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Category: Fiction

My Housemate’s Dead Cat

by a contributor

Ian Starttoday

My housemate’s cat died a few days ago. On my way out to International Relations class, I came across Zippy’s flat, lifeless body on the tan carpet in our living room. I had never before been so close to anything dead—unless you count insects and roadkill. But this animal, with its handsome, dark gray coat, was something I’d seen alive before. It was something I’d touched, and considered, and a couple times even slapped across the face for scratches it inflicted.

I bent down and pushed gingerly against the cat’s hind leg—only confirming what I had already known to be true. As far as I knew Zippy wasn’t sick, and he wasn’t particularly old. So I figured he ate something that killed him. He was always chomping down large clumps of my housemate’s wool sweaters and vomiting soon afterward.

Zippy and I might have traded blows once or twice, but Sarah, my housemate, could be pretty awful to him—leaving him in the bathroom for entire weekends for pestering her and knocking over her beauty products. I, myself, would let him out, but then she’d stick him in there again. Sometimes, she’d leave a note on my bedroom door that read something like: “he’s MY cat.”

It wasn’t long before a profound sadness came over me, and my eyes grew wet with tears. Soon I began talking to Zippy about how he was in heaven now, how he could have all of the wool his little heart desired and never get sick, how he’d never get locked in the bathroom again.

Then I called Sarah and told her the news. She fell apart, and I could hear the voices of people trying to console her on the other end.

“What happened?” she asked when she finally got back on the phone.

“I don’t know. Maybe he ate something he shouldn’t have. I was in my room having a nap, and later I opened up the door to leave for class. That’s when I saw him, and weirdly, I knew right then.”

I was actually in my room masturbating, but I didn’t think this piece of information was vital to this story.

“Oh my God. I saw him just this morning, and he looked fine. I… I can’t believe it.”

Sarah cleared her throat, and I heard her say something I couldn’t make out to someone who I assumed was beside her.

“I’m a mess, you should see me, Kel,” she continued. “Will you call Animal Control and have them take the body? You don’t mind?”

“You’re not coming home to see Zippy?” I said, a little shocked.

“I just can’t—please, Kel?” she cooed. “You’re better at dealing with these things than me.”

“Sarah, I really think you should come home,” I responded, suddenly angry. “I am already late for IR. And he is your cat.”

She took an audible breath.

“You’re right Kelly—he IS my cat, and if you please, I’d rather remember him the way he was when he was alive.”

She said this with a touch of annoyance.

“It would be too disturbing to see him the way he is now.”

“Okay,” I said after a few moments.

“Thank you, Kel.”

“You’re welcome.”

I hung up, took another look at Sarah’s dead cat, and walked out the door to go to class.

Ian Starttoday has work forthcoming or published in Apocrypha and Abstractions, Eunoia Review, Foliate Oak, and He lives in Northern California with his wife and two cats. He once entertained the idea of starting a lit magazine devoted to cat-themed fiction.

See Ian’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.

How We Solved the Problem

by a contributor

John Oliver Hodges

Tina gives up rings and reading, gives up sucking my finger. I give up biting her toenails, not wearing underwear. No longer do I smell Tina’s short feet or lick her eyeteeth. Tina stops mopping on her precious lotions, thank the Lord, her Dermetics and Soothing Aloe Relief Moisturizer. I put my camera down. Haven’t snapped for a week. My hands feel off, ants all over my body.

Instead of eating up on peanut butter and Saltine sandwiches, instead of swimming, instead of making love through hot afternoons, we take these long-ass walks, like for miles. Today we cross the Halifax. We sit on a bench facing the Royal Steak House on Main Street, and watch folks walk through the glass doors for dinner. Everybody eating at the Royal is rich. Got ties on, suits, the women in fancy dresses and hats, the cars in the lot Buicks and Cadillacs. “I want steak,” Tina says. “You got enough? I want cow, real meat soaked in blood.”

“Should I give up carrots?” I say.

“Slave,” Tina says. “The only way is to go all the way. Once we go all the way we can go back to before. You can take pictures again.”

“All the way?” I say.

She didn’t mean to say what she said, but she said what she said, is embarrassed by it.

I wonder what she misses more, my touch, or her bottle of Jergens Soft Shimmer.

