he will always try to touch you
like he is 8 and pawing
his busted toy soldiers
peeking from a silverfish-scuttle
inside a shoe-box sitting terrified
behind a stack of wrapping
paper and forgotten family albums
he will always dream of you
in shapes smaller than
the tiniest airplanes he crashed
under the tepee of his bedsheets
he will draw your face out from a crowd
– you are his bittersweet, flashlight sun,
when he pulls you close you bruise
your ears against his heartdrum
it sounds akin to a chorus of trashcans
played softly at the hands of early
morning homeless shoveling
dregs of false steps for a loaf
of bread that still crackles a little
his happiness is a piece of cinnamon
toast, a bicycle ride to a lake draped in a poncho of the last snow
he tells you how he thinks his
whole life has been two dogs
breathless in a barking spell
he tells you of the graves he dug
beneath the clay of his own wrists
he looks at you and remembers
a childhood he never had
this is why every night you lie
next to him and watch the phantoms
of those two dogs slowly disappear
inside an unstirred sleep
this is why when he puts his hand
on your chest, you learn that love
is a moment of inflection at which
the vastness of air turns
into smallness of breath
and how much you need to live
and how quickly you could die
and desire is more than a waiting room
Scherezade Siobhan is a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry and her work has been published in over two dozen magazines including The Newer York, Danse Macabre, Whalesound, Looseleaf Tea, Mixedfruit, Bluestem Magazine and Gutter Eloquence etcetra.
There’s a new exhibit at the museum. Many odd items are on display – hair from the heads of madmen, baby clothes that were worn by a miniature pinscher, a jar of eyeball jell. The visible has become fugitive, taking a cue from the language that birds invented to preserve their secrets. Those of us waiting in line avoid any discussion of what is art. We all must share one handkerchief. It’s like watching TV with the sound turned off. The real content lies elsewhere, perhaps with the falcons that feast on the crows feasting on the bodies of hanged criminals.
Howie Good’s latest book of poetry is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely, who does most of the real work.
War changed him. Alcohol and drug abuse, petty robberies, assaults, run-ins with
the law too numerous to mention comprised a police record intestine long. He
returned commutated. That was the plan.
That was the plan. He returned commutated. Alcohol and drug abuse, petty
robberies, assaults, run-ins with the law too numerous to mention comprised a
police record intestine long. War changed him.
Bruce Harris is the author of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: ABout Type.
Upon receiving a notice from his hometown to attend a ceremony in recognition of his
achievements, D. scribbles:
this man who
this man who can’t
this man who can’t even
this man who can’t even finish
this man who can’t even write
this man who can’t even write a sentence
this man who can’t even write a sentence properly
this man who can’t even write a proper sentence
this man who can’t even write a sentence without
He throws each crumpled sheet of paper across the room toward the wastebasket, missing each
time. Another thing he can’t do.
Darren Cormier is the author of A LIttle Soul: 140 Twitterstories and the editor and creator of the collaborative project The Adventures of Tequila Kitty. His work has appeared in numerous publications including NAP, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Amoskeag, meetinghouse, Thrice Fiction, and Opium Magazine, among many others. He lives in the Boston area with a growing collection of books.
