Without Words by Philip C. Barragan, II

              The sound of our footsteps echoed through the hall. Dozens of faces too ill to smile stared at us as we tried not to look into their rooms. Hushed conversations mingled with the odors of Lysol, bleach and fresh flowers. We arrived at our destination.  My mother asked for my handkerchief to dry … Read more

Dichos, and the Things my Mother Told Me by Philip Barragan

    A Thousand Sad Pieces        Golden light created a soft waterfall through the dense canopy of trees in the mountain village, filtering through the early morning mist rising from the valley below, falling sporadically on the roof of his adobe home. It crawled gently down the walls looking for the window … Read more

Dead Man’s Nail by Dennis Fulgoni

You’re waiting for your best friend, Pablo Perez, to call. His father’s recently put in a pool, and you’re hoping for an invite. It’s already past noon, and no call, so the Poor Man’s Jacuzzi becomes your sanctuary, your oasis, on a hot afternoon. The best way to get inside the Poor Man’s Jacuzzi, once … Read more

Time to Repaint the Barn by Darby Bailey

Shielded from a westward sun that could burn Through ripply glass circa 1899 Mandy the puppy buried open, no urn Covered above in sweet pea vine The shadows of Cottonwood trickle and turn White soft stars of dandelion Fall in the shade of the big red barn Next to a Kern’s jar filled with turpentine … Read more

The Masked Boxer by Marykate Linehan

It was 13 years ago. I am 9 years old. It is a sweltering summer. The ocean breeze arrives right before sundown. The neighborhood children and I have gathered to play Flying Colors. We are choosing teams. A younger, filthy boy (resembling Pig Pen) walks up to me. “ Girls can’t do anything!” Hunter says … Read more

Dining Alone by Darby Bailey

Single. Female. Dine alone. Free tea. Free cookie. Your guilt. Still nice. My solitude. Cookie. – Fried Egg. One not two. With yolk. Eat alone. One toast. …No butter. Pan holds two, Table seats two. Double yolk egg. Lucky day About the Author: Voluntarily removed from parochial school in the 4th grade over sexual content … Read more

I See Gay People by Dale Madison

I See Gay People (click here to open up in Quicktime) About Dale Madison Dale Madison knew he was a performer since his first grade appearance in “Jimmy and the Sleep Fairies.” He received his first on screen film credit on the original 1988 John Waters movie, Hairspray. As project manger of the Men of … Read more

Making Movies by Martha Woodroof

I was 21, living in Houston, and appearing in a play called Fire, when Robert Altman came to town to film BREWSTER MCLEOD, a now mostly-forgotten movie that was now mostly-forgotten actor Shelley Duval’s debut. Rumor had it Mr. Altman had plucked her from behind the cosmetics counter at Foley¹s department store. Well! I thought. … Read more

The Queen’s Greens by Darby Bailey

As a dandelion In Her Majesty’s lawn   I cannot bow I was born erect   My use a child’s butter chin game Whether Prince or gardener’s daughter   My fate is of the ruler of the green   In age I grow gray And shatter in the wind   May my greens Taste good … Read more

Crawl, Toddle, Walk, Run by Darby Bailey

  I am scared to step over the edge of the pier I tell myself      When I get there I will be happier      When I get there I won’t remember feeling bad      When I get there I’ll have more control   I tell myself to not look back   … Read more

Catch by Diana Corbin

Mom always wished for the moon for everyone else and settled on dirt for herself. Take Dad. He was gone for months at a stretch even before he ditched us for his new family. Each time he left, he would come back about the time Mom, my little brother, Simon, and I almost forgot he … Read more

Johnny by Loretta Williams

This is not a story anyone wants to hear, so I’ll give it to you slow. You let me know when you’ve heard enough. My cousin Johnny wasn’t really my cousin. He was the stepson of my aunt, my mother’s older sister who had had a bad first marriage and rather than marry again, decided … Read more

The Art of Rush Hour Traffic by Josh Stewart

Everyone is leaning forwards as though the wind is dragging them             backwards through the day, but the cars are inching ahead,   barely moving, but in a hurry to reach another ending that you wouldn’t find in a fairy tale.   People going the same direction have never before gotten … Read more

Nobody Thought It Would Rain At God’s Funeral by Mike Rosen

They were too overwhelmed by the sight of decaled media vans and fiending paparazzi rising up the hillside, one cocked elbow at a time. A man from Hong Kong, along with a woman from Denmark and a teenager from Paramus, New Jersey all watched the spectacle from their cell phones as they each spent one … Read more

the jasmine hedge is intoxicating by Gretchen Mattox

I fear being like her and I am like her the critical part that wants to hurt the other render them helpless and needy no one measuring up, everything falling short like the woman on the news who bit the nose of the pitbull that attacked her retriever (really happened) I like to break skin, … Read more

Untitled by Kurt Bloom

See the crane sleeping It’s neck sways when the wind blows Please don’t fall on me Homeless Jack mines gems Paris Hilton is his love Their genie said so Sidewalk weed grows tall See the green leaves reach for sun I stomp it down flat About the Author: Born Seattle 1968. There really isn’t much … Read more

Dancing by Zachary Ash

All I wanted that night was to get out of Kelly’s quick. Kelly’s Market kept late hours, same as me, so once a week, hard on midnight, that’s where I’d find myself. This was in Arrowhead, in the San Bernardinos. Up there, even now, nothing good ever happens ’round midnight. Especially in February. * I’d … Read more

Melanie L. McNair: The End of the Affair

The End of the Affair *** Community In Shock at Vicious Murder; Vigil Tonight There will be a vigil tonight beginning at 7PM at the site of the slaying of Sally Green, 111 Great Heights Place, in Echo Park. Friends and neighbors are gathering to remember Green, 35, who had only recently moved into the … 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