Stephanie Barber

The Otter

Nobody on this godforsaken planet had any business knowing the first thing about the boy. But it was a stupid town full of stupid people with stupid nothing to spend their time at so soon as they get any old stupid idea that's what they up and do. This idea they came upon about the boy what they called The Otter was stupid and plus a hundred other adjectives the language got for everything that's not good. Why they called the boy The Otter no one seems to know. He wasn't particularly wet or grey, and well, when I think about otters I think about rocks and I never did think about rocks when I thought about the boy and I don't believe anyone else did neither. Rocks have a solid and heavy to them and the boy was whatever is the opposite of that. Though it is certain true a lot of folk get their nicknames by being whatever the name ain't. 

But I don't think anybody knew about any name reasoning behind calling the boy The Otter because by the time he came to our town everybody who'd ever known him in the past had etherized. That's how the boy put it. He said they all done up and etherized. He didn't say it menacing like. 

He spoke smooth but not oily and he spoke low. 

The Otter was a boy, sure, but he wasn't gonna put himself in school and he wasn't to get himself adopted. He spent a spell as a hand for Guntherson but Guntherson claimed the otter too suspicious to be around cattle so he let him go. Then he had an attachment of some sort at the Thunderbird and what he did there was plant a small flower garden on one side of the porch. That position ended after some traveler made a mistake all in the flowers one night and The Otter came upon him mid execution as it were. 

And it went on like that. Jobs ain't always got the right adhesive to keep a person at 'em. The Otter had ones with and ones without the indignities provided by employment costuming. He had some happened in the day and some happened in the night. He had ones required him to talk and those kept him mute for 10 hour spells, but I don't need to tell you all every detail, some of you know more about this story than I do. Hell, some of you is this story. I'm just parlaying it here by this false otter abode in hopes of illuminating some of the stupidity some of you partook in and others of you created. 

Not that there's much can be done about it now. Sometimes a something takes over a town, or a country or smaller, a family, a whatever. Has been like that since the beginning of time and we was apes doing what we ought not be doing just because we spied one of our neighbor apes doing what he ought not be doing. some scientist can tell you how you can see this in worms or tomato plants or gentle looking foxgloves all antique lavender ringing up towards heaven, but it don't much matter that it been going on so long. That ain't no salve. I'm still ashamed of y'all and I'm ashamed of myself and our town's worms and foxgloves and soil and I'm gonna guess at you all not finding it strange this here actual otter ain't coming out to say howdy to any of us. I'm guessing you might be hard pressed to meet what seems more like dark round doors to the underwater than a pair of eyes on a smallish wet animal.

Stephanie Barber is a filmmaker and a poet who lives in Baltimore, MD. Her books are These Here Separated (Publishing Genius 2007) and poems (Bronze Skull 2006). She performed "The Otter" in front of an otter exhibit at the Smithsonian National Zoo at a reading sponsored by Publishing Genius and Beecher's Magazine. The otter did not appear.


Chloé Cooper Jones

There You Go! Now You Are Doing Just Fine

He was not unlike a magician.

All he had to do was ask you to dance and you would allow him to reach a hand out, to touch, and then
there you were, dancing in the aisles of the grocery store.

You wanted to stay angry, if only for a minute more.

People pushing carts watched and he said a polite hello and picked up a soup can to balance on your head and he said softly, “Posture. Posture.”

Reconfigured, it stays the same memory.

So you will have to change it.

Make it made-up.

New words force a fiction. Right? Sure.

A wanted to stay angry, if only for a miracle more.

A wanted to stay angry, if only for a mirage more.

See, it is fun.

It is not yours anymore. It is someone else’ s.

A’ s, pathetic moment of remembering.

Poor A, poor A, so sad and lonely.

B was not unlike a magnet.

B was not unlike a magnification.

Now you are feeling better. Finally you are able to use the literary stylistics you’ve absorbed from books that people on the Internet say they are reading.

You are feeling hip. 


Fuck yes, figurativity!

Whaddup, abstraction.

Be unafraid. A wanted to stay angry, if only for a misadventure more.

Just keep out the he or a she or a her or a me or a him or an I.

B was not unlike a maharaja.

Just don’t add a when.

A wanted to stay angry, if only for a mischief-maker more.

Avoid the urge to contextualize.

B was not unlike a mailman.

A wanted to stay angry, if only for a misdeal more. Just don’t tell anyone what there was to be angry about.

