Selections from the forthcoming [fóto] grám – mah – tik: veracity — Robert Masterson

HUNTSVILLE, TX – June 23, 1989 “The condemned’s last meal consisted of, clockwise from top, chili, hash brown potatoes, coffee with nondairy creamer, ‘carne adovado,’ two eggs (over easy), and a flour ‘tortilla.’ It was uneaten at the time of execution.”

–Thorson, Peter R. Last Suppers: Last Meals at Midnight. Memphis: Parthenon Press, 1994. 47. Print.

Ceramic Chickens, Yonkers, NY 19may19

“Outside the ranch house, all along the low brick wall she’d made Orestes build that second summer, along the hedge bushes straggling she made Orestes water every other day from a Folgers’ coffee can specifically for that purpose, along the stone cap she’d arranged a symmetrical line of cast cement lawn ornaments purchased on her infrequent trips to Coasterville. She ordered them from the Montgomery & Wards catalogue at Orestes’ uncle’s shop, The Coasterville Mercantile.”

— Motherswell, Payton L. Black Winds on the Prairie: The Lonely Life and Death of Muriel Catterall. Odessa: Six Cities Press, 1974. 425. Print.

porch corner

The young couple, lured to California by high-paying war-time factory jobs in and around the Los Angeles area, soon found themselves working double-overtime shifts assembling the engines of Ares, the ships and planes and tanks and guns and munitions and uniforms and blankets and canteens and shoelaces for two armies on separate sides of the world, each standing face-to-face Evil in a battle to the death. It was an exciting time, and they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other young men and women from all over the United States, even the whole world f they counted (and they did, this young Nebraska) all the Mexicans and Negroes and Swedes and Irish and Canadian and even Australians, black white, brown, all working together to do their part to ensure Civilization’s survival while making more money than they’d dreamed of in their young lives.

— Fiero, Thomas. The Old Dream / The Young City: Waves of Internal Economic Diaspora in The United States and Where They Broke (1940 – 1955). 2nd ed. Los Angeles: University of California, 1981. 217. Print.

broom in corner, black and white

Since beginning operations in April of 1957, Parkwood #4 has produced over 16 million tons of anthracite coal per year, enough energy to provide power and heat to New York City’s entire grid for 5 years.

–Coppermouth Coal Company. Advertisement. Energy Forward 1 Mar. 1993: 5. Print.


Prof. Robert Masterson lives and works in the megalopolis of New York City, but spent his formative years in the American West, growing up and going to school in Colorado and New Mexico. Masterson has written award-winning fiction, journalism, and creative nonfiction. His books of poetry and short prose include Trial by Water (1982), Artificial Rats & Electric Cats (2008), and Garnish Trouble (2011). Masterson’s work as a lecturer, a writer, and a teacher has taken him around the world, and his work appears in numerous anthologies, journals, magazines, newspapers, and on websites across the Internet. He is a professor of English at the City University of New York’s BMCC campus and divides his time between New York, New Mexico, and travel.