Philly Flash Inferno

Philly Flash Inferno
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Sunday, October 30, 2011


Archangel Photography
BIO: Shawn is an emerging photographer from Collingswood, NJ. Besides capturing nature on film, he loves taking pics of people moving about Philly and New York. His dogs allow him to hangout with them (but only if he brings good treats). All the pics in this issue were taken at The Great Pumpkin Carve in Chadds Ford, PA (check out thier website for carvers names and prizes). See more of Shawn's photos at:

Trapped in Flesh, Gary Beck, Resonance
Burying myself
in your eager carnality
I lose hope of visions.
There is no pride to dream
and books, tears, regressions,
are crutches to my frayed soul
that must escape the torment
of your devouring lust.
Corruption, Gary Beck, Resonance
The subtle subversions 
that we often miss
evade public combustion,
and spill from gushing palates,
cackling like greedy seagulls,
as they peck and fawn
around nourishment sources
poking their avid beaks,
depravedly indifferent mammals,
gorging on the body politic.
BIO: Resonance is a collection of poems that examine individual and cultural experiences, from the simple and lyrical, to the painful direct, in this complicated life that rewards some and punishes others to the brink of despair.

Gary’s chapbook, Remembrance, was published by Origami Condom Press, The Conquest of Somalia was published by Cervena Barva Press, The Dance of Hate was published by Calliope Nerve Media, Material Questions was published by Silkworms Ink, Dispossessed was published by Medulla Press and Mutilated Girls is being published by Heavy Hands Ink. A collection of his poetry Days of Destruction was published by Skive Press. Another collection Expectation was published by Rogue Scholars press.
Eternity, Olga Rukovets 
And I think that I am atrophying 
the way a broken leg dormant too long
becomes as whittled
down as a prepubescent arm,
as useless as a slab of wood
glued to your pelvic bone and
asked to move and

one day they’ll wheel me off
in a hearse that reads Eternity
on a paper sign in a glass window—
with its blinkers on to say it’s proceeding
slowly. Now that my high-holidays synagogue
has been sold to the highest bidder—
a Korean Gateway to Heaven church,

I wonder where I’m going. Just last week,
I let a man cross the street on a red light:
he was carrying a sign,
Burn in hell, he said, with his cardboard,
with his paper lips, his marker teeth. I said nothing.
A Tourist to a New Yorker: Is This Hell? Olga Rukovets
Scene: People taut as mannequins
pace down fashion avenue,
and poor women stand at park gates
sucking their teeth in rhythms;
old men yell,“Caliente! Caliente!”
to the air, to no one at all.
Hot city, low-sleep city, forgotten city—
the world ended and we were left behind to rot.
City that drives the quiet woman to say fuck,
city of men dark and crumpled
as garbage bags, men chanting 
asbestos while they walk in circles,
of men who read books under their 
cardboard signs,
men who beg with their faces down.
City of metal, of revision,
of trains, and train traffic,
city of you can do better,
of immigrant utopia,
of too many aliens.
City of homeless men with mirrors,
hipsters with holes in their sweaters;
of strange and stranger 
and strangers:
this city is not your home.
BIO: Olga Rukovets lives and works in New York City. Her work has appeared in 5x5, Brink Magazine, Opium Magazine, and Breadcrumb Scabs. She started writing after stealing her older sister’s Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul books when she was eight.
The Dams Stand in Oddments, Ray Succre
Satiety was long-ago reborn 
in a busy marketplace,
and the torrent of markets
was as a waterfall of nymphs,
and these matured into adult-forms, legal entities,
who, given time and unmonitored of greed,
put blockades in the torrent to control it, to keep
the new nymphs, who could not be possessions,
under possession.
The mature entities began waiting in the lobby
of the ruler of the marketplace, as well,
and fed her medicine for her abscesses.
Deals were designed. Many quiet.
So all continued in this ever-narrowing arrangement
until the many-staged ruin of the marketplace
was as a roll of thunder approaching.
The smartest market-minded adults
isolated, invested in the ruin,
bankrupting the future, their grandchildren.
Without ethical standard, they had sold off 
their fertility for the hands that held 
but one, short era,
sabotaging their successors
for the dreams of old men.
Pennies of Great Size, Ray Succre
Glossed in the fountain, three unperturbed pennies
have eaten through swollen leaves and sunken drifts
of grime.  
They are folded as flares into a dead constellation,
have no useful gender, the deafening money,
late houses with no lights.
Coins. I cannot get to them, thirsty as I am,
even gulping from the water hard.
These in-fragrant coins were tossed into a shapeless,
pumped vulva. The motors move the water,
but not these pennies of great size, empty, 
clasped between slats of forgotten, minor wishing.
A pity they are so drowned behind a hope's face,
and on the exhaust from mountainous keeps of coins.
This fling from bits of the is the sportive, 
passing decay of strangers.
Yes Ma’am, Ray Succre
He disembarked from tall truck to a lunch menu. 
“Oh, we stopped serving breakfast at eleven” 
turning stool seats 
blue fake leather 
frowns atop the turn 
hands on the counter 
“…with curly fries,” he says 
a cap removed 
damp hair 
dry face
he eats muster smell on desire his belly flaming 
peppery steak 
fries curled  
a truck stop belch and then 
he waves her over 
“I could go for a glass of milk with shaved ice” 
she sees a future brittle and known
the minutes will bear a tide against her 
“Milk with shaved ice?” 
“Yes ma’am.” 
She leans with a look 
a spell 
luscious belly against the countertop 
“I’m the only server.  That okay?” 
“Yes ma’am.” 
She leaves, speaks to a man at the grill 
greased eyes 
meat driver eyes 
she returns from a kitchen nod 
“How about I seat you in another section?” 
“Yes, ma’am.”  
She leads him behind the partition 
beyond the kitchen then hand in hand 
he breaths 
wallet of stone 
her waist seems so near 
soon they enter an older, extra restroom 
they enter into the off-limits 
wallet’s hinges pivot 
they consort on price 
by price, waists and eyes 
trucks buzzing like insects in the distance 
the restroom lock is turned
the road is a long song 
the riot gets inside 
start again.
She adopts a mannerism
they go into a stall 
they enter a fashion of confined space
quietly taking 2 p.m. 
from the stack.
BIO: Ray Succre is an undergraduate currently living on the southern Oregon coast with his wife and son. He has had poems published in Aesthetica, Poets and Artists, and Pank, as well as in numerous others across as many countries. His novels Tatterdemalion (2008) and Amphisbaena (2009), both through Cauliay, are widely available in print, and Other Cruel Things (2009), an online collection of poetry, is available through Differentia Press. 

