Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Important Update

With the new year, and the success of the previous year, we at Life As An have decided to change our publication format. We intend to make our publication more of a magazine and less of a blog. To accomplish this, we will now publish 4 issues per year, each containing 10-15 pieces. Everything that we decide to publish will still be viewable on this site, but will be published in bulk 4 days per year. We also hope to have these issues available in a downloadable format appropriate for e-readers. Don't worry, everything will still be free.
This new publication schedule will enable Life As An to be listed on certain websites that do not feel that our old format was appropriate for a literary magazine. Details on what this means to you as a writer are available under “Submission Guidelines.”
These changes go into effect December 16th. Anything submitted before then will be published according to our previous guidelines.
So what does this mean to our readers? Basically, it just means that we will only be publishing new work on January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st. Anything already scheduled to be published (or that is accepted between now and December 16th) is not affected, meaning that until March 31st, there will still be some stories and poems published that are not included in the new issues. After March 31st, this will not happen. All of our archives will still be available and unaffected.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Alarm's Screech...

 by Dr. Smita Anand Sriwastav

The shrill screech of the alarm clock echoed to tatter the gossamer veneer of a fuzzy dream or was it a hazy memory replaying as some old mute movie on mind’s canvas in swirls of grey and sepia? They had held me mesmerized as languidly unfolding fairy tales that breathed their fragrance into my thoughts, like orchids sighing scented vowels into stained glass flutters of butterflies. The alarm’s wail was the chime of the bell of consciousness that drag reluctant thoughts away from alleys of Morpheus. I tried to recall that scene vivid moments before and now strangely vague, almost forgotten, lost in amnesic depths of unconscious thought. I wondered if I closed my eyes silently would those faded realms be revived, in swirls of sienna shades, alluring, intriguing and unworldly. Lurking at the edge of the eyelashes, those scenes refused to replay themselves, a poignant medley of faded scenes refusing become completely lost as well. The adamantly ticking hands of time denied such reincarnation, simply earmarking those moments in the ambiguity of nostalgia. They dispersed like fickle friends in adversity, for they were like carmine sighs of withered rose scattered on soil never to feel the kiss of pollens. The window gilded in morning’s grin beckoned as dispelled with traces of languor, dreams died and consciousness soared high like dove’s feathers over heights of a newborn day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Was a Nasty Bitch

 by E. Martin Pedersen

            “Hey, Pepe, gatocito, I’m home.” Gloria yelled.
            “Back here.”
            “When you get back?”
            “I left Portland at ten last night, got here about an hour ago—easy run. I brought tamales from that lonchera down by Madera. You make us some refritos and ensalada, honey; I get the cold beers from the garage, ¿okey?”
            Bueno. I need to take a shower first. That old lady died today. I was watching. Her last words was: ‘I was a nasty bitch.’ White people are loco, huh? ‘I was a nasty bitch,’ and then she died. Just died, you know? Comprende? Where are you, man?”
            Pepe was watching ESPN in the den in his bathrobe. In the bedroom, Gloria peeled off her white Dr. Sholl’s clogs, her white nurse’s uniform, her slip, her pantyhose, her white bra and big panties, and put on her shower cap and thongs. After she showered, Gloria and Pepe had their tamales on TV trays, speaking loudly over the sports news.

            “Who was she?”
            “That old lady who died?”
            “She said a civil rights lawyer. No, a woman’s rights lawyer, back east, you know? I don’t think she was very good at her job.”
            “Why not?”
            “Women still don’t got no rights.”
            “Who loca now, woman? Dang, good tamales, huh? I got tortas too, for tomorrow. Pass the salsa.”
            “She start telling me her life story. I got stuff to do, but she said ‘sit’ and told me how back in Washington she’s fighting against men, patriartic or something, against men, for women’s rights. I didn’t listen too good till she got to talking about equal pay. A very angry old woman. Like she regrets her whole life. She starts crying.”
            “Oh, ‘cause she always treated people like shit for her whole life, a big-shot lawyer, you know? She was really sorry, crying so much. I also cried. Then she took my hand and said, ‘Gloria, I was a nasty bitch.’ Then she relaxed and died. It was so sad.”
            “You want another beer?”
            “I do.”
            “I’m not getting up.”
            “Dodgers won today.”
            “What do you think it means? Like she had a message for me, a warning to pass on about women or something?”
            Ay dios, baby, nothing. That’s what it means. Let’s go to bed early. I’m beat.”
            “Man, you just want me to beat your meat, you dirty puerco.”
            “Come to Pepe, you nasty bitch.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Gloves

by Loukia M. Janavaras

These are the gloves of parting
left by you one morning without words
in a soft heap like two blackbirds
nestling on their last breath
not worn, to be worn 
by me through the streets of Vienna
where leaves had fallen
all turned the colour of your hair
as I inhaled slow decay,
wove paths that vanished with the wind,
hands raw, gloves left on the table.

