09/22/2021

Glen Pourciau ~ Table

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We’d planned to have din­ner with the Hardaways at a restau­rant we’d nev­er been to, a pop­u­lar new fish place.  They had been there a num­ber of times already, enough to be con­sid­ered reg­u­lars and to know which table to ask for, so they made –more

Maddie Clevenstine ~ There Was Something Growing

The woman learned she couldn’t have chil­dren. Her doc­tor said he was very sor­ry to tell her this, and pat­ted her knee, and looked at her thought­ful­ly, like her inabil­i­ty to have chil­dren was a puz­zle, or her con­di­tion was an inter­est­ing bit of infor­ma­tion he could tell the oth­er doctor’s staffed at the hos­pi­tal, and they could all have a laugh over the poor woman and her poor, ill-formed uterus. 

David Ryan ~ Barcarole

You wor­ry about the eye, the micro­phone in it that gath­ers and trans­mits daugh­ter sounds. Her infant coos, the soft rus­tle, cry, unre­cov­er­able gasp—the dread deep still­ness. Every day with her in your new life is a scratch of light in some future –more

Jessica Alexander ~ The Bear at the Door

When the bell rings and the bear pulls Henry through the door and off the stoop, I know it is not me that has been tak­en because Henry and I don’t have that kind of rela­tion­ship. That’s not to say I don’t love Henry ten­der­ly, though I wouldn’t call it rap­ture exact­ly. I do things dif­fer­ent­ly so he won’t leave. I select, for instance, genial shades of lip­stick, blous­es with mol­li­fy­ing designs, slacks that say, “My husband’s at the ball game.”

Kerri Quinn ~ Rico

I leave a note for my hus­band, Robert, on the kitchen counter next to the lat­est issue of his sub­scrip­tion to Popular Mechanics. The note says I know he’s been sleep­ing with my best friend, Michelle, and by the way, she’s also sleep­ing with Mark who lives two doors down. I also write that I’m tak­ing the espres­so machine I gave him for his birth­day. It was real­ly a gift for me. And p.s.: The Mustang we bought with our sav­ings, it wasn’t stolen. I took it.

Merran Jones ~ Curls

Great hair!”
“Thanks.”
The stan­dard exchange between Carla and any health shop girl. Girls with names like Jasmine or Skye or Willow. Girls who munched chick­peas and trot­ted around the globe in an absent-mind­ed way.
“You –more

Aaron Brand ~ Three Poems

Bus Poem 4
 

Just out of Cheyenne, a Greyhound keeps pace
with a VW Bug, yel­low, this girl’s suitcase
down below, full of match­es, bubblegum,
pink socks, cigarettes
and stud­ded leather belts.

The punch of sun­rise wipes
the guy in black jeans, –more

Gail Louise Siegel ~ Betrayed

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The harp sits in the cor­ner gath­er­ing dust, ever since Petra’s dog Maisy got spooked by rustling in the corn­field. A pos­sum? A snake? Petra had reached down to calm the mar­ble-eyed wolf-shep­ard mix she’d cod­dled from a pup, and lost of a chunk –more

Tiff Holland ~ Candy Striper

Mom had already signed me up to be a can­dy striper by the time she and O’Toole picked me up at Robinson Memorial.

You need to think about those less for­tu­nate,” she said, as I scratched at the stitch­es on my wrists. “You need to think of some­one oth­er than yourself.”

I knew that what she actu­al­ly meant was that I need­ed to think about her. She didn’t know just how much I thought of her, her night­ly calls dur­ing my depres­sion in which she pre­sent­ed the­o­ry after the­o­ry regard­ing what was “wrong” with me. When I wasn’t study­ing, all I thought about was oth­er peo­ple: peo­ple I’d let down, peo­ple who were sure I could do bet­ter, peo­ple who want­ed me to dress, speak and act dif­fer­ent­ly, my ex who want­ed me to drop out of col­lege six months before grad­u­a­tion so we could buy a house for a fam­i­ly we wouldn’t end up having.

Pamela Painter ~ Off Stage

The first day of Playwriting 320, I open the door to the class­room and nod hel­lo to four­teen stu­dents with expec­tant faces, weird garb, new tat­toos. Earlier today, I con­sid­ered ask­ing my TA to pass out my syl­labi, make intro­duc­tions, assign home­work.  I con­sid­ered not leav­ing my sister’s hos­pi­tal room where any day or week now she will sure­ly die. But a pro­fes­sor her­self, she insist­ed that every­thing flows from a first class.  “Go. You need to be there,” she said. “Get the fuck out of my room and give them grief,” then she coughed a laugh I couldn’t echo.  When the meds again pulled her under, I made sure the nurse had my cell, then I head­ed to cam­pus three miles away, the mobile of glass birds for her birth­day next week chirp­ing in the back seat.  I’m think­ing of giv­ing it to her lat­er today.

Fae Dremock ~ The Flyover

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Ann smelled the ele­phant before she saw it. Then a mud-grey foot swung past and just ahead, land­ing to her left. The drover passed, and the tail of the ele­phant whisked out in front of her, stink­ing of loose bow­els. Ann stopped beside the fruit –more

Ann Colley ~ Seed-Time

Excerpt from The Odyssey and Dr. Novak

There are in our exis­tence spots of time,
Which with dis­tinct pre­em­i­nence retain
A ren­o­vat­ing Virtue …
(Wordsworth The Prelude)

ENGLAND 1946–1953

This is where the odyssey begins, or where I imag­ine it com­mences. The time is a warm English sum­mer after­noon in 1946. The place is the front gar­den of the Unitarian par­son­age sit­u­at­ed in a mod­est town bare­ly six miles north of Manchester. Holding my six-year-old hand is Dr. Novak, the head of the Unitarian move­ment in Czechoslovakia.