Gallop & Grassland


︎︎︎ Cole Beaune

︎ May 17, 2024

suffering

    spiritual


        widget —    then amass

stay
         draft.          paranoia
states
                   broke            Too fast
Thumbs don’t work
drive
                      i ain’t answerin
my call
                   whittle
tradition
                           

no              horseshoes
mending

“worth”

and spotlight?
                     ‘you goddamn hick
                            swept
clap in the bull pit
separate ways open the world
burying excess
                   gallop tar we can’t see
         how content
         valley
         fire    ‘i have to say

          remember to



Cole Beaune is a Canadian-American poet and filmmaker who grew up in Mississippi and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His poems have been published in Opt West, Dream Pop Journal, OF ZOOS, and The Quarterless Review. He is the poetry editor of Warm Milk Publishing.





Untitled


︎︎︎ Paige Greco

︎ May 14, 2024

We drove miles to the motel just to see the bodies we had brought
Delicate and patient
Jewels on bruised limbs knotted and asleep, losing value from every touch
Shining in dark rooms. Ripe for the taking
Heaven was a windowless room but still too far















Paige Greco is a writer, artist, and curator living in Los Angeles, CA. Recent poems of hers can be found in No More Prostitutes, Dirt Child Vol 4, and Seasons of Des pair. She burns and bruises easily.





Mass Death


︎︎︎ Robbie Barnett

︎ May 11, 2024

He and She are still looking for each other despite the green chemical fires melting their bodies, their nerve endings burnt.

“Enough body left to fuck I think,” they think at the same moment. “...Synchronicity,” they think at the same moment again.

