Tamara Burross Grisanti ~ Four New Fictions

THE HEART ISJUNK DRAWER

Each sec­ond can be a new begin­ning. Let’s crawl into the back seat and make rough sense to each oth­er. Read epis­to­lary love nar­ra­tives by the oven light. Tell you my sto­ry using let­ters? Sounds like every sto­ry to me.

I haunt lone­ly paths, look for you in emp­ty rooms. The world intends to give me sharp edges. To remain soft is a rad­i­cal act of rebel­lion. A forked path –more

Foster Trecost ~ Memories

He mea­sured life in years and fifty-two had gone. Sometimes he thought, on a dif­fer­ent scale, one dri­ven by a num­ber that val­ued rich­ness and ful­fill­ment, but that num­ber was too low for his lik­ing. He had done lit­tle worth remem­ber­ing, and since it didn’t mat­ter,  years were used. One lone­ly evening, he wan­dered about his house in search of a pho­to or note worth sav­ing, but found none. From –more

Welcome to new Social Media Editor

We are pleased to announce that effec­tive imme­di­ate­ly, writer Tamara Grisanti will be tak­ing over all NWW social media activ­i­ty, chiefly on Facebook and Twitter. As a for­mer and future con­trib­u­tor, we are delight­ed to have her with us going for­ward.

Susan Henderson ~  from The Flicker of Old Dreams

The White Sheet

The dead come to me vul­ner­a­ble, shar­ing their sto­ries and secrets. Here is my scar. Touch it. Here is the roll of fat I always hid under that big sweater, and now you see. This is the per­son I’ve kept pri­vate, afraid of what peo­ple would think. Here I am, all of me. Scarred, flab­by, cov­ered in bed­sores. Please be kind. 

When a body comes to our funer­al home, it comes draped in a –more

Natalie Gerich Brabson ~ Office Visit

Mattie clutched her bag. She clutched her bag so hard her arms tensed and ached. Her bag was a sea foam green that she want­ed to squeeze the col­or out of. The pain in her arms from the squeez­ing didn’t com­pare to the ache, the throb in her tem­ples.

She would be called back soon, this woman said. They would help her very soon.

She hadn’t slept since— hadn’t slept for two weeks, not real­ly. –more

Shane Kowalski ~ Politeness

I was meet­ing the man who pre­vi­ous­ly owned the house I now called home. After mov­ing out of the house, almost imme­di­ate­ly, his wife died of a brain aneurysm. His chil­dren were now grown and at col­leges on dif­fer­ent coasts. It had been a few years. The rea­son for the meet­ing was to give him a box of pho­tos I had found in the bot­tom of a clos­et in a room I hard­ly used in the house. The pic­tures were –more

George Moore ~ Three Prose Poems

Drop City

It was the mid­dle of the night, or it wasn’t. Do you remem­ber how that works? Now, the psy­choac­tive drugs por­trayed on each new series seem to be about mad­ness, as if that were an end to every­thing. But you remem­ber the day when we wad­ed into the school pond? How does mem­o­ry come back to hal­lu­ci­na­tions, or even the recall of a dys­func­tion, or the loss cre­at­ed by not being con­scious of who was –more

John F. Buckley ~ Notes at the End of the Thirteenth Baktun

I need to speak out about death and human­i­ty,
don’t I? The world ends in three hours. All
I have is you, a limp car­rot, and a change buck­et
on the kitchen counter. The flesh on my elbow
is ragged and hood­ed. I can almost pull it
over my head like a wim­ple. I don’t want to see
the aliens land. I don’t want to watch any
rabid vol­ca­noes emerge by the gar­den shed.

Survival’s no longer a giv­en, –more

Susan Thornton ~ Full Partner

Leslie squint­ed at the menu and willed her stom­ach to coöper­ate. She’d done her reg­u­lar half hour on the stair mas­ter, and sat in the steam room for a good 20 min­utes. That had always worked before to sweat out a hang­over. Maybe she was get­ting old. Thirty and change was when things caught up to you, she’d always heard, but didn’t want to believe. The over­head light caught on the heavy sil­ver –more

Rob Roensch ~ Come to Me and I Will Give You Rest

In the Carl’s Jr. park­ing lot across the street, two teenage boys in hang­ing-open red Carl’s Jr. shirts were argu­ing with a square woman who was stand­ing in the dri­ve-through lane. Parked at the pick-up win­dow was a dingy white mini­van with a punched-out head­light. The woman stabbed a fin­ger into the air between her and the teenagers. One of the teenagers clutched his belt with a fist as if –more

Lucinda Kempe ~ Jeanne d’Arc

I woke up miss­ing my big toe, my hair in a mul­let, and with a half-eat­en donut on the bed­side com­mode. A shep­herd preached in the court­yard and the witch had parked her broom in the mid­dle of the dri­ve. Some kids were smack­ing each oth­er sil­ly with its fun­ny end.

I clam­bered up from the linens, grabbed the donut and head­ed to the yard.

The kids point­ed at my hair and the ooz­ing stump of toe.

I had –more

Karen Craigo ~ Lighter Than Water or Lighter Than Air

One of the men men­tions buoy­an­cy, and that’s when I know: they’re talk­ing about me.

I had sus­pect­ed. This is our third day in the same hotel, the third day I’ve ven­tured down to the pool in ear­ly evening to catch what gold remained from the day, and the third time four bespec­ta­cled Australian men pulled lounge chairs up pool­side to face me and talk togeth­er while I swam.

It’s a small –more

James Chapin ~ Deafness

        in mem­o­ry of José Saramago

I don’t remem­ber when I stopped being able to hear. That makes it worse. There’s no moment I can hold up and point to and say Look. It hap­pened to me also.

I know the day that it hap­pened, I do. When the whole audi­ble world is replaced by a dull shush, that’s a mile­stone. You mark the date. For me: work­week, Tuesday, at the bank. Sometime after lunch I –more

Michael Hammerle ~ The Horse Did Not Always Go Home

Jethrob Macromanni’s only real friend was a name­less horse. He would take the horse on long walks to the town lake and that was nor­mal. He would also ride the horse to and from the bar—because of that the horse had a rep­u­ta­tion around town.

Jethrob would tie the horse to the hitch­ing rail out front of the bar and drink all night; he, noto­ri­ous­ly, would get black­out drunk, so the peo­ple there –more

Alan Hines ~ Oak Cliff, Summer 1963

Nell hung up the phone and turned to her sis­ter. “I need you to dri­ve me down there.”

You still haven’t learned how to dri­ve?” Agnes had just come in from the storm. She had an umbrel­la, but she was still soak­ing wet.  “Where did they take him?”

–more