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I WANTED TO BE NAKED 
Keegan Swenson interviews Betsey Brown
12.1.22

KS: I saw Caveh on the F train and told him I was going to speak with you. I asked him about his POV on Actors. He has this way of speaking you know: radical honesty and all. He said “I think it’s a very brave movie and it’s very funny.”
BB: That’s so funny. I was talking to this stranger I’d just met. I told him Actors was a comedy. He knew to laugh. Sometimes I wonder if I should tell the viewers: you’re allowed to laugh. But also, who am I to tell people how to experience my movie?


SEX & LITERATURE 
Taylor Lewandowski
11.29.22

IT’S LIKE NIETZSCHE’S MYTH OF THE ETERNAL RETURN: YOU CAN VIEW THE WORLD WITHOUT ‘GOD’ AS ‘DEMONIC’ (IN WHICH YOU MAKE THE ‘DEMONS’ OR THE ‘HORRIBLE’ FORCES OF THE BODY). WHEREAS: IF YOU SIMPLY ACCEPT THE ETERNAL RETURN, THEN THE BODY BECOMES THE AREA OF JOY, AND YOU VALUE LIFE AND YOU VALUE ALL THE CHANGES AND ALL THAT IS IN FLUX. SO, HOW CAN WE INSTITUTE A SOCIETY WHERE THAT SEARCH IS BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE AT THE SAME TIME?

HAWAIIAN
Gabriel Friend
11.21.22

I DID IT BECAUSE I HATE WOMEN, FUSION POWER, AND SPACE EXPLORATION.

THE CHINATOWN 30 PUSHING 30 LIST
11.20.22

SOPHIE KEMP JORDAN CASTRO TYLER BAINBRIDGE TAO LIN ANGELICISM01 EZRA MARCUS CURTIS YARVIN ATTICUS LISH XIAN LORENTZEN OLIVIA KAN-SPERLING LAKE MICAH WIGGLY CANDLE MADELINE ANIKA DREW OHRINGER MATTHEW DONOVAN ALEX TRAUB POOR CASSIDY EUGENE KOTLYARENKO MATTHEW WEINBERGER ALLIE ROWBOTTOM SEAN THOR CONROE NATE KUO GUTES NOAH KUMIN ADAM GLUCK ELLIOT WEIL KGB BARTENDER ZACH SOKOL BECKET MAX TULLIO 

2 STORIES
Chiara Barzini
11.18.22

LEONARD IS A BIG MAN WHO SUFFERS BURSTS OF AMNESIA AND FORGETS ABOUT THE TIMES HE HITS HER. HE SAYS HE DOES IT BECAUSE SHE IS TALL AND HER PONYTAIL IS HIGH AND EASY TO GRAB, SHE HAS STRONG CALVES, AND LOOKS LIKE SHE CAN FEND FOR HERSELF. THAT’S ALL HE REMEMBERS ABOUT HIS GIRLFRIEND AFTER HE HITS HER, THAT SHE’S BIG–– A BIG GIRL WHO CAN DECIDE THINGS ON HER OWN. BUT NOBODY IS AS BIG AS LEONARD. HE DRAGS HIS GIANT FEET ACROSS THE PUDDLES OF THE ETERNAL CITY.

LEGALESE
Claudia Ross
11.14.22

THE MAN’S NAME IS WILLIAM, OR HE SAYS IT IS WILLIAM, AND HE REPEATS HIS NAME AT INCREASINGLY LOUD VOLUME, WHILE THE CELL PHONE ATTENDANTS TELL HIM THAT HE IS AT THE INCORRECT STORE FOR HIS PROBLEM, WHATEVER THAT PROBLEM MAY BE.

VERIFIED
Elizabeth Burch Hudson
11.7.22

IF I HAVE TO HAVE ONE MORE CONVERSATION ABOUT LATE STAGE CAPITALIST MORTALITY IN A CITY FULL OF APARTMENTS AND HOMELESS PEOPLE WHERE WE’RE ALL OBSESSED WITH DEATH BY COMPARISON AND GETTING ON RAYA JUST TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT AND HARVEY AND ELLEN AND THANK GOD THEY FELL FROM POWER IT’S SO DIFFERENT NOW BECAUSE IT’S, SCREAM IT WITH ME NOW, SUCH A GOOD TIME FOR WOMEN IN FILM.I KEEP ALL MY GUARDIANS IN ORBIT AROUND ME. THEIR EYES ARE MY STREAMLINE OF LOVE. SOME ARE CELESTIAL BEINGS, A FEW ARE PEDOPHILES, OTHERS ARE FBI AGENTS, SOCIAL SCIENTISTS, AND OTHER COLLECTORS OF DATA. IF THEY EVER CEASE TO WATCH OVER ME, I WON’T KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE.

THEY DON’T KNOW
Ang Xu
10.31.22

HER INITIAL PLAN WAS NOT TWO MONTHS BUT FOREVER, YET EVEN FOREVER COULD NOT ENDURE THE ROBUST RECKLESSNESS OF IGNORANT YOUTH AND THUS SHE UNILATERALLY RESUMED OUR CONVERSATION THE DAY BEFORE I DROVE HER TO HER ABORTION APPOINTMENT. I HAD NEVER EXERTED FORCE ON ANYONE IN THE PAST FIFTY TWO SPRINGS OF MY HUMBLE, COMPLIANT LIFE, BUT THAT MORNING I PUNCHED HER BOYFRIEND IN THE FACE.

VICTIM COMPLEX
Patrick McGraw
10.31.22

HIS DISEASE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLEAR TO ME AS THE MAN’S EYES WERE HOODED AND HIS EYEBROWS PERCHED SO HIGH UP ON HIS FACE THAT HE LOOKED LIKE A BENIGN WHITE CARICATURE OF MICKEY MOUSE. THE FIRST NIGHT I SPENT THERE, HE DID NOT SLEEP IN HIS SECOND-FLOOR BEDROOM BUT RATHER STAYED UP ALL NIGHT IN THE KITCHEN NEXT TO THE LIVING ROOM WRITING LETTERS THAT HE WOULD NEVER SEND TO NANCY PELOSI, NICOLAS MADURO, AND HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND.

LITTLE ITALY
Skylar Hauge
10.28.22

IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE ME WHEN MY PANTS ARE UNZIPPED. I CLICK MY HEELS TOGETHER. IT FEELS GOOD LIKE AN OIL TWISTER IN WATER. I’VE BEEN RESCUED FROM EVERY “ITALIAN RESTAURANT AND BAR” IN KANSAS. HIS HEAD LOOKS LIKE THE SIDE OF A MUGSHOT THE WALL SEES. I’M BEAUTIFUL FROM MY DOG'S PILLS. I’M BEAUTIFUL WHEN I IMAGINE WHAT HIS FACES LOOKS LIKE INSTEAD OF LEARNING HOW THEY FEEL.

ACTS OF DESPERATION 
Excerpt from Megan Nolan
10.18.22

CIARAN FOUND CRYING REPULSIVE. WHATEVER DISTASTE HE ALREADY FELT FOR ME DURING ARGUMENTS, THE SIGHT OF TEARS SHARPENED IT. HIS EYES WOULD NARROW AND LOSE ANY RESIDUAL WARMTH OR COMPASSION. HE WOULD TURN AWAY FROM ME, REFUSE TO WITNESS.

2 POEMS
Grace Dougherty
10.14.22

YOU SHOULD KNOW I
THINK OF YOU OFTEN.
I STAND IN CALIFORNIA
IN A HOUSE THAT IS MINE.
I DON’T GO TO CHURCH,
BUT I LIVE NEAR MOUNTAINS
AND OJAI
WHICH IS THE SAME THING.

DIARY ENTERIES
Maya Chambers
10.4.22

I IMAGINED HOW IT MIGHT FEEL TO BID ADO TO A HUSBAND SENT TO WAR AND THOUGHT I MIGHT UNDERSTAND HOW SOMETHING EXPERIENCED FROM THE EXTERNAL COULD DRIVE YOU MAD. I WENT BACK DOWN THE ESCALATOR AND LOOKED AT THE MAGICAL MOVING STEEL STEPS AND LED LIGHTS AND RUBBER ARMBANDS AND WONDERED IF OUR ENVIRONMENT MIGHT REALLY BE DOING THAT.

MY LOVELY HENRIETTA 
Dakotah Weeks Murphree
9.29.22

IN ONE GRUESOME CHAPTER HENRIETTA IS CAPTURED, KIDNAPPED, HELD FOR RANSOM BY SOME UNKNOWN VILLAIN. HIS TWO BUFFOONISH LACKEYS ARE BRUTAL. IT DESCRIBES THESE CARTOONISH MEN PINNING HER DOWN, TAKING TURNS HAVING THEIR WAY WITH HER. IT SAYS THAT SHE WAS SO POWERFUL, THAT SHE WAS SO TENDER, THAT SHE WAS SO LOVELY SHE TRANSFORMS THIS ACT INTO LOVE MAKING. CAUSING THE TWO MEN TO FALL DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH HER.
 
TWELVE PARAGRAPHS
Auri Ribes
9.26.22

“SHE’S REALLY FAT NOW,” MY DAD EXPLAINED EARNESTLY ABOUT HIS OTHER WOMAN. HE WAS SITTING ON THE CORNER OF MY SISTER’S BED, I WAS UPRIGHT, WHILE MY SISTER WAS LYING DOWN LOOKING AT ALL THE PLUSHIES LINING HER CEILING THAT MY MOM STUFFED UP THERE.

OTHER WOMEN
Excerpt by Nicola Maye Goldberg
9.23.22

I RUMMAGED BRIEFLY THROUGH YOUR MEDICINE CABINET. JOSEPHINE WAS ON THE SAME BRAND OF BIRTH CONTROL THAT I WAS, I DISCOVERED, AND SHE WORE CLINIQUE’S HAPPY PERFUME. THERE WAS NOTHING I WANTED TO STEAL, THOUGH I DID SQUEEZE A BIT OF YOUR TOOTHPASTE ONTO MY FINGER, RUBBING IT ON MY TONGUE BEFORE I RETURNED TO THE PARTY. IT TASTED OF REAL PEPPERMINT, HEALTHY AND EXPENSIVE.

