NEW Fiction: Zombies and miracles in Lara Herrington Watson's short story "Cinemagic at St. Raphael the Archangel's Assisted Living Home".
"Wilbur turned off the movie and paced the room, thinking about that three letter word. Sex. He shook his head. He was not supposed to think about sex. How long had it been since he and Franny had even been naked together? Living together, sharing nothing, they were more siblings than lovers. How much of the reason was just old age? How much was her stage three zombosis infection? He leaned over her sleeping form to kiss her forehead, her eyes fluttered open and her dark brown eyes stared at him. She almost seemed herself. She smiled and kissed him: a chaste peck of the lips. Outside, the snow was swirling, but a faint smell of floral perfume washed over him ..."
There are advantages, that’s for sure. I can take a knife to my apple and cut away the bruises, whereas with my heart I had to suffer its accumulated injuries all times and forever. I’ve a little door on my chest now, like a small square flap with a latch that I can open, so I can view my apple every day and check out the shape it’s in. And the skin I can peel away, if the blush on my apple ever gets too deep, too bold, and threatens to spread to my face and give my feelings away. Because my feelings are still centered there, in that spot beneath my left breast, more than ever I think.
She lights a cigarette. When she is ready, and wearing nothing but the diamond Cartier watch, the aquamarine bracelet, the winged mermaid tattoo, and someone’s Channel sunglasses, she walks past the rumpled motel bed, the thumping flat screen television, and the threshold of the sliding glass door, where she steps out into the light.
NEW Fiction from Michael Koenig. What if you had a clone? That would be weird. What if that clone turned out to be Justin Bieber? That would be weirder.
“He looks just like you, when you were that age,” Laura says, based on the pictures my mother showed her last Christmas. She always knows the wrong thing to say, doesn’t she? When I was Julian’s age, I was getting beat up by a gang of idiots in high school, not singing pop ditties all over Europe.
NEW Fiction from Joe Miller: "One-Eyed Jack", a short story of luck and chance in a casino.
"Ace of clubs, King of clubs, Queen of clubs, the 3 of diamonds, and the 10 of clubs. Jack of clubs is all I need to win big. I hold my breath. Then, I hold all four of the clubs, delicately pressing the backlit “Hold” button under each card. This could be it."
A demon burst out of the house, screaming in a language that chilled our teeth to the roots. Its many wings beat the night air. We clambered out of the blue, skin tearing off our fingers and knuckles and knees. We leapt the fence as the demon leapt into the pool with a soul-wrenching crash as if it meant to open a portal to hell behind us. I ran without looking back. A fear overtook me so powerful I started laughing. I sprinted aimlessly in the dark, laughing from terror.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to the role that made him a superstar (and, regrettably, Governor of one of the largest states in the nation) in Terminator Genisys, and brings the queen of dragons along for the ride. Review by Scott Waldyn.
The Drunk Monkeys Film Club will be live-tweeting the Tom Hanks cult classic The 'Burbs, directed by Joe Dante, on Friday, June 26th! Gabriel Ricard breaks down why this goofy piece of cinema has stuck around for so long.
Ahead of our group discussion of Return of the Jedi, the conclusion of the original Star Wars trilogy, Editor-in-Chief Matthew Guerruckey explores the themes of the deceptively simple movie, at once profound and naive.
When I tell people I experienced overt racism and intolerance while growing up they are often shocked. I’m only thirty-three years old, and they thought racism was a relic of the past, something worn and tired, gathering dust on the shelves of civil rights museums. They also thought it was regionally confined, so they are even more surprised when I tell them, “near Dayton, Ohio.” They were expecting Mississippi or Alabama, or some other southern state that is notorious for its history of Confederate flags and midnight cross-burnings.
In the 1960’s, cigarette ads often featured women with black eyes, saying they would rather fight than switch brands of cigarettes. The Winston ad featuring this woman read, Me and my Winstons, we got a real good thing. She looks more like a battered woman than a happy smoker.
"The soldiers beat and kicked the men down. It was terrible. They stomped on top of their bodies until the men were nearly dead and could not move. They accused them of being PKK, but this was not true. We were all shepherds. Feraşin had only 1,000 people with over 100,000 sheep and cows. Our family had 500 sheep. We had a good life in Feraşin. It was our Shangri-La. They burned all the houses with everything we owned ... "
... when Vince Gilligan said the spinoff would be a prequel with Saul Goodman as the lead, I was a little letdown, wondering at the direction this spinoff could take. I liked Saul a lot, but a whole show about him led me to think it’d be a comedy, one that really only had one note. I’m here to say I was dead wrong. And I’m quite happy to be.
You remember nothing of the show itself, other than a rustic tree projected in yellow light as the stage's backdrop, running your fingertips over the dark blonde toothbrush fuzz of Tom's buzzcut, the surprise of it after last seeing him with purple locks down to his ears. But that was in March, and this is a new school year and everything. This is post-break up, and there's even an older boy you've got your eye on, but so rare is it that you have some tactile evidence of another body that vaguely welcomes yours. You reach for his hand. Acoustic guitar strings let out their distinctive squeaks. He squeezes back.
Most fighting games, and definitely video games in general, seriously downplay just how damaging fighting can be. While it’s true that a one-punch knockout is rare, a knockout isn’t the only damage that can be done to a person. Cuts, bruises, contusions, concussions, sprains, and broken bones are just the tip of the injury iceberg that is downplayed or flat-out ignored in video games.
