Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read The Loneliness of Certain American States by Catherine Lacey, selected by Jozeph Herceg.
I was one of those blue-skinned babies who look like they won’t survive ‘til dinnertime, but somehow do, and then become toddlers with the tics and nerves of a used-up veteran. Leonard said it that way. He said I looked up at him and he looked down at me and he knew and I knew and we both knew that we’d always dislike each other. I can’t disagree. My mother was such a good friend, though; so he felt he had no choice. He couldn’t possibly say no—not to a woman whose belly had watermeloned overnight.
Yes, she said, who else?
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read three poems by Tommy Pico with art by Bridget Collins, selected by Jozeph Herceg.
Like my grandfather, I keep eagles.
Who believes in spiritual horseshit?
There is a common misconception
about Indian people, namely everything,
but especially sadness. One summer
the pepper tree rotted, black and twisted
licorice crawling up the ground
of my grandmother’s garden–– a reminder
my grandfather was not my grandfather
by blood. Bikini Kill had an album called
Reject All American, which was not as good
as the CD Version of the First Two Records
or Pussy Whipped, but yielded “R.I.P.”
People die. Sometimes a song reminds
us about pink peppers. I feel inexorably
American, in Paris, Brooklyn, Berlin,
the reservation, despite vodka and liberal arts.
There is a common misconception about
Indians, namely everything, but especially
when pink pepper trees grow cagelike
in the valley, eagle screeching skyward,
and he in a graveyard
and I’m not there.
Álvaro Enrigue’s “Scenes from Family Life” is a collection of linked stories, “micro-novels,” and vignettes that builds to a vertiginous climax. The novella is excerpted from Enrigue’s Hypothermia, translated by Brendan Riley and available now from Dalkey Archive Press.
In the ever-dreadful and overvalued popular imagination, a commercially successful writer is something that one comes to be, not something that one once was. For a surprising number of months, I was the rather relieved, but secret, author of a bestseller. Perhaps that’s hard to believe, but I swear it’s true.
My stunningly casual and entirely wasted trip through the bestseller list happened even before the beginning of my laborious and, frankly, long-suffering career as a writer. I was about twenty-five or twenty-six, living a disheveled sort of life that got rolling each day around noon—at the earliest. I had a certain reputation as a hard-line literary critic, but little else. It was a disaster in the making, thanks to these and a few other factors. For one, I’d recently lost a good job at a private university press: they’d discovered that I was using office hours to translate self-help books—for which I was miserably paid. For another, my wife, Cathy, made the unilateral decision that the time had arrived for making babies, so she stopped teaching classes at an English-language academy, the better to cook one up. And then, the last straw, I’d run up an enormous debt on the three different credit cards which were burning a hole right through my wallet.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read five poems by Sommer Browning with art by the author, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
It was cold. Virginia winter. Throwing lit firecrackers down the hallway. Apostrophes of scorch. The Irishman below us. How I would dress for Third Street Diner. How I told you he spanked me before work. The heat didn’t work. Where did you go when I went to work? You must have gone to work, too. We worked so much. All the money we worked. What a time to fake bourgeoisie. I might have had my apron cinched around me. I might have had ones blooming from my hips. Might have drank there until the bartender told you I needed to leave. Might have left there. Might have.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read three stories by James Yeh with art by Dominic Fortunato, selected by Peter Moysaenko and Daniel Moysaenko.
I’m giving my parents the tour. My tiny bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen. My mother is walking around the living room, examining the cheap furniture, peering out the grime-covered window that overlooks a poorly lit alley between my building and the building across from it. Her face looks worried.
Jem, she says. Your apartment make your mother want to cry.
Aw, it’s not that bad, I say.
My father sits down on the couch and begins flipping through the old magazines crowded on the coffee table. He goes from cover to cover without really looking at anything, then tosses it back in the pile.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read a poem by Ben Mirov with art by Bruce Mackay, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
The View from My Cube Looks Out on Endless Static
They have begun collecting the most serious writers of
They put them in cube after cube to bolster their
I’m like that too. I use my mouth to talk about the cube.
I bleed money. I bleed a stream of money. My crystal lies.
