Robert Vivian
Essay Breathless in A World of Cloud And Smoke

Robert Vivian - Essay Breathless in A World of Cloud And Smoke

Creative Nonfiction
Robert Vivian’s most recent books are Mystery My Country and Traversings, which was co-written with the poet Richard Jackson.   Read more »
Jennifer Martelli
Grid God

Jennifer Martelli - Grid God

Creative Nonfiction
Jennifer Martelli’s debut poetry collection, The Uncanny Valley, was published in 2016 by Big Table Publishing. Her poetry and prose… Read more »
Robert Brunk
Not From Around Here

Robert Brunk - Not From Around Here

Creative Nonfiction
Robert Brunk’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, The Michigan… Read more »

Grid God

Jennifer Martelli

In the fourth grade, my best friend Lorraine and I cut out androgynous paper dolls and had them kiss and make love during our spelling lesson. Our teacher, offended, gave us a choice of punishments. Lorraine chose the first: to eat a sheet of her spelling paper, a three-inch strip made with the machete-bladed paper cutter. Since I feared choking even then, I chose the latter: to write my whole name—first and last—inside the squares of a sheet of graph paper—not each single letter of my name per square: my whole name within a one-quarter inch blue-lined space. (These precise cruelties were not uncommon in public schools during those strange blocks of months ending Johnson’s presidency, and heralding in Nixon’s.) I have a long name: Jennifer (eight letters) and like everybody in my neighborhood, a long, be-vowelled last name, Colella (seven letters). I sat with the graph paper before me, facing down 120 tiny squares. I felt like time had stopped; like someone who wants to wiggle their ears but can’t find the muscles; who has a bone dislocated or meat in their throat. But then the clog was removed and the clock started ticking as if “Love set you… Read more »