Excerpts

From Issue 16: "The Sublime is Difficult to Replifake," Soramimi Hanrejima

New flash fiction excerpt, from Soramimi Hanarejima. Surreal, fanciful, and truthful. Read on for more.

From Issue 16: "Both Sides," by Nadia Shahbaz

Within a family, there is often a single chosen faith. I grew up believing in the utility of two religions—Islam and Catholicism—and was told that they can each be half-believed, half-assumed.

It was a logic I could easily ingest because it’s the logic of my identity. I’m half-Afghan, half-Italian—and American. Half-inserted, half-outside of two dense, sagging bubbles, floating in an open sky.

From Issue 16: "A Good Man," by Catherine Stratton

From Issue 16: "A Good Man," by Catherine Stratton

Before you hurry by, can you take a moment to acknowledge Uncle George? I mean, to really see him and not just a slow-moving, slow-thinking old dude holding up the line?

From Issue 16: "Resolution," by Stephen Delaney

With "Resolution," author Stephen Delaney asks, what if resolutions, rather than conforming to norms and givens, voiced our honest needs?

"this is coal don't be afraid," by Ali Whitelock

Australia-based poet Ali Whitelock uses the words of the Australian government, firefighters, and others to form this poem about the bush fires currently raging in Australia.

From Issue 16: "A Quiet Occurrence," by Alan Perry

Alan Perry's "A Quiet Occurrence" is dedicated to the late Mary Oliver, whom we lost in 2019, and a graceful reflection on that poet's work. Alan says, "The more I read her poetry, the greater my appreciation for the many ways she described beauty in her surroundings."

From Issue 15: "Origin Stories for the Turtle Lady," Kent Kosack

Kent Kosack's short story from Issue 15 kicks off by sending the reader into a state of nostalgia, but it quickly veers into so much more than that. A narrator you'll fall in love with brings it all home.

From Issue 13: "Wheels" (Nonfiction)

From Issue 13: Richard Hoffman's "Wheels" 

Listed in Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2018, as selected by Robert Atwan in Best American Essays 2019.

We slot our bikes into the rack and hang our helmets on the handlebars. The café is crowded and there’s a line to the counter. At a table nearby, a teenage boy in a wheelchair is being fed through a straw by a woman who looks to be his mother. I recognize the round face, the narrow shoulders, the lolling head of someone with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the disease that killed my brothers ...

From Issue 15: "Hydrangea" (Poetry)

This week's excerpt dives back into poetry with Rachel Hinton's "Hydrangea," a poem to examine how we accept ourselves in the world.

 

From Issue 15: "Icarus," by Darby Levin

Darby Levin's compelling, powerful retelling of Icarus will have you wanting to recraft all the myths into things that matter to you.

From Issue 15: "Sex Ed" (Nonfiction)

New work, from Issue 15: Mathilda Wheeler's "Sex Ed"

If Daddy listened, he would put down his paper. He would turn off the TV. He would look me in the eye. He would take off his reading glasses. He would not joke. He would not say, "For crying out loud." He would say, "What is it, Tilda?" And his voice would not be impatient. It would be caring. And if I said, “Nothing," he would say, "No. Tell me." He would know to ask, to keep asking. And then I could tell him. I could ask him. About boys. About rules. About Ted Sayer.

From Issue 15: "Lake Reality" (Poetry)

In this week's excerpt, F. Daniel Rzicznek's poem "Lake Reality" offers us an exploration in the rain, between father and son, of what moves through the past and back into the familiar present.