“Weeping King” by Ravi Mangla

The tears of Elvis taste of milk and honey. One drop can cure the hiccups. Two drops can neutralize the venom from a snake bite. Pilgrims visit at all hours of the night, check their bindles at the door. Some from as far as Dyersburg. They leave me marveling at the speed with which word […]

Reading the Groove: Charles Harper Webb

Reading the Groove offers brief conversations with writers about the intersection of music, rhythm, language, inspiration, and occasional bad taste. To go to the column page, please click here. Charles Harper Webb’s books include Shadow Ball, Tulip Farms and Leper Colonies, Liver, and Reading the Water. His poems have appeared in the Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and Ploughshares. […]

“In the Key of F Major” by Karen Eileen Sikola

The graffiti outline looks similar to the black and white optical illusion street missionaries hold up to your face when you walk along Venice Beach. Stare at it long enough and you’ll see the face of Jesus. Only this stenciled image is the color of Henna, contrasted with the mucky, stucco white of a wall […]

“An Echo; A Stain” by William Henderson

An Echo; A Stain is an excerpt from William Henderson’s in-progress memoir, House of Cards. *** I’ve been grieving, not just for you, but for our when-not-if future. All of the plans and dreams I had had in my head are gone. I heard somewhere that you have to give up the life you planned […]

“10 Myths About Bookselling” 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. MYTH 1: Booksellers Spend All Day Reading The quiet bookshop nestled on a tree-lined side street. Inside, the bookseller is perched at the register, an open book propped on her knee. Ah, wouldn’t […]

“Propofol Served W/Dry Ice And Time” by Dennis Mahagin

The name of the bully will be forgotten who shoved your head in the creek will be evaporated pleasant as any surprise of tear ducts, cotton wisps fucked over by azure, hypothermia, ether- soaked mists. An anesthesiologist in her green shift and mask, knows how minutes drip hypnagogic as eyelid spots, dry ice wisps cling […]

“Select Items from Personal Estate Liquidation, Post-Breakup, Sept. ’06” by Leanne Hope Milway

after Leanne Shapton 1. A set of gray eye balls, vessels dilated and red-rimmed. Severely near-sighted. Has observed too many French films alone in the dark. 3. and 4. Right and left middle fingers with red nail polish, chipped and chewed. Dry cuticles. 11. Caucasian female vagina of average size and length, some wear and […]

“Nails R Us” 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. “We never get to do things together, honey. This is incredibly soothing and it’s a great way to start your new life. I’m so excited you’re coming back home!” She hugs me tight. I’m fractured by an […]

Two Poems by Rose Hunter

You As Wreath on the grass a sign for infinity over from where the men pull down what they put up, a marquee and how the wild horse says he strangled me, and how does it get like this? The wreath is unbelievable. Do you know what I mean when I say unbelievable? Gotta keep […]

“I Am Speaking the Language” by Ashley Bethard

Let me loose in you, but not to be lost: loose like a wanderer, as I am among words, drifting back and forth over your breaths and rhythms, your syllables, your punctuation. It is cliché to say I want to learn the language of you. To invert and to subvert and to somehow make you […]