One Thousand Calories by Vanessa M. Nichols

Break the fast: One half grapefruit, One poached egg with salt, One slice seven-grain bread, toasted – dry.   *** Recess: One child-size handful raw sunflower seeds, One box raisins.   *** Lunch box: One juice box, apple or orange, One yam, micro-waved in saran wrap sweaty and cold, One square (1″ x 2″) spinach … Read more

Kenneth Hahn State Park Haiku Series by Vanessa Mayesh Nichols

*** Looming oil field – nodding industrial hell Tree leaves decorate *** Running stream flows down Stench of algae and dead fish Perhaps gasoline *** Mixed feelings walk on Hand in hand, our eyes far out Look, the boys destroy Yellow-shirt Kevin Not at all camera shy Squeals of raucous boys *** Taking in the … Read more

Status Quo by Eric Rydquist

leaf stone broken glass chem trails sun rays pollution chopper plane bird chirp *** About the Author Eric is a working man who likes to get out and play in nature. He just turned 30 and has lived in LA for over 6 years.

The Abortion by Rana McCole

Sitting and talking, Mother Earth confessed to me, that she wanted an abortion. Her voice was hollow and soft. I knew she was trying not to cry. I don’t want this, she said. But you have so many children already, what has changed? Wind and rain escaped her face as she answered me, If I … Read more

Amanda Laughtland: Waterfront

Waterfront *** Head slightly down, looking up to women who show more *** confidence to look other women in the eye, I know we’re *** all of us normal, strolling the length of the pier, ignoring *** fish guts in metal sinks, blood stains on the concrete

Hanna Ahn: Mixing Bowl

  Mixing Bowl * Mother sits in the middle of the linoleum, legs splayed, and cradled between her knees is a bowl. I walk past and familiar smells seep in: the mellow twang of cabbage, the sharp sulfur of onions, spicy red chili powder, aromatic garlic and something salty, like fish sauce. I ask my … Read more

Sandra Giedeman: Queen of Rods

Queen of Rods *** He’s Peruvian, an artist. “Come see my paintings,” he said. “Stand close.” What appeared solid from a distance was actually a mass of intertwined symbols close up — sacred symbols. Nine yellow cups and blue fish are vibrating through cut glass. It’s the afternoon sun this time of year. The light … Read more

Amanda Laughtland: Girls’ Night Out

Girls’ Night Out *** Maybe she comes on a little strong, above the hum of the club when she calls *** them all darling. How does she undress them with so much clothing between them, without *** so much as a fumble at the catch of a brassiere?

Amanda Laughtland: Seventeen

Seventeen *** I’ve never — not even boys my age. Why not *** forget it — I’d rather visit museums, the hush *** of look but don’t touch, the docent’s shoulders *** in her dark suit, her calves behind velvet ropes.

Amanda Laughtland: Experience

Experience *** Hands on my shoulders, mouth close to mine. My hands shook, rings clattering against my belt buckle. Cold air *** on my back, the sound of a button hitting the floor. I knew I was trembling, afraid I’d also fall down and roll, *** lost forever under the refrigerator. *** About the Author … Read more

Sandra Giedeman: Los Angeles Basin

Los Angeles Basin *** Santa Anas rolled like a hell wheel down the mountains and blew the smog and impurities to the Pacific horizon. Sunset is toxic copper, a tainted metallic. Strange how the poisoned air is luminous when the sun drops behind it. *** Today the wind and light drug me. Everything I see … Read more

Chrys Tobey: Headaches

Headaches   Sour milk down the throat, seagulls screeching in your ear, tearing your mind in half like sour dough. You’re trapped in an elevator. Someone is peeling off your pinky nails. Your neighbor drills holes into your clock. You’ve got needles in your gums. Your eyeballs have no sockets, smell of rotting tooth, singed … Read more