It was X. It was Y.

Just don’t tell anyone what grocery store it was.

Distort all other memories.

He was sitting against pillows in your bed.

B is in A’s bed.

B, sitting against pillows in A’s bed, watches online videos of people doing magic tricks.

What B says is added to a list A has made and on that list are things that make it impossible for A to
imagine ever being separate from B.

B says, “Sometimes when I see a great magic trick, I feel like crying.”

B’ s face and these words are what A wakes to.

Un-real it in obscuration.

B, sitting against pinheads in A’ s beehive, waterproofs online vintners of perforation doing
mailbox trimmings.

See. There you go.

Who are these people? Surely no one you know.

What is left now? What remains?

Someone saying something you don’t recognize.

B says, “Sometimes when I see a great mailbox trimming, I feel like crying.”

B says, “Sometimes when I see a great magpie trilby, I feel like crying.”

B’s failing and these workshops are what A wallows to.

Un-love it! It is absurd.

You believed some things would always be with you.

But now --

Of course. Of course. What can be built can be buried.

Chloé Cooper Jones’s fiction has appeared in The Black Warrior Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She is the Editor of Beecher’s Magazine. More information about Chloé can be found at


Chris Mason

Chris Mason's most recent book, Hum Who Hiccup, was just published by Narrow House.


Kristen Iskandrian

I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love The reason that I am so good at love I love I love I love I love I love I love is because I was born seemingly with a fierce aversion I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love to logic I love I love I love I have none when it comes to most things I love I love I love no logic I love I love I love I love I love I love I would be a shitty politician I love I love I love I love I love I don't know my east and north I love I love I love I love I love I love I get angry because I love I love I love I love and I forgive really quickly because I love I love I love I love I love I would be a shitty politician I love I am shitty when it comes to politics I love I love I love I love politics and math I love I love I love I love I love I love I love not to equate them I love I love I love I love I love because one makes sense and the other doesn't I love I love but the one that doesn't make sense makes no sense not because of love I love I love I love but because of power and cruelty and manipulation I love I love I love and love is none of those things although I love I love I love although the masks of love I love I love I love I love are often also the masks of those things I love I love I love I love I love I love masks that I have worn many times and I love I love I love masks that I will surely continue to wear sometimes when I love I love I love I love I have been scorned I love I love I love or when my love feels too hungry I love I love I love and hunger is so mean I love such a mean beast I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love willing to steal or kill in order to be fed I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I have found I love I love I love I love I love I love so many people to love to love to love I love I love to love and at every stage there have been people I have loved I love I love I love just tonight in the shower I was thinking about two women I loved I love I love I love in college I love I love and I love them still and I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love and they are sisters I love I love I love and I felt like one of them too I love I love I love I love I love and I didn't like sleeping alone and would sleep I love I love I love I love I love with one or I love I love the other I love and we would huddle I love I love I love so many times I love I love I love within the bonds of a love I love I love I love that we barely paid attention to I love I love I love because we were too busy figuring out I love I love I love I love I love the other loves that were consuming us I love I love and sometimes I love I would be very alone I love I love I love and I would read Anais Nin and I love and Simone de Beauvoir and I love I love I love and I would feel like I was them in my I love I love in my love for them I love I love I love and remembering that tonight I love I love I love I wanted to go back and sit with myself and stroke my head I love I love I love I love I love and say good for you for reading your French women I love I love I love and enjoy yourself I love I love I love I love I love I love I love you I love you I love you I love you I love because I don't know if life will ever feel again quite so glamorous I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you than it does in its exquisite nineteen-year-old sadness I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you and I am so keenly aware I love you I love you I love I love I love of the many things I can't seem to do I love I love I love although I try to change them every day I love you I love you but this thing I love I love I love this love I love I love I love I cannot seem to change it I love you although I wish I could I love you I love I love you because I think I would maybe get more done I love you I love you I love you more written I love you I love I love if I could just stop love I love I love you but I can't stop I love you I love anything I love I love I can't I love even read a map

Kristen Iskandrian lives in Athens, Georgia. Her work has been published in Denver Quarterly, Mississippi Review, Fifty-Two Stories, and many other places. She has a PhD in English from University of Georgia. She contributes to HTMLGiant and blogs at She loves you.


Rob MacDonald

Bucket Sort

With every word I wrote,
the universe grew
more confusing.

