April 6, 2016

Patrick Flynn’s Thinking Man’s Poetry

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Patrick Flynn’s Thinking Man’s Poetry

  Angels, Pearls and Mannequins “Neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet…” Matthew 7:6   Each New Year I stop by family graves asking for ease, as if anything they could do would put me on track, and then I drive south:   there, a half-moon, slightly less really, was a half-buck short of a dollar. I thought today would become warmer and make up the difference. There, I would hammock under heaven:   arms stretched back behind my head, gazing at clouds moving across the face of a broken moon on a black Formica sky.   When I needed truth you were honest:   but there’s distance between us. Everyday you slip more new clothes over pearl-dusted mannequins in window displays.   You may have forgotten I…

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April 3, 2016

“Suburban Legends” by Joan Connor

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“Suburban Legends” by Joan Connor

THWAP. “Catsup,” Hershel yells. “Is that really too much to ask?” The plate smacks the wallpaper, the meatloaf sticking, the plate crashing to the floor. “Meshuggina,” Judith says. ‘Two year olds, I know two year olds more flexible.” Her chair shrieks like a leaf rake on a blackboard as she shoves backward and thumps out of the kitchen. “What? After all I do and do and do for you, catsup I don’t get,” he calls after the wife. “Had too much onion anyway. You call that meatloaf? Heartburn loaf.” He stares at the slab of meatloaf slithering down the foil paper. Foil paper, Judith put up foil paper. “What, you think this is Florida?’ She walked out on him when he asked; she’s getting expert at it, this walking out. Silver foil. Shlock. Got no…

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March 11, 2016

“Rattlesnakes” by Kathryn Holzman

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“Rattlesnakes” by Kathryn Holzman

“We also spent entire nights in bed and I told her my dreams. I told her about the big snake of the world that was coiled in the earth like a worm in an apple and would someday nudge up a hill to be thereafter known as Snake Hill and fold out upon the plain, a hundred miles long and devouring as it went along. I told her this snake was Satan. “What’s going to happen?” she squealed; meanwhile she held me tight.” – Jack Kerouac * * * “Rattlesnakes can swim.” Valerie grabbed the nun’s wrist, desperate to get her attention. Thirty demonstrators walked down the highway median with children and dogs in tow. Despite the chilly January wind, the ragged line of walkers was determined to show support for a proposed rattle snake…

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March 7, 2016

Allison Whittenberg’s Politically-Charged Poetry

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Allison Whittenberg’s Politically-Charged Poetry

“Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.” ― Jack Kerouac     The Quickening Because I believe in perfection I believe in abortion Babies are asymmetrical They/she/he/it squander The silken grammar of routine But, a fetus can be edited Its absence assures a lacy indefectibility In the vacuum, I can breathe It’s not right It’s not the right time I don’t want to hunker down in Staten Island Or be on bed rest Or buy big clothes Or rush to alter with a gown and a groom and a promise With rice raining on me like fallout. I don’t want to be folk like my mother was folk. Children growing out of her hairdo. Dull eyes and unpainted nails. Waking on the hour to feed.  Feeding. Always feeding the hungry….

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February 4, 2016

Holly Guran’s “19th Century Mill Life” Poetry

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Holly Guran’s “19th Century Mill Life” Poetry

Editor’s Note: I met Holly Guran at a poetry reading one chilly night in December. She told me that she had heard of The Fictional Café because her friend Maria Termini told her about the site. Now, for a literary magazine as small as ours, meeting someone who’s heard of your publication is a pretty big deal. Needless to say, I was flattered and encouraged upon hearing this news. Well it turns out that Holly is a darn good poet herself! After reading some of her work online, I was struck by one of her poems about yesteryear. It was part historical fiction, part lyrical voyage. I was enticed by the visuals her poetry created – of a life so much different than mine in an area I have visited a dozen times (mostly for…

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February 1, 2016

A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 2

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A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 2

