Apocalypse Appendix

By: William Briggs

ppendix is fucked. I can tell. It hurts like it’s in a bind, being held by hairy hands and wringed. This pain has got to go away. Cut it out? Sure get rid of it. I don’t need it.

It’s like my gut had tacs and nails for breakfast and on its way out of the diner decided to finish the last of the lemon juice with a big swig.

You don’t even need an appendix. It’s a waste of space, extra weight. Trim girls should get them chopped out before they slip into that dinner dress.

“Look, I don’t have a deal for you. I have an offer that you have to take.”

I was getting started with the tough talk. I pretended I was talking to my big, wet, appendix. All goo and blood looking at me with heaps of pain.

“I can’t make it more simple, if you don’t take this offer, you’re dead. Fuck, you’re kid’s dead too.”

That’s right. Squirm in your seat.

My appendix opens his mouth. How the hell did he get a moustache?

“Ok, I know you’re serious and your friends are serious, but I’m serious too. I’ll have everything delivered tomorrow morning. It’s that simple. Kill me now and you don’t have a package—just a waste problem."

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The Ones Who Sing At Night

By: Dennis James



Love him

Never give up.

This will leave me haunted.

“This will leave you haunted in your mirror…”

Now, all that I hold dear shatters with the light of coming dawn.

Suddenly, love is nothing but distortion and prostitution of my desire— the consequences of which confront me under unforgiving fluorescent lights.

It was St. Augustine who wrote that human unhappiness is divine evidence of our immortality— for we are all wild and restless hearts, and intuition tells us that Earth is not our true home.

We devoured all that we knew was rightfully ours and still wanted more— the city was a playground on permanent strobe effect, a wonderland of Technicolor delights. We danced like blue white fire despite the fact that our lives were dictated solely by the mistakes of our parents and disguised as ones of extraordinary privilege.

Before long, we ourselves were untouchable incandescent gold dust gods, foolish enough to believe that we could live forever with and within our bathhouse Garden of Eden, a white hot crack pipe fantasy world where Dionysius put crystal on his giant cock and fucked us for what seemed like an eternity of sleepless nights, where we burned with anticipation like a gasoline fire in a paper lantern Shangri-La. God’s sweat fell from his forehead to our lips as we savored the lemony sweet taste of freedom in our mouths...

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My precious plant that didn’t take


Each year I wonder,

How he’d look.
A seedling,
Injured when removed from his flat,
Killed when transplanted
into the dirt of this earth.

Death will leave its tracks

By M. Plucky

Beautiful boney cheeks
freckles that peek unabashedly
young, curled around my thumb.
Angel hair, fairer than what's fair
and never there. Never there.

Fires start around your bed, I take a match
and lay them there to feed the too much need
that ignites the freckles that I touch too much.
I take them out and scatter them on the floor
to start small fires instead of starting a war.

A trail of drunken longing lines the tops
of chairs from her bedroom to her stairs.
I dragged my fingers there to stain them with
the drawing of her name that told my feet
which way to go: not home. Never home.

I will pull a book down off a shelf a shelf and graze its spine
until it's softer than mine and peels back the sheets that hold
all those words I need. I'll squeeze
the edges
til they curl. A world of ideas
spilled open
just for me.
And then I'll read the words, gulp them down,
their ripe and tender juices coating me with shameless hope
and healthy greed.
I will bleed along the pages, leave
a trail for you to read
until you find me.
Death beyond the stacks.