I started to sort my life
into little piles:
“awful peculiar,” “awful beautiful” and “awful.”

Decisions were difficult,
and before long,
I was buried under one enormous pile,

the darkness beautiful,
the view peculiar,
the weight of it awful.

Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of the online journal Sixth Finch. His poetry has appeared in Octopus, No Tell Motel, H_NGM_N and other journals. Last New Death, a chapbook, is available from Scantily Clad Press.


Hannah Tarr

At The Hari Krishna Restaurant

At the Hari Krishna restaurant you said you’d like to be lying on a cold rock right now. I said would you rather be lying on a cold rock right now or in a partially shady field.
You said cold rock right now
The field option needed another component: I said would you rather be lying on a cold rock right now or in a partially shady field with your head on --
A dog!
I was also about to say dog
But which dog?
Not that one, one from the past
Or a partially shaded field with you head on a dog from the past.
I chose field with head on dog
What color is your dog?
Cool, mine’s rust colored.

Hannah Tarr is a visual/literary artist living and working in Providence/NYC, born in Atlanta, GA. Will receive her Bachelors in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design June 5, 2011. She is an only child. Visit her site at


Bambi Almendinger

Consecration of the House

Ludwig van Beethoven pretended to be deaf so that he didn’t have to talk to people anymore. He talked to his two cats. They were named Bleach and Ammonia. He said, ‘One day, I’ll combine them and get Hazmat.’ They were biting cats, their teeth left scars on my legs which ruined my modeling career. Ludwig told me, ‘Bite them back.’ We’d bite them back on their pliant ears and then we’d feel bad, so we made it up to them by taking them out for walks. We took them to the aviary. In memory of all the birds killed, Ludwig and I got birds tattooed up a leg, over a shoulder, across a stomach. We covered up the pain with our clothes. Ludwig said, ‘Something’s right, because it’s wrong and we know it’s wrong since it doesn’t hurt or make us suffer.’ I concluded that, ‘Everything always goes wrong,’ and it came true. A batch of pfeffernüssen baking in the oven caught fire and everything was gone, including the cats. My absent-mindedness was one symptom out of a long, trailing list of others. Lead had entered our bloodstreams from the tattoos and we became depressive insomniacs. We joined the sleepless wildlife and left off living as human beings it seemed. The washing and shaving of hair was left undone. The lingering of our lives wasn’t watched, but the end was in sight.

Bambi Almendinger was born on Edwards Air Force Base. She is earning her B.S. at the University of South Florida and is a day-time vegan.


Colin Winnette

Baby Cheetah

In the past they sold baby cheetahs at this very zoo. In order to be in anywhere near the kind of headspace I am in while writing this, you will need to find an online video entitled Baby Cheetah & Dog Best Friend. Having seen this you will know exactly why I’ve decided to stay in Washington DC. I will work odd jobs until I can afford baby cheetah. I will buy baby cheetah. I will video tape baby cheetah rolling around with grown up slop dog and post the video online and delete any comments that don’t read like I have done the right thing in this situation. And when someone opens a nearby door, and baby cheetah lunges, I will follow wherever baby cheetah goes. I will run as fast as baby cheetah runs. I will jump fences and hedges, dodge trees and people and keep up with baby cheetah because baby cheetah was expensive and I worked so hard for this expensive thing. Baby cheetah will likely lead me to a cave. If he allows me, I will enter the cave with baby cheetah and set up camp. We will be alone there. There will be no one else. We will stay for a long, long time. We’ll eat my legs first. And then my sides. We’ll eat my arms, my cheeks. And when he starts to lick my forehead, I will look baby cheetah straight in his wild baby cheetah eyes and say, baby cheetah, we may have gone about this all wrong.

Colin Winnette lives/writes in Chicago, Texas, Vermont and between. He is always online at, where, among other things, you can find links to more work.


Tommy Jacobi

The Casino

Maybe when the blue man walks out
of his blue house into blue light
and the glass woman’s glass eyes
are her mother’s eyes, and all
night long all the little animals push their little
ambulances down the street,
maybe then I’ll drink my little glass
filled with ashes. When the deaf start speaking
and the deaf stop speaking and the deaf can't
speak any more
and when the deaf start speaking and the deaf
start speaking and the deaf can’t sleep any more,
I guess that’s when you pick up your icepick
and make all your icepick’s mistakes.
There's an extension cord in the river
fatter than life. You want to cut through it.
You can see your own chalk apparitions
in the water.

