Archives

COLLEGIATE GOTHIC by Daniel Felsenthal

Summer I met Miles on move-in day after my advising troop finished doing icebreakers and trust falls. Actually, I met his dad first.  “Herman Kahn,” said a man wearing a fleece embroidered with the mascot of our university on the breast, and beneath it, the words Class of ‘72. He extended his hand as though he were a freshman himself, but looked at his son, and their dance gave the impression of a family whose dynamics were more important than people outside of the family.  “Miles! Care enough about someone other than yourself to meet your neighbor?”  “I told you

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ALT TEXT FOR A CANDID AUDIENCE PHOTO by Taylor Alexandra Duffy

<img src=“201704WomanInAudience.png” alt=“This is one of several candid photos of me, gaze upturned and listening intently at a museum lecture, the sharp worry on my face readily apparent, though I laugh self-consciously at the thoughtfully placed jokes. It’s night, and we’re gathered in the formerly Koch-funded planetarium, and we’re here thanks to some shared sense of scientific inquiry or the open bar. On stage is a prominent researcher in her field, and her lecture is titled Stress and Human Evolution. She’s patiently describing how our grandchildren’s genes will be irreversibly warped by our suffering, calmly listing the collective atrocities she

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EXPERIENCERS by Emily Costa

Your girlfriend believes that at some point during the last year or so her father has been abducted by aliens and replaced with a human-like shell. She believes visits still happen, routinely and systematically, that they must pull him up there with that classic tractor beam, or else he meets them somewhere in the woods, and they do tests and probe him and check on his progress. Progress with what, you wonder, but she’s still talking. She says they return him dead-eyed. She’s got it all laid out. She keeps a little journal by her bed to jot down the

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LOVEBIRD by Tex Gresham

Most people have no idea what goes on in retirement communities. They don’t care to know. When your kids dropped you off at Del Largo Sueño a few years go, they made tearful promises to visit, but you never saw a tear fall. They faked guilt to hide the happiness that they wouldn’t have to watch you die. Your son, Clifford, and his new wife didn’t stay long enough for you to unpack and hang your sweaters. Your daughter waited around, and then she asked for “gas money.” She’d been biting her cheek all day, her eyes sunken like little

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“I’M TELLING YOU YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT” by Eros Livieratos

“I’m telling you, you’re gonna love it.” “There is absolutely no way I’m going to like it.” “Come on, it won’t be that bad.” “It sounds awful.” “So?” James was always trying to get me to do shit. The first time I ate glass, they were there, egging me on. They posted a clip of it on their story while I was picking at my gums. I remember them saying,  “If Lucas Abela¹ can do it, why can’t you?” So, I swallowed some. We kept on hanging out. What else would I do? Their suggestions kept getting a little riskier,

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TECHNO SHOW by Lucy Zhou

In a post-Covid world, we joke, the first thing we’ll do is go to a techno show. Yeah, like the kind in someone’s basement that smells of bathwater or underneath a freeway pass for better acoustics—remember that last show we went to? Where we had to slink ungracefully through a doggy door in the fence and squish through ferns that tickled our palms before we came across the path, illuminated by Carla’s bright-pink hair. There will be a Halloween-store fog machine, a drumline of clanging pots and pans, and those little umbrellas in everyone’s red Solo cup. Most people are

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SECOND HONEYMOON by Michael Czyzniejewski

I met my wife on our honeymoons, the ones we were taking with other people. Both of us went parasailing when our newlywed spouses were too afraid. A storm came in just as we lifted into the air and we were caught in its path. Our lines got detached, sending us parasailing into the horizon. We woke up on a deserted island.  Two months later, firmly in love, we were found by crab photographers. Coincidentally, our spouses back home fell in love, too, assuming we were dead. At the press conference after our rescue, the four of us laughed about

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JUST GIVE ME A FUNERAL by Greg Gerke

On Thanksgiving, the southbound 1 train stopped at 96th Street and, to the surprise of the few people in the last car, an older woman with a sunbaked face in a big-brimmed gardening hat blocked the doors with a fold-up shopping cart and started to load four large bags of possessions into the space. She balanced the rectangular cart front wheels in and back out, over the gap between the car and platform, to jam the doors while hefting the bags around it and safely inside. Where did this  rail-thin woman, probably 5’4”, get the strength? a young man on

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BEAN HEADS by Mila Jaroniec

In the little free library was a hand-sewn chapbook with poems from all the poets who had read at Bean Heads. The open mic was every Friday and gray men would shuffle in to crinkle coffee-stained pages at the microphone. It was an Event. There were gasps and snaps and silence. I didn’t understand it. Here I was, fifteen years old and crafting big papers about The Count of Monte Cristo, and someone had written this: Amoral Amnesty A parliament of stalking butlers Deafening silence over the telephone The Pope flows like running water Calligraphy makes the Queen go blind.

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OGOPOGO LIVES by Sheldon Birnie

It was Canada Day by the big lake and everyone was right fucked up.  After the fireworks show on the beach wrapped up, the crowd took to the streets. Things were getting messy. Drunk girls held on to each other, hiking miniskirts up around hips to piss off the wharf into the black waters below, howling. One fell in, came up splashing, laughing. Muscle dummies squared off in the road, blocking traffic, letting the blood out of each other. Strip clubs up and down the lakeshore were packed, dancers raking in the money hand over fist. A police helicopter circled

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