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June 2010 Issue | Word Riot
Issues | June 15, 2010

June 2010 Issue

INTERVIEWS An Interview With Christian Peet by Kevin Kane An Interview With Anna Joy Springer by David Hoenigman An Interview With Justin Taylor by Mike Young

FLASH FICTION This Pivot by Justin D. Anderson The Dads by Alex DeBonis Arcadia by Michael K Meyers That Knocking You Hear is Actually Ticking by Billy Thompson

SHORT STORIES On Board the Anita. by Edward Mc Whinney An Ex-Lover’s Guide to Failing Organic Chemistry by Christopher Mohar

STRETCHING FORMS The Submissive Queen by Samantha Levy Three Works by Miranda Merklein All These the Violent Children ( An Episode of Hills ) by JA

Interviews | June 15, 2010

An Interview With Christian Peet by Kevin Kane

Interview with Christian Peet, Founder and Publisher of Tarpaulin Sky Press, Tarpaulin Sky Journal, and author of poetry Pluto: Never Forget, cross-genre Big American Trip, and most recently the nonfiction book No Evidence, No Jury, No Justice: The True Story of Jeremy Barney.

Kevin Kane: Being a small press out of Vermont, how does Tarpaulin Sky Press approach marketing for its books?

Christian Peet: We don’t have a set amount of money—but we try to be as smart as possible with the little money we have. I try not to buy ads at all, if I can help it.

Interviews | June 15, 2010

An Interview With Anna Joy Springer by David Hoenigman

Anna Joy Springer is a prose writer and visual artist who makes grotesques. That is, she creates hybrid texts combining sacred and profane elements in order to prompt intensely embodied conceptual-emotional experiences in readers. Formerly a singer in the Bay Area bands, Blatz, The Gr’ups, and Cypher in the Snow, Anna Joy has toured the United States and Europe being a wild feminist punk performer, and she has also toured with the all-women spoken word extravaganza, Sister Spit. Author of the illustrated novella THE BIRDWISHER (Birds of Lace) and THE VICIOUS RED RELIC, LOVE (Jaded Ibis, forthcoming); she is currently

Flash Fiction | June 15, 2010

The Dads by Alex DeBonis

Two factories stood at either end of the town, four miles apart, and everyone’s dad worked at the one that made mattresses. Until it closed. That left the casket factory, and they didn’t need anyone. So some of the unemployed dads started going to the town’s bars. The other dads, who didn’t drink, watched gray skies through black branches from back porches. The families of the dads who didn’t drink had small sad Christmases. The bars, doing record business, lapped up all the severance pay and unemployment so that the families of the dads who drank had no Christmases at

Experimental | June 15, 2010

All These the Violent Children ( An Episode of Hills ) by JA Tyler

Listen to a podcast of JA Tyler’s “All These the Violent Children ( An Episode of Hills ).”

Princesses are in hills on the horizon. Princesses are in hills on the veranda. Princesses are in hills on the ridge of hills in the distance. Gently curving landscape, blonde braids spinning down the lawns. Yellow grass, yellow hair. There are princesses in those hills.

The children look up and the children see the hills. The children look up and the children see the princesses. The children look up and the children see the princesses and the princesses the children see are

Flash Fiction | June 15, 2010

Arcadia by Michael K Meyers

Listen to a podcast of Michael K Meyers’ “Arcadia.”

I make more than my brother, but because I don’t spend like him, I know I will owe the government the bundle our tax guy is trying to save me. Spend a lot, he says, and, tick-tock, spend fast. Pay yourself, he reminds, or pay the government. Bottom line, after taxes, my brother will make more than me, again, this year. Leaving tax guy’s office, in the elevator, my brother on his cell sets plans in motion to build a new home. Sluggish acquisitional imagination topped the list of significant character

Flash Fiction | June 15, 2010

This Pivot by Justin D. Anderson

It is getting dark. The air is warm. Carl sits in his parked car across the street with the window down. The street lights flicker on.    He is surprised she is going through with the soiree, considering all that’s happened. Still, he shouts a greeting to each guest as they make their way to the front door. It is his house too.    Some of the guests shout back. Others don’t acknowledge him. It is one way or the other.    The procession ended, he steps out of his car, opens the trunk and takes out a lawn chair. He opens it up in a

Flash Fiction | June 15, 2010

That Knocking You Hear is Actually Ticking by Billy Thompson

The knocking didn’t set off any alarms in me, not like it used to. Plus the dint-dint- di-dint- dint was a nice touch.

