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Monthly Archives: February 2014

One Day and One Night in Laughlin, Nevada

* Claire Skinner *

Driving from Las Vegas at night, the first glimpse is from Spirit Mountain, almost five thousand feet above Laughlin. Darkness below, darkness above, and at the very center: a line of light—red, white, turquoise, yellow, pink. Casinos. The blaze of them all the more startling because for an hour we’ve been driving through nothingness. Or what appears to be nothingness: the dark desert mountains and the dark desert valleys with the occasional blip of civilization (signs for Girls! Girls! Girls! Steak & Eggs only 5.99! Endless Slots!), then–blink, blink–gone.

Song in My Heart: On Poetry and BFFs

* Mary Camille Beckman *

The poetry I love most, I love the way I did my girlhood best friend. And for the same reasons: disobedient wit, cool smarts, a throaty voice, candor. I love it for its intensity, for its invitation to intimacy.

Spartacus for Little Girls

* Zhanna Slor *

In the everlasting battle between book vs. movie, in this case, I would actually side with movie, since some of the writing, in my opinion, could have used a good bit of cutting. But overall, I ended up really connecting to the alternate reality she created. And not just because at least sixty percent of my dreams since adulthood for some reason involve some kind of post-apocalyptic future in which everyone must fight for survival, and therefore the world is very familiar to me, but because there is actually quite a lot of metaphorical resonance in the books. Often, this world, our world, feels to me like a longer, drawn-out Hunger Games; death fights to claim you, either through extreme weather or accident or illness or, like in the arena: murder.