Notes on a Modern Cinderella

Cassandra Farrin

This version will not be as ugly as poor Berlioz who slipped on sunflower oil at the turnstile, the one who fell under the train steered by a Komsomol girl. Let’s say worse than the Grimms’ toes but not so horrendous as heads. Trains do pull into stations, but no one dies under them. Although, in a serialized novel Sanshiro circa 1900 Tokyo, even then a woman might be heard crying from the track, oh oh it will all be over soon, and this edition shall have roughly the pathos of that.

[quantum]

Mark Cunningham

“Here are the test results. It contains only calcium.” “What percentage?” “Ninety percent.” Standing naked out in the middle of the woods, I couldn’t remember a poem, only the assurance that, “when everything else has been taken from you, a memorized poem remains.” His middle initial stood for no name.

[quantum]

Mark Cunningham

They told her she had a limited personality, and she said that’s the whole point of personality. We told him he shouldn’t feel too slighted: most kidnappers have ulterior motives. When I said I had two obsessions, she told me to get back in touch when I was ready for serious commitment. Turns out the billboard slogan Your life. Your style. Your way. was for a funeral home.

Autumn

Sarah Gridley

Autumn was too close to solemn.

The silent n,
too understated for the season.

When a metallic feeling bit the air,
Americans called it fall.

Let down
the dusk-blue grapes.
Let out the scope of chapters.

Fall was the real deal.
Fall was the way forward.

You had only to look at the light of God
oiling lengths of the rural guardrails.

Or the centerpiece of fuller’s teasel
the kids spray-painted gold.

2017 Best of the Net Nominations

Congratulations to our 2017 Best of the Net anthology nominees!

Poetry

Fiction

Non-Fiction

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.

Scaffold

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

Optimism

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

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