• #11Forklift, Ohio: Issue #11
  • #12Forklift, Ohio: Issue #12
  • #13Forklift, Ohio: Issue #13
  • #14Forklift, Ohio: Issue #14
  • #15Forklift, Ohio: Issue #15
  • #16Forklift, Ohio: Issue #16
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  • #20Forklift, Ohio: Issue #20
  • #21Forklift, Ohio: Issue #21
  • #22Forklift, Ohio: Issue #22
  • #23Forklift, Ohio: Issue #23
  • #24Forklift, Oeno: Bin #24
  • #25Forklift, Ohio: Issue #25
  • #26Forklift, Ohio: Issue #26
  • #27Forklift, Ohio: Issue #27
  • #28Forklift, Ohio: Issue #28
  • #29-30Forklift, Ohio: Issue #29-30
  • #31Forklift, Ohio: Issue #31
  • #32Forklift, Ohio: Issue #32
  • #33Forklift, Ohio: Issue #33
  • #34Forklift, Ohio: Issue #34
  • #35-36Forklift, Ohio: Issue #35-36
  • #37Forklift, Ohio: Issue #37


Dylan Loring


I don’t often eat fruit

so the career survey

recommended I become

a modern day pirate.

The fortune cookie

after dinner confirmed

the test’s choice,

so I went all in and bought

a ship that cost a boatload

of money, but each member

of my crew offered up

New York-level rent

and to bring their own gun.

I actually had to start

turning away rich Texans

once we reached capacity.

We couldn’t decide on

a color scheme for our flag

or the lyrics to our song   

and instead spent a lot

of time sitting around

drinking beer that we

referred to as mead.

Before we could cast off

a few of the guys received

angry phone calls from their wives

while a few others found

the poop deck lacking

in the charm department.

All of a sudden I was alone

and had just read the part

in How to Be a Pirate for Dummies

about how a captain must

go down with his ship.

I pulled up the anchor

and fired seven rounds

through the hull. 

Then I started playing

a game on my phone.




Sarah Koenig

First Kiss

It happened on a seaside cliff


at night.


It was like being licked by a dog

if the dog

knew exactly what it was doing.


It was like being eaten

like a bowl of ice cream

down to the bottom.


My mind wandered away

from the scratch of his face

to the rustling grass


to what he d said just an hour before.

He wanted to be friends , just

very close.


He absolutely did not want

to date me.

We argued.


With these things, he said

you can t talk about it.

You just have to do it.


So we kissed

and my mind wandered over

to a sense


of what was happening

finally !



The night sky was an open mouth.

The heavy white moon

was a little sad.




Tom Paine


Oh, you asked about the running.

I left my dad’s at 9 a.m. (after I shut

his eyelids with my thumb but

one drifted open like he wanted

to keep an eye on me) (rigor mortis

also kept his head cocked up and

as they wheeled him out it was like

he heard a Voice but I doubt it…)


Oh, you asked about the running.

I left my dad’s at 9 a.m. and ran

along the ocean, until I was past

the smell of lotion, the beach

where we played as children.

I can run remarkably slowly.

I can go and go and go. I ran

until I came to an estuary, and

lay with my face in the sand.


Oh, you asked about the running?

My face was a mask of sand.

How long? I just don’t know.

I ran home at like midnight.

If you drove along that road

that morning, in your headlights

you might’ve caught a man

hobbling along shadow boxing.




Amelia Ferguson


“86” is a verb in the kitchen, the murder code

for cops. We’re out, we’re done, the restaurant

is close to closed, and these guys made it

just in time. I take a breath,


look down, then up with a smile. With ease, I put on

my voice like a too-thick coat, back in the kitchen,

where numbers are verbs, and we speak

in single syllables a voice from in me barks,


“Hands!” My hands are resistant to heat—

from burning the oil off orange

rinds, from making little fancy fires

in stemless glassware.


I can see seemingly bodiless eyes begging my hands.

Stirring, shaking, mixing,

like I was born to, like I built these seats

seats with my own two, like every single


recipe has been passed down for generations

and burned into my body, my being,

my being “ready whenever you are.”

