By Daniel Vlasaty
You try your luck when you meet a golden buffalo named Sanchez. “Rub my
belly,” he tells you. “Everyone’s a winner.” You rub his belly. Nothing
happens. “Hold on,” he says. He burps a few times, wet-hot burps, to release
some of the built up pressure in his stomach. “Rub my belly,” he says again.
“Everyone’s a winner.” You rub his belly. The golden buffalo starts to shake.
His body rumbles. A giant legless grasshopper slides out of his golden asshole.
The grasshopper cries when it sees you. “Mommy,” it wails in a tiny voice.
“Everyone’s a winner,” Sanchez says. Scaly wings grow out of his back. He flaps
them to get warmed up. “What am I supposed to do with this?” you ask him but he
is already gone. The legless grasshopper wiggles on the ground, covered in gold
placenta. “Mommy,” it says to you, and you know this is what you’ve always wanted.
Bio: Daniel Vlasaty will stab you in the fucking face...probably.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
By Kyle Hemmings
the baby was born with a window in his belly. the surgeon from toledo scratched his head, said words like hinged or unhinged, vista or without. he said he needed more time. in our baby's window we saw rivers & boats, cities & birds, we saw ourselves looking out helplessly. my mother-in-law spread ground glass & ammonia in our bed sheets. she said it would make us strong. sometimes we heard a distant knocking, the laughter of young children. our baby had fake tears. my wife cried while breast feeding. sometimes we dreamt of something crashing, a rock through a window. a specialist from cincinnati offered a cure. he placed a flap where the window was. the baby grew up blind & we moved into a smaller house.
BIO: Kyle Hemmings is a what? A moon cake. A subvervise astronaut. A mama's boy with claws. Kyle Hemmings is who you want him to be. He has been published elsewhere.
By Bob Carlton
The narrative has wandered away from the course of events, each sentence a deletion from some other story. The nested birds cluck and tweet with delight at their mother's regurgitations. It is a source of wonder and strange fascinations that we do not. Truer tales cannot be imagined.
“Who stole all my books?” asked the Archbishop.
“We have seen the glory of your worship,” I said, “and do not believe our sacrifices have been worth the return on investment. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us a pizza.”
The wild surmises of disenfranchised peasants led to uprisings surging with elation and ignorance. The mark of ten thousand lashes sprang up with a bloody ardor matched only by longevity. This story cannot be told in words alone.
“I have pictures,” she said coldly, ignoring his imploring eyes, the restless fiddling with a wedding band of flaking platinum.
“Perhaps we should talk.”
“There is nothing to talk about.”
“There is always something not to talk about.”
His failed experiments, supported by a half century of junk science and slipshod methodology, gathered about Dr. ----, clutching at his lab coat with the desperate need for recognition and validation, longings which even the angels of compassion could not, in good conscience, entertain.
“Is that a yes or no question?”
“Is the answer ever 'no'?”
“You cherry-picked the data, Roger. You cherry-picked the god damned data!”
With the wreckage of past expeditions crunching beneath our feet, we came to it at last. We have come to it finally. The end? Yes, the end. The very one. That is to say, the forces of entropy have rushed in, trashed the kitchen, broken into the liquor cabinet, and are passing out on every stick of furniture in the place.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
by Kyle Hemmings
under a hand-me down moon, she cooed, then went frigid. she told me how she discarded the memory of her father, how it became so light, flying up, then turning solid. it did an about face, became an asteroid, hit the earth & part of it lodged inside her, just missing the heart. for weeks, i tried pulling it out of her. She said Please stop, daddy, it hurts. when i finally removed the piece of rock-father, she said she felt nothing for me, that our love was dead. on the phone, she hummed while I was talking, made little noises like crackles, then hung up. sometime later, an astronomer who just lost his wife, claimed mars went missing. at the drive-in, i watched a james dean movie, some broken glass in the seat next to me. it was from the window I didn't bother to replace, the one she threw a rock through just to prove that I was still a part of her.
BIO: Kyle Hemmings is a what? A moon cake. A subvervise astronaut. A mama's boy with claws. Kyle Hemmings is who you want him to be. He has been published elsewhere.
By Ben Arzate
The news hit us pretty hard. We knew what it probably was, but we hoped we were wrong. We knew for certain now. Our house had cancer.
It started when my son fell down the stairs. Thankfully, he was fine besides a few bruises. He said he tripped over a lump in the carpet. I went up the stairs and saw the lump. There were several more on the railing. I told my wife that this could be serious and we called an inspector.
