“The Dead/s of My DNA” – Prose Poetry by Nooks Krannie

The Past – Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, 1907

“The Dead/s of My DNA” is a surreal & evocative prose poem by Nooks Krannie from our Winter 2018 issue.

{ X }

THE SUN WAS INHABITED BY A THOUSAND FOOT HUMAN SKIN, spinning charkha and bottomless teeth. My father a baldness in cotton tents, spun orange. I stole a wild tire gum stick flavored with artificial liquor squeezed from a plant based gelatin. Pictures of a green skinned parent cursing an awkward smile, a fork in both eyes. It’s radish stew for dinner. When I was 3 I kissed a stray cat inside my mouth, my father fished out a dog spirit from the garden hose, yellow udders in pimples of charcoal areolas. My first dog was called Tommy and he was sold into slavery before the malignant carved a C soup inside a bald man.

Mother, mother, I yelled, there’s a plastic tub swallowing bouquets of pubescent flowers on my laptop. Mangoes are humming between tart gums and threads of nature are lost like kites in a midsummer god race. Mother, mother, if you have a face, feel free to breathe on splendid carpet, the stove is your mecca taught in Farsi script. Mother, mother, your mother is hanging out in the bathtub of the 70’s, silk blouse and cashmere saree in red velvet icing, her hair is an allspice fashion and the doctor said she can rest no more. Mother, mother, save me, your sister said I stole her lips, she’s feeding me shrimp pasta and her skin burnt in the sun for money.

Parents manufactured in 4 inch hands, a logo of far east on the wasted back. Flash off. I lost them ‘rents and now a silhouette by Michaels gel pen is all / I found a mouse in my closet with my 4 inch hands, it had pink ears and its tail was a 40 year old janitor, I left it there and closed the door. It’s been years now and I swear it lives under the false promise of my mirrored gush, neat and fallow like the names of me before me.

{ X }

Continue reading “The Dead/s of My DNA” – Prose Poetry by Nooks Krannie


“Betula nigra” – Fiction by Avee Chaudhuri

CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
An artist reminisces about a relationship with a problematically eccentric innkeeper in “Betula nigra,” Avee Chaudhuri‘s beautifully twisted short story from our Winter 2018 issue.

{ X }

BEFORE MY LIFE IN RADIO, I LIVED WITH THE WIDOW OF A PREEMINENT PSYCHIATRIST in Eastborough, Kansas. I slept in the carriage house where I also set up a small studio. Working mostly with acrylic, I painted about three and a half dozen versions of a Venetian noblewoman defecating into the Grand Canal after what must have been a hearty and fibrous meal. I would change her dresses and décolletage, the expressions on her face, the time of day, and the color of the dwarves in her retinue. After viewing each new iteration of La Contessa Cacare, my landlady would be kind enough to give me an injection of psychotropic drugs, as well as an exacting, vengeful handjob and a stoppered vial of champagne to be enjoyed in solitude on the roof.

We met at a farmers market in Wichita. I was working the aubergine stall. She’d just lost her husband. She noticed the splotches of paint on my shirt and the paraffin under my fingernails and when asked I told her, yes, I was a struggling artist, had no money and had not spoken to a single member of my family in five years. We locked eyes for an instant and then fell to making love under the stall, among rotting eggplants and fruit flies, just like they do in the movies. I followed her home like a stray capybara.

I lived with her for almost three years and did most of the domestic work. She was something of a gourmand, so I taught myself charcuterie and also kept a kitchen garden with living basil and Moroccan spearmint. At the time of her death, I was in the process of clearing out a root cellar.

She was an ample woman of about 50, with striking yellow irises, brown skin and a touch of gout. Sometimes she drank too much bourbon and could become violent, even once destroying the fragrant kitchen garden with a full set of Chinese throwing stars. On moonless nights she set the carriage house on fire. Either she would douse the English Laurel in gasoline, or aim a flare gun at the open window of the steeple where I kept turpentine and linseed oil. I started to sleep in flame-resistant aramid pajamas. She bought me them for Christmas.

When old friends came by for money I’d borrowed, she would brandish her husband’s ancient glass syringe, caked in her blood, and threaten to inject air into their veins.

