by Erica Anzalone
“Hi. I’m Melody. Charmed, I assure you.” Copyright © Devin McCawley, 2015.
There, where her face is blotted out by the sun, in this overexposure, we will make love for the first time. We will not call it making love or even refer to it at all, not as fucking, or doing it. Even though you texted me, I will do you hard, like a stampede of horses up the side of a building running into the sun, like a line of flower girls in white dresses that become a stampede of horses suspended for a moment over the sharp, red noise of traffic.
You will not mention your metamorphosis or mine, how our insides will become our outsides and when this happens, you will become a dragon on my back and I will become a white cow. You will not mention how you will bite my neck and blood will spurt out, each bead making a necklace of fantasies I will never say out loud.
There is a rape fantasy turning an emerald green slither by your feet, and over here by my hand with your hand pressing it against the wall, the colors keep changing. I want to fuck everything alive and dead and inanimate. A fuck rainbow made of furniture and banisters and doorknobs. Dinner plates with roses on them shoot past our heads and wedge into the wall. They are too high for me to fuck so I make a footstool of you. Read more
by Tim Beckett
he camp was at the end of a dusty logging road, a hundred kilometers up from the highway. The only other settlement was a tiny Indian reserve, just visible through a stand of trees from the road. The camp consisted of four portable trailers, each a city block long, and two smaller trailers, one for the administrative office, the other for the cook shack, the whole lot plunked down in the middle of a clearing shorn of all vegetation down to bare earth.
It had been a tough season, the worst I’d had in the four years I’d gone tree-planting, and I thought the camp would be a good place to go into myself, read the books I’d been meaning to read since I’d gone into the bush, prepare myself for the transition back to the city. The loggers weren’t due back for a few weeks, and we were all given our own rooms in one of the long trailers. The rooms were bare but comfortable, and the steady hum of the generator out the window blocked out the sound of my fellow tree-planters yelling back and forth in the hallway, or playing guitars in their rooms. I found the camp beautiful in a way, an echo of the Northern towns I’d grown up in and almost totally forgot about when I was in the city. The smell of oil and exhaust mingled with the sylvan-sweet scent of fresh-cut timber, and broken logs stuck out of the mud like the remains of a building after an earthquake. Next to the railway cars, a tractor with a claw the size of a small house shifted logs in and out of a twenty foot pile, while fully-loaded logging trucks appeared regularly at the opposite ends of the clearing, sending up plumes of dust, their tottering loads of freshly-skinned trees glistening in the sun. It was like a giant factory dropped in the middle of the woods.
Happy birthday/mother’s day, mom, 2015
The decline of my mother, now 90 on 14 May, has been a slow, long descent since I was a teen. In my youngest youth, she was beautiful and loving. But as I turned 13 or so, her inability to navigate her way through reality became more evident. Things, jokes, music began to bug her. Her loving was replaced by a kind of obsession with the formalities of mothering, the rituals, the cleaning, the forbidding – the mechanics. This has increased over time and even while me and my brother were growing up, neighborhood kids would mock and tease my mom and call her Crazy Tina.
I never tried to analyze it until about 10 years ago, when I realized that her life had probably been more adversely affected by World War II than we thought. She was a teen in Amsterdam and had her best years confiscated by circumstance and any hopes she had for using her artistic inclination toward something satisfying in life somehow became secondary to survival and recovery.
An Art Show Mating Call
by Michael Pool
Copyright © 2015 Steve Rainwater
Kate was standing in the center of the gallery discussing the finer points of one of her most experimental pieces when Mandy interrupted her with a nervous look drawn across her face.
“Sorry to disturb you guys, but I need to borrow Kate,” Mandy said through her teeth. Most of the time such an abrupt interruption would have annoyed Kate to her core, but the disturbed look on Mandy’s face had her begging all the necessary pardons and following her friend and yoga instructor past the free-form statues and swirling canvases into the back room of the gallery, where they could speak in private.
“So what’s up?” Kate asked when they arrived, unable to keep the irritation out of her voice.
“You need to read this—but try to remain calm and centered if you can.” Mandy slipped Kate a small, white slip of paper.
“Calm and cent—“ Kate started to say, but her mouth fell open as she read the first line of the letter, which had been Xeroxed from a handwritten original. “Oh no… oh god…” she mumbled as she read. “This can’t….”
“Ok, ok,” Mandy said, failing to hide the panic in her own voice. “It’s not that bad. People know what a creep he is, ok? And even if they don’t, this isn’t exactly a normal thing to do. Kate, look at me—it’s fine.”