In This Issue

  • The Mystery of the Chicago Theater

    I can’t tell if it was one person who did all the painting or a whole group of artists. Assuming it was one person, I can’t decide if he or she was a genius or a hack. I can’t tell if there's some grand unifying theme — a message behind it all — or if they were just trying to get the job done as quickly as they could. The Great Depression was on, after all. Maybe the artist was just looking for a paycheck. By Steve Spaulding

  • Letter To J.

    You told me a story: moving back to California / one summer, you ran out of room in your suitcases. / You had to wear all of your clothes — / they ballooned your body out, / like strangely soft exoskeletons. On the plane, / you stripped the sweaters off one by one, / until you bore only a white tank top, a tiny / eggshell. You were cold. Poetry by Valerie Wetlaufer

  • You Made It, Whatever It Is

    You are glad God didn’t reveal what you were getting into ahead of time. If you’d known about the near misses, the grip of absolute panic, the gaping fear, the feel of your heart stopping and then laboriously resuming its rhythm, you might not have gotten into this mess of motherhood.
    By Cyn Kitchen

  • Two Poems

    you in a blue bikini. yellow and black butterflies / along the bank watched indifferently / we stopped on a sandbar bending back / the warm grass with bare feet. POETRY by Ed Higgins

  • Handis

    I barely heard the engine as he drove away. Unlike pickup engines, it sounded like smooth vanilla ice cream passing quietly down my esophagus. We sat at the kitchen table, eating more oatmeal and toast than usual. Kathy even made scrambled eggs, which they seldom ate. News of a hurricane, flood, and wars we heard on the radio, our fate’s background noise. FICTION by George Sparling

  • Brave, Brave, Brave, Brave Sir Robin

    After watching Conyers in action during Gonzales’ testimony, I started to get a sinking feeling as I remembered how the Democrats had tried so hard for so long to remain the minority party in Congress: you get the same paycheck, but you have none of the responsibility when shit goes wrong.
    By Patrick Russell

  • Excerpts from Bulletface, a Novel in Progress

    You get in and steal from death. You don’t need words. It’s just timing and action, like a pickpocket. Some might call the act salvation or rescue. It feels wonderful to do. However, without a doubt, when you’ve been pulled, it’s a fairly severe interruption. FICTION by Matt Jakubowski

  • O you lovely big-assed pitcher.
    POETRY By Erica Bernheim
    Originally published in 2003



    Get Comfortable

    If you made a mistake, say like starting a wild fire, would you just run away and hope that the fire went out by itself? What kind of person would that make you? What kind of country would that make us if we just up and left Iraq in its current condition? Are we that irresponsible as a nation?
    By Geary Yonker


    Sex, Drugs, and Cars with Naughty Bits:

    Look, I don’t believe children think about cars having genitalia, but if they do, they’re way too old and pervy for this movie. The gesture of literally engendering automobiles reads to me as a gratuitously adult trope. In other words, if you imagine a car having private bits — the sort that should perhaps be covered by heavy-duty tarp underwear — being offended by a children’s film may not be the most pressing issue to address in your life. By Erica Bernheim

Cover & Spiral image: © 2007, Photography by Andrea Bauer.

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