THIS RED TRUCK - sarah rose etter

We pay our rent in slabs of fat. We use peelers, shattered pairs of scissors, the sharp sides against us. Mostly, I cut mine from my breasts. The boys didn’t have much to begin with. We pile the fat on the front porch and wait for the truck to come. There are small smears of us on each other’s skin.

The men pull away with our excess. We go inside bleeding. We move to the same place, go to the same bedroom. We curl around each other, pushing bones and new wounds together, making a low warmth, the only warmth we can afford.

Sarah Rose Etter
Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
Ben Loory

SNUFF FILM - trisha low

the home movie resumed its present-tensed glory. she said you took to laying this girl that wasn't really a thing, so now everyone's like stop freaking out what the fuck is wrong with you? to say ‘i love when people put up bikini pictures’ is to bear some resemblance to a torture device whose murder is no longer, as they say, ‘in it’. i got my phone cracked. no hope but toothcombs of binary decay. the funny thing is that there are no women in any of the photographs, not even the ones of shoes and weddings. tonal flesh qualities. this video is more of a person. they tell me it has eleven real facts but i can’t count for the sake of scraping my pulp off a sixty degree spool. watch it, this is america, there’s no ‘g’ in yoghurt and certainly not in your lap.

baby, you got it so everyone should take their seats cause without marrow, your bones burn &none, none left to savor licks in cardboard corners.

Trisha Low
Pussy pussy pussy what what or Au lait day Au lait day
Astrid L'orange

INTERESTING FACT - andrew dawson

You didn't mean to kill him. He caught you in your caravan with his Bible-thumped accusations that you’d walked out on the family and turned your back on humanity. You were happy with your books and your beans and your view of the river. He pushed and you snarled and you drove your knife straight through him. While he died, pinned to the wall, you explained why you couldn’t go back. He understood. You dragged him here to the edge of the river and on the way watched as your caravan shrank to a smudge. Tiny life.

Your brother lies upside down, so that you don’t have to see his face. And what you can’t get out of your head is something he once told you, that the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.

Andrew Dawson
Torsten Krol

ABANDONED SENTENCES - gary percesepe

Here comes the breeze in my head. In space commas are plentiful. There is a reptile war in America. Hurry up with those matches! There’s ash on that coed’s face. Say, did your mother muddle all things? She bounced up with the directions. Norse men tumbled in from the north. We could all be caviar. Someone’s arrived to unpack us. A window like that can hold a highball. Saints weep in the dusty pews. Shove those maps into the corner. I’m double parked in Bolivia.

Gary Percesepe
The Petting Zoo
Jim Carroll

FOREMAN - ken poyner

I knew there was no getting back to the train station at the edge of the Salar de Uyuni. I had refined lithium in my hands and no amount of explanation was to make me welcomed again.

On the banister just ahead stretching alone on the flats a woman was draped by the waist. Oh don’t have those thoughts. She was fully clothed. Fully clothed. Not all abuse involving lone women and odd construction is sexual. There is so much more. Like school girls on endless staircases. Or stout men with three sided doors.

No matter. One day I would be a magnate, someone who could turn the earth’s resources into cash, a ready liquidity that would stupefy all around me.

My hands were becoming rough from the sun and lack of water. I could not hold my lithium crystals for long and I feared that the birds without trees or water or migratory instincts might by accident take them – though, in that state, the crystals were worth nothing and it was my carrying them that counted.

One day I would be mayor. And I would know there are no wild birds in the Salar de Uyuni. And I would build an aviary to hold imported birds, all of species with no business in this climate: species that sit on whimsically constructed baffles, alone and valuable, hopping from table to chair to table and knowing no better.

But not today.

