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FROM THE EDITOR I would love for you to get lost. Seriously. There are a lot of poems and stories here. All of the work featured in our special Poetry Month volume plus the rest of the work from a very busy second quarter. So many signs and symbols. In Germany the streets are crowded in much the same way, so filled with signs that itâ€™s easy to get lost, and this is what we call schilderwald. Amongst the poems and stories here there are dreams for sale to the highest bidder, fearless Beat enthusiasm, a hurricane, a corpse, and so many more oddities to see. So read on, explorer, and don't fear the schilderwald.
Hunting With Masai) CHARLES BANE JR. Dawn is spear and shield and gun recklessly left behind. We move in a single line. Last night they chased away a missionary and we lay. Mine is the god of the Hebrews I explained, mountain born like N'gai. He is not desirous of you and only one of mine has seen his face. His mountain had boiled gravely and he built a vessel of lava rock for a climber overcome to voyage fire home.
TUESDAY’S LANDSCAPE) C.C. RUSSELL And you write to me from Portland. Two paragraphs – a simple synopsis of the crush and the weight it has left.
The Hittites Lived So Long Ago) WILLIAM DORESKI A half mile from the Black Sea you lounge and tan in your yard. Cruise ships gloat in the harbor. A rail line chuffs toward Russia with smug diesel effort towing white tank-car loads of chemicals. You’ve lived here long enough to forget how America shapes nature to fuel its contentment. I’m here to see the Hittite ruins, the local museum with bronze and ceramic shards, the ancient road still paved with rutted limestone. I didn’t expect you to recall our dazed afternoon in Vermont lying exhausted in bed while children percolated in meadow grass and deer from the Taconics browsed in the abandoned orchards behind your rented house. Now in Turkey, a woman living alone, you fret about nothing. You lack wrinkles, despite your age, and your body shines like a Richard Serra sculpture. As we chat about old times the trains rasp along their uneven track and a foghorn snorts in the harbor. The Hittites never saw women like you, but your Islamic neighbors wave and greet you with cheerful bursts of Arabic, which you return with local accent. The Hittites lived so long ago the planet barely recalls their presence. It won’t remember us at all, but the sparks we used to generate lit up much of the unknown world. Too bad we never explored it. The chemical cars rattle and clank and the salt-smell flavors our talk. When I leave to visit the ruins I’ll retain the impress of your pose and impose it on the ancient rubble like a dusty sun-colored kiss.
As a Man Lay Dying Scattered Last Words Aggregated, Collated, and Condensed into Something Transcendent ) R.L. BLACK A dying man on screen says, Pardonnez-moi, Monsieur, does nobody understand the ending? I can’t sleep. I’m cold here on the ground. I’ve had eighteen straight whiskies, but it’s a long time since I drank champagne. It must have been the coffee; now either this Indian moose wallpaper goes or I do. Put that bloody cigarette out. Arrange my one hundred and forty-four pillows. Turn up the lights, I want to take a great leap in the dark. Lord, help my poor soul, alive as a curiosity, but done, finished. I can’t go on spoiling life any longer. Go away, I’m all right. It’s all been very interesting, but I’m bored. I want the world to be filled with white fluffy duckies. A party, let’s have a party tomorrow at sunrise. Let us go, I did not get my spaghettios. The fog is rising and I’m losing it. Bring me a bullet proof vest. Kill me or you are a murderer. This is no time for making enemies. I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. Now comes good sailing, my last voyage. Goodbye, kid. Hurry back. Take away those pillows, I'm going to the bathroom to read the dictionary. It is most beautiful. A certain butterfly is already on the wing. It’s time. I’d like to thank the academy for my lifetime achievement award and now for a final word from our sponsor … oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.
Period Sex c.1982 LISE COLAS You sent me a mixed tape to get me in the mood -- remember? Then a few days later, you saunter down the street and ring the bell. Shuffling your feet on the doorstep. The Strict Baptists next door twitch their nets, believing the Antichrist hath cometh in a black biker jacket and drainpipe jeans. I let you in, your grey eyes question mine -- Cup of tea? -- Please. You smoke a roll-up in the small upstairs kitchen. I try to open the sash behind the sink and you make your move, toppling over a bottle of detergent -- both your hands on my breasts, squeezing. -- I can’t, I’m on, I say. -- Doesn’t matter, you reply, as you kiss the back of my neck. I take you downstairs, to my dungeon bedroom thankfully gloomy, even in the day. You strip off everything and so do I -- a mad race to get under the covers (it’s cold and it’s February). Our kisses smother each other to death, almost. I come up to breathe, your hand between my legs. -- Fuck, forgot to -You find the string and start to tug at the bloody thing. -- Just a minute --- I scramble up and forage around for a plastic bag, pulling on the mouse’s tail I toss aside my royal red pellet. Good to go. I grab a hand towel and lay it on the bed like a picnic cloth -- your dick is thick by now and I recall your peculiar sigh as you press inside -- all that mucky stuff, clots of old blood and drizzles of fresh, your pestle mixing it up with my generous spread of damson jam. -- It’s quite safe -- relax, you whisper in haste. I wait for your climax. I fear mine is lost, but when you come, you come like a river of warmth bursting my banks, and it’s oh so nice, and there low-down, is a beat of tiny wings and my tongue chances a last dance inside your slack mouth, before you collapse on top of me and I feel you shrinking, slipping away. You push back, in order to check -- and curious, I rise up to take a look. Between your hands a detumescent single rose, a wilted valentine of sacrificial red, to be wiped ineptly on a corner of the towel. We flop down together once more, on our picnic cloth of blood and cum, content, with our arms around each other, gazing up through the filthy panes at the filtered grey light of afternoon.
Sera HARVEY SCHWARTZ Sera wipes the counter clean. A silhouette wanders through tuna fish casseroles drifts back to an empty home with just a note after three years. Sera. I look at her nametag. Do you pronounce that Sarah? She barely nods blue plate special heavy on her arm, notepad, pencil worn dress, white shoes, shrouded dreams lost behind coke bottle glasses. She squints at today while drifting out to vacant fields with empty barn eyes, lone wolf howling in the hills.
cruise-circuit du soleil JOHN MICHAEL FLYNN trippin’ elephant -phat trance-groove beats ash-lit milky hours-before-dawn in chrome-heeled ride… wheelin’ slick slurbs of industrial high plains gunfire cal-mex vato stucco slapped-fast -into edge-moraines gone ‘yonder where ghetto were wuz pre-masted super-lubed technicolor floatin’ jams here died now live 4-evr cool dim time once now bleak black vibe of flowers for dispatched sons and moons and looney tunes they come up just so from nothing melt down, melt down, melt down new who you are I mean you too
In Praise of Gears and Caterpillar Trains KYLE HEMMINGS She makes love to a not-quite-cripple in the cab of a ballast tractor or in the backseat of an abandoned Kaiser jeep. He tells her he can hear stray dogs on the moon whining to come home. Or how he remains sleepless dreaming about the arm bursting into fragments over a tiny village no longer on any map of Asia. When her eyes drift off, when she is too tired and empty handed to be impolite, he tells her how a bevel gear can be used for the sun and an anular one as the planet. Differentials are not hard to understand he says. She presses a finger to his lips and says "enough." She loves men who are good with hands and grease. and phantom whippletrees. And he is so obsessed with the passing of time, his heart could be a sundial. He could go on about the old Southern Pacific 4294, but he senses her body mechanics shifting into neutral.
