Hands I was 16 when Barty Robbins told me I needed to relax. “Tommy,” Barty said. “You’re anxious, and you’re thinking way too much.” He climbed into the batting cage opposite me. “And your hands, they’re dragging.” He paused, and I shifted my weight back and forth. “You’re anxious,” he repeated. “And that’s making your hands drag through the zone. They’re way too slow.” He stepped back out of the cage. “Just relax.” Later, Barty played with the Blue Jays for a season or two
The Collected Letters of Flann O'Brien
The Collected Letters of Flann O’Brien, Maebh Long, ed. Dalkey Archive Press, 2018. $26.00 “To be interesting a letter has to be offensive and it takes long practice and skill to put it in such a way that it will appear.” –Flann O’Brien Flann O’Brien was one of the pseudonyms used by Irish author Brian O’Nolan for numerous correspondences, novels, and other scribblings from the 1930s until his death in 1966. Of this, editor Maebh Long notes that The Collected Letters of Flann
Blood Distance I. Thi There had been nights when they’d wished themselves twins. Twins, at least, could be expected to share a connection deeper than skin, wrought through some inexorable force of nature. Rural superstition might be willing to accept the peculiarities of twins. But alas they were related only by their parents’ marriage and not by blood, which was what really counted as far as any villager was concerned, and so they had always been considered unnatural, tainte
"Interview with Tyler Barton"
Tyler Barton is the co-founder of Fear No Lit, the organization responsible for the 2019 Submerging Writer Fellowship. He is the author of the flash fiction chapbook, The Quiet Part Loud (2019), which won the Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest from Split Lip Press. His fiction can be found in Kenyon Review, Subtropics, Gulf Coast, Paper Darts, and is forthcoming in The Iowa Review. Find him at tsbarton.com or @goftyler. I read The Quiet Part Loud in a single sitting. Sort of. These
The Final Voicemails / Max Ritvo
Max Ritvo. The Final Voicemails. Milkweed Editions, 2018. $22.00. I’ve known so many people with voicemails they won’t delete from their inboxes—messages from loved ones who have passed, tinny when replayed over their phone’s speaker. There’s something about a final voicemail that is both intensely intimate and oppressively distant. It’s something more than silence; it’s a voice that has said all that it ever will. In this way, Max Ritvo’s The Final Voicemails is an aptly tit