“BLUE-SHIFT” by RYAN SILVA

The torsos of two tangled teenagers tangoed with torn titanium. The sweaty smacking of skin and sultry sighs of satiation only ended after the rent-asunder husk of the Alfa-Romeo Giulia stopped spinning. Bringing down my shaking hands from the steering wheel, I unclasped the metal flask velcro’d to the inside of my satin jacket and took several long gulps of the elixir inside. It’s gin, tonic, a dash of lime juice and the dissolved remains of 11mg of Xanax. I took a deep breath and turned back to my clients, spread out in the back seat — still stark naked. The girl was slumped up against the rear passenger door, completely spaced out, looking outside the tinted window above her. Something had cut her and she was bleeding from the shoulder — not profusely. The boy was sprawled out across the middle of the car, fondling his minimizing member and grinning greedily.

“I love this.” He said, his chest heaving. He ran a hand through his red hair, twisting his curls and then letting his whole arm sink across his wiry frame.

“I love you.” The girl said to no one in particular, her eyes glassed. The stream of blood from her shoulder had already managed to slip down her minute frame, and it was now mixing it up with the jet black hair that covered her small, round, breasts in a biblical fashion.

“Did something in the car hit her?” I asked the boy, curious about how far I’d get with these two drug-addled drive-by-death-seekers. I’d have to leave a call to Tom Anderson, the fellow who procured these cars for the company. The interiors were supposed to be properly reinforced to withstand 124mph head-on collisions. The front-end fianchettoing was purely cosmetic.

“Nah, I fuckin’ bit her, man.” He said with a sickly self-satisfied smirk. Continue reading

THREE POEMS by ETHAN GATHY

Miasma in the Desert

 

Arid bloom, the dryad’s store Console me in the everlasting
Las Vegas where the sand and sky themselves all are fasting
Gored by wanton horns, I am drained as faucets drained
And that umbrella we brought well where is it today

So many stupid towers and the unplucked rose for Emily
It’s a pity when all the forests have been divorced from land and sea
Into steel cold oblivion
The buzzard and eagle I’ll make them speak with dice
Jove’s Lake with loving grace
Makes even misers kind
The government was like a lunar goddess collecting ice in pails

Wait
My holy confidante
Wait
My spineless spine
I’ve got an orphic couplet I can call mine
No wait Continue reading

“FANTASY MOUNTAIN” by USERCORPSE

I spent time with women spanning four years before the salve of Cindy, from late in high school to early in college, until dropping the last (physical) girl in favor of a fleshed out system of head-mating qua productivity tool, which I’d found I’d need to take down a dangerous Algorithmic Design final.

The first sucked my cock while I drove. We dripped warm spit in each other’s mouths and she’d suck her own toes as I fucked her. We birthed and nurtured ever larger beasts of angry salivation to slay together for fun, until these outgrew our joint strength and we had to side with them against each other to make our own ways out alive. I learned from her to fantasize.

The second sucked my cock while I wrote K. She’d edge me overbrimming with spunk until I fucked her like an ape until her squirms gave out and her elevator melody of squeaks gave way to a vital moan, yeah: she enjoyed that position, photonegative sister to that of a man under torture. I learned from her to be practical.

The third was the daughter of a Chinese diplomat or summat whom I caught in Galaxy and fucked through Skype. She cut a J in her foot for me, a screenshot I still use. From her and her masochism and shit-fetishism I learned a law: extremism fills the void left by contact.  Continue reading

“CIRCLING A STAR” by MISTI RAINWATER-LITES

All the important people were dying off that spring. First Dolly Parton then Reese Witherspoon. I expected Tom Selleck to go next. But then Tommy Lee Jones died and that is the one that really threw me for a Froot Loop. So I walked down the road to Buck’s Dollar and first thing I did was put quarters in the jukebox for “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Defying Gravity.”

“Here’s to Mister Jones,” I said to nobody in particular. I was sitting there at the bar raising my bottle high. Sandi Jo looked moronic, even with all that blonde hair and cleavage, gaping at me from behind the bar with her ridiculous fake turquoise earrings dangling.

“Who you talkin’ bout? George Jones?” Sandi Jo asked.

“Girl, hush your mouth. You ain’t heard the news?”

“I guess not. Clue me in?”

“Tommy Lee Jones died this morning. Tommy damn Lee Jones. Best actor ever born. But at least he died peaceful at home, not in some massacre or car crash. Tommy motherfucking Lee Jones. Here’s to him.” I raised my bottle again, took a swig. Continue reading

“REAL ESTATE” by CARL GERCAR

I’ve purchased a house on the west side of Chicago. I think you would like it. It’s very charming.

I only got the house on the west side because it’s so charming and I thought you’d like it. There was a house south of Waukegan that I liked more. It had better foundations and I know the neighborhood. Or I knew the neighborhood, it changes every few years. The leaves get orange and red and brown and fall off and dust away, and the people get older and crazier and start voting Republican, and the places I loved are demolished or covered in graffiti by some kids that don’t see the world like we did. Then we grew out of passenger-seat romances and into homebody holidays. We thinned out and shrank up and took up more room than we needed but less room than we wanted.

You didn’t re-sign the lease to our apartment in Waukegan. I know that because I saw you walking your dog on the west side of Chicago. I bought the house that same day. The garage has enough room for my car and your car and maybe a little art studio. I don’t know if you still paint or not. I haven’t tried to find out, and no one will tell me anything about you anyway.

I think people are concerned that I’m losing it. Continue reading

“CHAOS KNIGHT BOTSURAKU GAIDEN” by M.L. CHEZAKKU

Chaos Knight lost balance in a backward contortion to red ovals, slipping onto the electrified floor of the Twister room fretted with brutalist ridges and crowned by observation balconies where sat mandarins in white face paint looking on glumly as bone spasm knives threw him into boomerang posture, as if his abdomen were trying to escape, and the lightly singing blue fabric of his sweat-lacquered elastane bodysuit sucked into the shape of his open mouth gasping for air. He relaxed. There was a malfunction, excess punishment. Tampering? Maybe. He had many enemies. Med coats wheeled in the gurney and hauled him off through successive UFO ceiling lights, rumbling of tile in duet with the squeak of an ungreased wheel scoring the dawning horror that he could not feel anything below his clavicle. Beyond touched-up photographs of his pearly whites and profile, a rag from which little capital could be wrung, the PR team assured him he was useless, done for, washed up. Something like weeping came over him and he booed loudly, not knowing what noise was acceptable. He was deferred to therapy, physical and interrogative, then to his wife and children, but they left him, and having no other recourse he gave himself up to government testing. Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN

Out of Sink

 

soldiers in tandem
stone statues in parks
mushroom visions from the company
test tube
and we needed a new sink
but the guy at the Rona said
it would be weeks before they had
any sinks, that he had placed the order
but things took time
and then he started talking to us
about faucets,
showed us many long gold ones
that looked like a woman’s shoe,
but we didn’t need faucets
we did not even require nice weather
as we drove back home in the rain,
an empty school bus tailgating us
the whole way. Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by COWBOY ROLAND

on an older tv you can feel static if your face is close enough

 

i watch Scrubs and think “doctors are incredible”
doctors keep our hearts beating, doctors are stressed out

i watch Scrubs to learn tv doctors think life is inherently meaningless
i eat food i don’t like and think life is inherently meaningless

doctors exist because people don’t really want to die yet
i exist because i don’t really want to die yet either

let me try again
let me express something close to you
so you hear, i think
i deleted this line because of fear
a tv doctor’s actions have no real consequence Continue reading