Issue Two


L’Esprit Literary Review || Volume II Issue I

D. W. White, Editor

Jessica Denzer, Associate Editor


in mediam mentem

  • Strip Poker

    I have lost every hand, until now. All my clothes are gone, because I threw them in. Then my skin. Then my bones.

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  • Fragments of an Intermittent Lover

    Everyone knows that the lover speaks from great solitude. Roland Barthes teaches us as much. Yet the discourse that I speak comes from a solitude more absolute and profound. For, minus a beloved, I have no one to address. Hence a rare subject: the one who loves with no one to love.

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  • Night of Terror

    Ismaili sits on a chair at a table. The benches are full of boys and girls. Noise. Noise of terror. They’ve started. Tapping their feet. What should I do?

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  • Seated

    Rosa refuses to be still. She stretches her arms high above her head, stacks her palms, glues her biceps to her ears, and dives. She is a dolphin and the couch is her ocean.

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  • And If The Line Breaks

    Dark sky, dark room, dark heart. Only the mad noise of the pre-dawn birds in the shadowy trees outside her childhood bedroom window tells her she lives, breathes. That her heart beats on. The house is cold.

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  • The Moral Duty To Be Recondite

    ‘Mugwump’, ‘vitiate’, ‘paralogism’ – It would not be a stretch to say 99% of the English-speaking population is unfamiliar with at least two of these words.

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  • One Time In Hell

    I went to kid hell when I was eight years old. I stood on a red velvet runner, and I smelled a familiar sweetness—frankincense, I think.

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  • Talbot & The Fall

    Brown-cracked Barbour, dreaming of … grooved gent bulkhead message (crumbling) relay room: 660V!

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  • A Conversation with Michael Nath

    I’d written novels about love, character, revenge; it was time to try one on death (the manner to be fairly high-spirited). I’d just finished The Treatment; all the literary agents of Britain having disappeared into their bins like the old couple in Endgame.

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  • Skating

    The dad is ice on the lake in the park. Says to his child and the mother of his child he’ll scout for thin spots, dark open water. He skates away. The hard grace of the hockey star he was.

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  • Haunted Walls

    The nurse asks me to sign a document I cannot see. Or I can see it, but cannot read it, the words nothing more than indecipherable black marks scratched into the whiteness of the paper, a whiteness which, combined with the harsh shine of the overhead fluorescent lights, hurts my eyes.

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  • Before

    The marriage ended before he learned what she looked like when the white started showing at the roots of her hairline.

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  • Light and Shadow

    Virginia Woolf is one of the most widely read authors of British Modernism, her innovations in narrative form revolutionizing fiction in the early 20th century, the effects of which are still felt today.

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  • Couch

    A fly sways drowsily across the sunny room until it hits the window with a bewildered thump. Then the ticking of the man’s watch is the only sound that anyone might hear.

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  • Watching Shadows Move

    The afternoon light coming through the window raked across the bedcovers, throwing shadows that the observer likened to those cast by desert hills just before sunset.

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  • Ghost in the Machine

    The mind, we are told by Cartesian philosophy, is separate from the body. It exists on its own, invisible, inherent, indispensable. It is in the combination of mind and body, a vital if uneven relationship, where human life, in some manner, comes into being. Je pense, donc je suis.

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Cover photo credit: D. W. White, private collection

in mediam mentem // issue two