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The Girlfriend Game, stories by Nick Antosca



Word Riot Inc.: Kicking Small Press Into High Gear
Poetry

Palm-Reader, Fifth Avenue by Kenzie Allen

As if everything in the world were penetrable we seek out archways, sweet lockjaw of crook and clavicle. Even the ear is a marvel

of vulnerable invention. As if sanctuary, your hand on the trapdoor of my skull where hush, quiet, state-issued boots clip the lintel.

What leaves these lines, haunted rivers parched in the palm. Line of Saturn, Girdle of Venus, that break toward the thumb

a sickness. Someone might have hurt you once or again. I want other hands. Give me freckles. Constellate me, flatten out the creases,

a nebulae whose only clear picture, infrared and cave-like,

» Continue reading Palm-Reader, Fifth Avenue by Kenzie Allen…

Poetry

Two Poems by Will Arbery

DR. GREGORY HOUSE

           for Gail Morse

I’ll tell you exactly how I feel. I feel fine, totally fine, one hundred percent fine, yes, like a hero, like a god, like a pin-up, like frame me in eight different poses looking airbrushed, like oh my god, like what, like seriously, like try not to worry about me because I’m golden, because I’m peachy, because I’m keen on kicking this, because the pain is worse than ever and I feel fine, yeah, absolutely fine, yeah, yeah, yeah, like one more, like two more, like three more, like shut the door

» Continue reading Two Poems by Will Arbery…

Poetry

PSA by Dominic Gualco

Listen to a reading of “PSA” by Dominic Gualco.

Every forty-two seconds a person in the United States purchases a Ford. Last night I highlighted the line “i am paralyzed by the distinct sensation of nothing in particular” and pressed delete.

Do you know where I can get a newspaper around here?

Today I am looking for a newspaper and a sandwich. I will walk somewhere to buy these things.

I might end up at lying in the beach sand or playing the banjo in the mall parking lot. Not for tips, just because I do that

» Continue reading PSA by Dominic Gualco…

Poetry

Two Poems by Dan Encarnacion

dan bullseye gallery

Two Poems by Dan Encarnacion [PDF]

About the author:

Dan Encarnacion earned an MFA in Writing at the California College of Arts and lives in Portland, Oregon where he co-curates the Verse In Person poetry series. The bleak of Bela Tarr, the spare of Arve Henriksen, and the spike of quad-lattes will palpitate his palpus. Dan has recently been published in Eleven Eleven, Upstairs at Duroc, Atlas Review, and forthcoming in Assaracus, The Los Angeles Review, Crab Creek Review, Whiskey Island, The Blue Mesa Review and and/or. He was the featured artist for Reconnaissance Magazine’s 2013 issue and is included

» Continue reading Two Poems by Dan Encarnacion…

Poetry

Returning the Artificial Tree by Al Ortolani

So I hand her my receipt for the artificial tree and I say maybe you can tell me the best way to do this, and she says without taking the paperwork— Let’s see, you bought this tree before the sale, and now you want to return it, and then buy it back at the sale price. And I said yes, I guess you read my mind. She grinned, you’ll save so much, her fingers flying through the numbers. When the transaction was complete and I had pocketed my 20% in crisp bills, I patted her on the arm and said

» Continue reading Returning the Artificial Tree by Al Ortolani…

Poetry

Sex Ed: On Sex and Babies by Andrea Beltran

Andrea Beltran 2014

I hand a quarter to the cafeteria lady for a pickle on Popcorn Friday. Its wax wrapper crinkles in my right hand before I sink my teeth into the oversized snack and suck the juice from it.

I don’t kiss a boy while inside the tunnel on the playground OLE because Mom says kissing boys leads to making babies, but, instead, I let him place his hand inside my shorts. His smile makes me think of Elvis, so I don’t care if his hands are dirty or if other kids find us and tell the teachers.

                         I sit on

» Continue reading Sex Ed: On Sex and Babies by Andrea Beltran…

Poetry

Two Poems by Alice Ladrick

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DESPERATION BITCH

holy fuck this bottle of pink moscato sparkling, natch, is going down the sun over there the window neighborhoods FIREWORKS first date kisses oh sweet bottle oh how the wine talks if this even counts as wine who knows oh love

oh love love me somebody but you know fuck that shit cuz I mean I’m my own bitch                 right right don’t need nobody but Jeff Goldblum predicting the invasion of earthly bodies like

mine oh call me heavenly love all the frontier

MEAN BITCH

just the most repeated most often used just in the middle of everything

» Continue reading Two Poems by Alice Ladrick…

Poetry

Two Poems by Sam Sax

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PUTTING ON EMILY DICKINSON’S CLOTHES

i take her discarded bone ribbed corset & let it give me all the curves of a hand written poem. pin my black hair up into an arrogant shape. take a pair of hard wood shoes & force each foot inside. i blush & rouge, write sparse rhymed lines, powder my face white, tie a black tippet around my throat, fit three fingers inside deep as they go, each one mine. i turn up the church hymns & dance without moving my hips. my empty room, my audience. yes, the body of the poet, thin

» Continue reading Two Poems by Sam Sax…

Poetry

Leda Leaves Manhattan by Emily Rose Cole

headshot photo

Three days after it happened, I grab a greyhound going west. All I have: a duffel stuffed with socks, t-shirts, oil paints, a coffee-stained photo of my mother. A little cash.

I spark Marlboro menthols in the lavatory, spit smoke into the no-flush toilet. Stench curls and thickens. Fluorescents buzz overhead. Floor lurches beneath

my feet. Nothing is steady anymore. Door clicks shut; I slump back to my window seat. I need to be landlocked, waterless. I have friends in Kansas City. I’ll crash

on couches, find some doctor to take care of me, if it comes to

» Continue reading Leda Leaves Manhattan by Emily Rose Cole…

Poetry

No Vacancy by Talin Tahajian

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Listen to a reading of “No Vacancy” by Talin Tahajian.

You say, look at me, and I say, this is a house, and when you say

that bellboys cannot be counted and preserved between the folds

of your neck, I say that we should name the rooms on the sixth floor

after the presses and magazines and professors who never liked us,

and you mention Little, Brown & Co. and Dr. Greene, and suddenly

we are coughing colors, and you tell me that you don’t appreciate

waking up to cold mugs of coffee, unsweetened because this honey

is stilted with

» Continue reading No Vacancy by Talin Tahajian…