February 20, 2024

“Becoming Queen,” A Short Story by Lorraine Parrish

“Becoming Queen,” A Short Story by Lorraine Parrish

*Featured image courtesy of Pexels on Pixabay* Doubt has a funny way of sneaking into our minds when we least expect it, and all we need is a little encouragement to push past that negative voice. Come along as Lorraine guides us through an elegant performance in “Becoming Queen.” Inky darkness disguises me among the shifting walls of velvet.  It calls to me — an energy that ebbs and flows, like blood pumping throughout my veins.   Come closer. This whir of energy beckons, sighing into my ear — Reveal yourself to me.    My skin tingles in anticipation as high-pitched whispers dissipate into an atmosphere rife with tension and excitement. Normally light on my feet, I stumble over a wooden block secured to the floor. Their expressions — raised eyebrows, and curled lips—reveal both contempt and perhaps, surprise? Whatever…

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February 6, 2024

An American Family in Crete

An American Family in Crete

Veteran FC Barista and lifelong iconoclast Jason Brick moved his family and his writing to the Greek Island of Crete for a year to learn about another people and their culture. We were delighted to hear about his Odyssey and eager to find out what it was like, so Jack interviewed Jason recently and got these comments and photos back to share with you, our faithful Coffee Clubbers. Please share your Comments and ask Jason any questions you may have. He’ll be back. Jack: What in the heck are you doing in Crete? Jason: I’ve brought my family to Greece for a year so we can experience what it’s like to live in a country and a culture distinct from America. We’re on the island of Crete, which is off the coast of mainland Greece—the…

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February 4, 2024

“Zzzzzz….” A Short Story by Dan Brook 

“Zzzzzz….” A Short Story by Dan Brook 

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.” Feeling a little sticky with sweat and having butterflies in his stomach, Anatta was getting anxious and slightly panicky. He realized the irony of racing to the San Francisco Zen Center, but he could not help himself. He was rushing to get there, just so he could sit still in silence to calm his mind, supposedly to see “the nature of reality” as he had read somewhere. It wasn’t the only irony, to be sure, and he got agitated thinking he was running late, though he was actually on time as usual.   Exiting the MUNI station, as Anatta did each week, he was still in…

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January 25, 2024

As I Make You

As I Make You

A Flash Fiction by Matthew Bala Image Courtesy of Al Quino, unsplash.com Bulging my fingers into the spinning clay, I look into the rotating bottom and let my tears glisten there—the figure moves faster than my hands can shape, and I’m left with only a few touches to produce the right form.  The pad of my thumb grazes the orbiting ovoid, trimming up and at its waist into some obscene shape; surrendering a chuckle, I retreat my hands, looking at this earthly bong I’ve now made. The long snout stretches for air, its bottom rounded to the sides of the hog pan.  My palms now fondle the roundness of my creation, feeling the argil beard my cupped hands and cuticles of bending fingers. Deliberately, I close my two arms in on each other, shooting my…

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December 20, 2023

“Plucked,” A Novel in Verse Excerpt by FC’s Vera West

“Plucked,” A Novel in Verse Excerpt by FC’s Vera West

Seventeen-year-old Iza auditioned on a whim and got accepted (on a scholarship) to a creative arts prep school. Even with just a year left until she graduates, attending this school will give her the edge she needs to be a successful classical violinist and give her more options than what she currently has in the impoverished town where she grew up; but without the support of her mother getting there will be a challenge. After convincing her best friend to drive her to school, working extra shifts to save up money and having her granny forge her father’s signature on the application, Iza is finally ready to make the great escape to Everleigh. 1 She has pluck, they say, with optimism in spades, surely all her dreams will come true.     “Iza Jones, are…

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December 5, 2023

“Happy Birthday to Us,” Poetry by Bruce McRae

“Happy Birthday to Us,” Poetry by Bruce McRae

Happy Birthday To Us I arrived mid-century. A flaw in the seamed dimensions. A stone dropped down a cistern. Already ancient, wonderstruck, fire in my gills and hair, life-naked. I was born all of a sudden. A shift in the given paradigm. A handheld globe of teeth and fur standing athwart of all of history. A faint itch, a rudimentary element, I appeared as if quite by accident. A figure blurred by the side of the road, an eleventh planet, a tiger’s teardrop, a snowman in the parson’s orchard. Heavy with dreams, I was awoken early for my rough appointment. A manic isotope in a fat-lit cavern. One of those molecular contrivances you hear so much about. A mighty atom. A coy abstraction. ** Reality The rules of the game remain couched in esoteric phrases…

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November 27, 2023

“As the Storm Arrives,” Poetry by David Dephy

“As the Storm Arrives,” Poetry by David Dephy

As the Storm Arrives Silence with its excellent syntax is so real, rhythm compensates breathe when the stream of our thoughts shapes our lives, we are the same and always seek each other when silence between us dies. Are we all identical in nature, different in degree? Children can smell the wind more than pets, as you know they prowl the streets, and the smell of the wind will color them lilac, though for now only the moon rises, and each tree, remains as the heart of a wind, each wind a string on time’s lyre, divine love reflected upon its own reflection, wickedness kindling that flame of darkness, but when the hero strikes her anvil of freedom, the vision returns, here the mist is a single thought floating within islands of silence, and the…

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November 21, 2023

“Gone,” A Short Story by Katherine Harper

“Gone,” A Short Story by Katherine Harper

I want to be gone. I want to be utterly gone. I was once gone, but now I am here, but now I am tired of being here and want to be gone. I have been here for so long and have been not gone for so long and I want to be gone like no one has been gone ever before.  I used to be a sky-watcher when I was gone. I used to be a sky-watcher and know all the shapes in the sky. I used to know everything about the night sky, and the night sky knew everything about me when I was gone. Now I am here and there is no night sky. There is no darkness here. Here has no darkness but dark times. I had no dark times when I was gone, just the…

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November 13, 2023

“Wednesday in a Factory Town,” Poetry by John Grey

“Wednesday in a Factory Town,” Poetry by John Grey

WEDNESDAY IN A FACTORY TOWN Sunlight succumbs to weather and chimney, fat gray clouds, much billowing of smoke. In a town of factories, faces stare, solemn and blackened like stove flues, through windows, as red eyes make tunnels in the gloom. Rivers wait like standing water for more dust and grime to fuel their current. Shoppers cough their way from store to store. Kids grub up without even trying. No sky as once was promised. Not even the church, chiming three o’clock, can get back God’s attention. ** EMMA, A MONTH BEYOND THE DEATH OF HER FATHER She can’t swerve to avoid the dead possum on the road without crashing through huddled sobbing mourners and braking just in time so she doesn’t topple down into the freshly dug hole, and smash headlong into her father’s…

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November 6, 2023

The Hurricane Book: A Lyric History

The Hurricane Book: A Lyric History

New Creative Nonfiction by Claudia Acevedo-Quiñones How do we mark the passage of time? How do we reconcile what we remember of our life and those we love – and have loved – against the mutability of memory? Like author Marcel Proust (À la recherche du temps perdu), Ms. Acevedo-Quiñones grapples with her life growing up in Puerto Rico and her identity as a writer in Brooklyn, marking the journey with the island’s six great hurricanes of the 20th century. With our deep gratitude to Rose Metal Press for publishing this book, we herewith present excerpts from Claudia Acevedo-Quiñones’ remarkable work. These excerpts do not do full justice to her innovative narrative, so please read the book. Meet the author live tomorrow (Wednesday, November 8, 2023) evening, in conversation with poet Paolo Javier at the…

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