A New Term for It

Indoctrinating myself

I shuffle towards the polls

And pull the lever

Expecting a trapdoor to open up

And plunge me into the awaiting waters below

The Styx or just a secret underground channel

Leading perhaps to the East River

They’re both abysmal passages

Whichever way you cut it

But some abysses lead to an absence you can’t come back from

So I guess decisions matter



Josef Krebs has a chapbook published by Etched Press and his poetry also appears in 77 issues of 35 different magazines, including Burningword Literary Journal, Tacenda, The Bohemian, Organs of Vision and Speech Magazine, Free State Review, and DASH Literary Journal. A short story has been published in blazeVOX. He’s written three novels and five screenplays. His film was successfully screened at Santa Cruz and Short Film Corner of Cannes film festivals.


Josef Krebs

Taco Tuesday

Lisa sends me this long text grumbling about her husband and how he’s informed her he can’t handle Taco Tuesdays anymore and now she must redo her ENTIRE menu for January because the selfish bastard can’t deal with spicy food, and I’m thinking, damn. You’re lying in the morgue waiting on someone to perform your autopsy, and the least she can do is wait until we know if you were drunk behind the wheel when you slammed into another car and were thrown through the windshield of your own because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. She’s railing about her prickly-assed husband while you are dead-dead-dead, along with your brother who is dead-dead-dead, and my husband-your-uncle who is dead-dead-dead, but I am calm. Ice-water-in-the-veins calm. Because who gets to tell my daughter about these grisly events? Who informs Bonnie that her dad shot himself or Cousin Josh’s heart fritzed out in the bathroom or you bought it on the gravel-studded pavement near El Salido Pkwy on the northeast side of Austin, Texas? The pleasure’s mine. I phone her tonight just before Lisa chimes in with her news and I think, damn. Her nag of a husband is alive. What does she have to complain about?


Cindy Sams is a teacher and writer in Macon, GA. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Reinhardt University with an emphasis on Literary Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Brevity Nonfiction blog, Pangyrus LitMag, High Shelf Press, The Chaffey Review, Canyon Voices Literary Magazine, Fatal Flaw Literary Magazine, and The New Southern Fugitives, which nominated her for a 2020 Pushcart Prize.


Cindy Sams

V Club

Remember Twiggy, her skeletal body was all the rave. That led us to

Form the V Club.  Teachers thought we meant Glee club. (Not V for Vomit)

It wasn’t until three 8th grade girls were taken away in an ambulance that

the school got wise. I was called the Ring Leader which made me hear tinny

circus music.


My curvy mom came to see the school counselor with me.

The counselor said, (no kidding, her words exactly),


“Oh, now I get it, you’re Italian and predisposed to fat, pasta fat.


My mom smiled and replied, Yes, me and Sophia Loren.



Gloria’s published novel, The Killing Jar, is about one of the youngest Americans to serve on death row. Her memoir Learning from Lady Chatterley deals with her life growing up in Detroit. Breathe Me a Sky was published by the Moonstone Arts Center, and a collection of her poetry entitled The Dark Safekeeping, a chapbook, was published by Mayapple Press in 2022. She has published poems, essays, and pedagogical chapters in mainstream presses and literary journals. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist in The Longridge non-fiction contest.


Gloria Demasi Nixon-John

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