GMR

 

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Spartanburg

She took the knife out now. Richard had just risen, the mattress swelling with the forgiveness of his weight. He paused at the bathroom door, the light behind him throwing a shadow on the outline of his taut belly. A stiff, wiry hair, strong as an antenna, pointed from his middle roundness. Clara Jayne had the overwhelming urge to pluck it. Maybe even to suck it. He said, “I’m so glad we’re doing this,” “this” meaning the child he wanted and she didn’t.

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Two Poems

It’s not like he can just be a rich dude, / my friend says of a guy we know. He has / enough money to keep him from finding / a job, not enough to just work on finding / himself. In money there are so many wrong / amounts. Zero, for instance.

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Fragments: From the Lost Book of the Bird Spirit

Karla Van Vliet’s lyrical imagination has unearthed for us a tender relic, Fragments: From the Lost Book of the Bird Spirit, her third collection. Fragments is posited as salvaged pieces of an ancient spiritual text, written in an early defunct language (as suggested by the cuneiform-like marks on the book’s cover), ardent lines that are the survivors of extensive effacement and erasure.

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Green Mountains Review, based at Northern Vermont University, is an annual, award-winning literary magazine publishing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, literary essays, interviews, and book reviews by both well-known writers and promising newcomers.

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Two Poems

Two Poems

Side effects may include digging / a hole in your personal snow / to a time before your heart / floated next to your father’s heart

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Two Poems

Two Poems

Lashed & anchored to the front of each ship, / a woman—breasts carved from dark oak, / all the wildness sanded down, polished out; / half human, half fish, a grotesque fantasy

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Snakes

Snakes

In Ghana, I was warned, all snakes are poisonous. All ninety-two species. If you are bitten, you have to grab the snake and take it along to the hospital so they can give you the correct antivenin. Assuming they have antivenin. And assuming there’s a hospital.

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My Jewish Beard

My Jewish Beard

These past few months, I’ve taken great amusement in others’ reactions to my newly bushy beard, and in their questioning why I’ve chosen to let it grow so full and long now that I’ve turned 60 and my beard has turned white.

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Criminals We Know

Criminals We Know

The British call seagulls the “thugs” of the bird world. They “detest” the birds for snatching food from picnic tables and depositing splotches on cars. Pigeons and magpies come next on the list of most loathed, followed a few slots down by the unlikely sparrow who is simply “dull looking,” a criticism that seems dubious coming from a populace of oxfords, woolens, and tweeds.

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