STORY OF THE WEEK

Not for the Sabbath

“The rabbi sent his sexton to Fivke and summoned him to a rabbinical trial, but Fivke stood at the door of his house with a cudgel and roared, ‘If you want to take me by force, try!’ ”

POEM OF THE WEEK

Untitled (Woman Brushing Hair)

It’s like this when she takes her hand to my scalp: eyes close as if tasting a forkful of lemon cake. I’m the woman who catches the Holy Ghost on Sunday.

FINAL WEEK TO ENTER

Deadline: Mon., July 31

We’re looking for short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, and excerpts from long fiction and nonfiction.

Please see the Guidelines.

FICTION

Übermensch

The rumor was true—Ayn Rand would be our next visiting writer. It seemed that the chairman of the board of trustees had insisted on the invitation.

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

First Place





Second Place





Third Place

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

First Place

Home Help

This is the way disaster was handled in a British household: Simone made tea and cut the crusts from watercress sandwiches. There was no mention of the afternoon’s events.





Second Place

Plagiarism

I found him hovering in the shadows between his office window and his bookshelves, peering out and down through the trickled pane. Where’d you get it? he asked.





Third Place

A Place Like This

I want things from him I don’t even know how to properly want yet, but I feel them turning in me like the waters in this pool, dragging up whatever lies at the bottom.

FICTION

FICTION

FICTION

FICTION

Still Here, Still There

The American believed this was his death—this that turned out to be his luckiest chance: a savior from the other side.

FICTION

Possessions

Deep down, below the level where right and wrong stayed separate, I was awed at myself for being able to summon such wrath.

FICTION

Gethsemani

In the abbey, no one took him for a lapsed bohemian who played jazz records and danced naked.

FEATURES

NONFICTION

NONFICTION

FEATURES

Robert Stone and Kate Chopin

We went in search of the missing pages from Children of Light and found them in an archive of Stone’s papers.

NONFICTION

Saving Planet Earth

Our subscribers tended to be fervent activists, hardcore eco-warriors in the mode of Edward Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang, or delicate souls who ate no meat.

NONFICTION

Christian Soldiers

A tough cookie, this warrior-priest, who talked about his eleven-plus years in prisons the way scholars talk about graduate school.

NARRATIVE OUTLOUD

NARRATIVE OUTLOUD

AUTHOR PORTRAITS

NARRATIVE OUTLOUD

Honeymoon

She turned to tell him, already pulling on her bathing suit, I'm going to the pool. And she was gone, disappeared like a fragrance in motion. He called his ex-wife.

NARRATIVE OUTLOUD

Dear America

Listen to these young writers talk of their hopes, dreams, and real-world concerns as they tackle what it’s like to grow up in an immigrant family in America today.

AUTHOR PORTRAITS

Exposure

Out of the many Southern writers whom Richter photographed across the past two decades, we’ve chosen twenty-five who have awed and inspired us.

NARRATIVE 10

NARRATIVE 10

CLASSICS

NARRATIVE 10

Ten Questions

Best part of the day?

The gloaming. Early evening. A glass of wine, watching the sunset.

NARRATIVE 10

An Interview

Your cure for when the spirit flags?

Friends, exercise, and nature. Even better all together.

CLASSICS

The Girls in Their Summer Dresses

“I feel rotten inside when we pass a woman and you look at her and I see that look in your eye and that’s the way you looked at me the first time.”

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Listening and
Other Poems

I listened with my spine, with the soles of my feet, the whorls of my fingertips. I listened as though I woke on a savannah to a lion’s roar.

POETRY

Requiem

Isn’t it nice to think tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes yet? The stains on your skin, really wounds rubbed clean, rolled in clover.

POETRY

Conversations with Death

I bit my tongue
Don’t forget

Your umbrella. At
The fair.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Two Girls Bathing and Other Poems

Carol points to a spot on my back. I resist the urge to hide my breasts. She wears her nakedness like it has been woven from air.

POETRY

Praying Naked and Other Poems

It wasn’t guilt I felt. Maybe it was loneliness. Maybe it was my own desire to be desired, since, if a man wants me, I know I have at least a little worth left.

POETRY

The Orchid Casket and Other Poems

I forgot to detail that the jumper leapt from beside the hanging Monet into a wild hailstorm, tree limbs falling all around them.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Emo, 2005

Here we were, seventeen, more pissed than we knew what to do with, lost in the sweat of the crowd and the noise of the music, thankful for the distortion.

POETRY

The Recording Angel

The child asks about earth. The earth is a school. It is a waiting room, a foyer giving onto emptiness. It is for desires, small but beautifully done.

POETRY

Anti-confessional

M. called me every day this week. That is this poem’s most important fact. I say it first, before I tell you he is a junkie. We all know not to trust what a junkie says.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

The Visiting Room

We shuffle through the metal detector as one dumb animal. We spread. Kneel. We’ll come out missing parts.

POETRY

The Land of
Five Rivers

In Urdu, the clock tower is called Ghanta Ghar, meaning Hour House, which sounds just like our house. However, nothing of it is ours.

POETRY

Gaslight

We lived above a butcher shop and each morning men with blood on their aprons would unload inventory from a dented truck. They were doing this just for me.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

At the Sunoco in West Virginia

My father is dreamy, forgetful, aloof. But I’ve never actually been left behind before. I walk behind an aisle of Frito-Lays and burst into tears.

POETRY

Ruth Stone Explains the Book of the Dead to Sylvia Plath

I did what I could to hush the knot and rope, the truth of gravity. There are not enough idiomatic expressions to converse flawlessly with the dead.

POETRY

The New Dark Ages and Other Poems

The day’s adventure was a trip to the Horses’ Graveyard. Only the locals know where it is. You have to walk far from the pink-white tourist beaches.

POETRY

iPOEMS

iPOEMS

POETRY

On Seeing Damien Hirst’s “Kingdom of the Father”

The butterflies hang grotesque: House paint obscures the edges, black paint licking down their iridescent fur.

iPOEMS

Marriage as
Light Socket

Loss: as if you could lock your teeth against it. Or slam the front door to keep it out.

iPOEMS

Winter 1940

Goldfinches spring in a throng from the thorn. Their fat little squadron, full throttle for freedom, rides airwaves before us.

READERS’ NARRATIVES

In Defense of Ballin’ on a Budget

Damn, Will—they’ve got you sounding mighty Uncle Phil in these streets. Like the still calling the Ketel One cheap.

Light as Imagined through a Body
of Ice

An expansion into light, or we could have been, or were for a moment. A painting is one kind of marriage between permanency and sight.

READERS’ NARRATIVES

Pondicherry

We embarked on a three-day train ride from Pondicherry in the southern tip of India to Shillong at the northeastern tip of Assam.

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2017-07

Great new toons by Pat Byrnes, Gordon & Miller, Mary Lawton, David Sipress, and P. C. Vey.

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2017-06

New laughs from Pat Byrnes, Charlie Hankin, Farley Katz, Mary Lawton, and Gordon & Miller.

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2017-05

New art and humor from Curtis Edwards, Rina Piccolo, Julia Suits, P. C. Vey, and Kim Warp.