2. ...1 4. ...4 6. ...4

Can you imagine a day, when children could play, and not run away, and play in a pantry where much food was kept.



It’s impossible to fill a hole in your heart unless the hole is a physical one and you’ve got something nearby suitable for shoving into a vital organ.




It broke his heart to see his daughter this frail, he missed the vibrant beauty his precious Cassandra had been not so long ago.

He didn’t seem to appreciate that much, but then again his life philosophy was a bit outdated. This conversation pertained to my recent hobby at the time.

The shop was closed for the day, the curtains drawn, and the floors mopped. Mistress was settling down to a nice meal, her table manners pristine as always..




ARIES - You’ll have a chance to not pound a hole in your heart because of the actions of others, but you won’t take it. Instead you’ll find a way to slush off the stress with diversions and escapisms. Something will happen this month to show you where all that stress has gone after being converted to what was digestible all those years. Hello, codependency, hard arteries, and stranger danger paranoid fantasies. Of course, this won’t happen all at once, in exception of course for heart attacks, but climb a few more steps this month, you burning Catholic, and feel good about it. TAURUS - The heart. My heart. Your heart. They’ve all got one thing; because we are all one. They’ve got the wonderful plugs of your putrid exterminator way down in the depths of their ass cracks. That’ll keep them filled for a while, huh? Don’t jiggle for the sake of our hearts’ asses. GEMINI - Some say the end is near; some say labor camps can show what a hole in the heart is really about. If you need, your heard hole filling strategy one of a few, the cards are telling me: USMC, admission into Westboro Baptist Church, lumberjacking. Lubeless jacking is not going to help, but whoa, what a lot of ways to fill a heart that’ve been listed here. I suggest Westboro, as them guys must got an inside cause the God upstairs has got to be getting something Isaac “Mystic” Newton out of the arrangement. Dream as hard as your hearts desire.

CANCER - Merry awesome, motherfucking, time-traveler, and cats in the crew. Your hearts are twisted and strung like twine. The cat’s cradle strums as it’s climbed; picked and clawed as kneading biscuits turns into pincers and claws. The twine has told what time has done with you, uselessly unobservant, interconnected, cosmic mash. Your horoscope says a self-indulged fistfuck and ten hours pruning the connections in the hearts will start reversing this hairy, bloody mess. LEO - Yo Motherfucker. Your heart will be like whack-a-mole in that its plight will be a guise of fun knocking holes in your heart. It’s directly related in proportion to the number of times you’ll get other people’s body parts in various orifices of yours. Keep up the games and let the high water mark be etched by your tears. Lucky numbers: 2, 7, 48, 16, 4, 11, 32, 38, 52, 84, 133, 614, 11,492, 134 & H-- don’t question it... follow your dreams tough guy. VIRGO - Adventurous drunkard, you’ve got a leak like a hole in the head. You’ve need to be relieved by fluids IV’ed, potassium and such, electrolytes induced into your veins. But the holes in your chest won’t be plugged, and this time you’ve got while not on a cart is where your fortune lays. So, ask that nice stripper if she wouldn’t mind that you kissed her; honeymoon and Vegas; and howl your nights away. Some say Mercury is in retrograde right now and it’s treating people like the bitches they are, but you don’t believe in that sort of thing, do you?


What the hell is a Capricorn anyway is what you’ll be thinking to yourself this month Libra. You attended/will attend a birthday party for everyone’s favorite diva Capricorn. The party will be one of the worst things in present memory. No one will think you’re a bad guy if you R.S.V.P. and then don’t show up except the goat/snake/lizard guest of “honor”. Better yet, attend to exploit that open bar and really let everyone know what’s on your mind. No one thinks you’re a know-it-all, people just think your sassy. And not getting any at home...

CAPRICORN - Happy birthday. Bitch. Guess what? The world does not revolve around you. I’m so upset I have nothing left to say. Asshole.

SCORPIO - It could be a wonderful world if you’d stop being such a total asshole. Actually, on second thought, the world is pretty boring and your outspoken criticisms of everyone, while mean bitchy and catty, are really really funny mostly because I’m a terrible person. Moderate. This will be a productive month for you providing you stay on task and by stay on task I mean stop doing so many drugs. Seriously. We’d have an intervention but we can’t actually find that many people that care, or can get off work. Whatever. Start a new hobby like binge drinking. Mercury retrograde is going to make you its bitch this month-- LUBE UP! SAGITTARIUS - It seems like things are getting pretty repetitive this month. How many vacation days do you have left to use to “find” yourself. Here’s a hint, it’s not in the bottom of whatever bottle a corrupting Scorpio has been handing you. It seems like things are getting pretty repetitive this month. You’re going to have the urge to try something new and exciting but will back out at the last second because it seems scary and unfamiliar. Anal sex. Just remember that lube is your friend, no one likes chaffing in the winter.

AQUARIUS - The constellations are deceiving this month water baby. Everyone is gonna call on you this month, so plan your dance card accordingly. Aquarius you’re never gonna do what other people keep asking you despite how much people call you a “humanitarian” by force and from afar-- they’re cold and bitter curry on the inside. It will be a phenomenal birthday for you water baby because you are a phenomenal person Is that believeable? Lies make the world go round sugar dumpling. Mercury retrograde will wreck your shit this month-- LOOKOUT! PISCES - Here fishy, fishy, fishy. You are being QUITE the rebel lately, Pisces. Bucking traditional and conventional wisdom the same time takes some real cajones, hombre. You are quick this month on your feet, with a vast collection of witty repartes and the lightning fast ability to make up your mind and forge into the future. Then quickly change your mind. Then change it again. And again. The future holds a lot of anti-anxiety medications and the desire to remain consistent. Flake. Mercury retrograde is going to date rape your face this month!

