Lost Dog

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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.

Eleven Days

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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.

Of Artistic Temperament

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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.

11/9, America

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By Anonymous
(Originally published 11.9.2016)

I envy
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—
of watching
the stinking black abstraction they created,
The “Other,”
made nothing
with nothing:
An amputee scratching at limbs
that are no longer there.

This morning a cold, strange voice
whispered in my ear
Liberty fell last night,
it said,
Broke
her hip, died in the ambulance
of a heart attack.

We thought
you should know.

––––––––––
“(I wrote this) to process my disbelief.” – the poet

Writing Advice

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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.

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.

When You See Me Walk

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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.
Promise me
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.”

Partners

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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.

The Day I Didn’t Die

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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

Disappearing is Harder Than You’d Think

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By Anonymous

First, you must shed the detritus of your life. The car will be the last worldly belonging to go: Donate it. Toss your phone in the river. Photo albums, love letters, diaries: burn them. Cash out your bank account, stuff the cash into your couch cushions. Drag the couch to the curb, put a FREE sign on it. Flush the pills. Tie your wedding ring to a helium balloon, wait for a gust, and let go. Don’t watch. Swallow the hurt.

Now, walk away and don’t stop until you’re gone.