Posts Categorized: Online Feature

Article Thumbnail

Online Feature: “Disappearing Rabbits” by Anne Owen Shea

There are things your mother will do for you that no one else will: cut crusts off your bread, sew together two soft scraps of cloth to make a blanket for your bed. She will allow you to stay home in the house when you get older because she likes having you around. Mothers want you to be close to them. They buy you gifts, a rabbit that you think is female at first but then turns out to male, a cross necklace for your first communion, a music box with a ballerina on a spring that twists in circle when you wind it up. There is a time in your life when anything is possible and then later on a time when nothing is. Eventually the music box stops playing music, and one of your rabbits disappears. And then you lose track of the box completely; the barbed wire cage becomes home to another rabbit that your parents buy to make you feel better. And then eventually the replacement rabbit disappears and there is just an empty cage, a few tufts of fur in the yard after the dogs run away.
Read more…

Article Thumbnail

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.

Read more…

Article Thumbnail

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.

*

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.

Article Thumbnail

Online Feature: “Dwellings” by Linda Hogan

Not far from where I live is a hill that was cut into by the moving water of a creek. Eroded this way, all that’s left of it is a broken wall of earth that contains old roots and pebbles woven together and exposed. Seen from a distance, it is only a rise of raw earth. But up close it is something wonderful, a small cliff dwelling that looks almost as intricate and well-made as those the Anasazi left behind when they vanished mysteriously centuries ago. This hill is a place that could be the starry skies of night turned inward into the thousand round holes where solitary bees have lived and died. It is a hill of tunneling rooms. At the mouths of some of the excavations, half-circles of clay beetle out like awnings shading a doorway. It is earth that was turned to clay in the mouths of the bees and spit out as they mined deeper into their dwelling places.

This place where the bees reside is at an angle safe from rain. It faces the southern sun. It is a warm and intelligent architecture of memory, learned by whatever memory lives in the blood. Many of the holes still contain the gold husks of dead bees, their faces dry and gone, their flat eyes gazing out from death’s land toward the other uninhabited half of the hill that is across the creek from these catacombs.

Read more…

Article Thumbnail

Online Feature: “Railway” by Mai Nardone

We’ve gathered at the railway.

Our nerve endings have faded, the gamut of our sensations become just two poles, yes or no: Can you feel that?

No. Not much anymore, said while testing a point against the pillow of thumb, of palm, against corded wrists. Glass to skin. Needle to skin. The way flesh puckers before it’s punctured. But nothing coursing beneath it: a riverbed of fissured earth.

We’re waiting on the tracks that skirt Bangkok. The rhythm on the rails is a heartbeat and it pummels through us. We lay on the ground to better catch the pounding, the low moan of a horn. We stand with backs stretched, shudder pleasantly like a man urinating. We hum train songs, skip on the crossties, stack gravel into mausoleums for diminutive kings. We are listless, parched, and waiting for the arrival, finally, of a man who comes tripping across the dawn expanse. Distant roosters rouse the moment. A nursery rhyme ripples through us:

Make way! Give way! How many birds can we feed today?

Read more…