December 20, 2020

Umi and Mori Haikus by Julie Brinson

Umi and Mori Haikus by Julie Brinson

Six Umi and one Mori Haiku    following bright sun  alone, he surfs a strong wave  with a young dolphin    seen in clear water  bright life on a coral reef  illumination                                     a tiny seahorse  sleeps in tropical sea grass  and moonlight falls down    drifting on currents  wishes lost in old bottles  many horizons    in cold waters deep  sad songs of the lonely whales  mourning lost ones loved    sea salted sands  shift into the greens and blues  then the yellow sun      bright sun warms noon day  overripe apples hang low  –sticky, drunken bees    *** Julie Brinson has previously published random poetry in numerous independent, underground literary magazines and journals in the 1990s. She has written various Internet articles and essays in the years since.   Two short poetry collections: Courage…

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December 17, 2020

“Squid Eyes,” A Short Story by Lisa Sita

“Squid Eyes,” A Short Story by Lisa Sita

Every time Amanda cried black ink, people thought it was her mascara running. Sometimes a concerned fellow female, in trying to be helpful, would recommend that she try a waterproof variety, since there were so many on the market and were actually quite effective at preventing embarrassing smudges. She always tried to explain after politely thanking these women that she was not wearing any makeup, but they never seemed to believe her.  Amanda’s parents first noticed the color of their daughter’s tears when she came slipping and sliding out of the womb at Lenox Hill Hospital one early winter morning. As soon as the cord was cut, little Amanda’s eyes spouted like tiny oil wells that ran and dribbled into the creases of her new baby flesh. The doctor who delivered her and others who were consulted could find no reason for it. Thinking first that the black tears…

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December 14, 2020

Martha Engber – Two Poems of Vulnerability

Martha Engber – Two Poems of Vulnerability

The House      Once there was a house.  Once there was a choice.    The house was made of inside,  while the choice lived outside.    Before that, there were many other choices,  all outside, too, but  that could be gotten to    because the house had a  door that opened, allowing a going out  and a coming in, and had, and did.    But then came this choice, of surprise  and delight and innocence,  more than any other.    A choice made wholly of outside,  it could not come in, but rather must be  gone to and embraced.    Surprise. Delight. Innocence.  Yet a choice to which the responsible  door should not open.    The house suddenly so bounded, so  permanent, so…  shut.    The windows, with their crosshatched bars,  gazed out at…

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December 3, 2020

Rhode Island Author Expo – FREE Virtual Conference

Rhode Island Author Expo – FREE Virtual Conference

This Saturday, December 5th, The Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA) is holding their annual Author Expo virtually. Anyone can join: no Rhode Island ID needed! Each year, ARIA does an outstanding job bringing local writers, speakers and resources for writers (like us) together for a day of networking, teaching about the craft of writing and selling books from independent and small press authors. Even if you do not plan to attend, we encourage you to check out the local authors participating in the event, where you can find their books for sale. Please help support these hardworking writers! Jack and I have been attending this conference for many years now. We were introduced to it by FC member and contributor Mike Squatrito. At the conference last year, we met Michael Piekny, one of our…

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November 29, 2020

“Memories Like Scars,” Poetry by Topper Barnes

“Memories Like Scars,” Poetry by Topper Barnes

Memories like Scars    There is a 22-year-old somewhere   Buried beneath the layers of abuse  Curled up like a starving street cat  Its fur caked with grime, oil, and feces   Those star speckled marble eyes  Bulging from the frail skull   And the shy stomach purring   While the confident takes its milk  With a trowel she can be found  A bit of digging and smoothing over  With time  Her blistered lips that have been  Bitten by glass roses  Will heal  The gory craters dotting her face  Torn open during 4am battles  With invisible insects  Will recover  Her skeleton will grow a new coat  Night by night  Day by day  Meal by meal   A shape will appear where a spike  Once stood  And those tear tracks dipped  In mascara   Running down her cheeks  Simply vanished  With a…

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