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Photo by Marco Verch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

fiction | richard leise | cracked

Justin knows someone in that house is watching him. He nears. The place is blacked out, its windows covered with blankets. Bass disrupts the silence, makes thick thin textures, snares and kick drums in triple-time, offset by hi-hats similarly divided, completing the trap. He doesn’t want to appear anything other than casual. He places two eggs on their lawn. They disappear into the grass.

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America Chose to Drown in the Desert | Emily as She Dropped the Lantern at My Feet | [those junk plums] | Emily as the Audacity of the Red Egg | With an Empathy so Fatal #52

Humanity seems to be, at all times, desperate to prove that we are not simply the most violent ornaments of the planet, that we possess a largess of spirit that demands a trumpeting in all of art’s forms, an action that rises to both song and rallying cry for those of us paying attention. I believe poetry is the most admirable of those actions. The study, the music, the violence of it, all of it moves and dances in almost indecipherable way. It’s because of this that it must be created, studied, and commented upon at the same torrid pace of any other art form. I believe that whether the poetry is written in celebration, in lamentation, in defense of, or as a threat, we need to see more of it. Once it exists, we need to discuss its meaning, function, and success/failure. This is why I carry the goal of constant creation, of studying the world of poetics, and commenting on the important works that make their way to us. My hope is to raise the blood of poetry, to spark the scene from all corners of the stage, and through that better understand why it is all of us feel this dramatic connection to this art form.

poetry | Darren Donate | Después De Las Piedras

I knew his shame & had no words for it.
Still, when we spoke his limpid voice returned me
to those summer evenings spent in Salado Lake
as we searched for piedras under the balm of moonlight,
tightly wound fists ready to lurch stones across the water.

ESSAYS | rochelle jewel shapiro | the sexual revolution

A few days before I was to be married, I guess feeling anxious for my own future, I asked my mother, “When men get older, do they still want to have sex?”

Her eyelids got heavy. Her blue eyes seemed to sink deeper into their sockets. “Yes, if they don’t work themselves to death,” she said with a sigh.  

Her pain was so naked that I had to look away. I tried to forget it in order to go on with my own life, but it haunted me. Whenever my husband reached for me or I for him, I thought of that moment with my mother and clung to him harder.  

film | sean woodard | once upon a time in FILM scoring: walk hard

If the music had not been remotely good, then audiences wouldn’t care as much about the film’s main character. Everyone delivers, resulting in the movie being a beautiful ride from start to finish.

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