Summer/Fall 2019


Astros Sign Osuna Despite Local Outrage

Iliana Rocha

It means to want so badly. / How close win is to want is the distance / between his fast ball & her face.


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

The Parable of the Dead Dog

David James Poissant

The story the fiction writer reads is fiction. His wife has never cheated. He has never run over a dog.

Astros Sign Osuna Despite Local Outrage

Iliana Rocha

It means to want so badly. / How close win is to want is the distance / between his fast ball & her face.

Salvation

Jonathan Louis Duckworth

Rationalizing didn’t help. No matter how much he told himself that this was a different woman, that it couldn’t be the same widow, he couldn’t escape the gut certainty that she was.

Cheerio Petals

Amanda Auerbach

The color yellow and the red heart on the box remind me parts / of childhood are nice not / embarrassing. Does that include eating / cheerios with fingers?

2 Poems

Wendy Xu

And if they’re missing / in inaction, forgive them / Their useless pearls, nouns

Perfect Kill

Caroline Sutton

Dragonflies are like Waze. They predict. They don’t chase after mosquitoes, they intercept them, which means they have to calculate the mosquito’s distance, speed, and trajectory. Dragonflies perform these calculations in milliseconds, far faster than Waze, which always takes agonizing seconds to load as it computes the route, average speed of drivers, and quagmires that might await.

Betrayed

Joy Castro

When I first saw the bright gold rip of gas flares against the Corpus night sky from the passenger seat of some guy’s green Datsun—all that oil just rushing incinerated into the air—I said, Damn, don’t they know about global warming?

Hollow Pockets for Resting

Alicia Mountain

That empty matchbook winter was a new trudge / through short-light afternoons with time to kill.

2 Poems

Roger Reeves

And did we come to some conclusion about who set fire to the Master’s House / The autumn-petal of it, swinging flame on the black bough of the sky?

History

Joshua Burton

One night, my father will come home late with a rifle in his hands / yelling “I’m here.” Everyone will laugh. / Every corner of the ocean is the same.

Hurt Locker

Ernie Wang

How much muscle one carries is the largest determinant of bodybuilding credibility, regardless of the degree of fairness with which it’s constructed, and by this metric, he was the one, not me, with the authority to dispense advice.

But were it not for the caps lock key [...]

Rachel Z. Arndt

While waiting for the ring I was waiting for his call. And while waiting for his call I was waiting for my finger to heal; the doctor had taken the tip and it had not healed, and then I was putting medicine on it twice a day, covering it with a bandage I had to wait hours to take off, each time.

from Fudekara

Liliana Ponce transl. by Michael Martin Shea

The return trip has a map already. Surviving in sugar waters, in rhythms of algae. / The earth in the hollow is breaking—I knew it instinctively, and in my mind, insects were swarming, traversing the city of your map.

The Evangelist

Kathleen Blackburn

I was twelve, with little idea of the drying sediment, the vanishing well, under my feet, though as far as I could tell West Texas was desert. A shrug in the middle of forgotten. At the time, I feared one thing only: Dad would die because of me.

Crackhead Clint Will See You Now

Thomas Kearnes

Here it was laid out: we’d tricked with Clint a few times over the years. Sure, he was a geek, but he possessed this obscure magnetism. He was so indelibly himself, we allowed ourselves, when with him, to believe that the established rules of conduct, constraining all men of our tribe, could be ignored.

2 Poems

Jane Huffman

I have a worm / beneath my hair — / a future worm, / a nerve / from the eternal / present.

Disability Seen Through Photographs, Darkly

Pepper Stetler

The people whom Arbus photographed were probably separated from their families when they were born. Their mothers and fathers were most likely told that they would be too much of a burden to raise. However, none of this is really what we are supposed to be thinking about when viewing the Untitled series. We are told to think about the compositional choices, the lighting, the true talent of Arbus who discovered these subjects.


From the Archives

The 20th Century

Michael Martone

SAFE Employees make a SAFE railroad. With SAFE employees, a railroad devoid of any mechanical safety devices CAN and WILL be operated safely.

If I Were the Moon, I Know Where I Would Fall Down

Melissa Barrett

In the caked oak tracts of the thumbed / dim chalkboard, behind the easel tipping paler / continents further / north, toward the gloss of April...

The Sacred Harp, Beggars

Matthew Rohrer

In among the tossed out clothes / and furniture the Sacred Harp--the workmen raised it up / a jet passed overhead white / and perfect as a tooth…

Two Poems: American Travelogue & Life Drawing

Caroline Crew

You see the flower's form leak into itself. A self. Some things in America still make sense. I open my junk mail, Disney red. Your family. Liquid uttered out into the night freezes your dreams undone. Veracity leaves its whispers. Make an orchestra instead. Every bitten breath