reviewed by Karen Uhlmann
June 30th, 2014 | 9:12am

The Weight of the Human Heart, a short story collection by Ryan O’Neill, plays with language, cultural understandings, and misunderstandings. O’Neill, who was born in Glasgow and now lives in Australia, has traveled extensively, and this is reflected in the stories’ settings and in the characters, who seem to dwell on language as much as their author.

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons, user Raiana Ferron
Multiple Authors
June 27th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons, user Raiana Ferron

We’re pleased to offer our readers a selection from The Spines of Love by Mexican poet Victor Terán, translated from the Isthmus Zapotec by David Shook, as well as an excerpt from Chinese poet Xiao Hai's long poem Song of Shadows, translated by Zhu Yu. Both volumes were recently published by Restless Books


June 26th, 2014 | 2:15pm

Welcome readers and listeners! Today we're launching The Common Podcast: Contributors in Conversation. Every other month, we'll invite contributors from our recent issues to read and discuss each other's work.

Image from Flickr Creative Commons: user Cuba Gallery
June 25th, 2014 | 9:25am

Image from Flickr Creative Commons: user Cuba Gallery

i want to travel with you like light, all over

wine and gondoliers, round pink-faced foreigners, street lamps
my hand in your black hair
and because we’re often laughing, we laugh
at how precious the buildings are in this drunken city
like piles of leaves we jump inside them


June 24th, 2014 | 8:00am


I am writing in a small, L-shaped, dim room in our finished basement.  My family affectionately calls it “the cave.”  This cellar is quiet and crammed with my reading library.  In the winter, the cold keeps me awake because the hours I spend here are just before and after midnight.  The phone doesn’t ring, and the heater and sump pump hum and gurgle at intervals like the chimes of an angry monster’s clock.  In the autumn, a few burglar crickets in the adjoining crawl space chirp their requiem:  “more time, more time.”  There is one high, small window that doesn’t matter much in the wee hours.  I wouldn’t want a pleasant view to distract me during the day either.