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be about it #11

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edited by Alexandra Naughton


cover art/interior art by Alexandra Naughton (unless otherwise noted)

be about it press
October, 2015

the birthday parties


by eva mckenna
Im at a coffee shop when my best friend walks in.
What are you doing here? he says.
Getting coffee, I say.
Me too, he says.
He orders a coffee. I already have mine, and a table, but Im
waiting for a muffin thats being heated up. We both stand by the
counter.
Are you coming to my birthday party on Sunday? he asks.
Iced coffee. Muffin, the barista says.
We get our stuff. He walks to the area with the lids, and I trail
behind.
Well, I say. Well, about that. He stares at me. I have to be at
work at 7 am, I explain. I try to unwrap the muffin with my free
hand.
What are you talking about? he says. Itll be over by 10!
Youre not coming to my birthday, I say. Our birthdays are two
days apart.
Really? Hes still trying to get the lid on his cup. Thats how it
is?
I nod.
I already had plans.
I shrug. Thats fine.
He glares at me. Fine. Ill be there.
Well, okay, I say. I walk around the corner to my table.
You cant just walk away in the middle of an argument! he yells.
He comes and sits down at the table with his coffee. The lid is
smashed on one side where he tried to make it fit.
All my stuff is over here, I say.
So youre just gonna skip my birthday if I dont come to yours?
Yes, I say. I have work early.
Oh my god, he says. Whatever.
Its the same situation, I say. I take a bite of my muffin.

Well, Im coming. He crosses his arms. Change the


reservation.
I laugh. Alright, I say. I guess me too then.
Okay. He stands up. Bye.
He walks around the corner.
One more thing, he says, coming back. Whos gonna be
there?
I tell him.
Okay, he nods. He turns to leave. Wait. He turns back.
Whats the dress code? No. He throws out his hands. Some of
his coffee spills out of his cup. Dont tell me. I dont care.
He walks off.
I pull out my phone. When yr best friend yells at you lol, I tweet.
I wait. No one responds.
I eat the rest of my muffin and check again. When yr best friend
yells at you lol, I read again. I sigh. I favorite it.

breathing in the baltic (hard things)


by Kelsey May
my poems are hard things. my poems are wrapped in cellophane.
my poems wont let you breathe. my poems are not dropped
from the womb in spring. theyre forged in winter between sheets
of stalactites. my poems are fists. my poems are swearwords. my
poems swear they can beat you at anything. try them. my poems
are vocal cords reverberating in the throat of a grizzly bear. my
poems are echolocation in the baltic sea. my poems are
triceratops skeletons rising in the valley of bones. my poems are
shark teeth lodged behind bulletproof glass. my poems wont tell
you how they got there.

Endings
By Shawn Scott Smith
If you woke to the sound of thunder would you seek shelter?
If you caught the smell of smoke would you bear witness to the
fire?
Calculating the genetics of it all,
Choices, lanterns, lovers...
I watch you disappear,
Under the waves, eternal.
Under the blankets, fleeting recourse.
Just reacting to my hold.

my favorite thing
by Angela Dawn
about not being dead
should be
holding on to you
but i think instead
it is sleeping late
into the day
sheets wrapped
around me like
saran wrap
the bed
on fire
with sun
the cat
immune
to flame

The Emotionally Homeless


by Mollie Underwood
I think my favorite thing about living in oakland is how pitiful I feel
I'm attracted to weepy and confused
I feel like a kid again, covered in band-aids and eating crackers
I don't really think about my future anymore

Happy Accidents
by Andrew Thomas
Our dreams grow smaller,more important.
She says she wants to live by the ocean or in the forest up in the
mountains;I say maybe we can get there in ten or twenty years.
She says she cant dream that long;I whisper, I know.
There are indications here and there:
tingle of a leg
a lapse of memory
her grandfathers scattered thoughts
and movements
This feels like a mistake, no matter what Bob Ross says.
She says she only has one move left in her;I say I can remember
for the two of us.
She says the words dont always come and it scares her;I say,
Hush now, that happens to me too sometimes.

