Tag Archives: PANK Magazine

Get Lucky with PANK 7

10 Aug

Have you heard? PANK Magazine, one of my favorites out there, is going bi-annual starting with PANK 7. This is the same PANK that got a nod from NY Times Style Magazine. That’s some swanky PANKy.

I pretty much hate myself for just saying that, but I’m not deleting it, I’m just going to keep on going, because my fingers are twitchy with coffee rot and yesyes.

Get PANK’ed with new writing from these names:

Jeremy Bauer
Sommer Browning
Michelle Dean
Caitlin Horrocks
Kathryn Houghton
Simon Jacobs
Eugenia Leigh
DW Lichtenberg
Michael Martone
Mark Neely
Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
Kevin Sampsell

Get PANK’ed twice a year.

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“An Apartment of Women” by Jessica Newman

24 Jun

The scraggly flock of kids I live with in North Carolina steals/scavenges/scrounges whatever we can:  toilet paper from the pier bar with ten cent shrimp, wardrobes and beach chairs abandoned to the sidewalk, unopened boxes of blue Gatorade offering themselves from the dumpster.  And internet, which is not entirely reliable; sometimes no connection feels like a sigh of relief, other times it’s just a pain in the ass.

When I recently, finally got to read this thing from PANK I was so glad to be connected, to feel it pulse like another body giddy to wake up.  Picking an excerpt is hard because every part is so intimate and brimming with presence, but this one is totally worthy:

Nan’s hair wished down to that part of skin where shoulder struggles. She unlayered, sprawled thin on the sheets. The unwrapping of her ribs. Laila echoed deep in her clothing, found in its cover the nakedness of knowing what it constrained, the plottings of her skin and the organs blossoming underneath. The ways her body betrayed her, misshapes and fleshenings. She took Nan’s skin for her skin. It was a night of sorts. Her body so briefly alive.

Bodies in this story are never just one thing, flawless or unwashed or aroused or frail, but a multitude of physical possibilities realized at once, each coloring the presence of the others.  I think of my roommates busting their faces on pavement and laughing as they scrape gravel and sand from their elbows.  I think of letting the ocean pick up and pummel me into shards of shells, hurting and happy.

Read the whole thing here.

Check out these poems by Laura Kochman at PANK, please.

18 May

Here, catch these five poems from Laura Kochman in the new PANK. They’re heavy or maybe not so much heavy as weighted, as weighing, from the images and the sounds and the movement, like bump-bump-dump. Like the first three and their if’s, a qualifying thump at the beginning of each sentence, a tactic both shaking and soothing, never does it grow old. Like the last two, their lovely pictures yet scary and sad yes, this woman and the sand unstoppable powerful, the images grown BIG. They’re fascinating, these poems.

The first half of “Circle of Salt – November 11”–

If the gray bone of the beach did not tease the sea. If salt did not form crystals. If a body was not made of water. If it had not left behind traces of itself, a white web through the house. If a storm. If a staircase. If plants could twist their feet between the cracks in my sidewalk. If the wave had not salted the earth. If water contained only itself.

Three Print Magazines I Read Recently And Said WOW

1 May

Artifice 4

First, let’s celebrate the fact that Artifice lives and will continue to do so. (And yeah yeah, a little sad bummer tear for it going electronic, for the bye-bye to that slick little print format…okay, that’s enough, MORE GOODNESS TO COME FROM THEM.)

This issue does what Artifice set out to do: publish work that is aware (duh) of its own artifice. And I declare that it does it better than any of the previous (yes, still stellar) issues, because this stack of good words is also the most accessible (for me), the most purely collar-grabbing bunch so far (admittedly what I look for most in a mag is a bunch of stories fist-fighting and making out for my emotions and attention). A little selfishly perhaps, I was constantly thrilled to find a piece that made its point with the artifice and then leapt out at me and never let go.

Take this beginning to “& What Shoulder, & What Art” by Marc McKee:

Sing la la la. Sing huzzah,

huzzah, motherfucker:

The weather’s clotted with events

increasingly, the piano you carry

has a piano factory on top of it

and on top of that the city

futzing out in all directions

like a busted hydrant.

