• The Conglomerate
    Adam Ross

    Here on the Mountain, we’ve been locked in what seems like the unbreakable grip of an historic heat wave.There’s been no rain either, so the foliage isn’t vibrant, the desiccated leaves are shriveled on the branches, they disintegrate in the palm like ancient clay. It isn’t pretty. Nor is it to avoided or ignored. Best that it is beheld. Otherwise, change will never come.

    It’s the duty of art to be similarly unflinching.

    Online Feature, Review
    Stephanie Danler

    Three Women—strictly speaking, a work of nonfiction, although it pushes the boundaries of the genre as Taddeo explores the inner lives of three individualsis going to be called a book about women and desire. That’s the beginning of it, but far from the end. Its subject is also sexual trauma, in its micro and macro forms, and how some women have tried to define themselves through sex.

    Craft Lecture
    Chris Bachelder

    If plot can be conceptualized as a chain of causally linked events, the protagonist’s stop at the wrong house is not quite connected to plot. It is not properly a link in a chain of causation. You might say that this wrong stop caused him to be disturbed, but he was already disturbed, and in fact there is a sense that his uneasiness is as much a cause as an effect of turning into the stranger’s driveway. The story too is in a strange driveway, off its main road.

    Garrett Hongo

    But a reflection on the glass shone through the transparency of years—
    a frosted flame of thought that took me back through the inactive pages of my life—
    and I was humbled to recall my own student time—twenty-three in Ann Arbor,
    fresh from Japan and my monastery year—sitting with Robert Hayden in his garden.

    Paul Muldoon

    Try telling a dramatist the sky’s the limit
    when an eagle has let fall a tortoise onto his bare skull.
    Now Aeschylus will expire
    without the opportunity to develop his skill
    in single combat
    or master basic hero-feats.

    Shawn Vestal

    Later that night, at the bonfire in the desert, we drink warmish beer from a keg and celebrate our victory. We talk about the good plays. We complain about Coach, who we love. We pair off with girls and try to guide them toward the outskirts of the fire, toward the back seats of cars, toward the dark, lonely night.

    Lea Carpenter

    The beast followed them out to Long Island weekends and through Tribeca weekdays. The beast is when one of you launches a revolution from within and says, I’m done. The beast is the risk that one of you might call the bluff on this whole situation, this institution, those Verdura rings on your ring fingers.

    Olena Kalytiak Davis

    today i walked my racism in a harness collar
    through flatbush, through ditmas park
    i called it buck, i told it to heel, heel, heal

    Lorrie Moore

    Lorena's director, Joshua Rofé, who was ten years old at the time of the Bobbitt event, has spliced together new and old footage for the info-mad internet age, to create a meandering, circling story that is indeed part comedy, part horror, part politics.

    Celia Bell

    “Damn your liver,” I grunt, through Lila’s throat. “Gerald, you were too good to attend my deathbed, I hope your syphilitic nose falls off. Marcus, Monica, did you think I wouldn’t see you fighting over the family silver when I died?”

    Armen Davoudian

    Twenty pillars drip into the pool

    their likenesses, where the likeness of a boy

    wavers among the clouds, eyeing the boy

    Anna Caritj

    To buy time, Nel took the rabbit into the bathroom. How much was the thing worth? she wondered. She knew O’s moms had heritage breeds, and that many were considered endangered. Or threatened, at least. Now, seeing the animal in better light, she determined that it had been white. Blue eyes. Ears oddly stiff and upright. It looked more like a duster than a once-living creature. 

    Graham Barnhart

    The spotting tower rises
    like a sundial in a plain
    of punctured buses
    we pretend are houses.
    In an hour or so, a gunship
    will come on station
    circling. The crews
    rise skyward in a reek
    of gun oil they no longer smell
    on themselves.

    Stephanie McCarter

    A woman’s body is largely a cultural invention, given expression through words that mandate what that body must signify, even what parts it must possess. The language we use chisels and molds the female form, like sculpture.

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