Yeti Detective

Here we are. What White Elephant. Dead, but still breathing. We have been struck down, but like the sainted Jedi Knights who have preceded us, we have grown even more powerful than before. You cannot stop us, reader. You cannot avert your eyes, for our message is righteous. Our message is holy. It beckons you, and you cannot resist, like rats to the piper. It seduces you, and you cannot deny it your lust, just as countless sailors were lost to the Greek Sirens. Strive, though you might, and your striving is mighty, Our Sound is Golden. Our words Pristine. Our minds and bodies have ascended on the wings of Icarus stuck together by the wax and feathers of liquor and hallucinogens. We go where you cannot, because we are your Shamans. We traverse the membranes betwixt worlds and bring you stories to inspire and terrify. There is nothing we cannot accomplish, no need we cannot satisfy, no longing we cannot slake. We are as gods before you, and yet we are aware of our own smallness. We have witnessed the vast expanses of the universe and felt their enormity compress our own sense of sanity. In the same way that an infinity can encompass an infinity and still be infinite, so are our vast egos humbled by the depth and breadth of existence and possibility.

You may think we are wrong to judge you for being so much less brilliant and creative and objectively sexually attractive than you. You are wrong. We are better. We are stronger. We are smarter. And yet, the immensity of the universe terrifies us. What hope have you, a reader, when even The Contributors have none. But there doesn’t have to be naught but despair before your consciousness inevitably dissolves into the vast and directionless void. With this new, sleeker iteration of the zine we hope to bring you more nihilism, audacity, and genital-based humor than you ever have experienced before. Verily, more than is actually legal. We have declared war on the U.S. government and its allies in regard to what they legally define as decency, and we assure you that there is no way imaginable that they can prevail.


Identified as the easiest way to fill the hole in your heart, alcoholism keeps you warm on the lonliest of nights. Who needs the sweet embrace of a lover when you have liquid bravado on your side? Pros include high socialbility, blackouts and inane ranting. Cons include vomit, blackouts and cirrhosis of the liver.



I’m writing this on a prompt. It’s a first draft, let’s say. The prompt is, “Ways to fill the holes in your heart.” And I know the publication I’m writing for well enough – there will stories about booze and probably drugs and sex. That’s all whatever. I have another story to tell. We lost our dog on Saturday. No, that’s wrong: we put him to sleep. He had a fast-moving cancer. We kept him happy until the end, as much as we could. His love showed through his exhaustion, but the scale didn’t lie. He’d lost eight pounds in two weeks. I’ve been saying goodbye to him for a long time. Long before he got sick, back around the time his black muzzle spread into a field of white. He gave us another year or two, but I started letting go, just a bit. It was love with a stopwatch. There’s a silence in my routine. I don’t walk the neighborhood. I’m not greeted at the door. When I leave the house I don’t have to fight back a hundred-pound beast who wants nothing more than to be with you all day every day. He’ll never howl with the fire trucks again. He’ll never caterwaul at me when I’m in bed ever again. When the needle came for him I held on one last time. I wanted him to be comfortable. The needle didn’t hold, and he walked around dizzy. He collasped, and I held him again. I wanted him to be comfortable. His second eyelids slid out, the way they did when you knew he was super relaxed. I wanted him to be comfortable. I held on as long as I could, as long as there was the slimmest chance he may still be alive. I only let go when the vet searched for his heartbeat with a stethoscope, looked up to me and whispered “I’m sorry.” I let go. It was

one thing to hold a dying dog, but who holds a dead dog? The hole he leaves behind is bigger than his presence. I fill it with video games, mostly. It’s not healthy or wise, but it does the job. I design vistas and gather flowers on a Minecraft server. Everyone there is nice, helpful, and like ten years younger than me. And I am too unashamed to care. FIN, I guess? FIN

Marshall Edwards

Marshall Edwards is a frequent contributor to WWE, notably his horror series “MAYFLY”. He is raising funds to continue his superhero comic book. In addition, he’ll be updating four prose projects a month: • “MAYFLY”, sci-fi/horror series • “Yellow River Red Star”, a kung • “Mesmeric Compendium”, an
fu space opera occult codex of alternate history (with Yeti Detective!) • “Seed”, his urban fantasy serial Marshall is now fundraising through Patreon. All funds go toward the art for Issue 2. Check it out! www.patreon.com/prairiecitypost Support Marshall creating Comics and stories www.patreon.com


DRAIN PIPE (bottom part of a sink pipe that catches stuff)
Peanut Scholar
The hole in my heart will never be filled because I’m always going to reopen it. I don’t always rip out the suture, but sometimes the xanax and heroin in my nose soaks up sogginess and falls out of the hole it was plugging. Other times my heart is pierced up and down, and the ones I relate to have holes running horizontally; suddenly I’ve found myself working on that cross section of routes which ought not be present just to watch my heart fall apart like a barbecued pull pork. With the chemical epoxies not keeping up with repairs on the emotionally shredded heart, I’ve often had to deal with the sticky paste which collects up in my gut, the reminder that what I’m doing doesn’t work. Is anyone listening? What’s the whole thing about my hole filling method which interests, confuses or annoys, and causes you to form questions? But despite this shredded mutilation of striated muscle pieces dangling from the top of my chest cavity, it’s still dangling together. The holes aren’t holes, they’re gaps which contrast the streaks of flesh still attached to one another enough to qualify as a “unit.” This mix of drugs and pharmaceuticals and alcohol and street drugs is sticky, pasty, makes things cohesive, but the half-life of all these things can’t keep up with the gouges I make with my choices which follow the days before and after heart-wrenching moments. More importantly, how is your heart pierced and patched, and how are your methods holding up? Some of you may do with that game where you see how many pencils you can stuff in your mouth at once, but words are the mirrors of what we do, like the shadow from the dozer moving the earth. Some of you might patch up with a bandaid, and as with every bandaid, we know there’s a difference between ripping it off quickly and ripping it off slowly, but leaving a bandaid on forever is asking for a fester of infection. Hearts aren’t good places for infection.

