Four poems by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory

A User’s Guide to My Heart Lesson 1: When you find it, throw it as far away as you possibly can, preferably, at a vertical angle. Know that there is no such thing as a friendly firework, that it will tail you like a greedy sun just waiting to ignite your everything and claim ownership over […]

Because I’m Not Truly Alone: A Conversation With Steve Himmer

In Steve Himmer’s debut novel The Bee-Loud Glade (Atticus Books), Finch, a down-and-out corporate blogger whose life is spiraling, receives an email from Mr. Crane, a billionaire in search of someone to employ as a decorative hermit on his enormous property. Finch accepts the job and what ensues is a rich, funny, “postmodern pastoral,” that […]

Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Duet: Tyehimba Jess and Jeanann Verlee

This is the latest in Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Duet. To go to the column page, please click here. Infernal by Tyehimba Jess There is a riot I fit into, a place I fled called the Motor City. It owns a story old and forsaken as the furnaces of Packard Plant, as creased as the palm […]

Two poems by Tyler Gobble

Unpacking Straight Down The skydiver sighs the whole way down. Not even the bull could hear his feet lost in the grass. The colors engulf him, his parachute wrapped him for the first time. At some point it will be time to pack the backpack. It will be harder than the leap. From above the […]

Six poems by Heather Cox

We Were Tired of Living on Earth I. The wood panels on the wall began to flake and splinter. We saw, more than once, the face of Jesus Christ in carpet stains. The ceiling seemed to drip syrup; the vents coughed black ash. Our neighbors never smiled–in fact, I can’t remember their full-faces, only frowns. […]

Four poems by Jeanann Verlee

Gunslinger After the Psych Ward She cooks alone at the stove in underwear. The water is cold again. Now hot. She wants to drown in a tubful of milk. Wants a bottle of champagne and a thimble from which to drink. She wants the forks to rise up like a readied battalion. She sips tea […]

Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Duet: Michelle Reale and Heather Fowler

This is the latest in Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Duet. To go to the column page, please click here. “Chiarascuro” by Michelle Reale No one was awake when it happened Not even me, whose eyes were gaping Yet unseeing, unbelieving. Forget the young ones Who longed for reassurance There were limitations a mile long and a […]

“Bigfoot and Me” by Margaret A. Frey

Bigfoot lives in my neighborhood. No one believes me but I see him everyday. Mr. B hides in plain sight, his gigantic foot and hairy toes nestled amidst tangled roots, his rugged coat blending with massive pitch pine and cedar. On our daily walks, my Airedale Charlie ignores the rough giant, a truce between wild […]

“The World According to My Heart” by Lauren Yates

I. There is only room for one. Concrete chairs keep the curious at bay. No one loiters here. Once a wayfaring stranger didn’t mind the grit: the cold grey contoured to his body. II. Our story captured in one shot. An aesthetic choice? We couldn’t afford  more film. III. I did not want, until you […]

Colin Dickey’s The Canny Valley: Social Memoir

This is the latest in Colin Dickey’s The Canny Valley. To go to the column page, please click here. There’s nothing more disposable, more abject, more forgettable, than an Internet meme. They flash up in an instant, captivate instantly, but are inevitably fleeting, and after a few weeks they’re detritus, cast off, barely remembered. I’d wager, […]