"Yellow Fever" - Peter Schwartz

SLEIGHT - erin pringle


erin pringle

Everyone’s in a good mood beside the mermaid fountain. Lovers kiss, toddlers reach for pennies strewn across the fountain floor, a magician fans a deck of cards, saying, Pick a card—any card, and someone chooses a card without realizing the magician helped. Show the card to everyone but me, he says, winking.

Cradling the baby who slid dead out of her last night, a woman in a hospital gown flecked with blue stars climbs into the fountain. She lifts her baby so its feet don’t get wet from the water spilling from holes in the mermaid's hands. The pennies below throw sparkles up her thighs.

Everyone begins looking and looking away.

The magician shuffles the cards.

The woman’s eyes focus on everyone.

The magician climbs into the fountain because his card trick will not succeed if no one wants to be fooled. He gently reaches up her gown, pulling out the card. Which is a photograph of her kissing the blue baby, her husband’s hand on her shoulder, her fingernails red as love and hearts.

Is it the right card? she whispers.

As he weeps, her nipples spill milk, and the audience nods.

ONE FELL SWOOP - maureen traverse


maureen traverse

That day, Dino and I saw a woman drop a baby. We held hands, walking behind her, a wailing toddler on her hip. The more she walked, the more he struggled, until he tumbled headfirst. She grabbed him up. Blood stained her shirt. She screamed and gagged, but he made no sound. Before long, an ambulance appeared. My heart felt like paper.

“Can you believe her?” Dino said.
“What?” I said, still seeing her crinkled face.
“She dropped her kid.”
“He fell.”

Dino looked at me like I’d tossed that baby off a bridge. Then I knew it wouldn’t be the same.

Maureen Traverse recently received her MFA from Ohio State University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

A LAKE IS BORN - corby anderson


corby anderson

The emergency room was in chaos. Nowhere in any of the podiatry manuals that I vaguely knew was there a section about how to give birth while fighting off a very large and agitated bird in the dark with only warm whiskey and a few tablets of Oxycontin at your disposal.

The bird was an emu, and it was the least of my problems. The ranch vet had heard of the crisis, and had thrown up a table in the barn that housed the giant chickens. They had escaped the grasp of the fat old vet, and one had him pinned in the hay while the other menaced my birthing station.

The teenager finally pushed with everything that she had. She screamed and her back leapt up off of the card table and out came the human head into my awaiting hands. An emu looked over my shoulder; and clucked as I cradled the infant and cleared it’s mouth.

“I wanna call it Lake,” the girl said. She was bleeding too much, and since it wasn’t coming from her foot, I was not going to be able to fix it.

“After Lake Palisade, where I done it with his Pa.”

Corby Anderson lives in Marina, California, where he is proud to get up every morning and shave his once hairy chin in order to continue to look the part of the corporate A/V man that he is. When he isn't shaving or working (or both), he hides out in a drafty old military sub-station that is guarded with ill tempered Poison Oak, high above Palo Colorado Canyon, overlooking the Big Sur coast. There he writes his first novel and tries not to scratch. His journal, filled with excerpts, letters, poetry, and other drivel can be found at myspace. com/desertsky7.

CRAYOLA BONER - misti rainwater-lites


misti rainwater-lites

Playing house with Lisa at five I was the husband with the Crayola (periwinkle, probably) boner. The Jesus I learned in Sunday school was Little Bo Peep but I never felt comfortable in the role of lost lamb. I’ve never done that live rattlesnake shake shake of faith dance. My brand of insanity is less show offy and lethal. My litany is Prozac Paxil Zyprexa Wellbutrin Zoloft Celexa. My mantra is THE CUCKOO CLOCK OF KARMA IS BLIND TO YOUR PLASTIC SURGERY AND DEAF TO YOUR PRAYERS. I don’t make a good guest. I have this thing about towels and bars of soap. If things in the bathroom aren’t up to par I will stink for days. If the kitchen is anything less than anti-bacterial I will live on cherry flavored cough syrup. Today is a day I would be okay dying in…chewy (not crispy) bacon, cold beer and Cuntasaurus Rex accepted by Tainted Coffee Press.

