Issue 42: Summer 2018

Introduction.

Displacement.

by Eduardo C. Corral

My first book came out in 2012. Over the past six years, I’ve been lucky enough to give readings at universities, cultural centers, neon-loud bars, ...

A Particular Sensibility.

by Naben Ruthnum

The point of having a guest editor is to get a particular person’s sensibility to shape the section, and I didn’t see how I could do that unless I r...

Fiction.

Seven Letters to an Unknown Godhead.

by Evelyn Deshane

Dear —, This letter already contains a false start, as I don’t know how to address you. Perhaps that is why, unlike the people who inhabit the town we’re in, I have not resorted to prayer. I do not consider myself a believer, so my letter writing must stand in for the intimacy that I now feel, even if I can’t address you. There is intimacy in a name, yes? I wish I had yours. It puts shapes and sounds to something that I knew was there since the moment that I saw your head emerge from the ground. My supervisor, Dr. Morris, was the first to notice the anomaly in the dirt. The patch of land has been marked by our perfect squares for at least a week and a half. We have found many items made from flint, some sea ammonites, and, of …

Others Are Unsafe.

by Jen Neale

The girl who kidnapped me had a vaguely frog-like voice. Over the phone, she requested one of my free 30-minute trial driving lessons. On my way to ...

Bliss.

by Sofia Mostaghimi

On our drive back into the city, we’d sometime stop on the side of the highway. We’d fool around in the back of the car and talk about how we were a...

Laugh All You Want.

by Emmet Matheson

Somebody had to lose it. Somebody had to find it. At first, Harry thought it was a diary. A slim, black, softcover notebook lying on the rain-slicke...

The Little Mermaids.

by Julie Cameron Gray

It was fun, in the beginning. Sadie saw a casting call for Disney World auditions, and she got all worked up about it. “They give you money to move ...

Poetry.

Mister Snuffleupagus.

by Souvankham Thammavongsa

You wouldn’t know it but I’m Mister Snuffleupagus   Big Bird’s best friend on a street called Sesame   It took a lot of work to be Mister Snuffleupagus   No one really knows that   I did it for two and half years   Big Bird told me “Most people don’t last that long”   I didn’t want to be Mister Snuffleupagus   I did it for Big Bird   I thought he could really use a real friend   I went to the audition and I got the part   Each week there was a new audition and I always made the cut   I don’t really know why   Maybe they were impressed I did it all by myself   It usually took a team of two or three to be him   I blinked his eyes and fluttered his eyelashes   …

All The Wind Turbines.

by Rob Winger

When all the wind turbines turn away from sun, we’ll put our faith in a tiny spectrum of waves from California’s largest field array. So much of wha...

Convenience.

by Shaun Robinson

Every day I pass two women who stand, hands folded, beside a rack of pamphlets that read, “Will Suffering End?” They face the all-night gym, ellipti...

after Greyhound.

by Aeon Ginsberg

Homesickness is a disease without reason, I have found cures in the flat Canada Dry, in the seafood seasoning, in guilt. I am away and I am homesick...

Two Poems.

by Anna Geisler

Nightingales The serving girls argue who will collect the eggs from the chicken coop and from his bed the master hears them. The white moon has swun...

Two Poems.

by Jan-Henry Gray

April 1984 The young mother born with the wrong name boards a plane. Flanked by her second and third child, she squeezes the last of the honey from ...

Two Poems.

by Silvia Bonilla

Marital Ode He says to believe in our future we’re in the room he can afford for now. He counts money. There are scratches in his face, the drawings...

Acknowledgements.

by Sachiko Murakami

the edge blurred face, dissolving lorazepam, memory oil gathered on surface a filmic voice saying I had wanted this for a long grey sky, never refle...

I am off to meet the Himalayas.

by Sanna Wani

Himalaya, /ˌhɪməˈleɪ.ə/; Sanskrit: हिमालय, hima (snow) + ālaya (dwelling), “abode of the snow.” teeth fall yellow from an old man’s mout...