Invisible, Abby LeCavalier
“Because I AM the moon.”

It was a bold statement,
winding my way through wheat.

Her hands are like mine.

Like mine!

I cant remember what
gravity is anymore,
or was
at least.

And I can bite my lip
all I want,
but its hers
I want to taste.

Swimming without water,
breathing without air,
living without life;
unintentional sacrifices.

A play on words.

Real words!

And she is just a touch away,
but even that’s too far
for me.

Because I AM the moon!

Extraterrestrial Me, Abby LeCavalier
Burnt steak,
burnt chicken,
burnt potatoes,
burnt conversation.

I don’t understand
the people around me,
disconnected is not
a disconnected enough word.

Sitting still,
listening to mild contemplation
burnt steak,
burnt chicken,
burnt potatoes.

Like I’m not even here?

The ice in my glass
makes more noise than I do.

Gets more attention too.

If I cut off a finger
would they notice?
maybe if it were one of theirs,
one they care about.

I’m a weed on this chair

I cant wait to go home
and be less alone.

Less alone than here.

Not Just Losing It, Abby LeCavalier
Sleeping through the melodies,
frequently stopping
in her secret place,
fixated on the poorly drawn valentine
fading in her palm.

Wiping the tears away,
she leaves stains
around her eyes,
the blood from a heart
that never felt a beat.

She was hopeful
but scared,
a fish
without a pond,
unable to taste
the air.

If it were hers to touch.

And pulling petals from a sunflower
she forces a smile,
before that too
is wiped away.

BIO: Abby LeCavalier is from outer space, but our Minos is not picky on species (he dropped her in our hell with the rest). Abby has appeared in many online and print magazines: Fullosia Press, Feelings of the Heart, Black Cat Press, The Sheltered Poet (twice), The Same, FreeXpression, The Journal & Original Plus, Abandoned Towers, A Long Story Short, Negative Suck, A Golden Place, PigeonBike, The Linnet's Wings, Vox Poetica,The Blotter Magazine, Roses & Vortex's, Language and Culture, The Writers Block, Visions and Voices, Camel Saloon Press, Locust Magazine, Mat Black Magazine, The Second Hump, The Eclectic Muse, Clutching At Straws, Lit Up Magazine, Leaf Garden Press, Illogical Muse, Raven Images, Ken*Again, The Scruffy Dog Review, Jerseyworks, 63 Channels, Speech Bubble, The Stray Branch, Clockwise Cat, and Record Magazine.

