Issue 35, Final Fringe

Carmen Adamucci Discusses Gringa

by Fringe Magazine, Fringe Magazine 08.15.2011 0 Comments

This week we’re pleased to publish “Gringa,” new fiction from Carmen Adamucci. Below, Carmen shares with us the story’s inception and some of his own experiences in the peach orchards.

I’ve met some really cool migrant workers in my life.

On our farm in southern New Jersey they arrive each spring, in compact cars and pickup trucks, in mini vans, cargo vans, retired school buses–FARM LABOR TRANSPORT stenciled on the side. Picking peaches is tough, even when compared to other types of farm work, and it’s not uncommon for a greenhorn to leave after his first day in the orchard, maybe before his first lunch break: there’s the picking-bag strapped to his chest, the ladder, the pressure from anxious farmers, squeezing peaches every ten minutes, hollering every five, worried they might lose the block because a stubborn heat wave has slowed the crew down while ramping the maturating process up.

And of course, there’s also the fuzz.

Seriously. I’ve seen some tough-ass men annoyed into submission by peach fuzz, trudging out of the orchard cursing the stuff, scratching the back of their necks so hard you’d expect trickles of blood. And I never blamed these deserters either (well almost never), for minimum wage is... more »

Q&A With Mathias Svalina

by Anna Laird Barto, Anna Laird Barto 08.10.2011 0 Comments

I Am a Very Productive EntrepreneurMathias Svalina talks about his new book I Am a Very Productive Entrepreneur from Mud Luscious Press.

Can you tell us a little about the origin of the project and how it evolved into its current form?

I Am a Very Productive Entrepreneur originated when my friend Nathan Young & I were talking about how much it would cost to cover everything in the universe in cardboard & then stamp the word “pornography” on the outside. We decided we were going to try to come up with a budget for this project, including the process of manufacturing Earth-like atmospheres in an infinite number of planets so that we could grow an infinite amount of trees to pulp in order to create an infinite amount of cardboard, not to mention the stamp factories, as we’d want to have size-appropriate stamps for each of the things.

Do I dare ask what you and your friend were drinking and/or smoking when this conversation took place?

Ha, we were probably drunk. Either that or g-chatting, which is kind of like being drunk. Nathan is an awesome video artist & makes fantastic Nu-Age music. Soon I hope to be able to work on his farm. As soon as he starts his... more »

"Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Me" by Gary Presley

by Llalan 08.09.2011 0 Comments

Today marks the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki in World War II. Gary Presley, author of The Wind (Issue 26), writes of his memories and impressions of the war as an “army brat” whose father served in the war.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Me

What stands in my memory is a tower. The tower marked the point over which The Bomb exploded. If you are of a generation touched by World War II, you invariably use those words whether you speak of Hiroshima or Nagasaki: The Bomb.

I can tell you I was five or six or seven years old. I don’t remember exactly, but we visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima sometime in the late 1940s when the cities were still mostly rubble. I know it was before 1950, because in 1950 our family lived in an rickety apartment converted from an army hospital ward at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I know that because my brother was born in 1950.

Here is a thing that confuses me further, these sixty years on, years overlaid by television and film documentaries, by books and magazines: I do not know whether the tower was in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. We visited both, my family did, and there are pictures... more »

"Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Me" by Gary Presley

by Llalan 08.09.2011 0 Comments

Today marks the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki in World War II. Gary Presley, author of The Wind (Issue 26), writes of his memories and impressions of the war as an “army brat” whose father served in the war.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Me

What stands in my memory is a tower. The tower marked the point over which The Bomb exploded. If you are of a generation touched by World War II, you invariably use those words whether you speak of Hiroshima or Nagasaki: The Bomb.

I can tell you I was five or six or seven years old. I don’t remember exactly, but we visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima sometime in the late 1940s when the cities were still mostly rubble. I know it was before 1950, because in 1950 our family lived in an rickety apartment converted from an army hospital ward at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I know that because my brother was born in 1950.

Here is a thing that confuses me further, these sixty years on, years overlaid by television and film documentaries, by books and magazines: I do not know whether the tower was in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. We visited both, my family did, and there are pictures... more »

Q&A With Michael Stewart

by Amanda Kimmerly, Amanda Kimmerly 08.03.2011 0 Comments

The Hieroglyphics, Michael Stewart (Mud Luscious Press, 2011)31-year-old Michael Stewart wrote a novel/la that, like the work of fellow Mud Luscious-er J.A. Tyler, is difficult to classify. Spanning 80 pages, The Hieroglyphics is novella-length, with some paragraphs as compact as one sentence–do we call it prose? Poetry? Should time even be spent packaging imagination into neat, pristine categories? Fiction, after all, is not simply a storage unit!

