“BABY” by DC MILLER

He was drunk when she arrived, three singles down, a new one glowing on the table. She’d come by bike, her hair wet from the rain he stood and kissed her on the cheek retook his seat and she took one and breathed and looked at him across the table. He looked back – his eyes across her eyes and her mascara, hands, and fingers. The waiter came and took their order. The food came and he ate his lamb and drank his whiskey and she didn’t know if she was pleased to see him or if the whole thing just made her sad. He paid the bill, they left and walked down winding streets, past street lamps wreathed in mists, and pubs. I forgot about this city. How it feels. So big you’ll never find the edges. The rain had stopped. She turned the key inside the lock. The corridor was tight with bikes and they edged past them in the darkness up the stairs to her apartment. They went into the kitchen, and he put his bag down, she poured them both another drink, and he lit a cigarette. He took a sip, and looked at her across the kitchen. He put his hands against her waist. They went to bed and fucked but the connection wasn’t there and after they had finished she lay silently not moving breathing staring at the ceiling drifting between memories of how they met, the past, the future, where they would be in twenty years, if they would know each other, or remember, like a cassette tape flipping over. Then she woke up. At first she thought she’d overslept but then she recognized the sounds of birds on empty streets. He was gone. She got-up, and she peed, and got back into bed, and stayed awake for a long time, staring at the ceiling until dawn.

 

*

 

She woke up squinting at the sunlight streaming through her window. Birds were chirping on the street. He was still sleeping. She got out of bed and went into the kitchenette to make two cups of coffee. She lit a cigarette. The kettle boiled. When she went back into the bedroom he was sitting up in bed. She handed him his cup of coffee and he took a long drag on her cigarette. She stubs it out. They leave the flat. It was a blistering hot day and the streets were calm. They walk two blocks to the cafe on the corner, and ask for two more shots of coffee. He checked his watch. He had a train to catch in twenty minutes. They embraced and he was gone. Continue reading

“WHY ALWAYS ME” by MARIO BALOTELLI (TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN by DC MILLER)

The author is not just a powerful footballer, but an amazing exemplar of mimetic desire.

– Rene Girard

 

WHY ALWAYS ME?

i have been asking

myself this question

ever since i was a boy

who am i?

what do i want?       

YET i HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN

im MARIO

Luigi
Pico
Dada

Della

Maradona

Balotelli

1& ONLY

HuMAN Of ghana

king oF SICILY

& say my name

and u will see me

climbing the redento swatting

MISSILES out of the sky Continue reading

FOUR POEMS by ED O’CASEY

The sun filtered by

________________industrial blinds, dust navigates
________________the room in even this

________________________supposedly sterile habitat.

If it weren’t for the movement
of these particulars, the moment
would feel static, the kind of minute
that lacks breath. I always invade
your space this way, quietly, hesitant,
unsure whether you want to speak
________of legs and injustice,
________________or if you’d rather watch

________reruns of Wapner on the room’s outdated
––––––––television: medical grade of course.

––––––––––––––––I’ll finally come out and say
________________something today, so listen well—

________________________these bluing veins can

only contain so much of their
leftover pulse. You’re trapped in our
homemade illusions: the old man they
wheeled out of here yesterday, stiff
as a drunk, hoped to prolong himself
________until after March
_______________Madness. He genuflects Continue reading

“GREENTEXT” by RAY MCKENZIE

“Greentext stories are anecdotes written in short, concise sentences that are often shared on the image board 4chan using the site’s ‘green-text’ code.” –knowyourmeme.com

“The stories and information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood. Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact.” -Anonymous

Anonymous 5/1/15(Fri)19:45:12 No.408965472

Sup /b/rethren. An old flame killed herself today. I have a twelve year scotch and  story to tell. Let’s get to it.

>Be me
>M/27/College Professor
>First PhD in English, second PhD in Linguistics.
>Teaching Western Lit and English 101 at OSU.
>Easy shit to teach while I do grant-funded research on Chaucer.
>Chaucerian Scholar-in-Residence of OSU.
>Smart as fuck.
>pushupglasses.jpeg
>Always have a handful of QT 3.14s in the 101 courses.
>Can’t make a move on them.
>Conflict of interests that can get me fired.
>This one girl is a great student. Just so happens to be hot.
>Helen of Troy levels of classic beauty.
>For the sake of this story, let’s call her Helen.
>Never missed a class, stayed after often, always submitted drafts early, etc.
>I’m no expert but I think she’s into me.
>Flirty but subtle, never inappropriate.
>Last day of class, everyone turned in their final papers.
>Gave students time to fill out course evaluations.
 >Evals are surveys of how they felt about the class, if I was a fair teacher, etc.  >Administration reviewed the evals after grades were due.
>Not a huge deal since I’m tenured.
>Not a huge deal since my research is grant-funded.
>Sat down after Christmas to go over evals with Admistration.
>Got my performance review and had a chance to look at my evals.
>One read: “Dr. Dr. rocks!”
>Oh yeah, students call me ‘Dr. Dr.’ as a joke.
>Remember that I have 2 PhDs.
>Count ‘em.
>christianbaledubscheck.jpeg
>Another: “I want to have your children. Taking Lit with you in the spring  <3”
>Turn beet red.
>Administration laughs.
>“Kids use this as a venue for comedy since they’re anonymous. We doubt there’s anything inappropriate going on.”
>wellthatsarelief.png Continue reading

