September Issue

Numéro Cinq at the Movies: Justin Anderson’s "Jumper," Introduced by R. W. Gray
Extol Him Who Rides On the Clouds: Micro-Fiction --- Cynthia Sample
Repetition: Fiction --- Leon Rooke
The Cuban Sketchbook: Poems --- Glen Sorestad
Undersung | Josephine Jacobsen: A Poet's Poet --- Julie Larios
The Experience of a Woman: A Review of Ingrid Winterbach's The Elusive Moth --- Benjamin Woodard
Legibility: Essay --- Fernando Sdrigotti
Robert Musil: Speed is Witchy! & Intensivism --- Translated by Genese Grill
Ignore Alien Orders: Michael Oatman Art & Interview --- Mary Kathryn Jablonski
Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind: Mavis Gallant (1922-2014) --- Robert Day
A Sense of Human Folly: Interview with Mavis Gallant — Karen Mulhallen
So Many Enigmas: Richard Landon on Mavis Gallant — Karen Mullhallen
Wolves Evolve: Novel Excerpt --- Jowita Bydlowska
Uimhir a Cúig | Poetry-Performed-Out-Loud-In-Public: Essay & Poems --- Sarah Clancy
This is a Dance: Essay & Dance Images — Lucy M. May
The Apotheosis of the Cathedrals: Fiction --- Garry Craig Powell
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Numéro Cinq on Speed: The September Issue Preview
Numéro Cinq at the Movies: Justin Anderson’s "Jumper," Introduced by R. W. Gray

Numéro Cinq at the Movies: Justin Anderson’s “Jumper,” Introduced by R. W. Gray

In Justin Anderson’s “Jumper,” a mid-century modern styled family is taunted and tempted by a naked stranger who troubles everything that lies beneath their well-mannered dinner. The film pays homage both to Pier Paolo Passolini’s Teruma and David Hockney’s swimming pool paintings while it more specifically pays tribute to British fashion designer Jonathan Saunders on the 10th anniversary of his label. This melange of fashion, painting, and film is characteristic of most of Anderson’s work, but in this short in particular his play between texts works perfectly with the film’s themes of repression and beautiful surfaces. —R W Gray

Extol Him Who Rides On the Clouds: Micro-Fiction --- Cynthia Sample

Extol Him Who Rides On the Clouds: Micro-Fiction — Cynthia Sample

Call me Magdalene. Not Maggie. Not Meg. And certainly not Dolly, for God’s sake. Call me Magdalene. Let the syllables roll off your tongue. Slowly…slowly… Let the connotation seep into your stomach, your very skeleton, your middle there. Take a breath. Narrow your eyes. What do you want? Think: do you really love your life? Your job…your grown children…your spouse? Is what you have now really enough for you? Take another breath. Touch my cheek… my silver-sheathed breast…me. —Cynthia Sample

Repetition: Fiction --- Leon Rooke

Repetition: Fiction — Leon Rooke

That rings a bell, said Jack, I recall the very building we were standing against and what time of day it was, and that it was winter and snowing and we both had on these thick coats and what hell it was, how frantic we were, I mean, to get our hands beneath those coats all the while we were kissing and not aware of any other person on this planet. Yes, we said, that corresponds exactly with our sense of the event, inasmuch as we were in a Hudson’s Bay entryway watching, asking each other who that woman was Jack was kissing, how long has that been going on, when did she come into the picture? —Leon Rooke

The Cuban Sketchbook: Poems --- Glen Sorestad

The Cuban Sketchbook: Poems — Glen Sorestad

I have noted this person for several days, /
an obvious loner, anti-social, demanding. /
A walking frown, he could be /
from an Andy Capp comic strip /
So I ask her, Does anyone know his name? /
Asshole? she suggests helpfully. /
Would that name be all in caps? I enquire. /
No! And she becomes quite adamant. /
Lower case — very, very small.

