FROM THIS SEASON'S ISSUE: Commencement 2014


24 Trials

The incident reported below took place on July 1, 2011, at 11:41 p.m. In Blue Ridge, GA. Jim Callihan has been indicted with charges of vehicular homicide, among others. His trial is set for spring 2014. Names have been redacted out of sensitivity to the family.

SantaCon is Coming to Town

Nothing says happy holidays like a trip to the mall. Drooping garlands swaying to a decaying cassette player, bleary-eyed consumers everywhere, holiday spirit in the air; the most wonderful time of the year. In between stops and swipes, a child’s will and insistence drags his family onto a different kind of line, to a path striped with candy canes straight to the North Pole. Each step leaves an imprint in plastic snow, all leading toward the big man at the end. For every child, this time is the most important part of the holidays, the moment to speak face-to-face, man-to-man, with Santa Claus himself.

Last Rites: A Chinese Burial

After my Grandfather died, he waited in line for one year. His ashes, inside a lacquered box, sat among the ashes of others in a cold concrete bunker nestled in the Chinese countryside. Each box bore a tiny black-and-white engraving of the deceased. The owner of the bunker kept track of burials by scrawling a name and date on the lids. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling. It was rigged to save electricity by shutting off when it sensed no movement. Whenever someone came in on funeral business, the bulb flickered on. Otherwise, the dead waited their turn in darkness.

Notes From
21 South Street

Poetry

Barnacle and Patina

Call me drag anchor ab extra on the download

Fiction

The January Tunnel

Excerpt from The Beast of Gévaudan, a novel It suddenly started raining and the only place the Archivist could find to park his car was on the other side of campus. Rain hadn’t been predicted; the sky was clear when he left his apartment, the late spring constellations clustering brightly overhead. He couldn’t see them until he came out from under the trees, though. The Archivist’s street was lined with hawthorns, a fact he would remain ignorant of for the rest of his life, being uninterested for the most part in the living world. Like the stars, the hawthorns’ white flowers were in clusters. Everything was clear and bright, the air so sweet it made him sneeze. Where on earth was the moon? Behind something else. He was trying to locate it when the heavens opened.