The inspector came over while my wife and I were at work and our son at school. When we all got back, the inspector was waiting for us out front. He gave us the bad news.
He said it looked like the tumors had probably started up in the attic. Had we found it then, it might have been treatable. But it had spread too much at that point.
I still can't help but blame myself. A house that old was very prone to disease. I should have had him checked on regular basis.
The only thing we could do now was have him put down.
We found a two bedroom apartment near downtown. It was much smaller but it would fit our needs. We moved as fast as we could. We didn't want our old house to suffer too long.
I scheduled the demolition. It would be a quick and painless implosion. On the day the crew came to do it, we went to say goodbye.
Our son was probably hit the hardest. After all, he lived there since he was born. We sat in the empty living room. My wife and I reminisced on when we first moved in after we got married.
The crew told us that everything was rigged and it was time to leave. We got in the car. My son was bawling. My wife had tears running down her cheeks. I kept having to wipe my eyes as I started the car.
As we drove off, we heard the loud rumbling. Then the sound of debris falling. Then nothing.
BIO: Ben Arzate lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He writes and he lives life. Sometimes he forgets to do the latter. His work has been published in Sketch and at Keep This Bag Away From Children. He can be found at dripdropdripdropdripdrop.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
By Justin Grimbol
He faced his congregation and took out his wiener. It was a massive wiener. It was the most massive wiener the world had ever seen.
Each man from the congregation walked up to their minister and fucked his gaping pee hole. No one lasted very long. Merely the idea of fucking a massive cock was so arousing they came as soon as they put it in his slimy hole.
Once the massive wiener was filled with his congregations semen, the reverend walked to the alter and lied down. The congregation sat around him and sang old campfire songs and watches as the reverend masturbated.
“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…”
They prayed for their mighty leader to reach orgasm. They had done this every Sunday for two years. The reverend had never been able to reach orgasm. It was as if his dick was constipated.
“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream…”
This day was different.
“What’s that noise?” one of the men asked.
The reverend's penis made a strange rumbling. It sounded as if a train was charging forward, carrying cargo from the deepest part of his soul.
Could the prophecies be true? They wondered.
“This is going to be gross,” another man said.
“Should we tell him to stop?”
For years they had prayed for this day to come, but now that the promised day was upon them they were filled with terror. They enjoyed their little routine. They enjoyed fucking the reverend's mighty cock hole. They enjoyed singing and watching him masturbate endlessly.
“Don’t do it!” one man yelled to the reverend.
“I’m sorry!” the reverend responded.
They watched as a mushroom cloud of jizz erupted from his cock. It had been a sunny day, but now the sky grew thick with jizz clouds.
They stared up at the gooey clouds in awe.
The rumbling sound no longer came from the reverend's cock. It came from above them.
“Dear lord have mercy!” a man yelled.
The jizz poured from the sky.
“ICKY!” one man yelled. “It’s so icky!”
It didn’t soak into the ground like normal rain. Soon it was up to their knees.
“To the boat!” another member the congregation yelled.
They ran through the sticky jizz toward the boat they had been living in for years. It was intended to be an arc. It was supposed to save them when the prophecies came true and the jizz tsunami covered the Earth. For the past ten years they had been treating it like it was nothing more than an apartment building and they were not sure if it could actually function as a boat, the way they had initially intended it to.
By the time they got there, the jizz was up to their chests.
“It’s locked,” one man said as he tugged on the door knob.
They looked up and saw their wives standing at the windows. One of the women opened her window. It was the lead wifey.
“You are no longer needed,” she called out to them. “Go be with your savior.”
The men begged her to have mercy. The lead wife shook her head and walked away from their windows.
Jizz gathered. Soon they were floating in stormy sea of their own man juice.
The boat was also floating in the jizz. Its motor started. The massive arc sped away.
“Come back!” they begged.
They tried to swim after it. But it moved too quickly. They were soon engulfed in the milky white waves.
Justin Grimbol is author of THE CRUD MASTERS and the editor of BUTT SHARK UNIVERSITY. He currently lives in Portland Maine.
Monday, July 16, 2012
By James Bambury
I was the reckoning in 1952. I whispered into the ear of Pete Cusimano that the only logical way to celebrate the Red Wings' Cup victory would be to throw a boiled octopus onto the ice. He and his brother obliged and saved the world. The B-52 Stratofortress made its maiden flight that same day.
