New York Tyrant

Cocaine Barbara Plays Whack-a-Mole with Her Heart
by Anaïs Duplan

Kelly Schirmann

Comments 1

The whole room a hole in the ground getting deeper. She stands up and she says, "Michael, now you listen to me, I've got a feeling to say" and Michael says, "What's that?" and I mean, his eyes are bloodshot, leaking out everywhere, the floor's like a Tarkovsky film, it's covered in water I mean the roof's caving in, the lions are chirpin' outside the window and she looks at him and she says, "Now don't you go playing with my heart, Michael—I've got the feeling and I've got it tonight." Michael says, "Now who's that now?" Barbara looks him in the eye and she dies three times.

by LA Warman

Kelly Schirmann

im really invested in things

          not getting worse

the horizon & the

          sky are the same thing

the water & the sky

          are the same thing

by Richard Wehrenberg, Jr.

Kelly Schirmann

I say No one can be the same

millennial I’ve been alive

for a very long time we all have

stadiums and chanting beg

to differ hurl themselves

on their knees before me

asking if I would please

reconsider [my] sentiment [sic]

Two Poems
by Elaine Kahn

Kelly Schirmann

I have heard it said

that love

turns people


but I have

never been



by Jae Choi

Kelly Schirmann

american dollar store

california dollar store

super dollar store

only dollar store

un dollar store #1

mighty dollar store

jung's dollar store

real dollar store


Two Poems
by Jon-Michael Frank

Kelly Schirmann

all my life I’ve been using the wrong language

blackberries spewing juice

on the patio furniture

the gorge is all longing today

bastard animals masticating

soda cans

a geode contaminates my heart

down the street

machines starve the succulents  

men in robes

crush bug eggs

we know a lot of what’s over

even as we dim in the cradle of it

Don't tell my mother if they kill me
by Angel Dominguez

Kelly Schirmann

Let her think they hid me in the void

Let her think I avoided hot lead

Let her think I avalanched east

Let her think I’ve become forest

Let her think I’ve become the ocean

Let her think I’ve become the moon

Let her think I’ve become the moon

Let her think I’ve become the moon

Let her think I’ve got away, safe

Let her think I changed my name

Let her think I didn’t become a #

Two from Nature Poem
by Tommy Pico

Kelly Schirmann

My singing teacher tells me find your center

Tornado fucking is a natural phenomenon

wherein you start on your stomach,

get flipped to the right side,

then he slides under you slams

u into his hips, both in a sort of crab walk flip left

before returning to (yoga term) stomach pose.

Objects of Desire
by Stacey Tran

Kelly Schirmann

Four nights in Los Angeles.

How to locate the Garment District on any major American city’s map.

How to walk toward the river and stumble upon the perfect maraschino cherry.

Islands bobbing in oceans of bubble tea.

Judge Judy gifs all day long.

The Mothers 1 & 2
by LA Warman

Kelly Schirmann

by Jos Charles

Kelly Schirmann

We don’t carry history

we foam

it  We are it

History I mean

Form N-400 Erasures by Niina Pollari

Bryan Woods

Form N-400 Erasures by Niina Pollari

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, is an application to become a naturalized U.S. citizen       -- Niina Pollari is an alien and the author of Dead Horse (Birds, LLC 2015). Find her on Twitter (@heartbarf). 

Escalation (an excerpt) by Monika Woods

Bryan Woods

Escalation (an excerpt) by Monika Woods

Victor had never been sure what he needed, but he’d always been propelled by bursts of pleasure and want, the joltings of which brought violence to his mind. He loved the tension between how he felt and what he was supposed to be, supposed to feel. The window on West Street called to him all day, the glowing light, profane in its feminine lushness, lured him as he walked, made the requisite turns to arrive, to stand below it, looking up, to climb. It had never been epiphanic for him, the knowledge that people weren’t supposed to do whatever they...

