October 14, 2019

Please Welcome Mbizo Chirasha, Our First Poet in Residence

Please Welcome Mbizo Chirasha, Our First Poet in Residence

It’s a great honor to introduce Mr. Mbizo Chirasha to our Coffee Club members. We met Mr. Chirasha through Poets & Writers magazine when he sent us an email recognizing our efforts. After reviewing his credentials and reading, “I am a capable literary and cultural arts worker. My role and purpose is to shift perceptions, inform and educate society through my writings and literary arts activism projects,” it was evident we could ignore neither Mbizo’s internationally acclaimed poetry nor his extraordinary activism. After discussion among us baristas, we decided Mbizo should be offered a new position, created especially for him: the first Fictional Café Poet in Residence. When it was offered, he wrote: “I am greatly impressed by your offering this position. I accept with my all poetic humility. I thank you greatly.” Mbizo is a…

Continue reading →

October 12, 2019

“Confession of an Accidental Theocrat,” by Jacquelyn Tufts

“Confession of an Accidental Theocrat,” by Jacquelyn Tufts

The door to Carol’s bedroom swung shut behind her with a bang. The late-afternoon light streaming in through her window highlighted every wrinkle and mote of dust that had accumulated on her pantsuit over the course of her walk home from work, but she wouldn’t be dealing with that now. She had come to a decision. It was one that she had been slowly working her way towards not just since she’d woken up that morning, or since the week had begun, but for one full calendar month — and it wasn’t a February either. It was one of the respectable months.  “Okay, listen,” she said to the figure sitting on top of the table beside her bed. “I didn’t know all this would happen between us. But it did, and I love you, and…

Continue reading →

October 9, 2019

“Construction Season,” a Short Story by Brian Moore

“Construction Season,” a Short Story by Brian Moore

Shelley and Celine were halfway across the Rockies when they passed a sign beside the highway that blinked BLASTING AHEAD in angry orange letters three feet high. Blasting what? She imagined dynamite and geysers of rock cracking holes through the hearts of mountains. This was the Trans-Canada. Weren’t they done with all that in the sixties? The traffic oozed to a stop at the chin of a long valley. Campers and minivans glittered a mile down the road, around the toe of a cliff, and out of sight. No town, no stores, no houses, no exits. Not even a signalman flashing a STOP / SLOW triangle. They could be waiting a minute or an hour. She shifted to park and turned off the ignition. The July sun puddled over the fenders. The car smelled of…

Continue reading →

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,…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →