Rabble Lit Issue 3/ Nothing Kills a Blackberry Bramble

“Ours is only a little power, seems like, next to theirs,” Moss said. “But it goes down deep. It’s all roots. It’s like an old blackberry thicket. And a wizard’s power’s like a fir tree, maybe, great and tall and grand, but it’ll blow right down in a storm. Nothing kills a blackberry bramble.” 

17:30/ Mary Breaden

If you can endure the middle of nowhere, you do get the stars. Off in the distance, about a mile to the east, she can hear the Interstate, but it’s easy to pretend that it’s the whooshing patterns of something more majestic.

Undercurrent/ Joseph Allen Costa

I said that Donnie was probably off his meds and Del chuckled at that, but I was serious. We watched Donnie drop the rag and bottle on a work table, walk out of the shop and put a finger to each of his nostrils to blow snot…

Blue Sky Freedom/ Margaret Elysia Garcia

I thought of the bright clear blue sky over the prison and its white clouds. I now think of my students and that 45 minute drive to see them whenever its blue like this.

On the ASA and JD Vance/ Ivy Brashear

Vance is perhaps the single most detrimental figure to Appalachian scholarship of our time, and inviting him into the ASA universe is a move that lends further unearned credibility to his offensive, subjective and backward-looking view of the region – a view that the ASA has sought to eradicate since its founding.

The GOP Tax Cuts Still Suck/ Katie Anderson

I long for the day a group of millionaires have to crawl over something. Maybe crawl over a pile of thrift store clothing to get their tax bonus. I wonder where my little photo album is where I can clearly show how difficult Cindy’s life was, and is and always will be.

Infestation/ Justin Longacre

Do not go to birdmites.org. Do not Google it. Do not read about how they need your hot blood to breed. Do not read that all known pesticides are ineffective. Do not read the personal testimonials from people who have lost their house, their relationships, their sanity.

Two Poems/ William James

I can tell you, again, of how my father/ has never gone to war, yet he still built for us a battle ground/ within the trailer park, the undiagnosed sickness in his head/ laying a minefield of sudden rages & swinging fists/ the kitchen knife or the hunting rifle held close to our throats…