A decade later I hissed in the ear of a drowsy bus driver and waking him in time to swerve around a pothole on the Highway 400. The young Paul Henderson on that bus would later save the world in his own fashion in 1972.
A month after the near bus accident, the first B-52 would be shot down over Viet Nam.
I have existed to give and take, to maintain the tide.
Fifty years after Detroit I have tendered my resignation. I have failed in this new century. I can no longer find the means to attend to the delicate balances of the world. Therefore, I have allowed myself to be imprisoned and banished from tinkering with the reckoning. The world and its mostly deserving people will have to find their own way.
BIO: James Bambury writes from Brampton, Ontario. He writes stuff that sometimes appears online and blogs about it at http://jamesbambury.blogspot.com
Saturday, July 14, 2012
By Jon Wesik
The night they killed the dogs I finished a twenty-two-hour shift at the Army Crabgrass Warfare Station in Suitland, Maryland. I’ve always believed idleness is the devil’s lunch pail, so I foreswore snacking on furious cookies and sharpened all the mechanical pencils under the grand portrait of Ho Chi Minh, whose wispy beard hung like a MiG-17 contrail from his chin. Before starting the bleary ride home I snuck a Samantabhadra from the chocolate-covered Buddha and bodhisattva assortment and parade marched with my coworkers through the decontamination station.
Outside a very long satellite skewered stars that glittered like spilled sugar on the velvet tablecloth of night. Pausing in the parking lot I said a brief prayer for the cosmonaut trapped inside with only vodka and blood sausage. Through my surplus night-vision goggles I located the infrared reflection from my Toyota Raptor’s radar-absorbing finish. The ground crew had stenciled a small wheelchair below the driver’s side window with the others, even though CENTCOM had yet to confirm the kill. After arming the heat-seeking missiles and cracking the breeder valve to start the flow of nitrous oxide, I fired up the Pratt and Whitney hybrid turbofans and set the throttle for supercruise. By stabbing the big red button that fired the Gatling gun until my index finger grew blisters, I kept my path clear of slow-moving vehicles. Within minutes I roared through the Coopertown speed trap before my sonic boom alerted Sheriff Johnson by shattering his contact lenses and sending his wide-brimmed hat tumbling into the sugarcane.
As usual the parishioners at St. John the Blasphemer were lashing the Catamite priest to the rack with bicycle chains and Kryptonite locks. They raised their torches and pitchforks in salute after my tracer rounds mowed down the Sunday school class and set fire to the big cross. I turned left on Elm and pulled into my driveway, where the drag chute stopped my car within millimeters of the garage door. From the cockpit I heard wind chimes sing psalms to the god of upright demons as I disarmed the missiles. I’d become more conscientious with the heavy firepower since my homeowner’s insurance had stopped paying. I climbed out of the car and skipped toward the front porch. Violent petunias brandished M-16s and swung machetes at my ankles, as I made my way through the thicket of botanical experiments gone horribly wrong.
Wearing a sweater that clung like plastic wrap, my Filipina mail-order bride met me inside the front door, where I inspected her post-office box for signs of illegal entry. It wouldn’t be the first time. Her thighs had been known to bankrupt captains of industry and lead KGB agents to their doom. Before I could take clay impressions of the scratches on the lock, the jeweler’s loupe fell from my eye and she dragged me to the dining room, where a macaroni-and-trees casserole sprouted from the white-pine table. At least I wouldn’t need a toothpick after dinner.
“Umm, the salad tastes like a briefcase of hundred-dollar bills,” I said, reasoning that flattery could prove the key to her chastity belt.
“An old friend left me the recipe.” She dialed the combination on the wall safe. “Care for some more?”
“It’s a little rich for me. How about some cheesecake?”
“I had to use tofu.” She removed the dessert from the Norge. “Wombats ate the gorgonzola again.”
Wombats! Our kitchen was infested with them. I could deal with the platypus in the bathtub and the bandicoots in the toaster, but the wombats strained my patience like an enlarged prostate. The monthly bills for their imported grass and chocolate biscuits ran to over three hundred dollars. Resolving to remedy the situation I fed my uneaten salad to the koala in the garbage disposal and retired to the living room.
