Romantic Dinner by Chris Burke

I cleaned your cat’s puke again today,the beige chunks fused into our matwhile she gobbled down the rest. Remember when that made me  retch? To eat one’s molten sick.The way her body pumped it outlike the devil’s song, all heave and ho from gut to throat to floor. One time, my shoe. A fur machinefor summoning Beelzebub. Better out than in? “Better in than out.” For you, it was … Continue reading Romantic Dinner by Chris Burke

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (Nor Should She Be): You’ll Think Twice About Your Write-Off of Old Women After Reading Helene Tursten’s Tale of Intrigue

Preconceived notions are, of course, the unfortunate backbone that makes this world go hastily ‘round. It’s what saves us all time and effort when it comes to actually scratching beneath the surface of things. While a bittersweet reality of life, stereotyping is a lazy human phenomenon that works to eighty-something Maud’s advantage. For she is the eponymous “elderly lady” in Helene Tursten’s An Elderly Lady … Continue reading An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (Nor Should She Be): You’ll Think Twice About Your Write-Off of Old Women After Reading Helene Tursten’s Tale of Intrigue

Choke Talk by Mary Shanley

Frankie smokes on the flyoutside the Duane Reade store,where she works as a cashier.Every break and lunch hour,Frankie pulls on a Camelnon-filter; her head lowered,as if shame accompaniedevery inhale. I tried to figure Frankie’s age.with her slight black figureand defeat etched into the lines on her face, Frankie looks older than language. When I stop for a quick, “Hello,”Frankie attempts to speak. Shebarely has enough oxygen to … Continue reading Choke Talk by Mary Shanley

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery/Cimetière Américain, Belleau, France by Michael Catherwood

For P.J. Catherwood, MIA, July 21, 1918 A universe sinks into the hills,a vacuum of sunlight spreads like hair.Words form in mouths and suspendin mist. Trees shiver beyond the stonewalls where empty worlds are loud as thunder.            What years these,a decade ending with a paper savior ablaze? The sky’s flak crawls like clouds across the countryside.A rain falls and dry earth swallows the dimples left there. Continue reading Aisne-Marne American Cemetery/Cimetière Américain, Belleau, France by Michael Catherwood

The Salami Asylum by Rufo Quintavalle

In the salami asylum it’s electrodes a go-go and Château d’Yquem; it’s Thorazine spritzers, Betelgeuse, and a cardboard kidney dish of phlegm. In the salami asylumthere’s a stick thinAustrian nurse who spends her time reminding you that things can always get worse. She takes away your powerand keeps it safewith your will at the top of a crystalline toweron a five-and-a-halfinch window sill. In the salami asylumthe inmates are alldoing life; there’s a donor who’s friendswith … Continue reading The Salami Asylum by Rufo Quintavalle

On falling in love with right-wing Latinx butterflies by Francisco Orozco

Lisbon, Portugal They say that the most beautiful women in the world are from Venezuela, from Latin America; according to Miss Universe. Throughout my life, I came to the realization that Mexicans are not seen as beautiful, since I am a Mexican. Mexicans did not do the thing that beautiful people (white middle class people) do.  By the way, what makes a woman beautiful?  The … Continue reading On falling in love with right-wing Latinx butterflies by Francisco Orozco

The English Make A Hard Job Of Being Happy by Nick Ingram

The English make a hard job of being happy, a lot of the time it just seems it’s too much hard work – they find it easier to be mawkish and miserable. Regardless of the pain we still have the necessity to celebrate this messy thing we call  life: this is the essence of living. I have this sense of having pushed this abstract experiment … Continue reading The English Make A Hard Job Of Being Happy by Nick Ingram