Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So Many Magazines, So Little Time, So PANK

Let’s face it, we're all crazy-busy, overwhelmed, and some magazines are just better reads than others. The December issue of PANK is out, and IMHO it’s, as always, well worth your reading time. I’m proud to be in there with my story “Air” along with a stellar line-up of fellow writers. Some highlights from this issue include:

Eric Beeny “Living Expenses”
But Mortimer noticed pieces were missing, and he shook the empty box around, stared into it, spanking its bottom, holding it open-end down.

Sheldon Lee Compton “Drugs, Rock And Roll And Sex Or Three Things That Go Together Like Sex, Drugs And Rock And Roll”
If you crush yourself into someone else for long enough there’s nothing left to waste.

I. Fontana “Amnesia”

The red of the Coca-Cola signs is the same all over the world.

Janet Freeman “The Ugliest Drowned Man in the World Washes Ashore Lake Michigan"
But there could only be one Stanley in the world and there he was, stretched out like a vienna sausage, wearing denim overalls with no shirt beneath, that bright orange hair sticking up in the air.

Steve Himmer “Be Your Own Boss”
And he did come, I think, in the dark while I tried to remember the myriad ways in which the swirled ceiling caught light and shadows when there were light and shadows to catch.
(This story had a profound effect on me. Congratulations, Steve.)

Ben Loory “The Cigarette”
And it is then, as she lights it and raises it to her lips, that she notices the hole in her hand.

Ben Loory “The Woman and the Basement”
The only place the woman wants to go is down into the basement.

Antonios Maltezos “Chalet”
His eyes were all over the woods, searching for the ghosts of the words he’d rehearsed on the long drive up here, when he’d realized he was on a trip to becoming a man, in that dreadful silence except for her breathing and their fidgeting, the five of them packed in tight with all the fishing gear, the booze, or he was searching for game, something to eat.

Rachel Mehl “Following Todd”
If it was his mother or sister
I said wrong number but if it was his own husky voice
cracking on the other end, I just breathed.

Kevin O’Cuinn “Graphologizing”
Her final note is blank; and he knows that she is gone.
(This is compression so well done. Congratulations, Kevin.)

Fortunato Salazar “Men At Work”

I told him that if he wanted to know what I’d gone through he would have to ruin himself first.

Reynard Seifert “Mud Cakes”
In the evening I took down the plant and whispered into its stems about how easy it would be if only she and I could live together in a clay pot somewhere.

There's lots more great writing in this issue. Read. Enjoy.

Now it's time for me to tune-in to the December issue of The Collagist, another must read.


  1. Thanks, Ethel. This is actually an excerpt from the novel I finished over the summer.

    I'm looking to sitting down to read the whole issue, just as soon as I finish this pile of end-of-term grading.

  2. I'm digging "Air" big, Ethel. It's great to share some more space with you (which has been quite a bit, lately)...

  3. I say this every month, but this issue is my favorite--one of those issues where a really interesting range of work came together just right. Thanks for the kind words, Ethel. Air is a phenomenal story.

  4. Ethel, wow. "Air" was riveting. I was holding my breath the entire time.

  5. Thanks so much, all, for your reading time and kind words. I truly appreciate your continued interest and support.