#18 Identified as the fastest way to fill the hole in your heart, denial gives fact to faith where non existed. A preferred method of escape for cowards, conmen and hucksters. Pros include delusions of grandeur, self-medication and rationalization. Cons include flakiness, moral ambiguity and repeating past mistakes.




Toward evening in Greeley, Co. when the breezes were blowing the smell of alfalfa floated through the air, while looking across at the corn field, where we could run for endless periods of time, and not each other find, and then come home and eat boisenberries in the back yard...and stroll through the garden, and hear the ice truck coming where the man with the big hook would carry a block of ice into our house and put it in the ice box...Can you imagine a day, when children could play, and not run away, and play in a pantry where much food was kept, where they also stored the dust pan and the broom that swept. In a house full of memories where my Mother took ill, and soon it was filled with a feeling so still, we had nurses and nannies, housekeepers, and those who cared, and others who their meaness shared. My Dad worked hard and we ran behind him as he pushed mowed the lawn, making designs for us to see. And one day he wasn’t happy when he came home and find his garage partly bright red, cause we were just bored, looking for something to do, so Daddy we thought we would do something for you. The day Mother went to Heaven we never went back to the house, but I still remember it, 14 16 5th street, right by 14th avenue...and next to

a quansit that once was a store, where we bought bubble gum and much more. not very more cause money was not around often...we learned to roller skate there at the famous Warnocko rink...and now I need to go back to bed so all of this should quit running around in my head. we walked to school, Washington school where I went to kindergarten and first grade. go good night, hope you enjoyed my midnight saga and now hope I can sleep and these memories will not into my brain creep. goodnight my boy guess you are the only one who wou;d put up with my past, have a good night. I love you.


Spike Stackhouse

It’s impossible to fill a hole in your heart unless the hole is a physical one and you’ve got something nearby suitable for shoving into a vital organ. If that’s the case you’re probably dead by now or dying. Sorry about that. If you’re like nearly everyone else on this fucked up little rock we call Earth then you probably have less painful ways of dealing with your sadness. This month’s issue left me procrastinating on my submission; partly because I’m incredibly busy and partly because I had to really think about it. What do I use fill the metaphorical hole in my heart? Perhaps a little back-story before I continue. I am an avid reader and an aspiring writer. I also watch a fair amount of television. It’s about all that I do for fun. So far this is probably fairly common, save perhaps the bit about wanting to write for a living. What may be uncommon however, is the subject matter. Nearly all of my reading, television watching and writing all has one central element: the supernatural. I am deeply fascinated with all things paranormal in nature. The very idea that there is more out there than what we human beings can see with our pathetic senses is so thrilling to me that I’ve filled my life with instances of the strange, the outlandish, the unheard of. The impossible calls to me, resonates within my soul in ways that I’ve yet to experience with any vice, outing, idea or excursion. Big fucking deal, you might think. Everyone loves vampires. Zombies are huge right now. The Harry Potter saga was so popular it took J.K. Rowling on an incredible ride from poverty into a net worth of over a billion dollars. My point is that everybody likes magic or she wouldn’t be such a success. Those goddamned Twilight books wouldn’t have sped the pulses of teenage girls from all over if the world had its collective feet firmly on the ground. People love a fantastic story, a means to escape the mundane. So maybe I’m not so different from the average bookworm with their head in the clouds. Maybe we also share the same reasoning behind what captivates us. 8 HOPELESS

I’m not certain if this is normal or if one can even define normal. I’ve heard time and time again that the vast majority of individuals feel this way if only for a brief time. Maybe it’s true and maybe it’s a thin platitude whispered to the weak but here goes. I suffer from low self esteem. I adapt a façade to appear strong and confident but I honestly don’t think much of myself. Inside me is a desire to be different, to be more than what I am. I yearn to possess some skill or knowledge that makes me special or important; to be talented and powerful. I want Hagrid to declare me a wizard and whisk me away into a world of magic. I want to be like Sylar, who can see into objects and people and understand at a glance how they operate. I want to battle Daleks in unknown galaxies with The Doctor. I want more than a grounded existence where I go to work as an office drone five days a week, drink too much on the weekends and occasionally fuck someone I’m not in love with. I need a deeper relationship with myself and the universe than suffering this flat, boring life before retiring at 65 and dying of old age. This wanting is what I use to fill the gaping maw in my heart and my soul. To feel whole in this confining world of ours I contemplate others with no limits. I revel in alternate realities where anything is possible and I make the rules. To think about shedding this normal, dreary existence only to step into some epic adventure and declare myself a gallant hero or even a nefarious villain mends this void in me just a little. I want it so intensely I believe is my birthright; that in some unknown manner or odd turn of events these things are within my grasp. I feel somewhere inside me underneath the boring job that barely pays the bills, below the self- doubt and weakness there is a greatness I have yet to realize. A force inside me is begging to be set free, to let the entire world know that I am better than I think. Better than everyone thinks and aching to show it. I am someone and I am fucking awesome. Some might call these fantasies or delusions. I prefer to think of my daydreams as hope. So I guess you could say that I fill the hole in my heart with hope. Hope that there is more out there than what I know. Hope that I get to experience it.

