Some of the Time

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By Ali Grimshaw

Sometimes
the light turns red before we have left the intersection
leaving our tail end vulnerable

sometimes
our brakes don’t work, spinning on black ice with
blurred windows of reaction

sometimes
we must go slowly, inching through the fog in faith
blinded by dense thoughts

sometimes
breakdowns leave us on the rainy roadside
unpacking resourcefulness

sometimes
forgiveness shows up like an invitation
an off-ramp never seen before

sometimes
we just need to stay on the road
grip and steer

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The Poems I Have Not Written

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By johnlmalone

I am outside late at night
Writing poems
About the poems
I have not written
The ones I’ve shied away from
Because of embarrassment
Or timidity
Or fear of shedding my jovial persona
And find
Somewhat alarmingly
That the poems I have not written
Far outnumber those I have

           
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

My White Cane Is a Magic Wand

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By Rebecca L. Holland

Want to see a magic trick?
Watch me disappear

How’d she do that?
Here’s the secret:

All it takes are dark glasses
All it takes is an illness
All it takes is a white cane
To erase five years of experience
To strip you of a master’s degree
To make people avert their eyes

Want to see another magic trick?
Watch me reappear

Abracadabra!

I thought I was a woman
Solid
But when I hide behind this slender cane
No one can see me
And I thought I was the one who couldn’t see.

You didn’t know I was magic.

         
Rebecca is a visually impaired writer and disability awareness advocate from Pennsylvania. Her chapbook, Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse, was published in 2018. She is a staff writer for CAPTIVATING!

The Very Short Poem

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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.

Uninvited Guests

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By Traci Mullins

Usually she managed to ignore them—their knocking, their scratching, even their pounding in the middle of the night. But today they clamored and clanged, creating such a ruckus that she had to open the door. She was stunned to see that Anger and Sorrow were only lost toddlers, pleading for safety. She made her heart into a cradle and her Feelings tumbled in, not so scary after all.

       
Traci Mullins’ short fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Spelk, Dime Show Review, Ellipsis Zine, Palm-Sized Press, Fantasia Divinity, CafeLit, CommuterLit, and others. She was named a Highly Recommended Writer in the London Independent Story Prize competition.

On a Gravestone in Ireland: Died of Disappointment

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By Sandra Arnold

It’s time to face the truth. Your story is abysmal. It’s trite. Overblown. It’s full of mixed metaphors and sloppy syntax. The characters are one-dimensional. The plot’s missing. There’s no beginning. No middle. No proper ending. Who on earth would publish it? It will never win awards. Bookshops won’t stock it. The critics will crucify you. They will say it reveals a lot about the kind of person you are. Take our advice and burn it. Think of the pain you’ll be spared. No need to thank us. This is the whole point of our Writers’ Support Group. Who’s next?

      
Sandra Arnold is a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee. Her third novel, Ash, will be published by Mākaro Press (NZ) in 2019.

The Thing About Happiness

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By Amy Brunson

The thing about happiness is
It doesn’t exist in small secretive
Pockets of the world that you have to
Seek out and luck into
It exists in places that can’t be
Lived in or driven through
It exists in places that scare most people
So much that they never go even though
They have always been there and just haven’t looked.