Cover Photo: This photograph is a composite image of a solar eclipse in December 2019. The moon is shown spread across the sky in a line in 9 phases: crescents at the corner and full circles in the middle of the photograph. The sky fades from a deep cerulean blue to orange above a desert landscape.
Photograph by Abed Ismail/Unsplash

Creation by Negation

Thwart your own impulses toward one genre or another with this generative writing exercise from Ben Purkert.

It is not the moon, I tell you.

“Mock Orange.”not


Ben Purkert is the author of the forthcoming novel The Men Can't Be Saved (Overlook, 2023). His poetry collection For the Love of Endings (Four Way Books, 2018) was named one of Adroit's Best Poetry Books of the Year. His writing appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. The founding editor of Guernica's Back Draft interview series, he teaches at Rutgers. You can read more of his work at or on Twitter (@BenPurkert).