Archives

BABY ON BOARD by Natalie Warther

It’s not a lie. It’s just a sticker. A sticker that says there’s a baby on board, when technically there is not. Can you blame me? You’ve seen how careful people are around a new mother. Otherwise, they are reckless. Besides, people lie about much worse. And there is no sticker that says “Be careful, please, I have a lot of student debt.” Plus, it’s not like there aren’t important things in my backseat. The screenplay I’m writing about a boy who wants to play major league baseball, for example, and a pile of towels from my mother’s garage. Why

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ORAL HISTORY FROM THE WINSTONS OF RHYOLITE by Nicholas Russell

We all started out in boxes because we don’t actually count as people. They’re clones so, yes, they are technically people. Though it was more like a vat, suspended animation sort of. It’s really weird if he lets you see a new one. Anyway. He moved us into the warehouse not long after we could crawl. Not at the same time. They weren’t all born together. Also, I’ve never prohibited any of them from seeing where they came from. They exaggerate a lot. Yeah, but he doesn’t let us leave the compound. For your safety. Whatever. Anyway. We’re based off

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THE CELEBRATION by Zac Smith

Usually, when my week was shitty, I liked to order Thai food… I was the only one in the family who liked Thai food, which meant I didn’t get to order it much… But since I was getting divorced and living alone in a shitty apartment, I got to order it as much as I wanted… I was getting into it in a big way, basically… Since most weeks were shitty, I ordered Thai food most weekends… And I never got sick of it… Thai food is varied and complex… It can be very exciting, but also comforting… A perfect

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THE LAST INTERVIEW: Blake Middleton vs. The New Guy at XRAY

Blake Middleton is an actual person. A Floridian. An American. The co-worker of your bartender friend who you immediately like better than your bartender friend after just a few conversations. And a poet. The kind of poet who just wants everybody to feel less fucked. Writing concise, concrete lines that once piled together form a sort-of meditation, a smirking mantra of “Fuck You” in the face of an absurd world. What follows is a conversation/battle of wits between he and I, revolving around his new book “An Actual Person in a Concrete Historical Situation”—out now from CLASH Books.   Part

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AIR QUALITY INDEX by Mike Nagel

Sunday morning my phone warns me that the air quality in Carrollton is low. I step outside and take a few deep breaths. I can see what my phone means. Not great. Most things leave something to be desired. Let me put it this way. There seems to be some room for improvement. Recently J showed me a graph and the line was going straight down. “Well,” I say. “I can’t say I’m surprised.” “Actually,” she says. “In this case, down is a good thing.”   Lately I’ve been drinking this low ABV cider from the Stella Artois beer company.

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OPEN MOUTHED by Kwan Ann Tan

I knew I was in trouble the moment my co-worker caught me humming the female part to the last duet in La Boheme. ‘That sounds familiar,’ Lucy said as we stacked rows and rows of fragrant soap. ‘My grandmother loves that opera. She’s never seen it in person though, which is a shame. Maybe I should bring her one of these days.’ We laughed and continued restocking the shelves. It was a job that made a pair of opera tickets near impossible. The sound system crackled to life, and my faint memories of the song were drowned out by saccharine

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THE WASP by Tyler Engström

I look out the kitchen window and wonder why the flowers won’t grow. I can’t even remember what I planted, what sort of beauty I’m disappointed in not receiving. I’ve given them plenty of water. Was it too much water? I don’t know. I’ve never known. What life does water make, anyway? Anyway, a wasp comes up to the window and lands on what would be my nose, if not for the window. I lovingly watch his little hands scrape against each other. Adorable! “You look like a fly,” I tell him, “like all the little flies that crowd every

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BIG DINKY ENERGY by Josh Sherman

You really need to figure out how to stop drinking so much. You could ask your doctor to refer a therapist or join some 12-step program. But you’ve got a better idea. It’ll just have to wait until the weekend, when you aren’t busy writing marketing copy for real-estate developers. *** ‘The Mulberry Estates are a charming collection of spacious single-family homes in leafy Elgin County.’ ‘Set to rise in Toronto’s vibrant Entertainment District, the Foxtrot is a luxurious 45-storey condo tower by the award-winning Mango Development Corporation.’ These are the sentences you’re paid to write eight hours a day,

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SERPENT WITH FIREWORK by Harris Lahti

The sunburnt man climbs the steep bank of the lake, dragging a large plastic cooler packed with the last beers of his life. And then? Redemption. Stone-cold sobriety. Through his speed shades, the remains of the abandoned luxury resort rise in nuclear yellow—the shattered windows and graffitied cabins, the crooked doors and cracked tennis courts, the moist volleyball sand where he first slid against his wife and jizzed his teenaged blue jeans. Boy, it sure is nice to discover everything where he left it. Or not exactly. From the shallow end of the pool, three skateboarders stare up at him—at

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I THINK ABOUT YOUR COCK DURING TIMES OF CRISIS by Lexi Kent-Monning

The first thing I thought of during the coup was your cock. I think of it when I need comfort, and what I wanted to remember was the first time it saved me. We were on your bed, a Friday afternoon, both skipping work. I’d been bent over in the shower, but you know I faint easily so you moved us out of the hot water. Our just shampooed hair made dark blotches and streaks on your grey sheets, while stars encroached on my vision and echoes rolled through my ears, the two telltale symptoms I’m about to pass out.

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