Crack the Spine
Issue 181 February 3, 2016 Edited by Kerri Farrell Foley Collection copyright 2015 by Crack the Spine
Cover Art by Laura Kiselevach After twenty years of working as a visual designer and photo stylist for such clients as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, and The New York Times, Laura Kiselevach decided to pursue her passion for photography. Using only her well trained eye and a smart phone camera, she captures both the grandeur and minutia of her everyday life.Lauraâ€™s work has been published inRip/Torn, Roadside Fiction, Temenos, Short, Fast and Deadly, Wilde Magazine, Quickest Flipest, The Casserole, Muzzle Magazine, among others, and exhibited at galleries in New York City, Florida and Los Angeles.
CONTENTS Wayne Scheer
Larry & Susan Make a Life
Bruce Robinson Rephrasis
Emily Vander Ark Observed on a Street
Caitlyn McPherson Failed Boy Scout
Alec Cizak Mutilated Creatures
The November We Are Fifteen
Every Star Has a Story
Larry & Susan Make a Life
My name is Larry. My wife's name is Susan. We live at 1467 Piermont Street, apartment 12B. I work at Kroger supermarket. Susan works there, too. We take the bus to work every morning at 6:45 and we come home on the 4:15 bus. I have never missed a day of work. Susan has never missed a day either. I pack groceries into people's bags and I help them put the bags in their car. Sometimes people give me a dollar, but I tell them, "No, thank you. We are not allowed to take tips." People sometimes get mad when I don't take their money. I tell them I can get in trouble, but later I find a dollar in my pocket anyway. When I find money in my pocket, I always give it to Mr. Jack. He is the manager. He says it is good that I am so honest and puts the money in a special jar to help poor people. This makes me feel good. Susan also works at Kroger. She works in the back helping Mr. Jack count money and put change in wrappers. She is very good at math. She used to do what I do, but some men were not nice to her and touched her when she went to their cars. She does not like it when men do this, but she is afraid to tell them. She told me and I told Mr. Jack. Some people call us names like "retard," and children laugh at us and say we're ugly or that we look like monsters. It makes Susan mad and sometimes she cries. I tell her that my mother used to say that they just do not know any better. I put my arm around her and I tell her she looks beautiful to me. And she does. I love the way her eyes almost pop out of her head when she laughs. I like making her laugh.
I remember when I was young and the other children made fun of me. My mother used to make me laugh by telling me knock knock jokes. They were not funny, but I laughed anyway so my mother would not be so sad. Me and Susan love each other, but sometimes Mrs. Lordes, our social worker, does not understand. She thinks that we do not know how to take care of each other. I want to make a baby with Susan. "No, No, No!" Mrs. Lordes says when I tell her. She makes her lips look like she just sucked a lemon. I know it is wrong, but me and Susan laugh at that when Mrs. Lordes is not around. I say, "We should eat a walrus." Susan shouts, "No, No, No!" and squeezes her lips together. We laugh so hard our sides hurt and sometimes Susan pees. Once, just when we got home from work, Mrs. Lordes came to our home. She visits a lot without telling us. My mother told me this is rude, but I do not want to hurt Mrs. Lordes's feelings. It was raining outside and we were soaking wet. Mrs. Lordes told me I smelled bad and need to take a bath. I took one the night before. I always take one before I go to sleep, so I smell good for Susan. Mrs. Lordes made me feel bad in front of Susan. Sometimes I hate Mrs. Lordes. She can be a busybody. She always says, "I have your best interest in mind." She does, I guess. She helps us get a check each month that pays the rent and the electric bill. And she shows us how to budget our money. We have to pay our own cellphone bill, so we only call people when we have to because we pay fby the minute. We don't have too many friends. Louis is our best friend. He lives at the group home where me and Susan lived.