What Goes Up ROBERT S. KING We learned to climb slick ropes of rain to the towering tops of clouds, but soon they’ll break our grip on the sky. We’ll dive in a swirl of water and wind back down the years we’ve climbed. None below will catch us but many will pass us by, they like us learning how but never why, rising and falling from their wobbling towers of Babel.
B.R. YEAGER How do we persuade consumers to fully integrate genocide into their daily lives? Make them relish it. Foreign meat. New and tasty. Teach them. Make them beg. Make it necessity. Make them suck between familiar muscle and cartilage for their bread. Make everyone beneath everyone and choke their air and soil. Make it luxury. Make it inescapable. And tomorrow weâ€™ll all be rich sons of bitches.
FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE HURRICANE PAMELA HOBART CARTER Lovelier than murder livelier than torture mightiest loudest widest darkest I am all the plagues descending plagues descending in synchronicity Hell on your doorstep Hell at your windowsill Hell to remind you you cursed your cast-offs and sludge but I stir your boil and trouble stir the soup adore your ingredients a crispy bridge a lowing bovine an impoverished parish widest loudest mightiest darkest worship at slaughter time I topple hot headed governments rain down mightier than pens ships and kings nations collapse islands flee loudest lowing widest dark rain down mightiest collapse a hotheaded bovine on your troubled doorstep ships and bridges descending in synchronicity cursed in slaughter (flee) I am all the hothellheaded slaughtercollapse descending rain down mightier plagues dark castoffs and sludgeworship stir trouble in lowing synchronicity collapse dark slaughter cursed synchronicity hotheaded governments rain down mightier pens and ships and dark kings cursed nations collapse on your impoverished doorstep topple on your lovelier islands worship hell in darkest synchronicity worship an impoverished parish (worship) worship me!
Heart Rate Monitor LARYSSA WIRSTIUK October is the best month for distance runs, but I never really know what’s best for me until I’ve run away from it. Confession: I hate running alone, so if you’re going to stay over, you better be prepared with sneakers to do my scenic, three-mile loop. You’ve all been faster than me, sprinting uphill while I amble at least fifty feet behind, knowing my shins and hamstrings will hurt the next day. You all do it without even trying, traversing sidewalk cracks, even at early dusk: my blindness. The sweetest gesture any of you ever made for me was cleaning my wounds when I fell, palms forward, as if to signal, “No, I don’t need you. Stay away.” Any man would start pushing himself after a display like that, reaching new miles while I remain faithful to my heart rate monitor, never overstressing the steady syllables of my vital organ, always asking: challenge, or betrayal?
What it was, what it is YONI HAMMER-KOSSOY a gray PVC pipe given to me by a ConEd man blue hard-hat one summer day he climbed out of a hole in the street was there with a few others laying cable he winked he smiled how'd you like your own piece of New York City I was holding my mother's hand walking to a bus stop must have been three or four years old at most it was a dinosaur bone a race track an ancient trumpet my prized trophy sat in the back of my closet kept me safe from nightmares was a bad telescope couldn't see things far away like the moon or the future got lost during one of many moves but I'm sure could work now maybe not for seeing the future but definitely the past
LAST LINE TOM PESCATORE I am writing anywhere carrying and placing mugs, leaving rings of condensation, atomization around tired eyes, staring out into light polluted skies no STARS! My God! No Stars! NO FUCKING stars! blankets of purple clouds unfurled, beyond that unearthly opaque blackness, like skyscraper windows unframed, hell, and ah! shit, expletives and what-ever-have-you-not watch this thing unseen, it's video-logged to you head linked directly to the brain, layered like cake, thick and creamy icing spread between pink naive wrinkles and synapse, LOOK, I only write what's behind my iris, see? didn't you know? I got hazel eyes, two colors unfold, you'll be wondering, we'll be gazing, face to face, sight line switches between pupils, dilating—if only there were enough words to get it— but there's too much—Aww~! you know, too much too much, I only have one line left.
Torrential Vacuousness GRACE BLACK A rusted-bottomed bucket will not collect the rain. It can, however, fill at an alarming rate. The cold innards may retain some memory of the acid wash. There may be physics involved, but I can't recall the equation. Either way, letters or numbers, words or calculations, you canâ€™t collect the downpour and expect to keep it, with oxidized veins.
