blackbirdonline journalSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1

Blackbird EditorsPicks

Each fall we nominate contributors in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for the upcoming Best of the Net Anthology. Featured here are Blackbird’s picks from v18n2 and v19n1.

Amina Gautier Amina Gautier

   v19n1 | fiction

The last time he had come by for his stuff hadn’t been goodbye at all. She’d gone into her bedroom to retrieve his slippers and he’d followed her in and they’d made love on top of the comforter and he’d left empty-handed. . . .

Diane D. Gillette   Diane D. Gillette
   Walls: How to Raze a Girl

   v18n2 | fiction

I am thirty-seven years old, and my youngest daughter wants to stay in this house. She is too young to understand back taxes and memories that want to be repressed but can’t. She understands the magic of nooks and crannies and wide-open spaces, things our two-bedroom condo in the city lacks. I don’t know what my oldest daughter wants . . .

Jessie van Eerden   Jessie van Eerden
   Meet You at the Dollar General Across from the Family Dollar
   v18n2 | nonfiction

when Jesus comes back, and we’ll see what really happens to one another’s bodies. I mean, will we get some relief? Will we fade to ether, or will it be more like: the body as dog wants in so badly and, finally, you don’t just let it in, you carry it in, all mange and burr and fat deer tick, all thousand ditches slept in, and you think, That there is my body . . .

Larry I. Palmer   Larry I. Palmer
   from Scholarship Boy, “Where Are You From?”

   v19n1 | nonfiction

I followed Willie around the counter and down a narrow passageway. He stopped in front of another curtain, a black one, and told me to stay close to him as he pulled it to one side. He tugged my hand as he did so, urging me to follow him into the shadowy space the curtain created . . .

Dilruba Ahmed   Dilruba Ahmed
   When the Time Comes

   v18n2 | poetry

Every night, I trowel
a handful of soil
on the grave and still
it will not fill. . . .

Sumita Chakraborty   Sumita Chakraborty

   v18n2 | poetry

Was it I who invaded the day, or the day who invaded me?
                                                           I do, I undo, I redo.
I enlarged the figure till it was a mountain—I don’t fear the
                                                           and I cut off its head . . .

Kenneth Chacón   Kenneth Chacón
   Christ in a Cholo Stance

   v19n1 | poetry

Dreamer was the first to go to church.
I always knew he would be.
He was looking for premium mammon
        to redeem for cash at the Highway City pawnshop. He pried the steel bars of Christ’s Victorious Worship . . .

Amber McBride   Amber McBride
   For Colored Kids Building Up Their Bones

   v18n2 | poetry

A sign of summer the red strawberries on both of your knees            white salt lingering on the upper lip.
Old mattress under third-story windows, jumping spirit first,
one at a time, like wingless black doves. . . .

Felicity Sheehy   Felicity Sheehy
   At Ten

   v19n1 | poetry

I wanted to have a sheep farm in Vermont
with ten border collies. Floss and Phoebe,
Lucy and Rose: I could give you their names,
their colors and markings—I could say how
they’d thrill to my voice, come running . . .

James Tate   James Tate
   The Humming

   v19n1 | poetry

I had rented a little cabin on the lake. It was peaceful
and beautiful there, but there was very little to do, which
suited me fine. Moose came in the early morning to bathe
and drink and at night skunks rooted around for garbage . . .

This table of contents points to content in two issues, v19n1 and v18n2

A link to this “2020 Best of the Net Nominations” menu appears at the bottom of every page linked here.