Years later, you’re on
the Effects Channel and you look
afraid. Something is causing me, you say.
Sometimes I think that there’s beauty
and sometimes I think that there’s beauty on drugs.
I think I can feel my blood pushing on the pins
of the television. The casino drones on and on.
You say, the opposite of outside is more outside.
The opposite of inside is more outside.
You say in this moment absolutely everything
I ever wanted to say. I look around.
There’s a fist outside
the size of a planet. I store my guts
in a trash bag and try to move on.
You’ve got your good things
and you’ve got mine. The TV is small.
I sleep with the brain of a cannibal but
I try not to move.

Tommy Jacobi lives in Baton Rouge, where he goes to LSU. He co-edits Delta, the undergraduate literary journal, with Blake Stephens.


Jay MacLeod

Mr. Fixit

We were in bed in the studio apartment. The TV was on. My wife got up to fill the teapot. When she turned on the tap water started spilling from under the sink and across the floor. Jesus Christ, she said.

She turned off the tap. Water continued to pour across the hardwood floor.

I took the mop from the closet and started pushing the water towards the drain in the middle of the bathroom floor. Soon there was a large puddle in the middle of the apartment which nearly reached the bed at one end and the front door at the other.

A few minutes later the maintenance man came to the door. He wore glasses and had a pockmarked face. He wasn’t very tall. He carried a black box of tools in one hand and a clipboard in the other.

뭐가 문제예요? He said to my wife without looking at me.

새는 곳! My wife replied, pointing to the floor.

The man put down his box of tools beside the door where the water hadn’t gotten to yet. He took out a flashlight and a wrench and waded to the center of the puddle and peered under the sink.

파이프가 터졌어, the man said over his shoulder. He stood up. 오늘은고칠 수 없어, he said to

배관공이 내일 올거야, the man said. He put the wrench and the flashlight back in his toolbox

My wife stood in the middle of the puddle on the floor. The man stood in the doorway. I sat on the bed. I had no idea what they were saying, but I could tell my wife was getting angry.

내가 고칠 수없습니다. 그에게 그것을 해결하기 위해 물어보세요. The man gestured in my direction.

아저씨 날 알아요? My wife asked, her voice quivering.

모르지. The man was staring in my wife’s direction, over her shoulder. It seemed he was looking at the wall on the other side of the apartment.

왜 무례? Her voice was high. She was shaking a little bit.

내가 당신 아버지나이. 벌이야. He cocked his head to the side and waved his hands.

고치는거! My wife was nearly shouting.

아가씨랑 말장난 할 시간 없어. 배관공이 내일 아침에 올거야. The man picked up his toolbox and stepped out into the hallway.

The maintenance man slammed the door. My wife locked the door and sat on the bed beside me.

We have no water until tomorrow. She looked very tired. You know something? You never stand up for me. Never. Why is that?

I didn’t have an answer for her. I stood up and took the mop from the bathroom and started to clean up the mess on the floor. We watched TV for a while and after that we went to sleep.

Jay MacLeod is from Calgary, Alberta. He currently lives in Toronto. His book of poetry The Republic of Naught is available as a free download from Philistine Press:


Carrie Vasios

Warm Thoughts, Having Reread “Robert Frost Shopped at L.L.Bean”

Martin Billmore Hauser, born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1928, was an acclaimed American poet. In his early career, he won such distinguished awards as a DAAD Scholarship to study lyrical German poetry of the 15th century in Leipzig and the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize for his first book of poems Teabags. He was known for his playfully irreverent adjectival phrases (fusty canoodler, maladroit goose) as well as his obsessive attention to detail (the taste bud on the tip of his tongue/ was as an asteroid/proportionally destructive.)

Hauser’s most popular book of poetry was his fifth, the two volume Quotidian Profanities in which he imagined the daily lives of other famous poets. “Robert Frost Shopped at L.L. Bean” won the Bernard F. Connors Prize for Poetry in 1987. An original copy is signed and framed behind the counter at the title company’s flagship store in Freeport, Maine.

After formally retiring from writing in 2003, Hauser became a spokesperson for the New England Arboricultural Association. He worked tirelessly for the preservation of trees in his home town. Despite recently winning a three year struggle with jugular cancer, Hauser died on Monday, October 3rd from a poisonous spider bite incurred while repossessing acorns from a family of squirrels which was squatting in his prized Royal Oak tree.

