Melissa Broder

Sunday Service: Bryan Coffelt


It looks around after it pokes its head out and it sees that it can still make McDonald’s breakfast if it hurries.


She goes to school, she fingerpaints the universe, she responds to stimuli, she fits her responses in her lunch box, she talks like “I am embarrassed of this lunch box,” she twinkles and thinks of what a gaping asshole the future is. She does karate on a classmate, she goes home, she does karate on the darkness.


If you really want to know someone, watch how they cut meat.


“Here is my lighter. Don’t look at me, and don’t fucking hurt yourself.”

“Here is my fucking Gmail password, don’t look at me.”

“Here is my favorite book in the world, fucking read it. Don’t fucking look at me.”

“Here is my fucking full external hard drive, don’t look at me.”


She likes chicken on her salad. She hates the impermanence of lettuce. She has thoughts like, “I can feel it moving through me. My body is a level of Donkey Kong.”


“In five years, we will have at least one,” she said. Then, five years later, we had a squirming, sloppy little child. He swam out of her backwards, which made me nervous. When he dropped into the doctor’s thinly latexed fingers, I choked on my spit and coughed, trying to struggle out that I loved him.

The doctors wiped grayness from the Tonka toy of a man. I felt, for whatever splash of seconds fucking minutes, that he would be the one thing that would not drag or be dragged through it all. I thought of my own undoing, the way I look at myself in the mirror now and consider myself as a piece of gutted history, a product, phallic, a fuck ton of haircuts.


Someone will eventually say, “I remember when this was a Denny’s,” and everyone will feel like they’ve been shoved.

Bio: Bryan Coffelt lives in Portland, OR. These pieces are from an as-of-yet-untitled book that is forthcoming from sunnyoutside press.

Sunday Service / 1 Comment
April 13th, 2014 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: Kenny Jakubas

Her Space Circle(s)

From our brief chronology of time it appears that first
he briefed his job about the current inadequacies
of forgetful behavior & lit some marijuana as he was talking
& got fired right then for speaking what words he thought were true.
It could be said he fell terribly for the roses that fell from the balcony
of her MySpace after that call. The new look of her page was like being in her.
Her space even smelled like roses & see here he scrolled forever one night, etc.,
because she had presence. Even I used to wonder specifically about spaces
& the matter that destroyed & created. Check this out.
If you look closely enough & back your eyes away from this screen
real quick you can see the trickled space of white between these words that
would allow rose petals to slowly drop between these sentences. & symbols
are space circles that can be galaxies too. That would be
a poem. This is what he saw: the absence of this Space dissolving into a million
empty catacombs. He wished upon roses built of code
because they were the only roses he would ever receive & they were
beautiful to him. This was no game that Called to Duty
it came back with a story about infinite disappearance, it was real
& empty at the same time, the same representation of bird and bee:
is there matter in the lost message to a girl from the woods?
Somewhere in space there must be this message bouncing between stars,
& after a long time the stars return with a typed story about a boy
with the world at the tips of his fingers who had brought the rose petals
that fell from the screen of her MySpace & presented them as proof
that she existed to him

Bio: Kenny Jakubas came from the inside of a little mitten under a bridge in Michigan. He graduated with honors from Western Michigan University, where he received his BA in Creative Writing. While there, his poetry and prose appeared in the literary journal ‘The Laureate’. He currently has creative non-fiction forthcoming from ‘Niche’ lit mag. Kenny lives in Kalamazoo, MI with his son and will be attending Western Michigan University’s MFA program in the Fall of 2014.

Sunday Service / No Comments
April 6th, 2014 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: Ashley Opheim

Killin’ It

Candida, candida,
I soak a tampon in apple cider vinegar and push it up my

lavender candle, lavender candle.
Tilikum, Tilikum,

people do awful things to make money in the name of entertainment.

Sea World is a fucking horrible place.

Entertain me, entertain me,
soft world.

Fuck Sea World.

Are you captive in a place just a little bit larger than your body?

I fall into a very deep thought about the conditions of vanishing
in the well-lit, but not too well-lit change room.

I buy fluoride-free toothpaste because I’m trying to
activate my pineal gland.

Some people say evil people who work for powerful people
put fluoride in the water because it dumbs you down.

Candida, candida
I am self-medicating with pure cranberries and apple cider vinegar.

I buy chocolate eggs and tea light candles.

