Interviews & Reviews

JULIET ESCORIA on film with Rebecca Gransden

What film, or films, made the first deep impression on you? I remember watching Beetlejuice over and over as a kid. I got nightmares from things that kids aren’t supposed to get nightmares from, like The Care Bears movie, but for some reason this movie didn’t bother me? Explains my goth roots. What films first felt transgressive to you? Do you remember being secretive about any films you watched growing up? I wasn’t allowed to watch rated R movies for a long time (except my parents did let me watch The Shining and The Exorcist in junior high). When Pulp


PLUCKED by Faye Brinsmead

The firebird came with excellent references. Polite. Super-tidy. Throws herself into housework. Mows the lawn like she’s skinning a wolf. Plus, there was the exoticism. Her shimmering plumage trailed over my Ikea shelving and hand-me-down brown velour sofa. Evenings, as we slurped insta-noodles and binged on Netflix, she fanned out her tail until the dim room was full of jeweled eyes. She didn’t know if she belonged to the peacock clan.  Maybe. Her golden beak hooked the last gluggy spiral. Her family wasn’t big on that. On what? I asked. Um, family.  I’m kinda on my own. Of course, there’ve


DIRTY LAUNDRY by Lisa Johnson Mitchell

I pour bleach over the mound, purging, once again, the family secret: Daddy’s arrest—indecent exposure. Socks fall in. Slipped them off right before having sex with my husband, during which I thought of Benjamin, high school lover.  Will Mom die today? Bed sore as big as a baseball. Not eating or drinking. Been seven days. Hampton Gardens is five minutes away, thank Christ. Flannel nightgown, shove it in, hope I don’t have another nightmare where I’m digging into my giant thigh with a knife, the insides like a Christmas ham. I told Mom I loved her, that she was the


ANGRY GNOMES by Sarp Sozdinler

“What can you do?” The hot dog vendor sighs from behind the mist of steam. He fishes for a stick of sausage and then plops it on the sliced bread. “New York is a falling city.” Never before has June given the street talk any credit, that New York is this kind of place or that. The signs have been following her since she moved downtown over a year ago, but she often chooses to look the other way. Avoid it or not, those cream and mustard stains in the vicinity of hot dog carts and ice cream trucks aren’t


WILD RELEASE by Evan James Sheldon

The ballroom was empty except for stacks of chairs along the walls and the man staring at the ceiling. With no one around him in that large space he looked very small. I waved my arms over my head but the man didn’t notice and kept on staring at the ceiling. He was off in his own world. I pulled out my weed pen, which most people mistook for a flash drive. Even though weed was now legal, I was still secretive. Learned furtive behavior from all my high school friends having misdemeanors for possession.  The Toy Voyager conference was

Creative Nonfiction

THE MELT by Jennifer Todhunter

My son doesn’t turn from solid to liquid or liquid to gas when the melt occurs. He remains in the same state physically, but mentally there is a shift. Heat has been applied in the form of my disappearing from his line of sight, or heading to the bonfire for a beer, or talking to a friend who is a guy who is not his dad, my ex. There is a fusion when the melt occurs, his person to my person, a shadow that follows me wherever I go, that demands we leave this instant, that cries as if I’ve


LOVERS by Michael Farfel

The two of them live in a small house that overlooks a somehow smaller lake. He has family money and neither of them have to work, but he finds meaning in his work (development—of what? we’re not quite sure) and she writes poems. The house is ancient and the rooms are cold.  They often lay in bed until long past midmorning, even sometimes past noon. They argue about who will make coffee, always finally decided by who has to pee first. It’s usually her. The house, which the locals say is as old as bones, is older. It is rickety