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The Terror of Fatherly Frailty

On December 21, 2013, I became a father for the first time. However, I feel like I should qualify what I’m going to say before I even say it, lest I alienate ~90 percent of my audience before this essaymore…

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Speaking Through a Screen

by Maria Brandt ROSE: eighties SAM: twenties ROSE sits on a reclining chair on a screen-enclosed porch near the St. Lawrence River in the late 1970s. She is covered in blankets. When she speaks, she yells, as if she weremore…

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Mr. Twitchy by Joseph Michael Owens

AS ONE OF THE AGENCY’S TWO UA DEPARTMENT SUPERVISORS, Travis McEvoy feels he’s in a position that really suits him, career-wise, after having worked six years as a Douglas County probation officer. McEvoy is rarely seen wearing anything other thanmore…

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Opera #45

Tom Davenport, the young Hemispheres agent formerly known as “Hero,” is at this moment sitting in a surveillance van. The van is parked across from an apartment building in Diamondland. As part of his employment for The Shadow Farm, hemore…

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Names of the Legion

In the war I had four names. At that time the Western imperial army corps was still known throughout the provinces as the Legion of the Duchy. We in the Legion were the coronal, the elite; and among all themore…

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Helpful Hints for Young Magicians Under Eighty

In winning your audience, remember that “Manners make fortunes,” so don’t be impertinent. An old trick well done is far better than a new trick with no effect. Never tell the audience how good you are; they will soon findmore…

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Names of the Legion

Listen: “Names of the Legion” by Lech Harris

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The Italian Afternoon

She lies on a rented Persian rug in the late afternoon sunlight, clutching a rose pillow to her breast and wishing it were a living thing. A book of Goethe lies open beside her, ignored now for several long minutes.more…



I was heading home from work when I saw it: a downtown intersection blocked off, emergency vehicles and bystanders spiraling out from it like a fallen pinwheel. This is my new role, I told myself, repeatedly, trying to counter mymore…

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Gas Head Tells All

Q: Tell me, Gas Head, do you cry? A: If you mean do I produce saline tears, then no. I weep a concentrated solution of gasoline and mucus that’s closer to Napalm, so I’ve learned to keep it all in…Imore…

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The Wilds

The cowboy has fallen asleep in the saddle again and been carried into the wilds of the howling night by a horse named Division. He hears the wolves of the prairies like drunk rustlers on the shit-strewn streets of whiskeymore…

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The Salt Collector

Six months after Dillon traded west coast for east, after his wife and father had gone, after the summer ended and continued to end, after he bought a beachfront house in Brigantine and filled every empty room with furniture thatmore…

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