HUSBANDRY available to read in Issue 23 of the Los Angeles Review from Red Hen Press

Two years ago we were rounding out our first year in Los Angeles when I won the short fiction contest at the Los Angeles Review. The news felt like a blessing on an already good year — we came West in the hope that California would be a good home for the next chapter of our lives and 2018 seemed to say: you did good.

But that was two years ago. Right now we’re in the middle of a pandemic and LA County looks like it’s in a race with Florida for the number of new COVID cases per day. We spend most of our time at home with our pets. Even though it is true that every day of our lives holds the promise of something unexpected, that truth feels more raw and real right now.

So it is with relief and hope and an attempt to invite you into my co-joy that I share the news that my short story, HUSBANDRY, is finally available to read in the late-released Issue 23 of the Los Angeles Review.

HUSBANDRY is about a bull who wakes up as a woman—and what it means to be lonely, and other, and still find your person in this world. It’s about gender and sexuality and pastoral life and what time does to who we are.

I’m honored to be featured alongside a number of amazing writers and artists and I hope you’ll consider buying a copy and giving it a read. These independent presses survive on razor thin margins and every little bit counts towards keeping them alive. If you like interesting writing that isn’t your typical cookie-cutter beach read, especially, check them out. More about Red Hen Press can be found here.

Love to all and Happy Friday!!

xo, LJ

WILD GEESE IN THE AGE OF LATE CAPITALISM

By: Laura Jean Moore and Tye Pemberton

You do not have to be call-your-wife-mom good.
You do not have to walk on your knees in Guantanamo or
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting (as Weezer’s Africa cover
plays on repeat.)
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what Madison Avenue tells it to love.
Tell me about political despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on in a climate-denying march towards human extinction.
Meanwhile the sun and the acid pebbles of the rain
are moving across the dying landscapes,
over the fracked up prairies and the lost deep trees,
the mined mountains and the polluted rivers.
Meanwhile the last wild geese, high in the unclean, blue-ish air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how very lonely,
the ad world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like those last wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your temporary place
in the family of things.

Am I Straight?

Am I? No. Are you? Maybe. 

A poem for your survival, regardless:

BARKING
by Jim Harrison
The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn’t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there’s no chain.

 
And links:
 
TRUMP DUMP
These 80 programs would lose Federal funding under Trump’s proposed budget
Trump is officially under investigation by the FBI for his ties with Russia
Donald Trump is the symptom, not the problem

(UN)SEXY
Livin and Lovin in NYC’s election debrief
The invention of heterosexuality
Youtube is now restricting LGBTQ+ videos, WTF
Chuck Tingle is the greatest author of our generation

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Between Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night
BY RODDY LUMSDEN

Just then, encountering my ruddy face
in the grand piano’s cold black craquelure,
it conjured the jack-o’-lantern moon
dipping up over the roofs of the Tenderloin.

Only when I have done with the myths—
the inner spill that triggers us to flame,
breasts so sensitive a moment’s touch
will call down fever; the dark sea-lane

between limbic squall and the heart’s harbour—
will I picture you, just beyond innocence,
lying stripped by a thrown-wide window,
letting the cool breeze covet your ardour.

EYEBROW RAISERS
The ugliest house in America
That time DON RICKLES was a featured character in Superman comic books
Kid needs permission slip to read Fahrenheit 451
A brief history of Appalachian snake handlers
Butt plugs used to be marketed as miracle cure for headaches and acne

HOLIDAY SPIRIT
The history of candy corn
The best of NASA’s pumpkin carving competition
Spooky skull door, Fort Worth, TX, 1946
The original Jack-o-lanterns were made of turnips and WERE TERRIFYING
17 real life ghost stories that will freak you the fuck out
The Bell Witch Cave
Samhain: Traditions and Rituals for the New Year
What is a ghoul?

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far memory

The LJ Algorithm was one of the casualties of Hurricane Matthew. We’ll be back in full next week. Until then, read well. —LJ

far memory
by Lucille Clifton

                   a poem in seven parts

1
convent

my knees recall the pockets
worn into the stone floor,
my hands, tracing against
the wall their original name, remember
the cold brush of brick, and the smell
of the brick powdery and wet
and the light finding its way in
through the high bars.

and also the sisters singing
at matins, their sweet music
the voice of the universe at peace
and the candles their light the light
at the beginning of creation
and the wonderful simplicity of prayer
smooth along the wooden beads
and certainly attended.

2
someone inside me remembers Continue reading