"Resurrection"

Resurrection Perhaps you know this scene. The man in black—others refer to him as the creature or the monster—approaches me in the laboratory, Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Pretorius at my sides. The man in black reaches out his thick arms, puts his strange, shiny hands on me. He pats my hand like he’s trying to guess the contents of a wrapped box. Friend, he calls me. When I pull back from him, he grabs hold of my arm. When I scream, he lunges toward me. Wields his arms like wooden clubs. Knocks equipment to the floor. Reaches for the lever. Dr. Pretorius warns that pulling the lever will blow the laboratory to atoms. The man in black pauses, considers. At that moment, Dr. Frankenstein’s bride,

The Golden State // Review

Lydia Kiesling, The Golden State, MCD, 2018, $26. In 2016, Lydia Kiesling published an essay in the New Yorker in which she wrote, “Bureaucratic experiences are like dreams: profoundly affecting, but very boring to hear about.” Two years later, Kiesling published The Golden State, a novel in which she emphatically proves herself wrong. The Golden State’s story is set in motion when Daphne Nilson—an American woman whose Turkish husband, Engin, is stuck in his home country because of a “click of the mouse” error—flees her administrative job in San Francisco, whisking her baby, Honey, away on a ten-day trip to her late parents’ home in Altavista, a fictional town in Northern California. But of

Bands Names & Other Poems // Review

Peter Davis, Band Names & Other Poems, Bloof Books, 2018, $16 The latest poetry collection by Peter Davis is everything that the title implies: a long-form list of band names. The two vertical columns that span more than 200 pages get interrupted periodically by more traditional free-verse lyrics, which take their titles from the names in the list. This stack of buzzwords, quips, puns, and slang may contain no apparent narrative arc, but it captures the contemporary pop culture zeitgeist with an authenticity that inevitably eludes more plot-driven attempts at reflecting and cracking the 21st century’s ceaseless stream of kitsch. While scanning down or across the book’s parallel columns—a cho

Big City // Review

Marream Krollos, Big City, Fiction Collective Two, 2018, $18.95 When you start Marream Krollos’s Big City, you might feel as though you are reading a hopeless horoscope, perturbing yet everyday. Krollos sets up a tension between “I” and “we,” the individual and collective at odds or symbiotic in the urban landscape. In this, she captures the unique sort of loneliness one might face in a crowd—that energy telling us that we are lonely but not alone, part of something that can be beautiful and life-threatening. Eventually the “I” breaks down into something not so separate, not so set apart, into something defined by that world which surrounds it—an ego defined by a city. This tension gives way

"Aubade with Wind Chimes and Hesitation"

Aubade with Wind Chimes and Hesitation Head tucked between the pillow and its ragged blue case, the dog snores more softly now. We fell asleep sometime past ten. At some point, their dog came in too, nuzzling between us, so that our bodies were only a dog’s length apart. They could have left at some point, but didn’t. I woke up around six and, surprised to find them there still— arm draped across the dog, towards me, almost touching its left ear, the one that drifts downwards a little—I thought: we are only one dog’s length apart. Last night, on our walk, they said the wind chimes we’d made from the rusted gears of old bicycles will remind us this place, too, is an occasion. I was leaning ag

"Finding Florida: An Interview with Kristen Arnett"

Kristen Arnett is the NYT bestselling author of the debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, ‘19). She is a queer fiction and essay writer. She was awarded Ninth Letter’s Literary Award in Fiction and is a columnist for Literary Hub. Her work has appeared at North American Review, The Normal School, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Guernica, Electric Literature, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, Bennington Review, Tin House Flash Fridays/The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her story collection, Felt in the Jaw, was published by Split Lip Press and was awarded the 2017 Coil Book Award. You can find her on Twitter here: @Kristen_Arnett To label Kristen Arnett’s debut novel, Mostly Dead Things,