Being Called Abnormal at Age 11 for Having an Imagination on a Summer Day in the Backyard at 17th Avenue South - Coley Zwolinski


We dressed ourselves in sundresses from the seventies with a wild floral print

they finally fit this time


we tied the strings up tight behind our necks and felt beautiful spinning like red and blue tornados in Richfield.


out the sliding door and over the deck where the bunnies hid we stepped

on to the cool grass


solid as granite and yet it tickled our feet like silk

a hot breath wraps around our necks and our cascading hair gets

plastered to our young skin


a roar in the sky passes like a pendulum and announces

the arrival or departure

with a shadow the size of 

pinnochio’s blue whale


we climb giggling onto grandpa’s hammock were he spends his afternoons recuperating from morning golf between the pages of a book and his eyelids


it rocks and tips and then swings from side to side like the branches of the

weeping willow on great-grandpa’s creek, we scream and giggle


the neighbor boy peers through the tall fence and explains to his friend

“they are abnormal”





Coley Zwolinski.jpg

About the Author

COLEY ZWOLINSKI earned a BA in Creative Writing with a focus in poetry and Mass Communications – Journalism. Zwolinski is always learning and continues to take courses at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. In 2011, she attended the Mississippi River Creative Writing Workshop at St. Cloud State University. Zwolinski’s favorite course at The Loft was Writing through Photographs with Brad Zellar. Zwolinski has had a few short short plays performed live. In addition to plays, Zwolinski has had numerous poems selected for live readings. Her work has appeared in Firewords Quarterly, Flash Fiction Magazine, Bare Hands Issue 20 and NEAT.

You can also find her here: @Spooninski

How to Lose at Follow-the-Leader - Laura Ingram


With a name as nebulous as the Jewish New Year, Dominic Bushnell's mouth had to hold the record for the deepest crater on this side of entropy. Quiet as most miracles are kept, everyone remembers him wearing nothing in the November snow. Dominic Bushnell could sprint faster, walk louder, scar quicker, and wander further into the woods than any other boy in the world. Teenage-tall with a smirk like a radio dial and eyes the color of static, he must have been the reason the lot of us with our Patten-leather hearts learned to worship God as a gentleman most Sunday mornings.







About the Author

LAURA INGRAM is a tiny teen with large glasses. Her poetry and prose have been published in thirty-five literary magazines, including Juked Literary Journal, The Cactus Heart Review, Enoia Review, Gravel Magazine, and The Teenage Wasteland Review.

Laura studies creative writing and dabbles in freelance editing. She loves Harry Potter and Harry Styles.

Parallel Paradise - Olivia Lin DeLuca


I experience a phase of pure bliss I longed for.  Penetrating another dimension in the time space continuum, I grab a hold of something divine.  In admiration of our raw mortal universe, I carve out shadows of time that intersect streams as death chases after me.  Its wraith trails me pushing me towards the edge of a cliff.  I rush to that crossover where one world collides with another, angels ward off demons, and I fill the void with my wants and needs.  A reverent essence exists in that of impermanence, non-self, and enlightenment.  Such interconnectedness illuminates the webbings of the universe.  A paradigm aligns with what subsists inside my mind.  My consciousness observes myriads of blooming lotuses as they descend, opening into the magic of nirvana.






About the Author

OLIVIA LIN DELUCA is a first-generation American Taiwanese Buddhist. She holds a BA degree in Psychology from Thomas Edison State University. Olivia’s work has appeared in various literary magazines, including The Furious Gazelle, Yellow Chair Review, Blue Bonnet Review, bluestockings magazine, aaduna, and Five 2 One Magazine.

You can also find her here:

My Dearest Mary


My Dearest Mary,

This is all for you. Just like everything else in our time together. I know you will never hear this as the ground has grown cold. I know that our little one will never hear it either, but these are my final words to you. My thoughts of you. My love for you. I will proclaim them for the world to hear. People will rush with pins to write it down. But they will run out of room. The page will be filled before I finish my tribute to you. When this happens I will offer my heart. Scribes, write upon my still beating heart. Tattoo it into the flesh. That way our story will live forever, the way it should be. We will be reconnected and forever always. 

