Poetry & Fiction

Fiction

Galjonen

It was one of Majda’s don’t-know-how-many attempts to land a job. After an entire week of visiting cafés and all the other glassed-in spaces, and hoping that two young foreigners who didn’t possess the language or any special skills wouldn’t …
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The Human Body in extremis: Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children at the Berliner Ensemble

I was in Berlin last October by design.  The original plan was to turn up the heat studying German, work on some translations, reconnect with friends, and move deeper into the city’s jagged, darker spaces.  By August it was clear …
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Fiction

Last Days on Planet Ella

I know she loves me. She’s told me as much. And I’ve tried my best to love her back, and I do—or have.
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Poetry

Journey

by Admiel Kosman We fastened ourselves to the holy texts and witnessed wonders, great was the city that lay before us lights stretched like ornamental carpets at night when we entered this cartoon city within the holy texts we saw …
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Books

The Short Crappy Life of Walter J. Palmer, or, The Oddities of American Wealth

Anyone who has followed the demise of Cecil, the African lion, and Walter J. Palmer, his American slayer, can’t help but be struck by the parallels with Hemingway’s classic story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” where a wealthy but timid American bumbles around the African savannah under the protection of a guide, procures a few hides, and ultimately meets his demise.
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Fiction

Time Between Trains

Now in a gusty April…she sat in the place where roads cross, the lonely four corners where, with nothing stopping it, the wind sweeps along without regard for anything.
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Books

In Search of the Thing-Itself

The Complete Stories Clarice Lispector Translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson Edited and introduced by Benjamin Moser New Directions, 2015 “I have found one contemporary I like,” Elizabeth Bishop wrote from Rio de Janeiro. “She has a wonderful name—Clarice …
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Culture

The Poetry of a Jewish Humanist

Swimming in the Rain: New and Selected Poems 1980-2015 by Chana Bloch Autumn House Press, 2015 A child of immigrant parents who was raised in an observant Jewish household, poet Chana Bloch has absorbed the details of her ethnic and …
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Fiction

Foie Gras, Bondage, Cronuts at Dawn

Blair’s relationship with him was a particularly Californian brand of Elektra complex, constellated by lavish sushi dinners, the interruption of business negotiations to attend her poetry readings, the purchase of swimwear well into her 20s, and on her end, worrying constantly over his health (ironically, in retrospect), visiting him weekly during his brief stint at a minimum security prison, and dedicating to him her two volumes of poetry, Other Minds, Other Bodies and Quantum Vulva.
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Poetry

For Hazhir

The drone hovers under the iron-gray dome of heaven. Bloodshed turns the gray dome furnace-red. Evenings we warm our hands over the news.

Reviews

Promises to Keep

Ultimately, the novel raises many issues of immediate relevance to Jews today—the struggle to find oneself on the ever-widening spectrum of Jewish identities, the complex ways that “Jewish values” can be realized in the world, the impact of intermarriage on Jewish continuity, and the tension between personal desire and responsibility to one’s people.
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Poetry & Fiction

Small Father

Crispy on the crust, moist, nutty, with dhana giro baked in, Mom’s stuffing is like a cross between her juicy lamb kababs and perfectly golden cornbread. At eight years old, I was there beside her at Publix the night she first asked a woman in the poultry department for help. That woman and another then explained, patiently, respectfully, how to clean and stuff a turkey, how to prepare the gravy.
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Justice & Prisons

Honor Block

True to its reputation, the prison was violent. And ugly. I witnessed cuttings and stabbings in the yard. They erupted without warning, like lightning. At night in my cell, I heard the screams of men being beaten by the guards.
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Poetry

A Promised Land

How to keep the promise of a promised land? Not only a name, a place, a flag. It’s an end to wandering in the wilderness, the wilderness inside ourselves. It’s singing sweeter than scorpions. It’s touching everywhere softer than snakes. …
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Fiction

Blue, Texas

I was eating two slices of Oscar Meyer bologna that I’d topped with a squiggle of yellow mustard and squeezed between two slices of white Wonder bread. But he held a bulging thing housed between two dense slices of dark bread, a sandwich that was both pungent and foreign, about as unreal as anything I could recall.
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