Issue 65


Fall 2015


Adam Johnson / Mary Higgins Clark / Kevin Barry
Editor's Note

“Talent borrows, genius steals” is usually attributed to Oscar Wilde, and occasionally Pablo Picasso. There is, however, no record of either one actually saying or writing this. T. S. Eliot, on the other hand, wrote, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” Theft and appropriation have always been artistic engines. In this issue, Kevin Young—poet, essayist, and anthologist—looks at how thievery is done well (Bob Dylan) and not so well (Jonah Lehrer). Mary Ruefle and Erika Meitner demonstrate the art of erasure, turning extant texts into ready-made poetry. Thievery of property and the ultimate transgression, the theft of a life, have spurred the great ones from Homer to Shakespeare to Fitzgerald. Here, Victor LaValle remembers the time he played at being a teen runaway in Times Square. Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson returns to our pages, and to Korea, with his story “Fortune Smiles,” in which North Korean expat grifters try to navigate the laws and mores of Seoul. We sent out a call for short essays about memorable thefts, and it is an honor to have the call answered by the doyen of crime writers, Mary Higgins Clark, alongside Alissa Nutting, George Singleton, and Laura Lippman. Clark reminds us that, in Shakespeare’s words, “The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.” Enjoy.

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Table of Contents


Samantha Hunt
The Removers
Kevin Barry
Matt Bell
Toward the Company of Others
Kirsten Bakis
The Thief
Adam Johnson
Fortune Smiles


Timothy Liu
Ode to Shoplifters Anonymous
Till Death Do Us Part
David Baker
Stolen Sonnet
Stolen Sonnet
Khadijah Queen
____ Before an Opening
____ Mass. Fashion, Grocery Items & Artificial
Nods to Richard Serra
Matthew Zapruder
Poem for Doom
Erika Meitner
Had Shot
Shooting Range
William Logan
Years of 1978
The Evil of Two Lessers


Kevin Young
Who Wrote the Book of Love?
Ginger Strand
Vonnegut on the Road
Mary Ruefle
Follow Me
Victor LaValle
Run Your Shit
Jillian Weise
Why I Own a Gun
Sarah Dohrmann
What We Want is Your Boy

New Voice – Nonfiction

Jenn Shapland
Finders Keepers

I’ve Been Robbed!

Laura Lippman
Identity Theft
Mary Higgins Clark
The Jewel Heist
Alissa Nutting
College Huffy
George Singleton
Why I Write First Drafts by Hand

Lost & Found

Michael Peck
On Georges Simenon’s Red Lights
Katherine Hill
On Josefina Vicens’s The Empty Book
Thomas Ross
On Torgny Lindgren’s In Praise of Truth
Aaron Gilbreath
On Donald Richie’s The Inland Sea
Paul J. Marasa
On Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing

Readable Feast

Michael Ruhlman
Cooks Are Different