Gary Percesepe ~ Berrigan

My mom just called from the nurs­ing home. She sur­vived anoth­er painful heart episode. She asked me how the peo­ple liked the Italian songs I sang in church. She has asked me this before. I have sung no Italian songs, in church or any­where else. Then she sang a lit­tle bit over the phone. It was love­ly, though her light sopra­no voice is now low and hoarse. I asked her to sing some more. I thought, –more

Glen Pourciau ~ Gala

I couldn’t see my way clear to make it to the annu­al Gala.  I had RSVPed under self-imposed pres­sure, but I wasn’t above claim­ing a sud­den ill­ness should any­one men­tion my fail­ure to attend.  I’d cleaned myself up in a more fas­tid­i­ous man­ner than usu­al and had stuffed myself into my aging tux, which had over the years man­aged to elude moth­dom.  I’d then gazed with revul­sion in a too-large –more

Lucinda Kempe ~ Queer Birds

I sat on the back­stairs, on the top step near the screened kitchen door, wait­ing. I did a lot of wait­ing. For Maud Ellen to come talk, or my grand­moth­er, Mamoo, or Daddy when­ev­er he’d appear, or for our dogs, Wanda and Beebee. Pinning down the dogs was easy; I could pre­tend to be a dog if I had to. I did wait­ing so well I’d turned it into art. But some­times I got bug­gy. Buggy made me feel like –more

Kim Magowan & Michelle Ross ~Abuse and Other Words My Mother and I Disagree About

My moth­er acts like the con­flict between her and me is seman­tic, rather than due to her crap­py par­ent­ing. For instance, when I try to talk to her about how when I was a kid and she was pissed at me, or sim­ply found me irri­tat­ing and noisy, she would make me sit in the garage by myself for hours (pitch dark, smelling like ran­cid milk), she says, “It’s ridicu­lous to call that ‘abuse’! I nev­er –more

Jose Hernandez Diaz ~ Three Flash Fictions

Mariachi in the City

A Mariachi walked in the city in the mid­dle of the day. He had a gold trum­pet at his side. His Mariachi suit and som­brero were black with gold embroi­dery and he wore a red bow tie. Every now and then, at red lights, he would play a lit­tle bit of the trum­pet. Sometimes peo­ple would clap. Sometimes they would just stand there in awe.

The Mariachi was on his way to meet his team, –more

Sandra Seaton ~ Home

Sunday din­ner in Columbia, Tennessee: fried chick­en, mixed greens— turnips, mus­tard, and spinach, pan-fried corn, twice milked then stirred with flour and water, can­died sweets, chow chow; plates of sliced toma­toes, onions, and cukes, fresh-picked that day from the gar­den around the side of the house. Only four or five years old, I still remem­ber my Aunt Gladys, –more

David Galef ~ Three Flash Fictions

After the Orgy

After the Sunday orgy, the men changed their shirts. The women changed their shoes.

Man #1 swag­gered all week.

Woman #2 com­posed a per­son­al ad: “Needy woman in search of help­less man. Weren’t you at the orgy on Sunday?”

Man #2 won­dered whether to con­tact woman #2 but nev­er got her name.

Woman #3 in her sex edu­ca­tion class announced bright­ly, “For the next two weeks, we’re going –more

Thaisa Frank ~ Occupants

The dolls were drink­ing Jack Daniels and hav­ing an argu­ment. The moth­er doll said she was through with the father doll and had rent­ed a room in anoth­er doll­house. This room was freez­ing cold, with torn pink cur­tains; but the doll­house had wit­ty occu­pants.

Who are these peo­ple any­way? said the father doll.

I don’t know their names yet.

What about your crea­ture com­forts?

–more

Gary Percesepe ~ An Interview with Roxana Robinson

Our Struggle: On the Experience of Reading Karl Ove Knaussgaard

I read Book One of Karl Ove Knausgaard epic nov­el My Struggle in 2014, and was instant­ly hooked. In sub­se­quent years I read books two through five, and wait­ed for the English trans­la­tion of Book Six to appear. I got my copy in late 2018, and took it to Switzerland with me, where I read it over the Christmas Break and into –more

Andrew Stancek ~ The Sting on the Skin

The day after my thir­teenth birth­day chunks of ice bounced off the roofs, off the cars, off the side­walk and I watched, over­joyed with the world. When I ran past emp­ty thorn bush­es to share my joy, I saw Dad walk­ing up to our front door, talk­ing to him­self, point­ing a forefin­ger at our car and at the door, chuck­ling and for a sec­ond I thought his excite­ment was about the hail.

Isn’t –more

John Mancini ~ Not Expecting a Miracle

The hos­pi­tal lob­by was all cool air and I was sweat­ing. Orderlies nipped by with bod­ies on gur­neys, nurs­es behind, sneak­ers squeaking. Everyone but me knew just where to go. I took a dou­ble-wide hall­way and did a half-dozen turns before I was back where I start­ed. This time I asked at the desk. Wrong build­ing, it turned out. Shock Trauma was across the way. 

The flu­o­res­cents –more

Thomas Cook ~ Four Micro Essays

PLENTY

All night the shops on the 16th Street Promenade fill with neo­phyte prom­e­naders. The dogs curl up on the green sleep­ing bags of their own­ers, and I can’t find a pet store. My heart aches for the dogs while I go to buy King Crab. A thou­sand miles from every ocean, my mind is a wash.

One guest at the din­ner I know, hard­ly, and the oth­er is from a town in New Jersey. I ascent to his ori­gin, –more

DS Levy ~ Talisman

When we first got mar­ried, some­one gave us a plas­tic pink flamin­go as a joke. We plant­ed it in the front yard next to the bar­ber­ry bush­es. For a while, every time I pulled into the dri­ve-way I’d see it and laugh: Hahaha. Or at least my lips would curl into a smile. Later, I’d pull in and not even notice.

Teddy did all the mow­ing, and by the end of sum­mer he was com­plain­ing about how the flamin­go –more

Joseph Grantham ~ Pharmacy

Kurt Vonnegut was read­ing Journey to the End of the Night when he wrote Slaughterhouse-Five. I’m on the bed, watch­ing base­ball. I think I have throat can­cer. I shined a light on the back of my throat and there’s a yel­low bump back there and I don’t know what it could be. All of the blood ves­sels look inflamed. I’m not a doc­tor. I work at a phar­ma­cy but I’m a cashier. –more