Poetry
The Recruit

The Recruit

Joan Struthers

the girl child’s loud family
called it a washstand
to her it was a prop

it’s the older sibling
SHE’S SINGING MUMMY
MAKE HER STOP

the […]

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Neither This nor That

Neither This nor That

Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

In the beginning was the word
and with it came the sound
That sound, that sound
that chanking echo of light vibration
intonation of […]

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transcendental ethel

transcendental ethel

Carrie Chappell

6. once,

i// was a girl
scout.

to this day,

i// can be
long-winded
on the subject
of canoes, camp-
fire songs, rope,
kindling. listen,

5. i// want to go […]

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NIGHT­LOGIC  and S.E.T.I.

NIGHT­LOGIC and S.E.T.I.

Yann Rousselot

 

Today she has given up on the sun.

She lost that battle to night­logic some time ago.

Night­sweats versus the challenge of […]

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Basic Needs

Basic Needs

Alex Riabov

i have had a hand down my back

telling me in a soft spoken voice

everything will be […]

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The Life Cycle of the Universe

The Life Cycle of the Universe

Boni Joi

THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE UNIVERSE

If you gaze long into an abyss,
the abyss will gaze back at you.
~ Neitzche

We paint […]

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Spacial Economics

Spacial Economics

Thibaut Narme

At stiff arm’s length of Life: a lineman’s doing

Not for lack of fucking with Adam’s hand

But market forces give a […]

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FERGUSON

FERGUSON

Ben Aleshire

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Colour

Colour

David Ishaya Osu

how do i close
a can carrying
pink pebbles?
time open
fingers free
where will
the cream go?
—if not, break
the eggs and
go south: one
star will empty
herself […]

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This happened, or will  &  On the street where I live

This happened, or will & On the street where I live

Chris Campanioni

in the beginning
was a word
followed by
another word
how very often
day comes before the night
& winter comes after fall
& the fall comes […]

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Insurance

Insurance

Leela Chantrelle

See, I do not care about Miss Mariah,
I care about her legs.

If fat is some faithless body protection then
I’m operating […]

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Two poems from bless us (who have chosen soul)

Two poems from bless us (who have chosen soul)

Daniel Woody

i know

i know
the caged bird sings
cos it has a song

i know
other things
for example

i know
that my song has been sung
that i […]

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love less more

love less more

kuasi n. imara

1. they rode the road through rocks and holes cost to coast for roll the lot lands of grit dusted […]

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Azmumg (with two translations)

Azmumg (with two translations)

Mohamed Ouagrar

Azmumg [1]

Immizzêg uzmumg.
Izuzzer amarg
Uremgh ad ccefegh
Gedêgh.
S igh iddem uzmumg
I tinfurin.
Izri ungi
Yasi d assar,
Ig iyyi bayttâr.
Ifel iyi gigh tassika.
Izenzaren ar agh […]

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Ahyâd, L’errant

Ahyâd, L’errant

Ammouri Mbarek

Ahyâd

Gigh uttîf
Gigh agwntif
D maf agwlif
Gigh irigw n uzkkif

.

Gigh tiwwuna
Gigh kra izgren tabrida
Gigh irden n tiffilla

.

Gigh ma nn izrin…!

.

Gigh ahiyâd ann
D […]

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from “Balikatan Counternarrative,” a quadruple sestina

from “Balikatan Counternarrative,” a quadruple sestina

Sean Labrador y Manzano

1

How is this wrong? Maritime Domain Awareness Obama proclaims Balikatan

Blessings of Civilization is Huey longboard colonial is Kilgore’s area deniable

June […]

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Springless Year

Springless Year

Zahra Benlahoussine

In a springless year,
an azure late March sky

featherless bird intrudes,

“I shall etch my story right
against the sky for those who
feign faith. And, […]

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They tell a story …

They tell a story …

Ingar Struthers

They tell a story …

It embodies the selfless.

A character built , the tale sculpted.

What’s wrong?

It’s the noise , a babble […]

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Two Poems from Hoarder

Two Poems from Hoarder

Jeffrey Neilson

Clearing House

 

The great house of our humanity no longer stands.  On the seventh floor of the shabbily built apartment […]

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Fiction
Six From BADGIRLS

Six From BADGIRLS

Leanne Grabel

Six from BADGIRLS ILLUSTRATED

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Bushwick Bombers

Bushwick Bombers

Sam Farhi

 

We stood on top of an abandoned factory in Bushwick and saw a man down below an old director. We asked if he could take our pictures as we jumped off the roof.

If you jump off this roof, how will you live? he asked.

Neither of us knew how to live per se. That’s why it was time to jump off the roof.

Just kidding, we said. We’re going to jump down to you from the ledge over there and it will […]

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Wings of Sulfur

Wings of Sulfur

Maddy Cristall

I am curious towards the dreams that keep you alive, I don’t mean living with a regular heartbeat throbbing through you and penetrating the steps that leave holes in the ground but the kind of living that inspires you to simply chew with dominion, stare with desire and laugh with abandon. I know that you want to live a novel-worthy, nickname deserving, reference commendable life and I believe that somewhere inside of you, you are capable of such wondrous strides. […]

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La-Li and The Vagina

La-Li and The Vagina

Melissa Hunter Gurney

When Gunther left to run errands Marquez went directly to La-Li’s room to find her packing. “I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather.”

