The Columbia Review, Volume 98, Number 2, Spring 2017

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Vol 98 | Issue 2 | Spring 2017

spring 2017


the columbia review


spring 2017

Editor’s Note “But what’s wrong with trying to be deep though?” - Andrew


the columbia review


vol 98

issue 2

spring 2017


Contents Childhood as a Series of Concussions

Jeff Ewing 6


C.R. Resetarits 7

The Thirty-First

Hannah Kaplan 8


Jose ph Kuhn 9

Edward Otto Dreams of Falling

E l i z a b e t h H i t c h c o c k 15

Body Speaks

J e f f N e w b e r r y 16

Fo r M i l e s

N i c h o l a s G i l m o r e 17

Kind of Perfect

Tr a v i s L a n d h u i s 18


D i m i t r a K o t o u l a 23 t r a n s. M a r i a N a z o s

T he Peloponnesian Wa r

D a n P i n k e r t o n 25

Po e m f o r P r o m e t h e u s Eating the Eagle

M . K . F o s t e r 26

The Bypass

C o n n o r H a s e l e y 27

Wo r k o u t

J a n e C r a v e n 35

Elegy to Eulogy One Sunday to the Next

Tr i c i a K n o l l 37

Tr a c k 3 6

B e n j a m i n S c h m i t t 39


S a r a h Wo o d A n d e r s o n 40


D e n n i s H e r r e l l 41


Va l e r i a R i v a d e n e i r a 42


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Childhood as a Series of Concussions Jeff Ewing

We played five-man wiffle ball on a diamond carved out of Confederate weeds, my grandad's elaborate windup a ruse to get us to swing early and often, grinning and humming “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” just loud enough to mistime our swings. Flies rising off the lake, following the tang of mustard up the hill plain to them as a deer trail stamped through grass. My father cut the diamond with a second-hand mower—Briggs & Stratton, the blades dull and nicked. Only a fool (which he wasn’t) would use a good blade on that ground. I can almost, though not quite, feel the lip of the Country Squire’s roof under my knee, watching him pass up and down the first base line, squinting for precision. Likewise I can almost hear the zip of the rock that cracked me square on the forehead. A red filter on bright sunlight, the car stopping above the old man’s house who kept rattlesnake skins and snapping turtle shells tacked to his door post and offered up soup made from the scooped-out meat—dancing now from foot to foot, clanging his copper bell yelling “Fire! Fire!” My father and brother scrambled down the hill to put it out while I stayed flat on my back in the closed-up station wagon, counting the missed pitches between here and there, making a point to remember the view as I turned my head of blue sky, green fir tops, and whitecaps breaking over the hooked beaks, tinted with blood, of man-sized snappers singing: “Someone’s in the kitchen I know oh oh oh…”


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Lunacy C.R. Resetarits

Too, too addicted to man in the moon. Time enough now. He belongs to the sky and you to the shore and the history between past, cast, set afloat. So build a small skiff of oak, dreams, and runes, stow there old scores and hard-battled wounds. Wrap then in linen label them spent, hack the moorings, raise the grip, and quit these islands of If only If.

Your loopy loop love of man in the stars is just a projection of your sunny spun self. Give a wink and a nod-even give him his due-but please uneclipse this too moon-filled you.


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The Thirty-First Hannah Kaplan

This morning I jumped on a trampoline alone in public. I was so happy I was drooling. I ran my tongue along the crease of my mouth, down my chin, to catch the falling dribble – and back up to my top lip which was nice and soft, and I knew a nice shade of red and then to my bottom lip and the change of terrain was pleasing, for my lip was chapped and then to my top lip again to remind myself that I was beautiful and on my way up I bit my tongue and blood leaked out of my mouth and met my drool like a water color marriage – and then I shed a tear because it hurt and I was not with anyone to tell and then I laughed because it was 8:45 in the morning and I was bleeding and drooling and crying alone on a trampoline and I hadn’t stopped bouncing.


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Residue Joseph Kuhn


e called it the Laid Monkey. Selena had an old playhouse out in her backyard, and we would all clamber into it and smoke hookah. The door was tiny, hobbit-sized, and got smaller each time we entered, shrinking around our waists as our bodies grew. Danny got stuck once, and he lost his cargo shorts when we pulled him through. The walls were plywood, painted pink outside, with little windows and little door and little shingle roof. Selena’s dad had built the house for her when she was a kid, before she had big boobs. We were out there every night that summer, crammed in, crosslegged, the hookah in the middle and our legs all tangled up with the hoses and with each other. They twisted together, tied into knots, twined up around our torsos and over our arms. Sometimes there were four of us, sometimes five—never more than five at a time. The space was too tight. The nights were muggy, and we sweated through the backs of our shirts. Sweat pricked and pooled

on our skin, mingling with the smoke into grime that coated our skin like coal miners. We were all black with it by the end of each evening; our mothers berated us for staining the bathtubs. When we emerged from our hovel, the smell was all over our clothes, our skin, our hair. But our noses had adjusted so that we couldn’t detect it anymore. The air outside was unnaturally crisp, bright, foreign, like the lunar atmosphere; we weren’t comfortable unless we were sucking in each other’s exhalations. We smoked and smoked, and found ways to entertain ourselves. Danny kept up a constant stream of babble about drumline, Honors Calc tests, his annoying mom. Zhoe contorted her body into pretzels and we had to help untie her. Kyle recited quotes from Zoolander. Heh. Heh. Pop, I think I’ve got the black lung. Kyle was slender and took Tae Kwon Do lessons and acted in the spring musical. He had a noticeable lisp, even when he wasn’t performing. One night he recited the entire movie word for word, including songs and sound effects. When we got tired of that, Sam specialordered an extra-long extension cord from China so we could


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watch Spongebob DVDs on his laptop. He gave the clubhouse its name, after a carnival-game monkey with Velcro hands that he’d hung from a nail in the wall. It loomed over us like an idol. None of us were sure why the monkey was Laid. On any given night, the collective number of past lays held by those in the house could have been counted on one hand. We smoked hookah for the first time at Williamsburg Park with Mark Lewdanowski. Everyone agreed Mark was an asshole, even Sam, although he was still sort of friends with him. He’s so cocky, he threatened to report Ms. Jensen to the principal for hitting on him in class. Mark had learned how to smoke from his brother, who had learned it from his friends in college, who had learned it from their brothers before them. We watched him pinch the sticky leaves, pack the bowl, cover it with tinfoil, prick the foil with dozens of tiny holes, holes through which the flames would pass, pinpricks numerous as stars in the night sky, spread out over us and over the whole sleeping town like a celestial sheet of aluminum. He lit the coal and it was a revelation. We marveled at how little we could


