May 7, 2020

“My Girlfriend, the Narcissist,” Poet Natascha Graham

1
“My Girlfriend, the Narcissist,” Poet Natascha Graham

My Girlfriend, the Narcissist   She’s called Gillian. She’s got brown hair, and eyes the colour of a bleached winter sky.  She’s about 5’5″, but she’s tough.  My girlfriend was a narcissist. She didn’t like me having friends, or seeing family.  So, I didn’t really.  Gillian stuck around, though.  In fact, that’s when I first met her.  A few months in.  I met her on the school run.  She was standing in a driveway nudging gravel with the toe of her Converse.  I asked her if she’d lost something.  Her wedding ring, she said. Not that it mattered.  He was a cheating bastard.  We walked to school together, her black wax jacket similar to mine, though I envied its collar, and the zip doesn’t work on mine. It broke on Melton playing field when I bent…

Continue reading →

April 26, 2020

“Carson McCullers,” Poetry by Abigail George

0
“Carson McCullers,” Poetry by Abigail George

Carson McCullers  I will always love music, she said to me. Turned her   face away and became a sad ghost like all the people  that I have loved in my life. The sad ghost, dead snakes,   the religious, the ordered hide mischief in plain sight.   The geranium has a tongue and the sky appears to be   falling. The moon walks wider now. It curls up. The   red-haired sun does not know how to travel lightly in   summer. She swoons. She will fall at your feet if you  remove articles of your clothing. I travel light in these  heavy years. Waving earlier to the good women who   pass me by. With their white teeth and their sweet   breath. Bread to the soul. And the wind is sunburnt from  the form and shape of the river, to the…

Continue reading →

April 16, 2020

“Mythomane’s Truth,” Poetry by Sanjeev Sethi

0
“Mythomane’s Truth,” Poetry by Sanjeev Sethi

Mythomane’s Truth    If we could retrofit ourselves?  I would not be me nor you, you.    Imagine me without infirmities.   I would no longer be po-faced,  pudgy and potbellied. My eyes  wouldn’t swim sans Adam’s ale.    If any of this gladdens your gut:    I reckon, you aren’t for me.  ** Flux    From entanglements of existence   I’m in firmament of my own.   In roll-call of needs anamnesis   mitigates. Past is polished with   coats of one’s inner complexion.   Peeps are like diaries different   page different piece: same smell.  ** Vision    When you unself   from a situation or skein:   you deliver lavish   dividends for yourself.    Opportune distancing   mends the ache:   of the eventualities  of our exploits.    Propinquity bedims   the perspective:  leaving us to lust   after our parakeet or pelt.  *** Sanjeev Sethi is published in over 25 countries. He has more than 1200 poems printed or posted…

Continue reading →

April 6, 2020

“‘The Misfits’ Revisited,” Poetry by Stephen Mead

0
“‘The Misfits’ Revisited,” Poetry by Stephen Mead

“The Misfits” Revisited*   When you chased, lassoed the mustangs,  tying hooves to necks of down  weighed by tires heavy as trucks,  you wrenched the galloping out of me  till I found my rage…    Butchers!  What is the spirit if not these horses  wild first to last, these zeniths, comet-  tailed, free as the sage, the mountains,  the thousand miles of it?    That is me down there in the dust.  That is you who cannot see yourself  for the sign of dog food dollars,  a cowboy’s wage, the dream  gone to blood.    Put my blood on your fingers.  Lick clean.  Let whiskey drown the taste.  The taste will come back, the beleaguering   fever and freedom here truly trotting  beyond your ropes which shake and shake.    Lost boy, lost cow poke,  I will…

Continue reading →

March 19, 2020

“The Woman of Kutch,” Poetry by Jonathan Lloyd

2
“The Woman of Kutch,” Poetry by Jonathan Lloyd

The Woman of Kutch    The woman of Kutch,  Living in grasslands  Favored by raj  And ibis, flees   The earthquake and  Monsoon that leveled  The Gujarat  Three or four   Thousand years ago.    For this occasion  She wears a dress  Embroidered in red  And yellow cotton  An aba covers  The sakral which  Begins the stem   Of a sunflower rising   To a shower   Of light, all in  Mirrors, surrounded   By grassy fields.    She carries three  Steel pots of water  On her head and   With her left arm  She caresses another.  With her right arm   She shields her eyes   Against the sun,  Into which she races.    ** At  the Track  She crosses her legs, this girl of twelve, her hat  A crown, brim bouncing in a breeze. She reads  Her book, maybe–maybe not–lost in thought  Or reverie, a boy…

