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The Double Feature

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By William Cody Maher

To go out with me for fresh air or for some sun and to listen to the birds. . . to go out with me is to watch behind my back to be anticipating what is ahead to look for kids suddenly lurching out of the bushes out of my mind. . . to be out with me is not to be out with me and I don’t know how I can change that unless all the stop lights remain green and no one...

Corona Report

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Andrea Scrima

The invisible enemy hit Italy just as I was preparing to leave Florence; containment measures had begun a week prior to my departure. At first the “red zones” of Codogno and other municipalities in Lodi were subject to quarantine, then the whole of Lombardy together with provinces in Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Piedmont, and Marche. And then, on...

Israel Journal, 2013–2014

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by Alex Cocotas

“Israel doesn’t have problems. Israel has challenges,” the speaker tells our group. It is my second day in Israel. The program that brought me here required us to come to his lecture. The speaker is American. He immigrated to Israel in the 1970s and established a kibbutz outside of Ramle, a medium-sized city (for Israel) about thirteen miles...

Irina’s Diary

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William Cody Maher

My name is Irina. My husband is dead. I am expecting our child.

The dust is all everyone talks about in the square. I refuse to wash it from my skin. I go brazenly past the police through the town. I am layered in dust. It is my mourning gown.

The doctors say the nausea is common. . . and that the pain will go away. I laugh at them. I don’t...

The Oriental Master

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My great aunt, Dorle Jarmel Soria, was a classical music impresario who helped arrange the debuts of Leonard Bernstein and Maria Callas.  I discovered thousands of love letters to her in her apartment after her death and am finishing a book about them. This concerns George Asfar, a Syrian from Damascus who was responsible for the Ottoman room at the Metropolitan.

David Winner

Context Collapse (continued)

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Context Collapse is a long, mock-academic, critical essay poem. Beginning in ancient Greece and continuing beyond the present, it examines how the increasingly wide gulf between poets and their audiences are mediated by new communications technologies and changes in publishing economies, and how this, in turn, significantly impacts poetic form.

Context Collapse

C

Context Collapse is a long, mock-academic, critical essay poem. Beginning in ancient Greece and continuing beyond the present, it examines how the increasingly wide gulf between poets and their audiences are mediated by new communications technologies and changes in publishing economies, and how this, in turn, significantly impacts poetic form.

The Phantom Tower

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By Frederic Tuten

His father, the county doctor, loved him. He read to him even when he returned tired from his rounds, from Miss Biddle with her gout and Judge Jackson with his ever-weakening heart and all the others in the countryside who needed him. When he turned eight, the doctor gave the boy books for his birthday.

 “You have reached the age of reason,” the doctor...

Three Sisters (On Disturbed Ground)

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by Esther Kinsky

M. starts a new round of chemotherapy treatment. It’s been a year now, roughly, since we first came here, in my memory the trees were still bare. Could that be possible? Seems such a very long time ago. M. gets out of the car, walks off, across this little wasteland of tree stumps and rubble left over from the recent carnage on this site, so heavy with history, so...

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...

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