All posts tagged: Feature

June 2023 Poetry Feature: New Poems by Our Contributors


Table of Contents: 
—R. Zamora Linmark, “Under the Influence”
—Kevin Craft, “Basin and Range” and “Or Later We Become Our Parents”
—Cole W. Williams “Gombe”


Under the Influence
By R. Zamora Linmark

After watering the baby navel orange tree
rosemary and sage I left the garden before 
the rain returned and sped to Ala Moana mall
after my brother told me nothing beats retail
shopping under the influence of grief
especially when everything from Spring must go
so wail flail your arms wildly like a child drowning
stomp in your black leather sandals for Gethsemane
but for Pete’s sake please pedicure first
you want your sorrow to be of first rate honey
equated with Achilles and not Manchego cheese-
like heels then hit Zara and buy that slim-fitted
charcoal-gray pants with matching coat
you’ve been dreaming of that varsity jock
letterman jacket with green sleeves and decal
in Greek one size smaller if available
a perfect motivator to wake up very early
in the morning load the Biki bike with your inflatable
board and oars and balancing between choppy
waters and gusty winds paddle from one end
of the beach to the next just a little after sunrise.


June 2023 Poetry Feature: New Poems by Our Contributors

TC Alumni Spotlight: JinJin Xu

Curated by: SARAH WHELAN

This month, enjoy a new feature that celebrates the wonderful former interns and employees that have worked at The Common over the years. Though we miss seeing them everyday, we’re continually impressed by what they go on to accomplish. This month, we’re catching up with former Editorial Assistant JinJin Xu, an Amherst College alumna, Watson Fellow, and most recently, recipient of the Lillian Vernon Fellowship at NYU.

JinJin XU

TC Alumni Spotlight: JinJin Xu

January 2018 Poetry Feature

This month we welcome poets new to our pages: JESSICA LANAY and MARLIN M. JENKINS



Harriet Hemings Meets Red Peter at The Russian Tea Room

“[…] as uniformly as is the preference of the Oranootan for the black women over those of his own species.” — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia

“It is now nearly five years since I was an ape, a short space of time, perhaps, according to the calendar…” — Red Peter, from “A Report to an Academy” by Franz Kafka

Red Peter, it is so nice to meet you—I mean, you have to know how awful online dating can be. My father set us up—I think, based on your preferences in women, he thought we would have a lot in common. I must admit, I was excited to come to this restaurant. It is an excellent choice; the banana pudding is fabulous—the best in the city. I too love frequenting Paris, although I missed your performances with Hagenbeck. He also brought the world Otta Benga, did he not? I believe Mr. Benga resided in the same state where my father wrote his Notes. You are such a kind gentleman, compared to others. Here, let me adjust your bowtie; you’ve learned to be more human than most. Now, tell me, in your report to an academy, did you address your desires? Your dating preferences? Is the preference of the oranootan, in fact, for the black woman over his own species? Red Peter, my father would be very happy to hear about this date, if your preference is as such—I mean, for a woman like myself.

January 2018 Poetry Feature

Ask a Local: Kayla Rae Whitaker, Louisville, Kentucky

With Kayla Rae Whitaker

Louisville bridge

How long have you lived here: One year. Still feels very new.

Three words to describe the climate:
Because it’s July, humid – on some days, the air feels like drinking cotton. In the winters, damp. But in the fall – particularly the long falls – and the spring, it feels forgiving.

Best time of year to visit? NOT DERBY. May is a beautiful time in Kentucky, but Derby snarls Louisville traffic in the worst possible way. I say this as a newcomer to the city (while I wrote about Louisville, I had never lived there until this year). It only took one Derby weekend for me to see some of the most ridiculous displays of driving I’ve ever seen. Early summer is a good bet. Fall’s nice too.

Ask a Local: Kayla Rae Whitaker, Louisville, Kentucky

Flying the Hump


In Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where I grew up, Rex Humbard was the first Pentecostal evangelist to have his own television program. Next to the Cathedral of Tomorrow, where he hosted his weekly broadcast, he also built an enormous tower—locally known as Rex’s Erection—with the intent of making one of those revolving restaurants like at Niagara Falls. But despite eventually officiating at Elvis’s funeral, Humbard ran out of money and, ever since, the tower has just stood there, tall and useless. Though my grandfather, who was a flight instructor at Kent State, once told me that pilots used the tower as a landmark when giving their coordinates over the radio.

Flying the Hump

A Sip of Elsewhere: On Reading Into and Out of Place


open spaces, wyoming

One February morning, in between blizzards, I was leaning against a pillar on a subway platform, off the express train and waiting for the local, reading as usual, when a large drop of water landed on the book in my hands. The dirty bubble-swell of water—probably melted snow that had seeped from the pavement above into the underground in-between space where I stood—lingered in place yellowly for a moment before blooming into the bottom of page 88. If I let it keep seeping into the book, the paper would dry all wrinkly. If I wiped it off—with my hand? my jacket?—I’d only be spreading the wetness around. Irritation, the kind particular to very minor subway commute dramas, spread through me. The train arrived.

A Sip of Elsewhere: On Reading Into and Out of Place