little leo Is In The House!
Frannie and I loved putting this inaugural issue together. We received over 150 submissions, a number of which prompted us to stop, pick up the phone, and call each other for a read-aloud. Then we scattered our final selections across the table of our booth at the local greasy spoon, and voted unanimously (easy with an electorate of two) to accept only those pieces that blew both of our minds. Here are those wonderful few.
We are proud of them the way a parent is proud of a child: not because we ourselves achieved the various feats of grace, oddness, and mystery, but because the kid did. Thanks for giving us so many good excuses to gloat.
The poems, flash fiction, and prose in these pages make us want to know you more. We’ve taken the liberty of citing the phrase or image in each piece that grabbed us. We know this isn’t customary editorial practice, but we were too excited not to do it. If we were to meet you at a party, these would be the little passages we would ask you about over a frothy pint.
Robert Vivian: I reach out to you as we run to the sounds where we were born and my grandfathers’ hands overtake the moons of my fingernails as I flare and flare and flare again, coming because I am broken, coming because I am ecstatic, coming so hard and fast and always I am salmon spawning my very last egg as my skin rots off my body until I am nothing but voice
Susan Nisenbaum Becker: inside those sulci and gyri, double the dreams and poems embryonic, murmuring somewhere
Jennifer Collins: Bodies are stitched together, the tape smoothed down and silent and pretty, so pretty, with everything in order and painted as clear as new glass, like this day is any other day is any other day is any other day.
Sean Corbin: and Daddy he would go and scare the birds away to see them fly and also to confirm to them that this heat was ours and only ours
Brad Rose: If you listen carefully to the apparatus of the clouds, you’ll hear the sky apologizing for its impoverished blue.
Mark Rosenblum: Brought potato salad to a meeting and bam–fastest way to man’s heart–aside from plunging a kitchen knife into it.
Amanda Tumminaro: Our game show on at six to solidify our existence.
Lenore Weiss: His head almost touched the ceiling. His hands hung past the seat cushions. I’m gonna show you something you’ve never seen before. He turned around. It became quiet. The kids put down their backpacks and cellphones. They held their juice boxes unsteady in their laps.
Glen Armstrong: A body that looks good in a uniform, a uniform as simple as the emotions it stirs are complex.
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois: Carlie’s organs are made of pig iron. The connectors, intestinal, esophageal, Eustachian, are lead, green corruption at their joints.
Sal Difalco: I recall running out of coffee beans one early Sunday morning and attempting to reuse the grounds in my French press as one might reuse a tea bag. My advice to anyone contemplating such foolishness is to never try it.
Melodie Corrigall: My father laid him, beautiful russet creature, on a tender bed as cozy as a beating heart. His beak, held open with food, was a golden nook of rubies and emeralds.
Kenneth Kelly: Eventually, he planted the two hands into a large clay pot like sprouting potatoes. He watered them until one day, I came home to see sitting on the couch, naked and caked in soil, Lucy, her body made flesh.
Ava C. Cipri: Lately in dreams, my mouth hovers in those years . . . a dark woman, head bent and now peeling onions after dark
Anna M. Warrock: Yesterday a flash in the backyard and now thunder in a kitchen painted orange under a tongue of fluorescence.
Mark Decarteret: I was really more of a latent daycare giver with a bias towards easy-baked miracles
Linda Ferguson: The human resources guy says he stopped pretending to be a peppermint after a woman licked his nose in the elevator. Our receptionist adds that she is, at heart, a glass of ginger ale.