October 28, 2020

October Edition of “The Break From HOKAIC”

October Edition of “The Break From HOKAIC”

Editor’s Note: We’d like to welcome back our new monthly feature bywriter, writing coach, and longtime FC barista, Jason Brick. Here’s his October edition of writing news from around the web. Greetings all! As many of you know, I run a weekly newsletter of useful, fun, or amusing pieces of writing industry news called The Break From HOKAIC. As writers and lovers of writing yourselves, The Fictional Café thought you’d enjoy some highlights for your information and entertainment: ASU posted a list of the common traits among the best writers 7 Hacks to help you start writing A cute article about writing for kids while you’re raising some How to organize an effective writing group How to write better dialogue The latest salvo in an ongoing discussion about trans rights and author responsibility A great video on…

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October 26, 2020

“Baba Yaga” — Poetry by Raquel Dionísio Abrantes

“Baba Yaga” — Poetry by Raquel Dionísio Abrantes

Baba Yaga    He needs to learn to respect your no;  He needs to learn to hear your yes.  If he does not let him go;   You do not want a vile head upon your chest.    Unleash your Baba Yaga, the one  Who leaves scars.  You will rise from red-hot sun  And no one can tear you apart.    Believe me;  You are ready to forge your throne.  In you there are the seven seas  Beneath your growing skin of stone      Your Perseus Face    Dream after dream you split my  Soul like a glass of rum.  I spend the night by the bed,  Restless seeing your Perseus face.  But I do not have Medusa’s head  Nor any body to offer you    You are a man in the shadow  Of a lost fire. How many times  Have you seen the blaze…

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October 22, 2020

“Being Green,” A Short Story by Col. Jon Marsh

“Being Green,” A Short Story by Col. Jon Marsh

Janey was trying so very hard but her six-year-old-to-be fingers had not yet fully mastered dexterity. “Well, Poop!” She learned to cuss in the girl’s bathroom at St. Thomas Elementary. She tried again. She learned from her friend Alonda that Mommies and Daddies would get a divorce if they had arguments all the time. A divorce was a bad thing to get, Janey was sure. She didn’t want them to get a divorce. . .where would they put it? In her bedroom? There wasn’t much room in there already, with all the stuff they brought with them from their house. The apartment was too small and it smelled bad. She pulled a little to stretch the rubber band enough to get it to fit through the loop her little hands were able to form. She learned in school that…

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October 19, 2020

“Unendurably Gentle” – The Poems of Alan Cohen

“Unendurably Gentle” – The Poems of Alan Cohen

Unendurably Gentle  From the upstairs  Room, one could not tell  Cloudy from clear  Until the sun was  Well up into the leafy  Metacoloring limbs of resolute  Trees; by that    Time, a skein of noise had  Cracked like a whip and lingered like  Sustained applause, up  Over the roof of the   Room, quite invisible, in its  Passage south–voices  Of the atmosphere calling  As, one suddenly  Imagines, voices may   Also call us from water or fire    It is only later, while  Digging shallow  Trenches for spring  Bulbs, that one looks    Up over one’s   Shoulder to seek the butterfly casting  That wavering  Shadow and is surprised to see  A single red leaf hovering  On the wind  Voiceless    A handful of bulbs,  Sunlight  And the leaf-swept air    Circadian Rhythm    Receptive to a fault  The mind composes an…

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October 13, 2020

“The Trio” — A Short Story by Nick Sweeney

“The Trio” — A Short Story by Nick Sweeney

Of the men in the trio, one managed a hardware store, another was a supervisor in a factory producing plastic parts for light fittings, and the other a print shop proofer. Their white collars were discolored, verging on frayed, their shirt cuffs grubby, though they had to have a Sunday best at home. They were men out of old magazines and black-and-white movies, from a different time, I sometimes thought, yet there they came, swanning into mine. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, they converged on a corner on the edge of the industrial district, where three roads met, then, without pausing, marched into our little restaurant.  “Never call it a diner,” Dad warned me, a long time before I set foot in there to work. “It’s a restaurant.”  But with a cook, and not a chef, and no espresso machine, it can’t even be called a café; it’s a diner. There’s nothing wrong with that. In our ad in the local rag, it says we serve ‘good, honest, home-cooked food’. Those commas are the loudest items on the page. It’s not too off-the-mark to say I’m…

