EDITORIAL REMARKS by M.R. Branwen
WELCOME TO THE FIRST ISSUE of Slush Pile! We’re very excited to be here.
Then leisurely proceed to the issue itself, where you will find some new short fiction. To mention just a few stories, Aja Gabel’s What’s In Jacksonville? lends us a voyeuristic view into what’s actually in Durham, NC; Terrance O’Connor’s Sam introduces us to the colorful population of a psychiatric hospital; Ted Morrissey takes us to Russia, with a poet named Hektr, in Men of Winter; and Christopher Harris makes us fall in love with a bunch of teenage troublemakers lost in middle America with The Adventures of Froggy March—-watch out for this one, folks. When I read it, I cried. Real tears.
In the Poetry section, we have new poems from Jules Gibbs, Michele Battiste, Jonathan Weinert, and others, ranging as much in subject matter—lobsters, family, flowers, lovers—as in style... (read more)
1 A LITTLE LIE
Like a white lie? Like a fib? Like something dead.
The old woman remembers now.
“Sometimes it’s okay to lie, you know, like a white lie, or a dead dog lie.” Her father stood bent over the workbench, cranking a screwdriver. What’s a dead dog lie? (read more)
THEN, THE DESERT SEEMED to creep towards you. It lay at the edges of things, surrounding you on all sides. You stood at the center. You stood there, clenching your teeth at the feel of bare feet burning on the white pavement by the pool, and looked up at the sky, which arched above you, crayon-blue. The flat-paddle cacti grew neatly at the edges of the pavement. At the borders. Wild things... (read more)
THE WAY I BUILT YOU WAS
With my hands. I have built
Others with my feet and teeth.
I built them from metal and scrap.
But you, you were easy as breathing.
I also built you with my pointed tongue,
Tracing your shape in the air... (read more)
HOPE OF REBOOT by Hayes Moore
MY SUPER-HUSBAND JUST sent me an interesting article. I call Paul my Super-Husband because he is both my supervisor and my husband. And because it is poetic.
The email said:
juliet—article below mentions a kid from your high school class. hope the code’s not too ugly? i’ll be looking for it tomorrow early. loves, p... (read more)
by Katie Williams
OUR HOUSE IS EMPTY. All the houses are empty – beautiful, rectangular and vacant. The lake around which they stand is iced over, bleeding through in dark patches at its center. Ferret and I have learned to spot the houses with caretakers, locals hired to shovel the drive, rotate the lights, sprinkle flakes in the saltwater aquarium to make the angelfish go wild. The house we pick, its walk is buried, its lights snuffed. Rich people! (read more)
TWO POEMS by Todd Fredson
WE STATION OURSELVES where the misery will be most dramatic so that we might be able to cite heroism. That splinter of witness imbedded in our bodies, we are bound to such tragedy, keep it present in order to remind readers, we were partly victim, too, and partly responsible, yes, heroic... (read more)
by Michael Burkard
SHOULD I PUT UP MY CLOSING SIGN NOW?
Should I wait until September? If
I wait until September could I still
sell the business or would too many people
be gone? If I can’t sell the business... (read more)
TWO POEMS by Yael Shinar
1 COME INTO A DAY
that drums believably
into our pleased hearts
2 my temperature
beloved— (read more)
SOPHIE AT THE ASHCAN by Elizabeth Twiddy
SOPHIE AT THE ASHCAN
where bats dove down
Standing in her smudged apron
between wires in the air,
Wringing her hands in cloth
snatching things in their mouths... (read more)