Mrs. Lordes didn't want us to get married and move out of the home. She said it would be hard for us. But my mother told her that if we really loved each other, that would make it easier. I will always love my mother, but she died two months ago. We had the funeral on a Saturday so we would not miss work, even though Mr. Jack told us to take some days off. Me and Susan take the bus to the cemetery on Sundays and put flowers on Mama's grave. Sometimes I cry and Susan puts her arm around me. I know I should not do this because men are not supposed to cry. I do anyway. Susan never tells Louis or anyone at work that I cry. I keep her secrets, too. Like how her mother used to hit her and call her names and blamed her when her father left them. I used to get so mad I wanted to scream at her mother when she came to the group home, but Susan made me promise not to. She wanted everyone to think her mother loved her. The other day, we asked Mrs. Lordes to have dinner with us in our home. We wanted to show her how good Susan cooks. She came to our home before we said she should come. She said she came early so she could help. She brought us a new brown tablecloth. Me and Susan like the blue and yellow polka dot tablecloth we bought at the Goodwill store for twenty-five cents, but Mrs. Lordes made us take it off and put on her tablecloth. She said the polka dot tablecloth was for every day, but the brown one was for company. We had set the table, too. We put a dish in front of each chair and a glass and a napkin. We had to undo everything for Mrs. Lordes. But we did not complain because Mrs. Lordes was our guest. We wanted to make her feel good. Even when she made us put a knife and fork and spoon in front of each plate, we did not say anything. But it was silly. Susan was making our favorite dinner, ham sandwiches with lettuce and tomato and potato chips. You do not eat a
sandwich with a knife and fork. But we did what Mrs. Lordes said. She was our guest. And it was a good dinner until I said that we wanted to make a baby and that Susan stopped taking the pills Mrs. Lordes and Susan's mother said Susan had to take to keep from getting sick. We found out that those pills were keeping her from having a baby. That got Mrs. Lordes angry. "No, No, No!" she said. "You must not have a baby." "Why not?" We both asked that at the same time. It sounded so funny, we laughed. "Because you're children yourselves. You're not capable of raising a child." "Yes, we are," I said. "And we're not children. I am twenty-seven years old and Susan is twenty-five." There were babies at the group home and we changed diapers and fed them bottles with milk. "We know how to take care of babies." Mrs. Lordes kept arguing. Finally, Susan turned all red in her face, like the way she does when she is about to cry. But this time she did not cry. She stood up and said to Mrs. Lordes, "If you think we're children, then you're not our friend. And if you're not our friend, then you shouldn't be in our home." Mrs. Lordes left after that, but she whispered to me that I should calm down Susan so we can talk later. That night, we washed the dishes and swept the floor the way we always do. We cleaned off Mrs. Lordes tablecloth, and Susan got out the one with blue and yellow polka dots. I told her not to put our tablecloth on the table because I had a special idea. I told Susan what it was, and she shouted, "Yes, Yes, Yes!" Then we tried to make a baby on Mrs. Lordes's tablecloth.
Bruce Robinson Rephrasis
Your Vowel ID will be locked in the next 24 hours because we suspect some fraudulence adversions that belong to your narrative Case id : 9000321-128. Login attempt from unknown device. We recently noticed a pattern of linguistic activity that, as we read it, is unusually high art. It's usually pretty easy to babble about things like this. Most of the time, in other words, usually, we just need a little more dialogue about your intent. To help us with this and to see what you can and can't say with your words please edit your telling by clicking rephrase my account. To rephrase your account please enter the link below : Rephrase my account Sincerely, Avowal Support or owl.com/or vole
Emily Vander Ark Observed on a Street
A gray couple – someone’s grandparents – are dressed in drab clothing that makes their brightly colored sneakers scream “neon.” They pour quarters and dimes into a parking meter, afraid that their time is running out.
