LaToya Ruby Frazier
Self Portrait March (10:00 a.m.), 2009
(c)LaToya Ruby Frazier,
from The Notion of Family (Aperture, 2014)
HIDDEN SHAME, SHAME, SHAME /And I can’t get free . . .
Must it be my secret for eternity? / Till you know my
hidden shame you really don’t know me. So goes a catchy
little tune by Elvis Costello, originally written for and
recorded by Johnny Cash. . . .
The Drowned Man, a poem by Alison Hawthorne Deming
Some week when the roof leaks
and the cat has been carried off
by the fox when my brother’s
scans sparkle with lesions
when someone hates me
for the good deed I’ve done
and it’s impossible to sleep or wake up. . .
Collected Olive Pits from the Diaries of Strangers,
stories by Rafik Schami, translated by Kristina Kalpaxis
Aunt Rosa is on the phone. Our discussions begin and end
the same way, every time she calls. First we talk about the
family, then the entire Christian neighborhood in Damascus,
then Syria as a whole. . . .
Always Ruining, a story by Laura Willwerth
It is sometimes nice that my wife tries to make things but
not always. Coming home after dark, I stop in the driveway
for a cigarette and I see smoke where it should not be. . . . .
The Translator, an essay by Efim Etkind,
translated by Jane Bugaeva
When the applause had died down a woman’s voice
shouted, “Bravo! Author!” Laughter sounded from the
other end of the theater. It wasn’t difficult to understand
why people were laughing: the production was a dress
rehearsal of Byron’s Don Juan. . . .
The Boy Who Would Be Oloye, a story by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
The M’yongo tribe think they run everything since enslaving
those grassland nomads. Sure, it was a neat trick since
nomads are slippery little dudes, but nomads are punks,
not warriors like my people. Me and my boys ain’t afraid
to put in work. . . .