Chango.

by Rena J. Mosteirin

All the girls in my paintings wear gasmasks and pretend they are not afraid. I make voodoo dolls, to bring the wrath of Chango on the girls in my gy...

Dear Phil.

by Jeff Whitney

A thousand years ago we might have been enemies in some war over sugar, some war children slept through between De Soto crossing the Mississippi and...

Goat.

by Katie Fewster-Yan

Quite unprepared for its irrelevance the mind goes wandering, its familiar towns and flowers grown so insensitive to mention. The library has been w...

Deluges.

by Aaron Boothby

Is there no valid language for Chaos? Or does Chaos only produce a sort of language that reduces and annihilates? —Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Rela...

cain & abel.

by Patrick Kindig

we know how it goes there are two men & one is loved one is loved less this begets bloodshed & the idea of forgiveness while one man begets ...

Essays.

The Strange Case of CanLit’s Disappeared Black Poet.

by Kate Siklosi

how does one write poetry from a place a place structured by absence One doesn’t. One learns to read the silence/s. —M. NourbeSe Philip   Rana Hamadeh’s recent operatic art installation, The Ten Murders of Josephine (2017), sheds light on the missing testimonies overlooked in historical records of racial violence and loss. Hamadeh’s piece takes inspiration from the language of the Gregson vs Gilbert insurance case, a 1783 insurance settlement in which the owners of the slave ship Zong threw a large number of slaves overboard in order to claim insurance money for the loss of “property.” The decision of the court—the only public document in existence that testifies to the Zong massacre—cloaks the violence and injustice of the event in the logic of expense and proprietary loss. Using the insurance case as a legal artefact, she investigates the manner in which Black lives are …

Interviews.

“Resisting the Singular Voice": On Canadian Hip-Hop.

by Mark V. Campbell and Paul Barrett

  The following is a conversation between Mark V. Campbell the Guest Curator of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s recent exhibit, “… Everything Remains Raw: Photographing Toronto’s Hip Hop Culture from Analogue to Digital” and the editor of a book of the same title, and Paul Barrett, Assistant Professor of English at Concordia University. Campbell sat down with Barrett for a lengthy discussion of hip hop, race, Canada, and history over two humid July days in Toronto. Paul Barret: Mark, your love of hip hop is evident throughout the book and the exhibition. I wonder if you can remember back to the moment of falling in love with rap. I can remember hearing Run-DMC’s “Peter Piper”—the sounds of the drums and bells samples from Bob James’s “Take me to the Mardi Gras” and the rapping just totally blew my mind. An entirely new space …

Letters with Three Nigerian Poets.

by David Ishaya Osu

In 2015, David Ishaya Osu’s poem “Playthings” appeared in The Puritan. The next year, he sent us an interview with fellow Nigerian poet Adeeko Ibuku...

Reviews.

Storytelling and Cruelty: A Review of Miriam Toews’s Women Talking.

by Justina Elias

  Any ripped-from-the-headlines premise faces the question of distance: How can an author access real events faithfully and effectively without further violating the people who experienced them? In recent years, a number of novelists have adopted varying degrees of remoteness in their fictionalized accounts of highly publicized female trauma. Emma Cline’s The Girls sidesteps the lurid and well-trodden ground of the Manson Family murders to meditate on gender and identity; Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny takes a more literal approach to a recent child murder in New York, changing superficial details while tracking each intimate step toward the act itself. Now, with Women Talking, Miriam Toews presents another perspective, drawing on an uncharacteristically gruesome inciting incident to craft an ambitious novel that circumvents shock value in favour of a subtler rumination on language and power. Based on the true story of “ghost rapes” in a …

Everybody Bleeds.

by J.R. McConvey

  Few scenes from modern life carry as much pathetic dissonance as the tyrant laid low. Think of Saddam Hussein, bloody and disheveled after be...