Literary

Catherine Lucas/Poetry

AFTERMATH Big Sur, California, May 2009   Phosphorescent green flickers against wet dark, .............fire in another tongue Memorials of trees, stripped bare, black as ............mummies, stand witness Leaf-laden alders, parchment ghosts, testify...

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Shelly R. Fredman/Creative Nonfiction

There are birds here, and butterflies making their way between the flowers in the garden. Lilacs thick with honeybees, and goldfinches too. Brailsford knows all of the names of the flowers. I only know the sounds of the birds and study their different voices, their constant songs that tell me, always, it will be all right.

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Wendy Fox/Fiction

I read that when chickens are crammed too many to one pen, they’ll begin to peck one another’s eyeballs out, and this is happening in the office. There are fights over stolen lunches, there are endless complaints about the temperature, there is general malaise. We decide to expand into an adjoining space, and construction begins, or deconstruction: a wall is being removed. The sound of sawing does not improve the general mood, but I try to remind the people whom I talk to that it will be better.

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Susan Taylor Chchak/Fiction

Silence. A bird maybe. Not a cloud up there. I pull myself up. Shake myself off. Look around. No one has seen me. Close the gate. Kick aside the rock that kept it cracked—some secret rendezvous, no doubt. Blackie would have had your head for that back then. I do my best to look like I belong here. Like I know what I’m doing. Like I’ve paid my rent and signed my lease. No one is around; it’s early yet. These aren’t science students, they’re artists and writers and they sleep in. A plaque with famous names engraved. Gaslights. The flowers tended. The big house where the parties were…

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Joe S. Pfister/Fiction

I can see the tiny, red puncture wounds just above the left knee. I make a tourniquet of my shirtsleeve and boost him into my saddle. We ride all day and night, and when the horse collapses from exhaustion, I drape W over my shoulders in a fireman’s carry.

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Paul Sohar’s Budapest

On relative scale of time anything is possible, because motion measures its own time; for instance, there’s plenty of time for these two to stop acting like wax figures and jump on me right here, knock me down and rob me of my local i.d. papers, money, credit cards, my cell phone, my room key card, and what else? My life? It’s a good thing I left my US passport in the room. But what if they force their way into my room?

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Sam Grieve/Fiction

Laura surveyed herself in the mirror. She was wearing a knee-length navy nylon skirt, which was already beginning to chafe the skin on her thighs. And blue knee socks, black penny-loafers, a white shirt with a striped blue and white tie, and a shapeless jersey with the school crest embroidered above her left breast. And suddenly, with a ferocity of wave crashing over her, she felt a hankering for her old uniform—that soft cotton dress in its gingham check with the white collar and short sleeves—and her vision swam.

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Five More Books/V12N4

In addition to weaving an engrossing story in Finding the Raven, Pieczka’s two main protagonists happen to be young women with substance. At a time when well-heeled women were considered to be little more than ornaments for a man’s arm with few rights outside of child-rearing and the running of the household, the characters of Julia and Rose evolve from being helpless females to slowly standing on their own two feet as they take command of their lives.

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Marina Soler/Poetry

Last Deceptions   Regardless of how fond and fondling stars inculcate the dark there is yet to press the wax seal against each enveloped space— gaps  infinite and intimate a woman standing by a window, her back to the audience of antiques:   everything...

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Michael Meyerhofer/Poetry

THE MAN WHO INVENTED FIRE A hundred million nights before the first electric chair, some bored Neanderthal with the luck of a TV detective knocked two rocks together and made them spark. Glacial wind pawed the hide hung over the cave-maw. Maybe an infant cried in the...

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Wendy Stewart/Creative Nonfiction

We’re worrying, Barb and I, about paying our rent that month. We’re making light of it, but it’s on our minds. We run through ludicrous job possibilities. We fantasize about our secure professional futures and about how it should be possible, right now, to borrow a little against those —“pay you back when we’re 45!” (just to pull an unthinkable age out of the air)—but we know we’re both going back to waiting tables. We know that the tips we earn this weekend will get us through.

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W. P. Kinsella, In Memoriam

In 1997, Bill was involved in a car accident that affected his cognition, rendering him unable to focus at length on anything. The accident also affected his senses of smell and taste. I remember talking to Bill about the effects and how he said he just couldn’t write anything creative any more.

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More Book Reviews: Wish for Amnesia & State of Grace

The book is a kaleidoscope of references to obscure and eclectic subjects evinced by Jewel, the self-indulgent Caroline, the in-over-his-head Jack, and the evil godmother Beatrice. As such, they are delightful to experience, especially since most are explained in one way or another saving the reader a trip to her Oxford dictionary or Britannica encyclopedia, or (more likely these days) his run to a computer to fact check with Google or Wikipedia. — from Wish for Amnesia, by Barbara Rosenthal

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Carmen Firan/Commentary

If Trump wins he promises to deport about 11 millions of these immigrants and to build a big, insurmountable wall on the Mexican border and only let in immigrants with exceptional abilities, able to graduate from colleges like Harvard, Yale or Princeton…he hasn’t mentioned as of yet if they need be blond and blue-eyed, but the campaign is still ongoing. Other candidates are silent as to their plans in handling illegal immigrants out of fear of confronting their electorate with controversial topics. Border States like Arizona, Texas and New Mexico take this subject to heart. Illegal immigration is also connected with drug trafficking, violence and other crimes, which, while controlled by the government as much as possible, creates fear and resentment in the local population.

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Alfredo Franco/Fiction

The TV dinners had started to cook, the turkey slabs awakening from their cryogenic sleep. Fumes of corn syrup, yeast, monosodium glutamate, rendered chicken fat, onions, and giblet gravy filled the kitchen with a sad, brown smell.

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Christopher Dungey/Fiction

Krista Mangulsone photo *** Right on Through By Christopher Dungey lennie Milford rolled to a sitting position on the lumpy rooming-house mattress. A twinge of the North Korean shrapnel lodged behind his...

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Book Reviews

Winner of Rose Metal Press’s 2016 Short Short Chapbook Contest, Lex Williford’s Superman on the Roof is a haunting series of stories told in the voice of Travis Truitt, the oldest of four children. While they are told years later, the reader gets a strong sense of the child’s consciousness, his helplessness against circumstances way beyond his control or comprehension.

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Gladys Carr/Poetry

Firefly I dabble in wings in variations of flux Heraclitus is my friend everything in the world is my living room I am not pretty but let me show you my light here I land on your fingertip no no do not crush me I fear the dark as you do there are others I could have...

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More books, more reviews

The political rift around Vietnam has not healed since the installation of the Wall in 1982. Many Americans still have not reconciled their faith in the country, which they consider the most powerful in the world, with the fact that the US lost an undeclared war against a small country in Southeast Asia.

The political rift around Vietnam has not healed since the installation of the Wall in 1982. Many Americans still have not reconciled their faith in the country, which they consider the most powerful in the world, with the fact that the US lost an undeclared war against a small country in Southeast Asia.

The American psyche is further tormented by the fact that two Presidents exaggerated and even lied (Gulf of Tonkin) about the circumstances there in order to garner public and Congressional support.

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