AUGUST 2021

DOUBLE BOUND ISSUE

punk poetry + misfit micros

READ WITH CARE

poetry & art by daniel schulz

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THE FIRST TIME

I ever kissed a man.

 

A girl came up to us

with a photograph.

 

Blackmailed me. Giving me

 

my first sexual experience.

PLACENTA PANCAKES

jeremy scott

Bloody little flapjacks,

crusty, musky, tastes like you.

I would have had a child earlier,

if I would have known this was

what we could look forward to.

Red Art

image courtesy of wix

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image courtesy of wix

INHERITENCE

lynn-cee faulk

Mama worked nights waiting tables,
running from abusive man to abusive man and
that's how I learned to fight, 

waiting for him to come at me,

a ceramic cat curled in my hands.

Image by eberhard 🖐 grossgasteiger

WHITE TIDE

helen gordon

I want to know salt. Taste a metallic trophy tang. Arch and reach until sinews quiver like wings. Pant at the air as though its succour is finite.

I want to be touch; nerve endings, neurons, spine. Wash up on a white tide with your hands still holding my hips. Fire screams like spit balls on a summer afternoon.

Instead, I cross my legs. Look away. Watch you leave. Wait for the jumpy current to cool, before turning to re-join my husband.

UNSOLVED CHILDHOOD RIDDLE

masha kisel

Wrapped kitten, Rapunzel knitting, repaired kite

 

Rape-kit, rip-van-winkled in a thirty-two-year sleep

 

Fragments of my nine-year old self

 

Scrambled and sealed

 

In the back room of a Chicago police department, still waiting on a shelf

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image courtesy of wix

ACTION FIGURE PORN

lisa treece

I don't want to play whore anymore.

I don't want to feel like a side show porn. 

I'm not an action figure- fully articulated

  for you to prance about - looking for new

      playmates. 

I don't want to remember anymore.

Can't you understand?

That part of me- she needed validation

in every single way imaginable

  and I would sell myself to get it-

don't you remember?

    ... you gave me permission.

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image courtesy of wix

WAKE PENDING

salvatore difalco

When I got home I went to the kitchen where my father’s cousin Angelo was shaving him with a straight razor. They didn’t acknowledge me. The kitchen buzzed with flies. I waved my hands. I’d never seen so many flies inside. Where’s my mother? I wondered. Sweating, Angelo stroked my father’s face with the straight razor, wiped the blade with his palm then wiped the palm with a small damp towel. Flies hummed around his head. Flies lit on my father’s gray lips and closed eyelids. You better go, Angelo said. Why? I asked. He died already, was the reply.

HERE'S WHAT

I REMEMBER

levi florin

sitting on the gym floor next to you
my arms burned open, but you don’t know
how to ask me if i need the help that we both
desperately try to give her.

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levi florin

MONTANA WOMAN

howie good

I didn’t know you were dying until I saw what your grown daughter posted on Facebook under your name. For a moment, I wondered if I should “Like” the post as a way to convey sympathy. Probably not, right? It was the sort of dilemma that once would have had you shaking your head in amused despair at me. Your daughter says that now you mostly just sleep. Where I am, some 1,900 miles from you, the sun is going down in a profusion of toxic colors, like a ship full of chemicals burning at the edge of the world.

D TRAIN

john yohe

a green grape rolls end over end

down the floor of the subway car

until a woman in a dark blue suit

crushes it with her shoe

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image courtesy of wix

BETTER DAYS

michelle dickins

You know what you’re running from. 

 

Chase and capture euphoria. Its warm embrace numbs the mountain of pain sitting heavy in your chest. Crown yourself the Goddess of this peak. Breathe in pleasure. Exhale guilt and shame.

 

Play hide and seek with the Dragon. Seek comfort in the paying Gods of the Underbelly. Their fare never gets you to the pinnacle again. 

 

Tire of the chase. Too much rubble and ruin. Adjust your crown. There are rivers flowing within to carry you away and lofty dreams to explore. 

 

Grip little fingers and toes and hold them into these better days. 

photo: Clare Sims

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BACKWARDS TO ZERO

john sweet

man drowns his children in

a motel bathtub

but then fails to kill himself

 

needs to be shown

the error of his ways

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image courtesy of wix

LANDSCAPE INTERRUPTED

matthew schultz

It was raining when I left the house without an umbrella, embracing the cool discomforts of middle age. Dogwood blossoms swooned down the street like rose-colored lava flows. It all had the impression of a Cezanne.

 

But then I remembered the time I watched a small child get hit by a truck gone sideways in the rain; blood painted the gutters red as it spilled surreal into the storm drains. My eyes teared with the memory and it’s like looking through that wet windshield again.