            Dying and the mass death surrounding their job has become so...hmm...derivative...and their growing boredom with dying has made them only want to fuck each other more. But they can’t just lay around if they want to fuck — they have to find each other. Over the heaps of burning carrion that stretch for miles and miles, and through all those long awkward tangential dialogues with NPCs and failed advances towards depressed normals, they desperately search until they discover each other hidden in their new skins.
            They’re all called Losers because they participate in an FPS-style study of 10,000 or so other volunteers tasked with saving the world. The study would be fun if all the volunteers weren’t corny normals, PTSD spazzing all the time. Only He and She are cool because they don’t care — they treat it like a video game.
            The volunteers are sad and broke and offered a lot of money to enter “The Loss” —which is a simulation of our world, but it’s constantly “replenishing” — which means ending in randomly generated apocalyptic scenarios that annihilate all life on Earth and sometimes the universe itself, and after each extinction event, the simulation resets — Earth comes back and is green and full of plants again and the volunteers and NPCs are resurrected and the losers are thoroughly traumatized, remembering every detail of pain. The point of the study is so that the scientists can figure out if it’s feasible for stupid people to stop an apocalypse if one happens in real life.
            She is a volunteer because of a lonely feeling, and He is a volunteer because he wastes a lot of time. Right now She has a dick and muscles and is a Ghanaian prince. And He has a pussy and is Chinese and kind of short and cute if you’re a Westerner. Dawning upon them both is another unremarkable world-ending event.
            His preparation is murdering an NPC and driving over it twice so that it doesn’t alert the fake cops. And driving to the store to buy the shortest skirt and some whorish lace panties to accentuate the comedically thick ass that is generated for him. The tits are nice too, and large, and he would play with them as he does out of habit but he doesn’t want to risk staying in the same place for too long, with the fake cops looking for him, because today he is horny and mildly excited about cumming with a pussy.
            Her preparation is chartering a private jet to Shanghai, knowing that if She is African, then He is probably Chinese. China, a huge investor in the study, only really wants to see China and Africa represented. See, China wants to appear powerful, and is insecure about Africa. She holds her massive cock to piss in the shower of the lavish airplane bathroom as she thinks this. China wants to believe that it's better and smarter than Africa, but it has just as many world-death Loss failures, and also none of the Losers are Chinese anyway, so even if they solved one apocalypse, it wouldn’t be because they’re actually Chinese with Chinese prowess. They’re mostly dumbasses from America and the really dumb ones are from Holland and Germany. A common, meaningless political tangent that interrupts her desire to ejaculate, She thinks. Then, anxiety from brutally murdering a child with her bare fists tries to sneak its way in. It was just an NPC — she tells herself. And it’s not like she could control the randomly generated character backstory anyway. The reset put her standing over this street urchin who was already half dead from some gas station miscommunication and she wanted to just get on with it to appease the other NPCs who lean against the McLaren, with their psychotic laughter turning to confused grunts at having to wait to witness carnage. So She finishes off the urchin with a gas hose and a kick and drives off without a fuss to fly to China and find her man and fuck him.
            One of the Losers is secretly selected to stop the next apocalypse each time The Loss resets, but none of them know how the apocalypse will start, or how they will stop it. It's kind of like luck, but the scientists don’t believe in luck — they believe in studies — so the crisis is never averted, they all die, and the simulation resets to present another basically unsolvable mass extinction event.
            She likes the panties He found and licks his pussy over the lace and kisses his asshole in the dressing room of a bombed out Uniqlo, and He bites the muscles of her stomach and sucks her cock but She isn’t getting too hard, so the two go out to play, throwing each other into broken scaffolding and sinkholes and exposed building metals with sharp tips, because when two people engage in sex they do it to hurt or be hurt, so they laugh and play until She accidentally kills him, bringing a chunk of concrete down onto his throat and cracking his trachea. They laugh a bit that the pervert devs added the sound files for that excessive mortal wound type. Then they hover in pose like sculptures of humans made of ash, silhouetted before a radiant Western sunrise that climbs into the sky like a molten sun stretched from the earth. And then they scatter along a sudden breeze over the artificial for moments before it all goes black and resets.
            She spins in human fractals amongst the abyss as He glimpses those few sensual frames of the sleeping woman who volunteered, nude and helpless in bondage to tubes and machines, wishing he could cum in her during the simulation’s interstice between life and death, the light of the recalibrating world blooming before the waking eyes of the dead losers as they prepare to toil again. They have a thought as they wake that life is only important due to the scientists’ inability to simulate an afterlife to compare it to, and that the scientists should die for accuracy in making one. Yet He knows and She knows that the only way to live when one must die is to haunt the modern world with their bored interests.
            He found her this time in a classroom in Hong Kong but she looked 15 and he looked 52. She pulls him into her to show him that her parts are working better than usual which he confirms as it drips down her legs and makes her skin itch and so she rubs her thighs together to scratch them, drawing a web as she spreads them back open. But he can’t do it because it's too close to their age rule, so he makes her wear the blindfold and duck under a desk. She listens as he pushes a teacher NPC over a desk and fucks her with cum and bites her like a pitbull and drags her around in his jaws, knocking over desks, making the school girl giggle. Then it’s the hazmat suits and the white tent and the fever that melts the brain then darkness then a glimpse of love then it’s alone again.
            A song plays alongside some gated private beach that they’ve broken into. “Mi heart a disease an mi mind a the slum.” The entrails of the homeowners leak under the slots of the glass balcony, flopping down onto the polished concrete floors. They made the NPCs kill themselves, seppuku style, for greenlighting the Mindy Kaling Scooby Doo reboot despite their pleading that they are just normal rich people and have nothing to do with the Scooby Doo Max reboot. She turns their dog on the spit as He witnesses sweat on Her lower back like pearls of his cum that have dissolved and become clear. He points to some of the homeowner body parts strewn across the sand.

“Do we eat them too?” He laughed. He was being too crazy. Women love to be wild with a man but not for too long. He thinks she thinks.
“I have to pee.” She deflects, walking towards the house. The dev’s easter egg crosses the sky: a dirigible wrapped in the digitally scrolling text, “THE WORLD IS YOURS.” Something with her happens at this moment.