Editor’s Note: This story is a lead-in for A. J.’s latest novel, Forgiving Mariela Camacho,  which is the follow-up to his first novel, Forgiving Maximo Rothman. If you enjoy “A Glint of Metal,” you can follow the characters in his newest thriller. This is part 2 of 2.   * * *   Captain McCloskey yawned then looked at his watch. “Kurchenko, let’s get this over with.” “I thought you should be here for this,” Tolya said. “You were right to think so, but don’t you think this could have waited till later this morning instead of the middle of the night? IA will have to be here for an official inquest.” “I know but under the circumstances I thought we should have a kind of off-the-record conversation with Billy before this thing hits the…

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January 31, 2016

A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 1

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A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 1

Editor’s Note: This story is a lead-in for A. J.’s latest novel, Forgiving Mariela Camacho,  which is the follow-up to his first novel, Forgiving Maximo Rothman. If you enjoy “A Glint of Metal,” you can follow the characters in his newest thriller. This is part 1 of 2.   * * *   Washington Heights, New York May 8, 2015   Pete slept with his cell phone on the night table, the sound off, the flasher on. He was no stranger to middle-of-the-night calls from the precinct. No cop was, that’s the cop life. “Gonzalvez,” he said, grabbing the phone and catapulting out of the bed so as not to wake Glynnis. The time read 2:12. “Pete,” Tolya said. “Yeah, who were you expecting?” He passed Jeremy’s room on the way to the living room,…

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January 21, 2016

“Who Done Me In?” by John Martinson – The Complete Novella

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“Who Done Me In?” by John Martinson – The Complete Novella

John, the narrator of this funny, fascinating, futuristic story, is dead. As he spins his tale of what it’s like on the other side, he’s also trying to figure out why he’s dead and who got him that way – hence the title. We’re swept up in a Machiavellian mystery tale that takes us into the world of wisps and preeps, to the Burj Khalifa, to Fameland as John tries to figure out who done him in. We published “Who Done Me In” in five parts earlier, but now offer it to you in one complete post.   Who Done Me In? How Dick Cheney, Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, Gilgamesh, and A Few Others Solved My Afterlife Mystery by John Martinson Part I It was a while before I figured out I was dead. Days, weeks, or whatever passes…

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December 24, 2015

For Our Coffee Club, A Christmas Story by Lloyd R. Prentice

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For Our Coffee Club, A Christmas Story by Lloyd R. Prentice

Your baristas, Caitlin, Jack, Jason and Mike, would like to wish you, the members of our Fictional Café Coffee Club, a Happy Holidays season. Hey, even if you’re reading this but not yet a member, we still wish you the best of the season. [Maybe it’s time for you to join us?] In any event, here’s a very short but very charming story from our friend and contributor, Lloyd R. Prentice, author of The Gospel of Ashes, a thriller we excerpted here at the FC last month [“titled “Carmichael“], Freein’ Pancho, and the three-volume manga Aya Takeo. Catch up with Lloyd and his books at his Amazon site.  Santa Has Second Thoughts: A PG13 Christmas story When Santa on his yearly round narrowly dodged a shoulder-fired missile, he proclaimed, “Enough is enough!” This went far beyond marking up…

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December 9, 2015

The Poetry of Multi-Talented Maria Termini

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The Poetry of Multi-Talented Maria Termini

Editor’s Note: There are two kinds of creative people: the kind that create art and the kind that live it and could know no other way. I met Maria Termini at a quiet little poetry reading in my neighborhood. Within five minutes of knowing her, I could tell she was that latter type of creative person. Before the end of the night, I’d heard about her poetry and her collection of memoirs, and I left the reading with one of her CDs (on which she sings songs in both Italian and Spanish). And as it turns out, she’s also trained artist. Here’s a sampling of her poetry that hints at the stories she’s got to tell from her worldly adventures.   * * *   Star Struck When I was seven, I would shake out…

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