FOUR STORIES by Joe Aguilar

Face Tattoo I get a tattoo of my face over my face. Now my face looks even more like my face. It’s my face twice over. My wife asks me if I’m in a good mood because today I look brighter than ever. I tell her yes. It’s true. I’m true. My truest face.     The Man with the Tiger’s Head Who Answers Phones I have a human body and a tiger’s head. People stare at me on the train. I avoid their eyes. I answer phones at the company that makes weapons. Nobody sees me over the phone.


CHASE by Frankie McMillan

Mr Whippy here and there, up the street, down the street, swerving his pink and cream van to avoid a dog, Mr Whippy his face emperor white, hunched over the wheel wondering what dogs want with Mr Whippy. Mr Whippy glancing in the rear vision mirror, kids still chasing him on bikes, their heads ducked under the handlebars, a mother jogging with a baby on her hip, ice cream, ice cream but Mr Whippy is wrecked, days leaning out his window, handing out cones with the perfect pointy top, pulling on levers, eyes squinting in the bright sun. his ears ringing. Mr



Mr. Dubecki is the first person I tell about the people humping in the men’s restroom because he is the franchise owner slash store manager for one thing, but also because he’s the only other person here after Greg went home sick and Rocky’s brother picked him up early and the new girl who’s training on the window would only get in the way, so she got cut and Mr. Dubecki said he’d come by to help me close.  Near the end of the shift I go to clean the facilities and what I find is that it’s a four-legs-under-the-stall



The weight of light can be measured by my Uncle Kev’s death. But before that, some memories: it’s family dinner and Uncle Kev’s explaining how the bread mashed in his ex-boxer’s sixty-year-old fist represents Pangea and the glass of red wine in his fingers the Tethys Sea. He’s telling us about the earth’s history, Wegener’s theory of continental drift, orogeny, extinct volcanoes, dragonflies in amber, and trilobites. Mom and dad tune him out. So do I. I get enough of that kind of shit at school. But Uncle Kev doesn’t care. He’s relentless, a natural fighter, and won’t stop until

Interviews & Reviews


Rebecca Gransden: Your work explores extremity. Extremity of violence yes, and also conceptual extremity, extremity in language use, of idea. I instinctually back away from inquiry into direct influence, seeing it as reductive, although I have noticed trends among artists. To some, influence is a question of attraction to work reflective of, or in kinship with, their work, and to others influence exists as an energising feedback loop. With that in mind, how do you view extremity in cinema and, by extension, its relationship with and influence on your writing? Gary J. Shipley: Yes, “conceptual extremity” and “extremity in language”


LUCID FIRE by Coleman Bomar

I’m dreaming that our bed is engulfed in flames, but in the waking world either your body lies draped across my torso, or I have a fever, or we forgot to turn the oven off, or someone dropped a burning corpse between us, or we have too many sheets, or I can see the future, or our bed really is engulfed in flames, or God came back when we were sleeping, or global warming works faster than they say, or a Republican tweeted, or there was a gas leak, or the neighbors can tell we aren’t just friends, or I’m



My mother’s house always looked halfway to collapse. She had paid copious amounts of money to build it this way—its perpetually slouching walls, its staircases that jerked into corners before snarling to the next floor. This was because she preferred things that existed between one state and another. Her philosophy was as follows: you cannot determine something’s worth before it is finished, and most everything finished is bad—corrupted by greed, or rust, or the general incompetence of its maker. And so the house lurched across a river like a lopsided Fallingwater, its unending rush lulling her to the edge of