Fence 37-38 Print issue Sold Out; Fence 39 Coming WINTER 2022
#37-38 / SPR-SUM 2021
CONTRIBUTORS: Johannes Gorannsön ⋅ Carl Martin ⋅ LM Rivera ⋅ Stine An ⋅ Sarah Duff ⋅ Caitlyn Tella ⋅ Siwar Masannat ⋅ Ell Davis ⋅ Zosia Wiatr ⋅ Jordan E. Franklin ⋅ Kyle Booten ⋅ Scott Lambridis ⋅ Rodrigo Toscano ⋅ Oscar Oswald ⋅ Josh May ⋅ Francesca Coppola ⋅ Chiara Bottici ⋅ Caren Beilin ⋅ Delicia Daniels ⋅ Austin S. Lin ⋅ Anne Waldman ⋅ Christopher Randall ⋅ Randy Prunty ⋅ Erik Kennedy ⋅ Hillary Plum ⋅ Samantha Burns ⋅ Katie Marya ⋅ Maria Zoccola ⋅ Jeff Sirkin ⋅ Andrew Seguin ⋅ Benjamin Niespodziany ⋅ Kathryn Mockler ⋅ Jackelyn Hoy ⋅ Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer ⋅ Jessica Holburn ⋅ Beth Roberts ⋅ Veronica Kuhn ⋅ Stella Corso ⋅ Adam Veal ⋅ Mona Kareem ⋅ Julia Cohen ⋅ a smith ⋅ Laura Mullen ⋅ Andrew Levy ⋅ Hally Parry ⋅ Ashunda Norris ⋅ Martha Ronk ⋅ Jordan Davis ⋅ Ted Dodson ⋅ Michael Holt ⋅ In the Flesh portfolio intro ⋅ Dominic Mitchell ⋅ Emily Bevan ⋅ Luke Newberry ⋅ Adra Raine ⋅ Rob McClennan ⋅ Elizabeth Robinson & Suzanne Dyckman ⋅ Adeena Reitberger ⋅ Kay Gabriel ⋅ Claire Dougherty ⋅ Michelle Suzann ⋅ Michael Borth ⋅ YL Xue ⋅ Patricia Hartland ⋅ Bp Sutton ⋅ Rebecca Wolff & Sara Black
Nat Sufrin and Tom Haviv | January 4, 2021
Over a few months, while Tom was in Vermont and I was in Brooklyn, we recorded four separate phone conversations, which meandered from A Flag of No Nation to my own manuscript Sky Access to our broader thoughts on art-making, trauma, and other spiritual matters. Those conversations, edited for length and clarity, form the mutual interview that follows.
by Claire Donato | December 27, 2021
Two housesits in Hudson, NY; two mysterious scratch marks; two bats; two cats; two multimedia art installations; two concerts at Knockdown Center in Queens. Youtube clips. Instagram posts. Lyric meditations. This is a lucid new hybrid essay only partially containing an interview with queer punk troubador Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, who is writing a book about childhood abuse and adult sexual misadventures, while the author of this piece is writing not only this but a book about cracking eggs into a bowl until she finds a double yolk.
by Katie Kane | December 17, 2021
Starla and Ashley were in the back seat of the Bronco II talking to each other. Starla who is Blackfeet was talking to my niece and daughter Ashley Rose who is Salish and Irish and also Chicana. Starla said “Oooks! Did you see that caddy purple jacket Sheila had on? She was standing by the door with Chaw Felix and them.” Ashley Rose who lowkey disliked Sheila said “Fuck her caddy...”
by Michael Chang | December 13, 2021
i may have a hog body but at least i’m a strong-willed pig [ !!!! ]
if u see someone w/ the exact same face kill them
for instance kirsten dunst
lube via lather—intimacy via stand-in—ice floe via polar bears
by Tan Tuck Ming | November 28, 2021
"In the film, her husband is seen only once: his back at a table, playing mahjong. Otherwise, he is said to be traveling. His wife is seen twice: her back and a green telephone, through an oval-shaped window. She is said to be working late. Other ways they appear: as disembodied voices in a doorway; imported rice cookers, handbags, boutique ties brought as gifts..."