Her husband did leave her with plenty of money, and there was no need to convert her large, drafty Victorian house into a bed and breakfast.  But two years into our friendship, she began to pursue the idea, and one day I came home to find that the house was filled with strangers admiring the framed pictures of Union soldiers on the mantle as well as the handsome decanters full of amber and green liquids. My studio had been converted into a honeymoon suite, and my Shitting Countesses, ranging from euphoric to doleful, had been unsystematically moved to the attic.

She wasn’t an ideal innkeeper. She undercooked the eggs and sausage. She asked awkward questions at the breakfast table: don’t you think age of consent laws are ruining this country? When the house was booked up, she liked to dress in a negligee, cover her body in baby powder, and pretend to be the ghost of a woman who was mutilated by Comanches. She shouted ‘godless prairie nigger’ on the front steps as the neighbors were leaving for work or to take their children to school. I thought she had finally gone insane without her husband to care for her. He treated her with a few injections a week and some lazy psychoanalysis. That and a handful of corrective rapes. The reality is he was a cruel man and it is a perfectly acceptable and palatable theory that she murdered him in his sleep, by setting fire to his flannel pajamas.

But she wasn’t going mad. The strange dialogue at the breakfast table, the food poisoning, the cultivated halitosis, playing a murdered homesteader, they were all part of a grander design. In each bedroom there was a guestbook on the nightstand. She’d taped the same note onto every single one, urging her guests to give honest feedback since she was just starting out in the business and could use their insights. Many of them left entries that are savage and heartfelt and faintly matricidal. I considered tearing these pages out to spare her feelings, but then I remembered all the times I had dislocated my shoulder, after leaping out of the carriage house in flames. Though as it turned out, had I intervened she would have likely castrated me. Those guestbooks were her prized possessions. She was after a kind of truth.

Continue reading “Betula nigra” – Fiction by Avee Chaudhuri

“Polis” – Fiction by Gary W. Hartley

City – Olga Rozanova, 1914

“Polis” is Gary W. Hartley‘s droll yet haunting flash fiction from our Winter 2018 issue.

{ X }

THIS IS A CITY OF THE LOST. They all dry washed up here, quicker than you’d imagine. Quicker than you can say the word cliché. Quicker than you could utter ascertain, dichotomy or paradigm. Quicker than you can say Ken Dodd’s Dad’s dog’s eaten Russell Brand’s dog and now Ken Dodd’s Dad’s dog’s dead. The lost. The lost have been known to try decisiveness from time to time. It wasn’t anything resembling a city before they rocked up, and they did rock up, sure enough. The lost, they washed up and rocked up and just arrived. It was akin to a shed before, some well-tended grass around the perimeter, space for expansion and hope of something better. The lost hope of something better. There are lots of them, the lost, and they swing from one day to the next knowing they’re lost and starting to come to terms with it. The knowing lost. Lost and swung. Rejecting those terms and coming around to the thought that they might well be liberated, actually. They are very mobile. The lost and mobile. The mobile lost. Moving around seeking to un-lose themselves, blaming the latest geographic circumstance while feeling completely static as they quest without mission from spot to spot. Cities of the lost are transient places where the population can always be replenished, losses of the lost are less. The transient static lost. New blood, and lots of it. The fresh blood of the lost. Old blood, unremembered. The forgotten blood of the lost. There were lovers – lost lovers – who had other lovers but none of them had much belief in love any more, they prefer buildings and hiding in them. There is changeable uniform in three-year cycles. The lost are not very good at finding each other and though this is a city they all say they’re alone and watch series after series occasionally uttering a laugh – the laughing lost – or letting a tear drop softly, tasting for salt content.  They see themselves in minor fictional drama characters, newsreaders and reflections in electronics store windows. The lost electronic generation. Vaporise vaporising vaping vapid poison poison poison is coming this way. All the stats and pundits agree. The lost pundits. They will live their lost lives as normal right up until then. Very few see their lives as normal even though they are as pie crust as anything when viewed against anyone else in this hall of mirrors. The normal lost looking at their reflections in the faces of the found, when they can be found, which is rarely. The urge to stampede, lost losing themselves. Normality or lack of it is rendered irrelevant when stampedes happen. In disaster they will in a way be found but will not be present in the moment long enough to appreciate it. This togetherness thing can be found in all sorts, brilliant to absolutely awful. The awful and the brilliant lost shoulder to shoulder, cheek by jowl. This story is going to keep focusing on the awful from now on. The reportage of the deaths and gore will be kept to a necessary minimum. They will say it was a mistake, all a bad mistake and there will be an enquiry to make sure it never happens again. The enquiring lost. Enquiries never say anything and this one will be no different. No-one will care too much because cities are in a ranking system that everyone knows by instinct but is not written down anywhere. The rank lost. What’s gone is gone, the last biscuit in the tin you were warned about as a child.  It won’t have been appreciated quite enough when it was there and will be mourned only by a niche crowd. Niche crowds are always less niche than they think. The city of the lost. Every city may well be a city of the lost yet no-one’s checked the stats and everyone’s stockpiling weapons and saying it’s purely defensive, so they don’t have time anyway. It may sound like a cliché but this is the end.

