Category Archives: Issue 1.2

Note from Future Self

Note from Future Self

I’m probably not the right person to explain this, but one bad decision can ruin an entire childhood. You’ll get lost in those shadows, crave sunshine and the eternal tightness of knots. You’ll find little pink pills and therapy bills in the couch. There at the end the sodium level in your tears alone could set your blood pressure up by 11 points. You won’t find closure, but you’ll find what you need in your pantry six years down the hall—a cuckoo clock and a crock of honey. The clock is busted, but the guts are still there—and honey never spoils.

RL Black is EIC of Unbroken and Unlost Journals, and her own writing has been published across the web and in print. Follow her on Twitter @rlblackauthor and Facebook.

The Unborn

The Unborn

The Unborn, aquapell; Deviantart

Despite holding a McDonald’s bag in his teeth, a cantaloupe in his left hand, and groceries from Walmart in his right hand, Marcus manages to open his apartment door. McDonald’s is for lunch and the cantaloupe and much of the contents in the bags are for Kätlin’s cravings. Kätlin goes through a cantaloupe butt every three days, a container of Oreos and a jar of pickles every week, and a canister of Morton salt once a month. If Kätlin were not pregnant, she would be eating Great Value Twist and Shout chocolate sandwich cookies because name brand cookies are too expensive; however, Marcus had already imagined memories with the unborn and did not want the baby to be born bearing a grudge against him. Marcus kept the pickles and the Oreos on the counter like Kätlin requested, but put away the other groceries. He expected Kätlin to be asleep, but she and the unborn would be hungry upon waking.

The most persistent craving was an Oreo cookie with a Vlasic dill chip placed on top.           “The salt and tang of the pickle when mixed with the cookie cream reminds me of a cucumber sauce I used to put on my sandwiches before I moved from Estonia,” was what Kätlin once said between bites of her creation.

In the bedroom, low light peeking through the wooden blinds allowed Marcus to see the dust floating. Dust was everywhere. And though it always was, to Marcus it was a visible subtlety: As opposed to the complexity of how the brain interprets interactions between electrons and the electromagnetic field as touch, it allowed Marcus to accept the delusion that he was starting to understand how things work.

Kätlin’s heavy breaths made Marcus drowsy, and he wanted to lie with her. But more than just being with her, he wanted to listen to the sounds inside of her. He sank beneath the covers.

Marcus pressed first his lips just above the navel and then turned his left ear to meet the same position. Kätlin sneezed, but she did not wake. Then he heard the unborn kicking. It was a noise of frailty, like a joint fracturing. Yet the unborn was striking the vault from which it dwelt. Twice more it struck. Then he heard clicks and gurgles, and they moved him. He had never heard the unborn’s heartbeat before.

Marcus returned to the kitchen without waking Kätlin. He opened the container of Oreos and placed a single Oreo on the counter. Then he opened the jar of pickles and placed one atop the cookie. He placed the combination into his mouth and crushed the hardness and wetness until they were one and the same.

He tasted the tang, the salt, and the cream. Just who would the unborn become? She knows her mother already. Kätlin did not talk about such a sauce until this little one reminded her of it. To know what can’t be known is a gift. But when the unborn is born, she will scream. And from then on will be told to keep her voice down. She will be mocked if she refuses to accept quiet platitudes. It’s okay to cry, Marcus thought in hopes that the unborn would know the subtleties of his person too. Every time you think you are not worth it, you are being lied to. Don’t stop telling the truth, because right now I know you are here, and you are not afraid.

Marcus took from the cabinet two glasses. Morning, noon, and night Kätlin drank orange juice, and he wanted a Coors. He poured the drinks and removed Kätlin’s two fish fillets from the McDonald’s bag and set them on a plate. Marcus before he arrived at home ate his order, and the wrappers were bunched up in the bag; so he could think of nothing else but look at memes on Facebook.

He was fascinated with the meme of Arthur’s fist. His youngest brother recently graduated from high school, and he watched his brother grow up with Arthur in the background: or a show’s like it. The meme is just a macro of Arthur the aardvark’s clenched fist, but the way that it is clenched contains many emotions. There were a few memes of Harambe, the gorilla, one of them he shared.

Kätlin came out of the bedroom and before Marcus could acknowledge her she was in the bathroom. He listened, and did not hear any vomiting which was always good. Kätlin opened the bathroom door and Marcus said hello, and she said hello back; but she stayed in the bathroom with the fan and light on for a moment just looking in the mirror.

“Kät, are you okay?” Marcus asked.

“Yeah, why what’s wrong?” Kätlin responded and then flipped the bathroom switches.

“I don’t know. Sit over here I got you the fish fillets.”

“Thanks.” Kätlin was wearing pajamas and slippers and a sweatshirt. She bit her nails and then opened and closed the fridge.

“What?” Marcus asked.

“I said thanks,” and Kätlin sat next to Marcus.

Kätlin unwrapped one of the fish fillets and sort of huffed. It may have been a yawn. “Where’s your food?” she asked.

“Oh I already ate. I’m just here with you,” he said rubbing her back.”

