2021 NOMINATIONS

Best of the Net

Red Landscape

VIRGIN

Fizza Abbas

 

Blood spilling in our courtyard

father sacrificed a cow for Eid ul Adha

A blossoming deathbed of a religious ritual

A woman butchered for not bleeding the first night

toaster

claire denson

the moment you take it in the tub

will never be worse than

the moment you realize

you never plugged it in

Utility Pole

INTERVIEW

JAMES LILLEY

Long sleeved shirt, to hide my arms

Those fucking scars, from when I was sixteen,

Angry kid, nowhere to vent,

I turn up early, to make a good impression.

Dot Pattern

my son won't stop decapitating

the snowman

ELIZABETH MULLER

I kept trying to fix it

But honestly -

It felt better 

When we both 

Stomped it

With our boots.

Broken Sink

What I Want to Tell You the First Time You Mention Divorce in Front of Our Children  

Eric Scot Tryon

Tell me what you know about dismemberment. The tearing apart. The pull until something gives. Ligaments like piano wire. Tendons like the first memory of your father. Things that snap and break. And once detached there is no mending. No coming back together. Not like how clouds pull apart like taffy then reunite with shifting winds. Not like how water poured into water is water. The permanence of dismemberment doesn’t leave scars, it leaves large gaping cavities. Sink holes that swallow trees and houses and people like after-dinner mints. It is so much more than the mere separation of flesh.

Woman Collage

WE WANTED TO SING IT FROM THE LIGHT

jared povanda

We wanted to see what it felt like, both of us making love to Maryanne at the same time in her summer home. Ecstatic consent a good addiction. Our better angels celebrating as the warm New England night pulled to closing outside her window. We tried to focus on her, on her pleasure, we really did, but our eyes held blue-bright electricity across her body. The homespun afghan made grooves along our knees. Grooves, little furrows for rougher lips to fill.

We wanted to know, pushing each other with very male laughs afterwards, bottles of beer hanging from loose fingers, if there was more to life at eighteen than walking these empty streets where crows made the dark blink. 

We wanted to study philosophy at university. To be big men in the big world. We wanted to get piss drunk. To get so drunk everything was strange and funny, but not so drunk the walls started to crawl. And we wanted to kiss each other under silky lamplight, right outside our dorm, hands yanking collars. Stubble-to-stubble. Bite-to-bite-to-bruise. We wanted to see. We wanted to know. How desire would hook its fingers under our ribs and pull. 

We wanted to break free. We watched that old telescope snap from its tethers on Twitter, decades of science caught under the weight of elementalism. We ached for the wreckage, knowing how our bodies still carried wounds from the forest floor. The bluejays were mean bastards, but they didn’t care who became crushed velvet or who became an apple core or how quick we spent ourselves under delicate pink skies.

We wanted, after graduation, arms slung around waists to mimic a shallow camaraderie, gazes held a fraction too long in front of our parents, to drink each other. To unzip our bodies to embody each other. To grab the wishbone at Thanksgiving—because of course we would be living together—smirks replacing smiles as our fingertips brushed the white spine of possibility.

We wanted to speak our love.

We wanted to speak our love so we could watch gravity make the words kneel on softer ground.

Performance Art

PHOTOGRAPHY

Demonic or Angelic.jpg

"ON BALANCE"

KIP KNOTT

electroconvulsive therapy and me

When they seized my brain 

I thought I heard God
but it was just the nurse 

whispering 

It’s okay now.

BOTTOM FEEDER

Adam Kamerer

granddaddy filets a fish
picks bits of plastic
out of its white belly
and fries it up anyway

Spooky Forest

photography

M. S. EVANS

"GALENA STREET BUFFALO"

credit_ Will Musgrove_Asphalt Dreaming.jpg

Artwork

WILL MUSGROVE

"asphalt dreaming"

images provided by wix unless otherwise specified