July Issue

Numéro Cinq at the Movies | The Full Monty: Notes on Narrative Form --- Douglas Glover
Conversion: Ontological & Secular from Plato to Tom Jones | Essay --- Wayne J. Hankey
The Matter of the Orgasm: Short Story --- Michael Bryson
Primitivisms: (Paradoxically) On Modernism --- Genese Grill
The Artful Masochist: Review of The Iceland by Sakutarō Hagiwara --- Patrick O'Reilly
Ishmaël: from The Genealogy of the First Person | Poem --- D. M. Spitzer
Undersung | The Poet-Novelist: Flying Crooked Forever --- Julie Larios
Uimhir a Cúig | The Chief Radiographer Considers: Poems --- Paula Cunningham
Naked Thought: Aphorisms --- Róbert Gál
God’s Middle Finger: An Excerpt | Nonfiction --- Richard Grant
I’m Not Passing Through: Interview with Richard Grant --- Dan Holmes
Horse In The  Afternoon: Fiction --- Dawn Promislow
Considering Plasticity: Art --- Victoria Palermo Introduced By Mary Kathryn Jablonski
Tonight's the Night: Cartoons & Poetry --- James Kochalka & Sydney Lea
"I'd learned this from a war movie" | A Review of Ondjaki's Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secrets --- Benjamin Woodard
Telling Stories While We Die: Review of Kyung-sook Shin's I'll Be Right There --- Laura K. Warrell
My Sorted Past | Excerpts & Photos From The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew--- Sue William Silverman
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A Love Letter To Our Readers: The July Issue Preview!
Numéro Cinq at the Movies | The Full Monty: Notes on Narrative Form --- Douglas Glover

Numéro Cinq at the Movies | The Full Monty: Notes on Narrative Form — Douglas Glover

The basic compositional problem of all narrative is how to create dramatic interest through the use of structure. Story alone can only take you so far. If you drew a Venn diagram of the narrative arts as used in film and fiction, a huge number would appear in the common area, especially techniques related to structural elements (plot and subplot, for example). But you also find an amazing number of rhetorical devices that cross over between the arts. What follows is my movie notes in an outline form, an outline of The Full Monty with an emphasis on structural expedients, techniques, repetitions, nested scenes, scene crunches, images, etc., that went to create a lively piece of film.

Conversion: Ontological & Secular from Plato to Tom Jones | Essay --- Wayne J. Hankey

Conversion: Ontological & Secular from Plato to Tom Jones | Essay — Wayne J. Hankey

Wayne Hankey brilliantly tracks the process of divine (ontological) conversion from Plato through Aquinas to Dante and Beatrice into the secular turn of modernity. Love of beauty still converts the wayward soul, but the result is (divine) marriage not unity with the divine. What was a cosmic plot becomes in the modern novel a marriage plot, the rock-ribbed foundation of oh so many masterpieces.

The Matter of the Orgasm: Short Story --- Michael Bryson

The Matter of the Orgasm: Short Story — Michael Bryson

He didn’t propose, and she got mad at him, and on New Year’s Eve she didn’t want to touch him. “I want to be alone,” she said, so he went back to his place. Two days later she called him. “I want to see you.” They were all over each other in the hallway. Her roommate was away. They went into the roommate’s bedroom, and she came, the best ever. “Why can’t we do that every time?” He didn’t know. He hadn’t done anything different. When he thinks of her now, he remembers her easy smile and her soft tongue, the struggle of her personality to find peace in the world. —from “The Matter of the Orgasm”

Primitivisms: (Paradoxically) On Modernism --- Genese Grill

Primitivisms: (Paradoxically) On Modernism — Genese Grill

Because they couldn’t help but find what they were looking for, it might not be too far-fetched to imagine that the Modernists, when they opened up the passage into other realms and encountered the artifacts and spiritualities of the people they designated as primitive, were actually encountering nothing but their own subconscious minds — seen through the protective veil of the other. —Genese Grill

The Artful Masochist: Review of The Iceland by Sakutarō Hagiwara --- Patrick O'Reilly

The Artful Masochist: Review of The Iceland by Sakutarō Hagiwara — Patrick O’Reilly

Hagiwara’s poems are urbane, bereft of the naturalism and flora which had so typified Japanese poetry over the centuries, and full of human emotion. What is subtle or implied in earlier or contemporary Japanese poets, through imagery or cadence or tone, is made overt in The Iceland. Hagiwara is at times contemplative, it’s true, but he is more often screaming in frustration, and he is not shy about telling you his reasons. —Patrick O’Reilly