Caitlyn McPherson Failed Boy Scout
You were once a Boy Scout, but now too old for the blue kerchief. Over time, you recited the Oath but you failed in every aspect of the Law. Trustworthy and Loyalty flew away on the wings of betrayal. You were overly Friendly with a sickening seductive tongue and fingers. Your Courtly demeanor hit every other girl in the heart while barbed sting wrenched at mine. Teenage Kindness and Obedience died like a shooting star. You Cheerfully cheapened
me by Thriftily disposing of my words. Your Bravery lasted until you were caught with Dirt clinging to your badges. You came begging in humble Reverence though your moral compass was crooked and dented. You knew the Law but turned away from all the noble Eagle Scout actions for fading smiles.
The seats in Dr. Crowell’s office were bigger than the ones in the classrooms. Hard, dark orange plastic. They reminded Kristof Ronin of the time he ralphed after eating thirteen tangerines. While his mother and the counselor discussed his problem, he drew pictures in the carpet with his feet. First, an orangutan eating a VW bus and then a tarantula crushing the school. The room smelled like lemons. The counselor probably ate them raw for lunch. Posters of cats doing goofy things covered the walls—Hang in there! Is it Friday yet? The counselor wasn’t married. Passing of this news made adults exchange funny expressions and an occasional whisper followed by a stern nod. It reminded Kristof of the way his parents got him to confess any time he’d done something wrong, like twisting the outdoor spigots on Hampton Drive to see if he could turn the street into a river. Or the day he let the dogs out of their yards so they might better socialize. After neighbors complained, his father beat him with a belt. He’d never done that before; Kristof raised his arms to protect himself and his dad shouted, “Move your hands! I don’t want to hurt you.” Following the thrashing, he splashed cold water onto bleeding welts on his lower back, wondering if his father knew what the word hurt actually meant. His problem, as Dr. Crowell called it, was a present he’d brought to Missy Schultz, the only student in his class who got in as much trouble as he did. Whenever Ms. Coleman sent him to the corner for not sitting still, carrying on, as she called it, it wasn’t long before the squat, potato-shaped teacher led Missy by her hand into the opposite corner. Ms. Coleman called her a sass for pointing
out her poor grammar (“It’s fewer students, ma’am, not less students”). He tried whispering to her while they served time. She’d sneer at him, tell him to buzz off and toss her cinnamon-colored hair to the side and turn away. If he kept bugging her, Ms. Coleman would yell at him and send him to the vice-principal’s office. Whatever disease caused his need for Missy’s attention strengthened with her rejection. Saying her name seasoned his belly with the same excitement he felt the first time he rode the Scooby-Doo rollercoaster at Kings Island. Since the start of the second semester, he’d tried to convince her she should go with him to the spring dance. She said, over and over, “No way.” He’d approached his father for help—“How do I make a girl like me?” His dad sank into his plush, yellow Laz-E-Boy. Same thing he did any time his mother asked for help in the kitchen. His red bow-tie from work dangled off his open collar. He watched his pre-dinner show, McNeil/Error on PBS. Welldressed, boring people discussing nothing of importance. Without looking at him, he said, “I sure don’t know, son.” “How did you make Mom like you?” “I was lucky.” His father told him to go away. His mother prepared two cans of tuna with eggs, tomatoes, onions, relish, and mayo. The only thing better than her tuna salad? Her mashed potatoes. She fixed them for him anytime he had a terrible day. A thirteen-inch television set on the counter closest to the refrigerator consumed the rest of her attention. Her worn copy of King of Hearts wheezed through a VHS player next to it. He explained his situation. She said, “Girls appreciate presents.” “You mean, like, jewelry?” “Try something you can’t find in a store,” she said. “Something unique.”
