The Nervous Writer by S.W. Flores

Image by r.nial.bradshaw via creative commons licenseThe writers all sat round the table, sipping slowly from their beers, like wolves to baited blood. The nervous writer was due any minute and with luck he would suffer a complete breakdown. But before he arrived, the talk went round the table, a cat’s cradle of conspiracy and gaze. The topic du jour was a famous writer known for his staggering intellect who’d killed himself just two months prior. His books—all maximalist masterpieces—had become too prolix for the modern publisher and they feared he would fail to sell. True, Chris had called his last novel “overstuffed,” and Urban said, “My God, did he ever hear of an editor?”—a sentiment was met with unanimous approval. One particularly clever workshopper said that the famous writer’s editor must have been the anti-Gordon Lish. But still, one thing could be agreed upon: the famous writer could be called a genius, now that he was dead. (more…)

Labor Day

by Katie Cortese
Image by trophygeek via flickr. Creative Commons license. https://flic.kr/p/cLsecQ

The albino crocodile has no concept of her own captivity. Pressed against her habitat by the crowd, I watch the great lizard balance on crooked arms plump as the sausage-limbs of babies who have not yet learned to crawl. In slow motion, her long jaw parts to reveal point-by-point a matched set of miniature mountain […]

Before Dubai, This Ellay

by Beth Thomas
Image by travelourplanet.com via flickr. Creative Commons license. https://flic.kr/p/dbJEFZ

She changed her name from Juanita to Ellay the week after she moved to Dubai. Then she changed her hair from blonde to red-brown to black but refused to change her western style, showing her legs more often than she should. The last time I saw her, she was crying over rivers and bridges and […]

Dangling Now, in the Erotic City of Ghosts

by Heather Fowler

“The first to arrive could not understand what drew these people to Zobeide, this ugly city, this trap.”  ~ Italo Calvino   In the lingering Erotic City of Ghosts no one does laundry. They do not do laundry because ghosts do not sweat. Night turns into day—and day to night. The citizens can appear at […]

Cemetery Boy

by Avery Gregurich

The porch light is on, but what it doesn’t reach looks like the inside of a coffee pot. No lightning bugs or stars for hope of relief. I read a poem to him under the light and he laughs at my serious face, my stumbling voice. “I liked that line about porn,” he says between […]

Kes Woodi

by Erika T. Wurth

The red grasses. That’s what I remember. Threading my little brown hands through them on the hills in Oklahoma, my mother calling in Cherokee from the warm little cabin in the distance. The smell of smoking meats. It was so beautiful. But the memory is even more beautiful. Even then, I knew I was born […]

The Church of Poetry

by Dane Cervine

There is something wrong in the World of Poetry (of course, something’s always wrong, which is part of the fun).We quibble over doctrinal disputes like the institution we love to hate: the Church. How many recovering Catholics, or any denomination, have found refuge now in the Church of Poetry, this “better scripture”? Yet if we […]