Wiseblood Books

Story without a Name

Eve Tushnet

I.

Italics. I am in italics. I am canted slantwise toward the world. I pretend that the Roman numeral was modeled on me—the number for one. One alone, to be my own. . . .

I will never hear.

I.

I am the ellipsis. I am discreetly edited out.

I.

I am trapped in the subjunctive tense. Quisiera. I would have wanted. Perdiera. I would have missed. I would have. You know I would have. [Read more...]

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The Letters of Magdalen Montague: Prologue

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Prologue *

On 4 April 1947, a house on the Rue des Trois Frères, raided by the Nazis and left untenanted since the liberation of Paris, was sold. Records of past ownership had been destroyed during the occupation, and since memory is short in that district, little was known of the man who had most recently lived there. No stories were known to explain his departure. How could there be at a time when so many were dead or disappeared without a trace? He might have evacuated the city with so many others; he might have been imprisoned; he might have been dead.

In the far corner of a dark and cluttered attic, a large, flat-topped trunk of soiled gray Trianon canvas was found. A label inside the lid boldly proclaimed the craftsmanship of Louis Vuitton—Malletier à Paris. Collaborator. [Read more...]

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The Same

Leah Acosta
It is the same.
The twisted strands . . . 
	of barbed wire, flesh now torn
	of plaited curls, freshly shorn
	of woven briars, crown of thorn.
The bruised reed . . . 
	freely blowing, sown in the distant sod
	trampled underfoot, by pris'ners heavy trod
	plucked, unbroken in the Son of God. [Read more...]

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Holy Matrimony (Anniversary in Colonial Williamsburg)

Roger Mitchell

Watch the cooper resume
his old manufacture,
how the hollowing knife
will carve perfect volume
from imperfect nature.
So we two, man and wife,
embraced like oaken staves,
these golden rings our hoops,
this common life our cask,
have joined our tapered selves. [Read more...]

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Maritime

 I. The Cornucopia

Emerging cold and desperate, his whiting breath
Trails behind him like the old ship’s own signature
Disgorged in blunt belchings of smoke from its belly
Through a single squat stack piping up the trying pots.
The wit-starved whaler tells his hunger-angry crew:
Sing a tune from groggy memory; desires supply the words.
There’s the sea and he scans it like a line of poetry [Read more...]

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This Is Only a Test

Roger Mitchell
If the TV stares back in blank silence
without even so much as a message
from our sponsors, do not take it askance.
Black static flies like a flag over this age.
Salute and report for duty, be distracted,
for to be distracted is the noblest aim
(so long as GDP is not impacted). [Read more...]

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Well

Michael Schorsch
my church is sending me
to Mexico

it was autumn of course
a deviled egg

and the three of us shared
some rye bread

the river was already frozen

Ina, I
have resolved to become a religious man

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Per Annum

Joseph O’Brien

Time takes miles from life, years rolling out, tolling mpg’s,
From a perpetually restless motor. The past, awkward and unwieldy,
Is a highway map folded in confusion’s haste.
It goes too far back for me to follow.
You become an absence, the might of a subjunctive ghost,
Expected as a radio station
And the time and place its fading signal finally dies. [Read more...]

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The Short Life of a Bird

Amy Kopecky

Yesterday I saw a baby bird. I was sweaty and hot because I just got out of gym class and we had played my favorite game—dodgeball. I’m the best in the third grade! Except for Brian. Brian’s even better than I am and pegs me in the head every time. The teacher never gets mad at him, even though head hits are illegal.

Gym is the one thing at school that I’m good at. Everyday I hear, “Conner, you could be getting A’s in all your classes if only you’d stop talking!” I don’t know why teachers don’t want me to talk. On TV kids always talk in class and the teacher never notices. Actually, teachers are a lot dumber on TV. [Read more...]

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Slim

Amanda Glass

Do you know Slim the Cowboy, the Hero of the West?
He found a rattler by the sofa, bravely beat it up.
He saved his friend the sheriff when the local gang got rough,
Then drank his campfire coffee from his pewter loving-cup.
That’s Slim, in his bandana and fleece vest.

Did you see Slim the Cowboy as he galloped into town?
He left his mustang Star tied in the stable-yard out back
(That stable looks suspiciously like my green baker’s rack),
Then sat down at the bar and had a sliced-banana snack.
That’s Slim, in small snow-boots of blue and brown. [Read more...]

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