feel the smoke entering our lungs. We kept our bodies huddled in a wall around the picnic table because the hookah looked like a bong, even though it wasn’t. A week later, someone torched the playground slide with a Molotov cocktail, and the cops set up a constant presence. We never were able to return there. We tried to hold the smoke in as long as possible to squeeze a tiny high from the fumes. We commented on how you could really feel it when you stood up. Dizziness, or something. We kept up a constant debate as to whether the buzz was real, or just lightheadedness from lack of oxygen. Danny argued it was genuine; Sam argued it wasn’t. Selena didn’t say much, just giggled a lot. Whoever made Selena giggle the most won. She had a freckled face and button nose and always wore low-cut shirts to show off her cleavage. Once, Danny inhaled what he thought was helium from a balloon and spoke in a highpitched munchkin voice, but he had really just inhaled smoke that Sam had blown back into the balloon. We never let him live it down. His eyes hardened each time we brought it up. Sam made

spring 2017

sure to mention it every time Selena was around. When one bowl was finished, we lit another; we smoked three, four, five bowls a night. We were under the impression (from Mark Lewdanowski, who heard it from his brother) that smoking hookah was better for you than smoking cigarettes. We believed it was barely carcinogenic at all. Much later, we found out the opposite was true. We experimented with different combinations of tobacco flavors and liquids in the base. Strawberry with orange juice. Mango with pineapple-orangebanana juice. Green apple with lime Gatorade. Mint with peppermint schnapps from Sam’s parents’ liquor cabinet. Doublemint, we called it. We tried mocha-flavored tobacco with chocolate milk in the base, which we never tried again, because the milk bubbled up through the base and into the tubes and sent flecks of heated chocolate milk into our mouths. It was a sticky mess. We debated whether we could taste a difference in the smoke when we used juice in the base versus water. Kyle said no, you couldn’t. Danny said yes, you could. Danny was a believer. We cleaned

the hoses with care, rinsing the black buildup out of them while they steadily poured pollutants into our lungs. We cared for them more than we cared for ourselves, which is the definition of love. We never did smoke pot out of the hookah. Sam said that if you do, it becomes drug paraphernalia, because the particles of smoke work their way deep into the fibers of the hoses and can never come out. He heard this from Mark Lewdanowski. At first, only Sam had his own hookah. Then Kyle bought his own hookah. Then Danny bought his own hookah. Then we all had our own hookahs. The hookahs sprouted tentacles, two to four to eight hoses, and suctioned onto our legs. They suctioned onto each other, orifice to orifice, and made little hookah babies. The babies looked like miniature squids; they floated around our heads, bobbing to the Spongebob Squarepants theme, and squirted clouds of black ink that mixed with the smoke and filled the air until we couldn’t see each other anymore. We had to Shout it out of all our clothes when we got home, and still it left a stain. The playhouse was set way back 11

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in the yard. Lit from within, it looked like a prairie home alone in the wilderness. We had to trek for miles to get to it. The lights of Selena’s house were always on across the yard, but her parents never came out, and we never went through the house to get to the back. One night a few of us got lost on the way. We didn’t have smartphones with GPS, and it was so dark out that compasses were useless. We had to spend the night under the stars. The next morning we realized we had wandered into the Petersons’ yard. We found our way back by following the pillar of smoke. All of us became accomplished smoke-ring-blowers, worldclass. The rings came out in rivers, chains of six, eight, ten, growing and morphing into thin, twisted figure-eights as they drifted toward the ceiling. We blew rings through other rings, rings shaped like hearts and stars, rings that interlocked into the Olympic logo. Rings rose from the playhouse chimney like smoke signals warning the village the enemy was near, crying O-OO-O-O. Zhoe brought her bass clarinet and we blew smoke rings out of that, out of all 19 keyholes at once. Eventually we


couldn’t breathe without shaping the air into a ring. Rings came out accidentally when we yawned in class, when we opened our mouths to speak at the dinner table. Danny blew a ring that landed on Selena’s third finger. “I do,” she answered, giggling. The two of them started dating at some point. He must have something really dirty over her, we all said when Danny wasn’t around. Or she must like the taste of Listerine a lot. Danny’s teeth had never quite recovered from braces in the seventh grade. We learned the French inhale from Kyle, who preferred it to smoke rings. The smoke flowed from his mouth into his nose, a milky river that seemed like it could go on forever. If you trained yourself, Kyle said, you could do the same thing to hold one note on a saxophone indefinitely, without ever taking a breath. One time, Kyle let Zhoe put makeup on him while we smoked, eyeshadow, blush, and mascara. When he lost his virginity to her, we all heard about it pretty quickly. Zhoe’s mom made her pay to have the couch recovered. It was a sticky mess. Much later, we found out for sure that Kyle was gay.

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The smoke piled up in the playhouse. It curled from our tongues like snakes, and we charmed our own snake-tongues, going cross-eyed to follow them up as they licked into the corners of the playhouse, where the spiders lived. We tried to hotbox the place, keeping the door and windows closed. We joked that we should bring strips of beef in with us and make jerky. Smoke filled the room, rising like a flood, up to our chests, our chins, our eyeballs. The pressure built up; the spiders fell out of their webs, stunned. When Danny found out Sam had kissed Selena in a game of Truth or Dare two months ago, smoke spewed out of his ears. He punctured his own arm with the tinfoil-poking needle, and smoke hissed out of the hole. The two of them couldn’t be in the Laid Monkey at the same time for the rest of the summer. When Danny finally talked to Sam again, his voice was cracked and ravaged from the smoke. We started to smoke hookah in other places—Kyle’s back porch, then Sam’s. We didn’t smoke at Danny’s because his parents wouldn’t allow it. Selena wasn’t around as much; she only showed up at band practice half

the time. We tried calling, but her phone was usually off, and nobody answered her landline. We smoked at Zhoe’s exactly once, on her birthday. She had already moved to an apartment downtown with her mom. We drank green apple vodka and smoked green apple hookah and played Kings for hours. She and Kyle slipped into the kitchen. Their angry whispers rose so loud they woke the neighbors, shattered the bottles and the base of the hookah, spraying glass everywhere. We passed out on her living room floor on beds of playing cards, and when we woke the sky had turned the color of the smoke. We didn’t see Zhoe much after that. None of us ever found out what the argument meant. We tried a hookah bar downtown, in an old abandoned church. Corny Middle Eastern music blared over a jerry-rigged sound system, and drunk people groped each other next to us on the embroidered cushions. The staff poked the aeration holes poorly and didn’t replace the coals fast enough, so the smoke got ashy and singed our throats. Plus, they only used water in the bases. The smoke drifted up into the rafters


