Kim Magowan & Michelle Ross ~Abuse and Other Words My Mother and I Disagree About

My moth­er acts like the con­flict between her and me is seman­tic, rather than due to her crap­py par­ent­ing. For instance, when I try to talk to her about how when I was a kid and she was pissed at me, or sim­ply found me irri­tat­ing and noisy, she would make me sit in the garage by myself for hours (pitch dark, smelling like ran­cid milk), she says, “It’s ridicu­lous to call that ‘abuse’! I nev­er –more

Jose Hernandez Diaz ~ Three Flash Fictions

Mariachi in the City

A Mariachi walked in the city in the mid­dle of the day. He had a gold trum­pet at his side. His Mariachi suit and som­brero were black with gold embroi­dery and he wore a red bow tie. Every now and then, at red lights, he would play a lit­tle bit of the trum­pet. Sometimes peo­ple would clap. Sometimes they would just stand there in awe.

The Mariachi was on his way to meet his team, –more

Sandra Seaton ~ Home

Sunday din­ner in Columbia, Tennessee: fried chick­en, mixed greens— turnips, mus­tard, and spinach, pan-fried corn, twice milked then stirred with flour and water, can­died sweets, chow chow; plates of sliced toma­toes, onions, and cukes, fresh-picked that day from the gar­den around the side of the house. Only four or five years old, I still remem­ber my Aunt Gladys, –more

David Galef ~ Three Flash Fictions

After the Orgy

After the Sunday orgy, the men changed their shirts. The women changed their shoes.

Man #1 swag­gered all week.

Woman #2 com­posed a per­son­al ad: “Needy woman in search of help­less man. Weren’t you at the orgy on Sunday?”

Man #2 won­dered whether to con­tact woman #2 but nev­er got her name.

Woman #3 in her sex edu­ca­tion class announced bright­ly, “For the next two weeks, we’re going –more

Thaisa Frank ~ Occupants

The dolls were drink­ing Jack Daniels and hav­ing an argu­ment. The moth­er doll said she was through with the father doll and had rent­ed a room in anoth­er doll­house. This room was freez­ing cold, with torn pink cur­tains; but the doll­house had wit­ty occu­pants.

Who are these peo­ple any­way? said the father doll.

I don’t know their names yet.

What about your crea­ture com­forts?

–more

Gary Percesepe ~ An Interview with Roxana Robinson

Our Struggle: On the Experience of Reading Karl Ove Knaussgaard

I read Book One of Karl Ove Knausgaard epic nov­el My Struggle in 2014, and was instant­ly hooked. In sub­se­quent years I read books two through five, and wait­ed for the English trans­la­tion of Book Six to appear. I got my copy in late 2018, and took it to Switzerland with me, where I read it over the Christmas Break and into –more

Andrew Stancek ~ The Sting on the Skin

The day after my thir­teenth birth­day chunks of ice bounced off the roofs, off the cars, off the side­walk and I watched, over­joyed with the world. When I ran past emp­ty thorn bush­es to share my joy, I saw Dad walk­ing up to our front door, talk­ing to him­self, point­ing a forefin­ger at our car and at the door, chuck­ling and for a sec­ond I thought his excite­ment was about the hail.

Isn’t –more

John Mancini ~ Not Expecting a Miracle

The hos­pi­tal lob­by was all cool air and I was sweat­ing. Orderlies nipped by with bod­ies on gur­neys, nurs­es behind, sneak­ers squeaking. Everyone but me knew just where to go. I took a dou­ble-wide hall­way and did a half-dozen turns before I was back where I start­ed. This time I asked at the desk. Wrong build­ing, it turned out. Shock Trauma was across the way. 

The flu­o­res­cents –more

Thomas Cook ~ Four Micro Essays

PLENTY

All night the shops on the 16th Street Promenade fill with neo­phyte prom­e­naders. The dogs curl up on the green sleep­ing bags of their own­ers, and I can’t find a pet store. My heart aches for the dogs while I go to buy King Crab. A thou­sand miles from every ocean, my mind is a wash.

One guest at the din­ner I know, hard­ly, and the oth­er is from a town in New Jersey. I ascent to his ori­gin, –more

DS Levy ~ Talisman

When we first got mar­ried, some­one gave us a plas­tic pink flamin­go as a joke. We plant­ed it in the front yard next to the bar­ber­ry bush­es. For a while, every time I pulled into the dri­ve-way I’d see it and laugh: Hahaha. Or at least my lips would curl into a smile. Later, I’d pull in and not even notice.

Teddy did all the mow­ing, and by the end of sum­mer he was com­plain­ing about how the flamin­go –more

Joseph Grantham ~ Pharmacy

Kurt Vonnegut was read­ing Journey to the End of the Night when he wrote Slaughterhouse-Five. I’m on the bed, watch­ing base­ball. I think I have throat can­cer. I shined a light on the back of my throat and there’s a yel­low bump back there and I don’t know what it could be. All of the blood ves­sels look inflamed. I’m not a doc­tor. I work at a phar­ma­cy but I’m a cashier. –more

Eric Pankey ~ Two Poems

LANDSCAPE AS ELEGY

Beneath the iron truss bridge,
Shadows over­lap and merge,
Ride the deep creek’s mov­ing sur­face.

Sioux quartzite spires rise
As pal­isades on either side
Somewhere in South Dakota

Forty-odd years ago.
My friend —I just learned he died
A few days back—

Is the first to jump.
Then two oth­er friends
I have not seen in twen­ty years.

They each take anoth­er turn
Before I get up –more

Please Note

For the summer months, beginning at midnight tonight (CST) we won’t accept submissions over 500 words. Manuscripts with a greater word count will be discarded. Why? We don’t know. Something. We anticipate further review of the magazine’s format and content in the months to come.  Many thanks for your patience and interest.

Eds.

Pui Ying Wong ~ Three Poems

SCULPTURE COURTYARD

The sun came out and dried
the grass. I sat under a tree,
eat­ing an apple. “Time to be healed”
the poet wrote. Stillness around me.
Language of met­al and clay,
mal­leable as mem­o­ry.
Cities were far.
Not much there I remem­bered.
September was only hint­ed at
by a few falling leaves.
Still, I didn’t know about silence.
–more