'UNCLEAN' - misti rainwater-lites


Thursday nights before Astrology Club she and I would meet in the basement laundry room of our building to lay flat and still and naked on the cold concrete floor while our soiled clothes commingled in the warm suds of a stackable washer-drier unit. Hidden by white noise and a deadbolt lock we let ourselves sink into the stability that both the ground and not moving offered us, breathing slowly in and out like the two agoraphobics suffering from loneliness and vertigo that we were. Painfully aware of being flung through the infinite suffocating emptiness, we would stay in that laundry room until the drier cycle completed and we felt safe enough to last through the meeting and on until the next Thursday night.

Finally, when we were ready, we understood, too, the possibilities of grass and soft breezes and ice cream men and the shine of distant stars.
Robert John Miller
Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!
Peter Davis

NEW TESTAMENT - cheyenne nimes

COASTAL LAND, islands and the sea. Through the plastic windshield of the airplane. Coconut trunks, happy hunting ground, three-mile limit. Cutwater. Simpler life forms. Of thinking with things as they exist. Decorations, ornaments, symbolic objects. There is no difference between past, present, and future. Dark green separates to white, land of the dead color. As if it had always been there. Geologic time scale. Things are over and over. Cyclical events. Coming attractions. Wild West Show. Is this story. Mockup. All tenses at once because time is here and now always. Letters written in pencil too many years ago. This is where the sun would be if there was any. The initial sun-sized sun. Shore leave. Hallucinogen. Uptight, outta sight! Customs, formalities, procedures. Portable floodlights, electric torches. In one area there were skulls everywhere and --. You saw this picture coming. Deception. See strategy, intrigue, deception. In a clearing in a pineapple field he posed. And dog-toothed mouth went dark. You could hear the GI’s making jokes before being unceremoniously shot.

Cheyenne Nimes
Nano Fiction


Brain-tangled, hungover on the couch staring through the newspaper, trying to catch up to the day, something he can't do sick from the snorted morphine comedown until the morning joint kicks the warm back in again (a little) and he finds himself pumping longbow arrows into a fiberglass deer stalled in the snow of his backyard where he drinks Bloody Mary’s before going to see The Ramones' End of the Century at an art-house theater into which he sneaks a tab of OxyContin he unfoils and chews in the pisser stall. From there it's the power chords of wanting to be sedated beyond a teenage lobotomy before bouncing rubber-legged from the movie to Norman's party, pint nipping his way through a typical a-typical day, one where he drops grudges, imagines he's put on the charm, lays off the bullshit for a while as he ignores the Big Game and nods to the hipster crowd’s sarcastic play by play in slow-mo until someone calls his girlfriend to snag him up for the blurry ride home during which only one thing becomes perfectly clear: he’s lost his wallet and has no idea what he’s done with it or himself or anything.

Matt Mullins
Eugene Marten


I paid the guy what I could. I disc jockey’d and failed safe a return. I couldn’t hear the sound of the headlamps drowning in the fog. If there was a bridge back there, it was set fire to and made example of long ago. The photographs lie like television church sermons and are being consequently destroyed. The trees—so what. A lot—and really nothing. I can still hear smoke rising like a faux 45 of someone else’s Vietnam; a water ring soundtrack to a cannibal syntax sex-mix mantra. I put tourniquets on the sound waves but nothing stops the static. I can parody on my own time; I miss the ballast truck waltzes. Everything looks unfamiliar in the rear view. It’s a silver nail, and I hang myself on it in return.

David Tomaloff
william s. burroughs

SOLD - scott riley irvine

We take turns drawing the curtains. My grandmother puts too much water in the coffeemaker and opens them before walking out of the kitchen. She forgets that the boy living down the street will see them open, think we’re home, and bring us rusty watering cans he had found in the woods. We tell him we’re not in the market for such things.

I’ve followed a blue jay down the street now for several weeks. He introduces me to neighbors. He teaches me how to string barbed wire around trees in order to ward off bears. He compliments my red mittens. He asks me how such a young man can live at such high altitudes. I ask him if he’s interested in collectible ballerinas in fair condition. He cuts the rounds short and walks me home.

There is a rock in the living room that Uncle Mike had lifted from the creek. On one side, in marker, it reads ‘Please flip me over.’ On the other ‘Thank you.’ We had tried to sell it, but Pastor Charles was doing a similar project out of his garage.

Scott Riley Irvine
Lance Olsen


Strong winds visit in the evening. Just the same as yesterday, we’re not home. The dying light renders strangers’ faces conveniently indistinct.

The gambling hells are crowded after dark. Everyone who has a lucky number has forgotten what it is. The black piano player plays on only the black keys.

Bird tracks cover the sky. My rifle jams at a critical moment. The last free Indians on the Plains nibble the grass. One of them, when I look again, is crunching bones. I try to believe we’re a democracy. The women pee standing up, the men sitting down.

The shops closed at noon. I hide behind a bush. Hats sail down the street. From now on, I’m going to define love loosely.

ABOVE BELOW - casey hannan

You have to pay attention on Ghost Bridge. There's no railing. I'm not paying attention, but I can do this. I can sit here and not fall off. I'm practiced in the stationary arts.

Jack is with me. He's never done this. I'm looking at his face. His skin is rice paper. His veins are overlapping carrot shreds. He's like a spring roll. I want to close my lips on his neck and inhale. I want to bring those carrots up.

Jack watches the tracks below. I lean in. He smells like lemons. I lick his neck. He just sits there, waiting for the ghost train. He's been told some stories, but there's not really a ghost train. I don't want to tell him that. I kiss his ear, his red stubble, the corner of his mouth. He says, "It's not coming, is it?"

I say, "No. Kids get drunk here. They fall off and die. End of spooky story. If there's a train, it's not the one you're hoping for. It's full of chickens, not ghosts."

Some feathers curl around on the tracks. People say it's evidence of angels collecting souls. I sit still and say no such thing.

Casey Hannan
Magic for Beginners
Kelly Link