297.2 Spring Issue 2012

297.2 Spring Issue 2012


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We publish all 
forms of creativity.  

We like stories that start quickly 
and have a strong narrative.

We appreciate when an essay 
moves beyond the personal to 
tell us something new about 
the world.


Want to go on a scavenger hunt? Of course, it will be a poetry-themed scavenger hunt because this is our annual poetry issue. Okay, here goes. Find: (1) a double abecedarian; (2) a very loose villanelle; (3) a Clarian sonnet; (4) a poem about Emmett Till; (5) paired poems emulating Richard Hugo’s letter-and-dream pattern; (6) a multiple-choice exam; (7) an epistolary poem; and (8) a poetry-book giveaway. Also we’re proud to publish this year’s winners, honorable mentions, and finalists in our Hearst Poetry Prize, and also note that the first place winner is a person of color. As always, we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with poems by Angel Fugimoto-Meagh, Ira Sukrungruang, and Jane Wong, as well as notices of Asian American DVDs and books in our review columns.

We always have difficulty getting writers to send us funny work. This issue, we’re lucky to have a humorous poem spoken by King Kong, another about stopping to pee at the Walt Whitman Service Center, a tongue-in-cheek “personality test,” and an irreverent catalogue poem containing the line, “Kangaroos without the hop. Vesuvius without its top.”

This issue’s fiction looks at the schism between perception and reality, memory and the possibly imagined. David Harris Ebenbach’s “The Escape Artist” centers in part on the generational conflict between mother and son. It is a story with a wonderfully comic undertone. Mark Beaver’s “The Taj” captures the grit and dreams of working class life.



Cover   Emily [pastel] • Gary Kelly 

14   Untitled [digital collage] • Marty Gotera

21   Untitled [pen and ink] • Jared Rogness

25   Untitled [pen and ink] • Joanna Barnum

29   Untitled [pen and ink] • Jess Fink



14   The TajMark Beaver

21   The Lucky • Gabriel Necochea

25   The Escape ArtistDavid Harris Ebenbach

29   Blue Chalk • Peter Stine



31   Night Ride • Jean Harper

33   What Happens: Only You Know the Magic Words to Make it Possible • Emily Stone



3   Mississippi PastoralAnsel Elkins

4   Gratitude for an Autistic SonRebecca Foust

4   King Kong Explains Himself at His 25th High School Reunion • Michael Derrick Hudson

5   Washington Square ParkAngelo Nikolopoulos

5   On the New Jersey Turnpike, I Stopped to Pee at the Walt Whitman Service Center near Camden • Harry Waitzman

6   All of the AboveJack Cooper

7   Epistemology • Scott Lowery

7   A History of CrocusesArthur McMaster

8   RutabagaSusan Elbe

8   Lizard Mother • Angel Fujimoto-Meagh

9   The Transit of Venus • Robin Shectman Richstone

9   Toward a Midwest TongueMark Wagenaar

10   The Transmigration of Soul • John Kearns

11   Don’t Have a Cow • Charles Cessna

12   An African American Step Show • Alexandra Pajak

12   Moon Seen Through a TelescopeHope Coulter

13   The War Reporter Paul Watson Hears the Voice • Dan O’Brien

18   A Sleepwalk Waltzer Like You • John Rybicki

18   Around Here • Steve Langan

19   AtticAnn Hudson

19   Mortuus Lingua • Karen Carissimo

20   The Ladder to the Attic • K. Griffith

20   At the Corner of Broadway and 105thNeil Shepard

22   The Last AlchemistMichael Kriesel

22   PerspectiveTodd Davis

22   Epistemology • James Wooden

23   Coppélia in the MetropolisJay Rogoff

23   Having Been Outside the BodySandy Longhorn

24   Petite poupée sur commandeLeslie Adrienne Miller

24   WithoutJeff Tigchelaar

30   Cultivar • Damon McLaughlin

30   Sound Picture • Jody Bolz

32   He Raptured Them on a Sunday at the Gospel Church • Thomas Courtney Vance

32   BreakageJane Wong

32   Holy Week • R. A. Pavoldi

39   Letter to Mazzeo from SyracuseIra Sukrungruang

39   During a Nap I Meet Richard HugoIra Sukrungruang



40   The American Century, the New Middle Class, and the Resurgence of the American EssayNatalia Rachel Singer

43   Paeans: Brief Book Reviews • Anne M. Drolet

44   Crosscuts: Brief DVD Reviews • Grant Tracey

45   Synecdoche: Brief Book Reviews • Vince Gotera

48   Countdown to Tomorrow [Past Perfect] • Jim Donahue



2   From the Editors • NAR Staffers Out in the World

46   Contributors