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Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

You can’t even be somewhere without spending money anymore: to earn the right to perform your cellular respirations in any given square foot, you’d better have a receipt or be standing in line to get one. A cup of coffee buys you an unharassed half hour on a high stool; a jaunty shopping bag shields you from suspicion while you linger for a moment on a bench. I once spent time in a city where the mall for the affluent was protected by security guards with machine guns. The people they let in were taller, robust, pressed. The ones whose path they stepped into were slighter, hungrier, looser in their clothes. In another city a hemisphere away, sidewalk guards stepped in front of men from the provinces and told them that the parks and stores were closed. 

To be treated humanely, you must seem to be doing well. 

We’re still more interested in the friendless, the bereft, the people who are left out of the sanitized exchange of the marketplace, the bleaching streetlamps of public life, the invisible fences around gated communities. There are those who are completely outside, and those on the edges, who eke out their positions every day.  The story of the have-not is the only interesting narrative; stories of success are all alike: find your market, trade up. 

~T.M. De Vos, Editor

Current Issue

Poetry

Cathedral by Samir Atassi

Like Brothers and People Who Have Nothing by Roy Bentley

Friendless by Colin Dodds

Two Poems by Simon Perchik

Creative Nonfiction

The More Things Change, or How Facebook Has Ruined Reincarnation by Zeke Jarvis

Potato Chips by Jessica Wiseman Lawrence

Art Untied by Katy Masuga

Fiction

Cassandra by Lindsay Merbaum

The Greyhound by Wendy Vaizey

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I just returned from a work trip to Vegas and was reminded again of the immense darkness that lies behind the relentless marquees, the canned attractions, overdone resorts, and extraverted casinos. What intrigues me are the people, the ones who live off the scraps: the immigrants in stained shirts flicking pornographic cards at tourists; the oversunned men undoing the failed Harmon Hotel, tier by black-shrouded tier; the old men levitating objects on the sidewalks for spare change; the trio of girls in extensions and eyelashes who stood in the Cosmopolitan, smiling nervously at the men who ordered them. Those who have nothing extraordinary to show, or no money to buy the time and wares of others, are seen only in flickers: shadowy figures crossing the six-lane intersections, dragging their bags or carts or unresponsive limbs. They do not rest until the others have finished consuming and, when they do, they are always waking.

This issue is dedicated to the darkness—not necessarily melancholy or evil, but the unseen, quiet vacuum that lies between the attractions that compete for our conscious attention. From what do we turn when we look for diversion? From what do we hide when we fill our time with noise, with conversations, with souvenirs, with spectacles—with what I call the dimestore world?

~T.M. De Vos, Editor

Current Issue

Poetry

Meat and three by Rachel Adams

Dim, but not darker than me and What he pawned was black by Ashlie Allen

Inviable and Who Was the Girl in the Window? by Maureen Alsop

Deciding When to Die by Paul R. Davis

Our Dimension by Peycho Kanev

Three Poems by Simon Perchik

Strand, The Golem Visits Coney Island, and The Golem Rides the Amtrak by Yosef Rosen

Creative Nonfiction

Exhibit I[ntrovert] by Kristin Fitzsimmons

Fiction

Sleep Paralysis by Valerie Borey

Public Viewings by Chase Eversole

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We think of certain experiences with foreboding and dread. Yet a truly harrowing experience surpasses distress. There can be exhilaration–of momentum, of transformation–and if one is lucky enough to survive, of escape.
~Bram Shay, Editor

 

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YTarnawsky 1 (1)

Poet, translator, and fiction writer Yuriy Tarnawsky is a founding member of the New York Group and, as the faithful reader will recall, star of the fourth “Xорошо.” His latest work, consisting of The Placebo Effect Trilogy (JEF Books) and Modus Tollens (Jaded Ibis Productions) manages to be at once fluid and oddly specific; familiar yet unsettling. Tarnawsky, as usual, unnerves the reader by leaving her half the work of assembling these subconsciously active worlds. This seventh reincarnation of “The New Xорошо,” is the product of free association, linguistic play, nightmare, and a very permissive gateway between living and dead. ~T.M. De Vos

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It’s an old story–the child who goes away and the one who stays, the bargain struck and the bond between them and the promises, spoken and unspoken, that must be kept. What does the prodigal one find if she returns? What sacrifices were asked of the one who stayed?
~Bram Shay, Editor

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I’ll Bring Her Back

Konstantina Sozou-Kyrkou

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Last Seen in Transit

There’s a certain relief to being in transit: it’s a pleasant nowhere space that gives you permission to kill time and be wasteful, slothful, and potentially gluttonous. Of course, I’m recalling past meals of shashlik-flavored chips on the Trans-Siberian Railroad and phenomenal Chicken McNuggets at the Roma Termini. Things are different from the pilot’s seat of a biplane, on the wrong side of train doors in China, or on the wrong side of the sea from a white city. I wrote once, in a poem, that the dead are always last seen in transit but, so, sometimes are the living. ~T.M. De Vos, Editor

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What happens when you grow up in the wrong place? What happens when there’s nowhere to go? Sometimes it helps to find a partner in crime, someone to scheme and share dating advice with. Sometimes it helps to hide in the woods or learn life lessons from a board game. One thing’s for sure–it always helps to know how to properly swing an ax.
~Bram Shay, Editor

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