Japanude

By Josh deLacy

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I got naked with a bunch of old men and tried to figure out how to wash my booty without insulting anyone, and that pretty much sums up my trip to Japan.

Everything that happened in those two weeks happened in the public bath. The furtive glances, the failed attempts to blend in, the unfamiliarity and the discovery and the bafflement and even the necessity of it all. I was in Japan for Calvin’s wedding, and I was in the Kyoto bathhouse because after three days of sweating in ninety percent humidity, lugging a thirty-five pound backpack through streets and temples and shrines, and sleeping in parks and train stations, I smelled worse than nattō.

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Cover to Cover with . . . Bruce Bauman (author of Broken Sleep)

By Jordan Blum & Bruce Bauman

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bruce-bauman_0Bruce Bauman, an instructor in the CalArts MFA Writing Program, released his second novel, Broken Sleep, last year on Other Press. Chronicling both the individual struggles and tense interrelationships between several family members (via several shifting perspectives), it’s a humorous yet heartfelt saga that touches on several themes, including the search for identity, the uncertainties of religious devotion, and the quest to fulfill one’s purpose in life. In this first episode of Cover to Cover with . . . , Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum speaks with Bauman about the book, as well as the processes of writing and teaching, what it’s like having a visual artist as a spouse, the importance of music, and the 2016 election, among other things.

 


– Bruce Bauman

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The Caged Man

By Grant Price

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The first few seconds were always the best. Before consciousness fully returned and he remembered where he was. The Caged Man couldn’t say how many times he’d awoken to see the cold black bars, water bottle and bucket. It had to be over five hundred. When he’d first arrived, he had kept a careful count. Then one morning he realised that he’d forgotten the number. It was probably better that way. Time was relative and it was heavy enough without needing to remind himself of how long he’d already been there. Sometimes it got to him, the boredom. On those days he would bang his head against the bars and scream at the dim room beyond until he felt faint and collapsed like a marionette with its strings cut.

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Father and Son and Holy Ghost

By Scott Pomfret

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I’ll come right to the point, since we have so little precious time left: I hate you with a passion. I want you dead.  I can hardly forgive myself for coming here after all these years.  But you’re the only remaining connection to my dead son, so here I am.  On your doorstep.  In the flesh.  Pleased to make your acquaintance.

Flesh.  Sins of the flesh.  Thoughts of men coupling.  I can hardly get myself around the mechanics of it.

My skin revolts.  My gorge rises.  My eyes go blind.  This is not the purpose of a man’s body.  This is not the reason I sired a son.  I brought him on earth to cure cancer, to make me proud, to sire my grandsons, and because I didn’t know anything better to do and I wanted to sleep with his mother.  

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Two Minutes

By Alice Martin

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Lin heard it takes two minutes and she counts the time in imperfections.

A chip in the paint above her single long dorm-issued bed. A tear in the cardboard cover of her college-lined notebook. A pinprick of a pimple on the inside of her pale upper thigh. The knowledge that she still hasn’t read the first three parts of Oedipus at Colonus, a discussion of which will be held in her Classics class three hours from now. Three hours. 180 minutes. 10800 seconds. 90 sets of two minutes. A lifetime of time.

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