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east coast ink issue 010 | fresh


L E T T E r

f r o m t h e e d i t o r 2

P O E T R Y 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T h e S t r e n g t h o f L o v e I s i n t h e A r t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................. .................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................. .................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................. .................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................. ..................

Silence three twenty sixteen T h e Wo m a n W h o S e a r c h e d Fo r H e r s e l f 9. I Am Thorn The Loud and the Quiet Are a Deafening Hush Spring 14. Dysmorphia, an Autopsy I Can Get So Full of the Glorious Spring Bath Two Steps Closer To M e I t H a p p e n e d L i k e T h i s

F I C T I O N 2 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T h e F e r r y .................. Under the Green Country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E x t r a n e o u s Wo r d s & R o u g h e r s / / / F r a m e d

M I C R O F I C T I O N 3 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P i c t o g r a p h .................. Resource Collection Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J a n e y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I H O P

N O N F I C T I O N 4 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D a r k C h o c o l a t e C h i p s e a s t c o a s t E V E N T S , s p r i n g 2 0 1 6 4 5

c o n t r i b u t o r s 5 1

ISSUE 010 EAST COAST INK Spring 2016


eci staff owner, editor-in-chief Jacqueline Frasca associate editor Austen Wright fiction editor Erika Childers nonfiction editor Jill Shastany

East Coast Ink Issue 010, Spring 2016: Fresh. Copyright © 2016 East Coast Ink ISBN 978-1-329-98983-2

Cover image by Hope Kauffman. Images inside front cover and on pages 18, 29―30, 44, 45―50, and 54 by Jacqueline Frasca.

East Coast Ink magazine is produced four times per year and is an individually owned and operated publication. For additional content , please visit ecimagazine.tumblr.com and connect with us @ecimagazine. Pitch us your creative nonfiction and submit fiction, poetry, micro fiction, book reviews, mixed media artwork and photography to ecimagazine@gm ail.com. Copyright of all materials reverts to the individual artists and authors. No materials may be reproduced under any circumstances without written permissions from the editorial staff.


letter from the editor I’ m a f ra i d o f th e like lih ood th at I ’ll be t he equivalent of that old lady t ha t j us t c a n’ t g e t with th e n e w te ch nology and doesn’t t ry. I am perfec t ly profic ie nt i n M a c a n d W ind ows OS, I ca n c learly us I nDesign, and was t he unoffic i a l IT p e r s o n a t my la s t e mp loye r b ut I am also c onstantly A- OK with what we a l re a dy h ave . A p ps wa n t to u p d a te ? Well, why? There’s nothing wrong with the ve r s io n I’ m u s i n g . W hy d o e s W ind ows want m e to update again if not hing’s wrong ? W h a t d o you me a n vir tu a l re a lit y is being sold to c onsum ers t his year? I d o n’t wa n t a ny o f th a t . I s till h ave a box of VHS t apes at my parent s’ house t ha t yo u’d b e h a rd p re s s e d to g e t me to part wit h. But m ost notably, I am afraid of ro b o ts i n a ve ry, ve ry re a l way, a n d those dam n sc ient ist s are designing t hem to think mo re l i ke h u ma n s . It s ee ms th a t eve r y d ay is t he dawning of a new age in tec hnology, a nd a l l t h i s f re s h ne w te ch may b e am az ing, but does it revive us? I ’m sure ma ny o f yo u c o u l d a rg u e th a t , ye s , it d oes, and I ’d be inc lined to welc om e that , be ca us e I a m a q u e e n o f s ta gn a tion . I live very vividly in my own past . I t’s visc e ra l , a l ive i n eve r y s e ns e , a s if I’ m living it all over again. And even when it h ur ts me , eve n wh e n it’ s s till b le e d ing, I ’m OK wit h it . I t m ay not be happening now, b u t I k n ow it d id h a pp e n. How c an I be expec ted to enjoy virt ual realit y whe n I’ m n eve r a ll th a t s u re wh a t reality I ’m presently in? A f re s h p e rs pe ctive a lways helps, and however you get your fix, t his is s ue i s s u re to h e lp yo u ou t; we re ac hed out to artist s, writers, and universi tie s a l l a l o n g t h e Ea s t Co a s t a nd a s ke d them to show us what evoked “fresh” to the m, b e i t mo re lite ra l (like a ll th e gorgeous photography you’ll find in these pa g e s f ro m o u r cove r p h oto g ra ph e r, Hope Kauffm an), or c ut ting a lit tle deeper l ike t h e wo rks of Ro b in D u nn a n d Margaret Mary Riley. Our am az ing c ont ributo rs o n c e a ga i n ca me th ro u gh a n d allowed us to c reate this c ollec tion of all thing s F R E S H to h e lp we lco me you to spring. Don’t worry, New E ngland, t he sn ow ’s a l re a dy me lte d . We ’ ll ge t th e re. S o wh e th e r you ’ re g oin g to read t his in line to get your diz z ied ha nd s o n O c u l u s R if t , s o a kin g u p th e s out hern sunshine am ongst budding greener y, o r c u rl e d u p o n th e s ofa d u r in g those infam ous spring rain showers, we ho pe yo u e n j oy t h i s work a n d h e lp u s s hare t he c reat ions of our artist s. We’ve go tte n a j u m p o n t h e s u mme r is s u e (b ec ause we’re quite frankly very, very ready fo r it) , s o re a c h ou t a t e cima ga zin e @gm ail. c om if you’d like to join our st reet te a ms . B e o n t h e lookou t for a ne w contest on t he horiz on, too, that involves yo ur c o n fo u n d e d te ch nology. Ye s , I c an adapt . I ’m not a total dinosaur.

Jacqueline Frasca




“A taste of spring,” Jack Savage

[ poetry ] the strength of love is in the art Jared Pearce

My darling left to catch the rain And bring it home to squelch the plain, But all she got was sweat and stains; She wrung her shirt so her rose could drink. My lovely ’s off to peel the blue Of her golden eye and her ruby shoe Into the sky ’s cerulean hue; She scraped for miles then bled green ink.

My beauty ’s gone to hive a home For workers six and one sunny drone, The halls were wax, her heart a stone, The paper walls went crimped and crinked.

She wrung her shirt so her rose could drink, She scraped for miles then bled green ink, The paper walls went crimped and crinked, My love was true, but my love was weak.

I went to build my girl a heart Of wooden planks and ten penny nails, With steel supports and concrete feet , But her green blood leaks and the beating failed.



Amitabh Vikram D w ivedi Her eyes spoke something, So softly, so calmly, That it created a chaos in my mind. I imagined:

“Her solid head is in my feeble arms, Her broken hair and my broken heart Remain derelict when she moves on.” What left— Her waste hair and my waste love! She said: “Listen!”

This time she put her tender head on my solid heart . I was silent but her eyes said: “Speak!” I spoke:

“Come, let’s move.”