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and was blown away by the airconditioning; it might as well have never existed at all. We all agreed the place was too well ventilated. That fall, Selena’s house had a realtor’s sign out front. We heard her parents were getting a divorce. None of us had ever met them. By then, Danny and Selena had parted, and he was on medication for something vague. When he hung out with us at all, his personality seemed different. He didn’t talk quite so much. Kyle was hanging out with some other kids at clubs downtown, and Sam had dropped out of cross country to work at 7-Eleven, saving up for college. But it all had to come to an end eventually, we agreed. We had very few regrets. We came in once when Same was working, and he flashed a tired grin from behind the counter where he was ringing up a customer’s milk and cigarettes. We didn’t have to talk; we knew what it meant. It was the same smile we all wore in the graduation photos we would keep, our dessicated lips cracked and bleeding. We handed our hookahs over to our little brothers, and when they asked what they were for, we puffed out our chests and said,


“Experience.” * * * When I ask my friends now, in a different city, if they want to smoke hookah, their faces take on puzzled expressions. Most of them have only tried it once or twice, in ersatz hookah cafés. I tried to explain it once to a girl who hadn’t seen the pavilions at the back of Williamsburg park, who didn’t know I’d played saxophone in marching band, who’d never heard of Ms. Jensen or Mark Lewdanowski. Whose only me was the me now. We’d been circling each other all year. She cocked her head and said, “Wow, so you guys really liked hookah.” I reflected that sharing the burden of memory goes a long way toward explaining why people get married. “Someday,” I said, “there’ll be people in your life who don’t know that you once frequented this bar, or that you found dead rats regularly outside the back door of your apartment. Your friends, maybe even your husband.” That night, I kissed her ambivalently on her couch, but I apologized for it in the morning. She murmured something about staying friends, which we both knew wouldn’t happen. So closed another chapter.

spring 2017

Edward Otto Dreams of Falling Elizabeth Hitchcock

When I was little Edward tells us,
 plopped on the bench across from the box office, giggles and those eyes lean down perched
 under rimmed glasses, I used to have these dreams, shakes the blue baseball hat.
 God I wish, oversize headphones slide resting on the overly pointed shoulders, I could have more. Through various peaks of boyhood
 Eddie stands perched,
 his anticipating feet push rubble sparking off the red rocksalways the same. When the fall comes, the earth never hits hard as waking does after
 cold, windy eternities of red rocks. What happens in the dream now? Standing on the edge,
 my own cliff, small dirty toes support the weight of me, looking at the edges of Eddie. Now? I see nothing, there are no cliffs, just fall. At once:
 Edward Otto falls in blackness of dreaming/ the architecture book in his lap reopens/ my heels hit the ground by degrees/ someone at the desk changes the subject to big game hunting.


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Body Speaks Jeff Newber r y

after Ira Sukrungruang

Body says “feed me” though body says “I hurt.” Body says “salt,” says “sugar,” says “You look like a beached whale.” Body says “Wait, one day you’ll be beautiful.” Body says, “You lost five pounds.” Body gains five & five more again. Body takes a selfie everyone will love. Body says, “Tilt your head just right. No one will see this double chin.” Body forgets & sees self in mirrors & remembers: “I am fat. I am body alone.” Body says “embarrassment,” says “fat boy,” says “big ‘un” like the tenth grade coach who said, “You’re bigger than anything they have at Sea World.” Body dies thinking of the girl who wouldn’t touch Body in college, who said it wasn’t Body, but Body knows better. Body is not sexual. Body is asexual. Body is a fleshy suit. Body is a machine of narrowed veins & a heart pumping like a steam engine. Body is “obese.” Body is “morbidly obese.” Body fears doctors, who tap charts, suck teeth & say, “You need to lose a lot of weight. This is all going to catch up with you soon.” Body fears loss so Body consumes more. Body doubles down. Body opts for supersize. Body takes the refill. Body sinks down, worn, spent, so tired of all this weight.


spring 2017

For Miles Nicholas Gilmore

They figure, in a district, totaling addresses without titles or signage. They are not riding bikes. They are not taking pictures. He says, “Sleepy,” and she is right to agree. They trade. She gives

him “traipse” and

“tank,” though they know: Nothing leaves the self. And, “We will never get it,” they don’t say.


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I need him.”

Kind of Perfect Tr av i s L a n d h u i s


was already running late for my sister’s recital, and then James showed up at my house and started pounding on the front door. I can’t say I was excited to see him. It’d been a while, and we’d never been much more than casual acquaintances anyway. James had been friends (more or less) with my old roommate, and at that time he was always asking us if we wanted to come down with him behind the chemical plant and video tape him popping wheelies on his dirt bike (an offer I was never really tempted to take him up on). Not that he was unpleasant, or anything. He just had a lot of energy. So back in college I wouldn’t have flinched, but these days I don’t expect to start the day off with James sneezing at me on my front porch while I try to cram my cold toes into a sock. I forced a smile. “Oh James, hey. What a . . . neat surprise.” He looked behind me. “Uh. . . is Drew around? I’m having a crisis,


Drew hadn’t lived with me for a while now, but the news didn’t have much of an effect on James. He’d taken a step back and wasn’t looking at me anymore, was eyeballing my house. “Look, James it’s good to see you, but--” “It’s great to see you, Mark.” He was up close again, serious. “Ok yeah, good. But, I don’t really have time to chat. . .” “What do you gotta do?” “I was just about to--” “Well actually, never mind, can you just read this first, quick?” He took a crumpled sheet of paper out of his back pocket and held it out to me. “James, I seriously have to go.” “But, where are you going?” I told him about my sister’s recital, over at Lincoln, but he shrugged it off, interrupting. “On a Sunday?” He sniffled again and moved closer. “Well. It’s Saturday.”

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“Oh no shit. What kind?”


I tried to back away, but I was already up against the front door.

“This is great. This is perfect. Now you can read my letter.”

“What kind of what?”

I glanced at my watch. I knew my mom was probably already there, sitting in the old auditorium with its old wood chairs, probably looking over her shoulder for me, probably worrying. I no longer had time for coffee.

“What kind of rehearsal?” “Oh, uh piano. Seriously though, James. I gotta go. I’m sorry I don’t know where Drew is. . . Have you tried calling him?” He shook his head, like he didn’t know why I would mention Drew, and then he sniffled again, took a step back and another long look at my house. “Well, ok then dude can I just ride with you?” “. . . to the school?” “Yeah. I’ve got, uh, business over in that area anyway.” So I agreed. Partially because I was already late and it didn’t seem like James was in a state to be reasoned with, and also I gauged that there was about a fifty percent chance that if I left him here, he would smash a window, climb into my house, and go looking for whatever it was he was trying to find. James smiled and clapped my

In the car, James drummed his knuckles on the dashboard, leaning forward and cycling through the radio stations too quickly to hear what was on any of them, so I asked him about the letter, and he handed it to me. “I’m driving, man. You’re gonna have to read it out loud.” “Ok, well, I wanted Drew. Because he’s the English guy. He could’ve helped me fix it up a little. Like, my commas and stuff. But maybe you’re ok.” I should’ve made coffee. James sniffed and started reading:

