Be A Critic vol. 14 - deadline May 28
CAKE VS PIE (you know which side you're on ) - deadline June 21
Some word I can't pronounce from `HaveTales-WillTell
A Crash Course in Slam Poetry
Chickens and Indians and Stuff Embarrassed, you look speechless at the raw chicken.
Nobody ever told you how to cut up a whole chicken. Not even at the commune.
At the commune, the chicken you used to make flautas was arranged in tidy packages of chicken breasts.
What the hell are you going to do now?
It's been six months since you arrived at the rez, and so far only the men and children will talk to you.
You watch all the women and you know they watch you, but this is the first time one speaks to you.
"Cut up this chicken, eh?" your eldest sister-in-law says, right out of the blue. Wham.
You say nothing. You stare like some g
Book Review 'kuBlood, money and jaunts:
The Stars My Destination
Great book - best ending.
Some Place in Between Yesterday I went shopping and the usual happened. Several strangers said, "Oh! What beautiful hair!" I don't know what to think about that. I know my hair is very long and wavy. That may sound like a description of a character in a story, but these comments happen with alarming regularity. What about the rest of me?
I was sick for a couple of months last year, for instance. I was even taken to the hospital for, they said, "pneumonia, malnutrition and exhaustion." All I knew was that it seemed like a giant hand had picked up my house and turned it around.
I even called a hotline once, I was so scared that the bathroom was on t
Day After Dayday after day
the tuxedo man
walks down the
set path, step after
step on the path
written for him
on the sidewalk
never good enough
just another gear
in the giant
of society and
longing for an
an escape where
he can find
just a captive mind
in a robot body
a slave in disguise
as a free man
day after day
he wishes he
can get out
day after day
month after month
year after year
always moving up
but to what
never truly happy
Inhuman Resources: Chapter 1Cloud Computing
"Yeah, Dobe," I replied. "Start it up."
The portable generator chugged hollowly for a moment before finally rumbling into life, a brief green flicker from the computer bank announcing its success. A curl of exhaust issued forth, and to my nose seemed to fill the whole office block with its petroleum stench. Even this, however, was nothing compared to the sensation that accompanied it; subtle, but far more potent.
The computer had not been switched on for some time, and a number of scheduled tasks had accumulated. In my mind's eye, I perceived them, though the screen lay cracked and broken on the floor: toppled
Goldilocks, by Anna Rose‘Funny,’ said Rose, ‘that
they should eat porridge, and at least two of them sleep in beds. Funny that they should have a house at all, really.’
‘Who?’ I asked.
It’s been a while since I found an ebook really worth sharing, but I think Goldilocks will not disappoint. As an added bonus, its author, Anna Rose, can be found on deviantART as ThornyEnglishRose! It’s good to be able to share the work of someone local, insofar as the internet has local or distant places. It does seem likely that there are fewer metres of cable involved here, but I’ve got to be honest, I don’t really know how the internet works. And I digress.
Goldilocks is described as a “retelling” of Goldilocks and the Three Bears but, being really picky, I don’t feel as though it actually behaves that way. Fairy tales seem to
Hoc Titulus Nihil Significat“Something I’ve never understood,” said Evil Dave, “is why we’ve always got to chant ominous things in Latin at these cult meetings.”
“Well it stands to reason, doesn’t it?” said Evil Mike. “We’re the band. We’re not exactly going to turn up and start juggling chainsaws on tightropes, are we? Deacon McSinister wants music. That’s why he hires us.”
“I always thought he hired us because we’re all evil,” chimed in Evil Sally. “I mean, our names are ‘Evil Dave,’ ‘Evil Mike’ and ‘Evil Sally.’ We’ve
Goblins and Zombies You know it's just a matter of time when dead things and goblins start chewing up your town. Some call it Armageddon. Some call it one bad day, but no matter what you call it, the end is still the end. Lisa, her boss Marty, and a random stranger sat on the roof of Fancy's Pool hall and counted the shadows skittering along the streets below.
"Don't suppose anyone thought to bring a deck of cards?" Marty asked.
