The End by Dale Champlin

When our affair endedthe bed, the linens, the pillows witheredtaking our shrill moans with them.Even the dust on the carpet was still, so quietand threadbare—gray where vibrant plush used to be.I hated to see the wreckageand I hated to see the termination of our lust.I hated to see us go.  At the beginningthe weather was good, I remember.We watched spring birds sing their hearts outcarnal … Continue reading The End by Dale Champlin

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The Opiate Books Presents: I Love Paris by Rufo Quintavalle

A city of romance, a city of trash, a city of tourists, a city perpetually burning. For those who can see and hear the poetry in Paris, no matter what state it’s in, Rufo Quintavalle’s incisive collection, which addresses subjects and towns well beyond la France, is the perfect élixir for enfants terribles and modèles de vertu alike. Enjoy un petit goût of the book via Quintavalle’s Bandcamp here. Available September 30th. Continue reading The Opiate Books Presents: I Love Paris by Rufo Quintavalle

Midnight Specials by David Estringel

Against an old Chevrolet on Maudlin Street, I smoke a cigarette—hard—chuckling at the hisses and howls of alley cats beneath the butcher shop’s broken neon sign. They flick their tails and prowl about, pestering fellas headed home to cold wives and cold dinners, straight from the misery of their long evening shifts. Persistent, with purrs and claws—smooth as cream—they graze oily pant legs (and thighs) … Continue reading Midnight Specials by David Estringel

Sitting Shiva by David Estringel

Love (this love) has left the room feet first— a procession of embers and ash. Illusions. Delusions. Damnable oxygen thief! So goes the stuff of paper hearts and fiery tongues, of promises—hollow—  past oily lips and teeth that bite,sworn, born to outlive names etchedon gravestones.  Won’t you kill me, softly, with one last kiss? Blitheful consciousness. Walking sleep. Ignorant bliss. Then call the shomer down the street. He really knows his Job. Rip the collar, drape the mirror, pawn the wedding silver. Take your soul home, rockin’ its funerary black, and the stone I gave … Continue reading Sitting Shiva by David Estringel

The Literary Inspiration Behind Olivia Rodrigo’s “All-American Bitch”

With the release of Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album, Guts, there’s been a palpable shift in her lyrical style to that of the, let’s call it, “Lana Del Rey variety.” Not just because titles like “all-american bitch,” “the grudge” and “girl i’ve always been” smack of the Del Rey brand, but because she’s taken a more literary route on the first track mentioned (which also happens … Continue reading The Literary Inspiration Behind Olivia Rodrigo’s “All-American Bitch”

News at Ten by Charlie Robert

Free Guns.Amen.Free Will.No Go.Road Kill.Road Show.Play Fast.And Loose.Get Cooked.By Your Goose.Get Goosed.By The Cook.Sucker Punch.Captain Hook.There Are Gods.In The Sky.Captain Crunch.Captain Bligh.GI Joe.Barbie Too.Hardy Boys.Nancy Drew.There Are Guns.On The Street.There Are Guns.Made Of Meat.There Are Guns.Painted Red.There Are Guns.In Your Head.There Are Gods.Posting Likes.Fully Clawed.Out Of Sight.Firing Squad.Do It Right.Please Applaud.Say Goodnight.There Is Love.In The Air.There Is Love.Underwear.There Is Lust.Angel Dust.Take Your Time.Earn Their Trust.News … Continue reading News at Ten by Charlie Robert

Drinks, Maybe Dinner by Paul Lewellan

Last week Stephanie showed me the picture: young woman in a yellow sundress, dazzling smile full of teeth and expectation, small child in her arms. “That’s Mother with me.” “Decades ago…” “She hasn’t aged, Frank,” my girlfriend said dismissively. So when my administrative assistant told me Margaret Folsom Clark was in the showroom, I hurried out to meet her. Of course, I recognized her instantly. … Continue reading Drinks, Maybe Dinner by Paul Lewellan

A Globe by Dale Cottingham

My story seemed as fulsome as real time could make it.I saw storm fronts arrive bringing wind shifts on the flats.I heard rustling in dark corners that I tried to enlighten, enliven.There were conversations that I couldn’t forget, and nowthey’ve grown gargantuan, I listened, I heard.And the voice of Miley Cyrus wafted through the hall: was it a moan?Why did her loss of love matter … Continue reading A Globe by Dale Cottingham