Weekend Rumpus Roundup


First, Diana Whitney reviews Cynthia Cruz’s poetry collection, Wunderkammer, meaning “cabinet of curiosities.” This is a book of “delicious… detail.” Cruz’s poems, Whitney declares, “have a wry sense of humor that tempers the traumas they reveal.” The poet, who was born in Germany, transports readers from Berlin to upstate New York, from death to madness to redemption.

Then, in a new “Albums of Our Lives,” Joshua Harmon commemorates the scariest day of the year with a story of bittersweet nostalgia from a Halloween past. As a senior in high school, Harmon and a pair of mischievous friends go cruising, spraying passersby with silly string. A wonderfully appropriate trio of songs from The Pixies’s classic album Surfer Rosa punctuates the teenage tricksters’ afternoon.

And last, in the Sunday Essay, Cathy Bell walks her dog, alone, in a frigid night, hoping to escape the pain of recurring migraines. Bell’s separation from her mother accents the terrible loneliness of her headaches, though there is hope. She writes: “The brilliance of the moon makes the whole yard glow electric indigo… I’m shivering, but… grateful to have seen the cold blue hue.”

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →