This Big World

By Devin Kelly



for Bud Smith


I have been in debt for a long time. Some afternoons, I sit on the windowsill & take the risk of thinking I could fall out of it & fly. Everything is loud & mostly beautiful. It’s not a matter of perspective. If you look at a building upside-down it is only a building upside-down. It’s not standing on its head. It’s better to see it right. The chicken place across the street serves chicken & people walk inside & come out with chicken. We got some things right: best friends, slow cooking, glass-bottled Coke, remaining wingless & rooted to other wingless beings who leave us slowly or not slow enough. Heartbreak is one way of knowing you’re alive. Compiling obscene & ridiculous amounts of debt owed to a strange & robotic voice on the other end of a phone is another. But debt owed to a friend is a simpler kind of beauty. Like sharing french fries or saying just get the next one, next time. There’s too much I love about the world to think of leaving it. My own lunacy. The way I am still here, sitting by the window. How I can take the risk of thinking I can fly without the risk of flying. I’d rather watch the birds, those little masters, who make big geometric shapes out of one another & head off in flocks to find a beach, another summer. It’s winter here & everyone deserves a big coat. Something to smuggle inside of it & share, yes, with the people who have been smuggling you from each day, like this one, into the next.

Like those corduroy knee patches on my favorite fifth-grade jeans?
Or Portland raindrops spattering coffee in a recycled-paper cup.
How about a faded Pine tree freshener dangling from the radio knob of an RV.
A tuna-noodle casserole in Corning Ware cooling on a Formica countertop?


It’s there, in my stomach, and it stirs up; a wicked batter.  All nettles and ache.  My mom’s wooden spoon, weaponized, upside my brother’s heathen head.  I wield it.  I stick it in the mix and stir.  A bloody mess as it blends.  I taste it and wince.  Too much despair.  My hand heavy on the pour.

I open my mouth bucket-wide.  I shovel it in.


Start again.

Three Poems

By Joe B. Grantham



’63 Chevy Impala


I had a brother once.

On the morning of my thirtieth birthday

I looked in the mirror and saw his face

on my face.

That was a first.

He chose to die six days later

halfway across the country

Three Poems

By Katie Foster





Today the dog dreamed of honeysuckle.

Today the dog dreamed of cheeks.

Today the dog dreamed of god.

in the movie-line with my parents

my mom couldn’t get her MoviePass to work

because the app needed to be “updated”

my dad said “gimme the phone”

and then, with something like disdain

“I can’t see, I didn’t bring my glasses”


It’s a gray day

The sky is one, large cloud

I watch a flock of pigeons from my window on the 17th floor

I look down on them

The space heater sizzles

I’m picturing Christmas

I’ve been on hold with NBA League Pass Customer Support for 23 minutes

Four Poems

By Sarah Jean Grimm





I throw my body around the room

Attempting to sweat out a decade

Of harm I’ll keep inflicting

Who am I to disrupt a pattern

Three Poems

By Sam Pink





Talking to yourself

is really just

practicing all the cool shit

you might say to someone else

or maybe

wouldn’t waste on anyone else.

Either way, you know?



The internet is

A long hallway and you are

Way down there yelling

Four Poems

By Babak Lakghomi



Where I Work


On the first floor

robots and humans work together

On the second floor

only humans

stare at their screens

wait for five o’clock to arrive

they have lawns to mow

leaves to blow

Some of them have kids

Two Short Ones

By Alec Berry



I have a few more years to go as I am,

then I’m changing my name to Lyle and disappearing

and getting really into BBQ and BBQ festivals and the people they contain.

I am saving money for this.

Brad’s Face

By Gene Morgan


My notes for a potential story about Brad’s face on the evening of November 8, 2016

Start with some general thoughts about Brad, maybe just the grass in Brad’s backyard and his cool studio/garage area. Focus on the small stuff that I like about Brad. How nice it was for him to invite us over for the election suicide party.


Blue House


Once we lived together in a little blue house

Then we moved together into a big blue house

And you said

Look, baby, I built this for you

And I said

Look, baby, I built this for you

I pointed to my chest

I said

If you ever get tired of living in a blue house

You can live in here

And so you did

He thinks I’m about to give him a blowjob but I’m just bending down to tie my shoe. “Can we go for a walk in the cemetery?” But he won’t go anywhere with me unless I promise we can stop at a bakery or pizza place first. On the internet I read ‘when you consume a carbohydrate that has been cooked it has the same effect on your body as white sugar’ and my heart rate increases a little and I start sweating. I’m waiting for him to finish a computer game so we can go out. He doesn’t need to play the computer game right now. My symptoms of depersonalization disorder are very strong right now. “My symptoms of depersonalization disorder are really strong right now,” I say to him.