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Spring 2014

The Nervous Writer

The writers all sat round the table, sipping slowly from their beers, like wolves to baited blood. The nervous writer was due any minute and with luck he would suffer a complete breakdown. But before he arrived, the talk went round the table, a cat’s cradle of conspiracy and gaze. The topic du jour was [...]

Calligraphies

Cai Guo-Qiang speaks In the old days in China my father collected calligraphy, ancient scrolls, and rare books. We lived in Quanzhou, across the strait from Taiwan. We could hear artillery batteries firing into the mist at the island that still resisted the mainland. My father’s calligraphy was delicate and adept. I used to stand [...]

Confessions of an Aging Lesbian Poet

I was a spinner for the winking eye of any needle. A whore for fluorescence, that retro-electromagnetic easy smile between the legs. It’s good for a while. You’re more a skeptic. Red for love, pink for thank you; which color blooms dyke? We think of poetry as a hunchbacked gardener watering antiquities. I wanted to [...]

Labor Day

The albino crocodile has no concept of her own captivity. Pressed against her habitat by the crowd, I watch the great lizard balance on crooked arms plump as the sausage-limbs of babies who have not yet learned to crawl. In slow motion, her long jaw parts to reveal point-by-point a matched set of miniature mountain [...]

Before Dubai, This Ellay

She changed her name from Juanita to Ellay the week after she moved to Dubai. Then she changed her hair from blonde to red-brown to black but refused to change her western style, showing her legs more often than she should. The last time I saw her, she was crying over rivers and bridges and [...]