3 POEMS
Coleman Bomar 
9.19.22

YOU PRAY TO MARY FOR MISERY
NOW BREAKING BRO CODE
WE WERE SPANKED SOUTHERN BAPTIST
BUT ADMIRE THE AESTHETIC
AND HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL TORTURE

BEACHES 
Drew Ohringer
9.12.22

THE WATER THAT SUMMER, THE LAST, ACCORDING TO MY CRYING MOTHER, ON RECORD, WAS TEEMING, WE WERE TOLD, WITH SHARKS, AND AS I JOINED THE GLISTENING GIRL IN RUNNING HEADLONG INTO THE WATERS, I SHOUTED, AS YOU DO, “YOU’RE GOING TO GET YOUR LEGS GNAWED OFF!” AND SHE CALLED BACK, NOT TURNING BUT JUST CALLING BACK, “YOU’RE GOING TO GET YOUR DICK GNAWED OFF!”  AND THEN WITH OUR SHINS SLAPPING WATER I SAID, THOUGH SHE COULDN’T HEAR ME OVER THE SLAP OF WAVES, “I’LL FUCK YOU WITH MY TOES THEN!” THOUGH THEN I WONDERED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I LOST BOTH MY DICK AND MY TOES, ALL TEN OF THEM, AND SAY MAYBE MY HANDS TOO, DUE TO SHARKS OR SOME OTHER GNAWING ENTITY–WITH WHAT THEN COULD I FUCK MY GLISTENING GIRL ON THE BEACH?

ISLAND TIME
Excerpt from Olivia Kan-Sperling
9.5.22

IT’S TURNING FROM SUMMER TO FALL ON THE ISLAND; THE AIR IS CRISP. KENDALL IS SAD. AND IN THE THICKLY SILVER AND SALTY MEDIUM OF HER TEARS, A SERIES OF IMAGES FLOWER OVER HER PUPILS, AND, ONE BY ONE, ONE PER DROPLET, STAR-LIKE, DILATE—UNTIL THEY BEGIN TO LOSE SHAPE, COLORS AND OUTLINES WOBBLING AND SWIRLING TOGETHER, AND THEY OVERFLOW THE FILM OF HER EYE AND SLIDE, DROP BY DROPLET, DOWN HER CHEEK.

HE KNEW
Excerpt from Nathan Dragon
9.1.22

I OPEN THE WINDOW OVER THE SINK, THE STAIN-GLASS ANGEL HANGING FROM A SUCTION-CUPPED HOOK SWINGS. I TRY TO MAKE SOME NOISE AFTER OPENING THE WINDOW, CLANG A COUPLE POTS AND PANS TOGETHER. I DROP A HANDFUL OF SILVERWARE INTO THE SINK. I LOOK OUT AT THE DEACON NOTICING ME LOOKING. I SWEAR I COULD KILL HIM.

BIRTHDAY MONEY
Anika Jade
8.25.22

I WOULD NEVER ACTUALLY CHOOSE TO DEFEND MYSELF WITH AN AR15, SAYS THE HEIR TO AN ARMS MANUFACTURING FORTUNE.

THE CHEESECAKE STORY 
Owen Carry 
8.21.11

SO IT’S NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY BUT AT LEAST IT PAYS WELL. STATISTICALLY, OUT OF ALL THE WAITING JOBS IN THE COUNTRY, THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY HAS THE BEST SALARY AND THE BEST BENEFITS (HEALTH CARE, INSURANCE, A UNION). SO THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY USUALLY ATTRACTS EMPLOYEES WHO ARE INDEPENDENT ADULTS, PAYING THEIR BILLS WITH THAT MONEY (CHEESECAKE MONEY). EVERYONE LIVES OFF CHEESECAKE MONEY AND BESIDES ME, THEY’RE ALL MEN IN STUDIO APARTMENTS (JUST A COUPLE CUL-DE-SACS AWAY) OR MOMS WITH CHILDREN, EATING LEFTOVERS ON THEIR LUNCH BREAK (IN TUPPERWARE WITH A SPOON).

OEDIPUS-Y
Gideon Jacobs
8.15.22

...IN THE DREAM, SHE LEANED FORWARD AND BEGAN WHISPERING STUFF INTO MY EAR, STUFF LIKE, HERE WE ARE, YOU’RE MY PATIENT, I’M YOUR THERAPIST, AND HERE WE ARE, I HAVE THE SAME FIRST NAME AS YOUR MOTHER, SAME PROFESSION AS YOUR MOTHER, EVEN LOOK LIKE YOUR MOTHER, AND HERE WE ARE, WE HAVE SPENT 45 MINUTES A WEEK FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS TALKING ABOUT YOUR OEDIPAL ISSUES, YOUR ATTRACTION TO ME, HOW THE TWO ARE RELATED, AND HERE WE ARE, IN THE VERY MOMENT THAT WE HAVE BEEN STEADILY MOVING TOWARD SINCE YOU WALKED INTO THIS ROOM FOR THE FIRST TIME...

THE CRANE OPERATOR AND THE FARRIER
Jake Lancaster
8.12.22

THE WINDOWS OF HIS TRUCK HAD ALL FOGGED UP ON THE  INSIDE. THEY COULDN’T SEE THE HOUSE. THEY COULDN’T SEE THE CAT ON THE LOG SPLITTER. THEY COULDN’T  SEE ANYTHING BUT THE EFFECT OF THEIR BREATH ON THE THIN GLASS THAT KEPT THEM SAFE AND WARM. WITH HER FINGER SHE TRACED A HEART ON THE PASSENGER-SIDE WINDOW. THEN STUCK AN ARROW  THROUGH IT.

VERNON AVE.
Liam Casey
8.8.22

A MAN WHOSE MIND IS NOT UNLIKE AN
ATTENTION-HUNGRY CHILD SPEEDS HIS LOW-HANGING
YELLOW SPORTS CAR
DOWN THE HARBOR FREEWAY

IT’S ME, JON!
Jon Lindsey
8.4.22

I’M SEVENTEEN YEARS-OLD NOW AND MY DRUG DEALER, LEONARD, LIVES WAY OUT BY JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT. I HAVE A CRUSH ON LEONARD’S GIRLFRIEND, EMBER, WHO HAS FIBROMYALGIA AND GETS GOVERNMENT DISABILITY CHECKS. EMBER HAS A VOLUPTUOUS CYNICISM THAT ACTS AS AN APHRODISIAC ON ME AND A WHOLE GENERATION OF ORANGE COUNTY PUNKS. EMBER ALSO HAS CUSTODY OF HER SISTER’S TRAUMATIZED DAUGHTER, WHICH SEEMS AT THE TIME, UNFAIRLY ADULT. I CAN EMPATHIZE. ALREADY, I’VE BEEN CONSCRIPTED INTO THE ROLE OF PARENT FOR MY MOTHER, WHO IS COINCIDENTALLY, ALSO ON DISABILITY FOR FIBROMYALGIA. 

MY MOVIE
Luke Ray
8.1.22

IN MY MOVIE, THERE WILL BE NO PROTESTS. THERE WILL BE NO SOCIOPOLITICAL INFOGRAPHICS. SORRY CLIMATE PEOPLE. A PLANET B DOES EXIST. MY MOVIE IS SET THERE.

YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
Ben Faulkner 
7.30.22

WE WALKED BEHIND A DESERTED HOUSE AND WENT INTO A FIELD. THERE WAS AN ENORMOUS MOUNTAIN THAT CAME SUDDENLY INTO VIEW AND THE WHOLE SCENE HAD AN IMPOSSIBLY PERFECT QUALITY, LIKE A BAD PAINTING SOMEONE DOES IN THIRTY MINUTES.

BAD THOUGHTS EXCERPT
Nada Alic
7.28.22
 
WORDS WERE MY THING. I HAD A WAY WITH THEM. I WAITED FOR THE RIGHT MOMENT TO RECITE A POEM OUT LOUD. I IMAGINED THEIR FACES SOFTENING IN AWE, THE BACKGROUND MUSIC AND CHATTER STOPPING, AND TIME ITSELF COLLAPSING INTO THE PRESENT MOMENT. ALL EYES ON ME, FOR ONCE. ONE OF THEM WOULD SLOW CLAP AND THE REST WOULD JOIN IN. THEY WOULD BEG FOR MORE, BUT I’D FEIGN MODESTY AND SAY, “THAT’S ENOUGH FOR ONE NIGHT! MAYBE TOMORROW.”

REASONS WHY SHE SHOULD LEAVE ME
R. Jones
7.22.2022

I HAVE AIDS LIKE I HAVE CANCER & MS & SCURVY & ALL THE OTHER THINGS
I IMAGINE I HAVE
WHEN SOMEBODY TWEETS ABOUT THEM
OR STABLER SAYS SOMETHING FLEETING ON SVU
& IT TAKES ME LIKE RELIGION, THRUSH,
OR I JUST HAVE A DREAM
& WAKE UP
ABUZZ WITH A NEW, HOLLOW REALNESS,
GOD-FUELED PURPOSE
TO SURVIVE, SURVIVE WHAT

A LAMB TO HIS LEFT
Dean Jamieson
7.18.22

RELIGIOUS STUDIES WAS HIS FAVORITE CLASS. HE TOOK SUCH PLEASURE FROM THE DRONE OF DELMONICO’S VOICE, FROM THE RAP OF THE RADIATORS BENEATH THE WINDOWS, THEIR WET BREATH WHITENING THE GLASS, FROM THE DRIBBLE OF SUN ON HIS TEXTBOOK AND FINGERS, FROM THE SAINTS’ PALE FACES PRINTED ON CHEAP, OILY PAPER, FROM THE MUSTACHES AND GENITALS DRAWN ON THESE FACES SO FORCEFULLY BY THE BOOK’S PRIOR OWNERS THAT HE FELT THEM THROUGH THE PAGE, LIKE BRAILLE, THAT GRADUALLY, SOME CLASSES, HE FELL ASLEEP. WHEN CALLED ON, MALCOLM WAS SO KNOWLEDGEABLE THAT HE KNEW EXACTLY HOW TO ANSWER WRONG.

BLOOMINGDALES COWBOY
Moira O'Neill
7.10.22

NINE MONTHS AGO, I CAME TO THIS BLOOMINGDALES IN SEARCH OF A STEALING EXPERIENCE, PARTICULARLY ONE THAT WAS CONSEQUENCE-FREE. I DID NOT FIND WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR THAT DAY. BUT I’VE CHANGED. I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER THE KID WHO WAS BANNED FROM WESTFIELD SHOPPING CENTER AND ALL BLOOMINGDALES-EZ IN PERPETUITY. AND I’M HOPING THEY DON’T EITHER.

GIRLFRIEND 
Matilda Berke
7.8.22

GIRLFRIEND IS SO GOOD AND THAT IS WHY HE LOVES HER. HE IS A GREAT MAN AND HIS LOVE IS CANONIZING. HIS LOVE IS A RELIQUARY SHRINE. HIS LOVE IS THE PINK PLASTIC EGG IN WHICH GIRLFRIEND BLINKS AND DOESN’T FEEL. WHEN GIRLFRIEND IS PARTICULARLY GOOD, HE PATS HER ON THE HEAD AND SHE SMILES A BEATIFIC BABY-TOOTHED LOW-RES SMILE. WHEN GIRLFRIEND CRIES, IT IS FOR A DAMN GOOD REASON. WHEN GIRLFRIEND CRIES, SHE SHITPOSTS AND SHITPOSTS AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND GOOD AND TRUE.

