Sara Petras



SLUSH PILE MAGAZINE HAS PROVIDED ME my first experiential understanding of aging: when I put up the first issues at the tender age of…ahem…[the age that I was a year and a half ago] they seemed to fly out of my hands and onto the screen. I could hardly contain my youthful vigor. I was putting them up at a rate of one per month, which now seems both laughable and impossible. And here comes the lesson: turns out that getting older means that you just can’t get things done as quickly as you used to. These days, Slush Pile goes up at the leisurely rate of whenever I feel like it. Of course, I’d be much more gallant about finding you all (and myself) these edifying morsels of lit if someone felt like paying me to do it. Do any of you? Funny, I never thought to ask. Ahhh, money: the key to eternal youth.

Meantime, regardless of our age and poverty, we aren’t quite ready for retirement!... (read more)

MAPS by Suzanne Barnecut

USUALLY THE POSTCARDS arrived from all over the country, a few per drive. John was dependable and surprising in the way that the seasons are. I’d come to love the afternoons, waiting for a glossy or weather-beaten card to arrive in the mail, bearing an image of some place I’d never been—usually a landmark or else a town I would never know existed... (read more)


YOU WILL MOST LIKELY meet him somewhere charming. Say, on a four-day canoe trip upstream with mutual friends. He’ll have a long-term girlfriend back home, a fiancée even, but this won’t matter because he’ll have guns the size of ridiculous and he’ll power the canoe like a speedboat... (read more)

ONES FOR TENS by Lee Landers

SANDY HALL HAD SUNGLASSES ON like always. The customers thought she was trying to imitate Hollywood celebrities. Most didn’t know she was blind as she sat in the three-sided glass ticket booth; the goldfish bowl of the Boomer Theatre on Campus Corner... (read more)

THE MISSIONARY by Ashley Mayne

WHEN I FIRST CAME TO THE SUNDARBANS they told me I was not to go among the mangroves alone, and was not to leave the compound at night, for a tiger had killed already nine souls that year and a water buffalo. Only the honey hunters and the fishermen went in among the mangroves...(read more)

FOUR POEMS by Becky Thompson

de Guadalupe to put in his bundle

bag. To make up for the cattle
Alvin’s brothers sold, angry that he left

the reservation, trading hay and high sky
for time with books. Luis crossing

his own borders at ten, headlights
off through the steel gazing gates...(read more)


WE WORKED TOGETHER at a Russian-fusion restaurant– Jenna had been there six years, I’d been there four– and both of us wanted to quit. But the tips were good at The Estate, and Jenna liked the small interactions with people, asking how was their food, how was their day...(read more)


“THESE FOUR PAINTINGS are from an ongoing body of work dealing with fantasy, routine, and loneliness. At the time of their creation, I was watching a handful of period films. Initially I was seduced by the glamorous lighting, confectionary colors and lavish costuming. Soon after, I noticed myself becoming envious of the structure these women experienced in their lives full of leisure, assisted dressing, scheduled meals, arranged marriages, and imposed morals. I noticed the divide between my life of self-motivated ritual and theirs of obligatory self ritual."