Excerpt No. 5 – Annie Wood

Just a Girl in the Whirl
by Annie Wood
Lauren is counting down the days until her eighteenth birthday. For the last two years, she has been thrust into the role of primary caregiver to her two younger sisters and her mother after the sudden departure of her father. Addressing everyone else’s needs before her own, the real Lauren is relegated to dreams and middle-of-the-night writing sessions in the privacy of her bathtub. When her father makes an unexpected return into their lives, Lauren’s carefully kept façade begins to unravel, and she must re-establish her precarious balance in order to keep herself afloat. Continue reading Excerpt No. 5 – Annie Wood

telephone booth beside brown wall during nighttime

Stories No. 90 – Feng Gooi

A stranger called and I picked up my phone.

“Hello, how are you doing today?” said the voice from the other end. The voice belonged to a woman, an older woman. It was deep and luxurious, a perfect balance of grace and authority. Just from that simple hello, I could hear the weight of experience, a lifetime of training in forming the perfect first impression. 

Continue reading Stories No. 90 – Feng Gooi

brown string instrument selective focus photography

Stories No. 89 – Jeanne Althouse

Lena was raised on violin lessons and minimal parental supervision. Maestro Ludwig, her first violin teacher, was spiritually her only family. After early morning lessons, before she went off to school, they liked to relax together on the cool sheets of his unmade bed in his private studio in the Hyatt Regency, her violin lying between them. They smelled plumeria and coconut-scented sunscreen lotion from Kaanapali Beach through the one open window. Continue reading Stories No. 89 – Jeanne Althouse

nature bird water animal

Flash No. 23 – Rich Ives

I cannot rehearse the pathways of smoke, but I spend my entire life on the journey, my one particular part, small, wingless, and flattened. You would not guess it when meeting me alone and my host can be nearly gone, emaciated. I place my eggs upon her hair. But there’s a second host and more further south. I could migrate and release my benefactor. I could trade in my habitat. But in this way deceptive birds might find me sailing. Continue reading Flash No. 23 – Rich Ives

photo of multicolored lamp decor

Stories No. 88 – Elinol López

They offered me a job at the clinic near my house, and I took It because I had to keep up with rent while mami visited home country to nurse her mama for three months. I did not mind that It was a graveyard shift since the place was just a few bus stops away. My task was to receive packages and log their arrival in a binder. The delivery men wore khaki overalls and never spoke. As of now, those are the facts I can recall.              Continue reading Stories No. 88 – Elinol López

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Flash No. 22 – Richard Krause

Penn State University would periodically send down these studies on dairy cows. The farmers would have to implement them whether they liked it or not, but it was always the cause of ridicule, of mockery, that the scientists at Penn State hadn’t gotten close to the udders of a single cow, had never been kicked by one, never saw the mastitis their directives were meant to clear up,… Continue reading Flash No. 22 – Richard Krause

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Flash No. 15 – Peter Gregg Slater

A Tale of Two Maps By Peter Gregg Slater Knowing how I love maps, the owner of a bookstore in Washington, D.C. brought out two for me to look over during a 2019 visit. The first, a world map from 1578, displayed the surrealistic continents and islands characteristic of the period’s cartography. Tiny ships bravely sailed its seas, a few ominously heading towards waters marked: … Continue reading Flash No. 15 – Peter Gregg Slater

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Flash No. 13 – Peter F. Crowley

Fomorians By Peter F. Crowley   You’re a piss reminder of an everlasting hotel. She spoke in a fiery tone. The man waddled side-to-side and began patting a penguin. He glanced to a chalkboard behind the penguin, where were written the words: We’ve broken glass, crushed marigold eyes, dethroned coughing cathedrals, driven Zambonis over subterranean rinks, planted flowers that scratch out esophagi – and now … Continue reading Flash No. 13 – Peter F. Crowley

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Flash No. 12 – Gary Singh

Reunited in the Fourth House By Gary Singh   After leaving the BART station, I visit my Berkeley astrologer at her spooky wooden house near Rose and Milvia, where paint-peeled steps take me to a porch milieu of hanging plants, ancient wicker sectionals, and apathetic cats. Soon enough, the door opens, revealing those same clear eyes of a clairvoyant nature I remember from morning Tarot … Continue reading Flash No. 12 – Gary Singh

Naked: A New Poetry Collection by Abiodun Oyewole – Book Review No. 10

Naked: A New Poetry Collection Book Review by Gessy Alvarez Naked: A New Poetry Collection By Abiodun Oyewole with an introduction by Lyah Beth Leflore 2Leaf Press, November 2020 Distributed by University of Chicago Press 180 pages; $16.99 Abiodun Oyewole’s Naked: A New Poetry Collection is imbibed with wonderfully unadorned free-form poetics that transfigure the natural world with boundless and mystical cadence. Oyewole – poet, … Continue reading Naked: A New Poetry Collection by Abiodun Oyewole – Book Review No. 10

