the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Spring 2011



The Blower
Ryan C. Christiansen

He felt silly beneath the windmill, lips pursed and exhaling. He only whistled and accomplished nothing. They must think I'm blowing kisses at the mill, he concluded, and thought of her. If he could get his wind back, he thought, the king's daughter might be impressed. It was his breath that had made her penniless, after all. He would use his breath to win her heart.  Read Story


Gerade rechts zum Volkszimmer
Ann Bogle

Illustration by
Daniel Harris

We do this: We go out for coffee in Wayzata. We go to the Caribou that is next to the bookstore. Harry, an early retiree and investment strategist and good man, world traveler, stops at our table to ask if we have seen it: the Porsche Carerra parked just around the corner. He estimates it costs $350,000 and that there are fewer than ten of them in the country, six more likely. We haven't seen it, but Lena, my friend, says, "That's how much my house costs: $350,000."  Read Story


The Game Farm
Mitch Levenberg

There were two elephants. They were trained but I didn't train them. The guy who did train them left me with them with me about an hour ago; he said something like can you watch my elephants and I foolishly said yes and now, one hour later he still hasn't come back. My family is at the amusement park. My wife said don't stand behind them or in front of them. That's all she said. Both elephants can lift their legs (one at a time) quite high and in unison and I found that as soon as I stopped humming "Mack the Knife," they dropped their legs again, in unison. It was "Mack the Knife" all the time. I was humming it all the time, not realizing it was the elephant's training song, a song which somehow triggered inside their brains the necessity to raise their legs, in unison. They were playing it over the loudspeaker during the performance. I personally associated it with sharks and gangsters, not elephants. Others may have had a different point of view on that. Others may not have seen it as animal abuse or elephant abuse. Others may have seen it as this amazing ability of elephants to appreciate popular music. I had never really wondered what went on in an elephant's head until now.  Read Story