By: Kalyle Schereer Samuel

In the Beginning there was XaoS and out of XaoS came everything. The whole universe and the galaxy were created by this spiritual being we call XaoS. XaoS is the entity of Creative energy from both forces of light and Darkness. XaoS then split into 3 different spirits. They names were Xen, Mithra, and Kezef. Each ruled a portion of the universe created by XaoS. Xen’s complexion was golden brown. He had glowing blue eyes and long wild glowing blue hair and he dressed in a Blue Robe and precious colorful gems as jewelry. Mithra’s complexion was Golden like the sun. With long wavy shining white hair and gray eyes. He dressed in a pure white robe with gold as jewelry. Kezef’s complexion was dark and he had long dark black hair and the darkest black robe with silver jewelry. Xen had the powers of Fire, Water, Wind and Earth. Mithra had the power light. Kezef had the power of darkness. Xen would go off creating more for the universe and keeping everything in order. Mithra and Kezef would constantly fight with each other over everything...

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Diner Parking Lot

By: Andrew Glikin-Gusinsky

These Hudson Valley parking lots are always the same.
They're always dirt and gravel,
Mud and puddles.
In a month and a half they'll freeze over.
People forget that once you get fifty-five miles north of Manhattan,
You might as well be in Ohio.

Ohio has its charm, so people say anyway.
If it's anything like Poughkeepsie,
It's understandable why.
There is a comfort that lies,
Within the little houses that line the streets.
Their unassuming forms slumber lazily,
Their windows project soft, amber light,
Not unlike the jack-o-lanterns,
That smile menacingly from their porches.

"You got a light?"
One more cup of coffee,
To go with the fourth cigarette of the hour.
It's drank in the parking lot,
From one of those paper cups,
The kind with the pseudo-Greek motifs,
Which may or may not exist in Ohio.

A five ought to cover it,
Not much for shelter after all.
This diner is a modern oasis.
Its awning serves as a communal umbrella.
Shielding passing pilgrims,
From the cold October rain,
Which rustles and moistens the dying leaves.

Of These First Breaths

By: Stephen Luke

We waited.
Your eyes closed.
Breath baited and my eyes -

Unpolluted by even a sunset!
What I thought I thought - shadows...
Your eyes see only that is true.

All of this in a few first breaths.

Slowly a moon will come, many more to follow.
Know their light is refraction -
Your eyes as bright as the sun.
Chase that light, know nothing but its truth.

You are whom we hold our breath,

And you've already changed the world
With these first few.

The Peril in surpassing mediocrity


It had to stand out
Why, she wondered,
Was in necessary for it to set itself apart?
Brighter, it’s color more true
Exquisite structural symmetry
Bordering just barely on the side of natural
Its petals soft, supple
Yet strong
Their velvety texture
Tactile to the human eye
The garden around it was more than adequate
But its presence nullified the other blooms efforts at beauty
This annoyed her
It wasn’t larger, or taller
Yet it effortlessly drew the eye
She turned her gaze away
Then turned back again
Still it appeared as an anointed soloist
Among a pleasant, yet ordinary choir
Singing with clarity, “Why be content with mediocrity?”
It pained her, this blossom
If it had stood out because of disease or lack of appeal
Her duty would be much simpler of conscience to fulfill
Yes, this flower angered her
It forced her to execute an unpleasant task
Her gardening shears glinted in the midday sun
Illuminating her target like a spotlight
It is too bad, she thought
She shook her head, clucked her tongue
Closed her blades
And lopped its head off

Beautiful Night

By: Kalyle Schereer Samuel

I see stars of all colors clustered in the night sky
And worlds beyond galaxies far as celestial eyes
On this beautiful night as the moonlight comes to rise
And as this time of darkness converts to a time of heavenly light
To bring Gods gift of this beautiful night.

Celestial arrows shot by the angels of the night.
Streaming across the sky illuminating a sprits life
for they sing the songs of the creation of life
As our spirits glow with the aura of Gods great light
Reminding us that the night is the time when our spirit truly takes on life
As we fuse becoming one with the universe even far beyond our sight.
So we may join the universal soul of Gods everlasting life.

Flying with God our spirits will strive on this night.
For we have no evil demons to fight at this time
Because on this night God gives us a new life
As we become one with the Galaxy on this beautiful night
Awaiting to watch the sunrise as it brings on another beautiful sight.

