"These Are the Fables" by Amelia Gray

Recommended by CLMP

Issue No. 51

WE WERE IN THE PARKING LOT OF A DUNKIN’ DONUTS IN BEAUMONT, TX when I told Kyle that I was pregnant. I figured I’d rather be out under God as I announced the reason for all my illness and misery.

I said to him, Well shit. Guess we’re having a baby.

Read the rest of the story at

About the Author

Amelia Gray is the author of three works of fiction: AM/PM (featherproof books), Museum of the Weird (FC2) and Threats (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), for which she was named a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

About the Guest Editor

For 46 years, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses has provided technical assistance to and advocated on behalf of independent literary publishers. CLMP guides literature through the business of publishing and engages diverse communities of readers through a variety of public programs. For information about membership, please visit

“These Are the Fables” originally appeared in Hobart and is reprinted by permission of the Author. © 2013 by Amelia Gray. All rights reserved by the Author.

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Taste Test: I Tell Random People About You by Svea Barrett, Spire Press, 2011

The Paris Inn of Wayne, NJ

There was no film in my camera that day
when you told me over a cracked green
salt and pepper set that you might just love me.
“Might,” the way I’d said it in second grade
to my teddy bear when I wore a LOVE ring
I won from an arcade machine.

Now I eat the heart of an apple that rots
in my kitchen, after I cut out the spots
just like the ones on the landlord’s cat
which stared at me when I first came to see 
this place, right after I finally knew I’d need
to take off your ring and be done with you. 


Do you like Indie Lit? Do you like summer? Who’s your crush?

These are all pertinent questions.

Tonight at Housing Works in NYC

Tonight, June 12, at 7 pm, Cynthia Cruz (The Glimmering Room), Farrah Field (Rising, Wolf and Pilot) and poets from Birds, LLC, Belladonna, Black Square Editions, and Futurepoem, will be reading at the FACE OUT Reading & Reception: Maximizing the Visibility of Emerging Writers event at Housing Works (126 Crosby St.) in NYC. Hope you can come!

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The Glimmering Room, Rising and Wolf and Pilot are all available from Four Way Books

Anobium is now an official memeber of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. We’re legit. And also, Anobium will continue to become more available across a wide variety of networks and distributors. And other business lingo.

We have some changes to make to our website and guidelines, but the Internet connection from our underground bunker has been unstable. We are making this update from an Internet Cafe in Haysworth, IL. Don’t look for it on a map, you won’t find it. We are surrounded by dust and filth.

Orders have been slowly rolling in. If you’ve received your copy or thumbed through it at one of our sellers, send us an e-mail letting us know what you think. If it’s witty enough, we’ll post it on here.

Support CLMP and Indie Lit in Our #MyFirstTime Virtual Fundraiser

Dear Writer,

Remember your first time?

First time being published, that is. Maybe it was a story in your college lit mag, or a poem in an online journal, or an essay in a periodical. Maybe you even had a manuscript accepted by a small press. Whatever your publishing track record, we’re willing to bet that your first time was something special—and chances are it was through an independent literary publisher.

Perhaps you’re still waiting for your first acceptance letter, but thanks to CLMP—the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses—independent literary publications are thriving, creating more opportunities for writers like you to be heard!

As representatives of the community of indie lit publishers, we ask that you join us in supporting CLMP, the organization that helps make it possible for us to publish writers like you. CLMP provides essential training and information to literary publishers small and large, established and just beginning. Russell Banks, George Plimpton and others founded CLMP in 1967, and CLMP has been here for us, helping us do what we do even better, ever since.

Supporting CLMP means that you play an active role in sustaining the very publishers most likely to publish you.

Today, we’ve banded together to show CLMP that writers will join us in giving back. Please make a contribution below, and to celebrate your support (and toot your own horn—you’ve earned it!), simply tweet/Facebook/tumblr about the first time you published—and the publication that made it happen—then add #myfirsttime and a link ( to our donate page.

Thank you for your voice, which inspires our work, and for helping us support this vital organization.


A Public Space
Apeiron Review
Bodega Magazine
Coffee House Press
Colorado Review
Creative Nonfiction
Electric Literature
Four Way Books
Graywolf Press
Iowa Review
The Literary Review
The Missouri Review
One Story
Rain Taxi
Tin House
Words Without Borders


This week at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: tickets are still available to the New York Times-approved bookstore opera of Weimar Germany, A Weimar Flute (three performances, tonight 6/11, Thursday 6/14, and Monday 6/18); and tomorrow we’re Moth-ing and welcoming Glen Hansard (sold out! but tickets still available to his 6/29 Beacon show) in the same night, because why not? All the awesome! Happy day this week is from 10AM to 5PM on Friday.

