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COVER: EDWARD MULLANY “SELF-PORTRAIT WITH UNUSUALLY FLACID ARM” Edward Mullany grew up in Australia and in the American Midwest. He is the author of the book, If I Falter at the Gallows (Publishing Genius, 2011).







[the sores, the source

from a hoarse throat.] “from the lowest part of the spine,

the book’s page numbers.” today, i rely heavily on their assistance, on the various positions of their dark pointing. today, i move the chalk outlines of dead clouds through the world. i move [pg. forty five of your book i stole by accident. start with the end of sentence thirty seven.] “half phantomed, a movement similar to cursing out needles that aren’t in the hem.”

though the back of the calf bleeds. distance breaks its grape skin.

our faces touch and are so skinned.

i am getting warmer than the air. what was harmless steam is now ongoing smoke, droning smoke. [pg. two of a novel i bought because it was blue. not red.] “i remember i was exhausted. i’d taken a blood pounding, a real swelling in the” smashed banks. [pg. three of a letter. begin near the letter y.] “i’m inside of a sidewalk bleached within an inch of its life. ” i’ve seen light like this be unravelled. even then, [pg four of the letter. begin after no.] “one goes on to grow their own shade.” it can still be a mess.

we were easily torn, rosy bread that we are. [from the margins of his sheet music.]

“my organ, her

organ.” we were stuck between a bright and a heavily buttered place i guess. [from an essay called, “on eye color.”] the orchard

“i felt i could be sure that they were green.” a sour fire burning up

has made our fruit grow such he says to me,

hunched hearts.

it’s great

that i’ve never been in a bar with makeup on. “i have some in case there’s a war, but” [excerpt of a t-shirt i stole while we were in the middle of dinner.] chipped ice in a glass. my fingers fish for. i watch folks out on the floor and bruise. “it’s a program. it gets my heart rate up.” [in the waiting room someone groans.]

he says to me across the table. he says to me “there’s mold on the paper.�

further across,

[from a recording of a live reading.]

i suspect there is more than something standing in the way.


Carrie Lorig lives in Minneapolis, MN. She has an orange bike for legs and a shattered cheek from reading so much poetry. She thinks it is beautiful when seeds repeat themselves. Forklift, OH, red lightbulbs, Pangur Ban Party, and Spork Press have published some of her poems.



This happened yesterday where I am not quite. You to me: We’re still here. Consider stillness. What means “here.” Do you stay? In staying you become - your stillness my – here? In the dream I ate the letters knowing, and full, was remade known.

LAUMEIER PARK, OR ANYWHERE ELSE In the middle of the woods in the middle of elsewhere, we’ll call it St. Louis because that’s where we were. Wholly. We give up “wholly” often. I defer to you on fun and blood and you to me on you. A note I now will never leave you: Find me somehow. Quickly. Instead we’ve shapes of nearness. This middle and this blood and the wantlessness of hurry. In passing, thought and shamelessly: Others don’t so much exist as anchor the periphery to keep the earth close such is the wholeness with which (I tell you).


Never make the points you mean to. Recall that if space is infinite, if spreading outward always already, that all distance is immeasurable and halves innumerable by man and math alike, there’s little point then in treating any gradual silence as anything less than inevitable. Consider punctuation. Now reconsider. Or. Return instead to volume. Think static. The point returns. Ask what of closer? About hearing. There is no arriving only hollering over (we’ll call them) echoes in the lack that even as contracting grows and grows and grows. Reach for you even still.


Tell the question you needed. What sound our separate quiets make at each other while we sleep. What made you separate? How is it you measure what time strung between our bodies? Where lay your if? Lie too near to then. Did it softly first happen? His newness once was soft. Ours was a stone I swallowed and kept inside and keep. Do you breathe him?

I can only.

Kristin Lueke went to graduate school and has feelings, just like everyone else. Ground-level living in Chicago. Also some poems in decomP, elimae, the Acentos Review, and Untoward Magazine. Dancing Girl Press and her first chapbook in August 2012. She definitely has never started a letter writing campaign.



Because you are a piece of meat I can chomp down hard and swallow. Give it a rest. Putting everything you can into your mommy compartment. Given. Where whatever incubates, bipolar piece of meat. It’s enough to drive me to Philadelphia or other places I never wanted to go. The things grease are made of, the places they’re made. And you call yourself a vegan but you’re a meat too. Together, let’s plant a garden. Let’s grow the things children are afraid of. Let’s swallow them whole.

RAINY DAY ACTIVITY BOOK The proper way to bury a cat is to place it tail-end first into a garbage bag. Squeeze all of the air from the bag, being careful to avoid the stench. Tie it off. Place it inside another bag. Tie the second bag. Wrap the double-bagged cat corpse in muslin, being careful to avoid recalling the lore of ancient Egypt; their gods are defunct. If the cat once had a favorite toy, tie it to the muslin-wrapped, double-bagged cat corpse using packing twine. Having dug a hole three feet deep and long enough to accommodate your prepared cat corpse, you may now place it in the ground. Say a prayer, if you please, being cautious to not recall the lore of China as they are communist. Be sure, filling in the hole, to pack the dirt firmly. There are coyotes out there; they are hungry, hungry. Use all of the dirt.

