October 13, 2020

“The Trio” — A Short Story by Nick Sweeney

“The Trio” — A Short Story by Nick Sweeney

Of the men in the trio, one managed a hardware store, another was a supervisor in a factory producing plastic parts for light fittings, and the other a print shop proofer. Their white collars were discolored, verging on frayed, their shirt cuffs grubby, though they had to have a Sunday best at home. They were men out of old magazines and black-and-white movies, from a different time, I sometimes thought, yet there they came, swanning into mine. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, they converged on a corner on the edge of the industrial district, where three roads met, then, without pausing, marched into our little restaurant.  “Never call it a diner,” Dad warned me, a long time before I set foot in there to work. “It’s a restaurant.”  But with a cook, and not a chef, and no espresso machine, it can’t even be called a café; it’s a diner. There’s nothing wrong with that. In our ad in the local rag, it says we serve ‘good, honest, home-cooked food’. Those commas are the loudest items on the page. It’s not too off-the-mark to say I’m…

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September 24, 2020

“Love on the Road” — The Poetry of Irving Glassman

“Love on the Road” — The Poetry of Irving Glassman

               Love On The Road    We hug and kiss in the fast food parking area   From their SUV my family waves farewell to me  We are on the same road until they slow to approach their exit  For an instant we are side by side  Everyone turns in their seats and throws me an extra kiss  They look like any other family  Except they’re my family                   #   #  #                        Crossing Over               My daughter runs, hops, and skips        To the curb’s edge        For her ritual rite of passage               I assure her it’s safe to cross        She runs, hops and skips        To the opposite curb        “I’m a grown up now,” she yells           I yelled back, “Don’t grow up yet. You have time.” …

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December 16, 2019

“The Man in the Iron Hat,” a Short Story by Audrey Kalman

“The Man in the Iron Hat,” a Short Story by Audrey Kalman

The hat was a marvel, like a chastity belt or a grate over an abandoned and dangerous well. The wide curve of its bowl fit the man’s head perfectly. The thick brim jutted over his eyes, hiding everything above the horizontal plane of his vision and much to either side. It was astonishing that something intended to be worn could be fashioned of a material so ancient, so dense and pebbly and so, well, iron age. Yet the hat seemed to him the most natural thing in the world.  He didn’t wear it with pride but he didn’t resent it either. It simply was. He put it on every morning. It sat on his head through breakfast with his wife and children, through the tedious search for his briefcase, the train ride to the city, the day in the office, the ride home, drinks, dinner, TV, lovemaking—three times a week—until, just before he laid his head on the pillow,…

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November 22, 2019

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

Home, Through the Muted Screen   Home?  My black bear dog sleeping all day long Nestled in a corner of the kitchen, yellow Against the green leaves of potted plants, Overgrown as window shades To hide the heat of summer Or glare of winter’s day.  Or is home a memory of days With siblings running on the beach of waterfronts, On boardwalks laughing, eating cotton candy, Talking of our daily conquests?  Heat radiates through windows, Warmth fills the sun drained dusty day.  The laughter of my daughter’s eyes glitters miles away through computer graphics. Glaring pictograms, even as warm and fuzzy rays Wrestle my despondent doldrums, tussling the muted screen that wrangles fuddled images. Yet suddenly, her singsong voice, her vale, Her voluptuous vapor bantering  force me to forget my mundane life, and she comes alive, splendor in that little box, electronics transforming me into completion at the sound and chatter of her song.  In answer to your Battle Lines   As I read your battle lines, I am consumed by the…

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October 6, 2019

“Evidence of V” a Novel by Sheila O’Connor

“Evidence of V” a Novel by Sheila 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…

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August 5, 2019

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly

Tender Continuum   This town is a perfect snow globe  on a mantelpiece, an impenetrable dome.  Waves of puddles on the stone sidewalk  swallow us down & we become a part of the rotation,  the silent timepiece,  the busted backdrop.  We will never escape it  even when we box up our  memories & drive to the shore & cradle our kin   or watch them outrun our misfortunes.   Still, this is just a thought against actions, just a minute  against an hour.  When the glass shatters & we inhale the valley fog for the last time,  we will draw breath as  the pale petal in the  summer storm wind.    Silent Orenda  Today, there is an urgency not to move. To instead, bury the worn soles of my feet in this comfortable, breathable moment,  one that I am certain will not try to control me – in the same way that the passing hours like to threaten me and hold me to the slow, choking wind,  who, with the right motivation,…

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July 18, 2019

Startling Flash Fiction by Arya-Francesca Jenkins

Startling Flash Fiction by Arya-Francesca Jenkins

WHATEVER YOU DESIRE         When they are together, her nose turns up automatically at everything he says, her head turning to observe passersby or leaves quavering on a tree, incidentals, he, the point from which she departs to engage in everything. This is how it almost always is.         He has no idea, even while cultivating his fevered impulse to draw her in, make her look into his eyes, respond to the hand holding hers as he inquires what she would like to eat and drink–life’s menu, always at her disposal, proffered by him.          His drone of words tickles their fecundity. Everything so green. He has never seen her more beautiful, wearing the ring he gave her, a diamond perhaps too large. But what is love, if not extravagant?         She demurs at his suggestion for the wine, then lets him choose her appetizer and entrée. This makes him smile. He knows her, and she, in turn, appreciates being able to settle into the cushion of the life he is creating for her with such dexterity…

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