14 Mar

WE ARE OPEN FOR ROLLING SUBMISSIONS

East Jasmine Review is pleased to announce that we are shifting our model to publish almost exclusively on our website. We will still publish anthologies in print on an occasional basis along specific themes. However, in an effort to publish more writers who may be overlooked by more traditional mainstream publications, we have decided to implement rolling acceptances for all submissions. This means that we will have open submissions all year long. 

A reminder: Our main goal is to publish diverse voices that may not have mainstream or traditional access to publishing. This includes but is not limited to LGBTQIA+, ethnic minorities, women, lower socio-economic status, chronically ill, writers and artists with disabilities, those who are older or younger (over the age of 18 for legal reasons), religious minorities, and non-American persons. We are looking to build an inclusive online community and audience for our voices.

Submission guidelines and where to submit: http://eastjasminereview.com/submissions/
02 Jan

BEST OF EJR – Fiction: “Number Six” by Lauren Candia Salerno

Photo Credit: iStock

Number Six
By Lauren Candia Salerno

Content Warning: Mentions of Violence, Horror

Word was the guy stole hearts. A recent slew of murders had everyone on the boulevard talking.  Five girls had been found dead, their hearts neatly cut out but with no signs of any external incision, as if they had simply been born without this vital organ. No one even knew the heart had been taken until the autopsy. I thought the story was bullshit. Still, five girls were dead and maybe I could be next. I asked around about who the john might be, but no one knew what the guy looked like or what he was into. This isn’t the safest job, but the lack of information made me feel more vulnerable than ever. Lots of girls were taking it easy. I wished I could have done the same, but I had a rent check due at the end of the week and not nearly enough money to cover it. 

It was a slow night, and I was one of the only girls out. I pulled the collar of my coat over my nose to keep the cold wind from burning my face. I was ready to walk home when a guy carrying a small duffle bag approached. He looked around nervously as he caught up to me.

“I’m…I’m looking for a date,” he said. 

I uncovered my face and smiled at him and relaxed as much as I could without letting my teeth chatter. “Baby, I’m a sure thing.”

He blushed. “I was hoping that.”

I stepped closer to him, eliminating the space he left between us. We were close enough then that the steam of our breath mingled as we continued the conversation.

“What’s in the bag?”

An incredible shade of red spread from his collar to his hairline.

I smiled. I have a thing for the shy ones.

“It’s okay,” I softly stroked his cheek. “Tell me what we should do tonight.”

He struggled to get through the details, pausing and lowering his voice for words I imagine he didn’t say out loud too often. All he wanted was a night with no talking and no questions. He just wanted me to follow instructions.

“I don’t know, kid. That’s not really my specialty.” 

“I can pay,” he blurted out with an almost frantic look that quickly passed from his face.  “Anything you want. Up front even. Right now.”

I couldn’t refuse at that point. I took care of rent right then and there.

We got a by-the-hour room. He asked that I undress in front of him. At first, I made a dance of it. I imagined a smooth saxophone playing in the background while my body slithered out of my top. I opened my eyes to see what effect I was having on this guy. It pissed me off to see he wasn’t paying attention. He wasn’t even looking at me. He was just sitting on the edge of the bed, examining his hands and rubbing them together. I stopped with the theatrics and shed the rest of my clothes. I waited for his next order, all the while keeping an eye on the clock and reminding myself that rent was due.

He gave my body a quick look up and down before he stood from the bed. He held my face in his hands, brushed my hair behind my ears, and kissed me. His lips tasted bitter and my tongue went numb. I wanted to push him away, but he grasped my head and pressed his lips hard against mine, keeping my lips open. I got my arms between us and tried to get some distance, but he wouldn’t let go. My mind went into panic mode. I tried to scream but I couldn’t make a sound. It felt like my entire body was turning into stone. I couldn’t fight back. When he finally pulled away, I was helpless and immobile. My hands were frozen in front of my chest, palms out. My eyes were wide and unblinking. I became a grotesque statue.

He carried me over to the bed and laid my body down. He rolled me on my back and pulled my arms down to my sides. I don’t know how much it matters now, but he did all of this with an unexpected gentleness. He was about to push down my eyelids but then he stopped. He hovered over me, studying my face. He stroked the side of my cheek and whispered a name. Something with an A. He left my eyes open. I realized that I would have to see everything as it happened, and the first tear fell. 

 He moved out of my line of sight, but I could still hear him moving around. I heard the shuffling as he moved away from me and the canvas of his bag rustling as he stepped closer. The mattress bounced with the added weight of the bag and I heard a zipper unfasten. When the guy came back into my view, he was still fully clothed and holding a jar. He unscrewed the lid from the jar, and the chemical smell of the liquid inside was so strong that breathing in became another kind of torture.  

