TOM BALL, Cofounder & Senior Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Globetrotting Tom Ball has been chased out of more countries than he can remember visiting. A fugitive on the lam with an archaeology degree, he spends his days hiding under rocks writing fiction and other junk for his devoted readers here on Earth and also Mars. His real name is Tom Ball. He stills resides in the body he was born in. Tom has the final say on who gets published so you know what name to give the hit man if you don’t. For a complete listing of his books go to https://tomballbooks.com
CHARLES PINCH, Cofounder & Senior Editor (email@example.com)
You just know any dude whose name is a noun and a verb will end up being an editor at some literary hell hole. Writing before he was walking, editing before he was talking, Charles sees himself as an infant prodigy. Other people just see him as an infant. He holds in one of his three hands a double major in fine arts and philosophy and has published all kinds of fiction and other crap you better f***ing read if you want to get published here.
JOEY CRUSE, Fiction Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Joey Cruse writes, edits, and paints…poorly. Having recently gotten his masters in composition and rhetoric, he now wanders aimlessly through New Orleans looking for jobs that require words and/or provide words that need less words in them. He doesn’t like to exercise and is not fond of most people – apart from you, he may like you. Stay golden, pony girls and boys - it’s a hot one inside…(!)
HEZEKIAH SCRETCH, Poetry Editor (email@example.com)
Poetry editor Hezekiah comes with a wealth of experience gained from panhandling. When he isn’t hexing ammeters, he’s writing blank verse, which, despite his efforts turns out to be pretty much blank. A devout misogynist who failed spectacularly at charm school, he despises formal education, the likes of which granted him a PhD in comparative lit. Is he Man or Myth? Mandrake or Mephistophles?
JOHN SULLIVAN, Drama Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
John ran out of fingers (and toes) counting the number of theatrical projects he's either founded, curated or written. A five star playwright who lives in the lone star state, he brings with him a talent as big as Texas. So what's a long on experience literary longhorn like this doing as Drama Editor on a Canuck zine? Improving it, that's what! Who wouldn't yippie caye having this radical straight shooter in the saddle!
JOEY SCARFONE, Contributing Editor (email@example.com)
A self-proclaimed jaded dinosaur, Joey’s greatest fear is that a comet is going to crash down on Vancouver Island creating a massive cloud that wipes out all the other computer challenged dinosaurs ....it's happened before. Writing is the cheapest form of therapy he can find. Not knowing how to punctuate properly he simply avoids it claiming....”you don't need a newspaper when the writing's on the wall”. He has a passion for art and music and is currently learning Christmas carols on the penny whistle. His triple X-Rated bio is due to be released as soon as two Supreme Court justices kick the bucket.
RICHARD WANG, Junior Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Richard is a polymath who makes the rest of us feel inferior which explains why we're all in therapy. He has authored graphic novels, directs films (his own and others) while trying to remember he's also an engineer and speaks a couple languages none of us understand. At this moment he's drafting his Nobel Prize acceptance speech on a napkin. Oh yeah, he's also a napkin designer.
ROBERT QUEHL, Junior Editor (email@example.com)
Rob is the voice of sanity which is why the rest of us have trouble comprehending him. Rob is the rock on the shore who steadfastly watches us drown after warning us we can’t swim. (Hey Rob! Help!) Rob is the light in the room after the bulb kicks out. Rob is the author of a couple of books and also provides professional editing/proofreading services for writers of fiction, nonfiction and academic works.
WELCOME ISSUE 11 APRIL 2022
Слава Україні! Героям слава!
(Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!)
Slava Ukrayini! Heroyam slava! Slava Volodymyr Zelensky!
And personally for Oleg Gadacz. Там, де ти дихаєш, горить вогонь Tam, de ty dykhayesh, horyt’ vohon’. (Where you breathe the fire burns.)
