A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

Archive for November, 2011

David Tomaloff, 11/28/11

Photo by Kierstin Bridger


Three pieces by David Tomaloff


Shifting Power 

Sundresses and summer have replaced her boys and winter.  She walks lighter along the shore, casting names into the sea—beginning again, one by one. 

Super Bossa Nova

I dreamt of you, a pirate ship, dark and fast approaching. I was a Royal Naval Fleet, no match for a galleass such as yours.

Absolutely Shore

Windows make bad lovers, though they tend to make great cops.  The salt makes its way to my lips, reminds me which side I’m on.

David Tomaloff is a writer, photographer, musician, and all around bad influence. His work has appeared in fine publications such as Mud Luscious, >kill author, Connotation Press, HOUSEFIRE, & elimae. He is the author of the chapbooks 13 (Artistically Declined Press), A SOFT THAT TOUCHES DOWN & REMOVES ITSELF (NAP), Olifaunt (Red Ceilings Press), EXIT STRATEGIES (Gold Wake Press) and MESCAL NON-PALINDROME CINEMA (Ten Pages Press). He resides in the form of ones and zeros at: davidtomaloff.com


Nicole Monaghan, 11/21/11


Homage to a lost love–the wrong one.  His lips on her bare shoulders, saying they tasted like cream.   New love’s mouth now, tasting wounds.



She said that’s what I want:  slate truly clean.  Never having been mistaken, pain inflicted and doled out, never having painted wrong, scars like colors.  


Nicole Monaghan is a writer and editor.  Find out more about her and her work here:  http://writenic.wordpress.com/about

Mark Rosenblum, 11/14/11

Two pieces by Mark Rosenblum


Rock Star Skinny

Everywhere he played, she was there.  Front row.   Devout fan, he thought.  But there was more.  Someday she would tell him he was her father.

Rock Candy

He studied hard, scholarships–future of his choice.  Graduated, stressed his way up the corporate ladder.  The money up his nose, bleeding that never stopped.

Mark Rosenblum–a New York native who now lives in Southern California–misses the taste of real pizza and good deli food. His work has been featured in Tiferet, Boston Literary Magazine, Everyday Fiction, Eclectic Flash, Pure Slush, Flashes in the Dark, Six Sentences, Nanoism and PicFic.  He has work upcoming in Sleet Magazine, Yellow Mama and Six Minute Magazine.  He also appears in these anthologies: It All Changed in an Instant, Thinking Ten—A Writer’s Playground, The Best of Eclectic Flash 2010 and the upcoming Pure Slush Volume I and Daily Flash 2012

Barry Basden, 11/7/11


Seven pieces by Barry Basden


Alpine Snow

Farther south, the snow’s pristine, but the Hürtgen’s dirty, trampled. We wait in holes, our weapons freezing, staring into darkness, afraid they’re coming for us.

Bare It In Trafalgar Square

D-Day plus 3, wounded in a Normandy hedgerow. After the morphine, I could remember her hands guiding mine inside her dress, but not her name.

Big Apple Red

Shore leave in Times Square. The man on the motorcycle says, Climb aboard, sailor boy, I only want to kiss the head of your penis.

Cancun Fiesta

Mariachis, piñatas. Having fun? she says. I can smile but still I see the gunship, the burning van, and the baby, dead in my arms.

Chapel of Love

We don’t wait for Taos. We visit Billy the Kid’s grave, then exchange vows in Sister Grace’s trailer. She feeds us cupcakes and Kool-Aid afterwards.

Coney Island Cotton Candy

She licked the pink stickiness off her lips, aware he was watching her mouth. She’d get in his car but first they’d ride the Cyclone.

Puerto Vallarta Violeta

The empty beaches, moonlit water, iguanas. Nights alone in the casa. Nobody but us, not even your entourage. Here, let me help you with that.

Barry Basden lives in Texas and his writing has appeared in many fine places. He edits Camroc Press Review and has never had a manicure.

Len Kuntz, Leslie Roberts, 10/31/11

Ten pieces by Len Kuntz

Limo Scene

Her wrist corsage scratched, Pop Rocks exploding against her hot breath.  She said, “You kiss like a spaghetti monster,” but made me a man anyway.

Nude Beach

We swam naked in black water.  The moon bent something inside me.  She went under, never came up.  Now I walk the sand nightly, waiting.

Lady Like

I used to study them—bright bruises the color of mustard and plums, shaped like continents or crafty creatures—mother’s artwork on a flesh canvas.

Room With A View

On the ship’s deck we disrobed.  Dolphins dove below us.  Voyeur clouds and a lone gull were our only witnesses, the baby blooming inside you.