Dear Elmwood Government-


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I can’t believe you cut down my tree. Your jackass tree chopping crew came to the neighborhood to deal with the Emerald Ash Borers, which is my neighbors tree (it has a plastic ribbon around it that marks it I don’t know how you could possibly screw that up so bad) but instead what you did was to chop down my beautiful elm tree that has been here for over 70 years and I wasn’t even at home to stop anything because I was at work and nobody checked with me first they just chopped my fucking tree down. There were over a dozen squirrels that lived in that tree and now they have all been dislocated and who exactly is going to lookt for them now that they have no home because your idiot chainsaw guy chopped down their home what is wrong with you. Meanwhile my neighbors goddamn ash tree is still there with its little wrapper on it that says “cut me down” and I’m sure it is going to infect the rest of the trees in this neighborhood now too which means you are going to chop down even more trees and who even knows if you will get the right ones because you already proven that you are incapable of doing your stupid job. I expect you to fix this. You really shit the carpet this time. Sincerely, 20


“. . . so?” I cleared my throat and really focused on my driving. “Well, I think it’s good. You got a good point. But I wonder. . .” “But what, you wonder what? You think something’s wrong?” “Well, I just wonder about the profanity, you know? Maybe a softer touch? You could probably--” “Ah, you don’t get it. I did need Drew. You don’t get it.” He pulled a half-smoked cigarette out of his pocket and started to light it as I parked the car. But when he followed me toward the building, I reminded him about his business. “What business? I’m coming with you.” “No, man I don’t think it’s going to be your kind of scene. I think. . .” But he shivered and started pacing. He wasn’t wearing a coat, so I told him, “Ok, just please don’t fuck around in there.”

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He laughed. “Dude. It’s me! It’s James!” And we walked into the school together. The auditorium was more crowded than I thought it would be, buzzing with the soft murmur of boredom and impatience. We grabbed a seat in the back, and I figured I’d talk to my mom afterwards. Try to explain my morning--just one more addition to the list of things that needed explaining. Yesterday I’d tried to tell Hannah it was ok if she didn’t do the recital, that she didn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to, but all mom heard was me telling my sister that she’s not that good at piano and also when you are scared you should give up. Which was not at all what I was saying (because she is good, and she shouldn’t give up), but I remember what it feels like to have too much pressure and I remember what it feels like when the lights are on you and you choke. So I had to fight the urge to look down when the lights dimmed and Hannah came out on stage in her sparkling green dress, walked all the way across the front of that huge stage over to the piano bench, like a pro, drenched in hot

spotlight, her sequins shimmering out into the audience, speckling the ceiling with quivering green darts. Even though I couldn’t see her hands, I knew how she was setting her fingers down. Soft. Her fingers curved gently, resting on the slick keys with confidence. I curved my fingers with her as she tumbled into the song (a waltz by Brahms), and the notes lifted from the piano in one smooth breath like wind chimes. I closed my eyes, starting to relax, to let the music bleed in. That’s when it happened. Her pinky betrayed her. Wrong note. Her left hand clobbered the keyboard. She made a kind of hiccupping sound, and then it was silent. Somebody coughed. fucking right.



The bench creaked as she shifted, reset her fingers, breathed, and punched back into the song, louder now with frustration. But at the same bar, four measures in, her fingers twitched again. Different wrong note. She sat still, and the cold fear rumbled back into my stomach when, suddenly, James started clapping.


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I reached for his hands to stop him, but he looked at me, confused, whispering, “What, isn’t that your sister?” “Yeah, but shut the fuck up, man.” “She’s so good though! Don’t you hear how good she is?” Hannah shifted her weight, restarted the song. Stopped. Derailed at the same place. But James clapped louder, whistled, and a couple people over on the other side of the auditorium joined in, clapping--a bit unsure. When Hannah started the waltz again, James stood up, whistling and clapping and leaning down to shout at me, “She’s so good!” as my sister curved her fingers, set them down, started again and again, those same four bars, louder and sloppier each time, but kind of better, kind of perfect actually. So I stood up, clapping with James, with the audience now--a growling surge of applause, green sequins dancing above my sister’s giggling music that ripped again through her fingers and into us as she started the song again and we hooted like fucking maniacs. 22

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Blue Dimitra Kotoula trans. Maria Nazos

after Paul Auster

Not in the rapture of flames or the furor of beauty but— Between death and dying what was it glowing bitterly and bitterly bound itself to the gazing eye the profuse bleeding of a momentous blue. I want you to feel this blue color of negation, utter devotion and nothing else how it lived inside me all night long the cruel agony for nothing else beyond this and how it grew spreading within me becoming these words within me. I want you to feel this blue color of loneliness and uncertainty and nothing else while the air and earth inflame a sudden blooming in the irate atmosphere a swirling in the churning air that rests nowhere. I must tell you all about it I must name this affair for you 23

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since this night is that very colorand that something eternal which we had forever lost inside it— Impossible to hear it any longer. Our language drifts us father away from what we are every word another place something that moves eloquent and adept more fervently than the blind eye.

And nowhere among these words we can rest and nowhere among these colors resides this blue and nothing begins with its mere naming not even these words that I keep saying to you-tonightstrangely emotional drifted away by this blue how it has grown inside me a tender lavish power spreading from within and these words can give you nothing but the pure contemplation of a color. And these words can give you nothing but the volatile horizon where we refuse to believe that they had failed us— As if these words have never been. As if this blue never was.


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The Peloponnesian War Dan Pinkerton

The sculpted mercenaries in snug shorts on the infomercial I watched last night— some cardio dance thing—were people unencumbered by history. They just wanted up-tempo tunes and a superfun way to shed pounds. Everyone’s always talking up Thucydides, but who did he ever inspire to lose those pesky love-handles? No one. Now these bornagain fitness zealots making damp-faced pronouncements as though at a Baptist revival... I called for the DVD, the meal plan and resistance bands. The host, star of a sitcom I loved back in the Eighties, was struggling to drop a few extra pounds just like me! In the old days we watched tapes of pliant former activists doing step aerobics. Before that we donned sweatsuits to jog in the park. Before that we smoked unfiltered Camels. This history stuff is suspect. The ancient Greeks performed their Olympics au naturel, basically enjoying an excuse to get naked. I’ve played enough sand volleyball on the Aegean to tell you that, for better or worse, little has changed. Of course for a display like that you need some sculpted abs, something truly video-worthy. Call in the next ten minutes and, for no extra charge, we’ll throw in this up-tempo account of the Peloponnesian War.