“Sweetheart?... Baby, can you hear me? It’s dad.” Allan stared at his daughter, hoping to heal her with sheer strength of will. “Why is she still like this? You said we would start to see improvements by now!” It broke his heart to see his daughter this frail, he missed the vibrant beauty his precious Cassandra had been not so long ago. Looking at her now, he realized that to even call her a shadow would be a severe overstatement. Dr. Cedric Matthew drew a slow breath, not anxious to continue the argument that had simmered throughout the entire treatment of Allan Volta’s daughter, getting progressively worse as Cassandra declined. “Mr. Volta, as I told you when you brought Cassandra to us, we have never seen a case of schizophrenia quite like this, your daughter is a... strange case, to say the least.” As if on cue, Cassandra emitted a small giggle from her chair near the large bay windows of the parlor. “I told you no, I don’t want to go outside. I know you love picnics but I can still feel the rain!” “That! What is that?! What is she talking about?!” Allan could feel his blood pressure rising, his collar feeling tight around his throat, he took the pills from his suit pocket, “Can I please get something to take these with?” Allan followed behind Dr. Matthew, fully prepared to continue his argument in the next room. “That’s a good idea, I never did like feeling the rain… and then we can have picnics!” Allan shook his head slowly, wondering if he would truly ever get his daughter back from these ramblings.

Mystic Noun Prodigy

Dr. Matthew closed the door, aware that Allan would not contain his protests for long. “Mr. Volta, one thing that has bewildered us is the sudden onset of your daughter’s illness. When again, exactly, did she begin hearing the voices?” “Exactly? I would say about a month after her husband, Joseph Stone, died. They had only been married a week, and she loved him with her entire soul. I knew if anyone could love my daughter forever, it would be that man.” Allan inhaled deeply, momentarily wondering why the smell of gas hit his nostrils, but quickly dismissed it to continue his story. “She called me after he proposed… For their first date, he took her on a picnic, they did it once more for their 3rd anniversary. He proposed just after they ate, and she could not have been happier. Cassandra didn’t know this, but I had helped Joseph to plan the entire afternoon; he told me how much he loved picnics with Cassandra and knew that nothing else would work for his proposal…” “SHE’S IN THE KITCHEN!!!” Allan’s revelry was cut short by the sharp sound of a woman’s yell. “Mr. Volta, you were telling me about your son-in-law?” Allan returned his attention to Dr. Matthew, “Yes, the proposal picnic… picnics… I always said he would love her forever…” The truth of his daughter’s illness composed Allan Volta’s last thoughts as the house exploded.



MY GRANDFATHER ALWAYS USED TO you want to like you more. But then TELL ME Handful of Euphemisms those people eventually go from being
STEP ONE: DUMP ONE GALLON OF GASOLINE ONTO ONESELF. STEP TWO: PLAY WITH MATCHES My grandfather always said to me, “if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it?” The honest answer at the time was, “well if it seemed like fun.” He didn’t seem to appreciate that much, but then again his life philosophy was a bit outdated. This conversation pertained to my recent hobby at the time- going down the quarry in St. Miz and jumping off a 60 foot drop, affectionately called Suicide Cove. On a hot Saturday night in mid-June, that was the place to be. He had found out about my summer time atrocities, and was trying to get his point across without me knowing that I knew he knew, or so he thought. My grandfather was never the best at being smooth. Aside from that, the walls had ears. Literally, I heard everything in that house. The walls were paper thin. This was also the summer that I broke my nose. The summer I smoked my first bowl with lead singer of tech nine, which coincidentally was also my first concert. That summer also suffered my awkward and hilariously failed first kiss. I guess I always knew I would find myself where I am now, instead of some blown up childhood fantasy of where I wanted to take my life and what kind of person I would be at what time. I guess it started by following others, it always does. You find what you love by the following of people that

mentors to your partners. Them and us, continually working together to maintain a state that became a habit, in which the goal is to not explore and to find out what you like, but to maintain the thing you found together. Through these “summers,” I discovered my love for uppers of any kind. Back then, it was mainly about natural uppers that you get by rush chasing, with your whole body coursing with adrenaline and endorphins. It was the best drug in the world. Thus later turning into finding ways to prolong the gale, to the point where functioning that way became preferable to not. I run off uppers, all day, every day. I got so much to do and not enough time to do it, just like everyone else. I can’t afford to slack off for even an hour. Something is constantly demanded of me every second I am awake. Hell, even sleeping is demanding, I have to stay up late enough to get as much done in one day as I can, but I have to allow myself enough time for sleep so that my body can be restored just enough to function and pump out productivity the next day. I got to push myself now while I physically can do it, so that I can enjoy it when I can’t. I wouldn’t say that I have an addiction, per say, but think of myself more of an opportunist/accumulator. I don’t pay for my uppers, nor do I steal beg or borrow them. But if I find myself in the situation of “hey dude I got some extra, do you want some.” Well I was raised to never turn down free shit. Now type specific is another matter, because there is no specification. That adds a lovely flavor of cha-


