Issue #50

Spring 2014 | May 1, 2014

In this Issue:

The Secret Room by Marianne Villanueva

"For years the Queen had tried to learn what was behind the locked door in the east tower of her husband 's castle.

"The locks were intricate couplings of brass and silver. On the massive housing was embossed the ancient symbol of the ruling family, the prancing lion. From time to time, the King withdrew a large iron key to from the heavy chain around his waist. He seemed surreptitious in his movements, which which the Queen notice. His face seemed reflective, even melancholy, whenever the weight of the iron key was in his hand." Read more...

New Donald Moffit Prose Poem
(inc. footnotes) 2 by Patrick Cosgrove

"Peruvian Wasp Nest [1]
In memoriam Karl Woodmansterne [2]
Donald Moffit

"Curtain up. Dull light from single light-bulb hanging stage right. Very large papier-mâché model of dead wasp lying stage centre. No other props. The sound of a guitarist – preferably female – tuning a guitar is heard. The guitarist must not be visible to the audience. " Read more...

Flood by Vanessa Gebbie

"The first to claim him said the drowned man was his son. When we asked about identifying marks, he said only his eyes — dark blue — apart from that, why would a father know? The last time he saw his son unclothed was years ago.

"I was the first to see the drowned man. Find him. If one finds drowned people. He rose in one of the cuttings, lay half submerged, face down, as if he'd taken a deep breath and was just looking for something." Read more...

Four Short Pieces by Matthew Kirshman


"Tons of bugs were in the ship, teeming with species not seen this day, habituating every nook and cranny. Some of the bugs resembled some of the modern era, like the beetle and wasp, but not actually related to these. The boat teetered often, being top-heavy — perilously. Remember, all these animals could talk, not in languages of today, but the gist had a highly-expressive form. Three men stood top deck, though the ship was at that very instant careening. These men fathered the shipping industry. " Read more...

Me and Borges by Jefferson Navicky

chair and hat
"This morning I'm thinking of Borges. Last night we saw "Holy Motors". The whole movie, all two hours of it, was better executed by Borges and his page-long prose piece, "Everything and Nothing", about Shakespeare's genius, but ultimately his emptiness in living solely through his characters. Borges' piece is genius in compression, half essay, half fiction. His entire oeuvre built on short forms, or at least the ones I most love. He never wrote a novel, or any long pieces. Substantial short stories, but even the ones I most admire ("Everything and Nothing" and "Borges and I") are even shorter than that. " Read more...

After the Robing of the Bride
by Hannah E. Phinney

dress form
"Nuptials. Bird-Woman and Decomposing Wooden Post are tying the knot. To their story a tragic denouement lies remotely tethered, but we are at the happy beginning. Now there is only a young nectarine-skinned griffin lady in love. Her six-breasted pelican-faced midget is the flower girl. Wooden Post's vulva-shaped sea-glass prairie fish is the ring bearer. Best man and bridesmaids stand in pink-footed attention at the top of the stairs. The lips of each are sown with purple string for the occasion." Read more...

Preparing by David Oates

"After the bell, the teacher puts his left hand in the sausage grinder. With all his experience, he has only an inch left of each finger." Read more...

About Our Coffee and Other Fare

Please Note: All of the coffee served at The Irreal Cafe is fair trade, organic, shade-grown and not real. All of the food served at The Irreal Cafe is organic, vegan, locally sourced and not real. See "At Our Cafe" for more about what we would serve at The Irreal Cafe and how we would serve it if there were an Irreal Cafe.