As the U.S. lurches toward the tail end of 2020 and a referendum to define the next four years (yes, yes, every election is important, but this one has us wanting to snap that “I Voted” sticker into a bicep tattoo), we here at Rabid Oak would like to light the mask-less effigy with these 27 works of phosphorous sulfide and potassium chlorate, these words of strike-anywhere match heads.

May these 18 authors keep you lit through the night, and remember: every story is a ghost story if the verbs appear in past tense.


Ken Anderson: “Swim at Your Own Risk” and “Haiku Like You”

Jace Einfeldt: “Benihana”

Camille Ferguson: “funeral flowers,” “We Are Nowhere and It’s Now,” and “Molly”

Valerie Frost: “A Tale of Two Births”

Naoise Gale: “Doctor, Doctor”

Sophia Georghiou: “Dinner Party” and “Heathrow is the sexiest airport”

Anita Goveas: “I want, I need”

Rebecca Harrison: “Against the Winds”

Stella Hayes: “Ode to Strunk and White”

Nate Hoil: “Zoot Suit Zombies,” “Feelings Toward Events and Other Experiences,” and “XXXXX”

D.R. James: “Variations in Present Perfect Continuous”

Craig Kittner: “makers of fine labels since 1915,” “that summer it seemed,” and “signal-to-noise ratio”

Courtney LeBlanc: “How to Find Joy During a Pandemic”

Halim Madi: “What song do you listen to when you want to remember a certain time in your life?”

James Miller: “Perry & Joe’s Uranium Sitting Pavilion”

Will Musgrove: “The Animals Among Us”

Carson Pytell: “Regret”

Ajise Vincent: “the search for cadavers of father’s ghost” and “answers”