Gary L. McDowell
A Fish So Large

Gary L. McDowell - A Fish So Large

Creative Nonfiction
Gary L. McDowell is the author of American Amen (Dream Horse Press, 2010) and co-editor of The Rose Metal Press… Read more »
Yian Chen
In Praise of Bao

Yian Chen - In Praise of Bao

Creative Nonfiction
Yian Chen was born in Shanghai, China. He and his parents immigrated to the Chicago suburbs when he was little.… Read more »
Jenny Martin
My Promenade

Jenny Martin - My Promenade

Creative Nonfiction
After receiving two degrees in English literature from Colorado State University, Jenny Martin moved back east and began a 23-year… Read more »
Kyle Bilinski
Paint and Ink

Kyle Bilinski - Paint and Ink

Creative Nonfiction
Kyle Bilinski lives in northern California where he works as a flight attendant and painting contractor. He recently received his… Read more »
Naomi Kimbell
The Dress

Naomi Kimbell - The Dress

Creative Nonfiction
Naomi Kimbell lives and writes in Missoula. Much of her work focuses on facets of mental illness as well as… Read more »

A Fish So Large

Gary L. McDowell

We dreamt we were fatherless. Motherless. Less. We dreamt we were astronauts. We dreamt we were architects and lived in houses with no walls, only windows and perches for our pet hawks, aquariums for the piranha we’d catch ourselves one day in the Amazon. We dreamt nomadically. We rode our bikes from Cary to Fox River Grove, from Fox River Grove to Cary, from Cary to Crystal Lake, sometimes all the way to McHenry or Bull Valley. We crossed county lines, squatted in mink farms, hiked through cornfields until we got lost, couldn’t orient ourselves, the sun above us hot and directionally useless. We lost, ourselves but never each other. We listened: “Have fun, boys. Be safe, and be back for dinner, please.” One of us always wore a watch. We fished every pond and backwards lake or stream we could find. Twelve years old. BMX bikes. A backpack full of peanut butter sandwiches, bottles of water or cans of Pepsi, some quarters if we had to call home in an emergency, and fishing gear: lures, hooks, sinkers, knives, pliers, bobbers, measuring tape, disposable cameras, week old chicken left-overs for the catfish, secured, of course, in airtight Ziploc bags. Each… Read more »