October 12, 2019

“Confession of an Accidental Theocrat,” by Jacquelyn Tufts

0
“Confession of an Accidental Theocrat,” by Jacquelyn Tufts

The door to Carol’s bedroom swung shut behind her with a bang. The late-afternoon light streaming in through her window highlighted every wrinkle and mote of dust that had accumulated on her pantsuit over the course of her walk home from work, but she wouldn’t be dealing with that now. She had come to a decision. It was one that she had been slowly working her way towards not just since she’d woken up that morning, or since the week had begun, but for one full calendar month — and it wasn’t a February either. It was one of the respectable months.  “Okay, listen,” she said to the figure sitting on top of the table beside her bed. “I didn’t know all this would happen between us. But it did, and I love you, and…

Continue reading →

September 30, 2019

How To Succeed In Your Writing Career

0
How To Succeed In Your Writing Career

An Interview with Fictional Cafe Barista Jason Brick In this wide-ranging, 30-minute conversation about today’s writing and publishing environment, Jason shares his knowledge and experience as a writer, an author, and a publisher with curious Fictional Cafe writers who wish to create a sustainable business and income from their writing, rather than its being a hobby in which one indulges in his or her spare time. Jason Brick is a professional writer, martial artist, travel addict, and dad whose work has been published across multiple genres and formats. He has contributed over 3,000 articles and short stories to print magazines and online sites on topics ranging from home improvement, to health and wellness, to cocktail recipes, to small business management. Some of Jason’s top-level corporate clients include BlackBelt and Thrillist magazines, American Express, Intuit, and Mint.com. Jason has ghostwritten more…

Continue reading →

September 23, 2019

Dark Poetic Visions of Nigeria by Batunde Babafemi

0
Dark Poetic Visions of Nigeria by Batunde Babafemi

Reminisce   You remember when   we were too beautiful to smile?  savoring the tears for another day?  How we search our breath   In our nose?  You see the prophesy was true;  we will all die  But my lover’s death  took away my spine.  I crawl all night and wonder   about the shadow of a man  buried inside a plank—The day I heard his demise,   I thought it was a prank  Until I see tears from my eyes.  My love,  How long have you been cold?  Alone,   I buried my pain inside my gaze  looking through our memories  I heard your voice inside my speech,  & when the clergy summoned me   My words become flaccid  Like this I know how   much death took from me.   Abigail  Her silence has words burning inside her   Same as a…

Continue reading →

September 14, 2019

“The Brass Lantern,” A Zany New Saturday Night Podcast

0
“The Brass Lantern,” A Zany New Saturday Night Podcast

The Time: The near future. The place: Beacon City. The Scene: A world where insurance companies own the police and the uninsured have no recourse. The Guy: Matthew Arnold, who fights as The Brass Lantern for those who cannot fight for themselves. Mortal enemy of John Countryman, the wickedest man alive. Elaina Dare, Matt’s fiancée, is the only living person who knows about his dual identity. Blazing guns. LOTS of guns. Nerves of steel. An illuminated mask of brass. Crime has nowhere to hide from this beacon [sic] of justice. Put on those headphones and . . . Click the arrow below to listen to Episode 1, “The Devil’s Diner.” If you’ve enjoyed this first episode, you can listen to all 12 on Apple Podcasts, right here. Our thanks to the multi-talented artist and creator,…

Continue reading →

September 9, 2019

The Mechanics of Melancholy: Engaging Poetry by Rick Ratliff

0
The Mechanics of Melancholy: Engaging Poetry by Rick Ratliff

Dark hallways  Long hallway, doors on either side Like the departure platform at a rail station. No eye contact, everyone looking down, Shuffling along the bland grey floor.  Away from the new arrivals  Lighting is always dimmed like perpetual twilight   And darkness creeps out of some doors like a black fog  We come to say goodbye to those who no longer hear, And who stare blankly at the ceiling: While we are looking at the floor.  Departure time is slowly approaching,  Breathing is mechanical like worn breaks And the smell, the odor that’s hard to describe–  Body odor with musty deodorant  Exhalation is pungent.   No talking now  It goes quiet at departure  As we silently stand in ovation as we exit  FORGOTTEN SONG   FORGET ME NOT  She’s not you — yet, neither are you, (anymore) You would like her; I think. Flaxen hair (like yours)   And I trust all the understanding  A widow has of memories and loss.            That helps, as I am daily learning  To be the reluctant guardian…

