Larry Smith – fiction



Sorrowing face nothing to sorrow. Not like. Or the other so beautiful that one was. Half-Chinese half. Done from Day One. Too bad so sad brave until she wasn’t. But brave as long as. Remember what Arlen said at the dinner. This one pissed. Exercised pissed at me. The wicked messenger. What doctors do for a living asshole? Blushing mother thing of sorrow blushes while she sorrows and vice versa. Ugh. Arlen at the dinner. Arlen said the hardest thing I as a doctor have to tell. Tell.

“What questions do you have?”

“What if the treatment doesn’t work?”

Right in front of his mother. Asshole. Mother face pale how pale can it. Tell.

“The latest research shows better than an 80 percent likelihood of success and in your case we’ve got time on our side and the fact that you’re young and strong.”

Sitting mother. Brings her. Brings here. Dickhead. Arlen. The hardest thing I have to tell besides going to die. Sonny boy’s pissed still. Go ahead file lawsuit. Sue sickness. Sue disease and me co-defendant. Asshole. She wants to hold his hand. He’ll puke. What would she if it were me? Gene said Mom was a dowager hot to fuck. She was Gene’s mother too. Had him moved on had me. Me. Mi mi mi mi. I miss Gene should go. If I ask mother if she has any no would piss him for sure. Gene Chicago Crystal Park Sherwood Park something like. Up and coming neighborhood. I’d like to go. Something like. When Sonny gets blue eyes get something something. Easy piss him off. And?

“Am I going to have to take these pills for the rest of my life?”

Say thank you you have a. What it was like for Gene seeing her me. Ten years or so old he was. Have a life. Smile.

“For now, the answer is yes. But the research being done is very encouraging. We learn more every day.”

Accept. I think Gene torture. Always ever since. But brave too. Pride I think. I like pride. Yes?

“So when should I expect them to come up with a total cure?”

Damn such asshole what did Jackson say oh yeah. Mother pale now blushaway. Or what Arlen said hardest thing besides die is tell them they can’t drive anymore. The lost Lenore. Second-hardest thing I get that. It’s easy. But comedy is hard they say. Explain.

“We can’t know that. The important thing is that you’re able to live a full and rich life.”

“I’ve never done that in the past. You think I’m going to start now?”

What? What do these? Mother like a platypus. Is that it? Platypus? Assholes expect us to say? Rabbi Hillel led full rich life so should you. Or what. What Jackson said said she gave a bad. Said the patient gave suffering a bad name. Wrap this up…

I assumed Lurleen was her professional name just as I figured Crystal and Julieta were their professional names. Doesn’t matter to me one way or another although I never bother with a professional name. I like Cindy, my real name, all the more because it has the sound of “sin” in it and that certainly says it all, doesn’t it? The four of us were chatting in the lobby waiting for the limo that would take us to the party when the old lady and I guess it was her son walked by, the way she looked at us was kind of cute but the way he looked at us was a downer. Anyway, not just us, there are a lot of girls in town who admire Lurleen and envy her too, that’s for sure. She has a masterful way about her that gets her the best clients and I didn’t doubt she’d do so again tonight. The president of the rubber company – that joke didn’t get past us – was probably going to be there, that’s what Beth over at the agency told us, and unless someday else really spectacular turned up, like maybe somebody from the Browns, odds were he’d be the one Lurleen was going to wind up with. Word about her had spread around town and guys were talking about her but not like they talk about other girls. I don’t think she does anything sexual that the rest of us don’t do just as well; I don’t think that has anything to do with it. In fact, my sense is, the way they talk about her is kind of respectful. It’s the way she carries herself. Like I say, she’s masterful in certain ways, the way she looks at men when she meets them, a kind of message she sends, that there are limits with her, limits about how she expects to be treated, that kind of thing, and that, if you talk to her at all, you’re going to need to talk to her in a certain way. Guys respect that. I’d say it’s damn good for business from her perspective. Definitely, we treat her with a certain respect though I’ll bet some bitch does take a shot at her someday because that’s the way things are. Anyway, his mother seemed kind of sweet but the guy looked so angry when he looked at us, Julieta asked “What’s his problem?” after they’d gone past and couldn’t hear us, but Lurleen just shook her head and Crystal and I shook our heads too…

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Ben Nardolilli – 1 poem

The Song of the Mad Prince: A Portrait


My tactful souvenirs remain intact,
Despite the uncouth movements of the circus,
The new tenants of this regime
Circulate in place, they brought their thunder
While I tried to make lightning last night.


The party for the flood tore us apart
With a new form of chaos to contend with,
I put up shelves around the house
And hoped to impress away my enemies
Through a color-coded canon.


This was karma as it looked then,
A reunion came later, earlier this morning,
The listeners restored true peace,
Everyone got to explain their side until
Everyone realized there were no sides at all.




Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Inwood Indiana, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at and is looking to publish a novel.

Bindweed Magazine Online 2019 – Submission call

We are now taking submissions for Issue 9 of Bindweed Magazine, which will open in January 2019.

We’re looking for unpublished poetry, fiction or literary hybrids that are experimental, offbeat and one of a kind.

Read our Submission Guidelines for more information.

Issue 9 onwards will be published online, although a print anthology may follow later in 2019 if we have the time and resources to launch one.

We look forward to reading your work!

Leilanie and Joseph 🍃

Renwick Berchild – 1 poem

Ghost Pepper


If it is undemanding, I want no part in it.


If it is easy, take it away. Purge it from my sight. Comfort goes into the dirt. Peace stays sparse, sealed tight in a jar tucked deep in the cupboard of my youth.


I’ll have none of the lazy minds. No black and white prophets, nor conquests of or wars over fragility.


If it is clean cut, packaged swift, and tied divinely closed with a bow, it’ll go out with the trash. I’ll care not a whit.




if it drives me maddened, sends me stark raving saddened, if it pulls me up by my veins and slings me into Mother Earth’s magma core,


if it leaves me bloodied, bare boned and soddened, screaming from racing guillotine and so reeling in gasps upon the floor then


look no further. Give it here.


Drop it on my head when I am not looking.


is my pain and my privilege. The honor is mine for the raging asteroid to brace.


If it does not make me rile, it is of little use to me.


Keep your raspberry jam.
The ghost pepper I shall swallow.


Stand back, and watch me writhe,


in my grotesquely fevering, drunken sick, near-death delight.




Renwick Berchild is a pseudonym. A. Marie Kaluza hails from the USA, lives in Seattle, WA. Her poems have appeared in The Machinery India, Lunaris Review, The Blue Nib, Ampersand Lit, Slink Chunk Press, Streetcake Mag, and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals across the globe. You can find her work and additional links at