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Flash No. 11 – Benjamin Davis

Slow Motion Man By Benjamin Davis   His name was Eam. Reality shot him in slow motion. He worked in Spain, Salamanca, a bar called ‘El Submarino,’ the second bar, up the stairs. When he snapped open a beer, it took a minute. When he mixed a drink, it took ten. But, people waited, people watched. I waited. I watched. His eyes found me; eyes … Continue reading Flash No. 11 – Benjamin Davis

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Flash No. 10 – Soramimi Hanarejima

Toward Non-Volatile Memory By Soramimi Hanarejima   Once again, you take us on “a short detour to see a memory”—meaning we’re going to visit some event in your past. So, I take a nap. To give you some privacy and get some respite from the strain time travel subjects the body to. I recline the time machine’s co-pilot seat (really more of a glorified passenger … Continue reading Flash No. 10 – Soramimi Hanarejima

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Flash No. 9 – Catherine Martinez Torigian

Drag Racing By Catherine Martinez Torigian   The last time I heard that sound I was a girl of fifteen, give or take a year. But it was only this morning that I realized it what it was, like a flash of heat lightning on a summer’s day, baffling until the thunder came. A man and woman from the new building on the corner walked … Continue reading Flash No. 9 – Catherine Martinez Torigian

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Flash No. 8 – Ben Umayam

Kapre Down Under By Ben Umayam Aspen trees proliferate primarily through root sprouts. Whole colonies can be traced to one gargantuan underground sprout. The colonies can extend from the Colorado Rockies to the Canadian ones. Aspen trees are like clones. They share identical characteristics from the single root structure. When they die, it’s almost like they don’t, another tree sprouts from the massive underground formation. … Continue reading Flash No. 8 – Ben Umayam

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Flash No. 7 – David Joseph

Morning Sun By David Joseph I remember the first time I saw “Morning Sun” by Edward Hopper. I was on a school trip from our high school in Cleveland. It was only a two hour drive down to the Columbus Museum of Art and, truth be told, I was more interested in spending the afternoon making out with my boyfriend than staring at art. Museums … Continue reading Flash No. 7 – David Joseph

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Flash No. 6 – John Nicholson

The Missing Years By John Nicholson The engine idles as a wounded soldier recovers on the ground, holding his abdomen. Another soldier leans against the car. The smoke from his cigarette vanishes into the snowy canopy. The wounded man chokes as he recounts what happened to him. I. A Roadway in the Woods “It was just the two of us. I couldn’t.” The standing soldier … Continue reading Flash No. 6 – John Nicholson

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Flash No. 5 – Lucía Orellana Damacela

Brief Encounter By Lucía Orellana Damacela It’s dark under the house, the smell of the sea —less than one mile downhill— expands my nostrils like desert flowers. From this underbelly, this rocky refuge, as I pass by, a sudden shimmer calls me in. I am wearing white cotton socks and plastic sandals that screech as I walk. Two small green-yellow lights are suspended in front … Continue reading Flash No. 5 – Lucía Orellana Damacela

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Flash No. 4 – Elizabeth Kirschner

The End Which Envelopes the End, a Bramble, a Rose By Elizabeth Kirschner Lonely, like a coffee mug on the shelf, I slow roll into the empty spot on the bed where we shed the best skin of our lives. We were a thing of beauty, weren’t we? A thing of beauty, us, this, before that man—not you!—shoved my face into the weeds. I can … Continue reading Flash No. 4 – Elizabeth Kirschner

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Flash No. 3 – Christine Kendall

A Gift By Christine Kendall Lourdes sat, thirsty, in her son’s old Mercedes sandwiched between delivery vans on East Seventy-Ninth Street. She studied the license plates of passing cars; all local—New York. “I’ll only be a minute, Mama.” That’s what he’d said before taking his tools and disappearing into one of the limestone apartment buildings. Lourdes smoothed her blouse at the neck and watched a … Continue reading Flash No. 3 – Christine Kendall

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Flash No. 2 – Ana Hein

Conversation By Ana Hein It is dark when they talk. “You don’t have to do th–” “–I know.” “Okay… Maybe some other–” “–It’s alright.” “But–” “–Trust me.” “I do, but–” “–Aren’t you happy?” “I am, b–” “–Then what’s the problem?” “I’m not really su–” “–I think you’re going to like this.” “You–” “–Come on, I know what I’m doing.” “That’s not–” “–It’s not a big … Continue reading Flash No. 2 – Ana Hein

