The editors of Drunken Boat are happy to announce our nominees for the 2011 Pushcart Prize. You can read the poems and stories that blew our minds, below. Congratulations, and good luck!
Karin Gottshall, Care and Feeding.
Margaret gave birth to the octopus in a wading pool in her own apartment. The midwife, who thought she’d seen everything and nearly had, took it in stride. It had been an easy birth. The creature had come out head first, a boneless mass that they at first mistook for an intact caul. No umbilical cord to cut. No blood, no squalling. He was the size of a loosely closed fist, or the bloom of a peony.
Renee LaGue, The Practice of Being in Motion.
charlie wants to retrace every footmark from here to iowa but bones touches his elbow let’s go back now and charlie knows bones is swallowing this place whole; swallowing it and only later will he see the tender retching that follows something you love but cannot hold
Jurica Pavicic, Second Floor, Heaven.
In the winter of 1987 my father built a bungalow on the Batini? lot. He roofed it with a concrete slab spiked with steel reinforcing, onto which he piled a load of cement blocks, the raw material for future storeys. Using a dozen blocks, he made a turret at one corner and connected it to the electricity cable. He hung a TV antenna on it, so it looked like a fishbone. We received Italian television perfectly, Zagreb so-so.
Irina Reyn, Two Extremes.
“Poisoning always comes in pairs.” My mother says this as if this is a common, ancient belief. “It is this you want to visit?” My father, who had been mimicking Chekhov’s Irina for years—“To Moscow! To Moscow”—is silent.
Sun Yung Shin, WHICH WAY | KICHICHEON | YANKEETOWN.
This is no natural forest. // My lungs can find no mirror of mica, no flaked red // garb of leaves. // Blind at night, blind in the light. // Who here prays to the Snake god? // Who discards the twin he wears on the outside? // When he lays white and waxed and wrinkled—I will double, triple— // Sometimes the child-mind collapses like an umbrella, // spindled ribs and an ivory handle— // Which way may I rise?
Franz Wright, Goodbye.
Each day I woke as it started to get dark and the pain came. Month after month of this—who knows when I got well, the way you do, whether you like it or not. With dawn now, risen from the rampage of sleep, I am walking in the Lincoln woods, a mile or two of train tracks out of Walden, first sapphire glint of Flint’s Pond to the right through the winter trees.
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