I know I’m counting my chickens before they’re hatched, readers, but this weekend felt like spring was in the air in Chicago. The air had that special mild feel; the wind that blustered about me was warm, and the sun was bright enough to make me squint. More than these little rises in the thermostat, though, I just felt that extra burst of energy that spring brings with it. I walked all over town, glad to make up errands and excuses to get outside. Before the week was out, I had filled the coming months with excited plans. I’ll be …Read article
THE HIGH IS THREE DEGREES IN CHICAGO TODAY, AND I’M NOT EVEN TELLING YOU WHAT THE WIND CHILL IS. I’ve arrived in this Midwestern city at the perfect time to see it at its worst; the winds are howling off the snow-covered lake, and it’s so cold that it’s dangerous to go outside. I’ve stood out on those elevated train platforms now with my nose tucked into my scarf, shivering under the measly little heat lamps while that wind howls close to my skin. It’s a creature with teeth, a mugger wielding knives. It is a physical presence with a …Read article
The strangeness began in the Illinois IKEA.
My boyfriend and I were there, of course, because a week ago we had moved into our new place in Chicago, and where do you go in the first week of a new residence? The nearest IKEA. We were wondering whether a bookcase was too wide for the bedroom when the guy standing next to us spoke up. “This one’s a really great shelf, isn’t it?” he asked. He was young, bearded, wearing a leather jacket. Too thin and with a nice face. I thought, what’s with this guy?
“Yeah, these shelves are …Read article
Greetings from the Midwest, readers! As a born-and-bred East Coaster, and a loyal Bostonian since the age of three, I never thought I’d feel at home anywhere else in the country. But I also was always open to the idea of trying out different cities and exploring other worlds. So a job change has me living in the heart of downtown Chicago, eager to explore another city for at least the next year. Two Cities Review will remain Two Cities, but the gap we’ll leap will be much larger, and we’ll be exploring New York and Chicago instead of New …Read article
Issue 4 has arrived, readers! We’re very excited about these, dark, cold, and often cruel visions of the season in our first winter issue. We have stunning fiction, poetry, and nonfiction to enjoy, as well as a new letter from your intrepid editors, that can be read in the issue or on our homepage. And we are also announcing our very first Prose contest, which you can learn more about on our contest page. Head on over to our current issue now!…Read article
We are just finishing the final proofreading of issue 4, and we’re very excited about the dark, wintry themes populating the pages. Stand by for issue 4’s appearance in just a few days; and be sure to learn more about our fiction and nonfiction contest. We’ve got some intense, thought-provoking, and surprising pieces coming at you this season. Some pieces you’ll want to cozy up with next to the fire, and some pieces will be delightfully unsettling. Which kind of writing do you prefer? We’ll have a little of winter’s cold and its beauty in issue number 4.…Read article
Today’s post title comes from Cormac McCarthy. In his incendiary novel The Road, his main character, an unnamed boy, keeps reminding his father that they’re “carrying the fire.” It’s an unexplained refrain with unmistakable spiritual overtones; the idea that they are keeping something of humanity alight within them. This is an old connection that many religions make between human beings and fire. We are the only species to keep and use fire, after all, and so we see it as our sacred duty to maintain it, to keep it alive. The Bible tells us not to keep our light …Read article
A recent move has me living on the edge of the city I used to inhabit, looking in a little wistfully. It’s a temporary arrangement, but for several months, I’ll be driving to work in the mornings, blasting along a major commuter highway to the north shore and through Boston. It has me seeing a different side of the city I know; and that reminds me that no matter how much you can get to know a city, there is always another way to know it. We can always be different people, looking at the city from the perspective of …Read article