The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society Volume 3, Issue I
THE RAIN, PARTY, & DISASTER SOCIETY IS A WORKSHOP-BASED ONLINE LITERARY PUBLICATION THAT STRIVES TO GIVE REPRESENTATION TO NEW IDEAS AND THOUGHTS, TO CHALLENGE THE READER, AND TO QUESTION COMMONLY ACCEPTED OPINIONS, VALUES, ETIQUETTE, AND IDEAS. WITHIN OUR PAGES, YOU MAY FIND: WORKS THAT TACKLE HOTBUTTON ISSUES, WORKS PRESENTED IN A STYLE THAT IS OUT OF THE ORDINARY, WORKS THAT PRESENT THE READER WITH A QUESTION OR DEBATE, AND WORKS THAT BREAK MAINSTREAM RULES WITHIN THEIR GENRE. ALL OF THE PIECES YOU FIND ON THIS SITE HAVE BEEN THROUGH OUR WORKSHOP PROCESS, DURING WHICH THE RP&D EDITORIAL STAFF WORKS CLOSELY WITH CONTRIBUTORS TO HONE THEIR VOICE AND HELP THEM TO PRODUCE THE BEST POSSIBLE WORK FOR YOU, THE READER, TO EXPERIENCE. TO RESPOND DIRECTLY TO A WORK YOU SEE FEATURE IN THIS ISSUE, USE OUR CONTACT PAGE TO SENT A LETTER TO THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF. YOU MAY ALSO WRITE YOUR OWN REBUTTAL AND SUBMIT IT FOR PUBLICATION IN A FUTURE ISSUE.
Table of Contents Pg. 4 - Unintended Consequences: Middle Class Residue, Tom Loughlin Pg. 6 - Church Poem, Jack C. Buck Pg. 7 - Love in the Age of Computers, Suzanne Lea Pg. 8 - Battleground, Terry Barr Pg. 9 - Things to Live By, Allen Heisler Pg. 10 - In My Blood, Monica Prince Pg. 11 - As Khepri was rolling his great dung ball across the sky, Eugenia Hepworth Petty Pg. 13 - Such Great Heights, Catherine Foster Pg. 14 - Unlike Lichen, Leah Costik Pg. 15 - The Long Road Home, Janna Vought Pg. 16 - No Less “August”, Catherine Brereton Pg. 14 - Editorial Staff Pg. 16 - Contributor Bios
Unintended Consequences: Middle Class Residue Tom Loughlin
For a small minute, I stood there, stupefied, as if I had fallen into some strange trance or coma. There are five vehicles in my driveway: four cars and one RV. Three of them are in operable condition. Two of them are pretty much junk, although they both run. The youngest car, a 2006 Escape, has 135K miles on it. Two of the cars have over 200K miles. One wasn’t even made this century. How in the fuck did all these vehicles get here, I thought. I went to the backyard, where lies a 2000 Damon pop-up camper. It hasn’t been on the road in maybe ten years. It served some time when my youngest son was still in high school. He and his friends had hung a black light in there, and basically spent the summer of 2005 smoking dope and playing video games under the black light. I aired it out late this summer, but failed to list it on Craigslist. I would like to sell all this shit, but that means I have to talk to complete strangers to do that, and deal with the hassle of people calling on the phone. So I let it slide. At least I got the old snowblower sold. I just hung a “For Sale” sign on it and put it on the front lawn. I had $60 as the listed price but naturally took $50 bucks just to get it sold. The wife took all the money, but it was a great feeling of accomplishment knowing I had sold a snowblower before any snow has fallen this El Niño winter. The rest of my shed is full of a variety of seldom-used artifacts. There’s a handsaw, three assorted buckets, gardening gloves, a broken-down lawnmower, a trimmeredger, rakes, a hoe, and whatall else. The roof of the shed is now braced with the leg of a rotted picnic table, because the snow load last year ripped the cheap aluminum out of which it’s made. The doors haven’t been on their tracks for two years at least. Actual grass is growing in the shed because the plywood floor is so wet and I spilled an open bag of grass seed on the floor. The front bushes look unkempt and disheveled, like a grungy college boy whose mama never taught him to do his laundry. They remind me of the beautiful azaleas I remember growing on almost every other lawn in Massapequa, mostly because my shaggy bushes aren’t those azaleas. Beautiful, manicured, edged lawns lovingly cared for by Mexican immigrants paid a pittance for maintaining them. My lawn will never look like that; not for the lack of area Mexicans, but for lack of caring. The basement - dear God, what a disaster. One corner has the most unorganized collection of tools, fishing gear, bungee cords, screws, nails, 1lb propane canisters, pots and pans, and Progresso soups you will ever see. At least the shower is semiclean thanks to the fact that I used it a lot when my daughter and her “life partner” (what do you call the man your daughter is living with who is not her 4
