Analog Body in a Digital World: What Have You Got to Lose?

When the weather is cooperative, I eat breakfast on the porch in front of my apartment. My nervous system is soothed in the presence of squirrels scampering, hummingbirds zipping around my neighbor’s pear tree, and bumblebees bobbing on jasmine blossoms, heavy with pollen. From my perch, I exchange greetings with neighbors as they garden, walk dogs, and push strollers down the street. This time is precious because I make sure it happens before I’ve plugged in to the digital realm. I forestall that moment as long as I can, because the instant I call up the internet, my energy shifts, my effortless calm evaporates, and I am hooked into a world that, for all its many benefits, is designed to manipulate and addict me.

You don’t need me to sound the alarm about your relationship with digital devices. Like the rest of us, you were seduced down the rabbit hole of perpetual connection before you knew it was a bottomless pit. Now you’re used to it. It’s comfy. And all your friends are here. But you’re uneasy, because part of you knows you’ve cut a deal with the devil. This is the nature of addiction. In exchange for a benefit — relaxation, pleasure, stimulation, instant access — we give up some measure of control over our lives. The fact of addiction is indisputable. Less obvious are the long-term neurological consequences of our addictive behavior. Read More



The Cost of My Badassery

by Lisa Martinovic

The wind is our enemy. Open water swimmers know this. We know it down to our marrow, the last refuge of warmth in a body as it descends into hypothermia. Scanning the shoreline on this bleak February afternoon I can think of little else. Rain clouds blot out the sun and the already sharp winds bite through my skin like shark’s teeth.

And I’m going out alone.

The seaweed-strewn beach is deserted but for a young couple sitting on a piece of driftwood, swaddled in blankets and huddled close, heads bowed into the wind. I unload my backpack on the retaining wall and gear up. It doesn’t take long because I’m “swimming skins,” meaning no wetsuit. Two neoprene caps and a thin Lycra swimsuit are my only armor against the triple threat of cold, wet, and wind.

Intense weather makes for great photos so the camera is coming with, secured to my forehead. I drop my car keys into a small plastic fanny pack and cinch it around my waist. Even if someone were to steal everything down to my flip-flops — which happened to friends last year — I’d still be able to make it to the lifesaving warmth of my car before mild hypothermia turned critical.
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Flash Fiction

Lila’s Recyclables

nooseNobody thought to recycle rags anymore. Nobody dared. But Lila was different. Her commitment to the old ways was unwavering.

So door to door or she went, in neighborhoods flush and parched, asking people for their rags. Clothes too ratty for the Goodwill, too thin for kitchen floor scrubbery.

People were surprised, to be sure, but Lila was earnest to the point of beguiling, and so they searched their closets until they found something, anything, to drop into her little wicker basket.

Upon receiving each gift, Lila clapped gaily and did a little dance on the giver’s front porch.

Naturally the police were called in.
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Featured Video

A Snake in the Sand


Awash in the Aftermath of a Telephonic Tryst

it’s two in the afternoon
you’re gone now
and I’m lying in bed
rolling in the high of you
my eyelids heavy
tender places swollen

I haven’t had a drink in years
but in this moment I am drunk
and dizzy from our dance
I’d be reeling
if I could stand
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Swimming in the Bay

Visual Art

Doubloons Sampler



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Improv Scenes

Naked in the Wilderness

An Oklahoma virgin is entranced by a clipboard-wielding ranger with a very big belt buckle in this improvised scene by Betsy Morris and Lisa Martinovic.