Flake, Meg Pokrass
I met him again at the same table in front of the coffee shop. He stood up and we hugged. I said something about hating the damn heat. He laughed and said, "Everybody else is walking around saying, 'Wow what a day.'"
He was divorced and had a slight limp which he claimed was arthritis in his knee. He said he was a "flake" when it came to exercise and getting it better. I had a neurological weakness in my calves. At night -- the cure was deep rubbing, which mostly resulted in insomnia. We were both kind of hating a lot of things, mainly the weather.
"I'm a flake again today," he said.
"The kind of flake they sprinkle for fish that glow?" I said.
"Tropicals," he said, showering me with a little-kid grin.
I'd recently sold my grandmother's card table to pay rent. My landlord had colorless eyes and his gaze wandered all over me, as though I had stains on my t-shirts (which I probably did). My eyes weren't working and I couldn't see stains anymore without magnification. I couldn't see my new wrinkles, either-which seemed a benefit.
The heat was moving over us, and we were walking to the mall again to sit and watch people shopping. Nobody sat at the mall and it was easy to get a fake marble bench under a fake mall tree.
My friend said that his ex had always asked him to, “Do the shopping at superstores." He could handle it and the big stores were hard for her. He said, “It sucked...being a ‘house-husband’ and that, no matter what, life was better now.”
"She's a successful realtor."
He told me how, in the water toys aisle, he had always needed double shopping carts to help carry so many games.
"You bought too many water games...when you were married?  No reason?" I asked. 
I laughed a little because it really was a funny thing to imagine. No reason. It was way too hot because the planet was melting and gooping up. The mall would be welcoming and cool. 
"Yay for malls," he said.
I nodded and he held out his left arm to me...flapped the fingers of his hand like a puppet show. I studied the place where his index finger was missing.
"Cancer know, so they took it off," he said. He always thought it would bother me, and said it a lot.
His arm curled like a paw. I touched the bump where his finger had been. He let me do that.
Top-Shelf Syndrome, Meg Pokrass
When vertigo sets in, I mentally search for the librarian, the red haired, very new one with a delectably delicate yet shrewish face. She's tall enough to rescue me from my life-long top shelf syndrome. That is, a syndrome in which I fantasize about what is up there.
Librarians grow like oxalis around the crust of the town, there is no such thing as a diminutive librarian down our way, and the dreams I have at night about this very one involve ladders and falling and being caught. Me falling, her catching me and cannibalizing lips with lips, the brush of a pencil between us, her saying, "Jesus Christ" and myself answering "Hi ho!" and she saying "Bang the drum slowly," and me saying "I'm allergic to chemicals." As usual the dream ends too soon, and I wake to the toxic-lemon smell of cleaning fluids upstairs, an adult smell, which has something to do with the reason I never left home.
BIO: Meg Pokrass is the author of "Damn Sure Right" (Press 53 ) and serves as Editor-at-Large for BLIP Magazine (formerly Mississippi Review) and before that, for SmokeLong Quarterly. Her stories, poems, and flash fiction animations have appeared in nearly one hundred online and print publications, including Mississippi Review, Gigantic, Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, HTML Giant, Wigleaf, The Pedestal, Keyhole, Annalemma, Smokelong Quarterly, and elimae.


