30.2 - Summer/Fall 2018

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: Brandon Brown, Jeff Wasserboehr, Jennifer Metsker, Kristen Arnett, Adrienne Perry, Mike Soto, Christopher Citro, Jeremy Radin, Melissa Barrett, Joshua Wheeler, Marina Yuszczuk, transl. by Alexis Almeida, Laura August, Conor Bracken, Christian Bancroft, Dara Wier, BJ Love, Gyrðir Elíasson, Shane Seely, Wendy Vogel, Megan Falley, Adeeba Talukder, Tyler Barton, Renee Gladman, Porochista Khakpour, Eric Schlich, Camila Reimers transl. by Lisa Carter, Yuki Tanaka, Chad Bennett, Jenny Molberg, DJ Thielke, Lishani Ramanayake, Lara Ruter transl. by Maximiliane Donicht, Abigail Chabitnoy, Rebecca Hazelton, Anja Snellman transl. by Maija Makinen, Nadia Anjuman, transl. by Diana Arterian and Marina Omar, Debbie Urbanski, Mark Neely, Rebecca Dunham, Cara Blue Adams, Kemi Adeyemi interviewing taisha paggett, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld transl. by Sarah Timmer Harvey,

Editor's Note

Editors' Note

"If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. / You leave the same impression / Of something beautiful, but annihilating.”


2017 Barthelme Prize: Pedro

DJ Thielke

I wondered if this was something I could say to the other girls at the pool, who had decided that morning that I had a moustache, that my moustache needed a name, and that that name should be Pedro.


2017 Barthelme Prize Honorable Mention: The…

Lishani Ramanayake

It is a quiet, banal word. Not one that I have ever thought twice about. Still, one afternoon in July 1983, when Colombo was burning, they say they heard the word cried out a thousand times, flung into the night like a prayer.


2017 Barthelme Prize Honorable Mention: Sunscreen

Eric Schlich

It was hot that summer, record highs through June, and Fiona, six, had taken to wearing the same pink and purple two-piece swimsuit every day so that she could spend as much time in the water as possible.


2017 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation: from…

Camila Reimers transl. by Lisa Carter

Creation is more than what comes from coitus, fertilization,and gametes. Color and shape have survived in the Cave of Altamira despite nature’s storms. Books never fade away. Michelangelo’s sculptures are immortal.


dear poem

Lara Ruter transl. by Maximiliane Donicht

stingray, embrace me. breathe on, stingray. / your burning, your firing draws streaks / across my chest, ah, how it creaks.



Rebecca Dunham

You can take a slap, starfish red, red as his boot treads / clogged with Virginia clay.


from How to Dress a Fish

Abigail Chabitnoy

My feet were wading earth and / rotted branches. Limbs the size of a human thigh / and twigs that could fit a small child / hand.



Cara Blue Adams

The passage is smooth, but disorienting. She misses whole parts without knowing. She can’t tell what’s stitched together and what’s whole.


Prognosis at Midnight

Yuki Tanaka

I listen to the moon but it doesn’t say much about my life.


The Noise of Time is Not Sad

Chad Bennett

A chirp, natural / or mechanical: / not clear.


Ways of Emerging

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld transl. by Sarah Timmer Harvey

My peeling lips / are a sign; how much skin must a person lose through / the years in order to say that this / is a more complete version than those that precede it?


Epistle from the Hospital for Text Messaging

Jenny Molberg

I have made of myself a rabbit. / I can no longer speak. Language / is only the click click click of my heart / ticking faster now.


Slowly We Have the Feeling #9 and #10

Renee Gladman

I have said this already, many times, over and over again, I have said, “I am doing a kind of writing that keeps ending in drawings,” and lowered my voice and scratched my head in a pantomime of perplexedness [...]


When the Tide of Misfortune Hits, Even Jelly…

Porochista Khakpour

Bad things were happening, he had started to think, more than usual.


Conversant: An Interview with taisha paggett

Kemi Adeyemi interviewing taisha paggett

Both [Adeyemi and paggett] are invested in thinking with and about movement as a method of doing, thinking, and being/becoming black queerness.


Subvocal (Hadley)

Mark Neely

They say everyone / wants to be an artist. Not me. / I want to be debonair.