These gloves have witnessed departures, visitors
like you they have travelled, seen snow with you
filled tightly by your hands
their homeland stamped with pride,
an offering to be kept
perfect for parting
so tender, felt, black
left with you accidentally amid words
only to return
bringing you
despite their crumpled wings.

These are the gloves you handed me
without a word
they have taken residence here
permanent visitors in a warm welcome
they glide over my hands,
caress my skin like a gentle breath,
silent comfort as I walk the winter streets of Athens
I bring my hands to my cheek
close my eyes and inhale deeply
the scent that is you
and as they rub together, wings flutter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

David Wendt

by Paul Lewellan

“How was your week?” I asked. The others in the circle looked over to David. Unlike them, he was still employed. His coworkers didn’t know his diagnosis; they only suspected. Or they dismissed the idea because he was too young to have Old Timer’s disease.
“Last Friday there was this student . . .,” David began. He looked at the notebook in front of him, turned to the page from Friday. He stopped.
“What about him?” I prompted.
“Her.” David shifted in his chair. He was wearing the sport coat and dress slacks he’d worn to school that morning, but had taken off the tie and traded his loafers for Nikes. “You’ll really think I’m losing it . . ..”
“No one is here to judge you.” I waited. “You were telling us about a student.”
“Of course.” He glanced down at his notes and started again. “I was at my desk at the back of my classroom.” He gestured as if to show us the location. “I looked up and saw a young girl seated across from me. She wore a white and black cheerleader’s uniform with a large G on the front of the sweater. That told me I was at Goldwater High School.”
“As opposed to . . . ?”
“Sometimes I get confused and think I’m back teaching at St. Stephens College. Anyway, I knew where I was. I looked around. On the wall were my posters of Boll, Gordimer, Solzhenitsyn, Solinka . . ..” I noted that David could recall the Nobel Prize winners for literature, but not the school where he taught. “I got flummoxed. I didn’t know who she was.”
“What did you do?” asked someone anxiously from the circle.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


by Adukuri Jagannath Rao

We came away as we found boy missing
From a motor cycle on a hill road racing
With a train ,chug- chugging to his song.

A saffron shirt was all we know of the boy
Who brought his eyes down for love in snows
Setting hearts aflutter in many a blouse.

(On the passing of Rajesh Khanna, yesteryear's superstar today)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weak Coffee

by Tom Mahony

Man, I hated this place. The coffee was weak, the muffins stale, the waiters arrogant jerks. As I read a newspaper and struggled through a blueberry muffin, I tried to ignore the kook beside me barking into his cell phone and music blasting from the overtaxed speakers. Enough—I would never return to this dump. I rose to leave, to head for my unkempt and lonely apartment. I’d be back here tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Violence in the morning

 by Adukuri Jagannath Rao
I see rain behind the white clouds, wet breeze beyond the hills . Yesterday's rain-puddles are now mere patches of wet on the mud road. A monster tree carpet-bombed the road with tiny violet fruits which squished like violent blood under the morning walkers' feet.

Other images fell from above. Like pieces of rubble that fell from the house in construction in your morning walk. He who knew my secrets is dead first in the field and then in his house,his own secrets in the lock- and- key of my aliveness.

A droning machine which drew out the earth's blood with its long arms in order to quench people's thirst .Groups of stone cutters who killed the mountains for a living .A white temple which sang its God songs from its loud mouth in the morning.The house workers who had no house shifted their house things to another house ,everything on their heads and nothing over their heads.

An electric mosquito swatter promising peace in sleep leaves blood on our hands.There is violence in the morning, violence in the air, violence in thoughts and words.

