Harp & Altar #7

From Fra Keeler by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

‘It’s on the edge of a canyon,’ the realtor said, raising his eyebrows when I offered to buy the home without having looked at it first.

‘Fine,’ I said, though I wasn’t sure exactly what the realtor meant. Then I didn’t say anything for a long time because I was thinking of Fra Keeler’s death. And it seemed the realtor wanted to repeat what he had just said, his eyebrows even more tense. ‘Some things aren’t worth looking into,’ I said, and the realtor’s eyebrows slackened a bit. Then I asked, ‘Where are the papers?’ ‘Here they are,’ he said. ‘I’d like to sign them,’ I said, and he pushed them across the table with his middle finger. What an ugly finger, I remember thinking while I signed the papers, and then I got up and I left.

We are said to die of one thing on paper, but it is entirely of something different that we die, I thought as I left the realtor’s office. And it is dangerous to take the discrepancy between the two for granted, what one actually dies of and what one is said to have died of on paper; there is hardly ever a correspondence. And I’m thinking now that some people’s deaths need to be thoroughly investigated. I’m more than certain that I thought this then too, as I left the realtor’s office, but the thought wasn’t as highly illuminated in my head. I’m thinking now, it isn’t every day one comes across a death that is especially timely and magnificent, for example Fra Keeler’s death. And then, one really has to wonder, one has to begin to think, to retrace the mental footsteps of the deceased person, e.g. Fra Keeler, since the chance that such a timely death would remain unexplained on paper is that much more significant.

More at http://harpandaltar.com

Harp & Altar #7 is now available — with poetry and fiction by Cynthia Arrieu-King, Ana Božičević, Matthew Klane, Michael O’Brien, Alejandra Pizarnik translated by Jason Stumpf, Brett Price, Jared White, Edmond Caldwell, Susan Daitch, Luca Dipierro, Craig Foltz, A.D. Jameson, Matthew Kirkpatrick, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi. Also: Farrah Field on Julia Cohen; Patrick Morrissey on Joshua Harmon and Rob Schlegel; Michael Newton’s gallery reviews; and art by Brandon Downing.

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