Please welcome Kristen Iskandrian to Big Other. Kristen’s work has been published in a number of places: Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Memorious, American Letters & Commentary, Mississippi Review online, Fifty-Two Stories, and elsewhere. She has a PhD in English from University of Georgia, where she currently teaches literature and creative writing, and keeps a blog where she currently fools around.
Check out her imaginative story “The Geology” at 52 Stories right now. Here’s the first paragraph:
I began to turn mineral last year, the year my mother left. Really, it probably started much earlier, this fossilizing, at birth or before, and had to work its way through so many striations of body to be seen and felt. My first and only visible cues were my feet, about two months after she’d gone: tiny cracks, like in playground dirt, spreading across my soles and refusing to close despite nightly administrations of thick lotion. They don’t hurt, but I can feel them there, razor-thin perforations running every which way, such that each step I take feels like the effort of many feet in close succession. Not unlike, you might say, the movement of a centipede. The process is happening, in order, from the feet up, and is happening slowly. In fact it will probably take my whole life, “take” my life as in snatch or usurp or possess it, and take “my life,” which I imagine myself illustrating by extending my arms, two or three yardsticks wide, to denote length, distance, a measure of time. But I have no sense of “how long” in terms of the calendar. Only a very few people in the world know exactly how long they will live, and fewer still know exactly when they will die. I still have my hair, abundant and thick. It seems to move when I am still, like seaweed in a tidepool. An unseemly crown atop such a calcifying body, it feels less to me like hair than some kind of murmuring, loamy clock.
And here’s some other links:
“Friendship, A Semiotics,” at Mississippi Review Online.
“Nadja by André Breton,” at Memorious.
John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.