FAMILY OWNED by R. Neal Bonser

I was right in the middle of a late-night rush in the deli when Jeffers, one of our regulars, came slamming in like a lion late for a feeding. Most of our regulars are a pain to be sure, but Jeffers is in his own category. He’s hairy all over with this crazy-looking, giant beard … Read more

Are They Real? by Virginia Silverman

“Are they real, Mommy?” My daughter was staring at my bare breasts one morning last month as I got dressed for work. The incisions from my double mastectomy were quiet now, having faded to a mildly aggravated pink over the past six years since my surgeries. “Well, baby, in a way,” I answered. “Remember when … Read more

BLOCK by Darby Bailey

// Visit for more information about BLOCK. About Darby Bailey: Voluntarily removed from parochial school in the 4th grade over sexual content in a book she was publishing for friends, Darby Bailey eventually went from downtown Salt Lake City to Santa Cruz to L.A., where she is pursing her B.A. degree at Antioch University. … Read more

Forever 18 by Casey Cohen

            July 2nd, 2008. Truth be told, I’ve never been much good at remembering what the date is. Of course this affliction is exacerbated in L.A., where the seasons are vague at best, and I’m hard pressed to know what month it is let alone one of its numbers. In fact, at 78 degrees and … Read more

Mulling Spices by Jennifer Bradpiece

A little of this, a dab that, we dish out our frustrations through asthmatic breaths. Mine are served up lightly seared with mint garnish of leafy discontent in a raspberry coulisse of delicate rage. Yours boil and pop in a single constant earthen pot, simmering silently most of the time, now and then bubbling up … Read more

TAGORE’S KISS by Shome Dasgupta

The echoes in Kolkata’s Albert Hall Cafe were vibrant and gloomy.As I sat at a table and read Tagore’s “The Living and the Dead,” the indiscreet murmur of the room settled into my head rather than Tagore’s words.I folded the top corner of the leaf and closed the book.I looked around the cafe, which seemed … Read more

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

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

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

I Have A Thumb Like Carl by Darby Bailey

I Have Thumb Like Carl Inspired by the poem ‘Musings of a Police Reporter in the Identification Bureau’ by Carl Sandburg. About Darby Bailey: Voluntarily removed from parochial school in the 4th grade over sexual content in a book she was publishing for friends, Darby Bailey eventually went from downtown Salt Lake City to … 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

Bugs By Morgan W. Strauss

            Instead of thinking about Sonny, his traveling companion wishes she were in Spain.  How far of a drive is it from Granada to Barcelona?             Twenty miles south of Fresno a sign says Visalia 24 miles. Sonny pilots the car with dirty hands, a torn shirt, an unintentional beard, last … Read more

Absorption by Robert D. Montoya

This is the sound             of losing myself: the drips of continuous rain as it             disperses itself             along the wet ground, *** Where Costa Rican vines, like syringes, suck the water (tender roots like a child *** sucking upon a nipple, absorbing the minerals, the liquid of … 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

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