My dearest Mary,

It seems like forever since I’ve last been by your side even though I know that it has only been a day. What has been only a few short hours has made me question the qualities of time. Does it exist? Is there a future or has it already happened? Is there even a past? I know there is a past. I have a past, and it’s full of you.


You always wondered if you could touch the moon. You’d reach and reach, but you could never quite reach it. It was being difficult and you were being stubborn. I wonder what you would have done if you did touch it. Would you take the rocks and make an idol to our love or would you take your nail and cut it deep? The oceans hidden under the surface would flow, and we would be carried away together. There are reasons to live and reasons to die, and the moon drowning us is not a reason to stop living. I would hold your hand. I would keep you close so you could hear my heartbeat. I would listen for yours but you would keep me away. Always away now. In the moon ocean’s light, in the middle of the lightless night, you would fight, but I’d hold on tight with all of my might.


Walking down the street has reminded me of the time we went to that island. I hope you would remember. I know you would have. I remember. They say that the people there used to draw circles on the rocks whenever they needed help or the gods or the fates or whatever is out there to come full circle. From start to completion. The imagery and idea is there. Circles up and down those cliffs. For lost loved ones. For people they wanted to see again. Those poor souls, lost, constantly to look for something they would never see again. My circle is drawn for you.

Mary, my love,

Do you remember that trip to the zoo? The bears were out and you complained of the smell coming from the penguins. I loved them, and you wanted to leave. While a fond memory, that is not the point of this correspondence. Do you remember seeing the love birds? I read the sign. If one dies, the other wanders aimlessly before dying a lonely death. A morbid message for such beautiful birds. Sometimes I wonder if they fly just to feel the wind beneath their wings. Travel- no destination in mind. I wonder where it would fly. Would it end up in Prague? Visit St. Vitus Cathedral or see the astronomical clock. That’s where I’d go. Maybe Lake Zug. Maybe even Toledo, Ohio and see the smoke stacks. Their putrid ooze creeping into the air where the bird would fly. Even that would be better. Anywhere would be better. So it could forget about what it had lost. So it could fly away and be free. So I could be free.

My lovely Mary,

There were some nights when we stayed up until the stars started to disappear and the sun soon replaced them. Those nights you made me hold you close because you were afraid of what you might discover. You would try to figure out what you thought life’s philosophy was, and I would nod in rapt attention. Like an old philosopher who lost his nose, you believed that this world was the best of all possible worlds. I cannot remember his name. But I do remember you believed this. That is what bothered you. “If this is the best of all possible worlds” you would exclaim, “how can there be people who are sad?” I did not know how to answer you then, and I do not know how to now. If this is the only world we shall ever live in, then it is the best we will ever know. Yet it is impossible to explain the sadness. But maybe you have finally found the best possible world. In which case tell me about it. I promise to nod.


I remember having a conversation with your father. He told me about a time when you broke the household tv. Running inside no doubt. When it fell over nobody knew what to say- they just stared. You stared too. Then began to cry. Loud and you wouldn’t stop. Looking back on it now, he finds it funny. So do I. Even back then you couldn’t let there be any silence. It was too overwhelming. Silence is when people are sad. Silence is when people are disappointed. Silence is when hearts start to break. Like at funerals. You always had a talent to disperse with uncomfortable silences. Talking was your weapon of choice. Whether what you said meant anything was not important. Just so the silence was gone. Mary, did I ever tell you why I started my business? Ten years ago I opened my first amplifier store. Do you know why? I think you’d laugh if you knew. I wanted to make it easier for you to get rid of the silence.

My Dearest Mary,

I’ve begun my voyage in a paper boat to the bottom of the sea, and I will fly to the moon in it. It has been folded along a crease in time, a weakness in the sheet of life. Now, you’ve settled on the opposite side of the paper to me; I can see your traces in the ink that soaks through the parchment. When we become waterlogged, and the page disintegrates, we will intermingle. Once again be together. The boat shoots higher and higher, and with luck, we will end among the stars.


