Chinese Translation


Think of no as a syllable. Think of yes
as a denial. Think of logic and what logic
rejects to labor. Think of hormones
that surface as moustache, the act
of shaving as dissolving discharge. A day,
a becoming, a becoming however.
Think of solitude as a lingua franca,
dawn as a tabula rasa, each of which
a new start. Start anew, abloom,
agony as actual extraordinary, not extra.
Think of hierarchies, hairs. Think
of your fibula, femur, fixated
to your spine, so we, as a flock, look alike.
Who steals whose face? Who still waits
for fate to differentiate? The nudibranch,
riparian invertebrates, aspergillus, us —
a proper pronoun, a common noun.


Nicholas YB Wong is winner of the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (Oct 2010) and a nominee for Best of the Net 2010 and Best of Web 2011 anthologies. His poetry is forthcoming in Assaracus: Journal of Gay Poetry, Prime Number Magazine, San Pedro River Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Third Wednesday, Lambda Literary, Mascara Literary Review, and the Sentinel Champion Series. He is currently a poetry editor at THIS Literary Magazine and a poetry reader at Drunken Boat. His first full-length poetry collection, Cities of Sameness, will be published by Desperanto.


Prompt: Using the above image, write a microfiction (500 words or less — yes, 501 is more than 500). In your piece, respond to the image in the above photograph. Your piece may take any form you like as long as it includes less than 500 words and relates, in some way, to the image. Have fun with it. (Artwork by Ogun Afariogun.)

Deadline: May 31, 2011Midnight

Submit: MMR Online Submissions

Winner: First place will be published in Moon Milk Review.


Laura Ellen Scott’s collection of 21 creepy stories is called Curio and is available free online and as an ebook from Uncanny Valley Press. Her novel, Death Wishing, a comic fantasy set in New Orleans, will be released in October 2011 by Ig Publishing.

The Office They Gave Me

Its window looked out over the stone chapel of the Order of the Holy Child, and inside completely bare, only a tangle of electrical cords, not even an outlet. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, the snake appears to Eve walking erect, before God curses him, but these weren’t snakes. They were nerves.

Eventually, the rest would come — the desk, chair, computer, bookshelves, corkboards, telephone, file cabinet, outlets, Ethernet. Those first few days, I sat cross-legged as if at a fire, spent the morning and into afternoon with the chapel’s stained glass nuns, an evergreen branch between me and them. I envied their stillness, their fixed eyes. My eyes often closed. None of my limbs yet trembled. There were no chest pains, shortness of breath, the closing of the throat, my lying on the floor in case I were to pass out. The Sisters of the Order on the windows, who once gave comfort,  would then give none, just cold looks that confirmed my weakness.

I tied the cords around my legs, or maybe they wrapped themselves around me on their own accord. Either way, it didn’t work; the whole desk and chair shook. I wasn’t made for this world, the phone buzzing, two-hundred emails a day, piles of forms, proposals, grants, applications, and the wall clock that didn’t exist when the room had been empty of the world and for the tiniest of instances, one of the windows seemed to glow, as if there were more to life than this.



Randall Brown is the author of Mad to Live (Flume Press 2008). He directs and teaches at Rosemont College’s MFA in Creative Writing program and holds an MFA from Vermont College. Short fiction pieces have appeared or are forthcoming in journals, including Harpur PalateRedivider, Mississippi Review, Cream City Review, Hunger Mountain and The Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction. His work has received nominations for the Pushcart, O. Henry, Million Writers, and Best of Web Prizes.