We here at Small Pot Press will be reissuing eighty copies of Hauser's anthology of family poems, Avuncular Tie Clips, for the occasion.

Carrie Vasios is a writer in New York City. She feels quite fondly about Robert Frost and food. She writes about the latter for Serious Eats, Edible Manhattan, Alimentum, Good Food Stories, and her own blog,


Michael Kimball


She is staring at me, but I will not be displayed. I can't see away. I’m behind the checkout lines. It's because I'm sure. I am very close to me. She stays with me. I was able to listen to her body temperature – close to the close – or she feels like me.
There are a few other cash registers. Check out the administrator during the installation process. If you somehow are, then take your part in the meeting. We waited for the transformation. I want to say something. Then you will know I love you.
I saw her with a smile on my face. Start looking at the possibilities. They are not that far away. We were almost never properly together before – then, it was a week or more – but now I’m on my way home from work to her. Anything is possible in the evening.
It’s taken me. Look at me. Suddenly I feel beautiful and irresistible. Then I wanted to do something. I hold all my food in a plastic basket. Why was everything elevated then? That's why I think that the evening would say that it is possible.
She smiled a smile and I have appointed myself to her. She showed me two levels down. The chocolate cake – the chocolate frosting – I really do not understand what it is for, but she told me that the dessert has been sent. We require a food protection service.
We confused each other. Somebody asked -- she's asking to talk face to face. There is box office food and a two-way mirror. A small window disappears. Two people are driving away.
The food portions rolled by us on the dinner-time conveyor belt. We catalogued everything that we ate. Will you tell me anything if asked? I pay and wait. I turn off the dinner date. I really do not know if you feel.
Almost always, there I am on the sidewalk. I decided to wait for you. I found her through the large window. These little gestures, we are always looking for each other. For many years, I have wanted to be felt.
Automatically, she walks through the store. Do you have a plastic basket and frosted goodies? She said that she was happy to go with me.
I smile and we start out with the avenue. We walk into our lives again. Apparently, it was such an early night on the freshness of the air. 
I said that I had to tell her my name. I asked her to hold it in her hands.
She took my hand and we hurry things through. This is the first mention of our hands. We are the happy couple galloping on the sidewalk. We must study our desired actions. I can still feel the almost hand-hot melting feeling from before.
We step along a crowded sidewalk. There was talking about us, but we cannot stop leaving together. We are the first to cross the street. She turns her head and smiles to me. I went back to her smile. We've put together a brilliant future. Her thought tooth is reflected light.

What do you stop and think to ask? It happens in the past tense. Do not stop at the end. Hopefully, it will not be in jail. There is always the fear of the unwanted connection. I agree with that. In fact, we have something with the deception.
We turned on close to the stoplight. In the case of yellow, we should ignore it. My elbow is broken up in the race. We start our groceries in the center of our plastic bags. The honking traffic through the intersection sounds like city music. I have never liked any kind of music. It is not together with being human.
I run to see where it was very encouraging. I panted for the run up and I would like to continue. I think we are too tired to stand. We folded into the beauty and will continue to do so.

Michael Kimball’s third novel, DEAR EVERYBODY (which The Believer calls “a curatorial masterpiece”), is now out in paperback. His work has been on NPR’sAll Things Considered and in Vice, as well as The Guardian, Unsaid, and New York Tyrant. His books have been translated (or are being translated) into many languages and Tyrant Books will release his novel US in May, 2011. He is also responsible for Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard)I WILL SMASH YOU60 WRITERS/60 PLACES, and the 510 Readings.


Mike Meginnis

Three Bodies

Body #69

This little body's father's body bought it a balloon. A purple one. It tied the string around its wrist to keep it safe. The wind blew the balloon slanted. It tugged gentle but insistent on this body's arm.

This body sees another body with a pocket knife. The balloon's string goes taut, then slack. The balloon leaves this body. The body weeps and begs its father for another. Its father's body has run out of money. It asks this little body what happened to the balloon, the purple one, it bought before.

Body #74

This body kneels to pray, but finds it does not know the words, and so repeats beneath its breath the texts of certain cryptic spam e-mails received in recent years. They roll so easy off the tongue.