Suddenly, the call to prayer blared from the speakers in the minaret. Only in Syria is this call made by a choir rather than a single muezzin, and the harmonic effect is haunting. We were allowed to enter the mosque to observe, but we were relegated to the women’s side only. As thousands, women on one side, men on the other, knelt in murmured prayer touching their foreheads to the carpets, no one seemed to notice the American women clad in gray hooded robes watching from the corner.
This scene shows Snyder’s approach to horror in Wytches. He’s using childhood fears, be it of a bully or of something strange in the nearby forest, and suddenly making it adult- the bully has a gun and the strangeness in the forest turns out to be horrific, yes, but something that forces you to radically change your social life because everyone blames the incident on you. The fears of childhood are being matched with the fears of adolescence and the fears of adulthood.
I’ve learned and mastered the skill of ignoring inappropriate statements and questions like these. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before, so I can just brush it off as I always do even though I feel nearly powerless and weak. I can’t answer their questions or assertions or else I will become a joke that they will mock. Helpless.
They expect me to show proof that I’ve exhausted absolutely every other option before accepting the orientation as true for me. It only exists as a last-resort diagnosis—given, of course, under the authority of someone they trust—and even then, I probably ought to be trying to cover it up or at least not talking about it publicly. If asexuality became a thing we could all accept as part of our reality for a minority of people, well, then asexual people might start recruiting and nobody would have babies anymore.
Game of Thrones the HBO series differs from its source material, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice, in many ways. One area that it often falls short is in pacing and character development. Donald McCarthy takes us through a few recent comparisons from the final episodes of Season Five, and how they match up to A Dance With Dragons.
Did Don Draper create the Coke commercial? Is Peggy Olson's ending truly happy? The Drunk Monkeys staff gets together to discuss the series finale of Mad Men, and look back at the series itself, its charactres, and its place in television history.
Because these twists are not outlandish, the show can get away with them, since our own lives are filled with sudden changes. Someone we know suddenly dies. We find out we’re being laid off without warning. A lover decides to end a relationship. In hindsight there may have been signs, but in the moment it’s like a smack in the face.
An interview with Lisa Mangini, writer and founding editor of Paper Nautilus.
"I was preparing to move, and found a decorative box with all my concert ticket stubs inside. I started looking through them, and each one immediately drew me right back to the evening of the concert itself. I started to recall not the music or the quality of the show itself, but rather the people I watched the show with, what I was wearing, the drive to the venue, the weather, what was going on in my life. I realized that so little about going to a concert is actually about the performance, and wanted to more deeply explore the whole ritual of seeing live music."
"I want to write words to rattle in peoples’ heads and cut their hearts so deeply that once they’ve finished sounding them out, these people feel like they’ve been kicked in the gut and feel like it was the most beautiful beating they’ve ever received. I want my longer stories to be a means of escape; I want people to disappear for hours and when they finally emerge they look around and wonder where the hell they are."
"I love the American West, and I love reading and writing about the West. If I occasionally take issue with the “Western fiction” label, it’s simply because I think it can sometimes be used to separate so-called “regional” literature from literary fiction as a whole."
"The room was so quiet, and the love coming at me from everyone listening to me read was palpable. I could feel it coming at me in waves, it was beautiful. Reading it seemed to go on forever, and I remember trying to read slower and slower because I didn’t want the moment to be over! When I was done, I felt like the story was actually gone from inside of me, the events of the story were finally, finally done after so many years."
"What they need to do is hold ad networks responsible. These ad networks now have a financial stake in financing illegal activity. They made money off illegal and legal activity without any consequence. Imagine it like a pawn shop, thousands of years ago society figured out pawn shop people had to be responsible for what was in their pawn shop. If it was stolen or not and if society didn’t do that anything about it someone could steal your chariot or your big vase and take it to the pawn shop. They could make money and the pawn shop guy could make money, and the person that owned the chariot or owned the big vase is out. After a while the system is going to wear out because no one is going to put any energy into something if it’s going to be stolen."
"Will an MFA make you a better writer? Who the fuck knows? Like Rilke said: 'Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.'"
" ... because the stories I write now have more of an emphasis on relationships between women (sisters, primarily, or women lashing out and being transgressive towards patriarchal structures like marriage, religion, and identity), that tends to make a lot of male writers uncomfortable, because they don’t see themselves in these stories. But to that I say, welcome to the rest of the world, where if you’re not a cis-gendered hetero white male, you don’t always see yourself in THEIR stories, either. Mainly, the conflict I’ve gotten is about the transgressive nature of a lot of my female characters. They don’t bend; they lash out."
"I like beginnings. I will rewrite the first few pages over and over and memorize them and carry them in my head. And then if I get stuck midway through, I will go back to that beginning and look for a crack in the foundation. That’s just something that works for me, in part, if anything, because it’s a fun fantasy, that all narrative problems can be fixed by one sentence in the first five pages!"
"I think my subjects are universal, but I don’t like writing about universal things in a universal way. Some people can, but I can’t. I have to do the unconventional. So I bring in the most absurd things I reasonably can."
New poetry from our Writer of the Month for June 2015, Howie Good.
"Tonight the stars shine good and strong and allow for an even faster death. As soon as the cops and soldiers open the cage to retrieve the body, the eye mounts like a strange balloon toward infinity."
NEW poetry from our Writer of the Month, Howie Good, on finding a stranger in the mirror.
The man lifts his phone. I suddenly realize he has no memory of the land having once been ocean. Everywhere I go these days I encounter strange little details that are almost like clues that it’s spring ...