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The Opiate Books Presents: The PornME Trinity, 2nd Edition

Perhaps too unbelievable to fathom at the beginning of 2020, The PornME Trinity by David Leo Rice has taken on an entirely new meaning and resonance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. An (ongoing) era, as we all know, when everyone was forced to acknowledge just how bleak and ersatz their existence really was when confined to four walls (whether at work or at … Continue reading The Opiate Books Presents: The PornME Trinity, 2nd Edition

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The Opiate Books presents Brontosaurus Illustrated

Regular readers of The Opiate may recognize Leanne Grabel’s work from the pages of our magazine, where we previously serialized Brontosaurus. Now available as Brontosaurus Illustrated, this is the work as you’ve never seen it–gorgeously illustrated and beautifully designed with the help of Robin Chilstrom. Don’t miss out on this truly unique and unprecedented memoir that turns a lasting trauma into something triumphant and hopeful. … Continue reading The Opiate Books presents Brontosaurus Illustrated

Better Off Friends by Rich McFarlin

Verse:A fairy-tale romanceStars in our eyesLives all entangledHearts all entwined We knew that our loveWas destined to beMy heart for youAnd your heart for me But life has a wayOf bursting balloonsReal life is realAnd not some cartoon Chorus:The long road you travelOften comes to an endAnd lovers they findsometimesThat they’re just better off friends Verse:Packing up boxesFilled with regretsTryin’ to find outIf there’s hope … Continue reading Better Off Friends by Rich McFarlin

Adam and Eve by David Sheskin

A thirty-six-year-old, seven-foot-two-inch magician named Adam pulls an angry, obese, buck-toothed, black-and-white spotted, one-eyed rabbit out of a gray velour hat at a birthday party for a five-year-old child attended by fourteen children. Before Adam can restrain the rabbit, it attacks and maims three of the children. The next day, two police officers arrest Adam, who is assigned a court-appointed lawyer that has him evaluated … Continue reading Adam and Eve by David Sheskin

Those Damn Singing Competitions by Kate Maxwell

She had no idea she could move that fast. She wasn’t exactly unfit, but she wasn’t exactly sporty either. Maybe third place in a running race at school once, and somewhat adept in a couple of half-hearted volleyball games, but nobody would ever describe her as athletic. Ro, on the other hand, had always been sprint champion and, even now, was still blitzing it in … Continue reading Those Damn Singing Competitions by Kate Maxwell

There’s Being A Literary Snob And There’s Being A Cunt (Or Rather, A Scrotum)

It’s accurate to say that we don’t live in the most literate of times (no, #BookTok doesn’t count). Any expectation on someone to know what can reasonably be viewed as an “esoteric” reference outside of 2004, when Reese Witherspoon starred in the Mira Nair-directed adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, isn’t exactly realistic. But to a quintessential British/literary snob like Hugh Grant, it ostensibly … Continue reading There’s Being A Literary Snob And There’s Being A Cunt (Or Rather, A Scrotum)

The Striped Marlin We Set Free by Cynthia Good

Looking for dorados in the gulf we trolled fastFrom harbor toward Chileno Bay, and landedA baby striped marlin under fifty pounds,Her satin skin a negligee of streaming indigo,Yellow and green, her elegant bill, sharpAs a sword but useless in the struggle. SheFlailed hard, drumming the hallowed fiberglass,Heaving her slim self into a corner, torso arching,Hammering with all she had. Imagine her surpriseAs ocean flooded her … Continue reading The Striped Marlin We Set Free by Cynthia Good

It’s the Principle by Kate Maxwell

The cycle had begun and there was no stopping it now. Bruce was still leaning into the fridge and complaining when I came back from the photocopier. Apparently, there’d been three Sicilian pizza pieces leftover from yesterday’s lunch meeting which Bruce had wrapped in paper towels and stored in the fridge. And apparently, everyone knew he intended to eat them for lunch today as nobody … Continue reading It’s the Principle by Kate Maxwell

Briefly Rapturous by Dale Champlin

I admit I love beauty—is there anything more splendidthan an open casket? See how the corpse is laid out in finery—all pink satin and serenity. Noticethe carefully applied makeup, ladylike— unlike anything that went before.The departed soul might flit—moth-delicate in candlelight. Bouquets burgeon down either sideof the aisle—trumpet-shaped vasesgleam lustered, golden and glossy at the end of each pew—a dusting of roses, lilies and baby’s-breaththe … Continue reading Briefly Rapturous by Dale Champlin

From Blacksmith to East Palestine: Don DeLillo Isn’t A Prophet, Just a Realist

Like something out of the film adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, it seems that Don DeLillo’s White Noise has the power to make the plot points on the page come to life in 2023. More specifically, that plot point about the train derailment near Blacksmith. A fictional town in (you guessed it) Ohio, where White Noise’s protagonist, Jack Gladney, works as … Continue reading From Blacksmith to East Palestine: Don DeLillo Isn’t A Prophet, Just a Realist