• 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

  • An Early Manifestation

  • 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

  • Andrew Nicholls ~ Our Committee

    The Committee meets at the usu­al time, five min­utes past the hour, giv­ing every­one a moment for machine-made cof­fee and a cig­a­rette if they want it while the appli­cants wait in a large room with eight chairs (more than need­ed!) and some art out­side our offices.   They have the same cof­fee we have and some­times bis­cuits.

    Today’s first sto­ry under appeal was print­ed fif­teen years ago but the writer –more

  • Pam Uschuk ~ Poems


    Between hoodoos and the ghosts of whoop­ing cranes,
    day dies too soon. Secure in hogans, Dineh sing
    against the sor­row of light’s van­ish­ing.

    The white wolf flops under a rab­bit bush, moans
    at the king­bird fly­ing low to catch gnats and blow flies.
    Long shad­ows take us in their hol­low mouths.

    We lis­ten to sky’s intel­li­gence, wait for the shift

  • Nathan Dragon ~ What to Leave Behind

    Sun came in through one half of a win­dow—the oth­er half was cov­ered by a wardrobe that he used as a pantry.

           Light through the uncov­ered half like a two by four.

           The wardrobe–he wasn’t able to get it upstairs and the wardrobe had turned out to be func­tion­al for him any­way. He’d told peo­ple this, the cou­ple –more

  • Stephen Delaney ~ How to Tell a Word

    When the old­er boys lob it, jeer it in the hall­way between classes—voices that say “I’m jok­ing” … “We get it” … “I’m untouch­able” …

    When you type it and your dumb old Mac responds: a red under­score.

    When, on the soc­cer field, Chad’s not using it when Scott’s talk­ing back, he’s spout­ing oth­er words, flaunt­ing an impres­sive store, his face pink, his shirt soaked, until –more

  • Andy Plattner ~ Selection

    Julia needs a few things. It’s a Sunday morn­ing and she’s been up for a few hours. Sugar, baguette, Chapstick. Her hus­band Bobby, who is clos­er to her father’s age than her own, sits in the liv­ing room, watch­ing polit­i­cal talk shows. He’s already said to the TV, “This guy’s nev­er told the truth in his whole life.” Then, “Oh, my god, I knew this was going to hap­pen.” They’ve been –more

  • Fiona Foster ~ Most Don’t, Then Some Do

    The source of the accu­sa­tion was a stu­dent who claimed the man had stolen her ideas for his last, most suc­cess­ful nov­el, stole them right out of her com­put­er, hack­ing in, she said, even after she bought a new com­put­er, care­ful­ly pro­tect­ed it, did not con­nect it to the inter­net, changed her name. Still he bore in and stole, wip­ing her words, leav­ing oth­ers in their place, vio­lent images, cod­ed threats –more

  • Chelsea Voulgares ~ Hotbox

    The tough girls stand in the bath­room, apply­ing Lee press-on nails. Simone’s their leader, and she leans against the grey cin­der block and hot­box­es a slim men­thol cig­a­rette. Her bangs fan up toward the ceil­ing, stiff and shin­ing with extra-hold hair­spray. They are epic. I shrink into my stall and hide behind the scent of glue and smoke and the iron of the trash bin where we throw our used pads. –more