Samantha the Grand, Tyler Garant

They say she rests on a massive bed of red velvet, over which drapes her fat hanging like a blanket. It was in the middle of her thirteenth year that Samantha decided, consciously or not, that she needed to gain a great deal of weight. She began to shove grotesque amounts of food into her mouth whenever the opportunity arose; the opportunity arose quite often. Within one year she had transformed her appearance so drastically as to be barely recognizable to her own mother. Where one hundred ten pounds once stood, eighty more had gathered, to dangle in places and chunk in others and bounce together in stride. It was a novelty; she would rub her hands all over this fat, pinch it, and stretch it, and slap it bare so that it would shake like a sack of marbles, as she turned again and again in the mirror, smiling.  
They say if you go at feeding time she can be seen gobbling humongous platters in one gulp. Once she even choked on a chicken bone! And the bone was a fucking rib cage!   
Style should offend, or so said the students; and once obesity ended a mere photograph of the clumsy past could bring disgust to the young, whose eyes had never witnessed the slandering of man’s body. If Samantha didn’t recall the first pound she ever gained, she did recall the reaction of her schoolmates. That look…it was fascination, it was admiration, it was repulsion, it was, above all, attention.  
She stopped taking her pink pill that next morning; and according to the advice she gathered on the internet from similar carnal adventurers she ate a great deal of food; and with excitement she weighed herself each morning of that week; and in amazement she watched the change in her body and the reaction of her classmates, both of which were magic. 
The school said the whole ordeal was utterly unacceptable. This made Samantha cool—which, in turn, propelled Samantha even further into the rigorous discipline of gorging; thanks to her strict diet, she began to gain five pounds a week without signs of slowing despite a slightly sore jaw, the occasional upset stomach, and the stringent measures her parents had taken to prevent anymore of this ridiculous behavior.
They say her fingers are no longer distinguishable from her hands; that her hands look like distorted muffins; that when she tries to scratch herself she can’t reach! In fact, they say she has an actual army of scratchers that rests by her side waiting for growls!  What a great fucking job! 
The parents didn’t like it because fat was dangerous. Samantha told them they’d have to accept her for who she was: the fattest little girl in the whole world…and also the seventeenth most popular girl in the whole school.
They say she farts a lot.  They say it smells very bad in her lair.  
Legally, nobody could do anything. Frequent claims were made about “soreness in the eyes,” however.
They say she is often sleeping.  What a fucking rip!
Once she graduated high school at the top of her scale, she set sight on fame and money and that one leftover donut in the corner. She ate much and did not care for taste. Eating wasn’t pleasurable and candy wasn’t sweet, but the reward was both. And perhaps obesity would even catch on, become fashionable!  
Frankly, it never did.  Nobody wanted to be fat.    
They say she is short in height—but wider than the tallest man on earth!
Exceptions always abound; Samantha did manage to inspire a relatively small and passionate following who, I suppose, had nothing much else going for themselves: at one point, thousands of teenage girls across the nation were gorging themselves. Oh yes, it was a serious problem—parents would find cookies hidden in drawers, discarded weight pills floating post flush, empty cartons of ice cream buried at the bottom of the trash bag; and many of the boys acquired a taste for these hefty girls too, which, I’m afraid to say, only intensified the problem. Though the fad tailed off over time.
Meanwhile, under the public’s awed eye, she only continued to grow. A disgusting phenomenon, a flash of the past, like a caveman or an American.  
They say there’s a hairy white cat that sleeps on her belly and rides it up and down.  But watch out when she coughs! 
They looked on her not with fascination or respect—let us be honest—they looked at her to compare. Too long since disparity existed and lo!: a ready supply of inferiority.
They say you’re not aloud to touch her. Thank Heavens! That’s fucking gross.
Samantha knew nothing. Which was why she never stopped—why she never realized that people would love her more if she were maybe twenty maybe thirty pounds overweight, when she was at least recognizable as a human being. 
They say it’s safe.  She doesn’t leave her bed. You don’t have to worry about her rolling over on you.  She doesn’t move much, they say.
In a room darkened for atmospheric effect, she now rests breathing like an old vacuum cleaner.  One cannot be sure where her head is, or her arms, or her legs, but they say she is still alive and, of course, you can hear her breathing. She can no longer talk properly and only a select few can translate her speech; two grunts for pepperoni, three grunts for sausage. If one is interested, it costs thirty-four dollars (plus feeding costs) to see her—which, yes, is a little pricey, but necessary due to Samantha’s high demand, especially amongst the international audience. She is a true spectacle. I would only advise caution in the taking of one’s children. There was an incident involving a three year old and a ring pop.       
They say it twas twinkies that killed the beast. But I’d say it was probably something less healthy. 
BIO: Tyler Garant is from Philly. He was previously published in Evergreen Review and Ear Hustler.
Lettre de Cache, By Catt, Creator and Editor of Philly Flash Inferno (since PRIDE is my favorite sin)