otic hedonism that I most certainly am lovingly and passionately married to. It’s the closest thing I have to a religion. Speaking of things I love. I love women. Women are beautiful wonderful creatures that the entirety of their appeal comes from the conquer-anddestroy charm that they have on me. Men are easy and make for a decent lay, but if I’m in the mood for a little sport I go for women. It’s the most thrilling prey on the market. The whole ritual is fascinating in the sense that it is like the most sophisticated cat-and-mouse game you’ll ever play without a single word ever spoken. Words, yes add to the game, but 90% of the game’s outcome is determined within the first 30-60 seconds of interaction. The approach, eye contact, how you carry yourself, your body language all the subtleties that go into just approaching someone is astonishing. That’s the part that I’ve mastered. I have yet to find a woman that has said no to me. No it’s not rape, I’m just that freakin charming. The way her eyes meet yours, then slightly shift to the left and then back to yours, showing that she knows you’re interested but the movement is just enough to keep your eyes trained on her, and create a tiny speculative grain that keeps you hooked on whatever she’s saying. The way she plays with her drink and her fingers flirt with the straw when she’s uncomfortable, but then her eyes flutter just slightly, eye lashes kissing the air for but a second showing her true interest in you. Her body twisted slightly towards you, though she has her legs crossed and away from you. Everything about a woman is a tease. Even the one’s so blunt you could smoke their words love being a

tease. Women don’t need love, women want to be wanted, and that is what makes them so much fun to play with. Oddly enough, men are simple in the courtship ritual, but extraordinarily emotional and irrational in a relationship. Men are too much work, but do fulfill a need of mine I need not explain. For instance, I can turn heads wherever I go. But the one person of interest that I have at the moment, doesn’t even know I exist…. There’s a complex somewhere in there. I guess my point with all this is the things that fill my heart are the very things that make it race and tend to be bad for it. But then again, if there was no risk to the things that we love, then by human nature we wouldn’t love them at all. Sometimes, it would be nice to love things that might possibly be good for us. To be honest I have lost the point of my article, I’ve taken too much uppers…

The Candy Striper
Lady JackAlice

The shop was closed for the day, the curtains drawn, and the floors mopped. Mistress was settling down to a nice meal, her table manners pristine as always. I watched carefully, my mop and bucket ready to clean up the floor when Mistress was finished for the night. She did not acknowledge my presence, but that was usual. Taking a bite of her dinner, Mistress chewed in silent contemplation for a few seconds. She preferred her meat rare, and the blood welled over her lips, which was then carefully wiped away with a snow white napkin. “Madeline.” I looked up ex-



pectantly, in what I hoped to be in a worshipful manner. “Madeline.” She sighed again. The dull thunk of her favorite carver stabbing into the table filled my senses. I watched silently, my smile slipping slightly. “Madeline! They’re not sweet enough!” The short woman of rage and fire stormed off. I was helpless but to follow, abandoning my mop against the wall. Mistress grabbed a box of cookies and a giant bag of various candies, slammed the door open and rushed down the stairs, her long black skirts almost catching, and I prayed she would trip and break her neck, and the girls and I could leave this hellish existence. Candy and ‘Baby’ Ruth were sitting silent, watching the helpless lump in the corner, their eyes glazed over in horror and agony. I said a quick prayer of thanks that at least they were not screaming. The new ones always screamed for days before they fell silent, numb and unfeeling, sure that they were to never be found, forgotten by the wide outside world. “Sweeter!” She screeched at Candy. “Sweeter!” She threw the box of cookies at Ruth. “Sweeter! Sweeter! Sweeter!” Howling at the cowering young women before her, Mistress grabbed at her hair and began to rip it out. “It must be sweet! The meat must be sweet! I must be sweet!” The girls simply looked at her with blank faces, quiet as the grave. Pain fogged the memory better than any drugs, and these girls had plenty to hurt over. The one in the corner, Mary Jane, had still not moved, but then, I didn’t expect her to. Mistress continued in this manner for another couple of minutes, but finally calmed herself, as we did nothing to agitate her, and she whimpered to herself. “The meat, Mummy. I must be sweet like Sissy. I’m sweet too! I wanna be sweet.” The speech of a poor, fumbling, homely child shone through, and I knew that she was no longer in this frame of reference. I stepped in. “That’s enough now. Come on. To bed with you.” She went quietly, and I was able to get her to bed with little problems. I headed back downstairs. “Mary Jane?” She was huddled over her stomach off in the corner, her eyes glazed and unfocused. “Mary Jane.” Taking the

bottle of creme de menthe from under my skirt that I had been given just for these times, I allowed her a large gulp. “Mary Jane, I have to take a look at it.” Wide green eyes screamed a pain she could not vocalize, and I patted her cheek lightly. “Come now. I have to make sure it won’t be infected.” Slowly, carefully, I pried her fingers away from a small bandage, soaked in her blood. Mistress cut too deeply this time. The lines were slightly jagged, and had anger written into the gaping wound. Mary Jane had already lost enough blood, and I quickly set to work. Gathering thread, I shoved a chunk of hardened taffy into Mary Jane’s mouth before dashing rubbing alcohol into her laceration, wincing at her muffled scream. “I know dear. I know.” Swiftly, I sewed the gash shut, saying a prayer of thanks as I felt her relax as the pain caused her to black out. Finishing up my work on Mary Jane, I cleaned the area, and laid her head down gently. Ruth and Candy watched me reproachfully. “Eat your dinner, dears. We mustn’t make Mistress angry again.” I turned to head up the stairs again. A small, shy voice followed me. “What’s happening to us, Madeline? Are we going to die?” Ruth’s eyes were clouded, as Candy’s were, and every girl before them, but there was still a small spark to them. I turned back to face her. “We serve Mistress. Each of us have our own purpose. Now, eat up. It wouldn’t do for you to get sick on us now.” I waited until she dutifully ate several cookies, smiled at her, and headed up the staircase. “Enjoy yourselves, dearies.” Because of Mary Jane’s ordeal, I would be back downstairs in a few hours, so the light was left on. They would be awake for some time more anyway, being nocturnal in their dark prison.



