Tweet (Howlage to Ginsberg)

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by character limits, cramming hysterical accounts of pedicurists,
holding their phones at awkward arm angles prowling for a few bars
fedora-clad and scrounging for wifi under fluorescent-lit bus stops and the tilted ceiling panels of crowded mall Sbarros,
who, insomniatic and stricken with carpel tunnel, typed subtly in the pew during their sister’s wedding, floated through house parties like robo zombies contemplating tagging @ some lucky guest,
who bared their brains to followers large in breadth and varied, laying their diatribes down in dashboards,
who passed through universities with the smug light of ironic detachment glowing on their forward-leaning faces,
whose dexterous fingers crackled on keys like fireworks for revolution
who got busted in Stats class for bravely publishing photos of the teacher mid-nose-pick
who ate LeanCuisines defrosted from the back corners of snowy freezers and flipped through the Facebooks of various middle school nemeses at night,
with eyes stretched and acerbic, surface encounters aired as other beings melted to pixels and pictures, the twists of their histories laid bare for hands to click in jealousy or in jest,
inside jokes passed between Monday mouths, eternal 3AM drunk dialogues frozen in archives, perhaps curled side by side resting their eyes because we never could,
to return years from now, I am told, when we try to get corporate jobs, each uncensored mouth to rot at their good graces in the minds of potential employers with forehead lines bent in unimpressed anguish, precluding any source of income and exiling us thus to the basements of our childhood homes to furiously scan eHow articles on how to make and sell jewelry,
all these warnings aside I am currently more plagued by the tendril of possibility that several middle school nemeses are happier than I am now, the last mega-popular prom picture commented on by scores of fellow beings, each tryhard-satirical tweet, a single text box of biography for this raw red wad of neurons and synapses pulsing and carrying signals,
to recreate the syntax of mediocre human prose and then to stand before you dumb and full of words, checking updates between classes, rejected yet confessing inklings as to the inner soul, so unidentified faces may nod along and smile,
men and women buckled into coats unhinging their laptops on airplanes, thirteen year old with One Direction fans clicking keys as dust dances in the afternoon air — the absolute heart of the tweet slinking out our restless minds archived for however long it breathes before it floats away.

Kathleen Radigan is a seventeen year old person, writer, and girl. Some of her previous publications include Hackwriters, Blood Lotus, The Newport Review, Innisfree Poetry, Pif, Prick of the Spindle, Constructions, and 13 Extraordinary Things. She hails from Rhode Island, where she spends most of her time doodling, drafting things, jumping on trampolines and trying to make it through high school in one piece. 

Adam and Eve Redux: A Pop Quiz

1. In the beginning, there was
a.) A pink tow truck.

b.) Nothing but sawmills and hay far as the eye can see, save for the Burger King, of course.

c.) Well, there was whatever there was, you know? Some say there was only algae. It was a different era.

2. Then somehow, a man got there. How do you reckon he managed that?

a.) Probably saw something he wanted to screw, easy. How do men get anywhere?

b.) He probably asked directions. Otherwise he might’ve gotten himself lost at an intersection. It’s the danger in not having a map. Just think what would’ve happened to the human race if the first man had got himself stopped behind a tree, or cracked his tail bone trying to scale a mountain.

c.) Doesn’t matter how slow he got there, long as he didn’t stop.

3. Let’s say, hypothetically, the woman wasn’t made til five hours later. How did the first man keep his mind off things?

a.) A man buck naked and all alone. Ha, good question. Why don’t you ask your uncle Jimbob?

b.) Maybe he was learning to swim. Else he was learning how to chew off apple skins. Else he was praying O God Thank You For This Absurd New Self and Situation, But I Don’t Know What To Do With It. Else he was teaching his throat to sing river songs. Else he was taking the world’s first nap.

c.) Nothing much to take his mind off in the first place. It was a different era. Continue reading

Hypotheses on Rawness

Vulnerability is the second before the joke registers. Or maybe it’s dreams of arriving at work in your underwear, naked from the waist up, fielding imploring glances from casual acquaintances who tilt their heads out of their cubicles. It’s the fat lady’s name on the fashion show roster, the chalked out diatribes and impressionist’s genital depictions on public bathroom walls. It’s “hello class, my name is so-and-so and I’ll be your teacher this year,” or “Mom, Dad, I have to tell you I’m (gay, an atheist, dropping out, HIV positive, sad.)”

Maybe it’s saying “I love you,” or the soft plunk of fish in a bucket still waggling their silver tails in wet wild piles and flashing their glittering bodies in the blue. For the socially anxious, vulnerability is a chain of “hellos” that wedge in the throat, ghosts of scraps that might fly out at cocktail parties or over late-night diner counters, scarves that keep necks tied to heads on windy nights when it feels like all the trees are bowing down on pavement. It’s a stripper’s first day on the job, and knocking on the door of a new friend, glancing down to make sure your pants are zipped. It’s somehow crying in public although you never meant to, the bramble in your throat that you remember from age four when a dog got kicked in front of Target, yelped, and slunk away. Continue reading

Hot Meat

I met somebody loud and beautiful two nights ago smoking a cigar in the parking lot of a hibachi place. I said “be right back,” pretended I forgot something in the car, and took a break from the party to watch his breath. He exhaled spider webs, hands all pink like raw meat. When I told him that, he said, “We’re all just sacks of skin, aren’t we?” and laughed like a sparkler fuse. He used to be a philosophy major but switched to business because you gotta earn a living.

