M

Get Out

by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

 

Once, it was so easy to say welcome. Welcome, a soft, simple word.

Now, with the virus, it’s easier to say get out.

Get out of my sister.

Get out, to cavalcades of license plates rolling in, get out, with more statistics on the rise. Get out tourists, invaders with starched smiles.

Get out to guilt, get out to a dictatorial streak that’s not mine.

Somewhere, the virus laughs. My sister gasps.

Now there’s only a raw wonderland.

I watch a burial through a Zoom screen.

I can’t say get out. I can’t say welcome.

What do I say now?

 

Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. Mir-Yashar has also had work nominated for The Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net. A native of Idaho, Mir-Yashar’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.

 

See what happens when you click below.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Get Out”?

The story is rooted in my ruminating about the term “get out,” a term that’s become even sharper and relevant in light of the coronavirus and the present acrimonious political debates. I came to the conclusion that “get out” was a term too easy to utter, while “welcome” took a backseat. I specifically drew on all-too-evident divisions over travel in the era of coronavirus, namely the notion of visitors as “invaders.” One of the most interesting things about writing the story was the lyrical quality that unfurled with the repetition of “get out.” I find it darkly ironic.

News

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now OPEN. The submission period closes June 15, 2020; submit here.

Upcoming

10/19 • Lucy Zhang
10/20 • Helen Beer
10/22 • Donald Ranard
10/26 • Diane Gillette
10/29 • Marsha McSpadden