Artwork © Eric N. Peterson


Chip from the Brink

“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting…And
then I go on to find out it’s a gay bar. I got scared, ‘Shit,
is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, phew.”

––Aaron Brink, father of Anderson Aldrich, alleged Club Q shooter

“First shots fired against tyranny.”

––California Assemblyman Randy Voepel, grandfather of Anderson
          Aldrich, on the January 6th riots

First time
In years

Dad’s table
feels empty

like a mag
needing reload.

He forgives
Son’s pronouns

They/them sounds
Like child’s legion,

which, of course,
this child is.

Not turning
rainbow traitor

but grinding
family gears,

insurgent mole
digging down

from Lexington
and Concord

all the way
to Colorado.

If bonds
were bubblegum

and prison was
unfiled paper,

to be fly
over dead bird

hastily assembled
for family reunion

assembled for
prodigal/not prodigal,

heads bowed,
ending stock prayer

with whispered
refrain, Good job.


Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine.

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.