In his new heartbreaking and affirming book of poems, his seventh, Gregory Djanikian writes past complexity toward the elemental and the binding. He unites the “beautiful and the raw,” plays no tricks, displays no tics, exploits nothing but the moment and the thought that accompanies it. He finds the reader wherever the reader is, then webs her into his space and time, a place where a hand run along the back of a cat returns “the animality of my own skin/the trees in slanting light,/ the blue sky breathing its blue/down to the greening fields.” (“What Is a Cat But a Voice Among All the Other Voices”) In Djanikian’s space and time, the end may be near, it may be hastening toward us, but it is still, as yet, a yonder.chop! chop! read more!
HOW TO BUILD A HEART by Maria Padian Algonquin Young Readers, 339 pages reviewed by Kristie Gadson Isabella Crawford doesn’t keep secrets, she guards them. Protects them: People love to talk about themselves, and if you keep directing the conversation and questions back to them, they leave the interaction with the impression you’re the absolute best. Even though you haven’t told them a damn thing. I’m crazy good at this game. And I’ve had years of practice. For Izzy, a failure to safeguard a secret means the life she meticulously crafted for herself is in jeopardy. She’d prefer not to keep most of her life hidden away; but she also knows that the less you share about yourself, the less you get hurt. In her new novel How to Build a Heart, Maria Padian brings us into Izzy’s world with one of her biggest secrets: she’s poor and lives with her … chop! chop! read more!
Who is the Italian novelist we call Elena Ferrante? Since her first novel’s publication in 1992, she—with the help of her publishers—has carefully maintained the real author’s anonymity. Many readers have treated this guarded privacy as a playful challenge, making theories and guesses, particularly in recent years as Ferrante has become increasingly celebrated. The Italian philologist Marco Santagata, after analyzing her oeuvre, suggested she might be the writer Marcella Marmo (Marmo and her publisher denied this). More controversially, the journalist Claudio Gatti dug up financial records to claim that Anita Raja is the author behind Ferrante—others suggest it may be Raja’s husband. One can imagine the confirmation of one of these claims could incite a variety of reactions in Ferrante’s readership, but there’s a more fundamental question behind that of the author’s identity: why do people want to know?chop! chop! read more!
OUTSIDE MYSELF by Kristen Witucki Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 232 pages reviewed by Donna W. Hill Superbly written, Outside Myself by Kristen Witucki gets to the heart of the human experience. Blended and broken families struggle with issues that tear parents and children apart. Trying to do their best, they are fettered by incomplete and often false information. At the center of it all, two very different blind characters, determined to create their own place in the world, grapple with the negativity in their families, communities and themselves. Outside Myself covers roughly fifteen months from May 1994 to August 1995. It is told by two narrators; Tallie, a young and precocious blind girl, and Benjamin, a withdrawn grandfather who works at a library for the blind. They represent different age groups, genders, races, belief systems and causes of blindness, growing up in different eras with different rights under the law. Tallie, the … chop! chop! read more!
Herein lies the problem: being a writer who surfs, a surfer who writes. When there is a wave to be ridden, everything else in life—dogs, loved ones, deadlines and writing—gets put on hold. To make matters worse, once you’re completely and totally stoked from the waves, writing a coherent thought, especially one that attempts to describe the sublime experience of riding waves, becomes virtually impossible.chop! chop! read more!
SKETCHES OF THE CRIMINAL WORLD: FURTHER KOLYMA STORIES by Varlam Shalamov translated by Donald Rayfield New York Review Books, 576 pages reviewed by Dylan Cook A man gets ready to murder his boss with a pickaxe. A woman is grateful that her newborn twins don’t survive. A doctor refuses to treat new patients, fearing that someone has been sent to kill him. Characters like these populate Varlam Shalamov’s criminal world, the depraved underbelly of society born and bred in the Soviet prison system. Many of the criminal world’s citizens were locked up under vague pretenses of “counterrevolutionary activity,” so why should they uphold the laws that failed them in the first place? Why not murder and steal before your neighbor beats you to it? Morals, after a while, can become relative. Life in prison may get easier without a domineering boss, cheaper without children to care for, and safer without … chop! chop! read more!