I drank some wine last summer, stripped down to my underwear and lay on my front porch like a sugar cookie in the oven. Cars whooshed by, some real slow. My shut eyes swam with colors and I began to feel like hot meat. My neck was a mosque and the convex of my belly was a stained glass cathedral. The pick-up trucks that honked their horns were playing it hymns. My thighs were skin and tissue stretched out over the gray porch. My thighs were all mine. When the neighbor boys came out sweating from their jugulars with basketballs tucked under their arms like tiny planets, I considered the possibility that I am nice meat. For some reason, it didn’t matter that day at all.
The business major peered at me through shattered glasses. He was cool but he reminded me of a small animal. He belonged in the hundred-acre wood. He needed a Christopher Robin to love him. His breath was unreal. Continue reading


You are the heat wave that stormed the city. You are absurdly important. You are a field lit up with glow sticks on the fourth of July. You are where you belong right now. You are an email I forgot to open. You are a brand new Beatles lunch box. You are the way the sea looks at low tide. You are a book I read so hard I could never return it to the library. You are smaller than a pebble. You are an urgent call for Life Alert. You are Tylenol and Band-aids on skinned knees. You are the wire fence that caused the skinned knees. You are an angel with acne and weed in your pockets. You are the mist around the river. You are an oral report I have to give but my mouth’s all dry. Continue reading


It’s okay to believe in God, or Zues, or a benevolent life force that whistles in the wind or a pink anglerfish with eyeglasses if that’s what gets you out of bed in the morning. Maybe you believe in John Wayne, and Sepia-toned cowboys who charge in on horseback to save the day every time you lose your car keys, and that’s okay. It’s okay to sit on the squeaky stool in your kitchen eating hot pockets out of their cardboard coats and thinking there’s a chance you might not believe in anything, not even tomorrow. It’s okay to string a life philosophy out of one-liners you remember from movies, and it’s okay to imagine what an esteemed film critic might say, were they watching your life in HD- “A comic and relatable heroine,” “a poignant coming of age tale.” It is okay to feel self-indulgent for thinking this way. It is okay if no words are clacking out of your keyboard heart because you feel like a child in almost every social interaction.

It’s okay to be bad at calculus. It’s okay to dream in color, or gray scales, or French or Cyrillic. It’s okay to accidentally fall asleep on the shoulder of a stranger on an airplane, and to stop and pet dogs as they patter down the street chained to their owners’ wrists. It’s okay to believe in strangers. Continue reading

Evidence You’re Human

You have to go to the doctor soon, you accidentally veered into a stranger on the street carrying all his laundry and caused him to drop his briefs and a sock, peanut butter made you break into hives so you’re not sure if you’re allergic now or what, your cuticles are in pristine condition, your stomach hums like a refrigerator, you respond to bells and deadlines, you wear socks to sleep.

You are not a dragon, you do not have webbed feet, you do not change colors with chlorophyll, you do not photosynthesize, your body does not produce apples, web MD convinces you you’re dying about once a month, there are people who remember you as a bobbed little kid doing cute and disgusting baby things, you jump into wild mental trysts with people you meet on public transport, you miss someone often, your hair grows, there is skin over your bones, you are not a washing machine, your belly does not wash clothes, you are not made of metal, you are not a lever or a pulley or a simple machine.

Your lips are chapped, you’re worried about the global economy and families being bombed in other countries and that the cheesecake you ate yesterday is going to make you fat, you have been put in a box by gender norms, you got to climb up into the driver’s seat of a fire truck when you were five and at the time it struck you as an extremely cinematic moment, you are yielding in regards to pizza topping divisions, you want to be included in things. Continue reading

Monday Manifesto

I believe hearts can be shaped like Valentines, or cauliflowers, or anything they feel like. I believe in waking up just on time enough to stop for coffee on the way to wherever I’m going. I believe that the only way to Nirvana is to occasionally dance at funerals. I believe crowd-surfing is a bad idea and if something is probably going to kill you, you shouldn’t do it. I believe in casual back-rubs and kindness, and kissing, and that sometimes things hurt and tea burns your tongue so you must retire to bed early and try to remember the best thing you’ve ever done. I believe you might never remember the best thing you’ve ever done. I believe in holding doors, but often forget to. Ditto to table etiquette like using all the right forks. I believe in mind-bending late night conversations regarding topics such as what’s your favorite color? I believe that I do not know my favorite color yet, and I am beginning to believe this might be okay. I believe in chivalry. I believe in feminism. I believe in finger foods and feeding slimy silver fish to the sea lions at the zoo. I believe that the only proper way to eat goldfish is by pretending to be a shark.   Continue reading