Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 reading period ends on March 15

Verse's 2016 reading period ends today. You may submit a portfolio (20-40) pages in any genre or combination of genres (including visual art). Verse pays $10/page, $250 minimum.

Monday, March 14, 2016

NEW! fiction by Rich Ives

Rich Ives

Something Sleepy That Happened in Heaven 

I know that I am in heaven because the table is white. There seems to be room for a small apartment in my thoughts, but no apartment. Come in come in, says the shot-gunned door. Something unnatural seems to be rising with the dawn, trending into coffee and a bagel and a gently tortured conversation about mutation, but without words, the way a silence can be focused, an ache you think sleeping awakens.

If I can’t remember what I’ve said to cause you to feel this way, that may be because it’s only a toy, but you can fix it, make it do something unimportant and wonderful. It’s the kind of sincere carelessness demonstrated by diligent blind consortiums of inspectors of questionable intentions, who might just be a little too curious about the condition of our understanding. I told them I was empty. If I had had any less, I would have eaten my words or saved them for later in a small bag of fragrant apple stems. I can remember how cute the words were. They were right next to the carefully lined bag of equally fragrant pudding stems. They stirred as frequently as wind chimes.

I was trying to eat something that didn’t require teeth, but I had teeth. A bag of preserved fruits seemed to be squatting in a generous glove box. One of my thoughts had been wounded and was licking itself. For a while I did some things people thought I should remember. Then I didn’t do them anymore. Then I thought about doing them again.

This might be a sad story because nothing really works out. You could take it away like bad food, the kind of food that gets you in trouble when you’re hungry. You could avoid ingesting its temporary privileges. Life says start and you start, badly perhaps, and life says stop, and you do not, though all who know you may remind themselves with it that you are no longer merely you.