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Poem for Prometheus Eating the Eagle M.K. Foster

—or how, that bird got right what it had coming; sent daily to devour his grown-back guts as he lies chained in the Caucasus Mountains, his mouth cracked, black-burned with thirst, his eyes gum-crusted gold from sun stroking his face: he’s dreaming annihilation, dreaming the blurred boundary flame and skin form when someone tries to hold down and fuck fire sideways—: how it feels to remember you in November, where there is never enough light to get home or stay put, and I almost believe you can hear me in the coldest part of the greenest dark of the woods that lie beyond the light-washed lawns wherever you are, darling, lost as a star to the sea in a squall. And every time, I could really do it this time: kill my eagle, and eat it, too. I could claw-carve out my own cavities, just to keep up appearances. I could be that lost, that ruined, that marred— I could that sacred, that maimed, that scarred, that scared. I could be that coward, that sacrifice. I could be that fucker in all the warning labels, I could be that level of liar for you. And I would. I could open my mouth a little wider when I come or pray. I could fall harder: my body blooming, crimsoned as the sound of horses failing to break down the doors to their barn as it burns furious, laughter-black, alive. I could give up: breath to boulder, canyon to river—


spring 2017

The Bypass Connor Haseley

1 The time of day suggests summer, an afternoon rain has clearly fallen and the grass will stay wet until after dinner no matter how late the evening goes. Looking up towards the sky humid and cool night is sliding into position just over the horizon to mark the end of the day’s cycle, but it is slow, as if it’s hesitated to let the clouds clear first. Imperceptibly, a lazy blue appears in the corner of your eye, holding steady. Where are you? What brought you into the town, at the edge of the country? Do you know its history, and does that propel you forward through the present into the future of the town? Will it survive without you? The mayor says repeatedly and sometimes with reckless abandon that she deserves to look at herself. Do you deserve to look at yourself ? Do you act a politician, can you flick the little switch at the base of your neck and turn on your own horse blinders? The mayor doesn’t think so, she’d say

that’s why she’s the mayor and you’re not. But it’s no time for competition, and even though you’ve been living here for years, you’re just a visitor, and it’s a pleasant and lazy evening. Even if the mayor were staring you down across the field at the edge of the town at the edge of the country, the sky and day and weather would not let her consolidate her hold on your surroundings. You would be free, a citizen equal in the eyes of the light. The time of day suggests early summer because the drunks, not yet drunk, have started to congregate in their favorite places of drinking even though it is still light out. Collectively, they are motivated by time not time of day. All four of the main town drunks wear wristwatches, making the rest of the drunks secondary in their drunkenness. When she first came to power, the mayor rose on a platform that all bars carry cheap wristwatches and give them to customers for free after ordering their fifth drink. This, she thought, would focus the secondary drunks on their own mortality and make them more productive in the hungover mornings. Unfortunately for her, the shadowy interests 27

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controlling the Bar and Watering Hole Association disbanded the association upon her election, making it difficult to distinguish between bars, restaurants, and ice cream parlors. She felt the town couldn’t handle the notoriety that would surely come from forcing the McDonalds to buy and distribute cheap wristwatches, that it would be bad for business, so she reneged on her only substantive campaign promise. Still, she quickly became wildly popular: The priorities of the town changed with her and now she charges into the future, secure in her position at the vanguard of the movement which lists the future as its promise and destination. 2 All the roads into town pass through the country, but not all of them come from the country, not even the bypass. Most of them come from other towns. None of them organically sprouted from the earth, none of them have gone unplanned, and none of them need to be there when you look at things from a broad enough perspective. That didn’t stop the farmers and marketeers from labeling the roads farm-to-market roads and 28

carving them out of a landscape of rolling hills and general stores. That didn’t stop the deputies who came later and paved the roads, nor the planners after them who implored the state to repave the roads and build the first bypass. Now the roads are there, and they all pass through the country and connect the town to larger towns and ultimately to cities, where the roads are wider. The mayor is fighting for her political life against the state’s planners and road-builders, who want to build an even newer and less direct bypass, which would direct traffic away from the town you are standing on the edge of and would have six lanes. You imagine that last week a conversation like this took place: “But we already have a bypass.” “The bypass is no good. We need a bigger bypass that passes further by.” “Do you expect us to just wither up and die?” “Only the planners of the past thought they could predict the future.” “But logically, what do you think’ll happen?”

spring 2017

“I’m a functionary, not a fortuneteller” “This is real life.” At this, you imagine the mayor pounding her fist on the table, her starched collar reacting to the sudden change in momentum. The planner, a man in his forties who wanted to work in urban planning, not rural planning, whose theories and youthfulness have been stifled by years on the job, tries not to let any physical acts disturb the stale air in the room. He has clearly failed but can pretend to succeed by disregarding the mayor’s physical gesture altogether, which he does. “I’m sorry, we’ve concluded that we need a bigger bypass.” At this, you imagine him going into the bureau sitting on his desk, which causes you to imagine this interaction taking place in his office in some dreadful office park off an arterial road in the state capital. His office is almost definitely on the third floor of a five-story building set back from the road by some shrubbery and a parking lot which is never quite full. The road has a median, and you imagine the mayor driving to this meeting the wrong way

down the arterial road and having to take a U-turn on the way. All this inconvenience, and there he is, the planner, reaching into the bureau and pulling out a dossier detailing the endless reports and invoices which led to the construction of the principles, which led to the report whose second draft called for a six-lane bypass around the town whose edge you are now standing on. After he pulls the dossier out of the bureau and hands it to the mayor, your focus shifts onto what kind of day it was last week when this conversation took place. Instead of remembering the weather as you felt it, you project the substance of their conversation onto the sky. At first you decide it was cloudy, but then you realize it must have been one of those bright days at midday when the sun is coming down on you but you can’t see it and you can’t get comfortable. You start to realize the mayor’s tenuous position in the grand scheme of things — you’re telling yourself a story and trying to figure out where your sympathies lie, and you hope your sympathies will tell you something about where you are and where you want to be.


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The dossier looks formal, it even has a cover page, and starting from page two there are numbers and graphs which the mayor peruses for a few seconds. What would it have looked like if she had taken her time looking over the dossier? You institute that change, and she takes her time. The world pauses, the office pauses, and she takes out a pen and sits down in the planner’s own chair uninvited. She puts on her reading glasses and makes markings on every page, formally registering her disapproval. Time restarts, and she speaks again: “How did you calculate your assumptions on page 4?” “Generally accepted statistical models,” you imagine the planner’s response. “It’s the industry standard,” he might have added after a tense pause. “Where will the extra traffic come from?” “It’s not just your town that’s being bypassed, it’s for the good of the whole county. I talked to a mother whose son was almost run over by a truck two towns over from you, and that wouldn’t have happened if there was a bypass.”


