January 4, 2017

Paul Jackson’s Eulogy Poems

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Paul Jackson’s Eulogy Poems

Fall Farewell We walked that fall day looking at the leaves, we talked that day; Nature, you, and me. “The leaves are so beautiful,” I said, as we communed together, “It’s Nature’s last farewell,” you said, Before the dying weather.” “Life is like the leaves, I think,” You said, almost too softly to hear. “It has its most beautiful moment, When it knows that death is near.” “Too bad it’s not the same, for people,” I replied. You stopped, and turned, and took my arms, And looked into my eyes. “Sometimes, perhaps, it just might be,” You whispered to the wind. “Am I beautiful now?” you asked. As we resumed our walk again. ### And then, that night you slipped from life— To your immortal end. And still, to me, your beauty lasts, my dear…

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January 4, 2017

“The Devil Didn’t Win” by M. James MacLaren

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“The Devil Didn’t Win” by M. James MacLaren

I   The Cuban sun baked through Pat’s sweat and blood-soaked uniform. He lay in the tall grass halfway up the first hill, surrounded by dead and dying soldiers, patiently waiting for a litter-bearer that would never come. The hole in his side oozed, the flies already crawling on his hand, biting his flesh. He had swatted at them at first, but now he had no strength to shoo them away. He could not decide where to put his hat. The sun burned through the felt regardless where he laid it. He settled on putting it over his face, the stink of his own sweat tickling his nose as he closed his eyes. His head swam and he felt the urge to be sick. Echoes of gunshots came to his ears, less numerous now than…

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December 24, 2016

Natalie Goodwin’s PSA Poetry

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Natalie Goodwin’s PSA Poetry

Editor’s Note: Our member Natalie Goodwin shares a timely message about a perennial holiday toy, and a reminder of the darker side of the holidays. We hope you enjoy her poems.  * * *   A Letter Home to Parents Re: Daughters   If you want society to define your child with: (extension nylon curls, after eating hurls, necklace made of pearls, garish glamour, self-worth stammer, disheartened clamor, malleable model, worth from a bottle, inner squabble, depression, therapy sessions, social regression, top heavy diva, crashing ballerina, internal edema, self-torture, inequality endorser, emotional warfare, imprisoned a body image snare, morticians makeover, fall from grace, loss of faith, plastic putty nose, jobs that blow, methodically sexualized, objectified, petrified, defeated, depleted, mistreated, media exploitation, pop culture implications, gender devaluation, beauty image manipulation, sexist segregation, and lack of validation)…

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December 21, 2016

The Transportive Poetry of Clark Zlotchew

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The Transportive Poetry of Clark Zlotchew

Image Caption: Clark Zlotchew, Havana, Cuba, 1958 Editor’s Note: Clark Zlotchew’s poetry will be featured in Irisi Magazine next month. If you’d like to read more of Clark’s work and see what the good folks over at Irisi are doing, please check out their website. “A Song of China” and “Dancing in the Tropics” published in Irisi Magazine, Copyright (c) 2016 Clark Zlotchew. Used by permission of the author. A Song of China It was in Shanghai that I heard it: Music so unbearably sweet, Melodious, mellifluous, It tastes like honey That flows over your tongue, Sinks into your taste buds, Then descends to your stomach, Where you digest it, Whence every atom of your being, Draws it in, absorbs it The music is so tender, It caresses, Like the smooth hand of A woman…

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December 8, 2016

“San Francisco Fever” by William Masters

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“San Francisco Fever” by William Masters

  Two men, well past the shady side of sixty-five, sat alone and comfortably ensconced in plush outdoor garden chairs on the terrace of a private residence in San Francisco. The glass enclosed terrace overlooked the Castro neighborhood and offered an unimpeded view down the length of Market Street to the Embarcadero and the Ferry Building, with its attached Clock Tower framed by the rippling water of the Bay. Both men, dressed in black on black ensembles, had come to celebrate the life of a mutual friend who had passed away two weeks earlier. The men shared a twenty-five year acquaintanceship linked by their professional connections to the decedent, a famous San Francisco investment broker, whose advice had transformed many hardworking, low profile persons, into millionaires. In an act of incomprehensible proportions, the decedent, without…

