Excerpt: Ace Boggess


From The Prisoners “Why Would Anybody Be Bad?” —Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird Grit or bone, it’s all just meat in the mouth. Maybe you have to pick the lock, maybe steal a loaf from the baker’s window (how honeydewed that fresh bread tastes to the nostrils, to the fingertips). Not like you haven’t tried it, sniffed … Continue reading

Excerpt: Tayve Neese


From Blood to Fruit Coyote 1 Muzzle lifted, what she sniffs out is this broken world—pierces its jugular to see if it still gives pulse. What she knows is trapped in her throat and if she spoke, you would turn into the alder whose branches snapped, unable to bear weight of ice and light. 2 … Continue reading

Excerpt: Emily O’Neill


From Pelican Caught in Bruce’s Mouth We spent my first Jaws summer landlocked which was good, because the fear wore off quick. I replaced it with close study. How the size? Why the jaw? Jersey
 beach terror of 1916. Bull. Rogue. Frenzy. My father said the sound went mostly empty the year the fiction broke. … Continue reading

Excerpt: Lori Lamothe


From Trace Elements Last Picture Show Today the sky is an unsent letter, blank as my mind on hiatus from the month’s train, endlessly clacking over incantations of days. And yes, you really can feel weather about to happen. Above us a storm thrashes in its net until snow sifts down, melting on contact with … Continue reading

Excerpt: Karen Paul Holmes


From Untying the Knot Prelude In her head, she practices diligently, ideas brewing like a Brahms symphony but creativity often misses its cue. It breaks out in short Prokofiev notes (now sonorous, now dissonant), then fades like the harmonics of a chord. She senses overtones of something triumphant: the heralding of Mahler’s French horns or … Continue reading

Excerpt: Sandra Marchetti


From Confluence Peninsula A washed ring of sounds, rocks glazed with boat music. Clouds soot the forests in delicate black salt. A dead fish—bass or bluegill— is half-gone back to the rocks and beyond, lies no-eyed on the shoreline. Its extant others—us in canoes and kayaks— merge to the white strait horizon and wish to … Continue reading

Excerpt: Jen Karetnick


From Brie Season Farm Share “I remember breaking beans,” says Theresa, come to collect her portion of organically raised agriculture – Chinese kale this week, and Japanese shiitake mushrooms. Ruth recalls peeling apples as she tucks away her just-laid eggs; Anne-Britt cracked nuts In her native Sweden; Colleen hulled strawberries and picked mint. For myself, … Continue reading

Excerpt: Alan Bray


From The Puppet’s Tattered Clothes ON THE NORTH SIDE of Chicago, a young man named Kevin dreamed about Istanbul, a city he heard about in stories told by his employer, the old tailor Constantius. It was a place that smelled of spice, filled with tents, painted dolls, and camels. But no—Constantius’ voice would speak inside … Continue reading

Excerpt: John Michael Cummings


From Don’t Forget Me, Bro I was off for West Virginia in a purple Mercury Grand Marquis, apparently the only rental car left in south Park Slope late on a Saturday in spring. As I pulled down Sixth Avenue, the sun was falling between the black rooftops, casting an omen on my journey home. Was … Continue reading

Excerpt: Merie Kirby


From The Dog Runs On Ashes, ashes She comes into the kitchen, top-knotted hair, chocolate-marked shirt, and pulls at my hands until we circle. She chants ring rosie, ring rosie, until I start to sing the rhyme she wants to hear. A posy is a small bunch of flowers, meant to protect you. They don’t … Continue reading


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