I ate a double stuffed Oreo. You said life was meaningless. I considered the possibility of a sunny day in the midst of a snowstorm. You drank red wine with breakfast. I consecrated the bathroom with fire. You stood out in the rain. I asked my sister what she thought of communism. You spat on the dog by accident. I smiled at a bumblebee. You smiled at me. I sank my teeth into a stone and it cracked. You joked that there would be no more air soon, but it wasn’t funny. I revved the engine to make us go faster. You took a trip to the jungle in your mind and ate a wild flower there. I found a rabbit in the backyard and named it Frederick. You sang songs that were old and full of meaning you couldn’t quite grasp. I painted a picture of laughter with my fingers. You fucked your way to the top. I sank to the bottom of bathtub and noticed it was still black. You bared your teeth at the world. I cried tears of peppermint and olive oil. You told me things would never work out. I held you while you screamed at the night. You mourned a distant cousin who died of malaria. I danced around in circles until I puked. You walked until your feet got blisters but refused to stop. I went to the end of the world and looked over the edge. You blew the stars out like candles, but it wasn’t your birthday. I told a lie about elephants and cotton candy. You didn’t know how to ease my pain, so you cast a circle made of earth. I elevated myself to the status of a king, but in the end I was only a pigeon. You bowed before me like a branch in a strong wind. I ran faster than day or night. You circled in my orbit for far too long. I gesticulated wildly to the march sky, willing it to hail. You ate the last mango and the juice fell on the floor. I played the trumpet, although I hadn’t practiced since high school. You felt as though life wasn’t just. I aimed high and hit my head on the ceiling. You ate a wild flower in real life and shrank like Alice. I cupped holy water in my hands and drank, it tasted of salt and bygone hope. You promised blood and ceremony. I gave you half a pecan and an old piece of dried barley. You believed in ghosts and kept one nearby in case of emergencies. I allowed for all manner of ruckus fornication in our bed. You became an iron smith and forged a sword that could kill a giant. I dined on sugar plums and cognac with a high born elf. You learned voodoo from a woman with a pet goat. I bled in the basement to raise the dead. You swam with an otter and held hands while you slept. I devised a plan for a time machine I didn’t have time to make. You anticipated a journey to Alaska. I learned to speak dove and cooed over a lunch of bird seed and pink cupcakes. You painted an easter egg the colour of death and rebirth. I made my own pickles. You demanded a pool full of jelly beans to match your dress. I recognized my great great grandmother in a picture at the Louvre. You collapsed a wormhole in our den, causing the momentary dissolution of existence. I prayed to every god I could think of and only seven responded. You picked leaves from trees and dried the tears of a thousand children with them. I snuck into the porn theatre to listen to the men weep and moan. You decided you would be an opera singer because you liked the fragrance of music. I tried to chase my shadow but tripped on a penny instead. You wrote me a note for every day you were away. I put a tag on an empty bottle and sold it as enlightenment. You ingratiated yourself to distant tzars and minor demons. I sat on the dock at the cottage and watched the boats capsize in the storm. You drew runes on the wall and in the night they glowed. I made masks in Africa with horn and bone and hair. You dove so deep that something changed in you. I walked on water, but it was only a magic trick. You salivated over a grain of sand from an alabaster beach. I connived to build something so big it would make the world feel small. You kicked a bucket full of bottle caps and they scattered. I put a line of black paint on the couch. You promised you would join the circus when you were seventy. I catalogued all the ways miracles had let us down. You swore at a piece of sandwich meat. I vowed to make all things right and then wrong again. You felt as though you ought to put more effort in. I collapsed the table and put it away. You assembled the puzzle on the floor. I barred the doors with rosemary and wishful thinking. You misunderstood my riddle. I forgave all the sins of the world. You made the plants grow with your mind. I called three hundred random numbers and only seven people picked up. You were smarter than I gave you credit for. I was the greatest fool that ever lived. You kissed me in the gloaming. I wrapped my arms around you. You ached for the helpless insects. I danced on an unknown grave. You sang one last note. I combed the papers for word of my absolution. You cut the cantaloupe with a knife made of wood. I opened the portal at midnight. You dreamt of something more profound, a life where things meant something. I offered you a bite of my double stuffed Oreo.
Star Spider is a magic realism writer from Toronto, Canada, where she lives and works with her awesome husband Ben Badger. Star is currently in the process of seeking representation for her novels while she continues to write, play and frolic on the beach. Her work can be found in Grim Corps, Stories from the Fringe, and she was recently shortlisted for the Frends of Merril Short Story Contest. You can follow Star’s writing on her website, starspider.ca, or @MusingStar.