Beyond Truth vs. Fiction
Table of Contents
Untitled / Gretel Ehrlich
The white row of mountain teeth chatters. Between morning and nothing, snow melts.
On an Ordinary Monday Morning / Joshua Wolf Shenk
I am five in this metaphor, not, say, two, because it is not, quite, fatal to my imagination. But it is on the edge of danger. I always feel on the edge of drowning in what I want to know.
Thinking It Was Something You Could Hunt And Kill / Lina Ferreira
“It’s like one of those jelly-thick postinsomnia dreams,” she’ll explain later, “Where you wake inside a dream exhausted and sleepless and can neither fall back into the sleep of sleep, or wake from it.”
Diaphoresis / Margo Jefferson
He could be floating alone in a cosmos of his own design. His lips are parted. (Humming, breathing, as he sweats). He’s possessed by his music. In a state of ecstatic -- let us use the Greek word for sweat -- diaphoresis.
Remarks are Not Literature or The Very Last Interview / David Shields
Can we please, please, please—not stop talking, please—but stop thinking about the world in such black-and-white terms?
Walk with Snowy Things / Lia Purpura
A vision is nothing a person chooses – a vision comes flying, comes landing, unwalled, light laved if you make of yourself a hospitable place that won’t melt a thing, step on, step over, or proceed with the business of a day, which so often means: nothing to see here, keep going, enough with the stopping and sniffing, move on.
Advice to an Honorable Man / Jerald Walker
You would have done as well to say a group of women pulled you inside the restroom and held you captive, since that would have been just as unbelievable, even though something like that actually happened to you when you were nine.
What We Have Lost Because We Did Not Know To Ask / Inara Verzemnieks
It’s the absence of what he once thought he knew that he now tracks, like the sun’s corona, visible only during an eclipse. Is the sky really still the sky if all the clouds are gone? Why can’t a dead birch leaf also be a fallen apple? If I am 16, then why are my hands withered and spotted, like fruit left too long in the sun?
The Exciting or Opiatic Effects of Certain Words / Mary Cappello
Is it possible to identify words that at one time made us happy exclusive of “candy”? And how about words that exert a drone or din? Just as worry is easier to bear in a particular place, so worry is easier to bear surrounded by particular words. Can words in themselves have this power or does it depend on the quality of the air through which words move?
You Can Choose What You Remember / Nicole Walker
I could, if I wanted to, remember how we argued over the word “collateral.” You insisted it came from the idea to collect. That collateral couldn’t be avoided. I argued that no, collateral is what you owe me. If I don’t take out any loans, no one will be hurt accidentally. You didn’t understand. You brought up Iraq. I brought up gambling in Wendover, Nevada.
Most thinking persons understand that a floating island will, by its very nature, hover around the borders of the archipelago below, and occasionally will even float beyond those invisible boundaries out to the ocean. It’s rather like a child riding her rubber alligator in a swimming pool; you don’t expect her to stay in one place. To insist on pinpointing exact coordinates is as pointless as expecting the shouting of opposing facts to cease by those nations claiming ownership of these islands.
A might be for Apples: Three objects in the After-Normal / David Carlin
Decomposition could also mean to unwrite a book. To sing an opera back to nothing. To edit is to compose by decomposing. Every composite requires an opposite. Two taps forward, one finger on delete. Besides, it all depends which way you look at it and who you are.
Blainsong / Ander Monson
“I am mostly pretty sure that I will never die. If I pay little enough attention to it I can stop time.”
Water for Roots / Harrison Candelaria Fletcher
“. . . what I was trying to see is a kind of resilience rising up from hard ground and harvested perfectly with the shutter blade click these run-on words are reaching through distance like water for roots but let me explain . . .”