top of page

Current Collaborations

Here are short pieces (or excerpts of pieces) by writers I'm currently working with. I'm excited to share this stuff!

Unruly Things (excerpt)

by Dalia Sirkin

The morning sky on the fifth of June in 1967 should not have been sassy blue; it should have been red.

I am half asleep when I hear my name as if from a distance; it’s my mother’s voice. Angry. While you sleep, a war: “E` scoppiata la guerra.”

War, in Italian, does not start; it explodes. And that’s what I envisioned when, startled, in my nightgown, I follow my mother to the balcony of our second-floor apartment. Instead of chaos—that will come in a couple of hours--I see an eerie order: shoulder to shoulder, in the sultry heat, young men with dark hair march forward as one body, one eye that looks only ahead, and one shout, every three beats: Nasser . . . Nasser . . . Nasser . . . With a now-you-know look, my mother goes back inside.


Our street, Sciara Giama el Magarba, the only home I’ve known for seventeen years has abruptly lost its features: the shoes outside the mosque, the pedestrians on sidewalks, Hmida’s produce crates on display, the two bistro tables of the outdoor café, Kotis Vassilis in his stained apron by the door to his
delicatessen. Everything retracted like a turtle in its shell.

In the apartment where our family of five has been locked for nearly a week, we give shelter to three other people, Nonna, uncle Cacu (his little sister’s name for Alfonso stayed forever), and Tedesco, German, my father’s nickname for his friend. Except for mamma who moves with purpose and energy fueled by anger at the situation, the rest of us, affected by worry and heat, are lethargic, aimless. I escape into a recent memory at the beach with my friends. We are in the water throwing a ball when, from some distance, Davis yells, “Catch,” and
tosses his bathing suit at me. I grab it and begin to swim to shore. He screams “come back”; I laugh; he screams for help; I laugh with more gusto. After too few strokes, Quentin, a faster swimmer, reaches me and throws the bathing suit backmat Davis whose arms have been underwater since his toss.

While I’m grooving in the memory, my father, out of the blue, tells me to write a letter to my sister in London to let her know that all is well in Tripoli. A sting. Even in times of crisis his thoughts are with the first born. I am about to make a prickly comment deserving of my porcospino, porcupine name, when my instinct abates. I see his red-rimmed eyes, one hand under his chin, the other holding yet another Viceroy between index and middle fingers, the same pose of the last twenty four hours, ever since the three men in suits, presumably policemen, have knocked at the door late in the evening.


Read more 



Limited View

by Evelyn Martinez


“Limited view” is my middle name.
I am
myopic astygmatic.
I can’t see worth shit.
I must see it all.
Especially the faces,
oh I love the faces!
I probe into them,
spelunk every hollow.
I suck in their pain, ecstasy, fears
and thrills.
I vibrate right back .
Bombard me with everything.
I want it now, no limits.
The conductor making love to her orchestra, her dancers and singers, massaging each note,
mining for nuance.
I want to
watch the sweat fly,
the spit spray,
the bowstring snap,
catch every stumble,
missed cue, missed match.
I am vicarious,
a vapor.
A ghost who wants life,
however brief.
I want to see the bored percussionist smile with that first beat.
I want to snoop in the wings,
as they adjust tutus, dance belts, corsets, and wigs,
the stage hands lurking behind.
I want the drama,
the melodrama and buffoonery,
the props, the costumes,
the orchestra tiptoeing in/out of the pit, the toe shoes and high tops and high heels.
I want it all.
My angle is sharp
and diagonal.
My right vision nil.
I am patient until they
pirouette, leap, or sashay
back to me.
They always do.

But when it’s over,
the hoots and applause,
the last bow,
the curtain dropping.
Lights, noise.
I slip on my coat,
sink into the blind night,
and the bus that takes me
to my quiet house.
I don’t see everything,
but what I see
I see real good.

bottom of page