Klétka: The Story of Jenő Gold

From the spring of 1986 onwards, Vera’s abdomen, stomach, or something thereabouts, hurt. It didn’t hurt all the time. It hurt sometimes. It didn’t even always hurt in the same way. At times, it hurt more; at other times, it hurt less. They thought: it happens. One’s stomach hurts sometimes. It will go away.

Chorus Line, 2016

Scenes from Ballets Never Staged- Acrylic

These theatrical scenes are inspired by my Filipino ancestry and by The Darangen: the epic poetic narrative of the Maranao people, as well as by the textile traditions of the Southern Philippines. Each of these scenes attempts to capture and articulate the narrative imagery recovered from the psyche: a scene interrupted, a glimpse of some symbolic interior—as it might be staged in a theater.[…]

Imagine Yourself a Strained Body Breaking to Recover

I am floating down an open, empty stretch of I-95, listening to the stock market crash, trying to figure out what I am doing—why I am going home—to take care of whom. It is the twelfth of March, and I have decided that I am coming back for my brother.[…]

Question the Boundaries of Your Compassion: An Interview with Anna Badkhen

I write about my friends and people I love. We establish a relationship on the premise, usually on the idea that I’m a writer and I would like to learn and I would like to write about what I learn. So, there is a conversation about representation and trust. […]

Under the Big Tree / In the Wings

The rules are simple: the Boys chase the Girls, and the Girls are dragged under the slide when captured. I look down to see the growing crowd of Girls beneath the slide, kicking gravel, as the gangs of Boys grasp at arms and ankles and the backs of LimitedToo t-shirts sprinting breathlessly away from them.[…]

Nagano

Aunt Yangyang was always telling us not to let my mother watch those late-night specials on serial killers. We thought it was because she was worried my mother would get scared, but it was really because she was afraid my mother would get ideas.[…]

Flower Moon in Quarantine

Astrologers say this moon in Scorpio is where we welcome the death of an old life, an old identity, old ways of being. It’s letting ourselves be reborn […]

Word From the Editor

Five Poems from One Hundred Prisons of Love

Because my heart
is honey and soft wax
flesh craving a fingerprint
or just a dent––

I dream, defer, despair,
and in love’s hundred prisons,
die and die again.

Be Prepared to Let the Writing Go: An Interview with Shonda Buchanan

I really didn’t start writing what I thought was really good, good poetry until I was in my early twenties. I’ve been reading consistently, voraciously—everyone—not just Black poets, but every poet I can get my hands on, so I give that advice to other people.[…]

Immigrants, Survivors, and Translingual Poetry: An Interview with Piotr Florczyk

Piotr Florczyk is a poet, essayist, translator, and a guest professor at Antioch University Los Angeles. I attended a recent seminar of his, where I heard him debunk a number of myths about translating creative writing—including the very common “a writer must be fluent in the original language to translate a work.”[…]

Xinjiang—A Beautiful Place

This is not my story to tell. I was only a brief visitor to this land. Today, I read that the old town of Kashgar has been torn down and modernized. The Id Kah Mosque is closed to both visitors and worshippers. The city is rife with police checkpoints, and security cameras with facial recognition technology are installed at every street corner.[…]

Objects in Space

Abigail turned to Ben who was sitting on the opposite bed in their shared bedroom. His face was blotchy and red. His mouth was a crooked, downturned line. “Gone?” “He was abducted by aliens,” said Ben. “We’re never going to see him again.”[…]

I Am Going to Share a Secret With You

If you need to feel new again, go out and feel the rain drop on your skin. If you have things to say but no one to listen, let your mind converse under the shower. If you are about to stress-eat, don’t.[…]

Staring At A Wall

I am asexual, and I don’t find much reason to bring it up. The work of spreading awareness of this little-discussed sexuality is important, for sure.[…]

Just This

My father did not fight in Vietnam, as he was a young scholar with a family Until he left home one day without explanation, exiled himself from doing harm.[…]

Explaining Black Lives

I think of Ahmaud Arbery who was gunned down by white vigilantes while running in his own neighborhood. I clicked on the video of his killing—which I usually try to avoid doing—and watched as he stumbled after the first bullet and attempted to keep running, my heart breaking as they gunned him down until he lay still. […]

Google Searches

How to let people know I love them without reminding them I’m real. Am I real? Would it be better if I was real? How many times can a real person say “I love you” before someone gets annoyed and straight-up murders them?[…]

Ghazals of Jahan Malek Khatun

And other Iranian noblewomen like Padshah Khatun and Qotloghshah Khatun and others have ridden the steed of their talent in this field in whatever way they could. I imitated them and dared to compose poetry too[…]

Hieroglyphics

Almost every night now, I cauterize my jaws shut. Our melancholy, this weight—as Ginsberg once put it, this love—grinding and pressurizing my teeth into dust.[…]

Bob’s Bass Turd

He couldn’t cut straight. Hell, he couldn’t even fold the damned paper properly. He even managed to get glue all over his glasses, which resembled boogers streaking across both lenses. While I was annoyed with him, I was even more jealous. I wanted a dad too.[…]

The Beautiful Mundane

Each time a new friend was in treatment, I held my breath waiting for results of follow-up scans, my entire body exhaling when results were positive. As in negative. As in clear.[…]

Surrogate Memory

What children of survivors add to the gift is a moral imperative of conveying knowledge; feelings of being dwarfed by the past; guilt at being alive; and kinship with other descendants.[…]

Playthings

We’re given the dolls when we’re young. We tear off their arms and legs and heads, reattach them with glue and hair ties with a little fire for welding.[…]

ON CATHOLIC SCHOOL

In Theology, I learned Jesus called his father Abba, and passed because it’s the name I call my own—who feared that I would leave Friday Mass half-faithful, forgetful of the place where I learned how to be hated.[…]

June/ My iPhone Died Three Years Ago and I’m Still Not Over It

When you find a Polaroid of your dying grandmother, should it go back in the hallway drawer with last year’s birthday cards, or into your wallet? Can leather shelter the dead? Safekeep ashes of past-life?[…]

Flower Food

My dad began to add a second story and a garage onto our house, but never finished the project. Now, coffee tins full of nails line the driveway. Chunks of lumber are strewn across the lawn. A permanent construction zone, this chaotic house is the perfect metaphor for my chaotic life.[…]

Keep Your Momentum: An Interview with Elise Capron

What I really appreciate about agenting—and you can’t say this about many jobs in the world—is that my job is to represent authors and projects that I love. I can’t and shouldn’t take on a project unless I genuinely love it. […]

Visual Model of Utopia, 2020

Visual Models-Mixed Media

Artists are in the business of making models: windows into the soul of society that put into context the human condition. It is an aim to coalesce our shared reality through the lens of a single individual, the artist, and their experience, perspective, and opinions.[…]