Story: Tim Tomlinson


Shanghai I met a well-known English poet in Shanghai. I’d gone to hear him read at an upscale international literary festival. He seemed really out of sorts, jet-lagged and culture shocked. No one knew how to drink the way English drink. That’s where I came in. I knew how to drink with all nationalities. I’m … Continue reading

Story: Erynn Porter


Hushed Days The involuntary spiritual experience started when Rick wanted to introduce me to his neighbors. Trailing behind him, the first thing I notice is that it’s dark. Really dark, but the stars seem to puncture the blackness surrounding us. How can people live here? Rick is telling me how beautiful the landscape is during … Continue reading

Story: Michelle Adelman


Summers in the City You got angry every time I tried to touch your hair. You didn’t let anybody touch it. It was cemented with wax when it was short, and slicked back with gel when it was long, and it was always off limits. That was the only time you got mad, when I … Continue reading

Story: James Claffey


Holdfast From the crest of the hill the ocean spreads blue to the far hills, whitecaps crest on sandbars, pelicans skim the cliffs, and clouds are nowhere to be seen. I have returned from five weeks spent in Joshua Tree National Park, camping in the stark desert beneath towering yuccas, watched by the hundred million … Continue reading

Story: Michael Chin


Better Joel won the third grade spelling bee. The prize: the right to name the class the goldfish. He called her Mother. When no one was looking, he took Mother from her bowl and crushed her beneath the weight of his social studies textbook. Dad knocked on Joel’s door while Joel was masturbating. Joel had … Continue reading

Story: Howard Brown


The Boy Who Talked with Crows When we were boys, there was a place on King’s Creek where we used to swim. To get there, you rode your bicycle out to the Sale Barn, turned north on a field road for another quarter-mile or so, stashed your bike in the woods and hiked along the … Continue reading

Story: Tammy Delatorre


Acts of Disappearance I. I emerge a sack of cells, a bloodied outer shell; handed to my mother with the umbilical cord still in place. Mother, sweaty and tired, asks the nurse for the surgical sheers. When I try to suckle at her breast, she severs the cord. That’s how she trained me: never express … Continue reading

Story: Faith Thomas


Mismatch The last winter I was with her, everything was dry except for her mouth. We stayed inside mostly, sorting through the boxes marked New House? that coughed out mittens, or hats greying with age, some of their bills in tact, some bent and frayed at the corners. We’d play dress-up like the five-year-old-girls we … Continue reading

Story: Robert Boucheron

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Is There Something You Want to Tell Me? Is there something you want to tell me? Not that anything’s wrong, but I’m here to listen. A receptive ear and a shoulder to cry on. Nonjudgmental, as silent as the grave. You know me. After all, we’ve been friends for gosh knows how long, six or … Continue reading

Story: Augie Gold


Bears We roamed the streets and alleys in early morning, picking strawberries from neighbors. Raspberries. Blackberries. We have been up all night, drinking home brew and talking about the Midwest, about different Scooby Doo episodes and their specific monsters, about losing sense of the marvelous after getting office jobs, about Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. So … Continue reading


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