ISSUE 19, Fall 2005

 

 

 

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Creative Nonfiction Magazine

 


Ten new essays, including our briefest brief to date, as well as repeat visits from Greg Bottoms, Rebecca McClanahan, and Cheryl Merrill. Good things still come in small packages:


CHOP SUEY
By Ira Sukrungruang

My mother was a champion bowler in Thailand. This was not what I knew of her. I knew only her expectations of me to be the perfect Thai boy. I knew her distaste for blonde American women she feared would seduce her son. I knew her distrust of the world she found herself in, a world of white faces and mackerel in a can.

FISH
By Nicole Walker

Cooking filets of fish is not complicated. Salt and pepper the fish. Press the water out of the skin with a knife. Slide it across at a 20 degree angle. In the pan, in some oil, two minutes on the skin side, one minute on the flesh. It’s the sauce that’s difficult.

WINTER COUNT, 1964
By Stuart Lishan

So, “Ka-Chunk,” went Jerry’s head. And that’s a sort of love, too, don’t get me wrong, only it wasn’t Sherri Luna’s sort of love. She needed to touch the someone she loved, even if she didn’t understand what the yearning in her heart was asking her 9-year-old body to do.

SINGING LIKE YMA SUMAC
By Cheryl Merrill

Imagine a vocal instrument that is equal parts cello, double bass, violin, tuba and trumpet, one whose entire body is an expanding and contracting resonating chamber, one that can sing with a throat full of water and triple-trill a rumble, a roar, and infrasound, all in one 3-second call. Yma Sumac would be horribly jealous.

BEGINNINGS
By Porter Shreve

The glass explodes in front of me. Loud snaps and a deep bellow. Then I’m looking at a mass of black fur and bone where our windshield used to be. I reach for my face and everything is wet, tiny shards dug into my hands and arms.

ACROSS THE STREET AND A WORLD APART
By Linda Dyer

She sauntered down the street mid-morning in a navy blue silk bathrobe, her satin mules clicking the sidewalk with two-inch kitten heels.

ORBIT
By Rebecca McClanahan

King murdered the week of my senior prom, then Bobby in a hotel just miles from my school while I marched to Pomp and Circumstance, not knowing that within a year on a July night in the back seat of a Volkswagen, I would pledge what was left of my heart to a boy leaving for Vietnam.

BATH
By Joshua Dolezal

All winter, I rose early and drew a scalding bath first thing, smothering toast with apricot jam while water drummed in the tub. Night and day converged in a stream of heat and half-waking.

BULLDOG
By Greg Bottoms

“She’s insane. She does this every time she sees me. She bit someone in my mom’s neighborhood, so my mom told my dad he had to keep her here until they could sell her. My mom says my dad drinks and that’s why the dog is wild. "

MINA
By J. Stephen Rhodes

On the day before she died, I visited Mina in the hospital. As soon as I walked in her room, she said, “Oh, Steve, I just took the most wonderful trip before you walked in. I went on a helicopter ride–you know how I’ve always wanted to. We went way up in the air, so high the trees looked like blades of grass.

 

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