ISSUE 27

Thomas Morton Prize: Fiction Winner.

1 Dog, 1 Knife.

by Daniel Scott Tysdal

“Creepily unpredictable and off-kilter, both ‘1 Dog, 1 Knife’ and its tragically misunderstood and deluded teen-age protagonist hurtle the reader along at a furious pace towards destination heartbreak. Daniel Scott Tysdal’s amateur film-maker, Terry, is all the lonely, fucked-up boys on earth and yet sui generis.” —Zsuzsi Gartner, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize Judge, 2014   Episode 1: The Mystery of the Missing Thing His movies needed to be more current. Miss Havergam, Terry’s freshman English teacher, gave him this advice. “Not just current,” she added. “Real. Current and real.” He typed her every word on his iPad, which the Maplewood High administration had provided him with because his handwriting was illegible to his teachers and himself. Miss Havergam was the only teacher to give him the extra attention the counsellor said he needed to realize his true potential. When they met to chat, she even …...

Fiction.

The Resurrectionist.

by Amanda Leduc

“If your twin brother is the Messiah, what does that make you? This question squirms at the fiery-hot and killer-cold heart of Amanda Leduc’s deligh...

Cop House.

by Sam Shelstad

“Sam Shelstad’s preternaturally optimistic Ruth had me spitting laughs like watermelon seeds. ‘Cop House’ is slyly satirical, very funny, as well as...

Even Still.

by Paul Carlucci

Roger They arrive forty-five minutes late in a white pick-up with the word hybrid stenciled across the door in swooping blue letters. Peering throug...

Helen Is Not My Friend Any More.

by Jowita Bydlowska

On the weekend, Helen picks me up to go and look at the new place she found. It’s an apartment with linoleum floors, small windows high up in the wa...

No Man Will Be a Sailor.

by Kenan Orhan Dannenberg

Each of us at the helm counts backward from fifteen for luck. Lieutenant Heimburg doesn’t count aloud. A good minute after flooding the ballast tank...

Thomas Morton Prize: Poetry Winner.

Battleford Gravesite.

by Laurie D Graham

“A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so.”   We must vindicate the position of the white man; we must teach the Indians what law is.   Tonight the clouds are tall and turquoise. North Battleford along the motel strip. Pickup trucks darkly uniform, kitted out, wide, lined up in the parking lot; dump trucks head-to-toe along the service road. You’ll be talked to in your dream tonight. You’ll learn how things are done here. You’ll forget. There’ll be lightning, then the sun will push out like an egg, metallic and hard, before receding into redness. You won’t sleep long. In the morning, the Battle River will sparkle nearly white, a colour you recognize but it’s too much, your eyes can’t take that much brightness. * Beyond the fort site, behind the campsite, down in …...

Poetry.

Two Poems.

by Stuart Ross

POEM BEGINNING WITH A LINE BY JAMES TATE I was peeling an onion. A man watched me through the window. The window was built by my ex-wife. An onion i...

Two Poems.

by Angela Hibbs

My life it stood a market ready product   Now that I am productive I am a product That is, I pee gravy. I grave chemical peels That is I peel o...

Smoke day.

by Alice Burdick

  Each smoke trail says the day was here, it was alive and it burnt. There’s this visual thing, what you like to call a memory. All tangent. Ro...

Leda Revisited.

by LeeAnn Olivier

The best way to get over someone is to get under someone.   Maybe this is the real myth: I take a shape- shifter, an all-father, for a lover, h...

Doors.

by Kevin McLellan

  undergrads moved in downstairs just after midnight / repeatedly leave the building unlocked / you worry about the front door as you stand in ...

Duties.

by Elisa Gonzalez

That time she told me to put the lobster in the pot because she couldn’t stand to kill it herself, my face composed so as not to reflect my sins, an...

Odonata.

by Sara Biggs Chaney

Order of the Dragonfly   Once, I was a prehistoric soap bubble. A glass hoverer, flaunting my hydrophilic tail. All gelatin and extendable jaw,...

Three Poems.

by Jessica Bebenek

We’re Not Supposed To Live Here   I can fare robustly for you—pilgrims of the exposed nail bed, busted radiator. Give me a blanket to ensnare m...

The Present, Missing.

by Garry Thomas Morse

  a friend of mine, lovely to be- hold for being decently real reminding of my mother or her sister who could not hold on or that friend who co...

Missions: then and now.

by gillian harding-russell

  I The passageways through the archipelago always existed, so logically were they there in a puzzle of land   fitting together waiting to be p...

Three Poems.

by Chad Campbell

SHIP IN A BOTTLE   At the bottom of the bathtub is just a silver ring, four claws on tile, & if the stopper seems to jimmy on its own, it’s...

Piazza with Fountain and Statues.

by Shawn Fawson

  A marble figure prods a fire. We step into the sun’s flare. What I feared has happened. On your skin the lightest touch makes you flinch. Eve...

Terato.

by Katie Jordon

The horse has been let out of the stable, was how they explained it. The surgeon opened a door and it bolted straight for your heart. The horse is a...

Repatriation.

by Kenzie Allen

  If, pursuant to section 5, the cultural affiliation of Native American human remains and associated funerary objects with a particular Indian...

Essays.

TOP OF THE MUFFIN TO YOU! Or, The Paranoid Style in Arguments Against the Fiction MFA System.

by Jeremy Hanson-Finger

“It’s the best part. It’s crunchy, it’s explosive; it’s where the muffin breaks free of the pan and sort of … does its own thing.”   Fiction writing MFA programs perennially piss people off. Several times a year, a major American magazine or website publishes a piece asking if MFAs are “ruining fiction” or “killing writing” or “flattening literature.” This debate has become so ubiquitous that Tony Tulathimutte, writing in Salon, points out that it’s “customary for writers to begin by venting their exasperation about the debate itself.” But the debate is also fascinating: a consistent thread of paranoia runs through the discourse used by the aspiring literary fiction writers who criticize MFA fiction programs. I refer to this group as “the Muffin Tops,” because each one thinks he or she deserves to rise above the rest of the stumps in the literary market. The …...

Interviews.