By Sofia Montrone

“My fantasy of a memoir about nothing”: On Kate Zambreno’s Drifts

Kate Zambreno’s latest work of autofiction, Drifts, is a novel about the process of writing a novel, or, at least, the process of thinking about one. The narrator, a lightly-fictionalized version of Zambreno, ekes out a living as an adjunct professor as she attempts to write a novel, Drifts, “that contains the energy of thought.”…

Apocalypse Now: Reading Severance in the Time of Coronavirus

Severance / Ling Ma / Picador, 05/2019 – $17 (Paperback) The routine has become automatic. In the mornings I stand bleary-eyed at the counter and wait for the kettle’s wail. I look at emails for work or articles for class or ads for eco-friendly activewear. It doesn’t matter. There are classes in the afternoon, and…

Endnotes on Pale Fire

  Azure adj.    blue, bright, cloudless; (of love) cloudless: The false azure of cloudless love. And when a noun – heaven, palate, the roof of one’s mouth. Azure as in: The bright, bottomless vowels that once echoed against the roof of your mouth. Or: Unstuck from your palate, here I am – trying to speak your…

Anatomy of Absence 

There was a hole at the table where her son used to be. Once he had sat across from her and made reluctant single-syllable conversation, his mouth full of food. When his father left, he stopped speaking. Then he stopped coming all together. After the divorce papers were finalized, she enrolled herself in a cooking…

Affettuoso (After Caravaggio)

Watcher – this, your face pink-cheeked with abandon. This your hidden, thrumming hand. This, your wine-shadowed longing draped over his shoulders, laid flush against the petal white expanse of his chest – penetrable. Press it and he’ll bruise. Paint it and you’ll wound him beyond repair. Render the translucent skin of his throat in pigment, apple flesh, immutable. You have left so many places to sink your teeth. Consecrate his vulnerability in the sanctum of memory. Dust, not age, will pool in the hollow of his clavicle, that place where you once rested your callous hands, your long fingers drawing…