Ken Poyner
Return to the City of White Donkeys
James Tate


Given the extreme nature of human intrusion or wishful thinking or just sorry luck of the design or redesign of thermal patterns, how would the philosophy of eating a chicken pot pie change for a Sunday afternoon with a few friends and two who had driven three hours over North Carolina mountains to spend the time – outside the window, the snows of a two-week freeze beginning to wither into ground, and you, out of hospital now, though not fully recovered from surgery, but well on the way, trying to understand – and maybe that’s the mistake, since no one does, so why should you – where all the purpose went while you were in that other world, and if, in fact, you could get there from here – wherever that is?

Sam Rasnake
Blow-Up and Other Stories
Julio Cortázar

GIRL TALK - khalym kari burke-thomas

don’t worry, she says, there will be other boys. for now, let mommy show you how she earned the name pincushion. she feeds the first dildo into her cunt; the next into her ass; the last into her mouth. see? she gargles. just like this.

Khalym Kari Burke-Thomas
Cruelty/Killing Floor


Artistic renderings courtesy of Charles Frederickson. Colorations courtesy of Saknarin Chinayote

MILLBURY, OHIO REVISITED - nicholas orlando bruno

The haystack summer lies down like a sleeping dog and waits while my Dad and I string boisterous bamboo fishing poles on the back porch and listen, in brash, as the faceless man on the radio warns the storm, two bastard twisters--twins the voice cries. The tornado sirens begin their groan, as they do -- the long, low drone like giants humming across a field. Suddenly, birds lose their treaty with wind and become drunk with quiet effort for flight.

Dad hasn’t peeled himself away from the wicker chair just yet, but he’s careful to snub out his cigarette for fear of it igniting the charged air around him. I picture him exploding in self defense. He’s already pretending to be in the war. Maybe Normandy, 1944 with bombers above. He rises and studies the sky as if to read the angry clouds like a book. Blistered fingers growing tight around the bamboo pole, all he can do is cling to it like a rifle.

Nicholas Orlando Bruno
Real Life
Donald Ray Pollock

ANIMALS DREAMS - rebecca lake


The night you swam with sharks my heart beat in staccato rhythm as you disappeared under the water's surface, as black and smooth as basalt. I would have thrown myself in after you but we were not alone. You didn't belong to me, even though my hands knew the geography of your body, the mountains and valleys, every sin of the flesh. That summer, I ran hot with fever, every word every thought was a spark and I stretched my hand to the flames and waited to burn. I drowned in you on the front seats of cars, in deserted parking lots. We traded scars, my blood bruises for your lasso-red welts and it was like we were committing a crime. That night I waited for you to die or live and when you finally surfaced it was the sound of something breaking. You came to me cold and wet, kissed me when no one was looking, a mouthful of salt and bitter memory. I read somewhere once that sharks die if they stop moving, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and slowly suffocate and I wondered how do they sleep, what do they see in their dreams?


Last night, I dreamt a bear was trying to eat its way through the house, crashing from room to room, a staggering punch-drunk prizefighter scarring the hardwood floors. It was a grizzly, like the one that killed those people in Alaska, and later all they found were pieces that fit into a couple of black plastic garbage bags. We didn't think to ask where it came from, instead we huddled in the bedroom, me pressed against the door trying to hold it off, you with hands on hips strangely calm. In the dream, you wanted to reason with it, as if such a thing were possible. You were always trusting like that. Find out what it wants you said but I’m telling you, there's no reasoning with a bear and so I did the only thing I could: I turned to you and whispered, Run.

Rebecca Lake
Paula Bomer


i am so bitter about fish rights. i am so bitter about fish rights that this red food colouring's raising fountains out my fucking joints. i am bitter cause you said you searched down down the slits of her gums, but that doesn't even make any sense. so here's the thing, fish rights. i accidentally died during an autoerotic hanging, and someone branded 'swedish' against the margins of my hips. speared my veiled laboratory of scales and sucked me dry before the bite. glassy girlish stutter. i'm tied up in jello moulds of syntax, gummy and sudden. you squished your fingers in the very part where the d of 'swedish' tracked the 'i' of 'fish', so i stripped off my skin because i, well, it was my way of saying i wanted to dump this sorry ass. the gig was unpaid anyway. the i, that is.

this is thousand year old shame. longitudes and latitudes exist in the strip between gills and a woman, and fyi, it's waxed. in this one they were playing 'carnival'. but i think they are less prepared for a second survivor. i am so fucking bitter about fish rights, i frosted the surface of your lips with traces of an uncommon blood.

