Today, we are publishing excerpts from contributors Nalini Jones and Jeff Parker in anticipation of the Issue 07 Launch Party this Sunday. Join us for a Spring fete of live literature and music featuring readings by Jones and Parker!
We decided to start with a con. She was small, with blonde hair and an unidentifiable accent that gave her voice the warped vowels and ee-haw rhythms of a handsaw. She approached him on the footbridge, made a startled noise, and looked down. His eyes followed hers, and there—exactly midway between them—was a golden ring. She picked it up first, having been, after all, the one who had put it there the instant before he caught sight of her.
The Common Statement
The sidewalk in front of my house unfurls enticingly to the north and south. Though its seams have buckled after months of gravel and salt, the walk still leads me to my neighbor’s porch, where I pull eggs and goat cheese from the fridge, take honey from the shelf, and leave cash in an unlocked box. The snow- and ice-narrowed path also still ferries a friend and me to the Bookmill, where we drink wine in the afternoon and squeeze up tight next to the stacks to peer down on the rushing creek below. If the walk’s covered overnight by a hard snow, Don blasts his snowblower through, the cranking assault of the motor a reasonable price to pay for the favor. For the magic of having one’s way into the world restored. That I have a sidewalk outside my door is a fairy-tale luxury, an enchantment.
Follow me, Imagineers! We’ll make noise
from these dread instruments, shook music
loud as the hell we’ve climbed from, visible
only to the i in piano, the eye in the oboe.
In Praise of Prey
The rhythm of predation is a sine wave.
Between predator and prey it winds
like a whip-crack in slow motion.
When an Old Classmate Learns I Am a Lesbian
“Oh my God! I knew it! I always knew it. I was like Julie is so gay, & people were like oh, whatever, you just think everybody’s gay because it’s an all-girls school, but I knew I wasn’t gay, & I knew most of those girls weren’t gay, so I was like fuck you, Jasmine, go suck on one of your Jolly Rancher rings! Do you remember those?
When I Was Straight
I did not love men as I do now.
I loved them wincing & wanting to please.
I loved them trying too hard.
He taught me about empires, got spotted
in a ferry leaning almost too close to a man
in the same tee.
By BRUCE BOND
Let us say you are. You are the girl
who, looking out her window to the city,
takes on the grey pallor of the day,
the way some lizards take on the green
shade of the season they are in, so close
to the garden the garden cannot find them.
Henri Province in Wessex
Now, when the thatch-roofed cottages
Send up their puffs and curls
From heating folk and pottages,
And steadily thickening swirls