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Sandy Cinderella
A Scene from Daily Life in al-Najaf, Iraq

The expanse of the sky overhead revealed no sign of a coming storm. The weather was so clear she felt like sitting outside and gazing at the sky. So she decided to spread a mat on the ground as she did almost every day.

A False Accounting

My father died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, California, on the morning of August 4, 1988. He had been living in Santa Barbara for four years, and my mother, an English professor at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, joined him, as I did, for the summers.

Masters of Despair

Some dally with despair, taking the occasional quick plunge but shaking it off and resuming their daily lives, shot through with hope. Others plod from day to day in quiet resignation. But a few souls have mastered the country of despair. They map its thickets and cul-de-sacs with practiced hand, needing to draw no contours, for the country of despair is a country without relief.

The Joyous Science, Part 1
The True Story of the Famous Bruce, Composed in Verse from the Accounts of Several Eyewitnesses

Maxim Amelin’s “The Joyous Science” chronicles the real and imagined exploits of Jacob Bruce (1669 – 1735), an astronomer, alchemist, and military strategist to Peter the Great. The poem is a mock epic, a biographical adventure, and a series of comedic set pieces that demonstrate how Amelin—in the words of the 2013 committee for the Solzhenitsyn Prize—has “expand[ed] the limits and possibilities” of Russian verse.

from Kid Coole

Kid walked through Times Square. Earlier in the day, he had sparred with this up-and-coming welterweight in Brooklyn. A Spanish guy. Named Carlos. He forgot his last name. Short-term memory. He had dinner in Little Italy.

Les Halles, Belly Of Paris
from Paris Vagabond by Jean-Paul Clebert

It is a cliché to say that Les Halles is the belly of Paris, but it is not fully understood that the place really does fill the guts of a whole horde of people, that it is a magnet for all the diurnal and nocturnal bums who come there to glean fragments of nourishment.


T. Motley is the 2016 silver medalist in the Society of Illustrators' Short Form Comics competition, winning for a story he contributed to Cartozia Tales.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2016

All Issues