serve, like willing, reliable relatives. [...]
The Dodo
When you can’t take nothing on the nose but a beak

whose nature we wonder may have particular aims

some purpose her sights are set on when she invents [...]
The Reattempt
I have found the edge of this place, which is to say I know how to leave: Drive east until the air gets wet and the kids are chigger bit and stained with jam, or past them until you reach the ocean. There: The water will not be what you expect, will not be the clear glimmer of just-cracked sugar, but a churn of mud and rootless vines waiting to play shark. It is nothing like here. [...]
Rhododendron, Tradescantia, Tillandsia, Bromelia
by Patricio Pron
translated by Mara Faye Lethem
When she returns from the room at the back of the store that serves as the flower shop’s storage room, she discovers that someone has left a wallet on the counter. [...]
Oysterville Anthem
I am caught between             another firmament
speak to me, xylem-bower
oh the vertical                  like death so majestic [...]



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