husband but wants you to call him “son-in-law?”) were living here. Road boxes, huge floor speakers, a handicap potty chair, a basket you put in a trailer hitch on the back of a car, winter tires, tarps of many sizes, portable gas heaters, battery chargers, rakes, shovels and other implements of destruction. The attic? You want to know about the attic. There are two file cabinets of shit going back who knows how long. A long-unused pipe for smoking weed (I can’t afford weed anymore). Furniture from the kids they will never claim because in this economy they will never have houses of their own. About ⅔ of Eddie’s stuff while he lives in his one-room suite at the Veterans Shelter on E. 119th St. in Manhattan. Maybe two decade’s worth of electronic and computer items that I can’t sell and I can’t just throw away, because they have to be recycled in a special way - sending them to an electronic recycling center that eventually ships it all off to a dump in India somewhere where the local people try to strip the parts of anything worthwhile and get mercury poisoning in the end. Some memorabilia, sure: a School Safety Patrol Lieutenant’s badge; a second-grade report entitled “A Book About Me;” a high school freshman book report written in first person on Alan Paton’s Too Late The Phalarope; my program from the Fillmore East premiere of Tommy by The Who. More furniture. Ancient camping gear. Four or five fans of various style. The bass drum from a trap set bought when the youngest JUST HAD to have a set of drums. Books - boxes and boxes of books packed away; those that I have read and those I have not, all now available on Kindle (except, perhaps, for my freshman year theology textbook). I never wanted a middle class existence. There is nothing about middle-class living I truly enjoy. I never really planned on the whole wife/kids/house/stuff lifestyle. I take some consolation in the fact that I still sleep on a mattress atop a box spring mounted on twin metal frames with a $5 headboard plopped on cement blocks in a bedroom decorated with second-hand furniture, but still. Yet somehow, with the passage of time, it happened, with no intentionality on my part at all. I thought all this time I was just doing my job. Five fucking vehicles in the driveway. And still - after all these years - still no garage. Lucky me!
Church Poem Jack C. Buck
Not being of such belief anymore, losing the vigor the young possess before one comes to terms with the law not caring if they throw you in jail or not -if it isnâ€™t you, they will find someone else to take your place. I have now recognized my fragility in not wanting to answer the phone and certainly not the door. Afraid now of what and who. What should I tell them this time? Regretting I had ever agreed in the first place back then. What was once an unsaid hip-knowing of something-is-happening-here with us in this place in time, was already said by people who had already been. Even Eli, who had the cousin that sold us two-dollar hits of acid, seems to know it to be an aimless, dangerous joyride. Sitting and watching from an orange painted chair, Iâ€™m not supposed to be here, watching or playing. My place should be some 1,100 miles off, bent on knees in a cold pew asking forgiveness while mom waits out in the car with the heater on while it snows a Michigan snow, not wanting to know what I have done.
