2022 by Susie Gharib

In twenty twenty-two,there is no need for Big Brother, telescreens or torture tools.You are under your own surveillance and extremely scared of what people might think of you.Self-censored, there is no need for the Thought Police,since you have been transformed into a puppet whose conduct is condoned by all.This becomes your self-proof. In twenty twenty-two,the wars that George Orwell exposed becomes a reality more tangible than before.Everything is … Continue reading 2022 by Susie Gharib

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) by Ron Kolm

When I was working the cash registerin Eastside Bookstore on St. Mark’s Place in the mid-70s one of my favorite books to readbetween sales was Andy Warhol’s The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to B and Back Again).He was from Pennsylvania, and I was too, so I liked him for that.When he got shot in the FactoryI was totally shocked. I couldn’t believethat anyone would try to hurt him.Anyway, … Continue reading The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) by Ron Kolm

I Was Dealt a Sinister Hand by Dale Champlin

It’s a well-kept secret— put a bag over my headand I’m stunning—pleasedisregard the occasionalrattle and hiss. My body—how enticing—my limbslong and supple,my fingers ambi& dextrous,my ankles pliant & resilient. From the neck downI look good enough to eat—honeyed skin, choke cherry nipples,apricot breasts. Over a meadow my gait might glidebouncy and bubblyin pine-scented air. With the paper sack over my headI come across happy—yet—light a matchhow I … Continue reading I Was Dealt a Sinister Hand by Dale Champlin

Lipstick by Diana Raab

I spun my red convertible sports caron your dead-end streetto return to my house to get my red lipstick,because without it, I feel naked, but am I? While rummaging through my vanity drawer,my face caught the mirror:a different me—wrinkled face and lineswhere my rosy lips used to be. This pattern continuesfor the rest of my life—the imagining of me as someone else—sometimes my mirrorshows my duplicate: … Continue reading Lipstick by Diana Raab

The Visit, Summer Sonnet—‘95 by Vicki Whicker

“Can’t you write something your grandmother could read?”  Mother West Coast, a home—a stately Cape Cod house. BABY—what, exactly am I missing? Eros.Face it.Love. Confess IT.  The spouse!His flaws? Corporate climbing.Yours? Kissingrubescent lips…(Psilocybin soaked sex?) East Coast met That Boho—yes?No love lost. Think of BABY, first. And the Windex?Yes.Just confess. The Tarzan Lover. The cost. Baby sleeps. Tarzan melts your sheets? What if! The Jones. Relapse. Fix. Nothing finer—he’s firm, Golden, a warrior?A gift. … Continue reading The Visit, Summer Sonnet—‘95 by Vicki Whicker

Diary Entry, May 10, 2020 by Joan Mazza

Day 56 in quarantine, no touch or hugsor handshakes with the friends whobring me produce and take away trash. Brief conversations through the screeningon the porch as they stand at their car.Is ten feet sufficient distance in a breeze? We’re all in this together separately,reading, relying on the internet for newsand entertainment, facsimile of connection. Some of us are more alone. No humansto share a … Continue reading Diary Entry, May 10, 2020 by Joan Mazza

Is It the End or the Beginning of California Literature Now?

East Coastians would likely balk at the term “California literature” as being an oxymoron. And yet, that’s precisely what Joan Didion carved out for herself as a genre. Yes, there were others who had written about California before her—John Steinbeck and Nathanael West come to mind (even Raymond Chandler, for the less hoity-toity)—and all just as negatively through the guise of “poetic darkness.” But none … Continue reading Is It the End or the Beginning of California Literature Now?

“Is That the Blue You’re Using?”: Eve Babitz and the Undermining of the “Didion Approach” to California

There aren’t many authors left whose long-awaited work you can continue to yearn for while they promise that “maybe” “one day” it will come. All of these types of writers hailed from the twentieth century (including J. D. Salinger, half-taunting his readers with the prospect of releasing his next Glass family saga every so often before finally kicking the bucket). Whereas a writer trying to … Continue reading “Is That the Blue You’re Using?”: Eve Babitz and the Undermining of the “Didion Approach” to California

Dollars by Donna Dallas

I want to stop thinking about $plagues me like it’s a deathan endshrouds any sense I could have had Bills gotta get paidI try to conjure up a geniefrom this lanternrub away at thesmooth brass carvingsthey meant somethingin another life perhapsnot this onenot this dayas I weepimpoverished Rub my fingers togetherfeel a grainy scrapeno dollars appearlook to the cloudsbloated and grayif I had a nickel … Continue reading Dollars by Donna Dallas