YEAR BY YEAR: Poems by Lynne Sachs Tender Buttons Press, 64 pages reviewed by Sharon Harrigan When Lynne Sachs turned fifty, she asked herself one simple question: How have the private, most intimate moments of her life been affected by the public world beyond? The poems she wrote in response turned into this book. One poem for each year. Sachs is a well-known experimental filmmaker. Year by Year is her first book of poetry, and in many ways it can be appreciated as the logical extension of her career as a visual storyteller. She describes her films as combining “memoir with experimental, documentary, and fictional modes.” Such a description might also be applied to her poems. Year by Year dips into memoir when it recounts events in her personal life. The glimpses into current events have a documentary feel. When Sachs describes moments she was present for but cannot possibly … chop! chop! read more!
I saw it happen before I heard it. My phone dropped from my grip, pulling my earbuds out and to the ground with it. A cellist played in my head. My breath hot, fogging and unfogging my glasses. I licked my chapped lips before doubling over to retch onto my rubber boots.chop! chop! read more!
WELCOME TO MY GALLERY OF GENUINE LOOK-ALIKES by Anne McGouran 1 That grating drone is the wind off Nottawasaga Bay whipping along Main Street. The Freshii outlet just duct-taped their front window and Happy Hooka Bait & Tackle closed one hour early. As I struggle to stay vertical, a Gandalf lookalike falls into step beside me. We walk abreast for several blocks and I stare at his perfectly shaped cigarette ash. He turns into the Molly Bloom Pub where he’ll trot out his magic-cigarette-ash bar trick for all the old vets and rooming house drifters. In the Arboretum, a man who sleeps rough near the meditative labyrinth is examining the Trembling Aspen’s memorial plaque. Arms around its pale white trunk, he’s a dead ringer for the epic-bearded cigarette ash guy. Homeless people make me nervous, sad and guilty but I try to make conversation. “Hey man, did you know that … chop! chop! read more!
I’ve seen two angels and both were named Reginald.
The spirits appeared as a consequence of my life’s work: dentistry. I came by the profession naturally, as my father was a blacksmith in a small Missouri town. Before heading west, people needed help with their teeth as much as they needed wagon axles. And Pa was no butcher. As a child, time and time again, I witnessed his God’s gift with pliers.
“Nice ‘n slick,” he’d mutter from the side of his mouth, one hand gripping a customer’s jaw, his other hand wielding the steel tool. I’d have both palms on the customer’s sweaty forehead, pinning the head back against the high-backed chair. Pa’s knuckles would whiten and I’d close my eyes tight. Seconds later, I’d hear the pebbly sound of a tooth hitting the concrete floor, and the rattle of the pliers landing on the workbench. I’d tilt the head to let the blood stream down the chin.chop! chop! read more!
The fire writhes, manic in a straightjacket. I too feel an appetite for all things.
I managed to open a bottle of beer with two rocks – modern man and the fire in his belly.
The beer rebels and foams, a harmless volcano.
It knows its criminal, this beer.chop! chop! read more!
THE GREATEST LANDSCAPE HE HAD EVER SEEN by César Valdebenito translated by Toshiya Kamei In the summer midday, he was seated on a blanket in his underwear, with his boots on. His horse was five or six meters away while his gaunt dog Toby was asleep. He had turned on the radio and was listening to the news, but twenty minutes later he got bored. About fifty meters away his flock of sheep wandered. Robust, peaceful, and healthy, they kept grazing. He grabbed his rifle, which he had brought back from Pueblo Seco, Mexico a few years earlier. He had always wanted to try it, but he had never found the time or the opportunity. He was one of the best shooters, if not the best in that mountain range and had always wanted to know how good he was. What had stopped him? He had no answers. So he … chop! chop! read more!