Love in the Age of Computers Suzanne Lea
The poetry of people crashing into one another, of language sliding across the surface of chemistry, the humane 'trap and release' of a one night stand, the audible sound of connections being made like the latch of a door or the bolt action of a rusty Winchester, the combustion of first flame or the hiss of rain on a dying fire, it's all different now as language is detached from flesh by the cool blue disconnect of the world wide web. The crackle of current just before the first storm, the desperate attempt to speak and then unspeak the interior of longing, the rush of want, the heat of fear, the necessity of contact as skin is introduced to skin, replaced by a spongy dance across a plastic alphabet of squares. No history lesson written in flesh, no greedy hungry mouth, no pulling pressing hands, no journey across the familiar landscape of bodies Only hollow palms cupping the space between syllables, measuring the distance between (please come) back and (there's no place like) home. The poetry of people crashing into one another sliding across the surface of chemistry closing the distance between bodies 7
is lost in the age of computers because there's no weight to words spoken by apathetic fingers and delivered in Times New Roman to deaf eyes.
Battleground Terry Barr
For Christmas one year when I was little, my parents bought me a set of plastic, olive-green army men, about two-inches high. “They’re Americans,” my father said, and he showed me his own WWII helmet to prove it. I buried those soldiers underneath the bright green Fescue grass my father was growing on the side of our house. I wasn’t trying to sacrifice my army; I was just a boy, playing war, hiding his army men for another battle; another day that never came. A few years later, my father’s grass began turning brown in certain patches, including the areas where my soldiers were lost. A man at Sears told him to spread a special powder on the grass, and within minutes, hundreds of dull, scaly green worms about two-inches long erupted in the yard, struggling against the Napalm my father had strafed them with. “They’re army worms,” my father said. I stood there watching them suffocate. It was strangely inspiring, that struggle, and I wondered then about what we plant and what we grow. Soon enough, though it was hard-fought and valiant, our battle was over. My father dumped the remains of the poisoned battalion in the street for other forms to dispose of or devour. And so our long day closed, and we rested among recliners and plush sofas. Our world safe again for those of our kind. 8
Things to Live By Allen Heisler
Ian was sixteen when he buried me. He openly cried. I can’t remember him ever crying, other than as a baby. At the end of the service, Solomon, his grandfather, ushered Ian to a lonely corner of the cemetery. Ironically, Sol would be buried at that spot. He faced Ian. Without warning, Sol slapped the left side of Ian’s face so hard that Ian spun around like a top. I was stunned. Ian gingerly touched his face. Sol, with his right hand, cradled Ian’s chin. “Ian…look at me,” he said firmly, yet quietly in his now-faint Russian accent. He was six-three and stood ramrod straight. “Did that hurt?” “Yes, Grand-pop Sol.” “So why didn’t you cry?” “Because I’ve taken hits to the face in fights and never cried.” “Then why did you cry in front of everyone?” “Because I just buried my father, for Christ’s sake. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to cry.” The boy had no fear speaking his mind. Sol gave a subdued smile. “Don’t ever do that again. Ever. Never let anyone know what you are really thinking or feeling, not even the people you believe you can trust. You never know when—not if—they will use it against you. If one hair on your head knows what you’re really thinking or feeling, pull it the fuck out. Keep your own counsel. Your father did. That’s why he died with a full head of hair.” “Does that include you, Grand-pop? People I trust who will turn on me?” Sol dropped the smile. “Trust only that people will do and say what’s in their best interest. Always do what’s in yours, Ian. People are unpredictable. All people.” It wouldn’t have been my way of teaching Ian a lesson, but it was effective; and Sol was right.
In My Blood Monica Prince
I remember drums. Large, powerful djembes and prayer beads accompanying the voices of Senegalese women. My hair, braided tightly, folded into a bun off my shoulders, letting my skin breathe. The drums call for a sacrifice, drawing me in my thin skirts and bare feet to the circle of women dancing. They hold my hands, whisper to me in Wolof, confident that I belong to them alone. Not Igbo or Bambara or MalinkĂŠâ€” I am Wolof, a long-lost daughter of this tribe. Drums in my blood, prayer beads twisted through my fingers. See her nose, the shape of her cheekbones? The women hold me closer, cry to the drummers, step and rock to the rhythms. I wrap my head in a scarf, so as not to offend, and my body moves toward the center, urged to jump and dance, sliding dust against my soles, finding God between breaths. I remember blues and golds, reds and purples, white teeth and black skin, moving wild, mouths open, singing, my skirts held above the beaten earth in one hand, the palm of the other upturned in praise.
