With a beer in one tentacle and a book in another, Paper Darts is taking back the lit scene, one lame pen and quill metaphor at a time.

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Sitspo Week: Recommended Reading

Hey, look at that! It's January and it's cold outside. Love it or hate it, the cold is a perfect reason to snuggle up on your couch, squish your blanket and maybe a cat, and let this literature warm the cockles of your heart.

Fiction: Jason Heller

The daily coffee shop line gets retroactively interesting.

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Coffee drinkers

Fiction: Christine Friedlander

A car crash victim and a dead neighbor's icy driveway: they both need your help.

Reading time: 9 minutes
Recommended for: Heroes

Fiction: Laura Shadler 

Getting over an ex might be a little like recovering from Agoraphobia. 

Reading time: 27 minutes
Recommended for: The brave

Poetry: Samiah Haque

Snow is the most romantic backdrop of them all.

Reading time: 30 seconds
Recommended for: Friends and lovers

Poetry: Kimberly Ann Southwick

Texas has frozen over.

Reading time: 48 seconds
Recommended for: Texans 

Fiction: Eric Magnuson

On top of a frozen lake is a terrible place to be when you're in love.

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Young lovers


Catch Up on Simon Jacobs' Exclusive Series: MASTERWORKS

Simon Jacobs had an idea for a recurring series: flash fiction pieces in which the characters reenact famous works of art. Being a home for art and lit to meet and clash and mix, Paper Darts couldn't say no.

Welcome to MASTERWORKS. This serialized content is delivered exclusively to Paper Darts e-news subscribers each month. If you don't want to miss out on the next one, sign up for the Paper Darts e-news.

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Pseudo-witches 

I am doing something lewd with a grape. You've created two enormous papier-mâché blueberries molded on oversized party balloons that we're meant to put over our heads and stumble blindly around in—there are no eye-holes and absolutely no light gets in.

We don the giant fruit heads and try to have sex on the kitchen table. In addition to being blind, I can barely breathe and sweat horribly, and our spherical shells knock dumbly against each other, forcing our necks into awkward and unfortunate angles. By the time our relevant naked parts find each other, we're long past feeling amorous. We carry it out with a kind of vague artistic stoicism—hardly a match for the old Flemish master—and when we're both depleted I rip my fruit head off with a strong whiff of glue and craft-hour and say something grandiose like, "The world's first couple," but you can't hear anything through the papier-mâché. You cock your blueberry to one side (the paint is flaking off where mine kept colliding with it) like, "What?"

Keep reading…


Reading time: 4 minutes
Recommended for: Spookmeisters 

Samhain is drawing near. You find the photos I have hidden on the computer. "I see you're into group stuff now," you say, the disgust evident in your voice. "This is certainly…a discovery."

 I don't have even a glimmer of response—sometimes, things just get rude—but you don't mention it again, and I spend a quiet forty-eight hours listening to the Suspiriasoundtrack and working on my woolly bats and arcane twig constructions in my room; it's harmless spookmeister stuff, not everything needs to be canonical.

Keep reading…

Reading time: 2 minutes
Recommended for: Ritualists 

I am stately as fuck.

I stand absolutely still, the way most inanimate objects do, bracing myself for something to happen while praying that it won't. My new confines fit me like a second skin, and my eyes strain constantly to resolve the darkness into anything concrete. Dust settles over me.

They are moving down the hallway. Inches away from my precious temple, spike heels and combat boots creak across the floor, a search party combing the depths of the inverted tower where I once lived.

Keep reading…


Gluttony Week: Recommended Reading

Tis the season to get your om nom on. Whether you're reheating Thanksgiving leftovers or planning what to cook for your upcoming holiday party, you've got food on the brain and (hopefully) in your tummy. Here's some food-focused literature to snack on between meals.

Poetry: Kaitlyn Tiffany

It's hard out there for a Vitamin C deficient smoker.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Spores

Poetry: Lauren Shimulunas

Batman has been feeling a little down lately. Chinese food helps.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Heroes

Poetry: Christianna Fritz

After all, it might taste like chicken. It might taste better than chicken.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Cat people

Poetry: Gina Keicher

Ever get the feeling there's an anvil in your chest? Or is that just this gal?

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Churchgoers

Poetry: John Sierpinksi

The upside of a plain supper is that it probably won't make you sick.

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Sorters


Ghost Stories Week: Recommended Reading

If you're looking for bone-chilling tales of horror, you…won't find them here. You will find stories ranging from funny to creepy, though, and they do all feature ghosts. We didn't make that part up.

Poetry: Ben Clark and Colin Winnette

"Don’t let them out." When has anyone ever listened to that? 

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Grandfathers

Fiction: Wendy Wimmer

Some believed the whole island was haunted, stem to stern.

Reading time: 4 minutes
Recommended for: Skeletons

Fiction: Mark Manner

I ain't a ghost, said the ghost. I'm here to rob you, you dumb motherfucker.

