Pacifica Issue 6 Cover Art Preview

Issue 01

Issue 08


Michael P. O’Leary

Or What Is Now Called Arizona

Zach Powers

Kill The Song of the Approaching Engine

Dacia Price

S is for Silence

Matt Rowan

Aren’t We Required to Never Be


Lindsay Ahl


Ceridwen Hall

After Dinner

Heikki Huotari

Doppler Shift

Matt Kelsey

Gifts My Brother Thinks Might Bring Me Home

Lillian Nickerson

Everybody Loves Somebody But God Loves Everybody

Andy Stallings


Kailey Alyssa

and it pleases me

Cait Weiss

Ode to the One Glove

John Sibley Williams

Sometimes As Mundane As This

Contest Without Form Big Boss Winner

Kell Connor

Blood in the Eye


Rachel Endoso


Cover Art

Ryan Diaz

This is a notice to tell you that you will be removed from your house in sixty days. We understand it is the multi-generational home of your family, that your childhood heights and your mother’s childhood heights and your grandfather’s childhood heights are marked on the doorframe. As are your brother’s and your sister’s and your two aunts’.

We understand you were born there; upstairs, in the second room on the right. That your mother labored for eleven hours and there you slithered onto the knotty pine floor, yowling. That the stains of your birth were covered by a round rug decorated with a ring of small red flowers and blue and orange curls within curls. Rosemaling, they call it; your great-grandparents had brought it over from Norway in 1927 along with a single suitcase and your soon-to-be-born grandfather. We know that sometimes your mother pulled up the rug and pressed her face to the stain when you were a teenager. When you told her you hated her and slammed doors and had sex in the laundry room but denied it even though she found a line of condoms in the dryer. After your sister was hit by a car while chasing an escaped tetherball, and after she lay pretty and cold at the funeral home up the block, and after she was deposited into the ground, your mother rested her head on the hard floors again. For hours at a time, she spread her soft body on the kitchen linoleum and on the original-to-the-house hexagonal tiles of the bathroom. They were cold, still are, and could turn a hot flush into something not unlike pain when needed.

We will also be demolishing everything left inside, so you better make sure you get everything you want. That Ouija board under the floorboards of your bedroom closet? That too. Otherwise we will take the ghosts and phantoms that linger and crush them down into the sediment of the earth. Above we will build rectangular townhouses constructed like Lego with brightly colored doors. Ochre or sunbeam or vermillion–buyer’s choice. The ghosts–your ghosts–they can float down another hallway, another street. They’ll follow you wherever you go.

Continue Reading . . .


Pacifica Interviews: Brit Bennett


Judy T. Oldfield

Brit Bennett is a novelist and essayist. Her debut book, The Mothers, centers on a young woman from a tight-knit church community who has an abortion. Interspersed throughout, the elderly women of the church, “the mothers”, add narration to the book in a collective voice. Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. She is one of the National Book Foundation’s 2016 5 Under 35 Honorees.

Judy T. Oldfield: The thing that first jumped out to me when I was reading about The Mothers, months ago, was this narrative device you use, the plural voice that’s been likened a lot to a Greek Chorus. Was that in there from the beginning, when you wrote the book?

Brit Bennett: No, it was something that happened accidentally. I think originally there was just this person—voice—that I was writing in that still seemed like it didn’t really belong to the characters. It was this omniscient voice…that felt a lot older than the characters were and it wasn’t really located anywhere. I think [it] was my second year of my MFA when I started thinking about locating that voice…and I said, What would happen if I actually wrote this in this collective voice?

It was something that I was skeptical of myself because I didn’t want it to be like I was trying to be cute with plural narration, because I am sometimes skeptical of it as a reader…But it was something that I had a lot of fun writing from that perspective. And I think it added another layer to the book that wasn’t there before.

JO: Did that help you shape the narrative? Did that bring things together for you?

BB: Yeah, a bit…Later in the book when Nadia begins to drive the mothers around, that’s something that wasn’t there originally but I became interested in that because I liked the idea of [the church mothers] being the narrators and then sneaking in through the back door and being narrated about. So them narrating Nadia narrating them. That was something that came about later that was affected by that narrative choice.

JO: And the way the themes of stories that aren’t always our stories, how those stories get made.

BB: Right…This idea about church folks gossiping. That was already a theme. This idea of gossip is, you know, just telling stories about other people, which is also what you do when you write fiction. So I think that thematically the mothers always existed in that space. But by embodying that voice and characters I think I was able to access something that I hadn’t before.

Continue Reading . . .


Flooding the Moon


David Dodd Lee

It’s nothing, this rain
changing to snow on

a shelf we can’t quite
reach. The years, child, the
some old man, his

hands warped into curved
doves, says, in the voice
of the boy he once

was. The sky and its
frozen stars compose
something of a fuselage.

You know the sound a
thing makes when it’s dead
set on crashing? It’s

inevitable now. Like
the time I dreamed a
beached whale was breathing

in my yard in the
Midwest. It cast a
shadow through my front door

and windows. But the next day
was so ordinary. I watched
my once plush lawn grow

brittle under the blazing
sun. I just wished I
could have exhaled the breath

of a thing that large.
An animal that isn’t going
anywhere that I’m not going.