As Khepri was rolling his great dung ball across the sky Eugenia Hepworth Petty
Across the Seas of Azov and Aral The Black Sea Great Bosphorus Through the gates of Asia and Europe A coroner was asking my friend questions about the habits of his grandmother Vera in her apartment in Queens New York The apartment was an 8th floor walk up with tile floors which were completely spotless but it always smelled of piss because Vera wouldn’t change her clothes for weeks at a time as she sat on the couch "observing" the television mumbling about Tilly Bookman and lousy Mrs. Conchetta trying to burn her with equipment "Did she visit the family often?" the coroner asked? "No." "Did she have any friends of any kind?" "No. No friends." Did she have any pets?" "No. No pets." "No dogs or cats?" "Absolutely no dogs or cats." "Any other kind of pets? Pet hamster?" "Or pet mice?" A monkey?" "No. I told you. She had no pets. They weren't allowed." But of course they came the gatekeepers of the dead— Carriers of souls, seen as pests and vermin Particularly the Dinosauric roaches, living as they did amongst the shelves of sugar-pops and liquefied fruit By the time her body was discovered a steady stream of roaches were running off in lines from doors and cupboards The walls and ceiling a mottle of quivering 11
black and brown sheen. The coroner closed his bookâ€Ś "Now your grandmother may have been dead a long time Perhaps a week or even ten days Now when people die, mice or rats can sometimes eat the bodies. No. Just part of the chin and parts of the shoulder." His voice trailed off as Vera lay in the next room bloated under a white sheet her face a black hole expanding out into a rainbow of psychedelic colors like a dirty batch of swirling oil And even then the scavengers had long been gathered beneath the tattered tarps of her flesh jackal and raven cheetah and blowfly acting as stand in psychopomps doing midnight janitorials in villages, towns, the sepulchers of cathedrals eight story block frames of Kurgan Omsk and the boroughs of New York Particularly roaches always roaches those bastard cousins doing the dirty work cleaning up the aftermath after dark While Khepri emblazoned by the rising sun forever carts his ball of dung across the sky Note: The inspiration for this poem came from a taped interview I made with a friend about his visits with and identification of his grandmother in Queens, New York back in the 1970s.
Such Great Heights Catherine Foster
I saw your ghost today. That’s a little melodramatic when we both know it was just a memory, but there’s hope in thinking there’s enough of you left out there somewhere to justify that “we” could come to a conclusion; the alternative is unbearable. I was at the corner, waiting for the light to turn when I thought of you. It was an innocuous place and time: it wasn’t your town and there was no trace of you anywhere at hand. You’ve been gone long enough that casual reminders don’t often crop up anymore. And yet. And yet, I was hit with your essence like a punch to the gut. Surely I could spin a loftier simile to elevate the common experience. It was as arresting as the engagement of teeth on interacting gearwheels. That has just the right ring of poetry to it, but words fail in those most important moments. There are only those elemental emotions. It’s a bit like that time in third grade when that kid who was a head taller than the rest of the class pushed me down and I landed, hard, and the wind rushed out in an audible gush from my lungs. Did it hurt or was I just shocked? I can’t remember now, but I can recall sitting there, stunned, trying to pull air into lungs that resisted the effort to breathe. I remember the times I plunged into frigid water and it sucked every thought from my body except shock. That’s how my lungs seized at the corner of Main and Old U.S. 12 on an ordinary Tuesday morning when the memory of you surfaced for no reason other than to sear a raw nerve. The man on the radio was singing something about everything looking perfect from such great heights—the lyrics seemed fitting, somehow, but it was the sort of drivel you would have hated. I remembered taking you to that selfsame pharmacy on the corner to pick up your prescription when you were too sick to drive. I don’t think I’d ever been behind the wheel with you as passenger before; you’d always driven everywhere, of course. That day you complained about how I parked. I’d snapped back at you, glad to finally have to nerve to stand up for myself. I couldn’t have known then that it would be one of our last conversations. How could I know which memories I would keep and which I would lose to the slow erosion of time? A car honked and I saw that the light was green. I drove through the intersection and left your ghost in the parking lot of the pharmacy where it belonged. I realized with some surprise that there were tears on my cheeks. I had done all my crying for you already. It must be the song on the radio. Such great heights, indeed. I switched off the dial and merged with traffic. Together we flowed towards our various destinations for the day. When I checked the rearview, the drugstore was lost in the sea of cars behind me.
