Painting The Bedroom To Keep Yourself Original
By Nick Ostdick, Sept 9, 2006
You have to understand one thing about Grace Donnellson: she’s a modern girl.
She gets up at seven every morning and puts on her two piece suit, the pinstripes on the pants and jacket perfectly aligned with each other, running down to her black bargain bin pumps. She grabs her brown leather brief case, the one all her colleagues have, that she bought because it made her look professional but deep down it was because she loved the way it smelled, picking up a protein drink on her way out the door, really wishing she called in sick to go to the beach
... (more)

From the Editor
By Mike Smith, Nov 3, 2006
Welcome back, decomP fans. Before you dig into your Thanksgiving feast, gather around your computer screens and check out this month's offering.  We bring you new fiction by Chicago's own Mr. Nick Ostdick (see left), of RAGAD fame.  We bring you a new review by Jason Jordan (see right), of Powering the Devil's Circus fame.  This month, he's doing Crane's When the Messenger is Hot.  The poetry section (below) is pleased to welcome all new poets to our family, including San Francisco's Christa Picciuto, England's Christopher Major, and Michele McDannold, out of rural Illinois.  You'll also notice that we've thrown in an "image poem" from returning decomP contributor Jeff Crouch to spice things up a bit.  Hell, this is the holidays.  Announcements:  If you are interested in being in the best of decomP book, submit to the site. If you're already "one of us," show some support and donate some funds via the PayPal button at the bottom of this page on the right.  Also help promote our little enterprise through our fairly new MySpace page or by going door-to-door in your neighborhood.  Enjoy, and e-mail us with your thoughts, comments, and submissions.

A Review of Crane's When the Messenger is Hot (2003)
By Jason Jordan, Oct 30, 2006
It’s heartening to see a large, mainstream press – in this case, Little, Brown and Company – take a chance with not only an experimental author, but a collection, which, typically, is a tougher sell than a full-length novel.  Crane’s When the Messenger is Hot is, as said, a collection of experimental short stories that touch on a variety of topics.  All in all, it’s a pretty good read, though not quite as fulfilling as I originally hoped it would be.  From dating to drinking to death, the Chicago-based writer continually blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction... (more)

Train wrecks
By Christa Picciuto, Oct 4, 2006
The minute hand snapped -
pressure built under a magnifying glass
like no one could predict
a near-by collapse [at epileptic speed].
I watched her step over the cracks
She didn't often stray behind
But superstition allowed the lag.
Ticket stubs scarred by
the promises of thumbtacks;
Hanged on the walls
to consume any willing spectator's time.
Numbers and Letters
Remind me in which seat I sat
On every train wreck.
Point A interrupted by Point B.
I always knew I was getting nowhere fast.
I counted all the children
Playing in the weeds below the tracks
But their faces were blurred
By my vessel's velocity.

Christa Picciuto lives near San Francisco, California. She has pursued poetry with a great deal of personal interest and, of course, with interest in the outsider's opinion.

Shelf Life
By Christopher Major, Sept 24, 2006
This climate always
ensures row after row
just bursting to be picked.
I know some use chemicals,
but honestly,
not here.
It's nothing,
they bruise so easily;
look, another bunch,
go on ,
have one.

What ?
Spoil ?

If it makes
you feel better-
bloody spoil her
if you want......................

Christopher Major lives in Staffordshire, England, where he is training to be a psychiatric nurse. His poems have appeared in many UK print magazines, including Pennine Platform, Outposts, Poetry Monthly, and Poetry Nottingham. His poetry chapbook can be accessed at here.

By Jeff Crouch, Aug 23, 2006

All we know about Jeff is that he lives in Grand Prairie, TX.

You Laugh At Rumble Bees
By Michele McDannold, Oct 7, 2006
It’s not hard to skip the meals,
shuttle around with caffeine,
but today there’s a window shop
of sweet rolls and honey buns
scrooge counts the saccharin drops.

Throwing a rock in the beehive,
it’s the sound I hear under this
overpass, over and over again.

You laugh at the rumble of bees
when the tables are empty,
no humans chewing foods,
no one to bring you the smell,
or remind you of the texture.

You can almost forget the way
your lips have become chapped,
cracked —

The impression is worn away,
a sensation ground out to grit,
such flippant thoughts as yourself.

These abstentions make you impotent.
You can’t taste the snot that rolls down
into your mouth at instant intervals
from that head cold you developed.

The tears, though . . .
. . . you can almost feel
the salt on your tongue.
I mean, feel it.

You want to wrap your tongue around it,
covet the thing, hide it,
and you never really knew what
bittersweet tasted like till just now,

as you remind yourself—
every experience has its

Michele McDannold lives in rural Illinois. She believes in... The String Theory, all lights should be blue, and chaos is the only way to get things straight. Her poetry has been published with The Indite Circle, Lunatic Chameleon, Zygote in My Coffee and elsewhere.