Sometimes the small stories fall into the cracks of my couch along with the crumbs and pens and unnamable, sticky objects fished out and quickly discarded. I’ve watched furtively as the potted cyclamen has slowly died on the back porch, callous to its suffering. The waxy pellet I threw away was the pain of every living thing. Sometimes the small stories aren’t small at all, they’re just unrecognizable in their current form. Outside, my neighbor is mowing his lawn. The tender grass won’t stop screaming. Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He [Read more]
She scatters her scars over the water, praying the sea will take them away on the waves, leaving them to heal on some foreign shore. Dan lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work is also included in several anthologies. He has written off and on for a number of years and has written three chapbooks – Musing, Your Star and Other Poems and Random Tales.
The third time Maggie left her husband, she took the dog, but not the cat. She was back in four days with the fury tamped down in her gut and the guilt still a metronome in her head. Simon had sorted every shelf in the apartment while she was gone and put every knife from the kitchen in a Tupperware container in the freezer. “I knew you’d be back.” She had not told anyone she was going, so the failure to stay gone did not chime with criticism through her network of family and friends. In truth, the last few [Read more]
Readers: This coming month, we’ve got quite a lot of poetry we really liked. A lot. At least a couple suitcases’ worth. Stay tuned. Writers: Apologies, but we’ve got a TON (metric, not English) of stories and poems we’re still considering for future issues. We’re still working through the first week of July as we speak, as far as submissions go. If you submitted in July and haven’t heard from us, that’s good news: we’re still considering many pieces. If you submitted before July, feel free to contact us and we’ll give you a response. Thanks! -ALR Crew
Virgil believed bees were born from dead cattle, spawning out of bloody rust and bones grown hard under sun. I don’t know much about bees, but I believed I’d see you in the withered air of August, standing there at the mouth of my sister’s gravel road. Our sciences, they – these stories we tell and believe, we share as ravenously as vultures tearing constellations into flesh, a white carcass, one honest manuscript. Does it matter if this is true if it feeds you all the same? Zachary Lundgren received his MFA in poetry from the University of South Florida [Read more]
1, Suburbia is never quite cracked up to what’s it’s supposed to be whatever that it’s cracked up to be while it’s never ever really quite real which is what gives it all its charm and sex appeal living happily ever after; deal of a lifetime and guess can be just fine but for the most part not that’s why throughout our life-cycle we order things from the back of cereal boxes, catalogues, marvel comics i.e. charles atlas so we won’t get picked on or made fun of and now able to pick up all the girls in their bikini-clad [Read more]
Peter had never seen the ocean, but its crystal image haunted his dreams. At night, after his family had gone to sleep, he lay in his bed, in that space between asleep and awake and felt the water engulf his body. He could feel it curl over his skin as he sank deeper into the depths. Sometimes he would reach toward the sun as it slipped away, spreading over the surface above him, but the whispers of the depths swirled around him, coaxing him toward oblivion as he sank deeper to the soft sand, which parted gently to accept him [Read more]
On Sunday Morning I opened my eyes to an inky void, confirming my latest fears about the cosmos: that it was illusory, existing only in my head. And not just illusory, but a real bastard for making me think I had an “other” joined to me in something called wedlock. I cried out for this other, just in case. “Kathy? Katherine!” “What is it?” she said after a minute. The universe re-materialized, sitting on my face. It smelled of stove gas and her lavender body oil. Her tone, as dry as the windowless-bedroom, had grown progressively drier the more I’d [Read more]
There was a boy who lived on my street until he shot his parents. I wasn’t home the night he was arrested, which is too bad because everyone who was has this big story to tell now. This guy Dennis lives five blocks away and still won’t stop telling everyone about how he heard the sirens and “knew something was up,” like that means anything. My parents kind of know the woman who heard the shots and called the cops. She babysat me once, ten years ago, when my mom had the flu and my dad was out of town. [Read more]
Our one month vacation!