Violence is violet fruits,stone-cutters who killed the mountains for a living, loud temple songs, rubble from buildings, drilling machines that tore the earth, mosquito swatting machines, people dying with your secrets.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Of Orals

by Anastasia Greene

no thank you
absolutely not
there isn’t enough light in here
the strain of my pupil, no of my iris
it will blind me
first go the eyes, deuxième va l’âme
the legs will follow et après the tongue
slithering to catch up with the eyes
cut out, cut off from a world
devoid of proper reading light

           non je pense pas
           pas exactement
           rien est possible sans mes yeux
           how can i speak when they’ve come to expect
           articulation or humming from the nose
           pas de la bouche
           the maw without a tongue has no hope of relief
           the eye without a window cannot see
           so it rolls, il cherche les mots pour décrire
           the dissatisfaction of the strain and breathless trial
           of fleeing without legs

                                 so deliberate
                                 exactly comme ça
                                 and sounds in the mise-en-abîme of both
                                 the eyes and the mouth, the light and the soul
                                 l’état c’est moi is impossible if the tongue fears solitude
                                 and l’état is of existence and pain while c’est is what
                                 the english call parle or dit
                                 there isn’t enough light and i cannot be expected to read
                                 or hum or dance if my iris, no my pupil is up in arms
                                 over her exhaustion and the hours i keep
                                 alors je me couche if the me were not so ardent in its reflex
                                 if my tongue had not left me blind, i might not need the light

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The rain

 by Adukuri Jagannath Rao

The rain comes in the afternoon.  June rain brings buzzing flies, sugar candy for children, wheels hurling wet mud. The day of the chariot  is here when a god of wood walks on slow shoulders .That is when we celebrate life and some times we celebrate death under its wheels. A juggernaut of death.
Our God is made of wood from deep jungles. His body was still in the making in a room when our curiosity would  leave his arms undone. And his feet. And leave his  eyes with no lids. Eyes that would not sleep from staring at our follies.
He is our death wish. His chariot is a tree’s death wish. His wheels are our setting sun’s wheels.We are waiting for our dusk.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Little French Innuendos

by Anastasia Greene

One word—mourir—expresses pain
And pleasure, the Lacanian duet.

And objet represents the unreachable focus
Of desire and wishing—souhaîte.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


 by Adukuri Jagannath Rao
We were concerned with fragments. Little clouds that hung over cities.Fluffy cloud polygons that held promises of rain  because the pied crested cuckoo said so on its northern journey. We went  cuckoos over our  tiny streams , the waters that ran below our feet. The fragment would fill whole streams.The very waters which our machines had probed tearing the earth’s intestines. The earth had blood then in white fine powder.Our feet are still in its prints.

The fragment hung lightly over our lake, tantalizing the city. It was a shapeless polygon that changed its shape like an amoeba., a single unicellular organism with deceptive false feet.By dusk he it became a shred of gray, a blood smear in the death of the sun.

Monday, July 9, 2012


by Anita Babcock

I stare down at the cutting board. The dead fish that my girlfriend caught lies waiting for me to clean it out. The second fish that I caught is some how still alive. I can sense it is watching me, begging me to end its life already so the suffering stops. I shudder at the thought and then a quick flash happens; I see blue eyes begging me in the same way. I take a deep breath and hold the knife tightly in my hand then place the blade against the neck of the slain fish. I ignore the trick my mind just played on me. My hand is trembling.

“Come on,” I command myself. “Suck it up and just cut the fish!”

            The fish reflects the light coming through the window and the scales shine with rainbows. It is strange to me how even in death, the fish could be so lovely with its bejeweled body. I feel very uneasy at the sight. The knife falls with a clatter to the table as I drop it. Both frustration and sorrow fill me. I slowly count to 10, and take the knife up.

            “Just do it already!” I tell myself, speaking out loud. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cat Box Chronicles

by Korliss Sewer

Blue crystals shine like gems
in a sand pile:
a montage of non-edibles
as buried treasure.

Kitty litter prints
track to the window ledge: 
to bask in the sun
and clean crusty paws.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


 by Adukuri Jagannath Rao
We saw ourselves, a rod travelling on rails falling off  because it was not shape enough for the rails.We looked at the dark promontory of a day’s night and that made us dizzy, so many stars , so much time. Time sucked us in, our life in a limbo when we walked jauntily. We slept with our eyes open ,our breath slowly being taken away.We were alive like the dinosaur that had existed in the wild plains and now lives in this hall, sprawled in white bones as time stretches. The very bones that had lived before we came.

