32.1 Summer/Fall 2019


from Fudekara

Liliana Ponce transl. by Michael Martin Shea

The return trip has a map already. Surviving in sugar waters, in rhythms of algae. / The earth in the hollow is breaking—I knew it instinctively, and in my mind, insects were swarming, traversing the city of your map.


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

Astros Sign Osuna Despite Local Outrage

Iliana Rocha

It means to want so badly. / How close win is to want is the distance / between his fast ball & her face.

But were it not for the caps lock key [...]

Rachel Z. Arndt

While waiting for the ring I was waiting for his call. And while waiting for his call I was waiting for my finger to heal; the doctor had taken the tip and it had not healed, and then I was putting medicine on it twice a day, covering it with a bandage I had to wait hours to take off, each time.

Perfect Kill

Caroline Sutton

Dragonflies are like Waze. They predict. They don’t chase after mosquitoes, they intercept them, which means they have to calculate the mosquito’s distance, speed, and trajectory. Dragonflies perform these calculations in milliseconds, far faster than Waze, which always takes agonizing seconds to load as it computes the route, average speed of drivers, and quagmires that might await.

Crackhead Clint Will See You Now

Thomas Kearnes

Here it was laid out: we’d tricked with Clint a few times over the years. Sure, he was a geek, but he possessed this obscure magnetism. He was so indelibly himself, we allowed ourselves, when with him, to believe that the established rules of conduct, constraining all men of our tribe, could be ignored.

Salvation

Jonathan Louis Duckworth

Rationalizing didn’t help. No matter how much he told himself that this was a different woman, that it couldn’t be the same widow, he couldn’t escape the gut certainty that she was.

2 Poems

Roger Reeves

And did we come to some conclusion about who set fire to the Master’s House / The autumn-petal of it, swinging flame on the black bough of the sky?

2 Poems

Jane Huffman

I have a worm / beneath my hair — / a future worm, / a nerve / from the eternal / present.

History

Joshua Burton

One night, my father will come home late with a rifle in his hands / yelling “I’m here.” Everyone will laugh. / Every corner of the ocean is the same.

2 Poems

Wendy Xu

And if they’re missing / in inaction, forgive them / Their useless pearls, nouns

The Parable of the Dead Dog

David James Poissant

The story the fiction writer reads is fiction. His wife has never cheated. He has never run over a dog.

The Evangelist

Kathleen Blackburn

I was twelve, with little idea of the drying sediment, the vanishing well, under my feet, though as far as I could tell West Texas was desert. A shrug in the middle of forgotten. At the time, I feared one thing only: Dad would die because of me.

from Fudekara

Liliana Ponce transl. by Michael Martin Shea

The return trip has a map already. Surviving in sugar waters, in rhythms of algae. / The earth in the hollow is breaking—I knew it instinctively, and in my mind, insects were swarming, traversing the city of your map.

Disability Seen Through Photographs, Darkly

Pepper Stetler

The people whom Arbus photographed were probably separated from their families when they were born. Their mothers and fathers were most likely told that they would be too much of a burden to raise. However, none of this is really what we are supposed to be thinking about when viewing the Untitled series. We are told to think about the compositional choices, the lighting, the true talent of Arbus who discovered these subjects.

Hurt Locker

Ernie Wang

How much muscle one carries is the largest determinant of bodybuilding credibility, regardless of the degree of fairness with which it’s constructed, and by this metric, he was the one, not me, with the authority to dispense advice.

Betrayed

Joy Castro

When I first saw the bright gold rip of gas flares against the Corpus night sky from the passenger seat of some guy’s green Datsun—all that oil just rushing incinerated into the air—I said, Damn, don’t they know about global warming?

Cheerio Petals

Amanda Auerbach

The color yellow and the red heart on the box remind me parts / of childhood are nice not / embarrassing. Does that include eating / cheerios with fingers?

Hollow Pockets for Resting

Alicia Mountain

That empty matchbook winter was a new trudge / through short-light afternoons with time to kill.


From the Archives

Silent Guest

Susana Corcuera, trans. Clara Sullivan

Morning comes and he pauses beside my bed. He struggles to breathe, his breath brushing my face. Without opening my eyes, I make a space where he can curl…

Can I Have a Hug First?

Mary Paula Hunter

As a witness should I run to her? Make sure she's not suffering a stroke or an aneurysm? I pictured a headline demanding the whereabouts of a witness who'd left the scene of a potential homicide.

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

Natalie Scenters-Zapico

With the swivel of a controller / an agent in a room of laced / concrete blocks is haunted / by bovine hitting their bulk // against steel bollards.

Playing in the Institute: on Tag at ICA Philadelphia

C. Klockner

It’s still a question of how queer exhibitions can function within certain institutions without assimilating, without petrifying living works in order to propose additions to “the” hegemonic canon, but Tag proposes ways forward that walk indeterminacy with confidence.