Ishmaël: from The Genealogy of the First Person | Poem --- D. M. Spitzer

Ishmaël: from The Genealogy of the First Person | Poem — D. M. Spitzer

This figure, Ishmaël,—breaking into a desert, cast out of the shelter of the father, feeling deep fidelity to the mother, wild in a wilderness, hunter, fighter—finds its crater, an original feeling of segregation, of isolation and removal from all else that I take to be a first impression of consciousness/self; different. Hopefully his call sounds like an opening towards consciousness/self, a departure and a way. —d m spitzer

Undersung | The Poet-Novelist: Flying Crooked Forever --- Julie Larios

Undersung | The Poet-Novelist: Flying Crooked Forever — Julie Larios

Some writers who gain fame as novelists continue to write poetry “on the side,” not unlike the little smear of cream cheese offered up with a bagel. Some writers quite sensibly refuse to be labeled; they write whatever they please, whenever they please….And some writers who are truly talented poets get shanghaied by the success of their fiction and never regain the courage or the emotional space to re-establish themselves as poets. The categories are many.

Uimhir a Cúig | The Chief Radiographer Considers: Poems --- Paula Cunningham

Uimhir a Cúig | The Chief Radiographer Considers: Poems — Paula Cunningham

I remember Paula Cunningham reading upstairs in Bewley’s Oriental Café on Grafton Street (with its façade inspired by Tutankhamen’s Tomb. A café made famous by Joyce in Dubliners and by other literary patrons such as Samuel Beckett, Patrick Kavanagh and Sean O’Casey. Paula read a poem that night. It may or may not have been titled “Hats”, but it was filled with hats and filled (like the great café itself) with an historic array of Irish literary figures – on that night as I recall amongst the many hats she wore, she wore her “Brendan Behan hat” and her “Paula Meehan hat”, but that night it was obvious to all that there was only one hat that fit and that was her “Paula Cunningham hat”. —Gerard Beirne

Naked Thought: Aphorisms --- Róbert Gál

Naked Thought: Aphorisms — Róbert Gál

Aphorisms from the Slovak writer Róbert Gál. Provocative, terse and paradoxical. They are thought crystallized in balanced contrasts, one of our favourite forms on Numéro Cinq (see earlier examples from Steven Heighton and Yahia Lababidi). Naked thought. Gál writes: “The obvious blinds.” and “To give life meaning means to make something of it deliberately — and thereby go against it.” Think about them; they unfold and refold like intricate origami birds.

God’s Middle Finger: An Excerpt | Nonfiction --- Richard Grant

God’s Middle Finger: An Excerpt | Nonfiction — Richard Grant

When describing the period in which he researched and wrote God’s Middle Finger, Richard Grant says, “I was in a reckless frame of mind.” If this recklessness put him in danger, it also imbued the pages of his book with a knocking pulse. Here in the prologue, the reader encounters Grant running for his life deep in the Sierra Madre mountain range of Northern Mexico; he is far from the help of friends, law enforcement, or a sympathetic guide. Later, Grant will consider the history of the Sierra Madre, the effects of the Drug War, and the radical hospitality of strangers, but this excerpt introduces us to what is perhaps his principal companion on this journey: the allure of the sublime in all its exhilaration and brutality.

I’m Not Passing Through: Interview with Richard Grant --- Dan Holmes

I’m Not Passing Through: Interview with Richard Grant — Dan Holmes

Sometime in the mid 90’s I was living in Tucson and I heard this blues album by Junior Kimbrough, “All Night Long.” It was like no blues I’d heard before. It was kind of a droning, hypnotic, stomping blues and I just loved it and found out it was put out by this label called Fat Possum Records, which was run by a couple of college kids in Oxford, Mississippi. They were going around recording the last undiscovered authentic Mississippi blues men, and they somehow managed to get a million dollars in debt doing this. I was like, “That sounds like a magazine story to me—” —Richard Grant

Horse In The  Afternoon: Fiction --- Dawn Promislow

Horse In The Afternoon: Fiction — Dawn Promislow

My husband and I were driving down a country road, a two-lane highway in Amish land of western New York, rolling green farmland and countryside, in the late afternoon. The road unfurled as we drove, and we spoke, then were silent, and the light was the old light of September, golden. But a black horse, glossy and young, and unharnessed, appeared ahead of us in the middle of the road: cantering, stopping, then cantering again. We slowed, my husband slowed the car. The horse cantered past us, a few metres from the car, down the road. I’d seen his dark eyes, clear, his smooth coat. We drove on. —Dawn Promislow “Horse in the Afternoon”