IN SOME ALIEN PRAIRIE
the birds don’t circle the ways they do here collected in one
large cloud a blanket of ‘of’ there’s no following
in backwards time no picking back up or undoing the glass
hardens almost immediate the soft bubble at the tip smoothed
to hard nub the sound of liquid in yr straw a suck bittenchop! chop! read more!
I’m a spotter. I’m good at spotting people, what their weaknesses are.
I look for what feels familiar, it’s that simple. It’s that easy.
I see you, gentle men and women. I see you.
You may smile smile smile. Always smile smile smile.
But all the time I’m waiting. Waiting for you to slip.
I’m thinking about power. Always thinking about power.chop! chop! read more!
TWO POEMS by Jeremy Radin Ode to the Nectarine O secretive sunrise of an armadillo, won’t you please uncurl for me? Of all the fruits I know you alone must live. Fiery armadillo dredged through blood & yolk, I have been watching you for hours, waiting for you to emerge from yourself & shuffle across the kitchen counter, sniffing at the knives. I set out a plum for you, bowl of dead spiders. I haven’t the faintest as to what you like to eat. The encyclopedias keep your secrets well, but I am persistent, little Jupiter. I will witness the unwitnessed. Your unfolded golden splendor. Treasurous armadillo, shall I place you in a bedroom with another of your kind—scattered petals, incense burning, Al Green playing low? Shall I leave you to it & peek through the keyhole? No. My eyes would never survive it; the sacred savagery of your love—a … chop! chop! read more!
Branching tendrils like spongy green fingers cling to surf-pummeled rock, doing their endless work of collecting sunlight filtered through silvery cloud. The air chokes and refreshes, rot and salt-scent both thick and invigorating. I pluck the seaweed fronds, Codium fragile or “dead man’s fingers,” from their nest amidst skin-slicing barnacles and mussels: they falter to human hands where endless pounding water could not break their holds.chop! chop! read more!
REDUX by Kim Magowan Meg’s first husband was a kind man. They’d been good friends before they started dating. On long walks Meg would complain to Louis about her boyfriend of the time. At some point she realized that Louis was in love with her; however, she wasn’t attracted to him. But she liked Louis so much, and she feared that he would find a girlfriend, whereupon his devotion to her would inevitably slip away. So Meg overcame her lack of attraction. She did this partly by imagining Louis as an art object. Things about him that were repellent, like his concave chest or almost hairless legs, became appealing when she imagined him as composed of marble or aluminum. For several years they were very happy. There was a skylight above their bedroom that opened on a hinge. Sometimes a wild peacock would land on the roof, and they would … chop! chop! read more!
I come in the back door from outside, where the cicadas whine as I take out the trash. This is the dirtiest place I’ve ever lived, my first home with my first husband who I am still not convinced will be my last, but some invisible thread binds us. We say this love will last forever.
The Creature Crawlin’
Notes on Fatherhood
A Visual Narrative
by Trevor Alixopulos
notes on new fatherhood in 2019
It perhaps reveals some essential psychological fact that I experience the good things in life, falling in love, having a baby, as isolating experiences
Baby: bah Father: bah
(Of course I am not alone in this, I have a partner, a family)
Father: are you real?
Mother: he doesn’t seem real
But in the past 11 months of fatherhood, while bringing much that is new, also revealed much that was always there, for good or ill. Into the light are dragged loneliness, inexplicable rage, and hidden resources, the good and bad alike
A rock is thrown into my subconscious, and the mind gropes in what comes up for relevant memories. My dad taking me with him in the pre-dawn to deliver papers, to the burger king he worked at, on his tractor mowing yards. Memories are distortions though, we recall the unusual, discard the typical , assign normalcy to what remains.
My father’s wisdom is lost to direct inquiry, it can only be inferred.
My paternal name, Αλεξόπουλος, means “son of the protector.” There is more to fatherhood than love and protection. With this little boy, I wonder what it would be like to raise a child in a world you knew. To set them on paths you walked, schools you attended, subway lines you rode. Perhaps the ceaseless change devalues fathers.
