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Portland awoke to yet another bleak day of trapped smoke, but we’re still eager to read your words! This fall, we’re looking for work born out of grief and a rage for justice. Work born out of boredom and loneliness, joystick escapism, essential labor, and kitchen-table kindergarten-by-Zoom. We want the fragments you composed mentally while tending your community and the epic you penned in isolation….

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On Samanta Schweblin’s Little Eyes

The central object of Samanta Schweblin’s latest novel, Little Eyes, is the kentuki, a smart-speaker-cum-Furby available in a variety of adorable skins. From pandas and moles to crows and dragons, customers can purchase their own personal smart pet, a device capable of moving around and responding to their every interaction. But owning a device, what Schweblin calls being “keeper,” is only half of the kentuki…

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Two Poems from Katherine Fallon

Elegy for Q I. I stood above the kitten, freshly struck, fur a fluid silver like the side of a shark. Her blood was spilled nail polish on new carpet, skull only slightly cracked, blue eyes open against the road. I glanced to the windows of the nearby houses, imagined twitches amongst the draperies, lamenting that here, people are around when you touch dead animals….

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The Topography of a Heartbeat

The nurse left work at five o’clock, or later. For night shifts, she left at five a.m., the sun cusped in the mountains on the edge of town. The work never left the nurse, the nurse’s husband always said when he was alive. When she held his hand, she had felt for a pulse. The nurse’s husband used to leave for work at six-thirty. He…

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Isolating One’s Priorities in a Time of Crisis

Mass Extinction we cannot know what evolutionary biologists will call this age        we cannot know which of our offspring will survive at night we count them and wonder        which one will it be we search their sleeping faces for resistance    we are looking for a future we will build with what we have left       we understand that geological memory drives vertebrates        we…

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