            She pulls a pool chair close and faces him and sits at the edge and opens her legs and opens her pussy with her hand as she pisses towards him, and here he comes, lapping from the puddle in the sand and crawling through the stream and pushing his face between her legs and biting her vulva and licking her clit through teeth. She stands as he fucks her pussy with his tongue, tonguing her, through the gagging, and she rides his face, his tongue curled like a cock grinding against the stalactites inside her, those that make her react. He cums on her chest and face and lips — it smears as they kiss. He bends her over and lifts her as he fucks her with fingers and the liquified cum smattered across her body drains down along down her ribs and fills in the stretched open hole of her pussy.
            She moans about how she’s become afraid that the world is going to end. He asked when that began — the fear. She doesn’t know when it began. Behind them the ocean recedes. She’s spoiled the fun. It takes courage not to do that.

“I can’t keep taking international flights to have sex with you,” He ignores.

            They are both upright, her riding him, him sucking on her nipples erected like a micropenis, pulling her hips into him so that his whole cock sits deepest. They feel it grow and strengthen inside of her, pressing into her cervix. She squirms, wanting to ride it up and down and fuck it until it bursts but she can’t slip out of the hold and the first wave hits them and drowns him before they are swept away. She wraps her legs around his waist and rocks back and forth, building her orgasm as they tumble around the tsunami. Her face slams into a tree and the two become trapped under an artificial rapid caused by an overturned car. She finally rattles off an orgasm, but he’s been dead for a long time now so she breathes in water and dies too.
            Over the next few days she’s gone missing, so he leaps off the roof of Foxconn. He thinks maybe she is working on a computer somewhere earning money, or a homeless man lighting another homeless man on fire — living her life to the fullest. But she is hiding in closets in every reset, hoping he won’t come.
            He becomes bored and terrorizes NPCs and witnesses the horizon fragment and the crowds incinerate until a cold spring day when he robs a gun off a 14-year-old in the Bronx and heads downtown. On the train downtown the weird bald guy screeches that inside his Ikea bag is a dirty bomb carrying plutonium. He pries the bald guy’s clenched hand from the Ikea bag and gazes in at the thing. He’s never caused an apocalypse — only been apocalypsed, he thinks as the doomsday clock nears midnight. He’s yanking at the bundle of wiring attached to the homemade device until it stretches and rips and the study concludes.
            He wakes up as a hero from a fictional world, and tries to explain to his aged friends and dying parents his importance to a world extinguished by NDAs and scrubbed from online. He has sex in base reality but it’s painless, and the money on the debit card given to him by the men in suits dwindles. He buys a ticket to Holland from New York because he thinks she's a dumbass. She buys a ticket to China from Seattle because she loves him.
            At exactly 11:38AM their planes pass near each other in the sky over Iceland.



Robbie Barnett is a director living in America. 





A Gateway, I Hope


︎︎︎ Catherine Spino

︎ May 4, 2024

You found me hidden between words
I open my mouth and hand you a fish
You smile
We put it in a bowl and I paint your nails
“Blue” you say
I wrap the word around me
The stars shine like cans of root beer
I tell you how big my plants have grown while
you tie my shoe

















Catherine Spino is a writer from the East Coast. Her work has appeared in Hobart, ExPat Press, House of Vlad, and more. She hopes to learn to fish soon.





Medieval


︎︎︎ Lotte Brown

︎ Apr 27, 2024

By the fire
sitting on a chair
that used to be
a painting
I read that the main reason
someone would want to marry
is to finally love
as much fully and endlessly
as one ever wanted
Legs up the wooden table
one white cat watching

















Lotte Brown is a poet, writer, and researcher. Poems and stories have appeared in De Gids, De Revisor, bonkmagazine, Liter, The Los Angeles Review, Hollands Maandblad, Tirade, Deus Ex Machina, Becoming the Forest, and elsewhere. Lotte divides her time between Ghent, Belgium and NYC.