Learn more about the 150th celebration

CURRENT ISSUE: Summer 2016


Trump's Spaniels

I have a terrifying recurring dream in which Donald Trump is my father.

“Isn’t this fun?” he yells from the driver’s seat of his Hummer as we barrel down Highway 1 from San Francisco to his pink, rococo mansion in Half Moon Bay. “Not really,” I invariably scream back. The setting sun burns my eyes, there are dreadlocked, Caucasian hikers who jeer up at the ostentatious car as we zip by, and I’m sick and tired of Trump-Dad’s manic desire to show me “just how fantastic of a time”we can have together. Usually by this point in the dream we’ve already been to his empty music studio (“You love to sing, right?), gone to the dealership and purchased the Yellow 2005 H2 (“You won’t believe how well these babies take tight turns once you get down around Montara”), and gobbled down a priceless lunch at Quince (“Have more of the tartar, kid”). It’s nighttime when we pull into his horseshoe-shaped driveway, past the groomed Clydesdales, and towards the bright red, stucco mammoth of a home. Trump fumbles with his huge set of keys and, with a spastic wave of his arms, flings open the mahogany door, adorned with its hundreds of carved, tiny-penised cherubim.

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Tangerine Moon

 the avenue throws flat teeth at the moon:
in the evening a single sided coin, indicating roundness,
a tangerine phosphorescing in plastic bag.


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Interview with Toni Morrison

 Dr. Toni Morrison delivered six lectures on campus this spring as the 2016 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry. She has published 11 novels, most recently God Help the Child (2015) and various works of non-fiction criticism. Dr. Morrison won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, the National Humanities Medal in 2000, and the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for giving “life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

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Things weren't always so bad. Even though he won't speak to me and talks trash behind my back, I still really care about Charlie. And I maintain that the two and a half years we spent together, despite the shouting matches, despite the four or five one-day breakups (each one more final and reneged with more passionate makeup sex than the last), despite the tense drives home and the teary nights and every single mean word we've ever said to each other, were good. It was a happy and complicated time in both his life and mine.

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Summer Reads: The Known World by Edward P Jones

Several members of my maternal family have settled on a single, dirt road in Wallace, South Carolina— a rural township about forty-five minutes from Charlotte. My great-grandmother ‘s lot stands right at the turnoff from the interstate. If you start there and walk in a straight line, you’ll come across my aunt’s expansive yard, my cousins’ house propped up on wooden slats, and, at the edge of a forest, you’ll end up where we bury our dead, a clearing thick with yarrow weeds and marble. This narrow road, and the little world that radiates from it, extends for about a mile. Edward P. Jones’s The Known World (2000) is firmly rooted in a similar space, where geography—physical, political, and social—conspires to shape the lives and relationships of its occupants. A work of historical fiction, The Known World is set on and around a Black owned plantation in the fictional Manchester County, Virginia.

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Flash Fiction: It Won't Die Until You Do

It was raining when Rachel learned she would never become pregnant. She preferred to look at the rain instead of the fluorescent light of the doctor’s office, the syringes, the biohazard signs, letting the doctor’s monotone and the grind of water pellets hitting the window become white noise. Her mom was in the corner. Her eyes said “Sorry, honey,” but her lips were pursed, silently saying “Shit. Shit. Shit.”! Physically, nothing had changed. Rachel could not carry a child because she was a child herself. But she had wanted to have a child, eventually, in the abstract, like how a kindergartner wants to be an astronaut. She smiled in spite of herself when toddlers stumbled by and picked out her favorite names names like Tessa and Grace that she would save for future reference. She knew that soon she would get older, and she would lengthen while her hips widened, and then she would get older, and she would find herself cutting the crust off sandwiches, driving other, smaller bodies to soccer practice or gymnastics or violin, and then she would get older, and her body would be folding into itself, barren again.

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