Author: Michael Konik

Poem: The Guy in the Seat Next to You [Dodger Stadium Suite]

The challenge for a poet at the ball game is a triplicate predicament. He must not swoon over the greenness of the grass. He must not view every little lovely detail as a metaphor waiting to be transcribed for posterity. He must not recite rambling stories with no discernible point except to subtly imply it...

The Aversive Clause

Subscribers to literary journals and supports of indie presses know that the short story is enjoying a literary renaissance. The form is alive and well — thriving, actually. We could list dozens of writers currently creating masterful, indelible work. One of these bright young lights is B.C. Edwards, whose debut collection “The Aversive Clause” illustrates...

The Joy of Standing

More than four years ago, we got rid of the desk chair in our office, replacing the old  cushioned throne with a Swiss ball, one of those large, semi-squishy orbs that force the sitter to engage her core. The ball did wonders for our back. But the old sitting problem persisted: our hip flexors, locked in an...

Boycott. Divest. Sanction.

We gladly take this (dwindling) opportunity to exercise our constitutionally protected right to free speech. Having reviewed the issue comprehensively, having read journalism, essays, and fiction and poetry authored by people of myriad perspectives, we’ve formed an opinion. We think Israel’s ongoing policies regarding Palestine are immoral. In our view, Israel’s behavior amounts to a...

A Catalogue of The Further Suns

An imaginary “precis of reports compiled by the preliminary survey expeditions,” F.J. Bergmann’s “A Catalogue of the Further Suns” is the most memorable book we’ve read in years. It’s magic, a work of inspired genius, and the less we attempt to describe this singular creation, the better it becomes. Each “report” is a brief prose-poem...

A Place to Live, a Place to Poop

Unless you suffer from Crohn’s disease or chronic incontinence, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to make your next bowel movement. Unless you work in a coal mine or an outlaw asbestos factory, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to get your next breath of clean air. If, however, you live...

A Cure for Wellness

The modern horror movie typically involves copious amounts of spilled blood and tortured screaming. The old-fashioned scary movie, on the other hand, involves few on-screen glimpses of violence and loads of tension-producing psychology. Think Hitchcock. “A Cure for Wellness” belongs in this second category. Manned by Gore Verbinski, on vacation from overseeing the “Pirates of...

Elegy for American Values

Every year around this time, as we gather to overeat and watch “bombs bursting in air” — and what better way to symbolize America’s chief national fetish? — our celebrations of liberation from the British Crown offer an opportunity to review some of the reasons why it’s great to be an American. Aside from a ridiculously...

Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck

The latest book from investigative journalist Brian Saady examines America’s hypocritical — and absurdly foolish — gambling laws. In “Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck,” Saady exposes how corrupt politicians, working in cooperation with select casinos and organized crime, enrich themselves and bankrupt (or imprison) others, all the while touting their moral niceties. Meticulously...

What We Intend to Do Whether You Like it Or Not: The 7500 Sunset Boulevard PR Campaign Begins

The Sunset Square community in which we live is an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) filled with 100-year-old craftsman bungalows and arboreal sidewalks. It’s also home to an elementary school, hundreds of happy dogs, and thousands of residents who appreciate the pedestrian-friendly character of our idyllic, family-oriented district. For more than a year, a coalition of...