FERRANTE IN THE CELLAR: A Vulgar Appreciation

MARTINELLO_FERRANTE_01

I suppose one feels emotional, reaching the end of a life. But also I feel an unfortunate bitterness—not for coming to the end of the books, but for potentially coming to the end of an even greater alchemy: Elena Ferrante. Her entity perhaps extinguished prematurely by some aggressive practitioner of bits and bobs and bylines—an Italian journalist. I won’t sift through his trash (or his real estate or financial records) here.
Read more →

Canadian Vacation

by Erez Attias

Her pleasant face fixed in a rictus of vindictive triumph. She yelled, “We got one!” and high-fived her male associate. Machito had all but confessed to working on a tourist visa. I seized with panic as the customs agent reviewing my documents waved me through. I watched, horrified, as Machito was shuttled off to an interrogation room. Machito glared back at me with a wounded look. He looked so small next to their wide bodies, like they could crush him with one coordinated turn. “Sir! You can’t linger here. Move it along,” the customs agent barked. I made my way through the area, then doubled back to find an immigration official.
Read more →

On The Rocks

Blue Guy Border

I stood up. I threw out the take-out boxes that had piled up in my condo like little, grease-stained bodies killed by the Black Death. No more dawdling. I was hurting, sure. But as I jammed the boxes down the garbage chute, I realized I wasn’t hurting as deeply as I should have been, and therein lay the problem: that I didn’t hurt as deeply as I should have proved Zoe right: I was “irredeemably frigid.” But did I want her to be right? No. I wanted her to be wrong. But for her to be wrong, I needed to hurt more. And I didn’t want to hurt more—I wanted to hurt less. I needed to hurt less. I needed to hurt less so that I could do important things, like sweep my bedroom floor, draft titles for the cosmic baby mush tube (“Big Bang Baby”?), and find a new roommate. Read more →

Edmonton Dreams Don’t Like

pirwetos2ma-martino-pietropoli

Jan. 7
An office building last and an office building first. Two women in pink party dresses, one wore fuchsia gloves, went somewhere, couldn’t see, but was with a man unknown. Was in the office building finding lover and into a doctor’s office to get examined and the gurney had pillows smashed and the lover lay down with the custodian of the building. The doctor watched the lover lay his head on the custodian’s chest. Then in the Glenora house full of boxes. Then in a car. Driving. Parking. An office building up a big hill. Back up down the street. Question: Who is in the car? Read more →

New Girl

rmhsymxupw0-jj-thompson (1)

The girl took her fingers out of her mouth and wiped them on her hat and mittens that she held in her other hand, the one she wasn’t chewing on. We looked around at each other to see who knew this girl. No one moves to our town without being related to someone already here. But we all stared wide-eyed and lifted our shoulders to our ears when someone caught our gaze. No one said a word. She was from away and no one, at least in our class, was claiming her. The silence continued and the radiators ticked.

Read more →