Author: The Coachella Review (Page 1 of 4)

Escape From Delhi

by scott morris

I am at the exact furthest point from home possible—zenith or nadir, depending on perspective—standing at the immigration counter at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, body wracked with some stewing South Asian pestilence stirring up the worst kind of hallucinations, trying to get the fuck out of India.

Earlier that night the proprietress of the hostel had given me some expired medication. She assured me it would fix me right up, quiet the internal motion of unwell, that she had seen all this before, but the only difference it made was that I had started passing out periodically, the first time while walking into the train station. I had to lie on a bench for a while to regain enough strength to get through security, all while a circle of Indian men crowded around, shouting offers of every type of service imaginable at this prone and seemingly dead American man. The modern train was built for western tourists, and I was the only passenger, thankfully alone to save myself the embarrassment of having others watch me vomit into a plastic bag.

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Two Poems by Breeann Kyte


in the close dark causes tongues to catch
on knobbed spines. Unzippering
mouthfuls along the length of secret

sentences. One language to another
opens in a grin, a stutter
to a tentative translation
of this alphabet of four.

Now see,
her jaw lit.
Why sew ivy
cut for the sun? Let

barrel-folded fingers wring the kinks straight:
Staircased helices, the hidden yes.


Phages in Love 

Separates fuse in this commitment
to kill unless a mad moron. No dead
end here: pressure, coiled tight, crushed
in corners, quiet until now. When God
says to count stars, he has no idea
the amplitude of the viral flood.
Their collars fringed with feelers, pulsing
signals as legs snap to attention—
rapt in another—stories thrusted, spill,
remake cytosolic space.

Replicate: this urge, primordial
code to send snipped ends in embrace;
tongues alter to single tale. Houdini
never vanished so completely, never
resurrected as a multitude.
No magic in heedless need stripping
away sense of self until a ripple,
a shiver through lipid walls—the hijack
fills to burst, seams split wide.

A more temperate path: long life
shrunk small, tucked into, integrated—
part of the spiraled ladder of years.
The Cumean Sybil’s voice was not so
soft, not so persuasive, hushing. Replicate
with each divided daughter further
doubled, further repressed, suppressed
and snugged in cell. They looped through
wiry helix until induced to excise.

Annul this union.



Breeann Kyte is a research biologist, creative writer, and facilitates collaborations between scientists, writers and visual artists. She writes poetry as a fresh way to use language and images for her research and writing. Both poems are on the life cycles of viruses. Her creative work has been published in The Scientist, Sunshine Noir, the Eeel, Orion (online blog), Serving House Journal, and City Creatures (Center for Humans & Nature).


TCR talks with Zoe Zolbrod

BY tracy granzyk

Zoe Zolbrod’s memoir, The Telling, was published in May of 2016, and it will undoubtedly remain a “go to” book for both survivors and family members of those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. In The Telling, Zolbrod comes to understand and accept the grey her own experiences have equated to within, while at the same time gives readers an example of how trauma and tragedy might be assimilated and used to empower one’s self. Especially poignant and game-changing in the memoir are her experiences as “Mama Bear”; a new parent with an immediate need to protect not only her children, but all kids from suffering the same experience she did. While Zolbrod never takes refuge in the title of victim, her honest pain exposes the depth to which she is still able to feel, never seeming to shut off and others out as a result of what was done to her.

As a writer, Zolbrod’s voice is both authoritative and accessible, and the narrative flows smoothly through different time periods of her life. She serves as both teacher of topic and craft by threading four Research Shows chapters within the story’s framework, allowing her to break off from the narrative, which she described during our conversation as a respite from the emotion inherent in diving back into such a painful experience. As a person, Zolbrod’s warmth and kind soul are what I was first drawn to during the interview that follows.

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Sonic Horror Geographies: “Hush,” Gender, and Disability

By Geneveive Newman
A Note from the Editors

This week, The Coachella Review presents a stand-alone episode of the podcast Open Ivory Tower, written and produced by Geneveive Newman. In this episode, Newman looks at Mike Flanagan’s 2016 film Hush, a horror film about Maddie, a young writer who is deaf and mute and who has recently moved to a secluded cabin in the woods. The film details one harrowing night when a serial killer arrives at her home. The episode is a critical examination instead of a review, looking at the ways the film conforms to and subverts common horror tropes. We are excited to present it here.

