Archives

COBRA by Marcus Ong

At two in the afternoon, she hears a bang like a gunshot. Eugenia peeks out her bedroom window. What’s visible to her: the Tangs’ barbecue pit, their garden shed, their kidney-shaped pool. She counts dead oval leaves trapped on the water.  Must be the Tang brothers lighting firecrackers behind the shed again, she thinks. They’re always plotting to give the birds a heart attack. Forefingers stuffed in her ears, she wonders why the brothers aren’t studying, and from where do they get their sadistic toys? But if the Gohs across the street managed to smuggle in flamingos to chain to

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NOT TO BE by Mars Girolimon

I’m in class reading Hamlet and contemplating suicide on a cliffside. Reciting poetic verses about family curses and hiding behind a curtain with a knife. My phone buzzes, and I lean forward to read something out of a Shakespearean tragedy. She killed someone. The words glow like the flame of a lit match and I spring from my desk chair, repelled by their heat. Faces swivel toward me, judgement radiating from their eyes. I’m an injured animal at the center of a swarm about to be mauled by my own pack. My heartbeat radiates in my ears: glove to a

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BRIAN ALAN ELLIS on film with Rebecca Gransden

What film, or films, made the first deep impression on you? My aunt and uncle on Long Island, for whatever reason, had a big-box VHS copy of I Spit on Your Grave in their collection, nestled somewhere between Stripes and Mr. Mom. I never asked about it, or even watched it, but it always kind of confused me. I thought it was a porno or something. I finally ended up watching I Spit on Your Grave as a teenager, which made me thankful that I didn’t watch it as a child, though I did accidentally catch A Clockwork Orange on

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THE COCKROACH by Christine Arroyo

She woke up in a classroom. Chalkboard at her head, corkboard at her feet. As she adjusted to the dusk light—was it 5 a.m. or 5 p.m.?—she discovered she wasn’t in the setting of a recurring dream she’d been having. The ‘I fell asleep at the desk and missed the most important test of a lifetime’ dream. No, she was in a hotel room. The Eaton. The card pinned to the corkboard wall held her personalized key to the rooftop gym.  As she pressed her body against the hotel room window, the humidity moved through the glass and brushed up

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POSSUM STORY by Kayla Jean

We were going to scrape that possum off the road because somebody had to do it. That’s what our Dads said, trucks rattling in neighboring driveways, complaining about the borough workers, asking nobody in particular where their taxes went, if not to cleaning up a dead possum right in the middle of the intersection. The Biology teacher had even joked about dissecting it for class, because it was the intersection right next to the high school and so every student and every teacher saw it, curled up and still in the mornings then somehow more freshly dead in the afternoons.

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JAYNE MARTIN ON ADULT ISSUES with Rebecca Gransden

With The Daddy Chronicles (Whisk(e)y Tit Books, 2022), Jayne Martin returns to bruised memories. The book is driven to explore how recollection takes form, fragments made vivid, torn from deep wells and thrust into an attempt at order, a chronology, a way to make sense of an absent father. This absence dominates, and is bitterly ever-present. Martin strives to confront the irony in this, and with this collection of memory vignettes, reframes her past.  When did you first have the impulse to tackle this subject? Was the form of the book apparent from the start? The book just erupted from

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PASSION by Melissa Ostrom

Passion turned thirteen in the middle of July, and when the first light of this day, this special day, woke her and sweetened the darkness like milk stirred into coffee, Passion divided like a cell, turned into two Passions, a watching Passion, a watched Passion. Passion sensed Passion, keenly and with great interest. Herself. Her self.  Passion thought, Here curls Passion on her side, under a worn sheet, her gaze turned to the paling window. The curve of her hip is slight. The arm hugging the pillow is slim. And there rises the sun. Pay attention, Passion, Passion ordered. Smell

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THEY CAN LIVE WITHOUT FLIES by Michael Seymour Blake

She lay huddled and naked in bed, her skin a grayish black. Her brittle hair broke off at the slightest touch. I rested my head on her rigid body, hearing nothing. I inhaled—a dull, mossy smell. I called Dad.   He came over right away. He tapped Mom a few times, then knocked on her like he was knocking on a door. He placed his ear against her open lips. “Get me a flashlight.” I brought him one. He shined light into her mouth. “What do you see?” He grabbed a cigarette from the pack in his back pocket. He

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