The Girlfriend Game, stories by Nick Antosca

Word Riot Inc.: Kicking Small Press Into High Gear
Stretching Forms

Incidents by Mike Topp

CHURLISH Still smarting after that guy called me a mammering, beef-witted skains-mate at the Renaissance Fair.

THIS SENTENCE This sentence uses all the letters of the alphabet dfgjkmqvwxyz.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT Turns out Billy Bob Thornton’s real name is William Robert Thornton.

SECURITY Just changed all my passwords and my mother’s birthday.

HOW TO PICK A LOCK Picking a lock is really easy. They have tons of them at Kmart.

REALLY? If you’re a hangman, and you’re putting a noose on someone, I bet it would really make you mad if the guy was looking at his smartphone.


» Continue reading Incidents by Mike Topp…

Stretching Forms

Five Prose Poems by Parker Tettleton


Parker Tettleton is the author of the prose poetry collection GREENS (Thunderclap Press 2012) & three chapbooks: SAME OPPOSITE (Thunderclap Press 2010), OURS MINE YOURS (Pity Milk Press 2014) & MAN SUGAR (co-authored by Riley Michael Parker, Housefire Books 2014). More or less is here.

» Continue reading Five Prose Poems by Parker Tettleton…

Stretching Forms

impen(ding) by Vanessa Couto Johnson


You have I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in your fridge. Like it’s still the 1990s. Fabio and the oil of vegetable.

I saw a DeLorean leaving your town. Forthcoming and going back.

College students migrate in. Congrats graduate out. Population scholar shipping. Glide the equator of semester.

We survive the equinox to startle the eve of an eve. Tempt the vesper in your ear. Sun of hot mouth, warm head. Your snuggle under the sum. Weekendings.

Smart assorted. The colors of an Uno game fill your closet. Fabric softener and Scattergories. I lose because I am an associative

» Continue reading impen(ding) by Vanessa Couto Johnson…

Stretching Forms

Tendu by Elizabeth Schmuhl


Tendu: [tahn-doo], /tɑnˈdu/, verb 1. Rachel was ten and sitting in History class when she first felt the blood pooling in her underwear. She could also smell it: salted, rancid nuts, she thought. With her feet firmly on the ground and her hands on both sides of her chair, she lifted up her butt. Later there would be the bathroom, the long, deep red mark in her purple panties – a tongue of sorts – taunting her. I am here, she’d imagine it saying. She vomited twice before returning to class where she sat once again on the chair, the

» Continue reading Tendu by Elizabeth Schmuhl…

Stretching Forms

Five Pieces by Parker Tettleton


I took a January test today – she’s twenty-four in seven months. For another country, on Friday, it’s the year of the horse. I wait for the train home with a blank screen used to predict arrivals on my left. It was zero in Chicago when I woke & where we are thirty-nine. It isn’t thirty-nine now. I’m halfway to twenty-seven this Valentine’s Day. The train lets me off at the convention center then I walk north. It’s 2014. I couldn’t be more or less West Germanic.

Valium From Mandy

I can be reached from the fist underneath my

» Continue reading Five Pieces by Parker Tettleton…

Stretching Forms

Three Short-Shorts by Michael K. Meyers



Listen to a reading of “Alaska” by Michael K. Meyers.

I said, Mom, when you were alive, and not wacko, remember that time Cynthia and I believed…what was it you told us—earnest like a commodity trader—that we actually believed? That thing. I forget. I recall it was “a something big” that you were passionate about, and passed that on. (The important thing to remember is not the specifics but the results, as you would say.) Most of those in our circle resisted the plain truth of that thing that both Cynthia and I forget, and because of the

» Continue reading Three Short-Shorts by Michael K. Meyers…

Stretching Forms

Richard’s Lincoln by Christopher X. Shade


This story is a “cut-up” form: three pages, one from each of three books—Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son, J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories, and Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter—were cut up into fragments and rearranged to inspire a story.

     “Move over,” Tom said stuffing himself in the backseat of the Lincoln like children in a bathtub during a tornado. I said, looking in, “He just wants a ride home.” I closed the door behind him. But we weren’t going to take him home. Tom sat up then and said to me out the open window: “We are stuffed men.” Behind him

» Continue reading Richard’s Lincoln by Christopher X. Shade…

Stretching Forms

Variations on Ophelia by Alexa Derman

Screen shot 2013-11-16 at 6.25.51 PM

Read “Variations on Ophelia” by Alexa Derman [PDF]

About the author:

Alexa Derman is a high school senior from New Jersey where she lives with her blue typewriter, Quinn. Her work is featured in Hanging Loose, Winter Tangerine Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. In her other incarnations, she paints faces and attempts to survive AP Physics.

Stretching Forms

Two Prose Poems by Reem Abu-Baker

Before That

1. Yesterday, I drove under an exit ramp and past a boy who might have been a hunchback. He curled around the edges like leaves, like paper before it burns. We were moving in the same direction but I left him and his deliberateness pass.

2. I knew a woman once, in a wheelchair, who smoked four packs of American Spirits a day. She said it made her seem less separate. We would loiter on the sidewalk during lunch breaks, she smoking and I watching the ashy embers fall.

3. Once, a woman on crutches fell, knees and

» Continue reading Two Prose Poems by Reem Abu-Baker…

Stretching Forms

Hummels by Lily Hoang and Carmen Gimenez Smith

Hummel #1963: Sylvia Plath Hummel Height: 3.1”

Her goldilocks slither like a silk scarf around her lithe neck. She kneels, tightbodiced navy and white polka-dot dress. Her lunar hands, are poised over a bright red Olivetti, as if seeking or as if about to write the next poem, chapter, everything slack.

Hummel #45: The Confidence Artist Height: 2.36”

Underestimate her cumulous bangs a la Madonna of Perpetuate Material Peter Pan, and you’ll miss her stinger, tucked beneath her flounce. Her eyes are lined brilliant violet, but she is anything but open. She wears a simple bias cut, and carries

» Continue reading Hummels by Lily Hoang and Carmen Gimenez Smith…