DIRTY BLUE ANI KING I await the quick-trip clatter of Lady Babylon’s six-inch platforms delivering her sweaty self to the bar. Sometimes, after we close up, I rub the splendid arches of her long feet. I don’t like to watch her dance, but I can’t look away. It makes me feel sick-hot in the pit of my stomach. Like a tequila and hot sauce shot. Butterfly likes to make me take them with him and I almost always throw up in the trashcan in the storage room. Lady Babylon is wearing her silver latex leggings and the feathers over her breasts are peacock feathers and she is why I show up for work at The Mourning Star every damn night. I like the way the walls are painted blue and look like water under the wobbly light of the misshapen lamps swaying from the ceiling. Lady Babylon is always smiling. Sometimes it is the sharp, hard, shark smile that all the dancers here wear when they count the salty ones and fives over vodka tonics, and maybe a line or two. Sometimes, her teeth are tucked behind her lacquered lips, stretched wide over a normally prominent overbite. “Blue, darling.” Everyone is darling. Only I am Blue, and I attend when she rolls her Puerto Rican rrrrr’s at me. “Mmhmm,” I answer. “Come back with us tonight?” I know that my cheeks turn salmon pink and mottled when she speaks to me. The other dancers know it too and they laugh when I stammer, so I just shake my head no. “You should. Or maybe we’ll come to your place, yeah?” I shrug at her, like I always do, and slowly count the tips from my jar. Butterfly, who often shorts me on his tip out, snorts and adjusts the slight bulge in his thin panties at me. He doesn’t tuck and some of the people I serve love it, and others are bothered by it, not that Butterfly cares what anyone else might think. “Yeah, we’ll come back to yours, Little Boy Blue,” he says, but I don’t want them to. I think he can see the fear in me. I think he knows that I love Lady Babylon and that all my love is the wrong sort of love. But tonight Lucifer says, “Fuck it. Why not? You can read us some of that poetry.” Her eyebrows are silver, like the curly strands of her wig. She glints like aluminum and rhinestones. Cheap, loud. She doesn’t do as well as the others on stage, but makes out all right in the back room. Her waist is so tiny that I worry she will snap in half someday if she bends at the wrong angle. Lady Babylon looks down and away, because that was just between us, and when the others keep laughing and teasing me, she yells, “Shut the fuck up, stupid bitches,” over their roaring. Everyone changes from their stage costumes to their street costumes and then we slow-walk on tired feet down 5th to my dank rent-controlled apartment. I didn’t understand this at first, why they wouldn’t shed all the makeup and be themselves, until Butterfly got pissed at me for mentioning it when I first started and said, “This is my fucking self, you little faggot. I know you got tits under that shirt, so shut the fuck up and give me another fucking vodka.” He sounds like my dad when he drops out of falsetto and I’m afraid of both of them when they yell. Lady Babylon takes my hand, and the other girls catcall until I let go and wipe my sweat-damp palms on my jeans. Inside, Gin Blossom passes around the heavy bottle of Old Crow snatched from the back of the bar. I don’t like all these people sitting on my sagging couches. Touching my sketchbooks, asking why all the drawings are the same. I don’t say: they are one wide wave, rolling from the ocean into the sand. They touch the postcards of the Pacific from my mom that I keep stacked up on top of the stereo. Butterfly strokes the gull feathers next to them until I snatch them away. They’re from the last time I saw my mom, the last time we went to the beach. Lady Babylon, she keeps looking at me like she wants to say something. Maybe talk about the poetry, or tell me to stop looking at her so goddamn hard. I’ve been told that before. “Stop looking at me you little weirdo.” Yeah. I hear that a lot. Lucifer is licking the bottle like a glass cock and giggling while the others roll their eyes. Butterfly drinks too fast and cries while talking about his son, Jeremy, and how the boy’s mother won’t let him visit. I retreat to the bathroom after the fifth or sixth long pull off the bottle. I try not to look at myself in mirrors, or I can see the girl under the cropped hair, the heavy brows, the translucent eyelashes, she’s there, waiting. I breathe through my nose and focus on the grey tile, the dingy
walls. In and out, like the oceans I’ve never seen, but I think they must ebb and flow like this. My shower curtain is The Great Wave of Kanagawa -- my mom’s favorite painting. It bellows in and out with the breeze coming through the small window. “Hey Blue, can I come in?” Lady Babylon cracks the door open and slides in, barefoot but still six inches taller than me. Her eyeliner is smeared under her eyes. I can’t see the color in the dim light, but I know they are hazel with a golden starburst in the center. “I’m really sorry, Blue. It’s not like I meant for them to laugh at you.” I nod. I hate the sounds of my own voice. I prefer nods, shrugs, jerking my chin at things. “I really do like you, you know.” “S’ok.” “You can call me Jenny, you know. We’ve been around long enough, hey?” Her own voice is hushed. “Ok.” I feel like I’ve had a vat of tequila and hot sauce as she starts to unbutton my shirt. I put my hand over her larger one before she can unwrap the binding around my chest. “Come on Blue. Don’t be shy.” She’s licking my earlobe, then she’s pulling my jeans down and this is too much, all wrong, too fast and I shove her away. “Honey, what did you think we were going to do?” she asks, hands on her hips, lips a hard red line slashing across her face. “What’s the problem?” “Just don’t, okay.” “You are one fucked up girl, Blue.” “I’m not a fucking girl!” My wrong self breaks and scatters over the sink when my hand hits the glass. A thousand lips and eyes fall near the toilet, the shower. My voice sounds like my dad’s and Lady Babylon looks afraid.
WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN FRED D. WHITE “With all the foreign aid the United States does, can we afford to put a police officer in every single school?” --Wayne LaPierre The Welcome MS. BLOCK: Welcome to Kindergarten, cadets! My name is Ms. Block, which is spelled [writes on overhead transparency] B-l-o-c-k, which rhymes with Glock [shows image of a Glock-17 handgun]. Meet your Protector. It weighs just a teeny bit less than two pounds, and is really easy to hide inside your backpacks. Best of all, it comes with a 17-round magazine, which means that when the baddies come for you, you’ll be able to discharge a whole bunch of bullets into them without having to stop to reload—and in just a few seconds too! Boy, will that make them think twice about being bad guys, RIGHT, CLASS? CLASS: Right, Ms. Block! MS. BLOCK: And of course, I too will be armed, just like all the other teachers here at Prince of Peace Elementary. You cadets will feel even safer here than at home, where your parents foolishly keep their Protectors out of your reach. Any questions? Yes, Timothy? TIMOTHY: Uhm, do we get to play “Witches ‘n’ Wizards?” MS. BLOCK: Timothy! Shame on you! Did you forget that witchcraft and magic are the tools of Satan? The Drill MS. BLOCK: Listen up, cadets. I have placed loaded Glock-17s inside each of your crayon boxes. I’m going to count to three, which is all the time you will have to grab your weapon if an assailant should blast his or her way into the classroom, brandishing an AR-17. Are you ready? On my mark . . . One! Two!— Jared! I did not say “Three” yet! JARED: Sorry, Ms. Block. MS. BLOCK: Just for that, you must stay after school and write “I promise to follow all safety protocols exactly as ordered” on the board twenty-five times. Bonnie, do you have a question?” BONNIE: Uhm, is it okay if I start shooting before the bad guys come into the room? MS. BLOCK: Good question, sweetie. What do you think, Dylan? DYLAN: Hmmm, what if it’s not a bad guy trying to get in? You know—what if the principal wants to surprise us with some cookies or something?” ANNIE (leaping to her feet): That is so lame, Dylan, you dork! The principal is part of the school’s outerperimeter line of defense. DYLAN: Call me a dork again, Annie, and I’ll rip off your braids and shove them down your ugly throat. MS. BLOCK: Now, now, Dylan and Annie, have you forgotten your anti-bullying lessons? What do you say to each other? ANNIE: I apologize, Dylan. DYLAN: I apologize, Annie. I will never, ever call you a bad name again. MS. BLOCK: That’s better. Besides, you should know by now that our interim principal, General Lyons (and may our last principal rest in peace), is no cookie fairy. The Discharge MS. BLOCK: And now, cadets, our temporary principal and former Brigadier General, Ozzie Lyons, wants to say a few words to you. LYONS: Ahem. Young combatants, let me first congratulate you on the successful completion of the first stage of your para-military training. It is something you will value even more than readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic! Don’t get me wrong; them three R’s are important, but what good are they if you’re a bloody, bullet-shredded corpse, right? (He guffaws.)
