Mutilation by Hayley McCullough

I sliced the feet from my legs
So they could dance free of me.
I sliced the fingers from my palms
So they could write without my hesitancy.
I sliced the tongue from my mouth
So it could sing and speak
Beyond the limits of my capabilities.

And now, I sit against the furthest wall
In shadows, silent and unmoving.

I see the motions and the movements of my feet –
Like forest leaves and flower petals
That soar and twist on wind and river currents.
I read the words and sonnets, the novellas of my fingers –
Emotions and sensations born by pen and ink.
I hear the songs and speeches of my silver tongue –
Pure vocalizations of a living soul.

And so, I sit and watch and experience,
One of ten thousand faces in the crowd.

I see these creations of my body’s pieces –
Things of art and substance,
Things I can never claim and do not really know…
Because I severed more than flesh and muscle,
More than blood and bone.

And so, I sit and think about tomorrow,
And the fleeting possibilities it may hold.

I wrap the shadows around my shoulders.
I push the wall even further back.
And it is not long before I decide
My eyes and ears will be the next to go.


Hayley McCullough probably spends more time reading fanfiction than is strictly healthy.

My Inheritance by Richard LeDue

Our Prime Minister’s father was also Prime Minister,
like how a President can be a son of a former President,
and some swoon at such a legacy,
but it makes me spoil ballots,
or even not vote
because my father was a steel worker-
the plant closed when I was in high school,
and the closest he ever got to politics
was throwing a chair at his union president.


Richard LeDue (he/him) currently lives in Norway House, Manitoba with his wife and son. He is a Best of the Net nominee, and has been published in various places throughout 2021. His first chapbook was released in 2020, and a second chapbook in 2021. As well, his third chapbook, “The Kind of Noise Worth Writing Down,” was released in October 2021 from Kelsay Books.

One About If Men Got Pregnant… by Linda Lowe

The women said, Good luck, you’re stuck. The men said, But what about my career? Their closets were full of suits and freshly ironed shirts and proper ties that longed to be tied, and time, how it flew, they were swollen and sick and waddling like ducks, and holy hell if they weren’t leaking milk and oh my god the pain and then the crying, the constant crying, and the cost would it go on forever? Food, diapers, a room to put it in, someone to care for it. Help, they hollered, Help! This baby business has got to stop.


Linda Lowe’s chapbook of poems, “Karmic Negotiations” was published by Sarasota Theatre Press. Her stories and poems have appeared in Eunoia Review, Beatnik Cowboy, Outlook Springs, and others.

Digital Paintings by Edward Michael Supranowicz


Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia.  He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is a Jar, The Phoenix, and other journals. Edward is also a published poet.

Photography by Natalie Christensen

SUSPENDED ANIMATION

The future fell in on itself during the early months of 2020, leaving only a timeless and confusing sort of present in the rubble. Old and new vocabularies and practices of sickness, fear and isolation evolved and spread, grafting themselves to the story of environmental, political and social chaos that seemed to be defining our collective experience. 

As it did for many, the emergence of COVID, and the shutdowns that followed, radically altered my perception of the world. The virus and its implications for life, leisure, and work forced me to recognize in stark terms the utter precarity and unpredictability of everything I’d known.  Confined to my house and filled with grief, I encountered a rising tidal need to document this unprecedented time. Suspended Animation is the result of these days, the gradual coming-to-terms with their effect, and the eventual possibilities of a life after.

These images—many reflections of the everyday, in a long line of days where much is the same as the day before – come from places and moods near to home. Each captures a precious moment, a way to tell time and mark its passing. I’m never more at ease than when making pictures, and doing so amidst so much chaos and uncertainty offers not only a sort of emotional and even physical solace, but the opportunity as time goes on for seeing something else, something better.

All creative labor is anchored to the time and place of its origin, but rarely does it so encompass the entire world and its people. These pictures are the product of a singular experience, but one that is shared, and will continue to be shared for many months to come. And as a record of one, I hope that it will contribute to a larger collection of many such responses. A record of global horror and the tenacity of hope, perseverance, and beauty in facing it.


Santa Fe, New Mexico photographer Natalie Christensen’s focus is on banal peripheral settings. Influenced by 25 years as a psychotherapist, her photos favor psychological metaphors. Christensen has exhibited in noted museums and galleries in the U.S. and internationally, was a UAE Embassy invitee for a UAE Architecture Delegation tour, has been invited as Artist-in-Residence to Chateau d’Orquevaux, France and a photobook, “007 – Natalie Christensen,” has recently been published by Setanta Books, London. Christensen is the recipient of several prestigious photography awards, has work in permanent collections and publications featuring her work include The Guardian, The Observer, Creative Boom, The British Journal of Photography, LandEscape Art Review, Art Reveal Magazine and Aesthetica Magazine.