Expand/Contract: Day 3

In developing and revising works that linger and/or zoom, think of yourself as an aye aye, tap tap tapping at the words on the page to see where you might find a crack, where you might be able to open the piece up and find something delicious or deliciously weird.

Expand/Contract: Day 2

Maybe we can learn from the way film moves, how it plays with time and pulls us along with it. And maybe we can also learn from the way even a static image can interact with the viewer's memory and deceive it, telling the story the viewer wants to see.

Letter from the Editors

Let this harvest issue be your invitation to trust that seeds are being planted, that violets will—in their soft and fragile nature, yes—break through the rocks.

Goldenvein

Every spot she has dug so far has felt lucky, magnetized, like some divine force led her to those coordinates; and each spot has been barren, empty, desolate.

Deer Lord / Dear Lord

The boys have never seen him, don’t believe he’s real, but the girls all whisper about the latest boogeyman, the Deer Lord they see outside their bedroom windows at night; the deer who wears a human skull over his own face.

Garbage to Curb

I’m instantly reminded of why I skipped the last few of these—the room is all hot breath and squeezed shoulders, and I have two giants in front of me blocking my view. One wears a blue topcloth with the words Garbage to Curb carefully painted across the back, staring me in the face.

A Relief and a Horror

We’re better equipped now than perhaps ever before to empathize with and examine how Jackson conveys the Blackwoods’ sense of isolation, both social and physical, from their community.

Blow

Imagine her saying, as she settles, “Good God, Ben, my constant pessimist. Give it a rest. I’m not here to fry.” And imagine a pebble loosened from the clifftop, falling. Impacting her skull. There would be damage.

Boba Talk

You bump into White Boy on a parched, irreverent Wednesday morning, power-walking your way to line up for the three hour commute at 6 AM, and too loud he announces, I am in love with your country.

Strangled

I need to speak now; he’s expecting it. Waiting for an answer. Summoning all my energy, I push the air from my lungs, forcing it over the golf ball wedged in my throat.

Election

When I first saw that my mother was running for mayor I was in the grocery store. It was the morning and I wasn’t doing too well and the check-out girl was wearing this big blue pin with my mother’s big white face on it.

Forbidden Birth

I found you bitty in a snap pea, plucked you out and swallowed you whole, / rivered your body through my insides and grew it quietly. What bad men? we say.

The Moon at Noontime

Stuck in the basement where the TV was, out of Mom’s way, I’d pinch the well-timed edge and prolong the pull-away, the cling of flesh where the glue most adhered, the release, the skin’s snap back to itself.

Did the Water

The girls climb down under the bridge. Below them, the river is dark and still, a surface so solid it almost doesn’t look like it could drown you.