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I Know Why I Suck. by John C. Krieg

I ’M an ASPIRING WRITER who Doesn’t know a noun from a pronoun A verb from an adverb And, aren’t adjectives good for everything? Every time I get stuck on writing a complete sentence I just throw in a semicolon, because Nobody else knows what the hell they’re for either And they’re so embarrassed that they just let me slide
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A Love Letter to Andre Lancaster from Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko

Under the artificial but highly industrialized canopy that was the D-train running directly over our heads, we stood outside for our first heart-to-heart conversation. It was summer in New York City, distinct in humidity and activity from summers anywhere else in the world, and the workshop process for your Black queer theater group with its five playwrights under fellowship had begun. Monumental was the fact that we were Black writers commissioned for actual pay, read: real money; miraculous describes the dream realized and its impact on our creative lives well into our queer futures; “divinely powerful” is the phrase that comes to mind whenever I think of you, a young gay Black man whose ministry meant creating theater for queer Black playwrights when it wasn’t a thing, wasn’t trendy or an identity-marker to distinguish oneself at parties among the liberal elite or leftist intelligentsia who tend to populate if not dominate theater circles within America’s artistic landscape.

All You Can Eat Buffet of Poisoned Fish Eggs. by j/j hastain and Juliet Cook
AND. . . Sideshow. by
Juliet Cook

All You Can Eat Buffet of Poisoned Fish Eggs (Cook—hastain).
A fingernail stuck inside
each dumpling is a sign
of betrayal.

So betray me
in all the ways you fantasize.
I am a woman in a city.

better safe than sorry. by Cindy Lynn Brown, followed by Souvenir, by the same

How many wasps can I light
in one go with a flamethrower?
will their wings burn first
their bodies falling
like New Year’s fireworks to the ground
or will the swarm disappear
in one mighty swoosh

my pace my skin speckled with stings
mirrors on the walls against sneaky
scamming and surprise parties
I fear strangers
never kiss anyone but myself

A Word Portrait of Gertrude Stein in the Style of Gertrude Stein’s Word Portraits by Randal Eldon Greene

She was one who was a writing one. She was one who was a thinking one. She is known as a writing one. She was one who was thinking of writing. She was writing. She was one thinking when she was writing. She was a writer.

She was then one living socially. She was traveling. She was writing. She was not then writing creatively. She was then studying things requiring not writing creatively. She was then traveling. She was then loving. She was then studying. She was not studying well. She was not then publishing writing that was written creatively.

A Christmas song located somewhere in South India. by Ajay Kumar

Undescended- I can see stars, how obviously there          there.
The stream is moving. With a quote from the Gita, the temple
announces the hour, the stream moves, an army of ants
on dormant mango leaves, a band of monkeys up the gabled roof,
a half-eaten papaya tumbling down.          All the songs
with snow are lost in the birdcalls of a desi december-
the sun is out soft & diaphanous gold, coir beds in the cool air
full of men with powdered faces, dyed hair, belts fraught
with exact changes for bidis.          Women with a rash of henna,
a rash after henna. Girls with pawned earrings, two thin bangles,
an old old chain repolished in september march may, seasonal
like mangoes on their necks- to the temple of the naked god,
of the celibate god, to the selfless, to the human god. The old
old beads in their windpipes, choking. Their mother eyes raised
in sniffed breaths.

the monster. by Stephen House

when i was forty i lived in new york for two months
after a funded playwright residency at banff in canada
that i’d received through the australian arts department.
it was a special time of travelling around and writing plays.
i found a cheap room in an old character building in harlem.
this part of my travel was self-funded, i wasn’t flash with cash
but the room was fine, low budget was how i was existing
and there were interesting and unusual people living there.
in the mornings i’d do yoga in my room as i do everywhere,
grab some fruit and bagels from a mini-mart for breakfast
and head to my local café to work on my new monologue,
drink coffee and chat to a few other artists i’d met there.

Spinoza, My Uber Driver. by Sam Spurlock

Burn your memories.
Stand on the threshold as you do it.
Hold your breath until you become breathless.
Inspire the trickster alchemical with your vapors.
Your ether.
Your ethereal.
You're the real.