{ X }

Continue reading “Polis” – Fiction by Gary W. Hartley

“Facebook – 8/21/17” – Poetry by William Lessard

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War – Salvador Dali, 1936

“Facebook – 8/21/17” is one of five fabulously dada-esque poems by William Lessard from our Winter 2018 issue.

{ X }

AMERICA’S LONGEST-RUNNING WAR? /the Civil War, my lovelies

                        anyone who thinks otherwise is misinformed by #fact

*overheard at DUNKIN’ DONUTS this morning*       i hate when people do things, and they work out                                                                                         it makes me feel like i should do things

                        someday the robots will do the Civil Warring for us             until then, history falls down the stairs carrying a tray of shoes for lunch

=========>the Civil War franchise, mansplained as your dad eating Pepperoni Combos—

  1. in the original movie the Confederacy lost then put up bronze participation trophies in all the parks
              B. like Star Wars, all the sequels are the exact same movie, just played in reverse

                    i like my Civil War with cheese                      you prefer yours on a Kaiser bun

America is loath to let a profitable franchise go, but sometimes not-dumpster-fire life events
                    do happen:
                              your dog barks into an Amazon dot™, buys you a Prius
—or, on an evening when you see ghosts turning in the snow outside your window,
                                        a wife/husband/lover/stranger
                                                                                a key
                                                  /key that only they can see

{ X }

Continue reading “Facebook – 8/21/17” – Poetry by William Lessard

“Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” – Poetry by E.B. Schnepp

Apollo 10 Earthrise – NASA, 1969

“Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” is one of three cosmically creepy poems by E.B. Schnepp in our Winter 2018 issue.

{ X }

entering ears only to settle in your bones, Houston,

it rings there, this black hole cry—we’ll hear it
long after we’re planted back on earth. Houston,

at night it will leave you pacing dark halls waiting
for whatever is calling to find you. Houston,

the captain said it was a song, slow pitched rock-n-roll,
but we both know it was a scream. Houston,

it’s unlike anything heard before—but
we can’t tell you this, you can’t hear us, Houston

we’re orbiting other-sides of space, we’re unsure
we’ll ever hear something human again. Houston,

we’re crying for you, deliver us
from this dark, deliver us, Houston

from this radio silence, its static
pop and wheeze. Houston—

{ X }

Continue reading “Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” – Poetry by E.B. Schnepp

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #20, In Pictures

A gazillion gallons of glittery gratitude to everyone who helped make last night’s reading such a groovy deee-lite: Kim, Armando, Sarah, Anthony, and Devin for performing your flappy lits; Alibi Jones for your scintillating singing & photography; Pacific Standard for the ever-gracious hospitality; and all you gorgeous people who came in from the unseasonable warmth to witness it all…we’ll see you again on March 21…

[photos by Alibi Jones]

Kim Coleman Foote reads stories inspired by playing with the letters in her friends’ names

Armando Jaramillo Garcia recites poetry about atomic towns & unrecognized philosophy

Sarah Bridgins shares some glamorous poems about rosé & paintings of Real Housewives

Continue reading FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #20, In Pictures

FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #20 / YEAR FOUR Flight Party

Join us Wednesday night, February 21, from 7-9 PM at Pacific Standard (82 Fourth Ave in Brooklyn) as we celebrate FOUR YEARS of FLAPPERHOUSE with our TWENTIETH reading and launch our 2017 print anthology!








Admission is FREE, and print copies of FLAPPERHOUSE – YEAR FOUR will be available for the special reading price of $10.

facebook event page here