Interview w/ RW Spryszak

By Carol Smallwood

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RW Spryszak

RW Spryszak is Editor-at-Large at Thrice Publishing and managing editor of Thrice Fiction, both of which are based out of the Chicago area. Thrice Fiction is published three times a year, and Thrice also publishes up to two novels a year. He has been published in Slipstream, The Lost and Found Times, Peculiar Mormyrid, and a host of other alternative magazines since the 1980s. He was editor of The Fiction Review in 1990-1991.

Please describe your website/social media:

I am trying to adapt my old-school notions to the modern era. The magazine website offers free copies for every issue (or you can buy a hard copy there). My personal website is pretty basic.

What is your average day as editor/writer:

Because Thrice is an indie, and we have yet to qualify for grants; it is strictly a labor of love right now. So, I have a straight job that pays the bills. I write every day in some fashion, and always have a project going. For the magazine, I go by deadlines and concentrate down on that when they loom.

Tell us about your career:

I started out in Marjorie Peters’ Southside Writers Workshop in the 70’s and attended Columbia Chicago.

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Don’t Tell

By Kellsie Kennedy

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The alarm’s shriek drills through my skull, a plastic-wrapped headache ready to go five mornings a week.  I knew before I went to bed that today is going to be shit.  Hell, knew a week ago that today is going to be shit.  Hitting the snooze button is a nine-minute relief.

I shrug on a pair of jeans, the least worn hoodie.  The box of crackers is still beside my bed from where I pretended to be sick instead of going to class.  An avalanche of ignored homework spills across the surface of my dresser.  The black and white of topographic maps, pictures of fossils, and a chart of the geologic time periods.  A bottle of weak hydrochloric acid and rock samples top the pile, evidence of college major number two-going-on-three-and-counting.

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Boxes in Heaven

By Debra Danz

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She did up her curls and fastened them with a golden comb, then sprinkled the Christmas tree with festive strands of silver. Chipping away at sticky tape with her fingernail, she unwrapped a box that she guessed might have been placed there thirty years before. When it was finally opened, the ghastly, withered fingers of a familiar hand reached out and plucked the comb from her hair—the curls coming undone one by one, and framing her bright eyes, which danced with shivering excitement. Without warning, the same hand reached out and grabbed her fingers, crushing and draining them of blood, until they turned white with surrender. Once the grip had slackened, her lips started to move, but her voice stayed deep down in her throat.  


‘I’ve been waiting for your touch for a very long time—waiting for your embrace to smother my shadow.’


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Review: ‘Mrs. Fletcher’ by Tom Perrotta

By Alexis Shanley

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‘Mrs. Fletcher’ by Tom Perrotta

Tom Perrotta’s latest novel, Mrs. Fletcher, involves a lot of porn and sexual adventure, but that’s not to say it’s lacking in heart. Beneath the more sensational parts of the book is a story about embracing the fluidity of your identity and giving yourself the freedom to change. 

The first part of the novel cuts between the titular character of Eve Fletcher—a single mother in her mid-forties—and her son Brendan during a major transitory period in both of their lives. Brendan leaves home for his first year of college, and Eve is alone for the first time. In her son’s absence, she is left to reexamine her choices. Her newfound independence becomes the impetus for her awakening sexually, intellectually, and socially. Specifically, she becomes transfixed by lesbian porn sites and starts seeing the scenes of her life through the lens of porn scenarios. This leads her to sign up for a Gender and Society course at the local community college, as well as question aspects of her identity she once thought were fixed.

Meanwhile, Brendan envisioned that college would just be about parties, drinking, and hooking up with girls. After a few weeks there, though, his fantasy begins to fall apart; he finds that students at his university aren’t willing to entertain the misogynistic behavior he got away with in high school.

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June Morning

By Fritz Eifrig

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sun’s steady breaths ink open
the first paragraphs of another day.
shoes crunch across the glass
from a departed car window,
drunks stumbling
to find direction or peace
while the city rubs its eyes
clear of disbelief.

still reeling from
the morning I left your bed
for good.
the Lawrence el arrives.
8:30 southbound, sick, slow train,
full of rails enough to drive it elsewhere
every time.
skinned knees two mornings after all
of everything we said,
and the imprint of your unsure arms
still holds me.

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