The American Wing by LS Bassen

My genius older sister knew the name of the virus right away when Dr. Fessenden explained to my mother on the phone why he’d be late for her dinner party.  The dining room table was set with the blue-and-white Wedgewood, silver, and my dead grandmother’s Waterford; only the tall candles needed lighting.  The other couple my parents expected were also a bit late, but they could be having trouble with their car, a 13-year-old Toyota.  My mother had just been sipping a drink... Read More

In The Corner Again by Rebecca Sury

Margaret slipped stealthily into the church and sat on an empty pew. Shuffling her bottom right into the back, she settled to study the ‘gathered.’ Her eyes swept spitefully over those at the front. These must be Jilly’s nearest relations. Two women, their bodies clad in the black wool carapace of the bereaved, held hands; Liddy and Bella. Margaret’s lips thinned in disapproval, the sisters had always been close. Jilly was the eldest of the Gillesppe sisters, a mere eleven... Read More

Interview with Sandi Russell

Sandi, you have recently published your debut novel COLOR. How does this feel personally? Is it any different to when you published your critical work, Render Me My Song, or short-stories? Yes, it is a very different feeling, as I was quite close to this work emotionally, whereas critical work does not require close examinations of emotional complexities. It also engendered a feeling of loss, as I’d worked quite a few years on this COLOR. Not only are you a talented writer... Read More

Plastic Nipples by Thirthankar Chakraborty

Pop they went The plastic nipples In frenzy Before the stern teacher came To stop the act Hidden in a closed room While the other kids played outside Loudly Their voices lost to the world Outside The noises faded Inside To the rapture The act of squeezing (Like playing with Gramma’s tiny lump on the back While she prayed) And hearing distinct pops Amid a rustle of plastic Inside the cupboard of new things Some burst loud Some just burst And some didn’t (Martyrs to... Read More

Apology for Epithets by Debasish Lahiri

I have sent fourteen lines: seven feminine and seven masculine, to sail with the seven girls and seven boys from my city, where we believe that the moss of flowers grows even, on stones baked by the sun, if only we can imagine them thus growing. I have sent fourteen lines to that island and its monster hoping that the undergrowth of images and reflections, that we call the Labyrinth among ourselves, where his implacable Minotaurship sleeps after his feeding on the fresh images... Read More

Fruit by Janet Butler

I like my dawns mint-flavored, sky I can dip fingers into scooping up its sweetness fresh, with a tang of night lingering. I lick my fingers slowly, stained still with night fruit ripe, plump, tart, low-hanging apples of Eden we bit into. Janet Butler’s most recent chapbook, “Upheaval”, was one of three winners in the Red Ochre 2012 Chapbook Contest, and was released in February, 2013.  She is moderator for the monthly Lit Night at Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden in Alameda.... Read More