I heard you in periphery,


waving cash or fists. Catch my hands—

my attention does not wander out the door.

“Heard,” I say, which is short-hand for,

“I hear you and I am doing something about it.




Michelle Dove


I made more of as strangely

but who didn’t layover through elsewhere first

when we go especially inland

what we miss or even birds

I could internet into any abundance

what we’re not unlike or knowingly

vibrant sparklers and colors that ache

what if before I filtered

is seeing over or better at once?

what about authentic looks?

I’m saving jobs for what’s tangible

and the robots someone foretold—

how might they in fine dining?

I imagine sliding the fantastical chair

asking the robot how comfortable

and do they believe how the climate

or what’s changed





Jack Israel

my good pills

I like the world I see through gauze

I was housed in a shadow

a curtain that said

“I am sick of my friends”


my pills are musical molecules

little soccer pitches

roll-top desks


I love them for locking in like guided

missiles   for knowing my

moves before I do and getting there

ahead of me


I trust their substance

to find a way    to help love know me

when I come in disguise




John Maradik

George Washington

god of grain and root

holding a sword

on a cloud


climbing out of his boat

during the Revolutionary river battle

the year was 1776

he was “The General”

the heartless

Jesus of the New Kingdom


even when the war was over

he kept fighting

with his plastic army men


oddly enough

he was shot twice

in the back of the head

by his own wife

on four separate occasions

but was never injured


he possessed

a bizarre intelligence


the sound of machinery

could be heard coming

from his forehead

the dinging of microwaves


and growing beneath his wig:

the famous white

cheeseburger of hair




Merridawn Duckler



In the spider-ridden basement, on the stick-legged television I remember watching the greatest show, which was the The Greatest Show on Earth with Betty Hutton—basically sex on a straw, purring after she was cast: He said I was like champagne; I made his head spin! and sending Cecil B. DeMille a $10K floral arrangement of herself swinging on a branch. Worth every penny! Though Charlton Heston got his role by simply waving a howdy across the Universal parking lot. They were stuck with Cornel Wilde s contract. Afraid of heights, it took him a dozen takes to kiss his hottie upside down on the trapeze, though I managed in a single try (one eye closed) even as my other eye filled with emotion over the scorn of men for carnies, not one of them able to guess why Buttons couldn t take off his make-up. Townies! They re idiots ! The credits run but I can’t move, because that basement is vanished, that television is dead, that spider ossified mid-air when I was eight years old, and my life was a circus I could only catch a glimpse of, as it rolled away to the next small town.




Daniel Johnson

For Olanna

Flags slap in slanting rain

and the trees on Poplar Street

tremble like cranial nerves.


To keep the heat,

I seal off our bedroom windows

with plastic sheeting,


even then we bicker

over one or two degrees.

A cry strikes flit in the half-light.


Your clutch our newborn.

Curse the draft. We have known

and been cold before, I think.


I will teach our winter daughter—

I mean, I will teach our daughter winter


to swig Scotch from a flask,

to pull through ice a thrashing pike.




Ricky Ray

Yourself in Headlights

So what if you’re a little drunk

and the car flies

like a bullet without a leash on it

and there’s a thud

underneath the Michelin tread

and you get out of the car

to carry the warm body

to the side of the road

and the mask is half torn away

and the blood pools on the grass

as you dig a hole with bare hands,

wishing you knew

how to use those hands

to put the raccoon and your life

back together... What if you had to pick one,

your life or the raccoon,

and the raccoon babies were pleading

with you to choose wisely

and your wife was pleading

with you to tell her it wasn’t true

and your conscience

was pleading with you

to do the right thing… But it’s futile,

it’s all futile

so you shove your hands

into the river of its guts

and you tear the raccoon apart,

and then you lift them

into the beams of light,

tempted to lick them clean


she loves me rabies

she loves me not

but at the right angle

they glisten,

and you stop and think,

one day,

years from now,

it might all

begin to make sense.