Issue Zero

Contents


  • Six Months Living In a Flat in an Up-and-Coming Neighbourhood

    Later that year it started to hail. From out of nowhere, hailstones as big as ping pong balls. I was only a block from the flat, walking along the sidewalk with my bike, but the weather got so wild, I had to seek refuge in a shop. The nearest one was a luxury second hand shop where I have bought quite a lot of things, though I don’t like the woman who owns it. She follows you around the shop as if you’re going to steal something and if you ask her to see something in the locked glass cabinet, she looks at you as if she thinks you couldn’t afford anything from that cabinet anyway, which might be true but still, you just shouldn’t do that as a shopkeeper.

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  • Duckling

    When the paramedics came to collect it I asked one of them if he could scoop the dead duckling out of the pool as well while they were here and he looked at me like I was the worst thing he’d ever seen. I’d done everything right up until I asked, but that didn’t seem to matter.

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  • but all is to be dared

    In poem 16 of her surviving 650 fragments, Sappho writes, “Some say an army of horsemen, others a host of infantry,/ others a fleet of ships is the most beautiful thing/ on this black earth. But I say/ it’s whatever you love.” These lines have lain on my coffee table for weeks now, remnants of an earlier attempt to prepare for the upcoming semester.

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  • The Part That Stays The Same

    At school I run as fast as I can far out to the baseball diamond and then I run back as fast as I can. My coat flaps open like wings. Like a dinosaur flying, I am. I try to feel my bones, if I can imagine them hollow. I think of Rosemary in her red coat. Then I do the same run again. I want to feel my heart beat so hard. 

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  • Octopus Prayer

    I want to call you trace your patterns unravel the thread of your thoughts wash 9:57 off your face turn the faucet on and un-try to fight the flood I want to give you away at my garage sale

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  • Homunculus

    Charles focuses on where the man’s shaking finger stabs the photo before him. The woman is wrapped in a red sundress with daisies vivid enough to be real raining diagonally across the fabric. Strands fly loose from her ponytail like wisps of cotton in the wind. Her mouth is bright with laughter beneath green eyes mushed into crescents by full, pink cheeks.

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  • Ordinary Details

    Here in Queens, 6:30 on a January morning, it’s still deep dark, streetlight glinting off the chrome and driver-side mirror of a station wagon parked across the street. Between the car and the white wrought iron fence of a neighbor’s yard a figure, in a hooded sweatshirt, passes. Even in silhouette, I can read the hands in pockets, the shoulders shrugged against the cold.

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  • Nothing to Prescribe Happiness

    She found her first gray hair last week. She spent three days obsessing about it, which Ben, of course, found annoying. Just dye it, he said. As if that’s all she needed was a solution. And she didn’t want to dye it. She wanted to embrace it, to let her brown hair slowly turn silver, one strand at a time. Ben—men—wanted to solve things, but all she wanted—needed—was time to work through the way even her hair was insisting on getting older.

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  • I Love You Like A Brother

    My father’s funeral was on a Monday. I paid the director by check and walked into the funeral home. The caterers were sending everything to the house. The house I would have to sell, now that my father was dead. I hadn’t spoken to my father in four years.

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  • Lemons

    I avoid everything in the house these days bar lemons. I use them to clean stains under the toilet seat and at night, I plunge them into my gullet in whatever herbal tea I decide I want. Yet I remain slightly disturbed by them. A friend, a great nurse that doctors envied for her bedside manner but who’s now an alcoholic locked up in a luxury apartment by a lake in Canada, said of lemons, they are the only magic lump of acrimony in life capable of cleaning the tumours straight out your shitepipe as soon as they are formed.

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  • Two Wolves

    I met a man in a wood who claimed to be a wolf. He’s the hero of this story. He told me of a she-wolf he’d met many years ago in a snowy clearing one December. They lived together for years, howling and bleeding and sinking their teeth into the other’s fur until finally, finally, parting ways.

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  • 100 Years of Modernity

    In the early twenties of the new millennium, as we move towards and through the hundred year anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s famous essays and the revolutionary literary movement they epitomize, it is fair to ask ourselves just how far have we gotten over the past century.

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in mediam mentem || issue zero