—Glen Sorestad

Undersung | Josephine Jacobsen: A Poet's Poet --- Julie Larios

Undersung | Josephine Jacobsen: A Poet’s Poet — Julie Larios

Josephine Jacobsen’s poetry offers its readers three qualities most common to the category of “poet’s poet” – formal precision with the variety and musicality of her words, a freshness to her images, and a depth of subtext underneath the surface subject. All three of those qualities inspire repeated readings of any one of her poems; with each subsequent reading, her poems unfold and grow, unlike less complicated poems which remain relatively static each time they’re read. If you pay close attention to how she manages to do what she does, you do what good poets do, studying not just the surface of the poem but the craftsmanship behind it. —Julie Larios

The Experience of a Woman: A Review of Ingrid Winterbach's The Elusive Moth --- Benjamin Woodard

The Experience of a Woman: A Review of Ingrid Winterbach’s The Elusive Moth — Benjamin Woodard

The building goes up in flames, causing the protesters to scatter, and turning the attempt at damnation, at justice, into a bloodbath consuming not just those involved, but several innocent bystanders, as well. The scene eerily echoes recent, similar real-life protests in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and though Winterbach does ultimately bring righteousness down upon the villains of The Elusive Moth, she does so at the expense of the justice-seekers, as well, calling into question the true value of their efforts. —Benjamin Woodard

Legibility: Essay --- Fernando Sdrigotti

Legibility: Essay — Fernando Sdrigotti

It is always about literature. And when it comes to writing literature my experience is always the same, it is about juggling legibility and authenticity. How can I write for people who can’t pronounce my name? Should I write from the point of view of an immigrant, a white, other? An other, non white? Should I write from the point of view of one of them, those who are not others? Who am I? Where am I when I am writing? Who and where are they? —Fernando Sdrigotti

Robert Musil: Speed is Witchy! & Intensivism --- Translated by Genese Grill

Robert Musil: Speed is Witchy! & Intensivism — Translated by Genese Grill

But the worst of it is that modern life is filled with new speeds for which we have no expressions. Remarkably, speeds are described using the most conservative expressions that exist. Despite the train, the airplane, revolutions per minute, slow motion, the outermost limitation of speed expressions is the same today as it was in the Stone Age; nothing in language has gotten any faster than a thought or lightning or any slower than a snail. That is a devilish situation for a time period that has no time and that believes itself called to give the world a new speediness. —Robert Musil

Ignore Alien Orders: Michael Oatman Art & Interview --- Mary Kathryn Jablonski

Ignore Alien Orders: Michael Oatman Art & Interview — Mary Kathryn Jablonski

The analogy for “Codex Solis” for me is a Duchamp piece called “With Hidden Noise,” which I think is one of his greatest contributions to the idea of art. It is two plates of metal with a ball of twine in between, and there’s some French and English words on the top and bottom of it, and right before he closes up the two metal plates with four bolts, he gives it to his friend and patron Walter Arensberg, and tells him, “Put something inside and don’t tell me what it is.” That’s what Arensberg does, and supposedly nobody’s ever opened it. —Michael Oatman

Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind: Mavis Gallant (1922-2014) --- Robert Day

Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind: Mavis Gallant (1922-2014) — Robert Day

I had, like almost any American author who writes short fiction, read Mavis’s stories in the New Yorker. Along with Salinger and John Cheever in those days, you could earn multiple graduate degrees in creative writing by reading these authors. At one point I typed (on a manual typewriter, it was that long ago) parts of stories from all three to see what they had accomplished, and how they did it. I learned, among other things, what a fine sense of local detail these writers had: Salinger for the parks and subways of New York City; Cheever for the upstate suburbs with roaming lovers and Labrador Retrievers; Mavis Gallant for the rues of Paris; her stories were their own Plan de Paris.