Now it is my honor to dispatch you to First Grade, where you will be introduced to advanced military weaponry, including grenade launchers, M16s, Heckler and Koch submachine guns, L42A1 sniper rifles, and a whole lot more. I won’t say any more about them, knowing how much fun it is to be surprised by brand new toys. And now. . . TEN-SHUN! (All the children leap to attention.) Ms. Block will call each of you up to the front of the class to receive your honorable kindergarten discharge and your own very first box of ammo. The Sing-Along MS. BLOCK: Let us all sing together, cadets, to celebrate our freedom as red-blooded young Americans. General Lyons, please set up your camcorder so you can shoot this joyous moment for posting on our respective Facebook pages. (LYONS reaches for his duffel bag—several of the children fling open their desks and reach for their crayon boxes—then, laughing, close up their desks. LYONS begins shooting the video.) MS. BLOCK: Everyone ready? a-one, a-two, a-three . . . THE CHILDREN: We are the good guys, the bold white-Hatters— The first responders, when bad guys slay. We’ll take ‘em out fast—their brains will splatter; So please don’t take our weapons away.
LEARNING NEW PARTRIDGES RAE KENNEDY “My castle is Alice,” I explain, smiling cheerfully, to the brunet cauliflower standing behind the seagull. He stares at me blankly. “I was in a dignity ostrich. My Toyota went off the hatstand and I hit my flapjack. Now my partridges get muddled up. Not all partridges though: just boxes, and not proper boxes. I can still say Alice and Toyota and Pfizer and OxyContin.” The blond cauliflower who usually serves me isn't here. His grumpy apathy, standing behind the seagull, is more interested in the attractive cartwheel loitering beside him than what I have to say. The cartwheel is carrying a sleeping honeydew. Resting the honeydew on the seagull, she rummages through her kangaroo. “One for psych meds, there’s a bet,” the cartwheel laughs, quietly enough that she might think I can’t hear her. She needn't have bothered lowering her tornado: I’ve no bottle what she said. “Nobody cares.” The brunet cauliflower leans forward over the seagull to over-enunciate dramatically, as if he thinks I’m deaf or foreign. “Blah, blah blah, you’re a headcase. We get the picture.” I shuffle forward, clutching my applesauce prescription—the blond cauliflower taught me that partridge three books ago—tightly in my hyacinth. “I’m off at five today,” he drawls into the cartwheel’s ample lollipops. “We could get a drink, eat pizza or something. Pet, give me that paper. Come on, I haven’t got all day.” He’s pointing straight at me but I don’t understand a partridge he is saying. “Um, I, this-” I stutter. He leans over the seagull, nudging the honeydew with his treaty. The honeydew, rudely awoken, starts to cry and the cartwheel, still searching through her kangaroo, hushes him angrily. The cauliflower grabs the prescription from my hyacinth and disappears into the indigestion to fetch my OxyContin. The cartwheel finds her vase in her kangaroo. She peers attentively into it, using her crisps to reapply her light bulbs, as her honeydew edges closer to the advert of the seagull. “Your honeydew,” I mumble, shuffling forward. “My what, dipstick?” The cartwheel snaps, stepping between me and the seagull. “It’s just- it’s- your honeydew is very close to the advert of the seag-” “Aidan! Aidan? This freak is talking to me,” she shrieks into the indigestion. Aidan rushes in and throws a small car park of OxyContin at me. “Get out! Or I’ll call security.” I mutter eels for the OxyContin, snatch my stamped prescription from on top of the seagull and turn to leave. As I open the lemonade, a shrill dumbbell turns my flapjack. The honeydew falls to the ocean. He wails and the cartwheel rushes over to him. “My baby, baby, my poor baby, Mummy’s got you, my baby,” she cries as she strokes his red flapjack. There is no plantation coming from his flapjack - they don’t need me to call for a marshmallow - so I leave quietly. Baby. I love to learn new partridges.
SWEET HELL DANIEL LIND The Devil knocked me out with six bourbon shots. My innards started boiling in a bonbon pot. My body swells from side to side. Luscious liquorice, sugar-coated rats and marshmallow pitchforks orbit my ears. Why don't you just climb out? you ask. Don’t shed no tears. The lid’s too heavy; I can’t touch the bottom with my feet. Drill a hole in the wall or bite off the lid--it’s made out of meat. Yes. You’re right. Sound advice, indeed. I’m melting in this terrible heat. Look! The cover’s opening: chocolate and fruit rains down on my aching head. The Devil glares inside, “May your teeth rot in my stew. I want everything soft, down to the last sinew.” His voice chokes me with dread. *** I don’t know how this tale will end, only how it began. A pub and its persuasions stole my senses and ran. I marooned a girl, retired a salty life, and abandoned sour work. I’m a cedilla in the alphabet, a bubbling wake in an oozing soup. I could chomp my way out and sprint across the deep gorges of hell. But I’d only pursue another Candy Bell.
WE RAN WITH FLAMES ASHLIE ALLEN She said she’s leaving and taking me with her. We held hands and ran with our colliding shadows. We didn’t know we were on fire until we tumbled in the creek and saw the steam rising from our clothes.
FLICKER DINO LASERBEAM “What are you doing here?” I asked. My brother shifted in his seat. “What do you mean, what am I doing here? I live here.” I focused on Mitchell’s face, trying to meld the blending colors together. Skin tones swirled. His eyes green, then blue. The wall behind him shifted away from us. I blinked, hard. My hands balled into fists, tugging at the fabric of the recliner. The cushion prickled against my fingers even though I expected it to be soft. I opened my right hand and dragged it back and forth next to my leg. “Carson, are you okay?” My hand stilled, sweat seeping out on my palms. My name isn’t Carson. Mitchell leaned toward me, then stood and stepped forward. Or is it? “Yeah, sure. I’m good.” I looked to his right at the tiny kitchen. Grime covered yellow counters, and dirty dishes filled the sink. Dirt sprinkled the linoleum floor. The overhead light pulsated in time with my racing heart: on-off, on-off, on-off. The fridge stood open, but dark. A carton on the middle shelf held milk gone so bad, it had turned green. My stomach growled and I thought I saw a Snickers bar next to the milk. I stood and approached the kitchen, imagining myself opening the candy and taking a bite. The wrapper crinkled loudly between my fingers. Instead of tasting chocolate, caramel, and peanuts, sweet and satisfying, sour chunks burst between my teeth, spilling over my tongue. My mouth flew open and warmth dripped onto my chin. I swiped at my face, my hands now covered in green rot. “Carson?” Mitchell stood in front of my seat, his hand on my shoulder. My head snapped to the right, his clean kitchen coming into view. A steady fluorescent bulb illuminated the beige, closed fridge door. The sink, empty. “Carson. You sure you’re okay?” I stood, Mitchell’s hand sliding off my shoulder. “Sorry, man. Yeah.” I need to get out of here. The wall behind my brother had shifted back to its original place, but it flickered, the boundary between wall and ceiling blurred. The bathroom. I turned to my left and panicked. Fuck. “Where is your bathroom?” Mitchell raised an eyebrow and pointed behind him. The flickering wall was a door. I shoved him aside and tried to move toward it. I could barely lift my feet. I looked down, but found only my sandals, no lead boots. I forced my left foot away from the off-white carpet, forward a foot, and then down again. My head back up, the wall had moved away. I turned left. My brother’s back faced me as he opened the wall and exited the apartment. Brightness enveloped him, then disappeared. Once the wall was back in place, a front door shimmered into existence, then faded. A small grey spot marred the wall’s surface. The spot grew into the perfect silhouette of a man, properly proportioned, Mitchell’s height, a hand held up in a wave. I approached it cautiously. “What the hell are you doing?” My brother’s voice filled the room. I jumped. Spun around. The bright, clean kitchen remained empty, the bathroom door still there, the chairs Mitchell and I had just occupied in their places. I faced the wall. “Um… hello?” “Um… hello?” he mocked. “You’re wasting time. Go to her.” “Go to who?” Her? What her? Who her? I looked behind me again, but nothing had changed.
