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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #23

The Funambulists

By Jonathan Rovner
 
 

Conjure up two people—let’s say one man and one woman—and place them in a nondescript room. Don’t slap them down like stamps in an album; people are fragile, after all. Fill the room with tension. The problem, of course, is that tension doesn’t look like anything. You might have to use your imagination. Maybe floodwaters are filling the room with a sluggish inevitability…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #22

A Song for the Beautifully Useful

By Barry Maxwell
 
 

I discovered the clock radio in an out-of-the-way niche of Granny’s living room, wedged on a bookshelf behind a ribboned bundle of last year’s Christmas cards and a stack of miniature New Testaments. It was an early ‘60s model, a minimalist white cube atop a round footing, designed to look space-age and modern, with no place in Granny’s poor-folk country décor….
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #21

Cornucopia, Unincorporated

By Nancy Wyland
 
 

When I was younger, Dad often remarked about Cornucopia being “unincorporated,” as if this were a point of interest or amusement. I could tell it had something to do with the town’s size, but only after I looked up the word “unincorporated” did I realize the charming irony of a village proclaiming its independence within a town of 230 people…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #20

Knives

By Lauren Spinabelli
 
 

The author has requested that this essay be removed. We apologize for any inconvenience….
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #19

Healing Waters

By Melissa Wiley
 
 

A tornado’s hurried intake of breath uprooted a pine tree in my parents’ garden, my mom calls to tell me earlier on a Sunday morning than I need to hear it. What would they have done if it hit the house while they were sleeping? she asks…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #18

Garbage Heap Wonderland

By Gretchen Comcowich
 
 

We pass the last neighborhood before the forest begins. We walk beyond the houses where mountain-hardened residents are tucked away. As we crunch through old snow, the barking dogs and sounds of ATVs fade….
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #17

Mapquest to Auntie Iryne’s

By Lori White
 
 

Mapquest to Auntie Iryne’s by Lori White Leaving From:

FURMAN AVE, VENTURA, CA 93003

Pack the following:

Water to silence your mother’s nagging cough

The only dress you own and a pair of sandals to solve any wardrobe objections your father may have (you can change in the back seat)

KLEENEX!!!!!!!

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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #16

Sap Rising: A Natural History of Neighborhood

By Arthur Plotnik
 

Like old homesteaders circling their spread and recalling the early days, we often walk the forty steps of our cherished one-tenth-acre plot reflecting on when we settled in an unsettling Chicago neighborhood some three decades ago. We didn’t face locusts, dust storms, or massacres (though one murder took place around the corner)….
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #15

Where It Ends

By Elizabeth Gaucher
 
 

The wider and darker the bruise, the greater was the evidence of our commitment. In hindsight, that was a pretty unsettling attitude for a couple of twelve-year-old girls to have about their favorite pastime. Sandy and I invented “tennis basketball” one summer in the early 1980s, ostensibly just to occupy our bored selves…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #14

Knit to Feelings

By Megan Bush
 
 

Tell me about yourself, humans ask. We query friends, family, lovers; in supermarket parking lots, at dinner tables, in bars, in bedrooms. Over time, the answers become threads woven into cloth. The stories wrap us together, like children pressed against their mothers’ chests, like naked lovers held between one set of sheets…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #13

Whacking a Doe

By Alexander Barbolish
 
 

It took three shots to kill my first deer. The first bullet hit at the base of her lungs and exited out the left shoulder. With awkward, halting leaps, the doe bounded forward about twenty yards and then stopped. I rose from the weeds along the tree line and walked out into the field, focusing on the dark hole in the middle of her side.
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #12

The Bees Are All Women

By Millie Tullis
 
 

My naked back is still open to the winter air, and I know Jaden can see its white glow even in the dark as we talk. I feel cold sitting up in the bed. I hold the heavy comforter to my neck and chest and bury my face in it when he speaks. “I think…it should wait…until marriage,” he says…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #11

The Grey House Didn’t Speak

by Rain Wright
 
 

No people remain to lift their hands in farewell. Home does not speak. It does not call out our names as we move up the steps onto the plane. It does not call out as if to say We have a long history, do not go
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #10

Bookbinding for Amateurs in Autumn

by Tara Deal
 
 

The creaking space is filled with what looks like torture equipment: guillotines, paper cutters, iron presses, hammers, and chisels. This is not a place for hobbyists, and I am grateful. Because I want to learn how to do something difficult….
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #9

with light steam

by Alex Simand
 
 

A few years ago I began frequenting a Russian bathhouse in San Francisco, a city far from my childhood home of Toronto, far from my pot-bellied uncles and drunken cousins, and Russian curse words. The bathhouse is called Archimedes Banya, and it does not market itself as a Russian bathhouse…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #8

Like Happy Birthday But Not Really

by Edmund Sandoval
 
 

This year your birthday falls in the weeks between the day when she calls you at work to tell you between sobs that they found something in her brain and the day she meets with the neurosurgeon for the final diagnosis. They is a radiologist whose name we never learn but who, after looking at the MRI scan of her brain, says there’s a lesion right in the middle of it. In the Turkish Chair…
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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #7

Throwing Stones at Apple Trees

by John Messick
 

Along the limestone southern coast of Turkey in the port city of Mersin, tucked amid Roman ruins, fields of iambic columns, and newly built high-rises, I spent three days in a back-alley whorehouse. The sign in front of the building was small, barely visible. “Otel,” it read. Old men sat sipping tea in the lobby…Read more

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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #6

Shelter

by Sarah Marty-Schlipf
 

On that warm June afternoon when I first laid eyes on Bently, I’d been on my way to teach a writing class at the county jail. I knew our local no-kill shelter taught inmates at the nearby federal prison to train dogs. Because I was early for work, I stopped in to see the place I’d heard so much about…Read more

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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #4

An Unexpected Light

by Shuly Cawood
 
 

Sometimes I wish we could start over—not so we could change it, but to do it all again. I would rewind the clock eight years to that Saturday night contra dance, after I had escaped the crowds to cry in the back hallway of the Carrboro Century Center. Tsafi hardly knew me, but she followed me anyway…Read more

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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #3

A Month in a Far Country

by Timothy Kenny
 
 

It takes about 10 days of teaching before I realize the chaos of Baku’s streets has decamped to my classroom. Our accents have begun to make sense to each other: the pronunciations less confusing, the awkward syntax mentally transposed. But asking a question…Read more

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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #2

The Swim Lesson

by R.A. Lev
 
 

It’s freezing. He’s freezing. My son’s lips are purple-blue. I wonder if this is still a good idea, if this was ever a good idea. There are other places we could have gone. Pools where the water temperature is kept at a balmy 86 degrees, where the floor is lowered slowly so he wouldn’t notice the gradual lift as his lungs fill with air…Read more

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Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Issue #1

Here in the Museum of Things Gone Terribly Wrong

by Craig Reinbold
 

Setting: an outdoor bus terminal and the place is bustling. S—, a native of Mexico City, has been wearing the same reeking T-shirt for most of a week, and he strips it off now, reaching into a bag on the floor next to him for a clean pink polo, which he slips over his head. He loops a belt around his waist…Read more