May 20, 2020

“Lester and the Mysteries of Wax and Wane,” by Derrick Lafayette

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“Lester and the Mysteries of Wax and Wane,” by Derrick Lafayette

Lester, for all intents and purposes, was walking his dog down a familiar trail at 8:21 pm. The first block was uneventful. The dog peed where he’d always peed millions of times before. Shat where he’d always shat before. Lester readied his green, eco-friendly poop bag, bent down with ease, and collected his pet’s droppings. At 8:35pm, Lester and his dog about-faced and were heading home when a giant flash of light enveloped the sky. He saw nothing but white, and his dog was an inverted shadow, blurring in his vision. When Lester was able to see again, all of the familiar surroundings took an interesting turn. A man whose feet never touched the ground, shrouded in orange garb with mandala designs, appeared before him. The man stretched his arm, opened his hand, and inside…

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February 6, 2020

Brett Stout – Deep, Dark Paintings

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Brett Stout – Deep, Dark Paintings

All images copyright, Brett Stout. *** Brett Stout is a 40-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and paramedic. He creates mostly controversial work usually while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment known as “The Nerd Lab” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His work has appeared in a vast range of diverse media, from international indie zines like Litro Magazine UK to Brown University. This is his first feature in The Fictional Café.

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January 6, 2020

“Low-Hanging Fireworks,” Poetry by Richard-Yves Sitoski

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“Low-Hanging Fireworks,” Poetry by Richard-Yves Sitoski

Low-Hanging FireworksMother never woke up tangled in starsbut stayed on Earth, which father droppedand watched as it rolled beneath the couch.Her music was straight as a prairie road,his was bent like an elbow to the gut.He prefered the company of dogs,she of me when I felt like one.He proved that there are no happy alcoholicsand that love is conditional,she that mushrooms can push through asphaltand that cancer comes without a screenplay.The cookies she baked were chocolate chipbut I always wound up with raisin.He taught me to fish, but each oneI caught swallowed the hook.He tried to be anonymousbut the rest of the world ignored him.Some nights he came home after not coming home.Some days her migraines were low-hanging fireworks.I wrote this poem because memoryis no insurance against decay.I wrote this poem because it ain’t gossip…

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December 8, 2019

A Short Story, “Judgment Day,” by Philip Sherman Mygatt

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A Short Story, “Judgment Day,” by Philip Sherman Mygatt

On a cold, rainy April day, I put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. It wasn’t the way I wanted to die, but I had no choice, especially after losing my wife, whom I loved so dearly. It wasn’t a random act; I had carefully planned it as I spiraled downward into the depths of insanity and deep depression. It wasn’t pretty, but I was finally out of my misery, or so I thought at the time.   I had always wondered what it was like to die; perhaps it was like getting anesthesia before an operation, or perhaps it was like just closing your eyes and going to sleep, however it turned out to be quite different. Even now as I send this message across that invisible barrier separating life from death, it’s…

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September 19, 2019

“Gods of Death” and Other Poems by JC Mari

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“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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June 13, 2019

The Poetry of Michael Glassman

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The Poetry of Michael Glassman

DEATH IN THE DESERT  Heat waves frolic along the desert’s endless edge I hear the shuffling of camel’s toes The soft landing of camel dung  The smell adding to my woes My knees embedded in sand Awaiting the wrath of the Queen of Hearts The bald ibis watches from his rocky perch I glimmer a glint of silver through shrouded eyes To the camels and ibis it’s no surprise They’ve seen many times how a man dies  Heat waves frolic along the desert’s endless edge Having no power to stop their play On a whim of the wind they hold their place The camel and Ibis are rarely seen Betwixt the sand and the dust devil’s space The wind has no say as to what happens next When frolicking ends and attention is paid A man with no head leaves them perplexed To the camel and ibis it’s no surprise They’ve seen many times how a man dies  NEWTOWN SCHOOL BUS DRIVER’S…

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