“But we already have a bypass, and it’s nowhere near full.” “It’s too small, and it’s at grade.” “But does this really need to be ten miles away?” “It’s the only way forward. I’m sorry, the decision’s been made. Your town’s gonna love it, we’re putting people to work.” You can’t imagine this conversation going anywhere interesting, and you don’t want to take the time imagine the mayor getting back in her car, backing out of the parking lot and down the arterial road, so you don’t. Back to the present — by now the sun is languishing at the edge of the sky as if it wants to go over the horizon but is being prevented by some interstellar traffic cop, and you imagine it looking back at you, pleading for the day to be done. But you pay its cries no mind, and enjoying the late day you sneak a look to your right at the empty road going by from the country to the town and notice it’s only two lanes. Thinking about the mayor’s conversation but not remembering it, you place yourself at the forefront of your own life and imagine the bypass will be built right through where

spring 2017

you’re currently standing, and that you’re one of the last people to see this place as it wants to be seen. Though she’s a politician who tries to reflect all her town’s buildings and thoroughfares through her own prism, you understand that there are more malevolent forces at play in the cities and capitals, and you are happy to be on the edge of a town at the edge of the country. Nothing can pry you away from yourself on a day like today, and even if she’s staring you down from across the field, the mayor deserves some credit for your well-being. After a few minutes of staring into the fields and rolling hills which make up the countryside, you imagine running into the mayor in a bar in town, surrounded by drunks with wristwatches who think highly of themselves. Does the mayor wear a wristwatch? You wonder, and consider all possibilities. She’s not a drunk, but she wants everyone to see her in their own reflection. You conclude that she owns a wristwatch but does not always wear it, that she must plan her hours so her dress and manner of speaking reflects the people she’s with. That level

of dedication is admirable, you think, and that’s what makes a town harder than a city. Everyone knows everyone. The rich resent the poor, the poor resent the rich, you resent the mayor, and the mayor resents you, but everyone resents everyone else as full human beings, not as caricatures. 3 You forget how long you’ve been standing on the edge of town looking at the country, which is where you want to be. You wish there were someone else around, or at least some food, so you could stay in wonder, but instead you look around. The big air traffic controller in the sky has finally cleared the sun to descend at full throttle and the light is running away, so you bask in the countryside one last time and exhale audibly to mark the end of an era. You turn around expecting to see the edge of town, but all you see are a few lights from a farmhouse in the distance. You’ve misjudged your location — you’re miles from town, and you wonder how long you’ve actually been living in this town and whether it’s been worth it, and you start thinking about when you’re gonna leave.


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Far ahead you see headlights making their way down the empty road from the country, and you take this as your signal to turn towards town. The headlights slowly bear down on you, and you look at them pleadingly even as you keep your distance. They stop at the point closest to you, the passenger window rolls down and you hear a woman’s voice:

of her eye. The driver pays you no mind.

“Hey, you.” You pretend not to notice. “You need a ride?” After a few seconds you remember where you are.

“We’re going to the cities,” she says. “We’ve been in the country for a few weeks now.” She gestures to the cross pendant draped over the rearview mirror. “We meditated and we prayed on it, we think we’ve figured out where everything went wrong, and now we’re going back to the cities.” Unsure what to make of it, you start to calculate. “We’re meeting the governor tomorrow.” A power-mad glimmer of hope shines on your horizon, but you focus so much on the possibilities that now it’s too late to respond.

“Yeah, I could use a ride,” you call in the direction of the car. You don’t move, just stare. “Come on, get in,” says the passenger. You stop paying attention to your surroundings and focus on getting in. You get in. You’re in. “Thanks, I was a little lost there.” “I could tell.”

You laugh back: “I guess so.” A pause. “So?” “Where you headed?” You don’t realize you’ve already asked this question, but neither does the passenger.

“Where you headed?” You ask nicely, like you’re interacting with strangers.

“Just start heading towards town, and I’ll let you know where to drop me, thanks. It won’t be too far, thanks.”

“Aren’t we supposed to be asking that?” The passenger chuckles and turns sideways towards you, looking at you out of the corner

“We were gonna walk all the way there, you know, to make some sort of point about how modern technology gets us away


spring 2017

from ourselves, but it was just impractical,” she said by way of apology for the car’s general state of dilapidation. “Nice day out, isn’t it.” “Beautiful,” she says as you fade into the background and start off into the distance. You watch the darkening wheat fields curve around you for a few miles, when you realize the car missed the turnoff for the bypass. “Can I ask why you’re not taking the bypass?” The words come out of your mouth before you realize you’d spoken them. “There’s no need to. If we were walking, we wouldn’t have taken the bypass, so why would we now? We like seeing towns as they’re meant to be.” You smile, happy to be back in the world and happy to have an ally. You are no longer preoccupied with existential questions, and you’re briefly excited by the thought that this stranger will agree with what you say next, and look at you in a soft light: “Do you know they’re building another bypass here? It’s ridiculous.” “Do





corruption involved?” You’re surprised, but respond intuitively, as you’ve trained yourself to do. “I have to think so, I mean it just makes no sense. Why on earth would they build another highway? Planners are professionals, they can’t seriously be that incompetent.” “I don’t know about that. What does the town think?” “The mayor thinks it’ll kill the town, and she’s probably right. She went to a meeting last week, but all she got was files and reports and everything was made up. Before you know it all the stores will close and we’ll be a ghost of ourselves.” “That sounds like the future.” “I’m gonna have to leave if it happens.” “That’s a shame. Where will you go?” “Can I ask you something?” “Sure.” “Why did you go to the country? Don’t you think you’ve been left behind, like the rest of us out here?”


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“We needed time to reflect.” “And what did you find?” “We’re all marching towards the future, whether we like it or not. So we can take our time.” The car turns left and starts down the town’s main street. By now the streetlights are on, and you gaze out the window at three people you barely recognize standing in the gazebo in the town square. Beyond them is a church which wasn’t always too big for the town, and you realize it looks imposing with an empty parking lot. You shift your focus to the road ahead and notice the main strip is almost coming to an end: “You can just drop me off right up here, yeah, right by this bar,” you say, and the driver obliges. You get out slowly, without a purpose, and then your face steels up as you turn back to the car door: “Tell the governor that we don’t want the bypass. We like our lives here and no planner’s dreams should get in the way of that.” But the windows and doors are all closed, and the car is gone. Back in town, you no longer have time to yourself, so you take your wristwatch from your pocket, put


it on, and walk into the bar.

spring 2017

Workout Jane Craven

The world is full of movement. A yellow steam shovel angles outside a window at the Y where I am in a class called Stretch & Tone. I mirror the instructor’s commands to the songs of ABBA—my elbows hinge like a scarecrow’s. Air and synovial fluids pop to the beat in my joints. We extend our limbs in every direction, covering the cardinal points of the earth; often with weights in hand, for added gravity. On a train, movement is constant. Scenery whizzes by, while we are nearly motionless, save for a gentle rocking and the occasional tipsy trip down the aisle. Every once in a while I exercise my eyes, shifting them up and down, back and forth, like one of those cat clocks with a swinging tail. In this world, it is possible to move after death. The Great Barrier Reef, bleached and brittle, collapses on itself. Cell by porous


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cell it falls to the ocean floor. The vertebrae of some in the class have begun to look like sand dollars; compression fractures are in the cards for us. Our bodies will gradually bend at the waist, resembling mathematical less-than signs. But today our breath is full, the room is wide, and we move in unison, lithe as eelgrass, impelled by the tide.