4 POEMS
C.J. Christine
7.4.22

WHAT ABOUT ME? WELL I HAD A PERM IN 1984. I’D SIP ESPRESSO AT THE TABLE WITH AN AK47 IN MY LAP. “I LOVE ITALY” WRITTEN ON MY T-SHIRT, RIGHT ACROSS MY TITS. CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE, I’LL ACCEPT IT. 

ADJUNCT’S LAMENT 
Preston DeGarmo
7.1.22

THE GHANAIAN STUDENT HANDS IN A PAPER IN FLAMES. MY STUDENTS HATE MOBY BUT LOVE PHILIP K. I AM AWARE OF THE EFFECT MY STATURE HAS ON SOME STUDENTS. A RENT IN MY STOCKING INCREASES MY OVERHEAD. A GIBBON REPLACES THE AUSTRALIAN STUDENT.

ALTERNATE PRESENTS
Eileen Myles x Sean Thor Conroe
6.28.22

EM: BEFORE LANGUAGE, WE HAD A SUPERIOR FORM OF COMMUNICATION. AND SO I FEEL LIKE ALL THESE THINGS THAT SEEM LIKE COINCIDENCES OR WOO WOO, ARE JUST THAT EARLIER THING. WHICH IS NOT ACTUALLY LANGUAGE. IT’S PICTURES.

STC: IT’S PICTURES. THAT’S ANOTHER IDEA I FIND AN AFFINITY WITH IN YOUR WORK. THOSE MOMENTS OF NONVERBAL MOMENTS. THAT’S SORT OF HOW COOL FOR YOU ENDS, WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE DEATH OF YOUR FATHER. AND YOU HAVE THIS ONE RANT ABOUT HOW… WE’RE JUST MAKING SOUNDS.

T IS HAVING A PSYCHOTIC BREAK 
Sanna Bendetto 
6.27.22

MY EX BOYFRIEND T SHOWED UP AT MY PARENTS’ HOUSE, DISSOCIATED AND CONFUSED, WEARING HELMUT LANG SHOES AND ASKING WHERE I WAS AND WHEN I WAS COMING BACK.

THE NOVELIST 
Excerpt by Jordan Castro 
Interview by Keegan Swenson 
6.21.22 

 I COULD STILL SEE MY REFLECTION ON THE SCREEN, AND I SURVEYED THE GENERAL SHAPE OF MY HEAD AS I SIPPED ANOTHER SMALL SIP OF COFFEE AND SUDDENLY FELT AN EXHILARATING BURST OF ENERGY: I COULD START A NEW NOVEL! I LOOKED AT WHAT I’D WRITTEN ABOUT ERIC. I COULD WRITE A NOVEL WHERE I JUST TALKED SHIT ABOUT ERIC; I COULD WRITE MY OWN VERSION OF WOODCUTTERS.  

PARTY GIRL WRITERS
Annie Fell 
6.14.22

WHAT COMPELS BOTH BABITZ AND LANA SEEMS TO BE A KIND OF COSMIC PARANOIA THAT THEY ARE EACH THE LAST GIRL LEFT AT THE PARTY. IT’S THE PSYCHIC SQUALOR OF KNOWING THAT YOU’VE HAD TOO MUCH, AND STILL FEELING LIKE NONE OF IT WAS ENOUGH.
 
MEMORY IS A TOY
Laszlo Horvath
6.12.22

WE PASS A LITANY OF CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES AND CLICK BACK INTO THE ROAD. “MY RELATIONSHIP TO MEMORY HAS BECOME LIKE MY RELATIONSHIP TO ORGASMS. I REALIZE I SHOULDN’T SAY THIS TO YOU.”

DEAR JIMMY
Myles Zavelo
5.24.22

I’M AN ALCOHOLIC, BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE. I’M A FILTHY SEX ADDICT, BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE. I’M A FUCKING PRICK, BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE. I’M A DESPERATE IDIOT, BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE. I ALSO NEVER KNEW MY FATHER AND ALMOST SCIENTIFICALLY SPEAKING, THAT CAN COMPLETELY BANKRUPT A MAN.

AN ANSWER
Jimmy Cajoleas
5.16.22

I’M GOING TO TALK TO THE GUY WHO MUGGED ME. MAYBE WE’LL GET TO BE FRIENDS, HANG OUT. MAYBE HE’S GOT A COOL SISTER I CAN DATE. ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE.

HANDS AND KNEES 
Sophie Kemp 
5.09.22

WHEN LEAH WAS HERE, SHE WOULD ALWAYS GRUNT LOUDLY WHILE LISTENING TO THE WICKED SOUNDTRACK ON HER NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES. SOMETIMES I’D HEAR HER HUMMING. SHE WOULD SIT THERE AND HUM ABOUT THE WITCH WHO WANTS LOVE. OR WORSE: SHE’D ASK ME HOW MY DAY WAS GOING. OR FAR WORSE: SHE’D SAY IN A TONE OF VOICE THAT IMPLIES CONCERN “SARA, YOU REALLY NEED TO STOP TAKING NINE BENADRYLS AS SOON AS YOU GET OUT OF YOUR CLASS ON THE CULTURAL HISTORY OF RIGA, LATVIA. IT’S FREAKING EVERYONE OUT IN OUR VEGAN COOP.”

BLAKE 2
Blaketheman1000
5.5.22

I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW.

BAD TASTE 
Brittany Ackerman 
5.02.22

I WANT TO SAY THE CLOUDS LOOK LIKE A MISTAKE, BUT INSTEAD I VOW—TO KEEP IN TOUCH, TO REACH OUT MORE, TO BE BETTER, TO BE MORE KIND, TO WORK ON MYSELF, TO INHERIT THE EARTH.

MANIFEST DESTINY
Lily Lady
4.29.22

HI JEFF,
THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW. I’M ACTUALLY IN LA INDEFINITELY NOW. I’M MAKING CONNECTIONS IN CREATIVE INDUSTRIES, AND WHO KNOWS HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE UNTIL THESE CONNECTIONS HAVE BEEN FORGED.

LONELY CROWDS 
Stephanie Njeri Wambugu
4.25.22

IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, THE PRIEST WOULD OFFER US HOMILIES ON THE PRECIOUSNESS OF CHASTITY, WHILE WE WALKED THE HALLS WHISPERING OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE CHAMBER MUSIC AND FRENCH TEACHERS, MALE AND FEMALE RESPECTIVELY, HUSBAND AND WIFE, WHO GROPED, FONDLED AND PHOTOGRAPHED GIRLS NO OLDER THAN TWELVE. MR. AND MRS. FOURNIER HAD SUCH A PERPETUAL SMILE ON THEIR FACES THAT IT WAS CLEAR, EVEN THEN, THAT THEIR HAPPINESS COULD ONLY COME FROM THE DEVIL HIMSELF, FOR THERE WAS NO SUCH HAPPINESS IN THE WORLD, LET ALONE IN FRENCH AND CHAMBER MUSIC.

EUGENE PLUS
Eugene Kotlyarenko
4.20.22

THE OPENER? DRAIN GANG. IN BETWEEN: GIRLPOOL. AFTERPARTY: KESHA. WOW. I WAS TOLD NIC CAGE WOULD BE THERE TOO AND I REALLY NEED TO MEET HIM FOR THIS PROJECT I’M TRYING TO MAKE… AND YET I HAD TO REMAIN TRUE TO MADELINE AND ALL OF YOU, YES THE FOREVER MAG CURSED CROWD. AND SO I DISPATCHED ANOTHER CLONE. AND HE’S AT THE TABLE NOW, SO LET’S CHECK IN WITH HIM.

SKY KING 
Michael Bible
4.18.22

 I GOT DRESSED AND WALKED TO THE FRONT DESK AND GAVE THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE GOLF SHIRT AND BLACK JEANS MY CREDIT CARD AGAIN FOR THE TIP. EXOITC FISH SWAM BESIDE HER IN A SMALL BLUE TANK. TWO SMALL TURTLES HUGGED IN A WHITE DISH BESIDE THE TANK. THE GIRL IN THE BLUE DRESS CAME OUT AND GIGGLED SOMETHING TO THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE GOLF SHIRT AND BLACK JEANS.
.
WE CAN HATE LITERATURE
Keegan Swenson Interviews Sheila Heti
4.13.22

SHEILA: I THINK THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT. YOU WANT TO STIR THINGS UP—TO BE SOMETHING ALIEN THAT COMES IN, THAT MESSES WITH THE ORDER. I LIKE THE IDEA OF SMASHING THE IDOLS; THAT THE ICONOCLAST IS THE ONE WHO SMASHES THE IDOLS, WHICH ALLOWS THE GODS TO ROAM FREELY. THE IDEA OF WHAT THE NOVEL “SHOULD” BE IS AN IDOL. ONCE THAT’S SMASHED, THE ROAMING OF THE GODS IS THE CONVERSATION.

HORIZON HORIZON HORIZON HORIZON HORIZON HORIZON HORIZON
Rafaela Remy Sanchez
4.10.22

SOMETIMES YOU LET GUESTS IN, SOMETIMES THE SNOW BOILS WATER ENOUGH TO COMMUNE AROUND A TABLE, SOMETIME’S THERE’S BREAD

IN THE COURT OF THE SUPERSTAR PRINCESS 
Max Tulio 
NYC Scene Report Starring
Meg Superstar Princess
4.8.22

LOOK, YES I LIVE IN MCKIBBIN. YES, I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING. MAYBE I LIED ABOUT NOT BEING THE RIGHT PERSON TO WRITE THIS. IT’S MY ROOMMATE'S BIRTHDAY AND I TELL MEG TO COME AROUND 11, AND THAT I’M RUNNING LATE. I’VE BEEN ON A DATE WITH A BARTENDER FROM THIS FORMERLY CANCELED AND THEN RE-BRANDED DIVE BAR UP THE STREET. SHE COMES WITH ME TO THE PARTY. “IS MEG REALLY GOING TO BE THERE?” “YES,” I SAY. “BUT PLEASE DON’T BE WEIRD."