He straddled me and stroked my cheek one last time. I was breathing hard as he put his hand on my chest. I wanted to fight. I wanted to make him hurt. But I never got the chance. My chest burned and I felt some pressure as his hand went through my skin. My body instantly went cold and I never breathed again. 

The burning served to both cut away and cauterize the arteries. The heart pulled easily through the rib cage and out of my body. He eased my heart into the jar with such care, making sure to wipe the edges of the jar clean before fastening its lid. He sat there examining the specimen from all angles with a look of awe on his face. He seemed so far away as he twisted the jar around. Then he must have realized that too much time was passing because he returned to my body. A burn scar was the only evidence of foul play that remained. He glided his hand over the scar, and with each pass, the skin healed until it looked as if nothing had ever happened. So there I was, Number Six, and the man who stole my heart got away.

_______

You can follow Lauren Candia Salerno on twitter: @ParanormaLauren

05 Dec

BEST OF EJR – Creative Nonfiction: “The Wind and The Thunder” by Alana Saltz

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Wind and the Thunder
Alana Saltz

When I think of you now, I see trees and waves and stars. I can’t separate you from the places you took me, from the places we discovered and loved together. From the tall sequoias, to the freezing winter ocean, to the impossibly clear night sky with stars and planets pressing down on us, their fingertip sparks mere inches from our heads. You brought me so many places that I had never been before.

We traveled in winter because we both hated crowds. We only needed one another. You told me I was one of the only people in the world who you could stand. You told me people cared too much about things that didn’t matter. You told me that people made you tired. Whenever I strayed into emotion, into irrationality, you saw me as one of them. Sometimes I wonder whether you ever cared for all of me, or if you only liked the parts that made you comfortable.

You loved nature, but you were my nature. I explored you the way that you explored the forests and beaches. The ocean was beautiful like you, but the harsh waves frightened me. They threatened to take my air and carry me away. The stars were lovely, but they unnerved me. Their brightness, their infinity, my inability to comprehend them. Even the trees in the forest hurt my fingers when I touched their rough bark. But you were there, and you were safe, and I understood you. I couldn’t see that your currents carried me away as easily as the waves. I didn’t know that I could comprehend you no more than the stars. I couldn’t feel the roughness of you underneath my touch, but it was there, always there.

You never said much. When you did speak, I could barely hear your words over crashing waves or across snowy fields in the mountains where it was only you, me, and the trees. You spoke so few words that each one mattered. I wanted to learn that from you. I wanted to learn the peace inside that allowed you to spend hours plucking strings on your guitar. I wanted to learn the serenity that let you stare out the windshield for miles and miles without noise.

I was the noise. I came crashing in and made your quiet world loud. I talked and cried and asked. I begged and sighed and laughed. I thought you liked my sound, and that’s why I didn’t understand when you told me you didn’t want to hear me anymore. I thought we’d grown into one another, but I was wrong. You changed because of me, but you hadn’t wanted to. I changed because of you, but it hadn’t been enough.

When you left, you told me I was broken. You said you couldn’t take care of me anymore, and that you never should have tried. I see now that I was broken because my sadness was loud while yours was silent. Your silence caused you to spend hours plucking guitar strings. Your silence made you stare out the windshield for miles and miles and miles.

Sometimes I still stop and listen to the wind make the music you spoke of when we first met, that rustling of leaves akin to the most beautiful sonatas. Natural, soft, smooth. You were my wind, and I was the thunder your breeze blew in. The night our storm ended, I remember stepping outside and looking up at a clear summer sky. I knew that now the red moon above me was mine, and only mine.

_________

You can find Alana Saltz on twitter: @alanasaltz

25 May

EAST JASMINE REVIEW NEEDS YOU: Open Volunteer Positions

East Jasmine Review is still a fledgling publication, so all staff positions (including the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher) are unpaid. Because we are asking for volunteer labor, we only require a minimum commitment of 6 months (the duration of one publishing period), after which point the Editor-in-Chief will check in with existing staff members as to whether they would like to continue in their roles. We would like to note that we do hope that staffers will stay for at least a year. 

CREATIVE NEEDS

Fiction Editors
⁃ Read submissions, make notes, vote to accept or reject submissions in a timely manner.
⁃ Uphold magazine mission to highlight writers who do not traditionally have access to literary representation.

Creative Nonfiction Editors 
⁃ Read submissions, make notes, vote to accept or reject submissions in a timely manner.
⁃ Uphold magazine mission to highlight writers who do not traditionally have access to literary representation.