A child heightens the temporal vertigo of aging. The minutes fly by in a panic. He changes. We live a thousand lifetimes before the big long now of adulthood. He is not the same boy I left in the morning, when I return in the evening.
A baby is a little spaceman from beyond. A vulnerable stranger to a hostile world that is not theirs.
You get older and you become more like the world, it becomes more like you. Hip and strong, everything’s pointed at you. Every caprice, trend, draft notice.
Then some time in adulthood the world moves past you. You aren’t so much of this world anymore. You have one foot back in the beyond. Hard to say what of any value gets passed on.
These musings are likely artifacts of that mopey nature of mine, besides being drawn from a deep well of unwisdom. The parties are fixed, he’s teaching me teaching him.
Father: He’s like a cult leader, breaking down our personalities to indoctrinate us
(Day 10 of sleeping on the living room floor in order to “sleep train” him)
It’s been interesting to observe myself in this pressurized state. Having a child sort of exposes how much of your self-involvement was situational and how much was truly hard wired.
Father: Why is it I only ever have one good pair of pants
Not to imply that taking care of another has to be an unselfish act. At some point, living compounds too fast for us to process. Grief and loss surrounds, pulses and gathers in the dark beyond the hearth. We feel like refugees in our own lives, we take refuge beyond our selves.
Father: Jeez this is like the 10th article about “saudade” I’ve seen shared, people are fucked up!
I remember, a couple of years ago when my dad got sick. I quit my job, went on unemployment, spent most of the year driving up and down the state to check on him. I was alone on the highway. At the time it seemed hard.
Life is a series of ordeals, each more difficult than the last. Even so, we miss them when they go.chop! chop! read more!
He wakes back bent into a kind of platform
for what is meant to be goodness.
chop! chop! read more!
Another 5K, another easy win. With about half a mile to go, Shanna knew she had first female. Time to overtake some guys. This one, for instance, with the long hair and the Union Jack shorts. She surged past him, already eyeing the next target: The red-haired geek in the Hash House Harriers shirt, no idea what his name was, they’d raced each other before but they’d never spoken. She passed him at the finish line.chop! chop! read more!
It’s raining? Just as well I didn’t go down for the Fiesta. I can get crappy weather here. But…I can’t get you. I miss you. I shouldn’t, I know, but I do. I want to see you again. That week I spent with you was among the best weeks of my life. Even though we didn’t do anything exciting or have any grand adventures, like my typical vacations, I enjoyed just being beside you and holding you in my arms. Even though I cried buckets on my walks—like I did the trip before, when I saw you for the first time in twenty years—and got all weirdly emotional like I seem to do with you, I was happy.chop! chop! read more!
LINES SO SHARP by Tommy Dean You stand on the balcony of this ancient castle looking down at the American President’s wife, eyes transfixed by the pearls in three rows against her neck like teeth sucked from the ocean. White gloves from fingertip to elbow separate her, mark her celebrity and off-limits. Your status from the arranged marriage affords you this glimpse, but it’s like a bird looking down at a lioness. Here, in India, the other young women chitter. And why not, you want to ask, but you’ve promised your husband that you won’t make any more scenes. This word he spits just before saying good night, his sturdy door locking hollowly behind you. Now, from the walls centuries old but as strong as ever, keeping out the poor and pestilent, you raise your hand, desperate to reach across time and space. Months you awaited her arrival, fantasies of … chop! chop! read more!
LARCHMONT CHARTER MIDDLE by Matthew Greene Sometimes when I set up for the afterschool program in the multipurpose room, I see Miles skateboarding down the sidewalk, cutting class. Miles is in my fifth period writing elective but mostly he’s not there. Mostly he’s off somewhere in his red hoodie. Sometimes I look out the second story window of Mr. Creasman’s room, where I teach my writing class, at L.A.’s looming maw, the chattering raspado carts, the gathering haze. I imagine Miles in his red hoodie, at the LACMA, stealing a Picasso or Cezanne’s Still Life With Cherries, or getting a burger at Tommy’s on Rampart where all menu items come with chili, unless otherwise noted. I envy Miles’s freedom and yet every day I set out in the late morning toward the great grey chasm beyond Pasadena, sharing the Gold Line with the others not pulling their weight full-time, those … chop! chop! read more!