Reading time: 10 minutes
Recommended for: Spiders

Poetry: Molly Jean Bennett

The sisters are afraid of men, but not ghosts. #yesallwomen

Reading time: 1 minute
Recommended for: Boogeymen

Fiction: Ryan Bradford

This story contains numerous, unintelligible sounds. Thankfully, there's a guide at the beginning. COOOWOOSHAROOAGH!

Reading time: 3 minutes
Recommended for: Severed heads


Darkness Thrashing Into Light: Interview with Carl Dimitri

Maria Anderson

Axial Age

Carl Dimitri is a painter living in Providence.

Maria Anderson: How would you describe your process at the moment? Has it changed over the years?

Carl Dimitri: It was always like a suicide mission in the early days. I've had to learn patience over the years. Lately I've gotten better at waiting and seeing. 

Objet Petite A

MA: What is most important to you in your work? Where do you make compromises, and where do you adhere to instinct without shifting?

CD: I'm always aiming to be true. I figure if I can be true then I'm making no compromises. But every once in a while I find myself seeking to please some imaginary audience. I am secretly asking myself, will they like this? At that point I'm appealing to an external authority and I'm dead.

I feel like I run on instinct at all times in the studio. If the rational mind enters into it, I am dead.

Cosmic Fox

MA: Your work has a lot to do with repetition and multiplicity. You said you were trying to represent in some way the global deaths that are occurring. How would you frame the work you're doing now?

CD: I've been occupied with climate change and mass extinction of species on the one hand, and the possibility of a mass awakening on the other. An awakening of this kind would take place at the level of consciousness. All things are connected at this level. This is where the light enters, yes? It seems like all the work right now revolves around these ideas.


MA: You also mentioned you were going to spend the summer trying to reach another level, or a different level, in your work. How do you go about doing this?

CD: Most of it depends on just showing up and being there as much as possible. I have to be tough and a lunatic. I need a kind of faith and I have to be fearless. I can't go in there and be tentative. 

Ellington Live in London

MA: You work out of a really interesting place in Providence. Do you happen to know the history of the building or that group of buildings? What is it like working in your studio in the summer? What's the feel that you get from this place, and how do you think it fits in to the painting you're doing?

CD: It's incredibly hot in there in the summer and incredibly cold in the winter. They used to make helicopters in there in the 1940s and '50s. There's a perpetual gas leak in there now. I like the people there and there are dogs and wild cats. It's a filthy monastery. A train rolls by every few hours. Sometimes the heat and cold stop you in your tracks, but mostly it's just right.

Colony Collapse

MA: Could you explain the thing you were telling me about the changing of the pole star? And the point in time we're at right now, that some believe means we're about to enter a Golden Age?

CD: From what I understand, Polaris, or the North Star, is our present pole star, and we may be transitioning to a new pole star called Vega. There is also talk that we are moving out of the Age of Pisces and into the Age of Aquarius. This is all bad science, but I'm just interested in the idea that we may be stumbling upon a new world age.

There are traditions in Eastern and Greek philosophy that speak of world ages, which run from the golden to the silver, bronze and iron. The last Golden Age would have existed in pre-history. We have no record of it, only the myths that reflect it. It's cyclical. So if we are now at the end of an Iron Age, with darkness thrashing about and the planet in ecological crisis, then we are also on the brink of a Golden Age. All of this is bound up in myth. But I feel like there's some wisdom in it that transcends politics and organized money. 


MA: Which contemporary artists are you most excited about? What about old masters you continue returning to? 

CD: For living artists, I like Bjarne Melgaard, Rosson Crow, Julie Mehretu, and Scooter LaForge. And I love nearly all of the old greats: e.g., Beuys, Warhol, Twombly, Matisse, Cezanne, etc. I've recently been looking at Giotto and Piero della Francesca, and am kind of amazed at their rawness. 


Normcore Week: Recommended Reading

This New York Fashion Week, let's imitate the masses to show how unlike the masses we are. Even with five years of Paper Darts content to draw on, it's almost impossible to find pieces that accurately reflect the self-aware irony needed to be truly normcore. What we have here are stories of average people in average attire. And if you think about it, is there anything more enviably normal than not quite getting it?


On being tested by poorly socialized children while wearing a safari vest.

Reading time: 2 minutes
Recommended for: Snooze abusers


Longing for a life with an unbroken family, free from a stupid half-sister.

Reading time: 4 minutes
Recommended for: Healers


A Hawaiian shirt communicates a strong interest in partying.

Reading time: 4 minutes
Recommended for: Narcissists


A roller rink ties together the stories of lovers, dreamers, and creeps.

Reading time: 6 minutes
Recommended for: Nostalgists


Allen does it more for the girls he supervises and less for his wife.

Reading time: 2 minutes
Recommended for: Schmoozers


Free Ideas: Literary Roller Derby Names

Margaret Splatwood

Malice Walker

hell hooks

Zadie Smithereens

Cockamamie Tan

Sylvia Wrath

Judy Kablume

Danielle Steel*

Thumpa Lahiri

Stony Morrison

*If it's already hardcore, don't fix it.

See also: Actual registered roller derby names that are literary puns