Sunday Stories: “Lily, from the Society for Absolute Music”


Lily, from the Society for Absolute Music
by Rebecca Givens Rolland

“Have you committed a crime?” the other women ask, in early morning, as we sit around in the sand on Watergate Bay and wash our long dark skirts. “Can you juggle? Do tricks like the sparrows overhead?” No, I say, trying not to laugh. That I cannot. But I can sing. I can replicate songs a thousand-fold, never tiring. Rocking, heading shoreward, I bring words out like wafers on my lips. I won’t call it Communion if you won’t. Belief sinks in me like blood into a screen.

“All that’s well and good,” they say, “but what about eating? About remaining alive.”

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The Search For Greatness Goes Awry: An Excerpt From “The Prince of Infinite Space”

The Prince of Infinite Space

We’re pleased to present an excerpt from Giano Cromley’s forthcoming novel The Prince of Infinite Space. The novel, a sequel to Cromley’s The Last Good Halloween, follows that novel’s protagonist to the year 1990, when he’s attending military school as the nation prepares to go to war with Iraq. Leland Cheuk describes this novel as a “big-hearted tale that’s full of wit and vulnerability.” Read on for the book’s first chapter…

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Off-Kilter and Tilted: A Journey Through Robert Vaughan’s “Askew”


Robert Vaughan’s latest is meant to unsettle. The book is broken down into three subsections of poems and microfictions: Cacophony, Aviary, and Demented. A key for my reading comes from “Tilted” from Christine & the Queens: “I start the books at the end/ I got my chin up for nothing/ My crying eye is because of the wind/ My absences are a feeling/ I can’t stand…I pretend to have understood everything.”  So much of Askew is about atmosphere, of feeling unable to stand because of circumstance, of not understanding fully what has transpired and why it happened. I got my critic’s chin up, only to feel like interpretation and categorization isn’t the game here. 

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