Howie Good… Text Object & All the Doo-dah Day


Text Object

Don’t come at night. God closes doors and then opens them right up. I start remembering all those incidents on the news. The violence. Teeth getting knocked out. I’m sick of this (expletive). The dog knew it was coming. He started barking and jumped off the bed. Then the house started shaking. It felt like I was on a boat in choppy seas. Someone asked, “Is it true that whenever you walk on the streets, you get stabbed?” My 85-year-old neighbor still remembers how painful it was. We’re not really going to know that, though, without some combination of a time machine and an experiment we can’t do.


All the Doo-dah Day

We’ve probably found the oldest smiley emoji. As for the interpretation, you may certainly choose your own. None of it makes sense. It’s like my legs have carried me here by themselves. We don’t have a grasp on what the mechanism is yet. The real soldiers wear rags on their faces. I’m looking, but I don’t see my child. Things happen to people, and people don’t really understand how easily those things can happen. First they’re an animal, then they’re a volcano, then they’re playing with their cat, then they’re making songs, then they don’t finish the song and they’re jumping into the void from an elevated point.


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.


Copyright © 2017 by Howie Good





I see a king as light as a feather held on to by the teeth of wolves. The wind does nothing to him. The spittle is his joy. He is held so tightly by their sharp attention that it must at certain panicking points feel like real love meant to make his struggle valiant. He is a real man. That is his blood. If it’s not his blood, then this story is really fucking dark.



The secrecy isn’t cruel. The secrecy is a misplaced mercy. We have written down the names of so many people that would prefer us to be dead or at least gone. We have chanted some of those names. The secrecy is an animal without bones. It’s useless, but it’s important if we’re going keep the fear that gives us these names.



Don’t let them separate your nerves. They’re poking you to divide you. Accept that this is painful. Challenge their fingers!


My poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review.

I am the author of six poetry collections, most recently “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly” (2016, 8th House Publishing). I am the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.

I am currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and children.

Copyright © 2017 by Darren C. Demaree


Pratima Annapurna Balabhadrapathruni… Candy is Bad


Candy is Bad

…., a lollipop is something sweet and sour stuck in a mouth that cannot open out the jaws in an outcry of anguish, or clench teeth in disgust. Candy fills spaces between painful instances and slithers citrusy sugar down the throat. Such cramped quarters. A cobweb glows in the dark and sums up Halloween.


Pratima Annapurna Balabhadrapathruni is a writer, poet and artist from Singapore. In the summer 2014, she participated in the Advanced Non-Fiction Seminar conducted by the International Writing Program, Univ. of Iowa. She enjoys interviewing poets and writers from her website is

Copyright © 2015 by Pratima Annapurna Balabhadrapathruni









Robert Bates… Knockout



“Mark wants to beat your ass,” Julian had warned me at the beginning of the school day.

More like Mark is going to beat my ass. Everyone knows I can’t fight. I sit in my seat wondering what will happen next.

Julian sees my worried face and says, “Relax, I got your back.”

The teacher walks out and I can feel Mark watching me.

Rachel whispers, “It’ll be really funny if you win,” into my ear from her seat beside me.

I turn and Mark is in my face. He pushes me and I instinctively push him back.

He hits me. Then I’m on the ground. Completely disoriented.

I wait for another punch to come but it never does. I finally regain my senses and get up to see Julian holding Mark with his arms pinned behind his back.

“If you are going to do something, do it now,” he says, struggling to hold him.

I hit Mark three times with my left hand then he elbows Julian and breaks free. He charges at me and before I can react his fist connects with my jaw.

I wake up with Rachel in my face.

“That was pretty funny too.”


Robert Bates is a bored Dollar General who writes things sometimes and also enjoys ice cream, long walks in the rain, and Christopher Nolan movies.

Copyright © 2015 by Robert Bates







Bryan Edenfield… April 5, 1722: The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island.


April 5, 1722: The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island.

The moai of Rapa Nui pollinate a secluded speck in the rippled blue Pacific,
standing guard, mourning, daydreaming. Are they the blink of our eyes?
Our souls encased in stone? Silent, blinded, carved with the ancient
history of rain and wind, shivering at night when we clamor through
the thicket of nightmares, mediaeval thorns reminding our skin that grass
has teeth. The dark cave world, stalactites of cerulean sky and a shifting
fur of green, the weeds slither between her toes. It’s not uncommon to

live beneath a tall man’s shadow. Buried deep beyond the shores are giants,
the megafauna of Terra Australis. Today we witness another kind of resurrection;
maybe this is where the idols fell but nothing can smash this stone. Forever
trapped in a day of rest, maybe I have returned to the garden of Eden….
Saw a turtle, floating weed, and birds. Smoke rises. Ready the guns, because

here has been spoiled by man too. I admire the stupid animal; to them,
mirrors are magic. Here the devil plays: ‘t is tyd, ‘t is tyd, geeft vuur.
We killed a dozen, but the moai are immortal. Watch them gather around
the statues, praying, prostrating. Goodbye, land of fire. We have not
reached the end of the earth yet. I continue my father’s obsession. All
worship the ancestors. Goodbye, brother. Let you too be guided by a


Bryan Edenfield was born in 1982 in Mesa, Arizona. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington. He is the co-founder and director of Babel/Salvage, a small press/arts organization. He is the author of 33 Opening Paragraphs, Glossolopolis Number One and numerous short stories and essays. As a publisher, he has put out three books by Seattle based authors: Filthy Jerry’s Guide to Parking Lots by Graham Isaac, You Will Get in Trouble by Ryan A. Johnson, and The Midnight Channel by Evan J. Peterson.

Copyright © 2014 by Bryan Edenfield