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April 2011 Issue | Word Riot
Interviews | April 15, 2011

An Interview With Doug Rice by David Hoenigman

Doug Rice

Doug Rice’s newest work is Between Appear and Disappear, a hybrid text of photographs, poetry, fiction, memoir and philosophy being published by Jaded Ibis Productions (February 2012). Dream Memoirs of a Fabulist, another hybrid text of memoir, gender theory, aphorisms and photographs, is being published by Copilot Press (July 2011). His first novel, Blood of Mugwump: A Tiresian Tale of Incest, was published by Fiction Collective 2 and was selected as runner-up for the FC2 First Novel Award, judged by Kathy Acker. He has also published two collections of short fictions A Good Cuntboy is Hard to Find

Flash Fiction | April 15, 2011

I Am an I Am Today by Ofelia Hunt

My parents are predators. They have fangs, but George doesn’t know about the fangs because I’ve never told him. The real reason I want to go to my parents’ house is to get my bicycle which is red with streamers and a banana seat.      There’s a short gravel road and then we’re there, before the triangle house. A barn house. “Barn house,” I say to George. “They have sheep.”      “They don’t have sheep.”      “They might have sheep.”      George rings the doorbell. My mother in her corduroy jumper, stooping to pet a fat tabby cat, its fur

Flash Fiction | April 15, 2011

Baby by Daniel Grandbois

Listen to a reading of “Baby” by Daniel Grandbois.

Lydia Davis’ “Varieties of Distrubance,” in conversation with Daniel Grandbois’ “The Hermaphrodite: An Hallucinated Memoir”

We turned off the telephone and did not answer the knock that rarely came. Out the little window, colors flashed in a haze, revealing silhouettes of moving figures. The hours passed. Our hearts went on beating, now slow, now faster. Something stuck in Alfred’s eye, a floating sperm cell or other from the cumming of the Lord. A tear evacuated my duct. I was dying to see the baby.      Two men in overalls appeared and

Poetry | April 15, 2011

The Hobbyists by Sarah Long

Listen to a reading of “The Hobbyists” by Sarah Long.

They send you sweating sacks of overripe fruit from gardens they plant in the flattened patches where you used to lay like a handmade quilt.

They learn inertia in seven languages and play their voices back on tape until interpretation wears to static.

They build intricate tangles in nests of rope as thick as your wrist just so they can practice unknotting.

They attend the funerals of strangers and weep openly against dark wool shoulders of other lovers, all of them lost or losing.

They seek like missiles toward

Novel Excerpts | April 15, 2011

Off-Season by Mark DeCarteret

Listen to a reading of the prologue of Off-Season by Mark DeCarteret by Jim Rioux.

An excerpt from Off-Season.


March. No calendar will claim it. A mess of a month that had never had the means to be cruel. This reign of frustrated desire. And what’s more an experiment as all stories worth telling must be. A month of feigned errands where we return to our houses finally ready to confess. But never to turn ourselves in. And while somewhere birds are donning their carnival masks, crying out from their diaphragms, here, our birds smear our windows with ash.

Flash Fiction | April 15, 2011

House By The Sea by Mark Reep

Listen to a reading of “House By The Sea” by Mark Reep.

She wanted to live in a house by the sea. A warm sea, she said laughing, no more of this: cold wind off the lake, thin sugary snow hissing past. Warm is good, he said, rubbing his hands together. Not a big house, she said: A cottage on a cliff, with whitewashed walls and a red tile roof. A slate roof, he said. He’d worked with slate, liked the care you had to take, freeing the broken ones, fitting the new. Sure, she said, slate’s pretty. It was

Experimental | April 15, 2011

Losing His Voice by Kenton K. Yee

She boiled a pot of water while he chopped celery and onions.      “No meat,” she said.      “I have.” The man unhinged his left hand and tossed it into the pot.      “Did you wash?”      He shook his head and bled a pint of blood into the soup.      “For texture.”      The woman peered into the soup. Electrical currents she hadn’t felt in her twenty-eight years buzzed from her cortex down her spinal cord into her pelvis. She lifted her left hand to his lips.      He kissed the back of her hand before unhinging it and

