‘Graph Garden

By Michael Frissore

One of these days I’m gonna learn how to fly. And not from the roof, flapping my arms, like Uncle Roy tried to do. I’m gonna get my pilot’s license. Then I can impress women with it at bars, and throw away that sheriff’s badge I made out
of orange construction paper. That hardly ever worked. The nice ones just laughed and told me to put some pants on.
Others either Maced me, stun gunned me, or kicked me in the crotch.

But not anymore. I’m gonna be a pilot.


“convenience store”
by M.V. Montgomery

Kurt Cobain and I were catching some studio-like reverberations in a late-night convenience store. We sat down together and came up with three verses. They were joyfully morbid with a theme of the dead returning. The last verse featured
a swamp creature. He played through it while I drummed my fingers on a cabinet.  It was a real rock anthem, Kurt said it was “good enough to get him knighted.”

“the daycare robber”
by M.V. Montgomery

A passenger train slows at a small town depot. Before it comes to a complete stop, a giant man swings aboard and begins to rob the passengers, easily fending off any resistance with a single hand, throwing people off the train. What is odd is what he steals: he seems primarily interested in baby strollers and children’s things.

Puzzled, the small town sheriff and his female deputy investigate the robbery.  After asking around for the giant man and getting nowhere, she thinks of going to a new daycare in the town. They look around and see no one there, no workers or
children, although the place has been in operation awhile. There are kid’s toys that have never been played with, and cheerful posters that have never been hung up.  Suddenly the giant bursts in and approaches them, threateningly. The female deputy grabs the sheriff’s arm protectively and croons, I hope y’all don’t mind us just looking around. We are looking for a place to put our little son.

Instantly the giant seems to shrink two sizes and tries to help them, awkwardly.  He scrounges around until he finds an application form and a pen, then offers them two seats in the office. The deputy sits down to write, sees a photograph on the desk of a middle-aged woman seated on the giant’s lap. Another photo with a message scrawled over it Thank you for helping me get my dream off the ground.


“The Funky Collection”
by Gabe Culberg

I’m in a Beatles cover band. I’m George. My friends Paul, John, and Ringo are the other members of the band. John is Ringo, Paul is John, and Ringo is Paul. We’ve usually just played the older Beatles stuff, the softer side of things. You know, such greats as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “Eight Days a Week.”

At band practice last week Ringo (Paul) brought up the idea of playing some of The Beatles crazier stuff, “the funky collection,” is how he put it. We thought about it for a while. We weren’t sure if we had the vocal capabilities or the finger dexterity or the confidence for songs like, “One after 909” and “Come Together.” But we thought we would give it a try.

We practiced these songs, 12 new songs total. We had a gig lined up last night at Johnny’s Tap, a real slick bar in Northwest Indiana. The place was packed. We came on stage in our costumes. We decided that each one of us would represent a different time period of the Beatles and we would dress accordingly. I wore a black suit with a skinny tie with a bowl cut hairpiece. Ringo (Paul) wore an Indian sari, John (Ringo) wore one of those fringy hippy vests and bell bottom jeans, and Paul (John) wore a white shroud.

We started with “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and we totally ruined it. It was horrible. We weren’t in tune, the lyrics were wrong, the CD was skipping, and the crowd was booing. We walked off the stage as losers – total failures. That was our last show – our only show. We’re temporarily disbanding.

Things come, things go. C’est la vie. Carpe Diem. E Pluribus Unum.

Check out more from Gabe at imonlykidding.blogspot.com.


“Brain Science”
by Steven Miller

“It’s not like it’s rocket surgery,” Walker says, and I laugh at this butchering of an idiom I know so well, even though he’s misremembering it on purpose just to make me laugh. I’m letting him make me laugh. There’s a decision, this letting, that supersedes the scientific, because while neurologists know that serotonin and norepinephrine should make you happy,
they don’t know why. Nor do they know why I’m laughing at this joke I’ve heard a thousand times before even after a shitty, shitty day like today.

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