Shifting the focus to content: The Hieroglyphics is a reinterpreted version of Horapollo Niliacus’s Hieroglyphica. Discovered in 1419, Hieroglyphica totaled 189 explanations of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Since gaining popularity, however, its authenticity has provoked many questions from Egyptian scholars and inspired new translations in the academia environment. Stewart’s version is a mix of his own research and unique vision of an ancient, misinterpreted world, with heavy emphasis on linguistic tricks and startling images, the type of writing that causes as much pause as reading a book of proverbs.

Stewart teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.  The Hieroglyphics can be found through Mud Luscious Press.

Amanda Kimmerly: What inspired the idea to re-write Horapollo Niliacus’s Hieroglyphica?

Michael Stewart: A friend who was studying the book in grad school (she was translating it) kept sending me these amazing sentences. After the first dozen I thought, I’ve got to do something with this.... more »

S. Asher Sund discusses poetry and songwriting

by Anna Lena Philllips, S. Asher Sund, Anna Lena Philllips, S. Asher Sund 08.01.2011 0 Comments

This week in Vintage Fringe we’ve got a rerun of three poems by S. Asher Sund that originally appeared in March 2009, in issue 18. Here Asher talks about the poems and about the intersections between poetry and songwriting. And don’t miss the lightning Q&A round down at the bottom of the page.

These poems have changed a little since they first appeared in Fringe. We’ve posted the latest versions. Looking at them now, what are your thoughts?

“You Are Here” V02 feels a bit unwieldy to me, almost unmanageable, on the verge of a meltdown, but even so, or maybe exactly for these reasons, I like the changes I’ve made. “Hispanic Man Working a Weed-eater Against the Bank” is much more in the pocket for me than the previous version. “Sometimes a Mountain” I’ve looked at too many times. There’s still that one particular phrasing that resists my edits.

The poems are part of a full-length manuscript. Two of them represent a thread within it that positions the reader as a participant in what we might call office life, and asks her or him to comment on it. How would you describe the collection and the way these poems fit into it?

My constitution... more »

Dean Marshall Tuck on "Alone in a Small, Small World"

by Fringe Magazine 07.11.2011 0 Comments

We’re very pleased to publish “Alone in a Small, Small World,” an excellent new piece of flash fiction from Dean Marshall Tuck. Below, Dean tells us the story behind the story.

If you enjoyed “Alone in a Small, Small World” as much we do, send the link around to friends, family, and enemies. And comment below.

*******

“Alone In a Small, Small World” reminds me of lying down in the backseats of my friends’ cars, drunk on jokes and inappropriate humor while everyone bickers about where to eat and how there’s nothing to do in this town and what do you know about it? and did you see that girl? and more jokes and insults and accusations and all of it in the space of a weekly car ride with buddies I’ve had since before high school.  Keep your friends nearly twenty years, and the humor can get pretty obscure and specific (and annoying to anyone one booth over in the Mexican restaurant).  Oftentimes on these car rides, three or four of us will impromptu workshop a joke until it’s so obscure and perfect that any one of us can’t help but think or state, “We must be the only people on earth talking... more »

Dean Marshall Tuck on "Alone in a Small, Small World"

by Fringe Magazine 07.11.2011 0 Comments

We’re very pleased to publish “Alone in a Small, Small World,” an excellent new piece of flash fiction from Dean Marshall Tuck. Below, Dean tells us the story behind the story.

If you enjoyed “Alone in a Small, Small World” as much we do, send the link around to friends, family, and enemies. And comment below.

*******

“Alone In a Small, Small World” reminds me of lying down in the backseats of my friends’ cars, drunk on jokes and inappropriate humor while everyone bickers about where to eat and how there’s nothing to do in this town and what do you know about it? and did you see that girl? and more jokes and insults and accusations and all of it in the space of a weekly car ride with buddies I’ve had since before high school.  Keep your friends nearly twenty years, and the humor can get pretty obscure and specific (and annoying to anyone one booth over in the Mexican restaurant).  Oftentimes on these car rides, three or four of us will impromptu workshop a joke until it’s so obscure and perfect that any one of us can’t help but think or state, “We must be the only people on earth talking... more »

Review: A Catalogue of Everything in the World

by Amanda Kimmerly, Amanda Kimmerly 07.07.2011 0 Comments

A Catalogue of Everything in the WorldNebraska, to me, is a place people go for two reasons: to hide from the police in a corn field, or to receive an MFA in creative writing. As a city girl, long stretches of agriculture, though beautiful, puzzle me. The census population, with 89.6 percent white, 4 percent black, with the next most popular being American Indian at .9 percent, puzzles me. The fact that it is ranked eleventh in “most livable” states–that we even have a system for deciding what’s most livable–you guessed it, puzzles me.

