30.1 - Winter/Spring 2018

Table of Contents

Authors in this issue: Kathryn Nuernberger, Eloisa Amezcua, Tayna Skarynkina Transl. by Natalie Truman, Randall Horton, t'ai freedom ford, Derrick Austin, Jayme Ringleb, Lily Hoang, Molly Gallentine, Gena Ellett, Amy Miller, Miriam Karraker, Hervé Le Tellier transl. by Cole Swensen, Molly Brodak, Katie Anania, Lauren Haldeman, John Taylor interviewing Dimitris Lyacos, Cara Dees, Abraham Smith, Timothy Liu, Chelsea Dingman, Saksiri Meesomsueb transl. by Nof Anothai, Cristina Rivera Garza transl. by Julia Leverone, Kevin Callaway, Brandon Taylor, Lauren Moya Ford, Rachel Cook, Cynthia Cruz, J. Randy Marshall, Erin Lynch, Orit Gat, Chelsea Weathers, Kim Yideum transl. by Jake Levine, Micah Bateman, Kim Hyesoon, Muriel Leung, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Emily Blair, Rudy Ruiz, C Pam Zhang, Patrick Nathan, Shena McAuliffe, Spencer Wise, sam sax, Jasminne Mendez, Shari Caplan, Paola Loreto transl. by Lawrence Venuti, Franny Choi, Ellen Doré Watson,


Editors' Note

"This storm will not break our spirit. We are in this together and we will rebuild even greater together after."    --Sylvester Turner "If we have learned anything, it is how the current can bend us back to human."  --Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton…


2017 Gulf Coast Prize in Poetry: The Weather…

sam sax

what was it that drove the weather / underground underground? / what was the switch that flipped back / their hair to show twelve foreheads / crowned with coming bullets? . was it the times, was it the tyrants,


2017 Gulf Coast Prize in Nonfiction: The Peacock…

Spencer Wise

Rod Stewart and his entourage swaggered out onto the terrace restaurant of our little hotel in Italy wearing matching whites, coordinated, like a basketball team of alcoholics.


2017 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction: That Boy…

Rudy Ruiz

Uncle Bobby showed up barefoot on my grandmother's doorstep one night in late July. The kitchen door was open so the balmy air could circulate through the screen and she saw him standing there beneath the yellow porch light in a halo of madly…


Nisa at the End of the World

C Pam Zhang

It was the summer the bees finally died, and everything started to look like a baby. "You mean feel like," Ali corrected immediately.


Quality of Life

Patrick Nathan

On the day we found Mrs. Lovász, I didn't kill myself. Which is a funny thing to say--finding Mrs. Lovász. We knew where she was. She was only dead, not missing.


The Horse Latitudes

Shena McAuliffe

As a schoolteacher, I often bent to tie the shoes of the youngest children. I tousled their hair at recess. Chalk in hand, I learned to scold, but the children looked past me, out the window, watching clouds or waving grasses. I learned to…


God is Not Flesh, But Air

Brandon Taylor

Charles looked at himself in the rearview mirror and saw that his eyes were no longer red--there was that at least. He wished that he had taken the shower offered to him at Lionel's place, because he could still smell last night's sweat and…



Kevin Callaway

The rosary, like the color wheel, is a meditation I have never prayed. The wheel, like the rosary, is composed of three mysteries. The two together are broken into five intercessions. My hands circle them constantly and without thought. I…


On Chickens

Lily Hoang

Because I am a girl, I say I was born in the Year of the Chicken. I reserve the cock for men.


American Gothic

Molly Gallentine

At nineteen, I take a Greyhound from small-town Iowa to Chicago, Illinois, to see American Gothic in a museum. The painting features a farmer and his spinster daughter in front of a white peaked house.


In Any Direction, Only Water

Gena Ellett

Some nights on Sardinia I find myself holding my breath. Long after the sun has set and the heat simmers over miles of sand and sleeping towns I lie awake and stop breathing.