spring 2017

Elegy to Eulogy One Sunday to the Next Tr i c i a K n o l l

Like swallows perched on phone lines, six women poets to a lectern, switch places side by side, orchestrated, practiced. One goes home to the dying mother. Another remembers her mother’s hands. A third hides from her, stories of women we never forget, a come-back-round as we mother. The last got home too late. The next Sunday in chapel, memorial to a mother who took all her offspring and great grandchildren to Kenya to see lions before the poachers got them. A grandson read the letter she wrote when they returned home. How proud she was, what good travelers they were. Her final trips as ash in their hands to the Mekong River where she had never been. Mothers over and over. Did they lay these daughters on an ironing board to wash hair in the kitchen sink? And play peek-a-boo with yellow towels. Or order 2% milk called Sparkle in brown bottles from the milk man, how dairyman marketed low-fat in the 1950s. Did they start


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in the top-left corner of a crossword puzzle and move diagonally through to lower right? Catch the clues of her daughter’s first kiss? Wear nail polish the red of Corvettes? Buy green gloves to prune the roses to protect high-gloss fingernails? Make sun tea? Fall off a bike and break a front tooth at fifty? Hoist up grandmothers from floral-flocked armchairs? I never knew what mine was afraid of or why she was proud of me. I just remember how the Ethiopian nurse opened the window the day she died to let her out and how her fingernails that night looked moony and strong.


spring 2017

Track 36 Benjamin Schmitt

Last Sunday I was drinking IPAs in a hotel room at six in the morning watching porn on an iphone as traffic commenced beyond my curtained window I’ve spent others in church singing mediocre songs with my terrible voice oddly comforted by my inadequacy in pews hewn from the tears of pines captured before they fell into the darkness of the forest floor the space between these rooms is a bitter glance between two words in my most private sentence Jesus is there in the resentment of that space walking upon the glance pleasures and concerns splashing upon his feet and all over my vocabulary there is destruction in the churchman’s hand and any mere thief can offer healing but no one really ever knows the safest clothes for a horse to die in I miss that ghost town in Oregon where we were all sarcastically awaiting the department of licensing to renew ancient hostilities I want to believe that medicine can cure this headache but its not in my head its tearing apart the eyes staring into mine I texted “I never loved you” from the hotel because I wanted to be the prayer enshrouding each of your breaths as you walked away from me 39

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Married S a r a h Wo o d A n d e r s o n

We start over each time we get distracted each time our life eats itself in petty tasks, daily grinds; no time to foster, support, with effort only for working, cleaning, blaming. In the empty space before sleep, we invent our own narratives about the other as unity withers and distance craves. Pared down stripped to the bone weary and starved we begin again another time— release resentment consider the future, the past too full to contemplate.


spring 2017

Once Dennis Herrell

I viewed through the window the secluded table, where we could have sat sipping wine talking easily about a garden we might plant together here a perfect spot for roses, and there a bed of nodding daisies with stepping stones between, if there once had been a chair for me.


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Surrendering Va l e r i a R i v a d e n e i r a

The pumpkin rots from the inside and becomes a grotto of congested sweetness. Webbed membrane scales up browning walls and across the sticky void to where mold hangs down like Spanish moss, threatening to bury softening seeds that will not ever grow to build a space of their own. It’s a month-long exhale; a distant tractor’s slung rumble. It’s the buildup of fronds on blackened rain gutters. The cracking of dirt-crusted windows in a house inhabited only by flakes of stubborn paint and full-grown peppered moths.


spring 2017


Sarah Wood Anderson is an ad jun ct prof es s or a t

the University o f W isco n sin -M ad ison tea chi ng courses in A m er ican Liter atur e. Sh e received her Ph. D. in En glish Liter atur e fr o m the University o f N o r th C ar o lin a. A n d ers on i s the mother of th r ee ch ild r en . H er p o etr y ha s been published in Br oad R i v er R e v iew. Jane Craven lives in R aleigh , N o r th Ca rol i na ,

g raduated fr o m U N C -C h ap el H ill and ha s worked in co r p o r ate syste m s d evelopm ent and as the d ir ecto r o f a co n tem p o r a r y a r t museum. Sh e was r ecen tly ac ce p ted i nto the Nor th Caro lin a State U n iver sity M FA -Poetr y prog ram a n d h er p o em s h ave ap p eared or a re f or thcomi n g in T he Tex as R e v ie w , C o ld M o u n t a i n Re v iew , Tar R i v er Poet r y , an d t he A t l a n t a R e vi ew . Jeff Ewing is a wr it er fr o m N o r th er n Ca l i f or ni a ,

with poem s r ecen tly ap p ear in g in S uga r H o u se Re v iew, ZY ZZY VA , W il l ow S pr in gs, A r r oyo, Belo i t Poetr y Jour n al , S ain t A n n ' s R e v iew, C a t a m a r a n Literar y Reade r , an d dec em ber , am o n g others. M.K. Foster's p o etr y h as b ee n r eco g ni z ed

with the Gu l f C oas t Poet r y Pr iz e , an A ca d emy of American Po ets Pr iz e, an d two Pu s hca r t Prize nom in atio n s an d h as ap p e ar ed or i s f or thcomi n g in G u l f C oas t ; T he O f f ing ; R a t t le; The Adr oit Jou r n al ; S ix t h Fin c h; B O D Y; and elsewh er e. Sh e h o ld s an M FA from the University o f M ar ylan d an d cur r en tl y pu rs u es a PhD in Ren aissan ce Liter atur e at the Univers i ty of Alabam a. Fo r ad d itio n al lin k s and notes, please v isi t h er web site. Nicholas Gilmore is a staff wr iter a t The

Saturday Ev en in g Post in In d ian ap o lis. Hi s poetr y has been featur ed in T he Bl u e Mon da y R e vi ew. H e studied cr eative wr itin g at Ball State Univers i ty. 43

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Connor Haseley is a so p h o m o r e. Fr om ti m e to

time, he wr ites.