Everyone’s tongue is pink la-la-la.
I am craving sugar so much.

Candida, candida,
I do mountain pose in yoga and kill it.

I kill that pose.
I dream that I dance with Beyonce on AstroTurf.
I kill that dream.

I dance like the best I’ve danced ever.
I sip my cell phone, mistaking it for a glass of water.

I breathe out of my ears.

Bio: Ashley Opheim (Ashley Obscura) is the author of the poetry collection I Am Here. She lives in Montreal, where she is the founding editor of Metatron and co-director of the reading series This Is Happening Whether You Like It Or Not. She can be followed on Twitter @hologramrainbow.

Sunday Service / 5 Comments
March 30th, 2014 / 10:00 am

what r u having 4 lunch?

Sunday Service: J. Hope Stein

Chapter 7.
Ballad of your Boss

Don’t hesitate to serve your boss.
Sit quietly and he will come to you.
The blessing of an employee
is in the corners of her mouth.
The blessing of a plot
is in its time of being worked.

When a great boss says “I kill you”
lay your head across his laptop.
Throw your documents in the river.
This is how we measure time.
The blessing of a plot
is in its time of being worked.

Do not despise small documents.
Do good for your body, but
there is no one who does not die—
Do not delay in your office.
The blessing of a plot
is in its time of being worked.

Be a cat in your boss’s presence.
Do not give a wary look
towards the elevator door—
You do not know the length of your life.
The blessing of a plot
is in its time of being worked.

Do not hesitate to serve your boss.
Do let linger without enquiry.
Put myrrh on your head, dress in fine linen.
Sit quietly and he will come to you.
The blessing of a plot
is in its time of being worked.

Bio: J. Hope Stein is the author of the chapbooks Talking Doll (Dancing Girl Press, 2012), Mary (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012) and Corner Office (H_ngm_n, 2011). Her work is published or forthcoming in Verse, Tarpaulin Sky, Everyday Genius, Ping Pong, Web del Sol, movingpoems.com and Poetry International. J. Hope Stein is also the editor of poetrycrush.com and the author of the poetry/humor site eecattings.com.

Sunday Service / 1 Comment
March 23rd, 2014 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: oscar bruno d’artois


bio: oscar bruno d’artois used to have a job selling meatpies. he lives in brooklyn, new york. follow him on twitter @brunoartois

Sunday Service / 5 Comments
March 16th, 2014 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: Zach Schwartz

haiku about the biggest question of my youth

should i masturbate
tonight? i thought as i puffed
on a black n’ mild

haiku i thought of while hooking up with my ex-girlfriend

i knew you would find
a way back into my arms
like a homing pigeon

haiku to my ex-ex girlfriend

you keep coming in
to my life and finding new
ways to hate me

haiku about being depressed and single

nobody wants to
date a depressed person
why did god do that

haiku i wrote after seeing a guy and a girl talking provocatively on a bench outside of a party

can’t deal with the
pressure of “getting a girl,”
where’s my ex-girlfriend

haiku i thought of after waking up with my ex-girlfriend after spending a night together

woke up and thought
“i finally have a real
human in my hands”

Bio: Zach Schwartz is from Cleveland, Ohio. His work has appeared in Vice Magazine, Thought Catalog, Rap Genius, and more. His website is www.zachtwotimes.com and he can be followed on Twitter @zach_two_times.

Sunday Service / No Comments
February 23rd, 2014 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: Natalie Eilbert

Man Hole

I left him unfinished. I just wanted to.
The snow outside fills the sewers
and like my drive for power will stop abruptly
     and soon. Starting now, I’ll drop picture frames
down the hole. Drop food processors and Le Creusets
and my chaste little letters. It’s due to my interest
in godless practices that undoes the ritual.

I have a hole where I store my absent typographies,
I have a hole that will never move outside my body.

When he is beautiful, he adapts to a you-state,
thous his way into my pants to mortify my skins.
He draws me over in charcoal, my dull empty sternum
pinks with creation. I have a hole capable of erasure
and his jaw hangs like a mantis there, there.

Then I make him just once pierced with hundreds of holes.
I make him to preen and prick and prune his skin til he bends in his beautiful stalk.

Then I make him to crave my every sustenance as I fill him with clay and stone and ink.

Here is a mirror to wander through, a hallway to crack over his knee.