During recess, Kristof played kickball with the other boys. On the opposite side of the playground, Missy Schultz, most of the other girls and a boy named Pat Hatcher skipped rope and played hopscotch on squares drawn on the concrete with giant sticks of colored chalk. The day it had been decided that he had a problem, Kristof gave Missy a present he’d wrapped in a matchbox with paper from the Sunday Peanuts. She wore red pants and a white t-shirt with a picture of a raven on it. He handed her the present despite her insisting she didn’t want it. She took her time unwrapping it. His foot bounced while he waited. When she opened it, her dark eyes narrowed, as though studying something through a microscope. “What are these?” she said. “Found them on the radiator,” he said, “in the part of the gym we’re not supposed to go.” She repeated her question. “Don’t worry, they’re dead,” he said. “They’re different. They don’t have wings.” Missy nudged the matchbox shut. With a look on her face suggesting she’d tasted something terrible, she carried it to the supervising teacher. “Ms. Coffee?” She handed her the gift. “Kristof Ronin’s trying to poison me.” As the teacher examined the matchbox, her giant body heaved and fell, straining with each breath she took. After closing it, she smirked. “Wow.” She wedged the present between her pickle-sized thumb and a paperback book she’d been reading. On the cover, a woman with boobs so big they popped the buttons on her dress fainted. A man who looked like Rowdy Roddy Piper dressed in clothes the singer Prince would have worn kept her from falling down. The teacher put her free hand out for the boy to take. “Let’s visit Dr. Crowell.”
Kristof and the counselor were familiar. In the fifth grade, he’d brought a book called Where Did I Come From? to school to demonstrate to Jenny Purliss that fathers did, in fact, contribute to the making of babies. “Look,” he’d pointed at the cartoon dad and mom holding hands by a bed. After turning the page, he explained what he’d read—“This goes into that.” Before he finished sweeping his hand across the illustration of the mom and dad in bed, Jenny Purliss fled to Mr. Williams, their teacher, building a trail of tears on the way. The day Kristof gave the wingless flies to Missy Schultz, the counselor stared at him over thin, square glasses that made her triangle nose look like a beak. She reminded him of the chickens on The Muppet Show. When his mother stepped into the room, she straightened her business skirt as she sat in an orange seat next to her son. She shot him a grimace. “Count your lucky stars, little man.” Then she whispered to the counselor, “Judge had an early tee time.” Dr. Crowell smiled and asked Kristof, “Do you enjoy hurting small animals?” “Are bugs animals?” The counselor’s leather chair creaked as she leaned closer. She chewed on the end of a black pen shaped like a rocket. “I mean furry animals. Squirrels. Rabbits. Cats.” “Cats are cool.” This seemed to please his mother. It did nothing to ease the strained muscles in the counselor’s bony cheeks. “We’ve had issues before, haven’t we?” This prompted her to pat her hair, which was tied into a tight bun that threatened to rip her ears off. As Kristof listened to the counselor speak of him in the third person, he felt poisonous, as though touching his own skin would make the air smell like rotten eggs. His feet drew pictures of other planets in the carpet.
Then Dr. Crowell shoved the matchbox in his face. “Did you rip the wings off of these flies?” Staring at the floor, he explained that gym class had been held inside the day before because it rained. His friends were playing basketball, a game he wasn’t very good at. He pushed through the plastic, see-through curtains dividing the gymnasium. Yes, he understood the construction area was not safe. Yes, he promised not to wander through there again. Then he got to the most important part: “They were on their backs, dead. Shiny green flies.” He said he picked one up, saw it had no wings, realized all three of them, grouped as though they’d been victims of a massacre, were the same. “So, you claim they were already dead?” “No claim,” he said. “It’s a fact.” “And you decided to take them home?” “I wrapped them in Kleenex from my pocket and stuffed them in my lunchbox.” His mother said, “Yuck. Did you wash it afterwards?” His head sunk. “I thought they were unique.” He told the counselor he was in love with Missy Schultz. From then on, Dr. Crowell addressed his mother only. “Boys his age shouldn’t be chasing girls,” she said. As she stood and opened a drawer in a metal file cabinet with a drooping, dull green plant on top of it, she asked his mother if she remembered when he brought “that sex book” to school. She produced a thick manila folder from the drawer. “Let’s have a look at his file.” She marveled that it was three times thicker than a normal student’s. Thumbing through the stack of paper in it, she recounted every time he’d been sent to the
