Eckleburg No. 21

Eckleburg is a literary and arts journal publishing original works from both emerging and awarded writers, poets, artists and musicians including Roxane Gay, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, Moira Egan and David Wagoner. Eckleburg No. 21 curates a beautiful selection of traditional and genre-bending fiction by Gertrude Stein Award winner, Faerl Marie Torres, Agnes Scott Poetry Award winner, Jessica Melilli-Hand, eleventh century Sanskrit translation by Brishti Guha, artwork by Sandra Shugart and more.

Eckleburg No. 21



Faerl Marie Torres, Gertrude Stein Award Winner
Julie Jones
Jennifer Buxton
J. Grace
Lindsay Hatton
Cady Vishniac
Kasey Thornton
Miranda Forman
Rosalia Scalia
Trey Sager
Robert P. Kaye
Andrew Joseph Kane
Cover Art and Portfolio by  Sandra Shugart
Jessica Lanay
Jessica Melilli-Hand
Kuzuha Makino
Translation by Toshiya Kamei
Translation by Brishti Guha
Fumiki Takahashi
Translation by Toshiya Kamei
Amye Archer
Mary Hastings Fox
Walter Cummins
Paul Rousseau
Phillip Hurst
Filiz Turhan
Alexa Cahill
Marion Deal

What others are saying about Eckleburg

Being a good lit citizen means supporting lit pubs. Donate. Buy. I’m going to show some #AWP17 mags that you need to support… .” Meakin Armstrong (Guernica)
The most exciting and adventurous and gutsiest new magazine I’ve seen in years.” Stephen Dixon
Refreshing… edgy… classic… compelling.” Flavorwire
Progressive….” NewPages
Eye-grabbing… fun… bold… inviting… exemplary.” Sabotage
Eclectic selection of work from both emerging and established writers….” The Washington Post
Literary Burroughs D.C…. the journal cleverly takes its name from the The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald….” Ploughshares

Proud member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that other eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away. —The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Writing Stream of Consciousness

Stream of Consciousness is the total range of awareness and emotive-mental response of an individual, from the lowest pre speech level to the highest fully articulated level of rational thought. The assumption is that in the mind of an individual at a given moment a stream of consciousness (the phrase originated in this sense with Alexander Bain in 1855 and was given currency later by William James) is a mixture of all the levels of awareness, an unending flow of sensations, thoughts, memories, associations, and reflections; if the exact content of the mind (“consciousness”) is to be described at any moment, then these varied, disjointed, and illogical elements must find expression in a flow of words, images, and ideas similar to the unorganized flow of the mind. However, because consciousness is neither a stream nor a thing given to verbal articulation, the stream-of-consciousness technique has become as artificial and convention-bound as any other literary technique, although it may give the impression or illusion of preserving a lifelike resemblance to real consciousness. Joyce’s approximation involved the removal of customary signals, such as quotation marks, hyphens in compounds, and chapter numbers and titles. By moving the written text closer to the realm of speech, which is normally unpunctuated, Joyce gave the impression, in effect, of moving his discourse from the outer world of the reading eye to the inner world of the listening ear…. (Handbook to Literature)

Stream of Consciousness Writing Exercise

Go to your favorite place—park, restaurant, bar, chair in your backyard. Sit with your journal and pen and close your eyes. Keep them closed and focus on the sounds and smells. When you open your eyes, write the sensory experience around you. When you think of something that seems completely unrelated, histrionic, futuristic or anything else, write the thoughts as they form in your mind. Forget about punctuation, sentence structure, grammar, spelling, just get the thoughts down as they come to you in whatever messy way they form. 

Resist the urge to edit as you write. Resist the urge to edit after writing. Close the journal and let it sit for a day or two. When you go back to it, try to let yourself read it for what it is rather than what you think it “should” be. 

Repeat this stream of consciousness exercise each day, as long as you can, so to form a sense of your voice in this freeflow form.

Submit to Eckleburg

We accept previously unpublished and polished prose up to 8,000 words year round, unless announced otherwise.  We are always looking for tightly woven short works under 2,000 words and short-shorts around 500 words. No multiple submissions but simultaneous is fine as long as you withdraw the submission asap through the submissions system. During the summer and winter months, we run our Writers Are Readers, Too, fundraiser when submissions are open only to subscribers. During the fall and spring, we open submissions for regular unsolicited submissions.

Note: We consider fiction, poetry and essays that have appeared in print, online magazines, public forums, and public access blogs as already being published. Rarely do we accept anything already published and then only by solicitation. We ask that work published at Eckleburg not appear elsewhere online, and if republished in print, original publication credit is given to The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. One rare exception is our annual Gertrude Stein Award, which allows for submissions of previously published work, both online and print. Submit your work.

Eckleburg Workshops

Take advantage of our $5 work-at-your-own-pace writing workshops where you can create new work as well as fine tune work you’ve already written. Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and more, Eckleburg Workshops offer writing prompts and craft techniques that will take your work to the next level. 

Work with a Reedsy Editor for Individualized Attention

Submit your work for developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, editorial assessment and more at, where hundreds of experienced, awarded writers and editors are ready to read your work and help you make it the best it can be.