We parted silently, we said goodbye.


three twenty sixteen Kate Ciavarra

i’ve never aged a day before but every second counts my garden of forget-me-nots never wilts. my birthday is soon. i am tall. i live alone. i work hard. but i was born with crooked teeth and good intentions. another year’s work is done.

david dyte


the woman who searched for herself Steve Klepetar

She searched in the usual places, in the well by the cliffs, under roots of plane trees, in the wild, white tangle of her mother’s hair. She searched by the river among geese and frogs, dug in the mud with her wind-rough hands. She emptied her purse, checked the pockets of every coat , thumbed through the books on her shelves. She ripped out every photo, pulled pages from her journal, dumped out her desk, poured through potions on her bathroom shelf. When she searched in her lover’s eyes, those pools of fire and regret , she caught a shadow glimpse fluttering at the edge of sight . She searched for her face in his arms, opened his chest and turned over the dark side of his heart , hoping against hope, for any trace: steps on a dusty street , or palm prints marked in blood.



Margaret Mar y Riley in my idle days I sit at the back of my mind and eat the overlapping maps the charm is in the disappearing act

they know your name, at night they tuck their feet and when they talk about you—no, I’ve never understood the appeal

qu’est-ce qu’il y a the demand is for your head, your recklessness

do you feel regret not particularly it’s never interested me

now, pause.

i am thorn A.J. Huffman

and the petals of my rose are on fire. Blessedly, my eyes are made of ash. Blind to their own kind, they seek the scent of fresh blood, believing the ancient story. The blood is the life is a mantra I consume bitterly. A pill of truth, it sticks in my throat , echoes like a poison I never intended to swallow.



“bearded lady,� jennifer janeiro


the loud and the quiet are a deafening hush Jacqueline Frasca

The loud and the quiet are a deafening hush, the front of my mind laden with the future and the future’s grassy meadows.

Our limbs are running through the present’s long, dark hallways without instruction. First into the river, we are jumping guns, we are too alive with the craving for fruit to remember to plant the seeds in spring.


Alisa Velaj Peaceful— the patience of leaves To have themselves reborn After every fall. ...

Surprised, he told me one midnight That his moon and mine Were not shining on one and the same fallow lot . ... Give me a cricket song And I will fill your night With a solitude of butterflies. ... Droplets of light fallen off dove wings— The sunflower fields in this forsaken land...

Translated from Albanian language into English by Arben Latifi


hope kauffman



hope kauffman



Margaret Mar y Riley I need to forget you

saturday, it’s too hot for clothes you slide your face between my legs

you look like a teacher with your glasses, you say you can’t sleep you come on my stomach you recite sappho to me I come before you

I read in bed, you ask me to fuck you like I don’t know you you eat me out

wednesday you are curled around my feet , I stroke your cock while we talk about depression, and you feed me semen

you ask when I’m coming back, I say I don’t know you say dirty southerners have charm, we eat each other I take my bus back home.


dysmorphia, an autopsy Laura Fairgrieve

Your chest is a forest . A tightly wound matrix of conifers and capillaries where needles net the floor fleshy strings of ducts and valves deliver your dear ones a breath rattles branches and blood vessels, it is getting too crowded.

david dyte


i can get so full of the glorious Alan Clark

disruption of travel; my tongue talks me full of plans and hopes. Riding to catch a bus, I want a … Tallulah in the back seat , laughing on life passing us by up front . But only for her will I shut up!

I tell my friend non-stop into town only the most intimate, giddy details, heretofore held in, about the country flying by us, opened up to fresh air, sunlight , and all the denser minutiae of a Spring day, called birds and trees and buds, over the twisty road out of winter.

Listen, friend, to all these words pour out , suppressed for months by diligence and worry. Now? Who cares. The rubber begs direction of the wheel. The engine is alive! O survivor springtime—O free motion— take us somewhere new, into the brand new chance.


spring bath Joan McNerney

Noontime perfumed berries new grass. Beneath honey locust through hushed woods we found a spring. My feet throb over hard pebbles. Threading soft water the sun dresses us in golden sequins.


two steps closer A.J. Huffman

I overcame my sense of revulsion, scraped together some dry straw and dust to form a bed. Along the back wall stood a row of clay pots. I remembered all their names. Sick with fascination (and pity), I fled the light . Gulping fresh breaths of midnight , I pieced myself back together with bolts and an old pair of fiberglass wings. Deluminated, I labeled myself a crystal cage, with walls so thick they tangled each other. I emptied one of my eyes, decided it was a door. Blink three times, and I will open. Welcome to the lost world of my ruined skin.


to me it happened like this Jacqueline Frasca

I recall with swift insanity barely breathing barely a chance at oxygen as if desperately yanking for slot-machine harmony or desert-lipped Western plateau dehydration glimpsing oasis and cold water that leaves the throat seizing, hemorrhaging in shock the night she paced landlocked lovelorn jaunts outside barebrick veteran hostiles, shaking vibrating gyrating leaf of maple tumbling Earthbound from the wrong tree, walls pulsing every glance a glare every passerby an acquaintance fumbling vaguely at her skin, backstage doomsday silence bouncing off clouds of acrylic and turpentine wine blind stage whispers and deafening sighs behind the curtain clad in black, it’s opening night , the coke can wait ‘til the matinee, his voice as it rang “don’t come” and she came like a dare like a code of arms like a wayward condition of abuse > violence = to passion, bite her clavicle again, the bolt blue bruise needs to splinter just so, Marcy Playground in the basement treehouse climbing scaling flat on her back with the weightless pathological liar on her stomach waiting to be asked to be kissed, soft Pantene chemical hair held back in a frayed beanie, soft Chapstick lips that never touched a joint or a handle or Jim Beam or Jack or Captain Morgan or any man yet , the girl made of bones regretting her basement mildew couchbed playthings, so many basements, the generation of the basements, this drug in that basement this boy in that basement this betrayal in that basement stop this madness, that it was a panic attack a year in the making chauffeured by the pothead dad teenage wasteland advocate suffocating off cancer lyrics throwing punches at ocean waves in the backseat of a van out-of-Boston bound, print masochist shielding artist identities with full body fronts, a rabid saber-toothed tigress over her kill, fresh slaughter of paint encased in plastic sleeve backbone, pictures on pictures of siblings in fields forming their own identities apart from us, everyone is so apart from us, watching fingerprint road rage bruises kiss to the surface of her arm chest thigh jaw in the pristine daylight down 495 where she stepped out of line like a silent sliver of a girl on the edge of a person, foyer filling with the wails of flockless ark members making up a unit directionless one member down mounting every lapse, sinew brain cell heart valve lacking the force of a heartbeat hand to hold will to live, the clouds were jonquil—that’s a yellow a very particular yellow that is very specific the color of clouds that want to rain but are parched and a sun that wants to shine but is covered by thirsty clouds, twisted tee 3D carnival scavengers in the living strobe hearing sound feeling sight losing lost looking past past future present everyone and she’s sober in a corner with a Solo roofie in her clutches like dangling by one digit on a Tennessee mountainside straight-faced replaced repelling living in this madness,