I make him to tender my strong arms as I spread him open with my knee.
I give him bloomers. I give him diamonds. I give him my desiccated brainstem
and ask if he’d like to go home now. He digs a hole in the ground and gets in and this makes him mine forever.


One definition of a hole is
     When men accidentally kill endangered wildlife
    they fill the beasts with holes, sew in rocks, sink them in larger holes.

One definition of a hole is
     I used to use maxipads against my hole, and I could smell
   the perfumed cotton-rot when a man slipped in through my window.

One definition of a hole is
     The men have been wiped out. I’ve been given certain allowances
     to provide for my species. I miss them. I am Ursula fat and witchy under the sea.

One reason I fantasize about the re-creation of men is because they always admit having loved me when they’re done with me, the heartsick goat in my stomach slaughters itself I am so grateful to fill myself with godawful certitudes as I bleed out. I don’t hear them in the vents. I don’t hear them over me in the dark, emptying. I starve my body still in case it drives them back.

I store them in the hole outside my body. This isn’t my hole but it’s a decent one, keeps them veal-dark and veal-alive. Vials and vials worth of DNA. All these sad engorged wads of dead ocean.


My poor man, so full of addendum,
driven through the asphalt to occupy the space
of a shit lake, shit river, shit rat god.
When you are mine you become animate
only capable of burning selfies in the shit lake.
        I say when. I say.
And when I close the sepulcher it is done and
you are he again, the agnostic whimpering he.
I place a hole over you, under you, fill it with rock.
Can’t wait to return to my dumb bitch couch
where he is the empty border outside where he is the hole.

The dog presents her dead
to an amnesiac who claims
she was touched by a man
and the touch felt like power
Power is a couch that covers a great hole

The holes I poured you in are becoming legible,
can be read from left to right, up to down, under to over—

The beauty of holes is that I cannot enter one without ceasing to
exist in the seen world. That a body can disappear and become
subsumed by a space suggests that the body is nothing but an act
of spectral negation. My cunt is a star with its darkness pressed to the floor to temporarily light me, to lighten me.

So the channels of men close. The lines of the men close.
I have a sample of spit from the hate of my history and I hock and
I hock and I hock in the holes of my men.

To call a woman a hole is to suggest immediate use.
To call a man a hole suggests grave incivility.

Incivilities I place like a knife at the windowsill to cool.
I’ve set a wishbone in boiling water to watch its holes appear.
When I weep, my calcium brittles. My men limn in sinkholes
until they are again important, until their duress makes me faint in my delicate sovereignty.


History is a papertrail that leads to a hole.
My personal history is always such that and that which, a dreadful taxonomy of raining men.
Hallelujah I’ve dug up this adorable patriarchy and it wants to live!

The classrooms of girls offend me with their careful thinking.
Thinking is an act of dipping your hands into a hole that you hope will form a skin.
I have crowned my foreskin a philosopher its rhetoric is so dry.

When he is homely, he is a leader of men and glimmers a brawny integument of he.
He is drawn from the rocks. He rapes a hole in me to fill me with rocks.
My consent is my sinking to the seafloor. Sally sold seawhores by the seashore,
I hum and I hock to the bottom.
The hooked descending albatross is a beauty to behold and I place its carcass like a key
     in his gray bloated sternum to bloom itself dry.

When he is homely, a hole forms in his throat for him to speak.
Stones fall out of his crude syntax.

I make him hundreds of times, drill holes behind his temples to make his future exterminations simple. I make his cock hundreds more times, I freeze them mid-revision.

I make him hundreds of times for he is homely and I’ve made him to desire the keen white    scalpel again and again.
I make him hundreds of times, let his holes grow dusty from lack of speech.

I make him hundreds of times and he sits on a rock all bashful and glitz.

I make him hundreds of times until he is pretty and worth his weight in flesh.

And in his flesh, I see him, the delicate sovereignty of his limbs.
And when I see him, I scoop out his throat, I take it in the hole and the look in his eyes tells me   he’s grateful. I thou him so hard I can feel his fingers wrapping their worth round my   neck.
My love is a hole I can only make once. I make it hundreds and hundreds of times.

Bio: Natalie Eilbert’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Tin House, Handsome, Guernica, West Branch, Spinning Jenny, Sixth Finch, STOKED, and many others. Her chapbook, Conversation with the Stone Wife, is forthcoming from Bloof Books. She lives and writes in Greenpoint, where she is the founding editor of The Atlas Review.