Considering Plasticity: Art --- Victoria Palermo Introduced By Mary Kathryn Jablonski

Considering Plasticity: Art — Victoria Palermo Introduced By Mary Kathryn Jablonski

Say the word ‘plasticity’ and most everyone thinks ‘plastic,’ that ubiquitous molded material that we love to hate. In sculptural art, plasticity refers to the degree of dimensionality in an object, and the active interplay between positive volume and surrounding space. The term comes from the Greek word plassein, meaning “to mold.” Always, on a material level, there is a plastic nature to our perceptions of form (an object), which evolve as we take in additional visual information, our brains on auto-update. In studio—what to work through? —perhaps, making visual, the subject of plasticity, mutability, and transformation, and the idea that nothing is static, but nothing is lost. —Victoria Palermo

Tonight's the Night: Cartoons & Poetry --- James Kochalka & Sydney Lea

Tonight’s the Night: Cartoons & Poetry — James Kochalka & Sydney Lea

At NC hybridity is a meme; cross-pollination is an artistic genre unto itself: books & art, artish books, art made of books, cross-genre books & text/art thingies we might not wish to categorize in the name of aesthetic license. This time Contributing Editor Sydney Lea (who also happens to be the Vermont Poet Laureate and a former Pulitzer Prize finalist for poetry) combines with cartoonist James Kochalka to produce poetic cartoons or maybe poetoons or maybe just poetry and images, nostalgic, whimsical, and touchingly comic.

"I'd learned this from a war movie" | A Review of Ondjaki's Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secrets --- Benjamin Woodard

“I’d learned this from a war movie” | A Review of Ondjaki’s Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secrets — Benjamin Woodard

Angolan author Ndalu de Almeida, who writes under the mononymous pen name, Ondjaki, is something of a literary wunderkind: at 36 years of age, he has already published 20 books, won the José Saramago Prize for Literature, and been named one of Africa’s best writers by The Guardian. And yet, though celebrated throughout his homeland, Europe, and South America, he remains relatively unknown in the English-speaking world.

Telling Stories While We Die: Review of Kyung-sook Shin's I'll Be Right There --- Laura K. Warrell

Telling Stories While We Die: Review of Kyung-sook Shin’s I’ll Be Right There — Laura K. Warrell

The book’s narrative structure is more diegesis than conventional plot. The journeys upon which these three friends embark is more psychological than physical. Loss figures heavily in I’ll Be Right There, particularly death. Jung Yoon is haunted by her mother’s death, the professor keeps a collection of books written by people who died before the age of thirty-three – “the age at which Jesus was crucified and Alexander the Great created his empire and died” – and Miru has named her cat after Emily Dickinson whose death-themed poetry all of the characters admire. —Laura K. Warrell

My Sorted Past | Excerpts & Photos From The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew--- Sue William Silverman

My Sorted Past | Excerpts & Photos From The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew— Sue William Silverman

Even though I’m now an adult, Pat Boone still reminds me of those innocent all-American teenage summers at Palisades Park, Bermuda shorts and girls in shirtwaist dresses, corner drugstores, pearly nail polish, prom corsages, rain-scented lilacs, chenille bedspreads and chiffon scarves, jukebox rock and roll spilling across humid evenings…. He remains all the things that, as you age, you miss—the memory of this past smelling sweeter than honeysuckle on the Fourth of July…. —Sue William Silverman

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Top of the Page

In the slider at the top of the page for July we’re displaying a wonderful selection of poems and essays by our esteemed and beloved Contributing Editor Julie Larios, who, when you look back, has been appearing in the magazine since March, 2010, when she broke into the magazine by entering our the First Ever Numéro Cinq Aphorism Contest (oh yes, oh yes, those were the salad days, the days of wine and roses when we ran contests for aphorisms, villanelles, novels-in-a-box and any number of eccentric genres and forms). We published a poem by Julie in May, 2010; we had more contests (please check out her entry for the first ever translations contest, “A Cow’s Life”), poems, essays; now she contributes a regular essay under the series title Undersung.

A Love Letter To Our Readers: The July Issue Preview!

A Love Letter To Our Readers: The July Issue Preview!

Superlatives fail. We are at the threshold, about to enter the Kingdom. You can almost hear the harps and trumpets and the heavenly choirs. But maybe after that there is another Kingdom, and another. Or I’ll get a better thesaurus and find new superlatives. Or perhaps I should try the understated approach: here we have another issue of Numéro Cinq, the usual outrageously varied, scintillating, profound, subversive, cheeky thing we produce here every month.

RECENT BACK ISSUES

Vol. V, No. 6, June 2014