“The Way of Wood” by Mary Alice Hostetter
It all started with the floor loom. My friend Robin said her mother was downsizing and wanted to sell hers. I had taken a basic weaving class at the local art center the year before, and the place mats I had made for Christmas gifts on a very simple table loom—only a step up from a Playskool toy—had impressed the recipients.
“The Problem of Light” by Susanne Antonetta
The problem of light is, what could it be? A wave? Or a particle? A shimmy, or a stick tracing o’s in the mud?
“Blue Rain” by Daniel Doen Silberberg
During the day, I taught English to junkie kids at Morris High, deep in the East Bronx. At night, I wrote and played music at a Soho recording studio way downtown in Manhattan. After that I would stay up late drinking cheap Scotch from sea-green bottles and watching old movies. I liked the Marx Brothers’ free-floating insanity and W. C. Fields’s misanthropic grace. It was both entertainment and avoidance.
“Shooting the Moon” by Charles Antin
Almost a hundred years after the demise of the Jönköping, I sit on the paint-peeling porch of the Montclair Assisted Living Estate, in the decrepit plastic hammock of my wheelchair, and look out, through the topiaried hedges, past the dogwood trees, across the upper-middleclass wasteland of Upper Montclair, to the northeast, toward Sweden, and slowly and methodically eviscerate Jean in two-person hearts . . .
“The Muskeg” by Jay Irwin
Tired and near dead, George Mueller’s head was caught in dreams as if he were still dreaming them. Other things he would not have considered real stood just before him too, but they all existed somehow clearer than his hunger or his exhaustion and not for any reason he could have made plain.
“The Fourth Wall” by David Tucholski
There is a stick in the ground with a cardboard sign taped to it. A man, who is not an American but wears one of their uniforms, reads the sign aloud for those who are illiterate: “If you cross this line, you will be shot!”
“People” by Douglas Goetsch
Who are all these people . . .
ducking into boutiques, bouncing out
of cafés, younger, taller than ever—
Generation Dude? Generation
type w/my thumbs? We used to be
them, of course, only they don’t
have quite our panache . . .
“What Our Mothers Know as Love” by Sarah Kain Gutowski
The sow watches the farmer apply grease to her son,
a young boar with a wound long and thin where he rubbed himself
clean of bristles and skin. This itch belongs to more than just disease
and parasites. She recognizes the anxiety foaming on his chin . . .
“The How Come of My Father’s Gold Tooth with Music by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys” by John Bargowski
I hope he was dishing out more than he got
when some jealous hog-sticker
busted his smile-maker in that packed beer joint
across from a slaughterhouse on the outskirts of Detroit. . . .