Current Issue

Mysteries of the Universe (First Place Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction)

The premonition hits as I walk down Park Street to the university. One foot up in the air and bamm! Knocks me back like a punch in the gut or a mysterious pain in the chest. A premo that sends a chill down my spine despite the warm spring morning. I try to shake it [...]

Clay (Second Place Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction)

Sam asks, “What are we doing here?” and you don’t know if he means here, in Flanders, or more generally, here on God’s green earth, which here, in Flanders is not green but mud-covered and cratered and incapable of sending up any other crop but barbed wire. Or if he means still here, at the [...]

Camp Vampire Kids (Third Place Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction)

Mom and I are driving to camp and playing the game where we think of jobs I could one day have that won’t compromise my condition. That’s how she phrases it. Mom and I spend a lot of time avoiding things that might compromise my condition.

Look Away

While talking to the colonel about how to administratively process Nicole’s death, I volunteered to walk through the house where she was murdered. We started the conversation sitting on opposite sides of the executive desk in his office. A bookcase stood against the wall facing us. Plaques from his previous commands and a rack filled [...]

Our Roof is the Nose of a Rocket

Our entire building hums, as a beetle does before it takes to the air. We break bread and give thanks and make things with such frequency and repetition that our awareness of time passing is telescoping inward.

Greased Lightning

It’s like old times the way we are laughing in this dive bar, the smell of stale fry oil soaked into the wooden tables our elbows stick to.

Paternoster Lakes

Five blue pools of water in the mountains sewn together by strings of icy streams— half-decade of the rosary, or full if each bead counts twice. Dammed by moraines dropped by moving masses

Breaking 200

Did it? Did it? Didn’t it? It did! By God, it did. Don Daddy did it. Big Daddy broke hot rodding’s barrier with a bam and a bale of smoke, barreling down the straightaway. Cheers from the bleachers. The rocket speed shock of the year we’d all been waiting for.

After Analysis

What I meant to say was clear / Corrupted. Like, look at this comp arison: Says, no it’s late.

Homage to John Coltrane

Times when it got too tough to tame my toddler daughter, we drove out to a place she called the indoor playground, because it was—a gilded age mansion, mansard roof and all, gutted and filled with toys, dolls, board games, fully stocked, itty-bitty kitchens, soporific gliders.

REVIEW: Nancy L. Davis, “Ghosts”

Review of Nancy L. Davis, Ghosts (Finishing Line Press, 2019) By Courtney Bambrick In her collection Ghosts, Nancy Davis presents a changing and challenging American landscape. Her poetic terrain is in turn at odds and at ease with history and wilderness. The first poem in the collection, “Sanctuary,” offers a glimpse of the layers of [...]

Litter Entries

On the first two days, we did what they called shadow dumps. Several of us were in training. We followed people around outside different government buildings and watched them pick up litter and trash.