“A riddle,” I say. I say, “if you eat meat your pussy will taste like crap, but if you don’t eat meat, I’ll never eat your pussy again.”

“Jesse, don’t.”

“But wait. You already are a carnivore. For a minute I forgot.”

“Jesse,” she says.

And I want to bite into her arm, taste her blood in the late afternoon sunshine. What she will feel won’t touch what I felt. I don’t touch her. I check my wallet. “All I got’s enough for McDonald’s,” I say, and we head down the strip, cross A-1A, enter McDonald’s. I order two Big Macs and a super-size of fries. It’s gross, but it’s gotta be done. We’ve decided. We take our tray to a table and, being Tina’s the meat eater, she goes first, denuding her burger with dainty fingers. Her mouth opens, even before she’s brought the thing to it. Her lips pull back around her teeth. Before the stuff enters her mouth, I see the dangling thing guarding the entrance to her throat, a little bell ringing out the music of our lives.

John Oliver Hodges lives in Brooklyn. He wrote The Love Box, a collection of short stories that won the Tartt First Fiction Award, and War of the Crazies, a novella. His writing and photography have appeared in 100 journals, and can be found here and here and here.

See John’s upcoming list of 5 Things in our ongoing contributors’ series.

Just like Lily

by a contributor

Susan Rukeyser

for Frida

The Broken Column

Every day, Lily’s kidnappers left food on the table. Today was a small stack of tamales, each wrapped and tied in corn husk, and guava nectar in a glass greased with fingerprints. Next to the food, as always, was the book. On the day she was locked in here, a note on the book said: OPEN. But she didn’t, not until today.

For the first few days of her captivity, Lily rarely left the mattress. She thought she’d been drugged. She fell into blurry sleep, then soundless black, free of memory. Surfacing at last, as if from underwater, she saw another note near the book: SPEAK.

Today Lily sat at the table and considered the blue walls. They reminded her of the view from her childhood bedroom, its glimpse of the Long Island Sound. Those were noisy years, her parents’ arguments drowning out all else. Some weekends, Lily was put on a Manhattan-bound train to stay with the grandmother who took her to the Met and bought her things from the gift shop, like The World in Art and a set of colored pencils. While her parents raged downstairs, Lily kept her eyes on the blue she knew was the Sound. She held up pencils to compare: Cerulean? Cornflower? If she could get that right, maybe everything else.

Remembering, Lily’s chest went tight.

The day she met Jon was almost Halloween, but the skies were sunny and blue. Lily was on her lunch break from her job at the hospital, where she dispatched janitors from a basement cubicle. She walked past several restaurants with tables on the sidewalk. Jon sat with friends outside an Italian place, all of them wearing coats. As Lily passed, Jon said, “Trick or Treat?” Lily stopped, unsure if he was addressing her or someone else. She held his gaze long enough that he took her to be flirting back. There were misunderstandings between them from the beginning.

When Lily recalled that day, she thought of the Edward Hoppers in The World in Art. Those lonely figures, eyes averted. Those shadows. Jon would say that’s just like Lily, to take a good memory and sour it.

Maybe Lily’s kidnappers knew Jon. Maybe they wanted to teach her a lesson because she broke Jon’s heart. Or, wasted his time. But was she to blame that Jon mistook confusion for flirtation, and Lily for someone she wasn’t?

Things were okay, their first and only winter together, when they didn’t know each other well. Most nights they were a tangle of limbs in search of something they couldn’t explain and didn’t find. They rented the top half of a house by the Stamford train station, above an old hamburger joint. Lily played with pastels and charcoal, dabbled in oils, but her hands never said what she meant. All day and into the night, trains rattled past, to and from New York City. A meaty stench filled the building.

Jon worked the floor at Best Buy. He liked to say, “Tell people what they want, they don’t know.” He suggested Lily make stuff she could sell, so she tried woodwork. Hunched over a little table on their porch off the back, she made dollhouse furniture. She did enjoy that, building households, everything contained. She asked Jon once, had he ever dreamed he was a god, a world in his control? He asked if she was drunk.

By spring, they sold her furniture at weekend flea markets. Lily arranged the displays but Jon did the talking. He said Lily needed to try harder with people. He was practical, and she needed that. Didn’t she?

