Posts Tagged: online feature

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Online Feature: “Trespass” by Stacy Gnall

               for my mother

Once

  when you could still smell the green on me

back when your looking old was new

we ran to the dark churchyard
           and under God’s empty bell.

The dimmed silver held us in its huddle.

Its walls refused
     the lawn’s stichic hieroglyphics.

It was colder than moon.

Together we pushed its great weight up
     but nothing.

Its round rim could only mouth mother
                to the night.

A lark then.
        An absent cloud.

The bell with its tonsil out.

  The three of us unable to make a sound.

*

This poem appeared in Indiana Review 31.1, Summer 2009. 

Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor):  I have always loved the attention to music and the fresh imagery in Stacy Gnall’s work, particularly in “Trespass.” This poem embodies Gnall’s magic, the spell-like quality of lines such as “It was colder than moon/…Its round rim could only mouth mother to the night.” There is such tenderness in this poem, tenderness beneath the dark churchyard and God’s empty bell—a closeness with the mother, for whom the poem is dedicated, the mother who trespasses in the churchyard, who raises the bell with her daughter.

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Stacy Gnall is the author of Heart First into the Foreststacy%20headshot%20bw (Alice James Books, 2011). She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Southern California and is also a graduate of the University of Alabama’s MFA program in Creative Writing and Sarah Lawrence College. Her most recent poems are either published or forthcoming from Colorado Review, New American WritingCrazyhorse, and Another Chicago Magazine.

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Online Feature: “A Cuban Poet in New York” by Pablo Medina

A Tale of Two Cities

The word of my city is that word from of old.

— Walt Whitman, “Mannahatta”

As a child I fell under the spell of two great cities. Until November of 1960, when we left Cuba for good, Havana was my home. Never gray except in winter when a norther blew through it, it was almost always happy and clear, the antithesis of Dickens’ soulless London or Victor Hugo’s sordid Paris. Havana in those days might have had its terrors and sorrows, but it was, above all, a city of activity and hope. It was, besides, the place that first instilled in me an interest in human beings and sparked a curiosity for the physical world—the sun, the sea, the bay—of which it was so much a part. Read more…

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Online Feature: “Thumbsplitter” by Kerry Cullen

Mom brought home the mantis shrimp on Monday while I was at school. Dad had just last Wednesday, during visitation, bought me the video game that even most of the fifth graders weren’t allowed to play. The game disappeared while I was sleeping, but I guess Mom wanted to make absolutely sure she was still keeping ahead of her competition. “It can see more colors than we can imagine,” she said on the ride back from school, and then, “I don’t know if it’s bigger than a breadbox. Ask another question.”

I’d had eight fish in my aquarium. One of them, Benjamin, had lived there for almost two whole years. By the time I got home, the mantis shrimp had killed them all.

Read more…

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Online Feature: “Doom is the House without the Door” by Jennifer Chang

More than once you wanted me to die.
I kicked the door until its hinges popped.

I collapsed in particle board dust.
I am a sort of door: I know how to swing open

and slam shut. I know how to lock.
You want the house. You want the last crumb

of soul I have left, but I don’t die. I don’t have a body.
I have an elm, fracturing limb by furious limb.

Our tornado summer. My weekly storm,
the heretic assailing the saint.

To swing open: 98º in the barn shade.
To slam shut: you sleep through my glory,

this dawn-constructed confession. To lock:
I do not know. I do not know how

to fill the smallest rooms. Once the sky
could forestall the revelation of the future,

but now I am an orchard forsaken. Ardent.
Ungovernable. Dead branch, fruitlessness, reach

for what I cannot. Not who you were or are,
but who you wanted to be. A wise thing

growing wiser. Ageless heart. To want
was the first survival. To be, the last.

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This poem appeared in Indiana Review 34.2, Winter 2012. 

Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor):  “Doom Is the House without the Door” gorgeously navigates the dissolve of a relationship and its aftermath. Like the repeated imagery of doors in the poem, Chang’s speaker hinges and stops, back and forth, ever reeling towards this feeling of disaster, loss, a storm to be survived.

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Jennifer Chang is the author of two books of poetry, The History jennifer-changof Anonymity and Some Say the Lark, which will be published by Alice James Books in October 2017. Her recent work has appeared in American Poetry Review, A Public Space, Orion, Narrative, and Poetry. She is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at George Washington University and lives in Washington, DC.

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Online Feature: “Glacier” by Jackson Blair

 

The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.

—Wallace Stevens

My office is configured in such a way that I’m blind to coworkers who appear at my door. Each day I sit like a parked car in a cul-de-sac, my backside positioned toward visitors, a situation that forces me to discriminate between the surprisingly varied sounds they make. Thus, I’ve come to recognize knockers by their knocks, foot-draggers by the scuff of their feet, and in one case, a person by a quick intake of breath, followed by a long pause, as with a case of apnea. Read more…