Lisa held back the snort of laughter. The world's ending and you want a deck of cards? Right. Who needs weapons, food, or water when you have a straight flush?
"I've got one in my plus two bag of holding, but I think I left it bac
When Sickness Came Captain Teyla answered the distress signal. The seven man crew of the cargo vessel wasn't equipped for what they found on Acheron Prime.
Three million people had perished over night. They'd left their blood in the streets and their bones scattered throughout the city. Houses were empty, but sensors detected life signs in the hospital.
“We have to investigate if there's a chance,” the captain said.
Her final mistake.
Mathias hid in the crawlspace with Patches and watched it happen. First Daddy and Elisa. And then everyone.
When they got bit, they turned into monsters. They fought like wild animals. They tore each other a
The Last Christmas This Christmas had to be the best one. There was no other choice. It was the last.
Emdee wiped the grease off the red spanner with an old rag. By the third swipe, it almost looked presentable. Dom would notice if it wasn't. Even down to the tiniest speck. Sometimes she wondered if he'd do anything to get out of paying the piddling bit they'd agreed upon. She'd cleaned every nook, cranny, and surface area in the store for longer than her shift allowed already. He had zero chance of getting out of paying her.
The Christmas lights flickered red, green, and gold down the promenade.
"You done yet?" Dom asked. He looked up from the display,
her skin is spun from cotton...New year's resolution: I've got a bottle of whiskey here, unopened, 70cl, and I'm not going to touch it.
'Let the past be the past and look to the future' they say, and it's all fine for them because they're not tits-cold in an apartment that cries rainwater. Alright, so maybe I've been through a lot worse than today in recent years, but right now I'm cold and I'm wet and misery itself is my sole companion. I should stand up, put this crumpled piece of paper away, carefully mind, and find a way out of this before it swallows me whole. I don't stand up.
I dream of checking into a hotel, where everything is clean and warm and the shower feels
Night Chaser02:37am 22nd July - depart from London by commercial jet, business class.
00:53am 22nd July - arrive in New York an acceptable 7 minutes behind schedule.
Slaying an archangel is hard work. It takes a great deal of study, picking your mark, separating fact from legend, learning your target's tells and vulnerabilities. Even if you succeed, and when I tore Gabriel's crystal heart from his open chest I became one of the precious few who have, there is still the matter of retribution. Angels never forget the death of one of their own, and a legion of these creatures now wait to descend and deliver their vengeance. My only sanctuary is the night.
Dead NoirSo some dame walks through my door, and I start to do the whole 'of all of the offices in all of New York' thing - because I'm a private eye, and that's how we do things - but then I recognize her: Miss B J Broad, dynamite on legs and owing me a favor or two after the fiasco with her late husband. Only the last time I saw her she wasn't carrying a tommy gun. So she's saying "Larry, darling." as she points this thing at me, and her voice is soft, tender, beautiful. Then it's all fireworks - nothing but noise and flashes of light - and I find myself looking down at my own bullet riddled corpse, tongue hanging out like a sweating dog. Miss Broad
Le reve d'AnnaLe rêve d'Anna
Dans la brume matinale figée par
la stupeur et la curiosité,
les badauds regardent Anna
La lumière bleue des gyrophares
illumine son visage ridé.
sur son brancard
Dans le hall d'entrée,
les discussions incrédules
résonnent le long de l'escalier en colimaçon
et pénètrent dans son intimité.
Des boites vides et des gélules
éventrées jonchent le sol aubergine.
Sur sa chaise à bascule usée
une lettre est soigneusement posée.
Juste à côté sur la commode en bois d'olivier
trône la p
Un voeux pieuUn vux pieu
La reine des lapins
sauta sur ma tête;
murmura à mon oreille
« quel vux pieu te ferait plaisir mon enfant ? »
Je lui répondis ébahie.
« repeupler les espaces verts »
Elle souffla un éléphant vert,
bondit sur sa trompe
et s'envola au loin, rigolant
de nos minuscules têtes de fourmis
Mens undiesMen's undies are private
offering big attractions
between candies and toffee apples.
Enchantment party for little kids,
paddling in cups of tea and splashing
It's always warm and crowded inside.