Poetry | April 15, 2011

the sold violin by Heather Askeland

the A string keens, a notch flat, lost songbird carrying morning.

the sun is a steak knife slicing dust. you crouch, release the zipper’s

low whine. case like a toothless mouth. there is no music here.

no wooden neck to cradle like a newborn’s head,

no thin steel creasing prayer into fingertips. no satisfied tendons,

no sweat other than the nightly fever.

you used to play Tchaikovsky. your fingers were silverfish,

the audience thunderclap your favorite drug. now bright lights spin

you like a top. snap you in two, a severed dandelion.

you are lucky. illness is expensive. you trade

Flash Fiction | April 15, 2011

Ironing by Peter Grandbois

Listen to a reading of “Ironing” by Peter Grandbois.

Once upon a time, there was a middle-aged woman who woke to a wrinkled house.      She rose while it was still dark and pulled out the ironing board and iron from within the closet under the stairs, behind the camping equipment and Christmas decorations. She laid the board out in the middle of the living room and plugged in the iron, only hesitating when adding the distilled water. But then she figured steam could only help. She ironed the furniture, windows, and walls. By dawn, she was exhausted. Worse, she

Poetry | April 15, 2011

Two Poems by Jon-Michael Frank

I’ve Learned A Lot From Topography

Say, for instance, my father crosses the black line of stones

the marsh he enters is tenebrous and taut

by the field where my echoes go.

In the marsh my father throws

his driftwood and I think I hear him

calling me from the simple pool.

I call back to him with the voice that

was once his and is now my own.

When he comes out into the light

each of our voices commune in

the graying field where just before

the echoes I made could not compete

Issues | April 15, 2011

April 2011 Issue

INTERVIEW An Interview With Doug Rice by David Hoenigman

FLASH FICTION Baby by Daniel Grandbois Ironing by Peter Grandbois I Am an I Am Today by Ofelia Hunt Seven Incarnations of a Spinster by Hila Katz House By The Sea by Mark Reep

NOVEL EXCERPTS Off-Season by Mark DeCarteret

STRETCHING FORMS Nameless, TN by Heather Luby The Glass Angel by Philip Tinkler Losing His Voice by Kenton K. Yee

POETRY the sold violin by Heather Askeland Two Poems by Jon-Michael Frank The Hobbyists by Sarah Long

Experimental | April 15, 2011

Nameless, TN by Heather Luby

Read “Nameless, TN” by Heather Luby [PDF]

Heather Luby

About the author:

Heather Luby is really nothing more than a girl from the Ozark Mountains that grew up with dreams of writing stories. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Citron Review, Travel by the Books, Annotation Nation and a few other little places too. She holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and is currently feverishly revising her novel Laws of Motion. When not conversing with the characters of her imagination, she can found wrangling two willful and beautiful daughters around the suburbs of St. Louis,

Experimental | April 15, 2011

The Glass Angel by Philip Tinkler

Listen to a reading of “The Glass Angel” by Philip Tinkler.

The Glass Angel breaks apart twenty-four loveless pieces of mindless tally-time with a piano-slam jingle jive-hopped up on grape-blood with chatoyant bedroom Eyes of Horus sent to stagger-foot the wingless ones, those willow-headed gallery girls and tiger-shirted momma’s boys, those torn asunder on the jagged ends of Earth where drinks and lives are served on the rocks, and roll I my one-sided die to catch an Angel unaware, to wear her bonnie kisser as she undresses my worn eyes with naked love, breathing beside me in whisper-wheat silhouettes of

Flash Fiction | April 15, 2011

Seven Incarnations of a Spinster by Hila Katz

I’m an evil overlord, though my campaign of villainy is coming to a close. My nephew pursues me; he’s a fearsome child warrior who giggles insanely and wields a white foam sword. Despite putting in a good effort — crouching, ducking, bolting from one end of the room to the other &mdash I’m soon backed into a corner. “Say Uncle! Say Uncle!” he shrieks, jabbing me with the sword, and laughs when I say “Aunt” instead. I flatten myself on the carpet with a groan, but just when I think that death is imminent, he relents and grants me another