Lily was happiest alone, on the porch, deeply focused on carving the tiniest objects, like the fruit she glued into walnut-shell bowls: bananas, pears, Red Delicious apples. Painted and placed on screens to dry, the apples resembled drops of blood. Lily wanted to illustrate that, somehow, the connection between blood and apples. She remembered a page from The World in Art: Masaccio’s mortified Eve, stumbling from Eden. Suddenly ashamed, knowing the blood to come, the suffering ahead for every daughter. Adam was beside her, but it was Eve’s fault. Lily turned to this page so often it was ruined by fingerprints. She imagined the taste of apple still on Eve’s tongue. But to express her feelings about apples and blame and blood and punishment, to even understand them, Lily would need time to sketch, and think. Jon didn’t like it when she retreated into herself, what he called “daydreams.” Oh, frustration. How swiftly it became rage.

Lily and Jon began to argue about her reluctance to engage potential customers or hang out with his friends. To make conversation, be normal. He said, “Why are you so weird? So quiet?” Lily realized he didn’t know her. Or like her, much.

When Jon ended it, as he rubbed on sunscreen before heading to a Memorial Day BBQ, he said, “You’re a miserable girl. No, worse: angry.”

Mostly, Lily felt relief.

Lily hadn’t seen her kidnappers or heard their voices. She assumed they were women. She felt them watching, through the mirror Lily suspected was one-way glass. There were microphones in here, and cameras, she was sure.

She felt their disappointment, each day she didn’t open the book.

Today, she did. It looked a lot like The World in Art. Lily paged through, leaving fingerprints. She came to a halt at Frida Kahlo. Lily hadn’t suffered a devastating traffic accident, but she felt that broken column-spine. That fractured support. Lily knew Frida’s brace like a cage. She knew that closed mouth.

She cleared her throat. Gathering her whole voice, so her captors would hear without difficulty, she said: “YES, I’m angry. Sometimes miserable. I’ll figure out how to say it.” Cradling the book against her chest, Lily rose and moved to the door. She wasn’t surprised to find it unlocked.

Susan Rukeyser writes stories because she can’t stop. Believe it, she’s tried. Her work appears in or is forthcoming from MonkeybicyleSmokeLong QuarterlyPANKThe View from Hereand WhiskeyPaper, among others. She has one novel out for consideration and another in a drawer. Find her here:

See Susan’s list of 5 Things You Should Read tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.

There in the Countryside Many Miles Away

by a contributor

Anthony Martin

When I found the postcard from Remy beneath my bed I immediately wrote him at the return address. Mama immediately questioned my judgment.

“He doesn’t live in Paris,” she said as she reached for her coffee from behind her morning read. “He might still be out on the ranch, there in the hills.”

“Yes, near Bordeaux,” I replied. “That’s where he wrote the postcards from.” My mother lowered her book to the table and looked me in the eye.

“That was nearly ten years ago, Andre. Since before your father passed. He won’t recognize you even if you do manage to track him down.”

“Papa loved him,” I reasoned. “So do you, ma. Remy is blood.” But she wasn’t looking at me anymore. Her gaze was elsewhere, unfocused and lost outside the kitchen window. We were quiet for a while after that.

I left for France the next day.


I tried to picture my uncle as the airplane lurched into Charles de Gaulle. Remy. I was still too young to make sense of everything when we last visited him, back when Papa was still youthful and Mama could still smile. She says he was my father’s rock after the war, the one he talked about most after coming back stateside. Remy the brother, Remy the sly lady-killer and Remy the antihero were all characters in so many of the stories I was told as a young one, stories Mama will still romanticize today after a bottle or two of Italian table wine. “Out bullshit any bullshitter,” she’ll say. “Sweet talk high-society out of its drawers.”

I hitched from the airport to Gare du Nord and made it with a few hours to kill before the train to Bordeaux. From the shadows of a little commuter café I could see out into the station where the neat rows of tracks stretched out toward daylight, each occupied by an idle train waiting to wind out of Paris and off into Europe: Amsterdam via Brussels; Vienna via Munich; London straightaway.The pigeons came and went more frequently than the trains, descending from the rafters to flap their clumsy wings and skirmish over the scraps that the day’s many travelers had left behind on the concrete platforms. I nearly stepped on a few when I finally boarded for Bordeaux.


