Given my history, my choice of topic—irony—is strange: back in high school, a classmate accused me of lacking a funny bone. And when, recently, I overheard my husband say that he’d married me for my sense of humor, it turned out he thought so because I laughed at his jokes.
In a toast on my birthday, a dear friend described my spirit as virginal—not an adjective modern women aspire to. But at sixty we can deal. I took her to mean that my closeness to my emotions, my tendency to tear up when I speak of love,
» Continue reading Never Any End to Irony by Eliza Migdal…
SAMO Is Dead I was born at home in a Brooklyn ghetto. After arriving late, our Taína midwife passed this Nigerian belief to my Ecuadorian mother: wherever the placenta be buried, there would my soul return after death. Uncertain of where to inearth my eutherial twin in the pits of East New York, she stowed it in a freezer until the summer of ‘88, when Jean-Michel Basquiat OD’d, a riot went on in Tompkins Square Park and the Burkina Faso filmmaker Gaston Kaboré shot Zan Boko, ‘the place where the placenta is buried’, about a farming family’s resistance against urbanization
» Continue reading Brooklyn Zan Boko by Bani Amor…
Listen to a reading of “A Case of Thirst, Annotated” by Sarah Minor.
Read “A Case of Thirst, Annotated by Sarah Minor” [PDF]
About the author:
Sarah Minor is from the great state of Iowa. She is a current MFA candidate in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona, where she is working on a collection of essays. Her work is forthcoming in Conjunctions.
“Don’t take things too seriously,” said Mona, unscrewing the lid of a coffee can. “And never underestimate the power of doing nothing.” I didn’t know what she meant. My mind couldn’t tackle “nothing.” Usually it’s enough to sneak-attack a problem, to flip it onto its back so that it’s exposed, naked and raw. That’s how I see it. To know something is to deconstruct it. We haven’t known each other long. “What do you think about this?” She held the can to her eye. It was stupid. She couldn’t see. “Ha ha,” I said. Objects aren’t fun like
» Continue reading Every Hole Is a Tunnel by Carly Susser…
In order to see it, the women rise before dawn. They fry eggs for sleepy-eyed children, make the beds, brew coffee for husbands. Too excited to eat, the women scrub their faces, pin up their hair, and lace into corsets. They kiss sons and daughters goodbye. This morning, their children will stay with a neighbor. This morning, the women board streetcars into the city, like their men. The lines into DC, usually drab with dark suits, are bright spots of color. Lacy handkerchiefs flutter; gloved hands wave; women cry out to greet one another. “Today!” they shout. “Today
» Continue reading The State of Women: August 26, 1920 by Tara Gilboy…
Virginia asks my name and who my people are. For the third time in ten minutes. With each leaden blink she forgets my story, and opening her eyes is again surprised to find a strange young woman beside her bed.
If Virginia would only sleep peacefully, I’d gladly stare out the window at car bumpers, the occasional cat’s ass, and various trashcans stacked askew.
Virginia’s bedcovers rustle. I hold my breath and try to disappear into the burnt orange hospital chair. Virginia plucks and pecks at the bedspread. Capturing a chunk, she brings it to her eyes. Surprised. Like a
» Continue reading This Lingering by Kelly Miller…
Listen to a reading of “My Hour Was Up” by Michelle Ephraim.
A year ago, while walking past a tattoo parlor in downtown Boston, I had a sudden urge to get my first tattoo. This was no youthful lark. I was 42, married, with three little kids and a full-time job. I’d been en route to Whole Foods (grapes, crackers, hummus) and The Gap (swimsuit for toddler). But in an instant I was rooted on the sidewalk, envisioning a wiry, goateed man in a leather vest happily etching out my request—the word lieben, the German infinitive to love, in black
» Continue reading My Hour Was Up by Michelle Ephraim…
Listen to a reading of “Try Not to Kill Anybody” by Sean Finucane Toner. The MP3 will give readers some insight into how Sean, who has been sightless since 1995, works. From Sean: “About the MP3 — it is one of the voices I hear when I write. One or two words might not come through to the untrained ear, but it may give a sense of my world.”
All along, I thought it was the Vodka speaking. I assumed my Canadian friend Roger’s “We are going to get you behind the wheel of a car again,” was jest, or
» Continue reading Try Not to Kill Anybody by Sean Finucane Toner…
I begin to undress, let the night taste me piece by piece. I have brought you to the shore, to the place you loved most. The water is cold as it drinks in my toes. I open the urn, feel the crunch of ash trapped in the seal. The wind whips me, takes some of you; I pour you into my palm. The ash is softer than I expected, yet coarse with specks of bone. I cover myself in you, spread you across my nakedness. Down my arms, legs, across my stomach and breasts, into my hair. I drop the
» Continue reading Ocean of Ash by Kirsten Perry…
The other day I stepped into a church to attend mass. The small congregation in the city centre church, St. Francis, was well spread, all eyes on the priest illuminated by light from a cupola above the altar. The interior of the dome was plastered with mosaics of saints gathered around the central figure of Our Lord. There were even saints flying around in the air. St. Patrick was very prominent standing there on a grassy knoll, crozier in hand and a lovely green cap upon his flowing, white locks. Christ himself had a long, lean face with a neatly
» Continue reading After Mass by Edward Mc Whinney…