Conglomeration No. 3

Conglomeration No. 3


Choose your theme:

The Ataraxia theme

the Dilligence theme

the nebulous theme

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I looped the surfboard leash around my neck, urethane cord cutting off circulation. Before that, I spooned the charred skeleton melting into flaming fronds. Before that, belly full of fresh puppy meat, I flung feces into forkfuls of fire. Before that, I macheted my foot.

Before that, I guzzled blood and tears from a crushed coconut. Before that, the eye wall swallowed the jungle—spitting hurricane gusts. Before that, all the birds vanished and the breeze hawked sand in inner labyrinths toward dilated pupils, shredding dead fronds into whisky confetti.

Before that, I launched strawberry breakfast bars into howling tempest. Before that, I crawled from barren beach. Before that, I swatted a swarm of fire ants attracted to my wound. Before that, I paddled to shore; breathless, bleeding. Before that, my kneecap burst in the shark’s jaws. Before that, the wave delivered her verdict.


Before that, I paddled into paradise, my puppy barking from darkening shore. Before that, I was puffing Purple Urkle from a rusty Pepsi can, sitting on a humongous piece of driftwood. Before that, I was rubbing ears, gossiping gibberish into cumulonimbus. Before that, I was trailblazing through the jungle, puppy in my pack, face full of fresh mosquito bites.


Before that, I was fleeing the country, accused of having sex with five of my seventh graders. Before that, I was a winking ghost moaning into an abyss of cartilage and armpit hairs. Before that, I was a teacher—womb a million miles away—world an unfurling cartridge of chalk dust, hash oil, and formaldehyde. 

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Music by Christopher Aaby, Falling Petals in D

All men by nature desire knowledge. Christopher Aaby is no exception. All thought follows the laws of nature. They are naturally predictable. Christopher Aaby is a robot.

Music by Kontrolorgan, Black Creek

Kontrolorgan is what happens when you read too much Derrida at University. These days Kontrolorgan goes by the name of Hyæne.

Music by Sugar Whiskey, Fresh Pond Water and a Few More Stones

Sugar Whiskey is Wisconsin-based duo Georgia Bellas and Dan Nielsen—a post-minimalist, hypnagogic folk art band who record from their sun porch cabin a stone's throw from Lake Michigan. Their multi-instrumental experimentation relies heavily on keyboard, autoharp, guitalele, glockenspiel, stylophone, toy piano, and not taking themselves too seriously.

Poetry by Jenny Keto, Seed Busking & Instructions for Solitary Confinement

Jenny Keto is not a donkey with keys in tow, but she may respond to “*#@ Mosquito!” or “Hi, hello,” and a hearty handshake. A poet-actress born, raised, and residing again in Austin, Texas, Jenny returned home from Brooklyn to attend nursing school.  She looks forward to the prospect of helping people for a living, as well as the free time to write down all the poems currently hibernating in her brain.  Her publications can be found online at wards, Broken City, Visitant, and her work is featured in a forthcoming print anthology from Host Publications. Jenny’s favorite hobby is to think quite a lot about anything and nothing at all.

Paintings by Jim Zola

Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook—The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press)—and a full length poetry collection, What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He also likes to play with photography.

Story by Matthew Dexter, Jamaica

Matthew Dexter lives in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. His fiction has been published in hundreds of literary journals and dozens of anthologies. He writes abhorrent freelance pieces for exorbitant amounts of pesos to pay the bills while drinking cervezas in paradise with tourists. He is the author of The Ritalin Orgy (Perpetual Motion Machine). His second novel, Hero Custodian, will be published in 2019.