Unlike Lichen Leah Costik
let me crawl under that rock, and wait for you; cold. you can find me, under that rock in a weedy field, pale, slime-bellied, breathing barely through moldy nostrils. let my eyes roll back, mouth crammed with silt and stone, earth suffocating spongy lung tissue. drown me in minerals. i will die, rot, jellied skin and exposed bone, earthworms spiraling through sockets, moss creeping between sternum and sinew. let me solidify there, fossilize. would that permanence satisfy you, then? a constant companion at last. and when the seasons change, three times over, there, in that same field, pregnant with sunflower and squash, you will find me-neither in face nor form.
The Long Road Home Janna Vought
Overcast: Zigzag lightening. Will rain come, wash words from my soul? Take the long road home, a tall house (abandoned), built of rotting timbers. Two miles past the burning bush, just south of the Crossroads between Heaven and Hell. Scattered grains of granite weave a story/indentations of life: tire tracks swerve right (someone had too much to drink last Friday night), hoof prints: visitors from the neighboring woods tentative steps into open space—vulnerable. Follow clippity-clop (change) down the rabbit hole. There’s nowhere to go. Moths hover above clumps of purple thistle beds, too delicate to land. Aspens sway, infected with black patches of blight. Leaves whisper long held secrets. I run (never stop). Go on forever. Jack rabbit (short for Johnathan?) desiccated, paper thin, lying roadside, bugs picking skin from its skull. Buzzards circle wide. Pillar of fire. Tin foil, empty Gatorade bottle, paper towel tubes, cigarette butts, grasshopper suicides. Sunflower fields long to return to the forest. My shadow can’t hold its shape, every vein filled with absence/sorrow. Beyond the timber, a doe teaches her fawns to avoid the road. Bodies turn to birds. A crow caws: “Murder!” Dust has a voice too loud to ignore. Coyote scat still warm: molded cat fur (someone’s lost pet) and squirrel spines. Bees can’t live without flowers. Mothers starve, guarding their unborn children. My body, filled with faulty machines. A small sick sparrow falls from the sky mid-flight. Tumble into nothing. Sunlight shatters the thunderheads, tears a hole in the sky. Wisp of a man, shadow sliver dancing on my grave, grey ghost sinewy and thin, twists toward the light. Praise morning. New yellow sun in the sky impossible blue. Footprints run toward the horizon. I travel (LOST) in the opposite direction.
No Less “August” Catherine Brereton
He asks me to piss on a patch of dandelions. I’ve been asked to do some things in my time, but piss on a patch of dandelions? That’s a new one. “Piss on them like you’re angry,” he says, pointing at a patch where the yellow weeds jutted out of the springy grass. I haven’t the foggiest what he’s thinking, this chap, with his pale face and his short, red beard, with his pad of paper and his pencil. He says he’s going to paint me. There are worse ways to make a few shillings, I suppose. Still, I’ll probably keep quiet about it. This isn’t something to tell the lads over a pint of ale. Piss on a patch of dandelions? He’s staring at my cock; I can tell, and not just because he’s trying to draw it before I run out of piss. I can feel his eyes boring into it. It’s limp in my hand, like a wilting dandelion I suppose, and my pubic hair like the grass. “Next time you piss,” he says, as I shake the last few drips onto the ground, “do you think you could,” and here he pauses and blushes scarlet, “do you think you could do it naked?” He’s sitting on the grass, back against a tree, eyes dark and he’s asking me to take off my trousers and piss naked? I tell him that we didn’t agree to that when he asked me, over an ale, to let him paint me. “Another five bob?” he says, and hands me a brown bottle, full of pale beer. I lift the bottle to my mouth and sup, then lean against the other side of the tree, cross one ankle over the other, shove one hand in my pocket, and finger the ten-bob note he’s already given me, the ten bob that I’ll hand over to the missus later on. Ten bob that will buy bread and meat; ten bob that will have us living like lords for a couple of weeks. Another five bob wouldn’t go amiss. He pats the grass at the side of him. “Sit down, lad,” he says. So I sit. And I start to undo the buttons on my blue shirt, take another mouthful of ale. He’s quiet, his pencil scratching out something on the paper. I don’t want to see it. I concentrate instead on the sparrows flitting in and out of the trees, on the dog barking somewhere across the fields, on the machinery at the colliery humming and scraping. If I close my eyes I might be able to pretend I’m not here. Maybe it’s best that I pretend he isn’t here instead. He’s a queer fellow. The sun warms my eyelids and the ale warms my belly and I think how nice it would be to have our lass here, with her soft hands and her pink cheeks and her round thighs under her Sunday best dress and when I think this I feel my cock stir in my trousers and I hope he’s not looking. Christ, I hope he’s not looking. I need to piss again. May as well get it over with. I slip off my shirt, slide my trousers down over my legs, getting my feet stuck when I try to pull them off. He laughs, reaches out, tugs the fabric over my boots.
