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Dear Diary, 10,000 B.C.
by Franklin Crawford

Dear Diary, 10,000 B.C.,

somewhere near Lascaux (translated from the original): Standing watch at the mouth of the cave of my ancestors, stone tools, charcoal and finger paint pots at my feet, shivering in this tattered megafauna pelt, the fire long expired and still too dark for me to finish mural outline of these two huge, flightless predator birds that made a crunchy brunch of three blood kin, Roc, Ka n Pupu – my mom.

It was majorly traumatic. Gigormous sobs with beaks like monstrous hinged arrowheads come busting out of the high grasses – the sickening sound of skulls getting cracked open like Dodo eggs.

We all ran, I dunno, I dunno. A long time.

Lucky find, this grotto. After we set fire to a sleeping bear and clubbed some huge rats to death, we pretty much had the place to ourselves and plenty to eat.

I sure do miss Mom and brothers.

Dad’s gone now since I dunno, I dunno, bunch of hot and cold times ago. We were all walking along on some nasty turf and he just fell through the surface into a pit. I mean, the ground just opened up and swallowed him.
There were wolves stalking us so we had to keep walking, and we heard pops moaning and groaning down there but no way could we help him. I doubt very much he survived. He was such a good guy, a dedicated first responder, not into big game hunting (who wants to fuck with a mammoth, even a baby one? was his question whenever we ran into a herd of them); he was smart to go after the harmless but edible creatures of medium size and tasty, very able with both spear and stone axe, great storyteller. Lotta nights we were paralyzed with fear, especially if we couldn’t get a fire going and he calmed us down with tales told in a gutteral language we barely understood but he was a very good mime so we always got the narrative thread – usually something about hunting or fucking or making fire. I think about that time cousin Gah was dragged off into the woods by a pack of jackals. Something growly like jackals anyway even if they sounded like a bunch of laughing hyenas and Gah screaming bloody murder. He was only a little one. Me and my brothers got up to fetch him and the Da grabbed us by our skins and threw us down, warning us with so many gestures and loud noises that if such things would come right into camp and grab one of us, what was gonna stop them from making a happy family meal of the whole tribe?

I feel like I failed him today. We were robbing a platypus nest – the kits are yummy – and those giant f--king birds came from out of nowhere, just ran us down and that was that for Mom and my two bro. Only reason I’m alive is my incredible cat-like reflexes and an uncanny knack for finding hiding places, like this cave. There are only seven of us now, my two sisters, who are my significant others till I can find one of those Cro-Magnon women – pretty scarce these days – my little brother, and two second cousins half-breeds, males, Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal on Dad’s side of the tribe.

The Cros, twins, are peaceful but kinda dumb and prefer roots and vegetables to meats. Ever now you gotta kick their ass to get them pay attention on a hunt and gather.
My back teeth are killing me – had to bang one of them to bits with a spearhead other day. Stank like old meat. And this damn dark. Gotta keep alert, tho. Wanna finish my drawings after sun-up.

Shh! – what the hell was that? Hope that barbecued bear didn’t have family nearby. Man, I can’t wait till this whole epoch is over and done with. Some times I wonder why we ever stood up on two feet and walked off the Savannah. Gotta go back inside. Later.



Remembering Afghanistan.
The Woman Who Wore My Hat
The Third Leg
Dear Diary, 10,000 B.C.
Glad To Be Unhappy
Lily, Mister Bluebird, and the Beginning and End of My Singing Career
Stormy Daniels, Full Disclosure

• DYLAN THOMAS Before I Knocked
• MARY GILLILAND Vertical Before Dawn Strips the East
Burn the Timeline
• CHRIS MACCORMICK Disremembrances of the Russian Twilight


R. Saminora, - Paris


Before I Knocked
by Dylan Thomas

Before I knocked and flesh let enter,
With liquid hands tapped on the womb,
I who was as shapeless as the water
That shaped the Jordan near my home
Was brother to Mnetha's daughter
And sister to the fathering worm.

I who was deaf to spring and summer,
Who knew not sun nor moon by name,
Felt thud beneath my flesh's armour,
As yet was in a molten form
The leaden stars, the rainy hammer
Swung by my father from his dome.

(the entire poem)

by Nancy Vieira Couto

"Nancy, I want to ask you something," my cousin Lily said. By the look on her face, I could tell it was important. "How would you like to be a flower girl at my wedding?" she continued. I didn't know what a flower girl was. I had heard people talking about sweater girls, and I sort of knew what they looked like, but I didn't think I could look like that. I was only four years old. "You would wear a pretty gown," Lily said, as if she were reading my mind, "and you would carry a bouquet of flowers." I was still worried about the sweater, but I liked Lily. So I said OK.
(go to story)


by Steve Katz

I was fifteen when my father died. He’d been sick for seven years already, was rarely home, usually bed-ridden in some dreary hospital in the Bronx, or upstate at some rest home. That was treatment for a heart condition at the time — stay in bed! Had my father been around, my fate might have been different. Without a father to slap me into the future I felt like upcoming life had been placed on the far side of a high slick wall. I couldn’t bust through it, nor could I scale it, but against its unyielding concrete I constantly slammed the enigmas of my adolescence.
(go to story)

by David Rollow

The writer sulked. She wasn’t wrong. In the flush of inspiration he’d typed up a report of her most recent visit, while still at the office (he had a day job to support himself), and he had unthinkingly left by the typewriter a second sheet for all to see. He didn’t use a carbon, so to anyone not overwhelmed by curiosity it would have seemed to be only a blank sheet of rough yellow paper. (go to story)

by Annie Campbell

I had gained only five pounds during my pregnancy, but walking in that oven-like heat made me feel like I had gained two hundred. My toes were so hot and swollen they looked like red potatoes and felt like they might explode. I could hardly wait for the heat wave to be over and my mysterious baby top reveal itself.
(go to story)


The scandal does not seem to be with
Stormy, but one
that is generated
by a host of people
that think there
should be a

Review by Gabreal Orgrease
(go to review)


Before I Knocked (go to)

Vertical Before Dawn
Strips the East (go to)

Burn the Timeline (go to)

CHRIS MACCORMICK Disremembrances of the
Russian Twilight (go to)

1984 (go to)


by Daniel Lovell

I’d already been in bed four hours before I found out what the mattress pad was for. You don’t ask too many questions about hospital beds, in general, and I didn’t ask any about this one. They let me have a laptop, and the hospital has free wifi. My assumption is those things are supposed to make up for the horror I’m sitting on right now, just barely covered by the ratty mattress pad. (go to story)

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