Had Loved

By: DJ Hopson

With the phone against my ear I stuttered.
Words would not come fast enough.
You doubted me. I doubted me.
You asked if I had loved him.
Had loved him.
Loved him.
If love kept a schedule with arrivals at 2a.m.
and departures at 9a.m. with frequent cancelations,
than yes.
You made me realized the truth I had been
denying my heart because it had already broken
and I thought that one more crack might break
it clean in two.
The myth of love was a lucrative tale and one I did
not want to associate with the past. I did not share the
tale with him because as much as I wished on my
favorite star in Orion’s Belt,
I knew his touch was just for fun.
My heart broke around 3a.m.
I couldn’t stop it. I tried so damn hard to break my
ribs open and to bloody my hands in efforts to give
you, someone I care deeply about, a whole heart.
A heart with pristine veins, healthy muscles,
and most importantly – no pieces missing.
But I couldn’t scratch away my skin fast enough
and I convulsed as the tears hit my hands and wished
again that you never asked if I had loved him.
I wished you had asked if I loved you.



The brown corrugated cardboard box arrived intact
Or so it seemed
Until he threw it on the porch
The smashing sound of shattered glass was startling
If it were breakable
Shouldn’t the box be marked fragile?
Examining the box
He saw it was free of warnings
Opening the box it was difficult to surmise
What had broken
The doll, meant to be a gift
Still exquisitely beautiful
Hair, strawberry blonde, soft and silky
Skin, porcelain
Gazing at its lovely face he watched the eyes roll
The color, still the vibrant green he was drawn to in the catalogue
Obviously, now lacking the stability
They were meant to maintain
He shook the doll gently
A rattling sound…
It is unfortunate, he thought
It wasn’t as though it was something he could repair
And he fancied himself quite good at fixing things
Taking a big black Sharpie
Marking a large DG on the outside of the box
He laid the box outside the front door
For the messenger’s return trip
No one, he thought,
Should have to keep damaged goods
But in the box she screamed,
“You broke me!
You wanted me and you broke me!
You were careless, cavalier,
You blame others for not warning you that I could break,
But it was you who tossed me casually aside,
Only to pick me up later thinking I might still be whole
Can you not see your part in any of this?”
Alas she was only a doll…
And her silence
A trait he found most appealing when ordering her
Was still intact.

We Are All Lighters

By: Alwajihah

We are all lighters
waiting for matches
to match us to our skins
The paper
oh, it is rolled
but it will never
turn back to gold, no

Lets wait for the matches
because if we start
we will surely die
Let's wait for the matches
to flick and click and start
so we can lie, oh, lie
in the pockets and the drawers
of men

my eyes, they don't know what to see
like I don't know what to ask
or when to talk, or how to breath
when the smoke becomes me
The wick will quiver, shiver
in the wind,
I am half finished
can you restore me to my golden glory

Lets wait for the matches
because if we start
we will surely die
Let's wait for the matches
to flick and click and start
so we can lie, oh, lie
in the pockets and the drawers
of men

We'll set them afire
and turn them into liars
yes, we will change them all
And ashes, will be left
and there will be no one left
but us, in our flaming glory
We'll set them ablaze
and burn away the hate
Oh we will start
and we will die

Lets not wait for the matches
if we start
we will die
Let's not wait for the matches
to flick and click
so we can start, and burn the
pockets and the drawers
of men

The Pink and The Grey

By Andrew Glikin-Gusinsky

A slip of paper, a vinyl seat.

Freedom lies within the dark waters that mingle with the bubbling amber.

The amber holds no truth however. It never did and there is no reason why one should continually look for it there, trapped within.

No, the truth remains locked within the burgundy tar that you will submerge yourself in once you reach the old ancestral spawning grounds that expelled you not nearly as long ago as you would like to believe.

You visit them often, trying to reclaim a sense of self that was ripped from you when you entered the world, when you stood among the Pink and the Grey.

