FLASH FICTION Beach Sixty-Nine by Jennifer Chardon In the Lake by Gina DiPonio You by Lucy McKee
EXPERIMENTAL impen(ding) by Vanessa Couto Johnson Tendu by Elizabeth Schmuhl
CREATIVE NONFICTION Fool by Rick Bailey Fancy Gap by Spencer Fleury Scrap by Alex Norcia
REVIEWS Romance For Delinquents by Michael Hampton
POETRY Palm-Reader, Fifth Avenue by Kenzie Allen Two Poems by Will Arbery Sex Ed: On Sex and Babies by Andrea Beltran Leda Leaves Manhattan by Emily Rose Cole Two Poems by Dan Encarnacion PSA by Dominic Gualco Two Poems by Alice Ladrick Returning the Artificial Tree by Al Ortolani Two Poems
| April 16, 2014
I flunked out of nursing school and you met a guy, moved into his condo and got pregnant; in that order. I hustled tables at the Varsity while you bought baby clothes and ignored my calls.
When you lost the baby and my phone finally rang.
Up to the third floor of the hospital where you were alone, smelling of blood and sweat. Shaking, crying; inconsolable.
My hands awkward on your body, your damp hair. Your face pressed into my palm.
She’s gone, you said. My baby’s gone. Your chest rising and falling, your breath hot on my hand.
As if everything in the world were penetrable we seek out archways, sweet lockjaw of crook and clavicle. Even the ear is a marvel
of vulnerable invention. As if sanctuary, your hand on the trapdoor of my skull where hush, quiet, state-issued boots clip the lintel.
What leaves these lines, haunted rivers parched in the palm. Line of Saturn, Girdle of Venus, that break toward the thumb
a sickness. Someone might have hurt you once or again. I want other hands. Give me freckles. Constellate me, flatten out the creases,
a nebulae whose only clear picture, infrared and cave-like,
DR. GREGORY HOUSE
for Gail Morse
I’ll tell you exactly how I feel. I feel fine, totally fine, one hundred percent fine, yes, like a hero, like a god, like a pin-up, like frame me in eight different poses looking airbrushed, like oh my god, like what, like seriously, like try not to worry about me because I’m golden, because I’m peachy, because I’m keen on kicking this, because the pain is worse than ever and I feel fine, yeah, absolutely fine, yeah, yeah, yeah, like one more, like two more, like three more, like shut the door
Listen to a reading of “PSA” by Dominic Gualco.
Every forty-two seconds a person in the United States purchases a Ford. Last night I highlighted the line “i am paralyzed by the distinct sensation of nothing in particular” and pressed delete.
Do you know where I can get a newspaper around here?
Today I am looking for a newspaper and a sandwich. I will walk somewhere to buy these things.
I might end up at lying in the beach sand or playing the banjo in the mall parking lot. Not for tips, just because I do that
Two Poems by Dan Encarnacion [PDF]
About the author:
Dan Encarnacion earned an MFA in Writing at the California College of Arts and lives in Portland, Oregon where he co-curates the Verse In Person poetry series. The bleak of Bela Tarr, the spare of Arve Henriksen, and the spike of quad-lattes will palpitate his palpus. Dan has recently been published in Eleven Eleven, Upstairs at Duroc, Atlas Review, and forthcoming in Assaracus, The Los Angeles Review, Crab Creek Review, Whiskey Island, The Blue Mesa Review and and/or. He was the featured artist for Reconnaissance Magazine’s 2013 issue and is included
There is a place in Virginia where you can drive south and north at the same time. It’s right where two interstates cross, cutting through swaths of butternut and red cedar like baby’s first X. For about seven miles the two numbers share the same asphalt, and which direction you’re going depends solely on which highway you think you’re on. If you think about this for a minute, it will make sense. Draw yourself a map if you need help. This only works because the asphalt isn’t pointing either south or north. It runs east to west, so
So I hand her my receipt for the artificial tree and I say maybe you can tell me the best way to do this, and she says without taking the paperwork— Let’s see, you bought this tree before the sale, and now you want to return it, and then buy it back at the sale price. And I said yes, I guess you read my mind. She grinned, you’ll save so much, her fingers flying through the numbers. When the transaction was complete and I had pocketed my 20% in crisp bills, I patted her on the arm and said
I hand a quarter to the cafeteria lady for a pickle on Popcorn Friday. Its wax wrapper crinkles in my right hand before I sink my teeth into the oversized snack and suck the juice from it.
I don’t kiss a boy while inside the tunnel on the playground OLE because Mom says kissing boys leads to making babies, but, instead, I let him place his hand inside my shorts. His smile makes me think of Elvis, so I don’t care if his hands are dirty or if other kids find us and tell the teachers.
I sit on
Review by Vickie Weaver
Published by: Foxhead Books 2013
Hampton’s characters are the people we choose to not see. We don’t know them, but we want to read about them. Their depravities, their failures, their scrambled brains, their overdone body odor steeped in over-worn tank tops, their disregard for social boundaries, their ignorance of consequences. Romance for Delinquents, a short story collection, satisfies our curiosity about the down-and-out and does so, ironically, with tangibly poetic language that bares the hearts of everyone between its covers, including the reader’s. The Hampton’s pen is the sparkler from a white trash 4th