Cover Photo: Rob Pettengill/flickr
Rob Pettengill/flickr

The Year of Mercy: Too Far Gone on the California Coast

Misfits, outliers, drifters have always lived by the sea and at the mercy of the elements.


hey buddy, give me a toke,

notdeserves health care.” Even the man who beats his wife. Even the woman who sells her script for pain meds on the street. Judgment can’t have a place in the equation.

fuck you, Rastaman vibration

symptoms of meth use.

What did you learn in school today, dear little girl of mine?Time for pencils, time for books. Time for teacher’s dirty looks.No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks

Oh, mercy, mercy meThings ain’t what they used to be,

Mercy, mercy me, Marvin. What’s this got to do with me?

Toni Mirosevich's new book of stories, Spell Heaven, is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in Spring 2022. The linked stories--about an overlooked community in a crumbling coastal town in the Bay Area--have previously appeared in Catapult, North American Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Toni is the author of six books of poetry and prose and lives with her wife in Pacifica, CA. Learn more on her website,