Body #88

What a horror. What a horror. What a nasty little horror. What happened. To the horror. To this nasty little horror. Cries for milk. Cries for milk. Terror horror little horror calls for wanting needing milk. Test its warmth. On your wrist. Red-faced. What's it needing. Little horror. Little terror. What happened. Cries for milk. Cries for milk. Cries for bread. Cries for bread. Cries for egg. Little horror. What's it needing. Terror horror little horror calls for wanting needing milk, cries for wanting needing bread, cries for wanting needing egg. Little horror. What happened. What's it needing.

Mike Meginnis has work published or forthcoming in Hobart, The Lifted Brow, Booth, Smokelong Quarterly, Abjective, elimae, and others. He currently serves as a managing editor at Puerto del Sol, and co-edits Uncanny Valley ( with his wife, Tracy Bowling.


Diana Salier

hamster balls for people

natalie texts me tonight and asks if i'm dead, d-bag
and i'm like no i've been OK just hanging
in the recesses of my head,
and when i say i've been hanging in the recesses
of my head, TRUST that i do not think
i'm bob dylan or something

the girl i live with has a hamster named sug
as in sugar as in pour a little on me,
and he runs around the living room
in a hamster ball double his size
she says you can buy hamster balls for people
and go running in the hills, and i'm like that's dumb
what if you just go rolling off the side ?

i say things out loud sometimes
that sound dumb even to me
i turn around and knock myself
into the street like SO WHAT and what now, punk??

but people are people too you know
people are people too,
and there's love in the time of war in the time of love
these words have big kid teeth
they hide out in your closet at night
and you really should try to avoid them
like cannonballs or hand grenades
and if you find any let's build a treehouse

1 - store them there

2 - hunker down

3 - wait for winter

Diana Salier lives in San Francisco.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Scrambler, Spooky Boyfriend, WTF PWM, Blazevox, and Robot Melon, among others.

boule de hamster pour le monde (traduit en français par Matt Margo et ‘Guillaume Morissette’)

natalie m’envoie un texto ce soir me demandant si je suis morte, d-bag
et je réponds que non je suis en vie je traîne juste
dans les recoins de ma tête,
et quand je dis que je traîne dans les recoins
de ma tête, FAITES-MOI CONFIANCE je ne pense pas que
je suis bob dylan ou quelque chose
la fille qui habite avec moi a un hamster qui se nomme suc
comme dans sucre comme dans versez-en un peu sur moi,
et il court autour du salon
dans une boule de hamster qui est deux fois sa taille
elle dit qu’on peut acheter des boules du hamster pour le monde
et s’en servir pour aller courrir dans les collines, et je dis que c’est stupide
qu’est-ce qui arrive si tu tombes de côté ?
je dis des choses à voix haute parfois
que semblent stupide même pour moi
je fais demi-tour et me cogne
contre la rue ET PUIS APRÈS qu’est-ce que tu veux maintenant, punk??
mais le monde c’est des gens aussi vous savez
les gens sont des gens aussi,
et il y a de l’amour en temps de guerre et en temps d’amour aussi
ces mots ont des dents de grands enfants
ils se cachent dans votre armoire la nuit
et vous devriez vraiment les éviter
comme des boulets de canon ou des grenades à main
et si vous en trouvez on devrait bâtir une cabane dans un arbre
1 – les emmagasiner là
2 – s’accroupir
3 – attendre l’hiver

Translation by Matt Margo added 12/19/2011, via All Write Then.


Mike Young

You Are Not the Food

Mike Young (Zoo Reading) from Paul Cunningham on Vimeo.

You are not the lamps aglow over the buffet. They say you’re made of heat, but you’re made of Nilla wafers. You are near the meal ticket on the edge. Have you seen the apple crisp and can I get a brisket. Flesh of jiggles, flesh that’s dried. Hallelujah butter glisten. Cornbread dressing and fried tilapia and macaroni and chickpea salad. Taco shells and caramel pudding and mystery spare ribs and parmesan butter and Slurpee rotisseries. Yellow Jell-O and croutons and carrot cake and platters and tryptophan and breaded shrimp and carving knives and coffee and porn mirrors and steamed carrots and cold french fries and au jus and chorn cowder. Salad tossers and nervous managers and pizza sausage and sauerkraut and collard greens and root bear floats and refill buckets and soda orchards and yam goop and pickled beets and nuked peppers and ice chunks and oversized football jerseys and navy beans and oh excuse me lima beans and pinto beans and soft serve and cottage cheese and creamy pea salad milk and hump fish and squaddle donk and cunt sneezes and little cherry smack ‘em yorps and badonkadonk roast and ass cheese and waddle gum and squinty mints and cousin hate and fiber pudding and gelatin and burble bop and allergy sweepstakes and flavor shapes and puke soap and oil scrape and Brillo noodles and detergent water and high falutin’ corn syrup and rubber staplers and grease condoms and giant fried monster truck tires and barbecued nostalgia and eat ‘em up, it’s food! it’s food! it’s food! it’s food and food and food! it’s food and food and food and food and food and food and food! food and food and food and food and food and food and food! and food and food and foody food, foody foody food! What, are you afraid of food? God is not the you that’s ever uttered here. This means you when this says you. You and you and you. You’re no God at all because you want to feel things. You are not the parking lot outside of all the food, in which we see a helicopter. Wait is there a fire. No look, it’s got an air conditioner. Well! Fuck my holy shit.

