Lily Wang ~ Fields


Eddie sat down first. He had his legs straight out and his elbows down. He low­ered the rest of his body and felt the mois­ture from the grass through the back of his shirt. A box of cig­a­rettes was passed around. I didn’t take one. Voices approached and we couldn’t tell who it was until they reached the atmos­phere of light our col­lect­ed phone screens pro­duced. We opened our cir­cle for the new­com­ers –more

Billy Petersen ~ Sparks

A young father returns from the yard. He has plant­ed two new pep­per bush­es, to replace the ones wast­ed by flood­wa­ters. His spade unearthed a bone, a dirty thing that resem­bled a knuck­le. With his liv­ing bones, he han­dles the tiny exhuma­tion, inspects it, won­ders briefly about it, throws it in the trash. He mus­es, pri­vate­ly, about his own jawbone—where will it be after he can no longer say, this –more

Laurie Kaiser ~ Tulips

I yearn for a scrap of good news
Like the city longs for tulips
To final­ly raise their mag­nif­i­cent faces to the sun,
Shining and twirling like beau­ty queens

With blind­ing, con­ceit­ed smiles.
They know how much we need them.
They can see the detri­tus clut­ter­ing
Our city side­walks and our lives.

They know March teas­es us
With its cru­el, whip­ping winds
While we eager­ly wait for tulips to bloom.

Gerald Fleming ~ Five Prose Poems

The Bastard and the Bishop

Most of the city is underground—that’s how cold it is here, great gal­leries, com­plex, rein­forced earth­en walls, apart­ments tiered four lev­els down, some­times five—the under­ground riv­er bisect­ing the city, lit blue or yel­low or green to denote neigh­bor­hoods, help drunk­en pas­sen­gers fer­ry­ing the riv­er find their way home. The build­ings that do rise from the sur­face –more

Lucinda Kempe ~ Happy at Last

We shared DNA on a veg­etable pork roll in the Metropolitan muse­um café. I washed it down with two Prelief. He inquired what was up with the pills. I didn’t both­er to explain; he doesn’t have empa­thy for the sick. I’d seen a vio­let bump toe in a dis­play case of mum­mies. It seemed odd and hap­pen­stance. I imag­ined fan­ci­ful stories—perhaps the curate had for­got­ten it in his rush. Perhaps he –more

Glen Pourciau ~ Sofa

Tired from shop­ping at the mall, my purse get­ting heavy, I took a rest on a new sofa near the up esca­la­tor.  A woman engaged with her smart­phone sat at the oth­er end, speak­ing loud enough that I couldn’t ignore her side of the con­ver­sa­tion.  She and her hus­band had been tak­en to din­ner by a man who’d spent the evening ask­ing about them but say­ing lit­tle about him­self.  They had “an inkling” –more

Susan Nordmark ~ Two Flash Fictions

Half Whole

His first Volkswagen was very beachy, its paint job fad­ed blue almost to white, the inte­ri­or stripped to bones. We had sex in the mid­dle of the night in the fal­low lot between ranch hous­es. I was always under­neath on the weedy ground. I dat­ed a physi­cist who smoked mar­i­jua­na to trudge through weeks of pro­gram­ming about sub­atom­ic par­ti­cles. There is no alter­na­tive med­i­cine. There are only –more

Peter Johnson ~ Pretty Girl

So you ask, “How could any­one so drop-dead gor­geous be afraid of mir­rors?”

I was like, I’m only sev­en­teen and my face is a mine­field of pim­ples (well, maybe only one big one) and my cheeks are this sucky red, almost like a rash. All I could think of was this girl named Rose, who all the boys called “Rosacea,” and who Alex Youngblood said had lip her­pes from going down on guys.

I was telling –more

Eric Bosse ~ Statuary

On the way home from the phar­ma­cy, we dri­ve through the shad­ow of the leg­endary col­lege foot­ball sta­di­um. Our son twists in his car seat for a bet­ter view of the mas­sive bronze stat­ues of players—glorious, mus­cu­lar, hel­met­less young men, run­ning or throw­ing. It’s just past five in the evening, late November, a few days after a big home loss, anoth­er season’s cham­pi­onship hopes dashed.

How –more

Cathryn Hankla ~ Misdirection

      after Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Conjurer”

Useless glass­es perched on his nose,
The thief gazes sky­ward in false sup­pli­ca­tion
As he grabs the dan­gling purse.

The globe win­dow above
His head seems to tilt in a sea­son­al nod
To what’s at stake in this enter­tain­ing scene,

Which is a win­dow into being.
Distracted by the trick,
By the magician’s sleight of hand and all trin­kets

Of this mag­ic –more

Justin Herrmann ~ Medical Condition – McMurdo Station, Antarctica

She watch­es him remove her clothes from hooks, fold them into a suit­case. The tapi­o­ca he brought from the gal­ley, same beige as the plas­tic bowl, same as the paint on the dorm walls, still untouched on the sill of the win­dow she now looks out. Below, pow­dery snow sweeps over vol­canic grit, over tri-wall bins full of food waste, alu­minum cans, glass, things brought then removed from this con­ti­nent.

He –more

Ron Burch ~ The Flies

The flies have invad­ed our coun­try. They move, through the sky, as a mob, bunched togeth­er like plump dark grapes, black buzzing clouds so large they block the sun. Some mass­es are bal­loon size, but more often larg­er, the size of build­ings. They gath­er on win­dows, obscur­ing the day­light, the out­side. Their buzzing’s so loud, pro­longed expo­sure pro­vokes headaches and, for the unfor­tu­nate ones, –more

Tim Suermondt ~ Four Poems


Writing a poem in the bath­room
of an excep­tion­al­ly small Paris apart­ment,
so as not to wake my wife who’s sleep­ing
well enough for us both.

A poem of no gen­er­al or par­tic­u­lar
significance—which means it has a great chance
of being a poem of gen­er­al and par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance.

About a man who’s look­ing for his pants
and a woman dressed as a clown faint­ing –more

Gillian Walker ~ Community

Pete and Marg next door called emer­gency ser­vices because the bot­tom of their gar­den has fall­en into the arroyo. “It’s all this heavy rain,” they say, over and over.

The lights and sirens arrive as I fin­ish in the bath­room. I’ve passed the embryo, cleaned away the blood, secured dou­ble night time san­i­tary pads and put on clean clothes.

I’m all shored up.

From my sec­ond floor stu­dio, I see –more