A volume of Julio Cotisol’s stories lay unread on the coffee table, but the Argentine writer always left me feeling stressed. Fortunately, the public TV station was showing the Mercury Players’ adaptation of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. When Orson Welles began his monologue on the a priori knowledge of space and time, I heard the unmistakable drone of a C-130 flying overhead. Moments later the first schnauzer landed on the corrugated roof. I snatched a nuclear umbrella from the elephant foot and dashed outside into the rain of Pembroke Corgis, Rottweilers, and Yorkshire Terriers. A Newfoundland thudded like a hamburger-filled Hefty bag onto the driveway and coated the concrete with pet dander. Its dying lips curled to reveal fangs that had yellowed as if he’d been fed an exclusive diet of coffee and tobacco.
The petunias fired assault rifles wildly into the air making the scene resemble Desert Storm Baghdad without the domes and minarets. A lucky round caught the C-130 in a starboard engine, and the big plane crashed into the neighbors’ duplex taking out the tree house, swing set, and sugar refinery in the process. Snarls and gunshots came from the cargo hold, as the captives fought the flight veterinarian in a desperate struggle for survival. Within minutes the victorious canines descended the cargo ramp and scratched at the Andersons’ picture window in hopes of Purina Dog Chow, Topol Smoker’s Tooth Polish, and cozy spots on the living room carpet.
The satellite passed overhead again, this time resembling a fish hook caught in the ear of an unsuspecting moon. I yawned and stretched. It was only 9:00 but with so little excitement, I went to bed.
BIO: Jon Wesik has this to say about himself: I host of San Diego’s Gelato Poetry Series and am an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. I’ve published over two hundred poems in journals such as The New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. I’ve also published over forty short stories in journals such as Space and Time, Zahir, and Tales of the Talisman. I have a Ph.D. in physics and am a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of my poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest. Another had a link on the Car Talk website.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
By Caitlin Hoffman
I’m your shoe.
“And what does that mean?”
Leaning on the precipice. The gentle, winding curb.
It went purple all around us, and the man beside me (you) smiled. I’m your shoe, and you’re smiling down at me. (It went past, presently.) (Run with it and it will all make sense. I know something about running. I am your shoe, after all.)
You stare down at my slick red-and-white stripes, tickling my laces with tugs and poking at my empty innards with your toes. Sometimes when I sleep at the foot (teehee) of your bed, I shrug off all the dirt and sigh contentedly. I’m glad I’m your shoe and no one else’s.
You tug/tugged on my loose tongue, pat/pat it gentle and sweet. I sneeze and you laugh a little too loud. People (if they are people) take glances while they pass, walking on their oh-so-normal shoes that can’t make jokes, can’t expel rubber-oxygen and certainly don’t know that they are shoes.
“Since when does a shoe sneeze?”
Sometimes my words don’t come out right, but you don’t care. You understand that it’s difficult talking when I don’t really have a mouth, lips, teeth, tongue, vocal chords... or a brain, for that matter.
“You’re so handsome.” you say, breath hot from up above.
Can a shoe be handsome? Perhaps. Perhaps only at certain angles, in particular lighting, or seen through special eyes. Like those wide, gaping, periwinkle blue gelatin-spots staring down at me.
“It’s a better angle to kiss you at.”
“Like a C-section!”
I shouldn’t know that I am your shoe any more than a brain in a vat should know it’s no more than an organ surrounded by formaldehyde or whathaveyou. I may in fact be the most self-aware entity to ever step (teehee) on this earth.
I know I am your shoe and I love knowing it. Knowing is quite simple when you manage to swallow the truth. At least, knowing you’re a shoe is simple. It’s complex to tell you’re a human or feel you’re a human, let alone really know that you’re a human. You may not be human. You may be a lobster with practical feet. You may be a gorilla that likes to shave. I don’t know, and I don’t care.
My knowledge of existing is not based on feeling. I have no neurotransmitters and certainly don’t possess any nerve endings. There is no reason that I should think or be, and there is especially no reason that I should be capable of loving. But I am and I do. I love you, the wearer of this shoe. This man who tucks his sometimes-smelly, always-calloused feet deep into my sole and my soul. (Do I have a soul? Does that determine the true essence of self-awareness? Was a soul mistakenly sewn in my aglets?)
You stood/stand we walk/walked down the street. I love the concrete and how it slaps against the bottom side of me. You always walk gently so as not to wear me down too much. There is no fear in me (well, how could there be? I own no hypothalamus, no adrenaline, no fight or flight response... and I mean really, where on earth would they fit?) when it comes to the scuffing of my fabric or roughing up of my rubber. I am a material object, and all material objects must have an end.
Back at home, she gives you trouble again.
“It’s time to throw that thing out!” she said. “It’s too old!” she said.
I’m too old, she says! She’s far older than me if we’re counting in human years. Humph!