I KNOW FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

raina k. puels

that nothing says
I’m sorry I had a threesome without you
like an edible arrangement. 

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raina k. puels

FOR A LONELY WIFE

john yohe

Can she trust the goatman—she dreams out the window, worried what other people will think. There's the door. He'll lead her naked into the forest, and maybe just leave her there when he's done, and she doesn't want to be alone again. But she thinks how beautiful the forest is at night: stars through trees. Crickets. An owl. Fireflies. The lights in her house going out.

UNTITLED

alex kashko

Get in the oven, I’m hungry said the witch

“Show us how”, said the sweet little girl.

The witch climbed in, the girl slammed the door

Turned up the heat, waited to hear the witch’s skull pop

“Happens every time” she laughed.

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alex kashko

LAST CHANCE

tim frank

The audience only mosh to your breakout hit, but they inspect their shoes when you play your real songs, those that reek of cheap speed and vomit.  

You’ve played every dive and music hall across the country. You’ve turned tricks for endless managers who are sick in the mind. Promises have been broken.   

You shoplift pot noodles to survive and raid guitar shops to help the music detonate. 

The audience are static, ghostly figures, even when you strip to your bra, take glugs of warm beer and howl. 

You think: the fuckers aren’t ready for me yet. 

UNTITLED

alice whiting

He walked over to the large, gleaming conch shell that I had placed on a table at the end of the bed. “It looks like a pussy” He said and slipped his fingers inside until they disappeared.

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alice whiting

Grandma Knows How the Neighbor Boys Have Started to Look at You

jasmine sawers

Grandma’s scar is a thick purple rope that erupts at her left temple, slashes over her eyebrow, blights her eye, bisects her nose, carves a millipede into her cheek and terminates, flaccid, at the hinge of her jaw. She does not cover the mirrors. She does not shutter the windows. She does not fear a midnight walk alone.

“It’s better, my love, not to be beautiful,” she says, sweeping the knife’s edge like calligraphy over the honing rod.

FULL STEAM AHEAD

mir-yashar seyedbagheri

A train crashed, a head’s found

rolling. cue the likes on YouTube

the news dissects angles

before a severed penis that might be Rasputin's takes center stage

the cameraman rushes full steam ahead

Camera

image courtesy of wix

I COMPLAIN IN MULTITUDES

raina k. puels

Every Trader Joe’s non-dairy cheese still contains lactose. I can’t walk a block through Manhattan without being slapped with a      Sexy! or a     How much? How much? A $217 dinner & I’ll slip into old patterns of cock sucking, indebted. Instead of Venmoing up my half, I’ll mentally beat my face against the glass of a storefront to draw blood crusting brown onto a canvas below me that I’ll hang above my bed to try & remember. 

photo: Raina K. Puels

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POEM #0

tyler plofker

"Hope I don't end up regretting this," 

said the man,

with his head

through the noose

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image courtesy of wix

CATHOLICISM

amy lyons

I morphined Dad dead, then attempted manslaughter on my marriage. Marriott door locked, I vomited a good-girl memoir. It stunk as follows: My dying father dreaded institutions, relocated from low-rent housing to my sofa, later an urn. I typed Dad single-parenting daughters, jumped time to sponge-bathe him. What my memoir said: everything dies.  

Literary lockdown day four, I phoned a friend for adultery. AA sober, he lunched and left my fuck-bait unbitten. “Daddy,” I didn’t beg.

I recommitted to life storying, ate room service salad.

“Embarrassing,” I told my husband.

“You didn’t do anything,” he said.

Exactly.

photo: Amy Lyons

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AUTHORS EXPOSED

MEET THIS MONTH'S PUNKS

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Daniel Schulz is a German-U.S.-American writer and researcher, known for his short story collection Schrei (Formidabel 2016) and his work as curator of the Kathy Acker Reading Room at the University of Cologne, the personal library of Kathy Acker, which he undertook the inventory of in 2017. In 2019 he co-organized the exhibition and symposium Kathy Acker in Seattle for the Goethe Institute. His works have been published in Der Federkiel, Luftruinen, Die Novelle, The Transnational, Electronic Book Review, Mirage #5, Gender Forum, Fragmented Voices, Divanova, Kunst-Kultur-Literatur Magazin, Versification, Café Irreal, L'absurde, Cacti Fur, and the anthologies Tin Soldier (Sarturia 2020) and Corona-Schnee (Salon29 2021) and will appear in AG Literatur's Jahrbuch der Lyrik 2021. He is also known as editor of the book Kathy Acker in Seattle (Misfit Lit 2020).

