Art Feature: Leon Bakst & Kris Somerville

Impatient with academic formalism, Serge Diaghilev, a charismatic, furiously energetic former law student, founded the World of Art movement in St. Petersburg in October 1898.

The Alphabet of Splendor

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One Sunday inb the fall of 1950, soon after my fifth birthday, my father set fire to a ditch bank where the dry stalks of weeds rustled in a mild breeze.  He made me keep well back, but I could see the tongue of fire licking forward, leaving a trail of black.

Ingo Prefers Not To

This essay is not currently available online.

The high-school guidance counselor was diligently rounding up the usual suspects.  My ex-husband, my daughter, Ingo, as she’s asked to be called here, and I had come in for a meeting.  I sat on one sofa, Ingo’s dad sat on another, and when Ingo herself joined us, she plopped down beside me and spent a good part of the session leaning on me.

Imagination and Grace

This essay is not currently available online.

My brother Joey finds himself in between bouts of trouble these days.  Having recently been released from prison (his sentences have always been soley for minor possession), he spiraled down quickly , as AA tells us is common with advancing addiction.  To use his language, he “caught another case.”

An Interview with A.M. Homes

This interview is not currently available online.

“There’s a big difference between creative nonfiction and journalism.  Creative nonfition seems to be that blurry ground where memoir lives, and where a lot of personal narrative lives.”

Poetry Feature: R.T. Smith

Featuring the poems:
Asia
Booth from Beyond
Keepsake

Poetry Feature: Ciaran Berry

Featuring the poems:
The Act of Seeing
The Beard of Bees
Topography with Storm Petrels & Atlantic Tern
Over By

Poetry Feature: Lynn Aarti Chandhok

Featuring the poems:

 

The Bandh

The Jhelum River snaked past our back yard
Beyond the corn, the rows of ripe tomatoes-
Where mornings we filled baskets, or our skirts,
Ran home and begged the cook to make us soup-
Past brimming orchards of sweet apples, thick
Groves of gnarled plum trees dangling black-skinned fruit.
The Bandh protected us from springtime floods
But blocked our view-built up so high the land
Seemed like a shallow basin, till the day
We tucked ourselves between the barbed-wire lines
And clambered up the dusty zigzag path,
Up to the Bandh’s high crest. For the first time,
I saw what stretched out on the other side:
A scattering of huts and smoldering fires,
Smoke rising without the scent of prayer or food,
The river ambling, quiet, almost looming,
Its current strong enough to wash away
The women who unwound themselves from yards
Of saffron sarees, pounding out the silt,
Then stretching crimson rivulets of silk
To dry, billowing on the shore-or else
The green-eyed children who would point and laugh,
Their quick, white smiles grabbing the evening light-
Even the goats and cows that claimed the path
And, edging us aside, clanged home at dusk.

That summer I learned bandh meant closed. I turned
The grammar over in my head. From here,
The view was clear. The setting sun laid pinks
Across the river and the vale. Immense
Chinar trees draped their boughs in silhouette.
Then we were silhouette against dim light,
Our shadows thin as shadows cast beneath
A gauze of silk or smoke-and no less true.
The Closed, I thought, and turned back from the view.

Voices

This story is not currently available online.

Words come to him at the edge of sleep.  Hebrew.  Bits of daily prayers, of daily blessing.  Fragments in English, voices, many voices, no one he knows: inasmuch as…the forlorn ones…adversary song.  A sign of sleep to come.

Treasure

This story is not currently available online.

The truth is I never saw the plane.

It was just before ten in the morning and we were in the S formation across the middle of the football field when, on the first note of “76 Trombones,” the unmistakable squack exploded from my clarinet.  Split reed.  Nothing to do but make the long walk back to the field house and get a new one from my case.  I swore, broke ranks, trudged toward the squat building that sat fifty yards behind the end zone.