The Island

Debbie Urbanski

Becoming seventeen years of age meant my daughter would be going out to the island that October. I didn’t want her to go. To me she appeared complete as she was. Also I had hoped, selfishly, that she would grow up to be like me.


Group Sex

Rebecca Hazelton

There's you and your lover and there's also his idea / of who you are in this moment, and your idea of who / he should be, both of these like both of you but better— / poreless skin, flushed lips, hairless where convenient.


Maaru Tang for “The Mycelium”

Anja Snellman transl. by Maija Makinen

Let us say I slept as a snake, / camouflaged / a black stone among black stones.


The Most Faded Word

Nadia Anjuman, transl. by Diana Arterian and Marina Omar

Don’t admire my beauty, don’t seduce me / The burnt wings of a moth can’t brighten


Stay and Go

Tyler Barton

In an elevator there’s not much to do except be alive around each other. Most just look at their shoes, or their phones (we’d ditched ours for fear of tracking), or those glowing buttons.


God-shaped Woman

Adeeba Talukder

You, pacing her / tower’s garden, trample / the heads of poppies.


If We Had a Lemon We’d Throw It and Call That…

Christopher Citro

We’re outside / but that doesn’t mean we’ll not dissolve / if raised to the light.


Claiming Marclay's The Clock as Poetry

Melissa Barrett

It’s no big secret that artists and art critics have coopted the word “poetic” to describe art. But just what does the word mean to non-poets?


There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s

Jeremy Radin

One bite / No chewing / Eager as a Shop-Vac



Joshua Wheeler

The apex vent of a parachute, it turns out, fits right around a pecan trunk.


[To say I love you put a bird on a wire]

Mike Soto

To say I love you put a bird on a wire / so I told her enough times to get an abacus / going in the sky.


Instigating the Future: Cross-pollinations…

Adrienne Perry

A roundtable moderated by Adrienne Perry, featuring Ji yoon Lee, Stalina Villareal, Madhu Kaza, Yvette Siegert, & Poupeh Missaghi.


Winner of the Inaugural Beauchamp Prize:

Brandon Brown

But what choice did I have? Brandon and his colleagues had done all they could do; Ketamine was a last resort.


Lynn, Lynn, the City of Sin

Jeff Wasserboehr

"Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin, / If you ain’t bad they just won’t let you in / Oh, Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin, / The damnedest place you will ever live in"


Dark Helicopter

Jennifer Metsker

The lawn breeds black spikes in the oppressive geometric / shadow of the helicopter. This is how they grew the nails / for the crucifixion.


Setting Up Your Voicemail Greeting

Kristen Arnett

She put everyone on speakerphone because she couldn’t bear to have the voicemails that near her brain, where they might absorb and make her believe things from a person who disappeared like setting a lit match to tissue paper.


Single Mother

Marina Yuszczuk, transl. by Alexis Almeida

We improvise a language that disturbs them the least, like palms of hands that touch them weightlessly, even when they’re having a fit.


On a Pond that the Edge of the Wood

Shane Seely

they are still / sinking they are damned to fall / forever through its deepening


Shock Value: Kathy Acker's larger-than-life…

Wendy Vogel

Kraus traces Acker’s life mostly through her private correspondence and keen readings of her works. What is revealed is a writer who bucked conventions, favoring a singular path and a relentless pursuit of libidinal desires.


Holy Thank You For Not

Megan Falley

Once you asked someone to hide the bottle, / and once you didn’t. Once it rained / on your rain.


In Hoffellsdalur

Gyrðir Elíasson

Among the gnarled trees on the slope, / along the way to an old spar mine, / somebody has dropped a telescope.


This Year I Turned 38

BJ Love

After that, it’s pretty simple biology; / pelvis, hips, and shoulders. Everything / just falls apart.


Mud Canción

Laura August

Mud might be a sinking feeling, a series of words used to cause pain, a confusion about relationships, or something to build from, it might be the evidence of something past, or the life source of something new.


Touched in Some Way by Flight: Five Books of…

Conor Bracken

Conor Bracken reviews recent books by Sam Sax, Frank Ormsby, William Logan, Michael Longley, and Cameron Barnett.


Four Titles from New Directions

Christian Bancroft

Christian Bancroft reviews four new releases from the revered independent publishing house.


“Not a fine light flickering”: Dara Wier’s…

Dara Wier

Lani Yu reviews a book of poetry by Dara Wier.