Article Thumbnail

Poetry Feature: “my home having come to this” By CM Burroughs

 

my home having come to this

In the porn factory, none locks her head in a box. None is trapezed or gagged. Everyone wants to know what my inside looks like. And a transparency about the skin. It is not long before one stops his hinged posture and says, “Look at me. I love you,” which my whole body opens to hear, as if it has been uttered before by someone I loved. I give myself as I’ve given myself to a field at dusk—without distraction or thought. Here. My body, my body’s inside. Here. All its tender. Red pulp.

Read more…

Nonfiction Feature: “kafir 1 & 2” By Tarfia Faizullah

 

kafir 1

 

It’s been twenty years since my sister died in the car accident. For twenty years I’ve been telling slightly different versions of her death and the aftermath. None of them are true. All of them are true.

*

Kufrul-‘Inaad is disbelief out of stubbornness. This applies to someone who knows the truth and admits to knowing the truth, and knows it with his or her tongue, but refuses to accept it and refrains from making a declaration.

*

One night during college at a party in someone’s dark dorm room, someone decided it would be fun to make a drinking game out of how many things in common we had with our siblings. The lava lamp in the corner made our faces seem like the topographies of far- away planets. “What about you, Tarfia?” he asked.

*

“Throw into hell every obstinate disbeliever,” Allah says a few verses later. “Why are you so stubborn?” everyone in my life who has ever loved me has asked. “Why is it so hard for you to back down?”

*

“I don’t have any siblings,” I said, thrumming the amber neck of the beer bottle with my fingers.

*

In verse 50:19 of the Qur’an, Allah says to the disbeliever, “And the intoxication of death will bring the truth; that is what you were trying to avoid.”

*

“She’s not dead,” I said when my parents came to visit me in the hospital a few days after my sister had gone into cardiac arrest. My arm was in a sling, freshly plastered hours after surgery that was meant to correct the damage done to my shoulder during the car accident. My mother’s face was a map of bruises. I couldn’t look directly at any of the new countries of her ruptured skin. “She can’t be.”

*

How can death simultaneously intoxicate and bring truth? If the very cells that allow us to experience intoxication stop functioning, how do our brains process, allow, or deny truth? That is to say, truth is like memory in that it is not so much a set of discrete memories as much as it is a set of processes by which we encode, store, and retrieve information.

*

“It’s just me and my sister,” I say to the lipsticked and rouged woman ringing up the bottle of perfume I’m buying for my mother at the makeup counter at Dillard’s. It is strange how easy it is to not continue with “…but she hasn’t been alive for twenty years.” “I’m about five years older,” I say, and she lights up. “That’s the age difference between me and my sister!” she says, and I smile and sign my name on the credit card slip with a flourish.

*

In many ways, kufr is synonymous with atheism, which is the rejection of a belief in the existence of deity. But is it still disbelief if you are rejecting belief in someone or something that no longer exists?

 

Read more…

Article Thumbnail

Mirror Neurons: Interview with Nuar Alsadir

 

Indiana Review is accepting submissions to the Poetry Prize until March 31, 2019. Final judge Nuar Alsadir will select a winner to receive $1000 and publication. Hannah Kesling, our current Poetry Editor, chats with her about the genre, empathy, unconventional ways of “finding” poems. Listen to some of Alsadir’s work here: https://vimeo.com/283671638.

Read more…

Article Thumbnail

“At the Center”: Interview with R.O. Kwon

 

Indiana Review is accepting submissions to the Fiction Prize until March 31, 2019. Final judge R.O. Kwon will select a winner to receive $1000 and publication. Soo Jin, our current Fiction Editor, asks her to talk about the “‘default’ gaze” of literary audiences, what she’s reading now, and a couple other things. Find out more about Kwon here: https://ro-kwon.com/

 

Read more…

Article Thumbnail

2019 Poetry & Fiction Twitter Contest #IRDelights

 

Our 2019 Poetry & Fiction Prize is open until March 18!

With our Blue Light series approaching, we want to draw inspiration from one of our authors and announce our latest Twitter contest! Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights, a collection of meditations on the things that bring him joy, was released February 12, 2019.

For this contest, we’re asking you to tweet us a “delight” of your own. For an example, check out “Loitering is Delightful” and the sample tweets below. To get your own copy of The Book of Delights, click here.

One lucky (and clever) winner will receive a free entry into our 2019 Fiction & Poetry Prize and an IR Prize Pack. Our favorite runner-ups will also receive IR Prize packs and, most importantly, be forever immortalized in our blog posts and on our Twitter page. They will also have the divine privilege of having their work read by Ross himself! Who would pass that up?

Delight us with your keen observations, and don’t miss out on your opportunity to apply to our Fiction and Poetry Prize by March 31!