As I walk down by the trees where we had our first date I wonder if you are getting the presents I am leaving for you. In the interim space between the trees and the hospital and the here and the now, I would leave you those little stuffed creatures that you loved so much. But they stopped making them! The numbers are running out. I have but a few left. You’ve gotten what I had, and I will leave all I will ever have by the tree with the inscription. The inscription that said I shall always give to you. And I will. I will find more of those stuffed woodland creatures, somehow, and leave them for you. But I’m afraid that they will all begin to murmur and chatter and we will be driven to an early insanity. Sometimes I feel like I’m already too late for that. 

To You. Only You

Birth is not supposed to lead to death. Birth is supposed to give life. You got it confused and took everything away from me. I’m going to sound petty and vengeful, but I think You can forgive me my one moment of weakness. I had known Mary for years. More than that. Infinity. An infinity without knowing her but knowing her in every fiber of my being. And You took her away from me. We had known about You for nine months. We had planned on knowing You for more months before You actually existed. We were excited to see You. A combination of the two of us- to let us glimpse what a perfect combination of her beauty and brain would look like if had a bit of my drab insanity. But we will never get to see that. Because You took it away. We rushed to the delivery, and I will say again, birth is not supposed to lead to death. You were our hope. We talked about You night after night. We were ready to dedicate our entire lives to You, and You ruined that. And, because of You I cannot bear my soul to her about losing You. I cannot confide in You about losing her. I have no one. That is why I carry this torch.

My cherished Mary,

One time I had a dream, I swear I did, where I was on the northern part of the sun. Its heat cooked me. Charred me. My teeth will explode and my ears will melt into my pockets. Sometimes I wonder why the only physical transformations I had were to my face. If only my paper boat had a bottom I could search for an answer. But, unfortunately, I would be forced to swim and you know how the salt water affects my ears. Melted or no, that is a risk I am unwilling to take.


Sometimes I walk to the edge of the lake. You know the one. Sometimes I stare into its murky mire and think. I think long and hard Mary. I swear that I do. It has happened several times, my mind starts to ponder and wonder and wander and believe. What if I took one more step? What if I decided to join you in the night? I start to think “I would never do that” but then correct myself “tonight says I might”. I would swim through the dark. Light would escape my eyes and provide a path to you. Would I find you? Would the cold water creep around me and end my search? Would God reach down to me and pluck me out of the water? Dry me off and wag his finger at me for trying something so stupid? Ninety-nine times out of one hundred my swim would fail. I would never find you. But that one chance would be all I needed. My eyes have turned on, the light begins shine, and I will continue my search.


Sometimes when I close my eyes I can hear the waves. They drown out the sound of your voice. When I open my eyes again, they disappear and I am forced to be reminded of your melodies. I would keep them closed indefinitely, but that proved impossible. And it did not help. The waves in my ears reminded me of the waves of your hair. Your beautiful hair. You always wanted to change its color, and I could not figure out why. I always liked it natural. I didn’t like that you wanted to try to hide who you are. Worse than that, I didn’t like that you wanted to change who you are. I liked the way you are. That is who I wanted to be with. When you changed that I was always worried that other things would change. Like would you still settle for me? I always felt that you knew you could do better. It was a charity that you chose to stay with me. You’d deny it when I asked you. Tried to convince me that you loved me. I believed you every time.

Missed Mary,

I have become convinced that I have rented the spare room in our house to someone. I do not remember who as I do not remember renting it to anybody. All I know is that I am not alone here. This may be circumstance as I remember finding paper left out in which I made the paper boat and one of your stuffed creatures was not in the bedroom like it belonged. I wonder, if for some reason, I brought it out. Look at it and hope to see you one last time. Why I would leave myself such clues in my nocturnal wanderings is beyond my grasp. Maybe my subconscious knows how to please you better than I do. That is a bad thought to ponder. The candles on my path have been lit. Who, as I still do not believe it was me and was quite possibly my new roommate, did this is not a problem. A hearty thanks shall be in their future for they have lit a strange pathway for those who are bound to follow.

