Christian Hayden

Louis Packard

Garrett Crowe

Robert Scotellaro

Tim Flagg

Randall Brown

R.G. Vasicek

BUSY WEEK - christian hayden

Ate a bullet Sunday; that’s not a colloquialism: with a paring knife I shaved off shards of a hollow point so thin they’d liquefy in my mouth. I wanted to be the man who shat lead but I felt a lump in my belly; it was the slivers of metal coagulating so I went to the ER Monday. Got told I was a special case Tuesday; that was nice to hear.

Surgery Wednesday. Fentanyl Thursday. Left Friday after I overheard them tell a freshly fingerless man that he was a special case too. Tried again Saturday with a bar of gold.

Christian Hayden
Europe Central

William T. Vollmann

BURGER KING - louis packard

u are sitting in a burger king eating a triple bk stacker when u notice u are choking. u try to violently swallow several times to no avail. the air coming out of your lungs has nowhere to go and it is a terrifying sensation. u are terrified. u stand up and start to make muted sounds, trying to indicate that u are choking. u did not learn the international sign for choking or how to use the heimlich maneuver properly on yourself because u skipped health class on the day that was taught with your friend jeffery and smoked reggie weed that u bought from seniors underneath the bleachers. an old man sitting alone reading a newspaper ignores u because he thinks u are an insane person. a tall woman comes up to u and asks, “are u ok sweetie” before realizing u are choking and starts to scream. she tried to dial 9-1-1 on her cell phone but accidentally punches in 9-9-1 and doesn’t realize her mistake. the teen behind the register doesn’t know what to do and runs into the back room. there is a man sitting alone at a table, having finished his bk stacker two minutes before u started choking. this man has been properly trained on how to use the heimlich maneuver but is terrified that he will mess it up and kill u anyways or that he will make the same mistake while trying to call 9-1-1 and dial 9-9-1 like the tall woman who is now shouting at the operator of 9-9-1 to connect her to 9-1-1. the man who knows how to do the heimlich maneuver sits silently at his table and wishes he was on xanax. u choke to death in a burger king. u choke to death in a goddamn burger king on a triple bk stacker at age 28. a stoned teen makes fun of u while watching the local news that night with his friends.

Louis Packard
Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me
Richard Farina


A backyard full of bummed-out Corvettes and rusty motorcycles, Triumphs, Harleys, parents acting like children, there they are. The driveway talks by spitting gravel underneath fast tires and yelling curses: Goddamn, Son-of-a-bitch most common. At sundown, ditches of spilled beer drain into a porch already water-damaged. A screendoor snaps against the pane, weaker than a nine millimeter being shot into the nightwoods. At sunrise, a backyard full of forgotten and misplaced mesh hats that read Peckerwood Power or Damn, I’m Good! or Holler Louder I Can’t Hear You. Sometimes a denim skirt or a pair of panties lay morning-dewed. But there's also a quiet, a stillness. Inside, a child dreams a future of a hundred homemade tattoos, crooked shapes, nasty letters, demon numbers, copperheads with bullet holes, bald heads, a million women to call mother, and a father who can't crank his motorcycle fast enough.
Garrett Crowe
Jujitsu for Christ
Jack Butler

ZOOLAND - robert scotellaro

All day he shoveled dung at the zoo. A life viewed through cages and bars. Wore too much Aqua Velva for his young wife's asthma. She still remembered him, Mountain-high, on that lifeguard tower. The salty/cocoa butter scent of him in the sheets. The elephants, he'd told her. Christ!—the elephants...  She was humming a tune from a TV commercial which had stuck in her head. He asked her to stop. There was a roast in the oven, a canary making a racket in the sunroom, their toddler forming an army of wide-jawed alligator clothespins. He got up and reached for the remote sprouting from between the couch cushions where she sat.  Leaned close and plucked it out like a radish. Sat back in his Lazy Boy. She coughed.
Robert Scotellaro
Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings
Kuzhali Manickavel


I earn my living. I can fix anything, build anything. I built this entire house out of scraps, from the ground up. People out there do it for money, their fucking leather couches, pop tarts and instant coffee. Not me. I work for the Cosmos. I listen to it, and then I go in motion, just like the planets. My Grandfather was a half Shawnee Indian, a god damn sullen misanthrope most his life, but occasionally wise. He used to tell me that if we silenced our mind enough we could hear the dead whisper prayers to the living. He said those prayers are the secrets to the Universe, how we evolve, or used to, at least. Now most people ignore our ancestor's invocations. We are in situation where we might be going the other way, de-evolving. Not me, I listen to the secret incantations of the dead. I see the connections. I look at my asshole and know its a twinkling star. Someday I will be a Cosmic King. Most of humanity will be piled in landfills. I will be a Bird Spirit soaring high in the magic ether.


Tim Flagg
Sam Pink


EIGHTEEN - randall brown

We lingered on the forest’s green velvet underground, before the pregnancy, the abortion, the desperate phone call eighteen years later about her miscarriage after miscarriage, how she knew there’d be a price, a lasting curse. That night, we had skipped work in the factory picking tiny parts to ship in unlabeled boxes to parts unknown. In that forest, still tripping because the Grateful Dead had come to City Island of all places, we fucked against a tree. I couldn’t make out forms, only a blur of colors. The acid had done something to my stomach, twisted; for months later, I’d only be able to eat carrots and blue cheese dressing. That night, a swirl of reds and yellows, autumn leaves, the Dead, her love, things that couldn’t keep.


Randall Brown
Doctor Sleep
Stephen King

THE KID - r.g. vasicek

The kid is a machinist’s son. You can see it from a kilometer away. The broken nose. The hunchback. The cigarette.


If he talks (as rare as it is) you might hear the slightest trace of an immigrant accent. How many fucking generations does it take?

For what?

To erase the past.

The kid is a defector. We all are.

I know I am.

I know what it means to not want this. And yet be grateful. Shit. Most kids on the planet don’t have access to the Internet. Most kids don’t drink enough water. Most kids don’t eat. Yet we complain.

My portal isn’t working.

Barthelme says machines are braver than art.

Warhol says I want to be a machine.

Le Corbusier says a house is a machine for living in.

The kid lives in a motorhouse park.

Texas is Texas with a capital T. Don’t get the wrong idea about Longview. People come. People go. Just not that often. We sort of like it that way. Everybody except for the kid. He talks a lot of nonsense about “defecting” from this “football” reality.

The kid can’t throw a spiral.

Abigail says the kid needs a taste of pussy.

R.G. Vasicek
Michael Frayn