Poetry Editors 
⁃ Read submissions, make notes, vote to accept or reject submissions in a timely manner.
⁃ Uphold magazine mission to highlight writers who do not traditionally have access to literary representation.

Graphic Narrative (Webcomics/Art) Editor
⁃ Read submissions, make notes, vote to accept or reject submissions in a timely manner.
⁃ Uphold magazine mission to highlight writers and artists who do not traditionally have access to literary representation.

Book Reviewers/Recommendation (for Books and Events) List Writers
⁃ Read and review assigned books highlighting writers that do not traditionally have access to literary representation. in a timely manner.
⁃ (or) Write themed book recommendation lists in a timely manner— highlighting artists and creatives that do not traditionally have access to literary representation.
⁃ (or) Aggregate and write list of recommended literary events by geographical area— highlighting artists and creatives that do not traditionally have access to literary representation.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE NEEDS

• Assistant EIC
⁃ Main task is to follow up with EIC on tasks that EIC needs to see to.
⁃ Sounding board for EIC in planning for creative direction, events, and development.
⁃ Must be on same page as EIC and should be able to bridge any gaps in EIC’s duties if the EIC is overwhelmed.
⁃ Helps EIC build relationships with literary and creative community for collaboration.
⁃ Requires regular in-person or video conference meetings with EIC and Managing Editor

• Submissions Manager
⁃ Sort submissions from Submittable
⁃ Forward submissions to relevant editorial departments
⁃ Send acceptance and rejection letters. Includes revise and resubmit notices.
⁃ File and database all editor’s notes, acceptances and rejections— includes revise and resubmit notices.
⁃ Requires in-person or video conference meetings with administrative staff.

• Web Manager
⁃ Format and post pieces in a timely and consistent manner.
⁃ Requires in-person or video conference meetings with administrative staff.

• Social Media Manager
⁃ Manages social media accounts and consistently posts content across our platforms.
⁃ Requires in-person or video conference meetings with administrative staff.

• Events
⁃ Works with EIC and AEIC to plan events and collaborate with creative community orgs to organize and lead events.
⁃ Requires in-person or video conference meetings with administrative staff.

• Development
⁃ Come up with fundraising ideas.
⁃ Work with managing editor distribute fundraising tasks amongst any volunteer staff.
⁃ Grant writing.
⁃ Collaborate with community orgs for fundraising opportunities.
⁃ Requires in-person or video conference meetings with administrative staff.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

02 Jul

Poetry – Corinne Shearer

Drafts
by Corinne Shearer

They ordered you like new furniture,
picked out your delivery date by jabbing a finger at a pocket calendar.
You came out unclean. Offended by the fluorescents,
you were subjected to the airy speculations of the doctor
that ended up being true- those limbs were made for movement.

The family cat did not like you.
He avoided your sticky, probing fingers and the gaping
vacuum that was your mouth- a door always left ajar
which let loose from its basement a human’s cry ancient
as the ribbon corridors of bowels.
But someday, sooner rather than later,
the crotchety Maine Coon would entrust you with its sorrow-
cast up at you its dying gaze that flickered on and off,
like the orange porch light you will kiss your high school boyfriend under,
as the maggots set up their suburbia inside its lower intestines.

When you were one there was a snowstorm.
The world welcomed you with ice and a full body
rash, made you wait years for the luscious little girl hair
you would become known for. When you were three
you unlearned how to breathe, began turning blue when overly-excited.
They told them your clothes were too tight, but it’d be years before you’d have
the weight problem, and subsequently the eating problem, but much later
you’ll invest in Thich Nhat Hahn and the inspirational tags
on Yogi tea, realizing how “just fine” you grew up to be.
You’ll remember too nostalgically the timbre of self-hatred,
the illusion that clenched fists can feel like a grip
on a wheel you know doesn’t exist- but you hold your hands
at ten and two anyway, just on the off-chance there is a God.

But before all that you turn six and learn what momentum feels like.
You beg to be spun from anywhere on anything
until your vision and stomach flip on its side.
You’ll crave disorientation all your life,
you’ll make a career out of falling.
At eleven you understand what it is to be lonely,
filling her absence with self-sufficiency,
and quiet, and a hunger for excellence.
But this is around the time you grasp the concept
of mortality and nothing can make you forget the imminence of death.
Even when you visit the expensive sunlit café you can’t shake off the dread,
can’t look at your mother’s face without seeing it white-lipped and dead.
You’ll feel something similar at thirteen,
lying awake in amber shadows (you still use a nightlight,
not subscribing yet to the salvation of ignorance)
suffocated in equal parts by the way people can break one another
and the irony of existing at all.

Looking back you’re still transfixed by your first kiss
At fourteen during truth or dare at dusk behind a half-
crumbling historical site. You hone your love of contradiction,
betting the Moravians would never guess that their meeting house
would someday be reborn as the place where
your tongue met Dominic Fetter’s, which was too big
but impossibly warm and soft like bubblegum.
At sixteen you get high.
The scope of your existence is as narrow as the creek
where you will negotiate barefoot between rocks as you search
for a glimpse of those iridescent tricks of the eye- fish.

You fall in love somewhere along the way,
you will break each other’s heart at more distinct points.
Almost twenty, you leave on a plane
fourteen hours and a horizon away.
Home dissolves in your wake
but you will still cling to those few months as
a glittering gift; sweet, dense and messy like mochi.
You come to know that he needs you to say it more than
you need it to be true, and how not all loss feels like losing.

When you return
you’ll move away, following through on a threat for the first time.
You hide out in a city of 8.5 million,
dissolving into the rusts of the Harlem skyline.
You learn how solitary a thing freedom can be.

At twenty-one you write poems.

 

 

Villanelle
by Corinne Shearer

Your palms like valleys catch the rain.
These hands turn over empty,
there’s no refrain.

These are the things that remain:
The tenor of your voice and labyrinths for fingerprints,
your palms like valleys that catch the rain.

You waited but I never came,
too preoccupied with speculation, why
there’s no refrain.

You are this thing I scrub out over and over like a stain,
but I’m not one for self-restraint; I visit this place often just to watch
your palms like valleys catching the rain.

It’s not well maintained,
all the houses are overgrown, their insides spilling out across the lawn;
there’s no refrain.

What did I gain–
the blaze of this city pales in comparison to
your palms like valleys that catch the rain.

 

 

______________
Corinne Shearer is a recent BFA graduate from SUNY Purchase. Freelance writer, dancer and choreographer currently based in NYC.

13 May

Poetry: By Ann Schlotzhauer

Guadalquivir, by night

A thin man, bathed in unperturbed night,
Walks across a bridge
Spanning a river older than time
He has gray eyes
Like the sky
Over the ocean
After a storm has only just passed
And he walks, as I watch, hand in hand
With a boundless void in a bright sundress
And he smiles with his slightly crooked teeth
And his slightly too-large nose
As he tucks his arm around her so knowingly
And it pains me to watch but I cannot look away
As he is sucked in by the void
And I know in that instant that it is too late
But is the void to blame?
If it only wished to be near the people with the kind gray eyes
Is the void to blame?
If it warned him of the danger long before this moment
Is the void to blame?
He was thin, with gray eyes set in tanned smile lines
And his nose with that slight hook that he so hated
And the void so loved
And his teeth, once straight, just perfectly crooked
I set his face in my memory
I set it there to stay forever
To commemorate what happened
And now, because the tragedy has already passed,
I can pull my eyes from the bridge
And scanning the indolent river
My eyes alight on each pair of stars
That are commuters rushing home after a too-long day

Pasta Water and Music

You stand in the kitchen cooking
All the windows open
Pushing air from behind me toward you
As I watch you let the pasta boil over
Always the pasta boils over
And you let it
Like a ritual
And I breathe in the sweet air of springtime
But I wish I could smell you too
Over dogwood blossoms and pasta water
And there’s music playing
Because you can’t cook without music
I always forget music
When you’re away
I forget this simple pleasure
And believe I have to live my life in silence
Awaiting your return
I don’t know the song but it’s rhythmic
And interwoven now in the spring air that fights to enter our windows
And all I know
In this moment
Is contentment
I remember all the times before when such happy things hid from me
And all those harder, sharper memories
Make this new life even sweeter
I fill my lungs
To the roots
With this air and this moment
Hoping I can breathe deeply enough to infuse it in my bones
I want to be made of this moment
With pasta water on the stove
And spring air pushing music in to every corner
I want it to shield me from the darkness that I know will come again

Morning Tide

In the morning the tide comes in
And sweeps us away
And we let it
We let it carry us around the world
And back again when the sandwiches are ready
We bathe in the water that has touched all mankind
And returned lovingly to tell the tale
We are one with it all
Because it allows us to be
We are thankful