 

Instagram: @danielschulzpoet

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Helen Gordon’s short fiction has been featured as Seren’s Short Story of the Month, shortlisted for the SmokeLong Quarterly Grand Micro Contest and longlisted for the Mogford Prize and the Bridport Prize. She works as a Freelance Journalist in Shropshire, UK, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Twitter: @byHelenGordon

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Salvatore Difalco resides in Toronto, Canada. Recent work has appeared in Cafe Irreal, Brilliant Flash Fiction and Everyday Fiction.

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John Yohe learned to mosh in clubs in Detroit such as Blondie's, Harpo's and St. Andrew's Hall. www.johnyohe.com

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Matthew Schultz is the author of two novels: On Coventry and We, The Wanted. His chapbook, Parallax, is available at 2River.org and he has forthcoming collections from Bier Bua Press (January 2022) and ELJ Editions (May 2022).

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Tim Frank’s short stories have been published in Bourbon Penn, Eunoia Review, Menacing Hedge, Maudlin House and elsewhere. 

He is the associate fiction editor for Able Muse Literary Journal. 

 

Twitter: @TimFrankquill 

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Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. His stories, "Soon,” “How To Be A Good Episcopalian,” and "Tales From A Communion Line," were nominated for Pushcarts. Mir-Yashar’s work has been published or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Ariel Chart, among others. 

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Jeremy Scott writes poems and fiction pieces that make his parents cringe. He lives with a domesticated wolf descendent, two apex feline predators, and his fiancée in Albany, Georgia. He is @possiblyarhino on Twitter and in real life.

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Masha Kisel writes and waits for the apocalypse in Dayton, OH. She teaches Russian language and English composition at the University of Dayton. She has been published in Gulf Coast, Columbia Journal, Vestal Review and elsewhere.

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Levi Florin is made of one third anxiety and two thirds impulsivity. They are a part-time poet and full-time nerd, mostly scribbling down words when their mind isn’t looking. You can find them tangled up in too many projects at once, or on instagram @lettersbylevi.

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Michelle lives and writes in Geelong, Australia where she works as a Community Outreach Nurse. She has a short story in Bear Creek Gazette, Fudoki, Pure Slush 'Birth' and 'Growing Up' Anthologies 2021. She is a lover of nature, the nana nap, crafternoons and gin. A true piscean.

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When Raina K. Puels isn't seducing fellow bisexual ghosts, she's hanging out with her tiny black cat: Layla Stoner Sparkle Demon. You can find her writing published or forthcoming in The Rumpus, PANK, Dream Pop, and many other places listed on her website: rainakpuels.com.

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Alice Whiting is a Berlin based British poet and art director published by Polyesterzine, New River Press, She is Fierce magazine and Dear Damsels. Alice's most recent practice involves writing in short form bursts that she calls fragments. You can follow her words and pictures on instagram @alicedelicious

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Tyler is a writer living in Manhattan. In his free time, you can find him writing, eating sugary breakfast cereals, laying out in the sun, or walking through the streets of New York City in search of this or that.

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Lynn-Cee Faulk has been obsessed with reading and writing for as long as they could read and write. Reading supplied a window to the world outside of their small farming community in south Georgia and a road map to a way of being other than what their disordered upbringing provided. They still believe in the power of the written word to change lives.

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Lisa Treece is a shadow born light seeker. Emotionally compromised. Neurologically derelict. Smells like petrichor and penance. 

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Howie Good believes with H.L. Mencken that "a good phrase is better than a great truth."

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John Sweet exists for his own amusement, but he doesn't mind if others come along for the ride.  Find him on the internet if you're so inclined, but don't waste your time checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or Snapchat, because he's far too old and curmudgeonly to spend any time there.

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Having grown up in a haunted house then profitably worked as a free lance programmer for decades Alex Kashko recovered his sanity on retirement and turned to the harder task of writing. His recent work has been published in Abyss and Apex. He prefers poetry, non fiction and a moderate intake of red wine unless training for Capoeira or Tai Chi. He is currently working on a history of Edinburgh

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Jasmine Sawers is a Kundiman fiction fellow and gremlin dog admirer whose work appears in such journals as Ploughshares, AAWW's The Margins, SmokeLong Quarterly, and more. Sawers serves as Associate Fiction Editor for Fairy Tale Review and debuts a collection of flash through Rose Metal Press in 2023. Find out more at jasminesawers.com and @sawers on Twitter.

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Amy Lyons learned to write short while broke and eating noodle cups on fifty-dollar micro theatre reviews for LA Weekly. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Press 53/Prime Number, No Contact, (mac)ro(mic), Flash Frog, and Literary Mama. Her short story manuscript won honorable mention for Miami Book Fair’s 2021 Emerging Writer Fellowship even though she's old af. She’s a 2020 Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net nominee and has done workshops and residencies at Tin House, Squaw Valley, and the Millay Colony. She holds an MFA from Bennington.

 

Twitter: @amykly

THANK YOU FOR READING