The Girls We Love

Alaina Symanovich I stretched out on my stomach, burying a pillow beneath my ribcage so my small breasts wouldn’t grind into the mattress. At thirteen, what I lacked in mammary tissue, I made up for in soreness: chafing under my sports bra, wincing beneath the blast of the showerhead, yelping when I bungled catching a… More

God Hates Ventriloquists

Morgan Hughes I will put aside, at least for the moment, the eternal debate, which some might correctly suggest is unwinnable, regarding the existence of God—particularly that much-depicted God with the white beard, the flowing robe; that cloud-dwelling father figure, that great and powerful authority who some might say sounds a little like the Wizard… More

Poetry & Smoke: A Manifesto

Elaine Sexton I am for a poetry that makes nothing happen. I’m for a poetry that is too young to date, but too old to overlook. I’m for a poetry that wants to paint. I was thinking of those huge paintings by Francis Bacon at the Metropolitan last summer. There must have been about fifty… More

Caminito

…the sign on the corner building read, beside which a street light arched like a back and two tangueros strode across the cover of the leather-bound journal that was to be my first purchase in Buenos Aires. “Little road or journey,” it signifies, though the flight to South America is not diminutive. Distance is not… More

The Human Face

Of course, my shrink was two tables over watching me through the whole dinner. Not that he meant to. In fact, he probably was trying to avoid looking at me, as I was him. I did feel a bit like putting on a show, though, so I laughed often and tried to contribute as much… More

CNF Talks to the Feds

I have just begun listening to PodLit, a podcast sponsored by Creative Nonfiction. In Issue #10, editor Lee Gutkind interviews Amy Stolls, NEA Literature Program Officer. Literature is the only NEA discipline to give individual grants. The other individual fellowships—in dance and music, and the performing arts—were cut in 1995 by Congress. Literature remained, according… More

Poetry: A Once & Future Thing

Jascha Kessler It is the polity that forever confronts the spiritual company I call The Tribe of the Poets. Future historians will doubtless look back upon the Twentieth Century as an interregnum, a period typical of an uncertain transition from the disintegrating order of one civilization to that of a still-embryonic, coalescent society, whose proper… More

Frog Family

Townsend Walker My parents must have evolved from frogs. Frogs seldom form families or care for their offspring; they just mate and jump. It took me twenty-three years to have a family; my brother Jack never did; and my sisters married Jesus. I was born in the middle of a snowstorm in New York City,… More

The Tumbleweed & The Street Lamp

Josh Mitchell The recent news of Al and Tipper Gore divorcing after 40 years of marriage has sparked a national conversation on matrimony, a particularly resonant topic for me at the moment. You see: I’m on the other side of the spectrum. I am getting divorced after a mere eight months of saying “I Do.”… More

Male Bonding

Tom Matlack There’s a gash under my left eye, my right thumb throbs like a son-of-a-bitch, and I keep seeing stars. My whole body hurts. I have a red beard—if you can call it that—after a week of uneven growth. On the plane ride home from Florida to Boston, people look at me like I’m… More