February 25, 2020

“Broken Hearts & Dead Flowers” by Michael Summerleigh

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“Broken Hearts & Dead Flowers” by Michael Summerleigh

BROKEN HEARTS & DEAD FLOWERS (February 1970 – upstate New York)  Josh stepped out into the beginning of the day, heard the steel door slam behind him as he pitched the black garbage bag into the dumpster.  He checked the door once to make sure it had locked, buttoned his denim jacket up around the paper sack of unsold apple crisps and burgers, jammed his hands down into the pockets of his jeans.  It had been a slow shift, some heavy wind and a couple of inches of snow discouraging the stoners from boarding the Midnight Munchie train that usually kept the Jack-in-the-Box busy through the night. He’d sent Kyle and Donnie home at two, started shutting everything down around three-thirty…picking up wax paper burger wraps and empty Zig Zag sleeves in the small dining area…

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February 23, 2020

“Ethereal Tryst” Poems by Horacio Chavez

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“Ethereal Tryst” Poems by Horacio Chavez

Ethereal Tryst    Meet me where the pink hued clouds entwine with infinity  So, will we conjoin in our appointed waltz  Upon that coral floor together in unity  To enjoy what is and bemoan that which remains  Our fate to hunger…  Our union asunder    Our feet skillful  We dance the dance fate has called out  Without malice though willful  We are without doubt  For all but our destiny…  We step carefully    Accepting that which is within our grasp  In lieu of that wish that eludes  Satisfied with the fortuitous clasp  Of mind and spirit to conclude   The interlude…  Of our love subdued    Perhaps fate will grant our desire  Beyond the tryst that both plagues  And blesses the fire  Kindled by the wave  That we may forever crave…  Our ethereal tryst  ** In Love With a Poet    So you’re in love with a poet you say …

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February 20, 2020

“Dimples of Haiti” Poetry by Mbizo Chirasha

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“Dimples of Haiti” Poetry by Mbizo Chirasha

DIMPLES OF HAITI  Haiti,  stink of sweat smelling millet slavery and the scent of blood revolutions.  Slapped in the face with sanctions mud by hands under the influence  of imperialistic alcohol. A super-concoction of propaganda maize porridge and  Media yeast.  Waterfalls of anger washing away your freedom dimples  Handmaidens and mental epileptic waiters serving political syphilis in ideological cafes  Children smelling stale ideological urine and dirt diplomatic cocaine  Identities condomised with donor culture and sexual myopia  Baboons eating colors of your flag, munching apples of your freedom  Tongues kissing bottom streams of the state under the veil of democracy gospel  Haiti, my pen is a weapon of mass instruction, I see the spreading yellow York of the sun, gently falling over the darkness of your skin, yawning off the old skin of dust, Regaining the lost richness of your dimples.  ** DAWN OF…

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February 16, 2020

“After Thucydides” Poems by Bruce Robinson

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“After Thucydides” Poems by Bruce Robinson

After Thucydides   Read to you my silent poem,  how does it go? Goes  without saying, va    sans dire.  And then someone spoke  and there was the largest crowd    in history, and a luminous  array of tariffs  made us rich again    which after all was our  pre-existential condition  before the construction    of our glorious, seguro-  will-cover-it wall,  and we learned that    however true it may…be..  that truth is something   intermittent, which is how     some histories are written.  ** It’s Your Past Catching Up with You  and then your past   catches up with you, or tries to,  and then your past  tries to oscillate your future,   or makes a very good effort  to be closer than it appears  and then you’re past  all caring, all over-canvassed  tenses meet each other mid-stream,  toll…

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February 11, 2020

“Designer Baby” by Joann Mead

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“Designer Baby” by Joann Mead

Designer Baby: Underlying Crimes  Chapter 1  My Mai    “You are mine. You are my Mai.” He chuckled. “Mai, Mai.” Repeating over and over, he laughed at his alliteration as he clapped his short, thick hands in time with his rhythmic chant.  “Only tonight. No rough stuff. Just what we agreed, Vlad. Promise?” For Mai Tran, this business has rules that must be followed. Her patrons were usually compliant. Most were lonely businessmen with too much money and time on their hands. Most had pedestrian tastes. But this client was not typical—more brutish and less refined than the Scandinavian men, and with none of the sophistication of western Europeans.   Mai keenly observed the differences in her clients. She was a quick study. This patron was decidedly coarse with his disheveled hair and beefy body. She comically thought the size of…