Shawn Maddey lives and etc. in Pittsburgh, PA. He writes things when he finds time in between real-life work-job and working as co-founder/ editor of Barge (Journal and) Press. Google his name for further publishing credits.

rob mclennan


a proclamation, dated; wish for wings that work,

this hotel; you are sitting on the bed,

the walls the soft disease of colour, hospitals, scrubbed molecular, down; were we, walking side by side

; I’m not sure where

no surface as expected, author; asking do you

love me, do you love me,

bracing, afraid; already, answered and aware,

TO PICK, THE RAW SKIN OF BEING each confession an island surrounded by mercury, delectable and fabled,

we cling to love for trouble’s sake,

compress , the work of hands no measured depth to proverbs; remember, an army and its captors,

free verse is never free; always

at a cost,

no stopping place; no city or even country,

POEM AFTER A LINE OR TWO BY PAIGE ACKERSON-KIELY I never wanted to stop, the heart runs warmer, colder still , crude fashion-worn to leave this crowded street, administering wind the starkness of glaciers; adjudicate, held in your pitchfork, mouthing kerosene , puns

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the poetry collections A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), and grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2011). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan) among others. He regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at



I heard knocking downstairs and knew it was the handiwork of Velázquez, my sister’s ex-, on account of its shittiness. Rapid-fire, first-person-shooter type stuff. Completely devoid of finesse or respect for the Mennonite craftsmanship that went into the making of our front door. I was in Astrid’s room at the time, peeling her orange slices. Through the bent-up blinds I could see Velázquez on the porch below, shivering in a black v-neck adorned with at least fifteen species of hawks on it, all gold lamé. I slid up the windowpane and screen so that I could spit on him. “She never wants to see you again.” My phlegm settled on his cowlick like a yarmulke. Velázquez removed what appeared to be a bank receipt from his pocket, wiped his melon. “But I love her, bro.” Astrid spasmed at the sound of his voice, her lower-body cast rendering her more perch-on-concrete than human. When I turned from the window to pin her to the bed, and to make sure she didn’t knock her IV out for the umpteenth time, I could only make out cocksucker in the river of curses dammed in her wire-cinched jaws.

“You ran her over.” I could hear Velázquez’ nasally plea, his insistence that it was super dark, bro and the badger or whatever the fuck it was came from out-of-fucking-nowhere, bro, as I straddled my mummified sister on the twin. He kept on blubbering and I pressed my thumbs harder and harder into Astrid’s gelatinous palms as she thrashed beneath me, making zhhhhhh’s through her teeth. When she finally relented and laid her back and forearms flat against the sheet, her eyes and cheeks looked like they’d been dipped in Vaseline. I sat upright, my knees still flanking Astrid’s hipbones. I panted and thought of all of the wonderfully-slow and agonizing ways in which I could make Velázquez die.

Thomas Mundt lives in Chicago, as do others. He is the author of one short story collection, You Have Until Noon to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Lady Lazarus Press, 2011), and the father of one human baby boy. Outreach/teambuilding opportunities can be found at



I cry diamonds they scrape a trail down my cheeks and leave tracks of blood tears I can see more when you aren’t looking off with her head said the wind to the sky too dark to surrender, skin just too cool I might be more open if that candle were lit tell me a story and I’ll mine you a secret stillness will be lonely quiet will tell you nothing of how much it loves a pony

SLOWER TO COME BY SHORTER TO CROSS Let’s go outside. There are clouds that tell us fire hydrants aren’t so dangerous. My father looks through my eyes with a bridge the cruise ship in the glass his eyes. Fine will be a low lying area, will you accept it? Just build the way out through your ears. Inside a dream you move on all fours. The curtain closes without a social security number.


The least of all of our problems came true the world devoid of water means I’m the embodiment of your understatement take it or leave it the sky won’t write back with condolences the egg of my mother inside of her grandmother or half of me inside of mine already

Tess Patalano lives in Brooklyn. She has been published in decomP, PANK, elimae, and > kill author among others. You can find her work at



Terms of Use was born out of an observation posed by a fellow student in Una Chung’s seminar, Machines: A Critique of New Media, at Sarah Lawrence College.The question of design had guided our discussion that afternoon and the conversation strayed into Terms of Use agreements (specifically that of Facebook). It was observed that these texts are designed to be unreadable, that they are, in fact, non-texts by design. Later that evening, as I began to pen a (hu-)manifesto that re-imagined Poetry as de-Programming, it occurred to me that here was a perfect place to put my theory into practice. How do you resist a text designed to resist reading? The answer, of course, was obvious: you transform it into poetry. Thus began this text.

