The new year has given us so many great new published works already! Here’s is just a short list of our favorites published around the net in the first month of 2021.
“The Night People” by Jules Hogan | Pithead Chapel, January 1
One of my favorite parts of working at the museum was to watch people watching art. My dad was no different. I led him through the Ansel Adams exhibit, photograph by photograph. My dad was a man who worked with his hands until his hands betrayed him and had since only found solace in distance. Were we really so different? When I left home to get an art degree, did I think I’d end up running data in a back office, instead of curating my own work on the floor?
He stared at a photograph of a moon rising above the white wings of a mesa. I watched his shoulders loosen, his face soften. Something within him was being unpitted. I had no knowledge of what it was.
What is possible is loving. What is possible is not loving every person, but loving at least one thing about every person. What is possible is to remind yourself of this thing in traffic, in the grocery store, scrolling.
“Black Girl’s Magic” by Demisty D. Bellinger | Cotton Xenomorph, January 10
The snake was disorienting. I kept my eyes on him (his name was Baby Legba), even as she wrapped him around me, erasing the negative energy, centering me. The snake and the fifty candles brought me somewhere else. I sat down, cross-legged on the floor, across from her. Her hazel eyes transported me. The bones, cowry shells, and crystals she shook hypnotized me.
“Further Maths” by Toby Lloyd | Carve, January 15
Like all teachers, he had a cruel nickname. His was Fat Fuck. As a kid, apparently, he was a contender on the tennis court and even considered going pro. Now, every part of him bulged. But despite the monstrousness of personality that seemed enhanced and perhaps even caused by his supreme physical bulk, Mildon, Hideo, and I worshipped him. It was such a relief to have just one teacher who didn’t hide his emotions, who swore under his breath, who would come in late, puffy-eyed, and unshaven without bothering to say sorry. He alone treated us like adults, bringing the whole human package to class each day, not just the shallow anger and recycled jokes of the professional schoolteacher. And we were sure he wasn’t, in his heart, a bad person. He only wanted the best from us.
“Chance Me” by Caitlin Horrocks | Electric Lit, January 20
Willow was his first, and it took him years to understand that much of what he thought he’d been learning about sex, or about women, were things unique to that summer: the layer of concrete dust their sweat lacquered to their unshaved bodies; the calluses over her hip bones where her tool belt rubbed; the challenge of fitting themselves onto the bunk beds in the plywood dormitories or behind the shelves at the wind-chime foundry; lying on a blanket in the desert at night, stars flickering above them as the temperature dropped and they both pretended they weren’t cold. Maybe Willow hadn’t been. She’d seemed superhuman, impervious to discomfort or doubt. This was why he hadn’t believed her when she’d told him she was pregnant. It seemed like a mistake her body wouldn’t make. He’d thought she was joking.
Curated by Cole Meyer