Continue reading →

September 7, 2019

By Popular Demand, Another Penumbra Podcast

0
By Popular Demand, Another Penumbra Podcast

Here’s another audio arts work from our friends at Penumbra, this one a scary, futuristic drama, Second Citadel: The Battle At World’s End. As the title implies, it’s a gripping tale: Two giants bearing broken swords Stood by a river’s bend Whose water fell straight down to Hell: They battled at World’s End. Listen here to Episode 1. If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to visit the Penumbra website for more episodes, to buy some great swag, and don’t pass up the opportunity to become a supporting member on Patreon for a mere pittance.

Continue reading →

September 5, 2019

Jennifer Judge’s Poetry Tells Us The Way Things Just Are

0
Jennifer Judge’s Poetry Tells Us The Way Things Just Are

PEOPLE Always say you know what to do when your child cries, you just know, like some parent gene kicks in, the knowledge springs up in your brain like it’s always been there, a priori knowledge.  But that’s a load of bullshit.  Watch a baby fall backwards and drop a chair on herself. You see the chair going but you can’t get there in time to stop it, and you can’t control the gasp that escapes you. You’re not supposed to gasp, have to remain calm so that the child does. And when there’s nothing, nothing, nothing that calms her after the fall—walking, talking, hugging, singing, kissing—you know your love is not strong enough now for anyone, that you are what you are, failure of a parent, and you know this is your life now….

Continue reading →

September 1, 2019

William Wolak, Master of Collage

0
William Wolak, Master of Collage

Bill Wolak has kindly consented to share his masterful collage works with Fictional Cafe, and we’re delighted to bring his work before you. As his collages take different form and shape depending upon his ideas and materials, so it is with his work and creativity. Titles are displayed beneath images. Bill Wolak teaches creative writing at William Paterson University in Paterson, New Jersey. In addition to creating collages, he is a poet and a photographer. He has just published his fifteenth book of poetry entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Editions. His collages have appeared recently in Naked in New Hope 2017; The 2019 Seattle Erotic Art Festival; Poetic Illusion; The Riverside Gallery, Hackensack, NJ; the 2019 Dirty Show in Detroit; 2018 The Rochester Erotic Arts Festival and The 2018 Montreal Erotic Art Festival.  artist photo courtesy India Times

Continue reading →

August 28, 2019

Aphrodite’s Revenge: Two Poems by Madison Culpepper

0
Aphrodite’s Revenge: Two Poems by Madison Culpepper

Even Aphrodite Has Lazy Days  I apologize for the days I don’t wear make-up or dress in tight gowns, and for the days I don’t try to seduce a man to feel worthy.  I used to bathe myself in lavender to attract men. Right now, I’m tired and alone. My confidence wilts when I don’t plaster my face with a glow brighter than the sun.  Today, I’m lying beneath blankets in nothing but sweats and skin. My hair is tied into a bun, purple scoops under my eyes. I wish a man could see that even without my highlight I’m still beautiful.  Most days, I may appear  like the pink sunsets pouring into violet streams. But beneath the gloss and glow and goddess sheen, I’m just a woman, a person. Someone who is more than vanity. And with my face bare, I hope my soul can finally shine, lilac light blooming freely through my skin after all this time.  Citrus Grief  Rows of oranges make a masterpiece in…

Continue reading →

August 27, 2019

The Women: Poems by Stephen Jackson

0
The Women: Poems by Stephen Jackson

The Back of Trudy’s Head  Everything, at once  came to Trudy on the bus, the world through a window  smeared with hair grease came in clear, she  looked around at all the other passengers and knew us —  felt our tension in her  shoulders, drew a breath of  body odor, smelled our fear.  And the thick, pink man  who sat ahead of Trudy leaned back to scratch his mat  of ratted graying hair releasing flakes of skin  down his back and in the air,  then turned to smile a  crooked-tooth smile at himself  in the window, that at night  is both a window and a mirror.  Trudy pulled the cord  to make the driver stop, as it was all that she could  think to do, and when he did  the doors swung open  but Trudy could not  get off — no one did  but me, and I watched  the back of Trudy’s head  till the bus drove out of view.   Bridgette | Since the Accident  Friday’s the new Thursday  for Bridgette, since she  moves with sudden grace  at such an elementary pace through space and…

Continue reading →