I Am Death

What I carry inside is a void. It is nothing. The vibrancy of creation, the possibility is absent. There is no sorrow. There is no joy. Nothing. The chasm threatens to absorb me. The death I carry within is incompatible with my life force. Slowly draining. I am not here, nor there. I am not […]

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Mother Hands

“You have a mother’s hands,” My husband said to me when our son was a few weeks old. I was holding a whimpering newborn, cooing and shushing in his ear, while gently stroking his back in a clockwise motion. “Do I?” I smiled, amused that I was now a mother. With mom hands. When do […]

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Influences and Imagination

The voice was light, perhaps only a child’s voice, singing sweetly and thinly, on the barest breath. . .None of them heard it, she thought with joy; nobody heard it but me. -From Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House Two women are drawn to each other with suspicious speed at the start of The Haunting of Hill […]

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Ladies Just Aren’t in the Cards

I’ll come right out and say it: I play way too much Hearthstone. In case you’re not familiar, this is basically a Magic: The Gathering rip-off created by Blizzard Entertainment using digital cards which feature various monsters, heroes, and NPCs from the Warcraft universe. If all of that meant nothing to you, that’s ok. You […]

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AWP isn’t me.

I’m not sure who “AWP Is Us” is addressed to.* It can’t be me Kate Gale of Red Hen Press is pointing at. I went to Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference once in 2014, when it was in Seattle and I could carpool and stay at a friend’s house rather than paying for […]

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go outside and listen

“I’m sad,” I tell her, looking for analog in a world of constant digital connection. “I know,” she said, “you used to write great letters, too, and you know a lot of people, but you just need your roots.” “Go outside and listen,” my mother advises. Outside, I see all the life looking for hands, all the […]

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Have I Made It?

I remember the first time I attended the Willamette Writers Conference, the blend of idolatry and loathing I felt for the other aspirants. I couldn’t talk to anyone. What if these people were better than me? What if they made it and I failed? The second time I went, I was more ambitious. I reserved […]

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Odd Jobs: The French Hotel

You know how stories about living in France tend to be all drapey and gooey and winey-cheesy? Well. Every Saturday I head to the market with my basket on wheels and buy tomatoes from the tomato farmer and cheese from the tired cheese guy and the most random vegetables from ‘le petit gars’ who charges so little you feel guilty and try to overpay, and […]

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Everyday Harassment

Alone, a female body begs for correction. I saw him halted on his tiny BMX bike in the middle of the sidewalk one beautiful Sunday morning while I was walking my dog. The man was in his twenties and seemed sober. Still, he waited there on the corner and watched a young woman cross Nostrand […]

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Lesbian Empire Builder

I’m on an Amtrak train cross-country and my train conductor is a lesbian. She’s beautiful and butch and has just the right sides of her head shaved that I will have me spending the next three days fantasizing about how I can get invited back to her sleeper car. I may or may not have […]

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image credit: Gabriel Max Starner see the original photo of Hannah hear Hannah read below: —After Gabriel Starner, Heather Hayden, & Max Anderson I. I wear the long shirt that slides off the shoulders—the one that covers the core: a second skin, unconstructed. The one I feel most naked in. II. Tell me how to […]


The Pear of Anguish

Ciara Cerrato is a writer and poet who received her bachelor’s in English from the University of Central Arkansas. She currently lives and works in central Arkansas, and she is a freelance writer and editor. She is at work on her first book of poetry. This poem is the third in a three-part series featuring Ciara’s work. […]

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First Couple’s Trump Card

Gerard Sarnat, M.D. received his education at Harvard where he was the editor of the freshman literary magazine The Yardling. He established and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised, has been a CEO of healthcare organizations, and was a Stanford professor. He is published in over a hundred journals and magazines and is the author of three […]

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A Modern Nursery Rhyme

Kimberly Russo is a writer and English teacher of under-privileged teens in Aurora, Colorado where she resides with her husband of 22 years, Tony, a high school math teacher, and three of her four children (Nick, Audrey, Grace, & Maritza.) When she’s not teaching, Kimberly spends her time gardening & bird watching in her backyard […]

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The Refrain

Ciara Cerrato is a writer and poet who received her bachelor’s in English from the University of Central Arkansas. She currently lives and works in central Arkansas, and she is a freelance writer and editor. She is at work on her first book of poetry. This poem is the second in a three-part series featuring Ciara’s […]

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Uber, but for Sad Trombones

Uber, but for sad trombones Uber, but for tiny violins Uber, but for l’esprit d’escalier Uber, but for Your Mom Uber, but for your great grandmother’s miscarriages & stillborn children Uber, but for your never known great aunts & uncles Uber, but for dry rotted rocking chairs Uber, but for phantom limbs Uber, but for […]

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Ciara Cerrato is a writer and poet who received her bachelor’s in English from the University of Central Arkansas. She currently lives and works in central Arkansas, and she is a freelance writer and editor. She is at work on her first book of poetry. This poem is the first in a three-part series featuring Ciara’s […]

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The Day That Doom Went Viral

Over Independence Day weekend we went camping in Crater Lake. When we checked in, next to the Pacific Crest Trail hiking box I had to Instagram in Wild homage, they handed us a pamphlet on the park. I unfolded its accordion creases to reveal the lake map framed in photos of wildflowers and mountain chickadees. […]

