Category Archives: PROSE

Ash-Man

By Will Schmidt

I blew my nose today. Black shit came out. Not snot. More like – ash. I looked into the folds of that white tissue and was convinced. I am not human.
Or at least I’m turning from humanity. Becoming something else. Something elemental. Ash. Everything dies eventually, everything goes back to dust. Ash is just a different kind of dust.
Who knows what comes next.
Maybe I clip my toe nails and they crumble. Ash.
Brush my teeth. Pearly white fades into black ash.
If I wash my hands maybe they’ll wash away leaving trails. Smears of black.
I sneeze – no moisture escapes. Only ash spews forth.
When I blink, my eyes burn. Covered in ashes.
Every step I take dismantles my cartilage. Bones grinding each other into powder –
To ash.

When I become fully ashen, maybe my mind will still remain. No longer able to move myself, the wind becomes my legs. The rain becomes my sweat. The sun my heart beat. A state of nature. A state fueled by nature.

Maybe I should stop taking acid.
But who wants to wait around all day for the mailman?

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Safe No More

By Karlie Massie

You told me on the cold, stone bench we had claimed our own. I think you felt safe there amidst the jagged rocks that divided us from the ripples of the sand. But your honest words were my demise, and they ruined our place. They sliced and struck the safety net we had carefully constructed together. I sat and watched it fall while you sat and thought of her.

And then, I saw you with her. I felt myself break. Is that possible? I wanted to ask you, but instead I endured. My hands were clasped together with knuckles a smooth, stark white. Urgently, I held them to my chest trying desperately to keep everything inside. But I failed myself. My eyes burned and my limbs shook. Even my teeth radiated with rage. And as each part of my body dissolved and slid towards the dirty ground, your lips held firmly onto hers.

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Marie Says

By David Duenas

Some girl says to me, “I may not have a monopoly on despair, but I’m a big shareholder.” People pretend to listen. Music plays loudly in another room; it is an excuse at best. The women parade big ass and men only talk over beer and smoke. There is candlelight… and walls saturated with conversation, music. Always there is the music playing loudly in another room. An excuse. To forget. A man, forgetting, and she is left only with the music. But it doesn’t care enough to really listen.

I may not have a monopoly on despair, but I’m a big shareholder.

And to be honest, she has been practicing the line for days now. Keeping it secret and close for the moment she thought it would really matter. And perhaps it is too soon. She allows the words to slip. And hope, for a moment, dances. It crosses the floor hand in hand with the smoke of drunken men and careless women.

I may not have a monopoly on despair, but I’m a big shareholder.

Marie says she cannot love. And just stares off distantly, withdrawn.

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Sometime Passed The Time That Should Have Mattered

By David Duenas

Sometime passed the time that should have mattered, it doesn’t anymore. Nor the drink or the door that closes behind her. At some point everything has to break. For the sake of sanity and anything that’s real, there needs to be a great crashing, an orchestration of real chaos and destruction to let everyone know that things do end.

Perhaps then it does make sense that the finality of what we hold dear is also the beginning of that which forces us to begin. Around the end of spring Danny realizes this. But it’s too late. There’s been damage. And for a moment, it feels like the rest of life will be recovery.

He notices the moon has a slight limp as it moves along the long since midnight sky. He lights a cigarette. The burning end flares like all memories that will be lost, though the more important ones are those that never were. Things do end. She leaves. Besides the light of the cigarette, he notices the growing flame of the sun rising in the east. The black of night becomes violet, and then blue. And the fool half expects it to stay that way, if the sun matters anything to his heart or mind.

Finally, the cigarette goes out. The sun does not. And that’s how it would be for the rest of his life.

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Finally, The First Rain Of The Summer Comes At The End Of It

By David Duenas

Finally, the first rain of the summer comes at the end of it. And it is soft… I can hardly hear it even now. Outside it is still warm, and the rain is warm too. They are soft delicate kisses on the skin…earth, raw cement, the flesh of leaves and windblown whispers… Everyone’s secrets spinning rhythmically in the rain. And the subtlety of it is so tight and small, it is mostly silence. But a musical silence, as when a boy is caught looking at the object of his affection, and she returns his stare, at first confused, and then delighted.

The rain tonight won’t mean anything, and doesn’t need to. It needs only to touch, extend its arm and reach to the surface of anything, and hold and fall like lovers on an unmade bed. To dry up and age and become nothing once again. To be, finally, beautiful.

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