August 21, 2018

PictureStories with Grant Kreinberg

PictureStories with Grant Kreinberg

After a four-year absence, Grant Kreinberg returns to the Fictional Café with some new photographs for which he, Sarah and Jack have written prose and poetry captions. We hope your imagination flies, as did ours, and you enjoy the mood-setting provided by Grant’s images and our impressions. “Port Costa Doll” I gasped as the angel appeared, seemingly from the golden mist that arose from the apothecaries. At first glance I thought she seemed a puppet, but she moved in ways that said she was not. She shimmered, and I was aroused but then ashamed, for I was certain she was only a child. Then I saw the words, “A charming surprise,” and I wondered. **   “Who Said What?” He said . . . she said . . . the eternal misunderstanding. **   “All…

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May 7, 2014

Photography by Grant Kreinberg

Artist’s Statement: I did not start out to be an artist. My education and experience has been as a civil engineer. But I got my first camera when I was about 12 and never really put it down.  My photographic interests lean toward nature and the outdoors, probably as a result of my work. I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying a camera with me wherever I go. When something catches my eye, I photograph it. Please click on each photo for a larger view.   This is a car roof, taken at a custom car show in Santa Maria, CA last year. I call it “A Different View of the Universe” because it reminds me of the rings of Saturn.   ***   Two Barn Abstracts. These were shot in an old barn at Point Reyes,…

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June 19, 2024

Excerpts from “Ocean of Tears” by Ololade Akinlabi

Excerpts from “Ocean of Tears” by Ololade Akinlabi

Ololade Akinlabi is an author who isn’t afraid to discuss gender and societal issues in his work. Included below are two excerpts from his upcoming novel, Ocean of Tears. The excerpts are followed by an interview with Ololade, where he discusses his inspiration for writing the book. CHAPTER FOUR DUNSI AND HER CHILDREN DRESSED FOR CHURCH and waited patiently for the decision of the pregnant clouds that loomed outside. As she settled into her seat on the sofa next to Ariyo, Dunsi couldn’t help but feel a swell of pride in the vibrant garment she had purchased for her daughter. The intricate details and col­ors perfectly complemented Ariyo’s natural beauty. Itunu, seated beside Ariyo, looked dashing in his African wax print Ankara outfit and brown sandals. Tobi, who occupied the other end of the sofa,…

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June 3, 2024

3 Poems by Ndaba Sibanda

3 Poems by Ndaba Sibanda

*Featured image courtesy of Ian Kiragu on Unsplash* Ndaba Sibanda is a skilled poet who writes lines that are both intelligent and emotional. Take a look at his excellent poems below. Doors Of Justice a loss of mental faculties for a ruthless street robber and an infamous killer got tongues wagging- with many citizens claiming karma had finally knocked on the doors of justice Ours Is An Unbreakable Love Your gains are the pains of villains, Your grins come in several scopes, I really revere your super sunrises, but Beautiful Beloved, I’ve requests despite your stunning, seemly sunsets. You’re the nub of love and custody. You’re not just any other landscape, for at the core of our link is a bold bond. Ours is durable, divine, dear and decisive. Though I can live yonder, it’s…

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May 22, 2024

Book Excerpt: “The Last Train to Chicago” by Michael Gray

Book Excerpt: “The Last Train to Chicago” by Michael Gray

*Featured image courtesy of Mado El Khouly on Unsplash* Michael Gray has given us the honor of publishing an excerpt from one of his upcoming pieces. Check it out and tell us what you think in the comments below. I’m just back from the dumpster, the Chicago train’s horn blaring its warning, as Hundley waltzes in with his load on and orders the blue plate special. It’s getting late and we only stay open until ten now because there’s not enough traffic. The blue plate is all we’ve got left, a mishmash of creamed corn or potatoes. Sometimes fries if there’s any in the fryer that haven’t drowned in oil. He’s not picky, Hundley. What drunk is? He stops by to soak up the alcohol with whatever we put in front of him. And of…

