Issue 77


Fall 2018

Elisa Albert / Melissa Febos / Ethan Rutherford
Editor's Note

“Poison is in everything, and nothing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” So said Paracelsus, the sixteenth-century Swiss physician credited with creating laudanum. In our toxic times, it seems as if there are very few remedies and that all is, indeed, poisonous. What, then, must writers do? Come up with remedies? Use the poison to cleanse, to heal, or simply to attack what is attacking us? Poets like Hadara Bar-Nadav use fragments—“grammar / broken along the way”—to try to manage the poison. While Deb Olin Unferth sends a poison pen to Marie Kondo and her Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: “I ask you, is there any image more gross than an upper-middle-class American standing over their possessions and imagining that everything in view wants to serve them? That’s some evil shit.” Melissa Febos, in her powerful essay “Intrusions,” confronts the toxic male gaze. In Jonathan Durbin’s disturbing futuristic story, “Sisters,” Brooklyn is overrun by deadly weeds, and in Katie Coyle’s darkly comic story, “The Little Guy,” an unseen creature hides in the walls of a woman’s house. Warning: this issue may make you itch and squirm, and could uncomfortably elevate your heartbeat, but also may make you see anew and may even bring unexpected feelings of euphoria. Consume responsibly and with caution. Or not.

Note: Ebooks are no longer available for this issue.

Table of Contents


Katie Coyle
The Little Guy
Jonathan Durbin
Elisa Albert
Two Lasgnas
Ben Lasman
Maman's Nom de Plume
Ethan Rutherford
Ghost Story


Catherine Wing
The Commerce Between Us
Beyond the Gazebo
Fran Tirado
Diana Marie Delgado
Fady Joudah
Three Manly Sentences
Deborah Keenan
The Heartland, Where the Secrets Are
Animals Above Me
Tess Taylor
1988: Memory with Valley Girl and Paramount
Lory Bedikian
Partial Tubectomy Revised
Apology to the Body
Optic Neuritis
Nicole Callihan
Joshua Bennett
Barber Song
Owed to the Plastic on Your Grandmother's Couch
Hadara Bar-Nadav
The Brilliant Fragments
Jennifer Militello
Job's Comfort


Melissa Febos
Leela Corman & Lauren Groff
Poison Stories
Lisa Grgas

Lost & Found

Michael N. McGregor
Jamie Fisher
on Natalia Ginzburg’s Family
Kent Russell
on Harry Kursh’s Cobras in His Garden
Rebecca Renner
on Anna Maria Ortese’s The Iguana
Angela Palm
on John Barth’s The Floating Opera

Poison Pen

Camille Guthrie
Drama Trap
Greg Jackson
A Super Soaker is a Water Gun You Masturbate
Deb Olin Unferth