By Holly Day
(Originally published November 21, 2017)
The parts of my childhood I can remember
are disjointed, unsuited for a house
or a school or a world
made of the stable things I read about
all the time in good books.
I got lost. I am, even now, certain that each new home
won’t be comfortable for long,
clinging to the hope
that we are suitable hosts for each other’s misery. I tell you
home is more than the back seat of a car.
Even leaves separate from trees
before curling up to die.
Holly Day’s poetry has appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.
By James McEwan
(Originally published August, 20, 2020.)
I can’t remember when I first noticed the little bird, a wheatear. When the telephone rang it appeared at the window and when I hung up the handset, I would drop some seeds or crumbs outside.
A bond developed between us and mutual expectation. The bird became my companion, and I was its source of titbits. We were creatures of habit, and the little bird became a great comfort to me in my moments of deep anxiety.
The bird will migrate soon, what will I do? I wished the calls would stop, or at least whoever it was, would speak.
“I write to free the souls trapped in the cavity of my imagination.” – the writer
By Paul Germano
He quit his drinking for her; she did the same for him. A frantic decision, made in a heartbeat, by two thirtysomethings desperate to keep their hearts beating. Their faces are haggard, their minds slightly numb, but still they persist. Eleven days and counting, with no guarantees they’ll make it to the twelfth day. They lean on each other as best as they can, taking it day by day and drinking lots and lots and lots of Ginger Ale and desperately fumbling around to find something, anything at all, that they still might have in common.
Paul Germano’s fiction has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, The Fictional Café, Foliate Oak, Microfiction Monday, Vestal Review and Voices in Italian Americana.
By Sophie Flynn
(Originally published December, 29, 2017)
I liked it when you said I had an ‘artistic temperament’ because it covered it all: tears in the carpark, not eating for days, refusal to choose paint for the walls because I just couldn’t look at the colors anymore; and instead made those days when I couldn’t cope, when I pictured cutting out my tongue and ripping off my skin, seem part of something greater to create something worthwhile, rather than days indulging myself. My artistic temperament was such a lovely phrase for what was really: unpleasant, unnerving, unbearable or, as you finally put it as you left, unlovable.
(Originally published 11.9.2016)
my fellow countrymen, violently so,
these disenfranchised, war-less warriors with a meanness forged in faith
and hammered rock hard by life’s insults, delighting
in the shock—the horror—
the stinking black abstraction they created,
An amputee scratching at limbs
that are no longer there.
This morning a cold, strange voice
whispered in my ear
Liberty fell last night,
Broke her hip, died in the ambulance
of a heart attack.
you should know.
“(I wrote this) to process my disbelief.” – the poet
By Jamie Thunder
Write about what you know, they said. But when she wrote about the hollow pull of loneliness and the fear she felt when walking alone they said no, no that is self-indulgent, and unfair on the many men who do nothing to warrant fear, even late at night when the bulbs in the streetlights are broken and the shadows run across the pavement like foxes. So she wrote about dragons and magic instead, and they praised her humor, her lyricism, and her vivid imagination.
By John L. Malone
I’ve got a poem for you, a very short one, he promised with a garrulous grin, and then, in a long-winded introduction in which all the masters of brevity were cited from Basho to Lydia Davis, he proceeded to demolish all notions of shortness. The poem took ten seconds, the intro five minutes.
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
By Nayana Nair
When you see me walk toward my grief,
toward my past,
with my head sinking down,
with my hands full of my own pieces,
stop me dear.
Come to me.
Run to me.
Call out to me
even when you think I cannot hear.
Hold me back
even when you think I cannot be stopped.
that you will try.
Nayana is an engineer and technical writer who also moonlights as an amateur poet. She says, “Writing for me is a process of self realization and an effort to understand what is ever-elusive.”
By S.B. Borgersen
Partners were compulsory at primary school: for nature walks, for P.E., and to return to class after playtime.
Partners were picked, most popular first, until there was very little choice left. I, with my missing front teeth and my old black plimsolls, was always a straggler. So were you.
Fifty years later we are still partners. We had so many other things in common.
S.B. Borgersen writes because she just cannot help it, she also knits socks, and walks her smashing dogs on the south shore of Nova Scotia.
By Richard A Shury
It isn’t like you think it’ll be. For me, there was only a steel scream, a flash of colour, and nothing.
And then the long, lonely ache.
Sterile rooms, pale greens and blues. Cards and flowers, and people who melted away.
You never think you’ll have to learn to walk again, or figure out a knife and fork, or how a toilet works. But here I am.
This is just one of the days after, the day I didn’t die.
“I write because it hurts when I stop, because I am compelled to, both by the voices in my head and those outside it.” – the writer