Introduction

Pull aside the portiere and you’ll see all these models of the universe – stacked up neatly, some interlocking in places, but mostly competing for infinities in tinier and tinier spaces. Replicas of cold droughts, just-born pups, reproductive organs, and the kettle on. On and on. These things don’t run on batteries. The juice they need is just a bit of your indivisible attention.

Here in issue 9, River River once again features work from all over the world, as well as some from the writers and artists we have the pleasure of seeing at our literary events here in the Hudson Valley. Our editors were thrilled to accept so many quality pieces from this past submissions window, and we hope to see more and more as we head into curating our tenth issue and topping a million views.

As an independent journal and community arts non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we are grateful for the support of many people. Our thanks especially to Ken Herndon and David e. Bell for web design and support. Thanks to our friends at Cuppa Pulp Writers’ Space, CSU’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, Manhattanville CollegeSeranam Literary Arts, Patisserie Didier Dumas, the Nyack Library, 95 1/2 Main, and the Nyack Chamber of Commerce for co-hosting literary events and writing salons. Much gratitude to ArtsWestchester and the New York State Council for the Arts, which awarded grant funding for our 2019 readings series. Thanks to all the writers and artists who sent us submissions for this issue; we appreciated the opportunity to see your work. Huge thanks to our board of directors and recent donors for your contributions to the literary arts. And to our members, for whom all this inspiration flows.

Find us on Twitter and Instagram (@riverriverlit) and Facebook (River River Writers Circle). Thanks for reading!

All best,

A. Anupama


Prose
HOW TO DECOMPOSE
Chloe Manchester
THE FORENSICS TEACHER
Alastair Murdoch
THE NEW NORMAL
David Weinberger
New London
Ava Robinson
COMMUNION
Thomas Jacobs
RAISING FRED
Ruth Gilmour
THE GREAT PIG ESCAPE
Angelique Fawns
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN DARTMOUTH AND TREMONT
Brett Murphy Hunt
SLOPE AND SINE
John Maki

Poetry
TEN-DAY FORECAST
Scott Russell Morris
VINEGAR VALLEY
Bonnie Thibodeau
CAMPGROUND GROCER
Jeremy S. Ford
COMFORT
Bel Simek
THE ICE COUNTRY
Laurinda Lind
CHILLÓNA II
Mateo Lara
STOLEN
Jorge Blanco
BEDRIDDEN
Fredrica Wyman
AFTER CHEMO
Tracy Rice Weber
10 PEOPLE-ANIMALS
Alenka Jovanovski
TERRA COGNITA
Karen Tsakos
HANACHIRISATO
Angela Gabrielle Fabunan
MY GYNECOLOGIST HAS A PLASTIC MODEL OF A FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
Celeste Rose Wood
MY DAUGHTERS, WHEN I DIE
Lisa M. Kendrick
MOTHER’S TONGUE
Alenka Jovanovski
AN AESTHETE’S NAILS AND HAMMER
Yan An, translated by Chen Du
YOU CAN’T EARN MEDICAID
Celeste Rose Wood
GUN POEM
Bel Simek
3 POEMS
Iztok Osojnik
DOORPOST
Jóanes Nielsen, translated by Matthew Landrum with Tóta Árnadóttir
GRAVEYARD SHIFTED NO 20190108
Lucas Hargis
I’M 23 AND I’M WEARING A WHITE KURTA
Sreyash Sarkar
AN ENTIRE WEDNESDAY OF RAIN
Scott Russell Morris

cover image: “Shawangunk Trees” by Francesco Fiondella