Nocturnals: Conjunctions 72

Spring 2019
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Conj72cvrFNL-frntNight shrouds, but also illuminates. It is a time of meditation and celebration, but also of madness and grief. Nighttime is marked by loss and soul-searching, sweet dreams and grisly nightmares. Whether under a full moon or new, the night is a time of prayer and murder, of love, hate, and epiphany. A cascade of contradictories, night is sometimes restful, sometimes restive. Dread, loneliness, and dislocation are often intensified in the darkness of night, but the mind may also be set free during the hours in which Edgar Allan Poe’s “sable divinity” reigns. Whether awake or asleep, we spend half our lives during the night, lives that are often very different during the day.

In this Nocturnals issue of Conjunctions, readers will encounter the fearful monster of Kowloon, which, like many such monsters, relies on the dauntless imaginations of children in order to continue to exist. In a debut story, we follow the fates of three men on a hallucinatory journey into the snowy pitch-dark night of the soul. Like werewolves and vampires, ghosts are classic—chimerical?—denizens of the night, and they too haunt these pages. Purgatory can be found here, along with alternative universes, an East Village bar that doubles as a portal to another life, and a personal chronicle of a visit to Burning Man in Black Rock Desert. The nightbird Nycticorax is invoked in this issue, as are musical nocturnes, night thoughts at solstice, wheeling galaxies, and the cosmos itself. The pioneering nocturnal photography of George Shiras is celebrated in these pages, even as the dichotomous world of night versus day in equatorial Uganda is observed by an ethnographic eye.

In order to sustain her life, Scheherazade spun her stories for a thousand and one nights. In a spirit that recognizes how vital it is to voice our own stories, these fictions, poems, essays, and memoirs in Nocturnals address the myriad ways in which the night, from dusk to daybreak, is central to our experience of life.


Frederic Tuten The Bar at Twilight
Cecily Parks Nineteenth-Century Nights and Nocturnal Lights
Brian Evenson In Dreams
Anne Waldman Nocturne
Sallie Tisdale Twelve Hours
Sarah Gridley As Mica Means Crumb, and Galaxy, Milk
James Morrow Psi, Phi, Omega
Carmen Maria Machado Haunt
Peter Gizzi Ship of State
Erika Howsare Prey Ethics
Mei-mei Berssenbrugge Lux
Steven Potter The House at the End of the Night
Cole Swensen George Shiras: The Heart Is the Dark
Ann Lauterbach Nights in the Asyntactical World
Han Ong Dutch Kills
Raven Leilani The Blue Hour
Kathryn Davis Walking in the Dark
Robert Walser
Translated by Daniele Pantano Ten Poems
Martha Ronk Four Night Poems
Rick Moody One-Eyed Jack
Bennett Sims A Nightmare
Rita Chang-Eppig Saving the Monster of Kowloon
Gillian Conoley In the Next Night
Paul Park Anosognosia
Joyce Carol Oates Nightgrief
G. C. Waldrep Night Watch
Elizabeth Robinson Four Nights
Danielle Dutton Nocturne
Sejal Shah Your Wilderness Is Not Permanent
Rachel Blau DuPlessis Cosmos, A Nocturne
James McCorkle Two Poems
Carole Maso Solstice Night
Daniel Torday Neighbor
Laynie Browne Four Poems
Bin Ramke Nycticorax Nycticorax
William Hicks Them
Heather Altfeld A Scribe from the Double-House of Life

What are your thoughts on this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s