Statement of Record

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Things you Have Touched

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A piece of tissue-thin onion-skin paper to which you pressed your vermilion-inked seal, and so sealed my fate. Belying the fragility of the parchment, it is an iron-clad document that “releases” me—as if I were a prisoner or a caged animal—from the mother who wanted me and the motherland that did not, to cross the great, roiling ocean to call another, “Mother.”

Routine

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by Matthew Vollmer

“Routine” is a French word derived from “route” or “path,” denoting a usual course of action

Wake. Navigate through dark to bathroom, avoiding areas of floor known to creak. Lower self onto toilet, careful not to ram forehead into waist-high crown molding on opposite wall. Pee. Skip handwashing. Return to bed. Turn over phone, whose screen stayed lit all...

Marking a Moment

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by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer

I think you’re going to like my new work, by the way. I’m anxious to show it to you. (Letter from Joan in Berlin to Steven in New York, undated, 1987.)

I never forget Joan’s birthday because it is the same as my mother’s, September 1. I never forget the date on which Hitler invaded Poland and started World War II because it is the day my...

Avoidant Type

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by Joan Marcus

When you’re twenty-six and it’s 1991 and you walk into an emergency room in Tucson with a racing heart, everyone thinks you’re on coke. “We aren’t the police,” they say, hoping you’ll fess up. They believe they’re being wise and supportive, the nurse and the other nurse, and...

Micromanagement

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by Joy Garnett

The river looked grey and cold that morning with its little whorls of current that appeared every few yards like dimples. Above was the low-hanging sky, autumnal, bright white, almost blinding. I remember I had my book out and tried to read it, but my mind was elsewhere. I felt scattered. Maybe fatigued is a better word. I was fatigued by the thought of the workday...

On Crushing: an excerpt

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By Cara Diaconoff

Think the word “lonely.” See the little girl moping in the corner of the schoolyard or the homeless man hunched over a grate. When one reads that some well-known person was lonely, isn’t there always a small twinge of surprise? One thinks, it must mean ‘lonely’ on the inside. To be really alone in the world is to be young, innocent—or to be so much...

A Coincidental Exchange between Life and Art

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by Lee Clough

Can we “be” as a statement? Exist as an exploration? Represent a philosophy with our own bones? Norwegian author Edy Poppy’s curious interplay of life and writing unravel in her novel Anatomy. Monotony.

Life Mimics Art

How would you live, if you knew your actions—even the most intimate ones—could be...

ANATOMY. MONOTONY.

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By Edy Poppy 

 

Translated from the Norwegian by May-Brit Akerholt 

For my husband, who has given me everything, even what I didn’t want. 

(He is now my ex-husband)

 

JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT

It’s late. We’re hungry. We catch a bus in the direction of Kentish Town. I run up the stairs, while the American buys tickets...

Girl in Perfume

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by Carol Guess

The fear had to be taught. It wasn’t something women were born with. Kirstin birthed the fear in them, not like giving birth, but like controlling a robot. 

It was Kirstin’s job to make women think their body odors were bad. To scare them at the signature of their own scent, sour them on sweat, breath, sticky under the arms, wet between the legs. The product...

The Color Inside a Melon

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A novel excerpt by John Domini

[Risto—Aristofano Al’Kair—is a rarity in contemporary Italy, an immigrant success story. Out of Mogadishu, he’s earned citizenship and lives now in Naples, with a wife who’s a native. Here, the two take advantage of a rare quiet moment.]

“The kids,” he found himself saying. “Such a, a wonder.”

Amore, yes...

Gun Safe

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by Carol Guess

Every Monday, Mock City. You get up at five am, but instead of driving north to the airport, you drive south through strip malls and suburbs. You drive to the police academy where you were trained and now work one morning a week. Mock City interrupts the parking lot of the academy, a rectangular building with vinyl siding, handwritten signage, and...

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