January 26, 2020

“Junk Mail,” a Short Story by T.R. Healy

“Junk Mail,” a Short Story by T.R. Healy

As he waited in line to order a cappuccino, Poston was surprised how crowded the Java Station was this late in the morning. Generally, it was less than half full at this time but, for whatever reason, every table was occupied. He couldn’t sit outside because it was still raining so he supposed he would have to share a table with another patron which was not something he liked to do. “Do you mind if I join you?” he asked an older woman with spiky auburn hair that made it appear as if she were in a constant state of fear.  “Sorry?” she replied, looking up from the spiral writing tablet next to her espresso.  He pulled out the opposite chair. “It’s so crowded in here.”  “Oh, yes, of course. It is busy, isn’t it?”  Nodding, he sat down…

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January 22, 2020

“That Finals Hour,” Poetry by John Grey

“That Finals Hour,” Poetry by John Grey

THAT FINALS HOURIt’s not complacency. It’s stupefaction.The final is in an hour. And I’m notsucking this pen like a popsicle.Behind my lips, I’m in a chewing frenzy.Yes, I’m sipping coffee. And peelingand orange. But the activity requiredis like a drug. My frayed nerves deserveno less. Some friends stroll by.Trades looks tell all. Once eyesadopt a principle of honesty,self-confidence falls flat on its own face.In a room to the building on my right,it’s not a simple mathematics test thatawaits but the labors of Hercules.A growling Nemean lion of an algebrapuzzle. A geometrical hydra. Astamping, snorting, trigonometryCretan Bull. Compared to me,the ancient strongman had it easy.He could stop at twelve. Ah, if onlythe test were on mythology. Allthose contradictory characteristics.Gods and heroes. The supernatural.The bloody. The inspiring. Themiraculous. Best of all, one plus oneonly had to equal…

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January 15, 2020

“Hue,” Colorful Flash Fiction by Kasondra Perez

“Hue,” Colorful Flash Fiction by Kasondra Perez

Southern California is the same hue as your eyes. Brown rutted brush where the goats will chew out the fire breaks so maybe we won’t burn up like your rage on a Saturday night after maple colored scotch.   I remember white blankets of soft ice covered the town where I went to school. Everything was touch and go, where winds would pick up like a whip and snap you forward on the walk from your dormitory, coming up again on the return like a violent slap to the face of pitch cold, kind of like last night with your words, never actually, but reaching into my grey matter and thumbing at the tabs of files until pulling out one labeled Insecurities. You took that folder and studied it like admissions counselors studied my manuscripts. Scrutinized and memorized. …

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January 13, 2020

“True Home and A Bottle of Champagne” by Samuel Ekanem

“True Home and A Bottle of Champagne” by Samuel Ekanem

 As the only human figure in the void corridor, Inem Ikang paused and wondered at her shadow, cast on the corridor walls – the corridor her only possible passage, its walls made of plywood. She had never imagined this: someone casting shadows in the absence of light. And so she started to dance, her body moving slowly, side to side, until the shadows made clearer semblances of her and she was sure they were not spirits. By the time her heart started to bang inside of her, she stopped dancing and craned her neck around the corridor, searching for light. But then she realised that there’s usually no light when there’s darkness.  She moved closer to the wall and caressed the shadows with both hands. The feelings awed her – the wall feeling doughy like half-baked bread. She caressed and caressed, and…

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January 6, 2020

“Low-Hanging Fireworks,” Poetry by Richard-Yves Sitoski

“Low-Hanging Fireworks,” Poetry by Richard-Yves Sitoski

Low-Hanging FireworksMother never woke up tangled in starsbut stayed on Earth, which father droppedand watched as it rolled beneath the couch.Her music was straight as a prairie road,his was bent like an elbow to the gut.He prefered the company of dogs,she of me when I felt like one.He proved that there are no happy alcoholicsand that love is conditional,she that mushrooms can push through asphaltand that cancer comes without a screenplay.The cookies she baked were chocolate chipbut I always wound up with raisin.He taught me to fish, but each oneI caught swallowed the hook.He tried to be anonymousbut the rest of the world ignored him.Some nights he came home after not coming home.Some days her migraines were low-hanging fireworks.I wrote this poem because memoryis no insurance against decay.I wrote this poem because it ain’t gossip…

