New Voices: “Vegetables” by John Oliver Hodges

April 25, 2014

John Oliver Hodges’ story “Vegetables” is an exciting New Voices pick. It distinguished itself from the mass because of its ability to uncover new ground in a story about a stifling marriage. The first line hints at an imbalance: “Chelsea dressed the part of the adoring wife, her cheap muslin dress hippyish for Cornice who loved hippyish.” Already the reader is aware of a woman who is trying to embody an image that will satisfy her husband, but something has cracked loose. We think you’ll enjoy this one. Take a look!

thumbImage credit: weheartit


by John Oliver Hodges

Chelsea dressed the part of the adoring wife, her cheap muslin dress hippyish for Cornice who loved hippyish. When hippyish girls walked by, his heart tumbled after, his vision reaching into the hollows of ankle, the dirtier the better, caressing bared shoulder or nape. Cornice loved bandanas draped over the head, the no-bra look of a skimpy top. He denied that class-consciousness had anything to do with his lust for crust, but Chelsea knew. His dad was a communist money-hoarder type who looked like Karl Marx. His mother was a conceited bitch. Cornice loved oppressed shit, was fond of quoting some stupid crap he’d read in a Protestant tract about “grinding the diamond.” That’s why he preferred shitty jobs like roofing, concrete, digging holes for palm trees, anything to put a whipping on his body; it led him to believe that he, like the homeless people, dirty children, depressed druggies and fuckups of the world, was of the earth, its salt.

Read this story in its entirety, click here.


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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