Continue reading →

March 15, 2020

“The Boggart” and other Poems by Julia Franklin

1
“The Boggart” and other Poems by Julia Franklin

The Boggart   There used to be this boggart in our house. Not a big thing, really; actually quite small.   Of course, we didn’t used to see her that way; There was a time when we were the ones that were small.   She had a row of teeth for every bit of flesh we bore. She’d bring them out, all neat and sharp and small.   One day we stared her down and brought our own teeth out, And the growl that stirred in her throat was small.   The night passed without incident. When the sun rose, We found footprints out the door. We thought, “Now who’s small?”   I heard she found another house to haunt, Its occupants each Bambi-eyed and small. **   The Truckers   It’s a world that…

Continue reading →

March 12, 2020

Our New Baristas! Welcome Michael, Amanda & Yong

0
Our New Baristas! Welcome Michael, Amanda & Yong

Please join us in welcoming our new baristas to The Fictional Café! These three talented additions to our staff have rolled up their sleeves to help us brew the tastiest “fresh java” this side of Pluto. Michael Piekny has joined our Editorial Board, which also includes our editor and all-star submissions manager Ruth Simon and our editor and anthology barista, Mike Mavilia Rochester. As an Editorial Board Barista, Michael brings a robust enthusiasm for editing based upon years of practice, and the work he does at his own company, Hub Edits. If you’ve recently been published on FC, you’ve surely enjoyed working with him. Our new Visual Arts Barista is Amanda Grafe. She’ll be curating our visual art offerings, which includes anything from paintings to sculptures to photography. An artist herself, Amanda’s passion for art…

Continue reading →

March 8, 2020

“Jacob the Lion Hearted,” Poetry by Thomas Piekarski

2
“Jacob the Lion Hearted,” Poetry by Thomas Piekarski

Jacob the Lion Hearted  He started out trying to climb too high a ladder,  fell off, smacked his head, knocked unconscious.  But he wouldn’t give up just because the ladder  was an obstacle. He wouldn’t give in although  he had no grip on any world outside his head.    Jacob took advantage of this transcendent state   to luxuriate in the expanse of his imagination.  He ventured like Alice through fabulous realms  clinging to his unique ideals. No one else would  ever understand what thoughts were propagated.    Nor would he, for memory had fled in a flash.  His mind a dream machine, body in suspension,  Jacob manufactured fantasies, myths, religions,  gave them life, far beyond anything he’d known  during this his tenuous tenure on the road of life.  ** Andronicus Returns to Earth    A smooth landing, the toes…

Continue reading →

March 1, 2020

Milton P. Ehrlich — Poems of Rumination

0
Milton P. Ehrlich — Poems of Rumination

ONCE Following orders   on the battlefield,  it was kill or be killed   my sergeant said,  no different than   when he taught me  to thrust and parry   with fixed bayonet.  The young soldier  wore thick glasses  and looked a lot like    one of my classmates.  Sergeant claimed  Gooks don’t belong  to the human race.  Don’t ever feel sorry   for killing an enemy,  I can’t forgive myself.  I look down at my finger,  ready to squeeze the trigger,  and hear my mother asking:  What has become of you?  ** THE MARITAL HAPPINESS QUOTIENT    I Uber my way across the country  in my Hugh Hefner silk pajamas  to study happiness in marriages  of all my old friends who are still   walking and talking coherently.  Computer porn ended a few bonds  that had once bloomed like a flower.  For those that served breakfast in bed,  a lotus blossom was…

Continue reading →

February 23, 2020

“Ethereal Tryst,” Poems by Horacio Chavez

1
“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 …

Continue reading →