Which is exactly why it felt imperative to pick up A Catalogue of Everything in the World: Nebraska Stories, by Yelizaveta P. Renfro, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award—I wanted to see the landscape through a lens in which I do understand: stories.

The book opens with the main character of “Splendid, Silent Sun” feeling slightly different. “You’ll never believe where I am,” he writes to his girlfriend back home in California. “You know, that state in the middle somewhere, just another corn-filled patch in the quilt of indistinguishable states that make up the interior. You see that farmhouse and the gently rolling fields of corn in the picture? That’s why I’m here. To find that. Not that particular... more »

Review: A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed

by Amanda Kimmerly, Amanda Kimmerly 06.30.2011 0 Comments

A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have FailedSome stories don’t need a strong narrative. Some stories wash over you, under you, carry you with them until the tide lets go, and that doesn’t always mean when it reaches the shore. J.A. Tyler’s second novel, A Man of Glass & All The Ways We Have Failed, is a different kind of storytelling. It breaks all rules of traditional plot and narrative, and instead relies on its staggering language and imagery to move the reader steadily from one page to the next. Call it prose, call it a poem, call it a mirage, if it seems necessary. It isn’t. Here, labels fall between cracks, like sand. Your mind will abandon reality and physics, but this certainly isn’t sci-fi. It’s a love song. It’s a snapshot. It’s a man and woman aching to communicate but never saying a word. Maybe one is dead. Maybe they lost a child and never fully recovered. There is evidence for both, but it’s still not the point. It’s the emotion that matters, the description, the different elements in the earth that they both become as a result.

“Winter came early into us he says, and she would now had she heard him that this means they are... more »

Review: Hard to Say

by Amanda Kimmerly, Amanda Kimmerly 06.23.2011 1 Comments

Hard to Say coverSince publishing “Illustrated Girl” in late 2010, we’ve been following Ethel Rohan with sniper eyes. She’s exploding. The evidence: her latest short story collection, Hard to Say, was published by Pank as the third addition to their “Little Books” series. “Little” is accurate, if you’re measuring size. The stories individually range from 1,000-1,500 words, roughly a page and a half on a word document. But do not judge them by stature. Little often means powerful. Think Brown Recluse. Think hand grenade. Think Bruce Lee. Similarly, Rohan’s streamlined sentences bite, detonate, and break a tough surface with what feels like a one-inch punch.

The 15-story collection chronicles a first-person account of one young woman’s understanding of a confusing adolescence in Dublin, Ireland. Though this covers alcohol dependency, a distant father, silent brother, and frisky neighbors, most of the stories detail the tense relationship between the narrator and her ill mother. Rohan poetically describes brain deterioration, how it not only corrodes the body, the eyes, a person’s memory, but also a family:

“Disease ate away at Mother’s eyes. A slow killer, Retinitis Pigmentosa took its sweet time, liked to nibble and pick. Her pale blues in grave danger, like two dangling buttons about to fall from a coat... more »

Cat Ennis Sears Discusses "Shipyard Incidents"

by Fringe Magazine 06.21.2011 2 Comments

We’re pleased to have published Cat Ennis Sears‘ story “Shipyard Incidents” this week at Fringe. To learn more about the story, read the following note from the author. If you enjoyed “Shipyard Incidents”–and hell, why wouldn’t you?–let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

* * * * *

I’m thrilled to be included in this issue of Fringe and thank the editors for the opportunity to write a little bit about the “behind the scenes” of “Shipyard Incidents.”

Perhaps it would be good to explain the bigger world of this story. It is part of a collection of linked stories about Lara, Otto (her handler / boyfriend) and Christine (the madame). Otto’s story, “Action and Reaction,” can be found at Corium Magazine (thanks to Salvatore Pane and Lauren Becker). Christine’s story, “You Stopped Galloping,” was read aloud at Champs Not Chumps (thanks to Tom Dodson).

I like to think of my stories as patchworks from various sources and things I’ve read. Here are some of the things I was thinking about when I wrote “Shipyard Incidents.”