Trisha Low
Pussy pussy pussy what what or Au lait day Au lait day
Astrid L'orange

THE ATTENTION OF A MAN - andrea kneeland

He tells me he misses me and that the night before he watched a porno and the girl in the porno looked like me. I think I’m supposed to take this as a compliment but I’m not sure what to say. Thank you doesn’t seem appropriate. What were they doing? I ask and he says she was bent over the couch wearing a wife beater. I’m still not sure what to say so I ask him what he had for dinner and this must be the wrong thing to say because the conversation disintegrates. It’s not that I’m desperate for attention, even for the attention of a man who I know spends at least $200 a week at strip clubs and lives 4 states away, it’s just that I’m lonely. There’s a difference between loneliness and desperation. After we hang up I open all the cabinets in my kitchen even though I’m not hungry and I read through the featured article of the day on Wikipedia which is about Minnesota’s climate and I brush my teeth and I put on a wife beater and pose on the couch and text pictures to him and wait for him to respond.

Andrea Kneeland
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting

I WEAR WHAT I KNOW OUT - parker tettleton

I’ve had a crush since 2006 on Tracyanne Campbell. I don’t think about her anymore. I wonder about Pop-Tarts in sick dogs & second stories in Woodstock, Georgia. Someone could say I have what you’ve always wanted. Someone isn’t me & I’ll share a stick if it isn’t you.

I swear to light in my feet. Facebook photos aren’t lost scenes. I ride an elevator to feel like a girl. Sometimes I’m sure that’s almost right. There isn’t silver in my hair, there is nothing planned about serendipity.

This includes you, & me. You & me. This includes memories, a circle of carpet I’ve puked on repeatedly, a hand I find on the cover of a book. I look at everything saying We’re so different. I light cigarettes behind storage houses because I don’t smoke.

Parker Tettleton
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf


We stand on train platforms with broken-glass throats and nail-pierced palms and bellies full of rocks. We stand on train platforms and stare at stopped clocks and stare down empty tracks and secret-scan the faces of those who wait beside us. We wait for trains and we wait for the stranger who will see inside us and place their hand on our shoulder and say, “You are suffering from a great sadness.” We wait for the stranger who will hold us and heal us with fierce, cleansing embrace; the one who will crush the sadness from us right there on the train platform.

We wait for this stranger and we think-fear-KNOW that there is no such stranger. That we ourselves walk past mascara-cheeked girls and men who stare at their shoes. We walk past them and do not see them. We walk past them and we see them. We walk past them and see deep into them, we see their sadness like a black lake and we walk past them anyway, hauling our own sadnesses behind us like bulky suitcases.

Nicky Marsh
Ask The Dust
John Fante


Trains ran into the night. By morning it was over. Several pigs entered the open window. The light felt slightly used. We worked ourselves into another corner. February frays worse than other months. My lover’s feet are nothing like this. So, we operate on a need to know basis? Some rooms face the ocean. Your crackpot therapist called again. This clock is always wrong. Now, I just sit quietly in the attic. See, this is why I never sing to you! Lady Gaga was awarded intelligence. Suddenly we were low on hope. She practices husbandry and deep yoga. Biscuits were plentiful. Everyone ran toward the fruit bowl at once. The dog smiled from the corner of the picture. It’s time to say something about the winter garden. Frogs jut from pinecones. There were so many things I wanted to say. Butter these bananas. Bats dripped hair onto startled footmen. Not you, again, she said.

Gary Percesepe
J. Franzen