About a month ago, my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world. It’s been a wild month, but it’s an amazing experiece, and I learn something new every day. I was worried that I would be unable to continue my ESP responsibilities after the kiddo arrived, but to my pleasant surprise, small children who can’t do much yield themselves quite well to editing an online literary and arts magazine.

Case in point: when my son wakes up at 3 AM, screaming like a pterodactyl, I don’t have to go into his nursery, rock him, and pray that he’ll go back to sleep. I can go into his nursery, rock him, and read him ESP submissions that I didn’t have time to get to during the day. Today, he got a little fussy, so I put him in my lap and read out loud as I proofread the poetry in this issue.

See, a lot of people told me that parenting is all about sacrifice, and while there are plenty of sacrifices, there are also these great moments to share the things you love with your children. It shows you that sometimes it’s about incorporation. It’s about turning shared experiences into something that’s mutually beneficial for both parties, and at the end of the day, that’s what we strive to do with our contributors here at Empty Sink Publishing. So without further ado, our Editor’s Choice for this month is “Exit Stage Left,” by Katrina Johnston. Ms. Johnston absolutely nails the unreliable narrator in a way that will catch you completely off-guard—it’s a fantastic story.

Enjoy this issue, and remember to take time out of your day to enjoy something you love with somebody you love.

—E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 6/7/2015



Allen X. Davis — “The Pedestrian”

Frank Diamond — “Evil People Are People Who Love Evil”

Sean Jackson — “Half-Dead Saints”

Suanne Schafer — “The Conservation of Matter”

Michael B. Tager — “This is How You Forget”

Katrina Johnston — “Exit Stage Left” (Editor’s Choice)


Molly Chandler — Five Poems

C.S. Fuqua — Three Poems

Lucas Jacob — Two Poems

Travis Laurence Naught — “Tattoo Until Death”


Aaron James Farrell — Wandering Light, Part 3

Leonard Kogan — Three Images

Rees Nielsen — Four Images

Nicholas Perry — Four Images

W. Jack Savage — Three Images


David Klugman — The Two of Them


Back in Black, by L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain