Isthmus Online

“The Usual Pain” by Marc Kaufman

When I left the house today mother was on the balcony banging the dust from the futons. It had been snowing for more than a week and you remember how cranky she gets when she can’t put the laundry out and clean. Maybe the futons had sat for a week longer than usual, but while… Continue reading

“Red Army” by Megan Stolz

Can you see them through the trees? Crisp, red orchards; gather wood to burn. The hills are quiet this time of year. We don’t expect visitors.   Crisp, red orchards; gather wood to burn; raw winter, chilling— We don’t expect visitors. We keep to ourselves.   Raw winter, chilling— strangers don’t linger long. We keep… Continue reading

Two Poems by Ruth Danon

Apocalypse I pick up a book. I put it down. I pick Another, turn a page and read a poem. I pick up the cats, first one, then the other. I go to the sink and wash a glass. I fill the glass with water and drink, long, hard gulps. I turn to my funny… Continue reading

Interview with Ruth Danon

What comes to mind over and over in reading Ruth Danon’s Limitless Tiny Boat is Keatsian Negative Capability. Everywhere, she tells you that what you see may or may not be what you get, but one certainty is that you will get nothing from grasping after meaning. “Information” is both desired and suspect, something that… Continue reading

Interview with Andrew Bourelle

Andrew Bourelle’s debut novel, Heavy Metal, has a heart of its own, and its heart beats fast. Winner of the 2016 Autumn House Fiction Prize, the book is a rush, a total submersion in the verve and fog of youth. Danny, the protagonist, seems to be hurtling through space—an adolescent asteroid dressed in a Judas… Continue reading

Two poems by Natania Rosenfeld

What I Want for My Birthday A hankie like a quilt, made from silks in every color, with shimmering seams and a snake’s tongue of red. A holiday under palms where bronzed men attend with unguents. One season in someone else’s mouth, a bed of plush for my impatient heart, bangles for my half-fat, half-muscled… Continue reading

Interview with Natania Rosenfeld

Natania Rosenfeld and I met in March 2015 at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, where both of us were resident artists. We quickly sensed a deep affinity and began a series of conversations about literature, art, history, and family that has continued unabated since then. In the summer of 2016 we started the conversations… Continue reading

“Hope, Change, Etc.” by Patrick Mainelli

“It was November and the leaves were done falling. The gutters, choked with soft debris, overflowed sour water. Reds and golds piled dead on every corner. Barely a week earlier, the same colors still clung helpless to their branches, refusing the inevitable. Now they huddled together in dirt. I walked on them and heard a… Continue reading

Interview with Lisa Knopp

Lisa Knopp doesn’t like to cook. “It’s complicated,” she says of her relationship with food and cooking, a sentiment to which many of us can relate. In Bread: A Memoir of Hunger, Knopp explores her complex experiences with food and eating and hunger, her struggles with body dysmorphia, and the medical and sociocultural forces that… Continue reading