We trampled through houses no one owned, some of them for sale, some just empty. This one old house, red brick crumbled, stood at the end of a willow-lined lane, its perfect antebellum proportions gave it heft and cast long shadows. The front door stuck from the swell of summer in its grain. A better shove. Tiptoe, whisper. He took a sleeve and brushed the floor. Oak. Fireplaces for giant logs, a long room for gathering. French doors opened to the garden, kudzu-cloaked. We slipped up the stairs to the bedrooms. Life here is insect and rodent. We passed wine
» Continue reading We Walked Through Mansions All Summer by Frances Badgett…
In October, my daughter comes home with the butterflies. I pick her up from the airport on a morning dappled with wings, and she watches out the passenger window all the way home. By the end of the week they will have settled out of the air like gold through a sifting pan, taking up residence in the eucalyptus groves south of Santa Cruz, but today they are stunning. My daughter has arrived without her wedding ring. When I ask about her husband, she walks to the screen door and presses her face to a nimbus of monarchs clustered there.
» Continue reading Patterns of Flight by Gabrielle Hovendon…
Listen to a reading of “Family Tree” by Ira Dawson.
This tree is where my father hung himself when I was 12. His purple, foaming face is etched on the back of my eyelids, permanently. The branch he jumped from was taken by the wind a few summers ago, its absence reinforces the fact that Dad is still gone. This tree is where my brother hung himself when I was 19. My mother owns this image, as I was at school. The way I watched her wither, I assume she saw the purple and foam. Three up from the
» Continue reading Family Tree by Ira Dawson…
I’m watching this TV show lately about a military guy who goes by his last name to everyone, including his wife who has the same last name. Funny enough I read a book two weeks ago with that same thing. Funny how things come in little pairs like that sometimes. Usually the only times I think about you anymore are right as I’m going to sleep and first thing when I wake up. I don’t want you to take that to mean I’m dreaming about you that whole time in between. I only ever dreamed about you once, so
» Continue reading In the Time It Takes Me to Forget You My Hair Will Grow Back to the Way You Like It by Maddy Raskulinecz…
1. The Work
She asks what he’s working on. He tells her it’s about the surface: a treatment of paint, photography, and more paint—but, really, it’s about the conceptual premise, he says. Still, it’s got a bunch of naked women. He has no time to talk, says he has to get back to work.
She calls the next day—Jersey City to Berlin—and asks if he’s made progress. No, it depresses me, he says. There’s no light here; it’s grey and raining; my apartment is too small. He rushes her off the phone.
The fountain was never installed
» Continue reading For Art’s Sake by Carol Deminski…
Listen to a reading of “THE PINK SLIP” by Marcus Slease.
THE PINK SLIP or und wir ziehen die Bayern die Lederhosen aus
A Bavarian named Frank tells them the history of each beer. Zofia films from the corner. After each history lesson they drink the beer in question. It’s not long before they ask Zofia to say cock and then pussy. They ask her which word she prefers. She says cock. Zofia has a Slavic accent. Jill asks Andy which he prefers. Andy gives her the duh look, then says pussy in his Utah accent.
* * *
» Continue reading THE PINK SLIP by Marcus Slease…
Listen to a reading of “Ellipsis is every Futurist’s three bodyguards in shades…” by Eldon Reishus.
Six-feet-nine in my slippers, I carry that benched-by-life aplomb that is characteristic of tall men severely handicapped at basketball. A Futurist with a Ph.D., I get a morbid kick out of David Letterman—the guy who does surveys at the Plaza Mall out front of Rayguard’s. People assume he’s his namesake/lookalike until they realize he’s minus ironic zingers, but by then he’s captured most of Rayguard’s wants (…).
We spin through dark matter at 7500 MPHeartbeat. Having a face like Dave is a license to
» Continue reading Ellipsis is every Futurist’s three bodyguards in shades… by Eldon Reishus…
“Thanks for squeezing me in,” she starts before settling into the chair across from him. Her coat is stained. Yogurt? How old are her kids now? Teens? And then the add-on. Orion? A constellation? No, someone else. Orlando. Not because of Shakespeare, but the Magic Kingdom where he was conceived. Sex amidst dwarves and mermaids. She sighs and sips water from a plastic waiting room cup. Where should she begin? Buy time. “I’m not sure how to say this.” He waits. Her eyes flit around the room, land on the hodgepodge of flowers on his desk. Years
» Continue reading Patient Confidentiality by Emily Franklin…
Bern sat in bed looking at the beach. He could see pale winter sand and, above it, a gleaming smear of ocean. A surfer’s silhouette emerged out of high, white breakers. Bern rolled a pre-breakfast cigarette and lit up. In a while he would make coffee in Marv and Jennie’s cafetière, sit at their kitchen table and listen to their radio. He would spend the morning in the kitchen doing crossword puzzles.
He knew the owners’ names from the answering machine. “Hello stranger, you’ve just missed Jennie and Marv. Please leave a message after the tone.” It was the
» Continue reading Foundations by David Mohan…
Her days were one car after another, but that Tuesday morning while she wondered if she should buy fancy shampoo to wash the freakin’ fumes out of her hair or just chop it the fuck off, a Subaru hatchback pulled up and a twenty-something blonde wearing a fuzzy white sweater rolled down her window, said “Just a sec,” dug into the depths of her shoulder bag, checked the console, glanced at the floor, then squeezed the wheel and sighed, “Look, I don’t have any change, so just open the gate, lady, okay?” and as the beeps and curses rushed down
» Continue reading Toll by Colleen Kiely…