logo image a digital codex of contemporary pan-american writing

Issue 18

Gloria Patri

Gloria Patri

by Barbara Jane Reyes glory be to the father who oversees your virtue your bodily fluids your menstrual cycles your engorged glands glory be to the father the son is always preferred glory be to the father of a bridled and properly wived you a penetrable you a bleeding breeder a penned beast dispensed to […]


In Memoriam: Francisco X. Alarcón, 1954-2016

In Memoriam: Francisco X. Alarcón, 1954-2016

Francisco Xavier Alarcón (February 21, 1954-January 15, 2016) was one of seven siblings whose grandmother, incidentally, was a native speaker of Nahuatl, a language that Alarcón used extensively in his poetry. He moved to Guadalajara, Mexico with his family when he was six and returned to California when he was eighteen. A graduate of California […]


Orasyon

Orasyon

by Barbara Jane Reyes 1. María santisima, maravillosa She is a fissure, an excess María, aming ina imakulada She is an absence manifest María divina, mahal na diwa She is a myth, a missing thing María, isang niña embarazada She is blistering, she is stilled 2. Mother most filled and giving Kayo’y perla del mar […]


Todavía

Todavía

by Chip Livingston –for Lauren there you are still in the shape of your life barefoot by the sea, deep-breathed, straight-backed, and turning toward the photographer. fire, earth, water, and the air a wind blowing your black babydoll shift full, as if you are … dare we even go there? … pregnant. and really pregnant. […]


Blood Lines

Blood Lines

by Stella Reed

Before I am born I live
in the bodies of women
like tatted lace whose spindled fingers drink tea from
the Afon Taf
and hide a purse…


Finding the Language of Humiliation

Finding the Language of Humiliation

by Lauren Camp You begin a sentence. The words step out of your mouth, firm and convinced, but stop. (Or are stopped.) You begin a cloud. You begin to chew on gravity. The car rattles. You begin to gather your belongings. You begin to remove your clothes. You begin to shake, to feel the water […]


Ghosts

Ghosts

by Paige Buffington You only talk about events or people that hurt you once. Then, you let them rest— I know you’ve been taught this one, too. Because we spoke of teachings that afternoon just before the shells filled with rainwater— just before you pulled me, soaking, toward you, toward the quiver-filled house. You may […]


In the Anatomical Museum: Bologna, Italy

In the Anatomical Museum: Bologna, Italy

by Sally Ashton 1. A gallery of wax figures, medical anomalies captured by Italy’s finest artists in the 18th century working from live models and cadavers. The complete but perforated esophagus of a sword swallower, sword intact, trachea and lungs attached. A wax bust, face disfigured by small pox, skin bubbled like oatmeal. A woman […]


22

22

by Elizabeth Jacobson All that summer I marched around Manhattan braless. I wore a white tank top silk-screened with a seagull and my nipples raised the tips of its wings toward the sky. Auden was dead, but I swear I saw his ghost shuffling along St. Mark’s Place, in slippers, chewing on a piece of […]


Mind-Blowing

Mind-Blowing

by Elizabeth Jacobson Remember how huge I looked in that hideous melon colored dress, the lavender lily print splattered on like giant food stains, and how mind-blowing the sex was? Every tissue inside me swollen to plum ripeness. We outdid ourselves that first year, two babies taking root – it was as if a garden […]


Recollect

Recollect

by Jamie Cattanach I went the opposite direction on the ramp we almost crashed on yesterday. Southbound, I remember the dream: your careful counter-steering fails. The metal dividers we so narrowly avoided cascade into us like water, make us water. All my dreams are close to the surface now. Mundane things: paying bills. Exaggerations: my […]


Water as Worldship

Water as Worldship

by Regan Good It is too large to climb into, the grappling and the squall— Unclear where the edges lie, the doors, the ends and tips, the burnt, greasy rope butts. And the tools: hooks and claws. And the sails of canvas cloth. Sails sewn with sharks’ teeth and stitched with hard industrial threads. Giant […]


In the Deep Dank Dark, the Magnolia

In the Deep Dank Dark, the Magnolia

by Regan Good Misread the directive in its veins, and took for cues the manmade heat of a subterranean room to declare the season’s here— (Metallic odors issued from motor parts and dead machines.) Though the woods outside the walls were bare and the ground was stiff, the tree sprang eternal through burlapped roots tied […]


Borders

Borders

by Hugo Dos Santos *** The Ms went to church regularly, but only on Sundays at noon. And during football season they went earlier to the ten o’clock mass in order to be home for the games. We went every Sunday at the same time, year-round, and we prayed every night before bed, which we […]


Compulsion

Compulsion

by Casandra Lopez I have a compulsion to undress my pain on the page. I can’t seem to stop wanting to split myself open to figure out the hurt. I am reminded of doctors performing surgery on Brother on Bullet Night. Mother saw him laid bare as a newborn baby on the gurney. Chest opened […]


Lisboa: Five Years (after Clarice Lispector)

Lisboa: Five Years (after Clarice Lispector)

by Oona Patrick Lisboa is built on the ruins of the horizon. Lisboa is the image of my claustrophobia. In Lisboa, I can’t breathe. “All the Patrício men have bad lungs,” the old schoolteacher told my mother. They got it from here—where they couldn’t breathe. Lisboa is charcoal eyebrows and dust on my shoes. Lisboa […]


Fine Weather

Fine Weather

by Anya Achtenberg Today is the day, I can feel it, so I snake the plastic bag with my good clothes out from under my trunk, where it got a good iron job with the weight of all my worldly shit and the sit down of friends who stop by. Then I huff and puff […]


Mannish Boy: An Excerpt

Mannish Boy: An Excerpt

by Tomás Q. Morín She’s in her forties. Eyes red. Her hair is often brown, like wood chips or railroad ties or the stitches of a boot sole, like a leather belt, a fake leather belt, like the spears of wheat on a penny. Sometimes it is black or blonde or red. It is hardly […]


Popular Art From the Heart of Portugal: Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In Between

Popular Art From the Heart of Portugal: Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In Between

by Anthony Alan Shelton Reviewed by RICHARD SIMAS What a fascinating read and visual feast is anthropologist Anthony Alan Shelton’s Heaven, Hell and Somewhere In Between, an exquisite photo album and collection of essays on Portuguese popular art. The book is a companion piece for the 2015 major exhibition curated by Shelton at the University of […]


The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East

The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East

by Riad Sattouf Reviewed by Yago Cura I was in the fifth grade when Reagan dispatched a squadron of F-11’s to bomb targets in Libya in retaliation for a bombing at a discotheque in Berlin that had killed several servicemen. That day in 1986, in fifth grade after-school care at Winston Park Elementary School in […]


Elisa Keir: Totemic Catalyst Hunting Guide

Elisa Keir: Totemic Catalyst Hunting Guide

Totemic Catalyst Hunting Guide


Kathleen McCloud: Border Crossing

Kathleen McCloud: Border Crossing

Ernest Williamson III: Between Jazz and the Blues

Ernest Williamson III: Between Jazz and the Blues

Guillermo Filice Castro: Reflections

Guillermo Filice Castro: Reflections