Partyman – Danny Swain

He didn’t really like parties, but here he was; couples sat here and there in the large living room, chatting louder than the music playing from a hidden stereo. The room was lit by a single shaded lamp and the woman was still talking to him.
“You must be a friend of Jill and Wendy.”
“I guess I must be.”
She was pretty in a way. Her nose was larger than beauty allowed but it fit her friendly features like an ornate doorknob.



Airweight – James Nulick

I washed a girl’s hair on Tuesday and now I am considering pink-gripped murder… Her name is Phantasy and she was marched into my office – a tightlipped suitcase – by her young teacher, a woman whose look said you deal with it. My desk – metal body and legs, Formica inlay top, was older than me, a tanker desk from the 1950s, when Mother was still a girl. Phantasy sat on the other side of it in a red Virco 9016 school chair,



Subprime Mortgage Crisis – Anthony Dragonetti

I was in the market for a house
A modest one
with no real plans
to expand
but it had to hold
all my baggage

The little man
showed me around
a place he said was
within my budget

A couple twenties
A tupperware of rotten leftovers
A journalism degree
A shoebox with grandma’s bonds

This is the living room
It is a nice size
Plenty of space
to entertain
the people who
love you
that you treat
with contempt
at the slightest
real or perceived

You can’t help that you are sensitive
he assured me

I nodded in approval
and followed him
to the bathroom

Like a master suite
he beamed
A tall mirror to look
at yourself with
great coverage

I could practice
my character
in a mirror like this
I said

The little man
agreed saying
Yes the character
you play
The one who hurts people
because it’s never
the true you
doing it

That’s right
I have never
hurt anyone

The bedroom I loved
like he said I would
as we walked down the hall

The perfect place to
grind my teeth
being chased in dreams
And to curl up
against someone
who can read my every mood
and is never sad
so that I am never sad

That leaves the basement
but I chose not to see it

I’ll take it I said
Are you sure?



Ink – Ryan Bry

The rains slant in the sky. A single drop descends and gathers with other droplets near a crow’s heart and then: is flung downward towards Samantha’s silver KIA by its unsteady plumage. It taps on the unemotional windshield, still remembering the warmth of the birdheart, and is wiped away with other unwanted bits of heaven’s tears. It joins the tire spritz as our hero Samantha veers out of the highway lane—and the vehicle buzzes.