My fiery Mary,

Creation started from nothing. No, this is not true. In the burning flame everything was created. From the burning flame everything will end. My pain, my past, your loss- flame will bring to a close my sappy narrative. This is why I have my torch.


I got on your Facebook account to make the required changes. The doing of which was enforced not by will but out of sheer necessity. If it could have remained undone, it would have. This is not out of my laziness (comparable to that of a sloth) but out of my unwillingness to change the present. If this is the best of all possible worlds, then changes like this would never have to be made by someone like me. The profile gets turned off, the masquerade comes to an end. The mask of brilliant gold that you wear accentuates your delicate features. My mask of plain white accentuates my brilliance as compared to yours. You are glowing, my shining beacon. To the lighthouse you lead. When we make it to the top I will remove my mask. When I do, you will see the tears coming from my eyes.

My dearest Mary,

There are many things that are forever in time (time being one of them). For all of our better knowledge, the sun is the beginning and end, alpha and omega. It was here long before the dawn of the first man and when it goes out mankind will go out with it. The only thing that will remain once the sun reaches its inevitable end will be a hollow shell of what Earth used to be. Dried up, barren, cold. A fossilized Earth. A small portion of what it used to be. That is the sad thing about time. As it passes, everything seems to get worse. No, I’ve lied to you. Time does nothing to affect how we look at things. No, it is forgettable. Our perception changes. As we continue to look at something it eventually becomes boring- less appealing than it was before. Everything is utterly unique and beautiful before anyone looks at it, but as soon as we do it becomes commonplace and disappointing. That is why I wish I had never laid my eyes on you. As soon as my eyes came across your face you had believed that you lost something and you tried desperately to get it back. You felt incomplete and you searched desperately for what you had lost. Mary, you never should have. In my eyes, my mind caught you that very first time and that is how you will stay. Perfect.


I will return to the place that started all of these correspondences. The wailings of first breaths, and the last breaths of two. One caused my wailing. When you are attempting to create but end up losing, this cannot possibly be the best possible world. Things are always supposed to work out for better. You cannot provide me with any examples of this. There are none, I checked. But the worst thing happened. It did, and I was witness. It is not fair that I am the only one who has to be the outlier. Everything works out for everyone else. They live in the movies where they are the protagonists. At the end of the movie they get the girl. At the end of my movie, I lost two. One I dedicated my life to, and one I was going to dedicate the rest of my life to. You were taken from me, and it was not fair. So I will take from them as well. To create a world of best scenarios, I will have to bring them down so I am not so low. For when everyone is as low as you are, you are at the top. A miserable, homicidal top. These basinets will always look familiar.

Dear Mary,

My feet are growing tired as is my arm that continues to carry this torch for you. I am growing weak in my old age. Do you remember when we were young and I used to hold you above my head while you giggled? I remember. Now I cannot even carry this torch down the street from our house to the hospital. But that is fine. I will leave this torch still lit at the foot of my tombstone. It will be up to you to come find me. 

My dearest, love Mary,

This will be my final message to you. I wonder if you are getting them or they are piling up in your voicemail cluttering up your memory. Why I’m sending them to you I do not know. I do know that you will never get them. I can imagine you still sitting there, getting my calls and letting them go to voicemail so you can hear my voice once again and save them. It used to be one of the jokes you pulled on me. But I know you are not getting them. They probably number in the hundreds, and I’m still sending them. I cannot give myself a reason why I keep doing this, but I know it is important. Was important. Perhaps they are forming an obelisk to your memory and my foolishness. My sincerest hope is that they will somehow fossilize and make it into the public consciousness. They will stand the test of time from a man who has lost everything and become a capsule from my misery. This package I know will be returned to sender as you will not be there to sign for it. Unfortunate as it is, because I do not want it back and it my parting gift to you. During my final ascent, the last thing I want to say to you is: “I love you.” My dearest Mary, I will always love you.




About the Author

Bill Burris is pursuing a Master's Degree at Cleveland State University in Literature and received a Bachelor's degree in English from the Ohio State University. He currently lives with his fiancée and pet pekingese in Lakewood, OH.

