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Winter 2012

Kiss My Annulus

  Ringing phones start too many stories. Take this one for example. When it rings right at the mouth, we are forced to consider others that open this way – those crime novels, that translation, some classic, a romance, the paperback. And we wonder how to react to it happening again, here. Ring, ring. Are [...]

The Extra Knot

It was me screaming in the reflection of Dr. Maxwell’s sunglasses saying “the kids! the knot! the rope!” and pulling on his sleeve trying to explain what he already knew- that there was an extra knot- that the ropes the organizers gave us were marked with them… the knots I mean, a foot apart- I [...]

Voodoo Sonnets

I Nothing happened— not my entire life. The punitive pale clay of the body enacted the hours the way the marrow of a bone sleeps inside its chamber. There were Novocain hills beyond the railroad tracks, sodden cigarette butts in the ashtray, choleric crows complaining from the open field. Do you hear what the sky [...]

An Eclipse

The cat had been sleeping in the doghouse. The day was like a cave after a lightning. Birth and death played on a see- saw and sight and night played hide and seek. Time had left no tracks. The ground always seemed to be a step ahead. The very air turned nocturne. Trees dreamed of [...]

The Tarbouche Maker

When they entered they were not sure it was the right alley. They looked up to see scraps of sky between old dark beams like the ribs of a boat. Maybe it was covered once. “Do you think this is it?” he asked. “I don’t know. I’m completely turned around.” They walked a few hesitant [...]

The Self-Avoidant Biographer

A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers by Michael Holroyd 2011 Farrar, Straus & Giroux English biographer Sir Michael Holroyd has been bit bad by the Bloomsbury bug—that clique of authors who spawned literary modernism in England during and after the Edwardian Age and whose high priesthood included Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Vanessa Bell, [...]

A Poetic Guidebook to Prague

From a Terrace in Prague: A Prague Poetry Anthology Edited by Stephan Delbos Litteraria Pragensia Books 2011   From a Terrace in Prague is an ambitious literary undertaking. Stephan Delbos, Culture Editor for The Prague Post, gathered 120 poems from 16 languages written between 1888 and 2010 that focus on Prague or events that took [...]

To Boldly Go

Tales of the New World Sabina Murray Black Cat 2011   On the face of it, Sabina Murray’s latest collection of tales appears to take up where her PEN/Faulkner Award-winning collection, The Caprices, left off.  Those were tough-edged, yet humane, stories embedded in the Pacific conflicts of World War II.  The final story in that [...]

Harnessing Darkness

Other Heartbreaks Patricia Henley Engine Books 2011   The stories in Other Heartbreaks by Patricia Henley will change you. Now the thin girl who passes you coming out of a gas station restroom—you’ll notice the gray smudges under her eyes. Your own secrets—the ones folded twice or three times inside you that crop up when [...]