Volume 5, Number 1

Excerpts

Town Land

by James Grinwis

Two women and a man
sit on a bench.
Then another woman
comes up. The man seems
three-eared. I am surrounded
by beer bottles and waiters.
They throw their eyelashes
in my soup as if
to scare me. They
feel contempt for a man
drinking, a dog tied
to his chair beside a plastic
water cup. There are couples
and couples drinking
and smoking cigarillos,
fluctuating between flirtation
and dismay. The town
is a constant flux. Sometimes waiting,
sometimes hanging onto
the stems of itself
like a brutally organized plant.
Something has taken me
where I am, and what to do
is something besides. The thing
to be thought about
was almost like romance.
It was supposed to be
this really great idea.

Puke

by Norman Dubie

John Law is eating hot purple beets
in the poor house
in a dark corner of Alsace-Lorraine
where the lamps weaken
while he suffers a vision of complexity,
of paper money falling
upon rats
swimming in the long canal
of next winter’s early rains.

John Law is a membrane
of least fact—the idea of paper money
is Chinese, just
as animal crackers are Sumerian and puke
to most dogs
is a late least fact of appetite
all over again—

it is strange
that the financing of the American Revolution
and John Law’s printing machines
led to the bankruptcy
of the entire French nation
and hundreds, perhaps thousands,
of headless aristocrats
as if money were a kind of contingency
like rain.



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Contributors

Alan Shapiro
Alisha Bruton
Astrid Cabral
Ben Berman
Brenda Hillman
Camillo Sbarbaro
Christopher Ankney
Christopher Howell
Daneen Bergland
Dunja Jankovic
Elizabeth Winder
Fritz Ward
Gabriel Welsch
Grzegorz Wroblewski
Heather McHugh
James Grinwis
Jennifer MacKenzie
Jessica Goodfellow
Jessica Johnson
Joe Wilkins
Matthew Frank
Mia Nussbaum
Nico Alvarado
Norman Dubie
Paul Touhtonghi
Victoria Boynton