Photo by author
February 13th, 2015 | 7:00am

Photo by author

1. Seocho via Gangnam

My family and I are struggling along Teheran Road in Seocho-dong, Seoul, and it is my fault. I should have conducted us one stop farther to Gangnam Station, where the number ten exit would have deposited us in front of our destination, but we are disoriented by the city’s newness and haven’t yet learned the subway stations, nor do we know the banks and stores and restaurants piled atop each other in metallic high-rises footnoted by cafés and tea rooms and dessert shops. It is late May, nearly summer, when people punctuate meals with shaved ice covered with red bean jelly, rice cakes, diced fruit, grain powder, green tea, condensed milk, and ice cream for more richness.


February 12th, 2015 | 7:00am

Peter Filkins reads his poem, “O,” from Issue 06.


reviewed by Julia Lichtblau
February 9th, 2015 | 7:00am

De Guatemala a Guatepeor. (From Guate-bad to Guate-worse.) The acid Spanish pun captures the reflexive pessimism this beautiful, tormented Central American country evokes. The central event of modern Guatemalan history, a 1954 CIA-backed coup that halted land reform, precipitated a 36-year civil war, during which 200,000 people, many indigenous, were killed or disappeared. The repercussions still play out, de mal a peor, in poverty, drug violence, corruption, and impunity.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user squash-buckler
February 4th, 2015 | 7:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user squash-buckler

There were hundreds of summer camps in Maine in the ’60s. It was a seasonal gulag for middle-class white kids, ages 8–16. Being shipped off to the woods by your parents for eight whole weeks felt like a secret Get Out Of Jail Free card. Only the nametags on your clothes connected you to who you were once you had been dropped into June, and then, somewhere around August, you would brown and swell and burst into flame like a marshmallow on a stick.

February 3rd, 2015 | 7:00am

Jonathan Moody is a poet and professor. His first full-length collection, The Doomy Poems, deals with time and place through persona poems, and is described by Terrance Hayes as having an “innovative funkiness that transcends the ruckus and heartache of our modern world.” Moody’s second poetry collection, Olympic Butter Gold, won the 2014 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize and will be published in summer this year. His poem “Dear 2Pac” appears in Issue 08 of The Common, and his “Portrait of Hermes as a B-Boy,” “Kleosphobia,” and “Paranoid,” have all been featured at The Common Online. Melody Nixon caught up with Moody this winter, and between New Zealand and Texas they talked poetry activism, politics, Houston skyscrapers, and the cosmopolitan radiance of Downtown Pittsburgh.