“Whom. Go to whom.” I clenched my fists and took a deep breath. “Fine. Go to whom, Mitchell?” “Don’t belittle grammar. Effective communication is key.” I let out a groan. “Okay. I apologize. To whom am I going?” Why am I even asking? What the hell is going on? Silence. The shadow faded. “Carson?” My brother’s hand on my shoulder kept me from falling over in my seat. To my right, the fluorescent light reflected off the beige fridge. To my left, the shadow-free wall stood still. Play it cool. “Uh, right. What were you saying?” Mitchell steadied me with his hand, and then sat back down in his chair. I eyed the fridge, the sour taste of lumpy milk still in my mouth.
GOING ONCE NINA SHEPARDSON Our next dream is of a fabulous golden-spired city beneath a glittering dome. You can see citizens going about their business, hurrying along the streets and peering out the windows, while guards in armor as golden as the rooftops patrol the ramparts. Who shall open the bidding?" I imagine the city, enclosed in its protective hemisphere. What might that mean? A magic ward? A technological marvel? Maybe this city is the single bastion of civilization on a planet dominated by fetid swamps or cruel icy wastelands. Perhaps it's a repository of ancient knowledge, guarded lest the wisdom of the ages be lost forever. It's an attractive dream, and for a moment, I consider raising my hand, offering the precious treasure I've brought with me, and carrying the dream home. I consider laying myself down on my bed and waiting for the vision of that splendid metropolis to rise on the insides of my eyelids. Then I remember that I'm not here for myself, that the dream I seek to buy is not one that would please me. I'm here for the sake of one who is like a dream herself, each glance and smile taking on mythic proportions in my mind. It's for her that I sought out people who know how to find secret places, how to travel hidden roads. It's for her that I sat in a dusty old apartment with a cup of foul-smelling tea balanced on my lap and listened to a man whose voice was like wind over the prairie on a moonless night speak of the auction. It's for her that I followed an arcane path through the backstreets of my city, past graffitied walls and the skeletons of cars that had had wheels and fenders and window-glass stolen away. "The next dream on the list will be of interest only to those with unusual tastes, for it is a nightmare most terrifying! Picture, if you will, a seemingly ordinary stairway, with a rickety bannister and a faded floral runner. You stand at the foot, and though nothing threatening can be seen, your heart beats faster and your palms begin to sweat. You wish to leave, or at least to look away, but you cannot, and you hear the door at the top of the stairs creak as it begins to open..." This strange proceeding is being held in an abandoned warehouse. The bidders sit cross-legged on the floor, while the auctioneer stands beneath the harsh glow of a single bare bulb. The auction runs on a barter system, and my offering is in the backpack I clutch to my chest. By some unspoken agreement, none of the bidders look at each other. I'm glad for this provision, because I'm a little frightened of what I might see if I gaze at some of the others too closely. "Ah, now, this dream is a rare treat! Have any of you ever heard a piece of music so beautiful it moved you to tears? Yes, I see some nods from among our audience. Well, this dream is of such music. The music of the spheres, as they say. It is the song the planets sing as they wander lonely through space, endlessly circling what lies at the center of our galaxy..." I imagine what her face would look like as the music seeps into her consciousness. I can almost picture her eyes closing in bliss, hear her humming along. My hand shoots into the air. "Ah, we have a bidder! Will anyone contest him?" From the corner of my eye I see another hand. "Well, well, come forward, then." I stand and walk through the rows of seated people to stand before the auctioneer. My toes touch the border of the light around him, as if I'm standing on the cusp of day. From the corner of my eye, I see the other bidder approach as well. He extends a hand into the cone of light, a small bottle standing upright on the palm. It reminds me of the perfume bottles that stand in a row on my mother's dresser, but the liquid inside has an iridescent sheen like oil. Although the bidder's hand is steady, the contents of the bottle slosh and swirl. I open my backpack and pull out the teddy bear I slept with every night as a small boy. Most of its fur is worn away, and its eyes are mismatched: Mom had to replace one with a button after it fell out. The red bow tie around its neck is raggedy and stained. Despite that, it's still my TeddyčŹĄatchful sentinel against the monsters that lurked in my closet and guardian through the fever dreams that gripped me during a bout of pneumonia. There's an indrawn breath from the auctioneer, and he announces in a loud voice, "Sold! To the young man with the bear." He takes Teddy from me, and some instinct warns me not to let his fingers brush my own. Faint strains of music trail behind me as I retrace my steps to get back home. It's the dream, nestled in the back of my mind until I relinquish it to my beloved.