A man died in Ward G two nights before my father. The man’s name was Trevor. I know because on my first morning at the hospital a doctor wearing purple Nike running shoes squatted by his bed and asked, Do you remember your name? He did. Trevor, he said. Trevor and my father did not know each other, yet their lives converged at the end. Their last days were spent in the same atmosphere of sound and light and air. Now, when I think back to those last days with my father, I think of Trevor too.chop! chop! read more!
/ counting one one thousand two one thousand three one thousand four ; / and, then, standing, the woman says: / what’s the line? / and the first time i made love and the first time i made love and the first time i / bus plunges from bridge and eight die / in the paper that day /chop! chop! read more!
I want an easy swing, that parabolic arc over grass, weeds, garter snakes, grubs, snapping turtles, beer cans, rotten logs. My legs out, my head and chest back. My arms taut. My thighs and ass pressed against the ball of rope: extending joy. I want that stomach lurch and gravity unease; blood shivers. I’ll land and wave to the one who pushed me, and I’ll climb back up the hill or out of the water toward that woman I’ve dreamt of so often. My REM time melts into her: strange visions of roads illuminating before us as we ride our bicycles in the dark. Is she dead, too?chop! chop! read more!
I think about how I’m always depressed, which makes me more depressed, and I wonder if it’s because my friends (all 3 of them) have died and now I have to attempt to talk with someone who won’t be able to replace them but maybe could hold a candle next to them like that scene in Star Wars where the dead mentors are watching over Luke and that sister he kissed before knowing it was his sister (but we won’t talk about it) and that they’re there guiding me into this conversation with a stranger at a bar that may think I’m hitting on them when all I really want is someone to vent to and help me feel less lonely and maybe they’d help me perceive some purpose on this planet at this specific time in the universe and that I could do something meaningful with my life like how I wanted to become a scientist who studied molecular biology…chop! chop! read more!
It’s ghost time again,
and my mother doesn’t know. But I know, and it shivers me like stone February to see this ghost that’s not at all like my father, who is lonely and clean-shaven. This ghost doesn’t give a hoot that my mother is asleep, but I’m not so sure she’d stop it, because if sleeping in separate rooms is any indication, my father hasn’t touched her in years. And that started around the time he lost his job and moved himself a sock at a time, a shirt at a time until he was gone.chop! chop! read more!
A HISTORY OF ANYWAY Intermedia by Nance Van Winckel Sad lad of the far north, you with no means and no true lassie, with no way home and no home anyway, you voyage on. And yes, as per usual, just when the key to all seems within reach, the dreaded forever descends. [click images to enlarge] Nance Van Winckel is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Our Foreigner, winner of the Pacific Coast Poetry Series Prize (Beyond Baroque Press, 2017), Book of No Ledge (Pleiades Press Visual Poetry Series, 2016), and Pacific Walkers (U. of Washington Press, 2014). She’s also published five books of fiction, including Ever Yrs, a novel in the form of a scrapbook (Twisted Road Publications, 2014), and Boneland: Linked Stories (U. of Oklahoma Press, 2013). She teaches in the MFA programs at Eastern Washington University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Read more … chop! chop! read more!
[Content Warning: This piece includes sexual assault scenes that may be triggering for some readers.]
Many times she had imagined, graphically and in slow motion, the bullet penetrating the pale, soft flesh of his temple; she knew intimately the faint indent, how it was edged with a line of graying strands slicked back with a dab of Brill cream, the shadowy crater of a chicken pox scar between the hairline and the eyebrow. She saw the skin parting and gently enveloping the smooth, hot tip of the metal missile, as if the bullet were melting its way in, as if the flesh itself welcomed the intrusion. This was the extent of her fantasy. She had never imagined the bullet exiting, or the blood. There was so much blood.chop! chop! read more!
