Posts By: Anna Cabe

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IR Online Poetry: “Two Blankees and a Pillow” by Anastasia McCray

Not quite one, two, three consecutive days of frost
     Foretell the beginnings of the Dying Season. To commemorate, a child colors her      doll a shade of suffocation.

Two pairs of shoes, two socks
     Will be added by that third, but not yet ready to let go.

Four cars and a Lego
     Will split skin for the first time and the first time and the first time.

Six monster dolls, seven monster trucks
     Will ride the meat of their fingers, womb-ridged by scales, tired by little.

Three little beds so close to the living
     Will handle as much death as the sickbed, downstairs; these children, so close to      birth, are not done with dying yet.

Millions of glow-in-the-dark suns
     Will flow from a lava lamp, brighter than any single aspiring star could, yet it will      be supernovas deep into the graveyard shift that will light slack jaws.

Countless topless markers, dried out pens,
     Will hide in under-bed altars, prostitutes of provision smelling of aged incense,      and pray for their patron child’s salvation. But all infancies, still, are prophesized      crosses to bear.

One Minnie hat to peacock feathers
     Will become a Mardi Gras goddess, miniature upon a child’s brow, fed sparkles      bright as beads of alcohol, naked on the neck, tangy on the tongue. She will      dream, in vain, of fattening on rotted flesh and childish thoughts.

Timeless, television
     With the dreams of the dying, that pale blue will splash across pale cherubic faces      like an ocean of indecision precise in every lung-fill.
     But not yet those dreams—those dreams!
     Keep them at bay, dark screen in the cold night.

The Dying Season is upon us.
To commemorate, not quite one, two, three pairs of cold feet cross dark wood floor, three children lying on one bed to stave off the cold forever.

*

Anastasia McCray is the daughter of a military family, the second anastasia-mccrayoldest of six children. She was born in Augusta, Georgia, though most of her childhood was spent moving around with her two brothers closest in age, from Tucson, Arizona to Wurzburg, Germany. Throughout Anastasia’s life, she has always been fascinated with stories and writing. She drew inspiration from the world around her, filling poetry with personal experiences or social injustices. Anastasia found new inspiration when her youngest three siblings were born, and she wrote the piece, “Two Blankees and a Pillow,” about the fear of the first few years of life for the families of children prone to sickness. Currently, she attends Agnes Scott College and is pursuing a degree in Public Health with Anthropology and English minors.

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IR Online Poetry: “The Only Thing You Can’t Undo Is Knowing” by Mallory Hasty

The only thing you can’t undo is knowing.
At least, that’s what liars want you to think.

My hometown is where the fox and hare say goodnight—
i.e. the middle of nowhere.

Out with the old and in with the trash.
Gash on the wrist—and give it a twist.

VICES ONLY is the sign on the door of the afterlife.
THE DEVIL is curling his pointer finger.

Birth certificate—mine’s on papyrus.
The name has been lost in translation.

Hieroglyphics never sound right
In hooked-on-phonics French.

You can order your grave online now:
One-and-a-half bath with an inverted skylight.

Book of nonsense with the dynamite attached;
Torch your own work before the others can get to it.

Everything’s a nunchuck: first used to harvest rice,
But now a device for anything that has to do with the subconscious.

Coffin tied to a tree—I don’t think this poem is for me anymore.
MESSIEURS LES DÉMONS, laissez-moi donc!

Up to my throat in bombs, and in hindsight,
The padlock needed no keys, just a good smashing.

There’s no such thing as a relic without a miracle;
The object needs GOD’S touch with many witnesses.

MALLORY is poking this poem with a match.
The crowd is gawking at this miraculous combustion.

*

Mallory Hasty is a senior English Writing and Religious Studies double mallory-hastymajor at DePauw University. She is the Managing Editor of A Midwestern Review, DePauw’s undergraduate literary journal. After spending a semester at the University of Edinburgh, she wants to move back to Scotland as soon as possible

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IR Online Fiction: “Trust”by Charlee R. Moseley

You told me about David, a boxer you had dated. He fucked like he fought—graceful, passionate, hard. You said his syllables were so long you thought you’d trip over them. I wondered how I compared to David. What made you leave him and was I making the same fatal mistakes?

“If I wanted David, I wouldn’t be here with you, Sammy,” you said. We had only been together a few short weeks, and you were testing out nicknames. I didn’t know what to do with Sarah. It was already so classic, so simple. I didn’t dare call you sweetheart. You weren’t sweet or sugarcoated.

That was the day I fell in trust with you.

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Online Feature: “Isabelle” by George Saunders

The first great act of love I ever witnessed was Split Lip bathing his handicapped daughter. We were young, ignorant of mercy, and called her Boneless or Balled-Up Gumby for the way her limbs were twisted and useless. She looked like a newborn colt, appendages folded in as she lay on the velour couch protected by guardrails. Leo and I stood outside the window on cinder blocks, watching. She was scared of the tub, so to bathe her Split Lip covered the couch with a tarp and caught the runoff in a bucket. Mrs. Split Lip was long gone, unable to bear the work Boneless required. She found another man and together they made a little blond beauty they dressed in red velvet and paraded up and down the aisle at St. Caspian’s while Split Lip held Boneless against him in the last pew, shushing her whenever the music overcame her and she started making horrible moaning noises trying to sing along.

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Online Feature: “Midwest Still Life, In Motion” by Karyna McGlynn

you are still/rushing toward me

 

    unhinge the following:

 

                                                                                plum gut

                                                                                blue bells

                                                                                white rose

                                                                                yr wet mouth

                                                                                a silencer

                                                                                suckling pig

                                                                                in attic dark

 

you are hurdling/through the anonymous country

 

on the phone you sound like a man standing still

 

& despite your movement through the night’s           raw flank

 

your voice is weirded with cobwebs & cannot           move me

 

 

I stare at the space where I’ve opened           the door

I can see the night commute coming on           thick:

 

a long train full of few glossy fruits

                                                                                purple patch

                                                                                wax leaf

 

Texas is a tall stranger walking away from me           on the street

But you keep coming/I want you to remain           standing still:

a man frozen in action, who never arrives:           a still life

of his own best intentions while I enact my           sweet recoil:

 

                                                                                blue in the lip

                                                                                divisive cherry

                                                                                sour rotgut

 

You are still/the man who goes to long

romantic lengths to assure his death &

you are the train who comes to repossess           my trunk

to sand back the dark where I’ve turned           my old globe

                                                                                on its axis

*

This poem appeared in Indiana Review 32.1, Summer 2010. 

Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor): Earlier this year, I fell in love with Karyna McGlynn’s work after reading I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl. This poem embodies much of McGlynn’s playful voice and form on the page, the precision of imagery, the way she builds a world with sensuality and rich texture. This is the kind of poem that transforms each time you read it—it is a travelogue, a painting, a movie, a letter. I cannot wait to read McGlynn’s next collection Hothouse, forthcoming from Sarabande Books next year.

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Karyna McGlynn is the author of Hothouse (Sarabande Books 2017), The 9-Day Queen Gets Lostmcglynn%20tin%202 on Her Way to the Execution (Willow Springs Books 2016), Alabama Steve (Sundress Publications 2014), I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande Books 2009), and Scorpionica (New Michigan Press 2007). Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, AGNI, Ninth Letter and Witness. Karyna earned her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and was recently the Diane Middlebrook Fellow in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry and Translation at Oberlin College.