Steal this Bull

Amy Miller

I was a sharp-shooting cowboy trapped in the body of an eight-year-old girl, and I wanted a guy friend to hang out with. Ray, blond and tall for a second-grader, with a perpetual sunburn and a Stingray bike like mine, was perfect.


Threesome with Sea Monsters and Theft

Jayme Ringleb

Starfish between them / fatten on tube worms / trapped in the tide pool


Exegesis as Self-Elegy

Derrick Austin

(Before the bullets, before I bled out / on the concrete under an American / sun, I loved white roses.)


Punch Drunk

Eloisa Amezcua

From April 17, 1972, to June 2, 1988, Bobby Chacon boxed 67 bouts, a total of 431 rounds, with a record of 59 wins (47 by way of knockout), 7 losses (5 by way of knockout) 1 no contest.


This is Your Mother Calling

Kathryn Nuernberger

Having a baby is awesome, I definitely recommend it, / in the same way I encourage you to go to the hospice / wing and hold what part of your father's body you can / reach through the tubing as he makes those rough last / breaths.


To Defend Ourselves Against a Mermaid

Tayna Skarynkina Transl. by Natalie Truman

To defend ourselves against a mermaid / this bitch turned up in the pond behind the village / in the approaching winter


Two Poems: How Many Nests of What & Word

Ellen Doré Watson

In a net of light against the buggy dusk, / squinting at my neighbor's just-hayed field, / hot whir still in my ears from the sickle bar / that wiped out how many nests of what, or / nearly?


Black Male Privilege

Randall Horton

an orange horizon beyond the sunset-- / it could've been like that but it wasn't.


Billie Holiday never met Miss Chiquita (Banana)

t'ai freedom ford

ghost rot & electrified warble in the wake / of Auto-tune reek of something fraudulent: / egos without deodorant stinking like Lincoln's / legacy--


field notes [after craters of the moon national…

Miriam Karraker

i am in the grayspace and the grayspace is like the moon, moon surrounded by desert but not quite


Fable #2, Fable #28, & Fable #580

Hervé Le Tellier transl. by Cole Swensen

In the city of Chiannesi (Umbria, Italy) during Mardi Gras, there arose the custom of exchanging spirits--women would exchange with men, children with their parents, etc.


False Hemlock

Timothy Liu

Lay me down on top / of your Hummer // like an 8-foot Douglas // spruce you hacked


In the Months After We Come Home From the Hospital…

Chelsea Dingman

I wish to be water / so I can't be held.


Kids Under an Umbrella

Saksiri Meesomsueb transl. by Nof Anothai

the sky enraged / sharp points of rain / one kid holds a / calico cat / under an umbrella


15 [the feminine house]

Cristina Rivera Garza transl. by Julia Leverone

Last night I dreamt of the house where I don't live and don't possess / it had blue walls and a membrane of quince instead of a roof.


Selections from Destruction of Man

Abraham Smith

to play possum apply a temp shroud and blow


To the Next Supreme Justice

Cara Dees

Madam or most likelier Sir by now / you have noticed the salt-dark smell of sulfur


No One

Molly Brodak

The people who believed in everything are long gone. / Their little temples and folk vestments, inscrutable. My dad's / family with their mouse masks and leaky chamber pots / and pine straw and red embroidery


It's all fun and games until someone gains…

Franny Choi

When the human lunges for my hand, my face / is a perfect, solid screen.


amazement with sparrows

J. Randy Marshall

begins witnessing their disappearance how, by instinct they un-navigate / back into the privet their stillness their unwillingness to trust june's / afternoon's silence beneath no breeze until


Lines of Defense

Erin Lynch

Lizards flatten against hot dirt. The mountain belongs / to the mountain lion. As a cactus stiffens at a stranger's / breath, your thumb trails the hairs down my stomach.


higher calling

Quraysh Ali Lansana

love you, heathen passenger, gonna help the nun / sitting across the aisle on a LA bound flight / dressed in drab habit, bone scapular & bright belief


Two Poems: Ten Animals I Slam in a Net & Spark…

Emily Blair

You are traveling with a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage. Now how to safely cross the river? Here's a hint. One room contains a tiger, one a lady. The third contains a coyote and Joseph Beuys. First the wolf and the cabbage are left on the riverbank.…


Dar a Luz

Jasminne Mendez

Like La Llorona I weep / "Ay, ay, ay..." // I am // infertile. A womb / of skin & blood & bone stitched / to wind & words & dust.


