“The Ladder” by Fred Pollack

Art by Kate Shaw The joke you had to explain. The vision that moved no one. The pedantic tone. The embarrassing confession abandoned halfway. When across freshened skies jetpacks jockey and curtsey, and solar-powered dirigibles preside like funny gods, you’re not invited.   It’s possible in your room with effort to detach yourself progressively from time until you see it whole for the troll it is; and at the apogee of spirit forgive the stucco and silence of that room, and sleep. There’s a party. Composites talk wittily and with power you half-hear though contributing fully. Hors-d’oeuvres, urgent gossip, vivid … Continue reading “The Ladder” by Fred Pollack

“Snow Day” by Gaurav Madan

Art by Kate Shaw This story was originally published by Jaggery.   Quickly shutting the door of his dad’s old station wagon, Kabir worked the zipper of his hoodie toward his stubbly chin. The wind tore through the parking lot burying itself in the spaces between his shoulders. The afternoon extended through layers of gray. Crossing the parking lot, he kept his eyes fixed on the cracked asphalt, aware of the always-watchful lenses. The streetlights swiveled, peering through the flurries that had already begun to fall. Instinctively, he pulled up his hood to shield him from the cameras. One of … Continue reading “Snow Day” by Gaurav Madan

“Kaa’s Trance” by Hibah Shabkhez

Ereyesterday, my pen could write this tale In the rich tongue of my own earth-mother; Overmorrow, a tapping thumb will nail Its fate to the sails of the conqueror.       It trembles. It cries to the story-dew Avaunt! ‘You’re wrong. I don’t belong. To you’   Today, like yesterday, like tomorrow Language bars the door to the telling.  It’s English: the jests need Urdu’s sorrow, And the gestures Punjabi’s wheaten ring   It trembles. It cries to the story-dew Avaunt! ‘You’re wrong. I don’t belong. To you’   Languemixes sprouting in the marches  Hire border reivers to steal them … Continue reading “Kaa’s Trance” by Hibah Shabkhez

“A Humble Visionary” by Emanuel Magno

He is a type of worm. Not just a bookworm, but a multilayered, multimedia little annelid, perhaps the same one Machado dedicated his works to, but maybe not. Always talking of wormholes, and when doing so one is always tempted to think of them as his holes, not necessarily through a continuum space-time in the physical sense, but as something purer, much more fundamental and general, but also much more particular and local, much more Personal than Einsteinian sheets and bridges and all those monstrosities. He talks a lot about teleportation, but one is really tempted to translate the term … Continue reading “A Humble Visionary” by Emanuel Magno

“After the relationship there is the Dissection” by Anita Goveas

The Abdomen The scar itself is not the issue. Medicine is a wonder, this is not a list of the joys a surgeon’s knife can bring. But to revel in it, to take pride in it, to continue to wear bikinis. What can be done with someone without a proper sense of shame? 2. The Eyebrows In themselves, an important part of a specimen toolkit. Not as essential as eyelashes, more significant than eyes (those can be easily changed). But to leave them, to allow them to creep across the face unchecked, to have no boundaries. That suggests a laziness … Continue reading “After the relationship there is the Dissection” by Anita Goveas