Sarah Lightman’s poignant, engrossing and poetic graphic memoir, The Book of Sarah , leads the reader on an epic odyssey, moving back and forth in time, from the author’s early twenties as an uncertain, dependent, and depressed young artist to a confident forty-five-year-old woman who is finally the architect of her own life.chop! chop! read more!
I got to know Foster’s fiction through their first story collection I’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Foster doesn’t disappoint with their new collection, SHINE OF THE EVER, thirteen stories full of humor, beauty, sincerity, and refreshingly nuanced queer and trans characters. Foster’s dedication to challenging mainstream preconceived notions about queerness is well reflected in all their works, from their essays to their flash to their upcoming novel. In SHINE OF THE EVER, they focus their vibrant, energetic style to a deceptively simple task: no sad endings. To learn more, go here.chop! chop! read more!
I thought a lot about this family as I read Julie Justicz’s novel Degrees of Difficulty. Here the child at the center of the heartbreak is third-born Ben, born with damage to his twenty-first chromosome, an “omission in the blueprint” that has resulted in “the recessed jaw that would lead to feeding issues, the missing kidney due to frequent injections, hospitalizations, IV medications. And later, the seizures: Body-wracking grand mals that daily medications could not control.”chop! chop! read more!
Dear June, For the past few months I have been working full-time on a national political campaign with a group of intelligent, committed, interesting people. One of these people—whom I’ll call Christine—lives just down the street from me. I had seen her around and chatted with her a few times when we walked our dogs, and had thought more than once that it might be nice to get to know her better, so I was pleased when I saw that we would be working together and hoped that we might become friends (and nothing else: we are both straight women). But it looks like she wants nothing to do with me. She’s never unpleasant or rude, but she seems to go out of her way to keep me at a distance. People at headquarters are always going out to grab lunch together, and I have asked her to do so … chop! chop! read more!
Perhaps no other film has so improbably risen from obscurity to cultural significance than 2003’s The Room. Grossing just $1800 in its original theatrical run, the film now famously dubbed “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” went on to connect with audiences through years of midnight screenings and an insightful, entertaining, and sometimes heartbreaking book about its making.chop! chop! read more!
Grand Union, a collection of nineteen works of short fiction, represents an exciting addition to her oeuvre. The characters it features—black and white, young and old, male and female, gay and straight, and hailing from both sides of the Atlantic—are as diverse a cast as populate her novels, but their stories veer from the first-person narrative to the nonlinear and surreal to the essayistic.chop! chop! read more!
When Faith Sullivan began writing what has become known as her Harvester books—novels like The Cape Ann and The Empress of One and Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse—she invited readers to join her in a fictional Minnesota landscape, then gave them many reasons to return. Sullivan’s Harvester is a palpable place. Its people are relatable and real. They carry burdens and they engage in kindness. Their bones bend with the hills.chop! chop! read more!
From satirizing the mechanics of the American workplace to discovering motherly devotion in the myth of Persephone, Carole Bernstein’s third poetry collection Buried Alive: A To-Do List takes readers through caves and coffins alike, showing what living things still kick inside the previously presumed-dead.chop! chop! read more!
Chits came in stapled packets, five yellow slips
to a page, that ripped like postage stamps, perforated.
Three’d buy a creamsicle, or a barbershop twirl
of white vanilla shot with chocolate.
The yo-yo slams me in the teeth and I buckle to the ground. It makes the guys gleam to see me on my knees like this, like the women in the videos we watch who are always begging. Tyler grabs his blue jean crotch and says “Nice teats.” I am fatter than them, sure. Me and Tyler are thirteen. Ace, fifteen. About my weight, my mom doesn’t say that I’m a teenager, that I’m still growing. She says I’ll be as fat as my uncle Louis who died from stomach cancer when he was thirty-two. I was too young to remember him. Anytime I open the refrigerator—even for some ice cubes to drop down my shirt in the summer—mom says “It could have been all that sugar that did him in. He didn’t eat half as much as you, though.”chop! chop! read more!
she scans a glossy creak
lowland like wood floors
creased with alluvial fans
playas and alkali flats
before sandy gravely
shortgrass in a quiet pool
where roasted peanuts,
a sneezing fit, or snores
stroke a pocket comb
in a chorus of saws
floating in a San
Francisco rain and river
where power sounds
Twenty-one-year-old Matthew clicks his tongue in time to each step he takes. Tramping on carpet, he still makes the cupboards rattle as he descends the staircase into the living room. Knowing the clicking signifies contentment, his mother turns over in her bed and allows herself fifteen more minutes of sleep.chop! chop! read more!