Daylight was waning by the time my train reached the origin of Remy’s correspondence and the destination of my own. It was one of those listless places with a long name that starts in the back of the throat and ends beautifully; a place where you always seem to arrive late in the move from afternoon to evening, the streetlamps flickering on and the thunderstorm creeping in.

They’re funny those moments when your mother’s wisdom comes full circle and slaps you upside the head but you’re too far away to let her know—those moments when you’re standing at a nondescript train station in a place where everybody knows everybody but you and the few francs in your pocket have you reflecting on whatever the hell you were thinking when you chose to hop a plane and a train and venture to this corner of the world. I would have liked to tell Mama right then that she was right, that I was dreaming when I got the idea to reconnect what was left of our stateside kindred with what was left of Remy and his after all those years that had passed since the writing I found under my bed was postmarked.

I shouldered my bag and walked into the station hoping to find a bus into town or a word about lodging. I made it as far as the café there, its tables empty save for a lone man sitting at the window in front of a bottle of beer, tilting his paper toward the window for light to read by. When I took a seat not far away the man put down his paper and looked at me cockeyed. “Avez-vous écrit cette lettre, mon ami?” I didn’t follow. I looked for a waiter. I wanted a drink. The man stood up and walked to my table. “Andre?” he said with a gesture toward the paper in his hand. I looked at my handwriting there in his hand, then back to him. “Come,” he said. “You look just like your mother.”

Anthony Martin (@pen_tight) studies professional writing at San Diego State University, writes computer mumbo jumbo for the layman, and remains a hopeless, mixed-breed Slavophile.

American Tourister

by a contributor

Mark McKee

My suitcase will not eat. My suitcase is a Samsonite American Tourister in titanium grey.

It has a doghouse in a backyard. A pair of silver dishes, sixteen ounces each. All the Alpo it can eat. All of this I give to it, yet it will not eat.

We go for walks daily, and I know my neighbors are envious. Who would want a dog or cat when they could have a Samonsite, world renowned for its disposition?  Oh, I’ve had dogs and cats. If you took the love of ten thousand black labs and sprinkled in a dash of Dalmatian, you’d have exactly five percent of the affection guaranteed by your average Samsonite.

The only problem with owning a Samsonite is the finicky eating habits. Some weeks my Samsonite will go days without eating. We fight about it. The only thing we fight about. We fight because I can’t stand it to go hungry. At night while it sleeps I open it up and sneak food into its satin innards. I pat its smooth cool surface and sneak back to bed. In the morning the food lays beside it, uneaten, unchewed.

Eight weeks pass. No food, not a drop. There’s a case of Alpo stagnating in the garage. You’ll waste away, I tell it. And already it looks thinner. Bits of plastic fall off during our afternoon walks. At home it won’t drink. Drink, Samsonite! I say. Drink! Later I find it under the bed hocking up a pair of Bermuda shorts. According to the owner’s manual, and despite its finicky appetite, the Samsonite is known for its indestructibility. This is troubling. Losing weight, lethargy. I fear my Samsonite is diseased.

I follow the care instructions carefully. I wash its hard coat with a damp cloth, spray silicone into its hinges. It nudges my sweaty hands, licks my fingertips with its plastic tags. My heart melts. I love you, Samsonite, I say, please be okay. Its surface is warm. Fever.

I take time off. I’ve neglected it, I know. I should be taking it with me on my business trips. Samsonites are born for travel.

In bed we weather in-flight movies as the fever breaks. Airplane!, Airport, and something with Jennifer Aniston. We both fall asleep, my arms cuddled around it.

I dream of plastic wheels chasing rabbits across a tarmac. When I wake, the answer is lying beside me.

Who wants to go on a trip? I say. And immediately we begin to pack.

Mark McKee is from Dyersburg, TN. His work has appeared recently in Space Squid and Eyeshot. He sometimes reviews books at

See Mark’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.


by a contributor

Deborah Rocheleau

I should have cloud-gazed more. If only I’d focused on something more distant than the cracks in the sidewalk, like constellations on a dewy night, only visible in my peripheral vision. In Chinese, the word for ugly is compound, composed of the adjective “difficult” and the verb “to look”. Literally, hard to look at. Only now do the doctors tell me that life should never be hard on the eyes.

