The Classmate Who Tells Me Things by Priscilla Atkins 

On an island far away, I study for a semester with a white-haired woman who wears black polish, slender (black) clothes over a skeletal frame and, in the one extant photograph, sunglasses. “Witch,” a classmate whispers. Yes. The visiting prof is old enough for a few hairs on her chinny-chin-chins…and why is she here for the year except for the money (necessity—not greed)? She is … Continue reading The Classmate Who Tells Me Things by Priscilla Atkins 

Axis of Distraction by Max Talley

Macy goes through her scribbled “to-do” lists, adding forgotten or neglected items from previous ones onto the current master list. Then she reviews things she texted to herself and writes those down too. Beyond belief. How can she ever complete it? And new tasks are always incoming. Separately, she has a running internal monologue of reminders playing on a loop: Do the laundry, pick up … Continue reading Axis of Distraction by Max Talley

Sticky post

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

Queen Jane by Nik Ruckert

She pulled the hem of her short nightgown down as far as it would allow, fingered a Queen Jane cigarette out of the pack, and lit it right off the gas stove. As the cigarette hung out of her mouth, she lowered the flame under her oatmeal with one hand and ran the thumb of her other across the raised crown logo on the front of the crush-proof cigarette box before … Continue reading Queen Jane by Nik Ruckert

New York Is A Town of Ghosts (You’ve Fucked): Cult Classic

It’s no secret that staying at the fair that is New York for too long (to paraphrase Joan D.) will lead to irreparable damage. Usually of the emotional variety—though you might also need a liver transplant after all the drinking expected of you as well. Sloane Crosley is here to crystallize that fact in literary form with her sophomore novel, Cult Classic. In contrast to her … Continue reading New York Is A Town of Ghosts (You’ve Fucked): Cult Classic

Sticky post

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

Being There by Billie Pritchett

Una played this game where she circled around the professor’s chair, over and over, hoping he would look at her and, if not her, then the shadow of her naked body swirling against the maroon walls in the lamplight of her rented home. He read Sein und Zeit, the black jacketless hardcover gripped tightly in his hands. She leaned in and lifted his thumb from the … Continue reading Being There by Billie Pritchett

Streams of Consciousness by Susie Gharib

I teach Virginia Woolf to fourth-year students in the English Department at the University of Ethics in the middle part of the globe. I have a lot of fun explaining her technique to a hundred eager students by always beginning with my own stream of consciousness which is triggered by the word Glasgow. A string of images flows beginning with the swans at Knightswood Park … Continue reading Streams of Consciousness by Susie Gharib