First off, I had recently moved from Richmond, Virginia to Boston and I was fascinated with the industrial history of New England. I took an archival research class at... more »

Cat Ennis Sears Discusses "Shipyard Incidents"

by Fringe Magazine 06.21.2011 2 Comments

We’re pleased to have published Cat Ennis Sears‘ story “Shipyard Incidents” this week at Fringe. To learn more about the story, read the following note from the author. If you enjoyed “Shipyard Incidents”–and hell, why wouldn’t you?–let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

* * * * *

I’m thrilled to be included in this issue of Fringe and thank the editors for the opportunity to write a little bit about the “behind the scenes” of “Shipyard Incidents.”

Perhaps it would be good to explain the bigger world of this story. It is part of a collection of linked stories about Lara, Otto (her handler / boyfriend) and Christine (the madame). Otto’s story, “Action and Reaction,” can be found at Corium Magazine (thanks to Salvatore Pane and Lauren Becker). Christine’s story, “You Stopped Galloping,” was read aloud at Champs Not Chumps (thanks to Tom Dodson).

I like to think of my stories as patchworks from various sources and things I’ve read. Here are some of the things I was thinking about when I wrote “Shipyard Incidents.”

First off, I had recently moved from Richmond, Virginia to Boston and I was fascinated with the industrial history of New England. I took an archival research class at... more »

Molly Tenenbaum on poetry and music

by Anna Lena Phillips, Anna Lena Phillips 06.13.2011 0 Comments

Waking up in a tent, bumming hot water for coffee from someone who brought a two-burner propane stove, drinking it down and immediately setting about playing tunes—if you’re an old-time musician, this is likely how you spend lots of your weekend mornings in the summer, at fiddler’s conventions in fields and ball parks across the southern United States.

I’ve missed every convention thus far this summer. I’m hoping to remedy that soon. (And maybe this year I’ll get my own stove.) Happily, in the meantime, we’re featuring three poems by poet and old-time banjo player and fiddler Molly Tenenbaum. I don’t know a lot of other poet old-time musicians, but it’s not unusual to have more than one artistic love. So I asked Molly about poetry and old-time—how these two presences act in her life. She writes:

I suspect that my creative self, back in infanthood, originated in music and poetry together: lullabies, nursery rhymes, songs, parents’ voices, singing, being read to—ballads, Dr. Seuss, Shakespeare, Margaret Wise Brown. But later, as I got more involved in old-time music, the two lives began to separate: it might be almost accurate to say that music is my social world and poetry my private... more »

New Nonfiction: "Mississippi Freedom Summer in Eight Vignettes"

by Llalan 06.06.2011 0 Comments

There are so many things to fight for — for peace, for a certain right, towards some social justice — that I’ve never been able to fight for any of them. It seems so exhausting and ultimately futile that I get discouraged before I even begin. But there’s always the desire to be so consumed by a cause that you actually make a change. And I feel I speak for a fair portion of my generation. Perhaps Radiohead put it best: “I wish it was the sixties, I wish I could be happy, I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen.”

In 1965, author Michael Royce, at age 18, joined volunteers in Jackson, Mississippi, to register black voters and demonstrate for equal rights. He wished that something would happen, and it did — both in Jackson and in Royce. Mississippi Freedom Summer in Eight Vignettes is both scenes from Royce’s time spent fighting for what he believed in and time he spent growing up. He wrote each originally to give to his children to help them understand what happened in our country at that time. As readers we learn what it’s like to have that kind of hope.

... more »

New Nonfiction: "Mississippi Freedom Summer in Eight Vignettes"

by Llalan 06.06.2011 0 Comments

There are so many things to fight for — for peace, for a certain right, towards some social justice — that I’ve never been able to fight for any of them. It seems so exhausting and ultimately futile that I get discouraged before I even begin. But there’s always the desire to be so consumed by a cause that you actually make a change. And I feel I speak for a fair portion of my generation. Perhaps Radiohead put it best: “I wish it was the sixties, I wish I could be happy, I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen.”

In 1965, author Michael Royce, at age 18, joined volunteers in Jackson, Mississippi, to register black voters and demonstrate for equal rights. He wished that something would happen, and it did — both in Jackson and in Royce. Mississippi Freedom Summer in Eight Vignettes is both scenes from Royce’s time spent fighting for what he believed in and time he spent growing up. He wrote each originally to give to his children to help them understand what happened in our country at that time. As readers we learn what it’s like to have that kind of hope.

... more »

d. Discusses "humboldt waterfronts"

by Fringe Magazine 05.30.2011 2 Comments

This week we’re pleased to present “humboldt waterfronts,” new fiction from d. Below, the writer discusses the background of the story.


it is an honor to be chosen for inclusion in fringe.  i like the mag’s vision, aesthetic and attitude, and i agree with fringe on the importance today of language on new frontiers.

