I Am the Ghost Here
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Kim Samek
1w ago
Photo by Bob Price via Pexels It is not until my older brother is thirty-three that I learn he’s controlled by a puppeteer. The truth comes out during a family emergency, when Jeff is unable to summon the puppeteer on short notice and must appear as himself for the first time. I don’t immediately recognize my brother as he hurries through the automatic doors of the hospital. He’s usually an alpha male, a founder who takes big strides and has a deep, booming voice, but this man is impatient, whiny, nervous, twitchy, weird. Normally my brother greets me with a compliment about my appearance. “Lo ..read more
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Extraction
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Tali Perch
2w ago
Image via Flickr I first remember being ashamed of my teeth at five. We were guests at the wedding of my second cousin to a man who looked like Tim Curry as Johnny LaGuardia. I was hopelessly in love with the groom, who, for a former Soviet Jew, had strangely white and perfectly straight teeth. While posing arm in arm with his bride for the wedding photographer, he playfully pulled me into the photo, tried to tease and tickle a smile out of me. I squealed, giggled, exasperated the photographer, until I heard Mama shout: “Zakroy rotik!” (“Shut your little mouth!”) Hide my rotting nubs. My teeth ..read more
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Exodus
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Ayesha Raees
1M ago
Illustration by Anne Le Guern Once is still burial. The rain closes                on gravel, cementing solid a sterile garden.                The gravestones already chipping.                Fresh out of detonation, a reddening horizon beats                the map into tongue, censoring the sun &nb ..read more
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Hospital Journal
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Kathryn Savage
1M ago
Image from The Ecological Relations of Roots “Once my father became someone transformed and once I was a part of transforming him, into ash, into pollution, into bagged teeth sent away, the world of what was out of sight would not stay gone,” Kathryn Savage writes in Groundglass, a book-length essay about her father’s death from cancer and its likely connection to environmental contamination. As she navigates her grief and weighs the consequences of having lived on the fencelines of industry, Savage visits a number of Superfund sites that complicate the scale of her loss. Reckoning with crises ..read more
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Fake Plastic Trees
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Jennifer Gersten
1M ago
Near Rjukan, Norway. Image: Josefine S. via Flickr The Beatles were the first to bring Norwegian trees to my attention, though the profound cultural insight I was hoping to glean while listening to “Norwegian Wood” on my one-way flight to Oslo was not to be. The title appears in the same sentence within the first and last stanzas — as the cheap yet chic material from which a paramour says her furniture is built — and is acknowledged nowhere else. Still, the idea of Norway’s trees and forests retained a certain mystery. Now, after several months in the country, I can say that the forests I have ..read more
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Diary of My Leg Hair
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Adrian Lu
1M ago
Photo by hybridnighthawk on Unsplash At first, I believed it was an intrusion — the dark, prickly hairs emerging from a landscape of undifferentiated pores. There was no one to consult. My parents were at work, like always, leaving me alone in the house. To pass the time, I pressed my leg hair between my fingers. I gnawed on it like grass; I teased it, combed it, tried to impose some sort of order on what was otherwise a wilderness. When the light was at its strongest, I plucked a single hair and watched its edges glow a deep red. Where did you come from? Why are you here? I speak to my leg ha ..read more
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From Couplets
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Maggie Millner
1M ago
Photo by sophie & cie via Flickr Listen: Your browser does not support the audio element.Click here for the mp3. All my life I’ve shown up late.              But when I do, I compensate for my delay — I laugh and preen and carry on              as if I had been present all along. I stayed in utero, for instance, two              weeks after I was due, then came out so decisively and fast  &nbs ..read more
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Awa’s Story
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Hinemoa Jones
1M ago
Photo by Fayette A. Reynolds, MS, via Flickr “Awa’s Story” follows several generations of mothers to trace a family line interrupted by white man’s indoctrination. At the center of the narrative is Awa, a Māori child who signifies the rupture — the estrangement from tradition and mother tongue — in ancestral connection. Interspersed with Māori words, this musical, mournful piece plays with language and pivots to English translations halfway through: Awa becomes River when she meets a white man. Written by Hinemoa Jones and published in Ora Nui 4: Māori Literary Journal, “Awa’s Story” is a dolo ..read more
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Yellowstone
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Casey Guerin
2M ago
Photo by cottonbro studio via Pexels I see my husband standing on the edge of an overpass on the 101 Freeway, on the news channel that he keeps the TV tuned to at all hours. I’ve watched so many of these segments over the last few months that even though I recognize his dirty blue bathrobe, it takes me a minute to understand. I rush to my car to drive to him, to talk him down, to reassure him that we’ll figure it out, that everything will be okay, though it certainly won’t be. But there’s traffic — always in LA, there’s traffic — so I leave my car and run the rest of the way, horns honking, ga ..read more
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Gravitational Constant
Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
by Alicia Mountain
2M ago
Illustration by Anne Le Guern Listen: Your browser does not support the audio element.Click here for the mp3. Even after some time, I am still the weeping wound in the houseplant, tearing easily. Nudged — even slightly — and the stem is snapped. I expected more from everyone I’ve loved. Strangers — I’m talking to you, too. I loved you most of all.                                          &nbs ..read more
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