Angel Food

Like a too-fat ballerina in your bouncy seat, you claimed the air, gurgling, just twelve months old, already the giddy thief who stole my heart.

Walk Down The Aisle

Friends suggested getting high, thick socks for cold feet.  “Check the exit,” they said.   “we’ll be waiting.” 

But you were the best thing. 

Still are.

Rock Candy

She was heavy, but mine, clinging to me like a life raft while little Michael sang “Ben,” my first kiss a cave I fell through.

Naked Truth

The strap was leather, long, dyed black, with tooled scrolls of cactus and bulls.  The buckle hurt the most.  My father, he could really swing.

Café Forgot

Spider web hair, false teeth and a cigarette stitched in her hand even with an oxygen tank. This woman who made me less than whole.


The baby looks preposterous, huge watermelon head, shrimp-sized torso.  All my crimes come to roost, me thinking, Sins of the father, the doctor saying, “Sorry.”

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State.  His work appears widely in print and online at such places as The Literarian, Boston Literary Magazine, Elimae and PANK.  Every few days he writes about life and other things at lenkuntz.blogspot.com

Two pieces by Leslie Roberts

Sand Tropez

I still find this in my swimsuit and remember the castle we built in the south ofFranceand how the waves crashed over it.

Fuchsia Shock Crème

“Look mommy,” you giggled, “I colored the kitty!” Turns out nail polish remover burns cat hair right off; the poor thing was pink either way.

 Leslie Roberts is a college student living in small-townTennessee and dreaming of a big-city future.

Joe Kapitan, Sara Lippmann, 10/24/11


Three Pieces by Joe Kapitan

Lady Godiva

Cold in here tonight. Not many guys, mostly the regulars. This damn wig sucks, but it’s what they say they need. Horseback, brass pole, whatever.

Dive Bar

Jukebox full of country. Baby’s gone, money’s gone, pride’s gone. Booze still comes around. Now barkeep says I’m done. There aren’t enough quarters. On earth.

Case Study

Students: This forgettable strip bar, Memphis Dolls, contains thirteen people, staff plus customers. All thirteen wish they were somewhere else. Why do we self-hell? Discuss.

Joe Kapitan: architect, Clevelander, college football fan, microbrew drinker, writer of short fiction appearing online in PANK, Wigleaf, SmokeLong Quarterly, Necessary Fiction, Emprise Review, etc. and pending in print at Fractured West and Bluestem.

Four Pieces by Sara Lippmann

Tomboy No More

When the gypsy moths arrived her father walled waists in silver tape but the old maple died from defoliation. She climbed out her bedroom window. 

Starter Wife   

No one promises cotton candy. Still, find me anyone bustled in tulle and stuffed like a present that doesn’t feel worth a cloud, feel something.

Bahama Mama

Their hotel had one of those kids’ clubs so parents could drink away their vacation, staring past the pool, silent, swirling celery snappy as whips.

Chocolate Cake

Take a lover! Who doesn’t want to eat it and have it? As if frosting by the forkful won’t dissolve in the mouth but replenish.

Sara Lippmann is a writer in Brooklyn. Follow her on twitter @saralippmann

William Henderson, Nicole Monaghan, 10/17/11


Two Pieces by William Henderson

Rising Star

Left of the Dippers. Not there yesterday, or there yesterday, but mostly invisible. That light is what I think about when I think about you.

Bare It In Trafalgar Square

Thousands of pigeons. Men with black umbrellas. Tourists with maps and cameras. Me in a trench coat, and then me not in a trench coat.

William Henderson lives in Boston where he is often tooling around with his children, Avery and Aurora; musing about love and writing and parenting on his blog (hendersonhouseofcards.wordpress.com); tweeting (@avesdad); practicing yoga; and waiting for his ever-after ending.  He has published nonfiction in The Rumpus, The Fix, Annalemma Magazine, Sea Giraffe, Zouch Magazine, Specter Literary Magazine, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Charm, Revolution House, and Xenith, among others. Also, NAP Literary Magazine will publish Henderson’s first chapbook in January 2012.  You can reach Henderson at wil329@yahoo.com


Two pieces by Nicole Monaghan

Onyx Rush

No lampposts for blocks.  Click-click, neck hairs knowing danger follows in a baseball cap.  I hurl heels into the lightless night, dash toward anything else.

Sunset Prism 

They say survival instinct.  They say adrenaline.  They say flashes of life in stills.  No, just memories of color, of impossible beauty on ordinary evenings.