Content Notice: This podcast contains discussions of rape, gendered violence, graphic depictions of injury and physical/mental harm, ableism, and imprisonment, as well as audio clips from the film. Some listeners may find it disturbing.

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On Austerity

by F. C. Brown Cloud

Despite his $90k/year coding gig in Silicon Valley, Nate dressed for work in the dark.

This was Classic Nate, mind you. Pre-sex-cult, depressed and reckless and bizarre. Always more than a little tense because, like most of us, he wanted to be loved, but lamented that he’d gotten laid only twice in the last five years. Once by Angela, bipolar friend of a friend who seemed to be bedding somebody almost every night during her episodes. And once by a visiting Israeli his parents arranged for him to meet. He drove her around aimlessly through night, punched the roof of his car when she asked for a cigarette (his pack fell from its perch above the passenger-side sun visor to land in her lap), and regaled her with stories about the United States. I like to imagine that some of those stories were about me. Then, in a parking lot alongside Half Moon Bay, he was shocked to find her climbing over the central console to unbutton his jeans and straddle him. Shafts of sunlight stabbed over the bluffs behind them.

A few hours later, Nate dropped her off at the airport. His life was back to nothing.

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Two Poems by Natalie Crick

BY Natalie Crick


The moon hangs in utter darkness,
A smoldering black,

A crack of light
Disappearing almost,
The world paused outside.

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Book Review: Nick Cutter’s “Little Heaven”

By eli ryder

New Mexico, 1965. Three seasoned killers converge on each other, then on a cult leader and a consuming force of darkness that threatens to overtake the world. Fresh, unflinching horror ensues. This is Nick Cutter’s Little Heaven. New Mexico is the perfect sparse setting for this modern take on classic westerns; outlaws, revenge, a maiden in distress, and a reverend that makes the most unhinged Pentecostal tongue-speaker feel perfectly sane all combine in a series of story beats Louis L’Amour would have found comfortably familiar, if he could stomach the visceral punches Cutter weaves throughout, a la Cormac McCarthy. Little Heaven’s New Mexico has “scratch-ass” towns with “straggle-ass” streets in which hired guns ask their targets, “Are you square with your creator?” before dispatching them to what lies beyond.

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TCR Talks with T. Greenwood

By Chih Wang

T. Greenwood’s new novel, The Golden Hour, is a beautiful, haunting mystery folded into the personal drama of a woman finding her artistic truth. When she was thirteen, Wyn took a shortcut through the woods on her way home. What happened there would send Robby Rousseau to jail and forever mark her as a cautionary tale to other girls. Twenty years later, living next door to her ex-husband, Wyn is unhappily painting generic landscapes to pay the bills when she learns that new DNA evidence might set Robby free.

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Book Review: C. W. Cannon’s “French Quarter Beautification Project”

By John Flynn-York

Wild, beautiful, bawdy, and vivid, C. W. Cannon’s new novel, French Quarter Beautification Project, is the song of one night on the streets and in the bars of New Orleans’ French Quarter, circa 1986. Waveland Rogers, known as “Buck” by all—“they call him Buck Rogers because of his repute for epic spaciness, a grand, sweeping, tremendous, but detailed spaciness”—is an aspiring composer who frequently drifts off into music-inspired reverie. He’s a server at Everybody’s Happy, a restaurant with themed tables and a costumed waitstaff, who jocularly call it “Nobody’s Here” due its lack of clientele. Buck wears a fedora and carries a whip, earning him another nickname, Louisiana Jones; his fellow servers include the buxom, randy Glory Ann, who dresses as Tinkerbell; a young guy known as Scrunge, who parades around as a lion; and Marciss, the manager, who takes his responsibilities lightly and is the occasional object of Buck’s skittering lust.

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The Crossroads

By Danell Jones


Find yourself at crossroads
Stamp your feet
Shake the dust off your metaphor
Give thanks you are not Oedipus
Release your nightmares back to sleep

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