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January 3, 2020

“Suzy, the New Girl” Roopa Raveendran-Menon

“Suzy, the New Girl” Roopa Raveendran-Menon

Suzy, the new girl, and I became best friends fairly quickly. It took us around five days to be inseparable but I swear that I could have been her best pal the day she walked into the classroom.  I even remember the time—It was ten minutes to the first recess gong. Chubby Chandini had already stuffed half of the contents of her tiffin box into her mouth. I knew she had bought potato pancake—bits of yellow potato laced the little fuzz above her thin lips. I had buried my head in my textbook to swallow the loud chortle that had threatened to sneak out.  That was when Suzy had walked in.  It was hard to believe that she was wearing our dull blue and white checked uniform because she wore it so well, with the flair and grace of a diva. I…

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December 21, 2019

“American Child” – A Poem by M. Sullivan

“American Child” – A Poem by M. Sullivan

I walked along the maps of my home   around the bends of the Housatonic River   and up Mount Greylock hanging over Jamaica Plain        I’ve run my fingers over the shores of Nantucket   and felt the Mystic and run my gaze over  Watatic the high Wachusett   and felt the rumble of the Mattapan line and wandered the streets of Swampscott   and of Chappaquiddick        I remember the first bus I took to school   named the Cummaquid Chief and   how I thought as   I shook afraid that the bus would be driven by a head- dressed brown- skinned face- painted man with leather moccasins and fierce gaze        the names meant nothing to me   no  near mountain no great cove  nothing that lay in the midst of waters nor   far off among the waves there was no place I seek no place   of red rocks no…

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December 19, 2019

“Satiety,” and Other Poems by Brian Rihlmann

“Satiety,” and Other Poems by Brian Rihlmann

SATIETYthere used to be  a much longer delay  between hope  and disappointment     now, I pluck the fruit  and it withers  in my hand    I know it’s bitter  before my tongue does    soon I’ll leave the fruit  and nourish myself   on emptiness    I’ll chew the blue of the sky  I’ll taste the black of the night  and be filled  ** REBORN   and when the pain finally goes as inexplicably as it came we grab its arm to drag it back  through the door like a spurned lover saying  “please stay… I didn’t mean it”  we believe if we let it go then it has no more meaning than a passing cloud a brief summer storm a dead leaf blowing down the street in the wake of a truck   it must mean something more than that we think—  we think so and thus it is reborn to scream at us through all our days and nights   ** QUIT WEARING OTHER…

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December 16, 2019

“The Man in the Iron Hat,” a Short Story by Audrey Kalman

“The Man in the Iron Hat,” a Short Story by Audrey Kalman

The hat was a marvel, like a chastity belt or a grate over an abandoned and dangerous well. The wide curve of its bowl fit the man’s head perfectly. The thick brim jutted over his eyes, hiding everything above the horizontal plane of his vision and much to either side. It was astonishing that something intended to be worn could be fashioned of a material so ancient, so dense and pebbly and so, well, iron age. Yet the hat seemed to him the most natural thing in the world.  He didn’t wear it with pride but he didn’t resent it either. It simply was. He put it on every morning. It sat on his head through breakfast with his wife and children, through the tedious search for his briefcase, the train ride to the city, the day in the office, the ride home, drinks, dinner, TV, lovemaking—three times a week—until, just before he laid his head on the pillow,…

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December 10, 2019

“Acquaintance,” Flash Fiction by Ramisa Alam

“Acquaintance,” Flash Fiction by Ramisa Alam

“Would you like to see the menu?” the waiter couldn’t help himself from approaching Lisa.   “No thank you. I’m waiting for someone.”  She has been waiting for quite a while. She doesn’t mind waiting in such a nice place. Smooth jazz playing and she has her phone to keep her company.     Lisa prefers this eatery to other ones nearby. This is the only place that has enough space to fit her laptop, papers and coffee mug on a table for one. Some days she plugs in the headphones, gets into the new assignment and hours goes by without her noticing. When it comes to meeting someone for the first time, this place is tops at cordiality.  She looks down at her phone to check the time.  It’s 4:54  What’s taking Nina so long?  Nina has a habit of being late, Lisa knows that. Nina must have gotten into those hairstyle tutorial videos and lost the track of time. Classic Nina!  Despite never meeting her…

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