Grow Up, Pedro

by Daniel Von Appen

Colored blocks on the floor. Childrens’ voices rising and falling. Alphabet posters on the walls. The boy is stimulated by all this newness. He marvels at Rebecca’s platinum blonde hair, the blue of David’s eyes, the pigmentation of Abigail’s skin. These are not the children of his neighborhood. Read more →

Never Trust the Romans: An Intertextual Conversation with Bhanu Kapil’s Schizophrene

by Luke Van Zyl

I began to decipher the fragments of Schizophrene from a state of disjointed volatility, having just been informed, by external forces, if there is such a thing—lab coats, stethoscopes that see inside the mind, surveys involving rankings between 1 and 10, a sphinx disguised as a mental health professional asking: has there ever been a time when you were not your usual self? a question designed to cause existential grief. Read more →

Wild Geese Flying West

by Yolanda Sun

It’s 3:30 p.m. and the fidgety Korean nine-year-old girl across the desk is telling me that when she grows older she wants to wash dishes because she likes the task. The next second, she tells me she doesn’t like school because her teacher is mean. She tells me this every week. Her English is just like any other young Canadian kid’s, marked by the occasional extra third-person s on first person verbs and things like ‘boughten’ and ‘goed’. Read more →

Find Your Hotline Bling: A Short Talk on Editing

Photo by Glen Noble

If you hold this sentence in your mind, does it spark joy? Or irritation? Or fatigue? How about a particular simile or prepositional phrase? Can Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up help de-clutter our prose as well?

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Ritual Nostalgia: Revising the MFA Stasis

domenicamartinello

I DON’T REMEMBER WHEN I first heard of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, though I do remember the first time I lied to seem more impressive. I was six-years-old at the Jewish Public Library in Montréal, as was my childhood ritual. The library was a short walk away from the duplex I lived in facing a park. My older cousin was there—he was, very impressively, seven years old and a boy.

A Chaotic Jumble of Infinite Possibility

calum-patrick-4925

The bathroom was covered with graffiti.

For example:

The only things worth fighting for in this world are LOVE & FRIENDSHIP was written above the toilet. Immediately underneath: Wrong. You should never need to fight for love. And below, a third comment – this one in red: YOU are the fucking wrong one here, buddy. Love is a battlefield.

I washed my hands and checked my beard for signs of grey.
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Truce

Photo by Daniel Lozano Valdes

Time was measured counting dog carcasses along the roadside, like a prisoner scratching days from a stone wall, calculating how many chalky white mounds of flesh I’d find concealed in lime between house and city to mark the passing weeks.
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Mother

Photo by Rosie Mucklestone

My mother died in the early minutes of March 21, 2012, just as spring was coming to its fullest expression in Birmingham, Alabama, the city where she was born, married, and had her children, and where she had lived her entire life. The foliage was a promising shade of bright green. The suburban lawns were visions lined with banks of azaleas in full bloom. The year was still young; as yet, the sun’s heat had no weight to it.
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