“SOMETHING ON A HILL” by WAYLAND TRACY

The sun was too bright that day and it was upsetting my goats. Some of them took to charging the children playing in the outskirts of the crowd. Kids just rolling in the dirt, not really seeing the parade or knowing what it was. I don’t know if they called it a parade. Anyway, my goats were knocking kids over, making them cry. I had to whistle a certain note and they rammed each other’s heads instead. Sometimes you have to do that with goats. We had traveled many miles and we had many more to go, to a new home, perhaps, with more water. One of them, I called him Blek, he wandered away and walked right up to the man carrying the cross. Before I could do anything, little black Blek, who I liked particularly for his joyful bleating, he licked the dirty and bloody knees of the man walking up the hill. The man yelled at Blek to beat it but Blek doesn’t listen all the time. The man then took his hand away from the cross to swat at Blek but the weight of all that wood was too much and the man collapsed, cross shoving his face into the dirt. I laughed. I don’t care for any man who raises his hand against my goats. I thought it was justice, like a universal justice that just takes care of things. I don’t know. Some people heard my laughing and glared at me like I’d pushed him down. I shrugged. A Roman soldier approached the man and my goat. He kicked the man’s ribs, told him to get up. Then he kicked my goat, who had moved on to licking the man’s feet. I had a dagger on my hip and I gripped it. Of course, I didn’t use it. I know what happened to men who raise goats when they try to take on the Romans. I’m not stupid. And as the river of my thoughts has grown longer and wider as I’ve grow more tired, I believe that life, all life, is sacred, no matter my opinions. I knew Blek would understand. He ran through the crowd and joined his goat brothers and sisters. Continue reading

FROM “GRAFFITI ON A BURNING HOUSE” by MIGGY ANGEL

It is the most beautiful day of your childhood. Your family, both the living and the beyond, stand around you in a circle wearing white gowns and every one of them are holding a red balloon. The air smells of citrus peel, or a field with the spectres alert, or a school bus travelling beyond the concrete. Every member of your family gives you a red balloon and you hold a million ancestral strings tied to a million balls of heaven. You begin to unmoor and rise upwards into the clouds and the sky, the tide of blood floods your face and oh the eternal black, oh the stars, oh the phantoms of light and the vapours of love. This is the most beautiful day of your childhood and today nobody has to die.

 

* * * * *

 

Flames rose up from the source of the red path and course the house had taken. We children descended the spiral ancestral staircase. Undressed by an act of arson. Naked as a flame and just as garrulous. Nitrogen winged. Booming bonfire arias. Tonight, father was so root-hot with shame he burned the house down. Continue reading

“IF YOU’RE NOT DRUNK YET THEN THE SUN FUCKED UP AND SET EARLY” by STEVE ANWYLL

The first thing I ask when I answer the phone is if she’s drunk. Then if she’s going to bail on me. I hear a slur in her voice giving away all of her motives. For Christ’s sake. I’ve been telling myself she was going to do just this since I got home. So now I expect it from her. But before she can even answer I tell her I’ve had enough. And to cut all her bullshit.

The response I get is wild laughter. I guess she has a differing opinion. So I stand here in the bathroom. Waiting for her to finish her hysterics. Thinking about what the hell we’re doing to each other. She finally quiets herself. She takes the time to tell me I should try climbing down off my high horse. And try taking a fucking look in the mirror for once.

So I rest the phone on the back of the toilet. Press the speaker function. I’ll accept her goddamned challenge. Like a fucking man. Earlier. When I walked in the door I’d stripped all my damp greasy work clothes off. So now here I am. Standing in front of the mirror. Covered in nothing more than a pair of stained sweaty briefs. I can see my body reflected from my zit-covered kneecaps. Up to the top of my head. Continue reading

TWO POEMS by TED VORTIGERN

Will the Last Libertarian Please Turn Out the Lights?

Sickness unto death, infection girds the globe.
The damn thing has prolapsed:
Sniffling, slurping, a wake with colored strobes,
Worshipping the low tax,
Suckling its new apps
Without one pinch of dignity for the corpse.

In a looking glass your decrepit tits sag.
Your mother said they would:
Crushing, stabbing, you murder the old hag,
She never understood,
She only chopped the wood
That kindled a hearth for a rotten cradle.

The world has gone tame, who’ll take the mantle up?
Defend a ransacked church:
Wasting, retching, forget the holy cup,
Burn all the sacred birch,
In bitter mourning lurch
Toward the cherry cabinet where father hid the guns. Continue reading

“MY BROTHER AND I OWN THE BP STATION ON CERMAK AND DAMEN” by XIM XOM

My brother and I own the BP station on Cermak and Damen.

He runs the convenient store and I run the Subway.

We are in love with the same woman – Dame Judi Dench.

I have a poster of her above the oven.

He keeps one behind the cash register.

Every night we go all out kissing our posters and professing our love for her to the point where we cannot hear each other over the excessive smooching.

Then one evening, the store got robbed.

A masked assailant barged through the door waving a gun around, demanding we empty our cash registers.

Fearing he meant business, we did as we were told.

As he was dumping our earnings into his backpack, my brother’s poster caught his eye. Continue reading

THREE POEMS by AJ

Red Flannel

Flannel patterned red.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
Fuck!
Make it to the epoch of dissent and leave heroism with no range of ascent. No chance of ascent
My brother’s lisp and the fact we don’t strangle the infirm in bed give me a bad feeling in the stomach.
I’ll rack my mind about simple things, realizing that dreams are no simple thing. Grab a few cigarettes from my mom and flick the light fizzle pop.
And I’ll try my best to reunite the ties I once had to this land and these people and this red flannel. Continue reading