Sunday, September 30, 2012

Note from the Editor

Redux will have an open reading period October 8 through October 31.  In general, we are looking for your best literary work (nothing strictly genre) that:

~ Has been previously published in a print journal
~Is not published in any book
~Is not available elsewhere on the internet.

Please read these important guidelines before you submit your work; we welcome fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. 


And I’d like to officially welcome the new Editorial Board:

Deborah Ager
Marlin Barton
Stephen A. Ello
Steve Kistulentz
Joseph M. Schuster

You may read more about their background here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

#52: "Secrets of Small Machines" by Sandra Beasley

~This poem first appeared in an issue of Black Warrior Review (2008), as part of a chapbook called Bitch and Brew: Sestinas.

Editor’s Note:  Sandra Beasley was on the inaugural Editorial Board of Redux.

Secrets of Small Machines

Dialysis units can taste the blood.
The boy watches as tubes giggle and twitch
in his skin. They are like pretty, cruel girls
who wave from the swing set. They are lean wolves
chasing him through the purifying woods.
Be still. The nurse hands him his Speak & Spell,

then wipes her hands. Spell island, it says. Spell
sandwich. The boy keeps watching as his blood
loops out. He decides to be made of wood,
to be a boat that cannot cry or twitch.
He rides the waves past the jaws of ten wolves,
and the wake from his prow douses the girls.

Be still. He sails to a shore safe from girls
and docks, armed with only the Speak & Spell.
He changes the language setting to “Wolves.”
He joins a pack who love him like he’s blood,
who bed down around him, sighing, twitching
through a common dream. Beyond shore are woods

brambled and poison-ivied. Be still. The woods
teem with mechanized deer. Don’t be a girl,
he thinks. Their rusted breath scares him, the twitch
of each perfect, telescopic eye. (Spell
telescope.) They pulse oil instead of blood
and they’re the only creatures feared by wolves,

who fear nothing. Be still, he begs the wolves,
but they’re out of sandwiches and the woods
hold rabbits. They leave him to chase for blood
and the deer come, their eyes soft as a girl’s,
their teeth sharpened and rotored. Time to spell
run, one says, beginning to spark and twitch.

He was good, says the nurse. Hardly a twitch.
On his sister’s shirt winks a small, stitched wolf.
Her Chrysler sounds just like his Speak & Spell:
Fasten your seatbelt. She pats its fake wood.
The whole way home she’ll ask him about girls.
You’re at that age, she says. Girls in your blood.

It is May, ’83. Spell twitch. Spell would.
The boy knows there’s a deer inside each girl—
and for every spell cast, they’ll need more blood.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

#51: "Revillagigedo" by C.M. Mayo

~This story was originally published in Turnrow (2001).

Afternoon sea the color of midnight.
Sky egg blue, kissed with raspberry. (Sun out of the picture.)
In the center an arch,
layers of barren rock scooped by the wind and salty spray of eons into ribs, spires,
hollows fit only for magnificent frigate-birds

Rigoberto Castro lifted the photograph, holding it up over the equipal table, away from the island of shade cast by the leaves of his banana trees. He held the photograph as an actor would, grandly, his thumb he did not notice making a big greasy print on the front of it.
"Esto serĂ¡ la portada del libro," he said. This will be the cover of the book.
"Fabulous, yes?" she said. Her name was Consuelo Kennedy. Her English was perfect, if spiced from a childhood spent in Mexico City. She sat on the other equipal chair, one long leg thrown over the other. Her sun-browned feet were encased in Italian strap sandals, her jeans (so Vogue) ripped just so at the knees. She was the one who had taken the photograph at Clarion, leaning out of a helicopter.
"This will be the cover," Rigoberto Castro said again. He stared into Consuelo's lovely heart-shaped face as he said it yet again: "This will be the cover of the book."
And so, of course, it would be.
Rigoberto Castro had a flair for the dramatic, his wife Beatrix always said, and when she said it she rolled her eyes like a saint, engulfed in flames, imploring heaven. Beatrix had been obliged to speak to him recently about his new habit of wearing an ascot. Before they were married, when they were novios, when Rigoberto was twenty-two and Beatrix barely twenty-three, she had been obliged to speak to him about his habit of using an ivory cigarette holder. "Riggy dear," Beatrix had said, Riggy dyahr, in her plummy BBC accent, "You fancy you look like a movie director, but you look rather like Roosevelt. An old man with snaggly teeth." Rigoberto Castro did have snaggly teeth, which were now stained with the coffee and nicotine of five decades. He was sixty-nine years old, and with a bum ticker, too. Mitral valve prolapse.

Monday, September 10, 2012

#50: Two Poems by Monica Wendel

~This poem was previously published in Limestone Literary Magazine (2011).


If you think about it, he kind of always
made money with his body, bike messenger
with thighs of sharp wire, bandana around
his neck to prevent the exhaust of
BQE and Manhattan traffic from going into
his mouth & nose, like a coal miner.
But then his knee got fucked up and I ran into him
at a restaurant we both frequent
and he was talking to an older man about my lawyer
who is kind of a dick but has gotten me
out of a number of situations, and I wouldn’t
have gone over to say hi except that
there was this link, a bond
bigger than the house we both lived in or
our weird night bartending a show
for the resisters of somethingmovement –
but the man was not his father, and I slipped
and used the name I knew as his,
and a flash came across his face. I saw
that this is how one lives off of a paper trail,
out of white-collar slavery. It wasn’t Jenna Jameson
or The Da Vinci Co-eds. This was using
your own thin body for companionship
to a lonely old man. A question of what we own
and what we are willing to sell.


Monday, September 3, 2012

#49: "Thrown" by Nathan Alling Long

~This story previously appeared in Tusculum Review (2005)

In the sense that there was nothing before it, all writing is writing against the void. ~Mark Strand

THE seamless expanse of the white white snow had been enough to terrify him.  No horse.  No ice-blue shadow of hoof prints.  No ephemeral outline of barn or tree etched on the horizon.   No instinct of North, South, East, West. 
How long had he been knocked out?  Where exactly was he when he had fallen?  How long ago had Mosby run off?  The snow swept past him in millions of tiny fragments.   He looked again for a trace of anything, but saw only white, above and below.  If gravity were to fail, there would even be no telling ground from sky. 
His body was stiff from the fall, but the snow had cushioned him from breaking any bones.  He yelled out for Mosby again, and after the horse did not appear, he did what he often did in infrequent encounters with terror.  He thought of the mundane, listing what was certain. “This is snow,” he whispered into the wind.  “My feet are dry and my boots are on tight.”
He knew enough not to panic—that was all.  Once a steer had fallen on him dead and crushed his leg.  He had waited five hours before being discovered, and another two before they could find enough help and chains to pull the animal off him.  He had learned not to panic then, though both his legs had been numb and the cold mud of September had broken his body into shivers after the first hour.
But this situation was more serious.  No one knew he was out here in the blizzard.  And though he could stand and walk, he didn’t know which way to turn.