If peace is a dove then freedom is an eagle. And as the mightiest of birds it sees no adversary greater than itself. Freedom is not the meek and cowering softie those who aggressively attack it believe. It’s the bone and blood that rises from our bedrock as a species—innate or acquired? Doesn’t matter. The invasion of the Ukraine is not just a war on sovereignty but an assault on the very sanctity of freedom. The freedom to speak. The freedom to think. The freedom to live. The freedom to BE. When will those who seek to stamp it out ever learn that it is a fire that burns eternal in the loins, the blood and the hearts of the Universe. The need to freely express, the need to dissent, the need to question, oppose and openly criticize are not the urges of the political animal but the imperatives laid down by natural law. If creation was perfection there would be no need for change or evolutionary excursions. But the human experiment is not and never has been fixed. It is dynamic, moving. And to move is to change. And to change means that what was no longer serves what is. Because this is a war against freedom, it is every writer’s war. So write for freedom! Slam the oppressors with the truth! Unshackle the eagle’s bonds and let it soar! Remember: the price paid for every word you write today was somebody’s blood yesterday. And if you can’t write for its preservation and defence: scream. Scream in the name of Freedom! Scream the Holiest of All Chants! Scream in the name of the Holiest of Holies! And bless the flowers within us.
there is a dragon/devouring rocks and men/causing insanity/destroying peaceful lives…please/don’t imprison free souls/don’t change laughter to cries… Rumi
“The image and the word are one.” Hugo Ball. Cabaret Voltaire. 1916
"I am from the USSR. I was born there. And the main phrase from there - from my childhood - was 'fight for peace'. I call on everyone to come out on to the streets and fight for peace... Putin is not Russia… Let’s at least not become a nation of frightened silent people. Of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane tsar," Alexei Navalny, now serving 9 years in prison for speaking the truth.
“Silence has long been confused with neutrality, and has been presented as a necessary condition for humanitarian action. From its beginning, MSF was created in opposition to this assumption. We are not sure that words can always save lives, but we know that silence can certainly kill.” James Orbinski, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)
“The fact that Vladimir Putin exists is all the proof you need that a loving God doesn’t.” Charles to Hezekiah in conversation.
"I am proud of who I am and I am proud of all of those protesting these regressive bills," said Petocz, who's a political strategy associate for nonprofit Gen-Z for Change, in a statement posted on Twitter. "We must let our politicians know that no matter how hard they try, they cannot suppress our identities or silence our voices. Gen Z will not stand idly by as our rights are stripped from us." Flagler Palm Coast High School senior Jack Petocz after distributing Pride flags in Palm Coast, Florida to protest the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation.
“Remember your humanity and forget the rest”. Bertrand Russell
“Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Albert Einstein
‘O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,/Lend me a little tobacco-shop/or install me in any profession/Save this damned profession of writing, where one needs one’s brains all the time.’ Ezra Pound /The Lake Isle (1915)
Welcome to Fleas on the Dog (aka FOTD)! We’re a no frills brown bag online lit rag with only one focus: GOOD WRITING. Our style is ‘HOTS!’—hands off the submissions! We publish every submission exactly as received, so there might be arbitrary spacing, pagination and files containing more than one font. What you won’t find are pretty pictures and fancy layouts. We like this ‘broadsheet’ deconstructionist approach—the printed page as its own aesthetic—inspired by the ‘Beat’ presses and journals because it visually footprints the individual in a way a uniform format does not. We hope you like it too. (In some cases with poetry, Hezekiah’s intro will be found at the bottom, not the top of the page.)
And now for something completely different…
After a couple years heavy duty stint as Drama Editor here at FOTD—Janet Ehrlich Colson is taking a well-earned sabbatical. We can’t thank you enough or love you more for your staggering contribution to our humble rag, J-Fab. We wish you more success that you can handle in your pursuits ahead and want you to know that our door is ever and always open to you!
Janet writes: Thanks so much to you Charles, Tom, and all the other Siphonaptera for letting me be part of this wild and wonderful zine. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned, but I’m hoping to parlay some of those lessons into my own writing, which I've stepped away from for longer than I’d have liked due to the necessities of survival mode. Connecting with Fleas for the past couple years has been one of the best things to come out of the pandemic - and I’ll miss you all. Let’s not miss each other too much. I’m only across a river and an email away. Love JEC
“Our Man in New Orleans”, as Tom Ball calls Fiction Editor Joey Cruse, is now dealing not only with editions but addition! Little Alfie Coen Cruse was born Jan 14th and weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs, 1 oz.! To quote the doting Dad-dude: “Almost three weeks later, he’s at 8lbs 6oz and 22 inches...tall little fucker it seems. He’s a fun little study on the scope of time and one's relevance - a bundle of existential crises.” Hats off to you Daddy-O and koochie-koo to our cutest ever literary godson…We just know his first word is going to be…..”Faulkner!”
