Size / / /

Ladders (Product Warning)

It is not advised

that you attempt

an additional step

after reaching the top

of this stepladder.

People have been known to do so

and stumbled,

landing on the moon.

Others have been attacked

by particularly territorial

and predatory flocks of clouds.

Still others have taken this ill-advised step

and found themselves mysteriously

enlisted in a V formation of Canadian geese;

and, almost before they knew it,

were stranded in the Caribbean

without a passport

or even a Cayman Islands bank account

and suffering from extremely sore arms.


Spitwad Hall of Fame

Here's the one that hit the teacher

when his back was turned at the blackboard.

Here's the one that changed

a potential girlfriend's mind

about going out with you.

Here's the one with Elvis's profile.

Here's the largest one in existence.

Here's the smallest.

Here's the exit

for those who came in

by mistake.


The Ghostly Barber Shop

Since hair is rumored to grow after death,

there is also said to be

a certain barber shop

where, after midnight,

the dead congregate for a trim.

The barber, cold fingers still

fastened to his clippers,

emerges from sleep in the mirror

and takes them in order

each number came up.

Hair dissolves like fog

as it touches the linoleum floor.

Before daylight, these return to their graves,

bringing the good news of a new image

to their particular bodies.

In the dark, they embrace

who they used to be.




Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
20 Jan 2020

Corey slipped his hand into the puppet’s back, like he had done many times with the doctor who made him talk about Michael and bathtubs and redness. His breath and stomach squeezed whenever he reached into dark, invisible places.
By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Justin C. Key's “One Hand in the Coffin.”
But I thought of apple skin clinging to a curve, yet unshaped by apple-sorcery.
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jessica P. Wick's “Sap and Superstition.”
I love the idea of representing folk stories and showcasing the culture of my country in a different way.
There’s this emphasis on the impact we have on the world, that I saw in a lot of these stories.
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
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Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
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