I died Sunday, for sixty seconds, at precisely 4:44 p.m. Novel and beer in tow, I strolled over to my armchair and tottered. Nausea somehow morphed into this buttery light that bled over the edges of my vision. There were my parents. There was my childhood, my friends, and my lovers, all these thoughts tinged with forgiveness (though there was nothing to forgive). And then I was down, and then I was up, wheezing, gasping for air.
chop! chop! read more!
On Memorial Day other small towns watch parades. There’s hotdogs and fireworks and tall bearded men dressed up like Abe Lincoln with plastic top hats and that old man who might ride the streets in his vintage Mustang, decked out with streamers and his pre-teen granddaughter. The topiaries are usually draped in American flags or sprayed with blue and white paint. The toddlers run in the street while volunteer firefighters chewing tobacco throw fistfuls of Bazooka at them, almost missing their heads. Veterans march. Wives throw rice like they’re at a 1970s wedding.chop! chop! read more!
Seventeen million adults had a major depressive episode last year. And the numbers for children are staggering. The personal, social, economic, and ethical cost of anxiety and depression is almost impossible to imagine but is certainly real. Seventeen million adults had a major depressive episode last year and I was one of them.chop! chop! read more!
LAST SUMMER AT SUMMERLAND by Dana Fang I When she trimmed the holly, when she trellised each lilac, her knuckles were starchy blue, her skin luminescent as if she had been torched with apricot light. At last, for a handful of hours each week, she burnt, and my heart outbid all else for her attention. To be her shelf and shovel, her shear and sled for just a little while; to ache an ache that justified the rest of her calculations— is how her garden grew. II The garden is built like the guts of a palace evergreen and glistening the way any beautiful thing glistens ripe with being beautiful The garden is the inner sanctum of a dream pink like peach flesh lush with sewer cap lilies and a little lake to litter with wishes There is nothing of the World in this world On the … chop! chop! read more!
The girl wants to go to the kids’ museum. Since her brother is sick and dad has command central on the couch, dispensing Tylenol and blankets and puke bucket and juice, that leaves me to drive her. I want to shut myself in my office and work on my novel, far from puke and clacking toys, but then she’ll say of her childhood that her mom did nothing but sit in front of her computer all the time. Aren’t her needs supposed to be bigger than mine? I take my journal and magazines along with snacks. I’ll sit on the bench and read. I’ll never be Mom of the Year, but look, my mom never played with me. She considered it her job to feed and clothe me, make me go to school, drive me to appointments, and I turned out just fine.chop! chop! read more!
In one town, an apricot held in the mouth
of a rabbit like a swollen tongue.
In another, a pear clasped between the fins
of a fish. The pit of a cherry nestled
in the eye socket of a crow.
Once, my grandfather’s aneurysm
bloomed in his body like a tulip.
DEAR CITY by Poul Lynggaard Damgaard I want to tell about the gap between houses and the way the windows are beyond everything. Do you know anything about that? Do you know the way neighbourhoods have been pulled on a string through your consciousness, and the groups of people emerge on the fringe of an area? I am not sure you do. Sometimes the zip of your coat is a downhill highway and you turn your back, you throw your coat off, jump into the water and swim away. The shining of your long wet hair is the light of the night´s illuminated space. On the corner of the main road where the neglected house without windows used to be, a booth has been placed, where the gaps and the building’s memories are being sold to visitors. Was it really your unknown brother, or was it just you, I looked … chop! chop! read more!