Nicole Monaghan is an editor and an award-winning writer.  She’s been published in numerous online journals and in print anthologies.  Find out more about her here: http://writenic.wordpress.com/about/  Links to her online work are here:  http://writenic.wordpress.com/my-publications-writing-prizes/

Meredith Madigosky, Sarah Leopold, Ken Pobo, 10/10/11


Three pieces by Meredith Madigosky

Charged-Up Cherry

First Date: picked up in his revving coupe. Sitting shotgun I bite on succulent berries. Thighs stick to leather seat, lips pursed to spit pits.

I’m Not Really a Waitress

Waited tables all night. Afterwards, I take the wadded greenbacks–cross the street for cigarettes. Store clerk winks, “Can I get some fries, sweet thang?”

Gargantuan Green Grape

Rotund Mrs. Ferrell arrives at my sister’s wedding, clad in sickly green. “Look at her!” The pimply, preteen ring-bearer points, “Her boobs look like. . .”

Meredith Madigosky is a senior English and creative writing major at Widener University. She one day hopes to be a college professor teaching creative writing. Hiking, nature walks, reading, and writing are her favorite passtimes. Her life goal is to publish at least one novel, and to travel to every continent in the world.

Three pieces by Sarah Leopold

Charged-Up Cherry

“I’ll have a Shirley on the rocks, heavy on the Marachino.” Seven years old, and I already knew how to work magic at the bar.

Whoodoo Voodoo?

“It’s just funny, that’s all.” Her foggy eyes stared at the lines in my palm. She’d never been so vague. Infuriated, I glared at her.

Lincoln Park After Dark

Favorite time to go for a ride. Path is hidden, silent shadows conceal littered pavement and broken benches. I imagine away the distant honking horns.

Sarah Leopold is a senior English and creative writing major at Widener University. She is also an active member of Widener Dance Company. She is an avid fan of the Beatles and things with timeless beauty such as words, the sky, music, dance, and trees. She also has an intense fear of flying in airplanes and odd numbers. Her dreams for the future simply include being someone important to the people she loves.

Three pieces by Ken Pobo

Pinking Of You

Jerry and Jeff get into a nasty fight and throw large tables at each other.  The tables grow pink wings and fly into their eyes.

Charged-Up Cherry

When Rosalee retired she painted her house flaming red.  Enormous spiders guarded the door.  She named her favorite Cleo and died in his web.

I’m Not Really A Waitress

Old coot Roger Stumpeple orders a burger and mud.  I quit.  I will not bring him anything as vile as one of our beef rooftops.

Kenneth Pobo teaches English and creative writing at Widener University.  He gardens and collects 60s music, not just the hits.

Four pieces by JP Reese


Feathers float the currents; field mice scurry across the gleaned wheat stubble.
Talons rearrange velvet brown fur: a postmodern fantasy of gore, bright red, tasty.

No Bees Please

Her poetry: all about Otto, his entomology, his absence.  Write me a one-eyed daisy, its stamen stroked by buzzing tongues, busy in their Electra-like desire.

Big Apple Red

Switchblade or a cheap-ass gun, even piano wire will do.  The red city is nonpartisan; this dark night and dead-eyed man wait especially for you.

Galactic Spice

The space station untethers, bound for outer limits. Mary secretes a cache of cinnamon and nutmeg. Fading senses embrace the winter kitchens of childhood, home.

JP Reese has work published or forthcoming in Gloom Cupboard, The Pinch, Forces, Gutter Eloquence, Blue Fifth Review, and a host of other online and print journals.  Reese is a poetry editor at Connotation Press and THIS Literary Magazine.  You can read her published work at jpreese.tumblr.com

Simon Jacobs, Ashley Nissler, 10/3/11



Two Pieces by Simon Jacobs

Pretty Edgy

12-gauge to 8-gauge, with her mother’s knitting needles. When she finished, she left them hanging from her ears like great flopping chopsticks, at a loss.

Russian Roulette

He hovered for at least ten minutes over the icon next to her name before he clicked “+1 Add Friend.” Unduly stressful, this reaching out. 

Simon Jacobs is a restless young writer from Ohio.  He is the editor of the Safety Pin Review, a new medium for fiction under 30 words, and sporadically blogs at emoboysandgirls.tumblr.com.


Two Pieces by Ashley Nissler


He leaves.  Life’s less solid.  Unsettled by their waterbed’s buoyancy, she stuffs bags with blankets and textbooks to recreate his mass. But the density’s off.

Russian Roulette

The sisters attack others over smudged hopscotch lines, yelling incomprehensible dialect.  Their father mutters partisan monologues.  The mother squats in a closet, painted vernal green.

