October 8, 2019

The Strong Stuff

The Strong Stuff

The First Fictional Café Anthology Has Arrived!!! October 3, 2019: Fictional Café is proud to announce the publication of The Strong Stuff: The Best of Fictional Café, 2013-2017. This beautiful, coffeetable-format anthology presents the fiction, the poetry, and the four-color art and photography of 55 contributors, wrapped in an original cover designed by Steve Sangapore, FC’s Fine Arts Barista. The Strong Stuff (like the coffee we prefer) is a first-edition, limited printing of 200 copies. It is not available on Amazon, or as an ebook. As such, it’s a collector’s edition, a treasure to those whose creativity appears between its covers as well as to you members of the FC Coffee Club. Future editions are planned. The Strong Stuff: The Best of Fictional Café, 2013-2017, makes a great gift. The list price of this oversize,…

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October 6, 2019

“Evidence of V” a Novel by Shiela O’Connor

“Evidence of V” a Novel by Shiela O’Connor

Reviewed by Honorah Creagh In her novel Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions, Sheila O’Connor pieces together the true story of her maternal grandmother, V, a woman whose existence was a family secret. O’Connor’s mother, June, was adopted by V’s sister, and O’Connor did not know about V until she was sixteen years old. Working from incomplete information, O’Connor colors in the spaces between the facts, transforming V from a name on court documents into an effervescent, audacious girl. In the process, O’Connor tells an affecting story not just about the injustices V and other young women like her suffered, but about what it means for someone to be family, and how a person’s influence reaches through generations. In 1935, fifteen-year-old V lives in Minneapolis and spends her nights singing at…

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October 5, 2019

“Little Black Dress” and “Collegiate Correspondence” by Rachel Gonzalez

“Little Black Dress” and “Collegiate Correspondence” by Rachel Gonzalez

Two Stirring Mise-en-Scènes Little Black Dress Lilia walked 7,392 steps to and from her apartment on an average day. And being a woman, Lilia was, on an average day, cat-called at a new corner. A new stoop. A new shop front. Since her body became what it was meant to be, they were there, noticing out loud. A new man. The same bullshit. “Ay Ma, lemme talk to you!” “Yo Shawty! Where you goin so fast?” “Baby Doll! I got something for you!” Day in and day out, Lilia would leave her house in any manner of outfits—slacks, skirts, blouses, shorts, dresses, blazers, heels, flats—didn’t matter. Whatever it was, she shouldn’t be wearing it. Whatever she was wearing was subjected to a sordid request to the men she passed. If she was outside, she was…

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October 2, 2019

Your Habit or Mine? Two Poems by Chad Lutz

Your Habit or Mine? Two Poems by Chad Lutz

859 Years they were singing Ave Maria in the streets when the flames leaped out of its crown like a scurry of small animals glass popping wood hissing from years of accumulated moisture they’re calling it a shared sadness it’s madness what we find in the losing ** If Anything, We Played Each Other you only smoke on occasion you smoke every day of your life fingers caked with the cancer you’ll contract the Turkish spices and menthol chards your lungs draw deep your mouth purses saying you’ll quit tomorrow telling me you’ll quit today we share a Size 8 waistline & every order of nachos you plant kisses on my earlobes & tuck your hands into the seat of my pants we dance but that’s it you’re everything to me a habit to pass…

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September 30, 2019

How To Succeed In Your Writing Career

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…

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September 28, 2019

Posing the Tough Questions — Poetry by Casey Aimer

Posing the Tough Questions — Poetry by Casey Aimer

Lawrence Sullivan Ross In Aggieland where the Kool-Aid is laced with bled maroon were they conscious of the irony in 1918, preserving their confederate general in bronze skin? Today, Sully, I mapped out your statue like you mapped out the west, legs dangling as I sat on your copper head and Van Dyke beard. All so I could say this: That when the immigrant sculptor, Pompeo Coppini, was re-forging your sole into existence I bet you struggled and resisted your creator. When your fingers were being hammered into submission you clutched in desperation didn’t you at the white work floor lights before being carted away in a colored wheel barrel. At your dedication you protested the brown and black pebbles underneath your podium. They reminded you too much of the people screaming freedom amid reconstruction…

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September 23, 2019

Dark Poetic Visions of Nigeria by Batunde Babafemi

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…

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September 21, 2019

“My Year in Art,” by Steve Sangapore

“My Year in Art,” by Steve Sangapore

After graduating from college in 2013 with a degree in art, I spent the next five years maintaining a sharp focus on honing my craft as a painter. Countless studio hours were matched with even more time pursuing opportunities, schmoozing with gallerists, and making my presence known within Boston’s, and the greater Northeast’s, vibrant art communities. While each year yielded great leaps in my technical dexterity and academic proficiency as a painter, the art was virtually devoid of the most important component that separates art from craft . . . and I just couldn’t see it. Or, perhaps I could see it—I just didn’t want to. The debates between, “what is good art” and “what is or can be art” have been raging on for years – particularly since the mid-19th century with the birth…

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September 19, 2019

“Gods of Death” and Other Poems by JC Mari

“Gods of Death” and Other Poems by JC Mari

gods of death field of clover spread like multitude of hands extended out for you, and they trot a mild-paced approach river-stream of manes and tongues and eyes and belly and hoof breathing out a strength you’ll never know, like stained-glass mandalas pierced by dawn or storm on the eagle’s beak. strangers to each other and ourselves we limp and gaze our puzzlement away befuddled, secret enemies of the wondrous empty all around. this is also how they will approach and enter death. you’d have to be a god to live even a minute of your life this way. ** for the 2 or 3 who read my poems when you ask to read one of my poems i’m 12 again, untouched by whore and booze. when you pick up a copy of my book…

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September 17, 2019

“The Good Pimp,” A Short Story by James Hanna

“The Good Pimp,” A Short Story by James Hanna

While sitting in a Starbucks on Mission Street, I met a splendid pimp. The breakfast crowd had dispersed when he ambled into the restaurant, and he gave me a friendly nod before sitting down at the table beside me. He was a towering man with a heavy, black beard and menacing scar on his cheek, but his eyes were as kind as a minister’s and softer than poached eggs. “Good morning,” he said, his voice as smooth as butter. He was toting a leather briefcase, which he placed upon the floor, and he gazed at me like a spaniel hoping to gobble a tidbit. “Have you tried the strudel?” he asked me. “All my girls love the strudel. I assure you it’s the finest in all of San Francisco.” Having already sampled the nut bread,…

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