coquette mouse girl behind the Dunks chain smoking with the greased up construction trash leaning against their big rust trucks, iced mocha down the trachea cold caffeine rush limbs shaking skin peppered gooseflesh blossoms in early August dusk I swear it’s still summer I swear our lips never met , stark white lost lamb fly apologist watching a pregnant woman bake pies watching Ireland musicians, crying, watching coquette mouse girl throw herself under pizzeria tables on her knees falling harder and farther, washing away into the mere idea of a person fading like lamplight daybreak opaque overlay, hands on the wheel faint-white like foam—they are not mine as they tremble and gasp— quads poisoned with adrenaline slowly glacially unfurling like a tumbling spool exhaustion surging like a gas filling volume mindlessly (science told it to) spine loosening its grip notch by hesitant notch, absolving the cliff from the fall—the quads are rigor mortis stiff—without me the body is unfurling it falls away the captain of its own ship, that all men must die and all women must be martyred, when the mind pulses fear into the limbs both unwanting and powerless to stop what it stated (shredded petals on the dash—he loves me not), the stolen note she made of winter staples they would need (wool socks warm stockings long johns a few flannel shirts a new lined scarf for him) when she found it unresolved three months into winter three and a half months after he left for someone else someone more someone whole, and I am not that nice to have left her alone under that pizzeria table to have lived the out-loud abandon as if it compared as if it really was clawing my chest cavity open splayed by my own reaching fingers, someone complete enough without him, space man free to drift tetherless in absolution free to fear free to watch the universe go on without him despite him free to wax poetic, free.



kate ciavarra

” n o t a g a i n , ” j e n n i f e r j a n e i r o


[ fiction ] The Ferry

D ylan Young As the old British man vigorously scratches his spotted and sun-bleached arm, I feel as though I’m on a game show. His dead skin cells flake off and drift over me, and it’s like I’ve won something and I’m being showered in confetti to amplify the tears of joy streaming down my face. As I approach the front of the line the captain would be there to greet me, bouquet of roses in hand, congratulating me on being the millionth ferry passenger saying things like “everyone loves you” and “this isn’t because your grandma died.” The salt air is a refreshing break from the city ’s, which hangs like a thick squat cloud clutching desperately to the coast we leave behind. It’s as if a cabbie pointed out where he lived on a picture that he displays proudly on his dashboard, leaving a brown smudge across the lower portion of the city from the juices of his recently consumed pastrami sandwich. But those pastrami juices build up year after year as he proudly points to the picture exclaiming “this is where I’m from, this is my city!” after every passenger asks where’s home in an attempt to feel more secure about getting into a stranger’s car. That is all he has. No kids, a wife that left him after they found out he was sterile; can we really fault him for the obnoxious way he boasts of Los Angeles? He will continue to smear pastrami juice on the photo until it builds up so thick he can no longer get into his cab. Then the pastrami will drive for him, politely making small talk with strangers to make them feel safe and collecting fare to care for the cabbie in his old age. “Yes, I’m just a mass of pastrami juices. No, I don’t technically have eyes.” But the pastrami won’t need to see. It’s an embodiment of the city, navigating its maze and traffic by sense, by memory even, for something born of such pride functions on its own. On the starboard side of the ship, I sit near a woman who converses so loudly that I can still hear her when I move to the other side. She pronounces compilation come-pile-a-she-on and explains how she spent the last two days getting hammered on a beach. She woke up today on a boat with three guys in a dress with no underwear. She’s very excited to go to church tonight . She sings a few lines of Creed’s “Can You Take Me Higher?” before closing her eyes and resting her head on her ‘Main Bitch’s lap. A pack of dolphins leap out of the water off the side of the ship. There are enough of them that everyone notices almost straight away. I know when they have by the chorus of “Ooh, dolphins!” that occurs around the boat in slightly delayed increments. Like an audible chain reaction, a domino of oohs. After everyone has noticed, the intercom crackles on. The passengers all listen, waiting for the captain


to speak. After a pause he just says... “Dolphins.” Then the speaker goes silent . I stand by the railing and contemplate throwing myself into the ocean for a moment . I imagine the cold wash of the sea swallowing me whole, falling down past where the light reaches, then falling further still. In darkness I sink for what feels like six hours but is probably only one, until small lights start to come into view. Glowing bubbles, the size of my fist , inside of which whole towns are contained. The tiny village’s entire population of gnomes come out of their houses to point at the giant creature floating outside their protective shell. I gently poke a finger through the bubble in an attempt to make contact , but the strain is too much and the bubble bursts. The gnomes run screaming back into their homes, but they aren’t fast enough as the water comes rushing in on them from all sides. In a second it’s over, their screams replaced by silence, as the franticly swim towards the neighboring bubbles, but are turned away by years of prejudice and deepseated rivalries. As the gnomes drown, they turn their bitter eyes towards me, their destroyer, cursing me in their final moments. Their eyes say things like “It’s okay ” and “you’re going through some things, don’t worry about it .” As the ferry arrives on Catalina I gather my bag and composure before heading off the dock to walk the familiar street towards an estate that needs settling.

under the green country Robin Dunn


The green country is now; after I am gone, and before me, at least a little. Who knows how long it’s been green. Ever since the algae rose from the sea, I suppose. I would we could make it tell us, or show us somehow. The boy says you can eat the grass and it will tell you, but he is insane. I am too, but in a different way, from the war. “What is it keeping you?” he says. “I forgot my watch.” “I know what time it is.” The sun is down under the trees now, but still yellow, not red. “Come on.” I had a girlfriend in town years ago, her name was Alice. She never did take me to Wonderland. Nor did I take her. She still bakes bread under the arch. I am a king of sorts, but that needn’t bother you. Kings are nothing here; they ’re only grass. Isn’t that right , Elijah? He smiles at me. Boys are good for one thing only, and that is shouting and smiling and running. Don’t ask them to do anything. They can’t do anything at all. “Hurry up, we’ll be late!” He’s running. And I after him. In green country we have this dream now; everyone is excited by it but I am a cynic and see it as only another distraction from all the work we have to do. This

particular dream is called “Mandera,” one we have been having for some time. Only a story, you know. One of the most dangerous things there is. The people come down to the little tree amphitheater and spread their blankets, and the magician is pulling flowers from his sleeves. Some of the girls are laughing. Elijah is eating his sandwich, but I have forgotten mine. I don’t like to eat so much anymore. “Keeping well, Robert?” “Yes.” It’s Tom, our gatekeeper. “Yes, and you?” “It’s cold in the guardhouse. Bring me some wood tomorrow.” Merry opens her mouth on the green: “Citizens! You’ve seen many things! You’ve seen empires dashed against the rocks! You’ve seen gods die! You have seen the sky collapse in on itself, flinging down meteorites, and you have seen alien beings, in their ships, come to our green country! “Ladies and Gentlemen, I know as well as any of you how middling are these things now, but I know something better! I know our way out .” The girls come out with their torches. “Mandera is coming! Mandera is coming!” I stand and strip and my neighbors clap, solemnly, smiling, and I dance naked under the fires. What good are kings, eh, if not for shaking their balls around? I am a flint in your gun. Hold me. I have sparks, whenever you need. Elijah, tell me, is it true these stories they tell you? I can’t believe any of them. “Robert , Robert , get up! The soldiers! The soldiers are here!” I’m in my bed. I will do the work, I promise. “Let me get dressed.” “They ’re coming now!” Elijah is not my son. His father was a man I killed, in the war. I think Mandera is a harmless fancy, most of the time. But then other times I see what it does to people. What it is doing to me. I think it could make us go to war again, and perhaps not stop. The soldiers are standing outside, smoking. “Give me one, will you?” The taller one—he looks like a sergeant—hands one to me and I light a match in my hand. I draw the smoke into my lungs and look at the soldiers like I’m tired. It’s true, I am. “Tom let you through, did he?” “We paid him his fee.” The sergeant smiles. “Happy to support the troops.” “We’re disbanded. We submitted to the authority of the Hawk. His men too. I assume you’re Hawk’s men.” “New arrivals.” The sergeant smiled, caressing his gun. “We’re just here to see if you’ve observed any fresh terrorist activity. Anyone making trouble.” “No, nothing here. It’s a quiet town.” But this is the wrong answer. Why do I always forget?


