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Note from the editors

7

Tom Christopher A Short Essay on Beauty

8

Tricia Asklar Sculpture From a Single Piece of Paper Surrounded by a Simple Wooden Frame on a Blue Background with Sheep

9

Ed Schelb Flawed Brightness in Jade

10

Ricardo Alberto Maldonado News of a Death

14

Rebecca Gopoian Split Worship Me Break-up

15

Paul Fattaruso The ear. A thought the shape of an antler The beekeeper’s son

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L.S. Klatt Vehicle Disabled Song of the Harpooner The Artichoke as Missile From the Prelapsarian World

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Ryan Flaherty Stranger, Friend

24

Eleanor Davis Were Bear

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Carl Tillona Crater Turn Here

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Simon Perchik You will fatten your fingers on mud Excape from what? this hose

31

Alta Ifland Song of the Rooster

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Blake Butler One & Another & the Last

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Pedro Ponce Pilgrims

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Rachel Contreni Flynn Fancy Dinner Party

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Susie Meserve Wine

38

Dana Curtis Nocturne II

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J.P. Dancing Bear Be That Releasable

40

Jason Tandon Shark Tooth

41

Sarah J. Sloat Reading Kolyma Tales Why Pregnant Women Don’t Tip Over

Rob Cook Deer Room in Appalachia Forecasts That Started as Forms of Whispering

45

Nathan Hoks House Party

49

Jeffrey Bernoth Four Pieces

51

Eleanor Davis America

52

John Ebersole Walking Away I Named You Glacier

54

Niina Pollari Home, in Eden a Nonexistent Word

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Jennifer Pieroni Witch Gardener

56

Kim Chinquee She Went Down Again Boy It Was Probably Just Us

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Erika Meyers Disclaim Her

61

Debbie Yee Another Field of Sunflowers

62

Derek Henderson First Cuttings

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Charlie Clark The Royal We Console

69

Wayne Sullins A Hair’s Breadth

70

Wes Benson You Will Know Him When He Breaks Apart at Noon

71

Eleanor Davis Escape

72

Eric Nelson A Field of Trees

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Russell Thorburn Her Hair with Its Own Voice Wisps Across My Face

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contributors’ notes


Note from the editors To be glamorous and scintillating in the winter dusk… This issue entertains divergent aesthetics—like an arctic chasm entertains a desert wash, or the way a striped marlin twirls his beak through English frog ponds, or a long distance runner rides to work wearing a football helmet. None of these things can be found in this issue nor does a heroic ninja baby throwing dinoflagellates at a snowman. But you can curl up with dinner in the form of breakups, some deer, wine, Milton Bradley’s Van Gogh, fire, an artichoke, Varlam Shalamov, and a short essay on beauty which we think, as a whole, this issue is. In many different forms beauty comes, it is said. And the body craves what it needs. So perhaps (and this is also said) in some way you need what comes to you and therefore what comes is beautiful— even if it’s cumbersome, shifty, or otherwise unwanted—like rejection, like an ego being fizzled by rejection, a baby ninja, or a blastedopen snowball revealing a prize inside. Divergent? Convergent? We’re thankful you’ve come to us—or we’ve come to you. You’re beautiful.

— The Editors

7


Tricia Asklar Sculpture From a Single Piece of Paper Surrounded By a Simple Wooden Frame on a Blue Background with a Sheep

­ —after Peter Callesen’s “The Lost Sheep, 2006”

Here is a landscape of clouds not quite cut out. The shape of our sheep is not here, but outside of the sheet. She looks up at the absence of cloud the same color as her shy square of pasture. The cuts of curls are ridged into her sides with the same cruel razor that removed her from the field of white. Hello, she says to the edge of white, hello to the eye of the absent cloud. The ominous shadow of the paper rises from the frame, as if it is making to float up and leave its sheep behind. O, for paper wool, for wool paper. O, knit a place back in the sky for her head lifted to its missing space. O sacred ewe of farm animals, apple of Eves, window watcher, wrong wanderer of the frame, lonely shadow, sweet mutton, minister to our own vain wish to be part of the sky.

Asklar

9


Jennifer Pieroni Witch Gardener For as long as you have lived in this village, you never learned the language. The internet connects you with those you must contact, and when it turns off you return to the pleasant confusion that suits you. The witch gardener can be seen in the mud as early as April digging sockets in uneven rows. You leave the village on the first humid day to see her. You know her by the bend in her back, by the shape of the spine that concerns you. Come summer, the witch gardener will sell shined stones and herbs in sewn bundles. You are partial to her lavender sacks. The witch gardener reminds you of someone you can’t remember. Every time you catch a glimpse of her you think you are closer to knowing. You think maybe it is the witch gardener herself who the witch gardener reminds you of, a younger one, but you have no way of being sure. The witch gardener does not live alone. She has a husband and two children. You see them in the windows and on the grounds when you pass. They each appear fed. Today, her children jester from a stump. In the cool moist air, the witch gardener’s hair resembles kelp. Her shovel strikes stone as digs up the fragrant ground. You keep walking, so as not to have an exchange. It’s just that she fascinates you all over again every time. Without warning, the witch gardener gestures to you to join her. 56

Pieroni


Paul Fattaruso The ear. The human ear. The auricle. The three ridges of the auricle, and the spring-loaded bones hidden deep in the ear cavern. The ear at night in its nest of hair. Then, the waking ear. The ivory ear. The silence of the village poured into it, as if it were an idea the ear had.

18

Fattar uso

A thought the shape of an antler grows through the doctor’s brain. A color, a memory, an aroma, a lost memory, the color again. A word. The word again. A memory. A remembered phrase. A picture. A face. A picture of a face, by lanternlight. A tremor of lanternlight. The elk reaches its antler to the ground, rustles it through a bed of dry leaves.

Fattar uso

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