Erin had been to Bob Ellis's Christmas party five years running. Eric had been there either two or three out of the last five years. He couldn't remember which. He might have been there the year before, but he couldn't be sure. He thought he might have been there, but there was no way of telling. It was a year ago. Or longer, if he hadn't actually been there. Which he wasn't sure he had.
Harvey rides the subway every morning. For an insufferable amount of time, the ticker reads 4 Train Crown Heights Utica Ave Delay, as it often does most mornings and Harvey gnaws the little flap of skin hanging from his right pinky finger and clenches his butt cheeks and stares across the platform at the few souls traveling uptown and thinks bitches ...
He points an index finger in her face. "The house will be a great investment," says Dex. "Every penny we put in we'll get out. Beatrice looks at him. Blinks. It's Saturday morning. They're sitting in the coffee shop, eating bagels, sipping coffee. A block around the corner is the supermarket. Two blocks over is the dry cleaner. Beatrice could walk the neighborhood blindfolded. A map of every street and avenue is sketched in her brain.
Back in the summer of 09’ my roommate Carlos dated this vegan alternatina named Lalí, a name I couldn’t stand because it was like something out of a play written by a well-intentioned white guy, probably about the early Afro-Colombians coming face-to-face with Spanish Colonists on some yellow-sanded beach. When he first started bringing her up out of left field—at the gym while I spotted him, in our dorm lounge as we played Super Smash Bros.—I knew that there had to be a reason.
I’m working on two projects. The first stars the only character I’ve ever created vaguely based on me. The protagonist of Enemy Combatant, a braver, stupider, more fucked up version -- crazed by substance abuse and rage against Bush, Cheney et al around 2004 -- runs across evidence of CIA secret prisons in Georgia (the country not the state) and Armenia and with his even more deranged old friend tries to release a prisoner.
Suszanne Dottino: What are you working on now? Terese Svoboda: A novel about harpies and one about Irish immigration, a rewrite of Our Town for Selfie Theater, a new manuscript of poetry called Safari with ecological concerns, and a short story about a cougar I almost ran over.
For readers whose acquaintance with Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on a Train) is only surface deep, Tyler's Last (Outpost19, 2015) by David Winner will be something of a shock. The frequent movie adaptations of her work make her a recognizable figure, yet leave a comfortable distance between the viewer and the author herself—up close, as we see her in this book, she is something else altogether, more intimate and intense, misanthropic and violent.
The fifteen stories in The Loss of All Lost Things (Elixir Press) force us to dismantle our understanding of loss, to question what can and cannot be misplaced, to examine failures in fidelity, absences in emotion, lapses in judgment and leaps in behavior—all in pursuit of human connection.
The deluge came. It was the first week of May and the first rainstorm that felt as if the fairer weather of summer might finally be upon them. Wind gusts carried curtains of rain over the city, soaking storefronts and pedestrians. It was a dark Sunday afternoon and Ian was helping Brad unload two giant suitcases from Brad’s car.
There is blood on the hands of the American soul. If we are born American citizens, we inherit this stain; but if we begin our lives elsewhere and then choose our American citizenship, we must absorb the stain as a necessary burden. We must prove or disprove through work, destruction, or enlightenment—through choice and action—that, to a point, we are well-suited to our national identity.
One month past my eighteenth birthday and I was standing at the forepeak, poised to leap, when the skipper of the purse seiner I’d hitched a ride on from Juneau motioned me back down. “Adam!” the old fisherman yelled, leaving his position at the wheel and coming out on deck. “Your pack! You forgot your backpack!”
Winter usually presents the most desperate moments for an exhibitionist. The cold air turns us into exclusive affairs. We linger alone, rush up the stairs apart from our friends, and because it’s always too chilly to stop and talk, we cover our eyes and ears and lips in thick cloth, cotton or polyester, anything at all to obstruct language and hearsay and hot air.
This West is not mythologized and looks nothing like the Hollywood West of John Ford and John Wayne. Though rather than replace this version with a gritty and overly harshened Real West, Everett colors his fictional landscape with the objectivity and indifference of Nature. Here in Everett’s world, Nature often permeates tales most explicitly through the presence of horses.
S.D. If you could change one thing about T.V. what would it be? N.A. The lighting. 85% of the lighting on TV shows is awful. It looks like the inside of a Walmart. Part of the problem is that it's just shot so fast there isn't a lot of time to do meticulous lighting. On Hannibal we had a great DP and it looked beautiful.
On every page of Sentences and Rain (Coffee House Press), Elaine Equi’s latest collection of poetry, you will find words and images in surprising, purepoetic, and truth-revealing juxtaposition—pages thrumming with the activity of an original imagination.