Prairie Schooner is a fine magazine (even if they did take over 5 months to respond to my most recent submission). The most recent issue, Fall 2005, has several excellent pieces. One of my favorites is a story by William Black, Midnight Thoughts on the Law of Probability.
Another fine story is “Something Will Grow” by Alden Jones, a friend of mine from an Under the Volcano workshop a couple of years ago.
“I have this little girl that I take care of now. Erika, and only today did she snag on me and make me think that my daughter would have been just her size by now. Big enough to fight and think an original thought. Six years old. I had Erika in the shower, she looked like she could use a wash, and while I’m soaping up her tight, flat belly she turns around and starts soaping mine and right there was the snag.”
Some interesting poetry, too. Here’s a snippet from “Writer’s Lament” by Alice Friman:
The trouble is, I’m distracted.
So many trees pressing their October
to my window, waggling for attention,
demanding fitting adjectives for each leaf
before Hail Mary and the letting go.
Each red emergency, each shimmy
and sail insisting on a proper obituary
while the longleaf pine
sporting their short-lived immortality
want documents to that effect.
I’ve tried turning away
only to face four walls filled with
boredom and abandoned poems
not to mention reruns of old movies
starring me as Mother Teresa
or Emma Bovary. But when I finally
get around to forgive my excesses
and sharpen my sixty pencils, I hear
this desperate rustling outside, and the
suicidal thunk of falling nuts and cones
and realize how much I’m needed–shrink
and lexicographer of woody plants–
my job, my job.
Next Up: Washington Square