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The nights there in the mountains
were cool, almost cold
and we spent the summer
tilling, churning, and sipping
moonshine and sweet sable wine.

One night we got an old
TV-VCR combo working
and watched My Cousin Vinny
four or five times
and laughed at all the jokes
and at the way things used to be.

We never talked about the war,
but instead nailed it to an aspen
near the latrine and regarded it
sometimes, warily in passing
our tragedies kept neatly
on the shores of conversation,
sealed safe in the half-dream
mumbles of predawn waking.

Still on quiet evenings,
you could almost hear
the world falling out there
somewhere, everywhere
beyond the sunset.

We knew that the bugs
would find us eventually,
the signs were all around us:
the bird cherries turned black in spring,
swarms of salmon flies
dropped dead out of the sky,
the body of a malformed doe
not two miles from camp
her left flank half a-comb
of dripping hive honey.

And one night,
Rache even woke
to find creeping upon her leg,
the nine-inch form of what might
have once been an insect,
orchid-like and bleeding color;
sipping ichor, incepting her veins
with its own nymph dreams
and infectious spotted fever.

After Sadie crushed it with her Bible,
its remains resembled half a mantis,
half a shattered hard drive.

It belonged to no army we knew
(we knew no armies under our rock)
the rogue run off the beaten path,
its serial, logo, and man.date were to us
like all the world beyond the woods,
mangled, mutant, and indiscernible.



Mack W. Mani is an American poet and author. His work has appeared in various magazines including Neon, NewMyths, and The Pedestal Magazine. His screenplay “You and Me and Dagon Makes Three” won Best Screenplay at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in 2018.
Current Issue
18 Jan 2021

Soft Shoulder speaking softly / quick-stop-tongued lanky cur dog / lisping languid in jeans
By: Zach Ozma
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Zach Ozma
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Zach Ozma's “Soft Shoulder (Excerpt)” with a reading by the poet.
Splinters, old and new. How else can the skin remember the tree? If it hurts, that is the point.
The way I see it, this story is full of symbolic touchstones, visual elements with layers of meaning that are not always obvious, or even accessible, to the reader.
Wednesday: Bulbbul 
Friday: The Hierarchies by Ros Anderson 
Issue 11 Jan 2021
By: Ryu Ando
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Nikki Caffier Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 4 Jan 2021
By: Maya Beck
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Stephanie Burt
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Stephanie Burt
Issue 21 Dec 2020
By: Octavia Cade
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Meep Matsushima
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Meep Matsushima
Issue 14 Dec 2020
By: ML Kejera
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Brigid Nemeton
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Brigid Nemeton
7 Dec 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for the Palestinian Special issue! The issue, edited by Rasha Abdulhadi and Basma Ghalayini will be published at the end of March 2021. We are open for submissions from now until January 31, 2021. Don't wait till the end to send your work!
7 Dec 2020
تقديم الطلبات مفتوح من الان و حتى تاريخ 31 يناير 2021. قدم/ قدمي عملك عاجلا و ليس آجلا!
Issue 7 Dec 2020
By: Toby MacNutt
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Anna Cates
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Dec 2020
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Ateri Miyawatl
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Adam Coon
By: Vraiux Dorós
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
By: Luz Rosales
Translated by: Andrea Chapela
By: Libia Brenda
Translated by: Allana C. Noyes
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Podcast read by: Ateri Miyawatl
Podcast: Bromelia (English) 
Podcast: Bromelia (Español) 
Issue 23 Nov 2020
By: Michael Bazzett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Michael Bazzett
Issue 16 Nov 2020
By: Cat Aquino
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Michael Chang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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