Our  own bones wept for their dust and the rivers they have to float in to reach the sea. The mathematics of blood that went haywire, as their zeroes on the left went multiplying infinitely .Nothing really mattered , not even the hair on our head that stood erect in tribute to the magnificence of the dome.And  the dome went on endlessly abolishing our body, the bodies in the heavens and  embraced the mindlessness of being a stone , a mere flicker in space.

Our journey began. Nearer  death we are now a rod on the rails that lost its shape. Our rails will continue their journey with other rods that still have their shapes, until they too will  lose their shapes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Three Seconds

by Valentina Cano

The man,

visible even through the curtain
of rain that covered
the street like chainmail,
called for a cab.
It neared him like an
underwater beast.
He raised a hand
which trembled
with unspent fears
that swam up his fingers to the tips
of his nails.
Blinking like tired light-bulbs
in the dark.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Summer Clothesline

by Korliss Sewer

They tumble and fall as the washer walks
towards the center of the room,
and head outside to be dried and stiffened
by pollen flavored winds.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The anchor word

 by Adukuri Jagannath Rao
A  word keeps me in a state of boundedness to a sentence . A mountain child  is born and turns a wavering  coconut tree , a tree that dallies with the sea wind .The child  who was born to the mountains points to a new bird  of a plane. Look there is a new  bird ! The planes are finally here and their language. But the word is still missing. Now a poet’s near one is transiting from a hospital silence to a radiated arm. The arm turns blue like the sky and will be nothing like it. I am not sleeping. Please go on with your woman talk while I hear inside my eyelids. I hear the fall of the cascades there.

Let me cut off my ears so I cannot hear her silence, says a poet of a near one who is transiting from a temporary to a permanent silence.

I keep waiting for my anchor word. The word fails when poetry gains. I am anchored to nothing. The mountains melt and  turn streams and river .River flows to the sea. The mountain child turns to sea.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pounding, Pounding

by Changming Yuan

Hard above my head
Is a heavy rhythm
As deaths thumping steps
Ready to iron me onto the ground

Friday, June 22, 2012

The List

 by Ronald Paxton

Maggie Mitchell lay on her side staring fixedly at the bedside table clock. The world outside was silent, asleep in that dead hour that is neither truly night nor day.

4:58 A.M.

Maggie's left eye was burning and tearing. She couldn't risk rubbing her eye or blinking for fear of missing the change in time. She shifted her position in bed and trained her other eye on the clock.

4:59 A.M.

Maggie felt her pulse begin to quicken as she waited. The only sound came from the other side of the bed where her husband of forty five years snored softly.

5:00 A.M.

Adrenaline surged through Maggie's body as it did every morning at this time.

Monday, June 18, 2012


  by Jean Louise Monte

when the sun climbs the
Joshua trees
he paces around the
ice patches in the yard and
browses the yellow weeds
but soon stops to press 
his white chest against the 
gate and neigh at the
quiet house

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Father Cards

  by R. Welch

When I was 26 years old I started to experience migraine headaches on a daily basis. They began with a head cold and a recurring sinus headache that spiraled in severity and completely derailed my life. I did not immediately seek medical attention. I believed the headaches were related to the cold and expected them to resolve along with it, but this did not happen. Instead they became more and more crippling. I would leave work, day after day, and stagger home where I emptied a tray of ice into a towel, secured the towel to my forehead with a belt, and pressed my forehead into the my living room rug until the ice melted away. Nothing helped. I spent so much time with my hand pressed to my brow, the skin on my forehead cracked and began to bleed. After one particularly horrible siege eased, I had to use half a tube of Clearasil to hide the scratches across my forehead where I had apparently tried to claw the headache from my skull. One afternoon, unable to make it to my apartment, I staggered into the emergency room of Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia and fell into the arms of an ER nurse who held me as I breathed into a paper bag long enough to stop hyperventilating. I was admitted to the hospital for a week while they ran test after test. They thought I might have a brain tumor or an abscessed sinus, but none of their speculations were supported by the test results. I was on 23 different prescriptions and became mildly addicted to Demerol. Finally, after showing up unannounced once too often to writhe on my doctor's examination table; after 6 weeks of daily headaches that had gone from 2 or 3 hours in duration to 14-16 hour epics of excruciating, blinding pain that felt as though something evil was pounding nails into my skull, my doctor said he thought we needed to get a "psychological perspective" on my problem.