PANK 6

And how about this beauty! PANK’s print issues continue to be my favorite hunk to lug around, their gorgeous design, their assemblage of “the brightest and most promising writers for the most adventurous readers,” their fulfillment of the promise to provide “access to emerging and experimental poetry and prose,” as their mission statement says. And that’s another cooool thing about a magazine, this magazine at the tip-top: doing what they say. Lots promise to provide the best and to give voice to the up-and-comers and to do it different (and the best!) and whatever; PANK has never let me down with that promise. And like Artifice, this might be my favorite of the four issues I’ve read. You’ve got a wild sonnet by Sherman Alexie; you’ve got stories from Vouchers Christopher Newgent and Ashley C. Ford; you’ve got some beautiful poems from shining people like Russ Woods and M.G. Martin; you’ve got thumping stories from Ashley Farmer and Lindsay Hunter; you’ve got so much more people why haven’t you ordered it!?

Check out this beginning to Lindsay Hunter’s story “Candles” (or maybe it’s CANDLES):

I AM IN THE CANDLE SHOPPE I CAN’T HELP IT

THE NEW AUTUMN LINE IS ORANGE NUTMEG AND IT IS AS CLOSE TO BARF AS THE BOTTOM OF A DIP CUP

I DIPPED ONCE RIDING IN THE CAB OF THE TRUCK OF MY ONE TRUE LOVE, HE WAS DRIVING HE WAS GETTING A HAND JOB FROM A PUERTO RICAN PUTA WE WERE GOING ABOUT FIFTEEN MILES AN HOUR NOT EVEN ENOUGH FOR THE WIND TO LIFT MY HAIR IN A POWERFUL FUCK YOU WAY

Salt Hill 28

Two questions: How’d it take me 28 issues to get a hold of one of these beauties? Are they all this lovely or what?

I love how this magazine surprises me! I’m not always into literary surprises, but these are neat enough, subtle enough, for real enough, that I am joyed. I turn the cover and am hello-ed by strange choir-boy faces singing but maybe shouting in pencil drawings. Everywhere poems and stories that stretch that cord between thinking and feeling,  interviews that REALLY say something, images that startle me into a “hmmmmm.” I read through and the end is a Ben Mirov poem “Destruction Manual” aligned horizontally, destructing me, or maybe more appropriately the issue, out of this beauty of an artifact.

Here here here is the beginning to my favorite piece, “Because Thought Isn’t Prayer” by John Gallaher:

This is kind of a danceable tune. To turn ourselves

around and then think about it this other way. “I’m

unsure about it,” we can say, and kiss someone new

or kiss no one at all. Think about every dog

you’ve ever hand, or every cat you’ve ever had,

or every time you’ve ever played put-put golf. Is there

anyone left in America who hasn’t played put-put golf?

you can ask yourself. Are there no more reasons

to be thankful? you can say.

Say When at PANK

25 Apr

Hat tip to Carrie Murphy, who posted a link to this poem over at her food/literature blog, Plums in the Icebox. Unfortunately, this poem was published in the February issue of PANK, which I completely skipped over due to a breakdown wherein I marked-as-read everything single thing in my Google Reader, simply because I couldn’t handle knowing I had 150+ items left to read, and I hated life then.

I wish I hadn’t done that now. If I hadn’t, then I would’ve found this incredible poem by Sophie Klahr among all that, and perhaps it would’ve lifted me, if only for a few moments.

if you are a man made of birds
if you are a bureau

if chest, if cage

if you are a lovely weather
worn out, say when

if the space between us makes
a dog named vacancy

if I contain all possible crimes

Read the rest at PANK, please.

You Better Run: Bethard at PANK

20 Apr

[CONTRIBUTOR’S UPDATE: Sometimes two Vouchers really dig the same story, as you can see. Customarily, we wouldn’t post about the same story within 24 hours, if at all. However, in the spirit of 1. Birthdays 2. Happy coincidences (Christopher and I both drafted these  Vouches for the same story without consulting each other or talking about it) 3.  and Fridays… we’re going to let it fly. You really should read this story! ]

We are all monsters, no matter how good we try to be. Great stories make you face this, they grab you by the back of the head and make you look the worst in the eye. Ashley Bethard’s Salty Wounds, from the latest online issue of PANK, does this.

It shows us how we hurt ourselves:

She pretended for a second that the grains of salt were not grains at all. That they were blades instead. But blades took courage, and courage was just another word in a long list of things that she lacked…

We hurt each other:

She ran too far and turned around, coming face to face with an older boy from the other team. He snarled at her, hands raised into claws, and began to run at her. She wanted to run but the open space of the wood seemed to vanish like one last sucking breath, and she stood paralyzed with fear and excitement

We hurt the world:

Summer had ended early that year, choked off by a vicious frost that forced the trees bare. On land she saw them standing naked, their limbs creeping across the brightness of a full white moon like ominous black lace, set to strangle. 

