November 22, 2019

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

Home, Through the Muted Screen   Home?  My black bear dog sleeping all day long Nestled in a corner of the kitchen, yellow Against the green leaves of potted plants, Overgrown as window shades To hide the heat of summer Or glare of winter’s day.  Or is home a memory of days With siblings running on the beach of waterfronts, On boardwalks laughing, eating cotton candy, Talking of our daily conquests?  Heat radiates through windows, Warmth fills the sun drained dusty day.  The laughter of my daughter’s eyes glitters miles away through computer graphics. Glaring pictograms, even as warm and fuzzy rays Wrestle my despondent doldrums, tussling the muted screen that wrangles fuddled images. Yet suddenly, her singsong voice, her vale, Her voluptuous vapor bantering  force me to forget my mundane life, and she comes alive, splendor in that little box, electronics transforming me into completion at the sound and chatter of her song.  In answer to your Battle Lines   As I read your battle lines, I am consumed by the…

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November 20, 2019

“Thank God I Drove Past You Today,” by Mário Santos

“Thank God I Drove Past You Today,” by Mário Santos

I drove past you today. You were chatting with some friend of ours, waiting for the bus. I saw you briefly through the window of my car but, at that exact moment, I stepped harder on the gas. I saw your image, but it was just for a second. Then you vanished. You know what? Thank God I drove past you fast. I had to tell you this.  Today, I couldn’t be in your world. I’m dead tired. I’ve a deadline at work to meet in four days. Last minute problems as usual. Meetings in a row. The pressure from customers, my first manager, my second manager – that shit is full of managers – my co-workers. Not today. I’m not capable of hearing your endless complaints, your criticism about everything, your grievances. Not today. I don’t want to hear you talking about your…

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November 18, 2019

The Joyous Poetry of Kufre-Udeme Thompson

The Joyous Poetry of Kufre-Udeme Thompson

I Feel Like Dancing  I woke up this morning–– when the night was making love with the day: Mbodibo all over my body! when the sun was about to be conceived; I felt my spirit yearning; my pulses ticking, for a thing I fought in vain to understand.  Then just when the tiny sweet voices of birds–– Ebomo nkuku, kuku! began to escape the thick bushes behind my hut, resounding new songs of joy and laughter–– my feelings became clear as the mirror; I understand now my long deepest yearning:  I really, really feel like dancing! The urge far surpasses the desire for a woman, but `tis with a woman I want to dance–– Nka iferi, to be precise: the smartest and darkest of all, who’ll twist to my desired feat.  I swear, I feel like dancing! Play me the evil drum made with human flesh–– the flesh of an old woman will give a spirited rhythm; Ntap nkanam, ntap nkanam nkanam. Let Anansa sing me the tune–– Anansa, the water goddess of the Ifa Ibom nation.  I want to dance ekombi; Oh, ekombi itiad ntokon! Let me return to the past. Oyebap, oyebap Bokondo! I want to sway with the ancient; Fetch me my wrapper!  Ekombi is…

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November 12, 2019

“No Man’s Ghost” – Chapter 1 – Jason Powell

“No Man’s Ghost” – Chapter 1 – Jason Powell

WHEN THE FIRE STARTED in the Johnsons’ apartment, it probably looked worse than it was. But then it was allowed to spread and became worse than it probably looked. There were a lot of contributing factors to the spreading. The first one, obviously, was the gasoline; but a close second was Mrs. Knudson – the neighbor in apartment 6A next door. She should’ve been the first to call the fire department but at the time of the fire, she closed all of her windows and put a towel at the foot of her door and kept it to herself. She didn’t do those things because of any smoke or heat, she did it because of the sounds of the commotion. To Mrs. Knudson, it sounded like a fight next door and it made her angry….

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November 9, 2019

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

One of Us    A sucker-punch thought,  we will end.  The assault turns into a cold sweat  from the contours of my couch.    One day we might fight over  the over-due mortgage,  you promised to pay.  The dent in the new hallway’s paint,   I never denied.  Who keeps the dog   when we sell the house?     We fought the morning  a bus crashed into the glass store.  The highway exit was blocked  and first responders’ lights spun.  I read on my phone that no one’s hurt  and we held hands the drive home.  What if we’d decided   to replace the glass in the tv stand  an hour earlier.    The first time I wrote this  you sat next to me on the couch.   TV commentaries must-know insight,  scores on your phone,  notes for a fantasy,  but you…

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November 6, 2019

Novel Excerpt 2: “Kado,” Chapter 10, by Rusty Braziel

Novel Excerpt 2: “Kado,” Chapter 10, by Rusty Braziel

Editor’s Note: This is the second excerpt from Kado, a just-published novel, from which we excerpted the Forward and Chapter 9 yesterday. This exciting adventure novel is available from Amazon in hardcover, Kindle, and Audible formats. The Red River This was the damnedest thing I ever seen. Mon Ami, how did you know? Over the next two weeks, we made our way down the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Red River. The trip was easy and rapid, thanks to the current being in our favor. The workload was light, and the variety of river traffic provided occasional entertainment for those of us who had spent most of our lives staring at fields of corn and cotton. Sometimes we saw keelboats such as ours heading upstream, while other times we overtook a flatboat moving…

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November 5, 2019

Novel Excerpt 1: “Kado,” by Rusty Braziel

Novel Excerpt 1: “Kado,” by Rusty Braziel

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to premier Kado, a new adventure novel, today and tomorrow. Today, the Introduction, Foreword and Chapter 9, followed by Chapter 10 tomorrow. Kado was published today on Amazon and is available as a hardcover, Kindle and Audible book. Get yours here. Introduction It is the early 1800s in the new frontier west of the Mississippi. Eighteen-year-old Tom Murrell could never understand his father’s dreams of carving a new life out of the wilderness. He wanted to do something else with his life besides spend it behind a plow, but with the family moving to the Red River in Arkansaw Territory, he was stuck. Everything changes for Tom when he witnesses the death of Tiatesun, spiritual leader of the Kadohadacho tribe, and is drawn into a raging conflict between the Kado and…

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November 2, 2019

“In Thought, Word and Deed,” by Jose Oseguera

“In Thought, Word and Deed,” by Jose Oseguera

By the time Paul and Ariela reached the Caravaggio exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, they decided to stop avoiding the urge to hold hands, and finally interlaced fingers. The tingling sensation first came to him when he handed her the red LACMA sticker, she needed to wear in order to be allowed in all the special exhibits. Paul squeezed her hand as if it would fall out of his if he didn’t. She blushed. He smiled, showing more teeth than he’d intended. Paul was born in Mexico, but was adopted as an infant by white evangelical Christian missionaries who decided to bring him home to Rialto, California along with all the goat’s milk candy they could fit in their luggage. Although his parents had tried to instill as much Hispanic culture in him…

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October 12, 2019

“Confession of an Accidental Theocrat,” by Jacquelyn Tufts

“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…

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