The Cost of Living in Hell by Susie Gharib

After years of living in Frostitowne,of surviving blizzards and unabating snowstorms,he resolved to renounce one of the ruling gods,and by incensing his anger,secure a lodging in the infernal underworld. His frozen marrow that imbibed the heat with gleeastounded Charon who had earlier ferried him.The cramped toes that looked like frosted clawsbegan to drip their molten wax.His chilblains dissolved in the boiling sulfur that poured on his … Continue reading The Cost of Living in Hell by Susie Gharib

The Thing About Sex by Dale Champlin

-after “Writing” by Charles Bukowski Wait until waiting hurts, wait some more,wait until it hurts like hell, until your ears ring and you can’t think,until you go blind in both eyes,until you want what you want more than anything.until you can’t think of anything elsebecause, yes, it is everything.All you can picture is his hand on your rumphis fingers in your mouth,his lip on your tongue,his face … Continue reading The Thing About Sex by Dale Champlin

Taxidermy by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

When I die I want to be stuffed stuffed and mounted on the wall like some poor old deer who got caught in the headlights  Not just the antlers mind you but the whole fucking catastrophe― glass eyes    mop of hair scars stretching beyond Wyoming Gutted by the skin of my teeth  like dead animals and birds I want to be filled with that special fake something―that makes me look like I’m alive―the stuff that dreams are … Continue reading Taxidermy by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

I Wear You Like a Chinchilla Coat by Dale Champlin

I carry you like a kangarootoss you like a paper cupsing you like a high note. Don’t get me wrong,I am the boomerang who will always come back to you,a recurring dream,the tune you whistlewhile you wash the dishes,the romanceyou can’t seem to shake. Even so,you shake me like a maracapluck me like a bouquet, fly me like a paper plane. The truth is,I was never yours … Continue reading I Wear You Like a Chinchilla Coat by Dale Champlin

Atlas, Bound by Victor Marrero

1 And here he too is caught. The mighty man, the Titan. A noble crushed, enslaved as well. But even emasculated he steals the show. His physique overburdenedbecomes a hunchback. Muscularity overwrought, grown weary by force, with age. He crouches. He arcs. His head half-formed recedes. Locked inside a hunk of uncut rock, he craves more space, as if gasping for air,as if being devoured by a mass of stone his … Continue reading Atlas, Bound by Victor Marrero

On Reaching Old Age by Colin Ian Jeffery

Time is fleeting in its passingAnd does jolt the memoryRecalling images of long agoWhen life seemed to stretch far awaySafe from Death’s stalking shadow. As a child I thought as a childSeeing only bright summer daysWith friendships I thought to last foreverAnd parents who could never dieOld age a distant foreign land. Now walking the land of the elderlyOld bones and old man troublesWondering how … Continue reading On Reaching Old Age by Colin Ian Jeffery

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

Demolition Man Imagined the Censored, Sexless Future As Much As Nineteen-Eighty Four

Although George Orwell’s most indelible novel (for the average person), Nineteen Eighty-Four, is held up as the ultimate masterwork on how repressing people to the point of docile muteness will lead to nothing but, well, collective bovine stupidity, there exists another “tome,” if you will, on the matter. And it is Marco Brambilla’s 1993 movie, Demolition Man. Released the same year as Last Action Hero, it was theoretically … Continue reading Demolition Man Imagined the Censored, Sexless Future As Much As Nineteen-Eighty Four

If It Took Us Down Then, What About Now? by Donna Dallas

On the days when my only friend came to visit her mom her mom would clean herself upthey’d sit tight knotted table in betweenand chain smoke Later after her mother left the table to shoot upmy friend would ring my bellwe’d head to the train trestle and sitwith legs dangled over the bridgesmoke all the cigs she clipped from her momwe threw rocks at the topof the freight trainas … Continue reading If It Took Us Down Then, What About Now? by Donna Dallas

Maybe The Only “Good” Thing About The Attack on Rushdie Is That It Proves Literature Still Has Power… Or Not, Since It Only Does If You “Speak Ill” of a Very Particular Subject

Salman Rushdie’s August 12th stabbing in “idyllic” Chautauqua, New York brought up many emotions for those with enthusiasm for literature (and even those without it). Or, more accurately, the freedom of speech element it champions. On the one hand, there is something “encouraging” about the fact that the power of someone’s words in novel form could hold such weight. On the other, that it took … Continue reading Maybe The Only “Good” Thing About The Attack on Rushdie Is That It Proves Literature Still Has Power… Or Not, Since It Only Does If You “Speak Ill” of a Very Particular Subject