Sunday Service / 3 Comments
February 2nd, 2014 / 10:00 am

Send Coconut a poem in the next 5 hours to make it into a limited-edition broadside.

They make v sexy broadsides, fyi.

Details here on their FB page.

Sunday Service: Stephen Michael McDowell

high profile search and seizure: a compendium of bizarre hazing rituals the fbi never wanted you to know existed

i am currently a very different type of heartbroken and alone
compared to when i was heartbroken and alone in the jungle
or heartbroken and alone drunk in the mouth of a volcano
or heartbroken and alone in a city i’d lived almost a year in
or heartbroken and alone on drugs in some field in a storm
or heartbroken and alone on a street with a high murder rate
or heartbroken and alone in bed with someone in a mansion
or heartbroken and alone with no smartphone, different mansion
or heartbroken and alone with no money in a desert
or heartbroken and alone in an empty high school skipping lunch
or heartbroken and alone in bed, two weeks pneumonia
or heartbroken and alone at night in the catacombs of a church
or heartbroken and alone playing sega in a basement
or heartbroken and alone being forced out of a womb
i am a very different type of heartbroken and alone
heartbroken and alone on the internet with you

Bio: Stephen Michael McDowell curates Mammal and edits Habitat

Editor’s note: This poem initially ran as an FB post, so it is technically a ‘reprint’, but it is so fucking good that who cares?

Sunday Service / 3 Comments
January 19th, 2014 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: Matthew Henriksen

I Don’t Get Home Much Anymore

Cancer stink on interstates through Missouri and Illinois
No dreams induce sleep

the word

what’s closer to grass and trees
a mind away from smoke

The home I lived in
all the streets coordinate
paralysis in a shot of strychnine

Now I prefer stoned mountain roads
I live in a box in the mountains, yes
but my parents don’t cry in
their words there

I broke their mouths against my door
I locked myself inside with my daughter and her laughter
the shotgun I hold to my head

My light-crazed head
grins in the trees
shining through the window

I’ve been told to stop talking about light
To think money language
To think military-industrial complex squid children shudders
To drop drones everywhere

But light, friends, enters through the windows without breaking anything
Light makes the trees and light makes my daughter laugh

Not a weapon
my daughter
when the world is made of light

guns and money made of light, too
and everything made of light dissolves in light
salt in salt water
glows a thick light

Mind glows its own solution
Mind not like moon, not reflecting

But origin, a child
laughing when her daddy laughs

one bird laughing after another

I don’t go home
What fire alights has burnt out
What has resolved in its ash foundations hardly holds anything

A house will not stand after emptying

Places away from the disasters
let me breathe out

I open the door and let my daughter
run down sidewalks full of commerce

bio: Matthew Henriksen is the author of Ordinary Sun (Black Ocean, 2011) and a few chapbooks, most recently “Latch Down the Dark Helmet” (Wildlife Poetry, 2013). Recent poems appear in Toad Suck Review, N/A, Apartment, and Yalobusha Review. For Fulcrum #7 he edited “Another Part of the Flood: Poems, Stories, and Correspondence of Frank Stanford.” Since 2003 he has with Adam Clay co-edited Typo, an online poetry journal. He runs The Burning Chair Readings and works at the Dickson Street Bookshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Sunday Service / No Comments
January 12th, 2014 / 10:00 am

u mad bruh?

ppl seem mad

i am so not mad

like, at all

like, this is the most fun the lit scene has had in minutes

i mean, have you ever been to a poetry reading?

long live mellow pages!

who do you want to see step in to fill the gap and sponsor mellow pages?

here are my top choices:

1. Hot Topic #teen #mellowgoth
2. Haliburton
3. Red Lobster
5. ‘Bojangles Famous Chicken n Biscuits’
6. Sephora
7. Anshan Heavy Duty Mining Machinery Co Ltd
8. Fuddruckers

Sunday Service: Terence Winch

Wedding Party

You were at my wedding. You stood
in a doorway and smiled at me. Music
was playing in another room, and a
huge white cake, the size of a fat little
man, awaited us on the table. The phone
rang and you answered it. It was
the priest looking for money. We
tried to get him drunk. Night fell
inside while day raged outside.
We noticed how ridiculously long
your sideburns are. There are
no photographs to prove any
of this. There is no way to know
what really happened. We drank,
we ate, we danced a waltz. We
fell asleep in the hotel, and when
we woke up thirty years later
our friends were old people,
with, like, white hair and health
problems, and the entire country
had fallen into ruination.

bio: Terence Winch, originally from the Bronx, has lived in the DC area for many years. His recent books include This Way Out (2014, Hanging Loose Press), Lit from Below (2013, Salmon Poetry [Ireland]), and Falling out of Bed in a Room with No Floor (Hanging Loose, 2011). He also plays traditional Irish music.

