The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review

Summer 2021

The Threepenny Review is a well-regarded quarterly of the arts and society which has been published since 1980. Every issue contains excellent essays, stories, poems, and memoirs, plus beautiful black-and-white photographs. Its regular writers include six Nobel Prizewinners and four U.S. Poet Laureates; recent issues featured writing by Wendell Berry, Geoff Dyer, Louise Glück, Greil Marcus, Javier Marías, Adam Phillips, and Kay Ryan.

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United States
The Threepenny Review
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4 Números

en este número

8 min.
table talk

THE PLANETARIUM tells its story down, trying to instill in all those tiny visages looking up that they are infinitesimal, barely registered in the grand scheme of the sky. There is always within the structures of its very being—its curving top and seats that recline, its inherent commitment to dark—the longing to be real, to be the night sky naked, stars not curated lights but the centers of celestial systems beyond any yet-invented measurement: the longing to be real, not an artificial construction wedded to a kind of vertical theater. The planetarium dreams that it splits its top in half, peels itself open and flat against the earth. The cement would have to go soft, the rock skeleton lax, such that it could bend its interior out, turn its captive lamps…

1 min.
the physical world

I went to work in the huge factories along Newton Creek in Bushwick. At sunset I sidled up to a foreman tallying pallets by the red water. At dawn I punched in, still fast asleep. I camped behind my machine like Teacher craning over a pupil’s shoulder and together we made the past, the future, my father’s death, my mother’s stroke, the Tet Offensive, the killing in Dallas. The secret was the blade: everything it touched became its own absence. I had been coached: Wildcat, General Strike, but there were very few people stooping under those high klieg lights and they seemed so fragile, lonelier perhaps than me: Marchesi grinning at a pinched nerve, Tomasi with the pack of Camel Filters rolled in the sleeve of his mesh T-shirt, Rose from Ghana, missing one fingertip. When…

1 min.
photo credits

All the photographs in this issue were taken by Deanna and Ed Templeton and are copyrighted in the name of the artists. Below are the captions for each image, listed by page. Front Cover: Deanna Templeton, Huntington Beach (Corbin and Friends), 2013. 3: Ed Templeton, Untitled (Clouds Suburbia), 2016. 4: Ed Templeton, Man Waters Lawn, Huntington Beach, 2013. 7: Ed Templeton, Furniture on Driveway, Huntington Beach, 2011. 8: Deanna Templeton, Huntington Beach (Pelicans and Palms), 2013. 9: Deanna Templeton, Untitled (Boy Smashes Face in Window), 2006. 11: Deanna Templeton, Untitled (Kid on Leash 1), 2012. 12: Ed Templeton, Sidewalk Art, Avalon, 2006. 14: Ed Templeton, Huntington Beach (Sophia and Natasha Play), 2011. 15: Ed Templeton, Huntington Beach (Bike Shadow), 2013. 16: Ed Templeton, Huntington Beach (Row of Trees), 2013. 17: Deanna Templeton, Untitled (Lily Graffiti), 2004. 18: Deanna Templeton, Huntington Beach (Punk Kids…

10 min.

BACK IN those days I was still working on my degree, and if I wasn’t at university picking up units, you’d likely find me working in the trade, if there was a job to be had, which often enough there was. Short jobs fit the plan, shutdowns during semester breaks or over long weekends when an emergency repair came up or machinery needed to be swapped out and brought back into production as quickly as possible. Study and work, idea and action, braided together and it was an agreeable way to live. At Berkeley you could drop out, drop back in, take classes across departments, across schools, take just six units a semester, if that’s what worked for you. Rent was affordable, tuition was practically free, and student debt, at…

1 min.
household gods

He says they are all one these gods I fight with but I see them only as so many ghosts sneaking around my house. I’m the most passive-aggressive of congregants, praying to my goddess of bread asking her to plump the dough, paying her obeisance in sugar and flour water the temperature of the blue veins in my wrist but still I lay out cash for high-end catalog yeast and if the bread stays flat the blame is with me. I have all my own household gods, I tell him, of computer failure car repair, video game win hair products and trip-on-the-stairs chthonic gods of carrot and beet ethereal gods of roof shingle and lost umbrella. It’s a light game I play in which I pretend to buck responsibility for a…

10 min.
murder oil

Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch. Random House, 2020, $28.00 cloth. IF YOU listen to Tex Hall, the tribal chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) nation, the oil boom on the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota is a cure for years of economic dependency on the United States government, a chance for tribal sovereignty. He prophesies a return to the self-sufficiency that the U.S. denied the MHA nation in 1945, when it stole the people’s land in order to build the Garrison Dam. “The white man thought they were going to put us on the badlands where nothing would grow,” he tells the journalist Sierra Crane Murdoch. “They flooded us and destroyed our economy.” Yet the oil that…