From time to time there is a
ray of light, revealing new
adventures and exciting discoveries.
Mountains to climb and rapids to raft,
deep in the jungle of India's Delta, hides
the Temple of the Forbidden Eye,
embraced with million stars
After intense emotions
it's time to close for a moment;
sometimes there are even holidays,
near the beach, feeling marine breeze.
What a pleasure it is!
I'd like to be
All That Is 1
the path that can be named
is not the true path
the world that is felt
is not the true world
the true path leads
to All That Is
of the true world
All That Is cannot be felt
All That Is can be known
The Crossroads at Forgotten Lake 1I had just passed the smallest dot on the map, a crossroads with a diner and a gas station, when the car started to overheat. I pulled over and looked under the hood. Once the steam cleared, I could see that the water pump belt had snapped. Strange. I'd check everything before starting this trip. I closed the hood and looked around. The road stretched out ahead of me, woods on either side. Looking back the way I came, I couldn't see the crossroads, but I knew I could not have come far, and I'd seen a tow truck parked next to the gas station, so I headed back. I soon passed a sign naming the town. It was shot up and rusting, but I could still
A Halo for Red Betsy 51530 Sunday 1 May 1949
While I was driving around Chinatown looking for Slim, I noticed that the One-Eyed Jack, a bar I’d known from before, was still where I’d left it, at the corner of Hotel and Smith. Its weather-beaten, oversized, one-eyed Jack of Clubs swung from the awning over the door. I knew Jack, the owner, from San Diego.
Jack was a retired Chief Boatswain Mate that I’d met when I was still a cop. He had gotten hellishly drunk one night in downtown San Diego, and was doing a pretty good job of resisting arrest. He was a bear of a man and would have given any four men difficulty when sober. That night he was fee
they will alwaysbounding,
more like hurried floating, these Kublai Khans on little discs.
they ride on hurricanes, one each foot,
which seem to flare in wood grain floors
or else they’re pulled by tiny demons
‘till dinner’s ready.
there’s two chaotic ballerinas,
stage right, stage left, i’m trying to read
but here they blunder
at supersonic lightening speeds.
i can’t help but laugh for life
when they steal their silly heads
from silent rooms like fairy ninja
and then pounce and flounder on the couch,
upset my drink,
(it is not a dream if it is everyday)i no longer have the gall
to write letters to my universe.
it’s stony quiet,
it’s possum eyes in headlights,
in Victrola dust.
some tireless pamphleteer
has wrecked this room
with motorized felicity!
there must be
one bill for every breath,
and now, i see
you are the same.
you’re no magic
planet. i will
some time tomorrow,
mid morning, when the bugs have died,
and drive to work
and i won’t think
that ever came
before that sun.
i’ll trade in shibboleths
and type in pointy let
I don't masturbate to Deftones anymoreFrom injury, from careless sewing,
from an antibody birthed to kill the womb,
I've drawn along the banks of Rowlett Creek.
This glut, a vein where half life comes to wait it out
in liquiform, to waste away in algae clots and scum reliefs,
is where I spent my ounce of self, my last free will and testament.
Black moccasins gleam like sperm of the underworld,
hunger welts in slow moan songs, feral caws from acorn tombs.
This was where I could believe
My desires became anesthetized in light between the leaves,
where colonies of ill tempered starlings shivered like mutilated limbs,
where cardinal red blots were cupped in amber,
Unsolved CrimeRock smashed Scissors
Paper covered up
No Gods No GloryPer had to admit that getting out of bed would never become his most heroic accomplishment. He rolled over, covered his head with the blanket to block out the sun and remained as such until his bladder forwarded an urgent call from Nature. Upon heeding it he staggered into the kitchen to team up with his trusted allies, toaster and perculator, in a brave effort to at least start the day right.
He was eating his breakfast in the doorway of his trailer looking out over the beach, when the sun was suddenly eclipsed by two goons, purposefully heading towards him.
'Mr. Seus, PI?' one of them rumbled. 'We'd like you to come with us.'