office for refusing to sit still in class. Then she held up copies of his report cards. The first one was from the fourth grade. Kristof had been transferred from an experimental school to a public school that year. He’d never received letter grades before. When he brought home a report card with D’s and C’s on it, his father called him into the living room. The old man shut off the TV. Kristof knew he was in trouble. He imagined the Laz-EBoy growing hands and grabbing his dad so he couldn’t stand and remove his belt. His father became a monster and chased him, whipped him, insisted he didn’t enjoy hurting him. In addition to soaking his bloody welts afterwards, Kristof had to wrap the last two fingers on his left hand with medical tape. When asked about the bandages, he invented different stories—“I climbed the bell tower at Butler and fell,” or, “I disturbed a coyote in the forest behind the planetarium. Luckily, it only bit two fingers.” No one, he was sure, would believe his father thought breaking his bones would make him a better student. The counselor used a lot of fancy words Kristof didn’t understand. She considered him a threat to other students. “I won’t allow him back in this school until you demonstrate he’s seeing a psychiatrist.” As he watched his feet trace circles in the carpet, he imagined his mother straightening her back and tilting her chin higher than Dr. Crowell’s beak. She would use big words as well. Lawyer words. Her tone of voice would be the same as when she had the courage to talk back to his father, to remind him that she made three times the money he did. The disappointment he pictured on the counselor’s face made him smile. By the time his mother finished, the counselor would shrink to her bones, just a skeleton in a big, comfy, leather chair. Then his mother said, “We’ll see what we can do.”
Kristof’s mother made mashed potatoes and Viennese fried chicken for dinner. He called it “chicken whoop-ass” because she beat the meat with a metal, spiked mallet that looked like it belonged on the tool rack in the garage. On her small television, King of Hearts played and she spoke the dialogue in a perfect French accent, right along with the characters in the movie. Whatever she said to his father when he got home from the bank, it had kept his belt on. When they sat down for dinner, his dad frowned at him. Between bites, he growled and grumbled. Occasionally he glanced over, threatened to say something, and then decided against it. To make sure his father did not anger himself into becoming a monster, Kristof asked him what he thought of the gift he’d given to Missy Schultz. “Not sure, son,” said his father. “Not something I would have done.” He scooped another heap of mashed potatoes onto his plate, picked up the latest issue of Newsweek, and hid his face behind it.
The November We Are Fifteen The November we are fifteen we run away and the boys around the block put us up in a motel room on the turnpike that has a hole in the door so we can see everyone’s sneakers shuffling past. We write poetry and eat potato chips all week and one night I sit on the chipped-tile bathroom floor and feel my mind break apart and the pieces get sucked up into the air vent. On Thanksgiving the Arab at the front desk calls and says in broken English no one’s paid the bill for the night but we understand clearly when he says, I’m calling police. We hide our bags in the woods and use the last of our change to call the boys from the pay phone at Waffle House and the ringing just trills through the ear piece like a jungle bird. We tell the waiter behind the counter we don’t have money and he watches us the way my father looks at sick dogs. After an hour he gives us coffee and after two hours he goes over to the gas station and buys us cigarettes and after three hours he puts sopping plates of smothered hash browns in front of us that we can’t eat.
Two boys with slick white smiles and a car say we can go with them and the waiter behind the counter keeps wiping the same spot and watches us go out into the dawn, where everything is soft and blue at the edges and we are glad the night has passed. The slick boys have keys to an uncle’s barber shop and say, here sit on our laps, and we look at each other like maybe this is exciting, maybe something is happening. Something must be happening because the lights are off but the room is still glowing and the only thing holding us onto these bony knees are the arms slung over our hips. But it’s hard to tell because we are weak from hunger and sleeplessness and the blunt passing through our hands and all we want is home. The problem with a strange boy’s lap at dawn is that it shrinks your hearts, like how eating potato chips for a week shrinks your stomach, and when someone tries to give you something real, there isn’t anywhere to put it.