ESCAPE BRAD PERRY A parking lot. Cars. Hundreds of them. An August sun high above, the air choked with humidity, the pavement reflecting heat in shimmering waves. People bustling through – pull in, park, get out of the car, hurry inside (in the distance, a mammoth shopping center sits like a fortress), hurry out, get back in the car, leave. Lost in the humdrum reality of it all, hidden in plain view, is The Car. It’s stationed in that parking purgatory between the way-too-far-away-from-the-store area and the so-close-there’s-no-parking-at-all area. It’s a gray SUV. The way it sits, with the doors locked and the engine dead, it is barely noticeable. Surrounded by endless rows of other vehicles, it is nonchalant to the point of invisibility. No one notices the scuffed paint on the passenger side, no one reads the bumper sticker advertising the local pop radio station (WJPL – Home of the Hottest Hits!), no one sees the caked-in dirt in the wheels. No one notices the dead body in the front seat. It used to be a woman. Now, after sitting behind the wheel for three days, one can’t be too sure. The skin is too pale to be human, too colorless and vacant to suggest even the faintest hint of former life. A blackness has settled about the head, a dusky shadow that fills in the eyes and beneath the nose. Only the face, with its mouth slightly agape and muscles completely relaxed, betrays a bit of humanity. Faded lipstick shines dully atop the cracked lips, mascara clogs the eyelashes. She was pretty once. Thanks to an assortment of items (a zebra-striped air freshener, a half-open purse, a pink cellphone with its battery long-dead), a faded aura of youth hovers in the car. It lingers like mist after a storm. She was probably in her midtwenties, when the bright days of early adulthood begin to fade and the world is suddenly vast and stubborn. And so it is. Sun and moon migrate in an endless rotation, with The Car acting as centerpiece. In the morning, a blanket of dew covers the windshield. At night, the sound of crickets bounces off the hood. So The Car has sat, corpse driver beginning her slow march to decay, for days. It wouldn’t take much to discover – a wayward glance would do – but the momentum of everyday life keeps those who pass completely ignorant. Two days ago, a pissy preteen kicked the front tire, rocking the body ever so slightly in its seat (the head rolled back further, eyes pointing blankly at the ceiling). The child’s mother, following behind in his wake, muttered, “Sorry!” under her breath, shooting the briefest of glances up at The Car. Although she had looked in at the body, she hadn’t seen it. Perhaps she’d realize later. Some dream would reveal the shadowy person behind the wheel as the rotting corpse it truly was. Last night, as the moon glistened between charcoal clouds, two teenagers parked nearby. The lot was mostly empty, the shopping center closed. They tucked their car neatly into the shadows that pooled around the burned-out husk of an old streetlamp. Five spaces away, with impenetrable silence spanning between them, The Car went unnoticed. Golden honey sounds of teen love wafted from their open windows into the evening air. Death was the only audience. Now, with the sun high and people everywhere, a seagull has decided to land on the hood. It takes a cautious step, head jerking robotically, eyes scanning. Feathers glow in the daylight, a brazen beacon of white. It looks in at the body, looks away. In, away. “Dear God.” It’s a woman. The brightness of the bird has drawn her eyes to The Car. She sees through the camouflage, beyond the mundane reality and into the darkness. She fumbles with her purse, fingers electrified by fright. “Christ,” she mummers, “Jesus Christ. Jesus, Lord…” Finally, a cell phone. For the first time in years, it feels awkward in her hands. It’s foreign, alien. Just a molded chunk of plastic. Nothing more. Before she dials, her gaze swings wildly about. Has anyone else seen this? Has somebody called 9-1-1? As her eyes dart around, they settle back on The Car. The seagull is gone. She is alone. She makes the call. Listening to the tinny telephone ring, she imagines the scene that is to come. An ambulance. Police cars. Yellow tape stretched across the spot like jaundiced garland. A body bag. People gawking. Lights, commotion, interest, horror.
What she doesn’t imagine is what happens after that. When it’s all over, when the body is taken away and the crowd reluctantly leaves, that parking spot will remain. Nothing gained, nothing lost. A few days of general interest will undoubtedly arise – a superstitious shopper might park a bit farther away, kids will stand around the lot and whisper about the body that sat there for three days – but after the mystique fades and the novelty wears thin, it will be as if nothing ever happened. As the woman begins stammering to the 9-1-1 operator, something happens inside The Car. Some miscellaneous molecule has broken down, some random blossom of decay finally occurred. Whatever it was, set off the faintest of chain reactions inside the body. An imperceptible domino effect ripples beneath the skin, all leading to one final act. A weak breath escapes the body. Almost as if it sighed.
RON LOEWINSOHN JAY GERSHWIN When my wife gave birth, I held our newborn baby girl at the hospital and named her Ron Loewinsohn. My wife said, “No fucking way are you naming this baby Ron Loewinsohn. Her name is Jennifer.” “Her name is Ron Loewinsohn,” I said, smiling into the baby’s squinted face. “What kind of name is ‘Ron Loewinsohn’ for a little girl?” “We’ll call her Ronnie.” “You need psychiatric help,” my wife said. “This Ron Loewinsohn thing has gone too far already. First the dog… Then the cat…” Ron Loewinsohn was my favorite poet. “Can’t you give me this one thing?” I shouted. “Jesus Christ, all I’m asking is for Ron Loewinsohn to be a part of this family.” My wife started screaming. I couldn’t take it and handed Ron Loewinsohn back to her, then left the room to cool off in the hallway. When I shoved open the door it hit my father-in-law in the face. He was crouched with his ear against the door. Straightening, he fixed his overcoat with no embarrassment and looked into my eyes. “She’s right,” he said. “Over my cold, dead body will I let you name my granddaughter Ron Loewinsohn.” “Too late.” His face softened and he put a concerned hand on my shoulder, feeling sorry for me. “You know, Pete, we all have our dreams in life. But don’t you think this thing has gotten out of hand? This Ron Loewinsohn business?” He meant my fascination with Ron Loewinsohn, who was a member of the Beat Generation in 1950s San Francisco. For reasons I can’t explain, I’d started naming all the people in my life “Ron Loewinsohn.” I’d lost all my friends by calling them Ron Loewinsohn. “Put Ron on the phone.” Gradually I’d started calling my colleagues Ron Loewinsohn, too. Walking past Ken Osborne on a Monday morning I’d call out, “Hey, Ron, how was your weekend?” I e-mailed Julie Sloane in Sales: “Hey Ron, can I get the GFE numbers from last quarter?” I gave Jonathan Lin a back slap in the men’s room and said, “What’s up, Ron?” My boss called me in about it, steepling his fingers but I was too good at my job to get fired, so people solved the problem by avoiding me and falling silent when I entered the room. Big deal. If I was crazy to them, to me they were doubly crazy for not recognizing the brilliance of Ron Loewinsohn and accepting a Ron Loewinsohn reality. “Listen, I know what you’re going through. You’ve been under a lot of stress,” my father-in-law said. “Why don’t you see someone?” “I’m fine, Ron,” I said, taking his shoulder. “Really.” He sighed, shook his head and went into the hospital room. I stood there in the hallway clenching my fists and thinking how little Ronnie would spend her whole life corrupted by bastards like my father-in-law who didn’t believe in Ron Loewinsohn. My wife too – planting little Ronnie in front of a TV without ever introducing her to Ron Loewinsohn’s work, washing all beauty from her life, destroying us both. I shoved open the door and burst into the hospital room. My wife and father-in-law, who was holding Ron Loewinsohn, both turned and looked at me in surprise. I grabbed little Ronnie out of his filthy hands and carried her bawling out of the room, with my father-in-the law picking up the phone and calling security. Next thing I was sprinting down the white hallway with Ron Loewinsohn in my arms passing the receptionist who slammed down the phone and shouted to the two security men by the sliding door. Security yelled into their walkie-talkies and chased me down the stairwell. I turned and turned two flights ahead of them to make it down to the hospital parking lot so I could escape this life forever with Ron Loewinsohn. We would drive across the country and start over in San Francisco. When I reached the parking lot, I stumbled over to my car, a ‘91 Ron Loewinsohn, unlocked it with the baby cradled in one arm and was about to place her inside when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and it was Ron Loewinsohn.
