Art on Door in Chicago - Pilsen
Artist Unknown

blank white

meera jhala

dresden de vera

william boyle

matt marinovich

h.l. nelson

christopher dewan


“Daddy go ahead and heat that burger up!” The daughter yells from the yard. She pumps air into the black slug of her bicycle tire, wet from afternoon rain. She’s wearing a hi-lighter pink tourism shirt from Boca Raton. She has long purple nails the color of casino carpet. There’s a big scar above her eye from when this guy beat her with a statuette of the Holy Virgin over some coke money. “What coke money?” She had said. She hears the sound of her daddy’s Rascal whirring, accented by the popping of grease. She thinks of the meat and hums Led Zep as she works to pumping. A mini van drives up to the yard. She can only see a shimmering gold grill smiling from the darkness, peeking over the cross-faded window. “Dale, I ain’t playing right now. Get the hell out of here.” The grill laughs blue smoke out. The rapper on the radio is counting out digits. Her daddy appears in the doorway, his houndstooth baseball cap pulled over his eyes, his face a tangle of oxygen cords. “My daughter ain’t no whore,” he wheezes. “My baby girl is one of a kind.”

Blank White
Thurber Carnival
James Thurber


Smells like a pina colada, looks like milk, and tastes like something with a higher chalk content than anything you'd order at the Silver Diner.  Best chugged in shots.  Goes down best cold.

The flavors smile:  vanilla, banana, berry.  Just the barium comes in tall white metal cylinders that look like they hold robot fuel.


The night you were diagnosed, I shivered till my agnosticism cracked, and cried to the watchmaker to sicken me instead.  My husband walked in and said everyone's mom dies; that's life so deal.

So I got in my car and made the tires shriek.  But I didn't crash and I didn't get cancer, and I didn't find peace either.  Damn exurbs.

I came home.


Because I love you, I hope today sucks.  That the jackhammer MRI noise rattles your brain; that your arms ache in the PET-CT.

That way you might forget that the blurry tomographic reconstructions of your innards are so the doctor-priests can peer at your tumor, and prognosticate the length of your thread -- three months or three years.


I come get you.  It's sunny.  You're drinking and smiling.

I get a spoon.

Let me taste the barium, too.

Meera Jhala
The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan

LOLO - dresden de vera

My grandpa’s was a language of staring.  He stared when I had something to say.  He stared when I should’ve had something to say.  He stared when there was nothing at all to say.  Being young, I took this as reason to avoid him.  But once, while my parents were out, I found him in his room, staring at a movie.  I preferred it to being alone, so I sat without permission, saw Mel Gibson driving a dune buggy on TV.  After the first explosion, I exclaimed, “Wow.”  He echoed, “Mm.”  We went on this way, in simple agreement of what was cool, who deserved to be shot, how we wanted the hero on top.  Before the movie finished, though, my parents came home.  Being young, I ran out the room to be with them.  I left my grandpa staring at the TV, whispering to the end.

Dresden de Vera
A Scanner Darkly
Philip K. Dick

SILV'S LIST - william boyle

Go to Shoprite. You’ll walk down that road past the wine lady’s house. Moon’s good over the roof of the Shell. Appreciate moon. Get deodorant. Read more. Read that Joan Didion Karen gave you. Mail Karen’s letter and mix tape tomorrow. See if Rudy wants to drink by Wallkill. Go to Salvo for records Friday. Get more work hours. Plan second mix for Karen. Write erotic novel under an alias. Call it Confessions of a Library Sex Fiend. Start it with a good fuck scene in a study carrel. YOU CAN MAKE A LOT OF MONEY WRITING SEX STORIES. Buy Ruth a book for Xmas. Not something she’ll hate. Get Judith a prism and make her a collage. You’ll need scotch tape. Get on the bus and go see The Master in the city. You’ll regret it if you don’t you big asshole. Do push-ups. Fuck push-ups. Buy socks. Ask Ruth and Judith for Mellon Collie reissue for Xmas. Get drunk on life stuff. Be like a zebra with special powers. Rise up into the sky and smoke cigarettes. If you can’t fly, drown. Listen. Spit. Grieve. Get the worst cough you’ve ever had. Skip work. Rent Twin Peaks again. 

William Boyle
Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children
Dave Newman

WHITE CRAB - matt marinovich

My girlfriend got this idea she had to rescue a white crab. Set it free. We were drunk. I still had a fake knife in my head from Tina’s party. The waiter put the crab in a Styrofoam container and looked at us like we were crazy. All the way to the car I could hear the faint clicking of its claws inside. It was nearly two in the morning by the time we parked at Jacob Riis Beach. For a few minutes we just sat there in the car, smoking, listening to the creaking sound of the Styrofoam as the crab pushed against the rubberband. It must have been nineteen degrees, the sand as hard as asphalt all the way to the freezing ocean. My girlfriend knelt down, opened the Styrofoam slowly, like some kind of guardian crab angel. I had to kick the box to get the thing motivated, and then it slowly raised one hairy white claw, another. For a few minutes, it just hunched there doing nothing. Then it headed, with long pauses, back to the glittering city.

Matt Marinovich
Blood Meridian
Cormac McCarthy


Furiously virginal girls say hateful things like “slut,” “whore,” and “easy.” As in, “She’s so ‘easy’, I bet the whole football team has had her.” They shake their pom-poms in form-fitting skirts and low-plunging shirts to [insert pop song most heard on the radio], while eyeing the quarterback and licking cherry-balmed lips just so. They pop those just-formed-in-the-last-year hips, swivel, and dip to the cheers of pumped-up classmates in bleachers.

Then leave sticky-with-sweat uniforms on the locker room floor, laugh, and bump badunka dunks sassily, while talking about who kept which guy from feeling her up last Friday. And damn, that Mr. Bateman, who gave them C’s in Algebra.

Two of them, unnoticed, sneak into the last shower stall. Under lukewarm, lime-encrusted spitting-showerhead water they giggle nervously, then fall on each other like starved animals. Exploring soft mouths that feel nothing like a boy’s, tongues that don’t dart fast to fill up empty spaces. Slow, sustained soapy nipple pleasures, rubbing supple skin against skin just so, sucking hot thick lips, licking with writhing tongues, and the dark, desperate wetness of recessed, repressed places.

h.l. nelson
Miracle Boy and Other Stories
Pinckney Benedict

CONESTOGA WAGON - christopher dewan

When he lost his job at Best Buy, Dad packed all of our things into a Conestoga wagon, and we crossed the border into Canada, in search of the American Dream.

Christopher DeWan
The Seas
Samantha Hunt