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December 7, 2016

“I Don’t Remember” by Clive Aaron Gill

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“I Don’t Remember” by Clive Aaron Gill

Christ! thought James, Barbara is hard to live with. I’ve been bad, sure, but I can’t keep going like this. And I worry about her having a gun. He drove his silver Toyota Camry into the garage of his San Diego home. Walking into the kitchen, he called in a deep voice, “Barbara, I’ve got the Chinese food you ordered.” James hung his blue cotton blazer over the back of a chair. Placing the takeout containers in the microwave, he heated the food. The room filled with the aroma of shrimp, chicken and marinated seaweed. He placed knives and forks on the rectangular, glass-topped table and filled plastic cups with water. “Lunch is ready.” Barbara entered the kitchen wearing a denim shirt and jeans, her gloomy, hazel eyes lost in discontent, her hair uncombed. “Barb,…

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November 6, 2016

Featured Fiction: “Paper Cranes” by Emily Rodriguez

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Featured Fiction: “Paper Cranes” by Emily Rodriguez

Editor’s Note: In “Paper Cranes,” our second featured short story of November, Emily Rodriguez brings us a story about love in modern times with a little twist of the ancient art of paper folding. Curl up with a mug of a mellow brew and enjoy this story. * * * Paper Cranes by Emily Rodriguez In a weird way it’s like I actually have a use for algebra. It’s always been a game of figures and numbers. Nine steps total, thirty-seven exact creases, ten presses, approximately six pinches and a single tug. But first I need to form x. I fold the square sheet of paper corner-to corner until there’s a perfect x-shaped crease at the very center of the square. But I never solve for x. I fold the factor in on itself. Diagonal….

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November 2, 2016

Featured Short Story: “Disaster of the Will” by Richard Craven

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Featured Short Story: “Disaster of the Will” by Richard Craven

Editor’s Note: Our first Featured Short Story for November features a narrator whose cockney British accent and spellings may sound a bit off (think Brad Pitt in Snatch), but rest assured, it’s all part of Mr. Craven’s master plan. * * * Disaster of the Will by Richard Craven A filmy substance welds shut my eyes. I free an arm from the embrace of the twisted mildewed blankets that I have grown to know and hate, prise apart my eyelids, accustom vile jellies to gloaming. The evidence of my desuetude: mounds of unlaundry, overflowing ashtrays. Crushed cans of Horst Wessell Marching lager littering the pitifully cramped floorspace. Once again I have slept in my clothes. I peel a corner of the orange curtain and peer outside. The mountainside, muddy, denuded of grass by ramblers’ boots….

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November 1, 2016

Three Poems by Nina Brav

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Three Poems by Nina Brav

Silly or Young How silly I was then, Or maybe too young To see that the darkness on the wall Was just myself Reflected.   The wooden night-light That carved the image of a withered tree Standing, still in moonlight That’s what made it bigger   That’s why I was afraid.   So I cowered under covers, Silly to think my blanket Could shield me from my monster Too young to know I’d never really Escape it. ***   The Nights Are the Hardest  “The nights are the hardest,” she’d said. She was right. Night came. So did total destruction. Dark winds howled, pushed me, dragged me off my perch, down with a thud. Clay skin cracked, pieces of me spread across cold cement floors. Then came the winged creatures. They tore at me, scratching…

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October 16, 2016

“A New Beginning” by Amelia Kibbie

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“A New Beginning” by Amelia Kibbie

She had one of those yards that embraced the desert. Jimmy appreciated that. Instead of battling the cracked earth, bullying it into producing a lush green carpet of grass, the area around the small terra-cotta ranch was covered with carefully combed pebbles and dotted here and there with decorative rock gardens. The fence was weathered, cowboy wood, and against each fence post leaned an old-timey broken wagon wheel, never a circle complete. Cacti twisted toward the sky, nestled in with otherworldly species, spiny and savage and casting a forest of sharp shadows. Jimmy eased the van up the cracked drive and turned off the engine, the sweet breath of the air conditioning dying against his face. He grabbed a large black duffle bag from the passenger’s seat and went to the door with swift, purposeful…

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