New York Mayhem


1. Springs, Cogwheels, Chocolate Truffles 

 Each morning, she tries to repair the boy using whistles, wake-up calls, a rattling G.I. Joe doll with eyes as plastic as his. Still, he won't quite wake up. She knows that he inherited some of her obsolete parts: the springs too stretched, the rusty gears, the leaking of mechanized voices across the placenta. To be drowned in absolute need. To detach & admit nothing. The past? Just an elusive present that keeps ticking. She would reattach him to her belly button if it could make him rise & blink. Not like the toy soldiers that she threw out. They were only donations and they made her hands feel like sand, caused her to pant as if her breaths sifted back & forth through impossible particulate masks. 

The mother & son live over an Italian bakery on West 6th. At sunrise, she imagines tasting the ricotta in the fresh-baked cannoli or the fruits in the panaforte. She imagines how even after life stops, delivery trucks will continue to double-park & window-washers will still lose their keys. It's a neighborhood that rises & sinks with its own secret timers. At night, she hears the footsteps of the baker's wife after she closes shop. Or the shots fired, when she shoots an assailant in the foot. The almost-adult mugger addicted to powdered sugar & deep-fried balls of dough .


2. East of Steinbeck 

He would unscrew his head if he could, empty himself of all undigested bits to feed his dog. The left-over pizza crusts, the untouched Spam, tiny islets of cold cuts with bluish spots. Pieces of his own liver that the birds haven't touched. The dog is a black Labrador with eyes reminding the old man of the warmth of a woman when sharing things did not lead to depletion. When some rooms were not impossible to heat. The dog that is a she has a limp & whines from long distances. From East 53rd to Noho, for example. That night was a dry run. Now, evening is settling like a memory refusing to let go. Man is carrying she-dog to the outskirts of city mist. She licks the insides of his wrists in content. They cuddle behind a restaurant dumpster. They feel not-themselves as if their bones are expanding beyond flesh, or blood is coagulating behind their eye lids. Still, she will bring him a semblance of warmth. By morning, somewhere in this late autumn, a swirl of leaves wishing to have names, another body will grope for a feel, another will wake up dead.


3. Chance Encounter

I met Bill Shatner the other day in the new building on Hudson Street. We discussed politics, theories of alien migrations, the best way to make a tarte tartin, took an elevator to the 11th floor but there were only ten. Feeling hungry and cheap, I suggested, once the elevator stops, that we get chicken wings.


4. The Saint of Dead Spiders

You never have enough hands to rid spider webs from dark corners. I never had common sense, mistook spider webs for safety nets & I fell through too many holes. They diagnosed me with a chronic form of darkness. I showed them spider bites on my arms & legs. They said to be careful where you walk. At the hospital near East 3rd and 24th, I met a girl who said she heard spiders talking to her at night. She had tried to hang herself with her mother's old stitches. A subtle sense of humor, she had. At night, when the nurse on duty was asleep, we collected all the spiders on the unit & crushed their voices. We thought this would make us immune to bad omens & lies, to the carrier insects still crawling in our badly-wired brains. The girl tried again to hang herself but this time in a new outfit that her mother had bought on sale. A purple lacy skirt over cropped leggings, a floppy vintage hat. When I said good-bye to her, she said to be careful of the spiders. They keep multiplying. You just don't have enough hands. After discharge, at a new job, I felt precariously safe behind windows, over clean floors. Only the woman mopping floors after 5 p.m. kept weeping.


5. Don't Let Them Write Your Autobiography

When they try to destroy you taking lines out of context, escape to New York, get off at Port Authority. That's what I did twenty years ago. I walked several lifetimes from uptown to Bank Street. I was becoming so thin, I could have been mistaken for a self-served watered down cocktail. Behind graffiti stalls, I puked so many versions of myself, I could have been unborn. There were nights I tried to destroy myself, dancing into a dervish of smoke, twisting my limber half into all shapes of invertebrate. I shocked my monkey as the song went. I reached morning in a stranger's warehouse-converted-to-efficiency apartment. Over three cups of bitter coffee he explained how they were shooting a new Scorsese sequel a few streets over. He said he asked De Niro for an autograph, but it turned out to be his double. Or the bearded woman who allowed me to sleep in her shower. She kept a bat in a closet and mistook me for the son with half a heart & a lisp that tickled. By the time I made it over the bridge, back to Jersey, the buses were about to go on strike.. & I was losing my breath.