Airplanes His Personality

Shari Caplan

Bachelors of atmosphere making / pals wherever in their white tuxedos. / Ladies stroll stiff drinks across / democratic cloud cover. / Leaving is thus so easy, despite the red gnaw of my pretty hand /


from houses | stripped

Paola Loreto transl. by Lawrence Venuti

Because knowing is impossible / and imagining is lethal. / Let the possible be / child of the real, / splitting the rock.


Fragment: Small Talk on Melancholia

Cynthia Cruz

In Lars von Trier's film, Melancholia, Kirsten Dunst's / character, Justine, tries to keep one step ahead of it. / You can see this in the first half of the film / where, at her own wedding, she keeps moving


The Hour of the Eagle

Kim Yideum transl. by Jake Levine

When an eagle reaches mid-age, it becomes the top predator. / Like an arrow, it can catch prey with its eyes closed. / When it reaches that age / It decides to fall from the sky where it spent half its life without destination, slashing.


Terms of Venery

Micah Bateman

Gentlemen of Ghent / gentlemen of Ghana gentlemen at leisure / With Ivana in Tehran gentlemen aplenty gentlemen may I call you / Gentlemen gentlement this one weird trick to reduce / Ungentlemanly belly fat gentlemen with javas full of aspartame…



Kim Hyesoon

Inside you there is another you / The you inside you has a tight hold on your body that's why your fingernails curl roundly / inward, your outer ears eddying also get sucked into your body if the you inside you lets go of its / tight hold…


Together and Far, Far Apart

Muriel Leung

You in your resplendent prose / Me in my wilding and tumbleweed syntax / You and the spackled floors of a harbinger house / Me and my trinity of holes / You in the tiger cage / Me in my pile of keyholes set on fire


Monumental Gestures

Chelsea Weathers

Northbound on Interstate 65 on the outskirts of Nashville, just past the shoulder of the highway, is a monument to the Confederacy. A rust-colored bucking horse mounted by a bearded Confederate soldier, plated in what looks like aluminum,…


Another Take on Leaving New York

Orit Gat

On October 22, 2016, The New York Times published an op-ed piece by political reporter Alec MacGillis titled "Go Midwest, Young Hipster." It reads as incredibly uninformed now--the opening line is "Even as Hillary Clinton appears poised to…


Objects and Images: An Introduction to Lauren…

Rachel Cook

In our current image-saturated global culture and speculative economic contemporary society, images and objects are endowed with multiple layers of meaning. The group of images brought together in this color folio by Lauren Moya Ford act as…



Lauren Moya Ford

On a Sunday morning a few months ago I went to Mondoñedo, a small town in Galicia, Spain. My friend took me there to show me where her family was from. Hundreds of years ago, the village was quite an important site, she said, but it seemed…


Bad Mimic: Doing Trisha Brown

Katie Anania

It is May 2016 in the paper conservation lab of the Menil Collection in Houston, and a group of researchers and I are coming face to face with the dense sophistication of Trisha Brown's choreography. This happens first by studying a transcription…


Chess Piece Face (A Poem Comic)

Lauren Haldeman


An Interview with Dimitris Lyacos

John Taylor interviewing Dimitris Lyacos

Dimitris Lyacos is the author of the Poena Damni trilogy (Z213: EXIT, With The People From The Bridge, The First Death). So far translated into six major languages, Poena Damni developed as a work in progress over the course of thirty years…