by Casey Haymes | November 27, 2021
"Pale thorns reach from emerald wings. I kneel in the clay-dirt and pinch the root stem of bull thistle. Exhume. Blood drops gather and wash my calloused fingers. I twist at the wrist, and the outdoor faucet beneath the window screeches. Water traverses the slight hill via hose, a green snake with a yellow stripe and coiled metal skin, up to the bent rim of a mouth..."
by Craig Willse | November 30, 2021
I am in Los Angeles, hiding from winter and rethinking my life. Or maybe I am rethinking winter and hiding from my life. I have been coming back to this city for twenty years, its ugly beauty beckoning. It is a cliché in conversations with displaced New Yorkers – Los Angeles is wonderful, but lonely. I am more scared of being lonely than being a cliché, and so I commit to living in public as much as possible.
by Lauren Westerfield | November 27, 2021
"All of this revolves around my body. This dream, the narrative, too vivid, bright—more real than bone. Teeth are barriers. My mind assaults the bone to keep from feeding on itself. Plastic does not work the same. The dentists warned me: this thing inside my mouth won’t stop the grinding. It only mitigates the damage. I do not want to lose my teeth. I also do not know if he and I share understandings of this word: DAMAGE..."
by Lauren Samblanet | November 27, 2021
right now my sex life is made up of only dreams, both waking and dreaming. i see m, and occasionally f, quite often while sleeping. you don’t know them and don’t really need to know them or our backstory in order to hear about this dream..."
by David John | November 28, 2021
"A face equals an approximate half-second.
"A face looks to be ever on the edge of death, ha.
"A face met repeatedly reforms itself into visual static.
"The face composed of polemical chant. Observational riff. Trivial blather..."
by Wil Weitzel | November 28, 2021
"More often than not, by mid-afternoon, the great structure of the cathedral became unmoored and began to float above its bustling quartier. The tops of the domes gave up their anchorage. An upwelling occurred, as in a nocturnal sea. Once, I saw the ochreous flare of a monk’s robe shifting from one high portal to the next, the dome itself cut off from earth by clouds. Far below him, swallows rafted through the air..."
by Francesca Abbate | November 20, 2021
"Halfway to the opulent hotel for his friends’ wedding, Not Baby, who can’t tell if the engineer’s attracted to her despite the scar or if desire veils it the way daisies—or any leggy wildflower—will a rut, nearly missed the enormous yellow crane that had fished a boat from the river and left it to pasture in wakeless blue..."
by Chris Campanioni | November 8, 2021
"Later on, or in another book, there’ll be a video of me walking around the Musée d’Orsay & you can click play to roll the footage & you can watch & you can listen to the everyday sounds of a museum as you read this & in that way, you will have gone further than the text..."
by Carly Stone | October 7, 2021
"I wish I had something funny to say about the garlic clove but all I can think about is how small and happy I feel when I hold it. Look at the picture of the old man again. Something inside you has shifted and now the onion isn’t very big at all. Through some cognitive miscalculation, the onion becomes normal-sized, and the old man becomes very small. This is good. You feel like your head has come off your body. Let your mind rearrange the proportions of the world. Let your body dissolve into the soup of reality..."
Badlands is a 1973 American crime drama written, produced and directed by Terrence Malick, starring Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, and Warren Oates. The story is fictional, but inspired by the real-life murder spree of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, in 1958. In the film, fifteen-year-old Holly Sargis lives in South Dakota with her father, a sign painter and widower who has strong opinions on Holly’s interactions with the boys in town. When Holly meets Kit Carruthers, a twenty-five year old greaser who works as a garbageman, she falls head over heels, much to her father’s chagrin. After Holly’s father kills her dog as punishment for spending time with Kit, Kit breaks into Holly’s house and demands she run away with him. When her father protests, Kit kills him and the couple cover their tracks and flee to the badlands of Montana. Then ensues their life of crime together on a mission to escape police pursuit, which Holly is not so much complicit in as captive to. The following poems are written from the position of Holly after she has turned herself in.