About the Author

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. His latest ebook is titled Father Dunne's School, published by Wayward Boys. You can find it on He blogs at .

Prose by Edward Burt


The Representative


On hold with ConEd, I am informed that it is unsafe to use a gas or charcoal grill indoors. It is unwise to light a match when you smell natural gas. This is also true of actions that create a spark. A second voice, (though it is difficult to remember and perhaps it was the first), interrupts the litany of advice that is expressed by the first voice. The second voice tells me that all the representatives of ConEd are currently busy helping other customers. 


It is unclear to me how many customers come before me or how many representatives the Company has in its employ. I imagine there is only one: a haggard worker with a sweat-soaked collar, a mug of coffee, and a bottle of water. The giant wooden and brass switchboard is before his slumping form, endlessly tired. Still, the voice rings out clear and calm in the ears of telephone customers who are as innumerable as the representative is singular. 


It is likewise possible that the service representative is a monstrous form, a huge and curving thing full of holes and meaningless protrusions, its many thousand mouths uttering simultaneously into as many telephones. Out of two of these, or perhaps from hundreds, come the first and second voices. This is merely how the creature feeds. The Representative sups the negative resonance of the customer, who submits to this vampiric force, unwitting of the true cause of the fatigue or of the strange resentment. It is when the Representative has satisfied itself with the particular flavor of a unique and important customer that it relents, (“Tired of waiting on the phone? You could have a quick, secure, and easy experience using,” the first voice again explains), and it interrupts itself with a new voice. 


The third voice is kind and willing to address my questions and concerns, it bids me good afternoon and appreciates my troubles. In this way, the Representative safeguards a potential meal: a satisfied customer is always sure to call again.

The Dust and the Room


There was a time when I wanted to remove the powder from my room. I cannot recall how long ago I bothered. I gave it up when I realized that my efforts seemed only to further its conquest. My armory of ostrich feathers gathered dust in the closet.


Some years ago, I purchased a humidifier that puttered on the mantle, hoping the clouds would dampen the dust layer. It was supposed to be a sign of truce. Whether or not the dust understood, I had surrendered already.


My guests remarked between their fits of sneezing. Of course, in the days when I fussed about it, the situation only became worse. Perhaps my show of effort pleased my company. In practice, I knew every motion only created a stir. Eventually, I would merely gesture towards a drawer beside the door, where I kept a bag of breathing masks. This was a better solution than my antics ever were.


At work, colleagues suggested that I find alternative housing. 'The dust has addled his brains,' came the murmurs that followed me. I ignored them. I was proud of the thickness of my head, though it cost me my social life. Unfortunately, arriving to work within my plume and assaulting the sensitive noses of any who came near proved unacceptable. The office manager, allergic to mites, laid me off. 


I kept my room for two reasons, despite the harm it apparently wrought. First, though it seems I lost my war, I believed in a life of resignation. If dust is composed primarily of dead skin, than the rate of my exfoliation was likely a matter of interest to medical science. Even if I moved to another flat, the dust would only seem to follow me. 


The char-person who worked in my building was the focus of my second reason. When this person delivered a rap against my door, I of course held it tightly closed and yelled through the barrier. ‘I do not require your service, but please return tomorrow. Perhaps I will require a cleaning at that time.’ So saying, I would slip beneath the door a powder-white envelope containing a small appreciation to ensure a return. I would take, through the peephole, a glance at this lovely figure as it made its retreat for the day.