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February 9, 2020

“Surgeon General’s Warning” by A. R. Farina

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“Surgeon General’s Warning” by A. R. Farina

When the warning first appeared, we were already addicts. It was total and complete saturation. I never knew anyone who wasn’t using although, I found out later, some people weren’t. The kids who were fed free lunch used. My parents used. Hell, they were worse than anyone I knew. All the parents were terrible. There was an old jokey Public Service Announcement that came from when my grandparents were young about a kid doing drugs because he learned it from watching his dad. I saw it a few times as a meme. “I learned it from watching you, Dad!” It would be funny if it weren’t so true. The morning the warning came down, I was in school. First-period classes had just begun when the smartboard turned on. Like every other morning, Jake, the admin…

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February 4, 2020

“Insectgroup,” Flash Fiction by Rich Ives

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“Insectgroup,” Flash Fiction by Rich Ives

The Thoughts I Live in Seem to Accept My Flight European Mining Bee  Dear Chomsky,  My colon’s gone semi. I thought telling you would explain my recent uncharacteristic lack of correspondence. Yesterday I tithed my toilet. Today I’m 90% certain I agree with what’s left. If you’d send me an opinion on breakfasting, I’d certainly think about it.  I’m still being serviced by two membranous wings, joined in flight by tiny hooks at my narrow waist. I have a saw-like ovipositor, long and slender like in parasitic wasps. I’m told that my egg was fertilized though the males’ aren’t. I’m a very social gal, and you can rely on me to spread the word about your genius. You probably get that all the time. What I mean is I’ll help explain why you’re right.  My pollen collection…

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February 2, 2020

“The Answer,” a Short Story by A. Richard Sogliuzzo

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“The Answer,” a Short Story by A. Richard Sogliuzzo

A heavy snowfall blanketed Manhattan; a fierce wind blew over the Hudson River across the West Side. Gusts of snow twirled, twisted and sped toward Central Park. Downtown, offices closed early, rivers of people poured into the streets and down the subways, determined to get home. Eyes peered out between hats and scarves, struggling to see through the snow and wind. On Central Park West, a cab made its way slowly through the snow then stopped.   The cabbie turned to the elderly passenger, “That’s it, lady. I can’t go on in this storm, otherwise, I’ll be stuck here.”  “I think it’s close enough. How much do I owe you?”    “Twelve dollars.”   “Here’s fifteen.”    “Thanks, lady.”   She got out of the cab and pushed her way through a mound of snow.  The stout woman, looked younger than her eighty years: a few…

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January 30, 2020

“Kung Fu Crack Baby,” by John Reedburg

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“Kung Fu Crack Baby,” by John Reedburg

My elementary school was an off-white graffiti spectacle of a building that looked like it was a semester or two from dying of old age. Walking down the halls made me feel I’d become swallowed alive, passing down into the belly of a fire-breathing dragon until defecated into my 4th-grade class that smelled like urine. I hated going to school. My mother was a drug addict who only made sure I went so she could get a welfare check. While most kids went to learn, I went to have a hot meal. It would have been nice to live like Richie Rich with a robot maid that prepared food and protected you from bullies. Though my reality wouldn’t allow me to be a cartoon. I was Demetrius Deontay Jordan, the weirdest boy at school.   I didn’t have any friends.   Older kids called me “Kung Fu Crack Baby,” all because my mother took drugs and my…

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January 28, 2020

“Go Blow,” a Short Story by Alan Berger

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“Go Blow,” a Short Story by Alan Berger

He would have said how the fuck could they make a trumpet out of plastic and have come forth out of it with such beautiful sounds. Sounds like he heard his father play on his brass trumpet. But Gabriel was only four years of age when he got it and didn’t know yet what plastic was.  Gabe’s mother and father were always fighting. With her doing most of the fighting and him doing most of the ignoring. She was jealous of his trumpet, which he played all the time.  Gabe would listen to his father play in the next room and play along with him from his room.  That duo would harmonize until mom started hitting dad and if Gabe was still playing after a few smacks at dad, she would go into his room and smack on him.  By that time dad would start playing his horn…

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