“We’re just going to look around for a bit . Have to be back at station by two. If you think of anything, this is my number.” He hands it to me on a scrap of paper. Paper from the old world. The world I died in. The world that gave birth to me. “Stay as long as you like!” I grin and wave like the village idiot . I go inside to pray with Elijah. We pray to the stars. They are our gods. “Men far away,” whispers Elijah, “protect our souls, and our bodies, in our coming endeavors, give us the strength to heal the people, and give us knowledge, from your endless tome, so we can teach them the ways of the sky people like you.” I make dinner for the two of us and then I go outside to call my mother. Our green country is special. Every peasant says this of his country; so, that is well, and I am no exception. I am a willing prisoner of my scrap of the Earth, for enslaving oneself freely is the best use of freedom. To decide to never return from your former life, and give everything to this. War makes new men from old ones, with me too, and this is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it has made me strong, and new. A curse because I don’t remember what it was that I did. If new enemies come, it may be they remember me, and I will not them. But I will see the recognition in their eyes. That , at least , I have not lost . And I know, better than some, how to defend our valley. Not with guns, but with song. Elijah is running. Sometimes I am running too. Killing. In dreams. My body here is an afterthought; a dwarf. These leavings they pieced together. My face they preserved, but I am slow. Recognizable, but slow. And Elijah is not patient . Nor am I. “Elijah!” He’s gone, over the hills. Every night we hike them, looking for the enemy. We’ve not yet seen them. Nor am I entirely certain what I will do if we do. We can’t leave yet . We have things to do. We have to see what Mandera is. And where it’s coming from. I’ll have to see. To see how it affects the song.


I know that our green country is luckier than many; we escaped the nuclear fallout and other poisons and so it is for that reason that our valley is so heavily occupied now. Its beauty, like that of Africa, is a curse. I am a king; I’ll wear the curse. Become it . Endure it . Write it down. I should tell you what our songs do. It may be yours could do this too, if you desire it . My mother told me when I was a boy that the world was being remade, and I needed to help her. She told me that we were an ancient people, from far away, and that we bear a message, whose nature is simple: transformation.

We are singers. My voice is old but it is kind; I can still use it . I’m listening to the birds now. They ’re telling me where Elijah is. “Elijah!” He’s laughing. “What are you laughing at?” “The birds! In the air!” The sparrows are a great sea in the air, swirling in waves. “Will I dance like you, Dad?” “No, we’ll be gone from here. You’ll do a different dance.” “What are the birds doing?” “They ’re dancing.” “What dance is it?” “Some bird dance.” “I know what Mandera is!” He’s smiling. “What is it then?” “It’s you! You’re Mandera!” Oh, make me forget again. Make me forget everything. “Come on, let’s go home.” In my green country, I am a bird. But I will never fly again. I have only one wing.

“citrus freshness,” marcus boyd




Extraneous Words and Roughers /// Framed Max Griffin

Rich neighborhoods with mighty boss islands where you don’t know to go north to get south. South of the East Side there’s more fast food in the back if we need to serve a table of white folks. Their color doesn’t matter. When I wake up I still love you. (50)

The dinosaur realized the kid thought bad thoughts about him. The kid, standing. No bad thoughts exist . The dinosaur equates this assumption with the poorly educate. The amount of education doesn’t matter. I walk away from my car, up the street , on a cliff, down some stairs, by the sand, near an ocean, on a coast , and I miss you. (60) In my mind there exists a singular point in time during which I realized that all closet doors are fascist . Who are they to mask grotesque dreaming shapes that flut my eyelids open and wear my shag carpet as a receptacle for their feet? It wasn’t until much later when I chopped the last closet door into kindling and smoked the ashes of a squirrel corpse that I sank into the mud. (70) The ice cream cake flew out the car window and into the mud. A dying man crawled up toward the cake, from below. The man ate the toppings; the sugar fish, lemon drops, hot reds, blueberry sours, lentil frosting, black and white chocolate vanilla sprinkles, and several crusted doughnut holes, all of which now resided in money made apartments in the dying man’s stomach, except two chocolate covered strawberries who ran off into the woods to rub their genitals together. (80)

This time you’re gonna make sense of it . Hold on, stroke, sit down, rotate the object in your hands. Here you are the perfect machination of the times. (LIAR) Here you go, there’s a line to follow. Keep going, it’s just , keep going, and here you are, good as new. Give the baby their formulation. (TRITE) Run down to the dock, I mean aquifer, there I messed up, it’s ok if my throat is scratchy? I hope you are ok with my throat being scratchy. I will go drink water…(90) EXTRANEOUS WORDS AND ROUGHERS Kevin found bankrupt by the 5th of December. Susan drowned before she died. Xenox had worked as a barista too long. Balentide took off his hat and winced. Zoe found a hook in her vegan soup. Abbie had her hatred and time. Northrum couldn’t find his razor. Vivian told her husband she felt like velvet . Hoops took the basketball back to the store. Gengen got one good look at the hen. Lilian found herself wilting. Orpheus found his eyeballs in a sack.


Yesmen yearns for yak yogurt . In a dark tunnel lived a fog. Men lined up to see the goldfish. Cassandra told the tiny black cake baby a word. Darius lifted his shield to block the lava. Perhaps paisley will do. Queer theory finished skinning the pig. Richard knows the way to my hovel. Titanium blade break the fast . Uranium can be found in the ocean. Evelyn earned her regrets. Jonathan fainted once in his life. Found out today I have cancer. 1 Winters finish the way they start . ///

Apologize to the reader. ///


I have endeavoured to make a recording of the way in which forms are approached in all angles. In this sense perhaps I make myself too clear. Eschewing clarity is an approach which is well documented. I will say in this sense that the shortening of sentence length has long legs in academia. Footnotes being passe, there becomes less of a way for centipedeal fiction to find itself in the conversation. In fact I visited with D. Young and asked after how were his stories going, what was his aim and ultimately how will he be able to survive the conversation? These as well as other questions perplexed him, but he was able to give a satisfactory answer, after some consideration. I told him about the new rug I had recently acquisitioned, which was rumored to have originated in the collection of a Black and Tan who had known Borges, at some point long ago in the distant past . In the future perhaps the conversation will shift its focalization off of the corpses of animals, and much later we will see wearing skin as a barbarism given way to favor the synthetic.


