BLOOD ON THE BLACKTOP RURAL NOIR BY S.A. COSBY

Years ago, when I first started writing what would become my first crime novel, My Darkest Prayer, I had a fellow writer tell me they didn’t like “country” or “rural” noir. When I asked them why they said: “I just don’t buy it. I can’t believe all that crime happens in the country.” I’ll clean…

Fiction: Carcass by Paul D. Brazill

Ava drove her battered, old Ford Escort to the edge of the forest and parked beneath a pine tree. As she sat and watched the autumn rain batter the windscreen, she listened to the Siouxsie and The Banshees CD that Martin had given her for her birthday. It was a copy of a bootleg LP…

Christmas Stockings by Paul Heatley

Chris owns a dive bar and as such he is regularly drowning in the flotsam and jetsam of life. Even on Christmas Eve, when his customers include a drunken Santa Clause and Chris’ friend Randy – a perennial disaster waiting to happen. Paul Heatley’s Christmas Stockings is a violent torch-song. Like a bittersweet blend of…

Short Story in a Song— The Menzingers’ “The Obituaries” by S.W. Lauden

Coming of age. Exploring independence. Adulting. These are well-worn themes in the arts. A quick glance at the bookshelf reveals classics like The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger, Beloved by Toni Morrison and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Likewise, many bands have explored similar territory with songs like “Suburban Home” by Descendents,” “Burnout”…

Reflections/Iceberg Slim – Record review by Michael A. Gonzales

Living in Harlem in the early 1970s, my father’s apartment on 7th Avenue and 123rd Street was upstairs from an infamous Harlem bar known as The Shalimar. Glancing out of daddy’s fourth-floor window on a Friday or Saturday night, it wasn’t uncommon to see rows of brightly hued Cadillac’s lined-up from corner to corner with…

Fiction: Hank Williams’ Cadillac by Richard Wall

It didn’t happen. You haven’t seen me. It was my buddy, Stu, who came up with the idea. My name’s Vince, and when this story began, Stu and me, we were 19 year-old high-school drop-outs and occasionally reformed stoners sharing a broke-down, drunk-leaning, leaky old double-wide on a third-world trailer-park in a small town in…

Poetry: Another 3:30 in the Morning Poem by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Another 3:30 in the Morning Poem I am drunk and in my underwear. There is thunder now and some lightning a distance away. The lights flicker and the music slows. I think of whip dancers in the village, of powdered milk and the Colossus at Rhodes.   I wonder when the power will go out,…

Poetry: #3 This Time by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

#3 This Time He walked into the room third in line and faced the mirror like the voice said.   It was like god was telling him to face forward turn left turn right.   Then he was lead out of room and back to his cell.   And instructed not to turn around until…