BRING DOWN THE GIRLS
Sam Berman
Unconventional Love Story Contest Winner
3.30.22

I CLOSED MY EYES JUST FOR A MOMENT AND BECAUSE THE DOPE WAS GOOD I COULD SEE MY CHILDHOOD: A BLUE ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY SIGN/THE DOG’S LEGS KICKING WHILE HE SLEPT/THE RUNNING BOARD ON THE LAND ROVER THAT I CRACKED ON MY WAY TO JAKE’S CABIN/ TOGA/ BUFFY MORGAN AT TOGA/ BUFFY MORGAN’S HAIR AND ASS AT TOGA/ THE DOG AGAIN, LICKING HIS JOINTS AND SEEMING HAPPY/ THE SOUND OF DAD SLAPPING HIS TOOLBOX IN EXCITEMENT/ THAT ARCH OBOLER POSTER IN HIS GARAGE/  THE SUN SETTING ON MY FACE IN THE OPEN GARAGE/ THE SUN SETTING/ THE GARAGE DOOR / THE DOOR CLOSING/ TO THE NIGHT/ THE NIGHT/ THE-

4 POEMS
Jason Sebastian Russo
3.28.22

RELIGION MINUS THE PEOPLE
THE ONLY MAMMAL THAT GOOGLES ITSELF
THE MOLECULES THAT DECIDE THEY ARE YOU
WHO YOU THINK YOU LOVE &
WHAT YOU THINK LOVE IS

EARTH ROOM
Rachel Mannheimer
3.24.22

THEN BOARDED THE TRAIN ON TO BOSTON,
SLEPT BESIDE MY CHILDHOOD BEST FRIEND
BENEATH A BLANKET
PHOTO-PRINTED WITH HER FACE—
A JOKE-GIFT FROM HER OLD LOVE.
DREAMED THAT IN MY DREAMS I SAW THE FUTURE.

BEST AVAILABLE HUMAN 
Claire Hopple
3.16.22

“LET’S TALK ABOUT ASSETS,” HE CONTINUES. “I ONCE DATED A MOVIE STAR WHO OWNED THREE BENGAL TIGERS. WHEN SHE ULTIMATELY OVERDOSED AND DIED, I FOUND OUT SHE HAD BEQUEATHED SAID TIGERS TO ME.”

PEASANT POEMS
Ben Fama
3.14.22

PRAYER IS WHATEVER YOU SAY ON YOUR KNEES.

LESSON #6
Nick Plett
3.11.22

A BRANCH SNAPPED SOMEWHERE. THEN IT WAS SILENT AGAIN. HE HELD THE QUIET LIKE A CUDGEL IN HIS HAND. STRAINED HIS EYES TO PEER INTO THE BLACK CORNERS BEHIND THE MOSS-DRAPED STONES. HE WONDERED IF HIS STUDENTS HAD FOLLOWED HIM FROM THE CAR. BUT THERE WAS NO ONE; JUST THE CEMETERY EMPTY, THE NIGHT SILENT. JUST AN OLD MAN AND HIS LOST MARBLES AND THE WAYWARD FOUL-MOUTHED GHOST OF HIS DEARLY BELOVED BECKONING FROM THE GRAVE.

DREAM FEED
Kailey Tedesco
3.10.22

ONE DAY YOU’LL HAVE WORDS OF YOUR OWN SEED-STEEPED, MILKED BY THE CURDLING WAX OF A CANDLE USED TO SUMMON YOU TO THE DIRT-FLOOR WHERE I BIRTH YOU AGAIN.

AFTERTHOUGHT
Jenna Putnam
3.8.22

MOST OF ALL, SHE WAS THANKFUL SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE TO LIVE THE LIFE OF A PEASANT, DESTINED TO BECOME ANOTHER STAIN ON THE SIDEWALK.


THREE THOUSAND POEMS
Ricky Bing
3.6.22

MY PSYCHIATRIST SAID THERE’S A KILLER INSIDE ME. THEN, AFTERWARDS, AN ENTIRE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN.

Excerpt from SAWPERA
Logan Berry
3.3.22

I MADE YOUR GAME A BIBLICAL BURDEN: YOUR TOTAL SUM OF CRIMES AGAINST HEAVEN-ON-EARTH CONVERTED TO A TEST. WE WILL ARBITRATE IT HERE––IN THIS MAKESHIFT OPERATING THEATER, CENTERSTAGE AT THE OPERA––WHERE EVERYONE’S A VICTIM & YOU PLAY EVERY PART.

THE TINY FIREPLACE
Alec Niedenthal
3.1.22
AT THIS POINT IT BECAME CLEAR THAT I WAS NOT WELCOME AT THE TABLE. THOUGH NO ONE SAID THOSE EXACT WORDS, VOICES WERE RAISED AND THEY WERE RAISED AGAINST ME. “THIS WAS ALL SUPPOSED TO STOP WHEN YOU STARTED THE GODDAMN NEWSLETTER,” SAID JUDITH; “YOU’RE SUCH A FUCKING NARCISSIST,” SAID MY SON; WHILE THE OFFENDED PARTY, WHO SAT THERE MOSTLY INDIFFERENT TO THE SUPPOSED INSULT, SILENTLY DRANK HER CHAMPAGNE.

WILDERNESS CAMP
Serena Devi
2.24.22

AT THIS CAMP, THINGS LIKE ADVERSE WEATHER, WILD ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS, ILLNESS AND INJURY WERE ALL CONSIDERED INSTRUMENTAL TO THE TEENS’ DEVELOPING LIFE SKILLS. A STORM, FOR INSTANCE, COULD BE TAKEN AS A METAPHOR FOR A DIFFICULT PERIOD IN ONE’S LIFE. YOU JUST HAD TO PITCH YOUR TENT AND WAIT IT OUT.

EXCERPT FROM “DEEP TISSUE”
Claire Donato
2.2.22

1 CORINTHIANS 13 IS THE BIBLE VERSE ABOUT LOVE HETEROSEXUAL CHRISTIAN COUPLES LIKE TO RECITE AT WEDDINGS. THE WHY OF THIS CHRISTIAN MATRIMONIAL CURATORIAL DECISIONMAKING MAKES CLEAR SENSE TO ME.

FOUR POEMS
Anna Dorn
2.20.22

NEEDED MY ID TO
SHOUT ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS
SPONSORED BY WELLS FARGO

SUGAR WAFFLE
Gina Nutt
Unconventional Love Story Contest Runner-up
2.14.22

HE WANTS TO WATCH PIGS WITH CELEBRITY SOBRIQUETS ROUND A TRACK TO CLASSIC ROCK. SHE WANTS TO PET SHEEP IN AG BUILDINGS. THEY BUY A SAUSAGE AND SPLIT IT AND DECIDE THEY’LL GO FOR TAPAS AFTER THE FAIR. “UPSTATE SPARKLE,” HE SAYS, “WE’LL WASH IT DOWN.”

THREE POEMS
Shy Watson
2.12.22

I LEFT EVERYTHING
THE WAY IT WAS
PROVE ME WRONG

APRIL 
Micah Cash 
2.11.22

MY NEW DRUG IS SPECULATIVE FICTION. SENTENCES POIGNANTLY NAGGING, AS IF THEIR AUTHORS HAD PEELED BACK MY SCALP AND SCRIBBLED NOTES ON THE UNDERSIDE. SINCE THE WORLD IS ENDING // WHY NOT LET THE CHILDREN TOUCH THE PAINTINGS? 

TWO POEMS
Emma Seely-Katz
2.9.22

I’M SURE I REMEMBER
RECONCILING
MY TAKING TURNED INWARD
BUT THEN CAME A SALVE
LIKE ME
DEEMED UNHOLY
 
FOUR POEMS 
Travis Diehl 
2.5.22

GREENSBORO TAUGHT ME TO DRINK
L.A. TAUGHT ME TO DRIVE DRUNK
TO YOUR MOTHER’S DURING A PANDEMIC
SUN HITS THE FREEWAY LIKE SNOW
LIKE BLACK ICE WAITING

DIMES SQUARE 
Matthew Gasda
2.4.22

ROSIE
IT'S A BUNCH OF SOCIAL CLIMBERS RAILING COKE AT 4AM SHITTING ON THEIR SO-CALLED FRIENDS.

ASHLEY
THAT’S BLEAK.

ROSIE
THIS WHOLE GROUP OF PEOPLE IS NOT GOING TO BE HANGING OUT IN A YEAR, LET ALONG SIX MONTHS. IT'S ROTTING.

JOKES & TRICKS
Tess Pollok
2.1.22

SHE HOLDS OUT HER PHONE. SHE WANTS TO KNOW IF SHE LOOKS ANOREXIC. THEY’RE SAYING SHE HAS AN EATING DISORDER, BUT IT’S A STOMACH CONDITION. I’M NOT RELIGIOUS BUT I LOVE THE SIMPLICITY OF PRAYER.

LOSS OF THE FATHER
Calvin Atwood
1.31.22

"HEY IF YOU DON'T MIND. I'M JUST TRYING TO HAVE A QUITE DRINK HERE. MY FATHER'S DYING UPSTAIRS IN THE PRESIDENTIAL, AND I JUST NEED A MOMENT TO ENJOY MY MARTIN-I."

GOD IS A DISEMBODIED MOUTH
Alisha Wexler
1.29.22

THEY WERE SINEWY LIKE IGGY POP, LIKE THE SUBJECTS OF SCHIELE SKETCHES. THEY WORE PEARLS, BIG PEARLS, BIG UNPOLISHED PEARLS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WEARING PEARLS.

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
Ryan Mangione
1.27.22

FOR A MOMENT DURING THE MID-AUGHTS, MORE THAN FIVE YEARS BUT PROBABLY LESS THAN EIGHT, GAY PORN BECAME SATURATED WITH VIDEOS OF DEPRESSED RUSSIAN TWINKS. THESE VIDEOS WERE FORMALLY PERFECT.

PICNIC 
Silas Jones 
1.24.22

I AM USED TO SEEING INSTRAGRAM POSTS ABOUT DEAD GAY PEOPLE. HIV/AIDS MEMORIAL INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS LAY THEM OUT LIKE A QUILT, LIKE A VISION BOARD, LIKE A DINER WALL CROWDED WITH SIGNED HEADSHOTS, LIKE GRINDR.

GIRLS LIKE ME
Alexa Joyce
1.20.22

GIRLS WITH BRAZILIAN JEANS AND FAKE NAILS AND CHEAP THONGS FROM FALLAS AND STICKY LIP GLOSS AND HAIR WITH TOO MUCH GEL AND EYES COVERED IN TOO MUCH EYELINER ARE GIRLS LIKE ME. GIRLS FROM FLORIDA WITH OVERLY STRAIGHTENED HAIR WHO OBNOXIOUSLY CHEW GUM JUST TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THEIR MOUTHS AND GIRLS WHO HANG OUT WITH BOYS WHO ARE TOO OLD AND KNOW MORE THAN THEM.

