Posts Tagged: Summer 2016

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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?

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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.

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Online Feature: “Weight” by Franny Choi


“Weight” by Franny Choi

What is (inside each question lies another question–a question of weight. What brings you to the bed of this river? What is it about this planet that keeps you running back? Each mouth, for example, lets loose a river of black paint which leads most, if not all the way down to the feet, or what might otherwise be referred to as the stem, if we wouldn’t insist on staying untethered to the molecular dirt that keeps wishing us home. In other words, the question here is one of history, of a family tree that finally stretches its arms beyond the kind of life that breathes oxygen into its gills, or reads most of the way through a listicle, or lies in bed dreading the day, or falls down, down into the earth’s oldest memory until it reaches its first quiet, the lullaby it hums when thinking of something else, the slow breath, the thought that almost becomes a thought just before dawn) your country of origin?

“Weight” will appear in Indiana Review 38.1, Summer 2016: GHOST issue.


Franny Choi is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). She has FC - photo2 by Reginald Eldridgereceived awards from the Poetry Foundation and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Her work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Journal, Rattle, and others. She is a VONA alumna, a Project VOICE teaching artist, and a member of the Dark Noise Collective.