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May 15, 2024

“First Impressions of India” by Jon Meyer

“First Impressions of India” by Jon Meyer

*Featured Image courtesy of Naveed Ahmed on Unsplash* Travelling can always lead to some memorable experiences, and Jon Meyer certainly made some memories in his visit to India. Read a snippet of Jon’s trip in his nonfiction piece, “First Impressions of India.” First Impressions of India It was 1973, and I had been a follower of Meher Baba for three years. The white light from Lord Meher through Darwin was powerful, and was still sustaining me even though the constant bliss was somewhat diminished.  I spent a year at the Orrefors Glass School in Sweden and came home to be offered a job at Steuben Glass in Corning, NY. This work was quite varied, which I enjoyed. It entailed being in charge of the new apprentice program in addition to my other duties. Since the…

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May 7, 2024

“Complete Stop” by Frank Diamond

“Complete Stop” by Frank Diamond

*Image courtesy of Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash* Frequent contributor Frank Diamond honors us again with another one of his amazing pieces. Take a look at “Complete Stop,” where our elderly protagonist is faced with making a very important life decision. Margaret Johnson should know better. She’s driving through Lakelock Manor Borough, after all. Infamous suburban speed trap. But at 10 in the morning? She comes to an intersection, stops (a “rolling stop” the cop would contend), sees nothing in any direction except a parked SUV. Margaret continues on her way, and suddenly the SUV U-turns and tailgates her, headlights flashing the way undercover police cars do. She pulls over. “I am going to meet my husband, officer,” Margaret explains to this kid who’s about as old as her eldest grandchild. “He’s in Grantmyer Groves.” In…

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April 24, 2024

Michael Larrain’s “The Life of a Private Eye”

Michael Larrain’s “The Life of a Private Eye”

No, you’re not seeing double. This is Part 5 of the poet’s extraordinary narrative poem about his fictional private eye. Each is told by our one and only gumshoe, each a separate adventure in the streets of Los Angeles, and in each a dame. Of course. If he can figure her out, he can solve the crime. Let’s see how he does in this episode. One more to go next week. The Life of A Private Eye A Noirvelette in Verse By Michael Larrain Part 5: Quadruple Indemnity Original illustrations by Katherine Willmore My doctors had been advising me to get more exercise, so I learned how to put myself into a trance and slipped a couple of useful ideas into my post-hypnotic suggestion-box. The first was to take nightly sleepwalking perambulations. The second tricked…

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April 17, 2024

Michael Larrain’s “The Life of a Private Eye”

Michael Larrain’s “The Life of a Private Eye”

As we continue to celebrate National Poetry Month, Here is Part 4 of Michal Larrain’s epic poem. Parts 5 and 6 will appear here in the next two weeks. Thanks to those who have shared Comments – the author and your editors love to hear what you think! The Life of A Private Eye A Noirvelette in Verse By Michael Larrain Part 4: Zounds! Original illustrations by Katherine Willmore Once there was a man who didn’t flirt with his nurse.Once there was a wife who let her husband slide.Once there was a day when nothing bad happened to anyone,a day that had slipped god’s mind. It might have gone unnoticed,had not the Creator of the Universe hired me to look into it.I figured god could afford it, so I charged twice my usual rates,plus expenses….

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April 10, 2024

Michael Larrain’s “The Life of A Private Eye”

Michael Larrain’s “The Life of A Private Eye”

As we continue to celebrate National Poetry Month, Here is Part 3 of Michal Larrain’s epic poem. Thanks to those who have shared Comments – the author and your editors would love to hear what you think! This new episode, in our opinion, is a real doozy – and so is Katherine Willmore’s exclusive, exemplary artistic rendering. Watch for it! The Life of A Private Eye A Noirvelette in Verse By Michael Larrain Part 3: The Spider Pool She had trained enormous Amazonian butterflies, each the size of a man’s hand, to land upon her person in a pattern either random or preordained, and stay there for a space of hours, forming a living evening gown, their wings slowly fanning, black and green bands of breathing velvet. Speculation was running rampant as to her technique….

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