The Scene with Her Daddy

by Rachel Marx

"It's cool, it's cool, I can totally handle this. You keep asking me if I can do it and I've told you a million times, a million times. And no, I'm not gonna break. I don't break. I don't have that luxury." She entered the bedroom.


Rachel Marx is a waitress and a film extra. She lives in Brooklyn.


The Hope of Being Rich

by Paul Allen Curtis

Mr. Marple needed no introduction. His reputation as a bender of the rules was well earned, and we were all very clear on what we were getting into when we hired him. He had reached out to us if memory serves; he saw potential in what we were doing. We were developing an app, essentially a front to harness personal data. Mr. Marple showed us something we could do - something illegal - that would make us rich. We hesitated, but then the hope of being rich got the better of us.


Paul Allen Curtis is a San Francisco-based app developer.


A Weighted Interplay

by Inger Christensen

When I was ten, I didn't notice being ten. Just as now, at thirty-five, I barely notice that I'm thirty-five, though occasionally I do suddenly notice that I'm acting as if I were only ten, actually am ten and childish curious naive awkward and full of laughter. But back then, at the time, I didn't notice that. What I noticed wasn't about being ten years old or being young at all; it was about being older: it was as if my body suddenly, on its own, from one day to the next, had started practicing for something I hadn't the faintest inkling about, as if there were some twenty-year-old, twenty-five-year-old, or thirty-year-old body practicing something inside me, making me move in new and strange ways, even making some of my cells notice themselves: grown-up determined all-knowing confident and tragic. Like an exchange between a space that had gradually become captivity and a time that could gradually become freedom. What had previously been a neutral relationship was suddenly transformed into a weighted interplay.


Inger Christensen - whose six sentences are excerpted from her essay collection The Condition of Secrecy - was a Danish poet and writer.


The Psychology of Labor

by Karyn Eisler

The weight of depression descends on his head. It happens on Mondays. Predictably, he asks himself, Is this my life from now 'til the end? It's his work - not the job itself, but the need to earn a check. It's something he resents. The cast iron burden lifts on the weekends, when he empties trash, scrubs floors, and cleans a week's worth of dishes at home, without getting paid a cent.


Karyn Eisler holds a PhD in sociology, teaches at Langara College, and lives in Vancouver, B.C.


The Ancients vs the Moderns

by Giacomo Leopardi

Any literary work staking a serious claim to glory is not going to reveal itself entirely on a first reading. It will be better the second time around. And better still on third and even fourth readings. But who has time for this? The ancients could do it because they had so few books to read. These days, a writer's lucky if her work's read once.


Giacomo Leopardi asks an interesting question: Is Literary Glory Worth Chasing?


The Floating Platform

by Theodore Sorkin

Not far from Fiji, out in the Pacific, a floating platform moves lazily with the tide. The platform - a twelve foot square - was built many years ago by a tribe of nomadic carpenters. The carpenters' intention was to create a place of safety and refuge for anyone lost at sea who happened to notice it. It's anchored nearly a mile offshore from Suva and has four contoured, comfortably-shaped chairs. Each chair is bolted to a corner, each faces out to view the ocean. The carpenters didn't like each other.


Theodore Sorkin once ran a mile in five minutes flat. He lives in San Francisco.