A man sits holding a framed picture in his hands. Inside is needlepoint . An anthropomorphic resemblance, looking into a mirror. A thought , above, bubbled. I’m feeling great! I’m feeling great! I’m feeling great! A man is in a room with five thousand other people. In the center is a screen. The screen shows an anthropomorphic resemblance, perhaps two of them. They are side by side, doing action. Five thousand pillows line the walls of the room. One by one, when their action is shown on the screen, the people walk to their pillow. They sleep, side by side. A woman is holding a sharp line. The line is composed of material. She hopes that she did right by Jesus Christ , and her father. Her Dad she never knew, except picture of remnant . The line suddenly softens, and she finds her hands molding again. She hasn’t molded anything in years. Her tears are sweet , and collect on her shirt like a powder. A young girl and a snake are throwing hoops around a statue, in a square. On the sides of the square, image. Cafe, apartment , cafe, cafe, apartment , cafe, street corner, similar side, different side, street , object , government official. Snake produces papers, unsigned. Snake produces currency, in amount . Young girl collects hoops. Government official skins snake, pockets currency. The young girl, much later, will get a tattoo in the shape of a serpent , above her left breast . An old woman has published a novel. Her friends all order a copy, and the copies are dropped off by drones, in the late afternoon. Her fans order copies, and the copies are dropped off by drones, in the early morning. At some point her enemies order copies, and drones drop them off, in middle evening. The old woman grows much older, and has less enemies. Her publisher published posthumously a series of sexual poems, poems her daughter fought fiercely to keep in the estate. Private. When critical reception of the collection finally arrives, it is of a certain opinion.



“mayaflor,” alan clark

[ micro fiction ] pictograph Max Griffin

This one’s real far back so I’ll be quick, because I can’t make sense of pictographs like I used to. I’m somewhere in Hartford, in a bathtub, and I’m small. In my hands is a globe of frogs, encased in stretchy plastic. When you squeeze the globe you see little glimpses of the frogs inside. I rip it open, and pour the frogs into the tub, and they go down the drain, and right before the last one disappears he spits up this like tiny golden key, which rises up in the air, and slowly cuts its way into my chest . That night the pipes were clogged.

Resource collection game Max Griffin

Me and him are in some rocks outside the suburb. I says to him play resource collection game. He knows from Age of Empires. I’m taking these little scoops of dust , and blowing them into his closed eyes, and whispering in his ear, you’re amazing you’re amazing you’re amazing. Then it gets too hot for an Eastern summer and we take off our shirts. We are lost in these sort of granite looking boulders, tallern’sin. Much later after I have decided to stop telling people I’m an agnostic I will be in the hallway of the Academy, on the second floor, under a vent pretending the cold air is the wind and I’m still there and young and pulling on his tawny hair until the sun goes down.



“those children illustrations,� jack savage

” a r g e n t i n a g r a v e y a r d , ” k a t e c i a v a r r a



D ylan Young Janey swipes desperately trying to find love hidden in a jungle of erections. Her fingerprints soon give way to the smooth pearl of her bone as her desperation drives her endlessly forward into a stream of equally desperate men, crushing each of them between bone and glass. Each swipe destroying their dreams two months from now, each shriek of calcium on silica another feral mating call to start again.


D ylan Young She’s clearing the table and I have to keep reminding myself that the waitress has a vagina. The waitress has a vagina. She gingerly touches my arm as she asks if she can get me anything else and I contemplate saying yes your phone number but instead I say no. Three months from now I’ll be entangled in the hair of a woman who can’t see color and annunciates her words, but for the moment I’m letting the waitress at an IHOP in the valley make me feel like I’m a package she back ordered off of Amazon three weeks ago and forgot about . I’m the pair of polka dotted shorts just in time for the beach season, I’m the thing she has forgotten she had wanted. I’m objectively not attracted to her, but the attention makes me feel good. I pay for my bill, wondering what I can say when she returns with change that will get us from the syrup stained tables of the diner back to the syrup stained sheets of her bedroom. She returns and hands me my change. I say thanks, and leave a mediocre tip before continuing about my day.


“alice’s daughter,” jennifer janeiro



[ nonfiction ] Dark Chocolate Chips Emma McPherson


The clean air is cutting into my lungs like destroyed glass shredding knuckles; I refocus on every stupid trick I’ve read on the internet over the years. Exhale when your left foot hits the ground, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Strengthen your core, keep it tight . I’ve only gone a mile: My body is strong, the muscles ready to run until I reach the other edge of the island so I can see the water on all sides, but my lungs are done. I slow to a crawl and start walking up the sunlit street . I’m along the wharf. I can’t breathe. I want to sit and catch my breath and calm down, but it’s already begun—a friend once told me that if I sat down immediately after exercising when the blood is really pumping and the heart is really alive, I would pass out . It’s never happened before and it may not even be true, but just the idea planted in my head is enough to make it real, a true definite. I pace a few feet forward, several feet back, my hands over my face. I feel sick. I’m going to be sick. I’m going to pass out and onlookers are going to jog over, call an ambulance. I’ll inconvenience the delicate ecosystem of the wharf, the couples lounging on jetty rocks watching freighters pass, families going the long way to the art museum, general passerby seeking the coast’s best clam shacks. I’ll pass out and cause alarm, cause attention to myself: Fat girl trying to run gets sick exercising, because she’s fat . Glass is never destroyed because you can melt it back down. I, on the other end of the spectrum, am very, very easy to obliterate. I keep pacing, nails raking over my forearms a little too hard, blood beginning to blossom to the surface. I must shut down the amygdala. No one is paying any attention to me, because they ’re fine, and I’m fine, and I was fine mere minutes ago. I’ve been trying to become a runner; I started seriously lifting and doing cardio two years ago and lost a lot of weight from seriously constricting calories. A therapist and nutritionist worked together with me to get up to 900 calories a day from 500. Getting up to 1,200 a day from 900 was a huge feat , especially since during a particular plateau the nutritionist told me my body wouldn’t lose anymore weight . “It’s the size it wants to be.” And I remember in that moment feeling my chest collapse in on itself like a dying star no one would know about for years because the light would need to travel so far—the thought of Why do I try? Why do I want? That’s the family friendly version of what I was thinking. What I was really thinking involved something along the lines of large knives and major dormroom