MONEY SHOT
Nicholas Gamso
1.18.22

BOTH EPSTEIN AND MAXWELL HAD LONG RELIED ON FABRICATED IMAGERY. SHE WAS THE SOCIALITE FROM NOWHERE, BRANDISHING HER FATHER’S ASSUMED NAME (HE’D TAKEN MAXWELL IN HIS OWN ASCENT TO TABLOID PERSONAGE) AND A NONEXISTENT FORTUNE. SHE ARRIVED IN NEW YORK BANKRUPT, DADDY’S DEBTS ERODING HER INHERITANCE—EVEN HIS YACHT THE “LADY GHISLAINE” HAD TO BE SOLD.
A COIN TOSS HAS NEVER INCENTIVIZED
THE RETENTION OF MY SERVICES

FRIEND TO THE JEWS
Z. H. Gill
1.14.22

I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW THE OCEAN COULD USE STREETLIGHTS, RISING UP AND OUT IN COLOSSAL LINES ALL THE WAY TO THE HORIZON, LIGHTING UP THE WATER LIKE A FOOTBALL FIELD. I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW THIS COULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE LOCAL WILDLIFE, BUT THAT MAYBE IT WOULD BE WORTH IT SO WE COULD ALL SEE OUT THERE INTO THE WATER AFTER THE SUN QUIT US FOR THE DAY, WHICH IT DID EARLY THAT DAY, FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS HAD JUST ENDED. WE COULD ALL USE AN IMAGE OF SUCH SCALE AT THAT TIME OF NIGHT. MAYBE THE WILDLIFE WOULD BE FINE. MAYBE WE COULD REPLICATE WHAT WE LOST IN LABORATORY SETTINGS. WE COULD ALL BE SAVED, MAYBE—A PASSING THOUGHT, WE WOULD NOT BE.

TRAZODONE DREAMER
Liam Cloud Hogan
1.13.22

I SEE ALL THESE THINGS, AND EVENTUALLY THEY’RE TAKING MY VITALS, AND EVENTUALLY STILL I’M SHUFFLING THROUGH THE BREAKFAST LINE. I’M BEHIND MS. ROSA, WHO’S HUNCHED OVER HER WALKER, VIBRATING IN THAT WAY YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE JUST BONES AND MEMORIES AND A NERVOUS SYSTEM.

5 POEMS
Elizabeth Ellen
1.11.22

I’M ALREADY ANTICIPATING ALL THE TIMES
YOU WILL CHEAT ON ME
WITH YOUR EX,
W A WOMAN FROM HIGH SCHOOL,
W A WOMAN FROM A DATING APP YOU HAVEN’T YET
BEEN BANNED FROM

EXCERPT FROM SISSY PROBLEMS
Vodka Vida 
1.10.22

MY MOTHER GREW UP IN A SHIPPING CONTAINER AND DIPPING HER FEET IN A PUDDLE OF MUD AND RAINWATER WAS A FAVORITE PAST-TIME OF HERS. SHE GAVE BIRTH TO MY SISTER THREE YEARS BEFORE ME ON JULY 5 1987. SHE WOULD TELL YOU NOW THAT IT WAS A MISTAKE, A BABY BRAT STRAIGHT OUT OF THE WOMB.

SW
Kidney Stone
1.8.22

DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD? DO YOU AVOID ANY MEAT PRODUCTS? WOULD YOU ACCEPT A BLOOD TRANSFUSION? I WASH MY HANDS AGAIN. I LOOK HER DEAD IN THE EYE. DO YOU THINK YOU’RE SMARTER THAN ME?
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? ARE YOU READY TO DIE?

ADOLESCENTS
Taylor Lewandowski
1.6.22

THE NEXT YEAR A STUDENT DIED FROM AUTO-EROTIC ASPHYXIATION. I DIDN'T KNOW HIM, BUT I PASSED HIM IN THE HALLWAYS. AFTER THE CHAPEL ANNOUNCING HIS DEATH, HIS FRIENDS GATHERED IN A CORNER OF THE BLEACHERS AND CRIED IN THE ARMS OF TEACHERS. A PIECE OF PAPER WAS POSTED ON THE BULLETIN BOARD. IT REMINDED STUDENTS TO REACH OUT IF THEY NEEDED HELP. SUICIDAL THOUGHTS WERE NORMAL, BUT NOT PART OF GOD'S PLAN. FOR THE NEXT MONTH, I WITNESSED A RESTRAINED GRIEF ON EVERYONE'S FACE. I PROBABLY HAD IT TOO. HE WAS WITH GOD NOW, THEY SAID. HE WAS IN A BETTER PLACE, THEY SAID. I PICTURED HIM IN HEAVEN JACKING OFF FOR ALL ETERNITY.

VISTA VISION
Jack Paradise
1.4.22

WE EXCHANGED A FEW CURT MESSAGES, SUP HOTTIE? - TY NOT MUCH WBU - SAME. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? - LET’S HANG OUT. THEN PRESENTED SEDUCTIVE PICTURES FROM OUR PORTFOLIOS. HIS COMPELLED ME. MADE ME FEEL LAWLESS ANOMIE. I WANTED TO PASS THROUGH THE PHONE AND MAUL HIM. - HOTTTTTT - THEY WERE ALL CHARMINGLY INEPT, MOTION BLURRED, LIT WITH BARING FLASHES, BUT EVEN UNDER UNFORGIVING CONDITIONS, I WANTED WHAT I SAW, EVERY PIXEL.

LOVE LINE
Default Friend & Delicous Tacos
1.1.22

YOUR THERAPIST IS NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU. HE'S JERKED OFF TO YOU, BUT HE'S NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU. HOWEVER IT'S OK AND NATURAL TO FEEL HOW YOU FEEL. AND ETHICALLY THERE'S NO WAY FOR YOU TO FUCK UP HERE, UNLESS YOU BLACKMAIL THE GUY OR MAKE HIM EAT YOUR PUSSY AT GUNPOINT.

TRAD REPORT
Savannah Galvin
12.31.21

EATING LIKE YOUR ANCESTORS
BALANCING YOUR HORMONES MONTANA, COLORADO, WYOMING TRUMAN CAPOTE
DENIM
THE AMERICAN DREAM

IF IN A LANGUAGE
Tracy Fuad
12.28.21

NO NEED FOR PARADIGMATIC
GYMNASTICS. DRAMATIC. NOW,
THE AMAZON HAS BURNED OUT,
THERE IS FIVE OF EVERYTHING.
THE COMPACT ELEMENTS ADORNING
THE PLENUM, COMPLAINING
IN HETEROGENOUS FASHION OF INFECTION.

NOCHEBUENA
Ann Manov 
12.24.21

AND AT ELEVEN, PARKED BY THE POOL
WITH THE TINY FLOATING FROGS,
LIKE SHAKING LEAVES, YOUR HANDS,
I WAS COLD AND SURPRISED.
YOU KEPT TALKING ABOUT PETROLEUM, THAT YEAR, 
ABOUT CHAVEZ
WHO DIED OF CIA CANCER,
STILL BEGGING THE HITMEN
TO LIVE TO SEE HIS REVOLUTION.

YOU SEE
Shane Kowalski
12.23.21

I WAS BROUGHT UP IN A CULT. THE RELIGION HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH BLOOD AND LAMBS. I WAS IN LOVE WITH SUE ELLEN. IN THE BACK OF THE PICKUP TRUCK WITH MY HAIR GOING WILD. DARK SUMMER DAYS WHEN WE’D HIDE IN THE WOODS.

LIGHT SWITCH
Sally Sum
12.21.21

MOM ALWAYS HANGS A PADDLE BY THE STORM DOOR THAT SAYS:
“HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS.”
DADDY ALWAYS HANGS A CRUCIFIX IN THE BEDROOM.

A HAUNTED HOUSE
Philippa Snow
12.18.21

WITHOUT FAIL, AS THEY SWUNG INTO THE DRIVE AFTER A TRIP ON WHICH SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN BEHAVING LIKE HER USUAL, SUNNY SELF, SHE WOULD DARKEN, BEGGING HIM TO TURN AROUND—TO RENT A ROOM AT THE CHATEAU, OR AT THE BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL. “HONEY,” HE WOULD TELL HER SOFTLY, SOUNDING WEARIER AND WEARIER, “THIS IS OUR HOUSE. WE HAVE TO STAY IN IT.”

GURDJIEFF SMITH
Joshua Hebburn
12.16.21

THE SKY CLOSES UP AND THE HOT GIRL ANGEL LAUGHTER FADES OUT WITH IT. HEAVEN HAS A GOOD SOUND TECH. 'EVERYTHING' IS SO SMALL UP THERE NOW IT COULD BE NOTHING. A SPECK OF DUST BETWEEN HERE AND INFINITELY EXPANDING OUTER SPACE.

2 POEMS
Luke Gopnik-Parker
12.14.21

THE ROOM IS THE ROOM
THE KISS THE KISS
THE CUP THE CUP
THE EYE THE EYE
THE STING IS THIS STING
AND NO OTHER.

ENTERTAINMENT
Robert Lopez 
12.9.21

WEDNESDAYS IT’S CABARET AND SHE’LL DO A STRIPTEASE DOWN TO A G-STRING AND PASTIES. SHE HAS THIS WAY OF PROWLING AROUND THE STAGE ON ALL FOURS, WHICH CAN GET THE CROWD WORKED UP BUT GOOD. ONLY THE BEST PEOPLE ATTEND THESE PERFORMANCES AND THEY DO IT TO SUPPORT SOFIA. EVERYONE KNOWS SOFIA NEEDS HELP AND THIS IS WHY PEOPLE COME OUT. 

THE PROVIDER 
Sophie Kemp 
12.6.21
YOU GOT A LOOK IN YOUR EYES, A GLIMMER THAT SAYS “I AM BETWEEN THE AGES OF 24-27 YEARS OLD, AND I HAVE THE WHOLE REST OF MY LIFE IN FRONT OF ME TO BE A PUBLICIST OR BE AN 100 POUND LITTLE THING IN THE BACK OF AN ARMORED TANK REPORTING ON THE WAR IN IRAQ.”
I LOVE MY COUSIN. AND FAMILY AND GOD AND AMERICA AND THE TROOPS AND FOX’S TRANSFORMER NFL GRAPHICS AND COLD WET BEER AND JET SKIS. MY FUCK I LOVE JET SKIS. I’VE NEVER RIDDEN ONE. I’M SCARED TO LOVE A THING. IT HURTS TO LOVE A THING, ALMOST REGARDLESS.

3 STORIES
Kidney Stone
12.2.21

I GET THE QUESTION RIGHT AND A REVIEW BOX POPS UP WITH A HELPFUL MNEMONIC TO KEEP TRACK OF THE FATIGUE OF THIS CANCER, AND THE WEIRD THING OF THIS CANCER. I DON’T NEED THE HELPFUL MNEMONIC, BECAUSE I ALREADY KNOW, AND BECAUSE I ALREADY HAVE A MNEMONIC, FOR THE TREATMENT OF MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION: OSAMA BIN (OXYGEN, STATINS, ASPIRIN, MORPHINE, ACE INHIBITORS, BETA BLOCKERS, IV HEPARIN, NITROGLYCERIN).