My static and my lies.
They have begun collecting the most serious writers of
They have begun to use their mouths to make some
I do that too, I’ll tell you right now, I spend most of my
time in the cube.
I don’t care, I bleed money. A steady stream of money
from my mouth.
The idea of money makes me high, you know what
And if it turned out some other way than you expected, I
suggest you make some money.
I suggest you make a sound and make some money.
I suggest you find a way to push your money through your
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read an excerpt from Karl Ove Knausgaard’s forthcoming work, My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love.
A few weeks after the novel was finished life began as a house-husband, and the plan was it would last until next spring while Linda did the last year of her training at the Dramatiska Institutet. The novel writing had taken its toll on our relationship, I slept in the office for six weeks, barely seeing Linda and our five-month-old daughter, and when at last it was over she was relieved and happy, and I owed it to her to be there, not just in the same room, physically, but also with all my attention and participation. I couldn’t do it. For several months I felt a sorrow at not being where I had been, in the cold, clear environment, and my yearning to return was stronger than my pleasure at the life we lived. The fact that the novel was doing well didn’t matter. After every good review I put a cross in the book and waited for the next, after every conversation with the agent at the publisher’s, when a foreign company had shown some interest or made an offer, I put a cross in the book and waited for the next, and I wasn’t very interested when it was eventually nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, for if there was one thing I had learned over the last six months it was that what all writing was about was writing. Therein lay all its value. Yet I wanted to have more of what came in its wake because public attention is a drug, the need it satisfies is artificial, but once you have had a taste of it you want more. So there I was, pushing the stroller on my endless walks on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm waiting for the telephone to ring and a journalist to ask me about something, an event organizer to invite me somewhere, a magazine to ask for an article, a publisher to make an offer, until at last I took the consequences of the disagreeable taste it left in my mouth, and began to say no to everything, at the same time as the interest ebbed away and I was back to the everyday grind. But no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get into it, there was always something else that was more important. Vanja sat there in the stroller looking around while I trudged through the town, first here, then there, or sat in the sandbox digging with a spade in the play area in Humlegården where the tall, lean Stockholm mothers who surrounded us were constantly on their phones, looking as if they were part of some absurd fashion show, or she was in her high chair in the kitchen at home swallowing the food I fed her. All of this bored me out of my mind.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read two poems by Jenny Zhang with art by Austin Power, selected by Jozeph Herceg.
The Universal Energy Is About to Intervene in Your Life
I am pure emotion and you must pour me
into something pure I shall take what I want
including the faces of pretty women
this way the standards for beauty will be instantly changed
this way the standards for faces will want new standards
the nerves in each face will stand on innards
inside me is every pregnant belly
and all the aborted children
play in the same playground
they don’t care that they were aborted
they don’t care that the stars were not created for them
they don’t care that they had selfish mothers
who could have been transformed
if only they had not aborted their children
though now the world is perfectly populated
each time the future is predicted
someone dies for no reason
this is how I became a ghoul
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read two poems by Evie Shockley with art by Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
a white web veils its own frailty
each wan tendril an arachnid’s will
spokes wielding silence speak volumes
the white weave concedes its empty center
its see-through beauty colors the view
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read an excerpt from J.M. Ledgard’s forthcoming novel, Submergence.
He had lain down beside the trench and had a dream so lifelike he could not believe it was his alone. It was a Lenten carnival. A Christ-like figure was leading a crowd of young people in a dance. The music was techno. The street was narrow. Bodies were pressed up against old buildings. There were shouts in German and French. It might have been the pharmaceutical town of Basel. The Christ spelled out a message in hand movements like the hand movements of the flagellants who marched through Rhineland towns during the Black Death spelling out I am a liar, a thief, an adulterer, except that these hand movements were not confessional: the Christ and the crowd repeated over and over with their hands a thousand years of love, a thousand years of peace.
The faces were diverse. They were moved by a common happiness. Then there was a pop of a suicide bomber’s vest, a drawing in of air, and an exhaling, so that the carnival float, the Christ, and many in the crowd were reduced to shreds.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read three poems by Margarita Delcheva, with art by Maximilian Pramatarov, selected by Jozeph Herceg.
