Molly McQuade explores the music in Brooklyn, Craig McDaniel and Jean Robertson experience what painting is now, Steven Harvey discusses the other Steve Harvey, and Frank M. Meola reports on being a minority minority. New fiction from Marian Berges, Barrett Bowlin, Randy Nelson, Su Tong, Sergio Troncoso, Kathleen Winter, and Linda Woolford. New poetry from Fleda Brown, Susan Cobin, Nancy Eimers, Dan Gerber, and Osip Mandelstam. Plus Piotr Florczyk reviews Mark Irwin’s “American Urn: Selected Poems.”
Think of Shapero instead as a kind of poetic Louis C.K. — the misery is part of the act. Yes, you’re supposed to laugh: “All I have coming in this / world is a joke that hits me later.” And like the best stand-up comedy routines, her poems have solid opening hooks, a finely wrought structure, and a resonance, a truth, beyond what is directly expressed.
Pig’s feet helps shrink the uterus,
which after birth is a flabby bag of muscle.
Pig’s feet helps get rid of the old blood.
So I am told.
Somehow I never succeeded / in being taken seriously. They made me / wear things that were ruffled: off-the- / shoulder blouses, the tiered skirts / of flouncing Spanish dancers, though I never / quite got the hauteur — I was always tempted / to wink, show instead of a tragic / outstretched neck, a slice of flank.
I hide my cigarettes / under abandoned bricks / in the tall grass past / where I don’t cut, / between the siding / and the downspout / where my kids can’t reach, / under potted plants / their mother no longer waters.