Dennis Herrell lives in a 1 9 2 0 ’s b un g a l ow i n

the old his to r ic H eigh ts o f H o usto n . He wri tes both serious an d h um o r o us p o em s a bou t hi s life in this civ iliz ed so ciety, with abou t 500 poems in var io us m ag az in es. Elizabeth Hitchcock is a sen io r at Bel oi t Col l eg e

in Wiscons in m ajo r in g in A n th r o p o l og y, Creative Wr itin g an d C r itical Id en tity S tu d i e s. She’s worked as an ed ito r fo r Pocket Li n t Literar y Jou r n al . H er p o em s h ave b een pu bl i s hed in several p r in t an d o n lin e p ub licati ons, including F u r r ow Mag , T he L in n et ’s W i n g s , a nd i n the upcom in g Sp r in g/ Sum m er 2 0 1 7 ed i ti on of Common Gr ou n d L it er ar y Magaz in e . Hannah Kaplan is a Jun io r at C o lum bi a Col l eg e

studying Cr eative Wr itin g. Sh e lives u nd er a sesame seed . Tricia Kno ll is an Or eg o n p o et wh o s e work

leans towa r d eco -p o etr y an d h aik u a nd a ppea rs widely in j o ur n als an d an th o lo gies. Ur b a n W il d (Finish in g Lin e Pr ess) ex am in es hu m a n interaction s with wild life in ur b an ha bi ta t. Ocean' s Lau ght er (A ld r ich Pr e ss) fo cu s es cha ng e over time in a sm all town o n Or eg o n' s nor th coast, Man z an ita. C o m in g Sum m er 2017 i s Br oadf ork Far m , p o etr y ab o ut a sm all org a ni c far m on the slo p es o f M t. A d am s in Trou t Lake, Washin gto n . Josef Kuhn is a fictio n ed ito r fo r th e P ho eb e, a g uest edito r fo r R ou gh Beast , an d a s tu d ent i n the MFA pr o g r am at G eo r g e M aso n Univers i ty. Should thi s p iece b e acce p ted , it wo u l d be hi s f irst fiction p ub licatio n . Pr io r to g ra d s chool , 44

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he worked in jo ur n alism an d m ed ia f or s evera l years at Nat ion al Jou r n al , N PR , an d Rel i g i on News Ser vice. H is ar ticles h ave ap p ea red i n The Washing ton Post , T he H u f f in gt on Post , a nd other national m ed ia o utlets. Travis Landhuis teach es w r itin g at the Univers i ty

of Nor ther n Iowa an d h as b een d eli g hted to s ee some of his sto r ies p ub lish ed in No r t h Am er i c a n Re v iew, Dew poin t L it Mag , an d T he C o ssa ck R e vi ew . Maria Nazos' p o em s an d tr an slatio ns have

appeared or b een acce p ted fo r p ub li ca ti on i n The New Yo r ker, S u bt r opic s, T he Mid- A m er i c a n Re v iew, The Den v er Qu ar t er l y, T he Fl or i d a R e vi ew, New Ohio R e v iew, T he S ou t her n H u m an i t i es R e vi ew, Poet Lor e, an d T he S yc am or e R e v iew. Her f i rs t book , A H y m n T hat Mean der s, was p u bl i s hed by Wising Up Pr ess. Sh e is a d o cto r al ca nd i d a te studying E n glish an d C r eative Wr iti ng a t T he University o f N eb r ask a-Lin co ln . Jeff Newberr y’s m o st r ece n t b o o k is the novel

A Stairway t o t he S ea (Pulp wo o d P r es s, 2016). He’s the auth o r o f a co llec tio n o f p oetr y (Brackish , A ld r ich Pr ess, 2 0 1 3 ) an d a cha pbook. He teaches in th e wr itin g an d co m mu ni ca ti on prog ram at A b r ah am Bald win C o lleg e, where he and his stud en ts ed it Pega su s, a r eg i ona l underg radu ate liter ar y m ag az in e. Dan Pinker ton’s p o em s h ave ap p ear ed i n N ew

Orl eans Re v iew, In dian a R e v iew, Bost on R e vi ew, Subtr opics, W il l ow S pr in gs, H ayden ’s Fer r y R e vi ew, Sonora Re v i ew, an d C an t een , wh il e r e v iew s ha ve appear ed in A m er ic an L it er ar y R e v iew, S hen a n d o a h, Chattahoochee R e v iew, an d Pl eiades . H i s f i cti on ha s appeared i n Qu ar t er l y Wes t , C r az y horse, C u t b a n k , Nor thw est R e v iew, A r t s & L et t er s, Washi n g t o n Squar e, Nat u r al Br idge, Nor t h A m er ic a n R e vi ew , 45

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and the Best New A m er ic an Voic es an thol og y. He is the recip ien t o f an AW P In tr o Jou r na l s award, num er o us Push car t Pr iz e n o m i na ti ons, and his fictio n m anuscr ip t was a p as t f i na l i s t i n the Flanner y O’ C o n n o r Awar d co m peti ti on. C . R. Resetarits h as n ew wo r k o ut now i n Li t r o

#1 5 9, Crann Ăłg (Push car t n o m in ated s tor y), a nd Stand ; out so o n in T he W isc on sin R e vi ew, R eed Re v iew , and Jel l y Bu cket . H er p o etr y col l ecti on, BROOD , was p ub lish ed by M o n g r el E m pi re Press in 2 0 1 5 . Sh e lives in Faulk n er-ri d d l ed Oxford, M ississip p i. Valeria Rivadeneira d o es n o t r e m em ber w hen

she star ted wr itin g p o etr y, b ut sh e r em em bers never bein g ab le to sto p. Sh e is a fo r m er g rassroots o r g an iz er an d a cur r en t j u ni or studying Rh eto r ic an d Po litical C ultu re a t the University o f M ar ylan d . T h r o ugh h er wri ti ng , she hopes to str en gth en th e un h ear d voi ce of undocumented yo uth in A m er ica. Benjamin Schmitt is th e Best Bo o k Awa rd a nd

Pushcar t n o m in ated auth o r o f two books, Dinner Tabl e R ef u ge (Pun k sWr ite Po em s Pres s, 2 0 1 5 ) and T he gl obal c on spir ac y t o get yo u i n b ed (Kelsay Boo k s, 2 0 1 3 ). H is p o etr y h a s a ppea red in Sakura R e v iew, H obar t , G r ist , W isc o n si n R e vi ew, Tw o Thirds Nor t h, an d elsewh er e. Yo u ca n rea d his scar y sto r ies fo r k id s in th e A m a z o n R a p i d s app. He lives with h is wife an d d aug hter i n Seattle wher e h e also r ev iews b o o k s, cu ra tes a reading series, an d teach es wo r k sh o ps to peopl e of all ag es.


Camilla van Geen Veniamin Gushchin Andrew Hauser

Managing Editors Safwan Khatib Nikki Shaner-Bradford

Layout Editor Clare Jamieson

Editorial Board Alessandra Allen Madeleine Lamm Manu Amin Gowan MoĂŻse Zachariah Crutchfield Malaya Sadler Katelyn Fung Coleman Snyder Belle Harris Sam Wilcox Maddie Woda

Cover Art Perianth by Veronica Scharf Garcia



The Columbia Review is published twice yearly by the students of Columbia University, New York, with support from the Activities Board at Columbia. This issue is sponsored in part by the Arts Initiative of Columbia University. This funding is made possible through a generous gift from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. Enquiries to: Columbia Review, Lerner Hall, 2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Email: Books and media sent for possible review become the property of The Columbia Review.Visit us online at: Copyright Š 2017 by The Columbia Review. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of any part of this work beyond that permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the US Copyright Law without permission of the publishers is unlawful.


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