Sunday Service / 1 Comment
January 5th, 2014 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: Laurie Stone


In the panopticon we lived in tunnels, and the smell of petrol was pervasive. Food consisted of small hard rolls flavored with onions and potatoes. There were beets that smelled of tragedy and scraps of fatty meat that was hard to identify. We had not known seasons for years. All the papers were forged. All the fingers were blackened by ink and smelled of something pungent that may once have been alive. Alcohol was plentiful mixed with slices of lemon and lime. Everything was delayed. Cells were alienated and wouldn’t knit. We didn’t know the rules for touching.

In a room we could not see into, a woman looked down at us. She had trained the world to regard her with importance, and the world had changed. People pushed back at her after a point, but the point kept shifting. She resembled a cat with thin lips and a nose flattened to a button. Her hair twitched nervously as she hopped from foot to foot, her dead eyes waiting for a moment to pounce. It was surprising how compliant we were. In the dim light, we heard dripping.

I remembered a man on a train who was standing against a pole with his large suitcase and a smaller bag stacked on top. His hair waved off his forehead, framing intense eyes that were also kind and lost in thought. The seat beside me became vacant, and he sat, and I had a chance to study his long fingers with their wide nails. His skin was a little rough from long-ago acne. It heightened his beauty, allowing a space to enter. My life was like Chernobyl in that I could see but not touch the ordinary objects left behind. Flowers were growing up around abandoned things. Nature was coming back. It was coming back different.

In the house that traveled you woke up each day in a familiar place. In the house that traveled you could not be exact about appointments and the truth was harder to turn into a weapon. In the house that traveled your old life looked like girls getting dressed to go out. In order to be heard, you went deaf. In order to study at a university, your body ceased to produce insulin. There were people on the train and people who let the train pass. A woman wrote that people, naturally, consider suicide, finding the world too cruel. It was never going to stop, so why not step away? You heard something. You heard scraping.

As we approached the origin of our fears, we lived in several time periods at once. People of the future could watch their earlier selves in movies, and the various selves could communicate through a scrim that felt like foreboding or déjà vu. When we didn’t have language for something, the feeling was a shudder or a smell. It was what we did, bringing back the dead.

Bio: Laurie Stone is author of several fiction and nonfiction books. Her shorter work has appeared in such publications as Open City, Anderbo, Joyland, Nanofiction, Creative Nonfiction, St Petersburg Review, and Four Way Review. In 2005, she participated in “Novel: An Installation,” writing a book and living in a house designed by architects Salazar/Davis in Flux Factory’s gallery space. She is currently at work on The Love of Strangers, Micro, Flash, and Short Fiction by Laurie Stone.

Sunday Service / No Comments
December 22nd, 2013 / 10:00 am

Sunday Service: Lucy Tiven

like this

when I burnt my fingertip
it was because I wanted to turn the candle
into a tiny trashcan. because I don’t know
how to make people pay attention to me
without acting like a wastebin set on fire
outside the park

like      people need something
for people to swerve around
and then video with their phone

like      there is a voice inside you
that you actually can’t turn off
by arching your feet

the lamp I ordered from eBay
turned out to be a dollhouse lamp.
you have to order a tiny adaptor
to make it plug to a usual outlet. it sucks.

I still want to be a doll though


birds in the engine

I don’t feel that hopeless

Dropping my luggage
with reckless abandon

Isn’t it funny that there is a monk in the airport?

Everyone is quietly trying to take his picture
without giving themselves up

bio: Lucy Tiven is an MFA student at San Francisco State University and a contributing writer for The Fanzine. She is currently working on a chapbook about Mark Rothko for Plain Wrap and trying to get hired as a sales associate at Pet Food Express.

Sunday Service / 3 Comments
December 15th, 2013 / 10:00 am

when in life have you felt most alone?

can you tell me abt yr first kiss?

is there something you’ve never told anyone but want to say now?

have u experienced any miracles?

what wuz the most profound spiritual moment of yr life?