In her latest collection, Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod, Traci Brimhall takes on the impossible task of all mothers: she tries to sing us to sleep. But even sleep can’t save us from the violence and chaos of the world. Even in sleep, there is a haunting, a symbolic language which speaks to us of the world we will return to upon waking.
Growing up, one of my favorite shows was My Favorite Martian. If you’re not sufficiently ancient or addicted to terrible — I mean, retro-cool — TV to remember, Ray Walston’s title character looked like a human but had knitting-needle antennae he could raise from the back of his head, plus an aluminum foil spacesuit and other unspecial effects. Bill Bixby, his Hulk days still ahead, spent three seasons in the 60s trying to conceal from the neighbors that Uncle Martin was an alien. Hijinks ensued.
Introducing our newest interns
Your father is lying on the couch under a quilt with an Apsáalooke print on it. He tells you, I’m sorry I can’t go, this thing is killing me. And you nod your head that folds your high-necked sweater down because it is old and has been worn and washed time and again. You are hot, standing there in your sweater and your jacket and your bright vest with your wool hat and two layers of pants. He tells you, You’ll be fine but stay off the reservation. He tells you he’s expecting big things from you—that you will feed the family over the winter after today.
When I came home from summer camp in the Poconos in 1958, Knutt showed me a pair of turtles he’d caught in Queen Anne Creek. Silver-dollar-size painted terrapins basked on sunlit mats of watercress that grew against Queen Anne’s banks like barrier reefs beside the deeper, more quickly flowing clear-water channel midstream.
A Review of Jen Karetnick’s THE CROSSING OVER
A shoe stands / at the forest edge, / tongue depressed / with spectacles / and one gray sock.
My husband shared his cigarettes with me + so when I die / I do with lungs like eggplants. My floral dress snapped at the waist because
Bad Harvest is a resonant folk song that fills the chambers of the future with echoes of the past. Its complex twists of hereditary and personal relations with language and work open a chasm of concern for the future that Dzvinia Orlowsky locates and does a little dance on the edge of. She stares openly, even mockingly, into the pit of impermanence and unpredictability, spinning the prescribed doom and mortality of what we all know shall end: health, love, and livelihood.
One can hold a crossbow and a pussy / Willow with the same affection. / One can dream her own body in the arms / of the blue Mary