The Cafe Irreal: International Imagination 

Issue Fifteen

The Life Of Alonso Quijano, To Rise/To Fall, & Gerontomachy by Emilio Martinez
Shuteye by Bob Thurber
Magoria by Alexandra Berková
Liquid Hotel by Michael Overa
Sleeping Prescription: Directions and Cautions by Steven Schutzman
Botanical Curiosities & The Golden Apple by Margarita Engle
Selections from O, Vozque Pulp by Derek White
Gypsy by Saeed Tavakkol
Best, The Lion, & Children of God by Beate Sigriddaughter


irreal (re)views


Selections from
O, Vozque Pulp
by Derek White

Waiting in a Long Line of Evolution

To get through the hidden hatch to the surf, you had to crawl through a ripped screen that was chocked full of debris. And even after that you still had to wait in queue. We waited, two of us, male and female, on a rock platform the size of a surfboard.

While we were waiting, I noted where the surrounding escarpment had been carved away to make room for a shoreline freeway. When our turn finally came, an unmanned crane lifted up the whole rock platform. We clutched the surface of the rock with palms flattened, relying on friction to stay on board. We were carried through the expansive airspace where the bedrock once was, but now was no longer, high through the weightless air, until we were set down in a mock stone-age campsite.

We had no choice in the matter as to which numbered site we occupied. It was nestled amongst other granite boulders and ice plants, and there were hidden cans of food and kindling without looking too far. The problem was finding a can-opener or matches. Besides a piece of obsidian that had been carved with a can-opener, we were left to our own devices.


Buffalo, my editor, carved the meat away from the albatross wings. The bird was still able to fly better than ever (with weightless wings), spiraling towards the mouth of heaven. It was so sad and beautiful that I broke down and cried real crocodile tears.


The empty cars were parked on a sloped lot at the base of the ski mountain. One vehicle started rolling and colliding with other vehicles in a violent slide of parked cars that were now being driven by obscene hypocrisy.


The albatross landed on the rim of the convertible Bug I was driving to work. At first I wanted to feed him, but the bird edged closer and became more aggressive. He told me his appetite could not be satiated. I had to resort to violence. I flogged him with a cane but it only provoked him more. It was a declaration of war that I wear to this day.

Derek White lives in New York City where he edits SleepingFish. He has been published in, among others, Del Sol Review, Snow Monkey, Diagram and in Issue #9 of The Cafe Irreal. His O, Vozque Pulp (from which these pieces were selected), a collaborative effort with the artist Carlos M. Luis, was published in 2004 by Calamari Press.

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