Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Redux on Hiatus; Open Reading Period Announced

Redux will be on hiatus until January 9, celebrating the holidays and the new year. Thank you for your support, and don’t worry…there is much more to come in 2012!

Perhaps some of that new work will be yours!  We will be holding an open reading period that begins on January 15, 2012, and goes through February 15, 2012.  Please check the Submission Guidelines page for more details, but, basically, Redux is looking for your best stories, poems, and creative nonfiction that have been previously published in a print literary journal but that are not available elsewhere online.  The piece should not be part of a book at present, though it may be in the future. 

We're committed to finding new audiences for great writing, and we look forward to reading your work!

Monday, December 19, 2011

#14: Two Poems by Christina Pacosz

~This poem first appeared in The Bellingham Review (1981)

                Angry Lament on ‘Opening Day’, Draft Registration, July 21, 1980

                                                            “Don’t worry about it.  Kill them.
                                                             God will recognize his own.”

                                                                       Reportedly the response of a general
                                                                       in the Christian crusades when asked
                                                                       how to tell who was the enemy.

       God will recognize his own.
       The souls of the faithful are
       imprinted on his retina
       and their names lodged in his third eye
       on celestial microfilm. 
       Be assured, judgment does not rest
       with you. 

       Continue to use your sword
       crossbow   cannon
       rifle  M-16   nuclear warhead.
       Don’t worry. Continue to use
       your body. God will recognize
       his own. Remember, death
       is impartial. Slaughter neutral.

       Only God knows
       those he will enfold
       in the bright light of his reward.
       By many accounts heaven will not
       be crowded.  Only the pure
       of heart may see him.
       God will descend on the souls

       like a buzzard.  The bodies?
       Bullet-torn, decapitated,
       entrails spilling,
       spinal cords severed -
       mere flesh is not his concern.
       Or yours.  Don’t worry. 
       If you die in battle be assured.
       Your death will be a casualty
       for our side where
       by all accounts, God
       in his flak-jacket
       crouches beneath the only surviving tree.
       We have it on good authority
       God will recognize his own.

Monday, December 12, 2011

#13: "The Rose Garden" by Paula Whyman

~This piece previously appeared in North Dakota Quarterly (2004)

The travel agent assured her the room would have a view of the garden on the quiet side of the house.  She envisioned a flowery bower outside and, inside, a Victorian oasis (the house was built in that era) crammed full of faux-period clutter:  lamps with tasseled shades, pressed flowers labeled with their Latin names, portraits of hunting parties dressed in pinks.  In her room, a four-poster bed and a claw foot tub; in the morning, the earthy odor of frying bacon would draw her out of the bed’s feathery embrace to dine among Currier and Ives, rangy ferns, cut roses. 
Elizabeth rode through the patter of rain, safely dry in the back seat of the cab, and imagined her hosts.  “Tim”—the only name the travel agent had provided—would be a tall yet small-boned man in his early sixties with a reddish-gray beard.  Nearsighted, he would wear those magnifying half-glasses you could buy in the drug store, because he just didn’t care about fashion.  His wife (Mrs. Tim?) would be a heavy-set woman as tall as her husband who spoke only to ask pointed questions.  She would dislike women who wore perfume to breakfast.  The wife had an eye for artful clutter, but Tim was the better cook. 
The parlor would smell like cinnamon, which Elizabeth liked, or apple spice tea, which she did not.  There would be two cats who kept out of sight, except to appear out of nowhere and rub suddenly across the ankles, and she would have to stop herself from shoving them gently away with her instep, instead smiling at her host, commiserating about the foibles of cats.
The saddest words, what might have been.  Who wrote that?  She and Cleve had always preferred to sit at their own table for breakfast.  But this time was different because she was alone.  This time, she hoped for the strained camaraderie of strangers at one common breakfast table, the predictable remarks about the rich food and richer coffee, the name of which would sound like an ice cream flavor, “vanilla-raspberry sumatra.”  She would savor banalities like the guests’ capsule autobiographies; she’d even welcome the tentative, ill-advised stab at politics and the uncomfortable silence that followed.  Faced with strangers at eight in the morning, the only common thread that they’d slept in the same house the night before—Who would choose such an arrangement?   

Monday, December 5, 2011

#12: "Hot Coffee, Summer" by Christine Grillo

~This piece previously appeared in The Southern Review (2005).

Saturday, and Franco woke up all vinegar. He didn’t want the kids climbing into our bed. He didn’t want the kids getting lippy. He wanted only the paper and some hot coffee, so he made the coffee, but the percolator’s dying, so the coffee was bad, like tea. It was so light, he couldn’t even put milk in it.
Already, this early, the kitchen was summer hot. I made eggs and dealt with the children. Franco drank his disappointing coffee and read the papers, the Sun and yesterday’s Il Giornale, and he huffed at their pages. He grumbled in English, and he cursed in Italian.
Joseph, my little Joseph, our little Joseph, padded over and asked him, “What’s the bad news, Daddy?”
Franco told him there were bad people doing bad things. Joseph stayed where he was, but his eyes were wider than before. Franco let out more puffs of hot air.
“Can I see the bad news?”
Franco showed him a photo from one of the front pages. I don’t remember who it was. It doesn’t matter. The bad ones are all the same.
“Is that a bad guy?” said Joseph.
Franco said yes, absolutely, yes that’s a bad guy.
Joseph smiled but he tried not to let me see it. He’s terrified, terrified, of bad guys, and so he loves them, at a distance.
With the meal on the table, we all tried to eat with nobody crying or whining or yelling. But I had to put on the air conditioners, and they were so noisy we had to talk loud, and the kids finished in three minutes and chased each other over the couch with yolk and butter and crumbs on their hands, so there was some yelling and there was some whining. And the toaster’s dying along with the perker, so the house smelled like burnt toast, and that smell sticks around for hours.
After breakfast, Franco helped me clear the table. He was heavily silent, except for when one of the kids wailed, and he said, “Madonn’.”
“You’re fun this morning,” I said, which was probably a mistake.
His words were like acid. “Thanks, Rose. That helps. Very useful comment. A thousand thanks.” He speaks in Italian when he thinks we’re fighting, because he thinks the kids won’t understand. I don’t understand everything myself, but I get the tone—he needed to be left alone.