A Sense of Human Folly: Interview with Mavis Gallant — Karen Mulhallen

A Sense of Human Folly: Interview with Mavis Gallant — Karen Mulhallen

That’s all true you know, that’s all based on truth, the Red Cross people who took a German skull away as a souvenir and the Italians who were there when the Germans took over because the Italians had suddenly switched sides in 1943 and then they were put in the hotel and just left there. And the local people took them water, something to drink, because they hadn’t been all that bad, they hadn’t been anything as bad as the Germans who came in. —Mavis Gallant

So Many Enigmas: Richard Landon on Mavis Gallant — Karen Mullhallen

So Many Enigmas: Richard Landon on Mavis Gallant — Karen Mullhallen

Mavis Gallant’s characters move around, and then there is the very specificity of her details, which contrast with the rootlessness of the feeling in the stories. And that’s true all through the collection From The Fifteenth District. And it is set in a very specific district, the 15th arrondissement. But the stories themselves are set all over Western Europe, and yet that title story is a ghost story, for heaven’s sake, characters don’t even live there. They live in “other space.” So there are all these paradoxes at work. —Richard Landon

Wolves Evolve: Novel Excerpt --- Jowita Bydlowska

Wolves Evolve: Novel Excerpt — Jowita Bydlowska

Lately, there have been a lot of articles about my husband raping me. Not about my husband specifically but about husbands who rape. The grey area of consent, the drunkenness, the middle-of-the-night inserting, this – what is happening right now. I don’t feel raped. Many women are speaking up about it. The articles are asking women to speak up. But there’s nothing to talk about. It’s only biology. Traditional marriage: women belonging to men. We sleep next to men with our vaginas right there. What do you expect? —from Wolves Evolve

Uimhir a Cúig | Poetry-Performed-Out-Loud-In-Public: Essay & Poems --- Sarah Clancy

Uimhir a Cúig | Poetry-Performed-Out-Loud-In-Public: Essay & Poems — Sarah Clancy

What I am actually addicted to (other than reading which is my first love) is the act of writing, the excitement of inspiration and moments of realising that inspiration into something that didn’t exist before I wrote it and hopefully each time into something that doesn’t mimic what I have written before. Yehaw, that’s what that feels like. —Sarah Clancy

This is a Dance: Essay & Dance Images — Lucy M. May

This is a Dance: Essay & Dance Images — Lucy M. May

One morning I stood on a big round rock and put a heavy rock on my head. I was willing to be still, balanced on the rock and balancing the other rock on my head, but in order to keep it together I had to keep a very slight movement, a tiny dance, going on between the two rocks. That went on for many minutes. No one else was awake. —Simone Forti

The Apotheosis of the Cathedrals: Fiction --- Garry Craig Powell

The Apotheosis of the Cathedrals: Fiction — Garry Craig Powell

I have never needed a God to prop me up or comfort me, but there is a spiritual exaltation in all this. It reminds me of the night I hired the organist in St. Stephen’s cathedral at Mulhouse in Alsace, where I had gone at night with Tom Antongini and two bovine Alsatian girls, and sat in the chilly dark for hours listening to Buxtehude and Bach, never once thinking of fucking—or very well, rarely thinking of fucking. —from “The Apotheosis of the Cathedrals”

Top of the Page

Top of the Page

In the slider at the top of the page this month — a selection of work by Sydney Lea. Syd has been a Contributing Editor on Numéro Cinq for nigh on three, maybe four years. I am too old to keep count. He has written essays, poems, reviews, and scripts for cartoons and shepherded other wonderful writers to these pages, notably Fleda Brown and Diana Whitney, not to mention the cartoonist James Kochalka. His contribution to the magazine in terms of work is tremendous but it does not equal what he has given us in terms of spirit and friendship.

Numéro Cinq on Speed: The September Issue Preview

Numéro Cinq on Speed: The September Issue Preview

Breathless. I dunno. Another issue. Where do they come from? Have I mentioned before that we do in a month what most magazines do in a quarter, in six months. Reviews, art, fiction, poetry, essays, translations, writers from around the world. And you get it for free! Stop me before I hyperventilate, before I start to foam at the mouth, before my eyes roll up….well, just stop me.

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