Belles-Lettres

The Tree

Avocado Tree

By Randy Lugo That morning, the idea crossed Mary’s mind that she would never again see the sun pouring down like a shower of corn. It was raining, drops crashing blindly against the earth, the roof quivering after each thunder. Like she did every morning, Mary fixed some coffee and sat in the kitchen to [...]


Guardian

4 - Guardian

By Dyana Valentine [Click for detail] Previously: Divot ###   Dyana Valentine is all up in your face with the delicious, nutritious truth. She’s a professional instigator (seriously), a hot, brilliant mess, a fire hose in a garden hose world. She follows her own advice: be quick off the line and excited to fail. Titillated? [...]


From Salford Quays to Piccadilly

Piccadilly Metrolink

By P.R. McDowell These lines ain’t half seen some action… Boy-like blokes play fighting Voices raising to sarcastic one-up competitive slurs, They sway and curse under street-light stages. Not so bright Orange girls Dressed up in extended fakery from head to toe; Hold hands for balance not provided by thick high heels. They repeat a [...]


fireworks

Macy's 4th of July fireworks 2010, New York City

By Robert Greer enforced fun (for the first five minutes) after that, an ejaculating racket ordinarily tortious but for the worship of the warships and what-fer and for what? the nationalism priapism bursting our biospheric bubble, leaving us to float alone in the breath-strangled, star-spangled rubble? hot dogs are barbed cocks slicing you up from [...]


Living in the Spin Cycle

Laundry

By Howie Good It isn’t actually a wrecked stock car. I just call it that, the top two floors occupied, and the lower 48 on fire. The mirror on the wall has mastered the technique of waiting graciously for someone to appear. Meanwhile, I listen to the insect-like buzz of my own blood in embarrassed [...]


UNDERSPELL

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By Kevin Byrne you’re a white shark in the bloody murk like the devil’s spawn, a butcher’s work a grizzly growl on the mountain pass setting panic that frays my nerves to glass the viral ooze of a germy hand in a thoughtless, lifeless, bony land the lover’s fist that swats me down or that [...]


Get Out of My Dream

Forest

By Alec Rojas It took some persuading, but I managed to convince her to have a drink with me on Friday. I was nothing but apologetic. She didn’t know why I was apologizing, but I know I did something wrong three months ago and I had to say I was sorry. I was just too [...]


Divot

3 - Divot

By Dyana Valentine [Click for detail] Previously: Taint ###   Dyana Valentine is all up in your face with the delicious, nutritious truth. She’s a professional instigator (seriously), a hot, brilliant mess, a fire hose in a garden hose world. She follows her own advice: be quick off the line and excited to fail. Titillated? [...]


Midnight Haiku

Night City

By Virginie Colline at a street corner two headlights pierce the darkness the crime hour has struck a ghostly pale face behind the naked window fear rushes through her shadows on the wall an army of black dragons lurk around the room a brief gulp of air before the night engulfs her hell and the [...]


knives in.

Cheyenne

By Alec Rojas what technique works better? double or single roll, the filter before or after, tobacco or clean, or shall i tie it tight on both sides? this the closest i can get to talking about a katana. it’s a carefree practice for you and me in the city. i can only imagine the [...]


Spirit Guide Plays Guitar

Spirit Guide

By Peter Morrison It’s a Saturday night and all the people are out. It’s December, and there is a Christmas air to the world, even though it’s stormy. People are wearing their best clothes, new jackets, scarves, and it’s pouring rain, coming down so hard it’s running in streams down the street. But they are [...]


San Bartolo

Razorwire

By Emma Alvarez Gibson She is crying, lying in a huge bed in a room with crumbling walls and the impermeable smell of decay. Her tiny blond brother sleeps next to her, so she turns to face the wall, careful not to shake the bed. She can’t explain, doesn’t want him to sense this wellspring [...]


83 Novels

Books

By Alberto Chimal (translated from the Spanish original) © Mauricio Alberto Martínez Chimal, Mexico, 2011 PROLOGUE The title does not lie: the following are 83 novels. Do not let yourself be deceived by commonplace notions. Instead, consider this: The narrated worlds are tiny on the page but they amplify themselves in the reader’s imagination. In [...]


Taint

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By Dyana Valentine [Click for detail] Previously: Fecund Sleep ###   Dyana Valentine is all up in your face with the delicious, nutritious truth. She’s a professional instigator (seriously), a hot, brilliant mess, a fire hose in a garden hose world. She follows her own advice: be quick off the line and excited to fail. [...]


How Fast Do Toenails Grow?

Hospital bed

By Michael John Burrows I woke Norbert and told him we had to go downstairs for a test. His bones, laden with years, stretched a good length of the bed and looked heavy as lead. The notes said one-person transfer, but I had my doubts. “Maybe we should wait for help,” I said. He shook [...]


Fecund Sleep

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By Dyana Valentine [Click for detail]   Previously: Annihilator   ###   Dyana Valentine is all up in your face with the delicious, nutritious truth. She’s a professional instigator (seriously), a hot, brilliant mess, a fire hose in a garden hose world. She follows her own advice: be quick off the line and excited to [...]


Feed Any Animal

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By Emma Alvarez Gibson   We were the only two at work that afternoon. Everyone else was out on appointments, out sick—or, in the case of the boss, out shopping. I was sitting on the edge of the microwave cabinet. My feet were on the chair Jack kept next to his cubicle; the last remaining [...]


Kamiya Bar

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By Dan Ryan   The old timers had been going there for over one hundred years, and I was finally back after more than twenty. It was Kamiya Bar, in the Asakusa part of Tokyo, and it was the oldest western-style bar in the city. Western as in high ceilings, with wood-veneer wall panels, chrome [...]


At Sea

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By Kevin Byrne   when the wind of you blew down the deck and I saw the squall, your green-eyed wall come surging over my bow, I knew.   you wanted me caught in the surge ‘til I broke, ‘til I spoke words that shook loose the safe mooring of this boring port, sucked far [...]


After It Changed: In which I invoke an Orisha in Cyberspace.

Optimized-escargot

By Fritz Bogott   Introduction Imagine that you find a comfortable sitting position in front of a medium-sized waterfall, set a timer on your phone and force yourself to stare for the duration at the water’s turbulence. You will discover that you can neither predict the precise pattern of eddies nor impose any control over [...]


Henry’s Jug Of The Last—A Small Goodbye (dedicated to Ralph H.)

Dive Bar

By Dan Ryan   Henry said he was giving it all up for a very good woman, whom he had only met six months ago. He said he had to for her, and that the long nights and cement-nail hangovers were killing him anyway. But it made perfect sense to all of us that he [...]


Stranger

Stranger (Photo by Emma Alvarez Gibson)

By Emma Alvarez Gibson   It’s a fear of death by shame, of giving in to voices that have long  tried to bury me.   I do it because not reaching the high means feeding the low.   Because if I don’t stay in motion the sucking of sludge begins to sound inexorably sexy.   Because [...]


Tokyo in the Underbrush

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By Dan Ryan   If I had read the instructions more clearly, these photographs would have gotten me into the photography program at the Yale University School of Art. But, like an idiot, I submitted this portfolio in print form rather than on 35mm slides as was required. Anyway, long story short: I didn’t get [...]


The Nature of Things

Changing Fate

By Marc Horne   It was in the nature of things to change. Even God-people secretly knew that. So they lived in a four thousand year eye-blink with solid mountains and fixed stars and the same set of original sins. Big time…real time…that was too much of a challenge. A billion years would shatter their [...]