The Romance of the Battered Underwood by K A Laity

Oddly enough it’s come to my attention that Mark E. Smith’s old typewriter is going to be auctioned off. What Fall fan could resist the allure of that relic? You don’t have to be a ‘look-back bore’ to see the appeal of owning a bit of that remarkable history. If you can’t be a genius,…

Bad Blood and Bad luck By Gareth Spark

The north wind blew dust off the coal yard against the rusted door of the car. Jack rested against the vehicle and felt the cold metal through the thin denim of his jacket. He shook tobacco from a dented tin into paper trembling in the breeze, then licked and made the cigarette, scraped a match…

Tinder Hearted Holidays by John Patrick Robbins

The man in the mirror was one harsh looking son of a bitch.   And after a particularly bad spell of praying to the porcelain God he questioned why the hell he kept doing this to himself.   It was the fourth of July and Frank had learned to loathe the day. It was a…

3 Poems by Dane Smith

I ACHE I ache. Headache from cheap wine,arms hurt frompushing myself up time and again,back spasmsfrom fucking heragainst the wall,her legs wrappedaround my back,arms tight about my necklike I was life itselfshe was holding onto. These are my pains.Not so terrible,not so bad that I will refuse to existnot so cruelthat I cannot laugh at tender-heartedassholes who want to change me.A…

10 Poems by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Stick   He pulled it out and it was homemade like a pie.   The cold metal end of a screwdriver and the handle fat with tape.   The other combatant backed off when he saw it, but he was backed into an alley with no escape.   Forced to play matador to a charging…

LITTLE PRETTY DEATHS BY LARAMORE BLACK

Whiskey is the only sweetener for the coffee in the kitchen. A drink of the person with nerves returning from an edge, but not quite ready to be absorbed by sleep. They think back to earlier in the evening, about how the shadows switched places with the light repeatedly. As if there were no measurable…

3 Poems by Jason Baldinger

Teenage Sweat   there are two outlets in the entire room they’re both jammed with power strips and string of lights no fans in sight it already smells like teenage sweat   blue jeans and black plastic bags full of once cold beer   these two guys are dancing their asses off, I can’t tell…

Funny Little Frog by Graham Wynd

The row of houses stood much the same as he stepped down from the train. They had browned, as if muddy showers from passing busses had caked in the sun, baking to a tobacco stain of the pub floor. Unintentional outcomes of the smoking ban, eh?   Sebastian wondered if she changed the locks, but…

Existentialism in Noir by K. A. Laity

A few years back I was on an existentialism panel at NoirCon that went a bit off the rails (those who were there may recall why) so we never really got deeply into the topic. It’s hung around in the back of my brain pan for a while and two recent reads pinged a few…