“humboldt waterfronts” is an installation of objects.  each object was made out of a found moment and each moment containing some commentary on various changes in humboldt county, 1970-2010.

as an artist/designer, i am interested in the tension between found and stolen objects.  in some regard, all objects are stolen.  nobody owns anything.  and in the same regard, all objects are found–though many humanoids may claim ownership of them through time.  unlike my other works, “humboldt waterfronts” does not obviously contain appropriated information (or information widely considered to be owned).  but every moment of the work is appropriated–if not stolen–as each originates with and centers on a being outside the artist.   so “humboldt waterfronts” is just like my other works: it could be hot.

in the call for submissions to MAPS, fringe mentions information designer edward tufte.  tufte’s mother, virginia tufte, is the author of a pivotal work on the... more »

d. Discusses "humboldt waterfronts"

by Fringe Magazine 05.30.2011 2 Comments

This week we’re pleased to present “humboldt waterfronts,” new fiction from d. Below, the writer discusses the background of the story.


it is an honor to be chosen for inclusion in fringe.  i like the mag’s vision, aesthetic and attitude, and i agree with fringe on the importance today of language on new frontiers.

“humboldt waterfronts” is an installation of objects.  each object was made out of a found moment and each moment containing some commentary on various changes in humboldt county, 1970-2010.

as an artist/designer, i am interested in the tension between found and stolen objects.  in some regard, all objects are stolen.  nobody owns anything.  and in the same regard, all objects are found–though many humanoids may claim ownership of them through time.  unlike my other works, “humboldt waterfronts” does not obviously contain appropriated information (or information widely considered to be owned).  but every moment of the work is appropriated–if not stolen–as each originates with and centers on a being outside the artist.   so “humboldt waterfronts” is just like my other works: it could be hot.

in the call for submissions to MAPS, fringe mentions information designer edward tufte.  tufte’s mother, virginia tufte, is the author of a pivotal work on the... more »

Landscape design: three poems by Moriah L. Purdy

by Anna Lena Phillips, Anna Lena Phillips 05.23.2011 1 Comments

A map of a garden can be made before the garden itself exists or after everything’s been planted. Having tried both strategies, I can say that it’s easier to do the mapping beforehand; straightening out measurements and transferring them accurately to the page after the garden already exists can be a difficult task. But then, this is what descriptive cartographers do on much larger scales, for cities, landforms, landscapes.

This week’s poems take as their subject someone from the “before” camp: Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park, among others. Olmstead wrote,

Nature shall be employed upon it for generations, before the work he has arranged for her shall realize his intentions.

We can forgive Olmsted, who died in 1903, the he’s and she’s. He’s right that whether they’re in a field returning to forest or a park just planted with roses and fruit trees, plants require time. (Fortunately for impatient gardeners, there exist annual plants, which grow happily and well on smaller timescales.)

Moriah L. Purdy, the author of the poems, is working on a manuscript that considers Olmsted’s work and borrows from his papers. About the quote, which serves as the epigraph for the manuscript, Moriah writes, ”I... more »

News From Our Fabulous Contributors

by Fringe Magazine, Fringe Magazine 05.17.2011 0 Comments

We’ve been gathering a whole lot of exciting news from our former contributors, and it’s high time we share it all with those of you who give us a reason to have writers in the first place–our wonderful readers.

Celia Lisset Alvarez’sMesh and Lace” has been nominated for the storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2010. Finalists will be announced later this week, so stay tuned. And then vote vote vote.

Amy L. Clark won Sundress Best of the Net inclusion for her piece “Someone Else’s Ivy” from our Working Issue.

Catherine Daly’s chapbook Florilegium is forthcoming from Dusie Press, and will include her poems from Issue 20 of Fringe. She was recently interviewed at Oxyfication, and has a piece in Seam Ripper: Women on Textual and Sartorial Style, a collection which includes work from Kate Durbin, Arielle Greenberg, Elisa Gabbert, Jackie Wang, and our very own Anna Lena Phillips.

Sarah Einstein’s excellent “Self-Portrait in Apologies” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Steve Himmer has released a novel, The Bee-Loud Glade (Atticus Books, 2011), to much acclaim.

Kevin McLellan has poems forthcoming in Badlands, EOAGH, failbetter, Horse Less Review, inter/rupture, Kenyon Review, Ocean State Review, Poetry East, Sugar House Review, and Western Humanities Review, and in the anthologies Like a Fat Gold Watch and Preparing the Face: Poems About Shaving. He has recent poems in... more »

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