Harp & Altar
Cynthia Arrieu-King is an assistant professor of creative writing at Stockton College. Her book People Are Tiny  in Paintings of China will be published by Octopus Books in 2010.

Ana Boičević was born in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1977. She emigrated to New York in 1997. Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009) is her first book of poems. Her fifth chapbook, Depth Hoar, will be published by Cinematheque Press in 2010. With Amy King, she co-curates the Stain of Poetry reading series in Brooklyn. She works at the Center for the Humanities of the Graduate Center, CUNY, and lives in Huntington, N.Y.


Edmond Caldwell writes fiction and drama, and lives in Boston. His work has appeared in DIAGRAM, SmokeLong Quarterly, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, Sein und Werden, among others, and his short play, “The Liquidation of the Cohn Estate,” was produced in the 2009 Boston Theater Marathon. “Return to the Chateau” is a chapter from his novel-in-stories, Human Wishes.


Susan Daitch is the author of two novels, L.C. (Lannan Foundation Selection and NEA Heritage Award) and The Colorist, and a collection of short stories, Storytown. Her work has appeared in Conjunctions, The Brooklyn Rail, Bomb, Ploughshares, Failbetter, Tin House, McSweeney’s, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction. Her novel The Dreyfus Book will be published by City Lights later this year. She can be found at www.susandaitch.com.


Luca Dipierro is a writer, visual artist, and filmmaker born in Italy and living in Brooklyn. His short stories have been published in New York Tyrant, Lamination Colony, Gigantic, Everyday Genius, No Colony, and elsewhere. His latest films are the documentaries I Will Smash You and 60 Writers/60 Places, and the full-length cut-out animation Dieci Teste. His art has been exhibited in galleries in the U.S. and Italy. Luca’s website is www.lucadipierro.com. For some biscotti go to blackbiscotti.blogspot.com. His life is based on a true story.


Brandon Downing’s books include Lake Antiquity (Fence, 2009), Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005), and The Shirt Weapon (Germ, 2002). Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics was released on DVD in 2007.  Photographic work can be seen at www.brandondowning.org, while recent video projects can be found at www.youtube.com/user/bdown68.


Farrah Field’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many publications, including Mississippi Review, Typo, Pool, La Petite Zine, Ekleksographia, Effing Magazine, and Ploughshares. Rising, her first book of poems, won Four Way Books’ 2007 Levis Prize. She lives in Brooklyn and blogs at adultish.blogspot.com.


Craig Foltz is a multimedia artist and writer whose work has appeared in Chicago Review, Octopus, Ninth Letter, and others. His first book of poetry, The States, is out from Ugly Duckling Presse. He currently lives and works on the slopes of a dormant volcano in New Zealand. Critical Focus? Depends. Mist? Well, of course. More info: www.craigfoltz.com.


A.D. Jameson is a writer, video artist, teacher, and performer. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Fiction International, The Brooklyn Rail, Mississippi Review Online, elimae, Caketrain, PANK, Mad Hatters’ Review, Action, Yes, and elsewhere. He has two books forthcoming later this year: a novel, Giant Slugs, from Lawrence & Gibson, and a prose collection, Amazing Adult Fantasy, from Mutable Sound. In his spare time he contributes to the group literary blog Big Other.


Matthew Kirkpatrick’s writing has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Conjunctions, PANK, Action, Yes, and Hobart, among other journals. He lives in Salt Lake City where he is working on a PhD in literature and creative writing. He co-edits Barrelhouse and can be found on the internet at www.mattkirkpatrick.com.


Matthew Klane is co-editor and founder of Flim Forum Press. His book is B______ Meditations (Stockport Flats, 2008). Recent work can be found online at Absent, Open Letters Monthly, Otoliths, and Word For/Word. He currently lives and writes in Iowa City.


Patrick Morrissey’s poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, New American Writing, Typo, and Tarpaulin Sky, and his chapbook Transparency was published by Cannibal Books in 2009. His critical writing has previously appeared in Harp & Altar. He lives in New York.


Michael Newton’s gallery reviews appear regularly in Harp & Altar.


Michael O’Brien is the author of Sleeping & Waking (Flood Editions, 2007) and Sills: Selected Poems 1960-1999 (Salt Publishing, 2009). He lives in New York.


Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi received her MFA in fiction from Brown University. Her work is forthcoming or can be found in Sleepingfish, Paul Revere’s Horse, Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics, Encyclopedia Vol. 2 (F-K), and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems (Wave Books, 2008). She lives in Providence and teaches literature and creative writing at Rhode Island School of Design.


