John Teschner

John Teschner’s stories and essays have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Florida Review and other journals. He is completing a collection of linked stories and beginning his first novel. He lives in Minneapolis.
Concrete Jungle

The Three-Legged Ferret

The difference between childhood and adulthood is the difference between square Christmas presents and asymmetrical ones. To this day, I know the distinctive geometry of a wrapped G.I. Joe blister pack by heart: the action figure…

Concrete Jungle

Thanksgiving

Like most Americans with an office job, my day is dominated by my odd, easy, seemingly endless intercourse with a computer. Time-wise, sleep is the only serious competitor. What I get from the internet is not…

Concrete Jungle

Agony

It didn’t occur to me that solitary chanting, talking to the television, changing hats, knocking your knuckles on the floor, then crossing eight fingers while jiggling both knees and saying, “Please please please please please,” kicking…

Concrete Jungle

Shutting Up

My education as a teacher began in Charlottesville, Virginia thirteen years ago, during my second year at the university there. I was nineteen. After our freshman year, my friend Andrew and I moved out of the…

Concrete Jungle

The Path on the Water

My grandmother was thirty-eight when her husband Doug was killed in a car accident on a business trip to Vermont. After she returned from the hospital, gathered her three boys, and told them their father was…

Concrete Jungle

Fear

The summers of my childhood were defined by the great, triangular car trip my family made each year to see our scattered kin. We’d leave our home in southern Virginia heading west on I-64 to my maternal grandparent’s cattle farm…

Concrete Jungle

Thinking About Money

It’s April in Minneapolis, when forecasts for a rain/snow mix materialize as sweet, simple, snow-melting rain; when highly localized sandstorms mark the progress of the street sweepers trundling along on their civic spring cleaning; when the…

Concrete Jungle

Work

On September 1, 2010, I woke up at six a.m., as usual, made coffee, and carried it out to the garage, where previous owners of the house we rented had built a little roofed-over patio with…

Concrete Jungle

Skijoring, Sort of

I’ve lived in Stevens Square for eighteen months, and I’ve never seen anyone eating chicken wings and walking down the sidewalk. If this doesn’t surprise you, you’ve never walked a dog in Stevens Square. A dog…

Concrete Jungle

Gin

January! Month of hope and empty promise; month of bright and biting sky. Hump month. Midwinter. Month of cold clarity. Gin month. For a thousand years or so, when an artist in Britain, Holland, France, or…

Memoir

Appreciation

I was twenty-three when I joined the Peace Corps and moved to Kajiado, a vast district of arid and semi-arid savanna in southern Kenya. A backwater since colonial days, Kajiado was notable for the people and…

Concrete Jungle

Part Four: The Pattern

In the early spring of 2002, I had a vision in the West Virginia mountains. I’d wandered away from the meadow where my friends were enjoying the afternoon sun after the freezing temperatures that had frozen…

Pop Culture

The Fat Cat and the Freeloader

From fading Obama posters to games of Battleship, this presidential campaign has been a master class in the varieties of condescension. Like much of the Republican party, Romney and Ryan have mastered the coded cadences of…

Concrete Jungle

Part Three: The Angler

Sometimes I imagine eternity. Not often. Once or twice a month at most. It can happen while I’m lying on my back and Liz is leaning in to search my chin and jawline for the painful…

Concrete Jungle

Part Two: The Boundary Waters

In July, Liz and I canoed for four days through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness—a million-acre tract of boreal forest, glacial lakes, and Precambrian bedrock that covers most of Northern Minnesota and elides into Canada’s…