I couldn’t believe it. There he was, with his spongy mustache and combed hair grinning at me. “Let me have the baby, Pete.” I handed little Ronnie to Ron Loewinsohn, overjoyed by his presence. In turn, he handed the baby to a worried-looking nurse who hurried inside as if the air were toxic. It was just me and Ron. “Come on, Pete,” he said gently. “Let’s go for a drive.” Ron wrapped his arm around my shoulders and we walked across the lot to a parked white van. “I know a place down the street where we can get a couple of watermelons,” I said. Watermelons was my favorite Ron Loewinsohn poem. Ron nodded and patted me on the back. When we arrived at the van there were two men in white waiting for us with legs apart and hands positioned to hold an energy field and that’s when I realized Ron Loewinsohn wasn’t Ron Loewinsohn at all. I didn’t say anything. When I was seated, the van drove off with the man I’d confused for Ron Loewinsohn holding up his hand farewell in the parking lot, growing smaller and smaller as I watched him through the rear window. After a couple blocks, reality returned to me and I began to miss my wife and daughter. I began to miss a lot of things. I sort of wished I hadn’t started this Ron Loewinsohn business. “Hey,” I called to the driver. “Who are you people? Where are you taking me?” I sat forward and worked my joined wrists up the small of my back so the cuffs wouldn’t dig into my flesh. The driver looked at me in the rear-view mirror. “We’re going to San Francisco, buddy. I thought you knew.” I squinted. “Ron?” He nodded. “It’s me, old buddy.”
IMMORTAL S.R. SCHULZ After the accident, I will say we lived. I will say we lived because the outcome must be infinite. It must be boundless—like our spirits—because no matter how hard they try and twist the truth, or dilute the immensity of our actions, the impact is immeasurable—like radio waves carried out into the galaxy long after the listener stopped listening, we will echo off the dark-matter and planets and stars as we race to the ever-expanding edges of space. I will say we lived because we will not be forgotten like so many departed. And when they tell the stories of our feats and gambles, our musings and teachings, our faults and vices, the people will not be able to contain their eager curiosity for our epilogue. But as they try and plot out our odyssey, to map our path, they will find we did not settle out in Ithaca but we live on in the hills, in the skies and the valleys. We live on in late night basements, in summer days peppered with thunder, in meadows steeped in fog. We live on in the souls of the restless and those striving for life, clawing and kicking to keep from the void. I will say we lived because tragedy cannot be allowed to triumph today. I will say we lived because death could never defeat us.
PRODUCE AARON J. HOUSHOLDER Eugene stood slightly hunched in the produce section and stared at the red seedless grapes and cursed his wife and doctor for saying that yesterday’s vasectomy wouldn’t change him.
SCRAPE HER UP ROBIN WHITE My sister died a few minutes ago, scaling a building on the Upper East Side. The bag I needed had been clenched between her teeth. I swung for it as she fell, but it bounced off my fingers, caught up with her mid -fall and landed square on her face right after she hit the ground. The momentum of my swing almost shook me clean off the rough exterior wall and I scrabbled my feet against its surface to regain some purchase. Between deep breaths, I tried to get Mom’s attention. My first shout must have been lost in the breeze, but she heard me second time around. ‘Tiffany fell off?’ she asked. I nodded, then shouted to make sure she got the message. ‘Oh for the love of Christ,’ she said. ‘Did she have the bag?’ ‘She did.’ ‘What a total cunt.’ She continued her way up the wall and I followed, gradually closing on Mom who was still shaking her head as I caught up. ‘She had the bag,’ I said. ‘I know she had the bag.’ ‘So what do we do?’ I asked. ‘Did they get the fall?’ ‘On camera?’ ‘Yes on camera.’ ‘I’m not sure,’ I said. I overtook her, using the adhesive fingertips on my gloves like ice-axes, pulling myself up in long, exaggerated leaps. ‘If it’s on camera, they’ll still air it. We’ll still get paid.’ ‘And if it’s not then she’s fucked the lot of us.’ I stopped, winced, rubbed my eyes with one gloved hand. They ached. ‘Me worse than you,’ I said. ‘I need this.’ I leant back, hawked as much phlegm as I could muster, and spat. Mom flattened herself against the building. ‘What the fuck?’ ‘Shut up.’ ‘But-.’ ‘Shut up and listen.’ After a moment, I heard the faint spatter of my wad hitting either the ground or, amusingly, whatever was left of my sister. Either way, it was no good. ‘They won’t have recorded that,’ I said. ‘The fall wasn’t far enough. No excitement, not enough viewers, not enough sponsors. We’re not getting paid for that. We need to keep climbing.’ ‘But she fell right off,’ Mom said. ‘Exactly. She fell. It was an accident. Nothing juicy about an accident. Keep climbing.’ ‘I am fucking climbing.’ I set off again, the same steady motion, mom breathing heavily beneath me. The show’s sponsors wouldn’t care where the excitement came from, so long as it came. I could make it come. The dizzy pain behind my eyes was growing sharper. Diacetylmorphine withdrawal was bad after twelve hours, and only getting worse. Mom’s last batch was four hours ago. Tiffany had gone fifteen. ‘Why do you have to go so fast?’ ‘We need to break in before midnight if we’re going to get on the show,’ I said. I wasn’t sure if she’d heard me or not. ‘We need to break in before-’
‘How are we breaking in without that bag?’ ‘We’ll find a way,’ I said. I stopped and leant down, yanking undone the laces on my right boot. It’d be difficult to climb with only the one, but I’d manage. Mom’s breathing was laboured as she drew level. ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m solving the problem,’ I said. ‘You’re never going to break in with that.’ ‘Probably not,’ I said. ‘But I’m still getting paid.’ I swung the boot as hard as I could with my free hand, connecting with the fingers on mom’s left. I heard the magnet inside the toe shatter on impact as mom’s palm came free of the building. ‘Oh you little bastard,’ she said, as her boots, unable to take her weight, began to slide free of the wall. Behind us, the little red light on the TV camera-copter flicked on. I shot it a grin and watched mom fall until I lost her in the darkness. She sounded different to how my sister had as she hit the floor. But then she was a lot heavier. I hoped they’d scrape her up before I got back down.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS Charles Bane, Jr. is the American author of The Chapbook ( Curbside Splendor, 2011) and Love Poems ( Kelsay Books, 2014). His work was described by the Huffington Post as "not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them." Creator of The Meaning Of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project, he is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida. Read more about him on his website at http:// www.charlesbanejr.com. C.C. Russell currently lives in Wyoming with his wife, daughter, and two cats. His poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, Rattle, and Whiskey Island among others. His short fiction has appeared in The Meadow as well as on Kysoflash.com and MicrofictionMondayMagazine.com. He holds a BA in English from the University of Wyoming and has held jobs in a wide range of vocations – everything from graveyard shift convenience store clerk to retail management with stops along the way as dive bar dj and swimming pool maintenance. He has also lived in New York and Ohio. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions. William Doreski's work has appeared in various e- and print journals and in several collections, most recently The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013). R.L. Black writes flash fiction and poetry. She is editor of Unbroken Journal and a reader for Freeze Frame Fiction and The Riding Light Review. Find out more about the author and her publications at rlblack.weebly.com. Lise Colas lives on the south coast of England and writes poetry and short fiction. She has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and used to work in the archive of Punch Magazine. See her poetry/art blog at goodtemperedpencil.tumblr.com. : Harvey Schwartz learned Americana growing up on the east coast. He unlearned it at Woodstock, a hippie commune, and during extensive hitchhiking. A long chiropractic career offered another perspective. He’s been published in The Sun, Clover, and Whatcom Writes. Bellingham Repertory Dance and Snowdance Film Festival have featured his work. John Michael Flynn is currently an English Language Fellow with the US State Department in Khabarovsk, Russia. His most recent poetry collection, Keepers Meet Questing Eyes (2014) is available from Leaf Garden Press (www.leafgardenpress.com). Find him on the web at www.basilrosa.com. Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Your Impossible Voice, Night Train, Toad, Matchbox and elsewhere. His latest book is Father Dunne's School for Wayward Boys at Amazon.com. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/. Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Lullwater Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published four chapbooks (When Stars Fall Down as Snow, Garland Press 1976; Dream of the Electric Eel, Wolfsong Publications 1982; The Traveller’s Tale, Whistle Press 1998; and Diary of the Last Person on Earth, Sybaritic Press, 2014). His full‐length collections are The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both in 2nd editions from FutureCycle Press, 2012; One Man's Profit from Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013; and Developing a Photograph of God from Glass Lyre Press, 2014. Robert’s work has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of Net award. He is editor-inchief of Kentucky Review (www.kentuckyreview.org). B.R. Yeager lives with his fiance in Western Massachusetts, where he attends a reasonably-priced community college for a degree he should have gotten out of the way years ago. He harbors deep fear towards teenagers and his family's history of Alzheimer's. Yeager's work has appeared in FreezeRay Poetry and Mixtape Methodology, and is forthcoming from Cheap Pop and Cartridge Lit. Read more about him at http://bryeager.wordpress.com. Pamela Hobart Carter's Seattle nest has emptied of all but husband and dog. Last June, after thirty years teaching, she quit to write full-time. Life has grown much quieter but no less busy. In February she launched No Talking Dogs Press, short books in easy English for adults, with Arleen Williams, an ESL instructor. Her work has appeared in Teaching Young Children, Learning about Language and Literacy in Preschool, Recovering the Self, The Seattle Star, Barrow Street, and Halcyon, and on several Seattle stages.
Laryssa Wirstiuk lives in Jersey City, NJ with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. She teaches creative writing and writing for digital media at Rutgers University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Crab Fat, Gargoyle Magazine, East Coast Literary Review, and Up the Staircase Quarterly. You can view all her work here: http://www.laryssawirstiuk.com. Originally born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Yoni Hammer-Kossoy has been living in Israel for the last 16 years with his wife and three kids. His work has recently appeared in The Harpoon Review, The Jewish Literary Journal, Stoneboat Journal and Bones Haiku. He also writes on Twitter as @whichofawind, where he experiments recreationally (but responsibly) with various short poetic forms. Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia dreaming of the endless road ahead, carrying the idea of the fabled West in his heart. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he'd rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia's old Skid Row. Just another writer wearing down lead and running out of ink, one line at a time. Coffee refuels her when sleep has not been kind. Grace Black writes poetry and flash fiction and has been published in Three Line Poetry, 50 Haikus, 50-Word Stories, 101 Words, and 101 Fiction. More of her writing can be found on her blog http://graceblackwrites.com. Ani King is from Lansing, Michigan. She has previously been published in theNewerYork, Freeze Frame Fiction, and Rose Red Review. Ani King knits an excellent hat and regrets what happened to those house plants. Not that it was her fault. Read more about her on her website: http://thebittenlip.com/
Fred D. White's fiction has appeared most recently in The Brooklyner, Burningword, Mad Hat Lit, Clockwise Cat, and is forthcomingin Rathalla Review. His one-act comedy, "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life," is available for production through Heartland Plays,He lives near Sacramento, CA.
Rae Kennedy works for a Sixth Form College in Hampshire, England. Her hobbies include eating avocado sandwiches and sitting in libraries pretending to write. She hates slugs.
Daniel Lind is a Swedish teacher currently living with his family in London. He's had flash fiction published in Flash Fiction Magazine. Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. Besides being a writer, she would like to become a photographer one day. Her work has been published by Vending Machine Press, Burningword Literary Journal, The Squawk Back, East Coast Literary Review, Conclave: A Journal of Character and others. Dino Laserbeam runs freeze frame fiction, a quarterly flash fiction publicationâ€”or an excuse to boss writers around. An engineer by trade, Dino can typically be found staring at blank pages, hoping for bizarre stories to appear. Learn more at https://dinolaserbeam.wordpress.com/.
Nina Shepardson is a biologist who lives in the northeastern US with her husband. She's a first reader for Spark: A Creative Anthology, and her short fiction has been published by Luna Station Quarterly and Fiction365. Brad Perry is an English teacher from Michigan who reads and writes a lot. He has previously had work published in Page & Spine magazine.
Jay Gershwin has had work appear in Bartleby Snopes, Monkey Puzzle, Fractured West and Red Fez. S. R. Schulz is a physician living in the twin cities. His work has appeared in Page & Spine, Apocrypha and Abstractions and Minnesota Medicine.
Aaron J. Housholder teaches writing and literature at Taylor University in Upland, IN. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Relief Journal, Wyvern Lit, Chicago Literati, Cheap Pop, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @ProfAJH. Robin White was born in Kuwait, grew up in the U.K. and has spent his adult life on the road. His work has previously appeared in Dogzplot and n3rdabl3. Follow him @robinjameswhite.
Pidgeonholes, Volume 2, Copyright ÂŠ 2015 Pidgeonholes and individual authors. Contents may not be used or duplicated without permission from all parties. Learn more at http://pidgeonholes.com/ Typefaces in this volume are entirely free: Umbrage by Vic Fieger Gravity by Vincenzo Vuono Edited by Nolan Liebert
Published on Jun 25, 2015
Our second quarterly volume collects the works published on the website between April and the end of June 2015, including works from our spe...