It’s hard now to distinguish the deranged from the merely
troubled, or the entrance to all this darkness from the
obsolete exit. So why should I even bother when I can
simply subscribe to the unified theory of motion within
the rocking cradle of her hips? Oh, to hell with the
nobility of labor, the wreckers that prowl the charred
turnpike for breakdowns and chain collisions. I’ll search
her pockets instead and rush as if our suitcases were
packed and in the hallway and we always had someplace
wonderful to go next.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of six poetry chapbooks, including the e-book, Police and Questions (Right Hand Pointing, 2008), available free at
by Meg Pokrass
It was when she loved a man with eyes like a fish everything changed. With his kisses she would swallow clear water. Fear would rest behind colored pebbles, be gone for entire seconds -- long enough to bubble inside and out. I love this, she spit, swallowing his air, his name, dancing backwards with it in her lips.
Meg Pokrass lives in San Francisco. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in 971 Menu, The Rose and Thorn, Thieves Jargon, Eclectica, Chanterelle's Notebook, 34th Parallel, Literary Mama, Blossombones, Ghoti, Elimae, Word Riot, Frigg, DOGZPLOT, Wigleaf, and Smokelong Quarterly's Fifth Anniversary Issue. She has performed with theatre companies throughout the United States and considers writing a natural extension of sensory work developed as an actor
Small gold heart dangling below her collarbone, amid the tan sea of flesh. Her face—the kind of pretty you fell for, married, then realized on the honeymoon is all wrong. Her kind of pretty makes you hate pretty, makes you want to smother it until it never looks at you again.
The sand below your feet, her hand in yours. Smiling the kind of smile you've perfected—face betraying motives. Wind blows the heart to the side. You move it back. Her small neck will fit easily in the palms of your hands when you cradle it to sleep.
Corey Ginsberg graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied creative writing, philosophy and professional writing. She currently is working toward her MFA in nonfiction at Florida International University, where she serves as editor of Gulf Stream Magazine. Her favorite writer is Kurt Vonnegut. Here is the link to Gulf Stream: www.gulfstreamlitmag.com.
That big bad wolf didn’t belong in sleeping beauty, but he tried to get in her anyhow. As if she wouldn’t notice! He knocked over her alarm clock with his big wolf mitts, and if he did such a poor job on her clock imagine how the rest of it would go. For sure she’d wake up, and not in a pleasant way. But he couldn’t help himself, for she was lovely, and he’d had his fill of pork.
Errid lives in Southern California and writes at a cluttered table where a candle burns to create an aura of serenity. Sometimes she accidentally catches things on fire, which turns the aura into angry yellows and reds and sort of wrecks the whole serenity thing. Her stories have appeared in Barrelhouse, Thieves Jargon, Word Riot, storySouth, Pindledyboz, GUD, and other places. One of her stories received an editor nomination for storySouth’s Million Writers Awards. She owns www.ShowMeYourLits.com, a website which sponsors a weekly flash contest.
J. Blood Ulmer has been saving the secret of his initial J for someone special. He has loved many women, and wanted them badly, but his fat red face, his sausage fingers, his jelly roll, his milk bubs, his lonely, secret letter J: all these things have saved him from love. For who could be special enough to love J. Blood Ulmer, to taste all his virgin parts, to sink her teeth into the sad, sweet, fat flesh? Who is brave enough to press her smooth delicate ear to his mouth and hear the wet whisper of his secret name?
Georgina Bruce's stories can be found at http://thebeardedlady.wordpress.com
by Giuseppe Taurino
That afternoon, after I got laid off, I went down to Dirty Martin’s for beers and a burger. As I waited for my food, an old man wheeling an oxygen tank waddled toward the counter. He bumped his way past tables, sat a few stools down from mine, and ordered a Budweiser. We made eye contact and I nodded politely. The aluminum tank stood beside him like an obedient dog, and I wondered what it felt like to wheel your life around, handle and all, to walk about knowing that your next breath was literally in your own hands.
Giuseppe Taurino lives in Austin , TX where he works as an Education Programs Coordinator for Badgerdog Literary Publishing. His work has appeared in Gulf Coast.
At lowest tide I visit our town beach. A purposefully unfashionable time after all the poets searching for god have finished walking their dogs. Scrup-fwop, scrup-fwop, can be heard beyond the jetty.
I see two lifeguards young and tall, their sun-blond hair in matched French braids. With long handled steel shovels from Parks and Rec they scoop up jellyfish and casually lob them up to a hot dry death upon the rocks.
The oversized orange windbreakers our teen guardians wore urgently proclaiming “RESCUE.” Mercifully, jellyfish can’t read.
Doug Mathewson lives on Connecticut’s eastern shore and writes very short stories that occasionally become poetry or essays of their own volition. He is interested in how an individual’s perception can change shared reality. Fiction creates new realities, and strangely how reality changes itself. His catalogue can be found here, or is shippable via rail. His current project, True Stories From Imaginary Lives, can be found at www.little2say.org
I remained stoic while Esmeralda ended our relationship. “Well, adiós,” I said, lonely—then all alone.
It wasn’t but five minutes before I started crying. I wiped those first tears with my fingers. When the sobs came, I upgraded to tissue but the rate of saturation was overwhelming. I resorted to holding a bowl under my chin. It proved effective at collecting my salty sadness.
I finally regained my composure after filling up four bowls and placing them in the scorching sun to evaporate.
I used the salt they made to rim a Margarita glass.
Stephen J. Davis teaches Kindergarten near San Francisco , California . He lives with his wife, daughter and two cats.
It had all been arranged; into a neat, little package.
He looked up at her and smiled and averted his eyes. It was difficult to maintain eye contact because it brought in him a sense of longing, quickly followed by a sense of shame. In knowing that in one year she’d be lying next to him, under the same sheets, her surname different.
“It’s what I chose for myself,” she’d once said. He was embarrassed by the fact he’d let himself be deluded by the prospect that perhaps he had a place in her plans: her plan B, of course.
Hector Duarte Jr. is an aspiring writer and seventh-grade Language Arts teacher. He resides in Miami, Florida.