Issue #60

Fall 2016 | November 1, 2016

In this Issue:

Up or Down by Hernán Ortiz

insect pattern

A guy in a suit stumbles towards the elevator, hand covering his mouth, tottering. He grips the elevator handrail. He doesn’t press any buttons. The door closes before him.

The guy drops the suitcase.

Puckers his lips.

Throws up.

I throw up. It’s hard to recognize myself in the mirror. Read more...

My Underwater Boyfriend And
The Gymnast I Love by Tara Roeder

Insect Pattern

Last night my underwater boyfriend and the gymnast I love bought me dinner on a boat deck. Indoor/outdoor fairy lights hung in grape-like clusters and luminaries including but not limited to a certain four star general and his mermaid of a mistress... Read more...

The Unicorn in the Park by Guido Eekhaut

Insect Pattern

Danielle, who has been my daughter for a quarter of a century, visits me every other week on Sunday, a day which to her – on account of her pertinent atheism – is no holy day even if she is not working.

She tells me about traffic. Even on a Sunday the highway is packed. She regrets living so far away from me. More and more cars appear on the highways and the streets every year. Soon there will be more cars than houses. People will live in their cars, never being able to get home any more. Carmakers will have to change the way cars are designed – there’s going to be a need for a miniaturised bathroom and sleeping facility in the everyday car. And a TV-screen, so nobody misses Friday’s match. Read more...

Burping Birds by Luis Garcia

Insect Pattern

I am reluctant to explain to you why I am back here. The reason is so absurd it is difficult for even me to believe. That I am a changed man requires I not tell you so, and to explain would, because of our past, sound beyond absurd, which would, by a turn, equal lie.

An amusing and perhaps beautifully written sentence fragment lies hidden in the tedium of Chapter 33: Read more...

Blankets by Bob Thurber

Insect Pattern

(Another Fascinating tale of The Broken Boys)

Each boy had been assigned two, one to spread on the hard ground, the other to hide his body and head from the night. They were good quality G.I. blankets, regulation drab-olive, thought to be surplus from the war. Water-resistant, though not quite water-proof, constructed of tightly-woven quality wool, they brought the boys some comfort, but on bitter cold nights two wasn’t nearly enough. When the temperature dropped below freezing the boys were forced to tremble through their dreams, teeth chattering, drifting in and out consciousness, until morning. Read more...

Abracadabra and The Snow Ballet
by Meeah Williams

Insect Pattern



It's the worse magic show you've ever seen. Instead of a rabbit, the magician pulls a handful of reeking seaweed from his hat. He forgets to put the lovely lady he was to saw in half inside the box. In the end, the auditorium has to be evacuated when the curtains catch fire during the big finale. Later, at an all-night diner on the edge of town, the magician is undaunted. "Magic," he explains between sips of coffee, "is like writing a poem..." Read more...

This Is a Series of Words To Which You
Are Condemned by Soren James

Insect Pattern

“Mummy! Beckett says there's an 'irremediable solitude to which every human being is condemned'.”

“It's okay, hon. Belief in such solitude is often a conceit fashioned from socially conditioned blindness to a holistic and connected universe, whose infinite nuances can be confusing to logic.” 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.