TAKE CARE OF ME FOREVER
Anika Jade Levy
12.1.21

AN EMPTY MICHELIN RESTAURANT ON THE TOP FLOOR OF A MALL IN MIDTOWN. THE WORST PART OF THE JOB IS WHEN THE MEN MAKE YOU EAT SEA URCHIN. THE SPIKY BLACK BALL IS LIKE A MESSAGE FROM OUTER SPACE. THE MAN SCOOPS A SPOONFUL OF THE OCRE COLORED MEAT AND WAITS FOR MY LIPS TO PART. I FANTASIZE ABOUT A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT TERRORIST SCENARIOS: AIRPLANES, INCELS, BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS. I OPEN MY MOUTH AND SWALLOW OBEDIENTLY. THE CHECK COMES TO $2600.

GIVE ME YOUR LOAD
Sam Fishman
11.30.21

I’M WATCHING A LACTATING CAMGIRL RIDE HER PARTNER. SHE’S MOANING, HE’S SWEARING—THEY’RE SWEATY AND HOT AND YOUNG. SOMETIMES SHE DOES THIS TRICK I LIKE WHERE SHE SPRAYS HER MILK AT THE CAMERA. I REACH BEHIND ME AT A PILE OF USED TISSUES AND FIND ONE WITH A LITTLE LIFE LEFT.

POCKET FULL OF POSY
Carliann Madison
11.29.21

MY HUSBAND WAS A SKI RACER, THOUGH I’M NOT ALLOWED TO SEE HIM SKI. I HAVE EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT HE MAKES 13 DOLLARS AN HOUR ON SKI WHEELS DELIVERING PACKAGES—I CANNOT SEE THIS EITHER. THESE RULES ARE MY OWN, FOR I FAIL TO LOVE SPEED THE SAME WAY AS HIM AND SO CONSIDER IT BETTER NOT TO BEAR WITNESS IN THAT CASE.

THE WITCH KING OF WILLIAMSBURG
Arthur Boyle
11.29.21

THE WITCH KING IS EATING BACK TO BACK WHOPPERS IN THE MYRTLE BURGER KING. A CASHWAD IS TUCKED INTO HIS SWEATDAMPED DIAPER AND HE IS DRIPPING DESPITE THE ARTIFICIAL CALM OF CONDITIONED AIR AND HE BITES THREE TIMES THE MEAT IN THE SANDWICH THEN UNWADS A DOLLAR AND SLAMS IT ON THE TABLE.

SOMEWHERE NEW
Caspian Alavi-Flint
11.23.21

“WE’RE GETTING CLOSE!” THE DRIVER SHOUTED OVER THE DIN. HE INDICATED FOR ME TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW. I COULDN’T YET SEE WHY BUT I LOOKED ANYWAYS. ESTABLISHMENTS HAD STARTED TO CROP UP, PLASTER COATED INNS WITH STACKS OF SALVAGED WOOD AND STONE PILED OUTSIDE, MID CONSTRUCTION, OR DECONSTRUCTION, GLASS CUBES BLUSHING FROM PILOT POWER, UNOPENED SHOP FRONTS AND HALLOWED OUT STRUCTURES, OVERRUN WITH VINES OR DUNES. THE LANDSCAPE EMERGED AS IF FROM A LONG SLEEP.I HEAD FOR THE BATHROOM WITH A BAGGIE ALEX PASSES ME IN HIS PALM. WHEN HIS SKIN TOUCHES MINE, HE TAKES HOLD OF MY WHOLE HAND, LIFTS IT TO HIS LIPS, KISSES. I GIVE HIM A NASTY LOOK. WE BOTH KNOW HE’S NOT SWEET. “EVEN BEFORE SUCCESS, PUSSY WAS NUMBER ONE,” HE WILL ONE DAY TELL BILLBOARD MAGAZINE.

 LOL
John Reed
 11.18.21

JUST LISTEN TO ALL OF THIS CHILDLESS LAUGHTER
NOW WE ARE GONE, AND HERE WE CAN STAY 
YOU AND I, WHO ARE YOU AND I NO MORE, 
WHO TORE APART OUR DAUGHTERS FOR THE BEARS, 
WHO OFFERED OUR SONS TO GOD, LOL

SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT
Brian Alan Ellis
11.16.21

I THINK ABOUT DRAWING A SHITTY ’80S WRESTLING MUSTACHE ON LO’S FACE WITH SHARPIE. “DON’T WORRY,” I’D SAY, “IT’S NOT AS GROSS AS IT LOOKS ON TV.” THEN I CONSIDER PUMMELING HER WITH A PILLOW, PRE­TENDING IT’S THE BAG WITH JAKE’S PYTHON (DAMIEN) IN IT, BUT I THINK BETTER OF IT, AND TRY FALLING ASLEEP ALSO, EYES ALL-THE-WAY CLOSED, HOPING I DON’T HAVE AN ACTUAL HEART ATTACK.

NYC DEBUTANTE REPORT
Gracie Hadland
11.11.21

IN NEW YORK, IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYONE IS GETTING ENGAGED BUT EVERYONE IS ALSO POLYAMOUROUS, INFORMALLY. GETTING ENGAGED AT 23 IS THE NEW JOINING THE PEACE CORPS OR DOING PORN. IT’S WHAT OUR GRANDPARENTS WERE DOING TWO GENERATIONS AGO. ARE WE REALLY ALWAYS JUST GOING IN CIRCLES?...WE WATCH OUR PEERS BEGIN TO MAKE FINANCIAL DECISIONS, MARRYING FOR MONEY OR A GREEN CARD. GONE ARE THE DAYS OF BISEXUALITY AND CHEAP COCAINE FROM TOWNIES AND 16MM FILMS ABOUT OUR ADOLESCENT CONSCIOUSNESS FORMING IN UPSTATE NEW YORK. TIME TO GET SERIOUS, GET A DOG, THINK ABOUT REPRODUCING, START WORKING FOR ONE’S PARENTS.

2 POEMS 
Nathan Reinke
11.10.21

WHEN THE BRAIN IS DEPRIVED OF
STIMULI IT CREATES
OVER 4000 DOLLARS PER DAY JUST BY ANSWERING BASIC ONLINE SURVEYS

WELL
Marston Hefner
11.9.21

THE SCREEN ON MY TELEVISION WENT BLACK. I WAS HAVING FUN. BUT THE SCREEN ON THE TELEVISION WENT BLACK AND THEN A SMALL MESSAGE APPEARED WHERE THE “VIDEO 1” SIGN SHOULD HAVE BEEN. AND IT WAS SO SMALL I COULD HARDLY READ IT. I WAS ANGRY AGAIN AND I WALKED UP TO MY TELEVISION SET TO SEE THE ERROR MESSAGE. “WELCOME. DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?”

SNAKES ON A PLANE
On James Hannaham’s Pilot Imposter by
Quinn Roberts
11.3.21

CLAUDIA RANKINE TELLS JOKES. VANESSA PLACE TELLS JOKES. LOORIE MOORE TELLS JOKES. RACHEL CUSK TELLS JOKES. BEN LERNER TELLS JOKES.

HOSPITAL
Excerpt from Leave Society
Available in Forever Mag Issue II 
Tao Lin

ANTIBIOTICS WERE INJECTED INTO HIS CHEST ONE DAY TO OBLITERATE HIS PLEURAL SPACE SO THAT HIS LUNG WOULD ADHERE TO HIS CHEST WALL. HE COULDN’T BREATH THAT NIGHT. HIS TORSO AND NECK, THEN PARTS OF HIS LIMBS AND FACE, FELT BOTH NUMB AND SMOLDERING. HE DIDN’T SLEEP. AIR TRICKLED IN SOMEHOW.
WALKING THROUGH EAST VILLAGE A WOMAN ON THE PHONE SAYS “I DIDN’T KNOW HOW BAD IT WAS” AND NO ONE EVER SEEMS TO KNOW HOW BAD IT WAS

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS FROM MEMORY
Megan Boyle
10.27.21

THE CAMERA ZOOMS IN ON A MUSIC BOX SHAPED LIKE A VICTORIAN HOUSE. A TWINKLY MIDI-FILE OF “STEPHANIE SAYS” BY THE VELVET UNDERGROUND PLAYS, SEEMINGLY FROM THE HOUSE ITSELF. THE MUSIC BOX MORPHS INTO A REAL HOUSE ON A GREENWICH VILLAGE STREET, NEXT TO HOMES OF SIMILAR STATURE.

THE BLACK SHAWL
Blake Butler
10.27.21

NOW MY COMPUTER WON’T TURN ON. I MEAN OR WHEN IT DOES IT JUST SHOWS THIS SCREEN OF GOLD LIGHT AND THERE IS A VOICE LIKE SOMEONE TELLING ME TO CUT MY ARMS OFF OR BASH MY HEAD INTO THE CONCRETE AND IT WON’T STOP TALKING UNTIL I TURN THE MACHINE OFF AGAIN AND HIDE IN THE CLOSET.

3 POEMS
Nicola Maye Goldberg
10.21.21

DO YOU CONSIDER LOVE
A.) HOBBY
B.) CAREER
C.) HOLY WAR
D.) ALL OF THE ABOVE?

BLOSSOM
Eric Renee
10.19.21

AND THE FACT IS I AM THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY WHO HAS EVER GRACED THIS EARTH; I AM CHALAMET, I AM LEO, I AM PHOENIX BEFORE THE NEEDLE PRICK: I AM ALL OF THEM COMBINED, ROLLED INTO ONE,AND THEN SMOKED FOR THE MEDICINAL BENIFITS; AND ALL IS WELL ALL IS HEAVEN.

PEGGY
Montana Thomas
10.14.21

SHE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. CERTAINLY NOT BY THE MAILMAN, PANTING BEHIND POLYESTER, HOLDING HIS DELIVERY LOW, BEET RED AND BOTHERED. NOR WILL SHE BE FORGOTTEN BY HER TOILET, OR MIRRORS, OR LOVING PHONE. NOR HER TRUSTY SPATULA—COLD METAL, LONGING FOR A HOT FLIP EVERY NOW AND THEN. REST IN PEACE.

VARIANT
Nathaniel Duggan
10.12.21

NOW I HAVE TO BURN
EVERYTHING I’VE ACHIEVED,
AND YOU MISTAKE MY COLLAPSE
FOR JUST ANOTHER BEACHSIDE CONDO.

MIA’S BIRTHDAY
Brittany Ackerman
10.7.21

SOME CHANNEL THAT ONLY PLAYS MUSIC VIDEOS IS ON THE TV. A GIRL SINGS A SONG ABOUT HOW MEN ARE EVIL AND SHE SITS ON A CHAIR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT. THE CHAIR CATCHES FIRE AND SO DOES SHE.

THE FISHERMAN AND THE FOX
Matthew Feasley
10.5.21

THE MAN SETS THE POLE DOWN AND WADES INTO THE WATER. WARM AS A BATH. HE CLOSES HIS EYES AND HOLDS HIS BREATH. HE FOLLOWS THE LINE TOWARD THE LAKE’S BOTTOM, WHERE THE DEAD FOX HAS SUNK AGAIN. HE HOLDS THE FOX’S SMALL HEAD IN HIS HANDS. RUNS HIS THUMBS SOFTLY AGAINST THE CORNERS OF ITS EYES AND THEN LEANS FORWARD, WHISPERING INTO ONE OF ITS EARS.