[from The Cold Slavic Heart, a folktale]
Extinct like the dinoceros, it will destroy itself
for a New Year’s resolution. Like Baudelaire’s, the cold Slavic heart
boils itself before hunger. Like an ice tray, it gives the form of promise selflessly.
The cold Slavic heart is a blue-gray sailor whose lass
and her white ruffled skirt sweep the sands of a faux beach
in a backyard brothel in Marseilles.
There is a prophesy of an unborn maiden who folds out of a red apple
to warm up its steel sinews. That maiden was me.
Born past-less, with instincts intact, I tried to enter the apple through the seed.
This is my love poem to the cold Slavic heart,
in the breasts of the ex-Soviet painters. They are the tender predator birds
who stop at the school girls picking linden and let them pass.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read Luis Negrón’s short story, The Chosen One.
Ever since I was little I’ve heard my mother tell the story, more than once, that when they presented me at church, barely forty days old, the preacher predicted that I would not be like other boys, that every step I took would be a step toward Jehovah. I grew up with the certainty of being anointed.
My brothers and father were opposed to this idea. Papi swore to my mother that they weren’t bringing me up right, that all the church and religion was going to ruin me. My brothers, backed by Papi, never went to church. They made sure I had something to talk about in Bible class when we’d discuss Job and his trials. They’d hide my Bible and my neckties. They’d spray me with a hose minutes before the bus arrived to take Mami and me to worship. If I cried, Papi would make me fight them and would shout at me: “Defend yourself like a man, goddamn it!”
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read four poems by Travis Nichols with art by Bob Stang, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
Baby ibuprofen and a receipt
in my hand. You in your study,
intruded upon by your girlfriend
trotting in with flowers.
“Poem!” you barked,
one hand raised,
not looking up from your typewriter.
She withdrew, bruised, nursing the hurt
until you emerged triumphant.
The one burden you had, shed.
Time now, not for me, to fuck around.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read an excerpt from Scott McClanahan’s So I Went Away.
I went away from this place and I lived somewhere else. Years passed. When I came back, it was all the same. It had been years, but the place was the same. I started teaching at the school I went to as a boy. It was a substitute gig. The original teacher needed surgery and she would be out for three weeks. There was a little girl there in the 5th grade class and she was so shy she could barely speak. The other 5th grade teacher told me that the little girl’s mother was on drugs. She told me not to get close to the kids like that because they never made it through the school year. They always ended up moving or just disappearing. She told me that she had been to a funeral just a few weeks earlier for a student’s mother who had overdosed.
I discovered a few days into teaching that the little girl couldn’t read. I stayed after school and tried to teach her. I told myself I was helping her, but who knows. Then I went home in the evenings and waited for the next day to come.
I tried looking for Bill, but I couldn’t find him. I asked around but nobody seemed to know. I drove by Ruby’s a time or two, but the house was falling in now and it usually just made me sad.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read four poems by Bianca Stone with art by the author, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
An uneasy crowd gathers in the morning sun
and I should live a little more each day.
The marks on my arm
appear in the cold.
In the shed out back, stretched
across the big chair,
there is a book about the brain opened
on my lap. Enough about brains
I say to my brain.
and make vigorous love
until you feel less huge
and more human.
If I had a yard I would abandon
washing machines in it
then listen to that song that gets me
late at night,
my friends’ poems
circling my head like a flock
of yellow finches.
I believe in our pets buried
in the pines.
I beat the hell out of a white handkerchief
before waving it.
Do you know any horror stories?
Every night I tell God one more
and like Scheherazade, for this,
he keeps putting off my death.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read First Kiss by Clarice Lispector translated from the Portuguese by Rachel Klein.
The two of them murmured more than talked: the relationship had begun just a little while before and they were both giddy, it was love. Love and what comes with it: jealousy.
—It’s fine, I believe you that I’m your first love, this makes me happy. But tell me the truth, only the truth: you never kissed a woman before you kissed me?
It was simple:
—Yes, I’ve kissed a woman before.
—Who was she?, she asked sorrowfully
He tried to tell it crudely, he didn’t know how.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read five poems by Ronnie Yates, with art by Sarah Muehlbauer, selected by Jozeph Herceg.