Our dreams blend together like complimentary colors on the


palette:
Alizarin Crimson atop Black Geso
Cadmium Yellow swirling with Prussian Blue
Sap Green softened by Titanium White
We wiggle our brush until its full of paint;We tap it in just like
that.
She says she wants to read her book or take a nap;
I say I will lay beside her.
She says she wants to go camping soon;
I say nothing as we both drift off to sleep.
With her I am a happy tree,living beside a friend, by the lake,
on the mountain, overlooking the sea.

Apologies
by Joe Nicholas
My favorite thing to do is shove my face so close to the mirror as
to not to see anything at all. Are my eyes too veiny? Are my teeth
too stained? Today I want a beard and tomorrow I want mascara
and the next day I want both. Why can't I have everything I ask
for? Why do all my prayers bounce back off the wall? I laugh when
I'm nervous and I apologize for making a scene. I want to be heard
but not necessarily loud. I want seen in bright lights that obscure
my figure. Is that their elbow or the corner of Broadway? Is that
their kneecaps or a pair of beached suns? I told my mother I
wasn't a man and she stared at me in horror. I laughed and
walked away from her. I should have stayed.

TEXAFORNIA BOMBSHELL
by Paul Corman-Roberts
Judgement in the eyes of authority
inescapable paradigm
the bodily fluids of beautiful people
are more important
& therefore more beautiful
than the bodily fluids of ugly people
When you are this beautiful
you dont have to let go of anything
you never wanted to let go of
but you will
you will
leave to make room
for all the shiny new things
for all the more beautiful new
you will never need for community
you will be the all American dream
you will not want
you will simply purchase want
the best want available
top shelf want
you will
your will &
Who do did you think you were
going and falling in love like that?
How fucking rude
We didnt create you
just so you could screw the pooch
The republic of Texafornia
is supposed to be bigger than this

is supposed to be bigger than you


but its not all the ways
I want
to roll in your dust
crawl in your muddy banks
I cant ingest it
without ingesting you
why do I feel the need to prove
that no one else could live like this
I killed the only possum who ever loved me
when I was still more beautiful
southern
gothic
fab
noir
fatalistic
femme
doom
dom
delivered
like a more beautiful slug
crawling along the blade
of a more beautiful razor.

untitled
by Candace Holmes
im not a stamp you
cannot lick me and
adhere me to your life
but kiss the door between
my breasts like you dont
see the lambs blood

MY DOG IS MY FAVORITE
by Brendan Griffin
My Dog.
My dog is the best/worst dog.
My dog is like someone took a knife, split it in twain, and then
stabbed the word twain.
My dog smells terrible.
My dog has a poopy butt.
Friends gather from all around to look at my dogs poopy butt.
"BEHOLD!" They announce to one another in excited exclamation.
"Brendan's poopy butt!"
No - shut up, you guys!!! It's my dogs!!!!
My dog is clean.
My dog is energetic.
Laziness does not come into my dogs life when he/she decides
what gender it wants to be.
My dog loves collars.
My dog is experimenting with an S&M fetish.
My dog found the manager of an H&M because he/she was trying
to find "tickle whips for dogs" and didn't know where to start
looking.
My dog doesn't know how to spell tickle.
My dog doesnt believe in auto-correct.
My dog says feels cant be auto-corrected.
I really love my dog.
My dog is the owner of every Home Depot.
My dog will tell you where Velcro tape is located in any Home
Depot warehouse, while wearing an orange apron.
My dogs orange apron, says, WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?
My dog masturbates with me on Saturdays, and I don't say this
often - but has taught me *a lot* about technique.

Like, a lot.
For instance; how to be comfortable with your dog, while youre
both masturbating.
My dog stretches to unbelievable lengths, travels through time,
and taught Oscar Wilde how to split an atom.
My dog is my dads.
He has always been.
Ashes.