Uncle Jimmy

I’ve got this story to tell you, but I don’t want to waste your time on it, so if it gets too long, just say, “How about that local sports game or whatever?” She was constantly lining up, but she doesn’t know her limits. She causes troubles for her folks. It started off as a life lesson for a good girl, but her brain damaging traffic accident causes us to want to restrain her from doing the dumbest things in the world. This feels likes Oprah. I’m going to kill them because I want to sleep at night, but it’ll be more like threatening them with a cat, swinging it like a foam sword at Walmart. I don’t even know what the fuck they were talking about. It’s like I’m saying I’m always going around and getting robbed. I’ve been around meth for a while, it’s around the corners. I go over to C’s, and I’m in a bad place doing a half g of h a day; did a tenth just to get out of bed, brush my teeth, get things done in the window before i have to get my dope monies collected up from the investors so i can get my real fix. Then comes tthe game of hooking up the monies so we can have the stuff for the day to day basis. can’t stay alive on just heroin. I hate running into old girlfriends when they’re wearing hot, juicy shorts. then there’s “overly” juicy, and that becomes another oversyllabled word, like “addiction.” I hope you guys came and picked me up under the best of intentions, hopefully I’ve miscounted some of the trades in the past and that it’s miscommunication and not malicious ripping offs in the past. I wasn’t trying

to disrespect your house; I want your total appreciation. A lot got confused over that closeted fag that came over here overly drunken and conversed in mind bending and veily covered homoerotic riddles (murmurs). I really didn’t get to see all of it, but I was trying to figure out if he was trying to be witty and cunning like Good Will Hunting, flaunting a cool, questionably genius way of charming the crowd. This thing has got some meat to its bone. it’ll be a slow burn, savory and delicious. A burn? They’ve made an antibiotic for that. That’s a seventeen minute ago joke, jeez.


Identified as the coolest way to fill the hole in your heart, illicit narcotics have a penchant for mending even the most woe-filled heart. Why deal with issues facing your mind and your chest when escapsim is a mere puff, sniff, snort, parachute and I.V. flush away. Pros include being the life of the party, having loads of disposable cash and automatic swagger. Cons include eating disorders, spending loads of disposable cash and rehab & CONAIR. 13

7:12 a.m. I am partially into a pre-sleep state when you cross my mind— no, that’s incorrect. Storm my thoughts? Raid my mind? Battering rams and trebuchets but it’s really all just a simple synapse, a wicked piece of shit part of my still working brain that figures, “Hey, the body needs a break to repair and reorganize and wouldn’t it be fun to dredge up some meaningless shit just to sit and stew about it?” I hate my motherfucking backstabbing brain.

a point to no one
Slain Brain
6:31 a.m. I half-sigh as if someone would ask me what was wrong. Nothing is wrong but me, laying here listless, worthless, care-free. Body is wrecked, energy dwindling and yet I keep staring at the shadows creep across my wall. The sun is coming up. Joy. Another day wasted in a zombie fugue-like state, waking up when the rest of the world is winding down. 7:02 a.m. I drink some two day old coffee. I mean really what’s it going to hurt at this point? My self-esteem signed off years ago and even before that point of departure was just clumsily going through the motions anyway. How to be a real feeling person in twelve easy steps. 7:09 a.m. I crawl back into bed to read. Reading always quiets the monster burning within. Soon my eyelids droop and match the drained non-intensity my body feels coursing through itself, “Sleep, just give up and sleep” my body half hopes, half prays. Expecting and getting neither, just in case you were wondering for a plot twist.

8:02 a.m. It doesn’t feel like time is passing by it just feels like this is eternity and the whole while I am wishing I am dead. Like a poorly lit room painted in a poorly chosen paint swatch color. I don’t want to be here anymore. In these thoughts. In these words. In this body. Good thing I’m a fucking coward.


Identified as the dumbest way to fill the hole in your heart, imagination is for morons, potheads and children. If it worked for John Lennon it can work for you-- provided you never rent an apartment in the Dakota Building. Sorry... too soon? Pros include essentially being highly imaginative, which holds no real value in the workplace which is its own con too.



Her unforgiving chains of clandestineness rip through my chest and pollute the purity that is my patchwork heart, till every stitch oozes and seeps the toxic sludge of decrepitude.