Guadalquivir, by afternoon

In the afternoons, when our classes were done
When we’d returned from the stone-faced university
And eaten a hearty lunch of fish we never could identify
When the sun became too hot to stay inside
Luring us, like long-lost lovers, to its rays
We’d walk along narrow sidewalks
Always pointed toward the water
Like birds with metal in our noses
Always pointed
We dodged past schoolchildren skipping home in uniform
And we talked so fast
Interweaving air with words
It’s a wonder our lungs kept up
And when almost to the water’s edge
We stopped
Because our trip needed something more
And we debated and argued and weighed pros and cons
But there were always only the two options
Churros con chocolate o helado
And once we’d decided
We’d rush to the nearest
The tingle of metal guiding us there
And we’d fill our hands with treats we’d done so little to earn
And then, finally, the river
Because there’s always been something about masses of water
Something about its slow, steady movement
That makes you believe your own life is marked by progress
That makes you believe worry is unnecessary
And all is as it should be
We’d sit in the shade of gently dancing willows
Then move to the sun then back when the sun offended
And our talking slowed and our breathing slowed
And in those afternoons that stretched longer than any others
All was as it should be

_______________
Ann Schlotzhauer is a Kansas City native currently residing in Wichita, Kansas with a small gray cat. She enjoys creative expression of all kinds and her fiction and poetry can be found in Junto, Foliate Oak, Cardinal Sins, and more. 

22 Apr

Poem: Celebrity Crush by Gabrielle Lee

celebrity crush
by Gabrielle Lee

when the hot boy in the tv show steps forward
and shakes his long, wavy hair i have to ask my friends
is he the love interest? because i don’t get it
his standard of beauty is ugly to me
like ethan craft in lizzie mcguire
i never understood what his fascination was
with his own hair
shaking it every five seconds
like he was freeing it of dirt
after a day at the beach
only they lived in middle america
or some shit

who cares
the point is

i was in love with gordo
the best friend
the one who gets overlooked until the movie
the jewish one
i liked that he cared more about filmmaking
and being a decent friend
and unicycling
and all the other weird things he liked
but didn’t care what anyone else thought about those things
i liked that he hid behind his hair and let it do its thing
and that he was always around to give lizzie a hug
and when i think back on it i never liked most boys on tv

i always thought the girls were prettier
the awkward heroines who tripped over their own words
with braces and freckles and glasses and frizzy hair
their vulnerability
insecurity
confidence
vibrance

and it isn’t until years later that i realize
that my taste in men is limited
to jewish and asian boys
while my taste in women spans everything
and there were plenty of pretty girls on tv
but the boys
just weren’t
there
Author Bio: Gabrielle Lee is a California-based writer and editor. She has a BFA in Dance Choreography and a BA in English from the UC Irvine, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. A past Managing Editor of Willow Springs and now working for the government’s space program, Gabrielle writes and edits by the candle of the night (sometimes literally). Her first novel, COMFORTS WE DESPISE, is forthcoming from Zoozil Media in 2018. Find more of her work on her website, riewrites.weebly.com, or shout at her on The Twitter @yesrielee.

12 Mar

Memory Beauteous-Audio

The following is an audio track for Memory Beauteous in Volume 3, Issue 3

12 Feb

Psychedelic Codeine Mobius Strip

Tim Hatch

i. 

The People’s Republic of Snot 

has, once again, sent an invasion fleet 

into my head 

and I’m tripping 

balls on a bag of shrooms 

because laughing at the news with God 

is the only sensible way 

to ride out a head cold.  I’m wearing 

thirty-dollar socks and I’m pretty sure 

my feet        have an erection.  

My internal organs 

are compressed 

I have weak thumbs 

and a mouthful of disease 

but it’s only five episodes long.  Netflix and Hell 

are kind of the same thing, 

kind of perfect on a cold day, but I want 

to go outside, run        jump        ride a bike 

eat mystery meat on a stick.  The future was 

supposed to be flying cars and teleportation, 

not bagging our own groceries and televisions 

that tweet.  #bullshit

ii.

I stood in front of a 7-Eleven 

without my penis 

selling a wide variety of pork pie hats 

(as you do).  

My mother crouched nearby 

in the underbrush 

blood stringing off her chin 

eating a sable.  

iii.

Glossy, early-morning 

memories of cheating 

on women.  I wish 

I could blame it on being younger.  

Where on earth is 6am?

iv.

      in my mind in the mirror

                my beard says

   walt whitman       hey man, got any change?

v.

Write to Congress!  Demand they solve

all 32,000 FreeCell games!  

Demand they recognize orange 

as a primary color!  Is there any problem 

            America 

         can’t solve?

vi.

Wish I still had my old Pee Chee 

folders.  The ones with the right 

colors (dried blood on goldenrod).  

vii.

Pulling rainbows out of my under-

wear, a look of mock surprise on my face, routine 

disappointment on my wife’s.  Honey— 

Goddammit.

viii.

Is this really        every week?  

All this        mayhem?  This bombing 

of countries with toys?  To save        face?