New Ohio Review Issue 4 (Originally printed Fall 2008)

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 4 compiled by Julia Robertson.

Chefs

By Claire Bateman

Featured Image: The White Tablecloth by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin

So there the world was, right smack up against the proverbial edge of time. No one was surprised that some people were leaping from skyscrapers while others were attempting pointless last-minute conceptions of offspring; & that in every city & town, acts of extraordinary altruism & vindictiveness had become so common as to go unreported. And no one was surprised that there was a spike in the number of couples suddenly eager to be married, but the spike was so dramatic, in fact, & the usual officials (rabbis, priests, justices  of the peace, notaries public, & ships’ captains) were so beleaguered, that a squadron of kamikaze chefs had to be deployed to perform emergency nuptials for the multitudes of entities & identities demanding official union before the end of all things. Everyone knew someone who was calling for the chefs, those professionals capable of creating the alchemical events these transformations required, some of which would almost certainly release such molecular & ontological ferocity as to create titanic conflagrations, thus depriving some of the chefs of their precious last few weeks of life.

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At the Dinner Party

By Stephen Dunn

Featured Image: A Family Meal by Evert Pieters

As usual, we were trying to please each other,

so Ryan told a story about a water buffalo,

a lion, and a crocodile, which reminded

Julie about a coyote and a groundhog, and

I could not help but offer my favorite of

this kind—involving the tarantula

and its natural enemy the digger wasp. The

problem was that each story was true,

therefore that much more difficult to tell,

and each had in it an element of the fabulous,

and therefore the promise of a moral.

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Mercy

By Stephen Dunn

Featured Image: Improvisation No. 30 (Cannons) by Wassily Kandinsky

The music was fidgety, arch,

an orchestral version of a twang.

Welcome to atonal hell, welcome

to the execution

of a theory, I kept thinking,

thinking, thinking. I hadn’t felt

a thing. Was it old-fashioned

of me to want to? Or were feelings,

as usual, part of the problem?

The conductor seemed to flail

more than lead, his baton evidence

of something unresolved,

perhaps recent trouble at home.

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