surgery. That was mid-afternoon on a gorgeous Friday. I went to bed with a bag of mini dark chocolate chips, periodically letting one slide between my lips until it melted into a bitter aftertaste, to a grand total of 15: 48 calories. I didn’t move for 35 hours. I’m starting to be able to inflate my lungs again, now that my mind has something to focus on other than its own litany of total destruction. The fresh air is gagging me and I force it down like bile. I look down at my arms, bright-red, deep scratches staining them like a Jackson Pollock. I take another deep breath and start to walk back, watching my feet . I’ve been trying to be a runner, starting with 5K programs and going up. Now I can run that first mile, and I know my body can keep going, and I know I could train my lungs though they miss the black smoke choking of cigarettes, but even with music there’s a point in every run when my brain reminds itself that we are mortal and death is sure and patient . Sometimes I’m sure I will think myself to death, at a young, healthy age, on one fine afternoon when I run out of supreme distractions and escapism just long enough. I still don’t feel able to sit down, so I keep walking. I’m not calming down, which means I’m not hurting enough. My nails dig themselves into the palms with no mercy and I remove one ear bud to reintroduce more, real-time audio stimuli, fast-beat music still playing in the other. I used to delude myself into thinking that as long as I had music to focus on I would be able to keep my own thoughts out of my cardio and have a chance of training and achieving something physically, but I should really know myself better. Even when I feel fine, my mind realizes it feels fine and wonders But for how long? And just like that , full-body supernova. Earthquakes, tsunamis, chasms down into the center of the Earth. I’ve opened the pit of myself, again. I’ve made so many mistakes trying to run, trying to trick my brain into running. When I first started working out , a banana beforehand or 100-calories worth of raw fruit and nut bar would get me through—before I would need to rush to sustenance immediately after the end of the workout to get my blood sugar back up, despite my blood sugar being perfectly fine, or I would surely faint . In college, the gym was a simple two floors beneath the dining hall; all I had to do was go up the three flights of stairs, swipe my card, and put food onto a plate. But I can’t tell you the amount of times at the bottom of the stairs that I started to black out , how many times I had to leave the food line in tears, unable to breath, because it was just taking too long and if I had to wait any longer I was going to faint . You must understand: I was fine. Physically, I was fine. I wasn’t pushing hard enough in my workouts to warrant this physical meltdown. But anxiety preys mercilessly, and nothing needs to be wrong whatsoever for me to feel with absurd certainty that I’m going to die. I glance down at my palms, ruined and cut up, blood pooling under my nails. I bite my lip and keep walking, because I have no other choice, because I’m otherwise stranded with my fear. Eventually the panic got so bad that I couldn’t make it more than 15 minutes on the treadmill without feeling sick. And every day I would go to the gym and try different routines, different prefuel, different amounts of water beforehand, different music, different mindsets, just so I could try and wear a body I didn’t hate so completely. I avoid the eyes of people I pass on the wharf. I know what they see: Fat girl in workout gear, breathing heavily, walking. Fat girl walking on a beautiful day, who


probably is too lazy to really exercise, who probably came out in all this gear for one day this year and won’t do it again. I know what they see; I see what they see. I learned that I was the problem with exercise the first time I tried to run without any music. I’d gotten to the point of running one mile, walking half a mile, running another mile, walking half a mile. A runner’s blog gushed about how to really enjoy the run and become a runner it had to just be you and the run. No books, no music, no distraction. It was well-written or I was desperate or I was fed-up and I set out for it . My mind started out blank, focusing on my breathing. I remembered the blog said something about enjoying the scenery and being present , so I tried it . I got maybe two blocks before I started to black out . Fear lives in the corners of my eyes. My mortality alights on the tips of my fingers and in the roots of my hair. The Fear is a quiet , distractionless afternoon away from bubbling over the surface of me and dragging me into a soundless oblivion that is all at once all color the lack of color. And music is not enough of an immersion for me to forget the blood in my veins, the beat of my heart , the bounding breath from my chest—the fact that I am alive, and will not always be alive. That I am small. That I contain multitudes but am truly nothing. The blood on my palms and forearms stemming, I feel more human and less of a horrified universal concept . They ’re one in the same, but I’m able to walk back to my dorm without fainting. I always am, miraculously.



e a s t c o a s t e v e n t s spring 2016

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Until May 27; New York City, NY

From the page of four of Eric Carle’s beloved books, this play brings to life 75 lovable puppets in an adaptation of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “The Very Lonely Firefly,” “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse,” and “Mister Seahorse.” Created by John Rockefeller, this show continues at the 47th Street Theatre and proceeds benefit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. hungrycaterpillarshow.com

Magician of the Modern: The Art of Leonard Weisgard Until June 5; Amherst, MA

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Weisgard’s birth, this exhibit at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Books will feature work by the acclaimed children’s book illustrator. Highlights include original art from “Cinderella” (1939), “Red Light/Green Light” (1944), “The Little Island” (1946), “The Golden Egg Book” (1947), and “The Funny Bunny Factory” (1950). carlemuseum.org

School library month!


If you’re like us and have many fond memories of your school’s library, then be sure to give a shout out to School Library Month by either hosting your own celebration or taking part in your city’s. Check to see what’s happening in your area, or if any of the local schools will be taking donations! ala.org/aasl/slm

O, Miami Poetry Festival April; Miami, FL

This festival hopes to spread poetry across the city by hosting a dizzying array of events throughout the month, including ones like The Golden Age Workshop, Rhythm Arts, Piano Slam, and Les Petites Poetes. Talks, readings, dancing, food, music, and workshops are just some of the things you’ll get to experience if you check this one out. omiami.org

New York Antiquarian Book Fair April 7–10; New York City, NY


At this genuine “treasure trove,” bibliophiles and professional collector’s alike can find hundreds of vendors and dealers showcasing their antique books, maps, manuscripts, and other ephemera. We dare you to stay for just an hour! nyantiquarianbookfair.com

the novel experience April 7–11; Atlanta, GA

This affordable event gives attendees the chance to meet authors and network with fellow writers and readers at a plethora of signings. novelexperienceevent.org

rainbow book fair April 9; New York, NY

The largest LGBT book event in the country, Rainbow Book Fair gathers 1,500 people from a spectrum of ages, ethnicities, gender identities, and viewpoints to celebrate LGBT literature. This year’s exhibitors include Kade Boehme, Heliotrope Books, Scott William Simmons, WabiSabiZinez, AMW Comics, MadeMark Publishing, and so many more.

Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair & Fine Press Book Fair April 9; New York, NY

Located just across the street from The Armory, this event shares the weekend in NYC with the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Designed as a complimentary companion to the Armory Fair, professional vintage book and ephemera dealers from around the U.S., Europe, and Canada will present their collections of rare books, poetry, prose, social children’s books, maps, prints, posters, and so much more. Appraisals by John Bruno, star of Market Warriors, will take place from 1–3 p.m. To see a glimpse of the treasures you’ll find, visit flamingoeventz.com.

The zine machine fest April 16; Durham, NC

The second annual ZINE MACHINE: Durham Printed Matter Festival is sure to be a zinester’s dream. This “festival of anti-corporate, autonomous, alternative printed media” will feature mini magazines, comics, art prints, posters, books, and any other DIY printed matter you’ve been jonesing for. zinemachinefest.com

Boston Book Print and Ephemera Show April 17; Lexington, MA

If you love perusing vendor tables for hours on end, looking for that rare first edition of your favorite book, then be sure to visit the Boston Book Print and Ephemera Show. Even if you don’t have thousands to spend, just browsing is a fantastic way to spend the day.

wicked book weekend

April 22–25; Ft. Lauderdale, FL

If you’re near Fort Lauderdale, be sure to hit up this fun, low-key weekend festival that’s jam-packed with participating romance authors. Wicked Book Events promises that more than just waiting in line to get your booked signed, you’ll be able to interact with authors in a party environment. Events also include a drag show, fetish demonstration, and buffet meals. wickedbookevents.com


Sistah’s on Lit Book Fest April 23; Washington, D.C.