She Ran: Ashley Bethard at PANK

20 Apr

Technology told me today that it’s Ashley Bethard’s birthday, and since I’ve been saving this vouch for the past few days, it seems particularly apropos to post it today.

Bethard appears in this month’s issue of PANK with a story that will pull your lungs right out of your body. I don’t want to say much more about it, but just let the story do its thing to you. Here’s an excerpt:

When she was 12 she played a game of wolf pack with her cousins and their friends in the woods behind her uncle’s house. They split into two teams and raced through the trees, trying to attack their opponents and avoid being tackled. She ran too far and turned around, coming face to face with an older boy from the other team. He snarled at her, hands raised into claws, and began to run at her. She wanted to run but the open space of the wood seemed to vanish like one last sucking breath, and she stood paralyzed with fear and excitement.

He rushed at her, knocking her down, still playing wolf as he snuffled into her neck, her hair, his hands grasping at her waist, her ass. She tried twisting away, pushing at his bony boy chest. When he finally let her up, he growled again. You better run, he said.

She ran.

Read the story in its entirety at PANK Magazine.

Awful Interview: Christopher Newgent

29 Mar

Once, Christopher Newgent and I shared a pair of Strawberry Shortcake themed, cell phone shaped walkie-talkies. They were dwarfed in Christopher’s big-ass hands. We bought them for when we were bored at our respective jobs, but they weren’t capable of carrying a signal across the few hundred feet between his Jimmy John’s and my coffee shop, so we pitched them and reverted back to paper airplanes.

Sometimes Christopher puts things in his face and writes words about those things. At all times there are words all over Christopher’s arms. Some other times words come out of his hands. He makes those words into things, like his chapbook from Tiny Hardcore press, or these stories at these different places.  Some other times times he pushes words out of his face to a crowd. He calls this process ‘reading.’ If you are in Atlanta on Friday, April 6th, he would like to show you how he does this ‘reading.’

One time we talked about stuff and dubbed it an interview. It went like this.

Christopher. Let’s get serious. Let’s answer the question that’s been plaguing everyone for years. What are you doing to save the bats and the bees? I heard you might be a super hero.

The extent of my environmental superhero’ism is pretty much Googling for sad images of animals and frowning at my computer screen, then posting them to facebook and typing, usually in all caps, LOOK AT THIS SAD POLAR BEAR. IT’S TRAPPED ON THIS ICEBERG. Which is bullshit, really. Polar bears are amazing swimmers and have been known to swim dozens and even hundreds of miles in a single swim. Basically, my activism is misinformation. I’m a superhero of misinformation.

I guess I was misinformed. Wait- what?! Whoa! You ARE a superhero. What’s your favorite way to use capslock?

My favorite way to use capslock is life. I want to live my life in capslock. Sure, some randmas argue that caplock is best reserved for emailing and instant messenger, but I personally believe capslock needs no reservation. Fucking live it, man.

Don’t you think people will feel that you’re yelling at them? What does your barbaric yawp sound like?

Make no mistake. There’s a difference between capslock and yelling. Only those who’ve not probed the depths and nuances of all caps usage think it’s simply yelling at people. Caps lockers have been known to whisper in all caps, actually. It’s pretty amazing to behold. It’s like those Buddhist monks who can throat sing 2 different pitches at once.

Regarding my yawp, have you ever heard the lid blowing off a pressure cooker? It sounds mostly like that, but imagine a Kodiak bear exploding from the pressure cooker.

That is quite a mighty yawp. So, like, what have you been reading lately?

I don’t read a lot, actually. I don’t even really like books that much. They’re too, I don’t know, hands on. Reading is like carpentry for your brain. I’d rather have someone build my bookshelves for me, metaphorically speaking of course. And not that I’d need bookshelves.

Yeah man, I totally get you! Books are so OLD and stuff. I used to own some books, but then I gave them to some homeless men to burn and keep warm with, since the low was 40 degrees that night. Pr’chilly. I mean, who reads these days anyway?

Movies are so much better than books. They’re like books, but someone’s already done the work of imagining it as real life. Have you seen the new Vin Diesel movie?

I am morally opposed to watching movies where the male lead is shorter than I am. Mostly just Vin Diesel and Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise violates me on many moral levels. First of all, he’s shorter than me. Secondly, he looks like Justin Bieber got his face stuck in a suction cup. Thirdly, there was that one time he jumped on those couches in front of Oprah like a rabid monkey, and then I had nightmares.
May we change the subject?

