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Dark Sky Magazine

Hotel

September 29, 2009

A Poem by Matt McBride

The maid, bent like a paperclip

isn’t here or is here.

Her plastic rosary

hanging from the neck of an empty Windex bottle.

On the wall

a pastel street scene and Barbara Bush.

Under a layer of dust

the carpeting is patterned with fleur-de-lis’

a fitting flag

for the aphasic dolphin

who helms the sad France of this slum.

Periodically, you’ll hear a TV turn on or off.

On a scalloped paper coaster

you write a psalm.

It starts,

Standing with one hand to smooth your hair

at a small window green with rain

and ends with an abandoned 55’ Plymouth Savoy

near the Golden Gate bridge.

A guilty wind

disturbs two feral cats, mid-coitus in the alley

which are really your shadow

which is really the ink held in these letters,

which is really a roundabout way of asking

will you be my stranger?

_______________________________________________

Matt McBride is a relatively recent graduate of Bowling Green State University’s MFA program. His chapbook, The Space between Stars, was released last March on Kent State’s Wick Poetry Press. Additionally, he has recently published work in Alice Blue, Cranky, Phoebe, Poet Lore, and The Toledo City Paper. He works as an instructor at Bowling Green State University, writing in the small margins his life allows.

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Tuesday’s Literary Briefing

September 29, 2009

Words In Dark Sky Magazine

Reading: An Eye Squinting Task

Language is our persuasion. And to commemorate our persuasion we present a series of articles on the written word: We may not agree with the writings of William Safire, but he’s proven that a college education is not required for weaving words and avoiding Sheridan’s Mrs. Malaprop. The Boston Globe treads daily in a pool of less-than-viral-words, Wikipedia might not exist without Samuel Johnson’s lexicography, and, in absolutely no honor of Mr. Johnson, Roman Polanski’s Wikipedia page has gone offline. P.J. O’Rourke — the quintessential Woodstock generation sellout — thinks the word “Altamont” defines Woodstock. Finally, In Case You Missed It, a review of strikingly old-century verbiage pits James Joyce in the same corner as The Atlantic . All told, it’s words to chew on. – Andrew Geer

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New Writing in Dark Sky Magazine

The following selections represent some of the best writing on the Web. DSM is not affiliated with these publications. We merely appreciate the hard work being done by the authors and the editors and wish to bring more light to their efforts. Every Monday we present to our readers essays, poems and stories from other literary magazines. Our goal is to showcase some of the Web’s strongest writing, and also serve as a literary hub for time-pinched, interested readers. Meanwhile, throughout the week, we will continue to publish our own stories, reviews, and poems. Enjoy. – The Editors

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Monday’s Body of Work

September 28, 2009

Naked Luch in Dark Sky Magazine

50 Years Of Service

Noir fiction uses society’s seedier side as a way to inform plots, characters, settings. It is generally a swift, brooding experience, flush with curt dames, snappy declaratives and  rain-soaked fedoras. When it is done well, Noir fiction is a cavalier vehicle that allows an author to describe a particular social injustice, give it a name and drive it down a harrowing stretch of road. Naked Lunch, which recently turned 50, has elements of Noir. Read more in Pop Matters. James Ellroy is an undisputed master, as is PD James. And they each made the news today. Dennis Lehane sets his crime-laced fables in Boston’s rough and tumble neighborhoods. Recently he edited an anthology of Boston Noir. Speaking of Boston, Ronan Noone, an Irish cum American playwright, is enjoying applause in his adopted city. If Noir’s not your thing, skip over to The New Yorker, which reflects on Sam Haskins’ provocative photo essays. Or, if you’re hungry, the News-Gazette has a tasty read on the food writing of John T. Edge. Masterpiece Comics turns literary classics into cartoons, and a new book about raconteur Mario Savio is reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Finally, longtime language man William Safire died yesterday. His copy, insight and punchy attitude made the world a more rewarding place, for readers both on the left and the right side of his politics. — Kevin Murphy

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Genie Bottle in Dark Sky Magazine

First Wish? A Caption

The first question most people ask about Dark Sky Magazine is do we publish a print version. Not what type of writing we publish, or which authors have contributed, but whether or not a reader can hold in his hands a copy of our publication. This never fails to impress upon me the power and familiarity of the printed page. Online magazines have come a long way. Featured writing, consistent readership and Web site designs have made leaps and bounds. But print remains king, at least for now.

