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Fall 2010

Mercè Rodoreda at Carnival; Francis Spufford on the Soviets and the story of an idea; Stephen Burt on new American poets; Julian Gough explains how to fall in love properly; Geoffrey G. O'Brien catalogs three years; Annie Coggan makes a home for Ulysses Grant, and Rachel Cohen takes a tour; Allan Gurganus's Lair and Refuge; Ian Chillag, Maud Casey, Brian T. Edwards, and Aviya Kushner on laughter; and reintroducing Charles Newman.

If You See Something

Falling and Laughing

Issue 11 Julian Gough

Comic writers laugh at the folly of humanity (“Poor, sufferin’ Hugh Mannity,” as Flann O’Brien put it).
If You See Something

Wanting to Be a Fact

Issue 11 Maud Casey

In Max Frisch’s strange and beautiful little novel Man in the Holocene, an old man named Geiser is trapped in his home in an Alpine valley in southern Switzerland by the collapse of a supporting wall that blocks the highway to the tiny village.
If You See Something

You Had to be There

Issue 11 Brian T. Edwards

No one jokes with me when I go to Tehran.
If You See Something

I’m Not Crazy About That Part

Issue 11 Aviya Kushner

One of my biggest fears is that I will die because I have talked too much.
If You See Something

I Was a Microagent of the Body Guard

Issue 11 Ian Chillag

Red blood cell. For twenty-five years, every time I’ve heard or read the term, I’ve thought of Arby Sea.

How to Fall in Love Properly

Issue 11 Julian Gough

Slowed a little by a stone in my shoe, I arrived in Galway City a while after dark. Galway City, the Sodom of the West!
Public Access

Julia Grant’s Opera Shawl and All That it Suggests

Issue 11 Annie Coggan

The Grants moved into a brownstone on East Sixty-sixth Street—financed by the general's supporters—in 1881.

Interiors and Exteriors in the Life of Julia Grant

Issue 11 Rachel Cohen

The house at 3 East Sixty-sixth Street was the third from the end in the Grants’ lives together.

Three Years

Issue 11 Geoffrey G. O’Brien

Toying with a gun as a train goes past / June is what I’d imagined, dark / intermittent woods set off / by the whiteness of a collar, a book / I can’t believe we’re left alone with.

The Dentist’s Chair

Issue 11 D. Wystan Owen

On the morning of his ex-wife’s appointment, Kenneth Rivers still owed her an RSVP.

On New American Poets

Issue 11 Stephen Burt

Poems routinely solicit—they may even include outright—generalizations about everything from barbecue methods to categorical imperatives, but they raise special puzzles, or paradoxes, when they solicit generalizations about themselves, since good poems try to be as unlike one another as possible.
Public Access

The Old Testament

Issue 11 Jericho Brown

This is the book of three diseases.

Small Philosophies

Issue 11 Jennifer Chang

Now the fever root, / the marsh weed, the marigold.
Public Access


Issue 11 Arda Collins

Incandescent, black body / your soul is on the floor.

I Was Married and You’re Supposed To

Issue 11 ​Katie Degentesh

Do you think everything you’re supposed to think?

Anything You Want

Issue 11 Matthew Dickman

My living brother / is treating us to dinner.


Issue 11 Michael Dickman

The beautiful invisible music falling from the speakers in the other room / is Mahler imitating the snow

The Science of Parting

Issue 11 ​Carmen Giménez Smith

You’re a wet thing in my throat: oyster.

Praise Song for the Donkey

Issue 11 ​Aracelis Girmay

Praise the Mohawk roof / of the donkey’s good & grey head


Issue 11 Jennifer Kronovet

The ice encases the branches / of trees as if beauty can just.

Gun Show

Issue 11 David Lau

The earliest writing in Golden City / left turn-signal sensors / trafficking / in Variegated Solomon’s Seal


Issue 11 Chris Martin

(April 3) / Not often is it that I grace / my own eyes

No Vehicles Beyond This Point

Issue 11 Joseph Massey

Tape unspools from a cassette, / collects—a nest—between two / pieces of driftwood

From Film Two

Issue 11 Anna Moschovakis

I don’t know a thing about paradise || In my house nobody ever brought it up

From Block Chapel

Issue 11 Fred Moten

the way orchestra sounds in birmingham / that’s my sound.


Issue 11 Meghan O’Rourke

I was lost before I returned.

Heart Set: The Antique Sun

Issue 11 ​Zach Savich

Having fixed the typewriter, / eaten the oranges and eggs / the house’s owner left, I sat / at the white table and tried to tend / to the need for deepening sacrifice / without upsetting my urge / for everything to be responsible / and pure.

Lair and Refuge: I Work at Home

Issue 11 Allan Gurganus

Imagine a happier Miss Havisham.

Ecorche (Flayed Man)

Issue 11 Melissa Pritchard

The Collector—wearing an oilcloth hat, overcoat, and soaking-wet boots, slogged through rain, a fish-shaped basket of gray willow sealed by a flap of leather across his shoulders.

On Charles Newman

Issue 11 Joy Williams

The 1970s were Charles Newman’s decade.

Blues for Charlie

Issue 11 Paul Winner

A decade ago, I was Charles Newman’s student in St. Louis. A celebrated novelist came through that fall to read a list of current faculty when she stopped at a name. “Newman? Charles Newman?” she said. “God, he’s an icon.” By the time I came into his life, he drank too much and ate too little.

The Five-Thousandth Baritone: A Masque in Five Parts

Issue 11 Charles Newman

All that we know definitely about Purcell’s history as a choirboy is that his voice broke in 1673... beyond that lies the territory of invention.

Midsummer Night, 1962

Issue 11 Francis Spufford

It had all taken longer than it needed to, of course.
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