“Nazoraëru, A bird whose Name is ink ⿃” by FIN SORREL

Now is the fourth shape represented that used to act as the first event.

 

 

In the beginning  “A forlorn child leans against barbed wire, and weaves  sped up, glitched perspectives of faraway forms, like cactus people sitting in lotus position on black hats (no eyes.)

In a clearing of oak trees, on a paisley blanket, (Q.) reaches with glitched out hands into a different stream of objects pouring before her/him/it.

 

Slow, the form staggers from object to object, slow, slow motion.

 

 

Three angles are representers.

 

In the room where blankets cover the large, black hat, (Q’s) arms and legs; (delicate simple lines, rolling beneath slow motion cotton inside, slip faraway the sunset from the bedroom.)

(Quiet.) form of a person sat up once, there had been all-white-light, surfaced from blankets, grandma’s patchwork, wool, and cotton, vomited up cloth creature, a pump of clothing had folded sheets into the apartment room, flooding the steps, consuming the dishes, and counter tops squirmed with octopus, and squids. (Q.) form of a person had been digested up to the elbows that day. Continue reading

CONSTITUTIONS (For the Old Abandoned Building of the Bank) by CHRISTOPHER CLIFTON

Preamble: The following records an understanding of the contract that has brought us here together to agree on what that means. It was written for the purpose of declaring our decision to inhabit this once empty, now communal space; and of providing legal basis for the future of our union. Every clause has been agreed by those here present, who enact our constitution with one voice.

 

  1. The only principle to which we may adhere is that of being here together.

 

  1. The principle of being here together will exclude the application of whichever social system to determine how or what it is to be.

 

  1. We will hold therefore to that which is, not that which should or could be.

Continue reading

“A STORY ABOUT MAN’S DESTINY UNDER NEAR-IDEAL CONDITIONS” by WARREN J. COX

Thank God for words he was thinking. Words—which did kind of tickle his brain in just such a way, in a good way. And yes he liked that, could count on that, bank on it, lean on it always. Like a crutch or cane, or the wooden handrail out front built for the benefit of his aging father and featuring beautiful sloping finials—plateaued, not pointy, at the peaks—at the tops of the support posts.

Finials. Yes, a fine word to say the least. Not to mention plateaued.

He could lean on numbers too, to be sure. Numbers could shore him up on a tough day or in a moment of inexplicable weakness. Sequences of numbers could be beautiful. One thing he loved was to find meanings in the license plates, pointing out especially when he caught sight of palindromes, notable years in history or future, and Super Bowl scores. Though he did not personally favor American pro football, he had still somehow become the best person he’d ever met at spotting Super Bowl scores on license plates. Of course, in his state the plates usually included 4-digit sequences which was ideal since the majority of Super Bowl scores could be best represented by sequences of 4 digits; had he grown up in certain other United States, he may never have developed this extraordinary skill.

In any case the problem he was facing now, that had been knocking him for a loop repeatedly, was: what the hell was he best served doing on this highly specific day? Continue reading

THREE STORIES by SAMUEL STEVENS

Summer Evening

 

They stood on the porch. He leaned on the railing, into her. She was poised away from him in a pink skirt and bikini top. He had bought them for her. The humid night air hugged their skin. They were sweating. Moths strafed around them pining for the porch lights.

“I can get a job at the plant,” he said.

“Daddy’s the head of the bus company,” she drawled.

“You say that to everything now and didn’t say that the night we met dancing.”

She crossed her arms and glanced at the front door. Music from the radio piped out from the half open windows.

“I’ve got a good job already and the skills to get a better one.” He swiped a moth away from his face. He almost yelled at the little bug. “Can I talk to him?”

“No. And the pastor wouldn’t agree to it to begin with.”

“That pastor’s—”

“That’s a lie and Daddy says it’s your Roman tricks to suggest such a thing and that he didn’t vote against Al Smith for no reason.” Continue reading

“LOTS 1-3” by COWBOY ROLAND

Lot No. 1
Polaroid Camera
Artist: Pranski

_____Pranski created works of graffiti-art that should not have been famous. Every inch of him and his possessions was steeped in an overpriced ego-driven posturing. Even his shoes, which he paid several thousand dollars for, he lied about for some reason. He said they were the most expensive in the world. They were not. Having inherited oil money from a family member whose name has now been lost to record, Pranski would pay police to turn a blind eye to his vandalism. Then, he would call them up so he could get arrested in front of his spray paint doodle and cause a big scene while crying and forgetting that the arrest was purely for show. Later in life, when critics had become fed up with the way Pranski’s art, which was always done in lower-income areas–Pranski said this made his painting ‘more authentic’–would drive up property values and drive out the original residents, it was revealed that Pranski had been paying said critics for the entirety of his ‘career.’ His fans were unfazed, deciding that this somehow added a ‘layer’ to Pranski’s genius. He, however, did not feel the same way, and so he paid a vagrant to jam a spraypaint can down his throat and take a polaroid picture of the result. “This will be my greatest work,” Pranski probably told the man. The vagrant used his hands to choke Pranski, then kept the spray paint to get high with. Continue reading

“MOTH GIRL” by CALVIN WESTRA

I was parking and she was screaming and for a moment I thought the world might end. You had to really hear them, piercing and full of life. The kind of shrieks only eighteen-year-old non-smoker lungs can belt out.