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Friday’s Footnote

September 25, 2009

Poetry Contest in Dark Sky Magazine

DSM Poetry Contest Update

DSM Poetry Contest

To all those who have submitted poems to our first annual poetry contest, Thank You. We are encouraged by your enthusiasm and talent. Seriously, the work thus far has been great reading. For those who have not yet submitted, please do so soon. We are only accepting 300 applications. Doing so gives us plenty of time to sort, select and determine our winner. Spots are going fast. So again, if you want to participate in our contest, in which the grand prize winner will see a book of his or her poems published, send your submissions today.

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Friday’s Literary Grab Bag

September 25, 2009

Faulkner in Dark Sky Magazine

The Day The Great Faulkner Arrived

When we celebrate a person’s birthday, it’s more the person than the day that we’re celebrating. September 25th, after all, is an arbitrary date. But when you attach to it William Faulkner’s name, the day becomes significant. And so it is that today we tip our hats to Mr. Faulkner, certainly one of history’s most formidable authors. In other news, banned books have about them the air of scandal, even if they’re not terribly scandalous. What is scandalous these days, anyway? The Daily Titan takes a closer look. What happens when a bunch of writers get together? They judge their peers, that’s what. See who makes the cut as writers determine the rank of their fellow scribes. Mr. Poet goes to Hollywood in the New York Review of Ideas, Anselm Berrigan has a new book of verse published by City Lights, and Nabokov’s cribbed edits are found on the pages of The Metamorphoses. Finally, on this day of honor, The Millions, perhaps getting a little ahead of themselves, makes a list of this millennium’s finest pieces of literature — thus far. It’s a splendid day for literature, this September 25th. Just remember why. — Kevin Murphy

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Secondary Search

September 24, 2009

Burning House in Dark Sky Magazine

A Short Story by Josh Maday

Before going in, Bobby stood at the door, took in big cleansing breaths, and then lowered his nose to sample the air. Even though he couldn’t smell anything, he knew the odor was there, hanging around him like shreds of an old garment. After standing still and savoring another moment of peace, he opened the door and went inside.

Marcy sat leafing through a catalog. She’d already cleared the table except for a plate and silverware in front of his chair.

“Stuff’s in the fridge,” she said.

“Yep.”

“You’ll have to reheat it.” She continued flipping pages as he unlaced his boots.

“You stink,” she said and covered her face with her hand.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald in Dark Sky Magazine

The Eternal Flame

Coinciding with our thoughts on eternal life, we take a moment to recognize the birthday of one of America’s greatest writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Everything that can be said about Fitzgerald has most likely already been said. So we will leave it up to the archives. Check out his obituary from the Associated Press.

HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 22 (AP) Scott Fitzgerald, novelist, short-story writer and scenarist, died at his Hollywood home yesterday. He was forty-four years old. He suffered a heart attack three weeks ago.

Wrote of “Lost Generation”

F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have invented the so-called “younger generation” of two decades ago. At any rate, he was the most articulate writer about the rich, young set which was also variously referred to as “the lost generation” and the “post-war generation,” and as such he acquired a reputation far out of proportion to his works, which were limited to four novels and several volumes of short stories.

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Thursday’s Flurry of Words

September 24, 2009

Eternal Life in Dark Sky Magazine

"Now This Is Eternal Life"

Our time on Earth is fleeting. We must do the most with what we have: Maxims that’ve been installed in our hardwire since adolescence. And of course they’re true. But another indelibly human trait is to test boundaries, to reach beyond, into the unknown. Scientists around the globe are talking feverishly about extending our life expectancy. Read more in Vision. The Informers, a book about a dying man and his estranged son, is dissected in the Complete Review. The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded in October and the winner’s name will live forever. Contemporary literature is given a new life — in comics. The NY Daily News has more. One man’s waste is another man’s book deal. No Impact chronicles a family’s decision to go without toilet paper for a year. The result: international fame. Who knew it was that easy. And finally, a critic from The Guardian steps into his time machine and revisits Cormac McCarthy’s 1985 classic, Blood Meridian, a nihilistic tale with nothing to live for. Except itself. — Kevin Murphy

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