The black magic of bad living only looks hideous to honest eyes.
Welcome to Scrape, Texas, a nowhere town near the Mexican border. Few people ever visit Scrape, and the unlucky ones who live there never seem to escape. They fill their days with fish fries, cheap beer, tobacco, firearms, and sex. But Scrape is about to be invaded by a plague of monsters unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world. First there’s La Llorona — the screaming woman in white — and her horde of ghost children. Then come the black, hairy hands. Thousands, millions, scurrying on fingers like spiders or crabs. But the hands are nothing to El Abuelo, a wicked creature with a magical bullwhip, and even El Abuelo don’t mean shit when the devil comes to town.
Vasily Krymov is a first-generation Russian immigrant living in Youngstown, Ohio. He drinks coffee at the Waffle House. He drinks rum in seedy strip clubs. He washes dishes at a steakhouse for minimum wage. Through all of it, he thinks of suicide, envisioning grand escapes from his own personal hell.
When he discovers a pill bottle full of Oxycontin in the restroom of a bar, Vasily thinks he has found his escape. He and his best friend devise a plant to sell the pills to raise enough money to head out west and escape the squalid streets of Youngstown forever. But for a man like Vasily, escaping one hell only means finding another.
A bleak, comedic masterpiece of down-and-outers in decaying America, The Insurgent is Noah Cicero at his minimalistic best. The Collected Works of Noah Cicero Vol. 2 also features three of Noah Cicero’s most acclaimed short stories: “Two Old Lovers Bring Out Their Guns,” “Visiting My Sister,” and “Two Hard Workers.”
“Michael Seidlinger is a homegrown Calvino, a humanist, and wise and darkly whimsical. His invisible cities are the spires of the sea where we all sail our coffins in search of our stories.”-Steve Erickson, author of Zeroville
Two lovers are adrift in a coffin on an endless sea. Who are they? They are him and her. They are you and me. They are rowing to salvage what remains of themselves. They are rowing to remember the fun we’ve had.
Last but not least, we’re proud to present the debut issue of our brand new literary journal:
Featuring interviews with Dennis Cooper and Tom Piccirilli, fiction and poetry by Elizabeth Ellen, William Boyle, Juliet Escoria, Mike Meginnis, Sean Kilpatrick, Ben Spivey, Monica Storss, and Hernan Ortiz. Also featuring recommended beer pairings and beer reviews by Ross E. Lockhart.