I Understand by Chelsea Hodson

Bryan Woods

    Last week, thousands of writers traveled to a convention center in Washington, D.C., to "do a reading" or "go to a panel" or "meet internet friends IRL"—yes, I’m referring to AWP, the annual event so difficult to explain that it’s best to not bother telling anyone in the "real world" you even went. At the end of the week, I did a reading on the largest escalator in the Western hemisphere (which is located in the Wheaton metro stop in Silver Spring, Maryland), along with Jordan Castro, Juliet Escoria, David Fishkind, Zachary German, Emma Heldman, Precious Okoyomon, and Nicolette...

Thanksgiving in Palm Beach by Michelle Lyn King

Bryan Woods

Thanksgiving in Palm Beach by Michelle Lyn King

Two years ago, my dad and I went out for dinner in Fort Lauderdale. The host brought us to a small table in the corner of the restaurant. This is more intimate, they said before winking and walking off. In the host’s defense, I was dressed like someone’s third wife, in a stark white jumpsuit, cut low enough to reveal a black velvet bra. It is possible I’m the one to blame.

Eleven years ago, though, when I was 14 and wore only Delia’s graphic tees, my dad took me to see Jewel in concert. Halfway through “Who Will Save Your Soul” a woman in the row behind us tapped his shoulder, hard. Why don’t you date someone your own age? she wanted to know. My dad insisted that I was his daughter, but she didn’t believe him. That’s Florida.

Album Reviews of 1994 by Julia Dixon Evans

Bryan Woods

Album Reviews of 1994 by Julia Dixon Evans
Someone other than the athletic director had control of the music and we secretly loved it. Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to. And I looked at the crowd and wondered how many of us would grow up to kill someone. I wondered how many of us were capable.

THE NIGGER KNOCKERS by Rion Amilcar Scott

Bryan Woods

THE NIGGER KNOCKERS by Rion Amilcar Scott

The knock, knock joke, much like the negro spiritual, began as a means of clandestine communication, a way for slaves to pass information to each other beneath the radar of hostile whites. 

—Hiram Skylark Rollicks

Signifyn’ Revolt: Black Rebellion in the Antebellum South  

Something Great About The Sun by Meredith Alling

Bryan Woods

Something Great About The Sun by Meredith Alling
What is wrong with me? I suspect: I go through hard times and I say “I’m going through it.” I’m not so restrained. I’m not all that feminine. I’m not polished and I feel that — the shame of it in certain company. I don’t respond well to baby talk. When I hear it, it’s like I’m trying to swallow a pin. My body becomes stiff and my voice rock-like. I want to be seen.

Must Be Peopled
by David Burr Gerrard

Bryan Woods

Must Be Peopled <br /> by David Burr Gerrard

Kate and I often joked about ranking friends’ baby pictures from cutest to ugliest. The only reason to bring forth new life in the age of arctic fissures and transatlantic fascism, we agreed, was to see how many likes your photos could get on social media. Why not make the contest literal, take away the hypocrisy? Now Kate is gone and I finally have the courage to follow through. Viewed a certain way, this contest is something that Kate and I have created, something that is crowning.

“Happy rainy Tuesday, everyone,” I post. “I’m excited to announce that Maryanne Jameson is the cutest baby on my feed!!! Congratulations, Maryanne!!!!” This baby has triumphed over a great deal of competition, so a total of seven exclamation points seems appropriate. Within seconds, thirteen people have liked this post: Joanna, five of our friends from college, Joanna’s husband, four people whose names I don’t recognize who I assume are friends of Joanna, and two people I’m friends with who I’m pretty sure don’t know Joanna but who automatically like every baby-related post.


Bryan Woods


Hi everyone, I'm Bryan, and I'll be your Tyrant of the month for this, the shortest month of the year. I'm writing to you from America, during a time that feels imminently apocalyptic. Over the past few months I've had a lot of conversations with friends about the purpose of art in These Times, and my opinion seems to change with my mood and the news. I've rolled my eyes more than once at the suggestion that art is now "more important than ever," but at the same time have deeply connected to emerging new mediums, like videos of white supremacists being...

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