Bob

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I thought of the scars all over Bob’s torso and knew it was only a matter of time before they forced that merry tale down my throat too. Everybody delighted in telling these gruesome horror stories—hangings and decapitations, old men flogged in public while children looked on, laughing. They savored the details, the humiliations, as though they fed some hunger I didn’t know about.More

Confirmation

Confirmation

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How do I find joy? How do I cure this illness? You know how my mother died. They call what my father had alcoholism now. He drank himself to death. Is that any more dignified than a bedsheet noose?More

Fighters, Circa

Fighters, Circa

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Flash dance of hands; locking then losing the gaze; heaving yet measured breath; the sliding of grip on sweated flesh; the knotting of legs; the intervention of gravity; grunts and growls; saliva arcing in the light; a final plunge of connection and then, for a moment, stillness. More

Brothers

Brothers

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I too had things to say and felt the strain of the smile on my face. I never thought it was possible to get out of myself: the loathing, the insufferable small space of my house, my future, my dead brother.More

Collage of Sport as Self, Self as Sport

Collage of Sport as Self, Self as Sport

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I loved the old room, though it was dim and ugly and old, stank of the pungent antiseptic soap we used to mop the mats and the brininess of sweat that couldn’t really be scrubbed away. It smelled like what it was: a box of straining bodies on a soft floor, blocked in by padded walls, a training ground that contained as much of yourself as you were willing to release.More

The Genie

The Genie

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Jesus, I thought. Treasure. Real treasure. I didn’t say a word to the neighbor kid. All I thought about was his snot hands and my lamp. I knew what I had to do. I picked up a clump of dirt, and I thew it at his head.More

At the Keg

At the Keg

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Know your audience. Play Willie. Play Hank Williams. Play Patsy Cline. Play Springsteen and hum along. Cry into your drink. Try to feel happy. Talk to the bartender. Try not to look at yourself in the mirror behind the bar. Drink until you can’t feel the pain in your lower back. Drink until your cash is gone. Bring just enough cash so that you stay long enough, but not too long so people think you have a problem. Don’t get kicked out. I love you.More

Beer and Sushi

Beer and Sushi

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I’m sure plenty of his friends’ parents stroll through his line, but I wondered how many of them had taken him to a concert in Detroit when he was 15, and if I was the first on a Saturday night, buying beer and sushi in a Dusty Rhodes t-shirt?More

800,042 Little Lights

800,042 Little Lights

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What says “Christmas” more than a blinking, schizo forty-foot tall American flag with elves at the bottom saluting the drivers. Not the flag, no sir, but the drivers. Dead-eyed creepy elf fuckers robotically raising and lowering their hands to their foreheads. Salute!More

Beach Rat

Beach Rat

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Beneath the raw flesh slick with ointments, I could see the ghost of his past self. He was beautiful. I told him as much. I said, Does it make you uncomfortable? I see it. Your beauty.More