“Mad Libs” by Randall Brown

[Person] wants [something], but [this other person] wants [something else.] My father wants to stop taking his water pills for his swollen legs, but the assisted living nurse wants him to cut the dose. It’s like this for [time period]. Three weeks. Then, he [noun] [verb]. Can’t stop pissing. Well, that changes things. Now [Person] […]

“The Bookseller and The Stranger” by Lacey N. Dunham

This is the latest in Lacey N. Dunham’s Bookseller I’d Like to F***. To go to the column page, please click here. As a bookseller at an independent bookstore in the hyper-networked, super Type A city of Washington, DC, I usually receive zombie stares when I tell strangers where I work, as if they’d like […]

“Plastic Holiday Love” by Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Quartet

This is the latest in Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Quartet. To go to the column page, please click here. Her name was Satin at work. Anywhere else she was Sarah Becklestein. Grade school and high school had been a mosh pit of vile half-wits who ridiculed Sarah’s flat chest and the purple birthmark shaped like South […]

“This is a Door” by Amber Sparks

It is bolted tight to the ground and painted to match the sky. It wants to be filled by you on your way to somewhere else. It exists now but not then. It has come to this space today, bright and clean, something to take pleasure in. It is sturdy as worlds. This is a […]

“Death Walks and Devil Horns” by Aaron Wolfe

This is the latest in Aaron Wolfe’s Lines & Notes. To go to the column page, please click here. “Strangers” by The Kinks, performed by Aaron Wolfe * Mortality is easy when you’re 18 and the biggest worry is how to scrounge a few cents together to buy an aerogramme so you can send a […]

“Bad Blood” by Sheldon Lee Compton

Evan stretched across the porch swing while Cal slipped limp as a dish rag in a rain and wind slapped rocking chair. The house had been the brother’s for hardly a week. Long enough to stack some canned green beans in one kitchen shelf and a two-liter bottle of Coke in the refrigerator. On the […]

“You Said It” by Marcus Speh

Jane, I didn’t send the book back. I should have. That’s what I did last time and the whole week after I’d sent it back, I wondered if they’d give me my money. When it arrived it was Friday and I felt as if I’d mislaid five days like a set of spare keys: not […]

Talking with Furniture: Brian Gallivan (Sassy Gay Friend)

Brian Gallivan wrote and performed four revues on The Second City Mainstage in Chicago (Red Scare, Iraqtile Dysfunction, WAR! Now In Its 4th Smash Year, and Between Barack and a Hard Place). Before that he was a member of Second City’s National Touring Company. Most recently, his character Sassy Gay Friend has been a YouTube and Second City […]

“Richard Richard Richard Richard” by Don Antenen

On May 17th, 1999, Richard Richmond entered the public library at 9:07 AM. He walked to the elevator and rode it to the 2nd floor. He found a seat by the windows and stared at his hands for 15 minutes. He pulled 3 books from the shelf and pretended to read them. 2 of the […]

Two Poems by Christy Crutchfield

Diet According to everyone I am many fruits. Pear, my whole body peach, my ethnicity long list for apple. I’m neither box nor window nor empty school bus and I don’t want to keep time. With Hearty and Full over mountains of meat square of potatoes and heaped neon corn would it be man woman […]