Powerless. man... Completely and utterly powerless, every damn The silent conversation of our predestined lust crshe ime is changed me forever… time. But that’s the thing about her, when fobackwa cuses on you, she makes you feel like you’re therds! only thing in the universe. I want you to plunge your fingers into the silk Its her gift. clothened crevices of my cognizance and have Maybe it’s a gift given too freely. your words paint intricate swirls in my mind our with the tip of your wet tongue. exclamation I remember college, that’s when I first saw her. marks are I want your obfuscations to be as carnal as the It was a time of flighty passions, where things fantasy at the edge of my fingertip. pretty seemed obsolete and time moved too quickly. I want my lips wet with your warm oozing euThen you realize that everything you believe to be phemisms. true changes. #fourth wall Create a reality in the blue of my eyes that leaves I often ask myself why some of the most beautiful me tantalized and raw, turning my inhibitions gifts are the cruelestover to the creature I can become. maybe because sometimes the ugliest ones tell us Play with my moist senses til my the eyes of my the most about ourselves. perception roll back in a moment of the truest I said once through the channels even of petulant cantruth. when it’s nice, dor, thatpons are the bridge which you straddle motha- those monkeys My ...step two; with with I’ve never met anyone like you before. engorged reticular formations,CRIME, effervescent, and fucka! automatic weapso However, that’s not necessarily a those good thing. vitiate my moralities. then i your found ons! Did I getMy into a begs skins aggressive amygdala to run PROFIT! out, guys... fight tonight? those Perceptionthere’s is the cruelest form of reality. its salacious licentiousness up and down my cells, Because then reality fiFIVE only exist within the lens you lightening them up like the magic that lies in bedrunk view it. dollars from tween my soft thick flesh. But what do you do with a dirt caked lens? the downtown! i’m sorry Then at the point where I can take no more, your I wanted to find a person whose matchingdude intellect eyes open mine in pure ecstasy leaving my world allows us to go through an entire journey of pure, screaming to be defiled over and over by your sexually charged transcendence without a single flagitiousness. touch. Leaving only my vociferous response of your I was craving a intellectual orgasm so bad, the inimitable perversion bouncing off the walls of ache in my loins could be felt outward to the end my cerebrum- covering my subconscious in the of my toes, to the tip of my skull. sticky white of your intellect and filth. This is what leads every path-walking individual to live the sentence of the reprobated. It’s so pre- And ill thank you by drawing the universe on the dictable you can almost smell it, heavy in the air, back of your hand, so that every time you stumlike the cigarette smoke that chokes your eyes in a ble a glittering sidereal net will catch your fall. bar too small and unloved. I looked up from my sweat dripping coke and This is what keeps me writing with the force of rum to see it. Like a flashing red sign screeching a pure and nasty addiction, even if what I write every hellish warning, but at the same time holds means nothing. Because there is a ton of reality every single thing that made me want her more- out there that we never experience take a that other the bat of her eyelash, the slight twinge of her creatures can. bite out ofchanneled mouth. Life is made up of a series of moments crime The way she orders her drink, in just a way that through the eyes of right now. positions her body enough to give me a glimpse I saw a side of myself in that moment that I did of its glory, but not enough to directly say she’s not perceive before, and in that moment it was interested. more real than any other experience felt within the physical realm of my perception. Broads like her have been playing this game for way too long, to not know what they are doing. -HandfulOfEuphemisms KIDDING. There was nothing about JUST this specimen that told

me she would be anything less than twenty ways from crazy and wouldn’t fuck like an animal, u-c, just like these broads do. look The crazy ones always make thehere. best lays, maybe that’s why I love them so much. is crime But once again I was wrong. backwards



The Man With The Green Hat
One day you called with a redefined minute from previous minutes in which you had bathed my soul with yours Not in a synopsis of past mood distilled into sixty seconds but with a kernel of truth rasped raw through reasoning and seasoned with the marrow of your being I told you then that you had found the facet most likely to shine and bring you a nine point nine out of a possible ten And then again one day you wailed on stage in your hometown with nothing more than a cold whispered breath Driving nails of awareness into my psyche I took away from you a certain greatness you let slip that Arkansas day Keep it here with me in my way and use it as touchstone when feeling tender gives way to frustration One day you spoke in a living room we shared for an evening and your eyes were loud to me with obsidian fire


I keep that burning desire with me ever and whenever I feel like folding I think of you --hot blooded for the right in life and I stand strong And one day you sang a song to make for me a gift of your spirit and I thank you for letting me take from you that greatness you let slip

Fi lth
Daniel Jones
i had a heart to heart with said opponent. (the heart.) he blamed me for the sudden mix up and i blamed him for the open baiting of the truest form. i started to yell as he walked away with a pouting lip and a suitcase filled with past loving. then i noticed he just needed the hair of the dog. so i poured one and told him to love fully and wholly immersed in the what can-be. he looked at me suspiciously and nodded with a tilted grin and whiskey on his breath. back in the saddle and with guns at hip, he told me he was going to call romance out at high noon and one of them was going to fall. then i tipped my glass back, staring at his shadow and thought, here we go again., luckily.



I’ve broken into hearts like houses and stolen all of the little things, caps to pens and backs of earrings, every book of matches and the wicks to all of your candles. I’ve taken the commas from your declarations of love and stuffed them in between all of your everyday conversations. I’ve stolen the middle period from all of your ellipses. I keep them in my pockets like penny candy and occasionally, give them to children on the street who are no strangers to me. I am the bad guy in your fairy tale.

little things

tell me a secret everyone knows but me promise i won’t tell cross my heart and swear good goddamn it tears feel the warm embrace shake until you can see what is real again and fascinate me with your lies promise you won’t tell break my heart and i swear hope you die good god, damn it tears touch my lips tonight deludge until i can see who is real you are not again and fascinate me with your skewed morality promise no one will tell they’re waiting for a scene cross my heart and swear

