Current Issue

New Speedway Boogie

“We’ll arrive on the beach by 10 a.m., so make sure Jeffrey and Sissy are ready no later than 9:30. I’ll give you $25, then you can take Jeffrey and Sissy to Funland when it opens.

Pictures of You

Hearing Big Audio Dynamite or Tori Amos, I’m transported to the passenger seat in my brother Manny’s golden pickup truck when he drove me to Ithaca for a college interview. I was 26. He was 23. On the highway, two state troopers pulled us over alongside a stretch of browning cornfields.

The Point-of-View Character

Mariel was late getting to the cafeteria after her talk with Dill. She felt his eyes on her as she stepped into the room. Which made matters worse. Not only was there no place to sit, but Dill was watching her from the doorway to see whether she had anyone to sit with. He was [...]

College Audition – Novel Excerpt

At first, when I heard the crackly voice over the PA calling my name, I thought I might be hallucinating. Over the last thirty days, I’d flown to Boston, to Cincinnati, to New York; I’d explained to dubious airport officials that a French horn was a musical instrument and that no, my conical wooden mute [...]

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Yeah, not just fingers, but hands, shoulders, torso, limbs, Good Golly, Miss Molly, everything swings up and over the ivories, blasting away the past with the lit stick of boogie-woogie and blues rolled up in rock that explodes from his lipsticked lips crackling with Slippin’ and Slidin’ and Tutti Frutti like they own the joint, [...]

Girard Avenue

  Say you’re twenty-one and throw a party where you are house-sitting, a big row-house in a once opulent neighborhood, and you’ve danced with him, Russell, who is twenty-nine, and when he tries to get into your pants you let him, and say you never hear the stories about how Russell is really into girls [...]


Track 1. I knew Kip Winger and Motley Crue were getting blow jobs even though I didn’t know what blow jobs were. When I first heard the phrase, I thought of hair dryers, the robot helmet-looking chairs inside my mom’s beauty parlor. Where the viejas called MTV “mierda,” but I couldn’t get enough. Heavy metal [...]

Listening to Chet Baker

Always a beat too cool for whatever school the rhythm guys are swimming in as if each bar hangs shimmering like an ornament, tugs at some continuum between the lips you purse to whittle every eighth-note silhouette and your last quicksilver fix as you ghost out of your battered brass soul straight past the gilded [...]

On Ecstasy

I like hearing things before I feel them and the other way around   The disconnect I guess                 the shadow Listening             the scent of Hendrix   The symphony of an oyster sluicing down the throat The hum of horseradish in its wake   And ounce after ounce of Grey Goose erupting In the [...]

Past the Days of Yes Y’allin’

It was 2 Live Crew, of course, that taught me it was actually okay to like Bruce Springsteen.   *** Fighting against the current on the way to second period Biology, I felt a quick tug.  Pete had snagged my arm but he shouldn’t have been there, everyone knew he never missed History on the [...]

Flesh Enough, poems by Darla Himeles (Get Fresh Books, LLC, Union, New Jersey, 2017)

Let me begin by stating outright that I believe it is not easy to write poems about the environment and endangered species, such as the elephant, the white rhino, and the blue whale, without veering into the country called “preaching.” I have tried some myself, and I have not succeeded. In her debut chapbook of [...]

The Hitchhiking Robot Learns About Philadelphians by Vernita Hall (2017, Moonstone Press)

Vernita Hall serves on the poetry board of Philadelphia Stories. Vernita Hall sends the reader on a tour without a tour guide in her chapbook, The Hitchhiking Robot Learns About Philadelphians, winner of the 2016 Moonstone Chapbook Contest. The hitchhiking robot is tossed into Philly neighborhoods, parks, historic venues and cavernous churches with even bigger [...]

Oil and Candle by Gabriel Ojeda-Sague (2016, Timeless, Infinite Light)

Gabriel Ojeda-Sague’s Jazzercise Is a Language is forthcoming from The Operating System in 2018. In his debut collection Oil and Candle, Gabriel Ojeda-Sague writes, “if you must have the blood, you must also take my plantain chips and my unfortunate life.” The vulnerability and rawness the audience demands of the speaker must also be accompanied [...]