RETURN OF THE REAL
a monthly column by
Phoebe Kaufman
10.5.21

“TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE,” SAYS TRUE DETECTIVE’S RUST COHLE. “EVERYTHING WE HAVE DONE OR WILL DO WE WILL DO OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN--FOREVER.”

GET BORN
Jake McCabe
10.1.21

LIKE  WHEN I WAS A KID, MY MOM WOULD DO THIS THING IN WHICH I WOULD GET COMPLETELY NAKED AND SHE WOULD GET COMPLETELY NAKED. AND SHE DIDN’T MOLEST ME OR ANYTHING. I’M SORRY FOR UNLOADING THIS ON YOU. I CAN SEE YOU GOING PHEW, SHE DIDN’T MOLEST ME, RIGHT? WHAT SHE DID WAS SHE WOULD TAKE THE BLANKETS OFF THE BED AND PUT THIS SHEET OVER HER, AND I’D CRAWL IN THE SHEET, AND SHE’D BE ON HER BACK WITH HER LEGS, LIKE, PROPPED OVER HER, AND I’D HAVE TO CRAWL UNDER HER KNEE, AND WE’D PRETEND I WAS BEING, LIKE, BORN?

SPRING FEVER
She D
9.30.21

RIDE WITH YOURSELF, THE THING YOU WERE HESITATING TO DO, DO IT, WINTER IS COMING ANF WE ARE SOON ALL GOING TO BE DEAD. I’M SERIOUS. SO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT. LIKE REALLY, MAKE GOOD WITH YOUR MINIONS, FLOW OUT, MAKE ME PROUD.

ANIME NOVEL SERIES II
JOSEPH CROSS
9.30.21

THEY MEET
THEY BECOME CLOSE
THEY SPEND A NIGHT TOGETHER
ALEX AFTER GRADUATION TRIES TO MAKE IT MORE OR LASTING
THEY DON’T SPEAK AFTER THAT
CHRISTINE INVITES ALEX TO HER WEDDING (?)
ALEX GOES, BRINGING JACK
SHE GETS HER TIME ALONE WITH CHRISTINE
IT’S JUST AS UNRESOLVED AS IT EVER WAS
SHE BREAKS UP WITH JACK
AND DREAMS OF DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF LIFE
THOUGH THESE BEGIN TO FADE.

USE-VALUE SONNET
Eljah Jackson
9.28.21

AT THIS POINT
SEXUALITY HAD BEEN REPACKAGED
INTO A SECRET GROUPING OF COMPLEX
ARITHMETIC GAMES.

VAX SKETCH
Al Jacobs
9.27.21

SO I HEARD HIM OUT, EVEN THOUGH I’M BRAINWASHED BECAUSE I GOT THE VAX. I FELT LIKE VAX DISCOURSE WITH AN ACTUAL DOCTOR WOULD SERVE ME IRL.

EDEN’S BASTARDS
Kelby Losack
9.23.21

WE CROSSED THE BRIDGE WHERE YOU SAID NOT TO LOOK OVER AND I SAID I WOULDN’T, BUT I DID, AND THERE WERE A DOZEN BODIES FLOATING ON THEIR BACKS AND I FOLLOWED THEIR LIFELESS GAZES TO THE SKY, WHERE THEY LAST SEARCHED FOR GOD IN THE CLOUDS, BUT SAW ONLY SMOKE.

3 STORIES
Bella Israel
9.21.21

ANTOINE LOVES ME. HE PIRATES ALL OF MY FAVORITE MOVIES. ONCE HE PIRATED FOX AND THE HOUND AND WE WATCHED IT AT DUSK WHEN THE CICADAS WERE HUMMING AND THE STREET LAMPS WERE BUZZING AND I WAS SOBBING, SOBBING BECAUSE I ALWAYS SOB WHEN THE FOX GETS LEFT IN THE FOREST AND SOBBING BECAUSE I WILL SOON LEAVE ANTOINE AND SOBBING BECAUSE I AM NOT SORRY ABOUT IT.

HOT AS HEAVEN
Gideon Jacobs
9.20.21

[ALEXA] BEGAN BY TELLING ME HOW SHE HAS ALWAYS HAS A THING FOR JESUS. I JOKED THAT THIS MADE ME A LITTLE JEALOUS OF THAT ANOREXIC-HOT NAZAREAN. SHE DIDN’T LAUGH. SHE SAID SHE LOVED JESUS BECAUSE HE WAS BOTH MAN AND GOD, FLESH AND SPIRIT. SHE SAID HE WAS A MIRACLE BECAUSE HE WAS SIMULTANEOUSLY BOTH HERE AND THERE. I KNEW WHAT SHE WAS GETTING AT OF COURSE, BUT WANTED TO MAKE HER SAY IT OUT LOUD, SO I ASKED HOW EXACTLY MR. CHRIST WAS ABLE TO HAVE ONE FOOT FIRMLY PLANTED IN EACH REALM? WAS HIS EXISTENCE SOME KIND OF INCREDIBLE ONTOLOGICAL STRADDLING ACT? SHE SAID, NO, JESUS HAD TWO FEET PLANTED IN EACH REALM. I JOKED THAT JESUS MUST HAVE HAD FOUR FEET THEN, THAT HE MUST HAVE NOT BEEN HUMAN AFTER ALL BUT A QUADRUPED, A CUTE DOG MAYBE, A GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY MAYBE. FRUSTRATED, ALEXA SHOUTED THE ONLY SOLUTION, THE ONLY WAY WE COULD BE TOGETHER, WAS FOR ME TO DIE.

AIR CONDITIONING
Jiv Johnson
9.14.21

DOGS DYING IN THE DRY SUMMER, IN AUGUST I WENT BACK HOME AFTER MANUAL LABOR. SCANNED /POL/ FOR FUNNY DISCOURSE. ALL MY FRIENDS ON DISCORD LAUGHING. JOE BIDEN SUCKS. MONKEY WITH A GUN IN A REBEL ENCAMPMENT, AK BARREL SPINNING, PEOPLE DODGING BULLETS, LAUGH REACT THE GIF. THERE’S NO TALIBAN HERE. NOTHING TOO BIG ON THE MIND. GOD IS ABOVE AND JESUS IS LORD. 

GRAVE DIGGER
Cory Bennet
9.13.21

HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I HAD TO THINK HARD.
30.
THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAID EARLIER.
WHAT DID I SAY EARLIER?
18.

CAREGIVER
Manuel Marrero
9.8.21

I’M PUSHING WOMEN OUT OF WINDOWS, STARVING MYSELF TO WRITE, TO EAT, DOING EVERYTHING FOR ART, GIVING YOU EVERYTHING. HEROES, VILLAINS, MARTYRS, INSURGENTS.

EXCERPT FROM KETCHUP
Sam Pink
9.3.21

FRANK LOOKS UP AS THE BLUE SCREEN GIVES WAY TO A SOAP OPERA. AND THE VOLUME IS INCREDIBLY HIGH AS THE THEME MUSIC SWEEPS THROUGH THE BAR. AND FOR A MOMENT, THERE IS THE DEEPEST BEAUTY IMAGINABLE. YES, YOU HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED BEAUTY UNTIL THE THEME SONG FROM A SOAP OPERA PLAYS AT TERRIBLE VOLUME IN AN EMPTY BAR. IN THE DUSY SUNLIGHT. SWEEPING AND COMPLETE.

PHEROMONE DARK AGE
Michael Borth
8.30.21

FORTUITOUS AND FAT, GOUT AND GASTRO, LITTLE KIDS RUNNING WITH FLOWERS IN THEIR HANDS, FRACTAL PEARL, SCALLOPED, AND YOUR MIND RINGS BEFORE THE PHONE DOES. CERTAIN PORCHES OF ILL-REPUTE, THE DAWN IS ORANGE IN TWO CHAMBERS AND EVERY FIFTH TRUNK IS HEAVY WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPON. THE VIDEO OF CORD CUTTING, THE ACID OF THE ER DOCTOR, WALKING STRAIGHT INTO THE WATER LIKE A FALLEN SKY.

ATIVAN WORKS
Myles Zavelo
8.27.21

I AM LIVING WITH OTHER MEN IN LOS ANGELES NOW. THIS IS A STEP-DOWN FACILITY. THEY MAKE DECLARATIONS HERE. THEY SAY THINGS LIKE...ANOREXIC BITCHES ARE BETTER FUCKS THAN BULIMIC BITCHES. THEY DON’T SAY WOMEN.  THEY LIKE RUB-AND-TUGS. THEY’VE GAINED WEIGHT ON ZYPREXA AND SEROQUEL AND CLOZAPINE AND DEPAKOTE. THEY HAVE POOR TABLE MANNERS. THEY HAVE BLOWHARD DADS. SOME HAVE COMPLIANT MOTHERS. THAY ARE SDSU GRADUATES AND USC DROPOUTS. THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THE VERY BEST PORNOGRPAHY. THEY ARE PSYCHOTIC UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA. THEY SUFFER FROM BODY DYSMORPHIA. THEY DISCUSS THE POSSIBILITIES OF FASTING. THEY LOVE COLLEGE BASKETBALL. THIS IS ALL PART OF MY TREATMENT. WHAT I WANTED, ASKED FOR, AND GOT. BECAUSE I NEEDED SOMETHING... 

SIFTING THROUGH A PLASTIC CONTAINER OF CHILDHOOD EPHEMERA, I FIND A PHOTOGRAPH OF MY HIGH SCHOOL BOYFRIEND. WE MET WHEN I WAS 14 AND HE WAS 17. HE HAD BLACK HAIR, AND I WAS OVERWEIGHT. TO WOO ME, HE WROTE MY NAME IN THE SAND AT THE BEACH AND TOOK A PHOTOGRAPH OF IT, WHICH I HUNG IN A FRAME ABOVE MY BED. SOMETIMES WHILE I MASTURBATED, I FANTASIZED ABOUT US EATING FRENCH FRIES, THEN FUCKING ON THE SAND. I HAD NOT YET LOST MY VIRGINITY, BUT WE HELD HANDS IN MY HIGH SCHOOL’S BLEACHERS, AND CONTINUED HOLDING HANDS UNTIL HE CHEATED ON ME WITH SOMEONE CLOSER TO HIS AGE. PROBABLY SHE WAS A SLUT WHO HELPED HIM EJACULATE. WHICH, IN RETROSPECT, I WISHED I WAS.

