Inaudible

image credit: ba1969 http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1445106

Can’t anyone just give us a straight answer? He rambles, doctor. It’s dementia, isn’t it? I see no signs… Here we go. I see no signs of… Here we go… ‘no one can say for sure.’ I see no apparent signs of… It gets on our nerves, doctor. …no apparent signs of… He just rambles, doctor. Meaningless. On and on.Too much light in my eyes. Snatch the Ray-Bans off the … [Read more...]

Heebling’s Journals

Heebling's Journals

The recent, unexpected passing of Charles Heebling and the subsequent discovery of his “third-floor journals” are finally shedding light on an intriguing and relatively unknown area of scientific research.The facts about Heebling’s death, at 38, have been accurate, though sparse: an unfortunate collision with a speeding milk truck, Heebling, on foot, just a few blocks from … [Read more...]

Book Review – Alex Preston’s In Love and War.

Alex Preston - In Love and War

In Love and War is the third novel from Alex Preston, following 2010's This Bleeding City – which won The Edinburgh International Book Festival Readers’ First Book Award, and was chosen as one of Waterstones’ New Voices of 2010 – and its follow-up, The Revelations, which was released in 2012 to much critical acclaim.The novel follows Esmond Lowndes on a journey from an … [Read more...]

Book Review – Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe (trans. Laird Hunt)

Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe

Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe, translated by Laird Hunt. Counterpath Press, 2011.“Then I was king and now I’m no more than a ghost,” says the narrator in Oliver Rohe’s novel Vacant Lot. Now “I pass haggardly through trenches at the periphery of agitation and take refuge in a penumbra that is menaced from all sides.” Translated from the French by novelist Laird Hunt, at its … [Read more...]

Red Warner’s Last Painting

Red Warner's Last Painting

Excerpted from the forthcoming novel, Visual LibertiesHe's now had his morning coffee and finished off a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and slices of banana. From the back of his closet he digs out the old coveralls he wears when painting, takes off his shirt, puts the coveralls on and slips his feet into paint splattered shoes that have been relegated to the back of the … [Read more...]

My Otter

Photo credit: href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcdumonts/10028947736/ Mark Dumont

“Honey, I am going fishing.” No answer.“OK see you later.” No answer. And it will be much later since she works late. No reason to come home early and the fishing is good at dusk.In the north country, summers are hot, sticky. A rumble way off, maybe a thunder storm later. Summer storms are always just a few hills away. They show up fast, dramatic and strong. Once he saw a … [Read more...]

Chiseled in Rock

Alvin Lee, 1975 (detail) by Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com

Literature is a morgue: I go there to identify my friends. One of them evaporated yesterday, March 6, 2013. The last pic he nailed through the ether toward me had his Woodstock cherry red 335 erecting from the lap into the skies. I was, obviously, born ten years after him, yet that tiny space in time made no difference.If one were to study history thoroughly, one might … [Read more...]

Why multi-genre writing rocks!

Sweta Srivasta Vikram books

During the week of June 14-17, I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to attend the Wesleyan Writers’ Conference. It is a program that offers the opportunity for people to meet fellow writers and learn from some of the best in the field, and I was ecstatic. But a dear friend, who is privy to my day-to-day madness, asked me, “Do you have any energy left to participate in a … [Read more...]

Review – T.C. Boyle Stories II

TC Boyle - Stories II

Stories II by T.C. Boyle / Viking / Penguin Group / 2013 / 978-0670026258 / 944 pagesIn some form or another the short story has probably been around as long as man has had the desire and the ability to communicate. Oral tales told around the fire at night aren't going to be long drawn out affairs. Neither are they going to deal with more than one subject. While they might … [Read more...]

Post-Zen, a reflection for Reilly

collage copyright D. Raphael

When you were put away your car had a half a tank of gas. This surprised me, because I had only ever seen you put five dollars in at a time. While you drove I would watch the dial on the odometer slowly turn as we ate up every tenth of a mile.After you were put away we cried in a bar. Two boys approached us and asked us to play pool, and I said yes, but the game felt silly … [Read more...]

Review – Erik Verhaar’s Andalusian Dogging

Andalusian Dogging by Erik Verhaar

Andalusian Dogging by Erik Verhaar, translated by Jonathan Ellis / The Reception Game / 2013 / 17 pages In Erik Verhaar's short story, inspired by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali's 1929 film An Andalusian Dog (Un Chien Andalou), the film itself becomes a character.An Andalusian Dog bumps into this story's narrator on the street:"I felt his fingers tap my shoulder. I … [Read more...]

Lost Angeles: Writers on the Storm

The Last Stage - novel by Jim Cherry

"Lost Angeles: Writers on the Storm" is an excerpt from Jim Cherry’s novel The Last Stage.We pulled up in front of a u-shaped apartment building that opened into a courtyard, the address the writer gave me. Jimmy and I walked up to the apartment. It looked like I was expected, the inside door was opened and I could hear the TV show The Price is Right coming from inside. I … [Read more...]