Heads up, this also means we close at 5 or 6PM most days this week for events. BUT! Please join us when we are wide open on SUNDAY for the GIANT Lit Mag Fair, one of our favorite annual events and a great time to catch up with your favorite lit mags and find new loves.

I almost wish I had a long commute...

I said almost. But really, for the last 2 mornings I’ve taken the bus into New York for the CLMP Literary Writers Conference at the New School. (Highly recommended, by the way.) So much time for Tumblr and being brilliant on Facebook!

Yesterday I was thinking that I always feel like I should feel something when I see the industrial-scapes of NJ from the highway. Kind of like a political issue where you feel that in order to be an intellectual person you need to be able to have a precise, intelligent opinion argued persuasively. I feel the same way about looking down at all the lights when an airplane is landing. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE A DEEP THOUGHT ABOUT THIS!!! I AM A WRITER!

Instead, today I was reminded of a particular bus route in college and how all the buses on that route were so creaky like they were about to sigh and give up. I thought of class trips and how exciting it was to walk out the door and see the fancy coach bus rather than a school bus with the textured vinyl seats with the patches kids would pick at and the windows that often wouldn’t close all the way or would close crooked in a sad droopy manner and the little electric fan perched in the corner above the driver’s left shoulder.

These are my deep thoughts, and I guess that’s ok. I suppose it has it be. I suppose it’s all I got.

Taste Test: Amnesia of the Movement of Clouds and of Red and Black Verse, by Maria Attanasio, translated by Carla Billitteri, Litmus Press, 2014


Parlare della morte poi scopare
o litigare a più non posso––lei
s'appiattiva nell'angolo: per te
in forma di ragno per me
di scarafaggio, cieca, paralizzata,
morta la morte––le guglie tremavano
le maniglie delle porte si aprivano
da sole la bellezza era vicina di tavolo
e compagna di letto il passo barocco
acuminato nell'anima che mi hai dato.


To talk about death and then to fuck
or fight as hard as we can––she
squashed herself in a corner: for you
in the shape of a spider for me
of a roach, blind, paralyzed,
dead death––steeples trembled
doorknobs opened
of themselves beauty was at next table
and a bed companion the baroque step
acute in the soul that you gave me.

Support independent literary publishing and buy tickets to our gala!! You’ll get all our love, not to mention a delicious Chinese banquet dinner. We promise it’s more fun than takeout.

This year we’re honoring the amazing Katie Freeman, genius publicist at Riverhead Books, and Fiona McCrae, awesome publisher at Graywolf Press. How can you say no to IRL idols?

Taste Test: The Ants by Sawako Nakayasu, Les Figues Press, 2014

We the Heathens

We go to have Chinese for dinner and my friend who is visiting from another planet is horrified (and perhaps a little excited also), until I explain to her that we are having Chinese food, not Chinese people. We go to a place that serves not dumpling soup, which I love, but soup dumpling, with which I am unfamiliar. The soup is actually inside of each dumpling, and everyone develops their own system of eating it. As we poke our chopsticks voraciously into the folds of the Crispy Fried Whole Exploded Fish, which is delicious, it becomes clear to me that we would have no right to be shocked or mortified or outraged or even surprised or upset, should some creature from another planet descend upon the earth, pluck our people off the ground and fry us up, tearing away at our flesh with relish. 

My friend Morton, a sweet and gentle man, is sitting quietly beside me with his uneaten burger. I don’t know how he managed to get himself a hamburger in a Chinese restaurant, but there he sits, and there sits his hamburger, with the top bun off. Morton says he wants live ants on his burger but does not want to go hunting for ants himself, so he is waiting for the ants to come to the burger, at which point he will replace the top bun and eat. I tell him that he will probably have better luck with that outside, and he says that’s a good idea, thanks, and goes outside with his hamburger, and that’s the last I ever see of him. 

Taste Test: Beauty Mark by Suzanne Cleary, BkMk Press, 2013

Food Poems 


In the Russian orphanage, each night
the child is given a piece of bread
to hold in her hands while she sleeps,
so she knows that tomorrow she will eat.


In a village outside of Addis Ababa,
one child gives another a banana.
The second child peels it, returns the fruit,
eats the peel.


On Yom Kippur, Avenue of the Americas, 
a woman hands the homeless man a sandwich,
which he refuses, saying, No thank you.
Today I’m fasting.


The parent is becoming a child.
Mother of God, feed those who will feed her.

Holy Mother, rest your arm across her shoulders,
your other arm behind her knees.
Lift her like a child being carried to bed
in a world where children are carried to bed.