Issue 8, Spring 2016
BOBBY SOFT HANDSby Michael Bible
Mystic flamingo was the color of the sky outside Club Laser. Inside, the octogenarian Kilpatrick sisters wept under the red light of a neon broken heart.
CEREMONYby Laura Ellen Joyce
Until nightfall it was safe. It was okay to be with Anna. They could do normal things in the daytime. Anna ground flour from the good green twigs that Melissa found.
DIEGETIC ANIMALSby Derick Dupre
At last the elevator doors opened and freed the revelers, fleeing like poached parrots back into freedom, and there was a sense of emergent vengeance in the air, carefree, whistling vengeance: a car keyed or a wife fucked, a wig pulled, a cocktail thrown, a black shirt bleached, drunk texts to an ex, and they walked out whistling, gripping the cobblestone.
EDEN'Sby Charles McLeod
Crumpler had a tire iron and wasn’t calming down. The two of us were in the worst part of Fort Worth, searching for a rib place that sold Oxycontin out of its kitchen.
EIGHT FICTIONSby Lindsay Stern
In the city of K., discord presides. No fact stands uncontested, no verdict immune to appeal. On one claim, however, everyone agrees: the body is a door that opens twice.
HOW TO CRYby Chris Offutt
We had a neighbor who was in the National Guard. Once a month he left for training, a regular schedule well-known in the community. On a weekend when he was absent, someone tried to peek at his wife. My father saw him from our house.
MEASURE YOUR WEDGEby Andrew Nicholls
When I was six my father developed a drinking and explaining problem. He moved out on a day I remember like loud TV and my mom met and married Alan.
OUR CITY ON THE ROACH'S BACKby Micah Dean Hicks
Ah, but we knew roaches. Packed as we were into our leaning apartment buildings—those brick tenements stretching twenty stories high, where the higher you were the harder it was for water to build up pressure in your leaky pipes, and the lower you were the more mildew and water stains crawled over your walls—we knew the scuttling hurry of roaches on the wall when we clicked on a light, like leaves blown over the sidewalk.
PS WE'RE BLOWING UP LOS ANGELESby Luke B. Goebel
Her letter arrived by post in the afternoon last week. She carried it now and was in a black car, the letter in her hands, in a fuckinggoddamnUBER, arriving in the old neighborhood with her luggage.
REFLECTIONSby Nick Greer
This city was constructed using most cutting edge science, with the most expensive materials. Then, this meant glass—salt, rock, silica, the heat of a kiln.
SMALL AND HIGH UPby Leesa Cross-Smith
Composing an email to him that I will not send: William, I would save the buttons that come in those tiny plastic bags attached to your new dress shirts. Take pleasure in releasing the pins from the collar and turn it over to unpin the back, hearing the paper crinkle inside.
TWO FICTIONSby Meagan Cass
Cheap valentine lace among my grading flannels, high school keg party blush among my half-marathon spandex, crumpled tissue paper among my writing day cotton, I don’t want to love her.
YOKO & YOKOby Jen Beagin
The next evening she put some thought into her outfit for a change. After tearing apart her closet, she settled on a black silk muumuu embroidered with a life-sized silver crane.
THREE POEMS FROM THE WOMENby Ashley Farmer
Passionate women relax in a hotel bedroom. Steaming women relax in a natural hot spring. Pregnant women relax at a summer camp. Passive women relax in a dry sauna.
TWO TRANSLATIONS OF APOLLINAIREby Cooper Esteban Renner
I started this letter under a tent / My tent pole failed Wonder why it went
TWO POEMSby John James
After swallowing some water at Changsha I taste a Wuchang fish | and drown in the fetid / litter of its scent.
SOME KIND OF SIGNby Kristen Miller
We have always told stories this way. We have learned to tell time backwards. Our sister reads a series of warnings as if they are poems, to disguise them.
TWO BIKE POEMSby Laura Madeline Wiseman
Your first bike was made for speed, one set of black wheels, one dark frame, one body flashing, one silver streak of Lexa—whoever she is, is eleven-speed and fast. Once, you met her twin, tawny and white, exclaiming the claim of the half-drunk, endorphined-cyclist, only the owner was similarly minded.
TWO HUNTING POEMSby Lynnell Edwards
We are not the hounds, / and we are not the quarry,
THE SOUND OF LAUNDRYby Paul Griner
I keep looking at the rice-fields, glinting in the dark. / And the black water under the boats with their pools
TWO HUNTER POEMSby Tessa Withorn
The Hunter and I Discuss Abortion and the finer points of gun safety. He thinks you can never be too prepared in the event of something backfiring, something blowing up in your face.
PORT ALLENby Louis Bourgeois
On the way to the perennial drag races, my father’s friend Bill Bolling, who years later would die alone in his solid brick house on the outskirts of Slidell, Louisiana—near the marsh and industrial junkyard, where rats scuttle across pieces of large motors and metallic debris of skyscrapers, factories, discarded warehouses and thousands of dead telephone polls—of an epileptic overdose of sorts brought on by extreme diabetes at the age of fifty and was found in his house two years after he was dead, just a mass of black bones and petrified filaments and other tough sinew, said, “There’s the whorehouse.”
REQUIEM FOR A FOUND OBJECT ARTISTby Joe Manning
Matt was a fight in a rabbit-fur coat. He was punk rock dressed up in drag, barreling through the screen door of a mobile home, a fifth of Wild Turkey curled in a tight, sick fist with one glitter pink nail polish finger pointed at us—all of us—daring anybody to name an American muscle car more badass than the ’76 Chevelle.
THE TRUTH ABOUT TATTOOSby Lena Ziegler
Her tattoo said “fuck the meatloaf.”
WHAT THE AUTHORS OF PARENTING BOOKS WOULD SAY TO YOU IF THEIR PUBLISHERS WOULD LET THEMby Robin Lee Mozer
The nurses at Your Hospital will not trim your baby’s fingernails.
HERE'S ONE COMIN' NOWby Ralph Steadman
Each intimate battle / Is a kind of- / World War
SHITHOUSE MANIFESTOby Ron Whitehead
poets come out of your toilets / you've been holed up too long
THE FIRST AND THE LAST OF EVERYTHINGby Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The first cry of man in the first light / The first firefly flickering at night
CONVO, INFINITE REGRESSION, and PLEASE REMEMBERby Jackson Taylor
EXCERPTS FROM THE SIZE OF MY BODYby Maddie Weiner
HUNTER HORNS and FILTHY SCRIBBLINGby Ralph Steadman
A RAFT MANIFESTby Rem + Rom
ROWBOATby Nathan Brockman