alan’s bike basket

“what you got there, Alan?” Sid says. he’s smiling at me but it’s a mean smile. he’s not nice. my Mom told me, she told me, you stay away, Sid’s not nice, and she’s right. my Mom is always right. “nothing.” i shield my bike basket with my body. i know it’s not a real … Read more

an argument

“let’s get a dog.” “we don’t have room in the flat.” “how about a small dog? we could fit it in, couldn’t we?” “but i like big dogs.” “listen. dog’s a dog. faithful. i ever tell you about the first time i saw you? your heels were too high and you were knock-kneed from the … Read more

the beauty of a busted fruit

The Beauty of a Busted Fruit by Natalie Diaz When we were children, we traced out knees, shins, and elbows for the slightest hint of wound, searched them for any sad red-blue scab marking us both victim and survivor. All this before we knew that some wounds can’t heal, before we knew the jagged scars … Read more

blank (on the first morning)

the driver accelerates into a steep hairpin curve and my gut is in my throat. i’m thrust forward on the bench seat, and grab for the hand rest, miss, scrabble, try bracing my feet against the metal legs of the front seat and fail. slide across the bench and end up in the middle when … Read more

what we have

What We Have by Ruth Stone On the mountain the neighbor’s dog, put out in the cold, comes to my house for the night. He quivers with gratitude. His short-haired small stout body settles near the stove. He snores. Out there in the dark, snow falls. The birch trees are wrapped in their white bandages. … Read more

the stranger

i’ve been edited before but not like this. i’ve learned a lot about craft, much more than i anticipated. my editor, Sean Virgo, pointed out my tics (in that moment), lazy phrasings (consistently describing characters by their eye colour), and repetitions of indirections (think, wonder, consider). the indirections, the indirections! his ability to hold eleven stories in his … Read more

tendency toward refusal

Zadie Smith gave a lecture on creativity last week and discussed a “tendency toward refusal” and “a little friction”. it was highly stimulating. my head hurt, afterward. and i’m still processing. i think it was a call to arms. to push oneself into new territory and make a personal stand. here’s an excerpt: To my … Read more