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anna upon waking

Elena Caban is a poet and artist. She is currently an MFA student at Queens College. When she is not writing, she is likely painting, dancing, or chatting with aphids. She is of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent. Her work has previously appeared in The Acentos Review and Instigatorzine.     foam-hiss, the. gulls, bare limbs, the […]

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On Moving Back South

  We  left            behind the cactus        and the quiet           moss    already echoing    in the early morning           We are sailing back                 into war            into the flags               I watched my grandfather treasure                  into the closing courts     the righteous rage     When you and I met                we said    in […]

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Debut Novel from Naomi Jackson

Naomi Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Jackson traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad. She is the […]

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June, 7 Years Ago

The weather was a lot different and Hawthorne Boulevard was a lot different. 6/29/08 I’ve finally indulged in a Moleskine in hopes that having a fancy notebook will actually get me writing again. This particular one is the perfect size for the purse I bought at Last Thursday. Today there was an unusual thing in […]

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June, 4 Years Ago

I was looking at an old Moleskine and came across a “2 Line Journal” project I had done for June 2011. It looks like I wrote two sentences each day starting on the 5th, or that was the goal. I was in Maryland helping my family because my father had contracted life-threatening MRSA and was […]

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“If I could stir I could break a tree— I could break you.” —H.D.’s “Garden” Once I thought there were two kinds of Southern women the ones who stay and the ones who leave I thought it was a choice and an easy one that any body could plough through the humidity could scrape a […]

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Open Source Bridge 2015

Last year, I spoke at my first tech conference, Open Source Bridge, mostly thanks to encouragement from my partner and some of his rad tech lady friends. I’m not a coder. I know some html and have an extremely basic understanding of CSS, but I haven’t had confidence in my web development skills since Geocities. […]

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To Eat My Ovaries

J.M. Yales is a queer identifying female writer currently living in Utah, but originally from Milwaukee, WI. Her start in feminist commentary came from personal blogging, but was expanded by FemPop Magazine between 2012 and 2014. Her writing and research interests include the representation of minority populations in Science Fiction genres and the Arts. J.M. says that […]

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Beware the Blondes

Gentlemen may prefer blondes, but at what cost to the rest of the world? As soon as I heard about the premise of Emily Schultz’s novel, The Blondes (April 2015, St. Martin’s Press), I knew I had to read it. In this speculative fiction, a pandemic that turns blonde women into murderous fiends has crippled […]

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My Wife

On Sunday, I caught snippets of my husband Matt’s Mother’s Day phone call with his mom. I was trying not to eavesdrop in between running out to water the new plant starters and sautéeing onions for dinner because frankly that’s a dick move. But I couldn’t help overhearing him describe his recent bout of tonsillitis […]

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Starting the Garden

PLANTS. PLANTS PLANTS PLANTS PLANTS. Eric is probably getting sick of plants. I took over our kitchen table and a red Ikea shelf next to it with starts. This is the first year I’ve invested in seeds, and proper seed-starting soil, and trays. I have my own yard that gets sun. I began with a […]

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Whip-smart Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos’s work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Glamour, Salon, Dissent, New York Times, Kenyon Review, Post Road, Bitch Magazine, The Rumpus, Hunger Mountain, The Portland Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, and she has been featured, among other places, on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, and Anderson Cooper Live. […]

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After Rebecca Lindenberg Hannah Baggott is remembering when Facebook was all state of being and where you are. Hannah Baggott is making lamb stew, but will never ask you to dinner. Is out to coffee, but isn’t telling you where. Hannah Baggott I remember when is disappeared. Hannah Baggott My name is becoming a curse. […]


Burn Morels

I have been trying to find morels for a long time. For years. Last year, I found my first morel on Sauvie Island, but it was my only one. Just one modest mushroom. While I was in North Wales at the cusp of March and April, I kept in touch a forager from South Wales. […]

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The Haze

This guest contribution comes from Melissa Parietti. Melissa is a writer and finance professional from Long Island. Her contribution to PDXX Collective is her first work published online by an independent journal, with more to come! When she’s not educating herself about investments, she enjoys learning about economics, and everything else too.   Gold melts in […]

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Giving Up Sugar for Lent

I gave up refined sugar for Lent. Fat Tuesday was coincidentally a particularly indulgent day; I had large fry bread as part of my lunch and an ice cream cone as a snack. Guilty and concerned, I gave up refined sugar, not for religious reasons—I’m an atheist—but because I was curious to see how abstinence […]

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To My Poetry Students

Hugo and I will say we’re teaching you to write like us: he’ll tell you to lock up your chorus girls in a silo. He’ll say don’t listen if you don’t want to. I’ll tell you this: Maybe hell isn’t so hot. Maybe Sappho meant for us to find her fragments—all that desire too much […]

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Every City with a Side

Would you be happier paying $1,500 for a closet and eating dried beans in a stranger’s city? This is what I’m asking these days. Why are all these graphic designers moving to 35th Street, 32nd Street, 30th Street in my city? The last bartender I met said my neighborhood of origin is a bad one. […]

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