Letter from the editors
As the legacy of our literary magazine evolves, the editors share the incoming magazine's manifesto:
We create the space to play in. When your art starts to create shape and you’re a witness to how it transforms, a catalyst for where it lives, how does it feel? At Invisible City we welcome the story. The truth we all need to hear. Give us your work that shouts. That speaks with conviction. That demands attention. Send us imagination playing. Working like only the work can.
That mindset drives us to create an expansive place, one that breathes and changes each submission cycle. Our published pieces reflect the current running through our artist community. This transformative playground of pieces ranging in the subtle & explosive push us to be bold and truthfully reflect the world around us.
We will never reject a piece based on an idea that it’s too different from other pieces we have published. We honor the fluidity, we honor the privilege to consistently build upon what the previous contributors--staff and artists--have begun for us. All genres and explorations of those genres are welcome here though we do ask that art reliant on the art of others (translation, found works, responses) be properly credited and/or permitted by the original artist.
Send us your exciting words, your examined obsessions, your moments of haunting so that we may also be excited, obsessed, submerged in your imagination. Art is not shaped in a vacuum and though the process can often feel lonely or solitary, the creation is anything but.
Invisible City is what we make it so let’s make it together.
Memory and meanwhile, humbly unannounced
I put you in this box, like the heart of a bird in my human armpit.
Pray every day, face the sun, finger the birch tree I stop at, dogs likely shit on,
young people kiss near. Unfamiliar with what you were like at puberty,Read the poem →
The Uncanny Housewife
The last time I thought about ghosts, I was in a McDonald’s. I had left my grandmother’s house in Des Moines at bedtime, assuming my children would fall asleep in the car, but an unnatural energy possessed them all the way across Iowa.Read the story →
Etude with Late Rain
They’ve taken the temperature of our city
and rubbed its feverish veins. Sweat starts to rise
from the open sidewalks. Blinds drawn, screens
opened, faces lit from below. Our thoughtsRead the poem →
Around here, a pause is always violet-coloured,
mostly strung on necklaces and crumbling
to sugar between teeth. The flowerbeds
new I think, speaking to headlampsRead the poem →
Day-old fried cheese curds. Three Vortex IPAs. Pickles. More pickles. Low-sodium soy sauce (brand: Dillons), jumbo ketchup, two packs of brown eggs (organic but not free range).Read the essay →
The Woman Through the Door
Things go missing in the nursing home.
Helen’s weighted blanket. A letter from her late-husband. An abalone button. A cassette tape of crashing waves she bought at Acadia National Park after she stepped into the ocean for the first time, age fifty-two.Read the story →
The Land Holds My Memory
Somewhere there are photos, color slides taken in the late 1960’s of me sitting on top of a large rock. Buck teeth, hair held back from my face with a kerchief, and scrawny legs.Read the essay →
The Little Jenny
Back in San Francisco, I would press up behind Leon on his Harley, curving up Market Street and the Portola. When he’d told me it was over, I bawled his name into the night air.Read the story →
How Levity Hungers
When we met, you told me I had a voice
that could pinch the corners of our Carolina town
wrap its skin into a hand-held bundle
and inflate it -- balloon, string-tiedRead the poem →
Would not a proper memory of one’s father presuppose a proper father? I’d think so. In the memory I have there is nothing about either it or the father that qualifies as proper.Read the essay →
There's a girl stuck in a block of marble
and the mother sees it as her job to chisel her out. To Michelangelo her. The tools are sentences like, “You look washed out without makeup” and “you should suck your stomach in.”Read the story →
Meditations on Trash in a Time of Dumpster Fires
Just before seven a.m., I hear the garbage truck. I’ve already taken the black bin to the curb. The old hockey bag spread inside the front entry for the past month didn’t fit, despite the fact I’d been dismembering it for weeks, disposing of it in serial-killer pieces.Read the essay →
Caroline Read | Editor-in-Chief
Rebeca Flores | Production Editor
Tanya Žilinskas | Apprentice Editor-in-Chief
Megan Bounds | Apprentice Production Editor
Jonathan Jones | Apprentice Production Editor
Jesse Herwitz | Fiction Editor
Catherine Karnitis | Poetry Editor
Isabella Welch | Nonfiction Editor
Ashlee Laielli | Assistant Nonfiction Editor
Sydney Vogl | Assistant Poetry Editor
Nicholas Neyhouse | Assistant Poetry Editor
Kari Miya | Assistant Poetry Editor
Laleh Khadivi | Faculty Advisor
Readers: Christian Aldana, Swetha Amit, Margaret Benson, Amber Diaz, Lisa Freese, Kevin Garske, Matthew Hose, Leonel Lopez, Isabella Stewart, Neal Andreu Tayco, Amal Wincek, Hantian Zhang