Alejandra Pizarnik was born in Buenos Aires in 1936. She studied philosophy and literature at the University of Buenos Aires and later pursued interests in painting and religion. Her books include the poetry collections Works and Nights, Extraction of the Stone of Folly, and The Musical Inferno, as well as the prose work The Bloody Countess. In 1969 she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, and in 1971 a Fulbright scholarship. She died in 1972 of a drug overdose.


Brett Price is an editor of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, and Light Industrial Safety and the author of Trouble With Mapping (Flying Guillotine, 2008), a chapbook. He lives and writes in Brooklyn.


Jason Stumpf is the author of A Cloud of Witnesses (forthcoming from Quale Press). He is also the translator of Aurora by Pura Lopez-Colome and The moon ain’t nothing but a broken dish by Luis Felipe Fabre. He is on the faculty of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts.


Jared White’s chapbook Yellowcake was included in the hand-sewn anthology Narwhal from Cannibal Books. He has recently published in Coconut, Laurel Review, and Boog City, with other work forthcoming in Action, Yes. His essays have appeared in past issues of Harp & Altar, as well as Open Letters Monthly, and he blogs irregularly at jaredswhite.blogspot.com. He lives in Brooklyn near two bridges.


Inside a Cow It Must Be Dark
Luca Dipierro

To the top of the mountain it takes two hours if you walk like I do. The boy scouts, it takes them five hours. They stop to sing and eat. They watch birds. I watch them.

My family always wanted me to be a boy scout. They insisted that I become a boy scout so they could get rid of me. They said that even if I spent all day in my room with the door closed and the headphones on, they would know I was in the house.


The name of the mountain is Lucco. Lucco is also my name. I am not like a mountain. I can see my ribs.

Once on top of Lucco, you have to come down because you do not want to be caught by the night up there. If you wait under a tree for the morning, weasels come and eat your hands while you sleep.

The cows in the fields belong to Mr. Paumeni and I would not go near them if I were one of those scouts. The cows run so fast that you would not believe it if you did not see it.

The cows run after people because they are tired of all that grass.

They are morons, the scouts.

I have never seen the teeth of a cow.


I take my eye out. I put it on the table next to my bed, in a little plate. Azure china, only for desserts and my eye in our house. In our house we eat dessert twice a week. It can be apple tart or apfelstrudel or chocolate apples or apple crostata or apples with marmalade.


My bed is small like a coffin. I almost lay in a coffin once. My friend Martin and I went to see the coffins exhibition in San Felice. There was a coffin for a baby, all white with golden letters coming out of golden trumpets played by golden angels. The angels with their round cheeks looked like Martin. At a stand, they gave us a key ring with a little plastic coffin attached.


When I am smoking, I slip my eye into my pocket. I often forget to put it back in my eye socket. All the things that they told me about what I should or should not do with my eye are cow shit. My family, they hit the table with their fists and say that please I have to put the eye back in, that they do not want to see me walking around like that. They do not mean the word “please” when they say it.


Once, I woke up and I saw that it was snowing inside my room. I had left the window open. There was a small square of snow on my carpet. I stood up and looked outside and saw all the roofs and streets white. I remember thinking that I could throw myself out of the window and I would just land on my feet.


I walk to the top of Lucco. I stop for five minutes to eat bread with mortadella. There is never a shortage of mortadella in my family’s fridge. A cow looks at me and drools. These cows crave meat.


I consider taking my eye out and throwing it down into the valley.


The boy scouts, I have decided what to do with them. I watch them from behind a pine. They erect a wooden cross in the middle of the camp, ten feet tall. They sit around the cross and sing about their greed being punished with a whip.


I give my eye to a cow to chew with a fistful of grass. The cow spits the eye out. Inside a cow it must be dark.


I throw my eye against the wall. My eye is indestructible. The wall is all scraped. My eye is scratched.


It is eye-cleaning time once a week. I need a glass of warm water and a toothbrush. My family says that they can smell it if I do not scrub.


I tell my family that one day I will jump out the window. They ask me when is that going to happen. They say that all the accidents in this house I am the one responsible for. When the living room almost burned, it was my cigarette.


Martin does not want to help me burn the boy scouts. He is afraid we will not be able to control the fire and that we would burn too.


I lie in the grass and suck on my eye. My eye has no taste. I wait for the boy scouts to come back to the camp. Every morning they go into the woods to watch birds and record the sounds of the birds on a tape recorder. After dinner, they sit in a circle around the tape recorder and play the bird sounds back. Their faces look like they understand what the birds are saying, but they do not. The boy scouts are morons, and they are morons in the first place because birds do not say anything.


I watch my eye in the fire. I take it out of the fire and throw it in the creek incandescent. I take it out of the water and bury it on the side of the mountain.