Poultry Scholarship

By: William Briggs

America’s largest protein supplier, Tybelt Inc., is helmed by none other then Kirk T. Sunbelt. In the last financial quarter Mr. Sunbelt made a record 35 million US dollars.

“Business,” he told his horse, “is doing good…..woahhhhh boy.”

So, when Mr. Sunbelt met Arthur Trent he was smiling and a little drunk.

“Hi, I’m Mr. Trent, Arthur Trent, from the AmPoultry Scerican Scholastic Committee.”

Mr. Sunbelt, looking up from his food, dropped his chop sticks, and smiled—making one eye merrily wide and other happily lazy.

“Pleasure, Mr. Trent, is all mine.”

Mr. Trent slid into the adjoining chair without pulling it from under the table and quickly wove his hands together and placed them on the empty plate before him.

“I know you are a busy man…”

“Guilty as charged, please produce my sentence!”

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Heart Is Just Heat With An R

By: Daniel Weatherfield Lichtenberg

I'm late for some bull shit something so I rush out of the house.
I'm a block off my place when I trip on a crack or a tree root or mountain of little not paying attentions.
And I look down. And I see that my sneakers are covered in puke.
I stand there for a bit and think about walking on.
Then I look down again and see one of my pant legs is covered in puke.
Then I turn around and think that Heart is just Heat with an R.
And maybe I was supposed to be late to this something.
And you know how long goodbyes are so awkward?
Like if you say goodbye to someone,
and then go onto opposite tracks of the subway,
and just awkwardly make small waves and smirks
at the other person
from across the tracks.
And then when the other person's train comes
I think how
it's good to be in love.
Even if I'm just fooling myself.
Even if I just like to use
love as a scapegoat.

Apostrophe to Drunk Villager

By: Mary Li

"your country is so beautiful,"

your faces so refined in innocence.
rape me before the sloping hills
lie in mocking smiles.
she cringes beneath his thrusts,
flounders toward soldiers
slung artillery over their shoulders.


By: M. Plucky

I love you like I shouldn't.
with one eye cocked
for the cockroach
on the wall.

Chains rattle and
so does my breath,
uneasy and queasy,
through to the other side
of dawn.

I grab your jaws
with mine
and eyes lock
into battle.
I want to butcher
your lovely lady ribs
like cattle.

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Ode to James, Hydrocephalus

By: Anya Bochman

There are tornadoes on the sun
Big as your head and yet
You'll never know because, for one,
the force of gravity is cruel; it bends our
burdens towards the earth, 'til all we see
is feet (is egocentrism strong enough,
and does the bending of our knees keep
this globe moving round its core, or are we helpless as an ant,
as the ants of Herodotus, oblivious to the gold before us?)
But I digress; they say when Helios was in the sky
your head was like a pane of glass,
your brain exposed like an ambered fly,
like wine inside a jug with your ears as handles.
I do believe if I could see your thoughts
I'd pin them like a thousand moths
Upon my sunless darkful shelf
So that, when pressing my skull
against a window, regretting this sin or that,
I could instead palpate the crevice of your mind,
Dark eyelashes over too-large eyes,
and feel within a long-dead space
a ghost of hope.

Personal Elbe

By: Andrew Glikin-Gusinsky

Sometimes in winter afternoons, after your cup of coffee, you turn south,
Meandering downward along the main artery of town, sucking on an empty cigarette holder.
Passing Starbucks after Starbucks,
They are the sign-posts which mark the versts of the torpid journey you make towards your own personal Elbe.
You know, however, that there will be no Joe waiting for you, to offer you a Lucky Strike and a Hershey Bar.
You turn around to stare at it knowing that they will never let you cross to the other shore,
So you lean against the railing and watch the gray horizon and the ferries that go back and forth.
When night falls, you catch the One back to your bed on the hill, knowing that you cannot go home.