Author: The Coachella Review (Page 1 of 3)

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

See

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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Tell a Story, Sell a Product

By Brendon Smith

 

Brendon Smith lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his lovely wife, creative son and annoying dog. He has had many of his one-acts produced, but this is the first one to be published.

Make Contact, Not War

BY MATTHEW DIBBERT

There seems to be a rule that a talented director will eventually make a bad movie. With so much that can go wrong with making a film, it’s almost inevitable. Paul Thomas Anderson made “Inherent Vice” (2014) and Susanne Bier made “Serena” (2014). So far, Denis Villeneuve has escaped this fate. His latest film, “Arrival,” does not reach the heights of his previous work, but it is nevertheless a quality picture.

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Book Review: Roxane Gay’s “Difficult Women”

By Jenny Hayes

difficult-womenRoxane Gay’s Difficult Women is a relentless and thrilling read. As in much of Gay’s other work, particularly her novel An Untamed State, there is no looking away from brutality, yet moments of grace, beauty, and humor serve as striking counterparts to the more unsettling passages.

In these twenty-one stories, women negotiate problematic relationships, search for love and comfort, and try to cope with pain.

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An Open Letter to the Art Collector Who Paid $17.2 Million for a Kneeling Hitler Sculpture

By Sharon Goldberg

Dear Art Collector:

Congratulations! The art world is all abuzz over your winning bid for Maurizio Cattelan’s “Him” at Christie’s recent “Bound to Fail” sale, a record-breaking sum for work by the famous artist. I personally wouldn’t spend $17.2 million for a nearly life-sized, wax and polyester resin effigy of Adolph Hitler, but I can see how a dictator or two might add to your caché among those folks who like art that pushes conventional boundaries.

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