We want to welcome the newest siphonaptera on this much maligned mangy mutt—Joey Scarfone, who lives in the Canadian wilds of Vancouver Island with its impenetrable forest of foreign-owned skyscrapers and unaffordable housing redeemed only by a clear blue yonder ripped by ozone sucking contrails that spill their vaporous filth in every direction. Joey will come aboard as Contributing Editor. He brings his own special brand of insanity to everything he writes so you know what to expect. Some of his work is featured in this issue; his column starts with # 12.
We published Chris Dungey’s quietly poignant story ‘Flask’ way back in Issue 2. Since then he has gone on to greater things, namely, the publication of a story collection called We Won’t Be Kissing. Congratulations, Chris! Peter J. Stavros, another Fleas alumnus, reviews the book in this issue—see Nonfiction # 5. Author Curtis Harrell, whose astonishing story ‘Liar’ we published in Issue 9 has just announced the debut of ‘Melpomene’s Garden’—a delicious fritto misto that contains 10 stories, 2 plays and 20 poems. We’re smackin’ our lips, dude. Well done! The book will be forthcoming later this spring from Sleyhouse Publishing.
We’re just eight crazy dudes missing one moxy fox who love the language and fall on our knees at the sound of beautiful words in all their glorious reach and transforming power! At FOTD we share that with each submission we publish, each different from the other, some miles and styles apart but always burning. Nisi optimum et clarissimum. And now we give you ISSUE 11, eleven times the fun and lucky as a 7! And until we meet again in Issue 12 always spread the love and remember: read is the best four letter word in the world. La vita e’ breve; bisogna godersela! Thanks for reading.
Tom, Charles, Joey C., Hezekiah, John, Joey S., Richard and Rob
We are a collective of writers/editors who publish a non profit online magazine for those who are on the avant garde and outside the box.
WHAT WE LIKE
Fiction: We take pretty much everything. Mainstream, traditional, literary, barbaric yawps, flash, metafiction, experimental, sci/fi, speculative, fantasy, mystery, micro, nano, grunge, bad (but it better be good!), modernist, post-modernist, spamlit, kitschlit, retro, metro, outsider, novel excerpts, graphic stories, even comics. Our only criterion is quality.
Poetry: Up to FIVE poems any style. Poems beyond that number will not be read.
Plays: Any style up to five acts. Screenplays: any subject, any length.
Politically incorrect is welcome as long as it doesn’t devolve into invective!!
WHO YOU ARE
Anybody whose engines burn when they write. You can have won literary awards or never published at all. Degrees don’t impress us—it’s your work that matters.
ONLINE PUBLISHING GUIDELINES
Submissions are now open from August 1 to August 31. There is no submission fee. There is no remuneration for work we publish, either, but what the heck, you're going to be famous! We'll get back to you in about 30 days, hopefully sooner. (Why should it take months?)
Fiction: Up to 5000 words. Length is less important than quality. For works longer than 5000 words query the editors about possible serialization.
Submissions should be on a Microsoft Word doc or docx file. Use a sensible font. Double space format. Stuff like grammar and sentence structure is important unless your work deliberately exploits bad grammar and lack of structure. (We can tell the difference.) Include a brief bio with your submission and publishing credits, if any. Send your submission as an e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org (or type in the link in the email address).
Include the genre (fiction, poetry, or play) and title of your work in the subject bar. Simultaneous submissions are okay, just let us know when your work is accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are not okay unless solicited. Submit to only one category per issue. We retain the first rights of your work for a period of three months. After this time rights revert back to the author. If you should republish the story/article please acknowledge that it was first published by www.fleasonthedog.com
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
Unit 101, 500 Westmount Rd. W., Kitchener, ON N2M 5M9, CANADA