Imaginary Shotguns

—Jordan Davis and many others There’s a teenager in an SUV, shopping mall, or nightclub with an imaginary shotgun. The weapon belongs to him, but he doesn’t—he can’t—know it’s there. That’s one problem with an imaginary shotgun: if one is unaware of its existence, one might feel safe enough to forget about the possibilities, to… More

Letter to Mike Scalise

On a flight from somewhere to somewhere else, the woman next to me vomits into a bag. She’s polite about it, as if trying not to disturb. The bag fills up, she seals it in a separate Ziploc, and puts that in her purse. Then she starts the process all over. And this, Mike, reminds… More

Matthew Olzmann

The author of “Mezzanines” sits down to discuss anxiety, race, and “The Velveteen Rabbit”. More

Meditation of a Foot Soldier Nearing Medusa’s Sculpture Garden

Matthew Olzmann So these are the monuments. And these are the faces of the inevitable. And if I am made one of them, rendered motionless, made marble by the gorgon’s stare, then help me celebrate the abrupt tombstone my torso becomes. I’ve never been this far from home. I’ve never lifted my arms above my… More

Review: Matthew Olzmann’s “Mezzanines”

Scott Hightower Mezzanines, Matthew Olzmann Alice James Books, 2013, 978-1-882295-98-2, $15.95 Mezzanines by Matthew Olzmann is a first book and the winner of the 2011 Kundiman Poetry Prize, a prize dedicated to publishing work by Asian American poets. Part of the prize is the winning collection’s publication by Alice James Books. Olzmann is a product of… More

Build, Now, a Monument

Matthew Olzmann No longer satisfied by the way time slips through his life’s work, the maker of hourglasses yearns for a change. He elects to construct a staircase instead. Rather than grains of sand, he’ll manufacture one stair after another to lament every transient second. Look at it now! It rockets upward, almost vertical, beginning… More