A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for past twenty-two years in Indonesia. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and in poetry. Snakes and Angels, a collection of his adaptations of classic Indonesian folk tales, won the 2009 Cervena Barva Press fiction chapbook contest; No Bones to Carry, a volume of his poetry, the 2007 New Sins Press Editors' Choice Award. His earlier chapbooks of poetry were Greatest Hits (Pudding House 2001) and On the Back of the Dragon (Omega Cat Press 1992). Penha edits the New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry.
Updun stared at his old manual typewriter, pecked another glib notice of a Joyce Carol Oates novel—her year’s fifth. On his fifth as well, Updun leaned into architectonics, chiaroscuro, her loss of Manhattan Semitism since moving north of Watertown.
Connecticut’s autumnal sun sank through the keys onto Updun’s bare lap; the chair toppled. The Underwood upturned over as Updun stood briefly, before the seersucker shorts at his ankles had him hugging his Tai Ping.
“If I’ve broken a bone, who’ll save me? If I’ve broken a key, who’ll mend it?”
But Updun needed no one.
Beyond panic now, he rose to complete the assault.