Hollering Zen Cones, Part 2

Recently, an older Chinese lady stopped me on the trails near my home. She said my 16-month old son was beautiful. I said, thank you. She added that he looked like a hermaphrodite. I returned the compliment. She looked askew at me. I am glad that my son looks like a cute hermaphrodite (zhong-xing). I Read More

Confessions of a Phone Slut

BY LEAH MUELLER The silver-tongued Leah Mueller sneaks us into the world of 1970s phone addiction. If you drop out of college before you turn 20, you might end up selling sex for a living. At least, this was true in 1979, before the internet was a prayer inside the testicles of porn entrepreneurs. Jerking Read More

Dung, Part Two

[This is Part Two; see Part One here]      I stand before the fishmonger at the compact grocery west of the university. I am sick with letters; broken with images; music has shackled me; I have undermined Nature, Father Time skips over me.      Phrases of unknown origin Chinese my brain. Can “Chinese” be used Read More

Our First and Last Day on Earth

Renowned poet Charlie Brice is getting older. Bolder. Brighter. Lighter. Or just more aged. Upon turning 70, he lost his sight and then his hearing. Or was it the other way around? He cannot remember. From Charlie comes four flashes of one night: Four Haiku At night in bed my dreams hide behind a glass Read More

Burn After Reading

I found this anonymous post shortly after the federal soldiers arrived to Portland in response to buildings being set afire, among other activities. I found the post hilarious, and I assure you that no one associated with Catbird Lit wrote this. This is authentic “found” art: Some people have been saying that to end the Read More

Hollering Zen Cones

Success After reciting my poem and making a few explanatory remarks, you point at my nose and say, “You have a hanger-on.” I wonder, is this what success feels like? From Jillian Brady’s new book, Machines that make Machines, available here. This poem, for me, is in part about acceptance of the lives and struggles Read More

I’m Not Your Fucking Inspiration

Waukegan, Illinois March 9, 2017 (Staring out the window at the birds hungrily eating at our bird feeder.) DEAR GOD, Ever play the “what if” game? Like what if everyone in the world had to put their toenail clippings in one landfill? Then, what if an artist was hired to make a sculpture out of Read More

Ha! Stereotypes Ha! Story/Video Competition

Story, Essay, Memoir and Video Competition $300 for the winner, or split between multiple winners. Stereotypes can kill.  But that’s not funny. That’s tragic.   Create something at least somewhat humorous or amusingly ironic or smirkingly kafkaesque.  Pictured above is Radio Raheem from Spike Lee’s most important joint, Do the Right Thing. The movie alternated between funny Read More

The Sadie Hawkins Dance

This is Chinese Eggplant, Zach thought, shaped more like a banana than an egg. Purple, like the American eggplant, but tastes better. “The flavor is more concentrated,” said Zach’s mother, as if reading Zach’s mind. “That’s why it’s better.” Zach picked up the knife and made an incision down the center of the Chinese eggplant, Read More

Chinese Buckwheat

Presenting the first chapter of Bing Bang, an ongoing memoir by Mr. Bing Bang, a weak-willed Oriental American publicly pondering his life and surreal times. In this installment, “Chinese Buckwheat” aka Bing Bang drops a flaming crayon on his polyester pants. Southern Baptist madness ensues.

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