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I Shot the Moon, Calamari Press, 23 / 41, 3RD BED [3]

Click through to read the full review of 3RD BED [3], the twenty-third in this full-press review of Calamari books.

3RD BED [3] Contributors:

Andrea Baker, Ruth Danon, Flora Fair, Diana George, Melissa Hotchkiss, Joanna Howard, Johanna Isaacson, Örkény István, Cormac James, Catherine Kasper, David Keith, Michael Muhammad Knight, J. Robert Lennon, Norman Lock, Michael Martone, Anne E. Pepper, Jerom Stow, Virgil Suárez, Gabi Vadányi, & Allegra Wong

3RD BED [2] was matte and 3RD BED [3] has a glossy finish. That makes me a bit sad – I love the feel of matte. But the content of 3RD BED gets better with each volume I read, and the third installment of this journal is no exception, chocked with translations, experimental prose, straight fiction, poetry, and even several longer works that most journals are deterred from printing due to length. But 3RD BED seems to me a journal that was unafraid, so they printed what they liked, and what they liked was great literature:

from Joanna Howard’s ‘With Bony Plates, Armor-Like, We March Forward’:

The resurrection can be remembered with the rise from the water that drowns us, one small sister said. Her father had named her Preciously, and with the dusty hands of her older sister crossed over hers, she bent on over-alled knees and pressed at the rat-tailed rump of their pet, who balked on rigid leg-stobs. Together they pushed their armadillo toward the dry pool they had been digging that afternoon in the family plot.

from Andrea Baker’s ‘Love’:

I know some old people. Every night at one they roll over to say I hate you. I remember this Yugoslavian cowboy painter who had slicked back hair and very formal Roman busts in all of his paintings. He flicked his finger like there was a cigarette and said No Good. He meant to take off your shirt as I paint you. You were left to think he was offended by the tones of your shirt and how they blended with the tones of your skin. Matisse sat on his balcony turning things over in his mind: mat, fish, bowl. Some people experience it as prayer. They have never existed before.

from J. Robert Lennon’s ‘Intruder’:

My instinct was that there had been an intruder., But we had not been gone long and those things that had been upset were not the sort of things that would have interested an intruder. More likely, I had upset them myself and forgotten.

But in that case, there had been an intruder after all: the version of me that had done these things. Or perhaps the real intruder was the version of me that noticed the change.

These three excerpts are only a smattering of what I loved in this issue. There are also several wonderful excerpts from Michael Martone’s The Blue Guide to Indiana, a few fantastic ‘Opera’ vignettes from Norman Lock, and a multitude of other work by writers both familiar and new. 3RD BED continues to impress me even though they are in a state of permanent hibernation – so thankfully, Calamari still houses and promotes these leftover archives, which are worth every penny, even for the penny-pinching.

Copies of this book can be had here.

Next up is Derek White’s POSTE RESTANTE followed by Miranda Mellis’ THE REVISIONIST.

Chug-a, chug-a, chug-a.

  • 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.

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