Students: A Play by Peter Rose

Students: A Play by Peter Rose

The living room of a student house in London. Emma sits holding a mug of tea. Robbie stands looking out of the window holding a bottle of beer. She is twenty. He is sixty.ROBBIE:You think you know something about men?(Pause)Would you say you knew much about the opposite sex? EMMA:I think I do.ROBBIE:Well, you don’t.EMMA:I know one thing/ROBBIE:No … [Read more...]

New Book Release – The Life of Ling Ling: A Novella About Iraq

ling-ling

In The Life of Ling Ling, the Marines of Combat Outpost Bordelon are weeks away from going home. Buried fantasies of a peaceful future rise to the surface as returning home from Iraq alive suddenly seems real.But for Sergeant Timothy Square, his own destructive bravado and eagerness to embrace the warlike culture where he thrives may have cost him the one bit of peace he … [Read more...]

Review – Beatitude: A Novel by Larry Closs

Beatitude by Larry Closs

Beatitude by Larry Closs / Rebel Satori Press / 2011 / 978-1608640294 / 272 pagesLarry Closs' debut novel focuses on Harry Charity, who is gay, and his relationship with straight poet & Marine Jay Bishop. The Beat Generation fills the pages: there's the pair's shared affinity for the Beat Generation writers, the books, bookshops, the jazz, the New York setting, and even an … [Read more...]

Wankers, Burds, and Skag: Heteroglossia in Trainspotting

trainspotting

Mikhail Bakhtin, a twentieth century Russian philosopher and semiotician, was a theorist who worked heavily in literary theory, as well as the philosophy of language. One of his major concepts regarding the philosophy of language addresses the variations and dialects that occur in one single language. Heteroglossia revolves around the concept that multiple languages exist … [Read more...]

Love Ya Baby: 5 Modern Stories of Love & Crime

loveyababyfeatured

Gary Sanders' new collection of five hard-hitting neo-noir crime fiction short stories, Love Ya Baby, has just been released.Gary Sanders is an accomplished screenwriter specializing in crime dramas and action thrillers. The short story collection, Love Ya Baby is his first book; his first novel, a supernatural Hollywood thriller will be published later this … [Read more...]

Everything All at Once: A Short Story

Everything All at Once - Natalie Wright

I left my poetry somewhere...dropped it...didn't even know it was missing until recently. I found it tucked inside an old book given to me when I was younger from a poet with sparkling eyes. Given to me at a time when I wouldn't dare lose it. I took it with me everywhere in that old tattered army satchel stuffed with poetry and dreams. I found it recently while I was going for … [Read more...]

Hollywood Rooftops

Hollywood building copyright by viramontes / http://www.flickr.com/photos/33549343@N04/ / photoshopped for texture and color by EmptyMirror

The ghosts of that 1920s apartment were in the air when we sat on its rooftop drinking wine, one summer’s eve at dusk. We could almost see old Betty’s skinny frame still making her way up Las Palmas Avenue, taking a walk with Kooky Carol or visiting Mary Ann Andrews next door. Of course, after a few good glasses of wine, you really could imagine almost anything up there on … [Read more...]

Everything Must Go

because-vague-directions-ar

Larry was a rare one. Very nice and helpful – he would expertly fix the leaky faucets when my landlord didn’t get around to it. Unfortunately when it came to most everything else, Larry was like the many nomads who had previously lived in that apartment across the way. There are those who will do whatever it takes to get the job done and those who will stop and smoke a … [Read more...]

Lottie – by Kenneth Tindall

rp450

Lottie lived in a little house close to the summit of one of the Hollywood Hills. Once every two weeks we would take a Pacific Electric bus which ran out the Hollywood Freeway, and then the arduous walk up to Lottie's. There was a garage, dug into the hillside and considerably below the house itself, and a switchback front walk with precipitous and rickety wooden steps up … [Read more...]

Review – Time Adjusters & Other Stories
by Bill Ectric

The modern fables that make up Bill Ectric's new collection of stories, Time Adjusters, are difficult to classify, in the best way possible. They seem a comic-book mishmash of science fiction and magical realism, one turn of the screw toward another world. At first, the author paints a suburban landscape where pet baboons chase children through the streets, and we are not … [Read more...]

Cut-Up (The Stolen Scroll)

Kerouac On the Road Scroll / emdot / Flickr

Jim sat at the library table with his head in his hands. He didn't want to go to jail. Yesterday morning he prided himself in caring nothing for possessions, but today, all the people who could have been his friends probably hated him for something he possessed.They didn't know it was him they hated. They posted things on the website like, "WhoEVER took the scroll, please … [Read more...]

Bill Ectric – Tamper

Tamper - A Novel by Bill Ectric

Tamper, the new book by Bill Ectric, frames itself as a boy named Whit's effort to comprehend his past. Did he have a prophetic dream about a bag of bones on the side of the road? Did his friend Paul Clemmons really disappear in a pile of leaves, never to emerge? It is not at all clear. What is clear is that Whit and his friend Roger live on the border of what we would call … [Read more...]