Issue 2.2 Christopher Lowe

The Over-Thirty League by Lou Gaglia
“Jesse told me about the over-thirty softball series…”

The Kid Next Door by Zeke Jarvis
“On Tuesday, the neighbors ask Justin to threaten to eat their child…”

What Gets Worn by Jesse Waters
“I needed a suit. I was twenty-four and didn’t have one.”

What You Feed Me by Kelsey Liebenson-Morse
“1. Caramelized Frog’s Hollow Farm peaches and roasted fingerling potatoes….”

Sport by Christopher Lowe
“My father was not a sports fan…`”

Multiple Choice by Matthew Gavin Frank
“A couple of things: 1) At about the same time Grandma Ruth died, my sister…

Gone by Krista Christensen
“I swallow the Xanax like I could swallow truth with it…”

Yo Mama So Fat by Karen Craigo
“If I fall, I’ll make an earthquake.”

Siberia by Sasha West
“The dirt, the rust, the anchored ships, the gangways frozen.”

Museum of Natural History #37, Helen {Keller} by Sasha West
“She launched a thousand stares, a thousand words on the sea of her hands…”

Billy Sunday’s Revival Tent by David Salner
“All summer, light towers blaze,
reflect off sweat.”

Good Vibrations by Daniel Romo
“Who expects lessons from a buff Boston boy.”

Driving at Night in the Rain by Sarah Hulyk Maxwell
“We find ourselves suddenly over open water.”

A lady never wears panty hose with runners by Sarah Hulyk Maxwell
“our stockings classify
us: nonladies.”

$25 Statutory Witness Fee by Sarah Hulyk Maxwell
“I hear the lawyer use the term spiderwebbing to describe her head…”

Meanwhile by Jessica Goodfellow
“Here is a photo of my second son.”

Proper Abcedarian 6: January by Devon Miller-Duggan
“Another bandage, another look-every-stranger-in-the-eyes…”

Proper Abcedarian 1: Turns by Devon Miller-Duggan
“And fall and the light tasting of good scotch, like belief….”

Ill-Suited by Christopher Dollard
“At the mall, the suits I try on for my best friend’s wedding remind me…”

She Went Into the Lobby For a Box of Junior Mints by Gregory Crosby
“The warm & the cool, the embrace & the gaze, the entangled…”

How Did Your Father Spend His Spare Time? by Ace Boggess
“It was the 70s, & I too young to learn gamble…”



My father was not a sports fan, though he coached soccer for a year at the high school where he taught English and German. He only did it, I think, because someone asked, and he had a hard time saying no to such requests.

It’s nearly spring now, and I’m thinking of baseball, of Coach Foley who said I should try out even without ever having played. I spent the season on the bench, handling the box score. At practice, my throws from right field piddled away from my cut-off man. In the dugout, I sat on an overturned bucket and marked balls and strikes with a nubby pencil. I chewed sunflower seeds, spitting a mound of shells at my feet while my friends worked vigorously at the chaw they weren’t supposed to use.

My daughter settles a basket on her head, says “Football game, Daddy,” and I think of visiting my father’s classroom, of how his students called me “Little Hrothgar” in honor of my father, their king.

He played violin in the Mississippi Symphony. I tried to play, too, for a year, though the movements were awkward, my elbows tremoring the bow and leaving only screeching half-notes that led my teacher to shake his head, reposition my arms, instruct me to try again. “You just have to keep practicing,” he said. “It’s like hitting a baseball.” But that, too, was something I could not do.

In professional football, the indelible presence is always a player, usually a quarterback. College football in the south is different. The players trade out every three-five years, but the coaches stay longer, especially if they’re successful. They are the lasting images. The paternal coach is always front and center. Nick Saban, the stern disciplinarian. Mark Richt, a warm, generous presence. “Who is that?” my daughter asks, pointing to the screen. “That’s Coach Freeze,” I say. “He’s our coach.”

My mother tells me that he loved The Brothers Karamazov, and so I try to read it, but the words decommit from the page, and I am left with a jumble of markings that must be what my daughter sees when she sits in my lap for a Braves game watching me note balls and strikes on a ragged notepad. Is there meaning in these scrawls? Will she one day be able to make these marks as I do? I am asking you, does this X tell the story of the 3-2 pitch and can this book show me who my father was?

My daughter is learning how to ride her bike. She struggled for a time with pedaling, though now she seems to have mastered that skill. Still, she cannot ride in a straight line. Her right arm tugs at the handlebars, turning the bike as she locks her eyes on the pedals. She is so fascinated by picking up speed that she doesn’t notice the looping curve. If she starts riding on the right side of our street, she runs into the curb, so I begin her on the left side, where she pedals vigorously, churning herself into a tilt that arcs back toward home. I know that this, too, is a temporary movement.

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