Conor Oberst in a Dream Poem


by Luis Neer
He was standing atop a big pile of something.
I think it was a pile of books.
He looked like he hadnt shaved in several days
and he was brandishing a butter knife at my face.
We made an eye contact calm enough to signify
that his eyes were actually just a reflection of mine
(in reality his eyes are brown and mine are blue)
(it was a dream so it works out)
(this is irrelevant). He spoke to me.
There was no sound but I understood the message:
Take this dagger, he said,
in sharp, clear syllables. Kill your ego.
When I reached for the butter knife
I woke up. Those arent his lyrics.
All the Bright Eyes records I have on vinyl
are really neat looking and sometimes I sit and
examine them for long periods of time.
Is this a poem? I dont know. I hope so.
Today it rained and I went outside to sit and be rained on.
Maybe this is a poem.
For every sentence I regret, I think of it.

whos your favorite stephen king, god?


by Matt Margo
#1 is widowed
#2 likes twinkies
#3 lives in tarlac, tarlac
#4 self-identifies as a hyperspace cowboy
#5 works as a server at the cheesecake factory
#6 has read how to win friends and influence people
#7 listens to fleetwood mac, rod stewart, and phil collins
#8 studies exercise science at georgia southern university

Inspired by True Events


By @ZCHSTN

cottoncandy
by Bianca Nino
i'm not your good-fucking girl, not your freshfaced angel, not your
barely legal wet dream
watch yourself before i pull those words out of your mouth like
your father punched your teeth out and i'll collect your fresh
wounds and hang them above your bed and you'll wish you hadn't
laid a single hand on me
and you'll be praying of all the different ways you wish you hadn't
met me
i bet you didn't expect your fuck meat to wrap her hands around
your neck
and choke the cum out of you, holy porno
you'll be sleeping with the animal remains in the drainage ditch
tonight and
i'll touch myself as i watch your body sink to the bottom of the
lake
so pull your limbs back into their sockets before i create a death
out of you

Journey (your favorite band)


by Ash Strange
animal, car, sport, hair color, eye color, shoes, store, clothing
brand, ice cream flavor tv show, movie, cartoon, drink, food, song,
singer, group, car, store, mall, day, holiday, movie star, shoe
brand, flower, name, vacation, number, perfume, scent, animal,
state, whats yur favorite song
bands years everything
your sharpness
and favorite sort of perfume
shadow, shoes, car,
humble fields of space
I wanted so badly to stop and say hi
I am 33 years old favorite color is pink
I have a younger brother that lives nearby
We enjoy summer time at the lake with the jet-ski
We are a dog family Catholic upbringing
- imagine having your favorite Super Hero, cartoon character or
other celebrity at your party.
I got everything taken care of now, I would love to rock like old
times
please prove your real and put your favorite sport in the title. If
you don't have a favorite sport your favorite food. Hope to hear
from ya.

small round things


by Megan Lent
these are a few of my favorite things:
handfuls of baby bird eyes, fake pearls, real pearls, peppercorns
small round things
like a dimple in the thigh of a stranger whose hair you may have
smelled
on the bus, and maybe you saw the way the sun looked
when she introduced herself to it
maybe you got caught
admiring the small round things
in an antique shop in texas;
they let you touch one, a
bright blue pendant
painted with the silhouette of a palm tree.
(there are plenty of small round things that you yourself have
owned,
the ones which mean the most to you are, in no particular order:
the blown-glass earring, the purple beads in the
altoid container in your purse, the
black center of the brass ring from a mall in las vegas, the
black center of the peacock feather your grandfather gave you,
the word iridescent,
the word chercher,
the word pertains
a wheat penny;
maybe also that clitoris you licked last month, and also that
orange you ate last winter,
and also that chiming bell you rang last lifetime
but you never owned those things, really

and always always the calm wide eyes


of the person you call lemon ice box pie
in your sleep.)
my favorite helpful hints
by Megan Lent
the best way to touch yourself is with two fingers and a hot piece
of metal
the best way to wax your legs is with the melted face of the virgin
mary
the best way to listen to music is to backwards
the best way to survive a flood is to stop drop & roll
the best way to survive a nuclear bomb is to say youre sorry
the best way to wear a hat is jauntily
the best way to ask for help is never, dont do that
the best way to run away from home is with a toothbrush in your
back pocket
the best way to drown your sorrows is in your own saliva
the best way to lie to your mom is to paint buffalos on a cave wall
the best way to redirect your emotions to something more
productive is to do your brows
the best way to swear is with a smile
the best way to get god to really listen to you is to breathe helium
and talk in a squeaky voice
the best way to remove mascara is crying
the best way to get a dog to stop barking is to convince the irs to
audit its ass
the best way to get a baby to stop crying is to remind it that the
universe is expanding

