Issue 40: Winter 2018

Fiction.

Trying To Get Over.

by Lynn Crosbie

In 1968, Mattel introduced the first Black Barbie doll, Christie. She came in four models: Talking, Twist ‘n Turn, Live Action, and Malibu. The first Black Ken doll, Brad, appeared the same year and was designed to be Christie’s boyfriend.   1968: Talking Christie, or Nella-Gayl Hurston, is the undisputed ruler of Nanã’s—her divine, nine-year-old Black mistress—bespoke Barbie carrying-case, a gold butterfly butt-hinged Big Leaf Mahogany box lined in white satin and lilac plush. Single, but certain her man is out there waiting, Nella has taken to luxuriating among her fine gowns and perorating, when the string in the back of her long neck is gently pulled. “I want to be a fashion model,” she says. Or, rhetorically, “Should I change my hairstyle?” Nella’s hair is an auburn bubble that clashes fantastically with her swollen, shocking pink lips. Change it, she says to herself and …

Pat pat pat pat pat.

by Jowita Bydlowska

I look around and everyone is obviously a lizard wearing human clothing. So many parties. So many lizards. I’m drinking. My girlfriend is in the oth...

Poetry.

Five Poems.

by Ian Williams

The Great Exhaustion You are getting sleepy very sleepy. When you wake you will not remember any of this. You will awake as if from a routine cleaning and the hygienist will have given you a toothbrush, a tiny floss, and a mini Sensodyne. Clinically proven to build relief and daily protection for sensitive— It is not injectable unfortunately. In Whistler your white friends ski down their own incisors. How many episodes before Netflix jostles your shoulder and asks if you’re still watching? Are you? You don’t drink but it’s all you do in the evenings alone while your white friends whistle down Whistler. There are mountains and molehills of words for what you are. sad. feel. sad. are. it. Are you sleepy yet? Seasonally affected? Affect disordered? Begrudging all the whistlers who cheerfully eat protein bars after sparta typo sports? Street view autocorrects East …

Radiators.

by Zoe Imani Sharpe

I was going in the ‘86 Lincoln town car he later sold to the Czech mechanic reading a story, “Radiators,” & taking notes on the historical statu...

Two Poems.

by Stevie Howell

Did . . . did a malachite write this Malachite, being concentric hues of green, absorbs Earth’s energies w/o tearing spacetime. So smooth you can ca...

Kamouraska.

by Rachel Crummey

Kamouraska, Rimouski, Rivière–du–Loup,Trois-Pistoles We lived in the sea once, all life did How did those cells assemble, microbial How ...

The Ideation Project.

by Domenica Martinello

  Exile is a most superb suburb for those who hurt us to disappear into,bushes kept so high and trim they’ll be rose bushes, soon. Perhaps ther...

TEPCO[1] Beach[2].

by Noor Al-Samarrai

We crossed the highway and walked West, away from hunched Costco, toward the water. Path bordered by sour grass and wild fennel we picked till our t...

How We Murdered Sleep.

by Bola Opaleke

Never thought to stay awake would be as daunting. How many times have I been puckered like this? Back in college at girls dormitory, at the bukas un...

Voight-Kampff.

by Emma Healey

At first I liked the test because I couldn’t tell what made the questions like each other. It’s sexy to be led to someone else’s revelation, so I wa...

C?O?M?M?U?N?I?T?Y.

by John Stintzi

  Not every wolf in sheep’s clothing is hungry, not every actor acts in their role. Today, tomorrow, and too many days before are defined by an...

to transmute earth into honey.

by jasper avery

i. lend me the strength of your strength allow it to come like tide to me and my mouth who is placed in your hands again and over again the stretche...

From dadi’s home.

by Manahil Bandukwala

Burned toes on scalding tea when you carried tray laden with chai, cinnamon scents left to boil on stove. Sleep surrounded by stuffed toys kept at t...

Laws of Motion.

by Paola Ferrante

A body in motion remains emotion less a body in relationship the relationship now will be described between a body here and your body hereinafter re...

Essays.

Young Blood.

by Alex Quicho

To make blood marmalade, first you need a quart of new blood—if not from a willful donor, then a freshly guillotined neck. If the execution is public, you can catch the jet loosed by the blade in a bowl or bucket. If the letting is for you alone, you might prefer a slender glass or porcelain bottle. Once procured, it must be left to congeal into a thick treacle, a slab of dark jelly, an aspic in which the rich pigment of invisible cells is suspended. Slice in and cut away the tacky substance before heating it on the stovetop, reducing like you would a sauce. Then pound the sauce in a warmed mortar, and strain it through a silk sieve until the serum is as fine as rosewater. Store and use before the next spring, when it should be replenished. Do-it-yourself life extension …

Un vrai bête en amour.

by Téa Mutonji

I woke up by chance just before he began to move convulsively and spin off the shoulder of the 401. I grabbed the wheel and used my elbow to push hi...

Interviews.

The Many Reinventions of Atlantic Canadian Fiction: A Roundtable.

by Trevor Corkum

It’s notoriously difficult and downright foolish to attempt to define the literature of an entire region, particularly a region with as much diversity and as rich a storytelling tradition as Atlantic Canada. While the region remains fixed in the minds of many Canadians as a place frozen in time—perhaps because of the success of so many mainstream comedy shows that play off familiar tropes: the harangued, chain-smoking bingo queen; the slick-talking, out-of-work fisherman; the passionate punk rock fiddler—its increasingly diverse and dynamic literature highlights the passions and complexities of a place firmly rooted in the contemporary moment. Atlantic Canada is home to beloved fictional underdogs and spunky literary heroes, from the quiet solitude of Alistair MacLeod’s hard-working Cape Breton miners and fishermen to the take-no-holds-barred spirit of Lynn Coady’s brawlers or Joel Thomas Hynes down-and-out n’er do goods. Yet it’s also a place of fierce …

Reviews.

Becoming-Gods: Canisia Lubrin’s Army of Revolutionary Zombies.

by Jessica MacEachern

  In “Zombies,” a song from Awaken, My Love! (2016), Childish Gambino sings about the struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic landscape crawling with the undead. Though the horror trope itself is familiar, Gambino manages to defamiliarize the listener’s sense of fear by granting his zombies soft, seductive voices. The featured artist, Kari Faux, sings: We’re coming out to get out We’re all so glad we met you We’re eating you for profit There is no way to stop it In the outro, Gambino asks, “Do you feel alive? Do you feel alive?” As our crooner questions our own status of liveness and implicates us in the profit-hungry landscape of the walking dead, zombies of the song transform. The ultimate question being asked is, can we be certain of where we fit within the spectrum of monster and survivor? Zombies become the figure through which …