I had a feeling today was gonna be the day
In the psychological hours
when blocks of light
& river crash down
between twin stone faces It’s so wonderfully tragic
as the disco of our union
rattles through the canyon Though I can’t imagine
the fear you must feel
losing it all.
You waltzed into my life
a seething incident
with hands full of cipher. A convergence of selves
interrupts the desert’s loneliness –
Rock towers thrust up
from the desert floor. A river is our dirtiest enhancement
slamming saloon doors
across our youth & repetition. Eileen tells me a tumbleweed
is not any specific plant,
but anything that tumbles.
I have to be very sure where I am
inside my knowing you might die.
The doors of perception
are turning me to stone.
Huge oysters and petrified trees
exhibit the drama of the canyon
as it came into being – shaken down,
turned over, blown up, & set on fire.
Fugitives & prisoners take sanctuary in its thickets
tree-clad peaks & beds of ocotillo flowers.
Here’s the scene where I kiss you
as the coyotes take their census.
I consider the joy a nest of loons supplies.
as noon smudges into place.
The railroad & paved highway
form the bowstring & northern boundary
while the patient river
bends many times beneath the eye.
Vertebrae of speech bolster the air.
Something inhuman locks into place
in a moment of broken brush.
In moments of hesitation, I tell myself
to expect is to limit
the wingspan of the not-yet-here.
In the dream, rattlers,
scorpions adorn the carpet
of my parents’ dressing room.
I wake to know you
guilty of my waking pain. The parade of stars
shimmers out on the Rio Grande
as gar rush the stream. Around me, oaks, pinyon pines
& junipers occur. Granite outcrops
& limestone on the plain.
The shim of your ambivalence – These crude calculations keep you alive
with those burials on your hands. Smacked out on resurrection fern
the view is worth all it costs.
Each day I bear your death –
its possibility & methods of cruelty
bloom all over me,
the year having dispensed
with friends & loved ones.
My fortune: having been so lucky as to escape
the sharp confines of our lovingness.
The rains it raineth differently
in a stand of quaking aspen
out on Emory Peak.
Down in this phosphorous night
I had only the dawn to rein me in. Desert weathering emphasizes the grotesque –
giant fish buried under talus slopes a jumbled mass of marine & lake deposit
canned laughter in the pleached trees. Oases may occur in the riparian zone
jammed between two collapsed persuasions. When he died, he donated his body to science
without a girl to scream out his name.
Screen Shot is a space for writers to investigate the relationship between language and film. We are committed to discovering writers who use words as a tool for exploring the event of cinema, video, and the spectacle of our lives. To submit, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Back when Suez was a hot topic, it was
the Gladiator of Tennessee vs. the Alabama Murderer,
and my fella took a few blows but knocked out the champ,
defeated in Montgomery, in record time!
The amateurs all came looking.
If you want victory, I said, you must train like him, eat like him, and then you must become him, the way Daniel Day Lewis
became Christy using only his left foot.
Millard Fillmore asks for your medical history.
Working the counter of the desert saloon, you must water
the cowboys yet move in Slushies, think in shorts,
cargo and bermuda. From here he will locate you with his gun, whose shadow is being danced
to itself, and you must envision yourself among difficult droughts, unclassified coursers,
the pony and her thrushy stream
of urine leaving traces through the land.
None of it’s on the maps.
Screen Shot is a space for writers to investigate the relationship between language and film, from narrative viewing experiences to Zoom meetings and Instagram stories. We are committed to discovering writers who use words as a tool for exploring the event of cinema, video, and the spectacle of our lives. To submit, email email@example.com
Fence Sounds podcast episodes include the published journal's contents read aloud by the authors, conversations, music, and other audio adventures.
Fence Books is scaled down through 2021 while the editor is committed to public service in her home city. During this time we are publishing The Ottoline Prize, and seeking fiscal sponsorship for our two other book prizes: The Fence Modern Poets Series and the Fence Modern Prize in Prose. Contact the editor with questions and ideas.