Editor’s Note

In the Commissaries of Hell


On Not Being Proust: An Essay in Literary Failure

Alberto de Lacerda: A Remembrance

Visions of Gerard

Crucibles: The Orchestration of Surprise

A Note on Steven Berg’s Rimbaud: “. . . still unilluminated I . . .”


Professor Arecibo

Drill and Song Day

By Vladimir Kozlov

Translated by Andrea Gregovich & Mikhail Iossel

A Time of Exchanges

By Vladimir Makanin

Translated by Mary Ann Szporluk



His Knowledge of Having Done So

The Charges Are Stalking & Arson

Against the Neighbors, Bury Bottles


Skin Trade

Dark Harbor

The Last Days of Jaco Pastorius


Litany of Resistance

In Maryland

A Walk in the Morning Sun


By René Char

Translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson


By René Char

Translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson

The Thinker

À la Turka

Bessie Smith’s Last Recorded Song

How Graceland’s Decorator Landed the Gig

Bullied Into Thoughts About the Body & Desire at the Colorado State Fair

Two Songs About the Work of Hands

Seduction Against Exterior Pilaster, Waning Gibbous

Staffordshire Figurine, 1825

Andante con Variazioni

Nihilism: Eugene O’Neill at Sea

Morphine: Eugene O’Neill Remembering

Prayers for a Giant

Song for the Returns

Table of Contents

Tell Me

The Right to Slap Butts, If He Wants

The Procession

On the Milkman

The Sweet Crime of a Waltz

“On this sleepless night . . .”

By Mikhail Rodionov

Translated by J. Kates

O You Animals!

By Nelly Sachs

Translated by Teresa Iverson

Circular Drives

Huang’s Tao Te Ching

Kafka Variations

A Promise


Devotion: Fly

Devotion: Dub

“She says, ‘It’s bad . . .'”

By Alexander Stessin

Translated by J. Kates

By Tomas Venclova

Translated by Ellen Hinsey

For R. K.

By Tomas Venclova

Translated by Ellen Hinsey

“Afternoon. Durrant’s. . . .”

“Perhaps it exists . . .”

A Sea-Change


Event Horizon

Just These Miracles

Voice and transformation. This issue features a deep reckoning of friendship by Roland Merullo, a recollection of a mentor by Jhumpa Lahiri, and sharp, smart idiosyncracies by Sarah Gorham and David Rivard. Playing against these are antic and bittersweet stories by Perle Besserman, Ken Kalfus, and Vladimir Makanin, among others. Here are writers marking how the self broods—broods, and then flips loss onto its turtle back; how it damns the damnable and laughs out at all that is tangled and absurd. Pilar Coover’s hallucinatory visual textures aptly counterpoint the voices, which also include those of poets Matt Donovan, Amy Beeder, Paula Closson Buck, Bruce Smith, and Derek Walcott.

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