Oklahoma - David J. Thompson

Rebeka Singer

Drew Knapp

Heather Brown

Shawn Misener

Irene McGarrity

Ron Riekki

Stephanie Amargi

CRACKED OPEN LETTER - rebeka singer

I want it harder. More. Always. I’m not an addict. Ringing is good. High means something inspiring. I love you, too. There’s never enough.

Until there’s no product left, and I can accept that, at least until tomorrow.

See, I told you I’m not an addict.

Not seeing straight is the best. Swaying, my favorite. Can I get another hit?

No monitor for this drug. Why? It’s secret. People, too judgmental. There are no allies.  
I want to be so fucked up I pass out awake. I’ve had it a few times. One of them I was with my dealer and a friend. My friend left the room. There I was, passed out awake. The surrealist, bestest state. I couldn’t move. Our dealer leaned over my body, started with his hands all over my chest. Neon lights and shapes and fantasies swimming in my head. My friend came back. It was okay in the end.

Still call the guy for shit. I mean, his shit is the best.

I’m a sloppy user.

My lungs feel kicked.

I never listen to anybody. (How cliché?)

I was going to say something else but I lost it somewhere in my head. 

Rebeka Singer
Jesus’ Son
Denis Johnson

LETTER TO MY FATHER - drew knapp

there is a tree in the backyard of your old house that wonders why I’ve stopped coming to climb it. this is how i miss you.

i think we try and raise our sons to be the men we wanted our fathers to be.

he’s a bit older now than the first time you met him. i see you and i in the ways i try to grasp his silences.

there is often anger--and sometimes happiness, but never misunderstanding.

i don’t think that i ever thought you were wrong about anything. the times i pretended you were amount to a curiosity for the why.

this is a hunger i feel blessed to have inherited from you. i will do my best to make sure my son is fed.

perhaps if i do, he will have the courage to send me letters before time comes to cut me down and haul me away.

Drew Knapp
The Palace of Dreams
Ismail Kadare


It’s a long and tedious drive through a winding canyon to get back to the small town where my family lives. When the bus finally hits my stop, my best friend is waiting for me. She is a grade behind me, and still attending the K-8 school where we have spent most of our lives. High school isn’t quite the adventure I thought it would be and I look forward to these few stolen moments before returning home each day. We make our way to the field on top of the hill between our houses. She pulls out a cigarette and lights it, holding it to my lips so the smell won’t stick to my fingers. We laugh over our mishaps and adventures, while taking alternate drags until we’re down the butt. She stubs it out in the chocolate-brown dirt as I pull out my cinnamon gum and perfume. After completing the ritual, we hug goodbye―promising to see each other tomorrow―and as I turn to leave, she says "You smell like musky sweet flowers." I smile back at her before trudging down my side of the hill, wondering whether or not my parent’s car will be sitting in the driveway.

Heather Brown
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay

COLLISION - shawn misener

You think the black hole is out there, somewhere distant, unattainable, light years away. You also think it's a hole in space, where anything that enters vanishes forever.

Yet I know something. That black hole isn't really a hole. It's a condensed mass, a violent object, and if you look closely, it's RIGHT HERE. I can look in your eyes and see it, so clearly. 

Take my heart, take my own black hole, and slam it against yours. See what happens.

Shawn Misener
Cordwainer Smith

BOY - irene mcgarrity

It’s the spoon I like to gag myself with, the wooden one with “boy” carved into the handle. I found it in a junk shop just hanging from a hook by a dirty piece of twine. I thought it would be splintery but it was smooth. The guy who made it sanded the hell out of it like my dad would have. Dad was always in his shop all hours of the night drinking Buds. I could see him making a spoon like that when my mom was pregnant with me. And I could see mom hanging it from the wall, then jamming it into the back of a drawer after I was born.

Lately, it’s my favorite spoon to throw up with. I keep it on a shelf with my razors and pills and lighters, other things I use a lot. After dinner, I tie my hair back and go into the bathroom with the spoon, thinking maybe I’ll be luckier than my dad. Maybe I’ll make a boy. I lift the toilet seat with my foot, and my gags sounds like laughter echoing off the bathroom walls.

Irene McGarrity
The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen

NON-FICTION: PARIS - ron riekki

Text from my girlfriend:

I was in a café terrace,
drinking with my
roommate from china.
We were talking when
suddenly about 20/25
persons came in our
direction running and
screaming that we need
to go somewhere safe.
Suddenly everybody
start running and I went
inside the café with my
friend.  After few minutes
I checked and policemen
with big weapon and fire
men were outside
screaming to stay inside.
It was so crazy, a
helicopters were flying
too.  Finally I went
outside and I was sure it
was a mistake.  I started
walking away and saw
that all the street was a
messed.  People while
running moved all the
table on the floor, broken
glasses where on the
floor, etc…  Journalist
were taking picture and
asked question.
I knew after that an
explosion from a bar was
the reason why
everybody runned.
People panicked and it
was nothing!
The atmosphere is very
very weird.  People are
scared  and bad news
are all over the news.

Ron Riekki
John Logan

NIGHTLY HABITS - stephanie amargi

The cat was in heat. She sent her lamentations to the sky, hungry for moonlight and a cat dick. I imagined her on her back, rolling in the damp earth outside my window, her belly rising like a loaf of bread.

We are similar, the cat and I. Some nights I lie awake in bed, aching with an appetite that I can't feed. I've learned my lesson though. I don't trust my nightly habits.

On my lips is a wail, wild yet tamed. I suppress it and toss in my sheets as dirty paws and whiskers coalesce in the dark.

Stephanie Amargi
When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi