adolf wolfli

X - marnie shure

The shadow on the x-ray is actually almost lovely, my sister told me: a flourish on something as static as bone. I wasn’t prepared to believe her but when she took the square cardstock envelope from off her bed and turned off the lights and pressed the contents against the apartment window to push the sun right through I saw just what she meant. Like a Rorschach test on her lumbar curve. Or black coffee out of a jittery hand, or shade without a tree. Like the spiders our mother saw in the corners of her two failing eyes, spiders she called the nerve death, vertebrates just passing through. We were sort of museum-silent and looked at it and not at what it looked like, a portrait in negative space. I asked her then why she was keeping it in her bedroom. Isn’t it really quite good-looking though? She asked back.

Marnie Shure


The static from the speaker pierces the afternoon. The clown behind the wheel stretches his arm out the window, drops a cigarette and fixes the aerial.

Come to the show. See ferocious creatures; the most amazing … remarkable … unforgettable … Come to the show, see for yourself. We won’t be back this way again.

His voice doesn’t convince. A seal balances a beach ball, applauds itself, does that deep-throat seal thing; a fat woman in a tutu holds a hula-hoop in the start position; clowns tease the strongman; a chimp in ring master attire throws sweets at onlookers, shrieks. The ringmaster, the actual ringmaster, twists his moustache and cracks his whip. People close enough remark on how the glint in his eye suggests he isn’t all good. Rain starts to fall and the truck rolls on.
Kevin O'Cuinn
Donald Ray Pollock


She couldn’t remember how many times she nap-fucked him. She remembered the dreams of Mary Shelley though. And how he misplaced his arm along her thunder thighs on two occasions. The first occasion, she remembered him saying: Don’t just leave your vagina, and the second he said: I can’t remember your flesh in the darkness.

They both had problems with remembering. It was probably why they had their rendezvous’. She came from the shadowy side—the one where if you dropped something you could never find it again—and he came from the lighter side—the one where you mash fucking with something more.

Tonight, she didn’t know what to say to him. She came up with,

“My body’s been used up on pretense.”

He said, “Baby, poetry’s for forgetting. Let’s just pretend the present has no future or past.”

Shelley’s Modern Prometheus came into her mind. Ya know, punishment for all the fire’s light.

Jon-Michael Frank

WINTERKILL - howie good

I’m standing in the crooked window of a feeble yellow house drawn in crayon by the child I was. Friends disappear like incautious snowflakes. Hearts hunch their thin shoulders against the cold.

You don’t know who I am or what happens next. If an underworld informer told you, would you believe it? There’s a “s” as in salt, there’s a “n” as in November.

Office girls visited on their lunch break. The flowers were leaking blood. Children couldn’t stop sobbing. You can still see the marks where the nails went in.

No need for thorns. Thorns are obsolete. Fire, fire, madmen scream and stab themselves in the neck and arms with dirty needles. Got a minute? Shine a light down the abandoned Turkey Fat Mine. Summer shines up from the bottom.

Howie Good
The Anthologist
Nicholson Baker

FOUR SCORE - sam martone

The old springs beneath the cushion squeak. She on top straddling me, our clothes disappearing into the patterns on the carpet. She is loud but maybe the tours will think it is the ghost of Lincoln. “He had a high-pitched voice, don’tcha know,” one of the mothers will say. This chair, the one in which Lincoln sat on the day of his debate with Stephen A. Douglas, is one of the college’s main attractions, a claim to fame. But today, we have blocked the doors with chairs, newer ones that he did not sit in, preventing any entrance. The room is Booth-proof. She comes at the thought of no one assassinating us, but I cannot stop thinking of the possibility: that someone might find his way in here, put a gun to my head. Then, we hear a pounding at the door. Security has shown up to investigate the barricaded room and the way it moans. I do not want to leave, to stop, but we have to—they have caught us here before, and in the steam tunnels beneath the dormitories, and in the back of the mailroom, where we pressed our hands into piles of love letters as we shuddered. We scoop up our clothing and crawl through the window. The next time I am in this room, someone will tell me that the Lincoln Chair is out for repairs, and I will imagine the sound of a Philadelphia Derringer firing shot after shot.
Sam Martone
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

GETTING OVER A PRICK - jacqueline doyle

Marcie started it by calling him a prick, a real prick.

"Yeah, well I seem to remember you liking my prick," Eddie replied.

"All women say that. It doesn't mean anything. Your dick's nothing special."

"Just like your cunt, cunt."

There didn't seem to be much to say after that. Tomorrow she'd go out and buy a pet, something unusual. An iguana maybe. Her friend in Brooklyn says they eat cockroaches. Or a rabbit. But they nibble on the furniture. A rooster. There's plenty of room in the back yard.

Yeah, a rooster. She'll call him Edward. Eddie hated that name. Or maybe just Dildo. She definitely likes the idea of waking up to the crowing of a cock.

Jacqueline Doyle
Live from Fresno Y Los
Stephen D. Gutierrez



From this distance they could be celebrating birth, death, the end of the black plague—the marble floor is bright flesh with blue veins so convincing you’d bend to kiss it if you weren’t clutching the wrist of distance itself. The body itself: more space than matter and the space between bodies a long-distance phone call. How you will go home tonight with ceiling plaster in your hair knowing that up close clouds have holes and how a hand doesn’t know emptiness until someone fills it. In the space between breaths I will call you: come down. It’s not that I’ve figured it out, how distance can feel like perspective, space between subject and object so safe it startles the livid heart, which pauses as often as it beats. Oh I’ve done it again, inserted myself into a party I’m no part of. I’m sorry but I just want to be the moment in which you happen, and the crystal teardrops between your knees, quivering—

Ashley Farmer
Anne Carson