Kätlin smiled took a bite of her sandwich, chewed, and then watched Marcus watch her. His affection is too much sometimes. She thought of her college ex-boyfriend and what he would and wouldn’t do to her. He was more commanding. His comments were often severe. She thought of the time her ex bound her. She shuddered and tried to let go of the thought.

“Want me to warm your food? Marcus asked.

“Would you just eat some food Marcus?”

“I’m not really hungry.”

“I see that you left the pickles and Oreo’s out for me.”

“Yeah, but I tried it.”

“What do you mean?”

“I tried the combination you make.”

     That is so gross. I don’t even really want to eat that, she thought. She remembered when she was in the arms of her ex telling him another story about the guy who had a crush on her and gave her a poem, and her ex said, “He would.”

“How sweet! She exclaimed.

“And while you were sleeping I listened to the baby’s heartbeat and heard her kick.”

     He was always a corny poet. “You didn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat. That was probably my stomach.”

“I don’t know… I think I did. It felt different.”

A part of her wanted to roll her eyes, but she had become flexible. She shook her head. She ruffled Marcus’ hair and kissed him. “You’re hopeless,” she said and then took a sip of orange juice.



Ryan Scribner is a senior at NMSU. He is a published poet but focuses primarily on prose. He works at a library and writes for The GroundUp and Desert Heat. Ryan is currently revising his first novel. Away from writing, he likes to workout, learn about revolutionary theory, attend concerts, and engage in social activism.


The Things We Want Most

The Things We Want Most

Unfold like strange shadows, like spilled ink which can’t be caught, only set free. Racy, edgy, always saying goodbye. Remember that time when the cold dawn was wolf-like and you worried that if you let go you might disappear? On the cusp of passing, leaving behind a thousand mistakes, something is unforgettable … the water’s edge, a girl, the death of dreams. You paint your skin until it bleeds and in the morning wake to the sound of birds.

RL Black is EIC of Unbroken and Unlost Journals, and her own writing has been published across the web and in print. Follow her on Twitter @rlblackauthor and Facebook.

Locker Room Talk

Locker Room Talk

Locker room, freMDart; Devianart

“It’s like every week they find something from years ago and try to use it against me. What am I going to do about this one? You intern, answer me.” said the Presidential Candidate.

“Your toupee is slipping left a little sir. But what happened, did you say something about Mexicans again?” asked Paul.

“Oh thanks, can’t ever keep this thing on straight. And no not today actually.”



“Not paying taxes?”

“No, why are you even here? You’re supposed to know about this stuff the moment it leaks.”

“Please tell me it wasn’t another underaged girl.”

The whole campaign team stopped moving in their tracks as they waited his response.

“I said some, well rather inappropriate things about a married women a long long time ago.” the Candidate said as the team let out a sigh of relief.

Paul pulled up the infamous audio of his boss on the tour bus.

“Ok so you tried to have relations with a married woman, that happens everyday. What’s so bad ab-”

“Keep listening.”

“Ah, look we can spin this, you took her furniture shopping. That’s the type of guy voters need to see. A man who helps others in need.”

“Intern shut the fuck up and keep listening.”

“And when you’re a star they let you do it. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

“That certainly sounds like a lawsuit.” exclaimed Paul.

“Well shit I know that son, I have about 7 going right now. I asked you how do we fix it?”

“Ok well first of all when was this recorded. College right? You were 22, you changed.”

“This was in 05’. ”

“2005. So you’re seventy, minus like eleven years. That means you were fifty-nine. My God.”

“What are you saying?”

“Well if you were a college kid saying this, it’s still extremely wrong and distasteful, but you’ve matured you’re a different man now. You were almost sixty years old.”

“You’re fired!”

“Sir now listen. Every time you do something horrendous, your poll numbers go up. Talk about the wall, minorities, skipping out on taxes, underage girls, and your supporters rally behind you. I’ve never seen anything like it.” said Paul.

“Kid seriously why are you still here, get out.”

“Locker room talk.”


“Locker room talk.”

“Fuck, Paul I heard you the first time what do you mean?”

“At the debate, when they ask you about it. Just dismiss it and say it was locker room talk.”

A week passed and as expected the Presidential Candidate was asked about his allegations during the debate. Paul watched closely to see if he would take his advice. “You called what you said locker room banter…You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you assaulted women. Do you understand that?” asked Anderson Cooper.

“I don’t think you understood what I said, this was locker room talk.” replied the Candidate.

Paul got up from the couch and grabbed his remote and turned off the television. “What an idiot.”

Cedric Wilson-Diew is studying Creative Writing at New Mexico State University where he regularly produces works of prose fiction, poetry, and scripts for stage and screen. He is currently writing his first full length novel which he hopes will be made into a film in the near future.

Goddess of all Creation

“The sacred mystery we feel as we experience the immense expansion of the multiverse serves to unify us to a common purpose of love, reverence and peace” – Yolanda Atencio




Yolanda Atencio‘s  ‘Goddess of All Creation’ send the message of the artist’s love for the divine eternal essence of all that is. She is a therapist in NM ans earnied her M.A. in Social Work and her B.A. in Theatre Arts at New Mexico State University. Yolanda’s play Daddy’s Princess was published under the production of Mark Medoff in 1984.