This fantastic book fest features local black authors engaging in signings, panels, and discussions about their work. So far the guest list includes 50-plus authors, writing across every genre. After the fest, you can also buy tickets for an exciting evening at Horseshoe Casino. solbookfestival.com

PEN World Voices Festival

April 25–May 1; New York City, NY

The Sparknotes: More than 150 writers from 30 countries will speak in venues from Lower Manhattan and Harlem to the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. The festival offers a globally inspired array of conversations, readings, performances, and workshops, with rare New York appearances by leading and emerging authors from around the globe. Be sure not to miss Salman Rushide and Barbara Goldsmith, or the opening night discussion, The Drug Addiction, with Boris Akunin, Lydia Cacho, Anne Enright, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Marlon James, Paul Muldoon, Olga Tokarczuk, Juan Villoro. worldvoices.pen.org

newburyport literary festival April 29–30; Newburyport, MA

This year’s festival honors celebrated poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and will feature a discussion with Carl Little and Daniel Mark Epstein. There will also be readings, meet and greets, and other discussions with a diverse group of more than 65 authors and poets presenting their work. newburyportliteraryfestival.org

Grub Street’s “Muse and the Marketplace” Conference April 29–May 1; Boston, MA

“Join fellow writers for a weekend of inspiration and education” at this literary conference for aspiring writers. Through presentations and one-on-one meetings, you’ll learn new and valuable ways to work on fiction and nonfiction books, from the actual writing to shopping your manuscript to publishers. Most importantly, you do not want to miss the chance for a twenty-minute meeting with an editor or agent to discuss your current work. grubstreet.org/muse

flash forward festival May 1–8; Boston, MA

Both hobby and professional photographers alike will want to check out this free photography festival, which features both international and local New England work. The program will include talks as well as indoor and outdoor photo exhibits. The last night of the festival will end with a party cohosted by SoWa Boston, featuring shipping containers filled with artwork. flashforwardfestival.com

2016 Celebration of Black Arts Festival May 1–31; Philadelphia, PA


Held at Art Sanctuary in Philadelphia, this year’s Celebration of Black Arts Festival will feature a month-

long exhibit of the works of Deborah Willis; a literary and arts conference with interactive workshops, performances, panel discussions, and a Youth Track; 50-plus authors, artists, and presenters; 7,500-plus participants and attendees; and unlimited opportunities from an outdoor festival and author readings to workshops, live performances, and an awards show. celebrationofblackwriting.org

hudson children’s book festival May 7; Hudson, NY

The Hudson Children’s Book Festival—the largest book festival in the state of New York—strives to create, sustain, and nurture a culture of literacy in partnership with schools and the community. Special bonus: It’s a free, public event that fosters a love of reading where families meet and greet world-class creators of books for children of all ages. Enjoy live performances, meet more than 75 authors and illustrators, and walk away with a free book just for attending.

bronx book fair May 7–8; Bronx, NY

Listed as “A Great Day for Book Lovers in in the Bronx,” this fair is sure to satisfy! Workshops, readings, and performances will be featured on day one, while day two will host a pop-up bookstore filled with work from small presses. Speakers include not only authors, but also editors and publishers from around the city. This event hopes to “engage the community with a variety of literature and programs that will broaden access to Bronx literary artists, increase library usage, and encourage a love of books and reading.” bronxbookfair.com

4th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair May 14; Baltimore, MD

Dive into the world of kids’ literature focused on African Americans and people of other ethnicities. Enjoy author readings, illustration workshops, performances, and craft activities. Purchase hard-to-find titles in the Book Village and get a free children’s book for every family, while supplies last. lewismuseum.org

ladyfest atlanta

May 16–18; Atlanta, GA

Ladyfest Atlanta serves as an intentional, queer, feminist space for women and gender nonconforming people. The annual festival brings together Atlanta-based artists, innovators and activists to share their work and speak out on local issues. Come by to celebrate and encourage community while also precipitating critical dialogue and education around anti-oppression work and action in Atlanta, especially as it relates to gender-centered oppression. ladyfestatlanta.wordpress.com

2016 Girls Write Now Awards May 17; New York, NY

Girls Write Now make mentoring, college preparation, therapy, and more possible for girls of all ages. Between workshops, readings, and anthologies, they encourage and foster girls to write. Each year they


honor women who have paved the way for girls to break through boundaries, both in life and in writing, to realize their promise and the possibilities of change. Held at Three Sixty° Tribeca, this year, they’ll be honoring author of “Redefining Realness” and host of MSNBC’s “So POPular!” Janet Mock, HBO’s “Girls” executive producer, director, and writer and co-founder of LennyLetter.com with Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. girlswritenow.org

gaithersburg book festival

May 21; Gaithersburg, MD

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is a celebration of the written word and its power to enrich the human experience, with a mission to foster an interest in reading, writing, and literary conversation. The festival has quickly become one of the nation’s top literary events, attracting hundreds of award-winning and best-selling authors, poets, and songwriters from across the country to its quaint, park-like setting in the heart of Olde Towne Gaithersburg. gaithersburgbookfestival.org

Granite State Book, Paper and Ephemera Fair June 5; Concord, NH

This fair actually includes two for the price of one: the actual Granite State fair and the Granite State Antiques Festival. If you’re a lover of vintage or antiques, then mark this on your calendar. abaa.org/ events/details/granite-state-book-paper-ephemera-fair


June 13–19; Charlottesville, VA

The LOOK3 FESTIVAL OF THE PHOTOGRAPH features artist presentations and exhibitions by legendary photographers, as well as outdoor projections, community events, and educational initiatives. Everything takes place along Charlottesville’s historic pedestrian corridor known as the “Downtown Mall,” and at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. LOOK3’s world-class exhibition program is free and open to the public, as is the Friday Evening Projections and many special events. Read all about the exhibitions, evening projections, and free community events at look3.org.

east coast ink “makes me melt” contest July; East Coast

In celebration of all-things summer and the upcoming MELT issue from East Coast Ink, we take to Instagram and Twitter so you can show us what makes you absolutely melt. Tag @ecimagazine to your summeriest photos, art, multimedia, and more; 18-plus content allowed. Artists planning to contribute to the summer issue are welcome to resubmit works featured in the issue. Keep an eye on ecimagazine. tumblr.com and facebook.com/eastcoastinklitmag or follow us @ecimagazine for more details.


Have an event for us to feature? Send it to ecimagazine@gmail.com or submit it to ecimagazine.tumblr.com/submit.