Gulf Freeway, Houston
The leaves and birds are elsewhere,
Having left the city despite a tropical climate
In which everything grows. The glass
In the buildings, the muscle-y engines. Even the trees,
Black and bereft of leaves, grow fiercely tangled branches
Clawing at cables strung across a vast blue. Beside the swollen
Concrete artery of the freeway, crowning the steep gable
Of Philip Johnson’s copy of Ledoux’s House of Education,
The white pillars of an open-roofed, glassed-floored
Tempietto hover above a university. At night,
A dead-skinny, hare-brained Christ-girl hides there
Above walls of globed lights and floating Tuscans
That make the cavern of an atrium beneath the glass
Under the furred blades of her feet. Her hands so small no one sees
The wounds inside them. Her flying saucer eyes
Haunt the freeway. And passing there
In my sister’s circus red car, I think of her salted away
Among the pillars holding up a smoky night sky
Aglow with the lights of refineries, her shy and alien
Manner, and feel something glowing in me
Like a tumor.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read an excerpt from Lars Iyer’s Exodus.
He has things to tell me, W. says when I meet him at Newcastle airport in the morning. Great things! But first he needs a pint. He needs to regroup. W.’s plane was full of obese children, he says. — ‘When did everyone get so fat?’ They ran up and down the aisle, unhindered by their girth. But W. got down to some reading despite their bellowing. He underlined passages and wrote in his notebook. And what was I reading, as I waited for him? When I tell him, he nods and murmurs. — ‘Mazzarri, oh I see. Flusser, ah that’s far too complex for Lars. . .’
I’ll have to pay for the beer, W. says in The Trent. He no longer carries money, he says. He’s like the Queen. W. wonders why I always make my lips — my great fat lips — into a funnel as I lift my drink. No doubt it’s all the better to pour it down, pint after pint: a funnel for the two pints I always neck at the bar before I sit down, and for the dregs of pints that other people leave behind. . . .
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read five poems by Joseph Ceravolo with art by Harutaka Matsumoto, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
January 10, 1985
Like a punch in the face
planetary lights and stars,
do I see Spring.
The ground is frozen.
Dawn like the colors of an old fire
illuminates the south-east.
The ground is frozen solid,
yet not to permafrost,
yet not to this inner core
which glows like coals for you.
Overcast comes, overcast goes
the ground is frozen but not the core,
but not your eyes
which glow like coals
but not to permafrost.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read an excerpt from Amy Fusselman’s The Pharmacist’s Mate.
What is it about my dad being dead that I can’t say it enough? That I feel like My Dad Is Dead would be a good name for my son?
That I can picture myself saying, “I can’t talk right now, I have to pick My Dad Is Dead up from hockey?”
Singing, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear My Dad Is Dead”?
I look My Dad Is Dead up on the internet and discover that there is a band with that name. And they’re from Ohio, like my dad, like me. And I can listen to their song right now, a noisy, static-y MP3 called “Don’t Look Now.”
My dad is invisible. Everything invisible is interesting to me now. Like when I sit in the apartment we just moved into, and play guitar. When I sit here and am aware, as I play and sing, that the music is invisible. And I imagine what I would look like to a deaf person. That I would look like someone opening and closing her mouth and sliding one hand along some wood and using the other to touch some strings. And how that doesn’t look like much. Just someone sitting, making little movements. Little patterns with the mouth, open close, open close, little patterns with the hand, up and down, up and down. And how the only way a deaf person would know what I was doing is because the movements are creating vibrations. And how even though the vibrations are invisible, I can feel them in the air. I can feel them, they are there, they are as there as I am.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read six poems by Adam Fitzgerald with art by Esteban Longoria, selected by Jozeph Herceg.
ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
HYDROPHOBE BORN UNDER WATER
Forgive me for asking, but why in this mottled world would you expect another? Eccentric pilasters stand in the rain: ruins for remaining ruined. My dreams meanwhile occur in mercantile factory houses whose shelves represent gaps in the Now Culture. Reduced, though not so enervated today, the reality of dingy parlor casements helps me parachute to bed for lack of better thing to think or do. The lanky, still sun ravishes an arching colonnade.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read “Underfed” by Susan Steinberg.
