Category: 2021

  • Best of the Net nominations 2021

    We’re pleased to announce our 2021 Best of the Net nominations! POETRY Halleluyah by Mónica GomerySonnet Near Zyzzyx by Chelsea HarlanGualmar Kevin MadrigalSouls Side by Side by Dustin PearsonThe Other Kids Use Their Hands by Jaz SufiIndictment Film by Fargo Nissim Tbakhi FICTION Swallower by K-Ming ChangBallad II by L.M. Davenport ESSAYS A Fiction More […]

  • Kathryn Holzman

    The Aquarium Even with the classroom windows closed, Aron could still smell the smoke. Off in the distance, the Los Padres National Forest smoldered. In front of the class, Maya was reading her essay aloud. “What I did over the summer.” Balancing on one tanned foot, she read. “In August, my family visited the Monterey […]

  • Yun Wei

    IT WAS A WATERMELON LOVE Juicy, sweet and fast. Alice was fifteen that summer and in Provence with her family on their first trip to Europe, when she saw the boy at the motel pool in neon green swim trunks and black sunglasses. Gabe had offered her a slab of gum. By sunset they were […]

  • Michael Chang

    STUDENT-ATHLETE’S COLLEGE RECRUITMENT GUIDE lance: buyer of track pants & athletic socks perfect loved boy give me a future i like ur boy traits: ur too-thick ache’s elations we can look at some terrifying art inside my mouth young boy enters a dancehall feet loose he fixes cocktails blindfolded runs down the wooden escalator clack […]

  • Virginia Lee Wood

    GHOST COLLAGE When Dad was very sick, in the last winter we could keep him, a black snake came into the house and Mom said, “That’s his Dad,” and that we needed to catch it. Coming to take him before we were ready to let him go; it lay on the floor beside his hospital […]

  • Mialise Carney

    THE NIGHT THE COWS GOT LOOSE I wasn’t at Uncle Drew’s by choice—Mom sent me here to spend the fall at a new school, to work on the old family farm and learn about real hardship. Now instead of spending my weekends watching reality tv and scrolling through Instagram until my vision blurs, I rinse […]

  • Margaret Emma Brandl

    WALKER BRENTSON In the gym before first period, Walker Brentson appears midcourt like a dadgum miracle. It’s been seven weeks since anyone last saw him. First we didn’t say much, just that he must be sick. It had been three days before we noticed at all. Second week, we thought he had the flu. Third […]

  • William Fargason

    WHEN THE COP TELLS US to call our parents we do: we had been caughtdrinking Smirnoff Green Apple behind the Hoover Met. Then the cop tells us he would’ve taken us in, my friend and I, if we looked more scummy. At seventeen, I believed this to be luck, as one might believe the rain […]

  • Steven Espada Dawson

    THERE’S A DONUT SHOP IN OJAI, CALIFORNIA that lets you smoke cigarettes. My brotherexhaled through the fingers of a bear claw. Our last breakfast together is stillcaught in my molars. I ash its memory like Parliaments. He told me the jokeabout Noah. How he always kept the skunks in a lifeboat, dragging behind the Ark.In […]

  • Ruth Baumann

    SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES Knocked off the feet I carved to replace the first feet I was knocked off.Really. That kind of a year. That kind of a life, the subtitles to myimaginary movie reading, over & over, Why do you forget that it’s allsurprises. Some people preach external hope but they aren’t the onesI can listen […]