Mike Young is the author of Look, Look, Feathers! (stories) and We Are All Good if They Try Hard Enough (poems). 


Ricky Garni


I once knew a girl named Plum Brown Butter Financier with Late Harvest Riesling Ice Cream.

We loved to dance.

We especially loved to dance the Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart With A Foamy Peanut Elixir -- who?
Plum Brown Butter Financier with Late Harvest Riesling Ice Cream and me.

Sometimes we danced the Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart With A Foamy Peanut Elixir,
me and Plum Brown Butter Financier with Late Harvest Riesling Ice Cream,
on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris like tout le monde.

We would dance the Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart With A Foamy Peanut Elixir, on the Boulevard Saint-Germain,
Paris like tout le monde until our feet hurt. They really did.

They hurt because our feet were foamy.

But foamy feet don’t stop love.

Plum Brown Butter Financier with Late Harvest Riesling Ice Cream, always used to say:
foamy feet don’t stop love.

Don’t stop! Shake it, baby! ! I would scream lovingly to Plum Brown Butter Financier with Late Harvest Riesling Ice Cream.

We would laugh and laugh. And kiss and kiss. And dance the Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart et al.

Sometimes we saw Rock Shrimp and Pork Belly Croutons with Marinated Eggplant and Cannellini Beans
staring at us menacingly from the shadows.

If only I knew then what I know now.

Then what would I do.

That’s cinchy.

I would dance on the Boulevard Saint-German like tout le monde.

Ricky Garni is a graphic designer living in Carrboro, North Carolina. His work can be found in EVERGREEN REVIEW, CAMEL SALOON, USED FURNITURE REVIEW, ORION HEADLESS and other places. His latest poem is called HOW THEY KILL MEN IN CHICAGO, taken from the 25 second movie of the same name,  produced in 1900. In the spirit of overkill, the poem takes four minutes to read.


Dot Devota

The lemon blanket thrown, each day
abducted into stale citrus our lips puckered
I commissioned a throne and sat facing demented fruit

We were first seen protrusions wearing silk socks
flatulence from bathers to a healing spring
I swallowed the mother for better or worse handwriting
liquid skin stretching to assign the instrument
world strapped with explosives I throw a trenchcoat over its back
walk it to the next available teller
his clubfoot crossing the easel
painting with mop water fucking itself spreading
on toast melted butter from the grossest animal that still gives milk

Days have horizon strapped to my wrist
I tap the clock face. No seeds!
whoever listens to me wants to keep their life
I chop off my fingers and dealing them out see who has the shortest straw
then I say some stuff in Italian
it all seems like an opera people begin to behave decently

Stars in the viaduct
I know at night I’ll have to go around with a shovel
burying reflections so there’s no evidence of conspiracy
no telling the animal suffers of what but it dies from
a good carrot to dangle

Embellish the practice a deaf wing
I read from a book the color dies my bath
sink into coal tumbling from the mine
a new life the gaping sentence the wood it takes
a sliver scalps me in the kitchen above pots of boiling water
what was my dinner laid bare my mind in hunger

The fork and knife work out of hate for each other true love of oneself
a black and white drawing in the middle of a poem
I ate a wagging lion’s tail
divorced my eyes from swinging lights
skipping them across love’s sol spectra like stones on a pond one drowns in
each eyelash a second too far into the future
above me in a field the breath of petit angels
uninvited guests trample the daffodils

Dot Devota's poems have appeared recently in Recent poems have appeared in Tarpaulin Sky, Octopus, Denver Quarterly, The Offending Adam, Omnidawn and Action Yes.