• Paul Myette ~ Day Drinking at the Harris Suites

    2009-10-08 01.57.50c

    from a nov­el in progress

    The Harris Suites crum­bled slow­ly on the back strip of Virginia Beach. Alex paused and looked up at the bleached yel­low paint of the façade. In each room, save one, the win­dow blinds were drawn. Even in the bright sun of mid­day he could sense the dark­ness inside those rooms. 

  • Kathleen McGookey ~ Three Short Pieces

    My Anger Tours the State Capitol

  • Samuel Ligon ~ The Little Goat

    There were once a girl and a boy who lay on a hill of grav­el kiss­ing until their lips were raw. Kissing was the best thing that had ever hap­pened to the boy and the girl, and so they rode their bicy­cles to the grav­el pit every Sunday in pur­suit of that sweet, sin­gu­lar pastime.

  • Robert Lopez

    The Dahlberg Repercussions

     
    The woman on the sub­way looked like my moth­er so I sat down next to her and said you look like my mother. 

  • Floyd Skloot

    Two Poems

  • Karen Brennan

    Home is Where the Heart Is

     
    Mary Beth

    Strictly speak­ing, as a licensed prac­ti­cal nurse (LPN), it is not my job to man­age the table décor, but I do it because I’m good at it.  Each res­i­dent gets a rose they are wel­come to pass on to their valen­tine-du-jour.   Though that’s kind of a sick joke, when you think about it.

  • Lesle Lewis

    Four Poems

  • Tamara Burross ~ Migraines for Hegel

    You have never known love until your introduction to structuralism. You have never laughed as loudly as you laugh at Freud. You study for your literary theory class like you chew delicious morsels of food. You read about Hegel’s dialectic and Marxist ideology. Your migraines return from remission and you start having to give yourself triptan injections, missing classes. You write a cultural criticism paper using Jakobson’s paradigmatic and syntagmatic axes. You study postcolonialism. You begin having seizures. Your psychiatrist tells you they are psychosomatic. He asks you what you’re studying that could be causing existential dread. He gives you a seizure preventative that is also a mood stabilizer and triples as a migraine preventative. The thrill of studying becomes a little less intense; the blackness of your depression becomes a little less dark. Your neurologist approves, and adds a beta-blocker to lower your blood pressure and prevent headaches. You get dizzy when you rise from sitting. You don’t have a primary care physician, only specialists. The doctor at the campus clinic prescribes you opiates for your migraine pain. Foucault’s archeological method leaps from the pages in bright neons; you see certain words in certain colors.

    Your boyfriend’s sis­ter is study­ing psy­chol­o­gy. She says any­one in the room who doesn’t yawn when some­one else yawns is a sociopath, so you fake your yawns when you notice oth­ers yawn­ing. You sneak into the bed­room while she’s over and swal­low –more

  • Mel Bosworth

    What It Said

     
    I texted my moth­er the night before that I’d be at the house not too late and not too ear­ly. Cut from the dark sky bled a pas­tel pink that seeped up and over the moun­tain around 6am, which was bet­ter than before we set the clocks back.

  • Lydia Copeland Gwyn

    Burning Mountains

    There was a space sta­tion on the news that sum­mer and some men­tion of the moons of Jupiter and the aster­oid belt. 

  • Elizabeth Hellstern

    Two Pieces

     
    The Space Between: A Meditation

    My brain works in spurts: There are two hemi­spheres and a space between. The space between is filled with synaps­es, junc­tions that jump from nerve impulse to an unknown land­ing space. The space between is the vul­ner­a­ble sweet spot of juicy pos­si­bil­i­ty. The space between is a chasm, and beau­ti­ful, but how we land is entire­ly up to us.

  • Cari Scribner

    My Father, The Fish, and The Rocking Chairs

     
    No one had time to send greet­ing cards to William, my father, flow­ers meant for men, maybe an assort­ment of suc­cu­lents in a ceram­ic dish for his cof­fee table. In his room, the plas­tic pitch­er of hos­pi­tal water sits beside an emp­ty Styrofoam cup. A paper-wrapped straw lies aban­doned on the swing-around tray to hold orange Jell‑O snack packs, nev­er served.

  • Duffie Taylor

    Six Pieces 

    LYDIA

    He pushed the flow­ers into the folds of my apron. Keep walk­ing, he said. Keep walk­ing. So I walked. Then he said, You will lose all your ros­es walk­ing like that, dear girl.

  • Sandra Kolankiewicz

    Skating at Mill Pond

     
    Sometimes we don’t want to know, frequency
    so low we can’t arrive.  Gratitude is
    a stone in the pock­et to remind you
    to smile, and also a rock that drags you
    down into the black of the glacial pond
    to –more

  • Beth Alvarado

    Maldiciones

     
    When I opened my front door to let the detec­tive in, I saw them imme­di­ate­ly. They were hang­ing around her, some right there on the front step and oth­ers, a few feet off in the yard as if they weren’t sure they were wel­come. There were at least eight of them, some fad­ing in, some fad­ing out. My Tommy was not among them. And that man they’d found dead, that Dr. Fremont, he did not seem to be among them. I won­dered if the detec­tive knew she was sur­round­ed. Some peo­ple knew; some didn’t.

  • Michele Maron

    Fortune Cookie

     
    Portions of her mem­o­ry slipped through a dark hole. She knew who I was, but just ran­dom facts about our his­to­ry togeth­er. She knew we were mar­ried, but she did not know for how long, or any­thing about Elvis in the white leather pants who sang Jail House Rock after­wards when we laughed till we cried.

  • Alex McElroy

    People Inside of People

    Hamburg

    Martin didn’t want to leave home. But his wife had asked for divorce. He con­sid­ered the end of his mar­riage as proof that he had grown timid and dull. He need­ed to blow up his life, to impul­sive­ly live—to become the man he had been before he was married.

  • Becky Hagenston

    Priscilla

     
    Both of their hearts were bro­ken, and they had the same scars slic­ing their chests in per­fect halves. They met in the car­diac ward. Lana had a bypass at thir­ty-two; Mitch had a trans­plant at fifty that almost didn’t take and then did. Later, lying togeth­er in bed, they pressed their chests togeth­er and mar­veled at the sym­me­try. He put his ear against her left breast and then leaned back in sur­prise. “What on earth is that?” he said, and she said, “It’s a bell, of course.”

  • P.J. Underwood

    Waterfront

     
    Gorillahead hates his name, calls it an aber­ra­tion, but says the sit­u­a­tion is too far gone, a nick­name that sticks, giv­en by idiots. He walks, knuck­les to ground, the way I’ve seen goril­las walk in old pic­tures, holoflim­sy, and long, stut­ter­ing reels of Twentieth cen­tu­ry film. I tell him I think his name is fit­ting, min­i­mal­ist, that it’s a fine descriptor.

  • Lydia Copeland Gwyn

    All the Baby’s Air

     
    In our Family Life class we’d all shared a table and watched Ms. Felton from Planned Parenthood unroll a con­dom onto a wood­en dil­do. She talked about sin­gle par­ent­hood, how hard it was, how no one helps like they say they will. She was preg­nant with her sec­ond and con­stant­ly pat­ting her tum­my. The whole class want­ed to be her sitter.