No. 08

On the battlefield with Li Ling; Petina Gappah in Zimbabwe with the Mupandawana dancing champion; Tracey Hill in transit; Samantha Hunt gets noticed; Naomi J. Williams goes to sea; Yiyun Li gossips; John Wray and Matt Dojny take a sightseeing tour of New York; Denis Donoghue revisits history; poems by Suzanne Buffam, Mahmoud Darwish, Jennifer Moxley, Adrienne Rich, and others; and introducing Sara Majka.

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If You See Something

Little Ears, Little Eyes

No. 08 Samantha Hunt

I love to hear that another memoir has been exposed as a big phony.
If You See Something

In Transit

No. 08 Tracey Hill

You are never happier than when you’re in transit.
If You See Something

Did You Hear?

No. 08 Yiyun Li

The neighborhood where I grew up and where my parents still live is one of the apartment compounds built in the 1950s in Beijing.

The Mupandawana Dancing Champion

No. 08 Petina Gappah

When the prices of everything went up ninety-seven times in one year, M’dhara Vitalis Mukaro came out of retirement to make the coffins in which we buried our dead.

The Atmospheric Railway

No. 08 Shena Mackay

The train carrying Neville back to Hampshire was formed of ten coaches and was scheduled to divide at Eastleigh, where the front five carriages would proceed to Poole, while the rear five branched off toward the New Forest.

Impossible Sightseeing, Part One: New York City

No. 08 John Wray

In the early 1980s, faced with rapidly dwindling shelf space in their seven tiers of stacks, the New York Public Library at Forty-Second Street—the one with the lions—prevailed upon the city to fund the construction of a gargantuan book storage annex thirty feet under the grass and London plane trees of Bryant Park.

Powers of Recuperation

No. 08 Adrienne Rich

A woman of the citizen party—what’s that— / is writing history backward / her body the chair she sits in / to be abandoned repossessed

This Handwriting

No. 08 Matthew Zapruder

I do not acknowledge it, though it is mine.

The Dead of Winter

No. 08 Fred Schmalz

I had not felt so / tired so early in the day / since last winter

Trans-Neptunian Object

No. 08 ​Suzanne Buffam

The time and place and manner of my death are three facts that / don’t exist yet.

The Blackberries

No. 08 Francis Ponge

On the typographic bushes of the poem down a road leading neither out of things nor to the mind, certain fruits are composed of an agglomeration of spheres plumped with a drop of ink.

Doppler Elegy

No. 08 Ben Lerner

The bird is a little machine for forgetting / The freight trains that pass my house

The Museum of Nature

No. 08 Jennifer Kronovet

The earth’s humus is made fertile / through the worm’s anus.

Through an Opening

No. 08 Carl Phillips

It was as if they’d stepped into the head / of a wind god, / and gotten trapped there and, / within captivity, made a space they could / sometimes recognize.

Be Careful: The Poet’s Skin is like that of a Frog

No. 08 Jennifer Moxley

There is a way in which / I can be distracted / from what matters.

Two Poems

No. 08 ​Jürgen Becker

Blackbirds, then other voices.

Lines of Refusal

No. 08 Julie Carr

Nothing here, just the sound of the heat, the sound of the cars, / nothing, nothing

And, Not Content with Circumscription, Spreads.

No. 08 Thomas Hummel

though I may not recognize the places I have / seen it, it is still an ornament, an ornament / known well; I know its name, I traced / those lines, and feel easy now about it.

Two Poems

No. 08 Rebecca Wolff

The other side of the mountain / collects / and even cultivates / its mystery

On the Last Evening on this Earth

No. 08 Mahmoud Darwish

On the last evening on this earth, we sever our days / from our trees, and count the ribs we will carry along / and the ribs we will leave behind

Saint Andrews Hotel

No. 08 Sara Majka

In 1963, an eleven-year-old boy named Peter Harville was committed to a state mental hospital in the western part of Massachusetts, far from the island where he grew up.

Lamanon at Sea

No. 08 Naomi J. Williams

It is the afternoon of August 26, 1785, and Jean-Honoré-Robert de Paul, chevalier de Lamanon, has just returned to the Boussole, exhilarated and exhausted after a successful ascent of the Peak of Tenerife.

A Word on “Li Ling”

No. 08 Paul McCarthy

On Atsushi Nakajima's masterpiece.

Li Ling

No. 08 Atsushi Nakajima

In the ninth lunar month of Tianhan 2 (99 B.C.E.), during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, Commander of the Cavalry Li Ling led a force of five thousand foot soldiers north from the border fort of Zheluzhang.

A Novel Including History

No. 08 ​Denis Donoghue

Denis Donoghue discusses the law of dreams
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