The cross wavered. The thrash of crimson silk rippled down the hall like a pool of blood. It looked so perfect, the white lace at its feet, to resemble the likes of ocean foam where passion would soon meet wild prostitution. Raw, harsh, and savage, this manage a' toi could not be welcomed or predicted. 
"Ehem." The priest stood over the lovers blushing. A half-naked female stood frozen with wide eyes as if she had seen her maker befall upon her, and weigh her sins. 
"Take it. Take it." 
The robed arm practically dropped the sealed letter into the heated friction. Yes, the Bishop Bossuet is after all a man, and did peek back at the flushed breast of the lady as she wriggled into her clothes near his lace and fled. The bishop continued to the man left behind,
"No, no, I have seen enough of hell's spawn. It is your Sire's will."
"Padre, pardon a moi, you can put in a word,” begged the man left naked on the floor.
"The word has been put in, my child, many, many words. Only the accused can break the cache's seal in private. Blessings, Simone."
Simone cracked the crimson seal as the crimson of the prior whipped around the corner. His heart was swallowed along with the taste of the Countessa's lilac perfume. His hand shook as he read aloud,
His majesty requests your company. Please respond promptly as usual. 
He looked down the empty church corridor and sighed, 
"There is no one to respond. I guess he is L'estate."
Simone practiced his lines in front of each mirror in Versailles as he streamed pass. The blur was getting blurrier, the air less airy, and it stifled him. It became a perfectly perfumed madness. It was all like a bad dream, but a noble one. He thought to himself, Versailles is my mother and Louis XIV my father, my spirit may falter but if I sweat; my family, though highly entertained will exile my very soul. 
"Simone." The voice roared from a mountain of fluer de leis and a pair of the longest legs he had ever seen. 
"Yes, Sire." 
Simone knelt and kissed his ring. He smiled just a hair thinking about how he could not give the Bishop Jacques Bossuet the same graces earlier. 
"I came as quickly as my feet could, Sire."
"I am surprised Simone, your feet could take you anywhere.” the king sarcastically replied.
"You know I ran across the Contessa DuForthe, today? Do you think she has put on a few pounds after the festival?"
"I did not notice, Sire." Simone coyly replied. 
"You look as though you have been lifting some weight, yourself, Simone. Very strong legs you have, my friend. They must tire after so many hours of pumping the ladies."  
"Sometimes." Simone whimpered.
“Well, do you like mint tea? I was delivered a special case...along with an ancient numbing agent that the Japanese rub on their torsos when you have strained it. I pulled my back muscles playing tennis in the Royal court and one of my Counts acquired it for me. Both cases were said to have been “stolen from a samurai's lodging.” Is that not ridiculous? Those warriors are famous of knowing every move you make."
"I guess you cannot be everywhere all the time, Sire," answered Simone.
"No, but you can have friends in the right places, Simone. Now, go downstairs… my cooks have carried a burning hot kettle into the kitchen. The herbs and hot water will cleanse your polluted soul."
"Phew. Is that all, Sire?"
"No! Guards!" 
Two big men in fancy feathered hats grasped Simone by his arms. He cried out,"With all do respect, Sire, I am not thirsty."
"Goodbye, Simone, always a pleasure."

