Weekend Rumpus Roundup


Thanksgiving is still three weeks away, but it’s never too early to express our gratitude. MariNaomi shows us how it’s done with a concise list of the things she is thankful for, which includes “the tenacity of young me, who kept at it for so long.”

An excerpt from writer and cartoonist John Dermot Woods’s new “illustrated compendium,” The Baltimore Atrocities, brims with macabre mysteries. The two dark anecdotes, “Holiday Party” and “First In Line At The Peep Show,” sound the unknowable depths of the human psyche.

Then, in “Dog Lab,” Jean Kim offers a meditation on the sacrifices we make for family and for our careers. Kim’s father, a troubled anesthesiologist, decides to give away the family’s beloved Shih Tzu, Maggie. Years later, the unacknowledged emotional pain of Maggie’s disappearance becomes immediate when Kim is asked to dissect a live dog for one of her classes in medical school. Kim writes:

I never said Maggie leaving was wrong. I didn’t stop it. As a silent conspirator to my father’s control, I thought it was the only way, even if my sorrow roiled unacknowledged, unassailed for years.

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 →