Tag Archives: Annalemma

A Twofer

21 Mar

I tend to go backward. As much of us do now, we ration, then devour. Especially with media. There’s no way I could’ve withstood waiting a week between episodes of Battlestar Galactica. No, Netflix was my friend there. And as for literature, I am samesies.

Issue Eight: Creation of Annalemma is a thin, sure blade compared with other hoss issues, like, say, Issue Six: Sacrifice. But it holds up well. Inside is a story “South Beach” by Ryan Rivas. Here’s the first paragraph:

After Eve ate the apple, God created South Beach. He, Himself, was a bit stoned at the time.

I originally read this story online because it was published after a story I had online. I was sad to see my story replaced in the featured position, but that disappointment died soon after I read the above. And continued. Rivas conflates and chops up the Genesis account with Christ’s New Testament cameo and sprinkles it with angel dust on a dirty hotel mirror.

When Christ turned sixteen, and realized His name came from a curse word spraypainted on a wall of the abandoned lifeguard tower in which He was conceived, He ran away from home.

The biblical language pervades throughout. “God underwent a spiritual crisis. He took a second look at the Bible and diagnosed Himself bipolar.” How much of the Good Book could be reduced to this summary? The Father and Son bicker and disagree like trailer trash, like a drop-out and a four-toothed mechanic. It doesn’t do much for the Florida Tourist Board or the Miami Chamber of Commerce. But it paints a new white coat on the Greatest Story Ever Told.

God had to admit, the boy had balls. To die like that, again and again. To block the bowels of Hell instead of getting high in Heaven.

Because the issue is centered on creation, Sam Libby’s story “And It Was Good” also picks up on the biblical-esque sense of cosmic lovemaking. “In the beginning there was darkness and time, but there was no God.” Both of these stories operate on similar levels. They both want to subvert classic lines. But they also deviate at that point. Rivas wants to put a cheap nail polish gloss on the holy trinity, and Libby wants to strip the polish off and show that there is no trinity. Only Nature.

As you may have guessed already, between the earth and the sky, well:

It was not to be.

The sky did not want to be touched. The sky didn’t want to lose the only thing that made it different from the darkness on its backside.

We will pause here because this is an important point. We’ll get to the fire and ice later, burning of deep desire–etc. But just a moment, please.

Buy Annalemma here, and read Rivas and Libby! 

PANK & Annalemma Vouched by NY Times!

13 Feb

I was on vacation last week, so I’m a bit late to the take on this, but I just wanted to give a huge high-five to a couple of my favorite journals, PANK and Annalemma, for their inclusion in a recent New York Times article highlighting the literary journal as an art form. It’s so rad to see such great work get such great recognition.

Live Your Life Like a Train Wreck.

3 Nov

I don’t even know what to say about this story, “Male Seeking Female,” by Claire Burgess over at Annalemma. It trainwrecked me. Read it.


The woman doesn’t know which train he’s on. All she knows is that she’s meeting him at an Italian restaurant at eight o’clock.

There is a train wreck. It’s not the train the man is on, because he never gets on a train at all. He goes to the train station and stands in line and can’t go through with it. His bag feels too heavy, packed with two changes of clothes and a roll of condoms. The cash he withdrew as to not leave a paper trail is a treacherous bulge in his wallet, a palpable wad of his deceit. He thinks about his wife at home making lunches for his kids, thinks about how there was a time when he drove five hours every other weekend to see her when he went back to business school so he could support a family, support her. He can still feel the brusque kiss he gave her this morning as she got out of the shower, thinks he can smell her shampoo on his cheek. The emails were one thing, but the idea of sitting across from this woman and smiling at her and perhaps holding her hand across the table (which is what he imagined he would do) makes him feel hypertensive, and when he looks at his hands he can see his veins bulging green and wormy under his skin. He feels very old and wonders about his blood pressure. He steps out of line and drives home, tells his wife the business meeting out of town was canceled at the last minute. His business contact had a sudden heart attack, but it looks like he’ll be fine.

Read the rest of the story at Annalemma.

To Find Out How It Works

14 Jun

Katheryn Norris’s essay at Annalemma, “Natural Mechanics,” is at its heart an exercise in payoff. It centers around her brother, a tinkering schizophrenic, builds the conceit, that he takes things apart, puts them back together, always trying to dig into them and find out how things work. It shifts towards the end, makes you think it’s not going where its meant to go. I started to think, “Oh come on. You have to see the connection here. Why are you going that direction?”

Read on to the last line. You’ll find yourself in the same place, different paths.

David stayed all night working on the model and still took days to finish. Once he was done he had a plastic robot, eight to twelve inches tall. He showed me how it could move not just its arms and legs, but its torso, feet, and wrists, as well as that adjustable armor. Then it went on the shelf with the others, one orderly shelf, an oasis in his filthy room. He didn’t play with them. Their purpose was the process.

I call David my ‘little’ brother to be ironic. He’s 6′4” and over four hundred pounds. David’s younger than me, but not by much. We were born thirteen months apart, almost Irish twins, meaning I can’t remember a life without him.

We’ve always been close, but we’re not alike. He lives in a different world than me, and that predates his schizophrenia. Long before the onset of his illness he related to our surroundings differently. He looked at things and could figure out how they worked, or he would take them apart. He’d be able to put them together again, and after that he’d know how to fix them if they ever broke.

We were kids, in middle school maybe, when David took apart my tape deck. Broke it down to pieces of gray plastic and metal, its raw unrecognizable components.

Read the full story at Annalemma.

SSM: Congrats to our Annalemma subscription winners!

16 May

That terribly lit photo is a picture of the winners of the Annalemma subscription drawing held last night at Vouched Presents. Congrats to Jonathan Berkey and Laura Adamczyk, who actually already had a subscription and instead gifted her winnings to her friend Katie!

Thanks to Elysia for having a hand small enough to fit into the jar, and thanks to everyone who entered!

I really hope and encourage all those who entered and didn’t win still to subscribe now for $5 off the regular yearly subscription price. They are almost to their goal for the subscription drive, and it’s a beautiful magazine worth reading, worth holding in your hands.

SSM: Another Giveaway! Annalemma scripts!

11 May

The beautiful and illustrious Annalemma Magazine has been running a subscription drive for the past few weeks, trying to raise the cash money to afford their print costs for issue 8. They have 13 days to raise 30 scripts, and I want to help them.

So, we here at Vouched are giving away 2 subscriptions to anyone who comments anything at all in the comments thread of this post.

Tell us why you love Annalemma. Tell us why you love short stories. Tell us why you love broccoli (or hate it, okay, but you really should love it).

Tell us anything here by this Saturday (May 14th), and on Sunday at Vouched Presents, I’ll have some beautiful audience member draw 2 names out of some sort of container, and those 2 names will win subscriptions to Annalemma Magazine. (Winners will be contacted and announced here Monday morning.)

PS: If you were already considering subscribing to Annalemma, don’t let this contest keep you from it. Please subscribe anyway, and if you win this contest, you can always gift your prize subscription to a deserving friend, relative, or concubine!

When the War Began at Annalemma

21 Apr

Image by Peter Hoffman

Thursday February 14th

There are rumors war will break out. T told me she hears trains after dark. “I couldn’t sleep last night” T said, “Huge trains! Rumbling down the tracks. The troops are going to the front.” T always gets so anxious. I laughed, and told her that she couldn’t sleep because she was worried – that was why she heard the trains. They always rumble down the tracks at night. It is because you are worried about war, I told her, that you hear it everywhere. And yet, I wondered.

Come with me if you want to live.

Annalemma is still holding their subscription drive. They are 84% to their goal. Won’t you subscribe to their beauties? $5 off a year’s script right now.

The Girl From Quiet City

5 Jan

This story over at Annalemma was the perfect start to my morning. Maybe it can be the perfect start to yours too.

The Girl from Quiet City

What Is Your Favorite War

11 Nov

Found this over at the Annalemma blog: a short film adapted from a story of the same title by Joe Meno, appearing in Annalemma 7: Endurance.

The different interpretations of war get to me for some reason. I want to read the children’s book the one girl mentions; I want it to exist, to really be.

I thought once I’d write a collection of war poems called What We Could Do, based around the idea that I’ve never been to war, and really have no concept of it outside of Hollywood and the stories of my cousins who’ve served.

If you’ve not already, I’d suggest snagging Annalemma 7 for yourself.

J. A. Tyler’s “Halfway to Noah Means”

22 Sep

From “Halfway to Noah Means,” a story by J. A. Tyler just up over at Annalemma:

They have felt the rain and the jarring of the earth when mechanized earthquakes shook each city to its bottom drawers. They know that this ark and Noah are the way to find new land, are the way to lift their hooves until the water has receded.

Read the rest over at Annalemma, and you’ll also get to check out the great art by Max Kauffman.