Living with children means Ashley Nissler rarely gets to think uninterrupted thoughts longer than 25 words.  So she writes in bursts.  Her work has most recently appeared at Vestal Review and in The Mom Egg

Kierstin Bridger, Kari Nguyen, Joanna Delooze, MaryAnne Kolton, Gill Hoffs, John C. Mannone, 9/26/11



Two Pieces by Kierstin Bridger

Cherries In The Snow

The drifts were higher than our leg-warmers.  We promised those cute college boys, thought we’d return with our undies in our back pockets, but no.

A Ruby for Rudolph

Your hair catching sea urchins, barnacles and rust are your new armor.  Face it Dear, we’re both sunk now.  This treasure will never satisfy you.

Kierstin Bridger lives a renaissance life in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, designing, writing, reading and planning the next great adventure.  Her published works include Condomnation in the 2011 issue of the Porter Gulch Review, the one act play  in The University of Washington’s literary publication Bricolage.  Her short story Girl’s Room, was printed in UW Women’s Voices. Her flash fiction piece will appear Spring 2012 in Stripped: A Collection of Anonymous Flash Fiction from PS Books.   She is the 2011 winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize.




Breaking Curfew by Kari Nguyen

Softly she ascends the darkened stairwell, avoiding the moon, her boots leaking stardust and wine.  She places her jewels on the bedside table, breathes goodnight.

Kari Nguyen is a writer, editor, and proud mama to a new little girl.  Though her curfew days are long gone, she can still rock the shade. For more on her fiction, visit her at http://karinguyen.wordpress.com/.

Two Pieces by Joanna Delooze

Space Cadet

He climbed into the space between her ears, hoping to be dazzled. The weight of silence threw him against the walls, bouncing him to nothingness

Charmed, I’m Sure

He talked too much, all about himself. His friend, on the other hand, said nothing at all, so she wanted him, more than air itself.

Joanna Delooze is a former New Yorker now residing in Nothwest England after being seduced by a laughing Englishman with pale blue eyes and a lovely accent.  When she isn’t neglecting her housework and children to scribble furtively in dark corners, she can be found chairing the local PTA, daydreaming about what her first book cover will look like, and running a writers group full of charming, talented, funny people.  You can find her on FB at Wire Writers Warrington, Joanna Delooze, and at bumblefingers.blogspot.com.  She has been published in Women’s Weekly Fiction Special, upcoming in October on Pure Slush, and hopes to soon finish the first draft of a novel inspired by seeing the Angel of Death in a cloud formation as she did the school run one day.



Urban Decay by MaryAnne Kolton

He rolled the empties back and forth across the floor all night long, missing the rats, the fallen ceiling tiles and the rotting cat mounds.

MaryAnne Kolton is currently working on a collection of short stories.  Most recently her work has been chosen to appear in the fall and winter editions of The Toucan Magazine and in the winter editions of Wildnerness House Literary Review and Lost in Thought.  She is married to the writer James Lloyd Davis. 


Pounded on the Kitchen Table by Gill Hoffs

White marbled red, mushing with onion; I hide my ring with fresh meat, his.  Hear laughter outside, and wait for his friends to burger off.

Gill Hoffs lives in Warrington, England, though her mind wanders all over the place.  She doesn’t paint her nails, but she doesn’t chew them either, so let’s forgive her her scruffiness.  Her work has been or will be published in a variety of print anthologies, magazines, and online, including the upcoming Stripped.  Check out her new website at http://gillhoffs.wordpress.com


Three Pieces by John C. Mannone

Orange You Bad

Smeared on her smile — hints of Innocence. Coy lipstick and babydoll eyes glimmer through early shadows. A familiar story, even though she is only three.


Hair drips sunlight as onto curled stems of a grapevine. Spanish lips more lush than Merlot press into tissue. Child’s eyes prune her mother’s face. 

Sour Grapes

They say it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. But I often wonder if it really wasn’t the goose taking his gander for granted.

John C. Mannone has been nominated three times for the  Pushcart Prize in Poetry.  He has published over 200 poems and short fiction in journals such as The Pedestal, Glass, Lucid Rhythms, Prime Mincer, The Medulla Review, Apollo’s Lyre, Pirene’s Fountain, Aethlon, Wordgathering, and The Linnet’s Wings.  He is the poetry editor for Silver Blade and the assistant poetry editor for Abyss & Apex.  When not writing, teaches college physics in east Tennessee and serves as a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Visit The Art of Poetry: http://jcmannone.wordpress.com

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