free web
February 2015 Issue | Word Riot
Issues | February 16, 2015

February 2015 Issue

FLASH FICTION The Grizzly Bear’s Cave by James R. Gapinski Dragon by Kim Magowan When a Hitman by Pete Stevens He Could Play The Clarinet by Anthony Varallo

SHORT STORIES The Gospel on Giving Up by Thomas Kearnes Renaissance by Emily Williamson

EXPERIMENTAL Mailbox by Sarah Gaffney The Three Friends by Mark Hoadley

REVIEWS The Palace of Illusions by Kim Addonizio This Wasted Land and Its Chymical Illuminations by Marc Vincenz

POETRY Two Poems by Tasha Graff Two Poems by Peter LaBerge Jesus Opens a Condom by Dana Guthrie Martin Two Poems by Christina Mun-Lutz For the Boy Who Went

Reviews | February 15, 2015

This Wasted Land and Its Chymical Illuminations by Marc Vincenz

Tim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections of poems: TRYING TO HELP THE ELEPHANT MAN DANCE (The Backwaters Press, 2007) and JUST BEAUTIFUL (New York Quarterly Books, 2010.) He has poems published and forthcoming in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Blackbird, Able Muse, Prairie Schooner, PANK, Bellevue Literary Review, Plume Poetry Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, Mudlark, december magazine, Ploughshares, and Stand Magazine in England. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

Reviews | February 15, 2015

The Palace of Illusions by Kim Addonizio

The Palace of Illusions by Kim Addonizio Soft Skull Press 2014 ISBN: 978-1-59376-542-2

Review by John Yohe

Kim Addonizio’s writing goes for the guts—punches of raw common american language, about raw common human relationships, that are also, at times, funny and sexy, with touches of all her street-level poet heroes, like Charles Bukowski, Frank O’Hara, Anne Waldman and (early Satan Says-era) Sharon Olds. I have up to this point mostly thought of Addonizio as a poet, though she has written some novels, and her first collection of short stories, in the box called pleasure, is as unapologetically in-your-face as, say,

Short Stories | February 15, 2015

Renaissance by Emily Williamson

Emily Williamson’s most recently published story appeared in Blackbird, another was a finalist in Glimmer Train‘s Fiction Open 2012, and her poetry has appeared in The Waterhouse Review. She is currently at work on a novel and a short story collection. Emily received an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD where she now lives and works as an editor.

Flash Fiction | February 15, 2015

He Could Play The Clarinet by Anthony Varallo

Anthony Varallo is the author of This Day in History, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award; Out Loud, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; and Think of Me and I’ll Know (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books). Currently he is an associate professor of English at the College of Charleston, where he is the fiction editor of Crazyhorse.

Poetry | February 15, 2015

Jesus Opens a Condom by Dana Guthrie Martin

Dana Guthrie Martin’s chapbooks include Toward What Is Awful (YesYes Books, 2012), In the Space Where I Was (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012), and The Spare Room (Blood Pudding Press, 2009). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including Barrow Street, Failbetter, Fence, FRiGG, Juked, Muzzle, and Vinyl Poetry. She was a finalist in the 2013 New South Writing Contest and a finalist for the 2008 Best of the Net Anthology. She is the founding editor of Cascadia Review, a journal that focuses on the work of poets and artists in the Cascadia bioregion.

Poetry | February 15, 2015

Two Poems by Peter LaBerge

Peter LaBerge is the author of the chapbook Hook (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). His work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Redivider, Copper Nickel, Best New Poets 2014, DIAGRAM, and Indiana Review, among others. He lives in Philadelphia, where he is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal. For more:

Poetry | February 15, 2015

For the Boy Who Went to War and Came Back Fire, Came Back Song by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes

Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes is a queer, mixed-race, second-generation Colombian immigrant, writer, scholar, artist, and activist. She is committed to creative work as a practice of witness, social documentation, historical memory, radical healing, provocation to action, and as a tool for liberation. Her poetry has been seen or is forthcoming in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Kudzu House Review, As/Us, Feminist Studies Journal, Nepantla, Yellow Medicine Review, Write Bloody’s ‘We Will Be Shelter’, and others. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Poetry | February 15, 2015

Two Poems by Tasha Graff

Tasha Graff is a graduate of the Bread Loaf School of English and Bowdoin College. Her chapbook Similarities (2012) is available from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in such publications as English Journal, Ocean Magazine, Epigraph Magazine, Camroc Press Review and From the Fishouse. She recently moved home from Barcelona and lives, writes and teaches on the coast of Maine.

Experimental | February 15, 2015

Mailbox by Sarah Gaffney

Sarah Kilch Gaffney’s writing has most recently appeared in Brain, Child, Mamalode, 491 Magazine, and the Apeiron Review. She lives in central Maine and you can find her work at

Experimental | February 15, 2015

The Three Friends by Mark Hoadley

Mark Hoadley lives in Vancouver. He writes poetry, fiction, science fiction and memoir. Sometimes he even mixes them all together. He is a co-editor of the online poetry journal, The Maynard. He recently had a prose poem in KYSO Flash. This is his second published work.

Flash Fiction | February 15, 2015

The Grizzly Bear’s Cave by James R. Gapinski

James R. Gapinski holds an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College, he’s managing editor of The Conium Review, and he teaches writing at Bunker Hill Community College. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in theNewerYork, Juked, NANO Fiction, Atticus Review, and elsewhere. He lives in the Boston area with his partner and a collection of 8-bit video games.

Creative Nonfiction | February 15, 2015

Dada Does Dominoes by Glenda Reed

Glenda Reed was born on a boat and raised on the sea. As a child she lived with her family on a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay. Currently, she is writing a memoir about hitchhiking around the world on sailboats. Her latest travel musings can be read on her blog ( and you can connect with her at www.facebook/hitchsailing.

Poetry | February 15, 2015

Bathhouse on Melrose by Jackson Sabbagh

I grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, and studied poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. I’m currently an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Florida. My poems have been published in such journals as The Sarah Lawrence College Lit Review, Assaracus, Green Blotter, Calliope, Chelsea Station, and Bop Dead City. I was the recipient of the Academy of American Poets College Prize at Sarah Lawrence College, 2012.

Creative Nonfiction | February 15, 2015

Stones Cry by Cheryl Smart

Cheryl Smart is a 2nd year MFA candidate at the University of Memphis, studying Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. She is current Nonfiction Editor of U of M’s literary journal, The Pinch. During her undergrad college career, Cheryl divided her studies between Philosophy and Poetry. She has publications appearing or forthcoming in The Little Patuxent Review, Appalachian Heritage, Cleaver Magazine, Crack the Spine – Now, Word Riot – and others. Cheryl was a hip hop aerobics instructor in an alternate life, and is now retired from that bit of craziness (although she misses it).​