Monday, May 7, 2012


by JD DeHart

Light blue reminder
Under my toenail
Not to have a temper.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mrs. Hughes

 by Michelle Kreiner

Greet me morning
Shine on me sun
Take the pain of night
Move the memories
Mask the images
Muffle the voices
I need rest
When he touches another,
do I become unfamiliar
to those who know me?
When he lifts her leg
against the doorframe,
do I cease to exist?
When he leaves
like air
this signed paper
means nothing.
Sleeping babies
belong to no one.
Seal the doors
Shut the windows
Start the gas
I need rest
Oh, morning
close my suffering,
Oh, sun
beam no hope
Sweet aroma
of my silent soliloquy,
lay me down.
I need rest

Monday, April 23, 2012


 by JD DeHart

There’s a screaming face
The real killer is an ape
The pendulum swings
The heart beats loudly
The wall is full of secrets
The house is really crazy
It has mad see-through eyes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

how to disappear completely

by Jarrett Fontaine

 A wooden step creaked under the weight of a large man. It sounded like a staggering walk up the stairs, drunken but deliberate. My heart filled with dread.
One step closer.
His alcohol breath was my kryptonite. I lurked away from my bedroom door. Nine years old, but I felt like a weary soldier. Battle fatigued. I'd been waging wars against my alcoholic father for as long as I could remember. He took it out on mom; he took it out on me. I looked at the starry sky through my bedroom window. Last week my dad had thrown a ten-pound weight at me and broken it. My mom scraped together some money to have it replaced, but inside I still felt shattered.

Monday, April 9, 2012


 by JD DeHart

Tall mammoth
Loud voice
Not much to be seen
Pounding out syllables
Blowing off steam
I turn my head to side
Politely exit
I have no time for displays.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Last Exotic Petting Zoo

by Jessica Tyner

Jessica Tyner is originally from Oregon, USA, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and has been a writer and editor for ten years.Currently, she is a copy writer for Word Jones, a travel writer with Mucha Costa Rica, a writer for TripFab, a copy editor at the London-based Flaneur Arts Journal, and a contributing editor at New York’s Thalo Magazine. She has recently published short fiction in India’s Out of Print Magazine, and poetry in Slow Trains Literary Journal, Straylight Magazine, Solo Press, and Glint Literary Journal.  She lives in San José, Costa Rica.

In the dripping cold of an Oregon January,
miasma of wet dog clung to us like a
discarded lover. You, sick
with a cough and a heavy head tucked
in the pages of a book. I drove
like hell down the coastal
back roads. No one holds tigers
and lions in the winter
but us.
The wanton mud swallowed our shoes,
sucked our feet in searching gulps
while the animals watched.
You held her,
Bristled paws like a kiwano,
as I cradled the bottle of milk
into her frantic mouth knowing you’ll never
think me as magnificent as you
do right now.
I gifted you a tiger cub, her claws etching
delicate scars into your forearms,
while the rain scoured us to the bone.

Friday, March 16, 2012

5 Dreams

by R. Welch

for Judy


The storm had been raging for two days. A neighbor had taken Annie and the girls out during a lull in the previous day's deluge and they had returned with tales of fallen trees, flooded roads and boats ripped from their moorings, one of which had been deposited in the middle of Shore Drive, blocking traffic in all directions. "Its like a battle..."Annie said, drifting off mid sentence. "It's a battle...a war..." She faltered again.

"Are you trying to say its like a war zone?" Adam asked, and Annie nodded, visibly relieved as her fingers touched the row of stitches over her left ear.

The remnants of a Nor'easter was battering the north shore of Massachusetts, with hurricane force winds, astronomically high tides and horizontal rain, streaking across the glass as Adam watched from their upstairs bedroom window. Despite the weatherman's assurances that the stalled storm system was finally moving out to sea, the winds appeared to be escalating again, bringing back the torrential rains. Annie and the girls remained huddled in the bed behind him where they'd all watched the non stop storm coverage until the electricity had cut off a few hours before, abandoning them to the roaring dark. The street below was a paved river that gushed against the oak tree at the end of the driveway where its roots had heaved the sidewalk. From the bedroom dormer, it looked like the corner of lawn nearest the oak had washed away. It was hard to tell.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Telling Time

by P.B.

Inch by inch does the minute hand move. 
Tick by tick and tock by tock. 
The sound doing nothing to sooth. 
The anxious fidget in my nerves.

 Clock, dear clock, abide by time or humor my whim.
 But dare not to toy and play what game you do.
 Such frivolous hours should be a sin. 
I fear your father would have your hands. 