The carriage was bumpy, the horses relieved themselves, and the foul smell was nothing compared to what was impending our dear, dear, Simone. The Bastille was gruesome. Used less and less, making conditions worse and worse. Simone, luckily knew the drill. He got out. He put his hands around his back. Once they were roped, he was taken gingerly from a set of hands that tipped off their hats with a hurried “adui,” then passed to those of black hooded men. Yes, they were not a very cordial bunch. The only "hat roll" they knew was that of their guillotine. Well, have no fear, our Simone was always out by morn and ridiculed by King "Louie" over the very tea he had raved about. 
The night was colder than usual; the air was the polar opposite of Versailles. If you can imagine that a trickle of water was like hearing the angels sing. Maybe, that the fur of a rat excited your it along, as if you had seen the dog you thought the wild boars killed... 
then you knew the Bastille.  
Simone heard a voice coming forth and stuck his arm out the hole where a crusty end of some staple not even good enough for the taille*rested. Tonight, it was filled with another palm and it grabbed Simone, so his face was pressed hard against the iron door. A voice whispered,
"I am a vowed and honorable husband, but since those vows have been tainted by ‘slop of the court’ such as yourself; I shall have the pleasure of feeding you to the pigs tomorrow, Simone."
The hand was dropped and the footsteps faded. Simone heaved up and down and had trouble breathing. He undid his collar and caught the reflection of his neck in the empty bread pan. He frantically buttoned it again. 
He thought aloud,
"Why? Why, the 'Countess of Cake and Casual Affairs.' She was not worth your neck."
When Simone raised the one lid he had shut to the sound of a rooster crowing; he dusted himself off, grabbed his handkerchief, and waited for his carriage or his executioner. The carriage pulled up.
"Louis the Fourteenth, you are the best royal to have ever graced the thrown." 
Soon, a draped figure came out. Simone was use to being set free in a day or two, but the figure seemed to be carrying something new. A black case thudded to the stone walkway. 
"Knives." he cowered, "I will be hanged and quartered. I cannot believe it." The footsteps drew near, and Simone gagged as the guards called,"Attention, Simone De Noblesse de Espee." The black hooded figure dropped the bag again along with a wooden bench. 
"No! No! I only had sex. It was just sex.”
  The men belted Simone’s hands in the leather straps. 
After a night of awaiting his death and a half-hour of pleading, Simone finally begged, "Come on! The Countess had more rides than Pizzaro's horse.” The black figure nodded and the other men left. He continued his ranting, "Undo these straps and fight an Espee like a man.” 
The figure laughed and took out a sharp dagger. We knew it was sharp because it pierced the half eaten rock, nicknamed, "Taille-less Bread.” The Minister of Death entered the jail cell. He had some holy beads, a small flask, and a black book. 
"Do you have any last words?" The Minister asked. 
"I wish to die with honor. I have bled many of Louis' enemies on the battlefields. I need to die an honorable death. Not here, on a wooden bed of Black Plague after nailing a plump pompous whore on a pulpit."
The executioner took out an ax and a few feet of rope. The minister took the flask and threw some of its liquid contents on Simone. The holy water smelt very strange (and weirdly minty) and the lights began to blur. The minister started the familiar prayer,
"In numre padre...."
"No! No, no." Simone soon faded to sleep. 
Simone later awoke to the smell of peppermint tea and thought he was back at Versailles. He thought he was dead (dead and gone, and back to his heaven, here or the next). He was strapped at the neck but he could feel a cool breeze. For some reason Simone could not wriggle his lower extremities. Simone noticed a trumpeter...
"Your Majesty approaches." 
"Simone? Simone. Wow, look at you. No really, look at you. No wonder the ladies can only see one huge sword about your belt." The king was prettier than any woman and Simone was so glad to feel the powder from his wig fly toward his eyes.
"Sire? I thought I was…"
"Yes, Simone, it is, I. You are not deceased. Did you think I would really kill my espee who doubles as a free jester? How boring court would be. Your troops would come back from battle and I would not have to return them to the front lines because you disgraced their wives all over Versailles 1400 fountains. It took my gardener a week, by the way, to unclog Lady Tallulah’s bloomers out of the fish's mouth. You know, the fishy fountain is my favorite.
"Sorry, sire?" 
"You really should consider a more petite woman, my friend. Maybe one of the peasantry would find your new condition more suiting." Louie added.
"My new condition, Sire?"
The king made a very slow slice into an apple with a very sharp knife and the door opened to the Bishop's Bosset’s smile, and to Simone's mind. 
Simone let out the most terrifying scream. Yes, I am quite sure; that the Countess heard it back in Versailles...or wherever she was screwing. 
Did the King really castrate his top Noblesse de Espee? Or was his body medicated with an ancient Japanese numbing herb? We and the Countess Du Fourthe may never know.
* (taxed food item in France during this time-period)
We are publishing every three to four months now, and we would like to do something special to end 2011 and bring on the possible Mayan apocalypse. So bring on your weapons and artwork relating to our ongoing theme of The Seven Deadlies (and of course...poetry and flash...but most of all ARTWORK). Pass the word, and keep on sinning and confessing so we can keep our hell open!
 -Minos and Catt

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Lust’s Passion Will Be Served... 
(and sprinkled with a smidgen of greed for flava)
FEATURED BIO: Julia Davila, is a 28-year old, Ecuadorian, living in Madrid (Spain). Recently, she is trying to break ground in the world of photography. Julia covers various genres, from still life via self-portraits to street photography. People use the word “versatile” when describing her...we think her work is beautiful. What do you think? Visit her link: and leave her some comment “love.”


We step into a hot, sweet night, 
scent pouring from shining branches, 
lake water rippling to silver,  
then Egyptian darkness. 
I wear my princess mask, slipping 
tiara and too-long skirt. 
Black feathers swirl from my boa; 
chips fall from my darkened nails. 
You are the mouth 
of the dark, goat, tiger, all-night dancer, 
my pulse so loud I forget your name.  
Paint me with thick blue paint.  
Go ahead. I still believe 
in falling, but I fall upward, 
strangers touching my lips and eyes.
I plunge into the hive 
for its sweetness. 
While I lie there licking 
everything, I disfigure 
my heart with a miniature 
pencil. Bees cling 
to my arms and sticky 
pubic hair. I make crutches 
my heart limps out on.
Through your eye I climb 
into bright landscapes. 
I’m grateful for unlabored 
breathing. Your body. 
You walking. The word 
desire. I ask loss to stop 
cutting and filing 
and cross-referencing  
because each day is 
dressed in flesh. I swing 
my damaged parts 
forward with grave 
regularity, keep my crutches 
close to my body, 
touch what’s been broken 
to uneven paving so I seem 
almost to balance here.  

