STORY OF THE WEEK

Where Are We Going?

When she left, she told me that she had a feeling, so strong it was like a prophecy, that we’d reunite when we were older. It turned out her intuition was dead-on.

POEM OF THE WEEK

De Clementia:
Prayer of the Last Prizefighter

Surrender me to shallows and the salt gallop of a rising surf, to the dark burrow of the mole crab and the snail shell’s supple purple curve.

FINAL DAYS TO ENTER

Deadline: Sun., July 31, midnight PDT.

We’re looking for short stories, essays, memoirs, photography, graphic stories, and excerpts from long fiction and nonfiction.

Please see the Guidelines.

CLASSICS

Blind Love

‘He cured cancer today. Why not blindness tomorrow?’ Armitage gave a low laugh. Though she enjoyed his dryness, his rare laugh gave a dangerous, animal expression to his face.

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

The Thomas Cantor

The music reminds him of a birch tree in early fall, its leaves fluttering gold and gold-brown. I have seen this, he thinks, somewhere in Bavaria. Before he knows it, he is asleep.

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

Girl from the Moon

She laughed in a way that Dai-san thought was unnatural, as if she were doing something mesmerizing but despicable, like sprinkling salt on snails.

WINTER CONTEST WINNERS

Year of the Great Voyage

A teenage mind is the most fertile of soils, and the beach I imagined was out of some movie, complete with virgin-white sand and palm trees.

FICTION

FICTION

MASTER CLASS

FICTION

What You Get

He looked like a revolutionary who’d lost the war. There was nothing sadder than the look of defeat in a man’s eyes. Survivors carried their dead around long after the war ended.

FICTION

Fisher Cat

Ray hoped they would not align him with his daughter’s humiliating viral video. What he wouldn’t give as an ad man to get such an explosive, overnight response.

MASTER CLASS

NONFICTION

NONFICTION

NONFICTION

Snapshots of
My Brother

In the middle of the night, my brother Ricky kicks a dent in the side door and goes. We later learn he has joined the army.

NONFICTION

A Weary Desperado

One afternoon at a party in the West Village, I drank a few beers, ate a brownie laced with hashish, and saw later a view of San Francisco I’d seen before.

Whale Shark

Why should anything frighten the largest fish in the world? My heart is going faster than it has ever gone, being still, treading water.

CLASSICS

NARRATIVE 10

NARRATIVE 10

CLASSICS

The Story of a Scar

It was so grotesque a mark that one had the feeling it was the art of no human hand and could be peeled off like so much soiled putty. But the scar was real.

NARRATIVE 10

Ten Questions

Between one o’clock and two-thirty, I’ve exhausted the critical voices in my head, my blood sugar is running low, and I’m finally able to write.

NARRATIVE 10

A Converstion

I love talking to girls. I find young women to be so thoroughly thoughtful and intellectually engaged and willing to go deep.

SIX-WORD STORIES

SIX-WORD STORIES

DRAMAS IN ONE BREATH

SIX-WORD STORIES

After War

The author reflects on the soldier’s experience and the burden of war’s trauma—in just six words.

SIX-WORD STORIES

Erudition

A library burns, but you won’t feel too badly, when you read this six-word story.

DRAMAS IN ONE BREATH

First sex. I came. She didn’t.

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

It Moves the Same

In the shade I can still find rocks coated with frost, the same winter air that chilled your fingertip as you pointed toward the sky.

POETRY

From “The Low Passions”

A few empty Coors rim the bathroom sink, pull tabs removed. There’s no need to check for a pulse, hold a hand mirror for breath.

POETRY

Learning Yiddish

Now even my husband smells of you, or something flesh-like I remember. Memory’s a wild and fragile thing, it’s glass we shattered under the chuppah.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Oliver

Tell me everything, my prince. Don’t leave a chink in the air. Ripple your rill across my living heart like a balm.

POETRY

Terminal Resemblance

When I saw my father for the last time, we both did the same thing. He was standing in the doorway, waiting for me to get off the telephone.

POETRY

Field Music

I lied at my first confession. I never talk down. I never say shit. I know about sex. It’s not a cardinal flying into the wrong window.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

The Speed of Dark

I have studied and become intimate with the speed of darkness. It’s so fast it’s always here. When the light withdraws the dark comes from no place.

POETRY

Unemployed

I’m going for a midnight run. When I say run I mean fall apart. And the screen door slams. And the left aorta slams.

POETRY

Phonograph Mouth

Does she fancy a minuet or the call of a foreign shore? I’ve a portfolio of bird warbles, a trio of mended seams and pockets stitched.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

Afternoon Happiness

I spy a handsome psychiatrist, and wish, as we all do, to get her advice for free. Doctor, I’ll say, I’m supposed to be a poet.

POETRY

Meteor Shower and Other Poems

Just before sunrise I counted nine meteors scratching the heavens, just little scratches, the kind a cat might make while playing with a ball.

POETRY

Nothing about This Is Epic

My apartment is a series of invasions: mosquitoes, mice, boyfriends. I don’t fight them—the mice are my mind.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

If America Doesn’t Want You Dead

Being black and not dead is a radical act. If me saying that upsets you or annoys you, you may kindly excuse yourself from this poem.

POETRY

From “The Book of Clay”

God is there because I believe in my own image. Poor woman with the sad hair. She removes evil by the handful and washes herself a thousand times but she remains indelible.

POETRY

Crispin Poems

yes it was the motion that told me to go near her & so i did. i took my place before her & looked at her long beautiful throat. i moved my body like a wine glass shook.

POETRY

POETRY

POETRY

On the Aggrieved and Other Poems

Warm up this house because it’s winter again & skin is another word for forgetting your blood is in motion. Check the closet where your brother is held.

POETRY

Boiled Noise

Here is where we say what matters. Here are voices from the mountain, hosannas in the shape of airplanes in the sky. Here is a bear shining her teeth on a peach pit.

From “The Obscure Lives of Poets”

One broke faith with the word before the word could break faith with her, and built a mountain of detergent in her garage.

iPOEMS

iPOEMS

NARRATIVE OUTLOUD

iPOEMS

Bonsai

A bent man with insubstantial hands wires the skin of a miniature myrtle, waiting a year to break the bark.

iPOEMS

Stones

Three stone steps

where our fathers sit

looking as mean

as we knew them to be

NARRATIVE OUTLOUD

Owl and the Nightingale

Written more than a century before Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this poem is an example of the creativity of early poets.

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2016-07

The absurd and hilarious, from J. C. Duffy, Farley Katz, Mary Lawton, Rina Piccolo, and Kim Warp.

Cartoon Art Volume 2016-06

New art and humor by Felipe Galindo Gomez, Glen Le Lievre, Victoria Roberts, Mick Stevens, and Julia Suits.

CARTOONS

Cartoon Art Volume 2016-05

New laughs from J. C. Duffy, Ken Krimstein, Glen Le Lievre, P. C. Vey, and Wen Winslow.