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Quarantine Diary (excerpt)

Q

Matthew Vollmer

Trying to read David Markson’s Reader’s Block during a plumber’s visit. Yesterday, E, my son, clogged up the toilet in his bathroom. Upon further interrogation, he admitted that he’d flushed something called a “Magic Eraser” down the commode. Spent twenty minutes pumping a plunger, trying to get the turds of a person I helped create to disappear down the...

Halted Time

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Christian von der Goltz

Behind the news, behind the curves and theories, behind the ongoing argument over who says what, behind all the noise of the internet, a ghostly silence has been spreading into every aspect of daily life. More than all the talk of numbers and statistics, it’s this silence that is changing people’s behavior. Social distancing isn’t the cause of this silence, but...

Excerpts from Another Love Discourse

E

Edie Meidav

To circumscribe

Here in the time of the great panic, people retreated to their bunkers, the people of the past come forward. Yesterday we found a path at an odd road, named as if after a bad blues song, like Coffinnail Cove: I’m going there to find my beloved. But this was true; at the mouth of the...

WINDOWS

W

By Beverly Gologorsky

The comfort of the couch is an unexpected joy. The early dusk enters the room to brighten the lamplight. Nothing new in the way of decoration has been added, so most everything within sight is at least half my age. Objects long held, whether paintings, photos, worn chairs, even the plants along the windowsill, feel dearer at my age than they once did. What...

The Daisy Assassin: Incidents from a Time of Plague

T

by David Winner

Most risks have immediate consequence.  If you get caught in a riptide, you drown.  Not that afternoon, not the following month, but then. But if I catch a dribble of Covid sputum on Lookout Hill, I may wake up one morning two weeks later not with one of the mild sore throats that have been scaring me but a deep exhaustion so I can barely make it to the bathroom to pee. A...

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

C

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

I

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

T

 
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)

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.

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.

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