Every Star Has a Story
Luke raises his arm to point into the black summer sky. I shiver in my tank top and cutoff jeans, and slap at the ant crawling up my leg. His thigh swings toward mine, touching then not touching with each sway. We’re sitting on the hood of my brother’s 1965 blue Falcon. “That’s Orion. You can tell by that slant of stars that forms his belt.” Now I knew Orion had no business in the summer sky overhead; I read about that winter constellation in the thick black and red volume No.18 of Colliers’ Encyclopedia. But Luke has such a sweet smile, who am I to correct him? Constellations appeal to my storyteller side because every star has a story. “We should write a story,” I say, and look into Luke’s dark eyes that swallow me whole. “To explain the random lights.” “Not much more to tell,” he says. I feel his fingers trail the fringed edges of my shorts, and their strokes of my inner thigh. I stay quiet for a bit. I like Luke, two years older than myself, a lean lanky boy who delivers my father’s newspaper every evening. During tonight’s sudden storm he arrived soaked to the bone. I handed him a towel, anticipating his arrival, and he grinned, thanking me for my kind gesture. He patted his long dripping hair with the towel, and handed over the evening news. His eyes soaked in my recent changes. My older sister would tell boys, ‘hey, eyes up, mister,’ but I felt delighted that the girls, my nickname for my budding breasts, captured his attention.
When the rain dwindled to a mist, he suggested we walk together to finish his route. Luke lived at the end of my block, a ranch with the pale blue shutters. His father found us sitting there an hour later. “Evening,” he said and smiled. “You Josh Rivers’ girl? I’ve seen you riding your bike by the house.” A rising warmth flooded my neck and overflowed into my cheeks. I rode by this house three times a day since turning twelve, hoping to catch sight of Luke. “Yes, sir, Josh is my father,” I said, and extended my hand to shake his. “I’m Raven.” “Raven Rivers?” he chuckled, like they all do. His gaze lingered in the same place his son’s eyes lingered an hour before. I folded my arms across my chest and broke the spell the girls had cast. Luke’s father started into the house. “Better come in to wash off that filth,” he said, taking the paper from his son. Luke’s hands were covered in the black film of newsprint. “Occupational hazard,” Luke laughed, and then asked me to go stargazing tonight.
I shift my hip, lean to one side to continue what I’d started, holding myself up on one elbow. The hood of the car creaks beneath me. The night is bright with dots of light from hundreds of thousands of miles away. I point to the squiggle of Cassiopeia. “Always a story to tell. See the letter W? Some god scratched it into the heavens as a warning,” I say, trying to conjure up a colorful warning to bring life to my story. “Or a welcome.”
I jump from the car to pace the shallow opening of these dark woods. My friends told stories about this place, somewhere I’d never been, where they’d neck with their boyfriends and well, do other stuff. Luke rises to a sitting position. “Welcome?” he says, adjusting his pants before sliding off the car. “Or walkabout, maybe, like the Australian aborigines. Walk away from your life to find your life. Do you hear those stars?” I stretch out my arms, turn my face to the starry sky, and twirl laughing, until that fast spin flattens me to the ground. “We should get going. It’s getting late,” Luke says, and heads to the passenger door to get inside. The car’s light bursts the darkness, and a familiar look crosses his face. It’s one I’ve seen on my older sister’s face when I tried trailing along with her and her friends, and shouts louder than the stars: You’re too young, too weird, too stupid. Go away! “C’mon Raven.” A mosquito flies by my ear, whining for me to stand. I brush off my legs covered with gravel, and head toward the car, slowing my pace to drag a finger through the night dew now covering the hood. I slid into the driver’s seat, grip the steering wheel before backing down the one-lane road. Luke fiddles with the radio knob, and finally settles on Dylan, hums Shelter From The Storm, then sings the lyrics, half-hanging out the rolled-down window. He drums the rhythm with both hands on the side of my brother’s car. A half mile from his house, I veer into the circular drive of an elementary school and park, leaving the motor running. “What’d I do wrong?” I ask, unable during that long short drive home to puzzle out when the night went off track.
