New Ohio Review Issue 14 (Originally printed Fall 2013)

Newohioreview.org is archiving previous editions as they originally appeared. We are pairing the pieces with curated art work, as well as select audio recordings. In collaboration with our past contributors, we are happy to (re)-present this outstanding work.

Issue 14 compiled by Andrea Gapsch.

The Best Man

By Brian Trapp

Winner, New Ohio Review Fiction Contest
selected by Stuart Dybek

Featured Art: Chinese Garden by Cooper Hewitt

Outside the bride’s village, I lean against the side of a silver Audi with Mr. Wu, my boss’s businessman friend. I thought we were going to his wedding, where  I will be his best man, but I guess as per Chinese custom, we are going to the bride’s house first. We have traveled twenty-five minutes into the Chinese countryside, where we wait for the rest of the wedding caravan. The second half of the dancing lion is late, and the head walks around with its neon-red body dragging behind, a giant mutant worm.

On the ride over, tall buildings gave way to dingy shops. The road narrowed, going from the usual off-white tiled apartments to the old-timey black-tiled Chinese roofs— the tops curved into crescent moons. Smoke spewed from small factories and then green patches of farms appeared, pieces from two different puzzles jammed into one another’s edges.

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Feeling Sorry for Myself While Watching a Really Bad World War II POW Movie on TV

Winner, New Ohio Review Poetry Contest
selected by Barbara Hamby

By Michael Derrick Hudson

The rest of them pinwheeled out of the dirty sky somewhere
over Schweinfurt. They burned as I clung

to my shroud lines huffing in a panic through the slobbery
fog of my oxygen mask, the frost stiffening

my collar’s wet fur. Three years later, what have I to show
for my long time in the bag? Bleeding gums,

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Looking on the Bright Side

By John Brehm

Featured Art: Nocturne by James McNeill Whistler

Death: at least it’ll give me a chance to catch
up on my sleep. No more tossing and turning
worrying about what’s going to happen next.
Unless of course my dreams of dancing girls
and hookah parties come true.

In which case it’ll give me a chance
to catch up on all the fun I missed
being too tired from lack of sleep. A
win-win situation.
Unless of course the dancing girls turn out to be
my former lovers, flitting before me
with vengeful or disdainful expressions
on their still painfully lovely faces.
In which case I can go on writing the poems
of failed love that failed to make me famous
when I was alive.
A suitable way to while away eternity.
Unless of course the hookahs are filled
not with tobacco but with heavenly peyote,
(food of the gods the gods left for us)
in which case it’ll give me a chance
to catch up on the deathless
bliss of boundless mystical oneness
my fear of death always kept me
from fully experiencing
here and now.


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