Featured, Poetry »

for us the moment was perfect #poem

By | June 16, 2017

Although not for whatever lay dead in the adjacent meadow,
for us the moment was perfect—the sky, sky blue, the sun
burnishing the fresh-washed foliage, the dog, sticks retrieved,
content to lie within reach of a scratch, and the narrative permitting
us a bench and a view of what lay before us: the light green nap
of grass like a billiard table’s baize cloth, turkey vultures cruising
on the thermals in …

Featured, Nexus »

California’s Single Payer Health Care Bill Is Dead on Arrival

By | June 9, 2017

I am a lifelong Democrat who has been working hard for more than a decade to improve the policies and build the coalitions necessary for the success of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. I believe the ACA didn’t go far enough and that the United States must do more to guarantee universal and affordable health coverage. My preference would be for America to …

Featured, Poetry »

give me your hammer #poem

By | June 9, 2017

don’t leave me to
paginate the Ozarks
alone with a grid
that cramps my
Byronic manner
give me your hammer
so i can stake my
tent hard into these
innumerable stars
Nathan Spoon’s publications include Oxford Poetry, Mantis, Reflections (Yale Divinity School) and the anthology What Have You Lost? (HarperCollins). He is associate editor of X-Peri and a 2017 faculty member for the Modernist Social Network seminar series at the University …

Featured, What It Means to Be American »

With Crocheting Needles, My Sicilian Immigrant Grandmother Wove a New Life In America

By | June 8, 2017

The winter rains had subsided for the moment, but the coastal night air remained chilly and damp. My rent-controlled apartment, with its lack of insulation, mirrored the outside evening temperature, as I sat at my desk struggling to meet a self-imposed deadline. Shoes aren’t allowed in my home, not even for me, and with porous window seals in this old building and its wooden floors, …

Featured, Poetry »

I had never been terrified before you #poem

By | June 2, 2017

Kathryn Merwin is a native of Washington, D.C. pursuing her MFA through Western Washington University. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Natural Bridge, Prairie Schooner, and Sugar House Review, among others.

Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

L.A.’s New State Historic Park Is Both a Miracle and a Missed Opportunity

By | May 30, 2017

Riddle: When is a miracle also bound to be a disappointment?
Answer: When the miracle is a project of the state of California.
A case in point is the recent opening of the Los Angeles State Historic Park, an event that contains many miracles.
Miracle one: It’s a large (32 acres) park—with broad grassy fields large enough to fly a kite or hold a big concert, …

Featured, Poetry »

Now things are getting complicated #poem

By | May 26, 2017

Now things are getting complicated. The roots that connect my stories to the inside, the fleshy roots
at the underside of the stories, topography of land and sea and love sending sound and body from
the underside, the roots reaching to the inside
are winding and thinning as they enter, towards a center
trying to foul things up; where the threads meet is thrashing:
Minotaur again, shapeshifting or some shit.

The …

Featured, Poetry »

Been beyond a rough season #poem

By | May 19, 2017

just after sunrise at the Radcliffe CoMart lunch counter,
the day’s work already done.
Been beyond a rough season.
Emerald ash borers come up in the orchards,
gutted plums and cherries.
Acres of dent corn so stem-cankered
every granary in the state is less than half-full.
Old timers calling it an omen,
proof of half-assed faith in earthwork,
saying a field is like a woman—you have to praise her
electric grit if you …

Featured, The Takeaway »

Mitchell Duneier Explains the Invention of the Ghetto, as Place and as Idea

By | May 15, 2017

When sociologist Mitchell Duneier was growing up in the 1960s, he said, “references to the word ghetto were references in my house and in my segregated Jewish community on Long Island to the Nazi ghettos.”
A half-century later, Duneier, a Princeton University sociologist, explained to an overflow audience at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles that the word’s meaning has become vastly different. …

Featured, Poetry »

I have seen the San Gabriel river/ from the 210 West #poem

By | May 12, 2017

This wistful and luminous wet is bright;
is eye-arresting in this courtyard,
demanding notice, coated in its own
slick skin of dust that drifts on water,
lit white by sunken lamps, obscured by glass.
You stand across the brushed-clean concrete
in conversation, words too hushed to hear but still
the spill of them is bell-sweet and
brilliant, almost as if
this fountain is charged,
full and flush with fire,
as I have seen the San …