News & Notes

Notes - December 9, 2022

Barred Owl by the Bybee Bridge

I literally jumped in surprise when, crossing the Bybee Bridge, I felt a pair of beetle black eyes staring at me and what I had taken for a plastic bag snagged in the branches turned out to be a Barred Owl perched hardly five feet away and right at eye level. While we gazed at each other I tried to make sure I radiated nothing but wonder so as not to incite the talons that feature so grimly in …

Notes - November 1, 2022

Morning-After Pill “Freebies” Highlight Abortion Divide

A few weeks after the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, I accidentally opened a bright-pink mailer addressed to my daughter. She was driving back to college in Northern California from our home in Los Angeles when I texted her: Call me as soon as you can. Seconds later, my phone rang. “Is everything okay?” she asked. Poor cellular connection made her voice echo like she was …


Reviews - March 20, 2023

New Understandings of Death: Call Me Cassandra by Marcial Gala and Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi

Western culture has problematically fixated on death, especially in literature. It valorizes the heroics of transcending death, or at least staving off the inevitable for a little bit longer. It romanticizes survivorship and revere those with the gumption to live. Technosciences promise advancements that can extend life indefinitely, or even abolish death. However, throughout history, the …

Reviews - February 27, 2023

Crossing Boundaries: Short, Vigorous Roots in Flash Fiction

In Short, Vigorous Roots: A Contemporary Flash Fiction Collection of Migrant Voices, an anthology produced by Portland State University’s student-run Ooligan Press, we see the short form’s mobility, strength, and potential tested by thirty-two first- and second-generation immigrant writers. One of the anthology’s co-editor’s, Mark Budman, himself a first-generation émigré from the former USSR, …

Reviews - February 9, 2023

A Message from the People by Ray Charles

Looking back on his experiences touring the American South in the nineteen-fifties, Ray Charles would recall, “My thing was, if I…can only use the toilet in the back, can only go in the back door of the restaurant, fine, fuck it–if that’s the way you want it, it’s your restaurant…but you cannot tell me if I play my music for you, I got to make my people sit in …

Flash Fiction

Flash - March 24, 2023

The Ghost

The ghost is back, she said, when he entered the bedroom. How do you know? he said, sitting on the edge of the bed and picking up his book. The closet light was on. And the boxes were moved again. Exhaling like a weightlifter doing repetitions, he retraced his path to the door. Be kind, she said, but be firm. On the stairs the sounds came to him. The teapot being lifted from the kettle, metallic …

Flash - March 24, 2023

Generous Host

I used to read epic poems–like The Iliad or ad scripts for prescription medication side effects–but prolonged focus on one thing is detrimental to living like a mouse. When I go for evening scurries in the neighborhood, I point out to strangers how things have really changed, and that fear is the government’s tool to distract us from subterranean towns. They seem just as confused with …

Flash - March 20, 2023

Three Fictions

This Isn’t Just a Story When I say, “It’s time for bed, guys,” my dogs lift their heads. Their paws make a singsong on the stairs, heading up before me. To the bedroom. Bamboo, the doodle, spreads her legs across the mattress. Snip, the Japanese Chin, retires on my pillow. Spoof, my thirty-pound mutt, gets under the bed, where he’ll stay probably until morning. Spoof and Snip are eleven. …

Flash - March 20, 2023

The Whooping Cranes

In the late nineties I become a juvenile delinquent and spend the summer doing community service at a garden center. I drive around, those nights, in a top-down burnt Corolla older than me. Austin is a city of wildfires. Animals drink from swimming pools, and I clean houses for twenty dollars and continue to steal. Then it’s ten years later on the other side of the country, and I’m in love with …

Mailing List