; there was the time I stood outside; it had snowed the night before; a sound in the distance could have been voices; it could have been something else; it could have been machinery; it could have been just in my head; I wanted the sound to be something else: waves crashing to the sand, an ocean I was standing in, an ocean I was drowning in; I wanted to be sinking into sand; but I was standing in snow under a tree; I was standing in my underthings; there was something about just standing there like that; there was something about just standing still, the sky about to turn light; I was not in a state of dire need; but I’d been up late thinking of dire things; I’d been thinking, for instance, of the reasons girls love love; I’d been thinking, as well, of the reasons guys love war; I every day bought the paper from the box on the corner; I every day spread the paper across my bed; I was reading up on various wars; I followed wars in various places I didn’t know; I was becoming well informed on battle; I was becoming well-informed on invasion; because there was nothing going on where I was at all; there was nothing going on where I was but snow; everyone had gone away for the winter; everyone loved to leave for the winter; and yes, I was feeling abandoned; yes, I was feeling melodramatic; then this one friend called who hadn’t yet left; and of course he would leave for the winter too; he would leave, of course, like everyone else…
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read two poems by Jared Stanley with art by Simon Nunn, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
When I prop the left
side of my head on my
left hand, my heart starts
beating in my right ear;
the hairs on that ear catch
the last of this year’s sun
heat, which is making spectral
filigrees in the hairs which
cover that lobe in
tiny prisms (these days
of emphatic color)
prismatic like the leg
hairs of pre-pubescent
boys and girls—I
was one of those
once, staring at
my shins; the hairs
exactly the same as
the hairs on Katrina’s,
who was on the floor
with her legs straight out
her back propped up
on a plush mauve ottoman
at the after school bible study
group somebody or other
convinced me to go to.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read “Backyard Man” by Sean Madigan Hoen, selected by Rosie Parker and Rachel Mercer.
Gordon zipped closed the pup tent’s interior window and cranked the activator on the bug bomb he’d set atop his sleeping bag. A Total Release Fogger––the thing was good for poisoning an area of four hundred square feet. Covering his mouth, Gordon shimmied backwards through the tent’s oval door, sealing the final zipper around it. God have mercy, if that didn’t do the trick. The insects had come in droves after he’d gotten lazy about recapping the peanut butter and left out a half-eaten tin of potted meat. Earwigs, especially, gave him the sickies. He wasn’t about to scrape every last menace from the tent’s polyester until they were good and dead. There were skeeters and gnats and fruit flies in there, too, but not for long. Friday morning and the sun was rising. He stood shirtless in his backyard, next to the kids’ swing set. He’d been camping here all summer on account of Shannon putting him out and telling him not to set foot inside the house until he was ready to surrender his caffeine pills and make some changes.
Living outdoors wasn’t a bad rub. He had a battery-powered radio and a flashlight. After a long day working at the Faygo Cola warehouse he could cool himself off in the kids’ inflatable pool. Gordon would have holed up in the garage had the roof not collapsed that March. The whole thing needed to be torn down one of these days, but after twelve years of owning the property, what was the rush? There were worse looking spreads on the block, not that a guy should go measuring himself against the riff raff. Despite these lackluster times, Gordon was a proud man. Shannon knew he’d stick it out in the tent until the first frost, which was just the kind of tough love that kept him wild for her all these years.
He stepped into his boots and walked up to rap a knuckle on the kitchen window.
Shannon was inside washing dishes and made a dismal face until Gordon tugged on his ears and stuck out his tongue. Then he mouthed, “I love you.” She smiled–– her crooked dimple–– shaking a dishrag at him. Once the kids were off to school, she’d get started on her medical transcriptions, at which she was a work-from-home expert, out-earning Gordon by a tax bracket. He widened his palm, reaching up to tap the wedding ring against the window, and Shannon extended her sudsy fingertips, smudging them against the plate glass so that their hands nearly touched.
