November 2010


(Issue 13, section 1: 15 Miami poets)
Elisa Albo
Howard Camner
Adrian Castro
Denise Duhamel
Corey Ginsberg
Michael Hettich
Miriam Levine
Christopher Louvet
Jesse Millner
Barbra Nightingale
Geoffrey Philp
Laura Richardson
Alexis Sellas
Virgil Suárez
Nick Vagnoni

Issue 13 Guest Artist:
Xavier Cortada

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Deputy Editor: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boulossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Sari Nusseibeh
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Jeff Barry
Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Like When we Were Together by Corey Ginsberg  


Like When we Were Together

Across the miles of booth at the Denny’s in downtown Lauderdale, we chew through
          the fluctuating iterations of silence. And I think how it’s not really all that different
than when we were together, when your idea of a date was sex, then a cheeseburger, than sex.
          Sometimes, not even a cheeseburger.

You’re eating with your mouth open and I try to pretend it doesn’t bother me.
          Like I did when we were together. Maybe you’re trying to pretend, too, that I’m not
judging you, like maybe you pretended I wasn’t judging you when we were together.
          You really blew it, didn’t you? I don’t mean that as a judgment, but I’m just saying

it in case you truly want to make yourself a better person and know that hearing someone
          you once, and maybe still care about, point this out, might jump-start
your broken motor. But not like the broken motor of my VW Beetle you jumped junior year,
          because you wired it backwards and it fried my engine. I never even yelled at you

about that. Perfect GRE math score or not, you shouldn’t be in charge of real-world things, let alone
          a relationship. Not that you were in charge of our relationship. I don’t know
that I was, either. This could be why our captainless boat belly-upped. We floated along together
          for too long, like that stray piece of lettuce on the ocean of your face you somehow don’t notice.

Why the hell can’t you feel it there, to the side of your upper-lip stubble, the pile of whiskers
          I used to ask you to shave because they gave me cheek rash? I want to pick it off your face,
but don’t owe you any insider hints, you numb manlump. You never made it easy for me.
          You know that, right? There could have been heads of lettuce stuck to my face,

and you wouldn’t have noticed. Imagine the lettuce being haircuts, new shirts, ear piercings, that time
          I got two hundred dollars worth of blonde highlights and all you had to say was “Your hair.”
Well, you fucker, what would you have done If I’d have said, “Oh, your penis,”
          and left the rest up to the syntax unpacking gods, who clearly shunned our conglomeration

of misspent Sundays? Why talk when there’s sex, even if sex it’s as sloppy as a blind dentist
          performing a root canal with a spork? Why talk about anything, when there’s all this meaty silence for me to unpack and you to ignore? How’s your mother? Good. Glad to hear. Yes, yes,
          hmmm. Uh huh . . . I ask. But within five minutes, it crescendos into the same old fight

about why I hate agnostics and why you hate the Beatles, why Roger Waters was the one,
          but John Lennon was a degenerate sellout. I feel the familiar hot hefty hate slather itself
onto the tips of my tone, warp my best intentions for this one last lunch get-together,
          when the conversation digresses from our six common friends and the ugly babies they’re having

to why you still think I’d look better if I wore my hair down, then climaxes with why it’s okay
          you blackmailed your boss out of nearly a hundred grand and yet we’re going Dutch at Denny’s.
How do you see things, from your spot across the booth? Are you looking past the napkin you just blew
          your nose into, then set next to your Sprite glass? Or is your slovenly situation

off-putting, even to you? Speaking of off-putting, what makes you so sure I want to know
          about your new girlfriend and how she puts out on weeknights, sometimes twice on Monday?
I care about her tits and thongs approximately one eight as much as I cared about game theory
          that night we got stoned and you launched into a two-hour math manifesto.

Sometimes I want to strangle you, my three-year trainwreck, my perpetual could-have-been.
          Sometimes I imagine burying your body in an unmarked grave
in a parking lot of a J.C. Penny’s, next to a beautiful park, only the locals built a wall around it
          so you can’t see from your asphalt casket beneath the handicapped spot you always parked in

because walking to the food court for a big fucking piece of Sbarro’s pizza from four rows back
          was a cataclysmic undertaking, akin to doing laundry and dishes during the same weekend,
to brushing and flossing, to peeing and flushing. I spent thousands of moments of lost time with you,
          all those untapped Thursdays after my night class, spilling into splotchy, starving weekends.

All I have to show for our time together is this doggy bag full of pasta primavera, and the bread you
          discarded because you’re the only person I’ve ever met who doesn’t like bread. In the parking lot,
we lock in a robotic, Tin Man embrace, and I wonder if the passersby know that sometimes I fantasize
          about plucking you from the banks of my brain, and other times, about what we’d name our kids.