She was covering her mouth with one bony hand and pointing with the other. She was pointing at the lamp in front of my door and soon enough I was slamming my car door, I was running, and I was flipping the switch.

As soon as I turned the light off I could hear the buzzing, the flapping of fuzzy wings dispersing into the night. Moments earlier, a tornado of moths wrapped around my light post.

She was afraid of moths. She wouldn’t get out of my car until I swore it was safe.

This girl, we’ll call her moth girl, zoomed in and out of my life at lightning speed one time after another. We would talk, first on MySpace, then in the living room of my apartment, then on Twitter, then on a patio sharing coffee. She would disappear. We had mutual friends. We’d add each other on social media, share a message, and she’d evaporate. It became a rhythm through my twenties. Surprise visits I could never see coming, but could look forward to. Continue reading

“TWO SPUMES” by YUNG EPIMETHEUS

HEY YOU GET OUTTA THERE

i said to it

and there was painted before me the vast scenes

buildings and the abstraction of trees

and the things before faded softly you could say like the memory of a lover

without judgement

and it was the new place we’d for so long been hearing about

trains still made their sound outside

tho it was clearer we couldn’t see them Continue reading

“THE QUESTION OF MAURICE PINKHOVER” by EDWARD CONE

The fat lump of consciousness called Maurice Pinkhover is on his bed before a screen aglow with moving imagery. A blanket covers him. (This blanket is a metaphor representing my memory.) Shocking he’s there so easily now—I had written about him last year, when I lived in New Mexico, he’d all but materialized in the Santa Fe air, borne by me over the pages of what now amounts to a secret monograph. No one will read him then. I hadn’t anything for him since, and describing him now it’s obvious he’s reestablished his immediacy, this factorial Maurice. In other words he is asleep, in his corner room just off the front door, and now wakes. He is immediately tired, it’s as if he has actually not slept at all. But the story only rubs his eyes and moves to the desktop computer running FreeBSD in the corner, stares into the monitor, hits a few keys. This is fine busywork. He is active, at least, if assuredly unfit, although even this meager activity thins him. Maurice’s hair is shorter than it was last year, and his interest in and devotion to technology, especially network and most especially mobile security, is more obvious. (In Santa Fe it had been an obsession with bitcoin, but with the bust of ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ and the takedown of Silk Road, and the collapse of the Tower, so symbolic in the unreality of dreams and poetry, that had been erected between them, something new was necessary. So now to protect against everything Snowden showed us, he spends time teaching professedly non-violent psychedelics dealers how to use strong encryption and how to set up their own wireless mesh networks. The iterative lives of an internet troll.) At the keyboard he fucking rm -rf’s everything (/*) out of frustration. Continue reading

“THE SHOW ABOUT NOTHING” by SIMON GRAHAM

Doctors categorize me a genius. Apparently I could be a millionaire too if I’d like. That is if I put my mind to something, like playing poker or shorting currencies or solving equations in sparse echoing rooms. At the very least, they say, I should join Mensa and be with the like-minded. Find a partner, a female to whom I can relate. But I don’t see the appeal. I prefer to eat my peanut butter cups and watch my shows. They’re always on, reliable yet forever changing and never boring. I’m a Milanese Casanova for an hour and Capote for the next. Shooting outlaws in the Wild West then slamming gavels on wood grain. Eating truckstop waffles then atop an Olympic podium circa 1968, my right hand clenched to a fist and raised high, my head down. It’s exhilarating just to list all of my lives, let alone live them. I don’t know why anyone would settle for a singular narrative. Continue reading

THREE WORKS by Z. MARGARET

Internal’s House

 

(media res counterpoints)

“Show me someone who doesn’t warrant inspection and I’ll grant you your hormones,” the father says.

“Oh and which sadistic pill is that?” the daughter screams.

“Hey now, knowledge is not the answer, we both know that. Perhaps a little tipsy in the granulated downtime, but that’s all, I can assure you.”

“Did not!”

“Um yes, did two. Two pills with one swallow.”

“Have you even been bickering with me? what do your words—uh!” flapping hands.

“I see it as kind of like those days where when the day begins, with a sort of groggy eyesight. The first thing you hear from your mother’s mouth is—hey, woah, where do you expect you’re. Stop, okay—the very first noise you hear is some insect-y reminder from your well-intentioned mother, that the garbage disposal ate your garments. Or even your undergarments, like panties, and she forgot—hey, where.”

“F-you!..and hey, in case you didn’t know, plants have hormones too!” the daughter projects over her shoulder, down and out the staircase.

(out the door with her)

(back to the father, portrait)

“You know, I never dreamt about notebooks or that kind of thing, mainly (melting.horror.). But it’s all working out fine right about now. Really. Not so much as a gaper in the sky tell you the truth,” he pauses, waiting. Continue reading