Chrys Tobey: My Love is an Atlas

My Love Is an Atlas   Whose eyes are two gray-blue wells you could fall into, cobalt Venetian glass, a map that leads to Parisian nights, chocolate crepes with brandy, cocktails in cafes where hats must be taken off, gondola rides, red heart shaped seats under a star painted black Venetian sky, dipping toes in … Read more

Chrys Tobey: Seven Things I Know About Hearts

Seven Things I Know About Hearts   The heart is the size of a fist and weighs somewhere near twelve ounces or one pound. * You sent a card that read A light heart lives long for my eighteenth Birthday and now I ask how heavy is the heart that leaves his child? * At … Read more

Chrys Tobey: Labyrinthisis

Labyrinthitis   A woman wanted to become a boat. She couldn’t become a boat so she decided the next best thing would be to have Labyrinthitis. The woman wanted fluid to form, like a pond, inside her middle ear. The woman’s neighbor’s often heard her repeating Labyrinthitis, Labyrinthitis as she walked around her apartment. They … Read more

Chrys Tobey: Distance

Distance   Dante only saw Beatrice in passing a few times. I imagine it was like trying to catch a feather floating down from the sky. You always want more my mother would say. For birthdays she would buy me a dress, though that wasn’t enough – I wanted tights. I can’t lie, it’s still … Read more

Aaron Angello: As a Boy

As a Boy As a Boy, Five or Six Years Old I would chase grasshoppers through the dry, wild Colorado grasses, tall and swaying together in silent, writhing waves. I always carried an orange Sanka can with holes punched into the plastic lid, and filled it to the brim with the twitching, snot-colored bodies, fighting … Read more

Ed Frankel: Dark Parlors Remind Me Of The Spanish Civil War

Dark Parlors Remind Me Of The Spanish Civil War Sometimes when late afternoon shadows puddle in the corners of my living room, my face whitens and black crosses appear on my eyes, and my white, gloved hands lightly finger invisible arpeggios. Dark rooms remind me of Lannie and Beauty Budd, the Spanish Civil War, and … Read more

Ed Frankel: Guelaguetza I

Guelaguetza I At the stoplight of the Overland entrance To the Santa Monica Freeway going west, A woman is standing on the four-foot wide median That separates traffic, selling bags of oranges And peanuts from a shopping cart, Single stemmed crimson roses. She walks up and down, peering Over the flowers into the drivers’ windows. … Read more

Ed Frankel: History’s Middens

History’s Middens   “Fiction is history… or it is nothing. But it is also more than that; it stands on firmer ground… whereas history is based …on second hand impression.” ———Joseph Conrad * Deep in the catacombs, under the Vatican, beneath the pomp and velvet circumstance, the hearts of saints are preserved. Sybils suspended in … Read more

Aaron Angello: More Real Than Real

More Real Than Real     I watched a woman give birth last night, I watched the finger-thin arms flail like Beethoven conducting himself as he sang a John Cage oratorio to the accompaniment of medical apparatus and the woman’s screams. I watched two white-gloved hands lift him out of a flowing spring of blood, … Read more

Flint: In Praise of Two Hawks Fucking

In Praise of Two Hawks Fucking I am running along the left shoulder of Runyon Canyon looking for rabbit and owl and hawk and hummingbird and coyote while dawn clears her throat over the sleepy, sleeping city, and the light is ready to fall in thick waves like a girl unpinning her hair and shaking … Read more

Petra by Robert D. Montoya

I’d watch you cook with your manteca in your brown-tiled kitchen fuzzy chanclas, paisley-printed muumuu dress. *** We found that curly black wig in the hall closet You started crying We were just pretending. *** We’d sort the gravel from beans Eat potatoes, skin-on Raw and sandy We never talked. *** We didn’t need to. … Read more

From Where I Sit by Robert D. Montoya

The world is distorted: *** A tiny crack where walls meet Forms a burrow, where a spider Weeps its web onto the sinews Of my increasing thought. *** The dust on the cabinet is settled, staged with a perfect conception; With one large sweep Of breath, it is in chaos, *** It is indivisible as … Read more