It might seem as if I were in love with the char-person. Can love be reduced to a fascination and a desire? Even if I did not lead one, I admired the cleanly life and was amazed by the variety of institutions that demanded it. Of course, my situation had long displaced me from these organizations. For example, the char-person would never consider cleaning such a place as mine, even if such a thing were possible. To be in love with the char-person would be to succeed in my struggle to defeat the dust. I would have admitted a cleaning service to a room that could not be cleaner.


Love seemed to me to be something one has only for what one becomes. I could not have been in love with the char-person because this was but a retreating figure in the hallway, entirely faceless in my recollections. At best I was in love with the ideas of the char-person who kept the place so nicely. I preferred to say that our relationship was only an idle fantasy that was encouraged by a greater love for dust.


It grew, in my estimation, to a depth of several inches. Because of my position on the couch, beneath blankets from which I rarely escaped, I never took its exact measure. A time came when I did not even see the char-person. I desired a uniform layer of delicate sediment, without footprints or trails. In the best of times, only slight impressions remained, as if a great span of time had passed since the last stirring. This way of living came to me with the greatest ease.


On the day that they broke into my apartment, eager to ascertain whether I had deceased, I was watching the door from my position in bed. I looked at them with my red eyes and yelled and frightened them away, but perhaps this effort produced only a dry whisper. Despite their disgust, they perhaps interpreted my rage as a call for help. At the behest of the landlord but at my own expense, I was rushed, unconscious, to the hospital. 


I awoke to whiteness and empty smells. Because of my spotless condition it was very difficult to know how long my confinement lasted. Evidently, no time had passed at all. As though they cut it to cancel out the days, I could not tell duration even by the growth of my hair. With compassion they determined that I would be better off if I spent my last days at the hospital rather than in the place of my decay. 


When awake, I would stare and listen to the vent that circulated above my head, whisking my particles into hidden filters. And when I was asleep, I would dream of becoming the dust that drifts and settles over every surface.







Edward Burt is a writer and photographer living in Brooklyn. He has been published in Harlequin Creature and the NYU literary journal Anamesa. A graduate of The New School for Social Research, he holds a Master's Degree in philosophy. 

Too Far




Standing there as you walked away from me that late March afternoon, in the park off Meridian Street, the spring tableau seemed such splendor of how everything was about to change, with forsythia and Japanese quince blooming everywhere and beds of daffodils already flowering on their thin green stalks, their trumpets shouting yellow daze back at the sun’s envy with such un-stoppable fierceness. Spring filling my eyes so you’d expect nature was designed, perhaps, to teach some unmistakable lesson: like love unshakable or passion returned. And I could give you again all these images of myself right up to the flowering plum tree you walked indifferently under just where I last saw you clearly. 


But then in a moment you were too far down the path to ever call back.







Ed Higgins lives with his wife on a small organic farm in Yamhill, Oregon, where they raise a menagerie of animals including Oberhasli milk goats, two whippets, a manx barn cat (who doesn’t care for the whippets), a pair of Bourbon Red turkeys (King Strut and Nefra-Turkey), and an alpaca named Machu-Picchu.

LOVINGS (from forthcoming book -- Archae Editions, 2015)







Individual entries on Richard Kostelanetz’s work in several fields appear in various editions of Readers Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers, Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, Contemporary Poets, Contemporary Novelists, Postmodern Fiction, Webster's Dictionary of American Writers, The HarperCollins Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Directory of American Scholars, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in American Art,,, and, among other distinguished directories. Otherwise, he survives in New York, where he was born, unemployed and thus overworked.

Hating Desire


If only we could trust people, to reflect their Desires. People searching their eyes
For the person, they dreamed to be.
If not for Desire...

Desire- Is A mirror of loss.


It was not the first time. Not the first time, I
had awoken to a new reality. A reality I did not trust, for its desertion of the truth. A reality that left me trading myself for people and the souls- they could not fill. The prism of Desire that angles A soul.


I hate this story. I hate it because it reminds
me of a time, in which - I hated myself. A fleeting moment never abandoning my side. Measuring the beliefs that threw me from side to side, with abandon. A moment in time veiled by desire, masked with hate.