If I do not reach them first. 

Monday, February 6, 2012


by Kat White

I like the word adobe. It rolls easily in my mouth, sounding full and round. I like that the word itself is over 4,000 years old, it has sustaining power—it lasts. Adobe structures are sensible: they hoard heat in cold New Mexico nights and buffer from 120-degree July days. The cool clay slabs of earthy mud inherently know what to do, and when. The houses appear soft, almost spongy, but they aren’t at all. The façade is just that, a façade; adobe is deceptively strong. The dusty apricot of the sun-baked clay seems velvety to me, easy on the eyes, like the houses sprung up organically from the arid desert sands. Like they just belong there, naturally. Adobe.
I’m a wanderer, but I’m drawn toward that which isn’t and drawn towards those who aren’t. Kasey. The woman who makes me want to stay, anywhere, with her. We talk about moving to New Mexico, Taos mostly, putting down roots in those arid desert sands. Individually, we’ve drifted all over the country, but we’re ready to stay put now—together. We think we’re ready for adobe.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How it Always Was

by Kat White

We laughed our way down Rue Decatur: storefronts cascaded with ferns, drunken sweaty tourists navigated cobblestone, and horse-drawn carriages provided percussion for trumpeting street musicians. I was between Beth and Laura, how it always was—like a study in contrasts. Headed to The French Market for groceries, the sole routine of my deliberately vagabond life was making Sunday dinner for my friends. Beth, petite and tan in plaid Capri’s, dark sprouts of chin-length waves with a rogue, and natural, blonde curl at her right temple. She was married and had two kids, a husband, and a retirement plan.
My waist-length, magenta curly hair was piled into a bun to counter New Orleans’ August humidity. I wore a sundress, like I always did in the French Quarter days. Tattoos spilled secrets down my arms, which were linked into my two friends’ sweaty limbs. Strangers had been known to stop us, ask Beth and I how we knew each other, sure it must be some story because we looked unlikely to ever cross paths. Beth and I always met eyes—her blue to my hazel, and said with grins tugging at the corners of our mouths, Oh, from way, way back. She was my oldest friend in the world.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


by Kat White

I found a snapshot the other day.
You in a strawberry red Polo shirt,
your right arm slung like a habit around my shoulders.
Me in a sundress,
grinning into your freckled neck.
Melting grape snoball, crushed ice and sugary syrup, in your left hand,
your hip in my right.
My red hair billowed about my shoulders like a threatening storm, one curlicue
lodged inside the collar of your shirt
Mouth wide, laughing into the camera with a purply tongue,
Overbearing sunglasses shield freckle cheek splatters,
(I tried to count them once while you slept: seven constellations worth).
A proper New Orleans mint julep green house with a balcony of ferns behind us,
Toulouse Street, it looks like.
We were happy.

This must have been taken before you told your brothers at Thanksgiving that I would never be gay enough but I sure knew how to eat pussy (I was in the bathroom and your words came through the air vent) before you called me a worthless drunken whore in our kitchen and heaved a ceramic mug at my head (you never did fix that dent in the wall) before I called you a possessive cuntrag and doused you in balsamic vinaigrette (homemade) before I fucked your hot brother drunk on Abitas (and my own restlessness) before your delicate girl hand thumped my face against the wooden fireplace mantle shutting and purpling my left eye after I came home smelling of sperm (your brother still sends Christmas cards) before I set your 1956 peacock blue Chevy Bel Air Convertible on fire (I only needed one good eye to find the gas can and my lighter) before I laughed through the smoke and explosion

because that’s when we weren’t assholes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


 by Liz Minette

Somewhere now,
between the light
and the dark,
it seems we stand.
We may wonder
what to do,
where to go, and
what we will carry
for the next part
of our journeys.

Venus guides a path.

In her early season, she brings
a basket of light,
necessity for hope,
that increases as she rises
brighter and higher -
the dove seeking sweet grass -
days long and full
of potential that sustains.

Later she returns,

leading evening's cloth
which is woven some of
leaf mulch and wood smoke.
Each dwelling now
gives forth window glow,
a reflection
of the Goddess's eye
showing the way home.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Therapy Session Part 3

by R. Welch

[Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.]

A reporter with a camera crew was in the hall and wanted to talk to me. I was taken out through a different exit and into a room they must have for people in these - these situations. No windows. No clocks. It didn't matter. I had fallen out of time.