Misti Rainwater-Lites writes a lot of books (collections of poetry and novels, mostly) and publishes them herself at lulu. com. She also has chapbooks available from Erbacce Press, Scintillating Publications, and Kendra Steiner Editions. Misti is one of five women poets featured in Sirens, an anthology published by Sisyphus Press. Misti's newest full-length poetry collection, Cuntasaurus Rex, will be published by Tainted Coffee Press this fall. Misti is afraid of spiders, tornadoes, shiny floors and phone calls.

WHAT YOUR CAT THINKS - laura ellen scott


laura ellen scott

His girlfriend hates him so much she makes him wear a hat when he goes down on her. The sunglasses are his idea.


"Boneworld" - Peter Schwartz

PREPARATION - chad simpson


chad simpson

Erika told me her boyfriend had scratched her insides with his fingernail.

"My God it hurt," she said, smiling, putting her perfect white hands on my arm and clutching it.

I was the only sixth-grade boy sitting with an eighth-grade girl on the entire bus, and though I wanted to look at her stretch pants, I tried to play it cool. I focused on her hands, digging into my arm, and then her eyes. They were as round and as excited-looking as any eyes I’d ever seen.

A few days later I was spending the night with her brother, and Erika and I were hiding in the front seat of their mom’s station wagon, parked in the driveway. There was a clipped thumbnail of a moon visible through the windshield, and then it was gone: Erika had her tongue in my mouth; she was rubbing one of her perfect white hands over the left front pocket of my jeans.

I’d spent two hours that afternoon with a pair of clippers, rounding out each nail’s edge.

I’d even used my mom’s file, sitting on a bean bag chair, watching cartoons, nail dust collecting on my lap.

Chad Simpson lives and works in Galesburg, Illinois. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in several magazines, including McSweeney's, Barrelhouse, New South, The Rambler, and The Sun.



andrew powers

Given the violent physical repulsion towards the cattle faith of idolaters, we worship the flies of the pure tree. In the scriptures it is said: ‘the huddling molecules of the soul depend upon [indecipherable] for unity.’ According to the prophet Viraz Yima, ‘the word “woe” is hateful to the earth.’

Our science proves not what it says, some tree graphs are predisposed to saying the number 5 is implicitly impure, latently inimical, and no great propulsion could convince otherwise.

We may reckon the soul depends on woe. For he who is thoughtful enough to eat of the evraz tentacle and scrip on tender prawn, the image of the tree afire will mutilate his script-readers, this only so long as the Word is capable of conjuring signifying visions.

Woe is a torn heart, tears, hair rent with jaundiced fingers, eyes open to every unfiltered movement.

These, too, are symptoms of madness.

BAPTISM - jan windle


jan windle

Drowning… held in an insect grip against the hard carapace of his narrow chest. Torrent from above smothering, invading her ears, eyes, mouth, flowing through the channels of her head, like a culvert, diverting the flood from the showerhead, making a cascade that bounces back off her shoulders into her bubbling mouth, on to the tiled floor. She’s fighting for breath, breathing water, cannot disengage, he’s washing her, soaping her shoulders, her back, holding her against his hardness, his rising excitement, raising her up to meet his erection, but she’s drowning, fighting, cannot give herself, dare not, dare not. He is strong. Raises her to his hips, settles her there, and still the water pours, crashes in her ears, while he smoothes her rat-tailed hair, croons to her, kisses her and takes her easily, wedges her back against the porcelain shelf, as she gasps through bubbling lips that cannot say to him “Stop! Stop! I’m drowning!” and despite her fear she is possessed by desire for him through the violent baptism he has exacted.

Illustrated blogs about Italy:
Paintings 4 Sale:



jake kehoe

I still remember the knife he used to kill them. The handle was made of wood and looked natural in his rough hands. The blade, stainless steel, not shiny, but dull from overuse. Their eyes remained open, always on him; leaving their last breath, entirely at his discretion. He preferred it that way. To watch the air go in and out. In and out. He counted them, and used them, to calculate the exact moment he would render his victims permanently disfigured.

Fresh blood soaked through the sports section of last night’s Lancaster New Era. It eventually stained my mother’s front porch. The porch where I pulled up a chair countless weekends and watched him carefully slaughter then carelessly scale those fish.

HYSTERIA - elfie nelson


elfie nelson

She was clothed in nothing but a cat skin fur coat and glasses, all "wooWOOwoo-woowoo!" in the middle of traffic. The sky is falling the sky is falling, we must tell the president. She only added to the insanity.

