About Grace Marotta

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So far Grace Marotta has created 27 blog entries.

To whom it may concern

Safeeyah Iverson

To Whom It May Concern,

To be blunt (because the time for propriety is long over), I am what a lot of you consider (and have said as much to my face) a different kind of black. I am what you are comfortable with. I represent what you think black people should be. I am the so-called difference between a black person and a nigger. But I am an adaptation. I am what my parents raised me to be so that I could survive in this country. And yet, when I see a police officer approaching me, I […]

To whom it may concern2020-06-15T16:12:51+00:00


Maureen Sherbondy

The student mentions her issue with run-offs. I picture storm water finding an exit from
the streets. Hog waste sneaking into a family well. Finally, I read her essay and see what she
means. Black letters have escaped the page’s margins, have fled from format and rectangular

“How do I keep them here?” she asks.

I suggest a lasso, rounding words up like cattle.

She shakes her head, says, “I’m no good at throwing and looping.”

Handing her a plastic bowl, I say, “Hold the Tupperware at the edge of the printer.”



Frederick Pollack

Town ignored by a highway
in that part of the country
(most of it) that went directly,
long since, from frontier to boonies.
Great rotting Victorians,
some rooming houses still among them.
At least no one asks if I’m “churched.”
I also wheezing, blimp-like, pale,
perhaps armed, can’t be entirely alien;
although someday they’ll ask,
inventing strangers where they can’t be found.
Meanwhile, in the boarded street
and crowded bars we carom off each other,
although we never touch. When was it
such places came to strike me as
creativogenic? When I lost
those address cards that rose and fell
like days, with a sort of resistance,
a pleasing […]


Reading Jack London on W. 137th St.

Matthew Dischner

Once, I stood on the banks of the Yukon
in the shadow of the Dalton Highway,
my father and I in holy silence
trying and failing to grasp the river’s
vast serenity,
nature’s border, the northern edge
of the civilized world.
Beyond, the Brooks Range
and the interior.

Today, I ate frozen lamb vindaloo
from Trader Joe’s.
The first bite was undercooked,
requiring another minute in the microwave.

About the Author

A disciple of the experimental humanities and freelance historian, Matthew Dischner’s writings mix his passion for poetry, deep historical knowledge, and obsession with the natural […]

Reading Jack London on W. 137th St.2020-06-09T15:38:02+00:00

Reading Jack London in the break room of the Trader Joe’s on 72nd and Broadway

Matthew Dischner

It is 10° F and my mustache is frozen,
exhaled condensation frosting my upper lip,
but still my jacket is undone
and I’m wearing shorts.
My life is white noise;
a steady howling of fans,
the scraping of ice on aluminum,
and my own growled exasperations
as I throw around 40 lb. boxes
of Mandarin orange chicken.

About the Author

A disciple of the experimental humanities and freelance historian, Matthew Dischner’s writings mix his passion for poetry, deep historical knowledge, and obsession with the natural world. A graduate of NYU’s recently transformed Draper […]

Reading Jack London in the break room of the Trader Joe’s on 72nd and Broadway2020-06-09T15:38:18+00:00

Quiz on Evening Sun

J. Marcus Weekley


Reason for being on Earth________________




4. Do you ever get tired of being alive?

a). Truth
b). False




4.  When you get to the end of your life, you see a building shaped like the Guggenheim Museum. If you haven’t been to the Guggenheim (pronounced Goo-Gen-Hime) Museum, stop and look it up on your phone right now. I’ll wait. Do you see how that building would look at the end of your life? Okay, now, you walk in, stare up from the bottom floor and see birds, hundreds […]

Quiz on Evening Sun2020-06-09T15:38:31+00:00

On the Octopus vulgaris of the Delphic Trench

Colin Bredenberg

The common octopus is renowned for its impressive intelligence. For instance, Octopus vulgaris has been observed in captivity to flatten itself and squeeze from its tank, sometimes traveling several meters through open air, in order to hunt fish in adjacent containers [1]. There are reports of puzzle- solving behavior [2], play [3], and long-term memory formation [4] in controlled experiments. In the wild, octopi have been observed engaging in complicated hunting tactics, employing the chromatophore pigment cells in their skin for both camouflage [5] and for communication during pack hunts [6]. On […]

On the Octopus vulgaris of the Delphic Trench2020-06-13T15:38:41+00:00

More Softness, Please

Dariana Guerrero

If I want you to touch me, I’ll let you know. You
will never. Be confused by the sigh of my breath
or the shape my palm makes when it aches for
comfort. In the loneliness emanating from the
blue screen, you think it is sexy for me to know
what your dick looks like. You think it is
necessary for me to know what your dick looks
like. You want me to know that you like Big
Beautiful Women, Big Bodied Women, Bold
Brave Women and then I know I do not want you
to touch me. I am convinced […]

More Softness, Please2020-06-09T15:38:43+00:00

Milwaukee Apartment

Ann M Lawrence

You left her and she took the bread.
But not just the bread, the chocolate syrup too,
leaving your peanut butter and your ice cream
bare. She left the camera you gave her for a holiday
and the diamonds for the years, but you came home
to find your bed sheet-less. Who did you think
you were kidding when you said
you’d be fine? She took the cat too.
You can still hear his face rubbing
the empty corners of your apartment walls.
You said you’d pawn the diamonds
to get more sheets and bread, but they’re still
sitting on your dresser, […]

Milwaukee Apartment2020-06-09T15:39:02+00:00

La Isla de Promesas

Dariana Guerrero

The touch
of experienced hands                       reaching,
searching for an answer
buried in a pit.

I thought I would remember my mother and brother
avoiding eye contact like disease was contractible
call the CDC
mi sangre
all the same
it’s the same
flows the same,
can’t change genetics
can’t slice chromosomes
can’t put masking tape on scars.
Papi wouldn’t have cried for me.

Allá y aquí
llorando y pensando.
The island is more
than bachata and subtle rejection.
The trick is to keep calm
in times of danger.
Papi will call.

I only needed
a shot of radiation.
Six days in a hospital bed
country code […]

La Isla de Promesas2020-06-18T16:12:20+00:00