Posts Categorized: Indiana Review Online: an Undergraduate Project

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IR Online Poetry: “Liquid Killer Queen” by John M. Brown

“Liquid Killer Queen

by John M. Brown

A whiff to sharpen
your senses,
a taste to blur
them to bliss.

Your senses
forget the ugly, banish
them to bliss.
It’s late and you should be sleeping.

Forget the ugly, banish
with this, my liquid killer queen.
It’s late; why aren’t you sleeping?
Now dip through the surface of sleep.

This, my liquid killer queen,
slips past dry lips and
dips through the surface of sleep
to shatter sharp cognizance.

Slip past dry lips;
it’s easiest when it takes only this
to shatter sharp cognizance.
Crush bodies with Holy Hits.

Easiest when it takes only this—
a whiff to sharpen your senses.
Crush bodies with Holy Hits;
learn the taste to blur them to bliss.


John M. Brown, a native of Southern Illinois, is a senior at Eastern Illinois University studying creative and professional writing. This is his first publication.


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IR Online Poetry: “The Talking Chalk” by Isabella Escalante

“The Talking Chalk

by Isabella Escalante

“Druble drow old rows,”
she drones, pointing her mono-nose
towards the blackboard
She picks up chalk,
and skrit-skrat-scratches across
so hard and so fast that the chalk screams,
“bloody murder!”

He prays to his chalk lord,
holy god of chalk, wailing
“Oh, god, please,
just let me the fuck out!
I have dreams of scribbles, trouble, and fresh pavement
that I need to live!”

It’s all in vain, though
He squeaks to the numb and the glazed,
the dumb and the blazed,
who watch him
get shaved down
to lesser versions of himself

Soon the chalk will lose his spunk,
and very soon after that,
he will be gone—
Reduced to insentient chalk dust
settled around the place he hated most


Isabella Escalante is a junior at the University of California Santa Cruz.


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IR Online Poetry: “The Garden” by W.S. Brewbaker

“The Garden

by W.S. Brewbaker

Even the flowers have grown stale,
darling, the grass cheap and flimsy.
The trees are a sham and the leaves
just dust. What I’m trying to say is
I’ve left the back door unlocked
and, should you come home,
I’ll be upstairs, watering
the cut hydrangeas, waiting.


W.S. Brewbaker is a 3rd-year student at the University of Virginia. He was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gyroscope Review, After Happy Hour Review, and Lost Coast Review, among others.


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IR Online Fiction: “The Good Ones Grow With You” by Katie Harrs

“The Good Ones Grow With You”

by Katie Harrs

The children of Myrtle Avenue believed that Miriam Merthyr was a witch. Sometimes she caught them watching her with wide eyes through the gaps in the fence. They hurried when they passed her house on the way to school, even crossing to the other side of the street. That she didn’t mind; it kept them out of her garden. She did, however, mind hearing the stories the children told each other around campfires and the ditties they sang while jumping rope. She had, on more than one occasion, seen them playing a game next door in which that horrible little Danny child played ‘Miriam the Witch’ by chasing and attempting to eat the others. Read more…

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IR Online Fiction: “The Little Chicken” by Ellen Goff

“The Little Chicken”

by Ellen Goff

No fewer than six chicks came into the world on Jo’s birthday.

Jo would admit she was disappointed. She was turning seven, so she should have gotten seven chickens. But then she reminded herself that hatched eggs were most definitely a gift from God and that she shouldn’t be picky. Maybe God had gotten tired when he got to seven. He had rested on the seventh day anyway. Read more…