Per eyed hi
All Sewed Up It was a guy who introduced himself mainly as a Scorpio (with the added name of Simon) who inspired Helen's best art work. She wasn't much of an artist, really -- more of a reader, and not so hot at that either. Simon asked her to embroider a large scorpion on the back of his thin denim shirt, so that's what she did.
Helen used every shade of the many reds she had in her embroidery kit, shaping the scorpion, sculpting it. She separated the six strands of thread to make a piece of embroidery thread thin enough. She knew the more subtlety there was in a piece, the better it looked.
For this scorpion, she couldn't stop until it
The Music in the Water Hank told her not to put her tent by the creek, but she did.
He figured the young girl wouldn't listen to him, whether she was his cousin or not. He was just an old man by her reckoning, and Hank knew many young folks rarely listened to old men.
Hell, Hank was an old man by his own reckoning. Every winter morning told him that.
The cold said, "You're an old man who can barely get out of bed. It hurts too much to move. Will you make it today?"
He had so far, though sometimes it was dicey.
But Dinah arrived on a beautiful spring morning.
The meadows were alive with wildflowers, bluejays, bees and long gr
Full Speed AheadOver fifty years went by for me
like a great kaleidoscope,
full of wonder and adventure.
I think the next fifty will be the same.
JesseHmm. How do I start? I've never had trouble getting something out of my head, but that's usually because you're there to help me. You've always supported my insanity.
Even when I wake up in the middle of the night because I just had a great idea and need to get it out. Instead of complaining or throwing sharp and pointy objects at me, you get up, put a pot on the stove and get our mugs ready. By the time you're walking in with our tea, I've already tacked dozens of notes onto the wall and am patiently waiting for you to join me on the floor so we can put all the pieces together.
You put up with five dogs that tend to over run our house
Pack MentalityLogan stood with his head cocked at the front of the group. He was questioning the intruder with his eyes. Loki, his second in command, was standing just to his left; their shoulders touching. Sunny, the youngest but strongest of the group, was on Logan's right side. The three males stood phalanxed, protecting the two females behind them.
Looking to both sides first and twitching his nose toward the metal intruder, Logan stepped forward while Loki and Sunny closed together in his absence. None of them knew what to make of the metal beast with glowing orange eyes.
As Logan circled around the beast, it moved and mimicked his actions; cir
Self Preservation"The rules of the game are as follows:
Win or lose, you're all in this together.
To ensure your compliance with said rules, we have implanted you all with microchips that monitor your vital signs. If any of your hearts should fail, a signal will be sent to err, shall we say, activate, the rest of your group's microchips." With this, the officer opened his hand up like a blossoming flower and said quietly, "Boom," His accompanying grin was psychotic. "The teensiest little explosion can have an impressive effect on something so fragile as a brain, you know."
I knew that speech off by heart by now, could play it back in my head whenever I wan
TrappedTrapped inside her own mind, she struggles desperately to break free. He asks her a question, and she tries to force her mouth open but it won't work. Muscles stretch infinitely without ever physically moving, until she feels that the pressure she's putting on her lips should be enough to force open the heaviest of doors. Still her lips won't budge. She gives up, mind fluttering away from the problem, hoping to trick it into letting up while she's not paying it any attention. All she accomplishes is to lose her grasp of the question; she no longer has any idea what he asked. She hopes it wasn't important. He tells her he loves her, and it sur
Eww, BoysEver since Princess Lola was a little girl, she'd railed against the idea of her someday marrying a prince. "Eurgh,, who wants to share a room with a boy?" was a popular refrain of hers, but the more adamant she was about it, the more amused the people around her became. They would listen, chuckle, and shake their heads, but they'd never believe her. Everybody she'd ever met was convinced of the simple fact that she would change her mind about boys when she was older.
The problem was that she didn't.
On the day of Lola's seventeenth birthday, her mother, Queen Natalia, was a nervous wreck. Politics and wars were things she could handle with ease, but a teenage daughter who didn't get lovesick over the very idea of princes was beyond her comprehension. As a result, she flitted about her only child while the girl was being readied for her grand ball, finding a hundred flaws to comment on and getting in everyone's way, although nobody would ever dream
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