> Ploughshares. The lead story in the Winter 2005-06 issue is “Talk” by Ann Beattie. I didn’t love it. In fact I can’t say I loved any of the fiction in this issue, which includes short stories by Ron Carlson, Katherine Taylor and Alice Hoffman. The website is interesting, though, because there is, supposedly, a different selection of the issue available each day, so in theory you could log on every day and read the whole issue online. If you wanted to. There is an amusing poem by David Kirby, though. Here’s one stanza from “A Fine Frenzy”:

In the museums, we see many odalisques
in the tradition of Raphael and Titian and Canova
and Manet and Ingres, not to mention quite a few
statues of the type that were supposed to have
so deceived poor John Ruskin that it was
a marriage-ending shock to him when he saw his wife
naked on their wedding night and realized real women
aren’t all sleek and hairless, um, down there.

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