the best way to watch an elton john concert is to remember that


his father never believed in him
the best way to throw tomatoes is at actors
the best way to throw a surprise party is for yourself and then not
show up
the best way to make someone love you is to take out your
ribcage and give it to them
the best way to make use of a ribcage a lover gave you is to put
your parrot in it
the best way to teach a parrot to speak is to first teach it to get a
life
the best way to get your parrot to get a life is to get it on
broadway, dammit
the best way to apologize is in between cartwheels
the best way to eat the moon is la mode
the best way to satisfy a sweet tooth is to suck on your toes and
say delicious
the best way to learn to read is to really pay attention to
skywriting
the best way to understand politics is to fold and unfold a road
map until youre an expert
the best way to lose yourself is to the sea
the best way to find yourself is by accident, or with purpose, or
with a metal detector,
i cant remember

hole in the wall


by Erin Taylor
it is raining outside and inside this small cafe, crumbling before
me because
it cannot hold up against the pitter patter of acid rain
the sky is full of smog, lucky on the days when the sky looks blue
instead of grey
or white or black and my lungs have taken in so much
yuck and guck and smoke
luckily I grew up with secondhand smoke as my best friend
my lungs look like the charcoal my father put in our stockings one
year, large and black
and if you look long enough youll see their slight movements
breathing
this little cafe, this happy home with eggplant and chinese coffee
and alcohol that tastes
worse than vodka, is my favorite hole in all of china, all of asia, all
of this hemisphere
the rain is loud the rain is loud the rain is loud
Kelsey May. Grand Rapids, MI. I actually don't know the name of
my favorite bookstore. It's a cramped store in Eastern Market in
Washington, DC. It's been in that location for decades, and I found
a second edition copy of TS Eliot's The Wasteland for only $3 or
$4. Amazing, old-book-smell little place.

bios
Andrew J. Thomas. Vacaville (a.k.a. Cowtown). How much of an asshole am I if I say
iBooks? Seriously, one of the big drawbacks of living out here in the middle of nowhere
is that we literally don't have any bookstores. But if I had to choose a real one, I guess I'd
go with Pegasus in Berkeley.
Angela Dawn lives in the South Bronx + her favorite bookstore is Unimpressive NonImperialist Bargain Books (34 Carmine St.)
Ash Strange is a 22 year old non binary artist based in Rochester, NY. Their favorite
bookstore is any used bookstore, especially when there are too many books to look at.
Bianca is a writer living in Texas, she sleeps mostly but enjoys attending poetry readings
at her second home, Imagine Books And Records.
Brendan James Griffin currently lives in Seattle, WA. His favorite bookstore is the poetry
bookstore, Open Books (Located on 45th Ave N).

candace holmes. rotterdam, netherlands favorite book store: women & children first
(chicago, il)
Erin Taylor lives in Hangzhou, China and her favorite bookstore is The Book Place in
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Eva McKenna is from Atlanta, Georgia. Her favorite bookstore is the office trash can.
Joe Nicholas was recently transported to Brighton, MA. They miss Burlington, VT and its
Crow Bookshop.
Kelsey May. Grand Rapids, MI. I actually don't know the name of my favorite bookstore.
It's a cramped store in Eastern Market in Washington, DC. It's been in that location for
decades, and I found a second edition copy of TS Eliot's The Wasteland for only $3 or $4.
Amazing, old-book-smell little place.
Luis Neer lives in Chester West Virginia near the Ohio River although his favorite
bookstore Taylor Books is in Charleston West Virginia near the Kanawha River.
Matt Margo. Location: Ohio. Favorite bookstore: Guide to Kulchur (Cleveland).
Megan Lent reluctantly breathes in Los Angeles, which has a lot of bookstores she loves
dearly, but none will ever beat out City Lights, never ever.
mollie underwood, oakland ca, e.m. wolfman general interest small bookstore.
Paul Corman-Roberts. Nicol Ave. LDS Bookstore in Woodminster
Shawn Scott Smith, Asheville NC, Mr K's

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