BANG! authors are showcased individually here online for a month. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for a month. All work on must be previously unpublished. Submission period runs all year round. BANG! pieces are not published in The New Guard. Work should be very short: flash-short. Pieces on BANG! are meant to serve as a kind of calling card for the author. :: Our next installment will be posted on July 1, 2018. ::
Elena Tomorowitz is a BANG! Selected Writer.
Elena Tomorowitz received her MFA from Cleveland State University's NEOMFA, and PhD from The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. Her work appears in Guernica, The Collagist, Hayden's Ferry Review, Fugue, Thin Air Magazine, and others. She lives in Boise and is a business consultant at Hewlett Packard, Inc.
by Elena Tomorowitz
It’s in the fish plant where anything found in the river comes out breaded. Box trucks pull in and out at a
regular frequency that can be predicted down to the minute. The flesh is shaped into squares or into the
similarity of swimming fish, sometimes like human fingers. The scales are removed, polished, sewn into
dresses. The smell is inescapable, like the priest who fills his church with smoke and tells us to inhale the
holy spirit. That this is literally the breath of the lord. Count how many fish we have now. The oil is
processed and used for dehydrated bodies. It doesn’t even matter that we don’t know what to call the meat
Sunday is the day you prop the logs on a block, raise the hatchet (you have already dragged the children
out of bed to watch) then lower the blade, your precision to the veins is impeccable. You place the handle
into the palm of the youngest boy. Joke about bloody fingers and missing limbs. My grandmother lost her
middle finger but told a different story about its absence each time. We are enveloped in fog up here,
wrapped around us like a lake-soaked towel. My sleeves hang, damp, past my wrists. You tell me to hold
onto this cast iron pan just in case. About a mile away a wolf mother licks her cub and tells him he will
never be a dog. The youngest boy tugs on my sweater and asks when it’s time for the fires to be lit.
Beaver Dams and Mammograms
On a morning covered with damp leaves and your boots may slip (the over eager), the mammogram truck
rattles up the dirt roads then waits for patients. The women stand in line, they are expecting results, yet
they don’t know what to expect. Inside the truck is a mystery, a glowing cleanliness, told it will make
their lives better. The doctor holds out his palm to guide them in, one by one. The more you know about
your bodies, he said, the more anxiety you may have. Please sign here. The beavers divert the waters,
their muscular little bodies move upstream. It had been years since this mountain town had seen men in
white coats. No need for cold feet here, but when the boots have holes, the boots have holes. When will
the cobbler come?
Poetry © Elena Tomorowitz, 2018. All rights reserved by the author.
Previous authors with appearances on BANG! are: Patricia Smith, Jose Padua, Pete Follansbee, Jillian Brenner, Susanna Baird, Alexandra Oliver, Kerri Quinn, Mike Heppner, Marc Mewshaw, Lola Rainey, Timothy Dyke, Marcia Popp, Quenton Baker, Courtney Campbell, Joshua Graber, Charles Wyatt, Ingrid Norton, Julio Duggan, V. Hansmann, Margo Orlando Littell Scarlett S. Diaz, Erica Vega, Amy M. Alvarez, Jonathan Segol, Lissa Kiernan, Roger Bonair-Agard, James Kimbrell, Bridget Boland, E.G. Cunningham, Melissa Goode, Mark Wagstaff, Carla Stern, Sarah Glass, Jennifer Amell, Zakia R. Khwaja, Julie Poitras Santos, Lyall Harris and Amy Nash.