I must look like a right Jessie, bare as the day I was born apart from my boots and my cap. I take off my cap, smooth down my hair, not looking at him looking at me. “Take off your boots,” he says, with a catch in his voice, so I unlace them, pull them off, make a meal of putting my socks neatly inside, lining the boots up side by side, left then right, but all I can think about is my naked arse, three feet from his face, and my cock, still stiff, and the ache of needing to piss. “Put your hand on the wall,” he says, “and lean a bit. To your left a bit. Hold your cock out so I can see it. Piss like you’re angry.” And I do. I piss on the dandelions like I’m angry, like I’m pissing on him, this stuck-up ponce, this thinks-he’s-better-than-me-pillock, with his la-di-da airs and graces. He doesn’t even know my name. Doesn’t even know my name and he’s bought me for three bottles of ale and fifteen bob. The piss streams from my cock in a tidy arc, steam rising from the grass, one dandelion bending under its weight, and behind me the scratch scratch scratch of pencil on paper and every now and then a low cough. ————————————————————————————In 1927, Earl Brewster, an American painter and close friend of DH Lawrence, sent the author a collection of “photographic nude studies.” Lawrence was immersed in a period of painting and wanted to create nudes, but did not have access to live models. Among the photos, the inspiration for “Dandelions,” a painting about which Lawrence said “I just did a water colour of a naked man pissing against a wall, as the Bible says. It’s most tender and touching and I shall exhibit in London”1 . Dorothy Warren, a London gallery owner, expressed her interest in exhibiting Lawrence’s paintings, including “Dandelions,” and in 1929, the 13-painting exhibition was prepared. However, police seized the paintings before the exhibition could open to the public, citing charges of obscenity. Lawrence’s determination to exhibit these paintings —and specifically “Dandelions”—was a direct response to the earlier allegations of obscenity against, and subsequent banning, of his controversial novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Lawrence was frustrated at demands that he expurgate his novel to make it decent for publication; one of the lines under the knife was Mellors’ exclamation that he “don’t want a woman as couldna shit nor piss”2. The connection between “Dandelions” and Lady Chatterley’s Lover is clear, and Lawrence expressed his ire in his correspondence to Aldous Huxley, writing “One would think I advocated sheer perversity instead of merely saying natural things”3. Keith Sagar, renowned Lawrence scholar, author of DH Lawrence’s Paintings, and the current owner of “Dandelions,” Lawrence, D.H., The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, vol VI, ed. James T. Boulton & Margaret H. Boulton, with Gerald M. Lacy, Cambridge U.P., 1991. Page 318. 1
Lawrence, D.H., Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Lawrence, D.H., The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, vol VI, ed. James T. Boulton & Margaret H. Boulton, with Gerald M. Lacy, Cambridge U.P., 1991. Page 352. 3
comments that “shitting and pissing are no less ‘august’…than any other bodily functions”4. Sagar continues to be a staunch defender of Lawrence’s paintings, which openly depict scenes of nudity and sex. “Dandelions,” however, is perhaps the most controversial of these works. Sagar received many offers from potential purchasers of “Dandelions,” all of whom backed out when they saw, for the first time, a photograph of the painting. “Sex they could have coped with,” Sagar said, “but urination was quite beyond the pale”5.