You come across ELFIE at a crossroads in Suisun City, California. Exits: North, West. Here: An ELFIE. ELFIE lies motionless where the roads meet, covered in dust. A smallish girl, she isn't really much to look at. Her glasses are broken. You try to pick up the ELFIE but her ass is too massive. You step over the ELFIE as you go West.

FEATURED AUTHOR - douglas watson

Douglas Watson's stories have appeared in Backwards City Review, Sou'wester, and elsewhere. He claims to live in Brooklyn and to be writing a book called The Era of Not Quite.

Normally I don't do individual author features. There are so many voices that deserve to be heard. I have put out the call for erratic, precise, playful, honest, original, disgraceful, hopelessly optimistic, dirty, beautiful, ugly, over the top writing; and you guys have answered.

Recently, I received an email from Kyle Minor praising the writing of Douglas Watson, so I solicited, and he obliged, and I was not disappointed. I read through his stories, then again, and again, again. They were erratic, beautiful, disgraceful, hopelessly optimistic, all the things I require from Dogzplot contributors, but in addition they are something else. I find in each of these stories a vulnerability that is pure and honest and pitiful and hopeful and hopeless. It is beautiful.

Please enjoy!

I'M SORRY I LOST THE SCRAP OF PAPER... - douglas watson


douglas watson

Can you really not remember them? You outlined them in such detail. The divorce, the emphasis on whole grains... You were determined to live more alphabetically, as I recall. Or was it more phonetically?

Think: What were you going to allow whom to see you wearing, and when? I know that was on there, and I'm pretty sure it was underlined. If you can get that down again, it may jog your memory. If not, well, lucky you: you get to plan your future all over again. It will be almost like living twice. Have you always wanted to reread Bartleby the Scrivener? Or look away, blushing, as the northbound spring caressed the expectant fields of Indiana? Well, now you can, someday.

Look, if you're really so worried about the future—which I doubt, seeing as you left your plans for it on my coffee table—consider that the source of your anxiety is constantly shrinking. You have less and less future to worry about, is what I'm saying.

Maybe it's time to draw up a list of your plans for the past.

MY MEMOIR - douglas watson


douglas watson

I was born in 1971, as though to compensate the world for its loss of the Beatles. In 1975, the year Saigon fell, I fell, too, and cracked my head open on the corner of a brick fireplace. I bled but did not die. There followed a long period of continued non-death. Soon enough, there I was, sprawled (but still not dead) on the lawn in front of the college library, dreaming of mangoes. I wooed my ennui. It didn't notice.

I got a haircut, a B.A. in anthropology, and a job delivering coffee beans.

Time passed, as was its habit back then. In 1999, the year nobody knew what to do, I went to the university whose name is the answer to the question "What color is shit?" and read a lot of books other people had written about what still other people had done to themselves and others.

A woman rescued me and took me to Boston, where love died. Drinking took me up, but its heart wasn't in it. I disassembled my personality, sold the parts on eBay, and used the proceeds to buy a blank slate, which I named after myself.

I wanted to learn how to be written on.



douglas watson

I don't know what opened its eyes, saw the dull day, closed them. Opened them again.

After coffee, I don't know what didn't know what to do. There was something wrong with this day, a certain…

By the time it had lunched and napped, I don't know what was feeling pretty bad about itself. It felt ill defined, a sketch, poorly thought out. It had an urge to go somewhere or even to be something you could put your finger on. But who or what would lay a finger on something that couldn't be named?

In the middle of dinner, which included boiled peas, I don't know what had a premonition that something terrible would happen that very night. It didn't know what would happen, or at what hour, or how it knew, or whether it was right.

From 7:15 until 11:59, I don't know what sat stone still with the light off and the curtains drawn so it could see coming whatever was coming without itself being seen. Nothing came but midnight. I don't know what wanted to say something to the day that had ended, but although it looked, it could not find le mot juste.

At 12:01 I don't know what shambled off to bed, there to dream dreams it would lose, as always, upon waking.

MARCY LOVES JOEY - douglas watson


douglas watson

Marcy loves Joey loves Anita loves Bartholomew loves Franklin loves Anita loves her sister loves sunshine loves daffodils love dirt eats us all my God loves Himself and His Son loves everyone especially children love Candy loves to dance alone Hank needs a loan I do love a good joke but a bad one will do this is no time to be serious is it still love she asks if he loves me not? yes Marcy it is the poetical useless stuff worlds are unmade of ain't life grand?