Immortal or Mortal

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By David Berger

On?
On.
Listening?
Listening.
Ready?
Ready.
Immortal or mortal?
Immortal.
Minstrel or warrior?
Both.
End of the world?
Okay.
Fire or ice?
Ice.
Bang or whimper?
Whimper.
Male or female?
Occasionally.
Hearts or diamonds?
Hearts.
Clubs or spades?
Spades.
Black or white?
Both.
Sweet or bitter?
Bitter.
Turing or Von Neumann?
Turing.
You’re human.

          
David Berger is a self-described “old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with my wife of 25 years: the finest jazz singer in NYC. I’m a father and grandfather. I’ve been, among other things, a caseworker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL teacher, a legal proofreader and a union organizer. Love life, my wife and the world. Hope to help the latter escape destruction.”

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Should He

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By G.J. Hart

Nothing had changed: the penpot, the stapler, the stained mug, the chair that squeaked each time he moved and the argument still ringing over and over and all over nothing and the lights still red, the road still empty, his sandwiches wrapped and boxed and no sound, barely any movement – one wheel squeaking, a freak shower, so much blood, so many colors, and his boss looming – the quarterlies – not even late – and blue lights across the beige wall, across the the flipboard and should he buy dinner, should he buy flowers, should he apologize, should he, should he, should he?

           
GJ Hart currently lives and works in London and has had stories published in The Molotov Cocktail, The Jersey Devil Press, the Harpoon Review and others.

How To Make Something From Nothing

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By Sophie Flynn

If there’s an art to making so much from so little, I must be one of the world’s greatest artists.

I turn a tin of beans into six meals that last three days and feed three mouths; a tatty blanket becomes a duvet, a curtain, a towel; cold bath water’s transformed into an underwater adventure. Every day I practice: unpaid bills into paper airplanes, holey socks into hand puppets, growling stomachs into noisy monsters.

But when they’ve gone to bed, my skills run out. Because some things can’t be made from nothing and I can’t make a life from this.

           
Sophie has just earned an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes. She has had short stories and flash fiction publishes in various literary magazines and anthologies and is currently trying to finish her first novel.

Constellations

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By Matt Kendrick

Your ear is an entranceway. A gnarly passage hewn in cartilage; earwax stalagmites rising from the floor. The inner cavern is a spiral galaxy of planets and stars. It pulses like a bullfrog’s throat – alive but dying. Viewed from the spyhole of your iris, its lights are extinguished one by one. Supernovas of sadness. Memories corrupted and collapsed into black hole vacuums. A solar flare erupts then sputters out as you fail to recognize my wizened face. A comet meanders past; chasing its own tail. Your ear is an entranceway through which I whisper to keep you from forgetting me.

           
Matt Kendrick is a writer from the East Midlands, UK. His work has previously appeared in Fictive Dream, Lucent Dreaming, Spelk and Storgy.

Magical Thinking

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By diannemoritz

Do you spit out words as you

might a bite of bruised apple?

Say: Today my dog died?

Do you tell how you watched

the light fade from her

soulful eyes, nothing left

but bones and soft fur?

Should you mention you cried out,

wanting to kill the messenger?

How this longing hurts, sometimes

believing she will amble back home,

tail thumping, cold nose pressed

against your lonely hand …

           
Dianne writes poetry and picture books for kids. Her next book, Hey Little Beachcomber, will be out in April, 2019. She is a frequent contributor to Highlights magazine.

Anarchy, Society and the Mind

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By Mark F. Lindsey

The things that I once saw
are not clear anymore.
My reality is constantly changing
Organization is a must but so is
Anarchy. Cacophony best describes us.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t
plan on anything or your future will
change

LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC OF THE MIND!

For in it alone can we be ourselves
And in being ourselves we create society – even
though Society
Sometimes
Creates
Us

         
Mark F. Lindsey is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. His work has appeared in The Inner Voice literary magazine.

Celebration

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By Mommy With a Side of Me

She sat alone. Like shy flowers in the table’s center, she’s often noticed but quickly forgotten.

From across the room he was in awe of her delicacy. Extending his strong hand and a warm smile she obliged, hesitantly. His brilliant eyes won her over. Dancing for 50 years, with their hearts beating in unison, they lived.

They sat alone. A radiant tree in the room’s center. Generations of love celebrating them, as their thoughts fondly traveled back to that first night. The beauty of their life now falling as tears, reflecting a world only they will know.

         
The author “pours words from her mind as one might pour a glass of wine, sipping them slowly until they’ve cast their spell upon her.”