The Coil editor rounds up the best literary pieces from the indie Internet for you to read this weekend.
There’s a lot of stuff on the Internet to read. Here, let me help you wade through the crap to get to the good stuff. This list features stories, reviews, poems, interviews, essays, and literary whatnot that you might have missed, and you can come back every weekend for new great reads.
“Guns Won’t Feed You, But Hold Out Your Hands / And forget for a moment / the machine is itself alive / and by design / sated with the alien / softness of organ, / the temporary / framework of bone.” | Ruth Award has two stunning poems at The Rumpus.
“She thinks it might be nice to work somewhere quiet. A library or maybe a museum.” | Meghan Phillips tackles memory and moving forward in “Now That the Circus Has Shut Down, the Human Cannonball Looks for Work” on Wigleaf.
“I’m sorry I’ve stopped attending parties or family gatherings or much of anything at all.” | Liz Howard talks about abuse recovery in her poem, “If You Want Me to Apologize for the Damage He’s Caused, I Will,” in Occulum.
“I am seven turning eight and my two best friends are a pair of brothers that live down the street from me, Ricky and Steven.” | Christine Quattro talks about childhood neighbor trauma in “Gated Communities” on Synaesthesia Magazine.
“It’s going on the second hour of pressing my ear to the kitchen wall for the day, listening for the same frightened, illegible whisper, idly scrolling through my phone when I see the picture of Beth on the beach.” | Julia Dixon Evans talks about body image and confidence in “Beth in Her Swimsuit” at Pithead Chapel.
“It seems to me that the first and best trick a performer can pull is convincing an audience that he’s an underdog — whatever mounds of evidence might exist to the contrary.” | Hanif Abdurraqib talks about Kanye West and selling the ideology of power in “Why Is Kanye West Sounding like the Alt-Right?” on Pacific Standard.
“Hipster Killmonger walks into the British Museum to look at West African artifacts while a wispy white woman hovers over him uneasily.” | Aditi Natasha Kini asks what to do about stolen artifacts in “How Might We Decolonize the Brooklyn Museum?” on Pacific Standard.
“When I’m sitting a shift at the circulation desk, I’m generally sipping from a giant mug of coffee and wishing it were something stronger.” | Kristen Arnett humorously insists that “For Libraries, the ‘Customer Is Always Right’ Might Be Wrong” at Literary Hub.
“The woman nailed to the cross wears a red dress and a dark green sash.” | Jacqueline Doyle lyrically dissects a painting in “Prayer to the Bearded Virgin Martyr: On Hieronymus Bosch’s St. Wilgefortis Triptych” at Jellyfish Review.
“Boyede Sobitan and Fola Dada dressed their best for the meeting — sharp blazers, solid ties, pressed slacks, shined shoes — and came prepared with a pitch deck full of facts and figures.” | Steve Friess talks about racism in start-ups in “In Chicago, black entrepreneurs seeking venture capital face excessive scrutiny and discrimination” at Belt Magazine.
“first, Wife was blonde & young. a baby doll with a broken pull string. all she could say was Yes & I’m Sorry.” | Allie Marini takes you through a wife’s doll house in her poem, “doll in 4 houses,” on Mojave Heart Review.
“I have been wrong / about what a wound is.” | Darren C. Demaree gives us a little wounding in “Emily as across the River” on Manzano Mountain Review.
“Rakem Balogun thought he was dreaming when armed agents in tactical gear stormed his apartment.” | Sam Levin unveils a web of surveillance in “Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance” on The Guardian.
“When I turn six, my mother starts school.” | Sara Lippmann weaves a lyrical stream-of-consciousness tale of mothers and daughters in “Parachutes” on Diagram.
“My husband is gone. The other women cry for their missing men.” | Madeline Anthes gives historical feminism a comfy chair in “Declaration” at FlashBack Fiction.
“I am a Midwesterner through and through, all along the Great Lakes.” | Kate Cammell interviewed Midwestern photographer Laura Migliorino about the overlooked diversity of suburban life and outside perspectives of American culture at Midwestern Gothic.
“In 10 years, there will be no such thing as genre [in music]. Everything we know is dissolving into pop.” | Hanif Abdurraqib is the guest on the weekly LARB Radio Hour, with “A Deep Dive into Pop Culture” at Los Angeles Review of Books.
“Disability is a complex and multifaceted experience, so it should be no surprise that it exerts profound influence on the way we write.” | Keah Brown, Esmé Weijun Wang, and Jillian Weise discuss writing, publishing, and disability in “What Does It Mean to Be a Disabled Writer?” at Electric Literature.
“Two weeks ago, as students campaigned to ban certain forms of ‘hate speech’ in response to the use of a racial epithet by a student, Larry Moneta, Duke University’s vice president for Student Affairs, scolded the young activists, tweeting, ‘Freedom of expression protects the oppressed far more than the oppressors.’” | David M. Perry tells how billionaires and administrators are using their power to silence students in “If You’re Worried about Free Speech on Campus, Don’t Fear Students — Fear the Koch Brothers” on Pacific Standard.
“If I were an office lady in Japan, I’d be in charge of making copies.” | Cathy Ulrich talks about office ladies in Japan in “All the Office Ladies” at The Disappointed Housewife.
Did you love a literary piece on the Internet this week? Tweet it to me at @leahangstman, and my DMs are always open for new ideas.
LEAH ANGSTMAN serves as Editor-in-Chief for Alternating Current Press and The Coil magazine, and a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Her work has appeared in Pacific Standard, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Electric Literature, Slice Magazine, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. You can find her at leahangstman.com.