I never sat on my brother’s liquefying couch in the basement, eyes trained on the sniper scope taking up a fourth of the TV screen. Though the TVs got wider, his video games kept parceling up the screen, smaller and smaller. I never spent nights pouring over a glowing computer, but I slumped closer and closer to my art books as I read them in bed, until I woke in the morning with my head pressed against them, and I realized the illustration was a portrait of a dog, not a basket of fruit. That was the first sign of eye troubles.

I should have dived eyes-first into the drive-in movie screen, instead of sitting in the rumble seat while my brother tolerated my company, stroking the worn steering wheel instead of his girlfriend’s arm. I licked the garlicky popcorn butter off my fingers as the bad guys duked it out on screen, studying the photos of a Monet by the warm light of an assassin’s fireball. Mom warned me not to read in the dark.

I should have planned on pedaling farther than a bicycle’s spokes could carry me, to a college out of sight of a cornfield. Then my watercolors might consist of more shapes than those rows of crops. They filled my studio window with a scene more inspiring than my blank canvass, distracting me from my work. When I hit a mental block, my eyes would skim those fields, and my hand would sketch them without my consent. So I bought a curtain, blinders for my eyes. Now, when confronted with an assignment deadline, I stare into two patchworks of nothing.

I should have bought French truffles (even though they actually came from China) instead of eating squash November through April, since it was the only local-grown crop that kept dry in the cellar. If I’d ever written letters (writing by candlelight would have done wonders for my eyes, I’m sure) I should have scraped the adhesive off the stamps, collected the little snapshots of another unreachable culture, and wondered what on earth the carnation and the scroll meant, anyway.

Freshman year, my school got vending machines that sold only carrots, in little bags like Barbie-Q chips. If I’d eaten them more often, Mom says, this wouldn’t have happened. Carrots help your eyes, if you don’t mind sacrificing your skin pigmentation. I’m sure Mom has a home remedy for that somewhere, too.

Living so close to the airport, the noise is whiter than my canvas, and just as distracting. I learned to block it out, to see it as the clacking typewriter of productivity. Now, in the silence of a corn field, I’m out of ink ribbon, armed with only a jar of liquid paper.

They say Beethoven was deaf; he felt out his symphonies through vibration and memory, note by note through dozens of revisions. So could a half-blind artist paint by feeling the heat of refracted light off paint? Blazing yellow, eye-watering red, and snow-on-the-eyelashes blue?

Wearing another person’s glasses doesn’t show you how they view the world, all blurry and unfocused. You have to have their eyes, too.

In hindsight, I should have worn frumpy sweatshirts and frizzy hair, instead of squeezing my legs into skinny jeans and ironing my hair pizzelle-thin every day. I have to change my style now to accommodate the glasses. It’s a fine line between sophisticated genius and bookworm, and there’s no way I’m letting a contact get that close to my eyeball. Don’t they hurt? Don’t they sting, like ill-suited people forced too close together?

I wear my glasses when I check my email now, a half-dozen social networking sites open on my computer. Sitting in my chair, I escape the stuffy air of my house, filled with the breath of one too many family members. “Friends” leave me comments, telling me what they really think about my art without the hypocrisy of polite conversation getting in the way.

“She places her strokes with audacity, mocha-mint brown next to gaudy yellow,” some wannabe critic observes. “The result is, frankly, too ugly to endure.” I agree, in the Chinese sense of ugly. Every day, as I whizz past the inspiration for the scene on my bike, I think the same thing, how ugly it all is.

I shouldn’t have tried to read the words of my mother’s spy novels as I lay in her lap, collecting useless scraps of stories. I rolled my eyes beyond their natural range to graze across those black lines like crops, those precious sentences out of another human being’s head. Probably pulled an eye muscle that way. Then again, the critics would have you believe nothing in life should be hard to look at.

Deborah Rocheleau is a language fanatic. Her fiction has been published with the Tin House Open Bar100 Word Story, decomP magazinE, Flights, Mock Turtle Zine, and the Boston Literary Magazine. She is currently writing a contemporary young adult novel. She blogs at

See Deborah’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.

I Am Going To Be Irish For A While

by a contributor

Paul Handley

I told my friend Hal that I was going in for the surgical portion of my WASP-to-Irish ethnicity change on Monday morning. I asked him for a ride since I wouldn’t look like my license after the procedure was completed.