They barged in when I undid the chain. Two of them. They had guns.

“Where is it, motherfucker?”

I didn’t say anything.

“Where is it?!”

I didn’t answer, not because I am tough or principled, but simply because I wasn’t sure which “it” they meant, the money or the product. Also, this felt oddly cinematic, and I’m not one to yell at the screen.

“So, you’re going to be that guy, huh?” The one who said this

Experimental | June 15, 2010

The Submissive Queen by Samantha Levy

I.     Listen here. I have something to tell you.    Once upon a time in a far away land, where everyone smokes cigarettes and drinks charcoal liquor and has sex on public transportation with strangers, and there’s no such thing as AIDS or Animal Planet or morals, I was twelve months old and horny and starting to grow breasts. My brother Sully, who’s always been large for his age, was three months old and six feet tall with bulky hands, hairy knuckles, and a voice as deep as a shepherd’s. After our bath, while our mother was drinking bourbon and our father

Short Stories | June 15, 2010

An Ex-Lover’s Guide to Failing Organic Chemistry by Christopher Mohar

The phone in my hand is a warrant, self-signed. It was ringing and ringing and I flipped it open blind.     “Mattie?”    I walk a couple paces and let him hang. The air is cool and calm, but I know the good feeling will be gone as soon as I open my mouth.    “I’m here. What?”    “Can you give me a ride somewhere?”    This is where I cut the line and forget the whole thing ever happened.    “Maybe,” I say. “Where?”    “Wicker Park. From Pilsen.”    I know I should be pissed about the sheer audacity of it. But I’m not. I’m just thinking, By tomorrow I’ve got to

Poetry | June 14, 2010

Three Poems by Kathleen Flenniken

You only get this haircut

from the barber who sleeps with you. It’s the endless attention to your ears

and eyebrows. It’s the wrestling moves. I wield shears, talk brusquely with my hands,

cut off your curls with your head braced between my breasts as you sit almost

calmly. Your bald spot is the view from a glass-bottom boat. No sign of me

down there. Once on a beach vacation you and I watched a wife with scissors

move across her husband’s scalpin a sarong. It ought to have been private

the way she shaved his neck and sideburns.If

Poetry | June 14, 2010

Substitute Kansas by Antonia Clark

I don’t rule out much, but I could substitute Kansasfor just about anyplace and decide not to go there.

Some places that I actually know about, for instancethe backsides of outbuildings, e.g., toolsheds,

could pop up anywhere — a good thing, since we allneed one now and then to do something out behind.

Where I grew up — in a state mistaken as zipped up,straitlaced — there were endlessly available erections

of scrap lumber and tin in all the backyards, thrown together by the dads for seemly purposes,

quickly appropriated by those in urgent needof cover, and we were

Poetry | June 14, 2010

Everything is Living in the Lake by Alexander York

1. My grandmother sits at the edgeof the lake with a cigarette in her hand.She’s powered by somethingvery white.

2. There are reflections of birds flyingon the lake and they look like dense bulbsfloating in the water as fish surface and eat them.

3. I sit on the freshly cut-grassand sneak my feet into the water,and when I pull them out, theyare fins.

4. I like the idea, and falldeep in the lake. I’ve becomemy grandmother, and scaledwithin minutes.

5. It’s so bright that I am actuallyon fire and when I’m not screamingI write notes and leave them at the

Short Stories | June 14, 2010

On Board the Anita. by Edward Mc Whinney

The world is beautiful. Furthermore, Spring is on the way and from where I sit I can see a ship leaving port and I’ll call it Anita. She flies a flag of the Bahamas and is decked up with multi-coloured containers. Its gunwales are a rusty red and the tower is white and blue. She’s a lovely vessel. It has a crew of metropolitan marine engineers and merchant seamen; all brave and all cowardly too. Every able seaman is on the run from something. There is no metropolis unknown to him but he loves the open sea and the thrum

Poetry | June 14, 2010

Two Poems by Patrick Forgette

Probably Nothing

Rats are sworn to indicatethe soundness of their shipby fleeing if the vesselstarts to sink.

I’ve never seen a rat do that,desert a sinking ship,but a couple of birds once left a treewhile I was pruning it.

Poultrygeist

The fried-chicken restaurant was lit for businessbut barely occupied.

At three tables sat three couples,none on speaking terms.

A breeze came up and pushed a cup in a circle on oneof the tables.

None of us reacted, having lived with ghosts for years.

About the author:

Patrick Forgette taught English as a foreign language in Japan and English as