cover number 11

At the Old Babar by Jan Steckel

At the Old Babar The poet cements her dentures in before she approaches the open mic for a semantically anarchic address to hipsters in their thrift-store best. Her cream-colored cable-knit cap looks like her exposed brain. Sea cucumbers taste like bitter tires, she informs the members of the bar. Many are cold, but few are […]Read More

The Last Gabbeh by Mira Martin-Parker

Okay, so I was driving a little fast. I had a new Porsche. I had just gotten a divorce. So I was speeding a little. So what? I happened to be in Bakersfield visiting a client—an old farmer with over a hundred acres of prime agricultural land who had recently managed to get himself into […]Read More

We're not in Five-one Land Now by Wendy Breuer

A room filled with grey emeritus professors, husbands led by the hand to their seats by wives in sensible shoes. They are the wilting flowers of cultural appreciativeness in this university town. The musicians take their seats, women in long black skirts, and the men tuxedoed.  A few minutes of discordant practice and then the […]Read More

Crocus by Halina Duraj

  Crocus J. and I eat ice cream bars on the front porch. I am moving in soon.   Somewhere, a shovel scrapes dirt. Today feels like spring but isn’t yet.   Purple crocuses grow thick and low by the porch steps. I put my face in dirt to smell them.   It seem right, […]Read More

Girl in Fulton Street by Sergio A. Ortiz

Girl in Fulton Street   They’re not really strangers reflecting off the windows, they’re men afoot on a crowded street. I am one of them, a girl in drag abating the neon lights. Clearing my way through a wilderness of leaves, dry and quiet rhymes without stretch marks, on the banks of a wistful sea […]Read More

Seattle by Peter J. Stavros

  The call came early in the morning, impossibly, ungodly, early, with the sudden shrill ringing of the phone first echoing in my dream, whatever I was dreaming about, and then shattering the stillness of the bedroom. I opened my eyes, blinked to focus, to see Ashley sound asleep next to me – sometimes I […]Read More

The Pickle Shelves by Holly Day

The Pickle Shelves this bomb shelter is packed with corpses, jars of heads line the walls as if waiting to be used as some sort of accompaniment to mutant fresh vegetables picked from radioactive soil in some post-apocalyptic orgy to celebrate an anniversary of the end of it all. white eyes stare calmly out through […]Read More

Night Shift by Stephen D. Gutierrez

He had always wanted to fuck a corpse, and now that he had done it, he didn’t feel so great. He sat in dejection next to the stiff, who looked the same. He had this night job cleaning up. He had work to do in the psychological department. He began to dance with the corpse […]Read More

Bird Song by Kaily Dorfman

  Bird Song oh we’re done with heaviness let’s get some light between these ribs     About the Author: Kaily Dorfman is from Santa Cruz originally and did her undergrad at Berkeley. She spent some time in Salinas working as a literacy tutor for underprivileged K-4th grade students, and more recently got an MA in […]Read More

Something in the Way by Andrew Gordon Rogers

  Underneath the bridge The tarp has sprung a leak And the animals I’ve trapped Have all become my pets And I’m living off of grass And the drippings from the ceiling — Kurt Cobain, Something in the Way   We missed it when we heard the whistle and climbed up, but from the hilltop […]Read More

TOUGH GUY LOOKING FOR TOUGH GIRL, MUST HAVE OWN BRASS KNUCKLES by John Grey

  TOUGH GUY LOOKING FOR TOUGH GIRL, MUST HAVE OWN BRASS KNUCKLES   Model yourself on the young Robert Downey, only with more tattoos, cuss and spit, form out of nothing but your heart and your image in the mirror, a brutal package. It will help in your relationship with the one who dotes on […]Read More

Beaks by Kim Magowan

Crouching in the ugly paisley armchair in the Littlebrooks’ den, facing the front door, Trish seethes. Her job is to stand guard. If Mrs. Littlebrook comes back from wherever she is (book club? Crochet group? Gin was vague, typically dismissive), Trish is supposed to give a signal. “Oh hi, Mrs. Littlebrook!” Inflate her voice to […]Read More