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October 11, 2020

“Tumours on My Chest” —Poems of Anindita Sarkar

“Tumours on My Chest” —Poems of Anindita Sarkar

   Tumours on my Chest    Tear drops, popcorn, kidney peas,   red ants collectively navigating  through a complex quarry,   a fable of sequins,   or say like the child   with knotted limbs  who couldn’t make it   till dawn break.   Is it vitriolic?  Not like the toothache that barges in  when we are mid-flight into our dirty deeds,   but like the cramps  on arcane purple mornings  when you are buried in deep sleep.  Will they appear again?   You mean like the hairs  on my bald terrain?   Theory says yes  like uneasy questions  searching for meaning  I hope this time they are photogenic.        Robot Mom     No girly time  but a relic of disenfranchised relationship.   She weaves the worn-out pillowcase  with my butchered dreams,   ignites the chipped tile fireplace   with paper-cuts from my Origamis   she wouldn’t let my art…

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October 8, 2020

“Red Studio” — A Short Story by Bob Conklin

“Red Studio” — A Short Story by Bob Conklin

In your lover’s studio, everything is red—the chairs, the coverlets, the bedspread, the afghans, the doilies, the end tables, the lamps, the lampshades, the sofa. Red is how she likes it.   The easel itself is painted red, as is the canvas, and she always wears a red dress. To mention individual items is a pointless exercise, as it is impossible to distinguish shape from shape, item from item, form from form. It strains perception, and your eyes must make a profound adjustment coming into the room, and then readjust when you leave. It is similar to entering a room that is without light, pitch black, except that once your eyes adjust to the perpetual darkness, you come to accept the featureless quality of the darkened environment. Or else your eyes begin to detect faint shapes,…

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October 5, 2020

“E T R A H” — The Poetry of Michael T. Smith

“E T R A H” — The Poetry of Michael T. Smith

E T R A H      During the moon landing I was on earth   But ever asked: how subjective is ‘here?’  At what point does famil’rity have birth?  In a dark side of the sun place a hearth.  Because a home of heart is without peer  During the moon landing I was on earth  Beg with a Styrofoam cup of such worth:  Spacemen in a fishbowl of walls not clear.  At what point does famil’rity have birth?  For space to be on a premium dearth   On a TV screen wide enough for cheer.  During the moon landing I was on earth  Hands held across a million miles in mirth  Static dances for grains of a soiled year  At what point does famil’rity have birth?  Our empty hands surround a riddling girth   A small doubloon of proximity ne’er near  During the moon landing I was on earth …

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October 1, 2020

Edward Supranowicz — Digital Paintings & Drawings

Edward Supranowicz — Digital Paintings & Drawings

Artist’s Statement:I do not believe in formal artist statements. Art should speak for itself, and the artist should maintain a respectful distance and silence. I work intuitively and compulsively, probably believing that there are archetypes that are shared among us all, but amenable to being expressed in one’s own individual style.  I have been doing digital paintings and drawings for the last 10 or so years. It is a good fit to my personality and nature, being able go forward, then back, then back and forward, and not having to worry about wasted canvas. And digital work allows for sharing work with more than one person rather than just one person “owning” a painting. *** Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia.  He has…

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September 29, 2020

“A Blue Finch”— Short Fiction of Ana Vidosavljevic

“A Blue Finch”— Short Fiction of Ana Vidosavljevic

Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to present two pieces of flash fiction by one of our members, Ana Vidosavljevic, from Serbia: “A Blue Finch” and “A Yellow Marigold.” A Blue Finch  I keep many secrets in the pit of my stomach. My trees and shrubs witnessed many fortunate and unfortunate events that occurred in the depth of my body. And I helped many wretched souls that got lost among my thick tree trunks. On the other hand, I couldn’t help some of them. They were in a hopeless pursuit or running from their own wrongdoings. And their own deserved destiny caught them.   One lost soul especially got stuck in my memory. Her name was Hope.  Hope was a little blonde girl, not taller than my blueberry shrubs. She came to me breathing heavily, and almost losing breath. She was…

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