Category Archives: Wishes

Wish # 31: Xarkos

At first i was going to wish — w/great benevolence, of course — that one of the oldest dreams of everyman be fulfilled: that everyone be granted immortality. >;) But then i figured depriving everyone else of a final death wish would be too heavy-handed even for me… my real wish is that any deathwish which would ultimately render another less fortunate than s/he already is, be ignored for that person ; in essence passing the language act into cosmic law.

Xarkos writes mostly music, but throws in the occasional poem and short story so he can get free wine at readings. he also likes to confuse people by mixing metaphors in foreign languages.

Wish #30: Kathy Fish

When you get sick or when you’re hurting, there’s this place you can go to and get inside this box. Let’s call it the Diagnosis Box. And you don’t even have to take off your clothes or wear a paper gown; you are not made to put your feet up in stirrups, or bend over or drink something godawful. You just step inside the Diagnosis Box wearing your jeans or your business suit if you’re on your lunch hour and you stand with your hands on your hips and your legs spread like a freaking superhero.

The box has glass sides and outside the box is a really smart doctor, who has the knowledge of all medicine, its specialties and subspecialties and more than a working knowledge of the human mind and heart. This is the only doctor and the only test you will need. The doc walks around the box and sees all of your inner workings. He can spot, instantly, a blockage or a tumor or a malfunction and knows instantly how to cure it.

And everything can be cured.

You come out of the box, and the doctor, in a sweeping gesture, shows you a table full of desserts with little placards in front of them. In front of the coconut pie is a placard that reads “pernicious anemia” and in front of the triple layer red velvet cake there’s a placard that reads “vertigo.” And so on. The more dire your illness the higher number of desserts you are prescribed. And that’s it. Everyone leaves the Diagnosis Box healthy, happy, and sugar-filled.

Kathy Fish’s extraordinary collection of short fiction, Wild Life, is available from Matter Press.

Wish #29: John Minichillo

“Cartoon Physics”

Just before I succumbed to the long sleep, I’d wish for cartoon physics…so running off the cliff leaves us hanging until we look down, and falling we whistle in the air; so smells are visible in wavy lines and cars whoosh past with speed lines; so cats are foiled in their scheming and mice are smart; so hunters talk like babies and all guns are springloaded with signs that say “Bang!”; so Amazon is replaced by the mail-order monopoly ACME, which doesn’t ship with cardboard boxes but massive pine crates; so strapping oneself to an enormous firecracker seems like a good idea at the time, as does catapulting a boulder, as does boarding up the windows and doors before checking to see who else might be inside. And whenever we’re lost it will be because we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. And then, moments after I’m buried, I will be able to dig myself back out in a fury like The Tasmanian Devil, and declare, “Why you put me in the cold, cold gound?!”


John Minichillo wrote The Snow Whale, and you need to read it.

Wish # 28: Ravi Mangla

Hope this works:

My wish is for a political system free of politics, in which decisions are made out of reverence for human life and awe of the natural world around us.

Ravi Mangla’s fiction is more human than human.

Wish #27: Mike Meginnis

I have taken a long time to write this because I have been trying to think of something that would sound more sincere and less embarrassing. But there is only one wish worth making, as I see it, only one thing to ask for: let everyone have enough. Begin with their material needs. Give them enough food, enough shelter, enough money, enough art. Connect them all to the Internet. Then see to their softer requirements: Enough love. Enough friends. Enough sex. A complete wikipedia in all of their languages.


I do not have to make a trade because it is a wish but perhaps I, perversely, want to make one anyway: that no one will have too much more than enough. That many of us will have much, much less.


Mike Meginnis does this sort of thing.

Wish # 26: Cloud Spurlock

negative calorie swiss milk chocolate.

Cloud writes.

Wish # 25: Matt Pinney

Budweiser goes under.

Matt Pinney makes art. And beer.

Wish # 24: Tara Dwyer

Stick me on a body farm. Preferably with some clothing. Underpants at the very least. I’d like to be left in a somewhat shady area, under a tall tree or a tarp. Instead of bare dirt, leave me on something: grass, a stained mattress, flattened cardboard. Maybe something to mock a serial killer’s dump site. I don’t mind if my body is used to study bug infiltration, like how maggots can help predict time. I’m not okay with my body being used to study wild animal predatation and bone/body scatter, so maybe my rest site could be fenced. If the study is lacking in this arena, my body could go into a large bag. Maybe a shallow body of water. If need be, I’m okay with ligatures around my ankles and wrists, but not my neck. No post mortum cutting or burning, if possible. Post mortum bone breaking is okay. Pose me as needed to help study rigor mortis, just not face down, please. When this is all done, let me go to bones there and learn as it all happens.

Tara Dwyer will hold your hand when you get your  bum tattooed.

Wish # 23: Tracy Rae Bowling

My wish would be for an end to “acts of God.” No earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, droughts, plagues; no day of judgment. I should be torn about this, because logically I know that these kinds of upheavals made our world in the first place and have made it what it is for us in key ways–we wouldn’t have mountains, valleys, bay cities, or painted deserts without them. I found out this week that natural disasters have preserved cultures; there’s an ancient stepwell in India that has been kept in perfect condition because of a mudslide. This stepwell is remarkable; it’s a work of art. But I think that in my last moments I would be a deeply sentimental, single-minded person, and that I would make excessive gestures to prove, once and for all, how much I loved people the whole time I was here (to make up for times where I didn’t as well as I should). If I could, I think I would trade all the world’s art and beauty yet to come for some guaranteed safety and habitat preservation for its people. Then I’d have to be quick about dying, so I wouldn’t have to think about any less enchanting consequences.

Tracy Rae Bowling co-edits Uncanny Valley. She lives in Iowa City.

Wish # 22: Molly Gaudry

No more cynics, ever.

Only optimism.


Molly Gaudry is herself, then