Pushing Boundaries/Breaking Barriers

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Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and
what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed



Daniel M. Jaffe • Let’s Face It

Least they could do is put on decent TV. Albert didn’t shlep across country to visit Mom in her insane asylum—harsh, he thinks, but let’s face it, that’s what this place is—in order to be treated like a child. He’s 70, for God’s sake. Or thereabouts...

Steven Ostrowski • Neil Loves Felicity

“You can do way better than this Felicity chick. Believe me. Everybody thinks so. It’s not only that she’s kind of a plain Jane, it’s that there’s something a little, you know, off about her. Neil, girls come up to me after your sets all the time; beautiful, sexy girls, and they want to know if the hunky singer’s available...”

Erika Staiger • Liars

You knew this was going to happen eventually. Even when he’s just holding you, he’s greedy. But, you’re greedy too and that’s really why you’re here, when neither of you should be. Because you both want things you can’t have and you’re both strong enough and dangerous enough to try and take them anyway...


Samuel R. George • Catastrophe at Braithwaite

I had somehow pushed the entire front porch away and water trickled in. Looking out across my front yard through the blustering wind and rain, I could make out that my neighbor’s van and Gus’ truck were sitting in water up to the windows. For a totally irrational moment, it occurred to me that I might stay there in the doorway and smoke a cigarette while gathering my wits. Surely the water can’t rise much more than this...

Darryl Graff • What Can I Tell You

The judge started to lecture me about public urination. “I thought I could make it home, but I couldn’t, Your Honor,” I said, followed with “What can I tell you.” As soon as I said, what can I tell you, the judge stopped talking. He looked afraid...

Eileen McGorry • Bitter Medicine

Whatever Rene had taken, she couldn’t stand on her own. She came into the clinic, a guy on each side of her, their large hands locked under her arms. They were dragging her more than she was walking. Her eyes were barely open. She tried to talk but her tongue twisted around in her mouth. “I want my methadone” was garbled but I knew what she had said...


Leah Angstman • Ci

elements are born of mind and earth,
are separated when nations are not,
are named in lieu of independence

Joseph Buehler • Possibilities

We might crush ‘em, slush ‘em, mush ‘em
    to the chief’s rest,
lick ‘em, stick ‘em, kick ‘em up the crow’s nest
Jack ‘em, stack ‘em, slack ‘em down the shark moat ...

Josephine Cariño • Visceral

How pleasing, to feel
                                 in the gut a creature—
            core of being—feral,
                      wild, inherent

Leonore Hildebrandt • Thresholds

Put your tent either in the wood, or out of it.
Avoid a river’s bank, a canyon’s rim—
borderlands stir up the uncanny.

Leonore Hildebrandt • Begin Again

To discern layers
of sound and scent
begin again
to focus sink and strike
begin to rise into the rising
begin in silence...

Michelle Perez • Kyler Street Overpass

No, it wasn’t water you marched over but fast-moving,
multiple dangers: the flicker of windshields, a glint
of horns as morning streamlined beneath you

Maggie Rosen • Finding Melanie

“Which stamp says Melanie? Find Melanie.”
She stamps her name on the corner of a page
then on her hand, then on my hand.

I have been in love with her forever.
I just didn’t know her until this year.

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