2017 Best of the Net Nominations

Congratulations to our 2017 Best of the Net anthology nominees!




The Little Laser Girl

Lorraine Schein

Light: The wands she sold were brighter than the snow, a colder light.
Amplification:  She flipped one on—it flared open, a humming white door.
Stimulated by: Oscillation between energy levels and the subtle realms of matter.
Emission of: Coherent light waves, so she could see the dead and the almost existing.
Radiation: Electromagnetic—she saw her grandmother pulsing in the now-visible,
ultraviolet-infrared regions of the spectrum as she froze.


Soren James

I was awakened early this morning by the scaffolders next door. They were shouting up and down their construction about Mediaeval imagination and the birth of nationhood. I yelled out the window, What’s with the academic bullshit! Get a proper job, like the rest of us. They told me where to go, then began upon the subject of aggression and gender identity.

Still angry, I put on a clown nose, a red fuzzy wig, and left for work.

Driving was hell in my clown shoes, but I managed to crash the car near enough work that I could walk the rest of the way.

I entered the offices, and as I passed those gathered by the coffee machine, a phrase came to mind: The psychology of hell is strewn with coffee tables. Putting this to one side, I went to my office to attend to paperwork.

Eight hours later I went home. The scaffolders were still there, still shouting—discussing the possibility of intelligent life in the universe. I shouted up at them, Impossible, don’t be so stupid!

My argument seemed to win them over, as they conceded—in surprisingly good humour—that it is doubtful.

Elephants and Rain

Matthew Schmidt

Savannah rain a careful glove
on the elephant’s ear, an ah or peanut.
Not a peanut, a chrysanthemum,
cavalcade of horses romping
cliff, a considerable moth
covering the porch light. Twilit
elephant wrinkles. Some more
trees, terrible breakfast aroma
late in the day. Yes, some laugh
like the world is smaller than it is.

concīs Summer 2017 Season Anthology!

The concīs Summer 2017 seasonal anthology (PDF) is out! Featuring: Allan Peterson, Amanda Bermudez, Anatoly Molotkov, Benjamin L. Perez, Bob Heman, Brad Rose, Britny Cordera, Christian Tanner, Clemonce Heard, Deborah Bacharach, Devon Balwit, Eric G. Wilson, Florence Lenaers, Howie Good, Jake Edgar, James Blevins, Jari Chevalier, Jeff Griffin, Jennifer Handley, Jennifer Wortman, John Sibley Williams, Jude Dillon, KJ Hannah Greenberg, Kristen Havens, Kristen Renee Miller, Laton Carter, Lita Kurth, Martha McCollough, Michelle Granville, Nate Maxson, Peter Munro, Rick Alley, Ricky Ray, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Salvatore Difalco, Timothy Adams, Will Cordeiro and Christopher Lee Miles!

Cover: “Field Tripping” by Katie Buchan


Allan Peterson

The gift of the future was finding out

how wrong we were about the past

We were so open to everything

it was like unprotected X

We wrote words like leaves that fell

and turned in the current

as a rotating wing reducing pressure

on its cambered face produces lift

2018 Orison Anthology Nominations

We are pleased to announce our nominations for the 2018 Orison Anthology:



Allan Peterson

Someone made a craft of balloons and lawnmowers

a chaise lounge a cup for martinis and rose above landscape

drifted and came down pleasantly streamside

where kingbirds were associating easily with peewees

and tyrants the way a dalmatian can move among holsteins

with a sense of belonging


Laton Carter

Some people state some people, but neither word is exactly what they mean. Some is a lie, because it expresses inexactitude, and people is a lie because it is a generality. The people that state some people know exactly what they are saying, but choose inexact generalities to express it.

The word impact, meaning the point of collision, no longer suffices as a noun. Engineers find themselves impacted by the living conditions they witness. They are impacted by the people in these conditions, and the people, because of their conditions, have no choice but to impact.

Dentists are not impacted like engineers. Dentists witness impaction. A wisdom tooth becomes impacted, and the dentist’s job is to extract it from impaction.

Influence is like wind — the thing itself is invisible, but its effect is free and available to the eye. Trees bend to it — people’s lives break from it.


Eric G. Wilson

Blinded and bound, I stiffen
for triggers.
Inside my eye you spread.
The horses you water by the shore.
Bullets splash my heart,
blue hooves, the waves