ONLINE ISSUES

12.1 / FALL / WINTER 2016


Poetry

HOT COALS | CHAOZHOU

— Minying Huang is an undergraduate student from Cambridge, England, reading for a BA in Spanish and Arabic at Oxford University. Her writing has been featured in Your Middle East and she has been working as a blog correspondent for Stop Street Harassment.
Poetry

COMORBIDITY

    —   Kate Click is an MFA student of poetry at Oklahoma State University and the winner of an Academy of American Poets prize. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Up the Staircase Quarterly, Apalachee Review, and The Head and The Hand’s anthology, The Bible Belt Almanac, among others.
Poetry

CARCINOGENESIS

I read today that a mountain lion was found in Idaho with a set of fully-formed teeth and whiskers growing out of the top of its head. Experts surmise that it could most likely be a teratoma.
Poetry

YELLOW RIVER MOUTH

  — Minying Huang is an undergraduate student from Cambridge, England, reading for a BA in Spanish and Arabic at Oxford University. Her writing has been featured in Your Middle East and she has been working as a blog correspondent for Stop Street Harassment.
Fiction

THE KALEIDOSCOPE KID

He lay awake in bed and remembered being seven or eight at his friend’s house. The epic occurrence of those times, O glorious nth birthday—all the kids were over to sleep in bags on the floor, and he found out that night that he hated sleepovers.
Poetry

THE YOUNG MEN ALONG THE BAR ARE TOO TIRED EVEN TO DIE

We wear our work below our eyes. How can someone so young be so tired? my mother asks on voicemail, again. But I am too tired to call back, too tired to explain, too tired, even, to walk home and close my eyes. When’s the last time the sun rose? I don’t remember.
Poetry

THE WORLD AND EVERYTHING IN IT

Night drive through Miami, I think the sky a dream not yet starred by bullets.     — Ariel Francisco is a first generation American poet of Dominican and Guatemalan descent.
Poetry

THE GODS’ FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS

-CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO-   When the gods review their video surveillance footage, she appears, round and hard like a butterscotch in her summer nightgown. She looks like trouble. Her cellophane wrapper catches the light and throws it all around.
Poetry

SESTINA FOR MY FATHER’S SEDER PLATE

Spectre scent, charoset, the year I break my father’s seder plate the April air is nuts, wine, cut sweet date Passover from my calendar like I don’t remember how he built a house of charoset, the lifting smell that held high his roof.
Poetry

MEANDERINGS

It would make me sad for my grave to stand un-pissed- upon. It would give me glee for my grave to be a suburban lawn. It would make me laugh if, flags at half-staff with a siren on, a long parade wove by my grave in the summer dawn.
Poetry

HERE BE MONSTERS

  — Sidney Taiko is the Editor-in-Chief of Storm Cellar literary journal. In 2016, her work can be found in CutBank, Niche, and a Sage Hill Press anthology. She has a crooked spine and a potty mouth, but so far things are working out okay.
Fiction

SILENT HILL

  There was a first generation Playstation video game about a young father who lost his child in a town where it snowed ash. Together you stumbled through foggy whiteness in the creature infested streets looking for her.
Fiction

UNDER THE CANOPY

We stopped to take pictures on our way back to the airport, even though I had advised against it. That sounds lawyerly, doesn’t it? “I advised against it.” It’s funny the things that stay with you, the things you hold on to, so you won’t go mad.
Poetry

PRENATAL

Before you live you must remember every word your mother never said. Like here’s the most perfect hole to reach into because what remains is a space like the hands you’re beginning to forget.
Poetry

SECURITY

I watch them wield a mirror under my mother’s wheelchair as if searching for a car bomb and think: well this is home. Home of the barefoot and bandit shampoos. All sanitary accomplices placed on the no-fly-list until further notice. My mother’s limp body in my solar plexus, resting.
Poetry

EARTH’S AXIS

10:55 am: just barreling through space at a million miles an hour on my swivel chair editing some dimwit’s proposal. Four conjunctions and five prepositions in one sentence. ONE SENTENCE. Non-sequiturs abound and it’s time for me to go full-fledge nausea so I begin to contemplate whether I’m more of a conjunction or a preposition.
Poetry

VOTE BUSH

For George W.   If it was my bush running the world, the only thing we’d have to worry about would be eating too much sugar or sitting around in a wet bathing suit bottoms.
Poetry

BREAKUP WITH MAN DURING A MILK BREAK IN HISTORY OF WOMANPAIN

 
Fiction

LOVER’S BREATH: OWNER’S MANUAL

Congratulations. You’ve just purchased the world’s foremost Breath Capture and Dispensary System (BCDS), Lover’s Breath™. With Lover’s Breath™ you may safely and conveniently capture the exhaled breath of friend, family member, or lover. Stored in a sleek tank, Lover’s Breath™ has no expiration date.
Poetry

THEY WARNED ME BUT YOU LOOKED LIKE METHOD MAN IN THE ICE CREAM VIDEO

    — Momtaza Mehri is a poet currently in conversation with biomedicine, inheritance and her particular brand of transnational baggage. Her work has been featured and is forthcoming in Puerto Del Sol, Elsewhere, Cecile’s Writers, Bone Banquet, Poetry International, and other delights.
Poetry

DIS-RUPTURE

  — Momtaza Mehri is a poet currently in conversation with biomedicine, inheritance and her particular brand of transnational baggage. Her work has been featured and is forthcoming in Puerto Del Sol, Elsewhere, Cecile’s Writers, Bone Banquet, Poetry International, and other delights.
Fiction

DOES IT MATTER IF SHE’S DEAD

Like everything is not enough, she had to go and hurt her foot and a better one is never coming back and now the walk to school takes years.
Fiction

THE SHIFTING OF A MIND IN HEAT

Somewhere field workers collect body parts on the border between the U.S. and Mexico while I lay in bed with my hand between my legs, comforting myself and wondering if I will have more motivation to achieve my dreams tomorrow.
Poetry

ERASURE POEM CREATED FROM DONALD J. TRUMP’S THE ART OF THE DEAL

—   Mathieu Cailler’s work has been widely featured in national and international publications, including Epiphany, the Los Angeles Times, and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he is the recipient of a Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry.
Poetry

LABOR POEM #9: OBERLIN COLLEGE STUDENT SERVICES NEWSLETTER (WORK STUDY), OBERLIN OH

From my shoulder bag, the sidewalks, the bright, the stillness of. Dorm, dining hall leave five, bite of frozen air. But my breath. Is this, the pedals’ wobbly, the reflective snow, doorway.  Of air, on my cheeks. The looming stillness of the dorm. Is this what. The pink sheets three or five.
Poetry

SAD STORY

Hometown / Playground Swing-set / Met J Swam lake / Shucked rocks Sank ducks / Sang songs Grew up / Drank Jack Took drugs / Got dead Airplane / Overhead     — K.A. Webb is the co-founder of the Nitty-Gritty Magic City Reading Series.
Poetry

THE FELONS

The felons who speak regularly at twelve step meetings teach us to shove an arm into the mouth of a Rottweiler if attacked from the side. They teach us that if you’ve killed a man, you make amends by raising your grandchildren. That the kids will play in a small fenced yard.
Fiction

THESE THINGS AND HOW THEY GO

Seven days after Grandma died and one day after the fire burned her body away, there was an infestation of holes that took over 53 Thornton Street.
Fiction

THE NIGHT HOSPITAL 

  Our Lady loves like a dog. Four yellow chairs. Chirping from inside the mint green chimney in the kitchen. Small birds fly in and sing, fly out. Why is there a chimney in the kitchen? Fireplace in the living room. Boarded up, but the whole room smells like smoke.
Poetry

THERE IS NO METAPHOR FOR MY MOUTH

  —   Kelly Grace Thomas is a Pushcart Prize nominee and 2016 Fellow for the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. Her poem “The Politics of Scent” was a semifinalist for the Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest.
Fiction

GOOD SEX

  This is a story about a woman who has good sex. It is told from the perspective of the woman.
Fiction

READING GROUP QUESTIONS & TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION 

1: What did you think the story was going to be about before you read it? Must a title have relevance to the proceedings?   2: Think about each of the characters in the story and how you felt about them.
Poetry

AESCHYLUS KEEPS THROWING HIMSELF

          NOTE: The epigraph comes from Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound and may be translated, “seeing the ship sailing on badly equipped with dark sails.”   —     John J.
Poetry

QUIET SPACES

    —   John J. Trause is the author of Eye Candy for Andy; Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round; Seriously Serial; Latter-Day Litany, the latter staged Off-Off Broadway; and Exercises in High Treason, a book of fictive translations, found poems, and manipulated texts.
Poetry

INVERSALS

  I.
Poetry

HOW TO RIDE THE SUBWAY WITHOUT GETTING HURT

Do not get into the first car or the last on the off chance there’s a crash. Snag a seat. Don’t look at mothers holding babies. While standing, hold the pole. Do not stare at fathers who wear their babies in Bjorns, tenderly patting their backs. Don’t eavesdrop.
Fiction

AS SHE MELTED

— Jennifer Fliss is a Seattle-based fiction and essay writer. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Citron Review, Necessary Fiction, The Rumpus, WhiskeyPaper, and elsewhere. She is a recent Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop alum and occasionally does the flying trapeze.
Fiction

NIGHT CIRCUS

  Your ex-lover has built a circus outside your window.
Fiction

HOW WAS YOUR AFTERNOON, DEAR?

1:15 pm, Plum Key, Florida. The yellow taxi pulled up to 5555 Beach Harbor Drive. A shapely woman in a mauve Chanel suit exited the cab and walked into the building. Her heels made staccato clacks on the terrazzo lobby floor as she walked to the elevator.
Poetry

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

between a Jew and a pizza?” and it’s not the punch- line but the lock of eyes that dare me not to choose White over Kike. A word I didn’t learn until eleven and something more I still haven’t.
Fiction

HERE IS THE CHURCH, HERE IS THE STEEPLE

At 23, she became a pastor’s wife. They held a small ceremony at the church where he was minister. It would take him four more years of seminary to become pastor, but that was the general idea. Her bridesmaids were two friends from college. One of them said: “I’m so jealous I could murder you.
Poetry

BREAKFAST WITH VANUNU  

My mother had me in Boston but really by the Beit El checkpoint. I trace my begats to the burning bush, just blooming henna but it makes me a citizen of the roadmap. I just have to fill out the forms.
Fiction

INSTRUCTIONAL: IDENTIFYING YOUR DAUGHTER’S BODY WHILE CONCEALING FROM YOUR WIFE THE AFFAIR THAT YOU HAD WITH THE MORGUE ATTENDANT

There is another chapter entitled Grieving Your Estranged Alcoholic Daughter Who Has Just Died at the Age of Twenty-seven After Eighteen Months of Not Speaking to You which you should consult immediately after finishing this one.
Fiction

YOUR BONES

I saw your skull in the Smithsonian today. Emmie warned me, she said I’d see you everywhere: hear you on the radio, spot you in the café, smell you on the sheets I washed a dozen times since you left.
Poetry

AMERICA IN TWO PARAGRAPHS OR LESS

Capitalism   Last night, for the second time and to the same person, I got married. At work. This was for simplicity purposes. Later I would regret this. There was some flirtation on my part as well as some guilt. But I was married and I felt somehow immune.