Body and Soul
Desire wakes a woman alone
in her bed. She wants a red dress 
caressing her knees, beaded flowers 
clutching one breast, old records, 
scratchy jazz—Body and Soul, 
Death Letter, carnal, despairing. 
Last night was dark as a blackbird.
Outside her window, a tree cracks, 
hurtling glittering branches 
like tipped gangplanks. She steps 
to her window. Meltwater slicks 
the snow, turning it into a perilous 
glaze. Ice like crushed glass cascades 
from the fallen branches. False dawn 
hangs a shroud of soft white light. 
Author’s Bio: Barbara Daniels’ Rose Fever was published by WordTech Press. She received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and earned an MFA in poetry at Vermont College. She lives just outside of Philly and was recently quoted saying, “Philly is my city.” Minos finds this pride appealing and may summon her to the surface to read for PFI at a future keep your eyes peeled, or else...Minos will.
He turns off the water, kisses her, then pushes her hands and arms away, easing her to the side so he can get into position. 
"Let me," he says.
A rush of warmth spreads through her as her affection for him grows. A low, pleasant ache builds between her legs as his hand disappears beneath the bubbles. She gets comfortable next to him, watches his hands work in delicate, slow circles, now concentrating on a certain spot, careful but thorough. 
The slow motion of it mesmerizes her, the soft splash of the water soothes. He blinks slowly, licks his lips, clearly aware of the effect he's having on her. She smiles at his proud display and how much he enjoys her particular brand of lust. His hands are warm and wet, his stroke firm yet just careful enough, determined—doing the job.
Unable to stay still any longer, she moves behind him, presses her body into his back and reaches both arms around his waist to unbuckle his belt. As she slips her hand into the front of his jeans, she whispers what he already knows, "Men who wash dishes make me hot."
Author’s Bio: Shelley Ontis is a full-time freelance writer. Her favorite deadly sin has made her hips wide and her dance card small. Shelley's writing has appeared in over 20 publications.

Summer Postlude

By the end of August, summer is moribund; by the middle of September, truly done for. Summer the well-beloved is over, dead and gone. Although its demise and subsequent resurrection recur as predictably as clockwork, we seem to have some vestigial reptilian brain wiring which reacts with shocked melodrama to summer's end. We might even go through the now-classic five stages of bereavement, not a moment too soon arriving at acceptance.
This fall six of us survivors transcended mere acceptance. We embraced summer's successor by celebrating the equinox at Old Orchard Beach. Our annual tradition of spending a few days at Old Orchard began serendipitously about five years ago when we couldn't find a place to stay in Portland. It turned out that this nearby, bustling, slightly seedy seaside honky-tonk suited us just fine. Our timing this year was more serendipity; conflicting schedules postponed the trip until after Labor Day.
The weather held, and the town had lost none of its charm post-season, flaunting a relieved, mellower vibe. Most shops had closed for the season or opened only on weekends, and the engrave-your-name-on-rice and other pier emporia had disappeared without a trace. Ubiquitous cigarette-smoking Quebecois teenagers no longer graced the now deserted sidewalks.
We recreated strenuously on our B & B's front porch, reading, napping, working cryptic crosswords, drinking tea and coffee and wine, shooting the breeze. The women assembled the Maine-themed jigsaw puzzle, a tradition within the tradition. We played an original Trivial Pursuit game, its questions ranging from gimmes to the ridiculously obscure, additionally daunting because the answers might or might not be thirty years out of date. Just down the hill we could watch the coast-hugging Amtrak Downeaster make its ten daily transits, momentarily cutting us off from the beach.
Though the front porch seduced us, we ventured off occasionally. At Camp Ellis Bill, Don, and I basked in Atlantic air with binoculars while Andrea, Cheryl, and Jean clambered out onto the jetty. We took our traditional ferry from Portland to Peaks Island, whose own charm augments Casco Bay's always-interesting maritime activity. From Portland Head Light we saw a cruise line leviathan leave Maine State Pier and glide out to sea during a gorgeous sunset and dusk.
Our major challenge was finding venues capable of satisfying our gluttony, and we succeeded. We also pretty well mastered sloth, except for a couple of crypto-bicyclists in our midst. And we envied no one.
This is a vacation worth the overhead, of which the best part isn't returning home, and from which we came back less tired than when we started. Once again we resisted indulging the frenzied American chase for excitement, the feverish quest to tick off items on a bucket list. Our gratification lay only tangentially to what we did or in the doing. It lay essentially, as it so often does and should, in the simple, intangible, and timeless pleasures of friendship.

