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“I have been looking. I have been digging. I have been carrying stones.” : Rounding Up the Online Magazines

“I have been looking. I have been digging. I have been carrying stones.” : Rounding Up the Online Magazines

I have been looking. I have been digging. I have been carrying stones.” — Callista Buchen

In Seattle, a dog rides the bus by herself. Back in Northampton, Jono says hawks are getting chased by smaller birds, but they don’t care. John the Baptist survived on locust and honey. Some people remember how a few years ago the stores were full of owls, foxes, and mustaches. Tasmania produces 50% of the world’s medicinal opiates for stuff like codeine and morphine. When Ulysses Bassell was 17, he twisted off some of his arm hair and gave it to a girl he had a crush on in the shape of a bouquet. In Portland, I met a woman whose secret government listener maybe fell in love with her because while she was on the phone to her friend explaining her recovery from a fractured tibula, a strange male voice came on the line to say “I’m glad you’re OK.”

Otherwise, I’ve thought re: my friends my age “We’re all the result of 80s cum.” Or I’ve thought “There’s something there, there’s the true recklessness of seafoam.” But mostly I’ve thought lately about my friends who are radical poets and radical architects and radical social workers, not feeling lucky or grateful or blessed or any of that weird braggy capitalist value system shit that reckons only in the language of exchange, but feeling something, hoping others are feeling things about their friends too, maybe inviting others to think about how interesting their friends are.

Wherever you are in the world, and wherever your interesting friends are, you can still read all the new online magazines. Here’s a roundup, the first lit mag roundup of Real Pants, an extra big roundup because it’s the first roundup:


The poems in Sink 13 emerge at the top of a foamy group self. They take good care to wash all the bowls. Air is incapable of holding anything but the repetition of thinking. There’s a lake in the distance with your foot in it. Gales are sequestered in the basement of the museum, and these poems wait for you at the edge of the great fire with their expensive teeth. Plus there are reviews of moods, arrows, backup singers, and more.


Jordan Stempleman’s beautiful magazine of video poems is back with poems for Toby Keith, sexy horse heads, and memories divided by memories. Gawk it all.


The January 2015 decomP has prose, poetry, reviews. It has the Mona Lisa hanging after you die, your father’s voice falling away “like slag from a weld.” CERN is figuring out the afterlife, doctors want you to imagine baby tigers, and there’s a book about “dragon-fighting in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Texas, the last pick-up truck on earth roaring toward the hills on a suicide mission.”


La Vague Journal is an online magazine I hadn’t seen before, curated by Jennifer Pilch with a beautiful website built by Noah Saterstrom. And #4, the new one, has some lovely gnawing work you’ll want to sift and leave in your scalp’s archive. These poems sit down and see the pattern against which death is relief. Lots of if/then, like if the stars then the running, which I agree with with. Look to yourself like fog in a mirror and agree too.

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Whoa this so and so is so chock full of whoa. So ordering the clouds by number. So many grandfathers who were the mayor’s chauffeur. So maybe we can give birth to ourselves. So we pray for glaciers of salt. So many mountains we’re just happy to look at, so many planes leaving the station without their hat. P.S. They’re never wearing what you think they’re wearing.


To get to the cool stuff in apt, you have to click cool pictures. Then maybe you feel death’s film on you, or your hook nose acne scars look spectacular. Is that your tree? Are you sitting by the window in a small Kansas farmhouse? Do you buy the blue box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on a whim? Well, guess what—you’re in here. Follow the guy you talk to when you’re losing it. Kick him in the place you felt a word had come from.


One of my all time favorite online magazines, Alice Blue Review has hit 24. I’m trying to remember what happened when I was 24. Oh that’s right: the Voltron lions found their place in my bed. I steered through the dark of the clouded star and into the hard mist of rain to the base of a waterfall. Gerard, I said, no more bean salad for you! I sold the logging rights behind my property and dreamed I was 18 feet tall in Times Square. Me and Gerard, stacking and stacking our guilt. Good old Gerry, worrying about the bats in his hair, building a hammock in the black-eyed caves of the Sierra Madre. When Gerry and I were 24, the empty auditorium was infinite. We learned to think in breath.

Mike Young
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About The Author

Mike Young

Mike Young is the author of three books: Sprezzatura (2014, poems), Look! Look! Feathers (2010, stories), and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (2010, poems). He publishes the free online/print literary magazine NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, and lives online at In person, he lives in Santa Fe, NM.

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