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Redivider – 2007

This issue of Redivider is a finely-woven fabric of flash fiction, short stories, poetry, nonfiction, visual art, book reviews, and one solid interview.

This issue of Redivider is a finely-woven fabric of flash fiction, short stories, poetry, nonfiction, visual art, book reviews, and one solid interview.

Sandy Longhorn’s poem “‘Touch Me’ Misread as ‘Torch Me’” explores love’s wild energy, its power to both heat and to consume: “Who hasn’t wanted to be consumed / by heat, / to breathe in and scorch / the lining of the lungs with the breath of the beloved?” Adam Peterson’s prose poem entitled “My Untimely Death: Number 11” lands the narrator in one of numerous possible heavens with a severe case of the hives. This one happens to be the heaven whose inhabitants are blind and only speak Spanish. He is handed around like a Braille book, and when he asks what he is about, the old woman who’d been reading him says, “Like every great story . . . Love and death. There will be no sequels.”

Joel James Davis’s flash fiction entitled “Jars” begins simply: “She kept them in jars.” The piece moves quickly into dark, surreal territory, following the “corpulent woman of sixty” as she meets the man who will make a perfect addition to her collection in the cellar, where she keeps all of the things she loves in jars. David James Poissant’s flash fiction, “Knock-Out,” winner of Redivider’s AWP “Quickie” contest, takes readers ringside to witness “Dan and Allison Bloom’s marriage end in a five-round fight in a ring on their front lawn.” Michael Czyzniejewski’s “The Hypochondriac’s Husband Has Munchausen’s” tells the story of a husband dealing with his wife’s severe hypochondria, where she suffers from “strep throat, lumbago, thrush, West Nile, a dual strike of tennis elbow, and since last Wednesday, a mild case of HIV.” Since his wife’s sugar pills are not working, the husband attempts to give her a dose of her own medicine, saying he’d contracted Munchausen’s, which she obviously isn’t familiar with and does not care to investigate (or she would have discovered that it’s a compulsion to exaggerate things). Instead, she begins arranging doctor’s appointments early in the morning before even dragging herself out of bed.

In nonfiction, Adriann Ranta’s “Poor Yorick” reports in morbidly fascinating detail her stint as a “corpse handler” at an airport and the myriad ways people find to cope with being in such close proximity – oftentimes mere inches – to the fact of their own mortality.  “The Ends of Terror” by James Allen Hall recounts through an almost Foucaultian lens a young man’s uncertain and terrifying movement through the borderland between acknowledgement and praxis of his homosexuality, regardless of society’s reaction.

Kathleen Rooney’s interview with Michael Martone is the fullest and most informative exchange with Martone I’ve read yet. This issue is also seeded with 15 pieces of full-page black and white art, as well as a healthy handful of book reviews. Redivider has crafted a simultaneously diverse and cohesive issue that carries threads of many themes brilliantly from cover to cover. Well worth a look, if not a subscription.
[pages.emerson.edu/publications/redivider/]

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