ShangHaiku

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editors pick

By the High Guru of Haiku

phones in our pockets
sweatshop blood on our fingers
Siri, don’t you care?

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Dear Me

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editors pick

By Anonymous

You will fall in love with words and writing, and in the process, you’ll hear this a lot: “Don’t write like a victim.”

Don’t listen! Don’t let anyone else tell you how to express your truth.

Someday soon you will come to realize the Universe is arbitrary. Things will happen that are outside of your control, and some of those things will be painful. Yet, somehow you will make it through, I promise.

I’ve written this because I love you, and I don’t want you to ever forget that.

Love,

Your future self

Speaking of My Father

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By Paul Beckman

editors pickI said I didn’t know him and that he abandoned my mother and us three boys: ages five, four, and one.

“He’s obviously a man without character,” I told a stranger who was drinking CC with a beer chaser. I was drinking Bud long necks.

“Think he’s got any redeeming qualities?”

“Maybe in appearance, but not at heart.”

“Do any of your brothers resemble him?”

“Who knows,” I said. We turned and looked at each other and saw ourselves, one older, one younger. I swiveled and ordered a double CC.

Breadcrumbs

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By Nicola Bell

editors pick

It was a warm day. She turned around to say as much, then stopped when she saw she was alone. The park bench behind her was empty. At her feet, bobbing heads plucked at the breadcrumbs she’d dropped. Her face softened as she watched, savoring the creatures’ trust and the predictability of their nature. They’d be here next Sunday afternoon and so, of course, would she. All for those precious seconds when she could turn her back on the cold park bench and forget that he wasn’t there.

Writing advice

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By Jamie Thunder

editors pickWrite 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.

A Fresh Angle

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By Nick Dunster

editors pickThe elderly tenant called me up to make a formal complaint, insisting that I visit him in person that cold, December morning.

“It’s that immoral young woman over there,” he explained, gesturing toward a window in an adjacent block. “Every day she wanders around in her apartment with no clothes on.  It’s really not acceptable.”

I peered across. “Well,” I said, “I can’t see anything.”

“Ah no,” the tenant explained. “You can’t see anything from there. You’ll have to stand on this table and then lean your shoulder against this wall. Then you’ll have the right angle.”