Interviews | September 16, 2012

An Interview With Matt Bell and Jac Jemc

When Word Riot editor Jackie Corley suggested that Jac Jemc and I interview each other about our recent releases—her gorgeous debut novel My Only Wife, my novella Cataclysm Baby—she didn’t know that I had been Jac’s editor at Dzanc Books, the publisher of her novel. Once we disclosed that relationship, Jackie suggested that she’d be interested in a conversation between us about the development of Jac’s book and of mine, and so this conversation begins with the process behind our books, and then veers into book tours, our philosophies behind the names of characters (and the lack of named characters),

Issues | September 16, 2012

September 2012 Issue

INTERVIEWS An Interview With Matt Bell and Jac Jemc

REVIEWS Shock and Awe by Ethan Rafal

FLASH FICTION Blood a Cold Blue by James Claffey On The Line by Lee Wright

CREATIVE NONFICTION My Hour Was Up by Michelle Ephraim Try Not to Kill Anybody by Sean Finucane Toner

SHORT STORIES We, The Boys and Girls by Erin Kelly Those Who Know Better Are Sleeping by Jonathan Starke

POETRY The Haunting by James Babbs Ghouls by Jean Byrne Postscript by Chris Emslie Migration by Michelle Holmes Riding in the passenger seat while the driver is on crack by Mike Lafontaine

Poetry | September 15, 2012

Migration by Michelle Holmes

They don’t ask for passports at this border. Thank God, really, because what would I show? Think about my picture. I do. Half me then and half me now. How would mouth and eyes, delicate, reforming, ever match up even under such a glare?

It’s just been 10 weeks I’ve been crossing. Some days I go back and forth five times. The hot blur smear of it smells permanent.

Once, I thought you were my country. That I could find a refuge, your burning skin shelter, your low whisper walking me out, unarmed, across the DMZ. But the days pass

Poetry | September 15, 2012

Ghouls by Jean Byrne

I saw myself in the distance I ran and clung onto me With all my might I clung The ghouls came With their grasping hands Trying to tear me away from myself

But I hung on so hard They tried to pry open my hands But they couldn´t My nails dug into my back Mutated by the scrapes of the ghouls Their efforts would not cease

They pulled at my shoulders My waist, my hips They lifted me by the thighs Others at my ankles They pulled and pulled My hands dug further into me Opening my shoulder blades


Poetry | September 15, 2012

Waiting Room by Steven McLachlan

Out of issue rags, secretary mumbling, clinical white of: table, wall and chairs. Headset sleek, plastic, black, deep sighs escape each call. I’m not sick, clearing head space, preparing for a forward facing life.

About the author:

Steven McLachlan is a writer living in Melbourne, Australia. He founded the Melb-Lit writing group and is mainly interested in Literature, Technology and the Human Condition.

Poetry | September 15, 2012

Postscript by Chris Emslie

The world asks me Why are you still wearing your costume?

I don’t know how to tell it That I’m waiting for the sad piano overture For the confetti cannons to fire me Into the howling light

About the author:

Chris Emslie is assistant editor at ILK. His poems have appeared / are forthcoming in Vinyl, Red Lightbulbs and Lambda Literary Review, among others. He lives in Scotland but is pointing himself west.

Poetry | September 15, 2012

Finding Life by Matthew Lyall

a man marvellous who makes everyone jump. seems familiar – as well he might the very idea: it’s a good joke to him the host of the party. that unnerving shudder. a terrific gathering of people are lifelike portraits But what unites all the look of life itself, round the back and the hollow is only skin-deep. a sitter bodied forth full of life, in the same way as real people. how they get this potent look of life. startling. He must have looked so alive. the vitality slightly weak and wry. He looks like somebody living A head turn

Poetry | September 15, 2012

Probably It’s Not Okay by Mollie Wells

to hold the world, or most of the world, in contempt for things like — breathing — standing there — eating a sandwich — starting or trying to start conversations — courting the sensation of skin — on skin — not and never feeling wrung out or basemented — understanding small directions — both literal and however else — probably that is not an acceptable expenditure of emotional energy.

The trouble is

I can tell you, in abstraction — every ocean — every mass — every lovely thought postcarded — every box of bittery wine — every glyph and

Poetry | September 15, 2012

The Haunting by James Babbs

I whisper her name emerging from my dream and it sounds like something foreign like something forgotten suddenly returning to the light and I have no idea what time it is and I’m frightened by the shadows crawling along the walls I whisper her name with my eyes closed against the light and it’s springtime again in the valley of death the ghost of her kiss still haunting my lips and my tongue yearning for the taste the relentless beat of my heart and I don’t know how long I’ve been in this room

Poetry | September 15, 2012

Riding in the passenger seat while the driver is on crack by Mike Lafontaine

Listen to a reading of “Riding in the passenger seat while the driver is on crack” by Mike Lafontaine.

In my early twenties I did everything in my power to avoid responsibility it was easy for me as I received some inheritance money from my dead father – well easy if you call getting beat up most of my childhood – easy – but that’s another poem.

I left everything behind in Sydney and traveled across each province of Canada – getting drunk and meeting people I settled in Vancouver for a time and I was working on a