Nate Kouri

Nate Kouri is a writer and filmmaker living in Iowa City, IA. He is currently working on a closet drama and a montage essay. Twitter: @nkouriiii Email:


Sweet memories: Ciara the star turnBroadcaster Dr Ciara Kelly—an ambassador for Dementia: Understand Together—pays a stylish visit to the 'Memories Are Made of This' show garden at Bord Bia's Bloom Festival, which opens today at 9am for four days at the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Book with 'satanic pledge' was found in room of Boy B, Ana trial told

The copybook contained a drawing entitled "satanic pledge", a list of names, including Boy A and Boy B's names, and a list of rules. The rules included "no talking about Jesus or God, only Satan," the court heard. Boy B's father also said his son doesn't respect him and didn't want to "share his truths" with him. Boy B told Gardí he called it a "Satanist cult" because he didn't want people to join who he didn't want to join. It was really a homework club, he said. The accused, who were 13 at the time, have pleaded not guilty to murdering 14-year-old Ana Kriegel in a derelict farmhouse. Boy A has also denied a charge of aggravated sexual assault. The trial continues.

—The front page of the Irish Independent on Thursday, May  30, 2019

This is Iowa: Kids keep baseball game going as tornado touches down within sight near Montezuma.

Des Moines Register headline, the same day

How children watch scenes in the fire: flames rolling over, wheeling back into waves red and red and roped by black, flamefoam rising, spinning out into circled eyes (squeezing eyelids, batting out) spreading between, sticking under (the midnight curtain drawn).

Watching through the grass on my stomach, leaves like cornstalks tall above the children who look flat like shadows in front of the flames—skipping, linking hands, like silhouetted paper dolls spinning in a Zoetrope—I hear the squat multitude chanting and I am touched but not moved by a vision of where I used to live. Seeing again a fading footpath through the rice fields where a military marching band set down their trumpets, the sun slowly kneading its thumbs into the hot brass like clay: handleside by morning, spoutside by night. Leaving home, I passed the band sleeping, surprised (the band and I) their chests falling and falling mechanically like four lazy whiskey stills (or don’t they move?), at least like ferris wheels and I didn’t think about violence for more than a minute, the way I would have as a child when I could still feel the force of gravity dragging me by my center down until I was temptation touched so I would not move hidden in the rice field. A farm has become a place to hide to. How many rows of crops could they check? Not here where city girls pull out roots, giving his limbs more leverage, their fourdoors half-tilted in the plow’s path off to the side of the road. Or here where Boy A and Boy B are in the soybeans making marks on the stalks with their teeth like rabbits, doing things to each other so…completely unavailable to the adult imagination, things they’d never really believe, couldn’t even read if they were written down and printed prominently in the newspaper. And soon the boys will forget each other too, the uncontrollable sounds once forced from their red faces erased, yes, entirely.

Or here, the paddy rice where during the night lightning repeatedly struck the band’s bass drum, the bolts turning green as they touched down on copper screws, blowing out the drumhead hides with such bassy force that it drowned out the sounding thunder, bursting the snoring heads resting on each side, chunks of their skulls sent into the distant cornfields as their bodies were flung, limbs limply collapsing, into the bog of the rice paddy with a thick splash, water landing on the hood of a truck parked in the ditch of a nearby country road as mud swirled around what was left of them tighter with a boagrip tighter through the age of image and tighter past the century of hands, the four bodies hugged motherly close by fertile Iowa mud in the dark, drowned farmland that a thousand years later, drained and dried into a hill, would unveil them in a cauldron on a crannog, its alloy engraved with intricate animal designs, their right hands raised in blessing, left hands gripped to croziers or tillage spades, and their so-called discovery by a group of Newsweek reporters stranded by a broken-down fourdoor en route to a routine smalltown caucus report would lead to the corpses’ Caesarean removal from nature’s tomb and entrance into the whim of human designs, passed between towns in territorial diocese disputes and finally sealed—the mud vacuumed out of them, their prehistorical dandruff dusted off, leaving only muscly potatoskin shells with a few fully formed organs or limbs jutting out—by an art dealer in a plexiglass human-sized jewelry case with cute poems and crude drawings of the bodies from first and second-graders pasted under the museum display, passed idly by students pointing at a portrait of W.B. and yelping yeet yeet!

Or that’s what I would have seen at eight when I looked for drama between the flames when I knew all the chants and before I despised the rain.

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