The room filled with people. David arrived. With old Mr. Meyers and Shelly. And my buddy, Jack, the one whose invitation I accepted a few weeks ago. Jack was there. He was a rock for me. That night, and many others. He brought a bottle of Scotch and later, on our way back from a funeral home we'd found in the yellow pages, where I'd picked out three coffins - some joints. And I swear my sister arrived later that night, but she maintains she didn't get to New York until the following day. And Nina's parents. That was horrendous. Her father started having chest pains and her mother became hysterical. I wish I didn't have to remember those screams. She fell on the floor in the middle of the hospital hallway, screaming no. Or maybe that was at the morgue. You know, I'm not sure where we were, or what was taking so long. We were all there until very late, drinking and pacing and bumping into one another. I've no idea what was going on. I was no longer living sequentially. One moment did not necessarily follow another.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Some Days

by Liz Minette

Janice from work
is two stairwells away
from a cigarette.
Shoulders in a black
pea coat already
hunched against her
ten below break,
she stops me on
the way up says
"Computers are down
again - everyone's
dusting their desks."

This is what we do -
when the system is down,
when we can't take phone orders,
when we can't. . .  -
all of us quietly
dust our desks.

Standing on swivel chairs,
precariously wiping the edges
of our cubicles; and then
the computers and phones reignite,
the static and pop so loud
and thick I can feel
it on my tongue.

The company has come
to life again.  The phones
start ringing like we've
had too good a weekend.

Janice is back with Deanna
who's worked here since
high school, twelve years.
Amid the buzz, Deanna complains
loudly that she has told off
yet another rolling drunk
from across the street
at the Shish Ka Bar.
Says she can't take
another smoke break
and be asked again for
a light, a match, cigarette,
does she have a quarter or why
is she so mean when she says no?

I am hearing, I am
typing in phone orders
for people who can afford
to call and buy office supplies.

My right ear is tender
from the phone headset;
my left hand feels limp
and useless as I always
key punch with my right,
fingers moving faster
over the numeric pad.

To distract, I envision
little silver parachutists
repelling from my fingertips,
landing and clicking each
number with precision.
They guide themselves with
red and blue threads,
like the kind woven
into paper money.

In reality, our reward
for another year with
this place is a nickel raise;
a dime if we answer more
phone calls than last year.

One morning I answered
my apartment phone
by the company's name.

One morning I dreamed
I didn't have to go into work,
that I could do whatever I wanted.
Sun shining down
two stairwells, I turned
to go outside - I turned
to name something.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Digital Poet

by P.B.

Words dancing like ballerinas on toe.

Body parts mingling in graceful movements.

This is our own private show.

Letters twist into sweet nothings.

Painting pictures with the stroke of a keyboard.

Questions turn to answers turn to marvelous somethings.

Through a vast pit of data I've found you.

Your words courted and wooed me.

A hidden face with a soul to look to.

So now I wait for your return.

From my dreams to appear before my eyes.

All the while, my curiosities churn.

Appear before me sweet modern poet.

Grace me with your elegant language.

My body craves it and my eyes show it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Therapy Session Part 2

by R. Welch

[Read part 1 here.]

We got along, decorating that first place. I got hired by a good firm and Nina got pregnant. Which was some sort of miracle, because we hardly ever had sex anymore. I think we both had too much to drink one night and were so out of it when we got in bed, we were doing it before either of us had time to think it over. She was always waiting for me to make a move. Because somehow, to Nina, making love meant we were what we had been. She was the romantic to the end.

I was a total ass about Nina's pregnancy. There's just no other way to describe it. I thought it was a terrible mistake from the moment I found out, but she wouldn't even consider an abortion and I knew I had no right to insist, so it just became her thing, as far as I was concerned. I felt I'd made my contribution - the rest was up to her. It meant we had to move, and I wasn't happy about that, but our apartment was too small for the two of us and twins. Yeah, twins! Boys. My sons...

She wanted to move out of the city, "somewhere green" was the way she put it. But I wasn't about to leave Meyers & Stone - leave New York? For something like the "good of the kids"? Phrases like that were not in my vocabulary back then. I pointed out that millions of children had grown up in New York and turned out just fine, and so would ours. She didn't like the decision, but she liked the pronoun - "ours". It meant I was part of the deal, which up until then must have seemed uncertain. So she agreed, and we found a place on Central Park West with a view of the park. "Green enough for you?" I asked.