Tears or fascination i don’t know which




People come to my workplace to feel at peace. They watch the butterflies fluttering and soaring and gliding and find themselves smiling. Some call the more astonishing attributes of their existence, such as the migration of the monarchs, an act of God while others see it as a great scientific mystery. All find serenity in their nature. A big part of my job is teaching. Twice a week I am scheduled in the aviary where I get to water plants and talk about butterflies all day. Well, most of the day. Due to some regulations put upon us by the government, we must have someone watching the entrance to the aviary as long as there are guests in the building. You might think standing by a door and doing nothing sounds like an easy way to make money- but you would be wrong. Being put on the door is like waiting for a late bus. You didn’t bring anything to do while you waited, but if you step away, even for a moment, your bus may come and go without you. There’s not much you can do but stand and twiddle your thumbs, and when your bus stop is surrounded by fun and interesting things you could be doing it gets real old real fast. Today I was waiting for the bus and twiddling my thumbs and thinking about all the things I could’ve been doing when a dead butterfly caught my eye. On the outside it looked like a dead leaf, popular camouflage for lepidoptera, but on the inside it was a beautiful metallic blue with an orange band on its forewing. Enamoured, I pulled out one of our identification charts and found the species. Kallima inachus. A quick google search told me it was from tropical Asia. I then got caught up jumping from wikipedia article to wikipedia article absorbing strings of next to useless information about the Nymphalidae family. I probably carried on this way for 20 minutes before I noticed a previously serene old woman giving me a dirty look, presumably for having my phone out. I shot her a smile, which hopefully passed as genuine, and sat my phone back down. For the next hour my head was spinning. Species that you wouldn’t even expect to find in the same family would be in the same sub-family, even, and some that seemed like they should be in the same genus were sometimes in different families completely. I wanted desperately to know what made them the same, or different. I needed to know how they were organized.

If it works, it works.

On my next break I rooted through the company library and I found a book and another book and a third and I snatched up a notepad and some highlighters and some pens and when I returned to my post I was well equipped to begin my glorious project. I was practically foaming at the mouth for how excited I was, and from the first mark of my bic highlighter all concept of time went out the window. My bus could have come and gone 20 times and I wouldn’t have noticed. After mapping out neotropical members of the Nymphalidae family, I stopped and admired my work. It was wonderful. A full 8 1/2 x 11 absolutely filled with a color coded representation of a family, the relations between the species a little clearer and 3 hours of my life gone. I wondered suddenly if I would have done this on my own time. If I were wikipedia surfing this subject at home would I have stopped to make this chart? Would I ever even think this in depth about butterflies if not on the clock? Looking at my masterpiece now held a tinge of desperation. I had recently told my parents that I had a new found interest in biology and that I wanted to go back to school, but did I really? Are my new interests all consuming, or are they more of a conditional thing? Do I make charts and graphs at work because I want to make charts and graphs or because I want to fill up the time in my day? Why do I do anything ever? Do I play with my cats at home because I like cats or because I don’t like people? Do I tune in to the CW on Thursday nights and watch Mary, Queen of Scots, repeatedly make a fool out herself at french court because I enjoy “history” or because I live vicariously through her exciting (if totally strange and made up) love life? Have I ever done anything real and constructive with my life or is my life constructed to make it feel like I’m doing something real while really I’m sitting on my ass and eating a lot of chocolate? Once again I am brought back to reality by a customer. He asks me about the way they land and if it says anything about their species. I tell him about basking and camouflage and all the different wonderful things that they do and, in this, I find myself smiling.

Whoa! That’s an awesome skull although I can’t understand what it has to do with anything. He had an evil twin brother... literally. I feel weird fron basically huffing paint all day. I hope you laugh when I say this; sometimes I think you’re mentally handicapped.

We laughed so hard & so long that by the time we stopped we were sober.

When you say, “you’re hilarious” I know you really mean, “I’m not paying attention”. I wonder if they still sell crack on 36th & Troost in Kansas City.

But I want to sit here and have desperate thoughts. I’m sorry your mom is cleaning your butt & you don’t like it. “I THINK THEY’RE OUT OF DOUGNUTS!” ‘They’re not out of cardboard boxes & trashcans.’’

What does this paper cost? Deeeer.

I bet it looks like a fork that’s pregnant!

Who wants to be Billy Graham? No seriously, who wants to be him? You’re a fag, you can’t touch boobs.

Let’s hope the steering wheel holds out. My daddy said I could kill people & get away with it, and I want to. It’s really easy to rhyme disappear with queer. HEY! don’t be giving away my corndog!


I got tha swag n it’s pumpin out my ovaries.



I’m not gonna lie... I love watching people argue in cars in traffic.

I don’t remember there ever being white The Day All The Ink Pens Ran Out. people in my hamburger. I just realized I can do Robitussin inIt’s a soup... it’s like a liquid. doors. I could do it anywhere!

He definitely captured the spirit of squig- When I say, “Your girlfriend is a whore” gly. what I really mean, “She should get an abortion”. I have to pee so bad that everything looks likes a bathroom. “Do you remember her name? it rhymes with jizz...” Draw me a snowman doing something atypical. I’m a complete heterosexual, but I will cry when Brad Pitt dies. “Experience is the best teacher” said the girl with the horse face.

“I like to entertain... that’s what I’m here for... I’m sorry if I offended, or bothered you-- I didn’t mean to slow down what you guys had going on here. And I’m sorry, I just want to say, I say what I mean.” “I’m not really caring about how you feel at all.”

Sergeant Heartstomp - BLEEDING HEART Peanut Scholar - “I’M SORRY.” Flesh Cherry - MOONHITCHER STARGAZER Yeti Detective - SASSY PANTS












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