Emily Kiernan


Great Divide

from Unsolicited Press
"In your dream it had been dismantled piece by piece by mice or creatures that looked like mice but were really white balls of negative space or static that looked more like cotton than like mice."


The Grand Tour

published in issue 5.1 of White Whale Review
"In the attic there was a ghost. We named him Levi. Aunt Sarah named him Levi on the night when she was a teenager and she awoke screaming, feeling that a hand had been touching her, a man's hand on her hair and her face and her throat."

Craig on Tinian Island, 1945

published in the Spring 2013 issue of JMWW
"As they passed under the water the eyes closed, and this sent a reverberation through Craig that was not relief. He waited, watched as the lips parted and the mouth filled with brack. He resisted the limp-flailing arms that slapped at his chest, his shoulders, never reaching his face. He wondered how long it would take such a man to drown. He did not think it would be long."

Questing Beast

published in issue 10.1 of Redivider
"It barked once before it turned and ran—barked, because she had no other word for it, and not really once, but in a strange, reverberating chorus, a chaotic rumble like a hundred dogs barking, like a pack falling upon the fox: and there was that squealing in it too."

Eros + Thanatos

published in WINK Pinup
"She wasn't sure exactly how it had started; nothing particular was said, no agreements made, but as they had walked side by side around the city—the Met, Battery Park, St. John's, everything you're supposed to see—she had known that they were suddenly, intensely together, and each word had become a stitch, a little stab followed by a pulling closer."


published in Dark Sky
"I do not know what would have happened if Mike had ever been fast enough to tag us (if it could, after so long, have been as gentle as that). Perhaps we would have become the monsters and he would have become one of us and the sweethearts would have poured out of him onto the grass or leapt up from the ground to swarm us. Or perhaps the game would have ended."

Morning Dove

published in Red Sky
"As Miriam came to stand beside him, he turned to show her what he was holding, though he did not look at her: it was the body of a bird, its feathers standing out perfectly white against its tiny pink beak and orange feet. It was small and deflated looking, with its neck extended and laid against He's palm in a soft curve, an oddly inviting angle, like a beautiful virgin in an old movie."

Claudia on the Morning of the Trinity Atomic Test, 1945

published in decomP
"Along a dried riverbed she found a place where a cow had died. All around the scrubby grass was flattened, the stalks bent or torn, and she wondered if the animal had been thrashing. Her husband had told her how they starve, the old ones who can't eat, or the weak ones when the summer is so hot that the ground cracks and plants shrivel. He'd told her how they lie on the ground and paddle their legs, scoring dark marks into the earth, as if they could swim to the end of the world and pull themselves out of it. He'd told her this to frighten her, and had succeeded."

If Not Love Then the Bomb

published in fwriction review
"Lucille Fitch, despite a slim frame and a well-bred delicacy, gave birth to five children in her relatively short life. Her first, Peter, died at only a few weeks old of SIDs—or crib-death as it was called at the time—an event which shook her confidence badly, but which the doctors assured her was an unexplainable and unrepeatable as the history of the world itself. Her last child, Michael, was a mongoloid. The middle three were normal, or at least healthy: Sarah first, then Charles, and then, to Lucy's complete surprise, an atomic bomb."

The Curse of the Bastard Sons, an excerpt from The Vanishing Act

published in The Good Men Project
"Nora could not remember what exactly he had done to get the bottle of whiskey, if she had ever, indeed, heard that part of the story. She would always pause at this point in the telling and take a long breath, as if to leave space for the missing words, before going on to explain that the next time the prospectors saw Fenstick, two weeks and nearly 100 miles later, he was covered from head to toe in black and green bruises and holding a full bottle of Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey."

A Fable

published in Monkeybicycle
"One day my grandfather was out driving. This was after the war, after my grandparents were married and living in Pennsylvania with my aunt Sarah, before my father was born. As he was driving, he became sure that he had hit something back along the road behind him, so he turned around to check."

Hector at the Gates

published in issue ten of The Collagist
"Time may forgive you for it, or forget you. Do not dream of monuments for sons of sons to marvel at, and perhaps the world will never dream of Gethsemane or Geronimo or Starbuck on the bridge."

Tabula Rasa

published in issue one of Cobalt
"I was born at the age of thirty-two with a Ph.D. in comparative religion. It happened in May, almost five years ago now, when a small blood clot that had been forming in the muscle of my calf unhooked itself from the wall of its blood vessel and went traveling"

An Evening with Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe

published in Summer 2010 issue of The Writing Disorder
"But he knows that if he touches her now he will later remember the path his hands took, and he will think of it every time he looks at her body—the invisible, ineradicable snail-trails he's drawn onto her cleanliness."

Last Dance at Poplar Ridge

published in issue five of Pank
"For my own part, I just worried that they'd be lonely—heaven is full of old people and babies and doesn't offer much for teenage girls. I imagine them, listless and awkward in their wrinkling gowns, stuck with each other, and no one else dressed up."

The Inland Seas

, published in issue two of Amor Fati
"The facts are widely known: On September 25th, 1998, a rain storm started in Western Massachusetts. The rain, while heavy at times, was not unseasonable, and outside of a higher than average number of traffic accidents, local news stations reported nothing out of the ordinary that evening."


Interview about The Synchronia Project


Birkensnake 6: Thing Theory

edited by Emily Kiernan and Carol Samson


at The Writing Disorder

Review of Tall, Slim & Erect