• “Changing of (A) Dream” by Nikita Nelen

    I woke with all my dreams on loan in a lucid state of revolution.   I woke up in this country with simulacra fantasies of an all-American Dream. I woke up in a Hopper painting, overweight and lonely with Sinatra screaming at me because he too was lonely.   I woke up with a language that transgressed against daunting plans and my vision was a sense siphoned off of the mouth of a Klein bottle that I kept secret in the interview for This American Life because the best dreams, the ones that keep time going, are deranged.   I woke up in this land with dreams of revision, praying…

  • “Whitehouse-Greenhouse” by Sammy Vickstein and Anonymous

    An exercise in ekphrasis    Gifts wrapped, tight arranged under the shapely tree Candles in every window, Waving, as if in special invitation “Here!” They say Here is peace, joy, harmony at last   A table laid out in wedding china set exactly once a year Glistening fatted birds Stuffed, roasted, stuffed again and splitting with abundance   Cedar and holy hung, just so Framing each scene as if blocked for a performance It’s impossible to imagine anything askew   It’s hard to picture love here too Any human feeling: fingers sticky, floors muddy with melting snow, mouths loud and happy.  Instead, opinions left at the door nothing disagreeable, nothing…

  • “Voices Through the Floor” by Mishon Wooldridge

    At 5 pm, the neighborhood is comfortably in its bed of darkness. Porch lights cast out nets–only catch a person or pair, squinting. It reminds me of a middle-aged man who admitted darkened neighborhoods frighten him, then tried to convince me of his wealthy connections and begged me to clean his apartment for 12 bucks an hour. My boots squash soggy leaves. Lately, it seems I see more figures in the shadows. A hunched man exposes his body to be simply rhododendron limbs in front of a dim window, I scold myself for paranoia but keep my eye on him as I approach home’s doorway. Inside, voices through the floor…

  • “Shades of Green” by Chas Wilson

    In his eighty-first spring, Jerome realized he’d never seen so many shades of green.  They were arranged in front of him, on one-by-one inch squares, six squares to a card, on nearly twenty cards.  That was over a hundred!  As he stood in front of the display, the paint salesman sidled over to him.  “Looking for a particular color, sir?” Jerome answered, “Green,” but it sounded more like “Gurun.”  Since his stroke, he had been having difficulty pronouncing words and writing.  He took one of each of the color sample cards and ambled outside into the bright, warm, Southern California morning.  He eased himself down onto the curbside bench and…

  • “The Death of R&J” by Alec Clayton

    The phone call came around 7 p.m. He almost didn’t answer because the caller ID said unknown, and it was from Connecticut. He didn’t know anyone in Connecticut. But with cell phones nowadays it could be from anywhere. So, uncharacteristically, he picked up. “Hi, J. This is Gilbert, your brother, R’s stepson.” “Hi, Gilbert,” J answered with a catch of premonition in his throat. “I don’t know how to say this, so I guess I just have to say it. R passed away. He died in his sleep.” J’s initial response was, “I didn’t see this coming.” “None of us saw it coming.” “But I should have. I… ” And…

  • “You Need to Grieve” by Morf Morford

    I need to grieve. It was my first time teaching at a tribal college. I was new to the community and had a ton of prep work to do for my classes. We had about week of prep time before the school year began. I was learning my way around campus, meeting other teachers and staff and a few local tribal leaders and trying to get ready for several classes I had never taught before. In the midst of this, I got notice of a mandatory meeting for all non-Native staff and faculty. I already had more to do than I could get done in just a few days. I went…

  • “Miracles” by Emily Candace

    Do you always know when it happens – is it given to you or do you create it – what happens if you miss it– is it a God you have to believe in – do you have to lay yourself bare to absorb it – does it reject doubters – do you have to jump and risk your existence – Can you be afraid to die? What is a miracle?   Accepting Death, paying respect to the wholeness of Life, the more you allow it, the more you are able to live and not just survive. Giving your body and mind and heart and spirit to a lover you cannot…

  • “Do What is Right” by Patricia Heany

    There’s a bandersnatch around every corner little one, And the crows are in the corn. Don’t be content finding safe places to hide. Be the light in the darkness. Rage. Fight. Be uncouth and ill-mannered When the world seeks to silence the forgotten ones. (listen to your mother hiding, afraid in her little home I have seen the face of horror, and it walks and speaks and mews and wheedles and cries it wears clothes like a man to hide that it is not a man.) Fight it. Don’t give it inches, for it already has miles. Be the light in the darkness. You will have fears Sorrows Regrets You…

  • “About that Werewolf in the Valley…” by Elizabeth Beck

    A pantoum   Fallout shelters at the edge of town Now make-out Meccas for virgins and the newly not They built the arcades there in the 80s Still the screens paint the night like fluorescent sirens Now make-out Meccas for the virgins and newly not The werewolf took his first victim on that ridge Still the screens paint the night like fluorescent sirens and some say it was hot-blooded teen lust, unbridled The werewolf took his first victim up on that ridge But it wasn’t his last, he savaged about… half the senior class Some say it was hot-blooded teen rage, unbridled Fitting neatly into their morality play Prom night,…

  • “Corvidae” by James Stuart

    It had been three days since the crows came, and still, they covered the yard in a bobbing tangle of distilled black. There was no question to their motive; the rain had brought out the worms and they outnumbered the corvid hoard a hundredfold. It was a feast for the ages and one which seemed frantic for the birds; as if the writhing creatures existed only in a fever dream. From his seat in front of the window, Vernon watched as the birds hopped from place to place, skewering their beaks into the soft earth, pulling the squirming creatures from the ground, and swallowing them whole. He did not know…