I want a gun | by Elisabeth Horan

I wanna be Daisy Duke
Skinny legs and apple-round the rest of me
I wanna be Lynda Carter
pit you against my truth lasso
Be Jewel; kiss crooked-tooth
Jewel; be a folk singer
be adorable.
In the subway panhandling the coins
knowing I get paid in pennies
for doing what I love –
Kicking Lex Luthor’s ass
Fucking Hal and Flash,
pitting them against each other
and the devil in my brass tits.
I wanna be Dolly Parton, skinny legs
Shock and Awe
apple-round the rest of me
Islands in the stream
O Kenny darlin.
What we are is Boss Hog Bait –
I wanna be cutoff shorts n corsets
I want a gun. Continue reading “I want a gun | by Elisabeth Horan”

The ISTJ | by Derek Owens

     After dinner the conversation swings around to Myers-Briggs. Me I’m an ENTP, says the host. I’m an ISFJ, says the hostess. Is she ever, says the host. One of their friends says, that sounds about right. I could have guessed, she says.

     The others are unfamiliar with the personality test so the three explain. How there are four categories and in each you’re either one or the other. Introverted (I) or Extroverted (E). Sensory (S) or Intuitive (N). Thinking (T) or Feeling (F). Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

     One woman looks at her husband and says, well it’s sure no secret what you are. What the hell’s that supposed to mean, he says.

     A suggestion is made that everyone take the test and all of them are into it except for one man opposed to the idea. One of the guests pulls out his phone, calls up one of the many personality indicator tests on the internet, reads aloud the questions. The hostess gets paper and pencils for everyone so they can write down their answers. This is way better than charades, someone says.
Continue reading “The ISTJ | by Derek Owens”

Other chances | by Angelita Bradney

I catch my breath when I see the spangled curtain of the night sky. When did I last see stars? With the vicious smog I’d almost forgotten they exist. I want to stand still, stare up, but it’s not safe. I must get back.

The roads are treacherous, more so in the dark. Dwellings loom on each side, hulks of black, for who can afford light, nowadays? The wind blows its warm breath in my face; I taste acid. I clutch my bag closer, with the meagre haul – coarse bread, roots – that will have to last till next week.
Continue reading “Other chances | by Angelita Bradney”

Two Poems | by Jack B. Bedell

[So He Picks This Spot Off I-55]

Traffic north of the spillway peters out
        and the moon offers no light at all,
so he picks this spot off I-55

to drop the bodies he collects
       in the French Quarter. The breeze
coming off the lake cools everything.

He can hear the water moving
         toward shore below the overpass,
can sense the tops of trees swaying Continue reading “Two Poems | by Jack B. Bedell”

Eating Out | by Dan Nielsen

     Sluggo straw-slurped the last drop from his 64oz beverage cup. “Mommy, Daddy, is it true that some people cook their own food?” Sluggo wore an empty fries box for a hat.

     “Daddy, why does Sluggo only eat fries?” Mommy bled from her nose. Daddy thought nothing of this.

     Daddy caught a fly with his hand. “Our son is a humanitarian, Mommy.”

     Mommy tilted her head back. “What, if I may ask, is a humanitarian?”

     Daddy looked around. “A humanitarian is someone who doesn’t eat burgers, or nuggets, or sausage patties.” Daddy liked the feel of a fly in his hand. “Just fries, Mommy.” Continue reading “Eating Out | by Dan Nielsen”

Variation on Genesis: Esau and Jacob II | by Carl Napolitano

     Jacob covered his smooth skin with the goatskins as his mother Rebecca told him to do. They were still bloody and sticky from the goats’ slaughter just moments before. His mother had cooked their meat and gave it to Jacob to give to his father Isaac, old and blind and on his deathbed, to eat, so that Jacob could steal the blessing Isaac had promised his twin brother Esau, older than him by only a few seconds and somehow favored for it, while Esau was out hunting for the meat Isaac had asked him for. It was a crafty plan and a stupid one, Jacob thought, one that relied on Isaac’s blindness and his dulled mind–who on earth would confuse the coarse pelt of a goat on top of Jacob’s scrawny arms for Esau’s soft, abundant hair over his hardened muscles?–but the plan worked. Isaac gave Jacob the blessing meant for Esau, a blessing of prosperity and power ending with May those who curse you be cursed and may those who bless you be blessed.

     When Esau returned with a cut on his forehead, a bruise on his thigh, and a gazelle over on his shoulders, he saw Jacob walking out of their father’s tent wearing Esau’s clothes over goatskin and looking quite pleased. Esau dropped the gazelle, marched up to his brother, grabbed him by the shoulder, and demanded, “What have you done?” Jacob froze and stammered. His brother was much bigger and stronger than him and his nose was still crooked from when, years before, Esau punched him in the face after Esau had recovered from starvation and realized Jacob had tricked him to trade his birthright for a pot of red beans. What would Esau do now that he had been cheated yet again by Jacob?

     But Jacob did not have to wonder long. This is what Esau did: He pushed Jacob back into their father’s tent with a hard shove that made Jacob stumble and fall to the floor on all fours. “Father!” Esau said in his low, gentle voice. “It is me, your son Esau. I’ve just returned from my hunt for you only to find my brother wearing my clothes and covered in goat fur. Did you give your blessing to him already?”
Continue reading “Variation on Genesis: Esau and Jacob II | by Carl Napolitano”