We are a small magazine with large ambitions.
Ordinary Shoes

Ordinary Shoes

I’m not a graceful child. I bump into furniture, spill drinks, wake with bruises for no discernable reason at all. I trip over carpets, stain my shirts the minute I walk out the door, and my lank hair slithers free of any barrette. But when I put on my roller...
All or Nothing, Self-Portrait at Twenty-Seven

All or Nothing, Self-Portrait at Twenty-Seven

It’s all empty beer cans and skinny dipping. (Bud Light and chlorine.) A guitar player with a beard who won’t let go as hard as you do. It’s teasing the strings of your orange bikini while he tosses his trunks onto the stone. It’s the ease of your body through...
Cake

Cake

At the edge of the counter, on a plate and wrapped in plastic, was a single wedge of cake. Not just chocolate cake, but German chocolate, layers of sodden coconut and crushed nuts bound by nectar as sweet, I imagined, as the honey drop I once sucked from a trumpet-shaped...
This Moment

This Moment

This is it. This is the moment our lives crack wide open like a pomegranate and all its bloody bits spread long and wide. One month before my daughter turns sixteen, I stand by the hospital bed, look her in the eye, and ask why. She stares blankly at the...
Necrologies: Mothers & Fathers

Necrologies: Mothers & Fathers

BROWN RAT We only lived in the little house for three years. I still slept in a crib and watched Sesame Street while my mother did calisthenics. I do not remember eating or sleeping there. I don’t remember what the yard looked like. I do not remember my father’s shape...
Punch Line

Punch Line

One night when my wife is pregnant with our second child, she asks me for a glass of water. It’s late, and though it is a minor request, I still grumble as I sleepwalk to the kitchen. Who can say what time it is? Even the clocks are asleep. But...
Crossing the Rapidan (#18)

Crossing the Rapidan (#18)

I’m falling. I thought the ground was there, that the wall would hold. I was wrong, and now I am moving through the air, nothing holding me.   Grant moves south. Grant moves south.   The sun is high in the sky, rising over my forehead. As I accelerate down, I think,...
Extinctions

Extinctions

Theresa’s mother is crossing the street, carrying two stuffed animals in her arms, and this is the most apocalyptic thing my mom has ever seen. Theresa was born with gummy lungs. After a while, her lungs got too gummy, and she died. Now Theresa’s mom is coming over to give...
I Go Back to Berryman’s

I Go Back to Berryman’s

All of the streets in the trailer park are named for fruits or for dead presidents—Cherry, Lincoln, Peach, Garfield—and if you walk them and peer through windows with parted curtains, you will see love being made, hate being made, bodies being discovered, bodies being forgotten, smoking and drinking and swearing...
Code Talkers

Code Talkers

I’m eleven and my brother is fifteen, and our rooms are in the basement separated by one thin wall. My bed is against the wall and at night I can hear him listening to his music. He listens on headphones but the volume’s so loud I hear everything: the tinsel...
Faithful

Faithful

Nobody can call in or out. Her father doesn’t want the ringing telephone to interrupt his wife’s dying, so the phone is turned off. When his daughters remind him that there are people waiting to hear, wanting to know, he roars, “She’s dying. They all know. When she’s dead, you...
Another Epic

Another Epic

I have lived in important places, times —Patrick Kavanagh I could tell you everything that happened on Linden Street the year the Berlin Wall fell. That was the year the Hanrahan boy grew his hair to the middle of his back and rode his bike down the block at seven...
Fast Food

Fast Food

The snow-white husky under the pew in the foyer is watching the humans at the butcher block table in the middle of the kitchen. The father in the suede suit coat has been back from his job twenty-two minutes and forty-eight seconds, and is eating eleven peanuts cracked open from...
A Conversation with My Father

A Conversation with My Father

My father is eighty-six years old and sitting in his reclining chair in the living room. He beckons me to sit on the footstool. He has a request. “I would like you to write a script and make a movie about your mother,” he says. “Her life story,” he adds....
Latest Issue
Issue 47 / Fall 2014

Issue 47 / Fall 2014

Brevity’s 47th issue features BJ Hollars, Colin Rafferty, Debra Gwartney, Chelsea Biondolillo, Jill Talbot, Adriana Paramo, Lynette D’Amico, Gretchen A. VanWormer, Dante Di Stefano, Vincent Scarpa, Jesse Waters, Elizabeth Maria Naranjo, Brenda Miller and Pamela Gay. Exquisite artwork by Stephen Knezovich.
Craft Essays

Craft Essays

In our Craft section, Dinah Lenney looks at the use of prompts in writing, Judith Pullman offers five exercise deigned to guide a nonfiction writing class toward more focused writing, and Monica McFawn examines transcendent moments — in writing and in riding.
Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Our Book section features three new reviews: Claire Eder reviews Sarah Gorham’s Study in Perfect, Becca J.R. Lachman reviews Brian Turner’s My Life as Foreign County, and Debbie Hagan reviews Adriana Páramo’s My Mother’s Funeral
Disinformation

Disinformation

What nobody tells you as an artist is that every project starts at the beginning. Not just the blank page, the empty stage, but that you have to re-establish your credentials and your quality every time. You can coast on reputation a little, but it doesn’t last long if you don’t deliver. What nobody tells...