Sagar, Keith. D. H. Lawrence’s Paintings, Chaucer Press, 2003. Page 53.
Kennedy, Maev. “Lawrence ‘obscenities’ finally get a showing”, The Guardian, 22nd November 2003, accessed online, http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/nov/22/books.arts. 5
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jordan Rizzieri is the 90's-loving, extremely tall founder of The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. She was raised in the center of Long Island, NY to love Alice Hoffman and Billy Joel. After completing her B.A. in Theatre Arts at SUNY Fredonia, J tumbled aimlessly around the state of New York until 2015 sent her the way of the US capitol. Now she splits her daylight hours between working a desk job for The Man and eating at every Busboys & Poets location in DC. At night she takes on the identity of pro wrestling's sassiest critic, The Lady J. When she's not trimming her bangs or trying to convince people in the south not to call her "ma'am" she is listening to Prince and daydreaming about her next tattoo. Feel free to contact her with questions about: Paul Heyman promos, the Fast & the Furious franchise, Kim Novak, and the proper spelling of "braciola". NON-FICTION EDITOR Jennifer Lombardo, Buffalo, NY resident, works full time at a hotel in order to support her travel habit. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in English in the hope of becoming an editor. When she isn't making room reservations for people, she reads, cross-stitches and goes adventuring with her friends. She is especially passionate about AmeriCorps, Doctor Who and the great outdoors. Ask her any question about grammar, but don't count on her to do math correctly. POETRY EDITOR Bee "Internet Coquette" Walsh is a New York-native living in Bedford–Stuyvesant. She graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2010 with a B.A. in English Literature and a B.S. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. Reciting her two majors and two minors all in one breath was a joke she told at parties. The English Department played a cruel trick on her and pioneered a Creative Writing track her final year, but she charmed her way into the Publishing course and became Poetry Editor for the school’s literary magazine, The Trident. Bee has spent the past three years trying different cities on for size and staring into the faces of people in each of them who ask her about her "career goals." An Executive Assistant in high-fashion by day, you can find her most nights working with the V-Day team to stop sexual violence against women and young girls, eating vegan sushi in the West Village or causing mischief on roofs. Run into her on the subway, and she'll be nose deep in a book. She holds deep feelings about politics, poise, and permutations. Eagerly awaiting winter weather and warm jackets, she’d love to talk to you about fourth-wave feminism, the tattoo of the vagina on her finger, or the Oxford comma. FICTION EDITOR Adam Robinson is an aspiring writer and barista languidly skulking the wetland void of Western Michigan. Following acceptance in 2012 to Grand Rapids' Kendall College of art and design in pursuit of an education in graphic art, his love for language and literature was made priority. Now, an English major on sporadically perpetual hiatus, you can most often find him pulling shots of espresso, keying long paragraphs in the dark, secluded corner of a local café, or taking lengthy walks through the dense Michigan woods conveniently placed in his own backyard. Monotoned, fond of the semicolon and existentialist literature; listen closely and you can sometimes hear him beseech advice from the ghost of Dostoevsky (who tends not to reply).
ASSISTANT POETRY EDITOR Wilson Josephson splits his time between the backwoods of New Hampshire and Northfield, Minnesota, where he attends Carleton College. Wilson spends the majority of his waking hours swimming back and forth over a line of black tiles, so he spends any dry hours he can scrounge up flexing his creative muscles. His prose and his poetry have appeared in Carleton’s literary magazine, he regularly performs in the student dance company, and he even directed a play once. Wilson is also the laziest of all the founding members of Literary Starbucks, and he still writes jokes about obscure literary figures when he has a little free time. His newest passion is making people laugh, usually by making himself the punchline, occasionally via the clever deployment of a slippery banana peel. SOCIAL MEDIA MISTRESS Kaity Davie is an overly enthusiastic gal taking on the world of the ever-evolving music industry, talking music by day and lurking venues, NYC parks, and public libraries by night. Currently, she makes magic happen across a number of social networks for a number of bands, brands, and writers. After having several poems published in The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, she began managing their social accounts in early 2015. Kaity keeps her sanity by writing rambling lines of prose and celebrating the seasonal flavors of Polar Seltzer.