Oh, absolutely. It’s never good to dwell on being violated by Tom Cruise. Change away.

Thanks. So… huh. Sorry, I keep thinking about Tom Cruise. …Tell me about what you’re wearing. Wait no, that’s creepy.-such a Tom Cruise thing to say! HELP!

Coincidentally, my wife just came home with 4 bags worth of new button down dress shirts for me–a bunch of plaids and stripes. I need more patterns in my life, to be honest.

Patterns are grand! Tell me about the reading on April 6th, what fresh dose of amazing-ness are you preparing to unleash on my dear A-T-L?

If stampedes of buffalo were commonly kept on leashes, you could expect that. But they are not, so you’ll have to settle for a metaphorical stampede of buffalo. Buffalo with hooves the size of your head, metal wings, and rocket launchers on their haunches. That is what you can expect from the April Vouched Presents reading.

Awful Interview: J Bradley

22 Mar

If you are unlucky, J Bradley may tear you a part with a revenge poem. If you are lucky (and by luck I also mean ‘if-you-buy-his-new-chapbook‘) he will uplift you with one. J. Bradley is powerful that way. He is a force to be reckoned with.

His work has appeared in Metazen, Kill Author, decomP, Dogzplot, as well as many other places. He’s the Interviews Editor at PANK, the Falconer of Fiction at NAP, and a contributing writer to Specter MagazineHe hosts the reading series There Will Be Words in Orlando where he lives.

After meeting J. Bradley in person at AWP, but before having him come down and read at the next Vouched Atlanta Reading, J Bradley and I decided to get better acquainted via an Awful Interview. Things got wonderful and things got awkward. See for yourself!

You have a chapbook, We Will Celebrate Our Failures, out and about in the world right now. It says on your blog that you will write a poem for anyone who sends you proof that she bought the chapbook. How many poems have you written for that so far? How many would you like to? Will they be haiku?

I’ve written one so far. I’d love to write 124 more. Haiku is a bit weak though. I want to reward people who are nice/brave enough to buy this chapbook. Every poem I write will be a poem you (hopefully) are willing to share with someone or read to someone you hate. I can do some interesting things with three words (and while I’ve still got my clothes on).

Read to someone you hate, that’s interesting. Are you implying that bad poetry can be used as a form of torture?

It’s easy to torture people with bad poetry. It takes skill to tear someone apart with a well written poem. If you can make your enemy laugh as you shred their soul, it makes that spiritual ass kicking sweeter. Here’s such an example of kind of revenge poetry I speak of.

Well played Mr. Bradley! How cutting! You are the Count of Monte Cristo of poets. Do you have a giant chest of Spanish doubloons hidden somewhere? Where do you hide your treasure?

Sadly no doubloons here unless I want to name my cock ‘giant chest of Spanish doubloons’ this week then I can answer the second question with ‘in my pants’.

Are you implying that you give it a new name every week?

I try and keep the names relevant to what is going on in the world. One week, it was named the Academy because of the way it fucked Drive over for the Oscar nominations. Around Easter, I call it Jesus except it doesn’t take three days for it to come back to life.

Okay, I’m stumped. I cannot think of a witty rebuttal to your response. What do you think I should ask you next?

Perhaps one of the following:

who am I wearing?
where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
what will you do if this latest relationship fails?
who are you gay for in a sexy way?
who have you always wanted to interview?
what fictional bear would you bare knuckle box against?
how will you read something at this reading that isn’t sad bastardesque?

I’m an interview machine due to my stint at PANK. I’ll refrain from any Lionel Ritchie references for now.

So many wonderful choices! I’m going to do a mashup question of two that you have offered here: What fictional bear are you gay for in a sexy way?

One could offer the easy choice of Yogi as he is a provider or Pooh because he always knows where to find the honey but life is never about easy choices. I would have to say I would be gay for Ignatius J. Reilly. Sadly, our love would never work because he would refer to me constantly as a sodomite even though I’m more Gomorrahian.

Ignatius was quite the bear. Wait, what? …soo uhhh… anyway. Tell me about how excited you are to come to Atlanta on Friday, April 6th and read for us. What’s going to be the best part of the reading? Why do you think people should attend?

I am tremendously excited to read as part of this literary wrecking crew. It is incredibly rare outside of AWP to get such a talented, diverse lineup. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime line up (until AWP comes through Atlanta again). You’ll get drunk on the words and the beer and more of the words. Bring a date. I promise I won’t mack on them.

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.