Nonfiction

“Spiritual B.O.,” by Claudia Fucigna

May 16th, 2018 | By

You might think patchouli, but that’s not what I mean. I mean spicy shoes left to fumigate by the door. Acrid plastic yoga mats made in China that will take Vedic ages of rebirth to break down in a landfill. Gluten-free soy candles blessed by Peruvian shamans that cost an arm and a leg. Burned sage sitting on top of a seven-layer dip of cologne created by human bodies in motion.



“I Should Listen to More Reggae,” by Diane Callahan

May 2nd, 2018 | By

I once pretended to be Jamaican for five minutes.

Considering the fact that I’m whiter than mozzarella and have lived in Ohio my entire life, this was no small feat.



“10 Ways Not to Like a Thing,” by Nolan Yard

Apr 11th, 2018 | By

1. Before you try not to like it, already make up your mind that you will not like it—this makes it so much easier.



“Universe Hoppers, My Brethren,” by Maura Yzmore

Apr 4th, 2018 | By

I leave the pharmacy, wiping off snot with my sleeve, my head stuffier than a high-school locker room. I carry nose drops, antihistamines, and the good decongestant for which I must flash my driver’s license because lesser meth cooks than Walter White use it as raw material.



“How to Avoid Getting Asked to Be a Bridesmaid,” by Cassie Title

Mar 21st, 2018 | By

First, be antisocial. In kindergarten, when the teacher asks you to share crayons and play nicely with the other children, don’t. There’s no point. You don’t want to be friends with these fools who pick their noses and use their booger-smothered fingers to touch your back when you all play tag at recess. In fact, make sure you don’t play tag at recess.



“The Doll,” by Amaya Duran

Mar 7th, 2018 | By

She was Pocahontas in her school play this year. “Because I’m dark,” she told us. Her hair is black and hangs straight down her bony shoulders. Her hands are small and soft as she pulls me through the hall.

Mariella. She’s my blood and two years older so I listen.



“A Thoreau Thing,” by June Forte

Jan 10th, 2018 | By

My brother Jim called to tell me he was about to bid on a 50-acre island in the middle of the Illinois River.

“We want to scale down,” he said. “Do the Thoreau thing. You know—Walden Pond.”



“Screenplays I Wrote When I Was a Teen,” by Lee Blevins

Jan 3rd, 2018 | By

I wrote seven feature length screenplays between the ages of twelve and seventeen. That’s one per year plus an extra one junior year when I got too stoned by myself for the first time. None of these screenplays were ever produced because I both was underage and undertalented (that’s untalented with an extra der). I list them here so my sister’s future children shall be able to see how much cooler their uncle could have been than them.



“Logic, the Universe, and Pigs,” by Ali Kashkouli

Dec 27th, 2017 | By

As a child one rarely questions religious beliefs. Your parents tell you what to believe and that’s that. My father was never the religious type, but would occasionally be found to utter a short prayer whenever convenient for him. My mother, however, adhered fairly strictly to the Islamic tradition and made the effort to pray as much as possible. Namaz, she called it. The incongruity between my father’s more lax perspective and my mother’s incessant incantations really made me wonder. Did God want to be constantly bothered with the insignificant events of our daily lives or was He more into the gestalt? What if God really was a micromanager? Would someone like my dad end up getting the cold shoulder because of his inconsistent appeals?



“The Big Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree,” by Alexander Cavaluzzo

Nov 22nd, 2017 | By

While most congregants in the United States spend their Sunday mornings in a church, you’re more likely to find twentysomethings in New York City attending Our Lady of Bottomless Mimosas on the Lord’s day. The service typically entails an offering of eggs rothko, adoration of cute waiters, and readings from the New York Times’s Vows section. This recurring ritual, more commonly known as “brunch”, provides solace and nourishment, with just a touch more alcohol than the standard Catholic mass. During one such service, though, the rites that unfolded offered me a very rude revelation.