Stream of Consciousness Sources

Flats Fixed

By coincidence, I get two flat tires on the same day. I discover the first one about fifty yards from where I live. Just after I unlock my bike and start to pedal, I feel the rumble of a wheel rim hitting the pavement. The back tire has no air—it is dead flat.

I believe my neighbor punctured my tire because I was joking with him. He’d shown me a photo of a high-tech bike rack that could be installed in our basement. Each bike would have a halter, like a cow in a milking pen. “Look,” he’d said, “the front wheels sit right next to the wall.”

“It’ll happen,” I’d said, “when we get a laundry room and a roof garden.”

 He found that funny, but he might have been angry because I wasn’t taking him seriously. I was calling his proposal a pipe dream. He might have punctured my tire with a sharp tool then.


A young man at a repair shop removes a sliver of glass from the dead tire, and I realize my neighbor didn’t damage my tube—I ran over something. After the repair guy replaces the tube, he says the fix will last a long time.

I get my second flat about twenty blocks from the shop. I’m about halfway to where I need to go, and I see I’ll have to walk my bike the rest of the way. Walking isn’t easy, because I have a sore foot. I feel pain with each step. The faster I walk, the more it hurts. I walk more slowly than almost everyone around me. However, I catch up to an elderly woman who is using a cane. When I cut in front of her, she says, “Nice!”

I make it to my destination barely on time, drop off my work, and leave the office to take care of my ailing bike. I carry it down a set of stairs from the street and over a turnstile, then roll it into a subway car and prop it on its kickstand.

 The woman sitting next to me says, “Your back tire needs air.”

“It’s flat,” I say. “I just got it fixed today.”

“Just today!”

“I’m taking it back to the shop now.”


I’m convinced that the first repair job was faulty, but I was given no guarantee. When I think about it, I don’t see how bike-tire work could be guaranteed. Still, I’m annoyed.

 “I left here and got this flat,” I tell the repair guy. “I didn’t run over anything; it just blew.”

He shows me a tiny hole in the rubber. “You hit something,” he says. “A splinter or a sliver.”

“Amazing!” I say. “It’s like getting struck by lightning!”

“Or winning the lottery.”


A couple of weeks later, I unlock my bike from its rack. The rack hasn’t been replaced with neat stalls, as my neighbor had suggested. The bikes are mashed together. I pry mine free, lift it, and carry it up the metal stairs.

I ride about fifty yards when I feel the telltale vibration of a flat tire. It’s the same tire that went flat twice already. I’m convinced there is some serious reason. Maybe the rim is defective—bent or flattened from misuse. I can’t have it fixed immediately because I’m going out of town for a couple of days.

I put the injured bike back in its rack and think about the tire all the time I’m out of town.


Back at the bike shop, I tell the repair guy, “The tire was fine when I parked the bike, but when I unlocked it and rode on it, I had a flat.

He removes the tube and pumps air into it. He drops the tube over his head and wears it like a necklace. He swivels it around like a Hula-Hoop.

“I don’t hear anything,” he says.

He sets the tube aside and feels the tire with his fingers. “Here’s something,” he says as he pulls out a short piece of wire.

“The wire tip is the length of the rubber,” he adds. “It lets air out only while you ride.”

“A wire?” I ask.

“A short wire, stuck in the rubber.”


A couple of days later, I experience my fourth flat tire. It comes when I’m a couple of blocks from a train station. I walk a short distance with the bike at my side. My bad foot slows me down, but I don’t miss my train.

The entire time I’m away, I’m planning my return to the repair shop.


I find that my regular repair shop is closed. I don’t know if the attendant has stepped away or if the shop has gone out of business. There is no note of explanation. There is, however, a handwritten message from another customer, complaining about the work on his bike.

I walk to another repair shop. I have plenty of time, so I don’t mind that my bad foot slows me down.

When I arrive at the new shop and point to the tire, another young repairman asks, “How long have you had this bicycle?”

“About two years,” I say. “I don’t know how long it was used before I got it.”

“You need a new tube,” he says, showing me a fragment of glass on his fingertip, “and a new tire.”

I get the new tube and tire with all of the money in my pocket.

On my way out, I say, “See you later.”

“See you,” he says, “ but hopefully not for a flat tire.”


On my ride home, I try to avoid running over fragments of glass. However, when I look closely, I see that the street is littered with glass. Remnants of mirrors, pieces of windshields, and shards of bottles are strewn across the pavement. I swerve recklessly to find a clear path. I hear the crunch of tires rolling over tiny projectiles.

I stop at an intersection and see a man walking toward me. He is staring at me—he wants to say something.

“That’s a badass bike,” he says.

I don’t see my bicycle as “badass.” It’s designed for slow riding, with only one gear.

I think the man didn’t really see the bike. He saw a guy on a bike waiting at an intersection. I might have been blocking his path. He meant that I am a badass. Or maybe he meant that he is a badass, and he recognizes all fellow badasses.

“It’s bad enough for me,” I say.


Photo at the top of the page was taken by Thaddeus Rutkowski