• NWWQ ~ January 2023

    We thank every­one who sub­mit­ted to this issue. Special thanks to Senior Editors Kim Chinquee and Elizabeth Wagner. The next issue will be April 2023, accept­ing sub­mis­sions April 1–14. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the readings.

  • Kathleen Ma ~ Four Poems

    Don’t sleep on the wormup!

    Don’t sleep on the wormup!
    You’ll nev­er make it out if you try.
    On Long Island we saw a dead eel,
         silver-blue
    Stomach leak­ing in terror.

    It looked like a sausage.
    No one ever tells you life is going to be so inspir­ing.
    –more

  • J. G. Steen ~ Triptych

    1. We Become Death

    We watched the first explo­sion from our lab­o­ra­to­ry and it freaked us all out. I looked at Ed, his big thick framed glass­es reflect­ing the mush­room cloud: a tow­er­ing mon­stros­i­ty, a hand of des­o­la­tion reach­ing up from the desert, –more

  • Candace Hartsuyker ~ 3 Linked Flashes

    When You’re The Actress

    You and he will star in 140 episodes. You will be a damsel and a were­wolf, an opera star and a jeal­ous clown, a dom­i­na­trix and a detec­tive. You will nick­name the cam­era Gregory, from the Latin word Gregorious, mean­ing watch­ful. –more

  • Michelle Reale ~ Two Pieces

    IF YOU SHOULD FIND YOURSELF VOICELESS

    There may be a grand­moth­er some­where who would be will­ing to care­ful­ly col­lect a drop or two of your tears and mix them with a sprig of rue and a lock of your hair. At this point you can for­get all of the advan­tages that you –more

  • Gary Fincke ~ Tractors

    Once, in May, a trac­tor near where the teacher lived in Western New York van­ished beneath the earth when a farmer drove too ear­ly into the onion fields. The teacher, a month from fin­ish­ing his first year of instruct­ing teenagers, –more

  • J. Alan Nelson ~ Hat on a peg

    This life splits you apart like a for­tune cook­ie. Bear with me while I have this Proustian moment the year I was twelve and live on Martha Avenue with a fire down the street. Fire trucks and fire men.

    The house was once a small lend­ing –more

  • Sophie Panzer ~ Estate Planning

    My friends and I are talk­ing about what comes after we die. Nothing about souls or the after­life – the only one who believes in that stuff is Cassie, and we all know that’s her Pisces moon talk­ing – but we are con­cerned about our bod­ies. Burial, –more

  • Dan Shiffman ~ Marginal Comments from My English Teacher During Covid

    Avoid sen­tence fragments. 

    My school days are not frag­ments, they are one big blur. The too-early–in-the-morning garbage trucks that sound like dying whales.  My mother’s bowls of healthy, taste­less oat­meal.  Which –more

  • R. B. Miner ~ Soldiers Don’t Need Therapy

    For a while, deploy­ments were fif­teen months long instead of twelve. Some guys went a lit­tle bit nuts. A lot of the time, it hap­pened around month thir­teen or four­teen. They made it through a whole year of chaos and dan­ger –more

  • Amy Stuber ~ The Garden of Eden

    Two philoso­phers walk into a bar. They wear robes, maybe some Grecian tex­tile that’s musty from long-term entomb­ment or maybe some clear­ance sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond.

    I’ll have a G & T,” the first philoso­pher –more

  • Bart Edelman ~ Five Poems

    What If?

    What if what you thought you saw
    Had not even occurred?
    As though there was a mag­ic act—
    Some sleight of hand at work—
    To deem you an accomplice,
    But you nev­er remote­ly knew
    Why the plan was devised for you.

    What if they took you on a ride
    In –more

  • Pavle Radonic ~ Crisis Central

    Judging by the voice the girl might have been ear­ly twen­ties, per­haps still in her teens. She was com­ing in loud and clear from out front. Greg lived one off the front of his block. The place oppo­site had to be ful­ly forty metres away.

    –more

  • Allan Peterson ~ Five Poems

    RESISTANCE

    A paper cut from the map was inoculation

    All night the slick machine of the river
    pol­ished shad and Frances the geographer
    noticed the earth start­ing to slope down
    to oxbows now eye­brows and resorts

    We ran a slight fever to adapt

    We passed through –more

  • Lydia Gwyn ~ Two Flashes

    Head in the Sky

    My moth­er named the pines, each pine that came to mind. Pitch and short­leaf. White and loblol­ly. Spruce, red, table mountain.

    Our bea­gle came back after weeks away. It was­n’t the first time she’d run off. She arrived on our –more

  • Susan Nordmark ~ Four Short Pieces

    Tracks

    You’re the way­ward one, aren’t you, said the teacher. I was sit­ting on my yoga mat, dis­tract­ed by a mag­a­zine. I think every­one in this room is offer­ing you respect, I said to her. I meant to give it. In a Little Free Library –more

  • Eleanor Levine ~ Not Like Your Foot Is Amputated

    I am suf­fer­ing from post-trau­mat­ic sink­hole syndrome.

    I was awak­ened at 3:30 am last Thursday.

    My broth­er said that my Audi 2013 was under water—in a sink­hole, where I had parked, in front of our house.

    We went outside.

    I was –more

  • Nicolette Daskalakis ~ there is a house on fire (and other poems)

    there is a house on fire

    there is a house on fire

    don’t wor­ry,
    it is not your house

    it is not
    your house

    a beau­ti­ful house
    a beau­ti­ful fire

    a beau­ti­ful house
    and a beau­ti­ful fire

    a beau­ti­ful house on fire

    so beau­ti­ful

    look

    keep look­ing

    it is beau­ti­ful, isn’t it?

    so beau­ti­ful

    and –more

  • Louise Phillips ~ Museo

    Monumento a Velázquez

    Aniceto Marinas (stat­ue) Vicente Lampérez (pedestal), 1899

    The celebri­ty fell in love with the Prado Museum. His spir­its had soared when he spot­ted the first ‘museo’ sign. He’d been ready for it: Rubens, The Three Graces, El –more

  • Steve Gergley ~ Three Flash Fictions

    1. The Really Big Heart

    Me and Kyoko dri­ve to Rochester and check into a hotel behind a din­er. Dangling above the bath­tub we find a human heart the size of a per­son. Slick with a shim­mer­ing, oily liq­uid, and beat­ing with an irreg­u­lar, stac­ca­to rhythm, the heart con­nects to –more