But I don’t worry. Fear is utterly absent. You will protect me and even if you don’t, there will be no pain if I’m thrown in the garbage bin.
I will miss you though. Would it be bad to miss you? Can a sneaker have a sense of ethics? Moral duty? Kantian approaches to punishment? Consequentialist ideals?
“I’m not throwing him out.” you say.
The room rolls red.
“You’re crazy!” she said.
The pillows pulsed pink.
“Or maybe I just see things differently!” you said.
I see saliva slide. (Even though I have no eyes.)
Slipped slowly. Straight from your tongue.
(I have a tongue too...But it can’t taste anything.)
“You’re insane!” she says.
Insane, she says! How is it then that you can hear me and she can’t? Insanity is being torn in a rift from reality. You, on the other hand, are opened up to it. Opened up to areas of the world that few are equipped or inclined to understand. Maybe I don’t have a heart and maybe I don’t have a big appendage like those naked men you look up on the internet, but I do have something that makes me aware, and something else that makes me love you.
You know it too. Every time you slip your foot in, we make love in a strange and absent way, a way that not many people could understand. We’re lucky, you and I. When most people just walk, you and I share an intimate moment.
I watch you from the floor (how can I see when I don’t have rods, cones, a retina, an optic nerve, any of that stuff?) as you pack your bags. Pretty suitcase.
“She’s sending me off to the doctor again.” you say, the man I so love, the man I so love to feel inside of me. “I don’t think they’ll let me wear a shoe in the hospital.”
I do not feel wrong- I feel unright. I can’t be sad but it looks like I’m crying anyway. Shoving liquid through my lace holes.
“Do you think I’m crazy, shoe?”
“Pfft!” I spat up sand. I’m cleaning grooves.
If you’re insane, what am I?
...I guess I’d still be your shoe.
Bio: Caitlin is a mink wearing a suit of human skin. You can follow her depravity @CHWrite on Twitter.
Monday, June 4, 2012
By Mark Brocklehurst
It’s hard to walk for miles, day in and day out, on this crumbling pavement. It’s my retreat. It’s my freedom. Boot soles are tired and worn. The tanned leather holding the walls of these boots together is cracked and tarnished with road soot. The crags in my boots, like the creases and lines in my hands and forehead, remind me of the detritus I stomp through on my daily roving. I sure wish the sun would settle behind a few clouds this afternoon. September’s sun is still blazing. Hot. This radiant heat piles bubbling beads of sweat on my upper lip to the tip of nose. Damned black top sweats. Should’ve taken that gallon jug of water and bag of ice from the bed of that navy F250. Jesus Saves and Ford pisses on Chevy. How convenient. Yea, right.
Hiding out in that big tomb in Wanamaker was a good idea. No one saw me. It’s an easy refuge. I could sleep in peace without the raccoon and rat visits. Damned night stalkers. John Muir walked from Indiana to Florida. Maybe I can take up his old path? I need a proper meal. The Wonder bread and Jif I took yesterday around 2 p.m. from that empty farm house just outside of town will only go so far. It’s left me shitting bricks and cobby pebbles. At least I had time for a quick shower and wank. Thankfully, the old man of the house keeps a stash of vintage Penthouses under the sink. Glad I found them. Always look under sinks when in someone’s bathroom. They’re treasure troves of secrets and goodies. I’ll only take two and put the other six back. They are a lifesaver. Well, if a lifesaver is a right hand, warm shower, and a subtle cinnamon smelling woman’s bathrobe. At this point, most anything will do. It’s been about a month since I’ve been with a woman, confusing really. I’ll head back to that tomb, RAYMOND STILES RIP 1898-1965, for the night.
This pack is heavy and I need to sharpen my Ka-bar and Bowie knife. Two potential clients tomorrow, house calls, and both are Mormon and disgusting. These knives need to be extra sharp. I’ll get acquainted with my water logged Penthouse queens again by Maglite tonight. They’re the reliable lovers. Silent, willing, and they eagerly flash their goods page to page. Hopefully their time in the shower didn’t ruin the pages. Need some action tonight. Glad I took that handful of q-tips too. My ears feel crunchy, and they make easy tender for small fires. Swiped a sturdy one person sleeping tent in Jackson Ohio. It’s easy to set up, and will make my tomb a cozier fortress for the night. Shoud’ve set it up last night. Too tired. Tomorrow I’ll smile on my Mormon clients. Maglite on. Tent zipped shut. Queens to my rescue…