Weekend Rumpus Roundup


In the Saturday essay, “Broken Bird: Reflections on The Upside of Anger,” Kathryn Buckley notes similarities between the film, starring Keri Russell, and her own experiences—both she and Russell’s character struggled with anorexia. When Buckley finds herself in an MFA program, something clicks. She is “peaceful again” and finally able to reassure her mother that she is going to be okay.

Then, in a review of Carrie Fountain’s second collection, Instant Winner, Caitlin Mackenzie focuses on the poet’s reliance on faith. Fountain’s poems “spark and flare… off the page.” By examining the body through the vehicle of prayer, Fountain attains an undeniable wisdom. The language is no less fiery for its ceaseless questioning.

Finally, in the Sunday Essay, Maggie May Ethridge takes us on a lyrical journey back to her childhood in Pacific Beach, California. Ethridge’s family lives in a studio apartment bordering an ominous, forbidden alley. Her father—a “great man,” a “beautiful man”—is also “the scariest man I’d ever seen.” She shies away from him, even as she is drawn to him (much like the alleyway). Ethridge recalls venturing into the nearby alley for the first time, in a gesture of childlike rebellion, and finding a homeless man:

 I moved from the center place, the heart and gut place where I was afraid, where I was trapped in this alley in this box in this body with this man, and I moved upward and out the top of my head and gently encouraged my body to move.

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 →