All Apologies Sold Out

Issue #26, Winter 2005

Are there any two more powerful words in the spoken language than "I apologize"? The following pages are rife with mea culpas, apologias, je regrettes, and, conversely, it is teaming with brazenly unapologetic behavior. Oscar Wilde once said, "To regret one's own experiences in to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's life. It is no less than a denial of the soul." In that vein, Harriet Rubin looks at one of the great confessional documents of the last hundred years, Wilde's De Profundis, while Stephen Elliott unabashedly describes his submissive relationship with a married woman. Poet Dean Young concedes that "A True Apology Takes Years." A point proven in first-time author Mel Carlson's moving story of a fellow navy man's breakdown in "Walking on Water." No need to read this issue furtively—read it out in plain view, proudly, for good writing means never having to say you're sorry.

Ken Kalfus

ZENO'S BOMB • They were still not divorced and they had lost hope of ever being divorced.

Donna Tartt

THE AMBUSH • 'See, my dad was trying to chase down this Vietnamese that shot his friend,' said Tim. 'And then the Vietnamese killed him too. I can acti it out for you if you want.'

Robin Romm

NO SMALL FEAT • Kierny was probably at his studio writing more stories about my dead mother. For God's sake, Kierny, get your own death.

William Gay

WHERE WILL YOU GO WHEN YOUR SKIN CANNOT CONTAIN YOU? • There was no precedent for this. The Jeepster was crying.

Robert Travieso

POOL • Let's not obsess about a few frogs bopping around in our midst. Let's continue with the previously scheduled fun.

Tony D'Souza

DJAMILLA • 'That you are white is bad enough. But you are also hairy! Cover up! If you let Djamilla see how ugly you are, then she may not marry you.'

Kevin Moffett

TATTOOIZM • Dixon is training to be a tattoo artist by practicing on his thighs covering them with flames, leaves, wings, cartoon characters.

Scott Snyder

WRECK • Once I saw a shard of glass come out of the corner of her eye, a tiny shard, no bigger than a snowflake. She calmly plucked it from beneath her lid.'

Dean Young

THE TRUE APOLOGY TAKES YEARS

William Wenthe

THE MAN WHO CONFUSES SEX WITH LOVE

Olena Kalytiak Davis

FRANCESCA CAN TOO STOP THINKING ABOUT SEX, REFLECT UPON HER POSITION IN POETRY, WRITE A REAL SONNET
FRANCESCA SAYS MORE
(AND MORE)
FRANCESCA SAYS TOO MUCH

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

'YES, WE HAVE NO BANANAS'

Hillary Yablon

SELF-LOVE SEMINAR

Alex Lemon

LOOK CLOSE
HALLELUJAH BLACKOUT⁵

Bill Knott

ANOTHER FALSE EXECUTION

Maura Stanton

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: THE GAME

Daniel Tiffany

WEREWOLF IN SELVAGE

Christian Hawkey

UNWRITTEN POEMS
NOVEMBER 3, 2004

Terese Svoboda

BURNT HOUSE

Jenny Burman—Fiction

THE CATHERINE SCHOOL • Once I saw a shard of glass come out of the corner of her eye, a tiny shard, no bigger than a snowflake. She calmly plucked it from beneath her lid.

Mel Carlson—Fiction

WALKING ON WATER • No soldier invites a lieutenant in the United States Army to jump overboard

Jessica Reed—Poetry

INTERVENTION IN DRAFTS

Harriet Rubin

'I OFTEN BETRAY MYSELF WITH A KISS' • Oscar Wilde's apologetic love letter, De Profundis

Stephen Elliott

JUST ALWAYS BE GOOD • Welcome, pain

Rob Spillman

ON ROGER SHATTUCK'S THE BANQUET YEARS

Ben George

ON JOHN GRISHAM'S A TIME TO KILL

Michelle Wildgen

ON JEAN M. AUEL'S THE MAMMOTH HUNTERS

Anne K. Yoder

ON THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER

Brenda Shaughnessy

ON LAURA INGALLS WILDER'S LITTLE HOUSE BOOKS

CJ Evans

ON JUDY BLUME'S ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET

Jonathan Raymond

ON DAVID LEE ROTH'S CRAZY FROM THE HEAT

Emily Bliquez

ON VINCENT BUGLIOSI'S HELTER SKELTER

Heather Hartley

FORK, PILLOW, AND PLUME: THE THREE PLEASURES OF CASANOVA • History's most insatiable lover and his other appetities

Michelle Wildgen

THE LAST GREAT DRINKERS • Even the detectives are cutting back