Posts Categorized: Online Feature

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Online Feature: “Cyclops” by Teresa Milbrodt

 

Usually cyclops babies don’t live very long.  This is why you never hear about them, why the cyclops woman is the only one to have reached thirty.  Two people besides her parents know she has just one eye—the family ophthalmologist and the midwife who delivered her in her parents’ bedroom.  Her mother wanted to keep the process as natural as possible, worried about strange things drugs were supposed to do to newborn babies.

The cyclops woman’s father makes her wear a shade, a crescent-shaped sunglasses lens that fits around her head, so the world looks a little dark to her.  Her father’s world is also getting darker.  His glaucoma is worsening and the ophthalmologist says he’ll be blind in a matter of months.  He won’t stop working, though.  At the counter of Drogo’s, the family coffee shop, he explains to customers that his daughter wears the shade because she has a condition that makes her extremely sensitive to light.

I think it’s very becoming, says Cynthia Liss, one of the regulars.  She says the eyes are the most intimate part of the body and the shade lends an air of mystery like Japanese women with their fans.

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Online Feature: “A Dark and Simple Place” by Adrienne Perry

When Uncle Richie finally moved out, he left Cheyenne and headed south for Greeley, Colorado. Richie wasn’t known for fresh starts, but Greeley promised dividends he hadn’t touched in years: a room of his own, steady work, lunch breaks. Maybe a union. He got a job at Monforts meatpacking plant—Monfort, actually, but Richie pluralized it.

In the early nineties, Greeley was anathema to me, as bad a hick town as Cheyenne, my hometown. Greeley had a trademark funk that blighted its squat banks and convenience stores. A little hopeless, the place made me feel, with that sad-angry smell seeping out of Monforts’ boxy white buildings and the machines inside them that transformed lowing livestock into stroganoff meat. Work in a slaughterhouse—that was hard for me to imagine, and I couldn’t picture Richard Riles suiting up over his Bart Simpson t-shirt and ripped Levi’s, his graying Afro pressed against a cheap shower cap. He didn’t have the constitution.

 

Meatcutting Testbook, Part I.*

It is recommended that this book be kept
in the instructor’s file
and each test be detached
and given to the student
as he or she becomes ready for it.

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39.2 PREVIEW: THE EXPIATION THAT PLEASETH THE LORD by JOHN HAGGERTY

Haggerty_The Expiation That Pleaseth the Lord excerpt

 

John Haggerty’s work has appeared in a variety of literary magazines including Carolina Quarterly Review, Fourteen Hills, Michigan Quarterly Review, Nimrod, Santa Monica Review, and The Pinch where he won the Literary Prize in Fiction. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University and is the founding editor of the Forge Literary Magazine.

 

 

Poetry Feature: here is the sweet hand you always turn back on yourself by francine j. harris

here is the sweet hand you always turn back on yourself

 

and hold where the ear goes and try to hear what you need to hear.

the way it was put. a bird went to the phone pole and knocked a hundred

times and here i was looking for a hammer all along to knock back.

 

all the tools are crushed. i swear to them i only make sense between periods.

translation comes awfully late and if the woodpecker got out of control, caught up

in a pole rung, for example. well, my forehead. i am well pecked and out of excuse.

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