“Sure,” Hal said, “but why do you want to be Irish?”

“Everybody seems to like them. Who doesn’t want to hang out in an Irish bar for a session over a pint?”

“Session of what?”

“That just means music with traditional instruments and sing-alongs. Mostly just the chorus so the tunes don’t get ruint.”

“Are you trying to talk with an Irish lilt? It sounds like you knocked out a tooth on a curb.”

“It’s called a brogue. I’ve been undergoing ethnic orientation therapy for weeks. I started playing Gaelic Hurling. The equipment is really unique. I have to import the hurley stick from Ireland.”

“Are you kidding me? They can’t make it here?”

“The hurley stick is made from an ash tree.”

“Uh-huh, and does it have to be blessed by Father Bono? I’m no treeologist, but I’m pretty sure there are ash trees in this country.”

“I don’t know. I just buy it where I can. Have you ever bumped into any hurley sticks at your local sports market?”


“There you go. So the ash breaks really easily when there is a clash between sticks.”


“Yeah. It’s pretty violent. It’s so cool.”

“What else is involved?”

“I’ve started drinking Irish whiskey.”

“Like before games, during?”

“It’s all the pregame and post game ceremony that makes hurling so great.”

“Drinking isn’t exactly a new ceremony.”

“It depends on what you drink. Listen to this toast. Croi follain agus gob fliuch.”

“Very lofty. Does it mean anything?”

“A healthy heart and a wet mouth!  Everyone heads off to the bar after practice and games for a bit of craic.”

“Irish bars serve crack?”

“C-R-A-I-C. It’s a wee bit of fun.”

“It is, is it? A wee bit?”

“Wee or scads. However it turns out.”

“So do you buy the sticks by the bushel? Maybe you can get your own ash stand going and sell to the hurling crowd.”

“No, too limited a market. It’s not for everybody. There are Irish guys on the team that don’t really talk to the non natives.”

“Really? Why?”

“I don’t know. They’ve been hurling since they were kids. They’re way better.”

“F’ them.”

“It’s part of their culture. I have to respect it. They’re pretty cool to me. I think it’s because of my red hair.”

“You don’t have red hair and what does that have to do with it?”

“Well they’re a little like the Japanese, because they’re from an island, there is a kind of purity.”

“So, how many hurley sticks do you go through?”

“It depends. Because ash is so dry I leave the stick in the bathroom when I take a shower so it can absorb the humidity.”

“That works?”

“Sure. I also bought some linseed oil and rub it into it.”

“What motion works better for you, up and down or back and forth?”

“Hilarious. How old are you?”

“I’m not the guy stroking a wooden stick in the bathroom.”


“Ash is wood and it’s what you’re waxing in the bathroom.”

“I tell you what else I do with that stick. I carry it when I jog at the park and when those nasty geese try to nip me, I club’em.”

“You have completely lost your mind. Skipping through the park like a maniacal leprechaun dispatching birds.”

“You’ve said yourself they crap all over everything.”

“I know what I said, but that doesn’t mean I’m laying em’ out with a club.”

“Fierce dispositions on those geese. I have to jog more because I’ve taken up smoking. Those Irish people are amazing. They can smoke cigarettes all day and blow by me on a high snig. You wouldn’t know a snig from a puckout. It’s all in the culture. Kinda private like. You wouldn’t understand, mate.”

“Mate, I believe is Australian.”

“That’s what I bring to the table; a little cross-fertilization. The isolation is good, but at the same time there are connotations which negative-types are apt to leap on.”

“Aren’t you worried about being called a plastic paddy?”

“That’s exactly what I’ll be after the surgery. I can get some cosmetic things done; they’ll tattoo some freckles, dye my hair, but anything else will have to be retouched with a knife.”

“I’m glad you have found a umm… niche for yourself. If you ever want to dip back across the pond here give me a call.”

“I’ll do that soon, but I’m pretty busy. I’m looking into moving the family to Boston. You know, so I can really immerse myself in the culture. But I still need a ride before all that.”

Paul Handley has published humor in The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review; Gargoyle; McSweeney’s Internet Tendency; Monkeybicycle; a short play performed at Pulp Diction III; a short play published in the Mayo Review; hundreds of poems; and a full length book of poetry entitled 5-Tool Poet from Punkin House Press.