“You’re a sweet kid. We’re different is all. It’s not you, it’s me,” he says, code, I’d learn later, for a boy’s lack of interest. “I’ll walk home from here.” I wave goodbye through the windshield, and he nods. When I return home, I sit parked in my driveway, rehashing the night until the side porch lights flash three times. My mother wants to go to bed, but I’m not ready to face my pillow, and instead walk to my backyard where the tall pines block out light. I raise both arms to the sky, tilt back my head until I feel the edges of my hair touch the gap between my shirt and shorts and scream about smart girls, and horny guys in a frenzied rage. When I end my shouting into the heavens where gods brushed star-coated messages to mere mortals on Earth, a calm descends, and suddenly, just like that, I begin my walkabout.
Anne Anthony Anne Anthony is a full-time writer living in Chapel Hill, NC. Her flash fiction has been published online in Brilliant Flash Fiction, A Story in 100 Words, and Nailpolish Stories. She recently won A3 Review’s themed competition with her story, “The Chase,” which will be published in the October 2015 edition. Her interview of author Marjorie Hudson is slated for publication in the 2016 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review. Lydia Armstrong Lydia Armstrong lives and writes in Richmond, Virginia, where she is active in the spoken word community and helps facilitateSlam Richmond. Lydia collects bugs, drinks copious amounts of white tea, and has a cat named Birdie. She’s currently working on a novel. Alec Cizak Alec Cizak is a writer and filmmaker from Indianapolis. His work has recently appeared in (or is scheduled to appear in) Wayne Literary Review, Profane Journal, and Beat to a Pulp. His third feature film, “Kato Therapy,” was an official selection for the 2015fREEDOM fILM fESTIVAL. He is also the editor of the literary journal Pulp Modern.
Laura Kiselevach After twenty years of working as a visual designer and photo stylist for such clients as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, and The New York Times, Laura Kiselevach decided to pursue her passion for photography. Using only her well trained eye and a smart phone camera, she captures both the grandeur and minutia of her everyday life.Lauraâ€™s work has been published inRip/Torn, Roadside Fiction, Temenos, Short, Fast and Deadly, Wilde Magazine, Quickest Flipest, The Casserole, Muzzle Magazine, among others, and exhibited at galleries in New York City, Florida and Los Angeles. Caitlyn McPherson Caitlyn is a graduate of Utah Valley University and has recently found a love for poetry and the beauty of the word and sentence. She is a wife to a wonderful husband and mother to a beautiful child. She plans on writing for as long as possible as much as possible. Bruce Robinson Work by Bruce Robinson has appeared in Poetry Australia, Fiction, ONTHEBUS, Works & Days, and Right Hand Pointing. He has done time at the Johns Hopkins University and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and pays his library fines. Wayne Scheer Wayne Scheer has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net. Heâ€™s published hundred of stories, poems and essays in print and online, including Revealing Moments, a collection of flash stories, available
at http://issuu.com/pearnoir/docs/revealing_moments. A short film has also been produced based on his short story, â€œZen and the Art of House Painting.â€? Emily Vander Ark Emily Vander Ark is a librarian and English instructor, and is nearly finished with her MFA in writing from Spalding University. She is a student editor for The Louisville Review, proofreader for Best New Writing, and founder/managing editor of Forest for the Trees. Her own writing has been published in Garbanzo Literary Journal and others, and an article she wrote for The Honeybee Conservancy recently reached over 15,000 readers. Look her up at emilyvanderark.com.
Visit www.crackthespine.com to review our submission guidelines or to subscribe