Nancy, the iconic series of graphic tone poems by the legendary Ernie Bushmiller, achieved landmark status not for its dada-esque art, its stark depiction of a near-barren (yet strangely psychedelic) landscape populated by perhaps half a dozen proto-beatniks, a tree, three rocks, maybe a house, and not just for its apparent lack of all humor—and… Read more »
Quite apart from the circumstantial affiliations that normally obtain among contemporaries, and quite apart from the facile optical resemblances that one can discern among artworks across distances in time, looking at a painter’s canvases has a way of making demands of the viewer that amount to a responsibility, a set of obligations, a contract, neither… Read more »
William S. Burroughs
Truman Capote once famously said of the work of Jack Kerouac: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.” A decade or so later, William S. Burroughs returned the favor with this epistolary riposte. July 23, 1970 My Dear Mr. Truman Capote, This is not a fan letter in the usual sense — unless you refer to ceiling… Read more »
Nightmare Code, directed by Mark Netter, starring Andrew J. West, Mei Melançon, and Googy Gress, written by M.J. Rotondi and Mark Netter. We start with a troubled young man (Andrew J. West, best known for his portrayal as the leader of the yuppie cannibal startup in this season’s Walking Dead), feigning nonchalance about serious charges… Read more »
Gladyss of the Hunt by Arthur Nersesian (Verse Chorus Press, 2014) The title of Arthur Nersesian’s new book, Gladyss of the Hunt, might seem a peculiar one for a detective novel. However, the author, like the book’s protagonist, is after bigger game than simply bringing down a serial killer or describing how that is accomplished…. Read more »
Hopefully the new year is “going smoothly” for you! Here’s what some of our editors and contributors thought was the best of 2014, or some other year, or at least they liked it, or whatever.
We’re leaving on tour in a few hours. Me and Pat and Julia will ride in Julia’s big black truck and Steve and Keith, the Road Manager, will ride in the “Boy Car,” a little white rental car. It’s not deliberate gender division, just worked out that way.
Steve likes to drive at the speed limit and make very few stops. Us girls like to go 90 miles an hour, pee every 40 minutes and go to malls we find along the way. Neither Pat, Julia or I grew up around malls, so we’re making up for that now.
on the b-38 what are you waiting for / get covered / start here / a gift of happiness or risky listening? ya never can tell / drivin 26 yrs / 47 / nice humble guy surprised / caught a heart attack / here today gone tomorrow let them do the work / short trips… Read more »
I have the kind of mind that would kill me if it didn’t need me for transportation. In this case to Ireland. I had no conscious desire to go anywhere near the place but somehow I found myself sucked into the subway, placed on a plane and bundled onto a bus for Kilkenny. Before I… Read more »
I’ve been drawn to abandoned buildings all my life. When I was a boy, the allure was breaking into forbidden places without getting caught, the adventure of making new discoveries. Later, when I became a firefighter in 1978 in the South Bronx, entering and navigating vacant structures became both a full time job and a… Read more »
D. Scot Miller
Let me tell you how I met Sham Black. West Virginia, Dunbar Jr. High School football field, 123rd Annual Commode Bowl, Riverside Rats versus The Hillside Rams. photograph by Kym Ghee Every Thanksgiving morning the men of Dunbar, on both sides of the railroad tracks that split through the town (Riverside and Hillside) begin to… Read more »
Photographs by Gretchen Faust.
The morning of the first day in the Dark Zone, I wake, still dreaming in black and white. I am Joan Crawford. I am Mildred Pierce. In the black of night, a storm is raging. I am in a bungalow by the ocean. The white foam waves crash on the beach. I dress frantically in… Read more »
Plants at Work Sunflowers bob on a raft near Chernobyl, roots leaching atoms humming with intent to harm, but diffusing like sugar in the slow surge of some big flower’s stalk, its face tilting to follow the sun’s arc, working much harder than sunflowers I planted in the backyard one summer, six lanky plants framed… Read more »
The Late Child and Other Animals opens in the middle of the blitz with two wide-eyed young women—sisters Hetty and Daisy—gazing down from a hillside upon the aftermath of another air raid over Portsmouth, a city on the southern coast of England. What unfolds in the 180 fluidly illustrated pages that follow is a fragmented chronicle of life as memory and memory as mosaic, its linear arrangement contingent upon the cycle of gathering and loss, revelation and vexation that polka-dot the soil of growth.
Rebecca Weiner Tompkins
AFTER YOU SAID I ALWAYS LOSE THINGS The red birthstone fell out of my ring, leaving its crowned prongs empty, a perfect chip chiseled from my heart’s bones. I dreamed being stopped by the long dark walkway with bricked wall leading to the locked iron gate enclosing the fenced stairwell topped by the steel door… Read more »
Expressionist, impressionist, symbolist. Pop imbued with guilt, political outrage, occasional indignation, existential disconnection and an overriding sense of loss. These works celebrate where I have been with tenderness, saying goodbye to a fragile but rich reality.
Vladislav Khodasevich & Jenny Wade
“Vladislav Khodasevich: Midlife Meltdown in Paris,” an essay by Jenny Wade, along with a new translation of K’s poem “In Front of the Mirror.”
I first saw the gold crescent of renegade freedom dangling from the lobe of a nameless hairy hippy Goy, his scrawny, insolent neck bound by a red bandanna. He leaned with outthrust hip of impertinent American coolness against the miniature white plaster-like Arc D’Triumph that looms in meager solemnity over the leafy green, daggered streetlamps… Read more »
I should probably tell you more about the night Blue pushed me off the bar because that was really when our marriage ended. Sure, we stayed together another nine, twelve, maybe fifteen months more, but nothing was ever good again. She stopped thinking it was possible to make me a man, thought that I was… Read more »
Found in Phoenix by Amy Ouzoonian (New York: Fly By Night Press, 2014) It’s a good thing Amy Ouzoonian put her name on her new book of poems, short stories and plays, Found in Phoenix, because otherwise a reader would think each of the literary forms was written by a different author. The poems are… Read more »
I have a date with Henry Henderson. We worked together one long summer canvassing for Greenpeace. Yes, I was one of those annoying young people who stop you on the street when you are rushing to your next appointment. He was hot then, now not so much, looking rather fat but with a very good… Read more »
The 9 Lives of Ray the Cat Jones: A Novel by Stewart Home (Test Centre, 2014) In June 2013 Stewart Home, an (in) famous London author/writer/performer, receives a parcel. There is no return address on it; or a name to indicate who the person who sent it is, but Home is excited for there are… Read more »
Silent Calls You know how sometimes the phone rings and when you answer it no one’s there? Many of those calls are made by cats. Science Virgin “I’m a science virgin,” said Adele. “I’ve never conducted an experiment!” photograph by Chris Bava Singing Furniture My furniture is singing a tune from Scriabin. Marriage Mistake “My… Read more »
Jim Bove and Matt Renzi
What happens when two friends, Jim Bove and Matt Renzi, who have played together for years walk into the studio with no charts, no plans, no ideas? When “Just GO” is the inspiration? Drummer Jim Bove and sax/oboe player Matt Renzi did exactly that and this new release from Sensitive Skin Music – Double –… Read more »
Evelyn Bencicova describes her work as “Behaviour of a vulnerable human body. The expression of human kind in a simplified situation, raised to the surface. Archetypical behavioral patterns of a human in a society, yet not adjusted to the repetition of the previous experience.”
Anyway I had a goldfish, a common Woolworth’s goldfish, which I brought home in a water filled plastic bag, and somebody, a man named Rick, I think, who worked for my father, said it would be safe to place him in a concrete planter on the terrace, filled with water.