Only, I have never hated anyone. I only
desired reflections to mirror the people standing before them. Hating the angles, that fool my perceptions. Never bothering to triangulate my own coordinates.


But. This is not a story about hate. This is a
story of loss. A loss , I once coloured with A hate that echoed
from within. A hate, I mistook for love enemy. Just as I
mistook Desire rival, for my disgust. Disgust for Desire
ravenous pangs. Hungers that never quelled people needs, only overshadowed my own. So, I buried my fading Desires deep beneath the hate, I cheated them with. Undressing each layered facade with love feverish impatience.

Starving for mirrors to reveal the truth. The
stain glassed blur of my reality light, fogged every Desire - I never dared dream . Desire feeds a hunger starved of truth. An emptiness begging to be filled needs, we could not see . Insidious amalgamations bleeding the misconceptions, we once yearned for. Only for life to undress each day, revealing the naked soul looking back at us.

A Lifetime, angled by reflections that used our
eyes to lie for us So, I Desired nothing. I loathed Desire
price. Shunned its’ insatiables. The needy hologramed self- images, spending my Dad time. My Dad’s money. My Dad’s life. I trusted no one. I styled my Desires with the same indifference as the haute coutured people, that decorated my life. Desire’s hunger mirroring the very gluttons, feeding my famine. 

Dad asked me that day- The day that I overdosed.

How can you live your life, without considering your own
family? How can you be so selfish?. I looked at my Dad, only
to find myself looking back. Desire’s reflection mimicking my
loss with acutely angled pain. My hate shining from beneath Dad’s hazeled eyes. It’s easy Dad, I said. I act like you.
The most precisely angled mirror, ever to invade my, spectrum of light. Thirsty Desires crystalizing beneath the tears,glazing my Dads eyes.
I desired his love. I Desired it; Just as Dad Desired success.
Enough success to quench the deserts of life, that can parch a soul.


Hate is transparent. Mirroring visions that hold
no trace of ourselves. Hate is the lie that introduces us to
truths, we had never wanted to know. Robbed of my Desires, contesting their myth. Blinded by a loss that delivered me from truth. I looked up to a love I hated,
almost as much as- I desired it. Hate spreading the distance between the person
I Desired to meet in the lonely moments . And the stranger following,
in the shadows that delivered me from light.


People mistake hate as being love’s opposition.
The angles that triangulate our position. Triangulations of our reality, our needs, and their distance from the soul that regards them. Angles triangulated by sharp incidences of loss. The steep desires they breed. And the person we meet, looking back at us. Hate’s antithesis- Is indifference. Reality- A mirror
refracting angles. Angles that position our views. The reflection before me that day. My mirror. It angled my Dad’s vertical horizons fuelled by Desire- With perfect adjacency. The very Desire that fed my Dad’s life and soul. The Desire that feeds me- Still. Filling me in the hungry moments that still leave me starved


It was the first time. The first time, I awoke to
my reality. A reality I trust, for its desertion of lies . A
reality that teaches me never to trade myself for people and the souls- they cannot fill. The prism of Desire angles A soul.

If only we could trust people, to reflect their Desires. People searching their eyes
For the person, they used to be.
If not for Desire

Desire- Is A mirror of loss. 








I grew up traveling — Living in Turkey, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York City, Paris, India, and now, London.  By any standard, I have been afforded an extremely privileged life.   Although, I did not always view my dad’s success as the gift that everyone has envied us and used us for.  Rather, I felt angry at these people. The ones that wined and dined with us endlessly, in honour of my dad’s fight, more than they ever cared to fight for their own. For many years, I felt it safer to exonerate myself altogether.  This is when I first began to write the words no one else would dare say.  The first time I would be able to speak and hear words I trusted.  In my experience, assets that depreciate, be it money, beauty, or fame; They never offer the same returns, as the ones that we earn.  That is why all my dad’s friends miss our homes — more than my dad. 

After studying pre-law, criminology, business management, mid-evil philosophy, African-American literature and education, I could not bring myself to be a prosecutor after all. Perhaps I needed to fight for my truth, more than anyone else’s. -- Alex Steiner