It gives me great pleasure to introduce Lunch Ticket’s 19th Issue, themed That Which Has Yet to Emerge. This issue is nothing if not a reflection of our strange and unprecedented times. At the end of 2021’s first act—this June intermission, if you will—we present to you a collection of work that brings hope, humor, seriousness, and solidarity to a moment we have never experienced before.
Summer/Fall 2021, Issue 19
Laura Buccieri is the Director of Publicity at Copper Canyon Press. During the December 2020 Antioch MFA residency, Laura gave a seminar on poetry and publicity. I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Laura over Zoom about her writing, her career in the publishing industry, and the film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho.[…]
Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman wanted to be a professional violinist when she was a child, and in a way she kind of got her wish. Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and named a Best Book of 2019 by Amazon, details Hindman’s life as the violinist in an orchestra whose performances pantomimed playing instruments to recorded music. Music that, yes, sounded vaguely like the soundtrack to Titanic. Hindman’s memoir recounts her time traveling with the orchestra in the early 2000s, a time of political turmoil that resonates with the early 2020s.
Julia Kardon is an agent at HG Literary who began her career in high school while shelving fiction at the Strand Bookstore. She received degrees in comparative literature as well as Slavic languages and literature at the University of Chicago and has used her experiences to help forge a path as an agent and, occasionally, as a crossword puzzle maker. She is the cofounder of Inkluded, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization that provides tuition-free publishing education. Julia Kardon is a loyal advocate for those she represents.[…]
On this tepid day
while the COVID clock ticks past
we are digging shallow holes
into a Vermont hillside to lay down a line
of low-bush blueberries [. . .]
no one can remember who
bought this mug, or if it belonged
to a larger set, which got lost along
some move or broken in some forgotten
box—maybe in the basement or the attic? [. . .]
Crazy because ten years has gone by and still, I’m not as old as you were when we dated. Would you call what we did “dating”? I used to begin every story about us with “When I was 18, I dated my teacher,” but now I find myself saying, “We had a two-year relationship.” But even that word —“relationship”— it feels too— what?
There is an absence of what I have grown accustomed to: tension, uncertainty, fear. I am acutely aware of how, next to my Uncle, the world is a good place with good people and I am not something that has already been broken. I am eight-years-old and tired all the time. [. . .]
After placing a bottle of consciousness decoherent in my basket, I look up and find myself locking gazes with a shopper at the opposite end of the recreational delirium aisle. Instantly, I am enchanted by her augmented eyes. Which themselves aren’t an uncommon enhancement, but her modified irises are clearly a bespoke customization. . .
One by one, Nina managed to sleep with every man—fat, thin, tall, short, hairy, and bald—at the advertising firm where she worked. It wasn’t something that she planned, and it wasn’t something of which she was either proud or ashamed. Like much of life, including her brief marriage to a man who played the theremin, it just happened. . .
White reflects all color. Look at a “white” wall and concentrate. You will see browns, blues, yellows, magentas and infinite shades of reality.[…]
Art is the human species’ most incredible form in the expression of life by far. Nothing else that is human-made can match the power of art. It moves us, motivates us, frightens us, and it can make us fall in love. . .
I meet a girl who is an alien for Halloween, which is the secret queer costume of the decade; she wears it in green sparkles and two antennae launching from her hair. I am trying to tell if she is straight, and also, to be sexy, so I ask,
what is your favorite emoji? . . .
My stomach still turns at the thought of this, how clean and quick it was. How medical. And how easily Marcus had convinced me that what we did was right. [ . . .]
“Between Fire and Ice” is an ongoing photographic entry around the subject of wildfires within the forefront of climate change. Fire, to me, is alive and shares a deep relationship with our universal family. After the most destructive wildfire in the history of California in 2018, I began photographing fire-dependent ecosystems across the United States. . .
Perfectly easy twist on a Fourth of July classic. Enjoyed by all, but especially your boyfriend’s parents, and you’ll be so flattered that your dessert is the first one gone that you won’t even scold him when he puts his hand on your butt for the family photo. [. . .]
I get home and my kids ask me to explain simple things: Why don’t humans lay eggs? Will it ever snow? Do people stop loving you because you’re far away? They’ve taped a sheet of paper to the wall, to keep a tally of all the mosquitos they killed since we arrived. . .
Audrey tells me to step over the shattered glass at the foot of the escalator. “Come on, Emma,” she says. “You can’t get a good Instagram pic without a little risk.” [. . . ]
There he was carrying a tray of bygone at a San Francisco Hilton. Surrogate for husband #1. Food services manager, not engineer. . .
You asked me how it felt, my belly swollen with cramps and emptiness. Those were the cold-spark days when winter kept us huddled in bed. You were worried about how much pain I was in, but I had no answer to give that didn’t end in blood, so I turned my head due west and pondered the slice of sky framed in the window [. . .]
When I checked the clock again it was 5:16 a.m. I would get up in less than an hour. And I would have to stay alive until O, our five-year-old, was eighteen. When you don’t want to live another day, thirteen years is an impossible amount of time to fathom. In the half-light, simple math and insomniac logic can lead to infinity. [. . .]
I have my own personal banshee. Most mornings, usually during my second bowl of cereal, she lets out a soul-melting wail to give me a heads-up on my impending death that day. I used to get worried, but it’s been going on awhile. And I’m still here [. . .]
The act of painting, moving my hand across the canvas, is pure freedom—and fear. I continue to draw lines, wipe parts of them away, then redraw and wipe parts away again—joining, obscuring, and overlaying these lines many times. Different linear elements clash and struggle to be together—to make sense together. . .
You are with your parents when you first meet him. You are on vacation, a spring break trip to a big city you are going to live near next year. You are seventeen, and certainly, you look it, if not younger [. . .]
For Martha Kaas, half the thrill of going bohemian was not letting her husband suspect that she had. She appeared to commute to work at seven every morning but drove the opposite direction from her former life as a middle school math teacher. She parked in a garage in the garment district and spent the day exploring her creative side from within a rented loft space she shared with three artists: Somi, who worked in plaster of Paris; Fango, who altered thrift store paintings by painting in pop-culture characters; and Asia, upstairs, who made the ceiling breathe whenever she brought in her cadre of dancers [. . .]
There was a nearly suffocating smell: smell of old walls, it struck me like the melodies that resurrect in the heart the deepest memories. You know: on that sofa I wept so much when I knew you wouldn’t come back. And today, in the doorway, my soul of that time took hold of me; in an instant my entire past returned. . .
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