Music Heard in Hi-Fi

By Noel Alumit

The soundtrack of Maybe Someday was first heard in a small house on Vendome Avenue. It was eventually heard in homes on Council, Reno, Dillon, and Union. The music of this hit Broadway musical was heard in cars driving north on Rampart, turning right on Temple street, then stopping at a parking lot in Bahay Kubo, a popular hang out in Historic Filipinotown—Hi-Fi for short—in Los Angeles, Ca. At Bahay Kubo, the music of Maybe Someday was heard on the loudspeakers, a boot-legged video of the musical played on a large TV in the restaurant.

Filipino men and women sang along, including the old manongs and …

THRESHOLD

EDITORIAL
Threshold by Nita Noveno & Sara Lippmann
INTERVIEWS
Chris Tarry by Sara Lippmann
Laurel Fantauzzo by Nita Noveno
FICTION
Music Heard in Hi-Fi by Noel Alumit
In the Beginning by Victoria Brown
A Handbook for Single Mothers by Jen Knox
Gray Area by Krista Madsen
The Forestiera by Cynthia Blake Thompson
NON-FICTION
Back Home by Ben Tanzer
In the Making by Kari Nguyen
An Unlikely Pilgrimage by Jennifer McGaha
POETRY
that voice by …

“It’s a cold inhospitable place, but you should go”: in conversation with Chris Tarry

At the Sunday Salon, we’ve had the immense pleasure of hosting Chris Tarry twice – as musical guest and as featured author. His debut collection, How to Carry Bigfoot Home, came out this March from Red Hen Press with glowing blurbs from Jim Shepard, Pamela Erens, Roy Kesey, and Matt Bell. The Masters Review’s Kim Winterheimer writes, “Each of his stories is laced with humor and heart.” And Stefan Merrill Block says, “What would happen if some mad scientist were able to fuse the otherworldly exuberance of H.P. Lovecraft with the nuanced pathos of John Cheever? The result would be a dazzling, explosive, and inexhaustible new kind of illumination: a …

Non-Belonging and Eternal Adaptation: An Interview with Laurel Fantauzzo

Her artist statement reveals this: “much of her work finds her studying appetites, identity, the signals for real love, and the search for home.” Born in Southern California to a Filipina mother and an Italian-American father, Laurel Fantauzzo has lived in Brooklyn, Manila, and Iowa over the past few years. Currently, she calls Quezon City, Philippines home and teaches at Ateneo de Manila University. She is well-acquainted with starting over and telling stories from the margins. Largely a nonfiction writer and an essayist, Laurel also writes young adult fiction. Poet Hossannah Asuncion describes Laurel’s writing as “lyrical and technically elegant—what makes it glorious is the kindness that is imbued within …

An Unlikely Pilgrimage

By Jennifer McGaha

Admittedly, the Midwest is an unlikely place for a pilgrimage. In the vast and wide-open landscape, one doesn’t have the sense so much of going inward, but rather of being exposed, flayed open like a trout. Had I had more money or more time to contemplate my path, I might have gone to Lumbini or hiked the El Camino. As it were, it had been less than a week since I had applied for a semester-long teaching position at a rural Illinois university. I had interviewed via Skype, received an offer, grabbed a few essential items—my mountain bike, my dog, my computer—and headed west. I …

THRESHOLD

Plank of wood, metal, stone beneath the door. A boundary. An opening. The point at which something begins or changes. That “there, we’ve arrived; now, let’s cross over” moment. Consider the threshold of pain, of love, of language. What happens when you approach, remain, and/or take a step to the other side?

This issue’s collection of prose and poetry starts in one place—a mindset, an emotion, a room, a life—and moves toward another. We’re excited to present fourteen contrasting, beautiful voices that respond to the question: “What’s next?”

-Nita Noveno and Sara Lippmann, the Editors

Pünktlichkeit

By Erika Dreifus

with thanks to Steven M. Lowenstein

 

My father’s parents were Germans,

and they were Jews,

and they were born long ago,

one just before and one just after

the outbreak of the war

that was to end all wars,

but didn’t.

 

They came to New York in ’37 and ’38,

met and married and had a son.

From them, I have inherited

copies of Der Struwwelpeter

and Buddenbrooks,

a fondness for Riesling,

and pünktlichkeit.

 

Pünktlichkeit is beyond punctuality.

It is showing up ahead of time for movies,

meetings, and medical appointments;

submitting papers and assignments

safely before their deadlines;

and returning books to the library

at least one day prior to their due dates.

 

Pünktlichkeit is a preemptive way of life,

and not everyone admires it.

Even Rabbi Breuer of Frankfurt,

later …

A Car Ride of Second Chances

By Len Kuntz

It was my therapist’s idea. Ordinarily, he merely listened, taking a note or two during our sessions, but I could tell my exhibitions of misery were frustrating him, which is why he came up with the suggestion last week.

When I objected, he said, “Don’t forget, you’ve made mistakes in your marriage, too.”

That poison dart stung. I felt a moment of betrayal, but then realized the irony of my thinking—me, who’d been the unfaithful one.

I call our lawyers before leaving to tell them my wife and I are just trying to get out of town for a couple of days, drive to Portland–where people are less likely to …

Come Loose and Fly Away

By Kathy Fish

It begins like this: The baby is red and wrinkled and squalling or bleating like a lamb. The baby has lots of hair or none at all. It has the face of a bulldog. Or Winston Churchill. The baby looks wise beyond his years. The baby’s fists are clenched, his toes, splayed. He’s terrified and vulnerable and angry.

The baby is weighed, his dimensions and poundage announced as if he were a prize bass. He is wrapped and held and cried over.

The baby grows. The baby gets fat. When the world pushes, the baby starts to push back. He smiles. He gurgles. He grabs hold of hair and …

He-Man and a Girl Named Larry

By Rae Bryant

I’m a crack shot, you know. That’s how he says it. We’re moving lettuces around on our plates at a sunny little outdoor café off Dupont Circle. It’s charming and sexy and creepy, the crack part. I don’t know exactly how to respond. Lovely? Next time I need a sniper, I’ll give you a call? We’ve waded through the I’m sorry, I love you. Just want to understand. Explain it to me. It would have been okay but for the rooms upstairs. We’re past fucking. Fucking can’t fix us now and so the rooms remind me we’re past the point of fixing with fucking so fucking now …

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