Finally they got the Singles problem under control, they made it scientific. They opened huge Sex Centers—you could simply go and state what you want and they would find you someone who wanted that too. You would stand under a sign saying I Like To Be Touched and Held and when someone came and stood under the sign saying I Like To Touch and Hold they would send the two of you off together.

At first it went great. A steady stream of people under the sign / Like To Give Pain paired up with the steady stream of people from under Like To Receive Pain. Foreplay Only—No Orgasm found its adherents, and Orgasm OnlyNo Foreplay matched up its believers. A loyal Berkeley, California, policeman stood under the sign Married Adults, Lights Out, Face to Face, Under a Sheet, because that’s the only way it was legal in Berkeley—but he stood there a long time in his lonely blue law coat. And the man under I Like To Be Sung To While Bread Is Kneaded On My Stomach had been there weeks without a reply.

Things began to get strange. The Love Only—No Sex was doing fine; the Sex Only—No Love was doing really well, pair after pair walking out together like wooden animals off a child’s ark, but the line for 38 D Or Bigger was getting unruly, shouting insults at the line for 8 Inches Or Longer, and odd isolated signs were springing up everywhere. Retired Schoolteacher And Parakeet—No Leather, One Rm/No Bath/View of Sausage Factory.

The din rose in the vast room. The line under I want To Be Fucked Senseless was so long that portable toilets had to be added and a minister brought in for deaths, births, and marriages on the line. Over under I Want To Fuck Senseless—no one, a pile of guns. A hollow roaring filled the enormous gym.

More and more people began to move over to Want to Be Fucked Senseless. The line snaked around the gym, the stadium, the whole town, out into the fields. More and more people joined it, until Fucked Senseless stretched across the nation in a huge wide belt like the Milky Way and since they had to name it they named it, they called it the American Way.

Sharon Olds



Joan Didion’s Early Novels of American Womanhood

Agnes Callard | Half a Person

Brian Trapp | Twelve Words

How much do we LOVE Billie? (read the entire article)

Who is Huma Bhabha?

MAD WATCH | Anne Nelson: Shadow Network (we’re so f*KKKed)

Sara Anstis | Only the beach, the sea, and the two of us, 2019



Blackout Poem, 2020 | No. 1


I imagine it will be nearly impossible to supplant my admiration and affection for a modern story of immigration, The Lost Children’s Archives, especially one written by an “outsider”  of a more imagined, fictionalized account like Jeanine Cummin’s American Dirt. It is, however, compelling and worthy of consideration on multiple levels, especially this take by Mexican-American author, Reyna Grande. Her personal account of crossing the border, was aired recently on The Moth Radio Hour. I hadn’t heard of Ms Grande or her work before that listen.

I don’t agree with the current rage over cultural appropriation, the notion that only certain people can write certain stories and that “outsiders” have no authority to enter their terrain. It’s called FICTION. It is the ultimate act of imagination, imaging yourself or a story that on the surface has little to do with your own, but which unconsciously, spiritually, or psychologically, shares concerns and elements that do belong to the writer. Ultimately, I get the concerns, the offence, the hurt, but it’s a slippery slope to declare topics or stories off limits. Better to fight for fair representation and compensation than to limit voices.

American Dirt is a compelling story, but nothing beats The Lost Children’s Archive at this point in time if you want to immerse yourself in the overt and nuanced pain of the daily tragedies taking place at our borders..

If there’s one good thing about terror, Lydia now understands, it’s that it’s more immediate than grief. She knows that she will soon have to contend with what’s happened, but for now, the possibility of what might happen still serves to anaesthetize her from the worst of the anguish.

And then, just for the hell of it, read this piece by Andrew Sullivan, which takes us back to a beginning of sorts and which begins to elucidate the polarization ripping apart the fabric of this nation.

What love had been there was already slipping away. She could still sense it like a ghost in the room, vague and inanimate, but she could no longer feel it. Her affection had gone, leached out, like blood from a cadaver. When he squeezed her fingers, she caught the scent of formaldehyde. When he hooked his sad gaze into hers, she saw the glass of his lenses, spattered with blood.

That these people would leave their homes, their cultures, their families, even their languages, and venture into tremendous peril, risking their very lives, all for the chance to get to the dream of some faraway country that doesn’t even want them.



In the morning, when I’m pouring the hot milk
into the coffee, I put the side of my
face near the convex pitcher to watch
the last, round drop from the spout,
and it feels like being cheek to cheek
with a baby. Sometimes the orb pops back up,
a ball of cream balanced on a whale’s
watery exhale. Then I gather my tools,
the cherry sounding-board tray that will rest on my
lap, the phone, the bird book to look up
the purple martin. I repeat them as I seek them,
so as not to forget—tray, cell phone,
purple martin; tray, phone,
martin, Trayvon Martin, song was
invented for you, art was made
for you, painting, writing, was yours,
our youngest, our most precious, to remind us
to shield you—all was yours, all that is
left on earth, with your body, was for you.

Sharon Olds | Arias, 2019

Juana Olga Barrios | Joy, 2019



Are you hip to this series and the fabulous new cookbook?