In A Kidney Dish
Seventeen months and six days ago,
with practice that could only be attached
to a pair of nitrile gloves,
they pulled apart generations of stratified tissue,
classified the human from the mammal
and presented the results on a stainless steel tray.
You’re fifteen, you’re trembling. The only working street light flickers and omits an ominous orange glow. Everything else is dark–the night, the thoughts in your head, the gun in your hand. The car slows as you approach the corner. There they are, Uncle Joe whispers, tonight you become a man.Continue reading “Bar Mitzvah by Brett Dixon”
The blood I scrub from the inside of my underwear is not the same as the blood I wipe from my mouth, not the same blood my mother lost when laboring over my birth, not what spilled from my grandmother’s head when her stepfather split it open for scrubbing a floor wrong. Not the same, but close.Continue reading “On Blood by Kaylie Padgett”
Burn the Bloodstream
How can an odorless, yellow pill bring harm?
Every time you say no to food, you say yes to thin.
One felt good so she took another,
Eat clean, look lean.
not knowing two were an overdose.
Greasy fries or skinny thighs?Continue reading “Burn the Bloodstream by Emma Lee”
It was her first period for three months. Sitting on the lav with her knickers around her ankles and her knees falling apart, Mihaela saw the new slimness in her bare legs and grimaced. She thought of all the meals she’d missed since the promotion—the rushed breakfasts, the uneaten sandwiches, the insubstantial dinners—and how quickly it had become a matter of finding not the time but the inclination. Now she ate as irregularly and as little as she slept. No wonder her periods had stopped.Continue reading “Blood Magic by Natasha C. Calder”
The Last Time It Bled
the last time I bled was when I stood on glass
the worst time I bled was when they put the scissors in my vaginaContinue reading “The Last Time It Bled by Emma SzH”
DISEASES OF THE BLOOD
5q- syndrome, Aagenaes syndrome, Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Abetalipoproteinemia, Acatalasemia, Aceruloplasminemia, Acquired agranulocytosis, Acquired hemophilia […]Continue reading “DISEASES OF THE BLOOD by Louis Armand”
Maxime Berclaz is a first year candidate for an M.F.A. in Poetry at the University of Notre Dame and an Editorial Intern at Action Books. He has been published in Poems for Freedom, an anthology of poems put together in support of the anarchist bookstore Freedom after its firebombing, has a poem forthcoming in Deluge and has also had reviews in Pank and Tarpaulin Sky. Tweets at https://twitter.com/bava_mario & Action Books
“…It’s mostly that album A Love Supreme. It feels sacred to me. I had a friend once tell me A Love Supreme is convincing evidence for the existence of God. And that’s really stuck in my head ’cause it’s a little bit true to me.” – John Green, in conversation with Ashley Ford and Kelly Stacy
As if the hands that built this were not so terribly human.
As if the stones are not the slightest bit uneven.
As if there is a waterfall somewhere that could kill this song.
As if the call of a bird is grander than all of the laughter we found.
Look, the stars are shimmering – their masses are exploding with joy. Continue reading “Umang Kalra: Sacred You & Me & My GF Will Change The World”
Otherwise on waking :: something about :: the top of the hill :: honeysuckle conferring in the breeze :: where she climbed her first tree :: where in a potentially sooner rather than later :: but distant nonetheless :: future :: she wanted her ashes to pollute :: spore :: the Original One had scoured the same spot weeks earlier :: failing to find the tree :: no Continue reading “Lotte L.S. : Over-Mind”
Eric Blix is the author of the story collection, Physically Alarming Men (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2017). His writing has appeared in Best Small Fictions, The Collagist, Caketrain, and other journals and anthologies. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he studies in the PhD program in creative writing at the University of Utah. Eric’s work above are fragments from his novel-length prose collage, scrub lands—works in progress.
featured image: Ruby Anderson
We Make Our Instruments
Sitar is the prickle of a recent close-to-the-base
of-the-skull haircut tickling uncalloused fingers. Smooth
grapes on spiked vines—the thrumming heart beats
angry blood, in time, when the pressure elevates.
Calcification of heart-wood is how the tune is created.
Seasoning so sweet, incense swirl sounds these
tiny steps that expand slowly like the step of an animated
fairy. She blesses the room with ever-growing pink loops.
Perhaps, we have heard this and confused her hoops
of sound—the small swelling—the augmentation
of pink into magenta into mahogany as the expansion
of our minds.
And sound does work in this way.
Reverberations change the bearer. The weight of sound
waves are manipulated by air, by ear, by the redwood
walls, by the differentiation of instrument. The string.
Slip and stick. Contact the conifer slick. Heart to palm
rounded vehicles in glass cases, waiting to be touched.
The weight of balance on the bow. The density floods
a linearity of grain, or orientation of rings in her trunk.
A bow’s construction. Heat curves. Time wears
finger-grooves into her ample body. 150 taut hairs.
The timing on goat skin, donkey teeth—the weather
across California’s forests and cities. A reliance on
exhumation of rosewood, pernambuco, blackwood.
The skill of the mouth, the precise shape of the teeth
larynx, fine ear-structures—the blessing offered by
the specific elder to the thick elder at the time
Once sound starts a journey, does it change the
The inevitable die-out which dampens this quality changes
the heart curves on each wave—pumps blood. Bursts the
ventricles. Drives a thick ginger residue spike through
the temple. Then, alleviates with chamomile resonance.
Titian once made the shadow under my eyes famous
toxic—an exported harvest that reclassified unique
sunlight blooms into beans that oxidize with age. Ages
crumble into the dust we made with our heaving bellies.
Our trees have become instruments—hot bows and gut.
As we boil with them, we suffocate.
She gets the precooked
carcass from the supermarket.
It shares her stature—neck
bobbed and folded. Her grin
is the thick slope of one leg.
footless creature; no face—no eyes
to face. Hacked off at the neck. No, face this
meal. She wears
the title—face. No running
from this meat. Grotesque
eloquence in her slashing
lips. Fingers slide. No
running from this, meat.
Nails heavy with the shining
luster of gristle. She gouges out
from tooth. This creature’s salt
fills her cells—changing her to
flesh both gaping and unreliable.
Kari A. Flickinger’s poetry and short stories have been published in or are forthcoming from Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Ghost City Review, Eunoia Review, Riddled with Arrows, Moonchild Magazine, Quiet Storm, and Panoply, among others. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley. When she is not writing, she can be found playing guitar and singing to her unreasonably large Highlander cat, as well as obsessively over-analyzing the details of neighboring trees.
featured image: Ellie Anderson-Hawkins