FICTION
September 2016

UTERUS LOTUS
by ANGIE SIJUN LOU

“He wipes his runny nose on the back of his hand, and I see some of his saliva glistening in the light.”

POETRY
September 2016

OPEN LETTER TO WHAT YOU DID OR DIDN’T DO
by JAMIE MORTARA

“i wish i hadn’t been so desperate to make you happy
i wish i hadn’t been so afraid to turn you down
i just wanted to feel like i mattered
i just wanted to feel useful.”

POETRY
September 2016

THREE POEMS
by DAVID ISHAYA OSU

“It was from my mother’s
mouth i first saw a kiss: your”


FICTION
September 2016

STINGING NETTLE
by JULIA CHAN

“She grips the handle of her suitcase hard, so hard her fingers begin to cramp. The wave of passengers buoys her toward Arrivals. A sudden intestinal twist in the corridor reveals a large glass door, like a screen that shows the people waiting on the other side.”

INTERVIEW
September 2016

INTERVIEW | T KIRA MADDEN
by ANN WARD & BÜKEM REITMAYER

“I pride myself most on being a generous reader. It’s about empathy, sure, we’ve all heard that before, but it’s also about listening carefully. I am a really, really good reader—I don’t feel bashful about saying that. I’ve lots of practice; I live for that one activity. And I think what makes me a good reader is that I’m able to, at this point, I hope, separate what my expectations are for a piece and what the artist/writer is actually trying to achieve.”


POETRY
September 2016

TWO POEMS
by LAUREN CLARK

“With the fake crack of the fake gun
a silence falls over the county.”


POETRY
September 2016

TWO POEMS
by CATHERINE PIKULA

“His dick is in my mouth, and I can’t do anything with his dick in my mouth but hate. And I will keep his dick in my mouth,
but I hate it as I cram it down my throat. The taste of it like a cliché or peanut brittle.”


INTERVIEW
September 2016

INTERVIEW | STEFAN KIESBYE
by JANE DYKEMA

“After using the most stable of frames – families and villages – and push them into mayhem, I really love looking at what’s beyond. The families we ourselves create and which seem so rickety and frail because we see every seam and every danger and are fully responsible for what happens; the places that are too big to create instantly meaningful connections; the problem of what to do with the time we are given on this planet and who to spend it with.”


FICTION
September 2016

DAVID
by ERIN KHAR

“I have run past him every morning since we moved here. Every morning, I want to stop and say, ‘Hey, Dave, can I call you David? Let’s go, let’s leave, let’s be other people.’ Instead, I slow my gait and watch.”

facebook-squaretwittermail


POETRY
September 2016

flowers like infants, across our arms
by JESSICA HUDGINS

“He planted lantana for butterflies, and in the summer
their wings flamed around it. Winter, he pruned it back, and the whole plant calloused over.”

POETRY
September 2016

TWO POEMS
by MAURISA THOMPSON

“the city shrugs its symbols. shifts. sons and daughters of the klan draw red lines. my grandmother writes from each new address”


POETRY
September 2016

TWO POEMS
by ELIZABETH SPACKMAN

I only mention the other woman
because I knew her body was leaving:
it was how I met the incomplete.”



FICTION
September 2016

COYOTES
by GREGORY SULLIVAN

“15 had reportedly been roaming the streets, resting at times beneath the shady dogwoods of the neighborhood lawns, showing little fear of humans, even when the summer’s fireworks were being shot off, which was what really stunned the concerned locals.”

FICTION
September 2016

A POLITE WOMAN
by JULIE MCARTHUR

“Marla was a polite woman. If a man wanted to sleep with her she never refused. With each newman, she adopted a cat—Fluffers McGee for John, Marion for Paul, Tiddlemouse for Richard, and so on.”

FICTION
September 2016

WINNER OF EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE
by MATTHEW BAKER

“He had beaten business, he had beaten entertainment, and now he had proven that he could beat politics.”

FICTION
September 2016

PERFECT COUPLE
by ERICA PEPLIN

“The card also included a letter sharing news of the year’s developments. There was my aunt’s executive promotion; my uncle’s sommelier certification; the arrival of a rescue kitten named Quiche.”

FICTION
September 2016

LA GRINGA NEGRA
by YMA JOHNSON

“We weave on bathroom trips, laugh too loud at jokes, and forge liquid ties with the other drunks. I am guzzling my fourth Cuba libre when gunfire starts and the streets go black.”

FICTION
September 2016

TORONTO
by SANDRA ALLAND

“‘We need more women in math!’ Ms Plaseski would yell at me while I stared out the window at my boyfriend smoking pot outside the drama classroom. ‘You are the only student to understand trigonometry at this school in 14 years!'”

FICTION
September 2016

AFTER ALL
by RACHEL HALL

“In the morning, she will locate her butterfly costume, the wings she made from wire and muslin and a special, iridescent paint, the cap with its curled an tennae.  It was her best Purim outfit. She will offer it to her granddaughter Sophie, who should get out more.”


INTERVIEW
September 2016

INTERVIEW | MK CHAVEZ
by ROCHELLE SPENCER

“Animals are always going to be pretty prominent in my work. I have an inner creature, the way some people have an inner child. My best friend is cat head. We recognize each other’s creature-ness and respect it. Much of the world seems wild, uncontrolled, sublime.


NON FICTION
September 2016

WASHING DISHES
by VI KHI NAO

“I asked my coworkers if they thought kissing was like washing the dishes. A few of us looked away, including myself, over a strewn pile of essays. The question hung in the air like a fish pinned to the room’s low ceiling. Some stared at the cheap posters hung precariously on the walls; abruptly, like a broken necklace, their eyes slithered away into any open crevices, their pearl-like gaze scattered over the floor.”

NON FICTION
September 2016

THE SLEEPING PILL
by VI KHI NAO

“I slept without knowing that I slept. For six years I worked at a non-manual-labor job. It was like a sleeping pill that I swallowed but didn’t know I had swallowed. I came to work and work sucked my soul and before I knew it, I had slept and six years had gone by and I had not moved a single creative chalk across the blackboard of my life.


POETRY
September 2016

WHO ARE ALL THE DEAD PEOPLE I’D BE FRIENDS WITH
by JOANNA VALENTE

“We walk around with no clothes on
and the lights are all green and we steal
a car, ride alone into whitewashed.


POETRY
September 2016

TWO POEMS
by SAMANTHA BARES

I fudge mystique. Flotillas of near-misses I avoided by the league. It is a crime to understate your absolute trust.”

FICTION
September 2016

THE HOST
by CARLY ROSALIE VANDERGRIENDT

“After that, I don’t bother trying to go back to sleep. My mind returns to the blue-haired cashier who blinked twice in succession when she scanned my pregnancy test, as if taking a mental note not to make the same mistake. Fresh out of the package, the white wand looked harmless. Fifteen minutes spent shivering on the toilet seat and I couldn’t piss.