Author’s Bio: Ray Scanlon was born, grew up, and lives in Massachusetts. He has grandchildren, extraordinary luck, and is pretty sure he could write a book, if only he had something to say. His web site is

Reverse Robin Hood: A Short Tale of Modern Greed

“Hi Rick. Welcome to BestN Tech. Please, have a seat. So, what type of degree are you considering?”
“Well, I was thinking about internet programming. You know, building company websites or something. But then I realized that by the time I finished, all the jobs would be over in Bangladesh or something.”
“Well, that’s not really…”
“So then I thought about the military. But the other day something occurred to me. I’d gone to see my cousin Freddy over at Fort Jones. He’s in the Marines, see, and he lives in this crappy little house on the base, a real dump, with flaking paint and a sagging porch. I mean at one point we were having a beer and I looked down and saw a mouse running across the living room floor.  I said, “Hey, Freddy, you’ve got mice in here.” And Freddy replied, “That’s not a mouse, that’s a cockroach.” So anyway, I quickly ruled out the military. Then, the other day, I was reading an article about a company that makes release levers or something for those Predator drones, and they showed a picture of the CEO’s house. And you know what?”
“It was phaaat. I mean, like this huge hedge out front and five stories tall, all brick with these huge windows and gables and shit. The shed out back...the thing was bigger than Freddy’s whole house. And probably better made, too.
“So what’s your point here?”
“My point is, screw the military and screw these other low paying jobs and worthless degrees. I want to become a defense contractor. Make bank. Do you guys offer, like, a degree in that?”
“Well, uh, at this point we do offer a business degree. Two years, night classes, some can be done online.”
“Yeah okay, great, but anything specific to weapons contracting? Cuz, I mean, that’s the cincher for me here.”
“Hold on a sec, let me check something on my computer here.”
[The computer is not turned on]
“Okay, yeah, it says we can structure that business major with a minor in Defense Contracting.”
“Cool. So what are we talking price wise?”
“Forty-two thousand.”
“What! I could do two years at State for like twelve thousand.”
“Well, maybe, but they keep raising the tuition over there. And, you couldn’t get that minor. Plus, at BestN Tech you’d be getting specialized attention.”
“Did you just say special ed?”
“No, no. Specialized attention.
“What’s that?”
“Things like Myspace updates and Twitter feeds.”
“Hmmm, I still don’t know. Forty-two thousand for two years. That seems like a lot. I don’t have that kind of cash.”
“Hey, who does these days? But we can get you a federal loan, no problem.”
“Yeah, but I gotta pay that bitch off, eventually.”
“Hey, no problem, you’ll make it back your first year on the job. Guaranteed.”
“So, do you guys have any placement data? Ya’ know, like the names of your graduates and the jobs they’ve landed?”
“Well, we did, but then a nasty virus wiped it out, took down our whole system. Deleted the names of a lot of very highly paid people, too many to remember off-hand. But no worries, you’ll be joining them soon. You’ll be rolling in cash in no time.”
“I’m still not sure about this.”
“Well, it’s this or Taco Bell, your call. How do you like hair-nets?”
“Well crap, okay then. I gotta do something. Let’s get it on.”

Author’s Bio: Thomas Sullivan’s writing has appeared in The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette and 3AM Magazine, among others. He is the author of Life In The Slow Lane, a memoir about teaching driver education. For information on this title, please visit his author website at


Damon Loble: "Honesty, sensuality and narrative are what I care about seeing in my subjects and my photographs. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don't, sometimes it's contrived. I adore the people that share with me."

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Dr. Seuss                      

Truth, By Hal O’Leary

The loss of truth is now the only known.
The truth's become old fashioned. Could this be?
With lies, we have decided to condone,
Just how will this affect both you and me?

The truth is now old fashioned. Could this be
Like chastity and people you can trust?
Just how will this affect both you and me,
We who believed that life was somehow just?

Like chastity and people you can trust,
A thing called love could also disappear,
We who believed that life was somehow just,
We've got to make an effort, or I fear

A thing called love could also disappear,
To set each individual apart.
We've got to make an effort, or I fear
There is the chance that we could lose all heart.

To set each individual apart,
With lies we have decided to condone,
There is the chance that we could lose all heart.
The loss of truth is now the only known.
Author’s Bio: Hal O'Leary, is an eighty-six year old, veteran of WWII. He is a Secular Humanist and having spent his life in theatre, believes that it is only through the arts that one is afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from West Liberty University

"It's an energy field created by all living things." - Obi Wan
Can I Peel Your Boredom away Like an Orange? By, Catt C.
I'd section you with my heart-centered, devi-pinchers,
but what of your juicy innards?
Look away from the bright-demon hollows,
of the apathetic rinds,
they only carried you here as product in your corrugated cage.
-Creator and Editor of PFI
 Quick Cartoon Hell: Red Riding Hood...

Finally, let’s conclude with our fav: PRIDE.
Customize and sport our Fiery Demon logo with our motto: “Our Hell is Always Open” today!


Coming Soon:Readings in Philly and NJ!
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