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Flash No. 1 – Rachel Werner

Brown Girl Blues By Rachel Werner   “Yes. I cut myself.” “And NO, I am not white.” “But YES, my mother is.” These sentences I have said aloud. But the monologue I’ve pieced together for my own ears is: Everybody is a little bit crazy. So that’s WHY I am ‘crazy.’ Being alive is h-a-r-d; ‘though if I was walking around pretending like it wasn’t, … Continue reading Flash No. 1 – Rachel Werner

Poetry No. 60 – Kora Schultz

about a miscarriage, planned I want all your pieces bar the one you left here – again, I gulp a little death with oat milk, thick. dried parsley, vitamin c, & chamomile tea. Its mom’s grocery list. Its a junk drawer. what I’m trying to say is this is easy. what I’m mean is, I sleep through all the trauma. I dream of mulberries, Pooling. … Continue reading Poetry No. 60 – Kora Schultz

Poetry No. 59 – Marco Harnam Kaisth

Three Short Poems To Hilda All my sisters died young too, fiddleheads doublebent under dew. Marketwomen collapsed to red bean jelly, my mother a mooncake around.   The Atlantic I admire you for drowning the kids you drown for baring their bloat never merely snagging fat waterlimbs in your multitude plastics and corals.   Body Poem I love only men who move like marsh-birds over … Continue reading Poetry No. 59 – Marco Harnam Kaisth

Poetry No. 58 – Tiffany Pyette

Nvyohi (Bedrock: the fundamental principle on which something is based.) “There’s beautiful artwork up there.” I’m told. Entering the rotunda in my elk tooth printed top, I glanced at the paintings that stood larger than the walls of my small home. All praising colonization. For the briefest of seconds, I felt my heart harden. Not into the pristine white marble that surrounded me. Or the … Continue reading Poetry No. 58 – Tiffany Pyette

Poetry No. 57 – Robin Gow

Morning Makeup Routine: Ursula But they dote, and swoon, and fawn on a lady who’s withdrawn.   What do you think I do? No, I wake up like this. I sleep in my makeup. I breathe only through red lips. The eyeshadow is a color stolen from water, my own personal blue. Some women have routines and other women have lives. Some women are dainty … Continue reading Poetry No. 57 – Robin Gow

Poetry No. 56 – Lucía Orellana-Damacela

Resonances deadpan tone emerges an invasion organs silent no more     ask in decibels in blockages    dislocated rhythms carrier of a surplus measured in heartbeats sound assault to the carotids what you hear is what you get echo reflects and gathers in black and white waves find a way home    a calligraphic moon on a frequency asking for a sequel strings running through neck and body … Continue reading Poetry No. 56 – Lucía Orellana-Damacela

Poetry No. 55 – Haolun Xu

Line Segments, Counting i. The spaces defined & between them. Each calculation divides the other, running the gambit into place. ii. In another world, the pestilence reached us first. They looked like deathwatch beetles. This time, you could see them, & the way they grew, disgusted people. In another world, the organism grew longer, thinner. It fed differently & with more dexterity. This one was … Continue reading Poetry No. 55 – Haolun Xu

Poetry No. 54 – Brendan Walsh

breakfast i wake up starving and ever since you left i can do whatever i want with my morning so i make the largest breakfast anyone’s ever seen. i empty the fridge and crisp it on the stove in one gelatinous glop: condiments, months-old leftovers, chicken bones, half-cut onions and forgotten carrots, allofit sizzles and amalgamates. with the crack of seven free range, cage free, … Continue reading Poetry No. 54 – Brendan Walsh

Poetry No. 53 – Joseph Edwin Haeger

Resurrection I’ll never be able to imagine the level of shattered hope my Christian mother experienced when her son died Friday, and then died again on Easter Sunday   Joseph Edwin Haeger is the author of Learn to Swim (University of Hell Press, 2015). His writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Inlander, Drunk Monkeys, and X-R-A-Y Magazine. He occasionally tells people his … Continue reading Poetry No. 53 – Joseph Edwin Haeger

Poetry No. 52 – Tashiana Seebeck

Sing, Ladies I’ll tell you of a song on Apollo’s nightstand about the gutters of Paris and themes of magnolia vines, emptiness, statistics about tsunamis, churches, zine artists, twelve-year plans, the debutante meetings on Tuesday evenings, where pink is disallowed and cucumbers encouraged, arthritis, green mango skin, Gucci, God, lilypads, Chrysler’s year-end sales event, bonsai trees, and gasoline fog suckling on the Golden Gate Bridge. … Continue reading Poetry No. 52 – Tashiana Seebeck

Poetry No. 51 – JP Infante

Yasica, Puerto Plata 1. When I lived in the mountains, I thought the same color meant the same taste. Tangerines, oranges and the sun. Citrus. When I saw my great-grandmother peel a tangerine with her bare hands while men used knives for oranges, she became God. I imagined what she could do with the sun.   2. When I returned to the mountains I was … Continue reading Poetry No. 51 – JP Infante