Issue 37 / Fall 2011

Issue 37/September 2011 includes Rachel Smith, Charles Bethea, Darlene Pagán, Alexis Wiggins, Thomas Gibbs, Dionisia Morales, Joe Bonomo, Gary Fincke, Mark Yakich, Anna Vodicka, Brenda Miller, Pauls Toutonghi, Katherine Riegel, Sean Finucane Toner, Lori Jakiela, and Caitlin Horrocks as they take off their shoes, visit the epicenter of the sexual revolution, listen to Walter Cronkite, and...

A Fiction Writer Takes Off Her Shoes

The day was a perfect idea of itself, of what a Saturday afternoon in late spring should be: the sun a buzzing yellow, red barns, white houses, a neat hem of highway skirting the Ohio hills. I should remember what they looked like, what point of sowing-raising-harvest was in motion. Perhaps the earth was a...

Hard Candy

The summer my older son was about to turn three, I took him to the library of the college that had just given me one year’s grace to find another position. Such things were supposed to be confidential, but the librarian knew I would not return in September or, at the latest, be gone the...

Flight Status

I like to sit in my car and watch them. Sometimes I don’t even need the binoculars to see their beauty marks: burn scars behind rear-mounted engines or scuffs and dings thoroughly pocking the bottom of fuselages. The one before me is at least twenty-five years old, carries more than 5000 gallons of fuel, and...

In Orbit

July 20, 1969: I’m running in a wide circle at the far end of the cul-de-sac, around and around until I settle in the dust under a thorny bush, but then my name floats into the game, calling me back as dusk descends on the neighborhood. Other names unfurl like ribbons, doors opening and closing—Bobby,...

Into The Fable

“Outdoors Day”: the annual Spring afternoon away from the stuffy classrooms and onto the track and ball fields, dreaded by nearly all underclassmen save for the dozen or so who savored a May ritual of barely disguised competition. We ran, we threw, we jumped. We “got some exercise,” the athletically challenged of us huffing and...

I Dream About the Apocalypse

My brother—a firefighter in real life—tries to organize us all, get us down into some echoing subterranean cavern that looks like the inside of a ship. Explosions rattle in my sternum, giant robots search the houses, wind flings fire this way and that. The end of everything. And I feel—relief. If I open my eyes...

A Most Dangerous Game

You read the story in Mr. Trebor’s class and guessed the ending before you got there. You remember the teacher’s monotone voice almost made excited by the finale: the man hunts other men. You were bored. You chewed gum in your thirteen-year-old mouth and drew on your desk as Mr. Trebor read aloud. That same...

Girl/Thing

Because I needed the cash, because it seemed like the girl thing to do, I took a certification course in babysitting to learn the essentials of diaper changing, of getting a baby to take the Gerber’s off the spoon, and of infant CPR, which we practiced on naked, rubbery dolls. But they didn’t teach us...

The Last, Best Rodeo?

A four-hour drive from Portland to Pendleton, Oregon—on September 14, 2010—and you’d have found yourself at the 100th Anniversary of the Pendleton Round-Up. The Pendleton Round-Up is a stop on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit, and easily among the oldest and largest rodeos in the world. In Pendleton, you witness what passes for...

Incisions

The nurse who preps my mother for surgery is kind. She wears clogs and a smock with balloons and rainbows all over it. Her hair is pulled into a high ponytail. Overhead, the TV is tuned to Good Morning America. The sky over America is popsicle blue. “I like your uniform,” my mother says, her...

That Counting Steps Nonsense

I’m planted on a cushioned wicker chair, on my grandparents’ South Jersey porch, the wind and gulls in my ears. But I’m all knuckles. Dad has come up from his latest state, Texas, with his new girlfriend to set me up at grad school. He wants me employable with benefits after seven years on the...

Darts

Davy has a scar on her forehead, just off center, as though it marks the edge of a third eye. All this third-grade year she has been telling us her history week by week. She’s been saying that soon she will get to the part where she acquires the scar. It’s Friday and we surround...

Death of a Swinger

At first he was just part of a story, one about a bygone place in Atlanta called Riverbend. In the 1970s, Riverbend was arguably the most infamous singles apartment complex in their short, debauched history in this country. A college football player turned cop, then nightclub owner and real estate mogul, Arthur Jeryl Hensley was...

After the Parade

The Chinese dragon comes last, a red and yellow flutter with a black, toothy grimace, tipping back and forth between the crowds gathered along the street. My son steps off the curb to see then darts back to wrap his arms around my knee. I point to the legs in black propelling the dragon forward,...

The Train

My beeper went off at 4:00 am. It vibrated across the night stand until I reached over and grabbed it. The message read, “Sally Card-pregnant-bleeding-passed out-407-648-5101” Sally was the lab tech in my Ob-Gyn office. She had no high risk factors. Her sonogram did not show placenta previa, a condition that causes bleeding. Placental abruption,...

The Gatekeeper

The Mountain Climber didn’t like to talk about the accident, but because she alone had witnessed the Skier fall off the top of the world, the press had no one else to turn to. What could she say? Without a word of warning, the Skier had plunged past her through the thin, alpine air and...
Silence and Not-Knowing: An Introduction and Silence Is My Playlist (On Being Asked for One to Go with My Work)

Silence and Not-Knowing: An Introduction and Silence Is My Playlist (On Being Asked for One to Go with My Work)

Silence and Not-Knowing: An Introduction If I had to name our household’s mantra, it would probably be “go look it up.” This, of course, is the most basic response to not-knowing: researching in order to learn, confirm or dispel. (For example, a certain person always wanted to be a hostage negotiator, until, in her research,...