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Volume 60, Issue 2

Front Cover by Kate Durbin, Unfriend Me Now!, 2018. STILL FROM 3-CHANNEL VERSION OF UNFRIEND ME NOW! (c) Kate Durbin.
Courtesy of the artist.

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NOT LONG AGO, a friend from my school days shared a photo with me, a junior high yearbook snapshot taken during art class, apparently. Remember, he posted. Not a bad question (though it may not have been one, since it wasn’t marked as such). As exhortation, it echoes that of Hamlet’s father and seems similarly unnecessary. Faced with such an image, a scrap of time some forty-five years old, life’s Rolodex can’t help but spin, doing its circular best to sort and assemble, identify and classify, until the intrusion is either resolved or left indefinitely suspended, nagging somewhere until it doesn’t, forgotten once more. This particular photo shows seven of us: long-haired, adolescent boys in bell-bottoms and tight sweaters or florid, wide-collared shirts or flannel, five in chairs and two on the floor. Of the four in the foreground, I identified three instantly, myself and two friends. The rest all looked familiar, but without prompting I doubt I’...

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Two Stories

Antonio Tabucchi, translated from Italian by Anne Milano Appel

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“We are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest [...] the teachings of Thoreau are alive today, indeed, they are more alive today than ever before.”

—REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (MR 4.1, Autumn 1962)

From the Blog

10 Questions

10 Questions for Matt Izzi

- By Christin Howard

“Corporal Belknap’s eyes were gone, white cotton: he must have drunk twenty beers himself. Which explained why he was leaning against the Humvee like a bike without a kickstand, why Sullivan couldn’t deceipher his latest slurred monologue—a single word he kept repeating, something like hurt, or heart, or was it help? – From “Gasoline,” Summer 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 2)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In second grade I wrote a story on the classroom computer, which the teacher, Ms. Picozzi, let me use when I was done with my assignments. I wrote a first-person adventure story, all action, little dialogue: I climbed up a ladder, I went through a tunnel, I came to...


On Rage

- By Evelyn Char, translated from Chinese by Nicholas Wong

It’s been over a week since I first failed to sleep normally. My sleep has been shallow. I’ve tossed and turned in bed, awake and asleep. Or, at other times, I was simply an insomniac, almost never missing the first soft beam of sunlight shining through the curtain cracks.

My insomnia suggested that everyday life had collapsed. Other body functions had also suddenly gone wrong. Aside from the usual health issues, my heart often beat unnaturally fast, which made me feel that I shouldn’t procrastinate anymore. I rushed to the Chinese herbal doctor. The wait there, as usual, was long. He observed me and felt my pulse. He asked me to stick out my tongue, put it back, and slowly stick it out again. Then, with a frown, he asked, “What have you done lately? Are...


Interview with Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

- By Albert Lloret

The narrator of Call Me Zebra (CMZ) sees herself as part of what she calls the 0.1%, a tiny fraction of the population that engages with the world through literature. Would you say that this 0.1% is a privileged group?
It depends on who is answering the question. Zebra, Oloomi the writer—or me, the other Oloomi? Zebra’s father, Abbas Abbas Hosseini, an eccentric literary genius, drills into her a message that shapes her entire belief system. He warns that, “The world’s numbskull intellectuals, which form 99.9% of all intellectuals, will feed you lies.” So, naturally, once he is dead and buried, the notion that it is her duty to do the work of the 0.1% shapes the way she conducts all of her intimate relationships. For...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Mimi Lipson

- By Emily Wojcik

“On the morning of Saturday, June 15, 2013, my brother Sam sent me a link to an AP wire service story. The headline said, “Rangers Rescue Hiker Hit by Fallen Tree in Smokies,” and the hiker was identified as “Nathan Lipsom.” They’d misspelled our last name, but it was close enough that someone Sam worked with had forwarded it to him, asking if this person was any relation. . .” —from “Tornado,” Volume 60, Issue 2 (Summer 2019)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In, I’m going to say, 1992, my downstairs neighbor had a zine called Luvboat Earth. His name is Josh Glenn. We’re still friends, and I’m a regular contributor to his website Hilobrow...


10 Questions for Robert Long Foreman

- By Christin Howard

“As I write this, my daughter Moriah is running in a circle behind me. She is five. We are in our basement, which is where I go when I want to be alone and get to work. Moriah is running because she wants our cat to chase her. The cat is not having it. I lost control of my life when Moriah came into it. I lost ready access to what passes for my mind.” – From “Ragnarök,” Summer 2019 (Vol. 60, Issue 2)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
One of the first things I wrote was an essay, “Speak, Walking Stick.” In my parents’ house there was an old heirloom walking stick, and I’d never written anything seriously—not with publication in mind. So, I wrote...

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