“Don’t be,” she said, “He wasn’t that nice of a man. He was a racist and a drunk.” Marquez put his hand on La-Li’s hips and moved them downward in circular motions around her ass, “Well, if you are not sad. . . ” His hands slid up to her breasts and after squeezing them and pushing his […]

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We should teach our children to use the phrase “we should teach our children” more often

We should teach our children to use the phrase “we should teach our children” more often

Lara Azar

I hereby declare Thinkpieces the medium of the future. A quirky mixture of juvenile language, barely parsed through logic, and the insinuation that everyone should live their lives the way you live yours– suddenly you have a relatable Thinkpiece. This logic begs the question: what will our children do when faced with the task of writing their viral Thinkpieces? How will future generations be able to successfully use such an influential medium to over-assume and arrogantly tell others what to […]

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Michael Clarke Molds Young Minds

Michael Clarke Molds Young Minds

Luke Marcott

Ever since Nina went to live with mom in St. Petersburg, FL, I’ve been thinking about getting fish. Fish are the one animal you can own that animal rights do not apply to. You can get yourself on a list for doing something horrible, like lighting gasoline-drenched kittens on fire and throwing them at cows out of the window of a moving car or something, and animal rights laws will still let you buy fish. Fish don’t count.

I didn’t do […]

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Masa, Massa, Matter

Masa, Massa, Matter

John Murillo III

 

Masa, Massa, Matter

 

“I start to think

And then I sink into the paper

Like I was ink”[1]

 

¢

 

I know the corniness of masa before it’s in my mouth. My mother makes sopes on a regular basis, sometimes to entice my auntie to make the drive from Palos Verdes to visit us and her Pomeranian, Jabez, whose dead, stank-ass, black-spotted tooth finally fell out two months ago.

 

My father’s ritualistic Christmas all-night tamale sculpting stains my memory’s fingers and air with beige stickiness, the thudding […]

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Margot Tenenbaum in My Bedroom

Margot Tenenbaum in My Bedroom

Genna Rivieccio

The Royal Tenenbaums hadn’t been “a thing” in years. Plenty of other so-called lust-worthy emblems of the damaged goods girl with the distinct, waifish look had succeeded Margot Tenenbaum, including, but not limited to, Natalie Portman as Sam in Garden State, Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Charlotte Gainsbourg as Stéphanie in The Science of Sleep. And then there were all those who preceded Margot, including, but not limited to, Audrey Hepburn as […]

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Waiting For A Friend

Waiting For A Friend

Jo Mortimer

Calma sits on a bench on a platform, waiting for a friend. At her side, a dirty, orange, cloth bag full of picture-books – on it, a badge: ‘ferretsfurrever’.

“Morning, Calma. Looks like another scorcher – waiting for a friend again?” asks a member of station staff. He doesn’t wait for her reply.

The London train slides in; Calma says good morning to each of the ten or twelve who disembark, her face lit by watery sun arcing over the station roof. […]

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Galleries

Lyrics & Songs
Live In The World

Live In The World

bathmatics and E.R. Perry

live in the world —

live in the world of
no thanks
in the world of
please don’t
and try […]

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An Introduction To The F Word

An Introduction To The F Word

VERY BAD WORDS

Subscribe to the Very Bad Words Podcast on iTunes

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October

October

Matt Fidler
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Cheese Blintzes & Partners in Crime

Cheese Blintzes & Partners in Crime

Larry Jones

passover ‘96

i love the cheese blintzes
the banjeeboys, the near-misses
tv quizshow 140-whizzes
love my life in so-showbusiness

i […]

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2 Songs

2 Songs

Tim Watt

ATROPA BELLADONNA

As the waves marry with the mountain side

She finds a rose that’s been washed […]

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Story (Iris)

Story (Iris)

Hannah Epperson

just beneath its skin, a story untold

let it burst apart from this god given mould

when […]

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Lullaby (on the occasion of Paris attacks, 13/11/2015)

Lullaby (on the occasion of Paris attacks, 13/11/2015)

David Leo Sirois

The stars revolve around our heads,

& this moon is no fake –
I just cannot help […]

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The Little Mermaid & Go Away

The Little Mermaid & Go Away

Thistle

The Little Mermaid

 

Mermaid

Out in the deep where grow the / strangest plants and trees

In my […]

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Videos

YUK THE WORLD

EQUIPTO X OTAYO DUBB

MYSTIC LION HEART

Royal Ibis aka Mu Gadu

Heavy Crown

Cavalier

SHELTER

KHALIL ANTHONY

Go To Town

Stanford Reid

FOR BAE [Delusions]

THAT MAN MONKZ

He Told Em

Stonehenge Parnhashnakovsky

Knowledge of Self

Dear Derrick

Pedro’s Way

Pedro Rosado

OUT THE BANDO

PROBLEM CHILD DA MENACE

The Enlightened Child 2

Shavoo Vooda Brown

Story (Iris)

Hannah Epperson

The Ant King

The Cloak of Karasu

London

Tim Watt