BORN IN BLOOD
Lindsay Lerman
8.23.21

THE FIRST TIME I DID MDMA AFTER HAVING A BABY, I WAS BROUGHT BACK TO THIS NIGHT. OR MAYBE IT WAS DAY. THE LABOR TIME. THE NO-TIME. THE ALL-TIME. THE OUTSIDE-TIME. THE TWELVE PLUS HOURS, THE NOT-KNOWING, THE FEELING TOO INTENSELY.

2 Poems
Sophia Le Fraga
8.20.21

IT WAS A SAD AFTERNOON
BUT EVERYBODY TOOK
A PICTURE.

DA VINCI!
Shanti Escalante-De Mattei
8.18.21

WHAT PARTS OF YOU DID I GLIMPSE AMONG THESE BOYS? LIKE LOOKING AT THE PROGENY OF A LONG AGO LOVER BUMPED INTO ON THE STREET // SOMETHING SUTBLE IN THE FACE SEARCHING FOR THE PART I CHERISH EXCEPT, MY ABSURD LIFE, THE LITTLE JOKE OF MY EXISTENCE--I AM DOING IT BACKWARDS.

3 POEMS
Excerpt from SUNSHINE AND MOLOTOV COCKTAILS
Cavin Bryce Gonzalez
8.17.21

YOUR TINY HANDS WERE SO DELICATE THAT I FELT THE URGE TO SMASH ALL OF THEIR BONES WHENEVER I HELD THEM. I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE OPPORTUNITY WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE. THEY ARE MY FAVORITE THING, YOUR HANDS. IF I TOOK THEM WHEN I HAD THE CHANCE THEN I COULD HAVE HAD THEM FOREVER.

FARTHER, FATHER
Max Tullio
8.15.21

...AND THAT HE WANTS HIS PARTIES TO BE LIKE THAT AND NOT LIKE THIS AND ABOUT HOW THE MOVIE WAS DIRECTED BY THIS GUY WHO ALSO MADE A MOVIE ABOUT CARLOS THE JACKAL WHO WAS “LIKE, THE SEXIEST TERRORIST OF ALL TIME” WHICH ANNIE THINKS IS A HARD CATEGORY TO QUALIFY AND THEN SHE THINKS ABOUT THE SON OF THE BIN LADEN FAMILY SELLING HIS MANSION IN LA THAT LOOKED LIKE THE BEVERLY HILTON HOTEL WHERE THEY HOST THE GOLDEN GLOBES AND THEN SHE DANCES A LITTLE BUT IN A KIND OF FUNNY WAY THAT’S JAGGED AND STILTED AND SHE BECOMES SELF CONSCIOUS THAT SHE’S DANCING LIKE HER FATHER. AND NOW SHE’S THINKING ABOUT HER FATHER.

EXEUNT
Sean Kilpatrick
8.13.21

A GOD THAT LOVED YOU WOULD NUMBER YOUR DAYS MORE OPENLY // THIS PRAYER LETS US SEE IN OUR SLEEP

REFRAME (WORK/HOME)
Crow Jonah Norlander
8.8.21

IT USED TO BE A PET PEEVE WHEN SHE CALLED HERSELF A DOG MOM BUT NOW THAT I’M A HUMAN DAD I’M LIKE SURE EVERYTHING’S MY BABY

WULLAHWAHZOUT
Joseph Grantham
8.7.21

WHEN YOU SMACK YOUR LIPS IT BRINGS ME BACK TO WHEN I LIVED IN NEW YORK CITY NOT FAR FROM THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN

WITIN THE EYE OF THE ENTITY
Blake Butler
8.7.21

NO ONE IN HEAVEN HAS SURVIVED. IF THEY DESERVED TO, THEY’D STILL BE DOWN HERE. AS AM I. OR AT LEAST I’VE WORN ON LONG ENOUGH IT’S NOT UNQUESTIONABLE TO IMAGINE I MIGHT CONTINUE GROWING OLD FOR LONG ENOUGH THAT I MIGHT FINALLY COME BACK AT THE BEGINNING. AND I’D STILL DO IT ALL OVER JUST THE SAME.

PRAY HISTORY
Theadora Walsh
8.1.21

SOME PEOPLE REMEMBER GOD WHEN THEY ARE IN A HOSPITAL BED. THE NURSE TOLD ME THAT MORPHINE WOUL BE JUST LIKE THE FIRST TIME YOU TRIED MARIJUANA. SHE HAD HEARD FROM
PATIENTS. SHE HERSELF HAD NEVER DONE DRUGS AND NEVER WOULD DO DRUGS.

BY THE WATER BY THE SEWAGE PLANT
Terrence Arjoon
8.1.21

FOR YOU LOVE WAS MILK.

SILVER SCREENS
Emmalea Russo
7.26.21

SEEN THE ANGELS. WHEN OTHER FORCES MOVE FROM BLACK AND WHITE TO TECHNICOLOR AWAY BLOWS OUR PAPER MONEY. YOU WRAP ME IN YOUR WINGS OF DESIRE TRENCH COAT.

LOST HILLS
Nick Plett
7.21.21

YES OFFICER, I’D LIKE TO REPORT A BITCH SLAPPING. HE HAD LUNGED FROM THE SEAT OF HIS CLUNKY FORD F350 AND SPUTTERED INSULTS LACED WITH SPITTLE AND VENOM AND DISDAIN FOR YOUNGER GENERATIONS AND SELF-HATRED AND HELPESSNESS AND ALL THE BOILING PARTS OF LIFE SPEWING INTO THE HOT AIR LIKE VOMIT AND THEN HE HAD REACHED OUT AND SLAPPED ME. SLAPPED ME LIKE THE BITCH THAT I WAS.

OBJECTS
Rebecca Teich
7.20.21

THIS ISN’T ABOUT METAPHORS; THIS IS ABOUT OBJECTS.

A D I D A S
Ted Dodson
7.18.21

I TURN AND MY ASSHOLE TURNS WITH ME. AWAY IS MORE CONCEPTUAL THAN BEING HERE WITH YOU

REMORA
Zoe Dubno
7.6.21

WHY IS ALL THIS DUST EVERYWHERE? WHY IS THE ROOM FILLED WITH DUST? WHY HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS TURNED TO DUST? THEY USED TO BE RHODODENDRONS AND WHERE IS MY MOTHER? THERE IS A VASE AND IT IS FULL OF GARBAGE AND THE TOILET RUNS FULL. IT HAS OVERFLOWED AND THERE IS WATER IN MY MOUTH. THE LIGHTS TURN OFF AND I AM SURROUNDED BY SNAILS. HOW COME NO ONE ELSE IS HERE AND WHY AM I STILL COUGHING? WHY AM I BREATHING IN THIS WATER? WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE DUST?

DEATH OF A STRANGER
Tim Kreider
7.5.21

SOME OF MY DISQUIET IS AT HOW LITTLE PERTURBATION A DEATH CAN CAUSE. A HUMAN BEING GONE, A UNIVERSE OBLITERATED, AND JUST ONE ELECTRONIC DEGREE OF SEPERATION AWAY ALL IT OCCATIONS IS “SAD AND WEIRD.”

FUG
Nathan Dragon
7.5.21

THIS MORNING HE DROVE TO ONE OF THE STRIP MALLS AND BOUGHT A RADIO WITH A PLUG FOR AN OUTLET. IT CAN ALSO TAKE BATTERIES IF AN OUTLET ISN’T ACCESSIBLE. HE THINKS HE SHOULD’VE GOTTEN BATTERIES AND HE MIGHT BRING IT OUTSIDE TO THE FAR END OF THE YARD AND LISTEN TO MUSIC AND BURN SOMETHING.


THE COP RUBBED THE MAN AGAINST THE TOMATO GUTS. THE COP PUT THE MAN IN THE BACK OF HIS CRUISER. THE COP CLOSED THE DOOR OF HIS CRUISER. THE COP DROVE AWAY WHILE FIRING HIS GUN OUT THE WINDOW. AN HOUR LATER A TOW TRUCK CAME FOR THE CAR AND I WENT HOME. I ATE TOMATOES. EVERY TIME I BIT INTO A TOMATO, IT KILLED EVERY COP IN AMERICA. I KILLED EVERY COP IN AMERICA SOMETHING LIKE TWENTY OR TWENTY-FIVE TIMES.

BASELESS STATUE
Skylar Hauge
7.5.21

LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES. IT WILL KILL YOUR DOG.

GOOD BOY
Madeline Cash
7.5.21

AS THE SEDATIVE WAS ADMINISTERED MY SISTER STARTED TO CRY. THEN MY MOM STARTED TO CRY. I COULDN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF THE DOG MURDERER’S TITS. ONLY THE MORE AROUSING THAT THEY WERE OBSCURED BY SO MUCH POLYESTER. I WONDERED WHAT SHE DID ON WEEKENDS. WHEN SHE WASN’T EUTHANIZING FAMILY PETS. SHE PROBABLY LAUGHED AND DRANK AND DANCED--READ IN A NOOK BY THE WINDOW OR SOMETHING. CASHEW WATCHED HER WITH HIS DROWSY, ALL-KNOWING STARE. HIS ANGEL OF DEATH. PERHAPS THE COMPANY HAD ORCHISTRATED IT THIS WAY. THEY WANTED THE LAST THINGS THE ANIMALS SAW TO BE BEAUTIFUL.


THINK ABOUT YOUR ODDS OF GETTING MURDERED IN THE FIRST PLACE. OK. NOW DIVIDE THAT BY 100. PRETTY GOOD, HUH?

TRANSGRESSIONS
Giulia Bencivenga
7.5.21

MY POETRY IS CARDIOVASCULAR AND VERY GOOD FOR YOU. HEALTHY IN THAT WAY THAT FAILURE IS HEALTHY. CARDIOVASCULAR IN THAT ITS SCOPE IS TO AERATE. THE NEGATION THAT COMES WITH IMMANENCE. THE BEES THAT CIRCLE A ROTTEN QUEEN, THE HEAT OF THEIR WINGS COOKING HER ALIVE.

A VERY GOOPY RENDEZVOUS
David Fishkind 7.5.21

ALEXANDER RETIRED SUPINE ON HIS FEATHERY ROOST, AND I HELD UP ONE OF THE PAPER LANTERNS TO HIS TABLET, ENUMERATING THE MANY IDIOSYNCRASIES AND UNPARALLELED INNOVATIONS OF THE FRESHLY PATENTED WEAPONS TECH. WHEN I LOOKED UP, MY WHOADIE HAD ENTERED THOSE SEIZING THROES DISTINCTIVE TO THE LAND OF NOD. CAREFUL NOT TO MAKE PHYSICAL CONTACT, I COVERED HIS FACE WITH THE GLOSSY BEAM OF THE GESTALT.

A DESPERATE MAN
Jeanetta Rich
7.5.21

IN MY DEFENSE HE WOULD SERENADE ME AT MY WINDOW. THAT WAS THE TIME I FORGAVE HIM FOR STEALING MY LAPTOP.




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