[ contributors ] fresh, spring 2016


Marcus Boyd, Sr. is a photographer based in Riverdale, MD. He has a twenty year background in information technology and he is an army veteran. Before, he started working on a computer he was photographing family events, school events, and activities at the neighborhood recreational center, Boyd studied photography during middle and high school. In February 2003, as a disabled veteran, left the military and a year later started a computer repair business. After his five years in business, he decided it was time for a change of scenery and moved his focus back to something of a greater passion… Photography. mboydphotos.net


Kate Ciavarra is a 25-year-old princess. She loves murder mysteries and histories and really anything interesting. Kate loves running around with her students and talking books with her peeps at Barnes & Noble. Favorite foods? Pad Thai and sweet potato sushi. Favorite outfit? Big, baggy sweater, leggings, thick socks, boots, scarf. Favorite season? SPRING. Fall is nice, too. For poetry, Kate likes to let the words spill on the page until they start making sense. Kate would shrivel up like a prune without music, art, laughter, family, the Oxford comma, and energy drinks. You can find Kate at evereverafterlys.tumblr.com and Ever Ever Afterly Creations on Facebook.



Alan Clark is an artist and poet living in Maine, and often in Mexico. To date he has four books: “Guerrero and Heart’s Blood” set in pre-Conquest Mexico, “Where They Know” (poems), “In This

World,” and “In Love and Wonder” (paintings). His poems have appeared in “Little Star,” “The Caribbean Writer,” “Adirondack Review,” “Wolf Moon Journal,” and others.


Robin Wyatt Dunn writes and teaches in Los Angeles. His first book of poetry, “POEMS FROM THE WAR”, is now available from Popcorn Press. robindunn.com


Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi is an assistant professor of linguistics in the School of Languages and Literature at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, India. His research interests include language documentation, writing descriptive grammars, and the preservation of rare and endangered languages in South Asia. He has contributed articles to many English journals. His most recent books are “A Grammar of Hadoti” (Lincom Europa Academic Publications, 2012), “A Grammar of Bhadarwahi” (Lincom Europa Academic Publications, 2013), and “Chinaar kaa Sukhaa Pattaa 2016” (Hindi Poetry Collection). As a poet, he has published around hundred poems in different anthologies worldwide. Until recently, his poem “Mother” has included as a prologue to “Motherhood and War: International Perspectives” (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2014.


David Dyte is a full-time statistician and part-time photographer living in Brooklyn while striving hard to maintain his Australian identity. He aims to share his love of places by capturing unusual sights and angles that

others may have missed. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign, he released his first book of photographs, “As Seen in Brooklyn,” in 2014. seeninbklyn.com


Laura Fairgrieve is an MFA candidate at Adelphi University, where she also teaches an introductory creative writing course. Her work has appeared in “Words Dance Publishing” and “Village of Crickets.” She currently lives in Brooklyn. @somelaurayumm


Max Griffin lives in the greater Los Angeles area. Currently studying creative writing at California University Northridge, he enjoys uploading pictures of his cats onto social media, as well as writing the occasional poem or story. He hopes to age gracefully, into first a bitter middle-aged novelist, and then later into the bearded man by the Santa Monica pier. Contact him for literally any reason, at livingworthlife@gmail.com.


A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her new poetry collections, “Another Blood Jet” (Eldritch Press), “A Few Bullets Short of Home” (mgv2>publishing), “Butchery of the Innocent” (Scars Publications), “Degeneration” (Pink Girl Ink), and “A Bizarre Burning of Bees” (Transcendent Zero Press) are now available from their respective publishers and amazon.com. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2400 poems in various national and international journals, including “Labletter,” “The James Dickey Review,” “Bone Orchard,” “EgoPHobia,” and “Kritya.” She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. kindofahurricanepress.com


Jennifer Janeiro is a fine artist who creates pen and ink drawings of modern elements, found objects, and skulls with a vintage feel. Utilizing cross-hatching and hard contrast, her drawings take on the appearance of old etchings. Her loved ones have always encouraged her creativity, and it was with her research into tattoo design that she realized her love of skulls and the detail found on their surfaces. She also enjoys crafting, travelling, and reading fantasy novels. Jennifer lives in Clemson, SC, with her silly fiancé and two supportive dogs. Her work can be viewed at boneandink.com.


Hope Kauffman is a US born photographer and fine artist. Raised an East Coast kid, Hope completed her studies at Emerson College in Boston. She then assisted celebrity photographer Adam Brown in Los Angles and trained under world renowned fashion photographer, Russell James, in New York. Now, she wanders the globe collecting stories using her camera, her canvas, or even her iPhone. She can be found shooting seasonally between Miami, FL, and Whitefish, MT.


Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as “Boston Literary Magazine,” “Deep Water,” “Expound,” “The Muse: India,” “Red River Review,” “Snakeskin,” “Voices Israel,” “Ygdrasil,” and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). Recent collections include “Speaking to the Field Mice” (Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013), “My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto” (Flutter Press, 2013), and “Return of the Bride of Frankenstein” (Kind of a Hurricane Press). web. stcloudstate.edu/sfklepetar/



Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as “Seven Circle Press,” “Dinner with the Muse,” “Camel Saloon,” “Blueline,” “Poppy Road Review,” “Spectrum,” three “Bright Hills Press Anthologies,” and several Kind of A Hurricane publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.


Emma McPherson spends entirely too much time in the past, which can make the present relatively impossible. Though reality is largely lost on her, she won’t be found without something to physically write on. She wants to say she is a watercolor painter but it’s just not true. Her ideal form of escapism is a bottle of wine and a good book, a.k.a. someone else’s life. Ultimately, she aims to work in children’s book publishing. emcfearson@gmail.com


Jared Pearce teaches writing and literature at William Penn University. Some of his poems will soon be or have recently been shared in “DIAGRAM,” “Coup d’etat,” “Dark Matter,” “Danse Macabre,” “Corvus,” and “Asymptote,” where you can hear some of his Babylonian translations read to you: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/ blog/2016/02/12/asymptote-podcastexperiments/


Margaret Mary Riley has a B.A. in Political Science and crippling student loans. She is currently learning French in order to read untranslated Foucault, while pursuing higher education. She is figuring out how to blog at: rileymargaretmary.wordpress.com



W. Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster and educator. He is the author of seven books including “Imagination: The

Art of W. Jack Savage” (wjacksavage. com). Jack and his wife Kathy live in Monrovia, CA.


Alisa Velaj was born in the southern port town of Vlora, Albania, in 1982. She has been shortlisted for the annual international Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in June 2014. She was also shortlisted for the Aquillrelle Publishing Contest 3 in January 2015 and was the first runner up. Velaj’s full length book of poetry, “A Gospel of Light,” WAs published by Aquillrelle in June 2015. Her works have appeared in a number of print and online international magazines, including “Blue Lyra Review,” “The Cannon’s Mouth,” “Poetica,” “Time of Singing,” and dozens more. She also has poems to publish in the forthcoming issues of “Of/with Journal,” “The Seventh Quarry,” and “Ink Sweat & Tears.” Velaj’s poems are translated by Ukë Buçpapaj.


Dylan Young is a screenwriter lost somewhere in the Los Angeles area. He takes breaks from writing scripts to write weird little stories, and the occasional haiku. He recently selfpublished a collection called “Bitter Poems for Heartbroken People,” available on blurb. Contact Dylan for literally any reason whatsoever [I’m not lonely, I swear]. dylanpresents@gmail.com


hope kauffman



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