Fiction

That Was All That Happened by Celia Farber

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That Was All That Happened

 

by Celia Farber

 

foot_xrayJudging from her feet, she was no princess. Size 9, with toes that were long, one shaped like a tennis racket, bunions, bones adrift. They hurt, in all shoes except sneakers. She walked fast and hard, up and down the streets of Manhattan. She could clip 20 blocks in 15 minutes, easily. Thinking, thinking, thinking. People remarked on her gait, often, friends who saw her barreling around, from a distance. “Like a boxer,” said one. “Like a bloody gorilla,” said a British boyfriend, years ago. A kind of lunging. Her shoes always got the same quarter-sized hole drilled straight through the middle of the sole, first left, then right. Her mother, sister, father, all had the same big bony troubled feet.
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Latrine Duty by Kenneth Radu

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Latrine Duty

 

by Kenneth Radu

 

Drago Tatuaggio-Dragoon Tattoo-Tatouage Dragon-2After initially appearing online in Urban Graffiti with his short story “Oxygen” — subsequently published in his most recent collection of short fiction, Earthbound (DC Books, 2012) — I am quite pleased to publish Kenneth Radu’s transgressive short story “Latrine Duty”, excerpted from his series of linked short stories, that follows the main character, Billy, into his own personal heart of darkness upon his return from his tour of Afghanistan. Enjoy. ~Editor

A scorpion flicking its stinger inside his anus, his face bloated and red, Billy grunted on the bowl. His wife Maggie shrieked in the cell, demanding he fork a hundred bucks for the girls. Where the hell was he going to get a hundred bucks? After paying rent for this dinky hellhole of an apartment and buying hamburger and beans, he had only a few dollars left for smokes and beer. His job paid shit which he’d give a cool hundred to do at this very moment. Just let it break free of the dam and splat out. Everything blocked, bowels constricted, nothing moved except for that frigging scorpion. He had left the door ajar, giving him a good view of Isaac grunting and banging the woman on the bed.
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Jolene’s Debt by Willow Verkerk

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Jolene’s Debt

 

by Willow Verkerk

 
Nocturne_by_Devin-McCawleyWhy Jolene picked this rusty little town was something she had given more thought to than she let on. She would say that she liked the antique shops and the lake, that she had an uncle (not the blood kind, the family friend kind) who had lived here when she was young. It was the nature of the place and the quiet way of living that made it so special. It was a good place to get away from a city life that had turned rancid, she thought, but she didn’t say that.

The most difficult question at first was how to set up the school right. She had to make sure it sounded professional but not snobby, somewhere fun for kids, special to suit the town. Jolene knew her looks could be eccentric, but that it could work for her as long as she seemed friendly, humble, even a bit homely at first. She stopped wearing makeup, pulled her hair in a bun and wore those wrap-around ballet shirts that look very ballet-like.

She had certificates made up and pulled some photos together from jazzercise and aerobics. Old photos of her with her younger cousins playing dance were useful too, then her classy headshots from the acting gig and a couple pairs of used point shoes made the place feel official. She advertised in the local newspaper. The signs at the schools and community centre helped, but the biggest help was the ladies book club. One of the members, Angela, was a former beauty contestant who praised the discipline and fine breeding of ballet. Jolene winced inside when she met her, swearing that she was one of the working girls from the city. But, when Angela convinced five mothers to sign up their daughters during their first meeting Jolene decided it was a foolish case of paranoia. The girls she knew were never that nice.
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The Unbearables Big Book Of Sex — review by Lehman Weichselbaum

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The Unbearables Big Book Of Sex

 

Review by Lehman Weichselbaum

 
unbearables big book of sex coverTHE UNBEARABLES BIG BOOK OF SEX , edited by Ron Kolm, Carol Wierzbicki, Jim Feast, Steve Dalachinsky, Yuko Utomo and Shalom Neuman.
Autonomedia/Unbearables Books.
2011. 640 pps. $18.95

First, to dispense with the obvious: The Unbearables Big Book Of Sex is not a stroke book. To be sure, you (or the grubby inner adolescent of you) will find, inevitably, a sprinkling of verifiable “dirty parts” (as a time-saving service, we refer you to pgs. 156, 165, 431 and 485). But savvy readers, looking past the book’s formal category as “erotica,” will surmise that the words “Unbearables” and “sex” appearing in the same title will more than likely yield, for the most part, a bumptious pageant of squalid missed connections, subliminal-to-outright multi-gendered abuse, delusional gambits of seduction and, overall, a Cook’s tour of carnal dysfunction in its myriad sordid forms. And, of course, they will be right.

The volume under review is the latest in a series of “big book” anthologies squired by the band of convivial literary incendiaries who call themselves “The Unbearables” — presumably after the classic novel by Milan Kundera. Like the other collections, this one includes several score contributors, many recurring from previous compendia, that include a few marquee names (Delaney, Malanga, Kostelanetz, Litsky), as well as familiar figures from New York’s alternative lit scene and sundry more from God knows where. Entries span most conceivable genres: fiction, memoir, poetry and criticism, as well as a lush center insert of visual art, which seems to favor the porno-collagiste.
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Todd Robinson’s Guide to Being Todd Robinson by R. M. Schappell

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Todd Robinson’s Guide to Being Todd Robinson

 

by R. M. Schappell

 

1. As any proper Todd Robinson must do, press your alarm’s snooze button every eight minutes over the course of (about) an hour before getting up and checking your email (which, if there is any, will be spam or something passive-aggressive from Mother). Then get ready for your bullshit job at the bullshit supermarket two bullshit miles away.

 

2. Once you’re at work, don’t mind Ron, the thirtysomething-and-already-bald shift supervisor (also known as your future self) staring at you while you clock in. Get used to him. He’s always around, always smoothing that neatly-trimmed mustache, the ceiling’s fluorescence warping atop his shiny head. However, do mind Laney, the cute-and-pierced-nose cashier walking by, carrying her till. Her scent beckons you to chase after and bury your nose in her hair, but avoid doing so. This is not culturally permissible. Instead, mentally undress her. Unhook that (maybe) lacy, (maybe) purple bra. Become the thong blindfolding her ass. Taste all the sweat stored in all the wrong places. And of course have this moment ruined by Ron saying, “As usual, the Toddster makes it just in the nick of time. Another minute you woulda got wrote up, and you’re like what, a couple away from a pink slip?” Now wait as Ron fakes a smile at some octogenarian driving by in a motorized cart filled with bottles of discounted Windex. “And Christ, would it kill you to run a press over that uniform? What, do you wear it to bed?”

Under your breath tell Ron to go fuck himself, and when he glares, just say, “What?”
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