Joseph A.W. Quintela writes. Poems. Stories. On Post-its.Walls. Envelopes. Cocktail napkins. Twitter. Anything he gets his hands on, really. His chapbook, This is not Poetry. #poetry, was published by The Red Ceilings Press. Other work has appeared in The Collagist, ABJECTIVE, GUD, Bartleby Snopes, and Existere. As the senior editor at Deadly Chaps Press, he publishes both an annual series of chapbooks and the weekly eReview, Short, Fast, and Deadly. He is an acolyte of intra-action, hash tags, and the Oxford comma. (



what is color is not drowning a thing that strikes and chills cannot build walls rotating thinking if only precipitation meant an end to dust distances and if planets spin counter to the rise and fall of dow jones then angels with peafowl voices materialize in closets of dead presidents fluctuating ranges and the spectrums of mary cross is a choice wheeling forms of the gods hovering beyond the colors and nursing identities the materiality of perception and reception are so much in lust with the presence of an absence and the notions of conjunctions that the dinner was ruined and the graphic reinterpretations shouldn’t have danced so loud grounding being into pieces and being grounded cradle curiosity in different tastes it starts breaking down when greeting the coast means stirring coals that which remains cannot house a home and the cattle were here first anyhow

Kayla Rizzo is a native of Buffalo, New York and writes in hopes that one day the universe will open up and share the secrets of language with her. Other explorations she conducted in this field can be found in Other Times 3, Pressboardpress, Dangerus and Achoo.



She was a princess -- whenever we fucked on the couch she’d ask me if I felt that quarter under the mattress that was digging into her right ass cheek. When I hugged her too hard her skin would turn a crimson purple that would not go away for days. In bed, sleeping together, she would keep me awake complaining about the dust mites that were defecating all over her face. I stopped holding her hand after the third time I broke it. If I kissed her too hard she would get a bloody nose and if I pushed her arm she’d ice it for a week. One time I put a rock underneath our mattress and she almost lost a kidney. The next night I put a piece of glass there and she bled to death. The bump had put a hole through her back, all her blood drained and she kept screaming, but I ignored it. Her corpse gave off a scent of flowers and potpourri. I poked her belly and broke through the skin like tissue paper. The small intestine was diamond studded: if you come over you’ll see it on my coffee table next to a book with photographs of the rainforest. I placed her body on the curb with the rest of the recyclables and I never received a call or anything.

Thomas Simmons lives in Chicago. His short story collection, Ways I Could Be Living, is forthcoming from Pen and Anvil Press. Contact him at


from THIS IS THE WAY TO RULE dear survivors, when there’s nothing else to do, we talk, when we’re not moving, putting out fires, running. our purpose, we skate around. no one wants to investigate that. someone mentions the capitol, someone mentions rebuilding. we are looking for other survivors. we’ve been at it for how long? a month, maybe two. the next morning we pull out our compass and head for the capitol. our hope elates us, we move with vigor, coursing through the trail of wreckage, city after city, landscape after landscape.

dear survivors, it’s clear we can’t help every town. already we’ve had to double-time to keep up. there are stones rattling, and crashing to our lefts and rights every hour, maybe half-hour, but we keep on the mains. we go where most people might be. some survivors stretched out to help neighboring places. we warn them of the soldiers setting fires. they warn us of the ghost-killings.

dear survivors, i’m tired. my eyes have been drooping for hours, but we keep on, our bodies resting at intervals, working through the tiresome aches—we all feel it. this is not a vacation, this is what it means to rescue the living, our parties been at it, our party’s found routine in this constant roll of lets downs and destruction. i’m trying to catch a few hours, now that it’s my turn, but i keep thinking about the fires, about the heat crawling towards the still standing, and the bodies underneath what has fallen.

dear survivors, don’t know what this was about, but the pond is full of bodies. they’re plump and water-logged. either someone dumped them days ago, or they all came down to the river to drown themselves. i remember a movie i saw years and years ago, where a line of people in white marched serenely through the obese heat of summer to be baptized. they sand [sang] and sang and say [sang], a chorus of acapella. and one by one they were dunked and cleansed. but i don’t image [imagine] that’s what happened to them. not after what we’ve seen. i keep picture [picturing] that scene though, then i imagine the preacher dunking these men and women, and not letting them up. they kick and struggle, but he won’t let them up. then they cease and he lets them float away. i wonder if god feels like this. he’s just letting us float away. there isn’t a town for miles, nor sign of the wreckage. but here are hundreds of dead. someone finds an old church bus on the other side of the pond. it’s empty, but someone left a note: go forth, it says.

dear survivors, the wind starts swinging for anything. screen doors are creaking and snapping at the frame. swing sets are clinking and wheezing. branches are dragging against each other. we’re all ushering memories forward, and telling stories, but they’re weaved together with the scent the fire brings. some of us are weeping, some of us are singing.

Joshua Young is the author of To the Chapel of Light (Mud Luscious Press/Nephew) and When the Wolves Quit: A Play-in-Verse (Gold Wake Press). He lives in Chicago with his wife, their son, and their dog. For info about his films, writings, and other projects, visit

NAP 2.4  


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