Gordon walked down the driveway to his Bronco, where he stashed most of his clothes and a canister of Adonis Body Spray, as well as the toothbrush he dragged under the spigot each morning. He might have crawled back into bed with his wife any night, but––beyond his caffeine jitters, the grinding of his teeth that kept Shannon awake–– there was an unspoken aspect to this standoff. What Shannon truly wanted was out of the neighborhood, and Gordon didn’t have it in him to put in extra hours at the Faygo warehouse. Even if money wasn’t the case, he saw no reason to scurry from town as so many had. While living in the backyard, he’d resolved to stand ground and see to it that the neighborhood remained an upright place.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read three poems by Emily Pettit with art by Lisa Congdon, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
Calibrating One’s Certainty Level to the Strength of Evidence
A trailer, a pyramid. How did you get there?
A road that travelers take. What someone wants
is for you to believe in that someone. Someone.
In the shade to stammer. Omitted but understood.
I take my postcards to the post office. I take
my suitcase to the station. My boat is moving away
from your boat. My boat to an edge. Your boat
to a different edge. How many edges does a pyramid
have? It depends on the number of sides.
The processing power of a brain that might lead
eyes to see buildings that look like boats. Conflicting
information collected. Calibrating one’s certainty level
to the strength of evidence, of enduring uncertainty
for long stretches of time. To see transportation
as transformation. Serenity please! Subtraction
to tell time. Associations of opposites. Associations
of sound. To remember is a sort of repetition.
I do not want to remember. What to remember.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read six poems by Suzanne Buffam with art by Fiona Ackerman, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
Books I’d Like To Read Someday
I and It, by Martin Buber.
Queen Lear, by William Shakespeare.
Moby Dick, by Gertrude Stein.
End Game, by Dr. Seuss.
Complete Poems, by Sappho.
Interpretation of Dreams, by Jorge Luis Borges.
Kafka for Dummies, by Franz Kafka.
My Mistake, by Laura Bush.
Why I Am So Wise, by Suzanne Buffam.
What Would Suzanne Do?, by Jesus Christ.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read two poems by Michael Robins with art by Evan Lovejoy, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
Her body small
& fastens mine—
Her hands lick &
I want this precise…
Just now a Sunday.
I convey this self
into my elder self—
April now like June.
* * *
A key of divinity—
What rabbit trick
before the atheist.
At the Easter table
(I believe) if light
floods a mouth or…
Or when she stands
& walks her own
down an aisle, oh…
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read a short story by Amy Benson, selected by Alexis Boehmler.
Rumors circulated. Interns quit. Depending on who you ask, the gallery was not careful with the wording or it was immaculately precise. Either way, the press release seemed to imply that the upcoming exhibit would be radioactive, with materials hot from Chernobyl. Attendants, they said, would be wearing protective suits; visitors would be asked to sign waivers.
A good deal had been written previously about the artists, mostly by critics, sometimes by journalists on the arts beat, but now they were suddenly, massively famous. Newspapers, morning shows, cable news networks, and blogs frothed over the story, leading with Has the art world gone too far? or Would you risk cancer just to see art? or While the world reels from Japan’s nuclear disaster, one Manhattan art gallery is allegedly bringing radiation to you. For a day or two, the radioactive exhibit was the dominant topic in online discussion threads and polls: Environmental art or sensationalism? Should artists who harm the viewer be prosecuted? A Court TV anchor interviewed a professor of law who said he would be within his rights to attend the gallery show because it might be radioactive and then initiate a lawsuit because it might be radioactive. “We must be protected from our curiosity,” he said.
Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read one poem by Ben Pease, selected by Daniel Moysaenko.
from Chateau Wichman
Darkness embraced The Wichman a black nylon flesh covered his own the symbiote suit however maliciously it fed off Spiderman’s adrenaline when he slept at least provided the webslinger breathability and a fashionable wardrobe not so for the Wichman his sauna suit kept him in the dark a claustrophobic but all too familiar lack of light maintained itself for some time just as impatient as The Wichman the darkness began expanding as one imagines pasta unfolding from a pasta machine luckily for The Wichman’s sanity the darkness didn’t go on for eternity or make The Wichman feel like a ribosome in the first cellular organism to make its own food