Contributors Tom Loughlin lives in the economically depressed city of Dunkirk NY, on the shores of beautiful but polluted Lake Erie. He works on occasion with the theatre community in Buffalo NY. He has a few more years left teaching at the State University of NY at Fredonia. Jack C. Buck, originally from Michigan, now lives in Denver, Colorado. His most recent short fiction is forthcoming in Connotation Press, El Portal, Beechwood Review, Foliate Oak, Jellyfish Review, Scrutiny Journal, Ginosko Literary Journal, and Yellow Chair Review. He thanks you for reading his work. Suzanne Lea lives and works just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She is a news junkie, a pop culture addict, a self-taught crafter, and an artist. Her goal is to create unique and compelling things from re-purposed material. She can think of no better place to start than with language -disentangled and rearranged -- creating by choice, or by happenstance, art along the way. She has been featured in such publications as The Alabama Free Press, The Sinister Compendium, The Second Hand, and the anthology, Crooked Letters I, a collection of Southern-themed LGBT coming-out stories, published by NewSouth Books in 2015. Terry Barr's essays have appeared most recently in Red Savina Review, Belle Reve Literary Journal, The Bitter Southerner, and Coldfront Magazine. His essay collection, Don't Date Baptists and Other Warnings From My Alabama Mother, will be published in 2016 by Red Dirt Press. He lives in Greenville, SC, with his family. L.D. served seven years in the Navy, which included a combat tour in Vietnam on river boats, and five years aboard nuclear-powered, Fast Attack submarines. At 65, his life is quieter now, and is a member of The Bold Writers. L.D.’s short stories have been published in: Red Fez, Indiana Voice Journal, Remarkable Doorways Online Literary Magazine, The Writing Disorder, The Furious Gazelle, Slippery Elm, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. His website is: ldzaneauthor.com. Monica Prince received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing with a focus in poetry from Georgia College & State University this past spring. Her work has been featured in MadCap Review and the 2014 Agnes Scott College Writers Festival, and her choreopoem, Testify, will be performed in Brooklyn, NY this December. She currently writes and works in Denver, Colorado with her pug, Otis. Eugenia Hepworth Petty lives in the Pacific Northwest. She is the author of the chapbook Pamyat Celo/Memory Village (2007), and micro chap People Live Here (2015). Her most recent writing can be found in Shuf Poetry, Poetry WTF?!, and The Literary Bohemian. In addition to writing, she shoots film and covers objects in wax, glitter, and resin. Find her at: www.eugeniahepworth.com A contributor to almost fifty compendiums in her career, Catherine Foster is the submissions editor at Bedlam Publishing and also co-founded the editing business The LetterWorks. She enjoys playing piano and lives in rural Michigan with her family. You can read more of Catherine's work at keppiehed.com Leah Costik is a Peace Corps Volunteer living in rural Zambia, where she teaches eighth grade English and runs a book club with a group of kids referred to as “Nerd Squad”. Franz Kafka is her favorite author; she loves the book Of Human Bondage; and she can quote The Big Lebowski with creepy accuracy. A PhD and a mutt from the SPCA are in her future.
Janna Vought is a poet, nonfiction, and fiction writer with more than 50 pieces published in various magazines and literary journals. She graduated from American Public University with a bachelor's degree in English and from Lindenwood University with an MFA in creative writing. She is an Association of Writing Professionals Intro Journals Project in Poetry nominee for 2013. This poem, "My Friend Anna", is part of her fifth book of poetry in progress. She and her husband raise two daughters in Colorado, the eldest who suffers from chronic mental and developmental illnesses. Cathy Ulrich has falling nightmares sometimes. She never wakes up until after she lands. Her work has recently been featured in ExFic, The Literary Yard and The Citron Review.
Volume 3, Issue I